Okay folks, don’t deny it. You’ve been sitting there playing one of your favourite PSOne Classics that you’ve just downloaded from the PlayStation Store, and you’re basking in nostalgia. Those pixelated pleasures are bringing back found memories of the ‘90s, back when Live & Kicking was still the best thing on a Saturday morning and Lara Croft was decorating the bedroom wall of lusty teenagers everywhere. Yet, concurrently, you can’t help but think, “Wouldn’t this game be bloody fantastic if it got a full blown PS3 makeover?” If so, then you’re not alone.
We here at PSU have fond memories of PSOne, and while we’re chuffed to see Sony catering to our retro needs with the aforementioned ‘Classics’ range, we can’t help but wonder what some of them would be like had they received a full makeover. Just imagine walking the blood-stained sidewalks of Raccoon City with Nemesis hot on your tail in Resident Evil 3, or summoning Knights of the Round against the colossal Emerald Weapon in Final Fantasy VII with the added horse power afforded by Sony’s black behemoth – and that’s not including any extra content thrown into the mix for good measure.
So, let’s just pretend that game developers have the time and investment to remake our favourite PSOne games into 1080p-powered blockbusters – but what games would we like to see get a PS3 makeover, and what would they offer? And by remake, we don’t mean a quick HD paintjob; we mean a fully blown overhaul, developed right from the ground-up for Sony’s flagship console.
Join us now in part one of 10 PSOne Classics we want remade on PS3.
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10. PARAPPA THE RAPPA
Who would have thought that a rhythm romp staring an anthropomorphic rapping dog would have proved such a massive success? Back in 1997, Parappa the Rappa’s combination of 2D, cartoon-esque aesthetics and inventive soundtrack made it one of the most striking and indeed idiosyncratic games of its time, with the series maintaining a cult following to this day. Its simplicity was often overlooked due to its overwhelmingly addictive gameplay qualities, with gamers tasked with hammering out a sequence in the correct form and time. The more daring players could also freestyle while keeping in with the rhythm to score it big, bagging that legendary ‘U Cool Rapping’ accolade. The series has seen a few sequels and spin-offs in the years gone by, but nothing quite like a full-on console endeavour. As such, we’d love to see the PS3 play host to Parappa’s return to the telly box, only this time with a few new tricks up his paper-thin sleeves. Maybe throw in some wand-waggling PlayStation Move challenges? Or how about being able to upload your own freestyles to a dedicated online space via PlayStation Network? When you look at how extensive SingStar’s social features are, there’s every reason Parappa the Rappa should follow a similar trend.
9. CRASH TEAM RACING
Sony’s unofficial marsupial mascot may be recognised for his contributions to the platform genre, but Crash Bandicoot’s impressive kart debut proved to be a runaway success. Often considered PSOne’s answer to Mario Kart, Crash Team Racing is packed full of all the necessities for a stonking racing romp: barmy weapons, colourful tracks, iconic characters and adrenaline-fueled multiplayer antics. Outside of the obvious PS3-powered paint job, a modern update of Crash Team Racing would be able to substantially beef up the game’s multiplayer component, with Crash and chums no longer having to squash up on a single TV screen. Yep, full-on online multiplayer or bust, folks, preferably to accommodate as many players as there are characters in the game. What’s more, Naughty Dog (if they’re not too busy polishing Nathan Drake’s boots) could also take a leaf out of ModNation Racer’s books and offer a comprehensive customisation aspect, allowing gamers to pimp out their kart and craft their own tracks.
8. MEDAL OF HONOR
GolenEye may have raised the proverbial bar for console first-person shooters everywhere back in 1997, but Medal of Honor certainly stands as one of the most gripping endeavours in the genre when it hit stores in 1999. Often seen as the PSOne’s finest shooters, the game’s amalgamation of top notch production values, stellar combat and compelling narrative catapulted Medal of Honor to blockbuster status, and remains one of the most celebrated titles of its time. Sure, in the years since MoH’s release the World War II setting has become ubiquitous, though these days we’re starting to see an influx of more contemporary settings, which was the basis of last year’s MoH reboot. However, a lot has changed since we took on the Nazi hordes in both MoH and competitor Call of Duty, and I think a PS3 remake would bring plenty to the table. For one, the game’s script is intrinsically movie-class material, thanks to the fact Hollywood legend Steven Speilberg penned the story, which lends itself perfectly to the new hardware on offer. A new cover system wouldn’t go a miss either, allow gamers to flow more seamlessly between exploration and combat, plus the multiplayer could also benefit from a modern update – take it online with perks, multiple game modes, clans and customisation and we’re Happy as Larry.
7. LEGEND OF DRAGOON
RPG aficionados’ have been clamouring for another Legend of Dragoon title ever since it hit PSOne back in 2000, though for the past decade frankly we’ve had more chance of spotting Big Foot in our local boozer. But honestly, if ever there was a game crying out for a remake, it’s Legend of Dragoon. For one, the original, while much-loved by fans, wasn’t quite the critical darling it could have been; a remake would be the ideal opportunity to iron out the creases. The game was praised for its visual presentation and cinematic storytelling, two features which lend themselves perfectly to the PS3’s impressive innards. The combat system on the other hand was among the most criticised elements, and this could definitely benefit from a bit of poking and prodding to deliver less repetitive scraps. In addition, we’d love to see the original Japanese release’s Pocketstation (yep, remember THAT little trinket folks?) functionality re-introduced via PlayStation Vita, and the titular Dragoon aspect improved so it has far more impact on the game’s battles. Despite its faults, the original game oozes charm, and it’s still an incredibly compelling tale in its own right with some unique ideas. However, the potential for Legend of Dragoon to be the triple-A experience it deserved via a swanky remake is positively too good to ignore.
6. SOUL BLADE
Namco pioneered some of the greatest 3D games of the ‘90s with PSOne punch-ups such as Tekken and Soul Blade, the latter often hailed as one of the best of its time. Possessing enough of a tactical edge while still feeling inviting for newbies, Soul Edge is a proper stunner, featuring iconic combatants, diverse environments and satisfying, weapons-based brawling. The perfect candidate for a current-gen revamp, you might say. For PS3, Namco could spice up the fighting mechanics to bring them up to speed with recent instalments in the series, perhaps incorporating a few more strategic elements such as Soul Calibur IV’s revamped Critical Finish system. Furthermore, the game’s two-player vs. mode online for some heated multiplayer mayhem. We’d also like to see some sort of character customisation option thrown into the mix, adding a bit more personality to the proceedings; after all, there’s nothing quite like training up your favourite brawler, kitting them out and then proceeding to batter your opponent senseless. SCIV in particular had a meaty creation system that we’d love to see replicated here. Oh, and it would be criminal not to reinstate the fan-favourite Team Versus Mode, which was unceremoniously ditched after SCII for reasons unknown.
Stay tuned for part 2 next week.