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 the final part of 10 PSOne Classics we want remade on PS3.
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5. BLOOD OMEN: LEGACY OF KAIN
Blood sucking series Legacy of Kain has laid dormant inside its coffin for too long now, so what better way to reinvigorate old fang face than a full-on remake? Blood Omen, the inaugural title in the critically-lauded adventure series, was and still remains an absolute classic; however, its retro-tastic top-down perspective doesn’t quite do justice to a complete overhaul. As such, PSU would like to see a complete revamp of the series’ mechanics, switching from 2D nature to a 3D, third-person blood fest. Think along the likes of Soul Reaver and you’re on the right track, albeit with the added bonus scrumptious PS3-powered visuals. But a new viewpoint isn’t just all about aesthetics; it’ll also facilitate a far more comprehensive combat and exploration system, which just wouldn’t be possible in the old 2D/top-down perspective. Iconic moves like succumbing to Kain’s lust for the red stuff by sinking your teeth into some poor bugger’s neck or transforming into a wolf would prove far more impacting and visceral from a fresh perspective. In addition, the original Blood Omen was highly extolled by reviewers for its meaty storytelling, an area that is likewise sure to benefit from a PS3 makeover.
4. VAGRANT STORY
Often overlooked in favour of its Square stable mate Final Fantasy, Vagrant Story nonetheless remains an immersive, compelling RPG in its own right. Revered for its intricate storyline, comic-book aesthetic and comprehensive battle system, Vagrant Story is notable for eschewing bread-and-butter RPG elements such as the inclusion of shops and the ability to converse with other characters. As such, the game maintains a more cerebral edge than its contemporaries, requiring players to put their thinking caps on to solve riddles and create/modify an extensive weapons inventory. The game was especially noted by its creators for resonating especially well with western gamers – so much so that Square had flirted with the idea of a PSP update. However, PSU thinks a PS3 revamp would be a far better idea for a number of reasons. Chief among these include the fact Square had to cut a significant chunk of the game’s story from the original release, which could be incorporated into a potential PS3 update. Furthermore, the scrapped two-player mode could also be thrown into the mix, either as split-screen or perhaps facilitated by PlayStation Network as an online-based multiplayer component. Oh, and that’s not forgetting the added bonus of revisiting those iconic locales – among which includes some stunning architecture inspired by the French region of Bordeaux – in scrumptious high definition.
3. RESIDENT EVIL 3: NEMESIS
Resident Evil 2 might be an obvious – and indeed, worthy – choice for a PS3 overhaul, but I always tend to gravitate towards Nemesis when it comes to arguing the case for a full blown remake. For me, Nemesis’ combination of standout locales, Jill Valentine’s gripping tale of survival against insurmountable odds and the game’s titular, inexorable S.T.A.R.S stalker just makes it all the more suited to a bit of spit and polish. The environments in particular are a real highlight, with RE3 being the only core entry in the franchise that gives us a proper butcher’s at Raccoon City in all its post-zombie apocalyptic glory. The trashed streets, dilapidated buildings, wrecked offices and blood-stained sidewalks helped perpetuate a stomach-knotting sense of hopelessness in the original, and would frankly look stunning with the PS3’s added graphical muscle. I’m talking a classic makeover here though – no RE4-style over-the-shoulder shenanigans. Even to this day the GameCube remake of the original looks incredible, so imagine for a moment how jaw-dropping pre-rendered locales would look on Sony’s black beast; we’re talking photorealism here. Furthermore, Nemesis himself ranks as one of the series’ best baddies to date, and we’d love to see him with a bit of HD makeup. The story could also be fleshed out more to incorporate some elements from Outbreak, and there’s no reason why Capcom couldn’t expand the map and take us further into Raccoon’s deathly quiet alleyways and ransacked apartment complexes.
2. METAL GEAR SOLID
Technically this would be the second remake of Metal Gear Solid if Hideo Kojima and chums decided to give a PS3 version the green light – Solid Snake’s stealthy outing appeared on GameCube in the revamped Twin Snakes, after all. However, while undeniably prettier than the original, TS was lambasted for its use of ostentatious cut-scenes (Snake decides to roundhouse kick Metal Gear Rex when confronted with the mechanised beast, for example) and, in parts, inferior dialogue to the original. A full blown PS3 remake would give Kojima the chance to make the game everything TS was meant to be, minus all the silly nonsense. Just imagine stalking through Shadow Moses with MGS4-esque visuals, only this time our gruff hero wouldn’t need any swanky camouflage tech to mask his wrinkles – he wouldn’t have any. Furthermore, Snake’s arsenal and moves could be expanded, which in turn would allow Konami to come up with something a little more imaginative with rudimentary boss battles like the scrap with Revolver Ocelot. Stunning set-pieces meanwhile could also receive an overhaul, making epic encounters like the Hind D and Rex fight even more memorable than before. MGS broke barriers back in the day for its unprecedented visuals and Hollywood-esque narrative qualities, and it’s still just as compelling as it was back in 1999; however, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t find the prospect of reliving Snake’s iconic story in 1080p glory all over again on PS3.
1. FINAL FANTASY VII
Okay, no points for originality, but let’s be serious: Final Fantasy VII is probably one of the most revered RPGs out there, let alone on Sony’s original grey box of tricks. Given the amount of fanfare over the game, I’m sure a PS3 remake would sell like hotcakes. But let’s get serious here, what would a remake add beyond all-new sumptuous visuals? Well, for one, they could spruce up the battle system; perhaps incorporate a few tweaks seen in subsequent games? For example, how awesome would it be to recruit summons like the classic behemoth Bahamut in battle? Or perhaps jazz up the Limit Break system so it echoes the one seen in FFX? Indeed, there’s no reason why Square can’t think outside the box – a remake doesn’t have to adhere to the original 100 percent, there’s no harm in injecting a few bits and bobs into the mix. Plus, FFVII has such a rich canon thanks to the seemingly endless deluge of prequels, sequels and movies that Square seems content on churning out, so there’s plenty of material to tuck into as far as adding extra content to a PS3 rebirth. We’ve all seen that infamous E3 2005 footage that Square used to tease the power of Sony’s black beast — now let’s make the dream a reality.
Of course, this is just the opinion of the author; what PSOne games do you think should be remade for PS3? Let us know in the comments section below.