6 PlayStation classics that deserve a reboot

As recent news has now confirmed, Sony has filed a trademark for G-Police, a sci-fi shooter played from the first-person-perspective of a flying vehicle inspired by Ridley Scott’s classic flick, Blade Runner. Along with rumors, teases and fan requests for a modern day take on Naughty Dog’s beloved yet most despised fruit-addicted nutjob, Crash Bandicoot, there is certainly a hunger for some of the classics that were released way back when on the original PlayStation.

Minus the obvious titles such as Final Fantasy, Xenogears, Star Ocean, and Spyro The Dragon, here are some of the titles I would like to see make a return; adapting to the new styles and control methods in which we now play our games, all the while embracing what technology has to offer so that they make look and feel better than ever before. Spoiler alert: nobody cares about Crash Bandicoot taking on the Batman—I’d much rather prefer Naughty Dog and Activision make better use of their time and money.

– – – – – – – – 

Legacy Of Kain: Soul Reaver

Originally a sequel to the lesser known Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, Soul Reaver sees players take on the role of Raziel, a former vampire-turned-deadly wraith. Raziel seeks revenge on the original game’s protagonist while serving under the watchful eye of an entity known simply as the Elder God. Although the story and setting is rich with lore and packed with just enough detail and understanding for a modern day rebirth, it’s actually within the game’s combat system where I feel the game holds a great deal of potential, given how much the game itself has aged—understandably so.

Developed by Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Interactive—most prominently known for work on the Tomb Raider series—even at the time of its release the Soul Reaver games always felt somewhat soft and flimsy, not fully in touch with the game’s dark sensibility. In reference to how well the developers worked on Tomb Raider, which itself influenced the mechanics of other games later down the line, Soul Reaver never quite reached those heights nor did it go-on in becoming something that’s influential from the player’s perspective. Sure it’s remembered but it’s by no means relatable, or even relevant for that matter.

Hypothetically, what would a modern day Soul Reaver game play like if it was placed in the hands of Dark Souls developer FromSoftware? While the answer is an obvious one as to how it would play, it’s more so to do with the artistic style and design of the Soul Reaver games that ignite my curiosity as to what these talented developers could pull off, given what they accomplished with Bloodborne, as well as Dark Souls.

Future Cop LAPD

Pre-dating Titanfall by sixteen years, EA’s first outing with mech-themed shooters begun with Future Cop LAPD. Taking on the role as an X1 Pilot in the year 2098 in the city of Los Angeles, the game is played from a third-person-perspective and typically involves navigating through urban-futuristic locations while mowing down hordes of opposing gang members, helicopters, tanks and turret guns. While the mission structure delivers enough to keep players entertained and does well in its motivation throughout the use of checkpoint-based objectives, it’s within the game’s aspects of vehicle transformation where it really holds such grand appeal.

Simply through the means of a button press, players can transform their vehicle from a mech-based juggernaut into a fast-moving vehicle that’s somewhat similar to a jet. This changes gameplay up drastically, allowing the player to remain quick and nimble when they need to be, while being able to dish out punishment when required. The one thing in particular that’s special about the games two styles of play is the addition of a co-operative, jump in and jump out formula should the player seek help from a friend.

Given all that EA has managed to achieve with the addictive nature of online-multiplayer in games such as TitanFall and Battlefield, a full-on reboot for one of the original PlayStation’s classics would not only sit well with veteran players, it would also be one that speaks visually as to the influence it’s left on games of a similar nature. Future Cop: Fall of the Titans. That’s what you name it. Regardless of how cheesy and 80s that actually sounds.

Resident Evil

Resident Evil has had so many ups and downs within most recent years, not having any sense of direction as to where it’s actually going. It’s convoluted, lost, pitiful and dull. Resident Evil was once the king of survival horror, and with its last few outings on console it’s brought out about more failures than it has any successes. Frankly, if it weren’t for EAs forward thinking and Visceral Game’s visual flare for the genre of horror, as they demonstrated in 2008 with Dead Space, and to a lesser yet still relevant extent with Dante’s Inferno, it’s safe to say the genre as we know it may well in fact be dead.

Time and time again Capcom has promised a return to its original formula for every Resident Evil game over the past six years. If spin-off titles involving flat, monotonous characters and an action-flick wannabe with no clear narrative and an obtrusive control scheme is the return to formula, then I don’t want anything to do with it. Resident Evil has no relevance with new players nor does it hold much appreciation from its older fan base. The series is hungry for a reboot. Not a high-definition remaster, not an episodic formula, and certainly not another new entry into the series. Here’s a thought: Resident Evil set in the 1800s with a mission structure similar to Dead Space. Take it back to the house, focus on the narrative, concentrate on one protagonist and have him or her be silent.


Dino Crisis

So you’re a fan of Turok, touched upon the BETA in Ark: Survival Evolved, and you’ve slayed a couple beasts in Monster Hunter. And now you’re thinking you know a couple of things about monsters. While there’s a lot of action and excitement to be had from the perspective of a character who’s clearly holding dominance, back in 1999 Shinji Mikami had a more thoughtful approach to the idea of man versus monster. It was a clear and logical approach as to how such a scenario would play out when considering one of the most important aspects about the species—namely, we are not the predators, they are. During the time when Capcom had a handle on the survival horror genre and was fair to say untouchable in the talent behind their team, Dino Crisis was best described as Resident Evil with dinosaurs.

With just about everything from the game’s user interface and character inventory system right up to the game’s method of player control and movie-inspired camera perspectives, Dino Crisis was a direct cut and paste of Resident Evil, be it one with actual effort and a clearly thought-out design as to how one would adapt the inclusion of dinosaurs as opposed to the walking dead. Dino-horror, a term I’ve now coined, is clearly ripe for the pickings. When will the gaming industry move on from zombie clichés? If Left4dead3 actually holds some evidence of existence then I’ll be the first one to admit I’m not quite done with it. But as it currently stands, the walking dead has been done to death, and that includes the Walking Dead franchise itself.

Capcom, stop resurrecting people and start resurrecting dinosaurs, and if you really want to standout, go for dino-zombies. It’s a lot more interesting than the corpse of a neighbour who still owes me half a bag of sugar. And let’s face it, video games have had us prepared for years as to what we would do if a zombie outbreak actually took place. So much so that the formerly mentioned Resident Evil is a near-perfect example in itself that we should avoid trains, basketball courts, alleyways, and churches. So long as there’s not a horde, we’ll be fine. Dino-zombies on the other hand, well, they’re a threat whether there’s one or twenty of them.

Bloody Roar

Where the original PlayStation was host to a great number of beat-’em-ups and a side-scrolling variants, both in the 2D and 3D flavor, many were released while only few were well-known. The console received Street Fighter, Dead or Alive, Battle Arena Toshinden, Bushido Blade, the list goes on and let’s not forget the introduction of Tekken. All in all, a great selection of games we think you’ll agree. While many of these titles still live on to this day, a great number of them simply lost the interest of their audience as well failing amongst their competitors. "You Lose, Do You Wish To Continue?"

Bloody Roar was best described as a game with heart where your opponents would rip it out. Playing much similar to the likes of Tekken and Virtual Fighter, the game’s three-dimensional aesthetics coupled with its brutal gameplay mechanics allowed the movement of such an interesting lineup of characters to flourish and control remarkably well. But this is in fact the least interesting aspect of the game as that is reserved for the transformation mechanic, which allows the game’s martial artists to take on a bestial form, therefore upping the ante of the fight—not to mention the gore factor.

While Bloody Roar never quite received much criticism in terms of overall violence like most games tended to suffer from back then, it was unmistakably violent. With characters such as Alice the Rabbit, Stun the Insect, Gado the Lion, and Shenlong the Tiger, the character names speak for themselves as to what they’re capable of. But this wasn’t just a one-time-use special feature that provided the player with the upper hand; it was more like "Change at will and shred your opponents to pieces, and watch him retaliate as he morphs into a vengeful Wolf then tears your head off."

Bloody Roar went on to spawn a number of sequels, some not so good, others not so bad. Due to the amount of publishers that the series was unfortunately passed around too, it’s frankly no surprise as to why it’s no longer relevant. Let’s just hope it has its time in the spotlight once again.

Syphon Filter

Living on only in spirit, titles such as Splinter Cell, Just Cause, Ghost Recon and Metal Gear Solid all contain some form of influence from Sony Bend Studio’s stealth-action series. In a Jason Bourne meets Mission Impossible derogatory fashion, Syphon Filter places its focus on special agents Gabriel Logan and Lian Xing, who are tasked with hunting down a German terrorist. As with everything else in this genre, America is once again under threat. Cliché yet entertaining.

Given the number of years that have passed since the game was even remotely relevant, it’s quite easy to see the potential that the game could possibly expose thanks to the many great titles that have been released thereafter. One game in particular that stands out to me as the most prominent influence is Ubisoft’s Splinter Cell. While the original Syphon Filter walked a thin line between its stealth and action sequences, it never felt quite right at the time. This is perfectly understandable given the time of its release as well as similar games on the market.

However, if there were to be a reboot of the original game, something along the lines of Splinter Cell: Blacklist within its approach to level design and character gameplay mechanics could certainly do wonders for a game not long been seen. As far as government spies and terrorist bomb threats are concerned, it’s gotten beyond a cliche at this point. Something more akin to Splinter Cell: Conviction where the story is focused more towards the main character and having aspects of his personal life now under threat could make for a much more interesting story as well as a new approach to it’s characters.

This is my list, so let me know yours. Do you have any games you would like to see a return? Do you have any memories of the games on this list? Do you despise them? I’d like to know.