Letter from America: 8-bit classics that deserve a remake
Plus: My Little Pony CCG.
While I was enduring a long-haul flight a few weeks ago, I started thinking about old classic games that deserve a remake. With gaming history now spanning five decades, there are plenty of ideal candidates for a modern-day makeover - but which ones should make the cut?
I started with a long list of potential games that I eventually boiled down to just five - all classics from the mid-80s that were released on either Atari 8-bit micros or the Commodore 64. I'll be creating further articles like this, and my next five picks will likely be ZX Spectrum games. Not just because there are some great Speccy games that were way ahead of their time that would make amazing new games - but to also introduce USgamer's American readership to some of the classics that defined the British micro boom of the 80s.
Once you've had a look at my five remake picks, I'd love to hear which old classic games you think would kick ass in modern-day form.
Speaking of remakes, Jeff Minter got one right this week in the guise of TxK on PS Vita. He's been banging out different versions of Tempest for years, but after somewhat losing the plot with Space Giraffe on Xbox 360, he really nailed it this time. TxK packs everything that made the original Tempest arcade great, but also sports some terrific new gameplay features and audio-visuals. End result: a thoroughly modern, top-drawer shooter.
Another PS Vita release this week is one of those games you'll know whether or not it interests you the moment you clap eyes on its manga-style graphics. Well, Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc is not so much a game as more an interactive story that's a compelling, bleak and fascinating adventure through the darkness in human hearts. At least, so says Pete, who reviewed it and thinks it's very good.
Now we turn our attention to the Final Fantasy series, which we spent a lot of time writing about this week. First up is an article from Pete, who decided that it's time for people to admit that Final Fantasy 13 really wasn't that bad. Which riled up the community a bit, judging by the mountain of (fairly civil for the most part) comments the article garnered. Mike followed up a day later with his take on the reasons why some people thought Final Fantasy 13 wasn't so great in the first place - which is all about the dreaded c-word that many in gaming don't seem to like: change.
We posted two comprehensive reviews on the latest additions to the franchise. There's Bravely Default on 3DS - the Final Fantasy that never was. And then there's Lightning Returns, which I assume is the Final Fantasy that currently is.
The final Final Fantasy piece was penned by Jeremy, and covers the religious symbolism in Lightning Returns. He's essentially exploring whether or not the protagonist is an "anime Jesus". Which is not your usual video game journalistic fare.
If you've played Super Metroid, you'll very likely enjoy reading this article about seven things that make it a timeless masterpiece. And if you haven't, read it anyway, because if it doesn't make you want to play it, you have no gamer soul. I remember driving home like a maniac after work because I was so utterly gasping to play it. Pure brilliance.
One last thing, which you'll think I'm joking about but I'm not, is the My Little Pony collectible card game. We played it, and it's really entertaining - for both kids (8+) and adults alike. If you're a believer in playing board and card games with the little 'uns like I am, this is certainly worth giving a whirl.
See you next week.
Jaz Rignall is editorial director of USgamer.net, a version of Eurogamer from the country that celebrates President's Day on Monday. Happy birthday, George!