16 bit-era games that deserve a reboot

It was announced back in August of 2018 that Streets of Rage 4 was being developed by Lizardcube and Guard Crush Games. In all honesty, Streets of Rage is my favorite video game series. The hardest part about playing modern games is that the simplest, purest, type of video games is all but gone in the modern gaming landscape: The side-scrolling beat-em-up. Gone are the days of the simplest and funnest method of playing a game. Gone are the over-the-top storytelling and brightly colored and truly unique looking characters. But that may all change…if we ever see anything from Streets of Rage 4 ither than a trailer.

Looking back at this trailer made me wonder, as most things do, what games from my childhood would I like to see get a second chance on modern consoles?

 

Chakan: The Forever Man

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Based on the popular (I guess) comics from RAK Graphics, this game tells the story of a great warrior who won immortality by defeating Death in a duel. Centuries of living without being able to heal (long story) has left Chakan looking to rid the world of evil, as it is the only way to regain his mortality and finally rest. This game is, outside of it’s badass looking protagonist, is infamous for it’s crushing difficulty. While your character is immortal, someone forgot to tell every other enemy in the game about that, as the player will die again, and again while trying to figure out this games wonky controls and figure-it-out-yourself spell casting ability. With how much everyone fawns over Dark Souls and its many imitators, Chakan the Forever Man would find the audience it always deserved. An audience that loves a challenge and feel superior to other gamers who aren’t even willing to look at a Souls-like game.

 

Comix Zone

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The continuing adventures of Sketch Turner and Alyssa Cyan would be an amazing send up of how ridiculously popular the comic book genre has become and how is has influenced many, many mediums outside of comic books. A sequel to Comix Zone could see Sketch pulled into the movie adaptation of his own comic and play around with the trappings and pitfalls of success and fandom. If nothing else, no game since this 1995 gem has ever captured the look and feel of walking through a full fledged comic book. I would imagine a game like this would be a welcome addition to many a collection as a brand new audience is familiar with Sketch and crew as it recently found it’s way onto the recently released Sega Genesis Classics Collection for PS4 and XBOX One.

 

Altered Beast

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If you had a Sega as a kid, you were required to play this one. The story of a dead man brought back to life by Zeus to save yo girl is a classic tale that we’ve all missed since we were small. While there was an attempt at a remake back in the days of the PS2, nothing has ever given us quite the same experience as punching a zombie and being rewarded for it by turning into a wolf. You read that right. Again, thanks to the Sega Genesis Classic Collection, a whole new generation of gamers have been introduced to this gem, and considering the popularity of games like God of War and (again) Dark Souls, it has seemingly been proven that there is a hunger and interest for games that are well-made sword and sorcery types that can tap into that primal instinct we all have to unch something and turn into a giant bear. Speaking of primal…

 

Primal Rage

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This arcade fighter from Atari caused quite the stir back in the mid-nineties. Ask any gamer of a certain age about the “golden shower finisher” and they’ll probably tell you about how some kid’s mom wouldn’t let them rent Primal Rage. The fighting game about massive beasts that fought for world domination was a unique title back in the day. Known for it’s awesome character designs and stop-motion animation, Primal Rage was possibly a game known more for it’s looks than it’s playability. But with the rise of fighting games community and the reaffirmed popularity in juggernaut titles that refuse to die like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat, and the rise in new series like Injustice and Omen of Sorrows have proven that the time is right for a big push within AAA-level fighting games. And Primal Rage, while an underdog fighter, is well remembered among gamers and developers alike.

 

Splatterhouse

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Yeah, I know they rebooted this back in 2010, but the time is right for a mid-budget horror game that also doubles as a classic side-scrolling beat-em-up. The story of Rick Taylor and the Terror Mask trying to save his girl Jennifer is a tale as old as time. Rick, given Hulk-like strength and serious can of whoop ass, is desperate tosave Jennifer from the clutches of the demonic West Mansion, and right now, with Resident Evil 2 gearing up to be a relatable and gut-wrenching horror experience, this game needs to be the Evil Dead to Resident Evil’s Night of the Living Dead. There needs to be a corny, over-the-top gore fest with a sick sense of humor to bring balance to the…PS4. I think that people would love something simple and fun after having the shit scared out of them for ten hours or so (thanks Capcom).

 

Eternal Champions

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This ambitious fighter was the first game that showed me that you could have a compelling story that made sure to make every fighter found within the game felt integral and proved why they were there. The story of fighters that were wronged and murdered, given the chance to rewrite their fates IF they could win a tournament held by a friggin time lord is something that sounds too good to be true. So good in fact, that it kind of seems to be the plot to the upcoming Mortal Kombat 11. If nothing else, this game is fondly remembered for it’s incredible character designs and truly punishing difficulty. But seeing people from different eras engaging in proper fisticuffs is something that no one else is doing right now. Seriously, when was the last time you saw a caveman punch out a cyborg kickboxer? 1993, that’s when.

 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Tournament Fighters

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Holy crap, where do I begin? We have been sorely lacking a truly great Ninja Turtle video game. You would figure the immense and undying popularity of the TMNT would guarantee a great game from a studio like Rocksteady or NetherRealm Studios. Hell, NRS practically dared us to ask them for a reboot of this game when they announced the TMNT as DLC for Injustice 2. But alas, we have yet to see a great Turtles game, and I for one, am tired of waiting. Allow me to have a fanboy moment here, but there is a reason that the Konami-era Turtles games are so fondly remembered. They still hold up today and there is no reason for Turtles in Time to be better than Mutants in Manhattan. Plus, seeing how well the Turtles were handled in Injustice 2, a reboot of arguably the weakest entry in the Konami Turtles games, there is no excuse for someone to pick up the reins and give this game another shot at greatness. If anyone reading this knows Ed Boon, please send him this article.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “16 bit-era games that deserve a reboot

  1. The Possible storyline you had for a Comix Zone reboot sounded almost identical to the Viewtiful Joe series. If anything you can almost guarantee that the Viewtiful Joe creators we’re fans of Comix Zone and said “you know what? We can do it better!” 😂

    Liked by 2 people

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