Even in an era where video games are looking better and more realistic by the year, I find myself going back to my previous generation’s game libraries all too often. While there are still dozens of great games coming out every year, the ones that truly capture my imagination like the classics of the past are few and far between. Sure, you can chalk it up to nostalgia, but I feel that most of today’s games simply do not have the same heart that was found in so many titles released back in the day. Games may have gotten larger in scope, but their focus seems to be shifted from creating a wholly engrossing experience to making a flashier end product.
Luckily for me (and many other similarly substance-inclined gamers), there has been a push lately for HD rereleases of many classic titles. From Jak and Daxter, to Shadow of the Colossus, and the upcoming release of Final Fantasy X/X-2, games from every genre have seen a flashy makeover and new packaging. This gives folks like me who loved these titles the first time around another chance to relive magic, while affording those who missed out on the games originally a great opportunity for some of gaming’s best entries.
Thinking of all the great HD rereleases has got me thinking about some other titles that are screaming to be remastered. Check out my thoughts below.
Freedom Fighters (2003):
Freedom Fighters was one of the coolest shooters of the PS2 era. Set in New York, players assumed the role of Christopher ‘The Freedom Phantom’ Stone. Chris started out the game as a mild mannered plumber who winds up becoming the leader of a group of rebels fighting for America’s freedom from the Red Army. The journey to take back New York was a memorable one thanks to Morton Iverson’s masterful story that painted the world of Freedom Fighters as one of desperation and daring. Even if it were left without an exceptional story to rally behind, the gameplay found within Freedom Fighters stands the test of time. The classic third-person shooter action has stood the test of time, and the unique charisma meter that was used to recruit additional fighters to the cause was a mechanic that worked wonders to add depth to the game’s already tight foundation.
Thanks mainly to an emotionally charged narrative and classic action based shooting, all mixed in with entertaining multiplayer options, Freedom Fighters practically screams to see a HD rerelease. Until that happens, do yourself a favor and track down a copy. It’s a guarantee that you will be swept up in the Freedom Phantom’s quest to liberate the Big Apple.
For the select group out there still waiting for the fabled third installment of Shenmue, a HD rerelease would certainly make the wait a little more bearable. The Dreamcast’s daring RPG is one of the most interesting and most ambitious titles of all time. Blending nonlinear gameplay that combined aspects of virtually every genre out there and some seriously engaging storytelling, Shenmue has won over the hearts of thousands of gamers worldwide.
Shenmue is a perfect candidate for a makeover for any number of reasons. Much like Deadly Premonition (which recently saw an amazing rerelease), Shenmue’s blend of gameplay elements and narrative structure has earned it cult status. The story of main character Ryo’s quest to avenge his father’s murder is every bit unforgettable. Filled with awesome karate fighting, full day and night cycles, tons of side content, and an unforgettable mystery, Shenmue’s story deserves to be brought back once again into the hands of the gaming public.
Shadow Hearts (2001):
Anyone who has played Shadow Hearts will be happy to tell you all about their time spent with the game. The JRPG has more character packed into its twelve year old disk than most games could ever imagine. In a game with vampires, secret agents, and a main character who can fuse himself into horrific demons, it is no wonder that Shadow Hearts captured the attention of so many when it was first released.
Shadow Hearts story and location are as interesting and diverse as its characters. Essentially a love story turned quest to stop the destruction of mankind, Shadow Hearts has its characters bouncing all around Eastern Europe and Asia. While combat was mainly a traditional turn based fare, Shadow Hearts incorporated its signature Judgment Ring system into battles. The Judgment Ring added timed button presses to each party member’s attack, allowing for combos, critical hits, and serious frustration when players messed up.
A HD makeover would do this game wonders, bringing attention to one of the PS2’s most unique and creative titles.
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