Six Underrated Games that Deserve a Remaster
As gaming hardware improves, the technical gap between current and classic games grows ever wider. Nostalgic memories of classics come crashing down when they clash against modern standards. It’s difficult to fully appreciate the games that once wowed us when improved display resolution more prominently display imperfections that went previously unnoticed. Video game remasters like the Spyro Reignited Trilogy and the Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy have managed to close the gap and allow new generations to enjoy favorites in the way we recall playing them.
But as a team who grew up in a golden age of gaming, we have many dear to us that simply aren’t as popular to inspire remasters. We got together and talked about our favorite games that we wish would get another chance on the market. After some time discussing, we each came up with a game we loved that we felt was simply too underappreciated to ever get a remaster, no matter how badly we want one.
Leo’s Pick – Auto Modellista
My first choice for this list was Viewtiful Joe, but due to the fact it received more than one sequel, sold well enough to become a Player’s Choice title for the Gamecube, and even received an anime adaptation, I don’t think I can consider it a truly underrated series.
On the other hand, Auto Modellista is a totally different beast. The game didn’t receive the best reviews back in the day, but I honestly think it is a lot better than its mediocre reception may indicate. Auto Modellista is a racing game that features arcade-like controls, a simulation-inspired career, car tuning, a good soundtrack, and best of all, cel-shaded graphics. The game still looks amazing to this day. I’d love to either see a remake, remaster or full proper sequel to Auto Modellista in the current generation of consoles. I’d love to see them expand the roster to include Italian and German cars in pure sexy cel-shading!
Jason’s Pick – Parasite Eve
I grew up in the era of the original Playstation and have fond memories of playing Spyro the Dragon, Final Fantasy VII, and Tomb Raider for the first time. But as good as the classics are, few games have stayed with me over the years in the same way that Parasite Eve has.
The game follows Aya Brea, a rookie NYPD officer who attends an opera on a blind date, only to witness the entire audience inexplicably burst into flames and melting flesh. As she investigates the incident, stranger and more violent events begin to unfold across the city. Fighting her way through the city unlocks new powers for Aya that devastate in the Active Time Battle system creating a great hybrid of action and turn-based RPG combat systems. Parasite Eve is an excellent horror/science-fiction story that has no shame in completely disregarding everything related to legitimate science. A Parasite Eve remaster has the makings of an excellent B-horror RPG.
Todd’s Pick – Shadowrun
This game, to put it bluntly, failed. It failed hard. This game should not be on any list of mine. Ever. It is a Microsoft Studio’s game and it is pretty much multiplayer-only with no narrative at all. Blasphemy to a Sony Cinematic Narrative Junkie such as myself, but I probably put more hours into this game than any other title on my 360. I loved it. This game was just both too late and too early. People already moved on from Team Fortress and were all about CoD style games. And this game was Overwatch before Blizzard ever thought of dipping their toes in. There are a lot of places this game could be improved and a good remake, or even reboot, could be just what it needs. I wouldn’t even be opposed to seeing them take a stab at it working in VR.
Jordan’s pick – Brütal Legend
There isn’t much more in life that I love more than Rock, Heavy Metal, and Video Games and Brütal Legend has it all. Combining the metal themes with Tim Schafer’s artistic style and Jack Black’s humor was a homerun for me. It was also the very first game my now wife Heidi bought for me so it holds a special place in my heart. The homage it pays to the legends of rock with its world theme, landmarks, and of course special cameos like Ozzy Osbourne all played very well. The gameplay itself was pretty basic as was the open world. The strategic sections where you needed to protect your stage seemed sort of out of place, but there were far more bad ass moments in the game than there were missteps. That scene with Ophelia and Mr. Crowley still gives me goosebumps. Unfortunately, Brütal Legend didn’t get the love it deserved even though it does have its cult following. But I think with a full remaster that improves graphics, brings its open world standards up to today’s, as well as its general gameplay; Brütal Legend could become the hit we all want it to be.
Heidi’s pick – Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is an action/adventure hack and slash game that was the only only title released by the now bankrupt 38 Studios. Set in the Faelands, one of several regions of Amalur, the world featured many beautiful and diverse environments as well as intriguing characters and a compelling story. The gameplay was fun and dynamic, albeit too easy to advance and hit the level cap at 40 about halfway through the game. This made for a much less challenging second half, but the storyline was so engaging with surprise twists and turns, that it wasn’t too hard to overlook the ease of the later portion of the game. There was a lot that Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning got right and could have improved upon in a sequel. Alas, that wasn’t meant to be. A sequel was originally in the works, but then 38 Studios went bankrupt and Kingdoms of Amalur got lost in an avalanche of legal issues. However, there may be hope on the horizon as THQ Nordic recently purchased the rights to the franchise in September 2018, so perhaps the fascinating world of Amalur will have more stories to tell after all.
Kyle’s pick – Alpha Protocol
What would happen if you turned Mass Effect into an espionage RPG? You get Alpha Protocol a hidden gem from the 360 generation. Developed by the legendary Obsidian Entertainment and written by Chris Avellone, Alpha Protocol got way too much hate, admittedly some of it deserved. The RPG elements and non-linear structure to the story provided some amazing moments. You have complete freedom build your character however you want; a stealthy sneaking type, a combat focused fighter, or even a hybrid of the two. However, saying the core gameplay lacked polish is a total understatement. AI was a bit too terrible, camera was a battle in of itself, and the cover system was awful, but I still enjoyed my time with it because of the RPG elements. If a remaster was ever going to happen I would love to see some gameplay improvements above anything else.
What’s your favorite game that you’d like to see a remaster for? Let us know below in the comments!