Feature

Six Reboots The Gaming World Is Ready For In 2015

by Mike Futter on Dec 31, 2014 at 10:00 AM

As each year fades away into memory, there are gamers the world over echoing the same thing. “I thought for sure this would be the year,” they whisper. “I just want one more game in my favorite universe.”

While we can’t guarantee that all (or, really, any) of these dreams will come true, the world is most certainly ready for them. I’ve done some scientific research consisting of a statistically significant sample size of one.

OK. Really, these are just my thoughts about reboots I’d love to see announced. If 2014 was “the year of delays,” then maybe 2015 can be the year that “everything old is new again.”

Battletoads
Of all the grueling, maddening, and controller-damaging games of the NES era, Battletoads stands out in our memory as the most devilish. Rash, Zitz, and Pimple were intended to ape the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but ended up taking on a life of their own.

Originally released in 1991, the game featured cartoonish kicks and improbably punches. The vehicle segments challenged our reflexes and our patience.

Now that gamers have again become accustomed to difficult games (thank you, From Software), we might just be ready for the Battletoads to return. They wouldn’t need to be watered down, either.

In order to be successful, a challenging platformer needs to be feel fair. Skill must be the overriding factor, not randomness or cheap deaths. 

Whether today’s Rare has the chops won’t be clear unless it happens. Microsoft filed the trademark for a new Battletoads game earlier this year, and if it becomes reality, more than champagne might be popped.

The Legacy of Kain (and/or Soul Reaver)
Kain’s story spanned five games, featuring a twisting narrative of betrayal and blood. Amy Hennig (who left the series to work at Naughty Dog) created compelling characters and an engaging universe in which they could play out their power struggles.

I’ve long believed that there is more to tell of Kain’s fall from humanity and rise to power as lord of the vampires. A full reboot, retelling the story and introducing new elements would be most welcome.

It’s been over a decade since we bid farewell to Kain and Soul Reaver's Raziel (not including their appearance in Lara Croft and Temple of Light). Now’s Square Enix’s chance to bring the twisted duo into the new generation in earnest. Nosgoth, a free-to-play multiplayer action game currently in beta, isn’t going to scratch the itch longtime fans have for the lore.

Mega Man
Capcom, we’re getting to the point at which we need to have an intervention. I recognize that side-scrollers aren’t the big thing anymore (though the beauty of Rayman Origins and Rayman Legends proves they aren’t dead), but that blue bomber has a lot of life left in him.

Heck, Keiji Inafune finally decided to do it without you. Mighty No. 9 saw Kickstarter success and gamer hopes lie in his ability to recapture the magic.

But just because Inafune is making a side-scroller doesn’t mean there isn’t room for Mega Man. I suspect people would eagerly play Mega Man Legends 3 (and even an updated version of the first two). The classic titles are drawing enthusiasm on the eShop (across Mega Man, X, Zero, and Battle Network sub-brands).

You’ve made some great choices with the periphery of the property. Music, a Smash Bros. appearance, and even a few different First 4 licensed statues. It’s time. Let’s have a new game starring Mega Man.

Actraiser
To this day, I’m surprised that Square Enix’s blend of god-sim and action game didn’t have longer legs. The 1990 Super Nintendo title spawned a single sequel and then vanished.

The title is split up into two segments, with the player responsible for liberating lands from “The Evil One” and his lieutenants. Via an overhead map, players will restore the land and the faith of its people.

Each of the regions is bracketed by a side-scrolling action sequence with players in control of an animated, sword-wielding statue. The sequel abandoned the clever overhead gameplay, leaving only the action segments. You can play the first Actraiser via the Wii Virtual Console.

Front Mission
Firaxis paved the way for the return of tactical games to consoles with XCOM: Enemy Unknown. I’d love to see Square Enix capitalize on the popularity with the return of one of my favorite PlayStation titles.

Like XCOM, Front Mission had the feel of a miniatures game played on a digital tabletop. The mechs used in battle (called Wanzers) could be customized with different weapons, arms, legs, and supplemental skills. The ability to create my own warbot cemented the experience for me.

Sure, you might say that a new Final Fantasy Tactics game is on your wish list. For me, it’s giant robots all the way.

Ape Escape
If you’re scratching your head at this one, it’s probably because you haven’t played an Ape Escape game. The series’ first entry was intended as a showcase for the Dual Shock on PlayStation. Two thumbsticks might be common today, but it took some getting used to when the layout was introduced.

In Ape Escape, your job is to thwart the evil Specter (a monkey that has grown more intelligent thanks to the “Peak Point Helmet”). He, in turn, has freed the other apes and scattered them across time to change history and bend it to his will.

Each of the adorable critters has a helmet that serves as a way to determine if you’ve been detected. You’ll need to catch them in your time net to send them home. There are puzzle elements to approaching some of the fiends, and you’ll need to use a variety of tools to get close enough and nab them.

The most recent entry in the main series appeared on PlayStation 2, but the apes have appeared in other titles. You might recall a special mode in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater on the PS2 called Snake vs. Monkey. If not, check out this video:

Ape Escape might be quirkier than the average game these days, but the action is fun and the humor is grand. Sony, please break out the bananas and give us another quest for time traveling monkeys.