Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Gamer's Wish

Not everything here has to be about writing or my books, so I'm going to take a minute to voice some never-to-be-heard-by-the-right-people wishes for the gaming industry. If you're not into video games, you may as well stop reading. The rest of this entry is going to be utter nonsense to you. I've got my geek hat on tonight.

I've been a gamer since the mid-eighties. You know, the era when Saturday morning cartoons were awesome. I love the classics, so it has brought me great joy to watch multiple game companies taking various classics and returning them to their roots.

Take New Super Mario Bros Wii, for example. I was THRILLED when that was released. Although they upgraded the graphics to fit today's technology, they returned Mario to his roots: Side-scrolling jumps, kicks, stars, and flagpoles. I begged for someone to pick it up for me that Christmas, and I was so happy when I received it.

Capcom released Street Fighter IV. The game is a graphics powerhouse, but the fighting engine is entirely 2D, keeping the series' ever-awesome gameplay intact when most of us expected Capcom and Street Fighter to go the way of Tekken or Street Fighter EX (ugh, that game was painful).

Then, more recently, Nintendo released Donkey Kong Country Returns. Same thing here. They took the classic Donkey Kong Country gameplay and revamped it with updated graphics and far more creative and interactive levels. The focus here was timing, precision, and practice practice practice. These were the kinds of games we went back to over and over and over and over as kids just trying to beat that one insanely hard level.

Sega just released an updated version of Sonic. Again, old school gameplay meets new school graphics. At the same time, tons of game makers are releasing side-scrolling games of varying style on Xbox Live Arcade. I love the concept. I love that the gaming industry is embracing this idea. I hope it shows game makers that a game doesn't have to be in a 3D realm for it to be exciting, entertaining, or original.

That having been said, I'm begging and pleading: Nintendo, please please PLEASE make a console version of a brand-new overhead-view Zelda game! The 3D games have been pretty good, but truth be told, none of them have had that "Legend of Zelda Adventure" feel that the original Zelda captured and Link to the Past perfected. Bring it back, please! I'd buy that in an instant!

Oh, and Square Enix, you've made enough remakes of Final Fantasy IV. That was an awesome game; I'm not denying that. It's actually the game that got me into the series. But you've waited long enough. The time has come to completely remake and re-release Final Fantasy VI. No, not VII - that's for the Sony fanboys. I'm talking about the SNES Final Fantasy III, or VI in Japan. To this day, that game ranks as the best game of all time on my favorites list. It is the game that inspired me to start writing my own stories. It's the game that taught me that every character, no matter how insignificant they may seem, must have a back story that the player/reader can relate to. It's the game that opened the floodgates of my creative side, and without Final Fantasy III, The Fourth Dimension would probably not exist.

Remake it. Update the graphics, rerecord the music, and release it on console. I'd pay far more than the average game price for it.

What about you gamers out there? Any games you'd like to see remade in the classic old-school style? Metal Gear? Contra? Michael Jackson's Moonwalker?

Put on your geek hats and sound off in the comments below!!

God bless,
Kevin

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