It’s hard to believe that the Nintendo Entertainment System is 30 years old this year. It seems like it’s only been a few years since we were viciously tearing the box apart to get our hands on the popular gaming console. Back then, games were simple, yet enjoyable; it was about the experience, not just the graphics. Fast forward 30 years, and technology has definitely skyrocketed, yet these classic games still hold a special place in the hearts of gamers around the globe. In between then and now, we’ve seen remakes with better graphics, better functionality, and even whole new storylines. Virtual reality has become a major hit in recent years, which leads us to the staff question of the month: What classic gaming titles would you like to see remade for virtual reality?
I’d like to see a virtual reality iteration of Star Fox. We’re long overdue for a quality console iteration of Star Fox. Sorry, but Star Fox Adventures doesn’t count. I’m talking something genuinely awesome like the original SNES title or Star Fox 64. How awesome would it be to ignore Slippy’s cries for help in a glorious virtual reality space! We’re getting to the point where Star Fox has more of a presence in the Smash Bros. series than in Star Fox. This is unacceptable!
I know it’s something that even if it did get a remake would never beat the classic, but let’s put it out there. I’ve been playing some Conker’s Bad Fur Day for the N64 and I have to say that, as a VR game, it could be both terrifying and fantastic.
I know it’s absolutely impossible with Konami pretty much committing developer suicide, but I’d absolutely love to see Silent Hill remade for the VR movement.
Silent Hill has always been a title where the place you are in, the sounds that you hear, and even the game’s lighting are always scarier than the creatures you encounter. Running from a monster is definitely horrifying, but it’s that unease and that build up—that overwhelming sense of dread—that has always made Silent Hill so amazing in my eyes.
Actually having to wander through the dilapidated town and placing myself right in the middle of it all is something I feel would have potential to create one of the greatest horror experiences ever. That is, if they chose to rely on atmosphere like the first game did, not just cheap jump scares as later titles in the series did.
It was a fine day like any other (at least I like to think so) when my brothers and I first popped that one cartridge into our Nintendo 64—The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. The game was stuff of legends and still is today. It was a revolutionary adventure game where you reprise the role of Link, a green-clad hero from the forest, as you strive to save the kingdom of Hyrule from the evil Ganondorf and fulfill your destiny as the Hero of Time. There are some (Egoraptor specifically) who would complain about Ocarina of Time‘s camera style. The camera required you to zoom in on your target during combat, which often left you helpless to the terrain of the environment.
What does all this have to do with virtual reality? My answer: everything! Remember those corners in the Sacred Forest Meadow where those creatures take those spears and shove them up your B-hole? You don’t remember that? Well, that just got awkward…anyway, that section often times is tedious because of the camera system. Think for a second about how much easier it would be if you could lean out and look past the corner without having to fully jump out from cover. This, of course, is just scratching the surface with visual reality. What if Ocarina of Time went all-out with movement in virtual reality?
For this example, I would like to bring up the Stalfos enemy halfway through the Shadow Temple. As you pass the guillotines and jump across the pit, a Stalfos drops down and engages you in combat. Apart from the Stalfos, you also have the looming danger of falling off the platform. Imagine getting knocked off the edge and, just by instinct, you reach up and grab the ledge, therefore able to pull yourself up. This would also give you a more realistic feeling, as if your very life is in danger as you swing your swords at bats, birds, and any other things that start with B. There is a lot of room for positive improvement if this game were to get a virtual reality makeover. Maybe if Nintendo has time after all these content claims and what have you, we can see that in the near future. Please.
If I could have a classic game remade for the VR movement, it would probably be Lands of Lore: The Throne of Chaos. Lands of Lore was heavily inspired by the Eye of the Beholder series, a first-person dungeon-crawling RPG based in the Dungeons & Dragons setting of the Forgotten Realms. However, the similarities ended at the playstyle and genre of the game, as Lands of Lore existed in an immersive fantasy world where Sir Patrick Stewart greeted you as King Richard of Gladstone, asking one of four adventurers to take on the quest to defeat the witch Scotia and retrieve the Nether Mask.
Why would this game be good as a VR game, though? You interact with the environment much like a point-and-click adventure game. You’d control attacks by slashing, and probably do weird gestures for spells. You would physically grab items to pick them up, and drop them to set them down. The best part is being able to stand before King Richard of Gladstone, and hear Sir Patrick Stewart’s voice boom before you.
It’s one of the most beloved multiplayer games of all time, and the only James Bond game that more than two people can agree is any good. Why not make it truly 3D? It’d be the next best thing to real laser tag (complete with patented Moonraker Lasers), and there’s nothing like throwing on cheat codes and running around in 3D with a truly ridiculous gigantic head. Experience the thrill of being catapulted across the room by a grenade launcher today!
There are three criteria that would need to be met in order for me to get excited about a VR remake of any game:
- It has a visually striking landscape or overworld, with a variety of unique maps. If I am going to spend countless hours running through a 3D game world, it better be fun to look at.
- It has at least one space sequence or spaceship. Because space. Spaaaaaaaace.
- I get to use cool weaponry and cast spell-like abilities. Forget walking simulators or puzzle games; when it comes to VR I want to swing a Big Arse Sword and explode enemies with my voice (or be able to summon a deity to explode things for me.)
One game that immediately comes to mind is the 1999 RPG, Septerra Core: Legacy of the Creator. Not only does it feature a plethora of interesting locations, including a seedy rundown mining town, a temple complex, a not-so-abandoned jungle ruins, a laboratory, a crypt, and a mega-city with a brothel, it also allows you to fly an organic-based living spaceship and visit multiple shell worlds.
You play as a female protagonist, rare for the genre. Along her journey, she collects a band of trustworthy (or not-so-trustworthy) compatriots, each with their own cybernetic, mystic arcane, or warrior-like special abilities. There are characters with rail guns, characters with laser beams, characters with magic swords, characters with claws, characters with wrenches that are taller than they are…party members can also team up and blast enemies with friendship power (or with mutual hate).
The story is engaging, with optional loyalty quests and a well-paced escalation of drama. The graphics were well ahead of their time. The enemies range from comedic crabs to cyborg-undead, and the boss fights force you to utilize you powers wisely. Honestly, I have nothing but the utmost respect for this game; I would love to be immersed in this world, and I would love to play in the shoes (or talons, or hydraulic leg implants) of each of the characters.
A Mario virtual reality.
Indeed, this has already been done if you think about the Virtual Boy’s Mario titles. Considering that every video game generation since the NES has had a Mario title to mark it, it would be most fitting to have some people’s first step into a whole new world of gaming be with our old friend. Of course, there’s the fact that, until quite recently, Nintendo refused to make any software for consoles created by other companies—but with Nintendo’s mobile game announcement, there’s some hope.
Just like how people go to see action-packed, sci-fi giant robot thrillers in IMAX or 3D, I would imagine most games in virtual reality would be first-person shooters (or maybe Fast & Furious simulators), but I think everyone would take notice if you went for an immersive Mario experience. If you could zoom the camera out to Mario in a more 2.5 perspective for those that want a more traditional Mario experience, and also zoom the camera in so that you are looking at things as Mario…that’s a trippy idea right there. Looking down at your hands and seeing those iconic gloves, and then bouncing on a koopa…don’t try to tell me everyone wouldn’t be playing that game! All our old haunts are things we could walk up to and touch like never before, from the shrubs in Peach’s garden to Luigi’s mansion (although, that’s not technically a Mario game). You could even dodge Bowser himself. To be honest, even with such great other choices as Luigi’s Mansion, Metroid, and Star Fox as VR titles, you can’t really begin unless you’ve got the red plumber.
As Mark was looking to hand the Q&A series off to someone else, I was lucky enough to take the reigns. I just want to thank Mark and Jeddy for allowing me to take over the “Q&AmeCola” panel, as well as all the staff writers who have submitted their questions. Words cannot describe how stoked I am that I received so many replies for my first take on the Q&A series.
Love the new graphics. Well done, Jeff!
Thank you sir! I appreciate the feedback; I’m proud of my work on the column so far.
I second that! Very smooth and professional handoff, you guys. Looks great.
Damn, 120 stars under 6 hours? Where is Peach going to bake that cake? There’s no kitchen in the castle (infact, it is quite empty assuming the paintings turn in to regular paintings). There are no bed rooms, bathrooms, or anything.
Maybe it’s all subtext. Perhaps Peach invited Mario over to help with the baking of something other than cake. Baby Mario perhaps? I don’t like to really dwell on the smaller details, especially when our plumber hero has the ability to grow by eating mushrooms, kill turtles by jumping on them, and not having to go to the bathroom for the roughly 80 days he’s roaming the Mushroom Kingdom.
Upsetting that the player skipped a lot of the dialogue in the Lands of Lore play, but I guess the point was more “show gameplay” than “show gameplay and voiceovers.”