What’s old is new
Capcom is on something of a roll right now. Its Monster Hunter: World is the bestselling title ever for the company, the Mega Man revivals are doing a particularly great job of igniting interest in the upcoming Mega Man 11, Street Fighter continues to dominate the fighting game scene, and its 2019 Resident Evil 2 remake is set to be one of the biggest games of next year. I played it at E3 and it’s good. Very good. Capcom knows this, which is why it’s already looking forward to doing more remakes once RE2 releases.
I’m definitely the type of gamer who’d rather have a new title than a remake, but I can’t resist a top-to-bottom makeover of a classic title from eras passed. The amount of passion I see in the Resident Evil 2 remake shows me Capcom is serious about revisiting the games of its past and not content with simply upscaling one to 1080p and calling it a day. If it truly wants to continue down this path of wholeheartedly remaking games instead of just remastering them, I’m all for it. And thanks to suggestion by Brett Makedonski, that’s the topic of Destructoid Discusses Question of the Week. I want to know what games our staffers think Capcom should target next. For me, I think it should stay in the Resident Evil family and give us a complete reworking of Resident Evil Gaiden.
Taking a traditionally 3D game and turning into an 8-bit 2D Game Boy Color title, one that successfully captures the essence of the franchise, is a daunting task. It can be done — look at Metal Gear Solid: Ghost Bable — but it can also crash and burn. Resident Evil Gaiden is an example of the latter. Released in 2001, it features Barry Burton and Leon Kennedy infiltrating the cruise ship Starlight to investigate whether there is a new bio-organic weapon aboard.
The game was an absolute waste of money. It didn’t understand what it meant to be a portable game, offered none of the scares the franchise is known for, and changed combat to a weird, video-golf inspired shooting gallery. It’s a pretty goddamn pointless game, one that earns its Gaiden title well. But it has a good story, which is, at this point, the only thing keeping me playing RE games. Its story too many people missed before and one I think could be well told using the gorgeous Resident Evil VII engine.
Arguably one of the better-looking games of this generation, RE VII revitalized the franchise in a way nobody thought Capcom ever would. Its sales were lower than the action-packed atrocity that is Resident Evil 6, but Capcom doesn’t seem to mind that. It just wants to make good games, and taking the story from Resident Evil Gaiden and telling it in that engine could make for a good, if not absolutely great game.
Too often, remakes are wasted on games that were good when they launched and are still good today. It’s why we don’t need a remake of A Link to the Past for instance. History is littered with bad games that could have been good if they didn’t fall victim to either publisher demands, poor hardware, or simple mismanagement. Those are the games that need a remake most, a second chance to get things right. On the Dreamcast or GameCube or PlayStation 2, Resident Evil Gaiden could have been as memorable as Code Veronica. It’s time to give this oft-forgotten entry in the RE franchise another shot.
Is Zack & Wiki a “Capcom classic”? I will fight anybody who says it isn’t. Looking at my Wii collection, it still stands as one of the best (if not the best) game on that weird console not developed by Nintendo. While the Wii became maligned for the waggle employed in many uninspired titles, Zack & Wiki stood out with its inventive use of the system’s functionality. I can’t think of another game that so effectively presented the remote as a series of physical objects in the game world, and especially none that used that presentation as the foundation for its puzzles.
What’s even better about updating Zack & Wiki to current consoles is that because the Wii remote was so central to its design, it would have to see a substantial update to show up on the Switch, for instance. Things that made sense back then wouldn’t work, and new interactions would have to take their place. I mean, that’d be better for us, the players, though it might not be better for Capcom, because it’d mean putting more work into it than a remake to a more standard game would be.
Still, think of the possibilities of Zack & Wiki on Switch! No really, think about them, then write them down and send those ideas to Capcom, and maybe it’ll spark something there for a new game in the series.
While I wouldn’t necessarily say that beat-em-ups are in vogue nowadays, the genre has seen a bit of a resurgence in recent years. Being kicked off by the excellent Castle Crashers, we’ve seen brand new entries in older series (Double Dragon Neon and River City Random Underground) and even completely new games based on older ideas (Scott Pilgrim). Why not bring back the granddaddy of the entire genre?
Capcom’s Final Fight may not have been the first of its kind, but it certainly set the groundwork for what a beat-em-up should be. Everything this snappy and well-paced game did has been copied by literally every game in its wake. The requisite elevator level, returning boss characters as standard enemies, wacky bonus stages, a heavy brawler character that can literally pick-up people. You can pick any number of ’90s brawlers and find Final Fight’s DNA in them.
The only real blemish on the series would be the horribly conceived Final Fight: Streetwise for PS2 and Xbox. Having released 12 years ago, I think Capcom is still trying to pay for its crime against humanity by not resurrecting Final Fight. Still, I would kill to see Mike Haggar come back into action alongside Cody and Guy. With the power of modern consoles, we could finally get a three-player version going, too.
With all the talk about Resident Evil 2 remake going the rounds, talk of Dino Crisis is never too far behind. After all, the game started off as a RE clone with dinosaurs!
However, while a remake of the first game would be fun, I think Dino Crisis 2 would be more interesting as a remake subject. It was a game that went all-in on the action element while trying to keep the other RE elements intact and I think gamers would warm to a fully action based title in a similar style to Resident Evil 4 or maybe even 7. Capcom tried already with Resident Evil 6 and while that game got rightfully panned as a terrible RE game, it was a pretty decent action game for the most part so a Dino Crisis in a similar vein could work pretty well!
Also, one other game I would like to see a re-release but NOT a remake would be Alien vs Predator. Of course, license issues alone means that it will never happen but I would love to beat up hordes of aliens again as Lynn Kurosawa. It’s just that a full blown remake of a beat em up might not go so well so keeping it in its original state would be for the best.
Even now, ten years later, I still can’t help but recommend Dead Rising Chop Till You Drop to anyone who’s a fan of Resident Evil 4. It’s basically a low budget, batshit insane RE4 mod with zombie parrots and skateboards and ravenous poodles. Also, like every good videogame, it has a balloon popping mode. This are just some of the ways it’s more thought-provoking than the Xbox 360 original. Did I mention that you can also dress up like Roll from Mega Man Legends and decapitate teleporting zombies with a chainsaw? Yes indeed, this is a video game.
The game sold well enough for Capcom to deem it “OK”, but it was panned by most critics, and we haven’t seen a new Dead Rising on Nintendo consoles since. I assume that’s because Microsoft has since bought into the franchise, but I don’t care. If Nintendo and Microsoft can team up on getting Minecraft on the Switch, with bonus Mario content no less, then they can work something out to get Dead Rising Chop Till You Drop remade on Switch or even. The only reasons people pre-hated it before it was released came down to the Wii and its technical limitations. A hardware pissing contest measured not in inches, but by how many zombies you can fit on a television screen at once? Yes indeed, this is video game culture.
But I believe we can do better. We can put Dead Rising on Switch, with the graphics of the 360 original, but the RE4-style gameplay and all the other bonuses of Chop Till You Drop. It will sell in the tens of… hundreds. Maybe even a hundred of hundreds? I know it’s hopeless folks, but please, just let me have this one dream. A bald 41-year-old boy like me has to cling to all the whimsy he can before the cold, white hands of Death come to take his soul away.
Occams Electric Toothbrush
If Final Fight is the granddaddy of all beat ‘em ups, then Captain Commando would be the weird uncle. Maybe that’s why when this question came up, this was the first game that popped into my head. I remember seeing this in the arcade and being blown away. It reads like the best Saturday morning cartoon ever: A cyber warrior, an alien-mummy, a ninja and a baby genius piloting a mech team up to stop intergalactic super criminals. Baby Head, pictured above, is one of my favorite video game characters ever. You can play as a baby piloting a mech that can then pilot a larger mech. That is poetry for my soul and subsequently how I pitch the game to folks who have never played it.
In a world where Metal Wolf Chaos can once again see the light of day, I think its time to bring Captain Commando back. Go ahead and give it the Final Fight: Double Impact treatment. Have the scan lines and the cabinet art and stickers as the screen border. Remix the soundtrack, all that jazz. That would be amazing, and I’d buy it day one. But if they wanted to, they could go all in like Resident Evil 2 and remake it from the ground up. Imagine what Captain Commando would look like updated for modern consoles. Those bright, vibrant colors shining like some Japanese Cartoon Hell Ride. Maybe go full 3D with it. Honestly, given what video games have done lately, the sky’s the limit.
Do Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts you cowards!
In the current day and age of everything being compared to Dark Souls, you’d think someone would take a second look at this infamous ball stomping hell game that goes by such interchangeable names that I’m never quite sure if I got it right until I Google it. But damn if I don’t always have fond memories of the aesthetic design of Ghouls ‘n Ghosts, from the visuals of Arthur constantly grabbing and losing armor, to even the stiff but consistent jump arc. Believe it or not, I love Arthur’s jump. the fact that it’s so stiff and rigid makes me appreciate it’s consistency and the level design. Seeing carefully placed jumps helps me imagine just how I’m supposed to approach the jump and when to double-jump since arcs this rigid demand every inch of a level to be immaculately placed and spaced.
Would I want anything changed to make concessions for modern game design? Maybe something regarding the infamous Goddess Bracelet second run, but even that has it’s own unique charm. Besides, plenty of games nowadays will let you do an entire game as a run, like Bloodborne.
Well, mine is purely in the realms of fantasy. Not only is this not ever happening, but obviously the licensing (and relevance) is long gone by now, but I just want a new game based on ’80s comic book Xenozoic Tales or, to give it its better-known moniker, Cadillacs and Dinosaurs.
Capcom’s ’90s scrolling fighter, set in Marc Schultz classic universe, was created as part of a new wave of interest in the brand, helped by a short-lived cartoon series that we never got over here in the UK. Xenozoic Tales blends a Mad Max-like dystopia with a cool-as-hell ’50s aesthetic, oh and populates it with dinosaurs for good measure. Capcom’s brawler is a pretty neat standout in the genre – even if it is way too long – but, other than an abysmal driving title for the 3DO, this brand has never been revisited by video games.
I think a GTA-style open-world adventure, feature quests, grim post-apocalyptic vistas, sweet motor vehicles, scumbag raiders and, of course, the bacon-sizzling badass Hannah Dundee, would be right up my prehistoric alley. It’ll never, ever happen, but that’s why we dream, kids.
That’s our list. Which titles do you think Capcom should remake next?