The Internet, it’s a marvellous invention isn’t it? Aside from changing the way we play games, it’s also revolutionised the way we buy them. Like it or not, the sheer convenience and ease of use is continually displacing high street retail (just ask ANY games retailer) until retail will cease to exist, at least in its current form. As well as transforming the way we buy games the Internet has now started to offer alternatives to how games are funded and developed through the use of fan donated project funding via websites like Profounder and Kickerstarter. The latter of which has REALLY caused a stir recently in the games industry with remarkable tales of games being funded successfully by the very people that want to play them. Everything is paid for upfront, there is no middle man and gamers get the games they want see made actually created. Everyone’s a winner.
But you’d be an absolute fool to think that fan funded projects will become the way of generating cash for games in the future. For every massive success like Double Fine’s brand new adventure game there’s tons of projects like the potential works of one, Playground State (http://toucharcade.com/2012/04/06/when-one-studios-kickstarter-fails-it-just-gets-tougher-bigger-and-more-determined/) proving thus that there is no long term viability in crowd sourced projects, well at least not unless you’re a developer that’s already amassed a large enough fanbase.
With that in mind, we at newbreview.com have had a whip round and come up with just some of the many Kickstarter projects we would donate to if they were to happen. BEHOLD.
Let’s get the inevitable out of the way first shall we?
I know, you know, everybody knows that a new Half-Life game is loooooong overdue. So much so that we at the newbreview.com bunkerlow (it’s not so much an office as a bunker/bungalow combo) are quite happy to miss out Half-Life 2: Episode 3 and just get on with things. After, all the Half-Life 2 engine has aged somewhat and since it’s been so long since the release of Episode 2 it’s probably best just to move on and maybe release Episode 3 later on down the line as an expansion.
Anyway, yes… The point.
The point is it was time to step into the shoes of Gordon Freeman (not to be confused with Morgan Freeman) years ago and since makers Valve are all too happy to explore other avenues with the likes of Left 4 Dead and DOTA, it seems the only way we’ll ever see Half-Life 3 is by giving Gabe and co a bit more incentive. And what better incentive is there than lots and LOTS of cash paid all upfront before the game is even out?
We just can’t make our minds up between the prospect of being able to play PaRappa the Rapper and its slightly disappointing sequel (you can’t have one an not the other) on our PS3 and the opportunity of funding a 3rd PaRappa the Rapper game. Is it cheating if we say yes to both?
The point is with the subsequent scaling down and death of the Rock Band and Guitar/Band/DJ Hero franchises, the rhythm action genre is in need of a jolly good shake up. And what better way than with everybody’s favourite rapping dog?
Re-releases of the previous games in the series (minus the spin-off UmJammer Lammy which was actually quite bland) would provide loving pieces of nostalgia and an excuse to plunge back into the series rather bizarre world again.
Failing that, or even on top of that, the thought of a PaRappa the Rapper 3 is absolutely mouth watering. Take the series back to its roots by way of PaRappa the Rapper 1, bring the oddball PaRappa the Rapper universe to life with stunning high res graphics, bring back the series designer Rodney Greenblat and the original voice cast because nobody can design or voice PaRappa the Rapper like the original line-up. And finally pack in a brand new set of songs true to form and you have a combination that would certainly win our pledge.
Whilst we’re on the topic of rhythm action games.
Riding on the crest of wave of bizarre rhythm action series that need to be resurrected is Vib-Ribbon. For those unfamiliar with its concept, Vib-Ribbon centres around a unique, white vector lined graphics style and its central character, a rabbit named Vibri. Guiding Vibri across various obstacles through levels generated by importing your own music into the game (pretty neat for the year 2000 huh?) what was so interesting and unique about Vib-Ribbon was its distinctly unusual graphical style, one which we think would certainly benefit from the huge leaps in graphical advancements that have been made since the original Vib-Ribbon’s release.
Imagine a direct Vib-Ribbon sequel, revisiting the adventures of Vibri. Paying homage to its roots by bringing back the original, white vector style design which made the original game so iconic, yet adding in high resolution dreamscapes and background the likes of which we’ve seen recently in games like Child of Eden and Flower to create a supremely surreal, artsy experience.
Have both gameplay and graphical journeys randomly generated by the songs YOU import to the game (just like old times) and you have a game that would instill some much needed life and creativity back into rhythm action games. SOLD.
Yet another title that’s been crying out to be revisited for years. Grim Fandango.
The point and click adventure work by LucasArts has garnered a cult following over the years and judging by the reaction that was caused when the Secret of Monkey Island and Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge’s special editions hit XBLA and PSN, they are still very much there and very much eager for more. For years Grim Fandango fans have been crying out for a remake and the special editions of the Monkey Island games are proof that the games can be remade, so why not make it happen?
Of course, times have changed and things have moved on quite a lot since its release, so some graphical retuning and menu system may need to be looked at. But the game’s personalities and themes still resonate with games of today through games like L.A. Noire or the Ace Attorney series.
With the remakes of the Monkey Island special editions, the success of the Broken Sword port to iOS, the Back to the Future episodic adventures, a new point and click from masters, Double Fine on the way thanks to Kickstarter funding AND the more recent Walking Dead adventure series, WHO SAID POINT AND CLICK ADVENTURE GAMES WERE DEAD AND BURIED?! Not us, now get to work on a Grim Fandango remake, Manny needs more action.
A particular favourite for some in the newbreview.com bunkerlow was XIII, the cell shaded FPS released on the Gamecube, Xbox, PS2, PC and MAC back in 2003. Based on a Belgian comic book series from the 80′s, XIII was so good we’ve already written a piece about it on site before (https://newbreview.com/2010/07/21/thoroughly-underrated-games-you-probably-should-play-5-xiii/).
But what a lot of people don’t realise is that XIII only actually covered volumes 1-5 of the series and the comic books went on to run up to a volume 19, meaning there’s an awful lot of XIII espionage goodness we’ve been missing out on. Without spoiling anything, needless to say XIII ended with a sequel in mind meaning there’s scope to do so, so what are we waiting for?
With the success of other comic book based FPS’ like The Darkness adding some much needed variety to a genre which at times could be seen faceless and somewhat devoid of originality, XIII could carve out a niche for itself and become successful in its own right.
Its true to roots, cell shaded, comic book styled graphics would need some work but the source material and scope is there for all to see. Are comic book adaptations hot right now? Yes. Are first person shooters a hit with the majority of gamers at the moment? Yes. Do we like espionage, betrayal, conspiracies and murder? Well DUH! Start up the Kickstarter and we’ll get donating for sure.
Now, I’m sure you’re reading this and thinking, ‘what? Is that it? What about such an such? Or blah blah blah?’ Well to finish off here’s some notable mentions to some games we’d love to see be revisited but haven’t been included in the list due to licensing issues, the obvious nature of them or simply the fact that a revisit is already in development as we speak. So, notable shout outs to:
. Dungeon Keeper 3
. Mirror’s Edge 2
. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D
. A Starfox sequel
. Psychonauts 2
Anyway, that’s your lot. Until next time… CIAO!