More game remakes that could put a new twist on an old classic.
I gotta be honest, narrowing this list down to just 10 was really hard.
There’s so much good remake material throughout game history. After I picked my candidates for this list, I still felt guilty for not including gems like The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind or Earthbound Beginnings. Even then, there’s probably dozens of games I’ve either forgotten about or haven’t played! If you think you know a game that would deserve a slot on a list like this, we’d love to hear your opinion in our Video Game Club here on Gemr. If you have a physical copy of the game you can show off, even better!
And on that note, let’s wrap this list up.
I swear this isn’t on here to finally justify calling Gamestop to pre-order Battletoads.
Battletoads is a legitimately fun beat-em-up with varied gameplay and great cartoony visuals. And by legitimately fun, I mean when the game isn’t aggressively difficult to the point of absurdity. I can’t imagine I need to remind anyone reading this of the infamous speed bike level but… there you go.
Obviously Battletoads would need a bit more content to justify being sold in this day and age. But even if a remake just toned down the difficulty to a less masochistic level, it could give many retro gamers an opportunity to finally beat Battletoads for the first time.
4: Klonoa 2: Lunatea’s Veil
Klonoa 2 is awesome and you should play it.
It’s a cute mascot platformer from an age full of mascot platformers. But unlike the competition, Klonoa is a unique 2.5D puzzle platformer that was waaaaay ahead of its time. The first Klonoa game, Door to Phantomile, got a pretty fantastic remake on the Nintendo Wii. The second game, Lunatea’s Veil, never got the same treatment.
In truth, I don’t think much about Klonoa 2 would need to change in a remake. I’d suggest a harder difficulty option to keep longtime fans satisfied, but that’s about it. The real reason a Klonoa 2 remake needs to happen is because this series keeps failing due to absolutely abysmal marketing. They may not look the part, but both Klonoa games are surprisingly dark. The first game’s shocking death scene isn’t even the most traumatic part, and Lunatea’s Veil gets into candid discussions about burying sorrow and being obsessed with nostalgia. Meanwhile, I’d swear the marketing for these games is aiming at a preschool crowd. It’s like they didn’t even play the game they were trying to sell.
A game as critically acclaimed as Klonoa 2 shouldn’t need to try this hard to be successful. A remake that at least tried to appeal to an approximately preteen to teenage demographic (and retro gamers, of course) could finally give this series the chance it deserves. In the meantime, if you can get your hands on the original, this one’s still really good today.
NieR: Automata was a massive surprise hit in 2017. Longtime fans were in heaven knowing that a niche series like this was finally enjoying critical and commercial success. Meanwhile, a sizeable chunk of gamers were asking themselves “what the heck is a NieR?”
I’m not even going to try summing up the story of NieR here. Director Yoko Taro has woven a dizzying tapestry of lore across esoteric videogames, novellas, and even stage plays. All you need to know is that NieR: Automata brought the series into the spotlight thanks to the work of Platinum Games. Though fans loved Yoko Taro’s experimental game ideas, his previous titles didn’t fully do those ideas justice. Meanwhile, with Platinum Games’ action game expertise, NieR: Automata created a compelling world where Taro’s vision could be fully realized and enjoyed.
Naturally, this has led fans dying to see the original NieR with Automata‘s level of style and polish. Yoko Taro has said he’s up for it, as long as he gets paid. Until then, we can’t say for sure whether this one is really coming or not. Maybe if we keep believing, this dream will come to life.
2: Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade
Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade is probably best known as “that game where Roy from Smash Bros. comes from.” It’s also a game that really, really needs a remake.
Look, Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade is actually quite a good strategy RPG. It’s just chalk full of balancing issues and player-unfriendly mechanics, even when compared to the other Fire Emblem games on the Gameboy Advance. We’re talking getting ambushed and killed by enemies that appear without any warning levels of player-unfriendly mechanics. A remake would be the perfect way to address these issues and turn Binding Blade into the game fans would love it to be. The fact that it could also be finally released in English for the first time is a bonus.
The other reason The Binding Blade is a compelling remake is because of its potential alongside a remake of Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade (or just Fire Emblem in English). For non-fans, Blazing Blade is the prequel to Binding Blade, despite releasing after Binding Blade. Were both games to be remade chronologically, Binding Blade could theoretically be remade with the ability to take your decisions from Blazing Blade into account. This could totally change playthroughs of a Binding Blade remake. Even if it’s an overly ambitious idea, it’s so tantalizing that it’s hard to not consider it.
1: The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
Link’s Awakening is the perfect storm of prime remake material.
On one hand, Link’s Awakening is great as it is. It’s an intelligently crafted Zelda game that fits within the confines of the original Gameboy. By fusing elements of the original The Legend of Zelda and A Link to the Past, Link’s Awakening created an identity all of its own. The fact that the dungeon design lived up to the series’ high standards helped as well.
On the other hand, Link’s Awakening is just… unlike anything else in the Zelda canon. The residents of Koholint Island are so charming and whimsical that you’d forget that Zelda isn’t actually in this one. At the same time, Link’s Awakening has a somber, bittersweet tone to the story that stays with you long after you play it. Even with the limited hardware, some fans openly admit to shedding a tear at the ending. And really, how could you blame them? Without spoiling the game too much (despite it being decades old), in what other Zelda game is Link possibly not 100% the good guy and separated from his dream girl? It’s heavy stuff the more you think about it.
Link’s Awakening presents a perfect opportunity for a Zelda game to be about Link. What does he see in the inhabitants of Koholint, and is there any meaning to the nightmares he encounters? It’d be an unusual direction for the series for sure, but so was Breath of the Wild before it won every game award ever. The point is, Koholint Island is an ideal set piece for a story like this. Link’s Awakening had so many good ideas despite its hardware, and nowadays all these ideas could come to life and be fleshed out like never before. All that’s left is for Nintendo to make it so.
The nostalgia for Link’s Awakening is so strong among fans that even a by-the-books remake would go over well. But just close your eyes, put on an orchestrated version of Ballad of the Wind Fish, and imagine the game that’s running through your head. That’s what a remake should look like.