So, everyone in the video game biz is doing the P. Diddy these days - going to a thrift store, finding old games, updating the look and releasing them. Sorry, but that only works on Jordans (shoes) and classic cars. Not even houses are selling fast after some pretty sick updates.
With video games, sometimes it's best to leave it alone. Let the game stay in the past, so people will remember it for what it was - a good game. Not great, but good.
Here are my 7 nominees for games that need a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) tag.
1. The Getaway (PS2). Sony's SOHO studios created this huge sandbox game after being inspired by the movies Get Carter and Snatch. The concept was awesome - highly rendered London, packed with action, adventure - what's not to love?
Why it's whack now: However, in today's world, open sandbox games are a mixed bag and you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a Grand Theft Auto wanna-be stepping up to the plate. And lawl on the British accents. Drove me nuts. No, I'd rather be Niko with my fake Russian accent, thank you.
2. Street Fighter/Tekken/Mortal Kombat (consoles, arcades). When these games first came out, the splash they made in the entertainment realm was incredible. Except for Tekken, the video games even inspired movies, though lame, mind you. Still, the video games changed the way fighting games were made. They were the cat's meow in their day.
Why it's whack now: Fast-forward 20 years and the games are still being released but who really cares? Yes, all of the series' are iconic, but like a tired boxer trying to stay relevant in a new era, it's time to hang up the gloves. There's little to be done in the series to bring in a new following. My advice? Bring back the original games, with HD polish and don't charge full price. Put them on PSN or Xbox LIVE only. Don't think about creating a story, adding challenges and the like or it will fail. Trust.
3. Starfox - (SNES, N64 and the list goes on). Wow, I can remember as a child how much I loved watching Star Fox. The concept was golden - a team of animals saving the galaxies from aliens. Cool. There are also plans to release a Starfox game on the 3DS.
Why it's whack now: This game is one that works best on older consoles. Yes, there aren't many space air combat games, but knowing Nintendo, they won't do the series justice. Likely, it would spawn knockoffs that would appear on the Xbox 360 or PS3 that would further ruin the series. Turn your wings in, Starfox.
4. Contra (consoles, arcade). I know it's coming, but I can at least warn folks about it. The Konami series has had more games than I've had newspaper jobs. It is still popular on the Interwebs - and the code is legendary (↑ ↑ ↓ ↓ ← → ← → B A Start).
Why it's whack now: The side-scrolling genre is fun but get real - even on the Wii, it would get boring very quickly. Get the game on your Droid or iPhone, but putting it on a console would spell disaster that even the Konami code couldn't fix.
5. Crazy Taxi (arcades, consoles). This game (and another on the list too) spawned several clones, and even made its way into Grand Theft Auto III. The game is major fun - getting crazed customers to their destinations under a certain limit.
Why it's whack now: Nowadays, you can find the concept in several video games that aren't locked to just one concept. The singular concept is like the hip-hop group Kid 'n Play. It was a cool idea but played OUT fast.
6. Twisted Metal (Playstation 1 & 2). The original was one of the funniest, craziest driving games in the video game universe. Get a car/truck/ice cream truck, load it down with weapons and have a blast - literally. The madness was so much fun and full of win.
Why it's whack now: Demolition derbies are fun to watch, but playing in them? Not so much. Borderlands offered dune buggies, tricked out with weapons and that was fun, but after a while, so what. You are the baddest mofo on the planet with your whip. Annnnnnnd? So what you kill all of the other cars. You are king of the road until a defeated foe builds a bigger whip that eats your car for lunch. Please, stay parked or in the garage. Done.
7. Cybersled (arcade, Playstation). I have history with this game. It was one of the first PS1 titles I bought and I literally dumped a few grand into playing the game. I spent hours wiping the floor with enemy tanks. "Run up to get a beatdown!" I'd scream at my 17" Sanyo TV/VCR.
Why it's whack now: Tank games are pretty cool, if done right. Look at Battlefield: Bad Company 2. That's a way cool game, but it's not just about tanks. It's about ground combat, but offers several elements, not just a singular element. Sure, it was fun back in the day - but all of the games listed have overstayed their welcome.
I can list more, but these are the worst offenders.
If these games are remade, yes, I'll play them and review them. I'm looking forward to my review copy of Duke Nukem and hope I am wrong about it. I hope it's an awesome game. However, based on recent offerings, reviving a dead franchise takes some serious work and really could harm the brand more than help it.