I Covered E3 and All I Got Was This Lousy Reboot

I Covered E3 and All I Got Was This Lousy Reboot

Written by Cyril Lachel on 7/7/2010 for 360   PS3   Wii  

There were a lot of great games at this year's E3. This was the year we saw our first glimpse of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, learned the final name of Project Natal and got our hands on Rock Band's newest instrument. While it lacked the big surprises of years past, this year's E3 featured more than enough games to warrant the expensive trip to the Los Angeles Convention Center.

This year's E3 also reminded us of a number of great franchises finally being rebooted in the next twelve months. We're talking about Kirby, Sonic the Hedgehog, Parasite Eve, X-COM and even Rayman. All of these games were on display, leading us to conclude that this was a great year for old school fan service. Over the next three pages we intend to take a closer look at fifteen of the upcoming retro-related console games hitting store shelves in the next year. From 2D classics to 3D revivals, this list has just about everything you could possible want. That is, unless you're looking for original IPs or Halo sequels.

Twisted Metal (Sony)
How Long Has It Been?
It's hard to believe that it's been nine long years since we've seen a brand new Twisted Metal game on the home consoles. You can cut the absence in half if you include the Sony PSP. Twisted Metal: Head-On was a launch game for Sony's portable in 2005, though it was more of a best-of collection of Twisted Metal cars and levels.

Why Should You Care?

It may be easy to dismiss it now, but the original Twisted Metal was a fantastic game. So was its sequel. How good were these games? Electronic Gaming Monthly named Twisted Metal the best game of 1995, quite a feat considering strong competition from Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, EarthBound and Chrono Trigger. When Twisted Metal Black hit the PlayStation 2 it was hailed as one of the best games on the system, perhaps even the first must-have game of the 21st century. Unfortunately, this darker, M-rated sequel didn't win over the audience and Sony's seminal car combat franchise spent the next nine years waiting for the perfect time to make a comeback.

Apparently 2010 is a good enough time for a full-fledged Twisted Metal resurrection, complete with much of the original team and director. The fact that this game will have robust online support should pique the interest of anybody who couldn't get enough of Sweet Tooth and the rest of the Twisted Metalheads. So far the brand new multiplayer modes really extend the idea of what Twisted Metal was all about, giving objectives and first-person shooter-style game types. Even if this game ends up being more of the same, the online modes should be more than enough of a reason to support David Jaffe's newest action game.

What Could Go Wrong?

Want to know the real reason Twisted Metal was such a revelation 15 years ago? It's because at that time there were no must-own first-person shooters on consoles, the car combat genre was the closest the PlayStation got to Doom or Quake. Fast forward a decade and a half and all three of the consoles have triple-A first-person shooters, which makes me wonder where Twisted Metal's place is in the 21st century. Worse yet, the general consensus about this PS3 announcement seemed to be indifference. Could it be that Twisted Metal's days are numbered?


Kid Icarus Uprising (Nintendo)
How Long Has It Been?
There's a reason it feels like we've been demanding a Kid Icarus sequel for decades, and that's because we have. Not counting his cameo in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Kid Icarus has only been in two games. The first was an early generation NES game, while the second came out in 1991 for the black and white Game Boy of all things. While neither game was the well-crafted masterpiece of a Mario or Metroid game, they were memorable enough to keep us wanting more nearly two decades later.

Why Should You Care?
Look, I'll be honest with you; the first two Kid Icarus games were not the triple-A titles everybody seems to remember. The NES game is a mess, with frustrating level designs and cheap deaths from start to finish. The Game Boy title was a marked improvement, but it is in no way a must-own platformer. Yet year after year we see game journalists (including myself) demand Nintendo revisit this classic franchise.

The fact remains that Kid Icarus had a great theme and a lot of untapped potential. We've seen Greek mythology through the eyes of a serial killer in God of War, but there's something cute and innocent about exploring this world with the cartoony Kid. Everybody knows how good Nintendo is at making great games, so it stands to reason that they would finally give us a Kid Icarus game worth getting excited about. What's more, it feels like another installment is long overdue. We've had sequels to practically every other Nintendo franchise, why not Kid Icarus? Now we can finally stop asking for a sequel and enjoy what will hopefully be the installment we've all been waiting for.

What Could Go Wrong?

Given how many years we've been demanding this game, there's no way Kid Icarus: Uprising will live up to our lofty expectations. It's also a bad sign that the Japanese version of the game isn't even using the classic name. If the game follows the originally too closely it will be a disaster, yet if it strays too far we'll all wonder why anybody bothered in the first place. It's a fine line that Kid Icarus is walking, one that is far from a sure bet.



GoldenEye 007 (Activision)
How Long Has It Been?
Despite being based on a 1995 film, Rare's GoldenEye 007 didn't hit the Nintendo 64 until two years later. A few years ago Electronic Arts attempted to sucker mindless gamers into buying their newest Bond game by liberally using the name "GoldenEye." It didn't work and therefore I say that the last true GoldenEye 007 game was released 13 years ago on a cartridge-based console.

Why Should You Care?
GoldenEye 007 is not as good as you think it is. Don't get me wrong, I'm no hater. I loved the game as much as the next guy when it was first released on the Nintendo 64. It was the game that finally proved to me that first-person shooters were not some passing fad. But this is a game that does not hold up upon closer inspection. After 14 years of first-person progress, it's hard to go back to a game that employed only one analog stick and makes you stand in one place to aim.

The good news is that Activision is bringing this franchise to the present, all while keeping the best elements from the classic Nintendo 64 game. What is keeping me from fully embracing this quasi-remake is the unsettling nature of watching Activision recreate levels made famous by another developer. I have no doubt that Activision is up to the task, but part of me wishes they would have come up with an original game. It's not the GoldenEye 007 name that made this game so memorable; it was the core mechanics and great multiplayer mode that put it over the edge. It also didn't hurt that this Rare game was the first of its kind on most game consoles.

What Could Go Wrong?
Let's be honest, Nintendo's console isn't known for its amazing online multiplayer support. Games like Monster Hunter Tri and The Conduit prove that you can make good things happen online, but not without a lot of trouble and friend codes. Perhaps this game would have been a better fit on the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360, two consoles with better online infrastructure. Bad online multiplayer will only emphasize the fact that not much has changed in the last 13 years.

Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds (Capcom)
How Long Has It Been?
Believe it or not, Marvel vs. Capcom 2 came out years before all three of the Sam Raimi directed Spider-Man movies, either Hulk film and well before Stan Lee asked, "Who Wants To Be a Superhero?" The original Marvel vs. Capcom 2 came out in, gasp, the year 2000. Of course, you may know this game from the 2002 PlayStation 2 and Xbox ports.

Why Should You Care?

I don't care who you are, you should be excited every time Capcom announces a brand new fighting game. This is a company that singlehandedly created the 2D fighting genre, while also managing to create some of the best fighting games of all time. We're talking about Street Fighter, Darkstalkers and even Power Stone. If you like beating your friends up, then getting excited about a Capcom fighting game is just part of your day to day life.

But this is not just another Street Fighter game, this is the one game fighting fans have been praying for. This is a brand new Marvel vs. Capcom game, the only franchise that pits Capcom's greatest against all of your favorite comic book characters. What's amazing about this franchise is not just that you get Spider-Man, the Hulk and Iron Man to mess around with; it's the fact that you can see classic Capcom characters fight for their lives in a classic 2D fighting game. We're talking about characters you normally don't see next to Ryu and Ken, like Strider, Mega Man and Frank from Dead Rising. Couple that with amazing tag-team gameplay and you have a recipe that can't fail. It doesn't hurt that Capcom is coming off successfully resurrecting the Street Fighter franchise, no easy feat by any stretch of the imagination.

What Could Go Wrong?
One of the best things about Marvel vs. Capcom 2 was its gigantic roster. Between the Capcom and Marvel characters the game offered more than 55 playable fighters. Now with the shift to 3D we shouldn't expect anywhere near that number, but what will the final total be? It will be disappointing if we only see 20 or 30 combatants, especially if some fan favorites (Strider, for example) are left off the list.



Hard Corps: Uprising (Konami)
How Long Has It Been?
Unlike most of the games on this list that have been out of commission for a decade or more, we've had a steady supply of Contra games over the past few years. It hasn't even been a full year since Konami uploaded Contra ReBirth to the WiiWare. And don't forget 2007's Contra 4, the Nintendo DS that gave hope to action gamers the world over. But this is no ordinary Contra sequel; this is the sequel to Contra: Hard Corps, the 1994 Sega Genesis exclusive.

Why Should You Care?
It's being developed by Arc System Works, a company that knows a thing or two about making a compelling 2D game with amazing visuals. Whether it's making the countless Guilty Gear sequels or branching off into unexpected areas, Arc System Works is the right team to head up a Contra: Hard Corps sequel. With its interesting art style and great use of colors, we're finally getting a Contra game that looks as good as it plays.

Contra: Hard Corps was always different enough from Contra to warrant a look. At the time of its release some journalists openly wondered if this was the future of the Contra franchise. Unfortunately it wasn't, as the company took the series on a miserable tour of 32-bit Hell. But now Hard Corps is back, so maybe this time around Konami will capitalize on the potential of this game.

What Could Go Wrong?
The original Contra: Hard Corps was a little too strange for its own good, which may be one of the reasons nobody remembers this Genesis game. It was also extremely hard, which prevents a lot of modern gamers from having a good time with it when they revisit it on the Virtual Console. Arc System Works is great at making amazing 2D fighting games, but do they know anything about shooters? I guess we'll find out later this year.



Splatterhouse (Namco)
How Long Has It Been?
Long before the government set their sights on Mortal Kombat, there was Splatterhouse. This arcade game was every young boy's wet dream, a house full of blood, gore and monsters. And didn't I mention the blood and gore? Yeah, this was everything your mom was afraid you'd play as a kid. But the last Splatterhouse hit home consoles just as the bloody revolution was about to get started. With the release of Splatterhouse 3 in 1993, Genesis owners were the last to see this short-lived franchise.

Why Should You Care?
Maybe you shouldn't care about this troubled reboot. The game has been in a never ending development cycle for years, jumping from one team to another. It was first announced two years ago, but in that time we've had more than enough evidence to conclude that there's a good chance this brand new Splatterhouse will even make it to store shelves. Of course, I could be wrong. Konami showed it off at E3 and by all accounts it looks like a new Splatterhouse game is coming to fruition. But at what cost?

The first three games may not have been masterpieces, but I would had to see their name sullied by yet another failed attempt to bring a 2D game into the 21st century. Even if the concept is sound, it's troubling to see so many different developers take a crack at the game. Could it be that the world isn't ready for another Splatterhouse? Or maybe it's just me not seeing how this game can be anything but middling. Either way, I want nothing but the best for Rick and his travels inside of this brand new Splatterhouse.

What Could Go Wrong?
The game could go from one developer to another, then suffer long delays and terrible financial problems. Oh wait ... that's EXACTLY what has happened to Splatterhouse. The truth is, everything that could go wrong already has, so all this game has to do is not completely suck. I worry that the bar has been set so low that I'll be pleasantly surprised by just about anything Namco ships.
Kirby's Epic Yarn (Nintendo)
How Long Has It Been?
Even with all of his potential, Kirby has never been one of Nintendo's top tier characters. Instead he's had to play second fiddle to Mario, Link, Samus and dozens of other lesser characters. This will be Kirby's first console adventure since Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards came out in 2000. However, in the last decade we've seen several portable offerings, such as Kirby & the Amazing Mirror (2004), Kirby Canvas Curse (2005) and Kirby Squeak Squad (2006).

Why Should You Care?
I don't care how cold your heart is, you will melt at the mere sight of Kirby's Epic Yarn. Even if you're not one of those people who normally cares about art direction, Nintendo is about to make you a believer with this yarn-centric 2D platformer. Much like Donkey Kong Country Returns, your excitement over this product may have more to do with Nintendo's track record than anything they showed off at E3.

Based on what we've seen so far there's a genuine reason why you should be excited. In just the bits Nintendo has showed off we've seen how you can literally unstitch the backgrounds, pull things closer with your yard lasso and even shrink areas of the level to make things more accessible. And all of this happens while you're treated to some of the best graphics the Wii has to offer. You've never seen a 2D platformer like this, and the fact that I can say that in 2010 is reason enough to warrant excitement.

What Could Go Wrong?
While it's usually a safe bet to bet on Nintendo, they are not without developing a few clunkers. I also fear that we've seen all of the coolest elements in the admittedly awesome E3 demo. And let's not forget that past Kirby games have suffered due to a lack of challenge. Will this new Kirby game be so easy that it's no longer fun? I certainly hope not, but could see it happen.
 


 

Mortal Kombat
(Warner Bros. Interactive)
How Long Has It Been?
It's been a long, strange journey for Liu Kang and the rest of the Mortal Kombatants. After flailing around for awhile trying to figure out the whole 3D thing, Mortal Kombat ended up fighting a bunch of DC superheroes. Wait ... what? Yeah, Mortal Kombat went from being the bloodiest game around to being a T-rated fighting game that had you fighting Superman and Wonder Woman. Seeing as I don't plan on acknowledging Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe as a real installment, the last 2D Mortal Kombat game was Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 in 1995.

Why Should You Care?
Forget about the inconsistent 3D installments, this brand new Mortal Kombat is a return to form. For the first time in a decade, it really feels like the developers know what they need to do. For one thing, they've returned the franchise to its 2D roots. They also know that they need to offer a lot of characters, tons of secrets and a story that people actually care about. And based on what we saw at E3, that certainly seems like what Ed Boon is doing.

If that's not enough for you, consider the fact that fighting games are suddenly hot again. Capcom's Street Fighter IV proved that you could bring a 2D fighter into the 21st century and still sell a ton of copies. This liberates the developers from having to turn Mortal Kombat into what it's not, such as a mediocre 3D game. If they are able to bring the ultra violence back and still hide a few things from nosey gamers, then this will be the first must-own Mortal Kombat game in 15 years. But never underestimate Ed Boon's power to screw up his beloved franchise. We've seen him do it before, and I'm sure he'll do it again. Keep your fingers and arm swords crossed, because it's anybody's guess how Mortal Kombat will shake out.

What Could Go Wrong?
Mortal Kombat is its own worst enemy. The original series suffered the moment that Ed Boon started taking the series too seriously. The fact that he openly lambasts "Friendships" and other gimmicky finishing moves worries me, since a big part of the series is having fun with its own cheesiness. If this new Mortal Kombat is too dark, I fear that it won't be the guilty pleasure the other games were.



The 3rd Birthday
(Square Enix)
How Long Has It Been?
Before going and writing about this brand new Parasite Eve sequel, I was under the impression that it had been a dozen or more years. It feels like ages since I played through Square's cinematic PlayStation 1 adventure game, yet it turns out that Parasite Eve II was released only ten years ago. Where has the time gone?

Why Should You Care?
The 3rd Birthday may not have the name recognition of a Final Fantasy or Kingdom Hearts game, but it's by far the most exciting Square Enix game on display at E3 2010. I don't care how good Dragon Quest IX or Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep are, this new Parasite Eve game is an unknown quantity. The first two games were fun, but unfocused modern day adventure games. This new game, on the other hand, appears to refocus the franchise and set it in a brand new direction. Whether or not it turns out to be any good has yet to be seen, but I like the direction the game is headed so far.

The 3rd Birthday is not your typical third-person shooter. Instead of playing as the same character from start to finish, your protagonist has the ability to leap from person to person. This allows you to quickly take higher ground, to get out of tricky situations and take hold of brand new weapons. The potential is there, all Square Enix has to do is deliver a solid action game that both honors the past and gives us something brand new. This is a company that has demonstrated they can develop unusual adventure games, is it too much to ask for a return to form from Parasite Eve?

What Could Go Wrong?
It's troubling that Square Enix seems to be downplaying the fact that this is the third installment of the Parasite Eve series. They have even gone as far as to drop the words "Parasite Eve" from the title, which is more than a little curious. Could it be that Square is distancing themselves from the original franchise, or maybe they feel like nobody actually remembers this adventure franchise. Either way, I worry that not enough people will give this game its due and we'll have to go another ten years before Square decides to take a chance on an obscure sequel.

Pilotwings Resorts (Nintendo)
How Long Has It Been?
For awhile it seemed like Pilotwings would always be used by Nintendo to introduce their brand new hardware. Early Super NES adopters were impressed by the scaling and rotation found in the original Pilotwings, while Nintendo 64 owners got a taste at just how impressive the 64-bit console really was. However, Pilotwings has been missing in action since the 1996 release of the Nintendo 64.

Why Should You Care?
Pilotwings has always been a fantastic tech demo; even gamers who genuinely loathe the series will admit that. The Super NES game may not look like much by today's standards, but it was the impressive game I had ever seen at the time. The same goes with Pilotwings 64, the perfect companion for Super Mario 64. The amazement may wear off shortly, but there is nothing like the first time you lay your eyes on a Pilotwings game.

Here's hoping that the same holds true for Pilotwings Resorts, a Nintendo 3DS game that will hopefully take the franchise in a brand new direction. It will be interesting to see what Nintendo does to make this franchise relevant again, especially now that gamers are no longer impressed by polygons and open environments. This is the chance for Nintendo to give the franchise real legs by making it a deeper experience, one that introduces expanding events and multiplayer modes. If the game is as listless as the first two games, then you may want to temper your excitement accordingly.

What Could Go Wrong?
I fear that this new Pilotwings game will be more of the same, a great showpiece game with terrible aging problems. The trick is to develop this franchise into a real game, not just a tech demo for your new hardware. So far Nintendo hasn't been able to do that with Pilotwings, which does not bode well for this Nintendo 3DS game.



Rayman Origins
(Ubisoft)
How Long Has It Been?
Given the awful way Ubisoft has treated this long-running franchise, I wouldn't be surprised if most modern gamers only know Rayman for its "rabbid" problem. These adorable critters have found their way into a number of mini-game compilations, including Rabbids Go Home (2009), TV Party (2008) and the two Raving Rabbids games (2006 and 2007). But once upon a time Ubisoft made actual Rayman platformers. The last time they did that was in 2003, when they released Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc.

Why Should You Care?
Much like Kirby's Epic Yarn, Rayman Origins is all about creating a visually appealing 2D world unlike anything we've ever seen before. It's not an exaggeration to say that Michel Ancel's brand new game looks as good as the classic hand drawn Disney movies you grew up with. The characters come to life in a way I've never seen before, setting a new high water mark for 2D animation. Best of all, from what we've been able to see it looks like the developers are playing with lighting, silhouettes and other graphical flourishes that make this game look even better than it already does.

In case you haven't noticed, this is yet another classic 2D action game making a return in the next twelve months. With so much of the emphasis placed on 3D worlds and polygon characters, it's refreshing to see so many games going back to the classic 2D gameplay. Could it be that enough time has passed that 2D is cool again? I hope so, and if proving that means I have to buy games like Rayman Origins, Donkey Kong Country Returns and Sonic the Hedgehog 4, then I'm ready to bite the bullet. If a return to old timey gameplay doesn't excite you, then perhaps you're reading the wrong E3 article.

What Could Go Wrong?
It's been so long since Michel Angel has made a Rayman game, I fear that he might have completely forgotten what made this series great in the first place. And if it doesn't sell? Perhaps it's premature to be all doom and gloom, but a failed Rayman sequel would likely doom any hope of seeing Beyond Good & Evil 2!


 

Donkey Kong Country Returns
(Nintendo)
How Long Has It Been?
If all we're doing is talking about Donkey Kong, then it has only been three years since Nintendo shipped Donkey Kong: Jungle Climbers for the Nintendo DS. Before that we had King of Swing and Jungle Beat, both from 2005. But Nintendo makes it a point to say that it's Donkey Kong Country that is returning, not some other spin-off or franchise. The last time we saw a new Donkey Kong Country game was 1996 on the Super NES.

Why Should You Care?
I have never been a big Donkey Kong Country guy, but there's no denying that Nintendo is on a roll. The entire Donkey Kong clan (which includes Junior, Dixie and others) are endearing enough to warrant another sequel, especially given the 14 year break. Best of all, the game remains 2D, completely erasing the bad taste Donkey Kong 64 left in my mouth. All of these elements have somehow come together to melt even me, a Donkey Kong Country denier.

While I'm keeping myself optimistic, there's genuine reason for me to be a little worried about this upcoming Wii release. For one thing, the gameplay hasn't changed much in the last 14 years. What's more, the graphics, while good, don't seem as fresh as they did a dozen years ago on the Super NES. Don't get me wrong, there's a lot more happening on screen and some of the backgrounds are breathtaking, but this is not the huge leap forward you would have expected all these years later. Then again, Nintendo knows what they're doing and I'm hoping that this will be the first Donkey Kong Country I can truly love without reservations.

What Could Go Wrong?
It could be exactly like Donkey Kong Country 1 - 3. With 14 years separating these games, I fear that Nintendo will simply reproduce the same game for a new generation. They could also take the Donkey Kong 64 approach, turning the franchise into frustrating levels full of collect-a-thon game mechanics.Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 (Sega)
How Long Has It Been?

It has been 16 years since Sonic the Hedgehog 3, making this sequel long overdue.  As everybody knows, Sega didn't exactly stop making Sonic games after introducing Knuckles.  Instead they released more than a dozen terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad Sonic games that effectively killed Hedgehog's good name.  The last Sonic game, the inappropriately titled Sonic Unleashed, ran straight into the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii. 

Why Should You Care?
At this point I wouldn't blame you if you didn't care.  The truth is, Sega has spent all of the goodwill they earned from games like Sonic 1, 2 and 3.  It's the same thing year after year, Sega announces a new Sonic game and we all wait to hear what stupid gameplay decision they've added that ruins the whole game.  Excited about Sonic Unleashed?  Well, half the time you play a werewolf.  Curious about Shadow the Hedgehog?  Don't be, because it's yet another action game with a gun-toting hedgehog.  It's true, every time Sega has a good idea, they always find a way to mess the whole thing up.

That brings us to Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1, the game that appears to get it right.  Gone are the gimmicks and annoying 3D sections.  It has all been replaced by a sleek 2D experience that will instantly remind you of the good old days of the Sega Genesis.  I know, I know, you're waiting for the other foot to drop.  But maybe that other foot isn't coming.  While Sega is working on Sonic the Hedgehog 4, they are also developing Sonic Colors.  If they can just transfer all of the annoying gimmicks and questionable gameplay decisions to Sonic Colors, then there's hope that Sega can keep Sonic 4 pure.  I have my fingers crossed, but Sega is a company that knows a thing or two about messing up their best franchises.

What Could Go Wrong?
It's a Sonic game, so nothing is off the table.  Between now and then we could learn that Sonic broke both of his legs or that half way through the first level we switch to the annoying Bigs the Cat character.  Sega could turn the sound track over to Miley Cyrus or make Episode 1 only a half hour long.  The amount of terrible things Sega could inflict on Sonic 4 is endless, which is more than a little depressing.



XCOM
(2K Games)
How Long Has It Been?
It's been 13 years since Microprose released X-COM: Apocalypse, the last true X-COM installment. However, in the past few years we've seen a number of X-COM spin-offs, including X-COM: Email Games (1999) and X-COM: Enforcer (2001). Even if you include the spin-offs, it's been a long time since somebody decided to make an X-COM game.

Why Should You Care?
The original X-COM (yes, with the dash) is one of the greatest games ever made. It's a game where you hire complete strangers, train them, clothe them and then send them out to the frontlines of the battle between good and bad, humans and aliens. But these virtual soldiers aren't some nameless meatheads, throughout the hundreds of hours you play the game you connect with them and show real emotion if one of them gets injured or, God forbid, killed in action. It's a winning formula that nobody has been able to match in the last 15 years. That's why you should care about X-COM.

Unfortunately, this is not X-COM; this is a first-person shooter that does away with the dash and anything else recognizable from the original game. 2K wants to sell this game as the next BioShock, the sort of game full of secrets and a mysterious location. The footage from E3 looks promising, featuring an interesting 1950s art style and some unexpected alien effects. However, I still have a hard time getting excited about a game so drastically different from the original series. X-COM: UFO Defense is a personal favorite of mine, so in some ways this feels like 2K Games toying with my emotions. I hope this game is successful for what it's trying to be, but I would much rather have a true X-COM sequel to play around with.

What Could Go Wrong?
While I wish no ill on this brand new XCOM, my fear is that this will mark a turning point for the franchise and we'll never get a true strategy-based sequel. The last thing we need is another alien-centric first-person shooter, especially when we could be playing one of the greatest tactical role-playing games of all time. It's also legitimate to worry that if this game bombs the future of X-COM will be in peril.


Assorted Nintendo 64 Games (Nintendo)
How Long Has It Been?
Although it wasn't announced at their press conference, Nintendo did feature a number of surprises at their booth. One of the biggest was remakes of two Nintendo 64 classics -- Star Fox 64 and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. It's been more a dozen years since either of these games hit store shelves, though we've seen ports of both games hit Nintendo compilations and the Virtual Console in recent years.

Why Should You Care?
Call me a contrarian, but I was under the impression that the Nintendo DS was already the de facto Nintendo 64 portable. Let's not forget that the system launched with a quickie port of Super Mario 64. At the launch of the Nintendo DS I expected Nintendo to port all of the big name N64 titles, like Star Fox, Mario Kart and Ocarina of Time. After all, Nintendo spent several years doing nothing but porting Super NES games to the Game Boy Advance. I expected the same for the Nintendo 64. Thankfully I was wrong.

The good news is that both of these games are considered classics. Ocarina of Time is the highest rated game of all time and Star Fox 64 isn't half bad either. Throw in 3D effects and maybe a few extras (perhaps an online mode for Star Fox?), and you have a couple of must-own retro releases. Best of all, this may be just the thing Star Fox needs to remind people how much fun that series was. And if the Nintendo 3DS has the power to make Star Fox relevant again, then I would say that's reason enough to care about these 3D-enhanced Nintendo 64 games.

What Could Go Wrong?
I have nothing against the Nintendo 64, but I certainly don't want to see the 3DS turn into nothing but 64-bit ports. How long will it be before we're putting up with 3D versions of Cruis'n USA and Killer Instinct 2 Gold? The best thing about the Nintendo DS is how it forced developers to come up with wholly original products. I don't want to see that tradition end just because Nintendo needs to round out their software library.

About Author

It's questionable how accurate this is, but this is all that's known about Cyril Lachel: A struggling writer by trade, Cyril has been living off a diet of bad games, and a highly suspect amount of propaganda. Highly cynical, Cyril has taken to question what companies say and do, falling ever further into a form of delusional madness. With the help of quality games, and some greener pastures on the horizon, this back-to-basics newsman has returned to provide news so early in the morning that only insomniacs are awake.
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