With the recent announcement of Sega’s Castle of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse being remade, we Sega Addicts have gotten to thinkin’ about other Genesis games we’d like to see remade for today’s modern consoles. Sure, many of these games have gotten emulated ports on various digital platforms and collections but that method of release doesn’t always show the games in their best light.
Like Castle of Illusion’s attempt to release a version of the game that incorporates elements that weren’t possible on 16-bit systems and remake the graphics so they look just as impressive as they used to on an HD screen, these games could benefit from visual overhauls and gameplay tweaks. With these improvements, many of these classic games could finally be reach and be experienced by a whole new generation of people.
Hit the jump to read our 10 Genesis games that deserve a modern remake!
Mike Kyzivat: Oh my god, I used to love this game (and still do)! I was already a big fan of werewolves as a kid but adding the ability to change into a were-dragon, were-tiger or were-bear was just too much for one fat little anthropomorphic animal lover like me. Plus, you got to fight all manner of undead before you “powered up” and became the badass, nothing-can-stand-in-your-way were-animal of the level. You could shoot fireballs as the werewolf, fly and fry people with electricity as the were-dragon and turn people to stone as the were-bear.
Now, I have given a lot of thought to how I would remake Altered Beast on a new console as you just can’t really make it the side scrolling game it was as that doesn’t fly now-a-day with all the 3D worlds. So, I thought it would be a good idea to remake the game as a Darksiders or Soul Reaver style game where you can travel anywhere you want in the world, but you need specific powers or items to reach new areas (or in this case beast forms). Maybe with some God of War combat or brutal QTE’s. So it would be an amalgamation of the overworld of Darksiders, the combat and greek myth of God of War and the upgrade and area unlock of Soul Reaver or really a 3D version of Wonder Boy 3: The Dragon’s Trap. Just imagine running around a big expansive level collecting enough spirit balls to transform into the werewolf who could have a jumping/pouncing ability like Wolverine from the Wolverine movie game. This jump could be used to attack, but it can also get you to ledges or areas in the overworld where you couldn’t before. Or imagine having to gain the were-fish form so you can swim in the lake to find new areas or items. Each were-form would have it’s own special ability both combat and exploitative to get you where you need to go. So SEGA if you are listening, I’m available weekends to help you out with this million seller.
Chakan: The Forever Man
Micheal Westgarth: Naturally, most if not all of the classic games that have been remade recently were either regarded as classics in their own time, or have a long lasting legacy. Chakan doesn’t really fall into either of those categories, but is well worth remaking.
It’s by far one of the creepiest, unsettling games I’ve played on my Mega Drive and every level has a wonderfully eerie setting along with equally weird sounding music. Chakan is also one of the most challenging games on the Mega Drive, an aspect that would probably be altered should it be remade.
Chakan’s weird, it’s original and it’s fun to play. Modern gamers may not of heard about it before, but they’re sure to love a full remake. Besides, it’d almost be worth it just to hear a remastered version of Chakan’s hellish scream…
Alex Riggen: Comix Zone had a lot going for it when it was released back in the Genesis era. The comic book artstyle still stands out and the panel-to-panel level design was not only unique but added some clever twists to the gameplay. Unfortunately, all of that was hampered by a difficulty level that preventing most players from seeing much past the first level. Plus, if you were good at the game, it was only a few levels long and ended all too quickly.
It’s been awhile since Comix Zone was originally released and since then a few ports have made their way onto Sega collections but the game is identical to what it was a couple decades ago. If Sega were to release a remake, they would need to rebalance the difficulty, add some content and maybe even improve the game with some online co-op gameplay. 2D sidescrollers with a unique artstyle have gotten quite popular in the last few years and Comix Zone could fit in right along side some of the most popular releases today with a few subtle improvements.
Josh Newey: In a lot of ways, Cyborg Justice was ahead of its time, for better or for worse. The “build your own robot” theme was what really set it apart, giving you the ability to reimagine yourself with the bits and pieces of downed enemies. But back in the 16 bit days of the Genesis/Mega Drive, this sadly translated to controls that were a bit overburdened and messy, often leaving some of your abilities feeling either unwieldy or kind of similar. Today, with MMORPGs and character creation claiming a huge chunk of the gaming real estate, a reborn Cyborg Justice would fit in beautifully. Mixing the gameplay of something like Metal Arms: Glitch in the System with the customization and tone of something like Mass Effect, it could offer players a unique, build-your-own adventure that plays like a classic platformer but offers experiences that are unique to each player. Oh, and you’d get to play as a goddamn robot with a goddamn buzzsaw hand. Tell me you don’t want that.
Josh Newey: Often lauded as one of the very best games to ever grace the console, Gunstar Heroes provides a nearly pitch-perfect experience that has never failed to frazzle even the most stone-faced gamer’s nerves. Even as a 16-bit shooter/sidescroller, something about this game still feels impressively modern and overwhelming twenty years later, with contemporary releases like Renegade Ops owing quite a bit to its explosive legacy. Perhaps it’s blasphemy to even suggest a re-imagining of such a invaluable classic, but you can’t deny how amazing it would be to see Gunstar Heroes’ relentless chaos in glorious HD. If the humble Genesis/Mega Drive managed to bludgeon gamers with wave after wave of enemies, explosions and bosses, just imagine what Treasure could throw at us using today’s cutting edge hardware. If Gunstar Heroes’ effortless creativity and balls-out action were updated for today’s market, it could serve as one hell of a humbling history lesson for any desensitized shooter fan who just doesn’t see the point of retro gaming.
The Revenge of Shinobi
Josh Newey: Sure, Shinobi is not completely alien to modern audiences. In 2011, we got a competent sequel for the 3DS, and back in 2002, Sega somehow topped the Genesis/Mega Drive classics…at least in terms of absurd, nosebleed-inducing difficulty and, well, style (don’t you dare tell me you weren’t swooning over that sassy flowing scarf). But even those solid stabs at the Joe Musashi’s legacy have never quite struck the balance that made the classic Shinobi games work so well. I will grant that the 3DS game made a concerted effort to draw those memories out of its players, but clunky attempts at modernizing the gameplay worked against it, and the visuals just didn’t connect for most people. That’s why a remake of The Revenge of Shinobi would work so well. Keep it 2D and keep the memory-based challenge, but then coat that base with lovely, realistic visuals, and back it up with an authentic and mystical score, and you’ve got something brewing. Add in a wealth of new stages that pay tribute to the retro aesthetic in the same way as the recent Double Dragon updates, and you’ll have a game that any retro fan will be clamoring to play.
Caleb Cleveland: If you’re any form of Sega fan, and I’m guessing you are since you’re on this site, then you’ve probably heard of Ristar. Even if you haven’t played of it, you have at least heard about this small gem. In the game, you play as a small star with a face and limbs, which you use climb, spin, and slingshot your way through several levels.
In my opinion, the modern world of gaming lacks creativity. Platformers these days are mostly new additions to series we all know and (maybe) love. Ristar, a game very original for its time, deserves a reboot. It could add a new age of platformer games, similar to the recent fad of fighting games. The worlds of Ristar were exploding with exotic creativity. With a reboot, you could expand on the colorful worlds, adding detail to even the smallest shrub. It could add a whole new depth to the game. For gameplay, they could even focus more on the aspect of physics and climbing, maybe similar to the werehog except, you know, not trash.
A lot of people haven’t had the chance to play Ristar, so this would be able to bring it out to a new audience and shine the light on the gem that Ristar originally was. I would imagine a game with this caliber of design and gameplay would appeal to those who enjoyed New Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong Country returns, or Rayman Origins.
Streets of Rage 2
Mike Kyzivat: There are very few beat ’em ups around anymore, and it’s a shame because they were great fun. Streets of Rage 2 being one of the best examples of this genre, deserves to be remade and updated so that people who have grown up without the beat ’em up, can finally understand where we veterans are coming from. Streets of Rage 2 is one of the best beat ’em ups for a number of reasons; though admittedly it does borrow, or steal (depending on your opinion) from Final Fight, but it also improves upon what it copies. For starters you can choose to play as 4 different characters with very distinct moves and looks, so the combat is always fresh when you switch characters. Streets of Rage 2 also has a great soundtrack with pumping techno courtesy of Yuzo Koshiro and many varied levels from the stereotyped back alley to an amusement park to a baseball diamond. But the combat is what really separates Streets of Rage 2 from everyone else. There are just so many moves to choose from, as well as a ton of grappling moves.
If this game were to be remade I think it would be cool to combine all past characters who have appeared in the game and make them playable, like Dr. Zan, and Adam from the first game. This would expand the number of different moves and grapples and give the game even more variety. Making it 4 player wouldn’t hurt either, like the arcade games of yore. I know there has been attempts in the past to make a new Streets of Rage, so what do you say SEGA? Can you give it another try, or at least you could just let those Streets of Rage fans release their free remake like they wanted to?
ToeJam & Earl
Scott Morrison: The first question you have to ask yourself is which stereotype do you want to go with? Hip-Hop Gangstas? Or funky fresh slam masters? And then you would realize that it’s 2013 and that I have no idea what demographic would actually buy this game, but either way it would be more colorful and frenetic than the original ToeJam & Earl. I feel like the original game would be way too slow paced for today’s audience. That in mind, Panic on Funkotron may be a safer route to go with a TJ&E remake. I feel like multiplayer could even extend to 4-player if done correctly. The levels would be much larger and much more extensive with puzzles and different ways to catch Earthlings such as baiting them into many different traps.
Keeping in mind that this would be a side-scrolling game, a possible unlockable feature would be a 16-bit filter for the fans. I know that filter alone would be incentive for me to play the game over and over. The game’s plot could involve ToeJam, Earl & company going from planet to planet after learning that Earthlings are exploring the universe and attempting to colonize planets for selfish purposes. It’s up to this rag tag group of funkotronians to stop mankind from taking over the universe! You can do it!
Zombies Ate My Neighbors
Scott Morrison: If Zombies Ate My Neighbors were remade for today’s generation I feel like it could one of two ways. The first way would be Monster Madness, which essentially is ZAMN in 3D, but the game gets completely unfair at portions to the point of not even being fun. The problem with the 3D version is that it may give the player a little too much freedom and completely take away that fear factor, or helpless feeling that ZAMN had. I loved the complications of levels, so I think the other possible route a remake could take would be a third or first-person perspective of the game and incorporate more co-operative play through setting traps, and setting up defenses against the zombies and other creatures.
I know what you’re thinking, “Call of Duty does that, Scott!” Call of Duty’s zombie-fighting maps are simply tower defense with XP. Setting traps would buy you time to search buildings and houses for supplies. Your defense may include tripwire made of fishing line with Mentos and diet coke ready to spray zombies with mass confusion, while you pulverize them with your default squirt gun. Think of a more care-free version of Left4Dead, with more 90s color and you have Zombies Ate My Neighbors HDead. Yes, I went there. And man do I want this game to exist now.