These 5 classic games from the NES era NEED to have a fresh coat of paint and introduced to a new generation of gamers… ’cause they’re just that awesome.
Kid Icarus is getting one. Double Dragon II: The Revenge is getting one. So’s Burger Time. Even Duke Nukem got one (for better or worse). All that was old is becoming new again, as games from yesteryear that once sat on the backburner are getting remakes and new instalments in their franchises. It’s wonderful to see some of these classics getting some new exposure, but there are lots of other great games from back in the day gathering dust in the vestibules of time; forgotten about; longing to be loved again.
I say we wipe them off with a Swiffer and show them off to the world, complete with the pretty eye candy and orchestral accompaniment of today’s AAA titles. Their stories must be told… again. That said, here’s my list of 5 NES games that should get a remake.
1. Kabuki Quantum Fighter
Developer: Human Entertainment
Publisher: Hal America Inc.
Release Date: January 1991
This was an awesome game. In the future, a powerful computer controlling the world’s defence systems was hacked into by some über-virus. You play as Col. Scott O’Connor, a tech-savvy solider who jacks into the computer via an experimental device that uploads your mind into the computer’s hard drive and fends off the intruders before they do even more damage. This is the first time anyone’s ever used the device, so they have no idea what impact the experience would have on the human psyche. In this case, it turns Scott in a Kabuki dancer who uses his flaming red hair to kick the crap out of everything. Sure, he gets new weapons as the game goes on, but who cares! HE USES HIS HAIR! Do you know how awesome that is!?
The game’s only 6 stages long (well, 5 plus the final boss battle), it’s fun as hell, has good graphics and some kickin’ tunes. Also, the story isn’t dated and could do well today because of the success of movies like The Matrix. The idea of having your consciousness get turned into binary code, dropped into a computer network and get transformed into badass personified is something a lot of folks (myself included) find pretty cool.
2. Vice: Project Doom
Publisher: American Sammy
Release Date: November 1991
Back in the day, there weren’t many games that told a serious, in-depth story. Certainly not enough to warrant the use of cut scenes. Then along came a little game called Ninja Gaiden that changed everything, paving the way for games like Vice: Project Doom. You play as detective Quinn Hart, investigating the link between the disappearance of your partner and this powerful electronics and weapon company. Why must these powerful corporations always be so shady in these games? Why can’t they be normal? How come they can’t… I don’t know… bake cookies for the guy’s daughter’s school fundraiser instead of make military-grade uzzies?
This game is one part side-scrolling goodness, one part driving action Spy Hunter-style, and one part first-person shooting (those last two happen only a couple of times during the game). Now that I think about it, it’s a lot like The Adventures of Bayou Billy… only more interesting. The music is full of awesome, and you can tell from the dialogue in the cut scenes that the characters have some real personalities behind ’em. A criminally-overlooked game, Vice: Project Doom is one that you should check out, especially if you enjoy the action and cut scenes of Ninja Gaiden.
Release Date: July 1990
An Action-RPG by… SNK!? Yea, I’m just as shocked as y’all, as SNK are known for their Fighting and Action games. But ya know what? They should make more RPGs! This one was EXCELLENT!
Another game set in the future, except most of mankind was mutated because of some war we got ourselves into. The survivors built a floating tower and some weapons that would help prevent this kind of thing from happening again (and since this an RPG, you KNOW this will happen again). Centuries later, the people of the earth are trying to rebuild their lives, but it hasn’t been easy. They think something’s gonna happen, but remember there’s a big freakin’ tower floating above their heads somewhere, so that gives them hope.
You play as an android built by those smarty pants Tower folk who suddenly wakes up because you sense a disturbance in the Force (wait… wrong game). Along the way you meet up with Wise Men who’ll guide you on your journey, find missing furry children, cross dress to get what you want, and ride on dolphins. You know, the typical RPG stuff. But it’s great. Oh so great.
There isn’t much to do outside the main story (no side quests to do for fun), but that’s fine. It’s pretty solid overall and (if given the right amount of polish) would put a smile on your face.
4. Kick Master
Publisher: Taito Corporation
Release Date: January 1992
Another Action-RPG! Dang, they’re sneaking onto this list in droves!
Once upon a time, an evil sorceress lays waste to a kingdom, kill the king and queen, and kidnaps the princess. One of the knights, Macren, and his martial arts brother, Thonolan, are in hot pursuit. But, Macren’s metal wasn’t mettle enough and dies, so Thonolan has to go on alone… WITH HIS FEET O’ FUUUURRRYYYYY!
You can find helpful items by killing enemies, and beating the bosses at the end usually nets you a useful spell (spells are also hidden in the stages). As you gain levels, you learn new fighting moves and get more MP for your magic flinging. You have limited lives, and there’s a password system, but it’s thankfully not as bad as other games. The music’s catchy; there should be more remixes for it out there. NAOZ!
*sigh* I love Action-Martial Arts RPGs. I wish we had some more of thos– OH SNAP!
5. Flying Warriors
Developer/Publisher: Culture Brain
Release Date: February 1991
😯 HOLY S*** ANOTHER ONE! THEY’RE ALL OVER THE PLACE!
If you threw Kick Master, Street Fighter II, and Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers into a blender for, oh, 5 minutes, and poured it into a chalice (just go with it), you’d get Flying Warriors.
Wrap your minds around this, kiddies. There was this Dark Dimension ruled by Demonyx, and he decided to wage war against the Light Dimension because… I dunno, he looked into the future, saw that All My Children was gonna get cancelled and was plenty pissed. Anyhoo, he’s defeated by the awesome Dragonlord, but vowed he would return when the “evil red star” appears in the sky.
And guess what shows up years later? Go on, guess.
So then 5 shiny lights come down from the sky at the same time that will help set this crazy world right. Go, go, Power… oh, never mind.
I remember getting far, but never actually finishing the game (something that shames me). Like Kick Master, you mainly travel around in a side-scroller, punching and kicking enemies to gain experience. At certain points, when you have to fight one-on-one with a powerful opponent, it switches and becomes like Street Fighter II, complete with blocking and special attacks (except, you can heal yourself if you’re running low on life). Eventually you’ll gain the power to transform into super beings with EVEN MOA POWAH!!!! All that’s missing is a giant floating head telling you you’re “teens with attitude” and we can call it a day.
In all seriousness, this is a kick ass game. I need to play this again… but in glorious HD. And with hammy voice acting.
And there you have it. A brief list of games I’d really like to see redone. This was a toughy, as I just went with games that popped into my head. There’s so many great games out there that deserve a second chance, I can’t even begin to count! These don’t seem to be available on the Wii Virtual Console, so it seems the only way to play them for now is be hunting them down on eBay (or… *ahem* “other means”, which we won’t get into >.>).
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Until next time! 😀