Come on Konami
Last month, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night celebrated its 20th anniversary. 20 years ago, a game regularly seen on Best Of lists, showed the world that there was still demand for rich, intense 2D action in an era where everything was jumping to the next dimension. While there was a PlayStation at the Andriessen household during those days, we skipped out on Symphony as my brother and I were also making the jump to predominantly 3D games. A real shame because being a huge fan of Super Metroid that I was and still am, I know I would have loved it back then as much as I do right now, having just completed the game for the first time a few days ago.It’s practically perfect with so much to discover, such great music, excellent controls on my PlayStation TV and amazingly 90s voice acting. And those wonderful pixelated graphics still hold up so damn well. When I finished, I immediately wanted to play the next game in the series, something I couldn’t do because I, for some dumb fucking reason, traded in all of my Castlevania games years ago. Boy, if only I had a compilation of Castlevania titles.
How has this not happened already? You have a series with a mostly continuous storyline that spans 30 years and more than a dozen consoles, and the best we’ve seen so far is the first three games bundled for the PC. Several entries, including Symphony, Aria of Sorrow, Order of Ecclesia and Super Castlevania IV, are often referred to as some of the best games ever created. It’s not like there isn’t a market for it. Mega Man games are ported to every goddamn system on the planet and they still get compilation releases from time to time to go along with their own fucking amiibo. Even if it was just the Metroidvania titles, it would still be one of the greatest compilations discs ever printed.
I know Konami isn’t really doing much with gaming right now outside of overpriced Bomberman games, Yu-Gi-Oh! apps, PES and whatever the fuck Metal Gear Survive is going to be, but surely someone in that company can see what a forehead-smackingly brilliant idea this is, and if you don’t think so, look at the reception Capcom got with its Disney Afternoon Collection announcement. It is inexcusable that a Castlevania compilation isn’t already a thing, and I can’t think of a better series that deserves all of its titles brought together on one disc.
I’ve always had an interest in the past, be it for historical reasons or just plain curiosity. I love when developers compile their games into collections for newer generations to experience, mostly because it allows me to experience some long forgotten gems. One such gem (if you want to call it that) is the original Street Fighter, a game that was ported to very few home consoles.
I have managed to play an arcade version of this at Disney Quest, but I would love to own the original. Since we’re talking about compilations, throw in the final versions of Street Fighter II, III and Alpha and call it a day. Capcom already showed it has a penchant for giving us almost everything with their digital re-releases, so just call this the Street Fighter 2D Collection and I’d be on board.
More importantly, I’d love to finally get Alpha on a modern console. My only experience with that sub-series comes from the PSP port of Alpha 3 Max, so having a version with online support (or local play) would be killer.
Clover Studio was only around for three short years, but they gave us a handful of classics that are just stagnating on older platforms. In fact outside of Viewtiful Joe: Double Trouble (which as a DS game is technically playable on the modern 3DS), everything is either rotting on the GameCube, PS2, PSP, Wii, or PS3. As a collector, I can pop in any of their games at any time, but since game preservation is important, I’d love to see their games reach a new audience. Plus, the more people that play God Hand, the better.
In making this list I once again realized how small their total body of work was, and how big of an impact Clover had on the industry in the short time it was around. Capcom isn’t likely to release this collection for many reasons (bad blood with Clover, it spans multiple platforms), but a man can dream. The most I can see happening is yet another Okamiport or remake, since it’s had two so far.
Occams Electric Toothbrush
There are two great tragedies in my waking world. The first is that Lisa Frank is not creating new works of art. This is akin to the death of Jean-Michel Basquiat at the criminally young age of 28. The other is that the Shadow Hearts series is no longer being made. Now firmly ensconced in the annals of video game history, it is a series that now, more than ever, deserves a proper remake/remaster/remembrance/reinvention.
Everything from the settings to the characters is so different from what you would come to expect from a Japanese RPG. You go everywhere from World War I Germany to Romanov-era Russia and New York in the 1920’s to Shanghai. These games take you all over the world (Earth at that!) to tell the story. It was a rarity back in 1999 when the first game was released and it seems that it hasn’t changed over the years. I love that this game presented a world that was mundane but populated with all of these fantastic elements. I would compare it to Earthbound in how ambitious and unique it was.
I could gush on this game for a while but in the interest of time and space, I will leave you with this: one of your companions is a vampire wrestler who can transform into a butterfly-themed superhero and uses a giant model of the Nautilus as a weapon. That’s the submarine from Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues under the Sea. This game is brilliant and mad and one of my favorites series ever.
Ranma 1/2 is the best anime TV show of all time,but for a variety of reasons, only one official Ranma fighting game was ever released in the U.S. There were a few close calls, though. One of the better Ranma fighters was canceled just before it was to be released outside of Japan, as the company publishing it went out of business. Another was localized to death, with all its story, graphics and music swapped out, turning it into a neanderthal pile of crap calledStreet Combat.
This is part of why I can’t relate to the kids today who feel short changed when a game loses its vagina bones in the localization process. You can always watch those vagina bones on Youtube, kids. For free. When it comes to playing certainRanma 1/2 fighting games in English, things aren’t so easy,
This is why I want all theRanma 1/2 fighters brought to a worldwide audience in one massive collection. That may sound like overkill, but each one has something special about it, even the ugly and weird PS1 game. In that one, random geysers or rain storms can transform your character into a pig, a panda, or a teen girl. Ranma 1/2 may have been ahead of its time, but it’s not too late for the world to catch up to it.
You know a series that I love? Well, obviously you can see its the Mario & Luigi RPG series of games. But you know what I don’t like? Most of its later entries. But man, the entire series still has that little charm sprinkled all over it, no matter how I feel about the game itself. Holy crap, I downloaded Mario & Luigi: Dream Team and I can never not own it at this point and at this point, you can’t pay me to continue playing that slow tragedy of a quagmire.
But Superstar Saga? This is where I insert the picture of Pacha, holding his fingers up to imply *lip smack* perfecto. Bowser’s Inside Story? It’s like that picture of the guy sprinkling fancy seasoning over his grill: incredible.
Point is, a compilation of the older games, when it was a trilogy, should not be difficult. That’s a Gameboy Advance game and two DS games. There’s no need for compression of 3D graphics or gyroscopic controls. Just the good stuff — Broque Monsieur, timed skills triggers in their purest form, Fawful, and not to mention Fawful. But then there’s the badge system back when it was simple, the baby mechanics expanding the skill powers, and my personal favorite, controlling Bowser as both a character and a freaking overworld. Truly turning a character into a level is a sign that we have peaked as creative content designers.
As far as Blizzard’s mega-popular real-time strategy series go, I’ve always been more a Warcraft guy than a StarCraft fiend. Both are great, but the former’s setting, characters, and lore speak to me more.
In recent years, Blizzard has paid much more attention to StarCraft (if we’re just talking strategy gaming, which I am), and that trend continues with its recently-announced remaster. Up to 4K resolution support, updated graphics, improved online features, and the original gameplay left intact — sounds great, right? I’d love to see the studio do something similar with Warcraft, Warcraft II, and hell, Warcraft III as well just because it rocks. Get ’em all in one package for the sake of convenience and for the opportunity to bring back the “Battle Chest” moniker. Trust me, Blizzard, we’ll pay up. (Won’t we?)
That said, and while I realize I’m supposed to be making a case for my series above other suggestions, I’d drop my pick in a heartbeat if it somehow helped further CJ’s compilation dreams. Just say the word and I’ll Benedict Arnold this sucker. The world needs that hypothetical Castlevania collection.
Pixie The Fairy
Probably to the surprise of no one, I’d like a PS2 remaster collection of Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne and the Raidou Kuzunoha XIV Devil Summoner games in one set, possibly with a Digital Devil Saga collection on the side.
There was a second special edition of what US and EU SMT fans know as Nocturne/Lucifer’s Call that was only released in Japan. In celebration of Devil Summoner 2’s release, Atlus dropped Dante from Devil May Cry and replaced his sections with appearances by Raidou, in addition to adding in demons more common to the Devil Summoner series.
Raidou’s appearances are really just a reskin of the Dante fights, except ShojI Meguro’s take on “Dante’s Theme” still remained, presumably because techno beats and organs suited Nocturne better than Devil Summoner’s more boisterous brass section and groovy chase themes. Still, I want that version since I have the one featuring Dante.
Release a Switch version of those and I’ll be a very pleased pixie.
Also, I was kinda hoping for more from Atlus on SMT’s 25th anniversary anyway. Deep Strange Journey is a good start, though!
So many great games, so many great series that we’ve all bought before and would be totally willing to buy again.