It's not an easy task to take a once-popular gaming franchise and fine-tune it to appeal to a modern day audience. Games with cute graphics and simple gameplay aren't very marketable to a more blood-thirsty and online competitive modern crowd. Remember when certain NES games would cost up to $60 when they first came out? No one would buy a simple NES game for that
much money these days.
Luckily, there are certain games that were popularized on the NES that have retained their classic charm and feel, yet have matured enough in order to make it a brand-new experience with present day sensibilities. The following are best examples of five classic games that do just that.
Although a lot of fans foolishly dismissed the recent Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
for being a "God of War clone," they fail to see that this most recent entry in the Castlevania
series has more in common with its NES origins than the "metroidvania
" titles such as Symphony of the Night
. Lords of Shadow
was an excellent attempt to push the Castlevania series forward. It was stuck for quite some time as a portable-only game series that played very similar to each other. The series was not growing. When Lords of Shadow
was released for the XBOX360 and PS3, developer MercurySteam turned the Castlevania series into a very somber and serious game with a similar ambiance to popular fantasy movies such as Pan's Labyrinth, and brought back combat-heavy level-based gameplay that was similar to the NES and SNES Castlevania
games. Since combat was the focus of the game, a very deep fighting system was integrated into the game, making it very rewarding for players with patience and skill. After playing through the refreshingly new Castlevania
experience that Lords of Shadow
provided, the portable games felt like nothing more than a miserable little pile of repetitive gaming.
How does one update Metroid
for a modern audience? How can Metroid
be introduced into 3D without turning into a horrible game like Mega Man Legends
? Luckily, developer Retro Studios took a big risk that paid off. Sure, fans (especially die-hard Metroid purists) were skeptical about how their precious 3rd-person action/adventure games series can be changed into a first-person view, but all that changed when Metroid Prime
for the Gamecube was released. Everything that made the original Metroid
was still there-- the music, the ambiance, the ridiculous boss battles, and the joy of searching every nook and cranny for hidden power-ups. All of these components were integrated flawlessly into a modern take on the Metroid
series, the only thing that truly changed was the player's perspective, and the addition of a battle system similar to the excellent "Z-targeting" system from The Legend of Zelda
Sure, you can say that Pac-Man
is basically the same game that it was when it was first came out in the arcades in 1980. You're still
a yellow disembodied head eating a bunch of dots and running from ghosts. More than 30 years later, however, the way you play Pac-Man
has significantly changed. Thanks to Pac-Man Championship Edition DX
for XBLA and PSN, many modern-day characteristics that make downloadable games popular have merged with the timeless Pac-Man formula. The game is now significantly faster. The graphics and music are simple, yet stylish. Online leaderboards have replaced the typical high score display in the arcades, keeping the game competitive with your friends from all over the world. Seriously, when was the last time anyone has cared about a high score? And lastly, the entire feel of the game has changed. No longer is the player constantly running in fear of the all the ghosts in the game. Pac-Man players have been significantly empowered, and can now destroy a whole train of ghosts within seconds. And it's so satisfying to turn the tables of them after 30 years.