Somewhere between Chrono Trigger DS and Final Fantasy III DS, it became immediately clear that the gaming industry has been afflicted with a pathological compulsion to "remake the classics." Many video game reviewers (rightfully) see this as a clear sign that game designers are starting to run out of ideas. Rather than preach about the impact this trend will have on the future of the video game industry, I opt for the "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth" approach. And yes, even a blight of rehash hell can be a gift horse. Instead of glooming around about the dim prospects of console gaming ten years from now, I'd like to recommend two games that could afford to be remade onto modern gaming platforms.
If you're scratching your head wondering what Terranigma is, you're not alone. While this 1995 Super Nintendo game sold 200,000 copies in Japan, its presence in the American marketplace was comparatively negligible.
Terranigma follows the story of Ark, a mischievous young man who lives in the village of Crysta. One day, his mischief leads him to open Pandora's Box and he embarks on a quest to resurrect the world.
Terranigma is an action RPG; you have stats (strength, defense, luck) that determine your damage output/mitigation and critical hit rates, but all attacks are executed in real time as Ark runs around the dungeon screens. As far as I'm concerned, this aspect of the gameplay was perfect and I wouldn't change a thing. Terranigma could benefit, however, from a revamped message system. The often-glitchy, monospaced text is an eyesore to modern sensibilities.
One thing worth noting is that Terranigma was produced by the game company Enix, which merged with Square in 2003 to form the infamous Square Enix. Additionally, Square Enix is the forerunner in this "Rehash the classics and sell them to modern audiences" trend. However, so far they have mostly been remaking Square games. (read: Final Fantasy.) Why no love for their Enix roots? If any Enix game deserves to be remade, it's unquestionably Terranigma.
Tetris Attack is best described as a hybrid of Tetris and Bejeweled. The objective of the game is to line up the colored blocks into rows of 3 or more (thus making them disappear), and to chain combos together.
The end result depends on the game mode the player selects (Versus, Stage Clear, et al.). In Versus mode, you dump "garbage blocks" on your opponent's side, pushing them closer to touching the top and losing the game. Garbage blocks can be reduced to colored blocks if a block elimination occurs that touches the garbage block. Sound complicated? It's not once you have the game in front of you.
Tetris Attack is awesome because it encourages high-speed pattern recognition, hand-eye coordination, and to a certain degree critical thinking (which is a subject in which most people don't receive enough reinforcement).
Tetris Attack should be remade because it's an excellent fast-paced puzzle game that modern gamers would receive well as long as the programmers didn't botch it, and because I have not seen any other game quite like it.
While we're in the business of remaking the great, why not remake the truly great? There's as much of a market for Terranigma and Tetris Attack than there is for another remake of a fossilized turn-based RPG that you can find on virtually any SNES emulation website on the internet.