Silent Hill 2
Words can’t express how terrifying Silent Hill 2 was when it dropped back in 2001. I had barely survived coming into contact with the first game thanks to its ominous fog, hellish enemies and Lisa Garland bleeding from the eyes. And… now the nightmares are back. Fabulous.
Yet somehow, the sequel was even worse for my mental well-being, which is why I love it the most. Featuring a new story and new characters, but the same creepy location, Silent Hill 2 followed the story of grief-stricken “hero”, James Sunderland, slowly coming to terms with the weight of his own actions. Jimmy-Boy comes to Fogsville, USA, after receiving a letter from his wife Mary. Mary’s dead by the way, so that’s your first red flag.
What follows is an unnerving, panic-inducing journey through the darkest parts of Sunderland’s psyche, with all manner of evil monsters for you to overcome, with the most terrifying being Pyramid Head.
The story alone would be enough to earn this game a loving remake, so when you add the iconic demons, and genre-defining environment, it’s obvious that Silent Hill 2 has the potential for a phenomenal remake. Sadly, Konami just don’t seem interested. After the inadequate remastered bundle of Silent Hill 2 and 3 back in 2012 – which frustrated fans with severe technical issues – and the collapse of Silent Hills following the studio’s falling out with Hideo Kojima, Konami seem to have given up on Silent Hill as a series altogether.
When Capcom released its remake of Resident Evil 2 in 2019, it’s safe to say the studio excelled beyond belief. The reimagined visuals were stunning. Just a bit stomach-turning, too, but mainly stunning. Protagonists Claire and Leon had never looked better. Capcom were soon inundated with requests for a remake of Resident Evil 3, which is duly on the way, but there were also requests for another thrilling classic of the original PlayStation era: Dino Crisis.
The first Dino Crisis of 1999 was basically a Resident Evil game, but with dinosaurs – and what’s not to love about that? It was tense, atmospheric, and full of memorable moments, especially the first time our hero, Regina, gets jumped by one of those scaley devils. This is before we knew dinosaurs had feathers.
The idea of heading back into that dark, sci-fi experience with modern, cutting-edge reworks of velociraptors and the chewed-up corpses they leave behind actually makes me feel a bit lightheaded. No, I don’t think that’s weird, and please stop judging me.
Come on, Capcom. Give us news of a Dino Crisis remake in 2020. Please?
Star Wars: Rogue Squadron
Rogue Squadron starts with a simple premise. You play as a rebel pilot who wages war in glorious space battles. Now, a fair few Star Wars games have gone with this angle, at least as part of the gameplay experience, and not really put a foot wrong. Even EA’s much-maligned Battlefront II offers a technically excellent rendition of astro dogfighting (and, yes, updates have made the whole game better, these days). However, 1998’s Rogue Squadron did it best.
The level of immersion in this game was incredible, even for a Star Wars games. As a rebel pilot, you got to visit well-known landmarks like Mos Eisley, and even saw the planet of Kessel, now infamous thanks to Han Solo’s eternally quoted “12 parsecs”. All of this, combined with a first-rate story, and some smooth as silk gameplay, made for the definitive space battle experience.
From there, the series grew into a trilogy (classic Star Wars behaviour), with each title delivering a smile to the face of all who played them.
If that’s not reasons enough for a remake, I don’t know what is. So why not: remake the whole trilogy. Screw it, I’ll even take Battle for Naboo while we’re at it. It’s our fantasy, we can do what we want.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2
Okay, the Tony Hawk name has been dragged through the mud in the video game world in recent times, thanks to some truly awful titles like Pro Skater 5 and American Wasteland. And let’s not dwell on those monstrosities any longer than we have to.
Luckily, we still have a generous helping of genuinely awesome Tony Hawk games, including the first four Pro Skater instalments, as well as Underground and its sequel. Truly ours is a blessed past.
The top tier of these titles is debatable, but Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 is undeniably one of the best, and deserves a second run in the spotlight. We already had a gorgeous HD remaster of the first Pro Skater, but I want more this time. I’m talking a full-on remake, with all the visual beauty the current gen has to offer, without losing the core gameplay experience that the original delivered.
Addictive combos, zany humour and a soundtrack worth blowing your speakers out for – perhaps no game is as deserving of a remake as Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2. Can you hear me, Activision? CAN YOU HEAR ME?
The Secret of Monkey Island and LeChuck’s Revenge
The Secret of Monkey Island is one of the all-time greatest point-and-click games, mixing genuinely funny jokes with puzzles that frustrated and delighted in equal measure, all wrapped up in the bright cartoon style that its makers, LucasArts, became famous for. And its sequel, LeChuck’s Revenge, was arguably even better.
These complementary classics, of 1990 and 1991 alike, had brilliantly vibrant landscapes to explore and featured a host of memorable characters. With LucasArts having been acquired by Disney in 2013, it’s now the House of Mouse that has the rights to all things Monkey Island. And as it’s a game series partially based on Disneyland’s Pirates of the Caribbean theme park ride, you’ve got to think they’re at least looking at it, for a future project.
No? No, they’re probably not. Monkey Island will likely live in limbo forevermore, especially as Disney has another franchise inspired by Pirates of the Caribbean – no prizes whatsoever for naming it. But if they did go back to the series, how we’d love to see locations like Phatt, Booty and of course Monkey Island itself brought to life in a more up-to-date style, with go-anywhere freedom and 360-degree exploration.
Guybrush Threepwood, the mightiest wannabe pirate who ever sailed the Tri-Island seas, is indisputably long overdue his comeback.
Metal Gear Solid
We started with Konami, and we’re finishing with them, too. While an all-new Metal Gear Solid game might not go down well with fans of the series, now that creator Hideo Kojima has flown the Konami nest, a remake of the 1998 original could do wonders for the beleaguered studio and steer the franchise back to its respected roots after the car crash of 2018’s Metal Gear Survive.
This pioneering stealth game has been remade before, in the shape of 2004’s Twin Snakes for the GameCube. But as we’ve seen a number of other late-90s PlayStation hits receive the remake or remaster treatment – such as Final Fantasy VII, MediEvil and Crash Team Racing – it’s certainly not out of the question that the original Metal Gear Solid could follow suit.
It was one of the best games collected on the PlayStation Classic mini-console, with its gameplay holding up well while the presentation is showing its age. If a Metal Gear Solid remake kept the mechanics of 1998 in place but tweaked them for the modern age, and rebuilt the visuals from the ground up, we could be looking at a modern success in the vein of 2018’s Shadow of the Colossus: the game you knew, for sure, but never better.
And while we’re on the subject of Hideo Kojima productions for Konami, when the heck are we going to see a proper Snatcher revival? No doubt you’re already salivating over the prospect of Silent Hill 2 and Metal Gear Solid receiving remakes, but this Kojima-designed and directed cyberpunk adventure of 1988, the best Blade Runner-inspired game ever, is begging for some 21st century love.
Snatcher‘s one and only English-language version was released for the SEGA Mega CD in 1994, and it sold in such paltry numbers that second-hand copies now go for hundreds of pounds. The game is coming out in 2020, on Konami’s PC Engine CoreGrafx Mini console – but it’s only in Japanese, even for European and American models of the system.
Yes, it’s worth learning Japanese to play this graphic adventure, a minor masterpiece of its time that’s since become a massive cult favourite amongst fans of everything cyberpunk and followers of Kojima’s work. But, realistically, how many of us have time for that?
So come on, Konami: give us a Snatcher remake. Turn its Neo Kobe City setting into a wonderful sci-fi open world. Make our sidekick droid, literally called Metal Gear, as adorable as any of those Star Wars bots. Expand the story by sending protagonist Gillian Seed on a series of hopeless dates. This makes so, so much sense.
Or at the very least, just make the English version available for current hardware. It still looks lush. It’ll be perfect on Switch. Do it. Do it.
Words on Silent Hill 2, Dino Crisis, Star Wars: Rogue Squadron and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 by James Daly. What gaming remakes are you so, so thirsty for? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.