The question I was thinking of was “How do you make a good video game remake?” A straight port refers to a game that has been remade and nothing has been changed good or bad. A bad port is where something has been changed and for worse happenstance. A good port or as I would like to call a remake is where someone has fixed the problems that had plagued the game in the first place.
I will give you a perfect example of a remake, Resident Evil for the Playstation. While in my opinion to be a classic great game, it has its list of problems: camera angles, voice acting, graphics (while good for its time), fighting system, inventory, useless items (the knife for example). The boys and girls at Capcom took this game and molded it to the 21st Century by way of Resident Evil for the Gamecube and Resident Evil Deadly Silence for the Nintendo Dual Screen. Between the two of them they fixed all the problems of the previous game (s) and even adding new puzzles, better graphics, voice acting, puzzles, new weapons and play styles. If you are a Resident Evil fan I highly recommend buying these two games and reintroducing yourself to the game series that started the survival horror genre.
As much as I love Chrono Trigger I would have to say I am disappointed with Chrono Trigger for the DS. The bar for remaking games has been set very high in my opinion with the purchase of Resident Evil DS. The only things that is different for Chrono Trigger is the use of the dual screen with maps and for fighting, a monster fighting mode and an extra dungeon. The website made it look like there was going to be all these extra features like new places to go and extra characters. I am very disappointed with Chrono Trigger DS, I feel enough was not put into this remake.
There are also game collections like Midway Arcade Classics. I am not expecting any real changes. It is a nice touch when there are some improvements. I think these are a good deal and give you a lot of games in one package. These are examples of straight ports and usually play like how they did in the arcade.
There have unfortunately have also been a lot of poorly done remakes. This , in my opinion is where little or nothing has been done to improve the game or it is worse. The first game I think of is Rayman DS, this, is one of the first games I ever played for the DS. When I first played the Playstation 2 version it was known as Rayman Revolution. The games at its core are really the same game. You take a copy of Rayman Revolution (one of my favorite all time games) and squeeze into a Gameboy you get Rayman DS. Rayman Revolution, which in its own is a great remake/port/sequel to Rayman for the Playstation. The first game in the series (called Rayman) was, in my opinion a mediocre side scrolling game. Rayman Revolution is in my opinion was a perfect launch title for the Playstation 2. Add this to a list that includes Tekken Tag, The Bouncer and Metal Gear 2: Sons of Liberty. With its mind blowing graphics, soundtrack, controls and fight system I am still blown away. You take a copy of Rayman Revolution and you first put it in a washing machine, dryer and throw it down a couple of flights of stairs and you get Rayman DS. Compared to Super Mario DS (like Rayman DS was also a launch game) it is paled by comparison. Shoddy graphics, bad play controls, bad use of the second screen. I really hope that Rayman 3DS is better, but I am not hoping too high.
I am happy to say I love what Treasure/Sega has done with Guardian Heroes for the Xbox Live. The original game was great for the Sega Saturn (remember that system?). It had a really good two player mode and six player multiplayer arena. When you played the two player game every enemy that you defeated you could play them in the multiplayer mode. Before Castle Crashers this was the Action RPG game to play besides of Secret of Mana.
The story of Guardian Heroes is of a puppet monarchy and of the evil wizard Kanon, that is pulling all the strings. There are six main heroes, four you can control from the beginning. There is Samuel Han the Knight who choses to wield the Heroes Sword, he is a skillful fighter but can only throw fire balls. There is Ginjiro Ibushi, the Ninja and my favorite character. He is a good balance of fighting might and his wielding of lighting magic makes him deadly on the battlefield. There is also Randy M. Green and Nando his rabbit. He is the black mage of the game and wields many powerful spells. He is no slouch on the battlefield as well. Nicole Neale is the white mage of the game and has two attack spells, then a barrier spell and a healing spell. Joining your quest is Serena Corsaire (an unlockable character in the main game). With a mysterious past and joins you from the beginning, what is her true intention? Also early in the game you meet a very helpful Undead Warrior, he is controlled by the computer but he has many commands that help you out. What does he have to do with the Heroes Sword?
I say battlefield but this game plays like any good brawler with great RPG elements. This game includes a backup system for both versions (Saturn and Xbox Live). After you beat sections you are able to allocate points to different skills like Strength, Vitality, Intelligence, Mental Protection, Agility and Luck. The game then saves for the Xbox Live version. If you are seeing similarities between this game and Castle Crashers you would be right.
This might be kind of long but I would like to state all of the improvements for Guardian Heroes for Xbox Live, a true example of a great remake.
Twelve player matches (as opposed to six for the Saturn), online play, you can now skip dialogue, shorter load times, dialogue fixed (for the most part), jump in online co-op, arcade mode survival, remix mode with counters, improved graphics option, training mode, achievements, and all this for the bargain price of only 800 points (ten dollars).
I hope to see you on sometime on Xbox Live, my gamertag is Biohazardjunkie. I would be more than happy to teach you how to play the game.
If you are interested in the game series I have included some links: