Reboots, remasters and endless sequels are nothing new to the gaming world. While many titles will remain as nothing more than history, here are three awesome games that would do well to see a proper revisit.
Though it had not an ounce of the violence prevalent in its big brother series, ‘Grand Theft Auto,’ ‘Bully’ managed to stir up some heated controversy leading up to its release. With Brazil banning the title and Jack Thompson going through his usual tirades about violence in video games, there was some worry the game might end up getting censored, or worse: Cancelled. Thankfully, the efforts of alarmists went nowhere and ‘Bully’ came to the PlayStation 2 in 2006.
Playing the role of a troubled youth trying to deal with groups of jocks, greasers and rich kids in a well-to-do preparatory school, ‘Bully’ did with mischief what ‘Grand Theft Auto’ had done with crime; and it had done so with open world flair. The school grounds and the neighboring New England-style town were open for exploration, with opportunities to cause trouble around every corner.
The game managed to keep a fairly entertaining story and setting; equal portions of the plot were spread out across various cliques in the school and the game also cycled through different seasons, allowing for some much welcome variety in the scenery: Something ‘Grand Theft Auto’ should learn from.
Aside from an extended version of the game releasing on Xbox 360 and PC in 2008, there hasn’t been much word about a possible new entry in the series. The division of Rockstar that created ‘Bully’ has since shut down, but there has been some talk about the possibility of a sequel. With so many open-world games filling the landscape of modern gaming, it goes without saying that ‘Bully’ is a title sorely missed and could offer something fresh and new.
'Grand Theft Auto' Stories
‘Grand Theft Auto’ Stories
Back when it seemed that larger developers were more interested in handheld gaming platforms, Rockstar released two games for the PlayStation Portable delivering exactly what the system, and arguably portable gaming, had needed for a long time: Faithful installations of a popular and much-loved series.
Both ‘Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories’ and ‘Vice City Stories’ brought not only both cities to the PSP, but added in some interesting back story to characters previously met. While the visuals were downgraded a little bit, and missions were a bit shorter to work with the “portable” aspect, the games were still very much an authentic ‘Grand Theft Auto’ experience.
The ‘Stories’ series also brought the world of ‘Grand Theft Auto’ more to life. Both titles explored the backgrounds of characters already met in the main entries of the series and they did so as
The current state of portable gaming is difficult to judge. There have been a handful of standout titles, more so on the Nintendo DS than on the PS Vita, but a title similar to the ‘Stories’ games would be great to bridge the gap and offer a complete gaming experience on a portable platform. With Take-Two's recently filed trademark, there might be some future this spin-off series.
'Metal Gear Solid VR Missions'
‘Metal Gear Solid VR Missions’
About a year after ‘Metal Gear Solid’ shook the gaming world on the original PlayStation, Konami released a title in the United States known as ‘Metal Gear Solid VR Missions.’ With over 300 missions placing Snake in a digital realm involving sneaking and the mastering of different weapons, as well as unique challenges like solving mysteries, the game was a proper ‘Metal Gear’ experience without any of the story or hour-long cutscenes: Just core gameplay.
As essential as ‘Metal Gear Solid’s’ story is, just experiencing the fun and challenge of stealthy exploration and weapons training was an engaging and highly re-playable experience. It also served, quite literally, as a sort of training so one could perfect their sneaking skills for the more difficult modes in the full ‘Metal Gear Solid.’
In 2002, Konami continued the tradition by rereleasing the sequel to the first game as ‘Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance.’ This extended title not only included some different stories set in various areas of the original release of the game, but also had a massive amount of VR missions, all playable with either Snake or Raiden. As it did before, the VR missions helped extend the gameplay, provide fun and interesting challenges while allowing the player to perfect their skills in the game.
The follow up to ‘Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater,’ titled ‘Subsistence,’ did not come with a VR mode; while this may have been to match the theme of the game’s relatively low-tech setting in the 1960s, the title did introduce ‘Metal Gear Online’ for the first time. VR missions wouldn’t see a faithful return until ‘Metal Gear Rising: Revengance’ with it’s un-lockable 20 missions: Serving more as ‘bonus’ levels as opposed to the focused tactical training and challenges ‘VR Missions’ and ‘Substance’ offered.
‘Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes’ is perhaps closest to the tradition of VR missions with its short main mission and handful of extra “ops.” Regardless, the series is still missing the option to just focus on the addictive and challenging core gameplay. Even if ‘Ground Zeroes’ came with less than 100 VR missions with various challenges and weapons training, the replay value of the game would’ve been significantly greater: There might have been less controversy over the game’s very short length as well if this was packaged in.
In today’s very trophy/achievement world of gaming, ‘VR missions’ would sit right at home with gamers every where trying to max out their scores through countless levels.