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Alpha_ProgDes

How would you improve on an old game?

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(If this is a Lounge topic, please move). While posting in the "perfect game" thread, a) I realized I posted the wrong response, and b) I figured why not make this thread! [grin] Most of us have played games that we rated between 6 and 7 because it was missing vital components or it was too ahead of its time and therefore the implementation was (to say the least) questionable. So I wondered what games would you choose to be improved and how would you improve them? My pick is the Zelda 2: The Adventures of Link. This game sooooo needs to be in 3D. The inventory has a lot to be desired and well NPCs could use a boost speech development. Also, I'm glad that games have finally moved away from random monster fighting. Because that was the most annoying feature of that game (especially when looking for a new town). So go ahead and share!

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The original Metroid could have used a more varied map. Fortunately, that's one of the big things that Metroid: Zero Mission added. That, and crouching. Having to jump to shoot small enemies was such a pain.

One thing I would have really liked to have would be an improved sound chip on the NES. There were a lot of great tunes that could have been even better with better instrumentation and more channels. However, that didn't really hold the games back, because a) music rarely prevents a game from being fun, and b) the music was already good.

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My biggest improvement to many games on the market today would be the addition of multiplayer. My next improvement would be to distribute MMO's such that people could host their own servers if they wanted, mainly for privatized play with friends.

In particular, a few Maxis games that I'd like to see multiplayer added to would be The Sims, SimCity, and Spore. The Sims has The Sims Online, yeah, so that would kind of fall into the privatized MMO server category--just imagine playing The Sims as it is now, but with your buddy managing a household down the street, which could interact with your own Sims. SimCity, probably an odd candidate to add multiplayer to, but I think it would be interesting if multiple players could compete to build cities side-by-side, see who can attract more people and become the better mayor, meanwhile paying to launch tornadoes, Godzillas, or earthquakes at their opponents. Then there's Spore, which none of us have gotten to play yet, but would be a great candidate again to add multiplayer to. The "massively single player" idea is somewhat neat, but here I'd rather be placed in a galaxy with some friends to fight or team together and build up our worlds with, then nuke each other later. Grand Theft Auto would be another good game to add multiplayer to--a few third party mods actually do, but they're extremely buggy and lack a few features.

As for privatized MMO's, I'm sure many of you have seen a few games where you can host your own servers and have your friends join. This seems to be a fun feature that has been getting pushed out of the gaming waters lately. Plenty of MMORPG's I'd like to have my own private server of. Lot of companies have issues here, though, with distributing server software which would compromise the security of their public servers, plus such MMO's would have less monthly subscribers altogether--players would have their own server instead.

It's a bit of a tall order, and I can understand that plenty of developers don't have the time or resources to properly implement multiplayer. But I'm hopeful for the future of games, which I think will pick up a bigger emphasis on multiplayer here pretty soon. Hopefully...

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Original post by Omega147
...SimCity, probably an odd candidate to add multiplayer to, but I think it would be interesting if multiple players could compete to build cities side-by-side, see who can attract more people and become the better mayor, meanwhile paying to launch tornadoes, Godzillas, or earthquakes at their opponents. ...


I believe (actually I'm 99.99% sure) that Simcity 1 - 4 has multiplayer capabilities, including what you just mentioned. Well aside from setting catastrophes on your opponents.

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Here's a few improvements I would make to Zelda 2:

1) Make the controls more fluid. Link in Zelda 2 is the most clumsy he's ever been, and the combat could have been significantly smoother.

2) Speaking of combat, expand on the available tactics. In most of the fights, your options were: stab high, stab low, jump and downstab. The game could have used more, like the shield bash from Twilight Princess.

3) Make more of the spells useful in more situations. Shield, Jump, and Life had many uses; Fairy had a few, and the rest were pretty much single-shot spells (Reflect for one boss, Fire pretty much not at all unless you really wanted to keep your distance, Thunder for one boss, and Spell for one non-essential item). Possibly don't keep the same spell list, but anything on the list should be useful.

4) Have non-magic-based items that can be used in combat. A Zelda game with no boomerang is just weird. This would tie nicely into point 2 above.

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The easiest way to improve an old game is to not only update the graphics, but fix what really bothered you the most about it when you first played it.

My favorite game of all time is Final Fantasy Tactics. I always go back to it whenever I play a modern not-so-fun strategy game and I always have a blast. However this game is not without it's flaws:

1. You should NOT permanently lose your characters if you leave them dead for more than 3 turns. This does NOTHING BUT MAKE ME SIT UP AND HIT THE RESET BUTTON. It's even more frustating when you have one enemy left, but YOU'VE LOST because one of your well grown Summoners/Calculator die. The amount of work (*cough* JP Grinding *cough*) that goes into each character makes this "penalty" of death meaningless and frustrating. I would improve this by making characters go to a hospital where I would have to pay for the medical fees so that they can rejoin my party.

2. New recruits should not start at level 1. It has always bothered me that new people that you get from the recruitment office start off at level 1. They should start off at the average level of your party and have an average amount of jp per class. Or even better, let me pay more to higher people that are already a class. I wouldn't mind dropping 5-10k on a Ninja or a Knight - assuming that I had already earned these classes with someone else.

3: More careful translation. The BLAZE GUN should not cast Ice after I shoot someone with it.

Now I know they're releasing a PSP version of Tactics, but I don't know if they've altered any of these issues that I have (apart from the translation).

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I don't really feel that those were things that couldn't have been done, though. They were design decisions; poor ones, perhaps, but conscious decisions nonetheless. It's not like the PS1 was incapable of doing differently.

Maybe I'm making a bigger deal out of this than I should, but I don't want this to devolve into another "your least favorite game features" thread. We already have one of those.

As for actual on-topic content, the R-Type series is my next target. Specifically, the games always seem to suffer massively from slowdown, regardless of what system they're on. Super R-Type, on the SNES, had it just about everywhere. R-Type Final, on the PS2, had really gratuitous slowdown in the city level, and on other levels more occasionally. Given the nature of the game, slowdown really changes the balance; suddenly the player has significantly more time to react to incoming threats and to aim his shots. I've played R-Type in the arcade and it's a totally different experience, even when (as is the case with Super R-Type) the levels are otherwise identical.

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I want to see Worms:Armageddon redone as a first-person shooter, just so I can see everyone scatter when I release an exploding sheep.

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Terra Nova. This game was so much ahead of it's time, it isn't funny. Think Tribes, but no multiplayer. So obviously you know what I'd add:)

System Shock. The game that was everything Half Life was a few years before Half Life was. Unfortunately, the control scheme was gawd aweful. It was one of the first games to use a mouse/keyboard combination for a first person shooter. Unfortunately, it would take a few years before people actually would acknowledge that a mouse keyboard combination worked well in first person shooters. I'm guessing mainly because games like System Shock, despite being ahead of it's time, lacked the simplicity of WASD. Also, resolution independence would have helped greatly. Sure, it supported 640x480 in 1995, and it wasn't for another 4 years that PC's were actually powerful enough to run it at that resolution, but now with uber computers, you can't go higher (without hacks, but even they have limitations).

Betrayal At Krondor & System Shock 2. If any two games were deserving of being remade, these 2 are it. One is an awesome RPG that was 3D in 1993. While Ultima Underworld was also 3D and around at the time, it's totally different. That was more of an action RPG, whereas Betrayal At Krondor was your typical RPG. Battles took place in a grid like screen. (And it's not like either UU nor BaK actually sold well. Same could be said about System Shock 2, one of the greatest games of all time). While System Shock 2 fixed many issues Shock 1 had, it didn't have the greatest graphics, even when it was released. And the respawn rate could be lowered just a tad.

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One game I've always had a love/hate relationship with is the sims 2. On the one hand, I enjoy playing it just from a technical viewpoint. Even those who don't enjoy it agree that it's a damn impressive piece of software. I also enjoy the open ended gameplay and building things up from scratch (ie, accumulating money, building homes, creating successive generations, etc).

But holy crap do I hate the tedious, repetitive tasks. Having to hold the sims hand to ensure he/she goes pee and such. I get sick of that, and wind up using cheat codes, which also gets boring in its own way since the challenge is gone.

What would I like? A "Sims Lite" mode, where needs degrade at say, half the rate. So you still need to attend to your sim's needs, but it's not a constant chore. It amazes me that they didn't include something like this, since many people had the same complaint about the first one. This feature would make the game immensely more enjoyable for a lot of people.


Another thing I'd like to see is a REAL revision of xcom ufo defence, with the same basic gameplay but modern graphics and an improved interface for things like equipping soldiers. In every respect it was a phenomenal game for the time, but it gets tedious to play today because of it's crude, primitive UI. (Yes, I know there's been several spiritual successors, but they're all poor bastardised cousins, and most have serious stability problems as well).

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Quote:
Original post by Alpha_ProgDes
Quote:
Original post by Omega147
...SimCity, probably an odd candidate to add multiplayer to, but I think it would be interesting if multiple players could compete to build cities side-by-side, see who can attract more people and become the better mayor, meanwhile paying to launch tornadoes, Godzillas, or earthquakes at their opponents. ...


I believe (actually I'm 99.99% sure) that Simcity 1 - 4 has multiplayer capabilities, including what you just mentioned. Well aside from setting catastrophes on your opponents.

The only SimCity game to ever support multiplayer was SimCity 2000 Network Edition. Sadly, the game did not sell very well, and was removed from the shelves in under a year--I don't think too many people even know that such a version of SimCity ever existed. SimCity 4 claims multiplayer capabilities at times, but supports nothing of the kind; instead of playing together with friends in real-time, you're sharing regions/cities that have been previously built, and although you can make deals with neighboring cities, those cities are not progressing concurrently with your own--they're static and have to played separately. The Network Edition of SimCity 2000 got it right, it just wasn't a very popular feature at the time of its release. I'd like to see a re-release of that with a modern SimCity.

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Original post by Tesseract
I want to see Worms:Armageddon redone as a first-person shooter, just so I can see everyone scatter when I release an exploding sheep.


They did make a 3D, partially first person game a while back. I heard that it wasn't so good though. I can't remember it's name right now. They might have even made two of them.

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Worms 3d was made a few years back. It was okay, but nothing special. What I would like to see is the full FPS treatment, instead of turn-based strategy.

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There's a "FPS clone" of Worms, called Liero.
It's quite old, but there are a few quite good clones made of it.

Original Liero - A great game
Gusanos - The best clone (according to me)
Liero Xtreme - A popular clone, but not as fun as Gusanos (again, according to me)

Be sure to play against a friend, as the AI is quite boring.

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I agree with the Final Fantasy Tactics poster in that it was probably one of the best strategy/rpg's ever...however i don't agree that making the game really easy would make it better. So what if they know that you are gonna reset the game when your mage dies and disappears....that's what makes the game a challenge. Buying soldiers at lvl 1 makes sense because higher level ones aren't likely to join your party as party members, but as mercenaries with their own agenda. Perhaps the soldiers for hire are the only ones willing. Making games more "convenient for you" don't make them better, only easier. Some things i would change are thief's ability to steal your armor right off of you while your attacking them?!?!? That just seems a little dumb. I would also make it hexagonal (i am making a tactical online rpg at the moment that will be hexagonal). This is mainly because you can't run faster traveling north than you can northeast...lol. Archer range is a square!?!?!? I understand it being square, but i just prefer hexagonal because it's a little more realistic, and i think it can make for better, smoother environments.

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