The Art of Rebooting a Game Series

Posted: October 24, 2011 by shalashaska8986 in Editorials

Rebooting seems to be the trend lately. With the decline of the economy there is a lot less companies willing to take the risks, and instead will choose to completely revamp an already existing concept. Hollywood has been notorious to fall into this trap lately, but game developers have also played suit as well. I have been able to play some of the rebooted video game series and so far have been satisfied by them, because some video game series have just been milked to the point where the original concept was stale a perfect example would be that of Castlevania. Now Castlevania overall is my 2nd favorite series of all time and I will always support and get the new titles, but I have to admit that for quite some time they were making Castlevania games just to keep making games. When Lords of Shadows came along I was very skeptical at first also given the game did not get spectacular reviews, but I decided to give it a chance anyway. What I got was completely blown away, and rekindled my love of the series once again. So the question now remains, is rebooting part of the natural process to which games have to eventually go through if a series wants to continue?

Perfect example of a great reboot to a series

I examine some of the recent reboots and overall I feel that all the decisions to reboot series have been needed. The new Tomb Raider looks phenomenal and looks to try to give the blockbuster series uncharted a run for its money. The new Mortal Kombat felt fluid and did a nice job of reintroducing the story, seeing how the old installments of MK could not incorporate the story telling mechanics of games today. Hitman, SSX, Medal of Honor, NBA Jam, Twisted Metal, Prince of Persia(which I am still desperately awaiting the 2nd installment of the reboot), and Devil May Cry have all had or will be getting the reboot treatment.

Will the reboot of Tomb Raider give Uncharted a run for it’s money?

Nintendo has been doing their version of what I like to call “Retro Rebooting” which is going back to the roots of a series and relive why it was so amazing back then. Nintendo has to be the most notorious of doing this with such series as: Punch Out, Donkey Kong Country, and Kirby. Nintendo’s master plan seems to be to get consumers to buy a new installment of a game by reliving what made the series so great on an older platform. The most noted retro reboot would be that of Capcom’s hit series Mega Man. The last two installments of the game brought me back to my days of playing Mega Man on the NES and was a welcome feeling that sucked me in for hours, and gave me plenty of extras to keep coming back. The biggest retro reboot flop would be that of the newest installment of Goldeneye. They took the best shooter game back on an older platform and turned it into nothing like the same experience it once was. The important thing they forgot to realize was that gamers loved the game as it was and applied the wrong new concepts of shooters to the original touch. The most noted complaint by me was the addition of regenerating health. I also fell through the map twice within the 1st hour instantly killing me.

Reliving the nostalgia all over again

On the topic of this I have only one rebooted game complaint. That would be the rebooting of a white haired, bad ass, demon by the name of Dante. While that has been a fan favorite of mine throughout the entire series, with the exception of 2 because that doesn’t exist, this is one series that once I found out was being rebooted made my blood boil. This was not the greatest series ever, but it had the plug pulled before it had the chance to need a reboot and instead you replace the very definitive character Dante and give him a whole new look that just doesn’t sit well with me. The formula was there for Capcom to make an amazing title if they just pushed forward into a fifth installment.

Dante never looked so wrong

Rebooting has overall been a good experience for me as a gamer and the decisions made to reboot certain series has given new opportunities to some great original concepts. However there are still some series in desperate need of a reboot. Titles that you just look at and makes you want to say “Another one, when are they just going to stop making these?”  I could write for days on everything that I would want to see rebooted, but what I would rather see is what you the reader think of the recent reboots as well as any titles you want to see rebooted.


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