Nostalgia is a powerful thing. It’s how Hansen sell out shows across the world 20 years after MMMBop was released. Rose-tinted glasses work for video games too: have you played Diddy Kong Racing recently?
Having said that, some old favourites stand the test of time. With news of the Crash Bandicoot trilogy re-master and the news of GameCube sleeper hit Beyond Good & Evil finally getting a sequel, here’s our list of the cult classic video games that are crying out for a reboot. As they say, be the change you want to see in the world.
What the fuck, Nintendo? How has this not happened?
This 1999 Nintendo 64 classic is a perfect example of something being more than the sum of its parts. Somehow, taking photos of Pokémon for professional rich old white dude Professor Oak is incredibly fun and there’s a surprising amount of depth to catching ’em all.
When the game was ported over to the WiiU’s online store, you could move the gamepad around to control the camera, which would work just as well on the Switch or 3DS. Despite more thirst for a sequel than an Instagram-model trying to get that #sp money, nothing’s been announced.
WHY. DOES. THIS. NOT. EXIST.
BENEATH A STEEL SKY
If you’ve never heard of this 1994 point-and-click game, then here’s the five word synopsis: cyberpunk adventure in dystopian Australia.
Made by Revolution Software – the team behind equally-loved Broken Sword: The Shadow Of The Templars – the game is remembered for its rich story which sees ASIO control most of the surviving Australian cities. You play as Robert Foster (yes, after the beer), who finds himself embroiled in taking down ASIO. Oh, and the city of Hobart helps lead the resistance. Amazing.
Over the years, a sequel has been teased many, many times. So far, nothing’s come to fruition: at least the original is readily available as freeware, as well as an iPhone game.
Another 90s cult-classic point and click adventure without a follow up. Set in an underworld visually inspired by Aztec mythology, Grim Fandango follow skeleton travel agent Manny, who sells passage to the afterworld to recently deceased souls, on a film noir-inspired adventure. It’s colourful, incredibly witty and just plain fun. It was re-mastered a few years back, and while there’s demand for a sequel, creator Tim Schafer hasn’t committed.
Currently Tim’s working on a sequel to another of his cult-classic games, Psychonauts, a game where you travel inside people’s minds to clear their emotional baggage. But fans – myself included – are greedy. Where is Manny?
PARAPPA THE RAPPER
Before Guitar Hero, before SingStar, there was PaRappa the Rapper, the best and probably only rapping dog you will ever meet. You press buttons to help PaRappa rap and win the heart of his girl, Sunny Funny. It’s surprisingly hard, surprisingly great. There’s a sequel (and they were chucked up on the Playstation Network recently), but the world deserves more.
Rapping original songs about learning to drive, chopping onions and the malaise within the quotidian (okay, not really), PaRappa’s discography is pure fire and also exists almost completely on YouTube, fyi. Here’s a fave:
ETERNAL DARKNESS: SANITY’S REQIUEM
Nintendo’s one and only foray into horror, this 2003 GameCube game remains completely unique to the genre. What sets it apart is the introduction of a sanity meter, a concept patented by Nintendo. Whenever one of the playable characters spots a underworld enemy or see an act of violence, their sanity meter takes a hit and the game starts to get a little trippy.
Messing with the gamer, sometimes the game will appear to be glitching. Maybe your character might die for no reason, fall through walls or stop responding to your controls properly. Or maybe your TV will mute itself or ‘change channel’ in a critical moment. There’s some neat ideas here, and no doubt Nintendo could push it further with the Switch.
A special shout-out goes to Jak & Daxter, Banjo Kazooie and Spyro, which all need to be resorted to the height of their glory days. Shots fired.