It’s that time again to break out your nostalgia and take a trip down memory lane as we take a look at three games we would love to see make a return to a console near you. Here’s hoping someday developers can make our wish come true and give us new iterations of these fantastic games from the past. Take a look at our top three for this week.
1- Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic
Ok lets start with the most popular and most obvious. Star Wars: The Knights of the Old Republic is perhaps the game that sits at the very top of my returning franchise wish list. I would also like to bet it sits at the top of many other gamers lists too. It is one of the stand out titles we saw back on the original Xbox, selling over 1.5million copies, developed by RPG legends Bioware releasing in 2003.
The story was actually set 4000 years before the formation of the Galactic Empire, where your character and willing band of allies have to protect the Republic from the Dark Sith Lord Darth Malak and his Sith Armada. Taking control of a Jedi character, you must travel to various locations and planets to do battle with Malak’s forces, where certain paths chosen in the plot decides whether you align with the Light or the Dark side of the Force. Accompanied by up to two companions in your party, combat is resolved via a discrete turn based system, that allows characters to attack and react simultaneously. The result of your actions is decided by a type of DnD rules, however these are never revealed to the player on-screen.
The character progression system allowed players to take on new “skills” and “feats”, unlocking new moves in combat, which later opens up “Force powers” that make your Jedi an ultimate badass. Choices you make in dialogue eventually decides whether your Jedi will be from the Light or Dark side, and a representation of this is visualised in how your character’s appearance changes throughout the game. Generosity and kind actions see a clean and healthy appearance, whilst violent and selfish choices makes your characters eyes turn yellow with pale skin. Side games such as swoop racing and the card game ‘Pazaak’ offered a nice change of pace, and the crafting system that allowed you to find crystals that changed the colour of your Lightsaber meant that this was the ultimate Star Wars RPG of its time, and even to this day.
The original game can still be played today on Xbox One thanks to backwards compatibility, so that is something at least. KOTOR is now an online MMORPG and I am sure it does very well for Bioware. I just hope somewhere down the line it goes back to its single player roots and heads to an Xbox or PlayStation in our living rooms.
2- Syphon Filter
Anyone and everyone who had the original PlayStation will know about Syphon Filter. This third person espionage masterpiece was everything you wanted from a secret agent game. You play as Gabriel Logan the ultimate spy, who along with his partner Lian Xing, have to take down international biological terrorist Erich Rhoemer.
At the very core of the gameplay is a stealth based approach which sees Gabriel try to take his foes down as quietly as possible to infiltrate various locations to progress the story. However, if you prefer to just run in and shoot anything that moves that surprisingly works just as well and doesn’t have any detriment to the gameplay. The game’s name, Syphon Filter, is actually named after a super virus Rhoemer is creating that can be engineered to attack specific groups of people. Through some serious plot twists and creative storylines, Logan must stop Rhoemer before the virus is released on mass, or find a vaccine to use against it.
On release the game was critically acclaimed. Despite some development issues and at times horrific resolution problems, Syphon Filter was widely regarded as one of the best games on the original PS. Recent rumor has it Sony has just patented the name for ‘Syphon Filter’ which could mean we might actually see a return of this iconic franchise. Sequels dwindled in sales numbers and a couple of PSP spin offs finally saw the death of the series, here we are hoping that this phoenix can rise from the ashes.
3- Destruction Derby
Destruction Derby is a vehicular combat racing game, based on the real life sport of Demolition Derby. Players find themselves in various arenas and tracks where they have to race and purposely crash into opponents to score points. Collisions in the game affect the performance of your car, limiting speed, steering, and frontal collisions that damage your radiator causing your car to overheat and retire.
Four game modes were available within the game. Destruction Derby, Wreckin’ Racing, Stock Car Racing and Time Trial. Destruction Derby saw players earning points by smashing into opponents causing damage and ultimately hoping to be the last car standing inside the trackless arena known as ‘the Bowl’. Stock car racing is simply a race to the finish where 1st place is your main aim, no points are awarded for damage but it does impede the vehicle as mentioned above. Wreckin Racing is the hybrid of the two where points and 1st place finish earns you a cumulative total that determines the winner. Time Trial is a solo challenge mode that seemed a little tacked on for variety.
At the time the physics involved and damage representation seemed way ahead of its time. The developers over at Reflections Interactive had certainly set the bar for future titles in this genre. Thanks to PSN you can still download Destruction Derby and play to this day, however we would certainly like to see a developer revisit this gaming gem.
Did you play any of these games from the past? What were your feelings towards them? Please feel free to leave a comment in the section below and stay tuned for more Blasts from the Past.