ImaJAN Media Network
MeltedJoystick Home
   Games  Members
Search +
Searching... Close  
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
  Login Using Facebook

10 Forgotten 8-bit Games that Need a Remake/Reboot

View Nelson Schneider's Profile

By Nelson Schneider - 03/03/12 at 03:58 PM CT

The 3rd Generation of consoles was home to a lot of innovation and creativity in game design. Games were an entirely new canvas upon which to paint entertainment, with only the barest of design paradigms laid-down by Generations 1 and 2. Yet for all its freedom and newness, the 3rd Generation was not without its problems: Crushing difficulty due to the ‘arcade mentality,’ sloppy controls that made even interesting games unplayable, and terrible Engrish (or lack of text altogether) that made everything a guessing game with completely inscrutable rules and goals.

Modern games have evolved beyond the flaws of yesteryear (and, in the course, developed a host of flaws of their own), with many long-running franchises experiencing every evolutionary bump in the road. Yet the 3rd Generation also was home to a number of intriguing games that never developed into franchises, thus becoming frozen in the past. Here’s a list of 8-bit games that I’d like to see re-created with a fresh coat of modernity (hold the 3D).

10. Little Samson (NES)
There is not much room for improvement in “Little Samson,” other than a save system. The original game opted for pantomiming for all of its story exposition instead of poorly-edited text, and the gameplay was rock solid. So why does a game that was almost perfect need a remake? It was too rare! This game currently goes for ~$1,000 in online marketplaces. Yes, that’s a GRAND for an NES cartridge! While it does play perfectly well in an emulator (and gains the bonus of save states), it would be nice to have an officially re-touched re-release.

9. Whomp ‘Em (NES)
This is another NES game that actually had very little wrong with it. Aside from a graphical update, this Native-America-themed take on “Mega Man”-style gameplay could benefit from slightly better range for the default weapon and enemies that don’t continually respawn if the screen moves a nanometer past their spawn point. Of course, a real save system and a more fleshed-out story would just be icing on the cake.

8. Wonder Boy 3: The Dragon’s Trap (Master System)
The fact that this game has a “3” in the title must mean it was part of a franchise and doesn’t belong on this list. Right? Wrong! The ‘Wonder Boy’ series was only a ‘series’ in the most tenuous sense of the term. Sometimes it was a title slapped-onto a re-skinned version of Hudson’s “Adventure Island,” sometimes it was a wholly original game. In the case of “Wonder Boy 3,” this title was applied to a vibrantly colorful 2D platformer with heavy action/adventure elements and some light RPG elements. The main gimmick, however, was the fact that the main character metamorphosed into a different form after each boss battle, continually mixing-up the gameplay and keeping things fresh. Simply adding non-volatile, non-password-based saves and better text would bring this game up to today’s standards.

7. StarTropics (NES)
While this game did get a sequel, it stopped at one. “StarTropics” didn’t even get the privilege of being a trilogy. Considering that nearly every other first-party Nintendo game has been driven into the ground with sequel after sequel, it might be time to reboot “StarTropics” from the beginning and turn it into a proper action/adventure franchise with a strong, ongoing narrative.

6. Crystalis (NES)
This post-apocalyptic top-down action/adventure (with light RPG elements) is made incomprehensible by the vague narration screens that appear, silent-movie-style, throughout. Modern gaming needs more top-down action/adventure games, “Crystalis” needs better writing: This is a no-brainer. SNK needs to stop rehashing their fighting games and “Metal Slug” long enough to rehash some of their older, neglected intellectual properties.

5. The Magic of Scheherazade (NES)
This early RPG stirred-in a variety of action/adventure elements and a metric ton of confusion. None of the battle screens make sense. None of the menus make sense. None of the abbreviations make sense. The barrier of obfuscation around this game is nigh-impenetrable! Yet the underlying core of an RPG set in an Arabian-Nights-themed world is really intriguing. Our modern world dominated by the RPG dichotomy of ‘Dark Fantasy’ or ‘Anime Knock-Off’ would greatly benefit from a new setting, even if the game employing this setting is old.

4. Golden Axe Warrior (Master System)
This game was one of the first ‘Zelda’ Killers meant to dethrone Nintendo’s insanely successful “The Legend of Zelda.” While the horror of “Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link” provided ample opportunity for any company to step in and fill the void in the nascent action/adventure genre, “Golden Axe Warrior” failed to rise to the occasion, mainly because it was only available on the Sega Master System (which nobody actually owned). “Golden Axe Warrior” had good graphics, solid controls, a save system, and overall good gameplay. Its only shortcomings were being on the wrong platform and the fact that monsters were so stingy with money drops. It took FOREVER to save up enough horns (the game’s color-coded equivalent to rupees) to buy the game’s many upgrades, and the game featured a “Dragon Quest”-inspired mechanic of taking away half the players horns upon death. More horns, more platforms, updated graphics: This is a recipe for a great remake. Instead, Sega has turned the ‘Golden Axe’ intellectual property into a beat ‘em up… such wasted potential.

3. Ufouria: The Saga (NES)
This game was only recently released in North America via the Wii’s Virtual Console. Yet it was available in Japan and Europe as far back as 1991/92. It’s bizarre, it’s quirky… and it has pretty sloppy controls and a lack of explanations/guidance. The game already has a built-in map; it just needs to be improved… and actually made useful. “Ufouria” would also benefit greatly from the addition of respawn checkpoints to spare players the frustration of being dumped back at the center of the game’s huge map upon each death.

2. Faxanadu (NES)
A man in his underpants wanders around a drab fantasy world for unknown reasons. Not only does “Faxanadu” have an eye-bleed-inducing color pallet, but the copy editing for the text must have been non-existent. While it has all the trappings of a story-based game, complete with towns and people to talk to, there is no cohesive narrative presented. Instead, Underpants-Man must run around, sloppily jumping and sloppily swinging his puny weapon, hoping to build up enough GOLDS to buy a pair of real pants. What in the world does “Faxanadu” even mean? It sounds like ‘Xanadu,’ which could be interesting, but ultimately doesn’t pan-out. “Faxanadu” needs a complete reboot, keeping only the title, the side-scrolling gameplay, and the underpants.

1. Legacy of the Wizard (NES)
So there’s this family of adventurers. And they go out of their house… and get lost in an insanely complex dungeon, filled with monsters, where they die horribly. That was my experience of “Legacy of the Wizard” when I played it on the NES. The game doesn’t explain ANY of its goals, nor does it explain what each character’s abilities are, nor does it explain what any of the numerous items on the inventory screen do (or where to obtain them). Yet after reading explanations of the game (most likely written by technopathic idiot-savants who could communicate directly with the binary code to understand what the game wanted its players to do), there’s an intriguing concept buried in the cloud of obfuscation: Each family member has the skill-set to reach a specific key, and all the keys are required to unlock the door to the final boss dragon. This game needs a map, a story, a save system, and an overall dose of mercy to make it playable.

MeltedJoystick Gaming Blog RSS Feed

Avoid spam Captcha: Sign Up + or Log In +   

View Nelson Schneider's Profile

Nelson Schneider

Wrote on03/08/12 at 06:02 PM CT

Just emulate it. Nobody will judge you, Jonzor.

Write on Profile +

View Jonzor's Profile


Wrote on03/05/12 at 02:31 PM CT

Good idea for a post. I think Little Samson might be numbers 1 AND 2 on my list. I'm dangerously close to spending "too much" for a copy on eBay.

Write on Profile +

View Chris's Profile


Wrote on03/04/12 at 05:42 PM CT

Yes - Legacy of the Wizard - incoherence at its best! I did truly like Crystalis, even if the story was... less than stellar. And I remember playing Faxanadu as well (and have been show the glory of Little Sampson). All would make some worthy updates should anyone bother.

Write on Profile +

View Nick's Profile


Wrote on03/04/12 at 01:18 AM CT

Faxanadu was awesome. I had forgotten about that one.

Write on Profile +


Previous Blog Posts


All Posts

April 2021

March 2021

February 2021

January 2021

December 2020

November 2020

October 2020

September 2020

August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

December 2019

November 2019

October 2019

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

December 2018

November 2018

October 2018

September 2018

August 2018

July 2018

June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

December 2016

November 2016

October 2016

September 2016

August 2016

July 2016

June 2016

May 2016

April 2016

March 2016

February 2016

January 2016

December 2015

November 2015

October 2015

September 2015

August 2015

July 2015

June 2015

May 2015

April 2015

March 2015

February 2015

January 2015

December 2014

November 2014

October 2014

September 2014

August 2014

July 2014

June 2014

May 2014

April 2014

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

December 2013

November 2013

October 2013

September 2013

August 2013

July 2013

June 2013

May 2013

April 2013

March 2013

February 2013

January 2013

December 2012

November 2012

October 2012

September 2012

August 2012

July 2012

June 2012

May 2012

April 2012

March 2012

February 2012

January 2012

December 2011

November 2011

October 2011

September 2011

August 2011

July 2011

June 2011

May 2011

April 2011

March 2011

February 2011

Log In
For members wanting to use FB to login, click here
remember me

What Members Are Doing

Comments about...

New Game Reviews

The Deep Paths: Labyrinth ... game review by Nelson Schneider
The Vagrant game review by Nelson Schneider
Avadon: The Black Fortress game review by Nelson Schneider
Strange Brigade game review by Chris Kavan
Satellite Reign game review by Chris Kavan
Watch Dogs 2 game review by Chris Kavan
Soldner-X 2: Final Prototy... game review by Hurain
Dead Cells game review by dbarry_22

New Game Lists

Top Super Nintendo (SNES) Gam... by Jonzor
Backlog by Nelson Schneider
Games I Own: Switch by dbarry_22
Top Game List by SIngli6
Top PlayStation 4 Games by Megadrive
Top Game List by Barmak
My Backlog by Chris Kavan
Games I Want To Play by Shaneo99




Contact Us Public Relations MeltedJoystick Friends    

Advertise and Business

Contacts Us


About us



Support Us

FAQ and Help

News and Press

Terms of Use


Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
Are you sure you want to delete this blog?