Reboots to me are a reimagining of any IP. This could be a game, a movie, or even a song that has been tailored to connect with a new audience – or to regain a previous one. While the financial incentives to reboot an ageing franchise are somewhat obvious, the process is also wrought with controversy. Every armchair quarterback will weigh in on how the remake compares to its predecessor – just adding to the buzz.
I am particularly fond of reboots. Many times a reboot is what draws my attention to a franchise; for example, Fallout 3. This being my entry point into the Fallout world, I chose to go back and play the previous Fallout games and – they really didn’t do much for me. I was just really disappointed in the execution of the game even though the story intrigued me.
Since Fallout finally evolved into one of my favorite franchises via its rebirth, there are some other games and movies that I would like to see rebooted and/or updated in much the same way.
Space Quest (Game) – This witty game from Sierra On-Line followed the adventures of Roger Wilco, an intergalactic janitor. A modern day, third person remake would retell Roger’s adventures to a new generation of gamers.
Dragon’s Lair (Game) – Originally an arcade title using DVD video technology to string clips together based on user interaction. Remade as a third person adventure but keeping the traditional hand-drawn animation style, this game has tons of room for new life to be breathed into it.
RoboCop (Movie) – Isn’t it about time for someone to update this movie series? With today’s visual effects – an update of this franchise could be truly amazing.
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Personally, I love reboots. I was never a huge gamer back in the day when the originals came out, so it gives me a chance to see what all the fuss was about. Take 2008’s Prince of Persia reboot. I know it got okay reviews, but I felt that game deserved more. It built an amazing landscape that I constantly wanted to discover, had a visceral combat system that never got old, and told a pretty captivating yet simple story of good versus evil. My only previous touch with the series was the original Sands of Time back on the Gamecube and I couldn’t even beat it (I was a noob), so discovering my love for this new iteration was a beautiful surprise. Besides confusion over their return to the look and feel of the original trilogy with The Forgotten Sands (which was actually a pretty fun game) aside, and I can’t wait for a follow up to that 2008 reboot.
For those of us who discovered certain games a bit too late, it is always nice to be able to get your hands on a new and improved version of an old favorite. As a gamer who came to the Halo franchise with the launch of Halo 2, I am looking forward to getting to grips with the world of Halo as it was envisaged 10 years ago albeit with improved graphics and new ‘art assets’ with the re-release of Halo Combat Evolved this November. My personal opinion is that as long as the game is improved in some way and not just a remake for remake sake, then it gives new gamers or those who are now old enough to play the games, an opportunity to experience games that us old timers have been raving about for the past 10 years. My younger cousins are constantly baffled when I talk about Halo 2 or Street Fighter.
Reboots are a great way to reintroduce new gamers/viewers to something good. Movies have been doing it for a long, long time, remaking lots of old black and white movies into something new, colorful, and modern. One of the best examples I can think of is the George Romero remake of Dawn of the Dead. What a great movie that turned out to be. The remake kept the same spirit of the original movie (survivors from a zombie apocalypse wait it out in a mall) but otherwise, the movie was totally different and just as good, if not better than the original. Splatterhouse was another decent attempt to reboot a series. While it wasn’t a perfect game by any means, it was still enjoyable and brought the classic Neo Geo games to the present. One cool part about this release was that the devs put the original games on the disc as well as the newly remade version. Great stuff, especially for me as I always dreamed of playing Splatterhouse when I was a kid, but I never had a Neo Geo or knew anybody who did.
The Star Trek reboot is currently what has my attention most in this category.
There was always a few things that bugged me when I was a kid watching Star Trek, and it was those things that always made Star Wars my first true love. (Read Original Star Wars. Damn you Hayden Christensen.)
While I loved how Star Trek always focused more on the characters and the adventure then the all the nitty-gritty details, it did seem to take away from the show and movies, at least in my opinion.
While Star Trek may not have been my first pick when it came to sci-fi, I still have very fond memories of sitting down and watching the movies with my dad and loving every minute of him explaining everything as we went, so when I heard that there was a reboot planned I was both thrilled and concerned.
When the movie finally did come out it was some time before I actually got to go see it in theaters. After a series of unfortunate events and 3 failed attempts I finally managed to get to a showing with my friend Nathan.
We were late and I was losing my mind, but all my frustration was forgotten the moment I caught a glimpse of the screen. We had walked in just as the first missile salvo was striking the USS Kelvin, and aside from the astounding visual display I had just witnessed one thing stuck out for me. Turrets. Along the the dish of the USS Kelvin were small turrets that were tracking and destroying particle matter inbound for the hull of the Kelvin. Throughout the rest of the movie I continued to be impressed as I saw all the simple things that had been done to add a touch of authenticity.
Needless to say I am a fan of the new movie and am very much looking forward next film.
I don’t want to be a buzz kill but there are only 7 basic main plots in film. But it’s the creativity of the Screenwriter and vision of the Director that can transform tried and boring story into something fresh and new.
I welcome these “reboots” because it makes me look at story in a whole new light. Take for instance Batman, and all it’s incarnations. I honestly crossed off Batman after I watched the 1997 debacle “Batman & Robin.” Everything from the acting, characters, CG, story, costumes, theme and more was like a bad carnival on acid. Fast forward a decade and take a look at “Dark Knight” by the brilliant Christopher Nolan. Absolutely amazing to say the least.
Seriously, if there any “reboot” haters out there, take a look at the Batman franchise because you have just been served!
I don’t mind reboots at all- they’re the easiest way for a company to keep it’s product fresh, interesting, and in the face of people who otherwise might not care that it exists.
Off the top of my head, I’m looking forward to Snyder’s take on Superman, the Spiderman reboot, Lara Croft (especially if those earlier rumors of the game basically being Lara meets Lost- THAT is a game I want to play), and Aronofsky’s The Wolverine.
Without the Fallout reboot, I don’t think I would have given those games much of a look. Now they’re one of my favorite series. DC’s reboot of Thunder Agents has been wonderful, and it’s been great to see characters I fell in love with as a kid. And lastly, the biggest and best example I can think of, I hated James Bond films before the Craig reboot. Can’t wait for the third film- Quantum was their Empire, and I need to see how they wrap up that arc for the character.
To me, it’s all hit or miss. Some reboots, whether it be in video games, movies, etc. have done a really great job at sprucing up a franchise without butchering it. Some have not. I think it all depends on the studio and the original game. Some things are better left untouched, whether they’re broken or not.
I don’t have a problem with a franchise being rebooted. The one that springs to mind right now is Shadowrun. I know a lot of people didn’t like the multiplayer focused reboot, but I personally did not have any connection to the old games. I simply came in and enjoyed the hell out of what is one of the most well balanced games on the Xbox 360. I think when reboots fail is when there’s no reason for the reboot. If a franchise is doing well, don’t mess with it. Unfortunately, I think the new SSX game is going to suffer from this. EA is trying to take it in a darker direction, meanwhile all we’ve been asking for is a new SSX game. Not a new SSX game with some wierd story. I think Duke Nukem Forever will be the ultimate test of the reboot forumula. If Gearbox can mix enough of the old with enough of the new, then it will probably be a hit. Let’s just hope that they know what to keep and what to throw away.
I think for the most part, reboots are unnecessary, particularly when it comes to movies. Seriously, did we really need an updated version of “The Karate Kid?” Sure, there have been reboots that resurrected dying franchises (“Star Trek” and “Batman Begins”) but for a great movie like “Batman Begins” we get reboots of “Friday The 13th,” “Halloween,” “The Hills Have Eyes,” “A Nightmare On Elm Street” and countless others. Video games fare a little better; “Splinter Cell: Conviction” greatly improved upon the lackluster “Double Agent” while introducing new gameplay elements.
It makes sense that Hollywood and video game developers want to bring back beloved franchises; the nostalgia factor alone can be enough to get folks to invest their money in the updated version, and it’s expensive to introduce new concepts and intellectual properties to film and video games. Still, I’d rather see something new and creative than a rehash of something I played 20 years ago.
My favorite reboot was when Christopher Nolan rebooted the Batman movie franchise a few years ago with ‘Batman Begins’. Seeing Christian Bale as Batman just worked. Nolan’s vision for an even darker Batman film series got my blood pumping for all of the characters from the franchise that I had yet to see (Scarecrow, for example) and only seen for split seconds (Bane comes to mind; and I’m crossing my fingers for an Azrael appearance in Dark Knight Rises).
Heath Ledger’s Joker is arguably the greatest performance of a villain in a comic-based film to date. All apologies go out to Jack Nicholson, but Ledger hit a grand slam in his portrayal.
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