Despite Atari being almost solely responsible for the Video Game Crash of 1983, the modern console just about owes its existence to the original Atari video game consoles and the immensely popular games that were produced for them. Over nearly 30 years, many of those classic games have fallen by the wayside, not even leaving the legacy of sequels or modern series. In almost all cases, the original development teams for these games don’t even exist anymore. But, whether the games have spawned sequels or not, many of these classic Atari games were truly exceptional and, with the proper development teams could easily be as popular today as they were when first released. The following is a list of pairings of classic Atari games and the modern development teams that would breathe new life into them.
Pitfall!; Core Design – Pitfall! was one of the most graphically impressive and popular games on the Atari 2600. It was a precursor to the modern platform game and was the earliest game to include swinging as well as jumping. Core Design is the development team best know for the Tomb Raider series of video games. This pairing is simply obvious and perfect. The experience Core Design already has with the topography of jungles and ancient ruins would already give them a great head start. The 3D version of Pitfall Harry would be absolutely amazing swinging through those designs and the combat elements of the Tomb Raider series meld perfectly with the style of the original game.
Archon; Namco – Archon is a rare Atari game because it was actually developed for the Atari 8-bit computer rather than the Atari 2600. Still, it was an excellent, if now severely dated, strategy game. It was basically a complicated version of Chess where pieces on the same square battled. With the incredibly unusual creatures that made up the Archon game pieces and the differing attack styles, the clear choice to develop this game is Namco, with its experience in developing Soulcalibur. Any development team could make the strategy board game elements, but only a team with years of experience in unusual fighting games could bring the excitement of those battles to life. Whip swords will seem like last year’s model when the chimera battles the manticore.
E.T., The Extra Terrestrial; The Neverhood, Inc. – E.T. is one of the worst video games to ever have been published. It is only a classic because of how bad it is. But, just because it was awful doesn’t mean that a modern development team can’t improve upon it. Conveniently, because it was so awful, it really can’t get any worse. No true remake of this game is worthwhile, but a parody would be quite perfect and Neverhood, Inc. is just the development team to do that. Based on its previous games, The Neverhood and Skullmonkeys, any game would simply exaggerate everything. This is perfect, only in a parody game could running around as a duck-billed-platypus looking green alien while falling in pits and finding Reese’s Pieces and phone parts be even vaguely fun. Of course, the game would have absolutely nothing to do with the plot of the movie, but the original game didn’t really either.
Adventure; Team Ico – Adventure was practically the first role playing game. Of course it was about 1/10,000th the time of modern role playing games and not even vaguely as complicated. But, that was what the Atari 2600 could handle. Rather than try to remake Adventure as a full role playing game, a modern remake should maintain the brevity and puzzle aspects of the original. One team is better suited to this than any other development team: Team Ico. These creators of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus have a natural flair for short puzzle based games and epic monsters. The three duck-like dragons from the original adventure would be a beautiful sight to behold when designed by Team Ico and the simple acts of finding a sword or retrieving a chalice would become epic puzzles worthy of the original game.
Combat; Bungie Studios – The Halo series is often lauded as one of the best first person shooters ever. But, even more impressive is the vehicle combat in the Halo series. Bungie nailed that aspect of combat and made it absolutely spectacular. Consequently, Bungie is the perfect choice to remake the classic vehicle combat game Combat. The classic Atari game was a simple vehicle combat simulator with extensive terrain, for the time. Borrowing from the Halo series, Bungie could develop a fast-paced exciting game of land, sea, and air vehicular combat.