I get the distinct impression I may have written something like this before, months ago, but I can’t remember. Might as well go for round two!
1) Persona 3 FES x Persona 3 Portable & Persona 4 Golden HD
I guess I should probably explain the title real quick because it might be confusing for some with “x” in there. It’s not uncommon for crossover projects in Japan to use “x” as a stand-in for “cross.” Persona 3 has three versions: the base game, the Festival(FES) edition which includes the epilogue DLC The Answer and I think a couple other additions to the main game, and lastly Persona 3 Portable which added an alternate female protagonist and new Velvet Room attendant as well as inverting the romance options because it was a female route and allowing you to control all your party members in a battle like in Persona 4, something that wasn’t in the original Persona 3. However, because it was a handheld title, Persona 3 Portable did away with the overworld, or at least a portion of it, making it a scaled down version. That isn’t ideal for a console game, so I’d love for Atlus to go back into Persona 3 and in addition to upgrading the resolution to 1080p, maybe 60fps, and increasing the resolution of the textures modern standards, to also work in the improvements that Persona 3 Portable introduced including the female MC.
And then of course Persona 4 Golden, the director’s cut of Persona 4 that was released on the Vita, would also get a facelift and included in the package. With Persona 5 releasing in exactly one week from now, a lot of new fans will be introduced to the series and likely want to work their way back to the previous games. However, only PS3 players would have access to Persona 3 FES and the base Persona 4. PS4 players are left high and dry if they don’t have a PS3 sitting around, and with Persona 4 Golden, the best version of the game, stuck on the Vita(A decision that to this day baffles me.), anyone who doesn’t own a Vita will be stuck with the base game. The base game isn’t bad, it’s great, but Golden is by far the better experience. So as far as I’m concerned it would be a great idea to capitalize on Persona 5's momentum and bring the definitive versions of these games to both PS3 and PS4 players, or maybe just PS4 players. And if you’re wondering why the first two(technically three.) games aren’t included, it’s because they’re largely irrelevant. Persona 3 was basically a soft reboot and anything before it is more like the hardcore Shin Megami Tensei games than what the Persona series is now. And obviously spin-offs like Persona 4 Arena/Arena Ultimax, Persona Q, and P4: Dancing All Night would bloat the package considerably.
2) Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 1+2
Odds are, if you’ve been with the gaming community for a period of time, then you’ve heard about Knights of the Old Republic. Largely considered one of the best Star Wars games and made by Bioware in their prime, EA was stupid to not capitalize on this games anniversary a few years ago and release a remake that probably would have made them a lot more money than they probably would have put into it. Fans have stepped up to the plate, but thus far those efforts have yet to bare fruit and it’s likely thanks to EA’s, or rather Disney’s, lawyers. I imagine there are a lot of people out there who would be more than happy to pay for even a standard remaster of this game. The strangest part is that Knights of the Old Republic II got a patch on PC just the other year letting it go up to 1080p natively, meanwhile the original game still can’t. And of course this is made all the stranger by the fact that EA’s Star Wars MMO, The Old Republic, is a sequel to the Knights of the Old Republic game with a storyline even dedicated to wrapping up the loose ends introduced by those games endings. It makes sense to release HD remasters of both to fill in players who may not have played the original games. Since EA has the Star Wars IP for 10 years, it isn’t too late to release remasters, though the publisher has taken a hard stance against remasters unfortunately.
3) Halo 3 Anniversary
It’s hard to believe that Halo 3 is already 10 years old. Feels like just yesterday I was playing the teaser trailer over and over again while waiting for this game to hit store shelves in 2007. And now here we are about to celebrate its 10th birthday. And if you didn’t already feel old, Halo: Combat Evolved will be 20 in 2021 and so will the Xbox brand. So far there haven’t really been any clear indications that Halo 3 Anniversary will happen. Frank O’Connor, Franchise Development Director at 343 Industries, stated on NeoGAF a couple months back that they weren’t working on it due to diminishing returns, and Phil Spencer, the head of Xbox, has repeatedly said that there will not be a Halo FPS for this year. Seems like compelling evidence that it won’t happen right? Well, not entirely. Frankie does have a point that remaking Halo 3 would show a much smaller graphical leap than Halo 2 Anniversary did. However, I also feel like that point is kind of made moot by Scorpio releasing this year, widening the tech gap even further and allowing for an even higher quality Halo 3 remake. Of course, given that Halo 3 isn’t a bad looking game even 10 years later, a simple remastering with Blur cutscenes would do the trick. And of course, regardless of which route they would choose, they don’t have to release it as a standalone title that sits on a GameStop shelf. The Master Chief Collection exists, and Halo 3 could be updated with an Anniversary mode that auto-detects your system and runs either an Xbox One mode or a Scorpio mode.
Now, some of you may be pointing a finger at the still broken nature of the MCC. 343 Industries did make an attempt to patch it up, but the patches stopped before it was completely fixed and they rightfully bare the blame. However, just this year I believe they said that they were still considering patching the game to make it what it should have been at launch. And there’s no way that the MCC won’t get a Scorpio upgrade that stabilizes Halo 2 Anniversary and Halo 4's resolutions at 1080p and keeps them at a steady 60fps, makes the multiplayer a steady 60fps, and maybe even bumps the resolution up to 4K resources permitting. And perhaps in that patch, comes a completely redesigned UI and framework rebuilt from the ground up to be more stable than the original, and Halo 3 Anniversary is tacked on, free or at a price doesn’t matter. Releasing Halo 3 Anniversary as an optional add-on for the MCC is not the same as releasing a new Halo FPS this year, making Phil’s statements true.
Of course, between you and me, I don’t actually think they were lying, this is just me being hopeful because if you go into the MCC and play either Halo 3 or ODST, and then play Halo 2 Anniversary or even Combat Evolved Anniversary, you’ll notice that Halo 3 is now the bottom of the graphical barrel in that collection and it’s weird to go from Halo 2 Anniversary, to Halo 3, and then to Halo 4.
4) Yakuza 2
Yakuza 2 is in a similar boat to Halo 3 Anniversary. All the games surrounding it now looks leagues better, and that’s especially true of this game because it’s a PS2 game. Yakuza 3 is actually a really good looking PS3 game and Yakuza 1 has been remade for PS4 as Yakuza Kiwami. That leaves poor Yakuza 2 sitting in between them and looking noticeably not as good. And of course, for news fans of the series, this is going to be the game that will be hard to get a hold of if they want to go backwards. Remaking it or remastering it seems like a wise idea.
5) Halo: Combat Evolved 20th Anniversary
This is a joke entry because I honestly ran out of ideas early for once. Not that I don’t think a 20th Anniversary remake of Halo: Combat Evolved is impossible, just that, well, it’s 4 years away. I’m not above making predictions for things that are years off, but there’s a line somewhere I just know it. That being said, Halo is the one game that serves a reminder of just how far Xbox had come and without Halo it’s quite debatable as to how much of a success the original Xbox would have been. Remaking the game every 10 years for as long as the franchise exists isn’t a bad idea. Milking, perhaps, but not the worst idea anyone has ever had. With Scorpio coming out this year, and who knows if there’ll be another iteration in 4 years time, remaking the classic all over again makes sense, sohw how far graphics have come since 2001. Or not, entirely up to them and if they don’t do Halo 3 Anniversary because of diminishing returns then I damn well don’t expect them to do a 2nd anniversary remake of the original game considering the last one was also on Xbox 360 and looks even better than Halo 3.