Gritty Western Reboots for Japanese Games – Vidjagame Apocalypse 319

When a Japanese developer wants to dig up a long-abandoned franchise and market it to westerners, one common tactic is to outsource it to a western developer. Sometimes, especially in the 2000s, this came with a mandate to make the series relevant to gamers looking for some hard-boiled nihilism, and the results stand as monuments to a strange era of gaming defined mostly by Grand Theft Auto making piles of cash. With help from PNB Podcast’s TL Foster, let’s look at five of the grittiest reboots of (already gritty) Japanese classics, after which we’ll blast off to Outer Wilds and Void Bastards, catch some Pokémon news, and look at the features you wish more games would copy.

Question of the Week: What’s a Japanese-developed series or game you’d like to see a western developer tackle? (And which developer?)


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9 thoughts on “Gritty Western Reboots for Japanese Games – Vidjagame Apocalypse 319

  1. QotW: I’d like Wayforward to tackle more of those classic Capcom Disney games. We got a glimpse of what they could do with Ducktales: Remastered, so I have faith that they’d do the other games justice. Just imagine Darkwing Duck, Aladdin, Chip & Dale, hell even Little Mermaid redone with that Wayforward touch! I envision Little Mermaid would be similar to Shante or Darkwing being like Contra 4.

      1. they do have a knack for actually putting effort into their games, even if they’re licensed. I’ve had a blast w/ the Mummy Demastered and the Transformers 3DS game, among their original IP’s like Shante: Half-Genie Hero.

  2. QotW: It would be awesome if Nintendo let another studio handle the F-Zero license (because hey they’re not doing anything with it at the moment.) Specifically I’d like to see Criterion Games take a shot at making it, not only because of their legacy of making the Burnout and Need for Speed games, but because they handled the “outer space and laser” effects and details so well in Star Wars Battlefront II.

  3. QotW: I’d like to see Gunfire Games and Airship Syndicate collaborate on a Strider revival. A modern Strider game that looked and played like a Darksiders game would be my jam

  4. QotW It saddens me that this can never truly happen now but I always wanted to see a Shin Megami Tensei game done by Bioware.

  5. Even with my admittedly limited time with Dauntless, it’s scratching an itch I haven’t felt since the original Phantasy Star Online on the Dreamcast. I’d really like to see Phoenix Labs take on the variety of monsters, aliens and giant robots that you fought in the series and fleshing out the combat a lot more

    All you have to do is throw in some NPCs talking about an ancient evil or interdimensional entity that wakes up every thousand years, and you’d have a story at least as good as the utter gibberish of the last 2 Online games and Phantasy Star Universe.

  6. StudioMDHR doing a version of Deathsmiles or DoDonPachi… or any Cave shooter really. I love me some bullet hell. There was a good set of physical retail released Cave shooters for the 360, but I’m missing them this generation.

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