Philip Hanan, Freelance Writer
Each next-gen console is missing some quality game downloads that would definitely rake in sales and help promote the power of their retro-based download system. For example, if Sony is going to push FFVII some more, where is Ehrgeiz? I can't find the game anywhere! It's a great fighting game that plays like Power Stone and would be very attractive to new FFVII fans. Sony could probably charge at least $10 per download for this game.
Two obvious choices for Nintendo are Punch-Out! and Super Punch-Out! These are both long-lasting classics and who knows, maybe Nintendo will add Wii-mote gameplay to each title. Changing the gameplay would make each title brand new and guarantee that even gamers who already own these titles would download them again.
One company that really needs to focus on arcade games is Konami. Konami has presented some nice classics on the Xbox Live Arcade, but they are missing the best titles they ever developed: TMNT, TMNT in Time, The Simpsons, Sunset Riders, and X-Men. Two of these weren't even released on a home console, so it's finally time for Konami to give gamers the chance to play them at home. Also, Konami could use multiplayer and Xbox Live to allow up to 4 people to play together and they could reward gamers with Achievement Points for teaming up, for losing the least amount of lives in a group, etc. A nice modern addition would be the Arcade-only game, Fighting Bujutsu. It feels like DOA, but with better developed characters.
As far as updates go, I believe every game will be improved just because they will be on next-gen consoles. Look at Ehrgeiz. The graphics will surely be much smoother, plus if Sony uses the PSP rounding technology, the game will look closer to having PS2 graphics than PS One. With Nintendo, the Wii-mote itself gives multiple possibilities. With Xbox Live Arcade, you can finally play some of these games at home, but with up to 4 friends just like at the Arcade. The Live capabilities themselves add something to every Arcade port, no matter what the graphics are.
James Ruffin, Freelance Writer
Xbox Live Arcade is host to everything from Nintendo's Joust to Ms. Pac-Man to the classic Doom. Xbox Live downloadable games let players ride ostriches like feudal lords, find their inner matriarch while gobbling up an assortment of fruit in classic two dimensional, linear mazes, and blast apart with reckless abandon a bloodthirsty alien presence on Mars. The content on Xbox Live Arcade encompasses such an assortment of material that few players find themselves longing for more. But for those few players, we at Cheat Code Central have a solution to this longing: the solution that will provide a fix for your butt-kicking and bubble gum chewing addiction. The answer that will provide players with the chance to go back and save all those scantily clad beauties so viciously stripped nearly naked by aliens that imprisoned them in weird green cocoons. I say grab that skin-tight red t-shirt and go get that bleached blonde high and tight hair cut and get ready for Duke Nukem on the Xbox Live Arcade.
For all the right reasons, Duke Nukem was a game many of us were glad to see break into the market and one we were sad to see disappear. I remember being overwhelmed by the detailed violence of the game and both the main character's in-your-face language and wonderfully refreshing, unapologetically gruff attitude that would make Die Hard fans long for John McClane to grow a spine. Before Duke Nukem, there weren't any video games I can remember that had a character so daringly adult with content so taboo. Nowadays, such graphics and content are nearly run of the mill for first person shooters. But because of his status as the patriarch, more or less, of hardcore first person shooters, he deserves his place at the head of the Xbox table. I'm not talking about a perfect port, however. Duke deserves better: a full graphics and sound upgrade to compete on the high-definition gaming system that is the Xbox. Imagine how crisp and detailed the football field would be when Duke defeats the game's final boss and threatens to rip off his head and take a, well you-know-what, down his neck. And a full sound upgrade would make the alien screams, the crushing of alien corpses underfoot, and all of Duke's punishing insults sound as real as life.
While a revisited, reborn Duke Nukem would be something very much to look forward to, I don't see it happening. Sadly for Duke, there have been many new first person shooters since his hay day and many are to come. What would a game developer have to gain from reproducing Duke Nukem that it couldn't gain from all the new games sitting in the dugout? For people like me the answer is an unfortunate "nothing." But hey, a guy can hope. Who wants some gum?
Pete Richards, Freelance Writer
I think part of the reason why I fell in love with this game as a youngster had a lot to do with how much I loved the film. While it's still a classic today, the original Batman was such a great movie when I was eight. I had the toys. I had the underwear. And I had the game.
Batman was released on NES in 1989 with a storyline that I guess was loosely based on the film. At the time, I didn't know what the storyline was and I don't think I really cared. All I knew was it was Batman and Batman could climb walls. And climbing walls is cool.
Now when I look at the game (I still own it), the story is still a bit unclear to me. It is definitely based on the film, with settings in a chemical plant and the streets of Gotham and the ultimate goal of defeating the sadistic Joker. The dark atmosphere of the game is a perfect compliment to Tim Burton's take on the DC comic, and developers Sunsoft did a great job. What makes no sense to me is it appears to take place in the future as you have to duck and dodge cyborgs and mutants and defeat robotic bosses that have nothing to do with the film.
For the time, the game's graphics were sick. The menu had a very realistic image of Michael Keaton as Batman, and the intro showed the Batmobile speeding down the road with its tires spinning. As a kid, I remember it having some of the best graphics out of all my NES games.