Five More Classics Lucasfilm Games should release on modern platforms
Disney is such a huge company that owns so many things at this point, it’s understandable that anything not set to make them giant sums of money will not only go ignored but they might not even be aware they own it. There was a serious chance that developer LucasArts would be little more than a brand to push out mobile games featuring Star Wars characters or whatever.
But with the recent rebrand to LucasFilm games, they in fact seem very invested in not just the Star Wars license, but remembering that LucasArts was a powerhouse publisher and developer that many many fondly remembered original games and the proof is in the just-announced rerelease of cult classic Zombies Ate My Neighbors (and its less fondly remembered sequel, Ghoul Patrol) for the Nintendo Switch next month. This kind of release suddenly makes it seem like the door is open for all kinds of opportunities to dig into the LucasArts library and mine some classic games for a modern release, so here are five I really think should get the same treatment (Disclaimer: There may be rights issues here that might prevent some of this from ever happening it’s hard to keep track of who owns what old licenses):
#5. Herc’s Adventures
Technically, Herc’s Adventures is available to buy right now. If you have a PS3 or Vita. Remember when Sony said they were going to shut all those older storefronts down and everyone grumbled and/or panic-bought a bunch of old games before they disappeared forever? They reversed course on that for the most part but it still could happen in the future and it would be nice either way to have some way to play this fun and amusing action/adventure on something besides a very old console. It originally released right in the wake of the Disney animated Hercules film and suffered for it despite being far superior to the game tie-in frankly. This would be a very fun game to relive on a platform like the Nintendo Switch so hopefully, there’s nothing weird tying this up and LucasFilm games can get around to putting it on there in the near future.
#4. Metal Warriors
Hey, look it’s another LucasArts game published by Konami! Seems like a natural next step right? I’d love to see this on a modern console for several reasons. It’s a fun throwback, a good mech action game when those have always been very few and far between, it helps show how diverse LucasArts could be as a developer, they rarely stuck to one genre. But also, this is one of those games where legitimate physical copies easily go for hundreds of dollars on eBay so as a collector I’m begging you LucasFilm Games get this ported to just about any modern platform I’ll gladly buy a $15-$20 no-frills digital version than pay hundreds for a physical one where the money would only go to the seller.
Despite the massive popularity of the Red Dead series, western games have often been few and far between, and actual good games in that style are incredibly rare. Which makes Outlaws a pretty ideal choice for a rerelease. It’s got solid gameplay and a pretty decent story that actually plays it straight and is very dramatic, which was not really the norm for the same company that made stuff like Maniac Mansion, Monkey Island, and Sam and Max. It’s a great way to again show that LucasArts was able to competently dabble in a lot of different play spaces and usually came out with a pretty good result in most cases. It also only came out for PC and while it’s available on Steam, most people probably don’t even know it’s there so a release on consoles would perk up interest again on that platform as well.
I know the logistics of this one might be a little trickier because Electronic Arts bought Pandemic Studios and promptly shut them down and they currently own the license. But the first Mercenaries game was an incredibly tongue-in-cheek sandbox action game and that’s why there was a sequel (that didn’t do so well) and Electronic Arts have at least made an effort to try and bring the series back and has kept renewing their rights to the IP. Electronic Arts also has a current working relationship with Disney and has for the last several years so it doesn’t seem like much a stretch that LucasFilm Games could say hey let’s just put out the original Mercenaries game again on modern platforms and see if that can drum up interest for revitalizing the series. Seems like a low-risk no-brainer.
I would say the only factor in it likely not happening is Electronic Arts historically has not really done re-releases or remasters but that does seem to finally be changing with recent stuff like the Burnout Paradise remaster and the upcoming Mass Effect: Legendary Edition release so maybe that opens the door nice and wide for something like this.
I admittedly am a complete sucker for a good turn-based strategy game, and that’s exactly what Gladius is and it was also criminally ignored to the point of making many “best games you never played” lists. It’s probably why LucasArts never made another game in this genre despite it being a very good effort. I like the gladiatorial setting fine but hell you could’ve just used this same engine to make a turn-based strategy Star Wars game and I bet it would’ve sold boatloads because it’s just such a solid foundation. If I could only pick one game for LucasFilm games to bring back from their catalog and put on a modern platform, Gladius is it.
And that’s the list. I haven’t gotten to write too much in the last few weeks thanks to just a lot of stuff coming up but hopefully, I’ll be back in full form for the month of May so see ya real soon!