So, E3 was last week. It was mostly a run-of-the-mill E3 with a few nice surprises. For me, the nicest surprise was the announcement from Microsoft that they would be bringing original Xbox backwards compatibility to Xbox One (and hopefully also PC). With that in mind, and the fact that the original Xbox was my first console, I thought I’d compile a list of games that I’d like to be brought into the future.
Jet Set Radio Future
Nobody gets any points for this one. I already spoke about my love for the game in last year’s piece My First Game. If this game alone we’re being brought into the future via backwards compatibility and potential digital release, that would be enough for me. At this point, it’s just waiting for Microsoft and Sega to hash out the details and get to it. The fact that Sega is still alive and kicking and holds the Jet Set Radio licence makes this one a distinct possibility. The waiting is the hardest part.
Star Wars Battlefront II
Notably, this game is on Steam. However, it’s kind of weird on Steam. The single player seems to be this odd first-person experience, and multiplayer seems relegated to LAN or online. It’d be nice to play the planet-hopping adventure of the campaign again. It’d be nice to play a couple rounds of split-screen multiplayer in this world. I feel like there’s less to say of this one, but it deserves its place here nonetheless.
Blinx the Time Sweeper
I never really finished Blinx. It wasn’t one of the early titles we picked up for our Xbox. For some reason, I never bothered to finish it. I would like to give it another shot. The time mechanics are interesting, working like power-ups. It’s harder to make a case for this one but time has forgotten this time-travelling cat, and perhaps backwards compatibility can rescue him from the past.
Not much to say about this one as I only had a little time with it. From what I played, it was Microsoft’s answer to Wipeout. Until recently, series like this (WipEout, F-Zero) were seemingly left in the past. Though with the emergence of Fast Racing NEO, its Switch counterpart, and WipEout Omega Collection, perhaps there’s a new space in the world for these hovercraft racers.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
This might seem like a weird choice since I’m just highlighting the Chamber of Secrets game, but believe me, there’s a reason. The game is decent, which for a licenced game is bloody remarkable. That’s not the reason though. When I was a kid, there was a section of the game that was fantastically fun. So, if you’re caught out after curfew, then points are deducted from Gryffindor. There’s some sort of reward for winning the House Cup, so staying ahead of main rival Slytherin is important. Now, if you’ll recall the book or film, there is a section of gameplay where Harry is transformed into one of Malfoy’s lackeys (Goyle, I think). During this section of the game, you can get deliberately caught by prefects, who take points from your house, which at this point is Slytherin. It was so satisfying to deliberately get caught and hear ’10 points from Slytherin’ repeatedly, which admittedly is a very Slytherin move.
Jurassic Park Operation Genesis
It’s Zoo Tycoon, but with dinosaurs. Honestly, for this genre, keyboard and mouse is probably best but when all you have is a stick. Two opportunities exist in this game: the opportunity to create a perfectly functional Jurassic Park, or to create Dino Chaos. One is fun for a while. The other is endless opportunity. Want to recreate the fight from Jurassic Park III for your patron’s amusement? Want to let herbivores roam free amongst the park guests? Want to demolish a section of fence from the T-rex paddock? Want to then hunt those T-rexes? Want to charge $50 for a salad with no sides, you monster? All is possible in the playground that was JP Op Gen.
TimeSplitters 2/Future Perfect
TimeSplitters has been forgotten by history a bit, which is a little sad. Nothing has been heard from the series since Crytek acquired the series in 2011/12 (Notably Crytek have fallen on hard times, what that means for a sequel though is hard to say definitively). The series was a wholly original IP which shared much of its gameplay mechanics with GoldenEye. Its uniqueness lies in the multitude of characters and the myriad features it offered. Its decline can be traced back to the now-tired habit of publishers chasing after CoD, hoping to be the next stalwart FPS franchise. TimeSplitters is an older breed of FPS and deserves to be brought into the modern day. I should note that most of my experience with the TimeSplitters franchise has been on PS2 and emulators.
Fuzion Frenzy is actually the second confirmed game to be coming via original Xbox backwards compatibility. So, what is Fuzion Frenzy? I first played this game at a relative’s house, along with my initial experience of Diablo II. Nothing is more terrible for my addiction than only sampling the game of choice and not seeing it for many years (this limited exposure fuelled my Pokemon obsession over the past two years). Fuzion Frenzy is essentially Xbox’s early 2000s edgy answer to Mario Party and that’s fantastic. I can’t wait to revisit this one.
Kung Fu Chaos
Kung Fu Chaos is somewhat a game about Kung Fu, but it’s also a game about movies. Many of the levels are pastiches of classic movies (Jurassic Park, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and Titanic are all featured levels). The idea is that you play as one of nine characters who are berated by the tyrannical director into beating the stuntmen to a pulp and running through the deadly action set pieces. It sits in its own niche corner of gaming and is difficult to compare to anything. An excellent game to resurrect in the modern age.
So that’s a sample of the games that I want to return under this scheme by Microsoft. 10 games, not a whole lot but I’m sure everyone has their own picks for games that they’d like to see make a comeback. The list might have been a little longer if Voodoo Vince and TY hadn’t made a resurgence in the past twelve months. Hopefully, in twelve months’ time, all my old Xbox games will have found their way to my PC via this backwards compatibility.