Old RPGS: which one would you most want to see cloned?

I was cleaning a closet recently and came upon my big bin of game CDs, and that got me thinking about other RPGs. Take Wildtanget’s Fate, for instance. Fate is pretty much a clone of Diablo (with some twists thrown in). That’s not a bad thing at all–it’s a lot of fun, and it shows that old-style gameplay isn’t necessarily inappropriate for modern games.

If you had to pick one of the following four games for a clone, which would it be and why? Assume it’s like Fate: 3D graphics (but nothing too spectacular–we’re not talking Oblivion or HL2 here), a different look and story, maybe a few twists here and there, but fundamentally the same gameplay approach as the older game.

Betrayal at Krondor
Lands of Lore
Wizardry 8
Fallout
Might & Magic 7

Fallout.

I enjoy the setting the story and the mechanics. Its just an all around good game.

I’d like an updated Gold Box game, actually. Something like Dark Queen of Krynn.

I wouldn’t pick any of them. I’d pick Ultima VII instead.

If you really twisted my arm and forced me to choose from your list, I guess I’d pick Might and Magic 7.

I’d settle for playing an RPG that actually has me make moral choices. Without that it’s just a dungeon crawl/hack and slash.

I’m forced to make moral choices every day. It’s overrated! I’d rather slay dragons. :P

From that list, I would choose Fallout, but I haven’t played all the titles there.

If I could choose anything, I would choose Darklands or Ultima 5. Luckily Ultima 5 may be getting a facelift with the Dungeon Siege engine. Hopefully the Lazarus Ultima 5 project captures the feel of ultima even if the combat will be different.

Planescape: Torment.

I’m forced to make moral choices every day. It’s overrated! I’d rather slay dragons

Yes but how often do you get to reload and make a different choice?

Often. I have Tivo.

I follow Shadari’s lean towards ultima 7, but of that list, Betrayal at Krondor would be no contest. I still replay that game regularly.

Sounds like people are missing two different things, mostly:

  1. Strong storylines, choices, world depth, and plot evolution (PS:T, Ultima VII and V, Darklands).

  2. Depth in choices that make an RPG more tactically interesting (Fallout, Gold Box games, Darklands again).

Would you buy something like Darklands today? I mean a pretty literal translation–2D screens for city exploration, 2D overhead map for travel, simple 3D graphics for dungeons and combat.

I guess what I’m asking is this: are tactics, character, moral choices, story, and depth by themselves enough to make a game something you’d buy, or do you need a modern, sexy, graphically tasty layer of chocolate over the nougat center?

Fallout, though I’d say u7 if it was on the list.

Phantasy Star I, II, III
Ultima 6 (Eat it, Guardian lovahs!)
Alternate Reality - The City
Elvira- Queen of the Damned
Chamber of the Sci-Mutant Priestess
Final Fantasy Legend I,II

A little unconventional, I know, but I like what I like.

Whoops! Almost forgot…Motherfucking Hillsfar!

Ultima 1
Ultima 2
Ultima 3
Ultima 4
Ultima 5
Ultima 6
Ultima 7
Eternal Dagger/Wizard’s Crown

Fallout, etc., still seem relatively recent, heh.

You do know that FFL1-3 were actually early entries into the SaGa series, right? And that a PS2 Remake of the first SNES game (which is sort of halfway between FFL and SaGa Frontier) is hitting our shores on the 11th of October titled Romancing SaGa?

  1. Strong storylines, choices, world depth, and plot evolution (PS:T, Ultima VII and V, Darklands).

PS:T doesn’t seem that long ago to me and it fits into the Bioware schema (I know it’s black isle and Bioware aren’t fit to lick their yada yada) of a heavily narrative-oriented CRPG. I think that design approach remains dominant, at least to the extent that single player CRPGs are even being made anymore.

Narrative is important but its significance has IMO been overstated by some. I’m more interested in what you call “world depth” into which I would lump everything from dynamic economy, NPC scheduling, weather, ecology, physics, politics, etc. – in short, a “living world” that is complex enough that you can interact with it in nonscripted ways that still seem interesting. The late Ultimas started to head in this direction but there has been relatively little progress in recent years. That sort of thing interests me more than navigating dialogue trees, however well written they may be. I think RPGs could take a page out of the book of space sims in some of these “living world” concepts.

I guess what I’m asking is this: are tactics, character, moral choices, story, and depth by themselves enough to make a game something you’d buy, or do you need a modern, sexy, graphically tasty layer of chocolate over the nougat center?

I don’t see why it has to be either/or, but I’ve bought two of Jeff Vogel’s Spiderweb Software games so I am certainly capable of suppressing my inner graphics whore if the situation warrants it.

I don’t particularly feel the need to see old RPGs resurrected, since many of them had their limitations; though I am appreciative of projects like Exult or the Dungeon Siege engine remake of Ultima V, which help to keep the genre’s past accessible to the present.

Darklands with a more evolved tactical combat system - say a medieval version of Silent Storm and/or X-Men.

Daggerfall with all the bugs fixed and a better combat system - say Mount & Blade.

Dead heat tie.

I guess what I’m asking is this: are tactics, character, moral choices, story, and depth by themselves enough to make a game something you’d buy, or do you need a modern, sexy, graphically tasty layer of chocolate over the nougat center?

I’m really not interested in linear stories or even branching linear stories. If they’re done well I enjoy them, sure, but that’s an element that needs to mitigated against by other aspects I’m more attracted to in order for me to buy in.

Graphics matter more to me, it’s true, but it really depends on how the game’s presented.

A first-person game, that has one really travelling through a literally presented environment, is always going to benefit from better graphics and animation. That goes to suspension of disbelief. And as graphics get better we tend to get more picky about what looks right whether consciously or not.

A 3/4 tactical views are a little less demanding graphically because you’re not down in the weeds and there’s often a good deal of mental gymnastics going on about teamwork and strategy. Maps are things to maneuver a party through not a place you exist in.

And I imagine there could be fantastic RPGs that are even more abstract, just using displays or “cards” and such to generate a world and adventures. Graphics, as long as they’ve a pleasant design and the interface is easy to use, could be very simple in these cases. The key would be to be evocative rather than illustrative. Since this kind of adventure’s happening almost entirely in a player’s imagination you’re using his brain to create the magic not the in-game art. I can’t think of any great examples of this but I’d be surprised if they aren’t out there.

Darklands, definitely. Even if you weren’t trying to do a re-creation of the game, but instead use the setting and overall concepts – saints, alchemy, and satanists in medieval Germany? Sign me up!

Those elvira games were sweet, I remember loving the graphics, cool shlocky gore.