I meant to comment on this the other day but was sidetracked. So you might have heard about this already:
Hit the break for my thoughts:
I think the most common reaction I’ve read to this is “What!?” and that is a fine and proper reaction given how badly the current iteration of Atari has stumbled in regards to handling their old properties. While the Tramiel-era Atari is criticized often for their handling of things, it was under them that we received some good remakes/reboots – Tempest 2000, Missile Command 3D and Defender 2000. After that, it has been downhill from there. Pretty much nobody knows about their 3rd attempt the resurrect Haunted House with the universally panned Haunted House Cryptic Graves which was released just a few short months ago and finding fans happy with the reboots of Yars Revenge or Star Raiders is a difficult task.
Given what happened last year when the current people in charge of the company tried to sell off the properties one by one to the highest bidder, there isn’t much love nor trust for the current company. The only two highlights in recent years that I can think of are the publishing of Ghostbusters and Minimum.
But on completely changing Asteroids into an entirely different kind of game, where the only things in common are the name and space rocks AND they are telling us that this is a reboot/remake, just doesn’t sit well. If they were doing a completely original IP then I don’t think anyone would care and interest would probably be higher. Or they could even have used Major Havoc or Atari Force and pulled off less of a stretch here.
Granted, Asteroids has received several reboots over the years but none moved the needle like the arcade versions did. The core reasons why are the same with a lot of Atari’s IP, in that they were designed for an arcade experience – and that does not mean that mobile is the answer as mobile:arcade as apples:oranges. In arcades, your money is on the line with every play, creating a mindset of pressure that you do not get on other platforms(no, not even with F2P despite some similarities there), and there are the physical control aspects where the arcade is going to win every time. The arcade is still a viable place for content as I often discuss on Arcade Heroes; if anything Pac-Man Battle Royale demonstrated that often the best way to renew/reboot/remake a concept that started off in the arcade is to keep it there.
If we use examples like Nintendo in taking their characters and putting them into different genres, that doesn’t hold up with Asteroids as Asteroids doesn’t have some likable and recognizable character that can be plopped into anything, it is a game concept. When Nintendo came along with Super Mario Kart, that wasn’t a ‘bold re-imagining of the original’ Super Mario Bros. like they are touting with Outpost, it was an addendum that worked out really well. That is why something like this would make more sense with Major Havoc or heck, even Bentley Bear from Crystal Castles since we are talking about mining minerals/gems/crystals.
Of course I cannot pass final judgement on this game at this point since we have very little to gauge anything by, just the concept art and the announcement. Hopefully for the sake of our gaming dollars and the name that it doesn’t suck. Hopefully it is good and serves as one example to help combat the long list of crappy remakes. I will only believe it when I play it though.