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 IPAD FEATURE

5 Enhanced Editions we'd like to see - and 5 we wouldn't

Enhance, or no chance?
Product: Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition | Developer: Overhaul Games | Publisher: Wizards of the Coast | Genre: RPG
 
Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition iPad, thumbnail 1
Overhaul Games's Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition recently emerged on the iPad, and we've been raising our Glasses of Toasting +5 in appreciation ever since.

But, the new version of this RPG titan isn't just a port with some HD paint slapped on.

New companions, new areas, and an entirely separate arena mode have all been plugged in to the original code by Overhaul.

We'll soon be judging what effect these changes have had in a full-on review. For now, though, here's a conundrum to challenge Elminster himself: which other classic PC games deserve to be 'enhanced' in a similar way for the iPad, and which would you like straight ports of?

While you're thinking about that little poser, check out our carefully considered selection below.

Icewind Dale - ENHANCE



Given Baldur's Gate has just got the iPad treatment and its sequel is soon to follow, the other Infinity Engine RPGs are surely fair game.

Icewind Dale, for one, would be a perfect candidate for an upgrade or two.

It's much more combat focused than its Black Isle and BioWare stablemates, so new game modes or dungeons to crawl through wouldn't feel out of place.

Planescape: Torment - NO CHANCE



Torment, by contrast, is famed for its story - the script for Black Isle's magnum opus is over 800,000 words long.

Adding new items, dungeons, or monsters would be a fairly easy process, but introducing new chunks of plot to a game as revered as this would be incredibly difficult.

So, my recommendation: don't.

Transport Tycoon - ENHANCE



We already know that Rollercoaster Tycoon is heading to iOS and Android next year, yet Chris Sawyer's earlier Tycoon game would be an even better fit for touchscreen tablets and smartphones.

In Transport Tycoon, you run a network of rail, road, air, and sea services between cities and industries, starting with steam trains and ending with maglevs.

Since 1994, though, mod makers have improved on almost everything in the game. A new version containing all these improvements would be superb.

No messing with the soundtrack, mind. That stuff is jazz dynamite.

Theme Hospital - NO CHANCE



A quick message to EA: please bring Theme Hospital to the iPad. Just don't meddle with it, or I'll try my best to get you all infected with Bloaty Head.

Everything about Bullfrog's brilliant comedy-hospital sim is nigh-on perfect as it is, even its graphics.

There's something wonderfully endearing about those podgy character models. Except the Bloaty Head sufferers. Everyone thinks they look silly. Everyone.

The Elder Scrolls 2: Daggerfall - ENHANCE



Bethesda's second foray into Tamriel set the template for The Elder Scrolls as it is today, yet Daggerfall is really beginning to show its age.

Every province - Skyrim, Cyrodiil, Morrowind, the lot - is featured in this game, though much of the world was randomly generated.

Producing a new version with spruced-up art assets to stave off repetitive environments would be a fantastic way to bring this classic back to life.

Diablo - NO CHANCE



The levels and items in hack-and-slash godfathers Diablo and Diablo 2 are also generated at random, and that sits just fine with me.

Thousands upon thousands of items are available in the game, and monsters are killed in milliseconds. What's the point in adding any more to the mix?

Gameplay variety is served up via the character classes, but adding one of those would mean months of work on balancing. And we know what Blizzard are like.

Shogun: Total War - ENHANCE



Is this one technically possible? The Creative Assembly already has a small-scale iPad game on the App Store in Total War Battles: Shogun, but a true Total War game on tablets would be excellent.

The original Shogun is the best fit, for it has the simplest mechanics of the series. The graphics would need a significant overhaul, mind you.

We don't need immensely detailed character models, but an upgrade from 2D sprites to 3D soldiers would be most welcome.

Civilisation - NO CHANCE



Civilisation games don't really improve; they just change.

Each of the five main entries in the series has its own quirks and characteristics, so big upgrades to the older editions in an iPad version wouldn't do much good.

Civ 2 is the one we'd most like to see a port of. Its endless depth and straightforward presentation would make it the go-to iPad game for hardcore strategists.

Day of the Tentacle - ENHANCE



Fiddling with existing adventure game properties is a dangerous thing, though LucasArts proved with The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition that it can be done well. And safely.

Day of the Tentacle, another LucasArts classic, would benefit hugely from the same 'special edition' treatment.

I mean, leave the gameplay intact, but let someone talented go mad on that artwork.

Grim Fandango - NO CHANCE




It does look old, but, well, that's part of the charm. Grim Fandango was the first 3D adventure game made by LucasArts, and it shows. It's still, however, a bizarrely pleasant thing to look at.

Besides, the game is meant to be a bit naff. The Grim Reaper is recast as a travel agent, for Pete's sake.

Released in 1998, Grim Fandango signalled the end of the adventure game heyday, so an untouched port would make its rebirth all the more poignant.
 

Reviewer photo
Jeremy Thackray 17 December 2012
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Joined:
Mar 2011
Post count:
106
funkyflychicken | 23:44 - 17 December 2012
I agree, they shouldn't add anything to it unless they have the original writers on board and are sure it's going to add something to the game. But that game's story is perfectly fine as-is.
Joined:
Jun 2011
Post count:
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terryterryd | 18:39 - 17 December 2012
I was under the impression that there is quite a community out there that has fixed bugs in Planescape? Ultimate Fixpack & Unfinished Business by Qwinn sound like a mandatory inclusion... I'd love Torment to get a release.
Joined:
Sep 2012
Post count:
3
Jeremy Thackray | 17:33 - 17 December 2012
Torment could do with a good clean up if it ever came to tablets, I'll concede that! I wouldn't want it to be on the scale of the possible Shogun or Daggerfall graphics upgrades that I suggested, though, just a quick scrubbing. Certainly no big new extras.
Joined:
Mar 2011
Post count:
106
funkyflychicken | 16:22 - 17 December 2012
BTW, while I agree adding characters/plot points to Planescape could be problematic, I don't want just a "straight port". They need to at least do a few enhancements to the engine, and make it appropriate for touch interfaces, or just leave it alone.
Joined:
Mar 2011
Post count:
106
funkyflychicken | 16:18 - 17 December 2012
Planescape:Torment no chance? I'd be happy with just an upgrade to the resolution/graphics engine, and an enhanced UI for touch interfaces.

Planescape was the best of those, far better than Icewind Dale 1 and/or 2. I liked Icewind Dale enough, for straight up action-oriented, but they aren't really classics imo. Not like Baldurs Gate 2 and Planescape.
 
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