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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Reboots - Scott The Woz

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Hey all, Scott here!

You know, people don't get that anymore,

combining the words "Scott," "all", "hey", and "here"

just doesn't connect with modern word hearers.

That's why I'm going to change up the first four words

I say to everybody to be understandable to more people.

Uh, here I have a lot of options to shift through.

Hi gang, it's Scott!

Welcome to Scottsburg!

Everybody? No, just Scott.

Guys, look! A me!

I played FlingSmash.

People of you, hey!

Anybody up for tennis?

I bought a hat.

I'm talking about reboots.

I like that one.

Remember this?

No you don't, he had black hair instead. Take it.

You got a beloved franchise on your hands?

Scrap it, start over again.

That's the key to success, at least with most media now.

Reboots are a hot ticket item these days.

They're constantly getting pumped out

within the television and film industries,

but video game reboots are what we're talking today.

I think reboots are totally understandable

from a business perspective.

After a series has been around for a while

and there's a big, fat number at the end of the title,

apparently, massive turnoff.

Mario Party 10? Well, I have to play 1 through 9

before that! I mean, I'm completely guilty of this mindset.

If there's a game I'm interested in, but it's a sequel,

most of the time, I'll want to make sure I

either play the previous games

or at the very least have a good understanding of them.

That's why we see so many new games

from old franchises with no number, no new subtitle,

just the series name.

Easily the biggest trope of the video game reboot:

getting rid of all that garbage.

Modern Warfare 4? Nobody knows what the hell that is.

Here's how it should be.

I cannot wait to see the next couple Modern Warfares.

Whether it's to give a series a fresh start

or because the publisher's worried people

won't buy into a game called "Doom 4",

taking a pre-existing franchise and making a new entry

that is newcomer-friendly, ignores previous continuity,

starts anew, and has a boring stupid title

to appeal to both potential new fans

and longtime fans alike.

That's like a game developer's favorite pastime.

Reboots just make sense.

They can appeal to newcomer and veteran fans.

However, they're susceptible to numerous problems:

not retaining what made the franchise special in the first place,

changing too much, ruining gameplay or characters

You have to find the right balance between keeping what made the series beloved to begin with,

and appealing to more people.

Now reboots have been around for a while, especially with film, so it really isn't a new concept.

However, I'd argue reboots in video games started to become more common

in the Xbox, PS2, and GameCube era,

but really started to become a thing the generation after that, with Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii.

A lot of people were either just getting into gaming

or getting back into gaming around that, so to rely heavily on previous titles wasn't gonna cut it.

The Sonic continuity was too much to handle.

Now, this is a good starting point.

Games would make a clean break with the title and just label something as the title of the series,

so then more people would feel like they could pick it up. They didn't need prior knowledge,

they could just start the series here, which is everything a reboot strives to be.

Sometimes, we got reinventions of a game in a more modern style,

a return to form or the best thing a reboot can ever strive to be


As gamers got older, so did a lot of their taste,

so it was a hip thing to take an E-rated franchise and M it all up.

I always looked at Bomberman and said:

"Well, that's not right. Where's the angst?"

I just got back from Spencer's Gifts. I'm ready for this.

Bomberman Act:Zero is possibly the most definitive way to not reboot a series.

I guess Hudson Soft wanted to take Bomberman

and turn it into something that could rival Gears of War with its persistent use of brown and gray.

This game knows how to use no colors

and they redesign one of the most iconic characters in all of gaming

and turned him into something your mom wouldn't approve of.

Bionic Commando. So this technically is a sequel to the original Bionic Commando on NES.

You might have played this and asked: "What happens next?"

Well, obviously this.

But hey, its name is just "Bionic Commando", it came out 20 years after the original, the tone is way more angsty.

I think it's fair to call this a reboot. Well, I think it's justokay.

The only thing I ever remember about this game is that it gave Nathan Spencer "wife arm."

What a twist, your dead wife has been a part of your robotic arm throughout the entire adventure!

That's something worthy of being on the back of the box.

This is when Capcom was desperately trying to inject as much "North America!" into their games as possible

to appeal to audiences outside of Japan,

which meant: reboots!

And with that here comes DmC: Devil May Cry,

one of the most controversial reboots in all of video games.

Not because it was necessarily bad or anything, it's alright,

but it treated Devil May Cry's legacy just so poorly.

Capcom enlisted Ninja Theory to develop the game, rather than developing it themselves,

and pushed them to make the game the way it is to help DMC reach bigger audiences.

That meant turning the main character Dante into

the most f*cking generic-looking video game protagonist out there.

A lot of these reboots like to take all the character

out of character designs and replace them with these college dropouts.

I guess with a more generic looking character, I can relate to him more.

See, that was why I could never get into Devil May Cry.

I just couldn't relate to Dante, he had white hair!

DmC was okay, it just felt like it was rebooting the series for reasons that made no sense.

Taking things that actually made the series unique

and changing them because they thought those were the problems with the series.

Turned out they weren't.

And then, Capcom released Devil May Cry 5, which ignored everything DmC did

and was just a direct follow-up to Devil May Cry 4.

Now, instead of being considered a reboot,

DmC is more so considered an alternate timeline version of Devil May Cry now,

mainly because it's hard to be a reboot to a series when the series just deboots back.

Capcom was all about these reboots for a while.

There was a Mega Man X reboot in the works that ended up being canceled: Maverick Hunter.

Think of something along the lines of Metroid Prime, how that took a 2D game and went first-person with it.

Maverick Hunter was pretty much going to be a first-person Mega Man X game, but much darker and grim.

So, imagine if the Bomberman Act:Zero guys made a Mega Man X game.

Honestly, I think this could have been okay,

but I kind of doubt it, it was probably gonna be bad.

I'm also thinking of this in terms of how well Metroid Prime turned out.

Now, that's a reboot done right!

After a long hiatus, they took the Metroid series and threw it in a new dimension and perspective

while retaining what made Metroid, Metroid.

The development team of Maverick Hunter was made up of some people who worked on Prime,

so I think this project had a bit more potential than some may say.

But it was probably a good thing it was canceled.

This was trying to take X and turning him into something like f*cking Master Chief.

I get why they redesigned characters like this, to get rid of that cartoony, kind of cutesy vibe,

and truly make a Mega Man game that you'd be proud to say you played last night at school.

But a lot of the people who are only interested in the dark gritty mature games

aren't really open to trying new things,

and thus they aren't guaranteed to give a piss about a gritty Mega Man X reboot.

And just saying that out loud,

what guy who only plays dark and gritty mature games would actively care about a Mega Man X reboot?

On top of that, something like this is less likely to appeal to actual Mega Man X fans,

because it's so radically different from the original games.

I think it's fair to say, while I think this game may have had some potential,

it would have flopped hard commercially, I guarantee.

How about a gritty reboot of a World War II shooter?

If you want grit, you can always take a look at EA's Medal of Honor reboot in 2010.

The original Medal of Honor games were pioneers of the modern first-person war shooters.

Then EA asked: "You know Call of Duty?"

Medal of Honor (2010) has absolutely none of its own spunk.

It really gives you no reason to play in comparison to something like Call of Duty.

It did get a sequel, Medal of Honor: Warfighter.

That subtitle can be used with almost any FPS.

Of course, there are reboots that have no business existing.

You know who needed a completely new origin story?

Spyro the Dragon. The kids wouldn't understand any of this. He needs a f*ckhead.

However, reboots can be good, I swear!

God of War (PS4) is one of the most radical reboots out there.

It took a hack-and-slash franchise with a fixed camera

and made a game that defied all the odds and was not that.

This is a weird reboot, the more I think about it.

So Kratos is still the main character,

but God of War (PS4) switches from the Greek mythology of the original series to Norse mythology.

But apparently, this is still the same Kratos, he just decided to change mythologies on us.

I dunno, I mean, sure.

The reboot, however, is much more of a cinematic story-focused adventure game compared to the original titles.

It's like

most of the other first-party PlayStation games.

Well, God of War (PS4) still retains hack and slash elements,

they're definitely toned down to make way for a much more character-driven story.

I can appreciate that, and I think the characters pop much more with its changing gameplay.

It just this feels so similar to a lot of the other games Sony studios are making,

that I can't help but think the original style was more unique in comparison.

This felt much more like a game called God of War.

Ah, it's whatever, I still like playing this more than God of War III.

Wolfenstein has been through so many reboots now, I don't know which of these is real.

One of the most influential series ever when it comes to first-person shooters.

Well, the first major reboot was Return to Castle Wolfenstein in 2001,

followed up by Wolfenstein from 2009,

and then rounding things out with Wolfenstein: The New Order in 2015(Actually 2014).

Return to Castle Wolfenstein was pretty great at the time,

and Wolfenstein: The New Order and the games that followed it

are definitive modern Wolfenstein games in my opinion.

I think these are fantastic modern representations of the series...

Then something f*ckey happened in 2009.

Remember my opinion of Medal of Honor (2010)? That kind of stays true with Wolfenstein (2009).

This is such a nothing game. There's nothing that fun or remarkable about it.

The Nazis did do some crazy stuff with gravity though.

[B.J.] It carried some unusual munitions that cancel gravity when it detonated.

Ah! Hitler.

Guys, I finally started up Kid Icarus: Uprising, and that means,

yup, I finally lost use of my right hand!

Kid Icarus was an NES title, which later got a sequel on the Game Boy,

butthat was it.

And with Pit's inclusion in Super Smash Bros. Brawl,

people started to question why this series never made it past the Game Boy.

It seemed to have just as much potential as all the other series that started up around then.

But then finally, Smash Bros. director Masahiro Sakurai put his foot down

and made a new Kid Icarus game himself that played nothing like a Kid Icarus game.

It's fair to call Uprising a reboot because it basically treats itself as a brand new franchise

rather than the third game in the series.

Sure, there are characters and enemies and some plot lines from the first two games,

but by and large,

this was a completely new take on Kid Icarus

and it was one of the most thrilling, arthritic experiences of my life.

It's a good game I hate! It's held back by its annoying control scheme.

But other than that, it's a great time!

Well, that reminds me of a type of reboot that has a special place in my heart:

the full blown retro revivals.

Bringing back a retro game series in all of its old-school glory.

This was a huge trend that started in the 360 days.

With the aid of digital distribution with Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network and WiiWare,

it became totally viable to produce new games in old-school franchises.

You could whip them together on the cheap, charge 10 bucks for 'em and throw 'em online!

These were reboots in the sense that they went back to what people loved about these games originally

and got rid of the extra junk added to later games.

I'm just really fond of these types of games because they bring me back to the glory of Xbox Live Arcade.

I miss this so much.

Back when companies could just squeak out a remake of the original Bionic Commando

no wife arm included,

Mega Man 9 and 10,

Double Dragon Neon,

Hydro Thunder Hurricane,

Rocket Knight

for like 10 to 15 bucks.

There were so many revivals of classic games, and it just brings me back to a much simpler time,

when stuff like this was just far more common to get thrown online for a couple of bucks.

Now, I mean, something like Bomberman R, yeah, if that released in 2008,

it would be like 15 bucks max on Xbox Live Arcade.

And now

You see, that's a little thing those people who are talking about reboots right now call bullsh*t.

My favorites were always the Pac-Man Championship Edition games.

These were definitely the "reboot back to basics" Pac-Man games,

after they experimenting with 3D platformers for a while.

Like God dude, I wish these games counted towards caloric intake. I want to stuff my face with these things.

They bring back the standard maze format for Pac-Man, but they bring all this modern spectacle to it all.

Alongside gameplay mechanics that wouldn't be possible in the 80s.

However, these retro revivals didn't just start happening during this era.

They've been the norm since, I'd say, the mid-90s,

when they tried to take old-school gaming icons and rebrand them for a new age.

Space Raiders, a reboot of Space Invaders.

Yeah, this is one of the most forgotten games in the GameCube and PS2 libraries.

Finally, a Space Invaders the kids can get behind!

Bet ya didn't think a Space Invaders game could have partial nudity.

Thankfully, since then, they've found much more appropriate ways to leverage the Space Invaders brand,

but Space Raiders will always live on in my heart until I forget about it for a few years,

i.e., in about three minutes.

Ninja Gaiden is a solid example of a well executed reboot of an old-school franchise.

You go from tough-as-nails NES platformers

to tough-as-nails hack 'n slashes.

Yeah, it did get a genre change, but the spirit of Ninja Gaiden was still there.

Now one of my biggest pet peeves with reboots

are the titles.

I mean, if naming the ninth game in the Mortal Kombat series "Mortal Kombat" really got more people to buy it,


It's just when a new game is revealed and the title is revealed to be

just the name of the series. I roll my eyes a bit.

Now we have to start referring to these games by unofficial titles

or following the title with a year or the system it's on.

Mortal Kombat 9,

DOOM (2016),

God of War (PS4),

Tomb Raider (2013),

Punch-Out!! (Wii).

Those aren't the official titles, but that's just what we have to call 'em

and that's sort of annoying, especially when two games are completely different, yet have the same title.

Saying: "Oh, I love Prey!"

That could mean anything!

The title "DmC: Devil May Cry" never made much sense to me marketing wise.

Like, "DmC" is kind of more of an abbreviation fans used to talk about the Devil May Cry games,

so just calling the game "DmC" doesn't make much sense

if they were looking to have this appeal to more people.

I feel like it would have done better if they just straight-up called it

"Devil May Cry".

I adore Tomb Raider (2013), but the title being full-out "Tomb Raider"

doesn't feel the most fitting to me.

You do raid tombs in the game, but it's not the main focus.

I think it would have made more sense to just call it "Lara Croft" or something,

because it's focusing on her origin story

and one of the last things I think of with this game is honestly,

the tomb raiding.

Sonic the Hedgehog (2006).

One thing I will never understand about this game is its name.

They wanted this to be a fresh start for Sonic. So this is what Sonic was always meant to be!

I don't get that because Sonic 06's gameplay is pretty similar to the Sonic Adventure titles.

Why were they acting like this was Sonic's rebirth and deserve to be called simply, "Sonic the Hedgehog",

when it was pretty much just a third Sonic Adventure?

Plus, they rereleased the first game on Game Boy Advance the same day

and that was just called Sonic the Hedgehog (actually Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis), and that was bad too!

SEGA had a lot of nerve to release two completely different bad games with the same name on the same day.

The Punch-Out!! games. Alright, how many times can you reuse the same title?

Can you just call the Wii one "Punch-Out!! in the Face"?

However, sometimes I do think it's fair to use the generic series as a title.

And when a series has gone for a long time, lack of a subtitle or number kind of makes sense.

I mean, why would call Killer Instinct (2013) "Killer Instinct 3"?

Though most of the general population doesn't even know games called Killer Instinct 1 or 2 ever existed.

Reboots can be seen as cash grabs or annoying to long-time fans.

And they most certainly can be that!

But I think we still got a look at some of these from more

creative perspectives.

It can be incredibly frustrating and complicated to be tied to continuity from years worth of content,

especially if current developers didn't work on previous titles in a franchise.

The series can become worn now and beaten to death, but they still may have potential.

The characters, the gameplay, the setting are all beloved and you want to create more things around them,

but you don't want to be tied down to the limitations of what came before.

Sometimes, it's okay to let go of the past and to tweak characters

or settings or even completely change them while still retaining the heart of the original source material.

That's how some of the greatest stories and characters of all time evolve.

A story told hundreds of years ago

changes over time depending on who's telling it.

While reboots are kind of given a bad rep most of the time,

I think a lot of it has to do with the terms "reboot" and "revival" being used to death these days.

They're annoying to hear. I'd recommend using the terms "reimagining" or "a new take"

when describing these types of installments.

I think those terms have a lot less of a corporate

"We're bringing back old sh*t you love because we don't have any original new ideas ourselves!" feel to them.

Reboots can be groan-worthy sometimes, but I think they can be totally understandable and necessary.

You can't make twenty installments of a game series called Need For Speed without, like,

five reboots.

You just can't!

The Description of Reboots - Scott The Woz