Creative minds are constantly finding ways to make a new story, or to tell something in a brand new, highly imaginative way. Except for these guys who have decided to use the easiest cop-out in the world and just rehash an idea that’s already out there. Sometimes for good, sometimes for bad, rehashing an idea is a sign that either something was such a good idea it had to be done again, or a lack of an imagination.
With this in mind, we’ve had a long and hard think, then we had a long and hard think and then we had a long and hard think. Now that we’ve thought about it a few times, we wrote a list then we wrote a list. We compared our new list to the original list and boom, we made our Top 10 Rehashed Ideas list. Be warned, we’re not on about a series that’s happened time and time again, but rather a concept that has been reused. Read on to see what makes it in.
10) Simulator Games
A long while ago, we were introduced to a few really basic simulator games. I mean let’s not forget the classics that is Petz (no I’m not illiterate, you meanie.) With Catz for the cat lovers of the world and Dogz for the canine equivalent. These games were great fun and gave you a virtual pet to look after, which you were able to have in a little pet home, or roaming your virtual house etc. You had to feed them, pet them and look after them properly.
Oh look, Surgeon Simulator 2013! Hah, that’s funny. Oh what’s this? Farming Simulator, fair enough. Train simulators, I get it. Goat Simulator… Okay… Home Improvisation, uh oh… I’m seeing a common theme with all of these games so far. They are all a form of simulator and these are just the tip of the iceberg. What about the weird Shower With Your Dad Simulator? The point is that since the early concepts of simulating some aspect of our lives, the past 10 or so years has brought us a huge plethora of these games. All of this is not even mentioning the simulator series The Sims. Ah, simulators, you’re so good and yet you can be so damn crap at times too. Don’t ever leave us.
9) Power Armour
Apart from Iron Man, I don’t think I’ve ever seen power armour actually do anything. I think the idea is that it gives a normal human a tank-like shell without compromising too much on mobility, which is all fine I guess but there are better clichés to choose from guys! Force fields at least go over your clothes, the only way to customise power armour is to paint it. I don’t want to see another Master Chief or Gear Soldier, and I am so bored of Space Marines!
Can I just say that it doesn’t really add to the image of your “super soldiers” that they need to be clad in inch-thick steel? Samus Aran actually benefits from her power armour without being dependent on it, and Tony Stark is still a genius, billionaire, playboy philanthropist even without the suit. Take a Space Marine out of his armour and he’s just a badly proportioned jarhead!
8) Likeable Bad-Guys
This is a tricky one as if they make the antagonist sympathetic, but yet still evil, then I think I can actually appreciate this one. However, more often than not, we’ll see an antagonist who we end up sympathising with. I mean let’s be honest, do you really hate Bowser? Probably not, because they’ve made him somewhat likeable and even fun and goofy. Heck, we’ve seen him play games and go karting with Mario and co.
However, for examples of truly likeable bad guys look at Auto from Wall-E; the bot was just trying to do his job for crying out loud. Or hey, what about characters like Sephiroth who are so damn evil, but yet look so cool that people end up loving him? I’m guilty of absolutely loving the character Saturos from Golden Sun, which I hope to do as a cosplay for next year. Ah, bad guys, you’re not all so bad are you?
7) Block-Building Simulators
First came Lego.
THEN CAME MINECRAFT AND A HOST OF COPYCAT CLONES.
Ahem, sorry for that outburst. But let’s face it, Lego was the earliest in block-building but then we needed to get a new kind of game out there. Whilst creative games have been around for a little while (hello G-Mod,) nothing could brace the world of video games for a simple game made in Java known as Minecraft. Immensely popular back in it’s alpha and beta stages and is still popular now-a-days… But it’s because of this, we had a lot of copy-cat clones or games that wanted to implement this.
One of my favourites in this genre was MaK which never got a release. It’s a real crime too, as it looked to be the first space building-block game that I really wanted to get my hands on. But thanks to the meteoric popularity of Minecraft, many clones have been seen on Android and iOS. Heck there’s Terraria which, really, works better as a action game more than a building-block game… but you can do it guys!
6) Kids Collectables
Really this is all getting out of hand now-a-days, isn’t it? Childrens collectables are big business these days and it doesn’t matter whether it’s Pokemon, a GI Joe, a Barbie or even a Pog. Once a child begins collecting something, that something means something to them, whether you want it to or not. Whenever a fad dies out, a new fad replaces it. Hexbugs, Skylanders, my word the list is never ending.
The problem with Kids Collectables is that when you get older, you maintain that your collectable was the jams. All the cool kids from your era had the collectable you had because it was cool… And then you see these new fads and think “Pfft, it’s just a fad.” No, it’s a clever marketing ploy and we’re all fools to it. Well done, marketers.
5) Procedural Cop Dramas
Who’s helping the police with their enquiries today with absolutely no reasonable justification today? A novelist? A medium? A clown? Or is it a particular, hitherto unconsidered branch of the police force receiving a wildly inaccurate dramatisation? I hate to tell you this but no matter how you dress it up or put a spin on things but it’s been done enough now that it’ll still seem formulaic.
Weekly bad guys, the occasional overarching narrative thrown that you get a brief reminder of two/three times a season. I like some of them well enough, Castle is usually good for a laugh, but sorry Mr. Fillion, but looks a lot like all the others that are out there and your charisma can only carry it so far. In many ways I kind of wish that Gotham had been the procedural cop drama we were promised, instead of another far worse rehash…
4) Muddy Shooters
We get it already, you want to show how macho and manly you are by having men who act macho run around fields with grey skies and watching as they shoot one another up with some very faint red. We get it. Mud everywhere, the guns going. Whilst the games themselves are generally pretty good, it doesn’t meant they have an aesthetically pleasing design, which is a bit of an issue when your media intends to get people to interact with it. Graphics are important for games like this, but with an emphasis on realism, you actually break the realism of the game by us noticing the slight bits of unrealistic physics, or the way people move and talk.
Couple this with the shooters that provide cover that is up to your chest and you’ve got yourselves a genre that just won’t disappear now. After the first of its kind came about many years ago, this is a genre that is being reused with new franchises that appears to fill the niche. If you can call it that, it seems more like this is the mainstream for shooters. Give me my brightly coloured Unreal Tournament and its plasma and link guns, thank you very much.
3) Orphaned Heroes
Take that everyone who thought you couldn’t grow up well adjusted without parental guidance!
Well, vigilante justice is not exactly the domain of the well adjusted, it tends to be more for the obsessive, driven and distant, people who find it all too easy to adopt a new identity and live multiple lives. If you have any cause to doubt that assertion I could just sit and rattle off names, but you know most of them without thinking too hard. Come to think of it, I can’t really think of any super heroes who’s parents I can name who weren’t heroes in their own right.
I’m not saying that it’s a prerequisite for super-heroism to have no parents, just seems a little too frequent an occurrence to be coincidence, more like an alarming trend. Perhaps with a better social care system world-wide we could start producing a more just world.
2) Colour Matching Games
Staple diet of the casual gamer, match three of the same colour to score points. Then do it again. Then do it again! Next level, match three of the same colour to score points. Then do it a- oh wait a second…
This is one of those simple mechanics that have a surprising volume of iterations and variations, and it’s staggering simple to program. It must be, because there are dozens on Facebook, and far more besides. There’s only so much fun that can be had shifting coloured blocks/gems/monsters/confectionary around, and yet hour after hour can be sucked away into that intellectual black hole, bereft of narrative, complexity and mental stimulus, only the pretty lights.
Pop Cap and King have a lot to answer for. It’s only a matter of time before this kind of gameplay becomes classified as an opiate and gets illegalised, until then we can only work on funding an afterschool special. This is your brain. This is your brain on Candy Crush…
1) Re-imagined Fairy Tales
Let’s face it, over the past 10 or so years, fairy tales have seen a really healthy resurgence due to the fact that Hollywood has seen them as a bit of a sexy, ‘untapped’ resource. When you’ve got all of these characters that the world is already aware of, as well as a wealth of back story to go into, you don’t have to do much to get people to go to the cinema to watch your retelling. After all, why fix what’s not broken..? Oh you tried to fix it and it causes very mixed reactions from your audiences. The same applies to simple tales too and it’s not solely limited to the film industry.
In video games, we’ve got American McGee’s Alice, which is a fantastic retelling of Alice in Wonderland in a brutally different view. Honestly, it’s refreshing at times, yet other times it feels like it goes far too far with what a studio tries to retell. One thing is for certain though, they’ve been a bit of a staple recently and now I’m going to eagerly sit back and await the arrival of the most horrifying tale of them all, Humpty Dumpty, the Egg That Had A Great Fall. Honestly, if this isn’t going to be made into a movie in the next year, I think I’m a better film professional then — Ah just who am I kidding? I couldn’t tell that story to save my life, but heck, I’m sure something like this could be done if they wanted to invest enough money into it. An epic tale of knights versus one
man egg who dared to sit on a wall. Mortifying stuff.
Now that we’ve been through the ideas that have been used to death, for good or bad, we wanted to tip our invisible hats to a few other ideas that have been reused. They didn’t quite make the grade, but hey, these have certainly been overdone!
Not so much a rehash as a renaissance. Board games are flourishing lately, and more than ever we’re seeing board games licensed to films, computer games and TV series flooding the market. It seems like you haven’t truly arrived on the scene these days unless you’ve got your own unique version of Fluxx or a Munchkin promo pack on shelves.
We’ve come a long way since chess, and we’re finally starting to outgrow Monopoly and Frustration. New classics are finding a way into every household. It makes you wonder when the bubble will burst. Is this just a phase we’re going through in rebellion against the age of the dull blockbuster video game era, or is this finally the age of gamers of every stripe?
Top 10 Lists
Ranking things numerically by perceived quality? I could swear I’ve heard that somewhere before.
WatchMojo are infamous for their Top 10’s, and lists are one of the biggest categories on YouTube, one might even put it somewhere in the top 10 categories. We’re not ashamed to admit it either, our own GeekOut Top 10s are our most read articles, and they’re fun to write and argue about. It’s not even like the idea is unique to the internet, we’ve been doing so for a long time with music, films and literature, and probably a great deal more besides for centuries beforehand.
Will the consuming public ever tire of hearing the best and worst “things” put into lists? We haven’t yet, and entire careers have been built on assembling those lists. We’re not too concerned about building a career on the lists, we’ll keep on bringing you the same non-sequential content every day, but so long as we’re still enjoying ourselves, we’ll keep writing our Top 10 lists.
That’s it, we’re done with this weeks list at last. But hey, who knows, perhaps this list will come back to haunt us at some point soon. Now, please don’t forget to vote for next weeks topic by voting on the poll below.
Creative minds are constantly finding ways to make a new story, or to tell something in a brand new, highly imaginative way. Except for these guys who have —- WAIT A MINUTE, WE’RE REHASHING THIS ARTICLE NOW! Help us, before it’s too late, leave us a comment about what rehashed ideas you think belongs in this Top 10, for good or bad. Hey, if you don’t want to comment on site, comment over on Facebook or Twitter and do not forget to vote for next weeks’ Top 10!