Opinion

Aging Gamer: HD Remakes

Metal Gear Solid, Konami

HD remakes and remasters of classic games seem to be all the rage right now. And I’m perfectly okay with this. So far I’ve not been as impressed with this generation’s games. I long for the older days. Games were original and developers were not just pumping them out in order to make a quick buck. Since I’m unimpressed with newer games, I have no problem replaying games that I truly enjoyed when they first came out, except with better graphics and sometimes better controls. Right now I’m replaying L.A. Noire on my Xbox One and Shadow of the Colossus–that says a lot. I’d rather be playing a double-digit-year-old game than the current tripe Activision and EA are pumping out.

When I was little, we really didn’t get any remakes or ports. Yes, there were a few, Ninja Gaiden Collection and Super Mario All-Stars come to mind. But ground-up remakes really didn’t rear their head until the GameCube era; Sega was a big third-party supporter of the GameCube, remaking some of their failed Dreamcast titles. Both Sonic Adventure titles ended up on the Cube. But the masterpiece that everyone missed was also ported to the Cube, Skies of Arcadia.

Skies of Arcadia

Pirates are huge now. And Sega’s developers were somehow ahead of their time when they released Skies of Arcadia on the Dreamcast. In that game, you get to play as sky pirates, battle in the air on a floating boat, and live on floating islands. Who wouldn’t fall in love with it? Well, apparently Dreamcast and GameCube owners. I’m lucky enough to own both copies of the game. When I played them both in tandem, I couldn’t believe that Sega made the exact same game for the Cube. It was bittersweet for me because had one of the releases done well, we might have had a sequel.

(Shadow of the Colossus – Sony)

Capcom’s Remakes

As the GameCube era progressed, more developers decided to churn out compilations and anthologies and even a few more remakes. Capcom holds the crown for remakes and HD upgrades, and it all began on the GameCube. The Resident Evil Remake was a huge surprise to gamers because of how novel it was to get a complete remaking of a game.

Now Capcom pumps out remakes or HD re-releases almost once a month, and it’s become a bit of a running joke. How many copies of Resident Evil: Revelations do I need, Capcom? Apparently, four so that I can play them on my 3DS, 360, PS4 and Switch. Todd Howard must be studying their business model. I do admit, though, I enjoy replaying Resident Evil games when Capcom pumps them out. I’m a sucker for classic titles, and I love the nostalgia.

Ports and Remakes – Making Retro Gaming Easier

It may seem like I’m knocking HD ports or remakes, but I’m really not. They make retro gaming much easier and put less strain my older consoles. I’ve yet to get through Okami (another Capcom title), but I’ll happily get the HD version for my Xbox One or PS4 so that I can play a different game on my PS2. The ports or HD Remakes also allow a new generation of gamers to fall in love with a franchise. Take Yakuza for example, for some reason this series has a hard time selling in the States. In Japan, they eat it up and usually have their copies long before us Yankees do. I’m a huge fan of the Yakuza series. If anything, the Yakuza engines for this generation have been phenomenal, and I can’t wait to see the new engine in Kiwami 2 and Yakuza 6.

(Yakuza – SEGA)

You would think that I would be disappointed that there are so many HD upgrades, but I’m honestly not. I enjoy replaying classics when I can, and since I’m finding fewer and fewer new titles to enjoy, the old stalwarts are there for me. What’s even better is I can get trophies and achievements for besting a game that my muscle memory is certainly prepared for. I think I would be more disappointed in this generation if I didn’t have Capcom, Sega, and Nintendo pumping out all these HD ports. Hopefully one day I won’t feel the need for HD upgrades, because the developers will have gotten back on track with making amazing games instead of just shoveling out annualized crap.

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