HD re-mastered packages are now coming in troves, as more gaming studios are cuing in on the nostalgia effect that seeing your favorite protagonists (or for some, antagonists) re-textured brings to the player. Plus, I'm sure the ability of being able to bring forward an old game and give it new light, while simultaneously doing little work and raking in some extra dough, puts a gleam in the eyes of a few developers with a dusty trilogy sitting around.
Looking at you BioWare. Let's see Shepard in some HD-HD.
The re-mastered concept helps bring-about the look and feel of a new era, while giving the game some gameplay with new-age controls. It also provides developers an opportunity that allows new fans to flock to the game with a tidied-up touch for any who are finicky about graphics, or spotty controls that may have plagued the series originally. This window to bring about new cult members has been most often expressed through the Steam-sales of classics (or for some, their 8-Bit childhood), that make it affordable to try older games that you missed the mark on.
However, I've come to the question of: When is a HD re-make just too much?
Before we get into pointing fingers, we have to go back to the beginning of the re-mastering fad. Surely, it's nothing new to the film industry, or to nerdy fans who want to see Spock's frown in 1080p; but when did it become common ground in the gaming industry?
Now, before the age of man when the internet was an "oh-gee-wilikers," moment to everyone in the 80s; as was the introduction of 16 and 64-bit systems were to children, there were the classics we know of today. Pitfall, Super-Mario Bros, and the original Pokemon. Each of the titles have something in common, however.
Each got an "HD" remake, which essentially was a step up from their more basic graphic designs to more colorful and complex landscapes. Some of them got sequel tittles attached to them, even though they were (more-or-less) the same game, just on new consoles. So, "HD-ing" is nothing new, but packaging trilogies together is…sorta'.
In 2009, Sony would go on to do something never done before, by releasing stuff they already had done before…except better. That's right, the God of War Collections, which was actually critically acclaimed for making a bald man with a scowl-- prettier. I've played it and have to agree, he looks better and the game plays great; but is it worth it to buy another disk if you already have the originals on a dusty shelf in the corner? Are we all collectively beating the dead horse labeled nostalgia, simply because we're too well adjusted to pretty stuff? Kinda', but who cares if it's giving old games a new breath and developers room to breath?
I'm personally super excited for the 2.5 HD Remix of Kingdom Hearts, (and Kingdom Hearts 3, be still my aching heart) simply because it is not only bringing one of my favorite series new life, it's allowing me to play the handheld versions of the games I never had the opportunity of playing. Square-Enix is going above-and-beyond by making the DS and Vita versions playable on console controls, and I think that level of dedication to provide the opportunity to it's entire fan base is amazing.
That entire paragraph is super biased, and I really don't care because it's true.
The game looks beautiful, it plays better, and it's giving me chances I've never had before and that's perfect.
We see the same thing in the new Master Chief Edition, which is every Master Chief-based Halo game in one package, with online multiplayer and achievements. That is spectacular and such a mind-blowing testament to the capabilities of the now current, next-gen consoles. I can't fathom what someone who gamed on the original Xbox would say to that besides, "Wait, woah…what do you mean there's 4 other games and 2 on the way?" They'd look like a jittery, and horrified parent of sextuplets. Not counting the four spin-offs and back-pack load of novels and graphic works.
This is all spectacular, and whether you have the money to deny it or not, it's true.
It's out there. It's unstoppable.
We're living the future people, and it has a lot more pixels.
About twingingit One of us since 2:20 AM on 07.06.2014
I'm an aspiring media journalist and game developer, moving forthright through high school with little-to-no sign of admiration for public education. I have plans to make it big by having really bad opinions on popular games, and by throwing stones in a glass house with my "budding" career.
As always, enjoy your stay and keep up the good work, player one.