Time again for this week's installment of the only conversation blog I know of: Destructoid Discusses! This week we started off with no topic, but then we were suddenly steered into the wonderful discussion of the latest and upcoming retro remakes by our own Jonathan Holmes. He and Joe Burling end up going back and forth in a display of differing points of view over Mega Man 9 and everyone chimes in with their 2¢.
Retro remakes - good or bad? Discuss!
[Everyone loves Joe, too!]
I'm currently drawing a blank about what to a to have as a topic seeing as I'm about to start BC:R for review, so any good things you can think of -- start talking and we'll see where it goes :)
How about retro remakes like Bionic Commando: Rearmed?
Are they a "colorization" of the videogame world, a great way to keep classic gaming alive? Which suck and which don't? If you've never played the original, has a remake ever sold you on a series?
You know, that sort of stuff.
Let's talk about Braid!!!!
For cereal, though, what's up with EA? They are taking over the gaming industry. What will this mean for us in a year? 5 years? 10 years?
Fuck Braid. I'll follow Jonathan's lead :)
I did something right? NICE.
But I'll come clean, coming up with this topic was just a ploy to gush about how outstanding Bionic Commando: Rearmed is. This is how you remake a cult favorite. It is what every gaming remake should be, a passionate love letter to the original, the game every Bionic Commando fan has dreamt of making.
All it took was for Capcom to hire some talented, dedicated people who are actually big fans of the original. There are plenty of them out there, but for some reason they are often the last to get put on such projects. Do you think true fans of Bubble Bobble made any of the half-assed sequels/remakes that have littered handhelds for the past few years? I doubt it.
I think the problem is if you are the type of person who really loves classic games, you likely aren't the type to claw your way to the top of the modern gaming world. If you are a smaller-name game developer who isn't all about copying one of today's big franchises ("It's GTA, but sci-fi!" or "It's Wii Sports, but with Z-list celebrities!"), your ideas tend to get ignored. And even if you are a big name, publishers don't want to take a risk on putting their AAA talent on a classic-style game. Even famous dudes like Castlevania's Igarashi have said (to me of all people) that they want to make more classic, 2D games on home consoles, but that they can't get their publishers to fund them.
Which brings me to Mega Man 9. If this game ends up being as influential as I hope it will, the video game industry will become a better place for pixel obesessed nerds like myself. A vote for Mega Man 9 is a vote for video games that look like video games, not wannabe CGI or 2D animated movies. It's a vote for gameplay over glitter and gloss. And most importantly, it's a vote for a $10 game that will keep you occupied for years to come. If you have any interest in gaming pre-1995, you must buy Mega Man 9.
I will not be purchasing Mega Man 9, nor do I have any interest in it really.
Somehow I simultaneously respect and feel a little sorry for you, Joe Burling.
I know! I blame it on Resident Evil, Colette. The first time I played Resident Evil and the dog jumped through the window, my entire outlook on gaming changed. It was a pivotal moment in my life, and I'm not being sarcastic. I tried to go back and play some of the old games I loved growing up, but they just didn't really do it for me anymore. I had found my new home with PS1 games like Resident Evil and Jumpin' Jack Flash.
Joe, to me what you say is bonkers. Bonkers. Just plain bonkers.
What if I said "I just can't enjoy the Muppets anymore, because after I saw Toy Story, I realized the only thing wanted to see again was CGI?" It's not mean or stupid thing to say, but it just doesn't add up.
Your Goosebumps analogy doesn't hold water, and I'll tell you why. Goosebumps books aren't written for all ages. They are horror lite, horror books for people too young to deal with the real thing. The way I see it, Mega Man isn't like Goosebumps; it is the real thing, as real as it gets. It's like classic Hitchcock; technically only G- or PG-rated material, but still more than appropriate for adults. Mega Man 9 may be simple enough for a kid to play, but trust me, the game is hard enough that even a +30-year-old man like myself will not be able to beat it without an adult level of determination and problem-solving skills.
Well, I don't pity you, Joe; I totally respect that all gamers have different takes on the topic. I can definitely understand how you felt about that moment in Resident Evil even though it didn't have the same effect on me; one of my big moments was walking through that first darl alley in the first Silent Hill, and seeing the angles the scene was presented in, and I clearly remember feeling a profound emotion about how games were evolving and I would be there to witness it happening. I guess for me that is as treasured as the hours whiled away on numerous Mega Mans or Zeldas, just each in their own way.
*dark, not darl. I have no idea what a darl alley is like.
What Jonathan said.
OK Jonathan, let's go with your Hitchcock analogy instead. I don't want to
Really, Joe? I found that the ugly 3D of most PlayStation and N64 games made me far less interested in the "future" of gaming. I just couldn't understand at the time why developers didn't just make better looking 2D games (like Wild ARMs or Star Ocean: The Second Story!) until 3D started actually looking ... decent.
My sentiments exactly!
Justin, I think it's because newer games are able to get an emotional response out of me. The older games were a blast, yes, but they never made me jump, or fear, or feel like I may cry. When Resident Evil was able to make me feel some of these emotions, something changed, and I knew that older games would never be able to satisfy me in the way that newer games could.
Brad DMV Rice
Have you tried playing the original Clock Tower? That game has re-affirmed my belief that SNES games can be scary. The moody music, your character's total weakness, and the abject horror that the deformed child inspires as he's chasing you throughout the house. I'm looking to play through The First Fear soon -- I just hope the Japanese text doesn't wind up being the death of me.
I never did play that one, Brad. While I don't doubt that it had a profound impact on you, I question whether a SNES game could scare me now. As I continue to experience newer games with better graphics and advanced cinematics, getting immersed in games that don't have these things becomes harder and harder.
I hate to jump on the "argue with Joe" bandwagon (I <3 you, Joe Burling), but I don't think modern technology has anything to with a player's emotional response. Yeah, I was dramatically affected by Metal Gear Solid 4 and Shadow of the Colossus and all their technical prowess, but I will never forget the first time Palom and Porom sacrificed themselves in Final Fantasy IV. And don't even get me started on the opera scene from Final Fantasy VI. In a way, I am more impressed by emotionally resonant games done in 8- or 16-bit.
Wait, Chad. I love Braid, too. Outside of that, though, I didn't have the experience you did with some of those games. I guess I'm just different. :(
Hey, I'm totally late to the party when it comes to Braid (I just finished it no more than two days ago.) But, what I can say about it, is it was probably one of the most thought-provoking games I've played since the twist in BioShock.
Sorry, Joe. I know you loved Braid. I was just saying it is something I love. Sorry for the confusion. :)
=) =) =)
Best summary ever, Chad.
I think that drawing emotions from the gamer has almost nothing to do with the technology. If mere words could from a book could move you, why can't 8-bit pixels? Of course, you're talking to someone who is emotionally stirred whenever he hears the SNES soundchip make any kind of noise.
That's true, Dale. Emotions can come from just about anything, I guess.
"If mere words could from a book could move you, why can't 8-bit pixels?"
Rev. Tony beat me to it. I was just about to say Passage.
Duff McWhalen reference FTW.
But back to arguing with Joe (who we all owe a debt of gratitude for taking the counterargument in this). Joe, please riddle me this: What is it about loving the "dog moment" and other classic moments in cinematic gaming that makes some other types of gaming now invalid to you?Can't you like country and western? Or is it a case of once you go (Ninja Gaiden) Black, you can never go back (to NES Ninja Gaiden)?
Not all other types of games become invalid to me. Here is how my mind works:
Joe, you are so amazing! You truly have it all figured out. Every console has a different purpose for you. It's something I envy, because it seems to give people joy to look at things from that perspective. A place for everything and everything in its place. Sadly, I'm much more sloppy and grumpy than that. As for me, I look at the Wii, 360, and PS3 in my living room as a sad testament to how badly gamers have always been taken advantage of.
I love Jonathan Holmes, but my hand is not the only thing that is raised right now. ;)
Jonathan, I've thought about it, and I'll give MM9 a try with an open mind. Please understand, though, that traditional platformers really rub me the wrong way these days.
I'M SO HAPPY!
Oh... uh... well, I don't have a Wii. *ducks behind Chad for cover*
I think retro remakes are a fantastic idea. Just like the Guitar Hero/Rock Band games introduce classic songs and artists to young'ns, games like Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, Bionic Commando Rearmed, and Mega Man 9 will introduce those iconic games and characters to a whole new generation of gamers. And assuming the remakes are good games, today's kids will hopefully become interested in the history of the games, and maybe will eventually seek out the originals. That's the ideal sequence of events, no?
Once again, Jonathan Holmes brings the knowledge, and that knowledge convinces Joe to play Mega Man 9 when it comes out (I also think Joe is insane for not wanting to play it, but oh well). I would think that most gamers would be looking forward to the new slew of upcoming retro remakes, but Joe reminds us that not all gamers are the same.
So would you say that your gaming tastes are more Joe Burling, or Jonathan Holmes?