Remakes and rereleases are in season, and itís great to see best hits of the last generation get another chance to bedazzle new players and rekindle old flames with veteran ones. From Metal Gear Solid to Zone of the Enders, Ico to Shadow of the Colossus, even to God of War and Sly Cooper, HD collections are the new black, but there is one remake which is frankly diabolical. Iím talking about the £30 Halo Anniversary remake; a game so stupidly conceived and terribly executed it should be by no means supported. Why have I made such a brash statement so early? Because this is a top 5 list, and it makes it easier to sell the concept. Hereís why you shouldnít go near the Halo remake.
1. Itís one game.
All the other collections I mentioned were just that, collections. At least two games slotted together to make a package that represents the value attributed to it. These collections are brilliant ideas as they often sell whole storylines, the recent Prince of Persia collection springs to mind as a fantastic package that sells the trilogy as a cohesive set. Halo isnít doing that. Halo is taking the first game and telling you that is enough value. Itís not. What passed for retail in 2000 does not pass now, and the cheek not to also put the second game in is frankly insulting. As an 8 hour game Halo is short, especially when compared to getting a collection of 3 other titles for less, all of which individually are longer than Halo.
2. New but pointless features.
Did you know you can switch between the graphics in the remake? From slick, HD remastering to old, dated graphics from 10 years ago. Did you also know you can activate this feature by using a voice command on your Kinect? Innovation my friends. You can also run a 10 year old game in 3d. BecauseÖ 3d. Oh, and weíve scattered a load of collectables into the game, they reveal some plot. Well, not game changing plot, that would change the game, but useless titbits you donít need to know and will most likely confuse you. Greta huh?! Oh and weíve put in the Halo Reach multiplayer mode, because you donít also own that game. Hm? You do? Oh. Well have it anyway; itís easier than designing new modes. Oh and weíve put in online multiplayer for a 10 year old game.
3. You can already get Halo on your 360. For less.
One of the major advantages to the HD remakes of late is their inability for the originals to be played on the newer consoles. They allow you access to classic titles you may have missed or really want to get back without having to haul out the old box, dust it down and hunt for cables. Halo is on XBLA, and has been for a while. Itís 1200 points. Thatís a little steep, but itís at least in the realm of reasonable. If you want to play Halo, there you go, Halo. All of it in its original glory. If you buy the remake you are actively flouting this version, which is everything the new version is, but without the HD graphics, online multiplayer and the other useless shit you donít care about. So unless you really want those features, why do you want this?
4. Itís way too expensive.
£30. You could buy a brand new game for £10 more. Heck, a 3DS game is £30. You are valuing a 10 year old game at £30. If we look at the price of that downloadable version it puts all those great new (read: entirely unnecessary and pointless) features at a value of £20. You are willing to pay £20 to add HD graphics and some pointless 3D TV effects as well as an online multiplayer you then have to pay a monthly subscription for. £20. You could buy the God of War Collection for that. Thatís at least two games.
5. It should be downloadable.
The fact this game is on a disc should be a source of embarrassment to Microsoft. Their XBLA service is fantastic, it delivers ďnot-quite-retailĒ experiences like no other, and presents its userbase with classic HD remakes and remasters on a semi regular basis. So why are Microsoft flouting the perfect outlet for their latest title to instead print discs? Itís not going to hurt sales, everyone who plays Halo will be online, and if they arenít this remake is truly lost on them. Thereís no collectorís edition of the title, and the boxed version is just that, a disc in a box. XBLA would be perfect for this game, it would be an above average release by default, and would be great value at 1200 points, heck, at 1600 points if needs be. But instead of pimping out this release as a triumph of their internet initiative, they choose to go to brick and mortar stores and charge you for distributing the title despite having a pipeline into your house. If Resident Evil 4, Beyond Good and Evil, Strangers Wrath and Monkey Island can be put on the XBLA there is no reason Halo Anniversary canít.
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