If you've been paying attention to video game releases over the past 2 or 3 years, you will have noticed that HD remakes of old games have become more and more common. To name just a few we've had games such as Rez HD and Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo HD Remix, studios then moved on to God of War 1 & 2, Beyond Good and Evil, The Dreamcast Collection, The Sly Cooper Trilogy, and the recently released Ico and Shadow Of The Colossus Collection and Resident Evil 4. As well as these, we still have The Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, Zone Of Enders, Halo Anniversary HD Edition, and Final Fantasy X to look forward to!
When many of these HD remakes were first announced there was a feeling amongst some gamers that they were just a crass cash grab by the studios. This was particularly aimed at Sony, who who have been behind the majority of the high-profile releases. Around the time that the remake craze was just starting Sony had removed backwards compatibility for PS2 games from the PS3. Sony announced that this was to cut down on manufacturing costs for the PS3, a perfectly valid reason considering that a major consumer complaint about the PS3 was that it was too expensive, but more cynical gamers saw this as a convenient excuse. How dare Sony remove a feature that they never said was going to be a permanent part of the PS3! How did they expect gamers to play their PS2 games now! When you think through this rationally, Sony probably saw the potential for HD remakes simply as a nice side effect of removing backwards compatibility. Also, they still continued to manufacture PS2 consoles and many gamers still own PS2 consoles. Thanks to a wonderful thing called "free will" we have the choice to play the original games if we so desire.
I personally think that it's fantastic to be given the option to play an HD remake of an old classic. I particularly think that they are great for younger gamers who may not have even played the originals. For some people, trying to play an old PS2 or Dreamcast game is simply too aesthetically displeasing. For people who have only been gaming during the HD age an old game just looks too primitive. Although this is not a sentiment I agree with, I can understand their point. Booting up my PS2 to play some GTA III Or Shadow Of The Colossus can be a bit of an eyesore, especially on HD televisions where "jaggies" really seem to stand out.
So, HD remakes are okay with me. In fact, there are a few games that I would love to see remade in HD. Although the chances of the following games being given the HD treatment range from slim to none, I can always dream...
With its predecessor, Another World, being given both a 15th Anniversary HD release on the PC five years ago, and more recently a 20th Anniversary HD release on iOS operating systems, it's not outside the realms of possibility that Flashback might be given the HD treatment. A truly superb and challenging game, Flashback stood out thanks to its fantastic art design, interesting sci-fi story, and very realistic rotoscoped character animation. The game still stands up today, but giving it a HD sheen would be the icing on the cake.
The Streets Of Rage Trilogy
The Streets Of Rage games, in my opinion, marked the high point of the side scrolling brawler era. The second game in particular really hit its mark, with perfectly balanced gameplay, eye catching graphics, and brilliant sound design. The music in particular is toe-tappingly awesome. Although the third game went off the rails a bit, if the games are ever released in HD they may as well throw in the third one to round out the collection.
Overshadowed by the similar Wipeout series of games, Rollcage is nevertheless my favourite PS1 racer. Insanely fast, with gravity defying gameplay that sees you driving on the celing a lot of the time, Rollcage was a true gem. It was popular enough to warrant a sequel, but I think we can safely file this in the "never going to happen" pile. The best I can probably hope for is a release as a PS1 classic on the Playstation Store.
These are just a small selection of games that I would love to see in HD. What about all of you out there, what games would you wet your pants with joy over to see remade in HD?