A look into the future past!
Today, Activision announced they’re remaking the Spyro trilogy, originally released for the PlayStation One, now for Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Given the hardware, it’s a huge graphical leap.
This announcement shouldn’t come as a surprise, however. Activision previously gave a similar remake treatment to the Crash Bandicoot trilogy. Which is near its Nintendo Switch launch, which I was personally waiting for ever since the leaks came out.
But that made me wonder, what’s next? SHOULD there be a “next”? It’s a very interesting topic, and one that comes not only in the videogame industry.
The film and music industries also remaster and retouch effects in their previous works. Some of the biggest examples are the Indiana Jones films, E.T., and Star Wars. And The Beatles remaster and remix their music pretty much every decade. So it’s by no means a new concept for people.
The difference is that in videogames, the technological jump is too noticible. To release an upscaled version of a classic game from 20 years ago, for full, or even budget retail price, would be laughed at.
Don’t get me wrong. Gameplay-wise, many of these classics haven’t aged a day. But maybe Ocarina of Time’s N64 polygonal glory wouldn’t look good for Nintendo’s “Play everywhere” commercials.
So if you’re gonna re-release them outside of a ‘Virtual Console’ or the PSN ‘Classics’. Some changes definitely have to be made. And we’ve seen them be done time and time again.
One of Gamecube’s classics, ‘The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker’, got an HD remake on the Wii U back in 2013. And thanks to some improvements and the beautiful presentation, I’d call that particular version my favorite game of all time.
So I have to ask, are remakes and heavy remasters necessary? I’d say so. As long as they’re old enough games, and the changes come in the form of graphical updates and conveniences.
I think ‘Twilight Princess HD’ suffered a little because the game wasn’t old enough. I of course don’t count examples like ‘The Last of Us’, or ‘Metal Gear Solid V’ as they’re contemporary ports of a generational leap.
Also, don’t want the game made easier or too forgiving to get a good score on mainstream sites. It’s very frustrating when a game’s mechanics and gameplay change completely, it feels like it should’ve then be made into a sequel, or another game entirely.
But I think we’ve seen good examples many times by now, and their positive reception has been made clear. So I’m certain we’ll see even more in the future.
Spyro’s return from Skylanders’ clutch is a very refreshing one. Overall, these retro remakes are a nice throwback. Some of these even look like they could be animated movies. It’s honestly impressive.
Let’s close by asking you the question, what games that you’ve played would you like to see receive this kind of remake treatment? Personally, I’d love to see Donkey Kong 64 remade.