Remember all those games you loved in the 90s and early 00s? Well, now you're getting the chance to love them all over again. Many of the old titles that were originally conceived in standard definition are being remade for a new generation of high definition TV sets. But is it really necessary to remake every popular game that ever was, or should we be playing the original game in its purest form?
I received a surprise this morning when a copy of the Jak and Daxter trilogy, remade in HD, came across my desk. Up until that moment, I'd been unaware that such a remake was even in the works, but I wasn't exactly surprised. The list of HD remakes is getting long: Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Ico, various God of War games... I could go on.
The benefits of releasing HD remakes are obvious, both for the consumer and for the publisher. These games were popular, and as more and more people are gaming these days - over 80% of households have a gaming device - there are plenty of people who missed out on those classics. A remake gives people the opportunity to experience a game that they missed, and it gives fans a chance to play through one of their favourites again. The publisher, of course, gets to cash in on the nostalgia and cult status of the game.
But the consumer isn't really getting the original experience, for better or for worse. That game you remember playing as a kid and loved? It's not quite the same anymore. A lot of people react badly to that, regardless of how well a remake is done. On top of that, a lot of those gamers would rather the time and money was spent creating either a new IP or a new game in the franchise for them to sink their teeth into.
Perhaps the answer is to do exactly what the team at 343 Industries did for Halo: Combat Evolved. Not only did they do their best to not change a thing about the gameplay - including keeping all the original game's bugs - they also inserted a 'classic' mode that allowed you to play with the original game's graphics. There are also some minor camera changes and a handful of extra collectibles. People who are new to Halo get to play with a shiny new look, and those who are playing for nostalgia get to choose how they play.
Regardless of your feelings on HD remakes, there are plenty more on the way. This year, you can look forward to remakes of the Abe's Odyssey games, Metal Gear Solid HD Collection for the Vita (it's already out for PS3 and 360), and two Zone of the Enders games, amongst others. Are there any you would purchase?