HD Re-releases

Resident Evil 4 is one of my all-time favourite games. I would even go so far as to say it’s one of the best games ever made.  I very rarely play through a game more than once, however, the number of times I have completed RE4 is in double figures.  If such a thing could exist then I’d say RE4 is a perfect game.

The news a few months ago that both RE4 and Resident Evil: Code Veronica are set to receive the HD treatment and be released as Resident Evil: Revival Collection on both Playstation Network and Xbox Live in Autumn really caught my attention.  Not only do I fancy another playthrough of them but I would genuinely love to experience them in HD and in so doing, collect a bunch of trophies.

Leon protecting Ashley
HD remake lookin' sharp.

I am actually a fan of trophies for a few reasons.  When they are implemented in a way that compliments the game they can act as a kind of challenge-based logical underpinning offering a different way of playing or approaching the game.  They can also act as a means of showing people on my friends list what games I really like and feel are worthy of my time.  I would like to be able to show friends how much I loved Devil May Cry 3.  If that game was re-released as part of an HD collection I would not only want to see it in glorious HD, but also replay it to collect all the trophies- then brag about having all the trophies. This appeals to both the completionist and the narcissist in me. Shallow? Oh God yes.

These HD rereleases offer something much more important.  A lot of games from the PlayStation 2 era were genuinely hindered by the hardware of the time.  An exemplar being  Shadow of the Colossus where in certain places the framerate plummets.  Admittedly a minor complaint in such a beautifully realised game, it can have a detrimental effect on the experience.  It is for this reason I consider the ICO/Shadow of the Colossus collection to be a must-buy.  As a purist I initially thought that games from this era must be played on the intended hardware and on an SD TV. However, looking back at SotC it is abundantly clear that the game is held back by the PlayStation 2 and would genuinely benefit from the increased processing power more modern consoles can offer.  For games like Shadow of the Colossus and ICO I would argue that it’s a necessity and that this is how they can be done justice.

Staggeringly beautiful.

There are a lot of people for whom the PlayStation 3/Xbox 360 has either rekindled their love of games or introduced them to the world of gaming, helped, in no small part, by this generation’s emphasis on social gaming.  For these people HD versions of classic games are the perfect opportunity to experience some of the best games ever made.  Not only are these HD rereleases possibly the best versions and available digitally (as well as at retail), but they are usually released at well below the suggested retail price of standard releases.  This is possibly the biggest charm of these HD versions: the price.  It puts these titles right in that impulse buy part of my brain.


10 responses to “HD Re-releases”

  1. Mark P avatar

    I think there can sometimes be a fine line between doing a game justice with an HD re-release ad just cashing in on it. When I see articles about this subject, I keep thinking of that “game” (if it even is one) called “Dragon’s Lair”, which must be on literally every format this side of the moon. At least one of those re-releases must have done the thing justice by now.

  2. Martin avatar

    Agreed on the Resi 4 update. I was lucky to get a copy on the Gamecube whennit first came out and I’ve played it loads since then. Shame the Wii version of the original Resi remake was such a poor port.
    Mark, I would say that Dragons Lair was never really a game, ever. Even calling it an interactive cartoon is way off the mark. I think that Don Bluth didn’t have enough material to make a film and too much for a stand alone cartoon. Looks lovely though, always did, even back in the 80’s.

  3. paul avatar

    Mark, I totally get that, but Dragon’s Lair is a very extreme example. I was specifically referencing PS2 era and the fact the hardware of the time aged quickly and as a kind of bridge between one of the biggest leaps in gaming, to HD/Widescreen. So far from a cash in I’m looking at specific games as being done justice, y’know? Especially with technology issues such as lighting and framerate. Also, what I didnt put in was Im sure the actual PS2 game was developed with much higher resolution and then downscaled, so one might posit (if this is the case) that the HD remake is how the game was intended to look.

    My problem is, as a purist, there is so much charm in playing retro games. Like say, watching old anime on VHS, like Cyber City OEDO 808 or 3X3 eyes, they are “of their time”, right? The jittery audio of the beginning of the VHS, the strong blue lighting bloom in place of sharp lines….there is something far more evocative about watching that now than a clean, 5.1 HD Blu Ray release. Thats why I said for newcomers who didnt play them when they first came out.

    I know Im being a super stickler here, but as long as I have the option to play my imported Gamecube version (I was there right along withyou Martin 😉 it played, looked and ‘felt’ a LOT better on Gamecube, with a better controller) or an HD remake, I can 🙂

  4. Mark P avatar

    Agreed, maybe Dragon’s Lair is a bit too much of a worst-case scenario.

    A good thing about HD re-releases is that it opens the game up to an audience that wouldn’t have had access to it previously. With Resident Evil4 hitting the XBLA (I think?) I’ll now get to play it, where I’ve never had a Gamecube or a Playstation 2 to play it on originally – not only that, but I’ll be getting the best version of it! Well, in terms of graphics, at least.

  5. paul avatar

    Yeah Mark, thats pretty much everything I said in my blog, you should read it :p

  6. Duncan avatar

    My biggest gripe?

    Sony: “Backwards compatibility isn’t important to us.”

    Then… Suddenly: RE-RELEASE EVERYTHING!

  7. Tony avatar

    And yet the original PS3 was more backwards compatible than any of its competitiors, and even the new one plays PS1 games.

    I personally can’t wait for the Ico/Shadow of the Collosus remakes, I have, and love, both of them on PS2 – but sadly can no longer play them since my original PS3 failed. A HD version will rock my world.

  8. Mark P avatar

    Hah, so you did. I forget things easily.

  9. Sean avatar

    drives me batshit crazy when people complain about these remasters as if they’re just cash-ins.

    it’s not like re-mastering them, and adding trophies / online play or leaderboards is a simple, two-day process. these kinds of things require a ton of effort from teams who are, most likely, also busy with newer, current-gen products.

    and, all of them, so far, have been of brilliant older games. why WOULDN’T you want to play them again?

  10. Paul Rooney avatar
    Paul Rooney

    Sean, don’t they just hit Ctrl F and apply the HD filter? well I’ll be damned 😉 What seems to be absolutely galling me is people moaning about them. Moreover moaning that people are excited about them. What. The. Shit? The games Ive mentioned as well as MGS2/3 and Peace Walker, Silent Hill 2/3 are some of the most memorable experiences in gaming, ever. Since when is being given an (often better) option, on a system that is currently plugged into your tv, a bad thing?

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