D-PAD: Rise of the Remakes
February 29, 2012
How many times has Star Wars been released with remastered visuals and effects, with a few changes that cause the fan base to go into rage mode? It’s already established that I view video games as a medium equal to or greater than (probably greater than) movies, and so to me it isn’t even mildly unfathomable that video games would go the route of remaking old titles.
Game remakes have been pretty common, and range in variety. Some remakes are nothing more than updated graphics, such as “Halo: Anniversary” released in November of last year, while others are a complete reimagining, such as 2006’s “New Super Mario Bros.”
With the rise of HD technology, as well as Nintendo’s new 3DS, the industry has decided to take advantage of the moment. In the past year or so, I’ve noticed way more re-releases announced. At first, I wasn’t sure what to think of it. It seemed like an easy cash-in, and maybe it is, though I don’t doubt that there is some amount of work that goes into reformatting an already completed game to a newer console.
But then I realized the value these remakes possess. Some game franchises have around 10 to 20 titles already in their midst. Someone new to any one franchise may be hesitant to start playing them at that point, due to not knowing where to begin. Sure, the automatic response is “start with number one!” or “start with this one, it’s the best of the series!” But we can’t assume the interested potential fan has the older system required to play that game from way back when.
However, when the franchise re-releases the first or best game of the series for the newer consoles, suddenly the opportunity for new fans to get into the series opens up. “The Legend of Zelda” was a game I didn’t follow as much as I should have. The 3DS remake of “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time” definitely re-sparked that interest and brought me into that series, leading to me checking the prices of “Skyward Sword” for the Wii.
The Silent Hill franchise took some rough turns. After “Silent Hill 4: The Room”, the franchise ended up in the hands of developers who did not appreciate what the series was about. “Homecoming” abandoned Silent Hill’s premise that the town is a journey into the psych of insanity, and instead just made it about the generic haunted town. It received major negative review from fans.
Since then, the franchise was passed to new developers who appreciate its original premise. On March 13, HD remakes of the two best games from the franchise earlier days, “Silent Hill 2” and “Silent Hill 3”, are to be released. What better way to let new fans who were let down by games like “Homecoming” know that they just had a cruddy first experience, and here’s what they really should expect?
So it is for these reasons that I do not oppose, but applaud and welcome the rise of the remakes. There is no shame in slapping down another $40 for a game I’ve already beaten hundreds of times. Okay, maybe a little shame. But not that much.