Nostalgia can be funny, especially when it comes to videogames. Gameplay throughout the years has evolved and become increasingly complex to keep players engaged. Graphics are at the point where if you can imagine it, a developer can create it. There are practically no boundaries and we are operating within an era where the possibilities are really endless. What’s crazy is that even with all of those advancements, people still yearn for the classics. So much so that it has created its own market and it doesn’t look like it’ll be stopping any time soon. One of the main issues with updating a certain classic is that they end up being lifeless when remade. Updated graphics don’t make a game better, updating their narratives can be an issue too, see Bionic Commando for example. What the hell were the developers thinking, seriously, why? Developers can however, successfully update a game as long as they respect the property. The following are 3 examples of remakes/remasters that nailed it.
Ratchet and Clank (2016)
One of Sony’s flagship franchises, Ratchet and Clank had seemingly ran its course after the completion of its “Future” series. While considered a solid franchise, there wasn’t a strong market for the titular Wombat and his robotic companion. Developer Insomniac decided to surprise everyone with the idea of a soft reboot accompanied by a feature film. In 2016, the remade Ratchet and Clank was released to critical acclaim and commercial success the series hadn’t seen its introduction on the PS2. Needless to say, the game was fantastic. The visuals were Pixar-esque, the gameplay was chaotic and diverse, and the writing was sharp. Insomniac took great care in updating everything that made Ratchet and Clank great in the first place and it isn’t a game that’s suited for nostalgic gamers, it is meant to be experienced by everyone.
Considered the grandfather of the survival horror genre, Resident Evil worked diligently to scare the absolute crap out of anyone who played it originally in 1996. While the series continually progressed in regards to its visuals and gameplay. The love for the original Resident Evil never faltered. Capcom, well aware of this, decided to update the title in 2002, where it was released for the Nintendo Gamecube. Needless to say, everything regarding the game was upgraded with the exception of its tank controls, which were intentionally left untouched because of the static camera. New characters and enemy types were introduced, including the crimson head zombie, which only appear if you do not burn the corpses. To this day, they are still one of the most terrifying enemies in all of gaming. The biggest update however, came in the form of voice acting as the original was laughably bad. Nintendo just re-released Resident Evil for all current platforms, even updating the controls for those who feel the tank controls aren’t responsive enough. There is no reason why you shouldn’t pick this classic up.
Shadow of the Colossus
Originally released for the PS2 in 2005, the spiritual successor to ICO is an all-time great. Featuring some of the best boss battles in gaming as well as a subtle and effective narrative, Shadow of the Colossus was widely considered a triumph by everybody. It was given an HD re-release in 2011, alongside its predecessor Ico, but was not given the proper remaster treatment until February of this year. The gameplay was not given an update, nor did it really need it, as the visual upgrades were more than enough to make this the definitive version of Shadow of Colossus. It’s still a gripping (literally) and challenging experience that everyone should experience at least once.
(All credit to Sony)
What are some of your favorite remakes?