5 Games That NEED a HD Re-Release
HD re-releases (and the occasional comprehensive Remaster) have become part and parcel of the modern gaming landscape. I am a sucker for them; between Rare Replay, The Master Chief Collection and The Bioshock Collection, I can find myself putting more time into games I have already played than new releases.
Although many of the greats have had their re-releases over the last two generations of consoles, there have been some criminal omissions. We take a look at five games that really deserve a re-release.
All games that make this list can have their gameplay left as is, and just look to have a HD face-lift, or cosmetic upgrade.
ONE: Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes
Metal Gear Solid was rejuvenated and introduced to a new generation with the release of the HD collection on PS3 and Xbox 360. The collection brought us HD versions of MGS 2, MGS 3 and Peace Walker. This meant that for new comers, they didn’t have the chance to start the series from the beginning. This is criminal when considering the events of MGS2 so heavily reference those of the first title.
The reason for it’s omission is that although impressive for its time, the original MGS has not aged well at all. Many modern gamers brought up on bump mapping and tessellation may find it hard to get in to the original. That is where 2004 ground-up remake of MGS1 for the Nintendo Gamecube comes in.
Silicon Knights, of Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem fame, were brought in to update the original MGS to utilise the graphical and gameplay engine of Metal Gear Solid 2. The result was an incredible re-tread of familiar ground. However, the inclusion of acclaimed Japanese action director Ryuhei Kitamura on staff meant that the cut-scenes were lengthy and more over the top than ever before. Twin Snakes quite literally has Solid Snake dodging bullets in slow-motion, and jumping off of moving missiles in order to combat the infamous Hind-D. It escalates Snake to hard-boiled quantified bad-ass. And it is so fucking cool.
TWO: Super Mario Sunshine
The HD rerelease of The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker showed the world that a beautiful sense of art direction can help to make a game timeless. Once brought up to modern resolution standards, classics like Wind Waker can be shown to stand the test of time.
So I held my breath and got excited to see what other gems from the Gamecube era get a HD facelift for the Wii U. And all we got was Twilight Princess. Lame.
The game that really deserved the touch-up was the Gamecube’s very own core Mario title – Super Mario Sunshine. The games setting alone demands a revisit; the beautiful sun drenched Isle Delfino still looks great to this day, all thanks to a distinctive use of colour – even the central gameplay revolves around clearing up ink and paint that would positively pop in a higher definition.
Sunshine often gets a hard time for being the weaker of the core Mario titles. I disagree with these sentiments – the Fludd back pack and clean up mechanics were fresh and original and the setting was spell-binding. Please Nintendo, don’t shrug this off to some poor Virtual Console title on the Switch. Give us a shinier Super Mario Sunshine, like it deserves.
THREE: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
San Andreas is often heralded as the pinnacle of the series on PS2, but I don’t think it has aged as well as Vice City has. The 80’s retro setting complete with gaudy fashion and neon visuals all hold up a lot better than the drab open world of San Andreas’ ‘gangsta’ backdrop.
A quick tidying up of some rough edges, and perhaps even the application of a grainy VHS-esque filter could bring this PS2 classic to life in a way that would breath new life into it. One fan-made trailer recently showed us just how hot Vice City could look with a little touching up.
On top of all this, Tommy Vercetti is the man .
FOUR: Star Wars: Knight of the Old Republic
A long time ago, in a fandom far far away, the internet had created an echo chamber of hate surrounding the prequel trilogy and the only respite from the obvious piss-poor quality of the Star Wars prequels was in the extended universe. The comic books and the video games were where Star Wars lived on, away from the meddling of a washed up George Lucas (for the most part).
A good few years prior to the creation of Mass Effect, Bioware brought their unique brand of rich story-telling and compelling character writing to Star Wars universe with Knights of the Old Republic.
And it was awesome. You get to be a Jedi, or a Sith, and fly around in your own ship, Force electrocuting people and making arbitrarily binary morale decisions. Life was great. A sequel happened, which was buggy as shit, and a third instalment came more recently in the form of an MMO.
Ultimately, the original is the one most often favoured by RPG and Star Wars fans alike. And although the PC release of this title undoes the need for a ‘HD make-over’ as the resolution could be unlocked with some mods, I really want an Xbox One re-release so I can get my hands on some sweet sweet morally complicated Star Wars themed achievements whilst I am at it.
I am an addict. Send help.
The game that infamously contributed towards the bankrupting of Nintendo’s biggest rival was very, very good. It was miles ahead of its time; offering a realistic and engrossing open world years before GTA III hit store shelves, with the games internal clock playing a huge role in gameplay and a cast of characters that felt very much alive.
Shenmue’s spirit does live on in the Yakuza series; Sega’s quirky beat-em-up which is so self-indulgently Japanese in a way that very few other game series manage to capture. But that isn’t the same, its not the original, it’s not the grand ambitious project that reportedly cost Sega an estimated $47 to $70 million dollars.
Shenmue is not only a fantastic game in its own right; it is a part of Video Game history. It was revolutionary, ambitious and a cautionary tale of what happens when a games company thinks its simply too big to fall.
Sega could do with making some of the money back they invested, as the game is more of a cult hit now; it being a commercial failure on first release due in no small part to the mockery that was the Dreamcast’s failed launch, and on-going failure to grow a user-base. Please Sega, bring back Shenmue. And give it achievements. Sweet, sweet achievements.
If you feel we missed any quintessential part of gaming history that deserves a HD re-release for the younger generation to get their grubby little dab-ing mitts on, then let us know. We value your opinion. Even if its wrong. Oh, and like us on Facebook to directly shout at us.