New games are released every day, ok… well.. maybe not every day but they are released at a very regular pace. Searching through the press releases of the day I saw some new screenshots for Zone of the Enders HD. Zone of the Enders was an awesome game back in 2001 as well as the squeal that released in 2003. However, I think that the HD collections are starting to get a little out of control.
With both of the HD consoles, essentially stalled until next gen, I have been seeing a pattern. Publishers have been returning back to old franchise, putting a little spit shine on them and shipping them back out to the consumers to rake in a butt load of money. I wish I could turn and blame a specific company or a single platform but re-releases of old games, HD collections, and the virtual console are the ones to blame. The fact is these days companies are finding the easiest and cheapest ways for them to take in our money. If they can properly pull on our nostalgia heartstrings long enough we will open up our wallets gladly. Here are a couple of cases and why these practices are not necessarily the best for the customer and more about the bottom dollar amount for companies.
Case #1 Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of TimeNintendo may be one of the worst offenders of putting out old content for a pretty price tag. Looking around my apartment I can count at least 3 copies of The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of time. I have the N64 original, a gamecube disk from when I pre-ordered Wind Waker and the 3DS remake. That means, even if I didn’t pay a dime for the pre-order GameCube disk, I have put at least $90 into this one game and I’m not the only one.
Searching around message boards, and talking with friends, a ton of people have done the same thing. Some people even rant and rave about how good the Wii Virtual Console version is. Don’t get me wrong, Ocarina of Time is a great game, I just don’t think that anyone should be paying for it three separate times. Especially when the Wii Virtual Console version of the game is probably a rom that just being emulated by the Wii. Do yourself a favor and keep the extra $10 to $40 that you would spend getting another version of an old game and tell Nintendo that we want a new Zelda game or another original IP rather than a rehashed version of an old game.
Case #2 Virtual Console Games
I know I am piling on Nintendo a little bit but the Virtual Console is another perfect example of my argument while at the same time being a beloved platform for older games. The Virtual Console is a heck of a double edged sword. On one hand the platform for the Wii and the 3DS allows for gamers to buy old games and experience the vast gaming culture of the past. On the other hand, and probably most of the sales numbers, the Virtual Console pulls at us and screams at our childhood memories of beloved games.
For evidence just go through some of the Virtual Console stuff and look at all of the ratings. Almost all of the games on the 3DS Virtual Console market have a rating of 4 – 5 stars out of 5. However good these games were 10-20 years ago not all of them should be at that rating today. You can not tell me that Sonic the Hedgehog: Triple Trouble, Prince of Persia, Maru’s Mission, Gargoyles Quest and other such games deserve that high of a rating. Most of these games either looked stretched out or are tiny in their native format. Especially in the gaming environment that we live in now, where $0.99 games are a norm on mobile devices, these game just don’t stand up to the competition. I love Nintendo and I love the Virtual Console, but everything just seems to expensive for the products and experiences that I am purchasing.
Case # 3 Remakes and HD Collections
These HD remakes and re-releases are aggravating to me as a consumer while still being loved by my inner child. Most of these games were released at least a whole console set before and the whole draw is to play a game you loved in “HD”. The problem with the HD quality of these games is that most of them are barely up-rezzed and none of the actual game is rebuilt. Most of the time the “HD” version of a game hardly holds up to the memories of my childhood anyways. In fact a couple of times these HD remakes and re-releases make me think “wtf was I playing when I was a child and why did I love it so much?”.
Take Resident Evil 4 for example. Resident Evil 4 was one of my favorite games that I owned when I was a kid. I would constantly run up to my buddies and open up my coat and utter the phrase “what are you buying” and “what are you selling” and then have a chuckle. However, going back and playing the game redone I started to realize how annoying that guy was. Leon controls like a tank with half of its wheels shot off and most of the puzzles are incredibly hard for no reason. I just want the memories of my childhood games to have a special place in my head and be left alone.
I guess I understand these re-releases a little bit. If I put out something amazing 10 years ago and could still make another million dollars off of barely any studio costs I guess I would shove my old crap onto the market too. There is no reason for publishers right now to make new IP’s or games because they can make enough money off of old ones. Maybe in a couple of years when the new PlayStation and Xbox roll around we can stop paying for games we already bought in the past. Or maybe they will just sell us this generation’s set of games for another set of absurd prices. Why make a system backwards compatible when you can just sell us the games again.
What do you guys think? Do you like the HD Remakes and buy them loyally? Am I just ranting and raving about nothing? Hit us up in the comments and tell me how crazy I am.