Quite frequently now, video games that set the foundation of some gamers' entire gaming lives are starting to get remastered versions in HD on current generation consoles. Some people claim that this trend is a bullshit money grabbing scheme for companies to make some extra cash off of old titles, but it is much more than that. It’s nostalgia in a game bundle, and, for many fans, well worth the money in this era of such complex and futuristic titles.
It seems that the video game market is over-flooded with shooters, mostly in the near or far future, and it’s getting harder and harder to tell them all apart as they all adopt the features of other series that seemed to work. All these remastered games being released alongside them, however, remind me of how diverse and unique game franchises used to be with different button schemes, abilities, plots, and an array of features that were brand new at the time but we’ve come to expect as the norm now. Don’t get me wrong, games today are unique in their own special ways, but, just like movies, books, and all other forms of popular entertainment, it was all unique and fresh at the start. Then, everything became unique spinoffs with different plot twists and characters.
Most recently, the “Dead Rising” and “Bioshock” franchises got remastered versions released, both on September 13. With those games originally coming out in 2006 and 2007, respectively, the two franchises begun around ten years ago and became building blocks to many other franchises who adopted their style, theme, feel, and layout. However, to most gamers, these titles have long been left on the shelf, not forgotten but finished. Remastering these titles allows avid fans to experience the games again, this time in HD quality, and start over again from the very beginning. In the “Dead Rising” franchise, unless you delete your save file, you replay the game with all your stats and abilities that you gained from leveling up in previous play-throughs, so you never really got that struggle feeling of survival like you did your first time going through. This new remastered version for the latest generation, back for Xbox and brand new for PlayStation, allows us to experience that freshness again while also giving us the chance to grind for those hard-earned achievements/trophies again. It also comes fresh with multiple save files so you can get that Level 1 struggle without having to delete all your progress.
Other titles such as “The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker” and “The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess,” both received HD remakes for the Wii U in the previous few years. Along with the game coming fully remastered for a newer generation to play, they also incorporated slightly new features to add to the game without taking anything away from the original. “Wind Waker” added a feature where you can collect bottles floating in the ocean that contain messages from other players who have played the game. They could be fun tips, cool achievements, or spoilers (though, these came with a spoiler tag). “Twilight Princess” got a little more ambitious and added a whole new dungeon trial with the help of a Wolf Link Amiibo. This added even more depth to the already enormous world.
Other series like “Gears of War,” “Modern Warfare,” “Crash Bandicoot, and “Resident Evil 4” have been or will be released with remastered versions so old time fans can relive their original adventures. Remasters are not necessarily cash grabs because they aren’t pointless. Sure, the companies are making new money off of old titles, but the community is getting something in return, and that is the ability to play all the adventures they fell in love with over again in much better quality. I’m sure there’s a father/mother or two out there who is now able to share their earlier adventures with their kids now, and, if nothing else, that makes it all worth it.