Archive for the ‘Remakes’ Category
Note: This review originally appeared on the B-Team Podcast site and has an agreement with the owner of the review, Fred Rojas, to post on Gaming History 101 as well and visa versa.
Typically any game being remade in HD comes with the acceptance that it was already a prominent title, which accounts for the ongoing debate as to whether or not to re-purchase it. That’s why Legend of Kay Anniversary strikes me as such an interesting decision because almost no one played the original on PS2 in 2005 or even the port to DS in 2010. Granted, when you complete the Anniversary edition the phrase “We’ll be back!” is at the end of the credits so I can only guess an upcoming sequel is the reasoning for this beautiful HD remake. Having now played the game to completion I have to admit that Nordic was smart to purchase it from Capcom and this partial Zelda clone does make for a lengthy and impressive campaign. When it originally released, Legend of Kay garnered quite positive reviews and I’m pleased to say that the game is just as great now as it presumably was when it released, only now it has received one hell of a face lift.
The Clock Tower series has always been a unique horror title since it’s western inception on the original Playstation. There are no weapons, no fighting, and the main mechanic is hiding from a small man swinging around massive shears that will only result in death if your character is found. What many may not know is that the series actually began in Japan only on the SNES (and even had a remake of sorts on the Playstation, again in Japan only). Thanks fan translations, Jam and Fred sit down to discuss this initial outing that we in the West never got and is probably the strongest entry in the franchise.
A fan translation of the enhanced PS1 port of Clock Tower, known as Clock Tower: The First Fear and only released in Japan, has been released in a patch from user “arcraith” on romhacking.net.
I don’t know if you’re as big a fan of Clock Tower as I am, but unlike the 3D installments that existed on the Playstation 1 and 2 in the US my big draw is the original released on Super Famicom (SNES) and only in Japan. What sticks out about this title is that unlike the sequels it’s a 2D point-and-click adventure that has lots of scares, intense moments, and violence. This makes it somewhat of a successful version of what games like Phantasmagoria were hoping to accomplish. A fan translation of that version is available if you’re interested, but there was a Playstation re-release that had enhanced graphics, new scenes, and – my personal favorite – FMV sequences added in. Unfortunately just like its original Super Famicom release, this was the only game in the series not to make it to the west yet again (probably due to the translation/localization cost). Thanks to a new English localization, you can easily patch an ISO to play the game localized, in English. If you missed it, the link for that is in the opening sentence of this post. Hopefully this works well on a modded console and I can enjoy this game on real hardware, otherwise I will most likely stick to my flash cart translated version on the SNES, but it’s a great game that everyone should play. Perhaps it would make a good game club?
Guys, lets face it, nostalgia is a bitch. I even wrote an article about this in the past, but beyond my casual forewarning, I would like to extend a realistic look at what is going on today in gaming. Some big fans are trying to re-write history with how much they love games that, in hindsight, weren’t all that good. You’ll notice that I said “how much they love games” and “in hindsight”, which I would like to break down. People who are massive unapologetic fans of fair-to-poor quality games should not be told they are wrong because they aren’t. Your opinion is your own and without even a discussion you have a right to it, not to mention those that can properly make an argument for why they love a game, but realize your opinion is shrouded in nostalgia or just a lack of basic sense.
Today at 4:00 PM GMT (that’s 12:00 PM EDT and 9:00 AM PDT for those who need it easy) game distribution site Good Old Games is giving away Rise of the Triad for the first 30,000 people who request it. Now what’s funny to me is that the press release says they’re giving away the 2013 version of Rise of the Triad whereas I would have assumed it would be the original The Dark War version from 1994 but who knows, for now I would trust it’s the newer (and better) game. After the first 30,000 go it’s still going to be available at 80 percent off, which is a steal for that game. As my review in the link will explain, if you want the 90s brought back to life with modern controls and graphics, this long 20+ hour FPS with a campaign and frag-fest multiplayer is a gem. If you want to be prepared, you may want to zip over to the site, make a username if you don’t have one already, and be signed in and ready to refresh your browser at the golden hour. It’s free, what have you got to lose. Also if you’re curious to read up on what started life as the sequel to Wolfenstein 3-D, feel free to check out our historical context article on the development of the original.
This weekend I sat down and spent some time with Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy Remastered and while the responses were mixed, it dawned on me that no one – publishers, developers, gamers – has a clue as to what they want out of a re-release. It sounds funny and foolish at first, but the concept of the re-release has, in recent years, become quite the quandary. As a fan of the past and games of those time periods, I can’t say that I even know what I want and this shines light on the daunting task of trying to make sound business decisions around it. Furthermore, the vocal minority don’t often account for the way sales work out, and often times, are the exact opposite of what actual sales data states. Couple all of this with the stubbornness, and I do mean that term specifically, of gamers who would rather a publisher waste time to bring an Xbox 360 or Playstation 3 game to the Xbox One or Playstation 4 simply because they didn’t hang on to their old system is – in an exaggerated overstatement – a sin. To be clear I’m not even talking about games like The Last of Us Remastered or Halo: The Master Chief Collection, because at least those games were redone and improved upon visually, but rather direct ports of simple games like the arcade port of Double Dragon on XBLA coming to Xbox One. It’s a waste of time and it won’t generate more than a few thousand sales, stop wasting everyone’s time asking for it.
This week we take a look (in glorious 1080p) at the remastered edition of Fahrenheit (or Indigo Prophecy). After recently booting this up for our review, I’m not quite sure who this particular port is for. It looks just like Fahrenheit, plays just like it too, and I could be wrong but I think the original could be pushed to 1080p on PC (where this version is currently exclusive to) so I think they just did some re-rendering of textures, glossed it up, and slapped it online. Perhaps that was all we should expect, I don’t know. Anyway, check it out for yourself in the video below.
Completing a longer game in a speedrun can be not only an accomplishment but also quite rewarding. In the case of Resident Evil, completing the game in a speedrun is literally built into the programming with the expectation that after you’ve explored the game a couple of times you will jump right into it. The recent Resident Evil HD Remaster came out and while I found the game quite difficult in my recent playthrough and it took me over 11 hours to complete, I dared leap into an under 3 hour speedrun (albeit with the gracious help of a guide from GameFAQs). I also decided to capture it and offer voiceover so that you can not only enjoy watching a speedrun, but see what is done and why to somewhat bend the timeline of the game to be as short as it is. I’ve embedded the first video below and you can see the entire playlist here.
After long last it appears that Resident Evil, specifically the Gamecube remake from 2002, is making a widespread appearance on modern consoles complete with increased resolution, performance, and controls. This is significant because the number of people who owned a Gamecube was relatively small and the Wii port had such a limited print run it was a bit difficult to find. Not only that, but at 12 years old, the game itself has plenty of dated setbacks that most gamers I talk to refuse to put up with. Thankfully this new version is digital only (no need to hunt down copies), adapted for today, and relatively inexpensive ($19.99 on all platforms). With all the tweaks made to this game it is so close to being worth the money I can’t see any fan of horror games or the original series not wanting to pick up this new version. Besides, it’s January, what else is coming out?
If you played the original to death – and pretty much anyone who owned the game back in 1996 did as we waited two whole years for the sequel – it’s a pretty rudimentary journey at this point. You know where everything is, you probably know most of the tricks, you don’t need to save often, and your completion time will be somewhere in the 3-6 hour mark. On the other hand, the limited release of this game and the cumbersome systems it can be found on means that you probably aren’t that familiar with it. This is no graphical coat of paint over the original design, it’s a brand new experience. The mansion’s layout has been changed, most of the puzzles are different, there are new enemies, and everything is scattered in completely different places. That doesn’t mean that experts of the original can’t jump in and easily conquer this title from start to finish, but it’s going to take you some time. Even more impressive is the fact that despite me completing the original at least once a year since it released, this version was able to get some tense and great jump scare moments out of me along the way. It’s a new Resident Evil and it’s worth replaying.
God of War feels like a series that just exploded in popularity but has now been lost in the gaming community abyss. Last year the God of War Collection (featuring the first two games in the series) was released to the Playstation Vita to such a poor reception that a lot of friends were generally surprised it was actually released. Then again the same group of friends were gob smacked that Borderlands 2 also came out on the Vita. Now, it could be argued that this lack of enthusiasm may be due to the lack of interest in the Playstation Vita. But forgotten or not, I’ve played through both God of War games so it’s time to see how they hold up today.
I was originally a massive fan of the very first God of War game on PS2. When I was first introduced to the game by a friend I got so into it we played through the entire game together in one single sitting, something that I rarely do with a video game. We spent a lot of the experience just gob smacked by how the PS2 was able to include great graphics and set pieces. Of course a lot of the great visuals are attributed to a fixed camera control and the set pieces being controlled entirely by quick time events (a feature I’m glad has started to disappear in the gaming industry). The game felt like a breath of fresh air. Although the game did not introduce a completely original experience it seemed to take elements that worked with other games like an anti hero storyline, hack and slash gameplay and upgrading your character with orbs. The game was not perfect, even for the time people criticised some of the challenging sections in the game most notably the infamous Hades area where you had to get pass various traps and obstacles. If you were hit just once you died instantly, leading to some massive gamer rage grinding your enjoyable experience to a complete halt. What made God of War stand out at the time was the epic adventure, where you travel into areas no man can supposedly enter (and the game clearly displays this by having dead bodies littered everywhere). You really felt like you were on this impossible quest. Every time you beat a gigantic boss or got pass a deadly trap you really felt a sense of achievement. The bosses were also enormous like the infamous hydra, a fantastic way to open the game and a design feature that seemed to carry over to all future games in the series as well. The game was well received by critics and gamers so it pretty much guaranteed a sequel. The developers seemed confident of this as well as the message “Kratos will return,” appears once the credits have finished at the end of the experience.