HD remasters and re-releases are big business, and in the wake of the Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition earlier this year, and the Final Fantasy X/X-2 re-release a few days ago, I've been thinking about some of the other games from the past fifteen years that would make for no-brainer re-releases on current, new-gen platforms like the Xbox One, the PS4, and the Wii U.
Sometimes, it's all too easy to attribute a re-release to a cashgrab, and the line shifts depending on who's drawn it, and how much the person in question values a game. Convenience is often one of the greatest reasons for picking up a game again on a new platform, particularly if it's a beloved title. But there are also certain practical improvements that we all look for when it comes to these revamps, from graphical improvements -- resolutions, textures, framerate, AA -- to additional content, smoother handling, new features, and making the most of the opportunities afforded by new tech.
In the case of the Xbox One and PS4, that means gameplay broadcasting and sharing services. On the Wii U, that extends even further to the unique capabilities of the GamePad and a greater focus on online multiplayer.
With that in mind, here are a few of my own personal picks for games I'd love to see make the jump from previous generations to the current one.
Metroid Prime Trilogy
This is a no-brainer. Metroid Prime still, somehow, looks absolutely outstanding, and both the first game and Echoes received a bit of spit and polish for the Collection that released on the Wii. Not only is it the best and bravest move Nintendo have made with one of their precious properties, but the explortory nature of the gameplay would lend itself brilliantly to incorporating the Game Pad. Scanning alien planets, pinpointing enemy weaknesses, plus you could use the motion control to steer the Morphball, and if Nintendo fancied adding in a spot of extra gameplay, you could get a nice little Commander-esque mode going on with the Game Pad in competitive multiplayer.
We'll almost certainly see this happen. All of the Uncharted games released on PS3, and all of them shone. But with Naughty Dog and Sony breaking up Uncharted 3 to allow for some free-to-play multiplayer action, there's no reason why we couldn't see the three campaigns receive a graphical overhaul to look even better, and then bring that accessible multiplayer action over to the PS4, which has already embraced F2P. It'd provide the perfect precursor to the next Uncharted game. (See also: Halo)
We need Dark Souls and its sequel on next-gen consoles. Not only because seeing those stunning vistas and the visual detail that's gone into the world-building shine to an even greater degree would be fantastic, but mainly for that Share button. Dark Souls II, just like its predecessor, is proving immensely popular on Twitch and YouTube, and with a game such as this providing so many emergent moments of unique brilliance, frustration, and hilarity, I'd love to to see it given the platform it deserves on these more connected consoles.
Nintendo needs a racing game or two, and I know we're getting Mario Kart 8 come May, but seriously, just a little lick of paint would do for a re-release of F-Zero GX. The game was fantastic, looked fantastic, and the addition of online leaderboards, time trial ghosts, live feedback via the Game Pad screen, and optional motion driving controls (the Game Pad actually works quite nicely as a wheel) would be great. Better yet, if Nintendo throw in the arcade tracks and modes from F-Zero AX as well, there's the content boost done and dusted.
Jon said it best when rumours about Skyrim making the jump across to XO/PS4 first emerged:
It makes sense from a business and gaming perspective. There's a lull in Xbox One and PS4 software right now barring a few major highlights (Titanfall, DriveClub, inFamous: Second Son and some of the most promising boutique releases - Transistor can't come soon enough) - and many new PS4 and Xbox One owners would rather like a great big meaty game to get stuck into. At least now most of us have polished off Assassin's Creed 4 and Dead Rising 3. Skyrim would be a great fit for the new consoles, helping tide us over, while also letting PS3 owners actually enjoy what should hopefully be a much more stable version. And a vastly prettier version to boot.
Let's face it, most of us will accept any excuse to play more Skyrim.
Yes, yes we will.
A new-gen re-release would allow for this little diamond in the rough to finally realise its full potential. Instead of diving headfirst into the uncanny valley due to phenomenally detailed faces in sharp contrast to the middling textures and models elsewhere, that balance could be redressed on PS4 and Xbox One. A revamp could also be used to cut out the pointless and destructive action sections and add in more investigations. It won't happen, mainly because Team Bondi are defunct and the development process was hazardous to the health of everyone concerned, but I'd love to it make the jump nonetheless. L.A. Noire's legacy can finally be properly fulfilled on these new consoles, we just need a team with the balls and the bread to make it happen.
Ultra Street Fighter IV
A cheeky entry this, because it's technically not actually out yet, but that gives Capcom the chance to make this one happen right now! Street Fighter IV and its many iterations look fantastic thanks to some highly stylised aesthetics. But think about that art style, those character models, that buttery smooth animation, running in 1080p at 60fps and, most crucially, adding in Twitch anmd sharing support. The connected, community features built into the new consoles were made for games like this.
Rogue Squadron Trilogy
Because I want to do the Death Star Trench Run in glorious HD. For @&!$#'s sake, will somebody pleased, PLEASE bring this series back in one way or another?! PLEASE?!
So those are my shouts, but what about you guys and girls? What games would you like to see given the HD remaster treatment? Let us know in the box below.