Of the many trends that have taken off this console generation, one of the finest is certainly the idea of the HD Remake…and why wouldn’t it be? I mean, what’s not to love?
First and foremost is the convenience factor. Giving players the ability to play games that they know and love without having to plug in old consoles or fudge around with the connections to their TV. Then there’s the clutter of yet another attachment and another big piece of plastic and metal taking up space. If it’s a space you share with another person, the prospect is still more cumbersome and aggravating, and all to play a game that used to be so damn easy to experience. Well now your life is simpler all over again, and even better in many ways .
The first major selling point aside from convenience is of course the high definition transfers and remasters. The games that you know and love have literally never looked clearer or better than they do in an HD collection, and while it can sometimes be painful to go back and experience some of the cheese of the previous generations (especially in plot and voice acting), the visuals have never been sharper.
Next comes the addition of trophies or achievements. With the support of this function that only came alive in the currently-ending console cycle, old games become like new. Finally you have definitive proof that you have mastered a game, and when it’s a game you already know inside and out, it’s simply a formality, like a pat on the back for a job you knew you could do in the first place.
Finally, the last (and sometimes best) reason to grab an HD collection is to play the game in a way you might not have had the chance to in the past. One example is the Metal Gear Solid: HD Collection, a package that includes not only three full Metal Gear Solid games (one of which you couldn’t previously play without a PSP) but it also contains all of the extra features and bonus additions from later released versions of the game. One of these features is a completely reworked camera and control scheme that dynamically changes the way you play arguably the best game in the series, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater.
Other collections like the Kingdom Hearts 1.5 Final Mix and Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster have gone even further, including extra boss battles, characters classes, cut scenes, and weapons to further sweeten the pot.
As a huge fan of any and all art, one of my favorite things to do is go back and re-experience some of the works that have affected me as an artist, writer, and individual. The fact that this is now easier and better than it’s ever been in the history of video games is truly a fantastic revelation, and one that’s been a long time coming.