Even with events like Gamescom announcing new games some people’s gaming tastes are stuck in the past. While there is nothing inherently wrong with preferring older games for whatever the reason may be sometimes it is beneficial to admit that some video games (that are of a certain age) probably do not exist. In fact, almost any game released before 1990 is so hard to play on modern consoles (not including emulation on computers) that might as well not exist. As seen through their anti-consumer practices, Nintendo has no sense of alacrity when it comes to bringing the Virtual Console to the Switch. Not to mention how lacking the Virtual Console on the Wii U was already compared to the Wii alongside the limitations of the Nintendo 3DS. Meanwhile, the PlayStation 4 is not a backwards compatible console so consumers must either use PlayStation Now and stream their video games online or scrape from the bottom of the barrel that is the PS2 Classics section in the Playstation Store. Somehow the Xbox One out of all the consoles out there is doing the best in terms of accessing older games through backwards compatibility with the Xbox 360 (soon to be joined by the original Xbox) and the Xbox Game Pass which lets users download a wide variety of classic games for a monthly fee. This inaccess to certain games has led to different approaches by developers either by porting games to the PC, remaking them for the modern age, or just attempting to reboot the franchise in some way in order to generate a fanbase once again. Sometimes this takes the form of cash-grabs where older games are ported to smartphones with a bevvy of advertisments sprinkled on or Kickstarters that are made to coast on nostalgia-riddled waves. Other times though, good games are given out as a result and both developers and fans are better off because of it.
The first franchise to examine is “Ty the Tasmanian Tiger” with the first game aptly named Ty the Tasmanian Tiger which was released in 2002 for the Xbox, Nintendo GameCube, and PlayStation 2. After the first game’s middling reviews with an overall C average, two more entries in the main franchise were made. Both these continuations to the franchise dipped in both quality and sales numbers which led the series to lay dormant for almost a decade. After this, a 2D side-scroller was released with the name Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 4 despite it being a large departure from the series’ standard gameplay. Then, in 2016 the original game was re-released on Windows through Steam as an enhanced port after a few months of being trapped in Early Access. As the core gameplay is largely the same, most of the improvements were made in terms of visuals and bug fixes but this proved to be enough for fans of the original game who left it many positive reviews. Does this instantly make Ty the Tasmanian Tiger a better game? Nope! But it is nice that fans of the original title can play it again on a modern system while still being able to support the original developers, and undoubtedly it has led to some avid PC gamers finding a new franchise to indulge in. Maybe after the three games are all ported to the PC Krome Studios will make a new collect-a-thon game that will hopefully do better than the ill-fated Yooka-Laylee.
Next up comes a series of remakes all wrapped up in one convenient package found on the PlayStation 4. The Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy brings back what players loved most about the franchise and leaves out some of the more adventurous genre expeditions that Crash made later in life compared to the original Crash Bandicoot for the PlayStation which released in 1996. These changes were made after the three main games along with Crash Team Racing all of which were developed by Naughty Dog. After this Naughty Dog moved their sights towards the “Jak and Daxter” franchise which left Crash up to the mercy of developers such as Vicarious Visions, Traveller’s Tales, and Radical Entertainment. None of these future entries seemed to live up to the title Crash had earned from his first four excursions into the gaming realm and Crash was not given another game for eight years. This changed with the announcement of the trilogy during E3 2016 which left fans excited for more information. The N. Sane trilogy features the first three games in the “Crash Bandicoot” franchise remade in HD along with brand new additions like a time trial mode in the first two games, auto-saving, and many other behind the scenes changes that better the gameplay without making the game unrecognizable to fans of the original titles. Although, many players did notice an increase in difficulty in terms of platforming which is due to the characters pill-shaped collision boxes and slightly faster jump arc. However, it is not very hard to get acclimated to these changes and it no way justified the negative reviews the collection recieved for its alleged Dark Souls-eqsue difficulty. Despite critical opinion of this difficulty, the N. Sane trilogy proved to be extremely popular with fans leading to high sales numbers for multiple weeks with over one million sales so far after just about two months.
Last but certainly not least is Sonic Mania which stands in a category of its own as being a mix between retro stages and brand new ones with new gameplay, sprites, and music in order to reward longtime fans and attract new ones. Not only this, but Sonic Mania is also a type of revival in the sense that it had been years since a two-dimensional “Sonic the Hedgehog” game was made with the original game’s aesthetics and physics. Keeping in mind that Sonic the Hedgehog was released for the Sega Genesis all the way back in 1991. The franchise as a whole has had its ups and downs over the years with positive reception for most of the titles released before the mid-2000s (although many of these games have aged very poorly throughout this time) but with games like Sonic ’06 and Shadow the Hedgehog things started to get rocky. At no point did Sega really stop making games for the Blue Blur but instead they just kept experimenting with different gimmicks to get players to come back to the franchise when in reality most fans just wanted well-built games that did not have to rely on gimmicks to masquerade for poor level design and a lack of polish. Sega has dabbled in keeping affairs strictly 2D with poorly recieved titles like Sonic the Hedgehog 4 although some titles like Sonic Generations fared better with fans along with certain portable titles. Even after this Sega continued to make overall middling titles while effectively putting in earplugs everytime anyone offered geniune criticism or suggestions. But lo and behold, after a series of repeated failures Sega finally caved and let fans make a game and Sonic Mania is all the better for it. As explained in our very own Lusipurr.com review, Sonic Mania takes the best parts about the franchise and lovingly pairs them with new concepts and zones in order to modernize a retro formula for the better. The numbers do not lie, Sonic Mania is one of the most critically acclaimed entries in the franchise and fans love it too! Finally a win-win for Sonic, and in turn, a win-win for America.
So what do you think, loyal readership? Does the idea a high-definition PC port or a remake of a game from the 90’s sit well in your stomach? Or would you rather the franchises recieve new modernized entries instead? Whatever your opinion may be make sure to leave a comment below, or just remake a past comment from an earlier article or editorial you commented on!