Opinion – It's A Re-Re-Re-Re-Release World

I’m someone who’s very much into the whole ‘HD Collection/Re-release’ thing that’s become a weird trend of the generation. Mostly because it gives me a reason to check out games that otherwise might be rather hard to come by nowadays, check out games that I missed back in their original release,and a reason to not go to the trouble of digging out the older consoles, untangling cords and hoping everything still works.

But then it hit me: Have we gotten to the point where there’s just not really a need for any more HD re-releases or collections? 

It’s something that came to me as I was cleaning up my game collection. Among the games were the PS3 “Classic HD” collections I owned. These contained just about every notable PS2 release of the generation, including ICO, Shadow of the Colossus, God of War, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Silent Hill 2 and Metal Gear Solid 3.

On top of this, Okami HD, Jet Set Radio and Sonic Adventures 2 all got recently re-released. If you were to show this collection of games to anyone and ask them to add to it, I guarantee you that they’d be hard pressed to think of anything else worthy.

That very same day as I was cleaning out my shelves, my copy of the Dragon Ball Z Budokai HD Collection arrived. For those unaware, it’s a compilation of two of the DBZ Budokai games: The original and the third game in the series.

Without getting into the argument that they’re ostensibly the same game  (so is every other DBZ game ever -ed.), it dawned on me that we may have reached the bottom of the barrel. I mean, look at those games I’ve listed above — with the exception of maybe one, all of them were welcomed and practically demanded for. I can’t think of anyone who was really asking for a compilation of the Budokai games. Hell, the only reason I see it even existing is to potentially give PS3 owners a Dragon Ball game for the year, since the only other choice is Spike Co’s recent Kinect atrocity.

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I spent a good 10 minutes trying to think of any other PS2 games I wanted to see re-released in HD, and there wasn’t much I could want. God Hand? Sure, but I’m content with the original PS2 release on PSN. Odin Sphere? Sure, but chances of that actually happening? The Getaway? Yeah, no.

Though during this period of pondering, I did recall one big HD re-release coming soon: Kingdom Hearts 1.5 HD Remix, which contains the original Kingdom Hearts, the remake of Chain of Memories, plus HD cutscenes from the awful DS title 358/2 Days. If that’s not crazy enough, Square also plan to alter the game to play more like Kingdom Hearts II.

Even though it is arguably one of the most high profile releases coming soon, I just can’t muster the excitement for it. I’d like to think it’s because it’s Kingdom Hearts, but it’s not. I’d like to think that it’s just a tad too late, but it isn’t. Certainly there’s plenty of effort behind it, but still I can’t get hyped about it.

After this, there isn’t much else to look forward to. Maybe Namco can see fit to re-release some of it’s excellent PS2 work, because I’d kill for a HD Soul Calibur II. Hell, even Sega can dip back further into its collection and give the world the Shenmue and Skies of Arcadia HD re-releases that the world has been dying for. Right now, I’d be happy for an English release of the Yakuza 1 & 2 compilation they recently put out in Japan.

I suppose all that we can do now is enjoy what obscure title gets a re-release next, but the appeal is starting to fade. My one hope about all this is that we don’t go through this cycle again in the next generation. The last thing I want is to rebuy all my HD collections as 4K re-releases…

 

Come back on Thursdays for more thoughts and views from the NG+ cast and crew.

[Image credits: EICTA (via Wikipedia), Dogs With Bees In Their Mouths (Tumbr)]