At a time when it’s all too often that games are stuck in a rut, we look back at games from yesteryear for our inspiration, and sometimes, it turns out they deserve a modern-day remake or remaster.
And this year we have seen many of these mysterious beasts, many of these strange and fantastical creatures, and some of then have been good and some of them have not, but the worst list comes later, so for now, here in my opinion are five of the very best HD Remakes or Modern Remasters available for you to buy right now.
5 – Sonic CD (X-Box Live Arcade)
When Sega stopped a fan remake of Sonic CD a few years ago, we booed and hissed. But what Sega had done was not to stop it – but take that work and encourage more. The result is a faithfully remastered game, full of charm and wit and an engine that is as faithful to the original as is humanly possible. That it is one of the best Sonic games made is also a massive bonus.
4 – Streets of Rage Remake (Fanmade PC)
And likewise, we can only assume the same is happening here. And Streets of Rage Remake is, by any definition, a highly professional job done by fans who are devoted to the cause. It’s honed, balanced, and remastered with new locales and secrets for you to discover. Sega stuck their oar in, but it’s still downloadable on the internet – and worthy of your time.
3 – Beyond Good and Evil HD (X-Box Live/PSN)
A game that should have had more love first time around, Beyond Good and Evil is a game that is driven by the narrative but not constrained by it – it’s a game about a world, about life, about politics and corruption and greed and power. It’s an uncomfortable and yet startling reflection on the human condition – and yet filled with hope, despair, love, friendship and all other mushy words. It’s sublime.
2 – The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D (3DS)
It’s not that it is a classic. Nor is it that Nintendo did a bang-up job touching the game up for the 3DS. Somehow, it just works. Ocarina of Time is timeless, a game that just is, was and always will be. It defies all known sense of logic and reason and does something almost unbelievable – it defines not only a genre, but gaming as a whole. But it isn’t the top spot. SHOCK HORROR! (No worries, Skyward Sword will make Nintendo fans feel a lot better!)
And this years winner is…
1 – Ico/Shadow of the Colossus Collectors Set (PS3)
Not only do you get TWO games, you get two games that defy the definition of “game”. They are games, to be played and enjoyed, and yet each game on its own is somehow more.
Ico has always been a cult classic – but it’s the gentle warmth, the mysterious and deep locales that scream character, the relationship between Ico and Yorda that touches and inspires. The dialogue is minimal – the game itself tells the story, nudging you on with minimal instruction and force. The result is profoundly inspiring – and really, genuinely, one of the finest games made.
And then you get Shadow of the Colossus. Another game with minimal dialogue, again the world tells the story and is driven by the player, hunting these unassuming gentle giants in his desire to bring back his dead love. And the game plays on this to alarming effect – who is the bad guy? Why does the player wish harm on creatures that have no intention of hurting others? Is love enough? What happens after – can it ever be the same, can the end ever justify the means?
Each on their own would probably have earned the number two spot easily. But together, in the same pack, for £25, you get two games that would, could and should be used as evidence in the “Games As Art” debate. And that makes it one of the most solid purchases you can make for the PS3.