Games That Deserve To Be Re-released

One of the advantages of gaming, compared to other forms of entertainment, is that the technology flies forward leaps and bounds every few years. This means that every new generation of consoles far exceeds the technical capabilities of the previous, and every few years we are greeted with the equivalent of the jump from black and white television to color television. We get huge graphical updates that show the age of past-generation games.

This means that the classics become dated much faster they should. In the same way a young child wouldn’t appreciate Citizen Kane because of the lack of color, we find games nearly unplayable after they’ve reached their fifth birthday. There is a way to combat this epidemic, though, and many companies have already signed on.

Graphical updates and collections have been around since the Super Nintendo. Leave it to Nintendo to be way ahead of the curve with Super Mario All-Stars, but many others have recently seen the light. Re-releases like the God of War Collection and the recently announced Ico and Shadow of the Colossus Collection give gamers without the original foresight the opportunity to play phenomenal classics without the handicap of forced squinting so that they can tolerate the dated graphics.

HD televisions allow developers the opportunity to re-release their games that never received their original due. An HD update is simpler than a complete remake, and the inclusions of trophies and achievements make experiencing the classics all the more enticing. Those who squandered their original opportunities to play titles like Beyond Good & Evil and Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath are getting their second chance, but there are quite a few more classics that are primed to be remade.

Jak and Daxter Collection

The Jak and Daxter series has been out of the hands of Naughty Dog for quite a few years now. Naughty Dog has moved onto bigger things, shooting bad guys and solving ageless mysteries with Nathan Drake, but Jak and his loud-mouthed side-kick defined the action/open-world platform gaming experience of the PlayStation 2. The maturity jump in storytelling, gameplay, and character development seen between the first and second games demands some sort of recorded anthology. The third game didn’t make quite the same drastic leap, but it is certainly a worthy addition. If Jak X: Combat Racing was an unlockable game, I suppose I wouldn’t complain either.

Star Wars: KOTOR Collection

Star Wars fans will almost always unanimously vote for Knights of the Old Republic when it comes to deciding the best Star Wars game ever made. BioWare was given free reign in the Star Wars uinverse, as long as they didn’t blow up any important planets or create any bizarre inconsistencies in the Skywalker fable. The “Knights of the Old Republic MMORPG” (Star Wars: The Old Republic) is nearly upon us, and a KOTOR collection would offer a timely refresher, as well as offer newcomers the chance to see where the Mass Effect roots stem from.

Devil May Cry Collection

Dante has a new look and a new development studio, and many people are angry. What better way to console the fans than to offer them the original trilogy in HD? Devil May Cry has a bad case of the terrible twos, but that shouldn’t stop Capcom from collecting all the games in one place.

Metal Gear Solid Collection

Metal Gear Solid is widely known, and it was widely played (or watched, depending on how you feel about cutscenes). The opportunity to play this game in HD is one that series director Hideo Kojima will likely not pass on. Both Metal Gear Solid and Metal Gear Solid 2 already received updated re-releases after their initial shipment, so we know he is no stranger to re-releases. That, and the rumors are already circulating.

Mark of Kri Collection

Mark of Kri and its sequel Rise of Kasai both look like Disney animated classics, but with the heart of Metal Gear Solid and the over-the-top violence of God of War. God of War, in fact, owes a lot more to the adventure of Rau Utu than most realize. Not only was Utu among the first to brutally murder his enemies with intricate animations, but he was also among the first to do so with the recognizable square, triangle, circle, and X buttons. Mark of Kri won a few accolades at the time of its release, and while the sequel was not met with the same acclaim, it was still a worthy follow-up. Rise of Kasai actually matched the player with a computer-controlled cooperative player for the entirety of the game, which absolutely demands an online cooperative component, something that was difficult to do on the PlayStation 2. Perhaps that’s for the re-release….

Indigo Prophecy

Indigo Prophecy is the foundation that the house of Heavy Rain was built on. It was the first game in which developer Quantic Dream experimented with “interactive drama,” and it was a success. Indigo Prophecy has a heavy science fiction element to it, but it shares many of the same themes and even gameplay scenarios as Heavy Rain. To see the game re-released in HD would allow players to see where Heavy Rain came from and also allow them to experience another game with the same narrative-focused gameplay style that has put Quantic Dream on the map.

Advent Rising

Advent Rising was honestly not that great of a game. It was glitchy to a point where cutscenes would not run correctly. The frame rate would also slow to a near-halt whenever action became intense, but it was only because the game couldn’t handle how awesome the action was. Advent Rising was supposed to be a trilogy, and the original trailer even proudly proclaimed, “The trilogy begins,” but as you could probably guess by the lack of sequels, that never came to fruition.

Advent Rising deserves another chance, though, because of its interesting science-fiction story, written by Orson Scott Card, and its phenomenal action gameplay that was just too demanding for the original Xbox to handle. The game even ended on a nail-biting cliffhanger and an HD re-release could tie up the loose ends and, most importantly, make the game run well. The development team behind Advent Rising eventually became the current development studio Chair, who released the excellent Shadow Complex. I’ve still got my fingers crossed for Advent Rising 2 on the Xbox LIVE Arcade.


When the Xbox 360 first released, one of the games that was not backwards compatible was Psychonauts, and fans were none too pleased. Psychonauts was one of the few games, if not the only game, to inspire a campaign of demands to make the older games playable on the Xbox 360 and Microsoft responded appropriately. Gamers love Psychonauts, and for good reason. Excellent dialogue, gameplay, art style, music, etc., but not enough people were able to get their hands on it, and a planned sequel had to be scrapped. Much like Advent Rising, Psychonauts was another case of a cliffhanger ending to lead into a planned sequel that never came. An HD upgrade would allow this game to receive the wide recognition it deserves and pave the way for a much-needed sequel.

Vanillaware/Odin Sphere/GrimGrimoire/Muramasa Collection

Vanillaware is the development team behind Odin Sphere, GrimGrimoire, and Muramasa: The Demon Blade. Odin Sphere and GrimGrimoire came out shortly after the release of the PlayStation 3 as PlayStation 2 games, so they got lost in the upgrade shuffle. Muramasa was a Wii exclusive and unfortunately the target audience for the game was poorly represented on the Wii.

Vanillaware specializes in two things very well: 2D gameplay, and absolutely gorgeous, artistic animation. The way characters move in Vanillaware games simply has to be seen in motion to truly appreciate, and it’s unfortunate that neither of the excellent games from the studio were able to take advantage of the HD era to its fullest extent. These games need to be on one disc, in HD, and inside either my PlayStation 3 or my Xbox 360. I’ll take either one.


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Author: Kyle Hilliard View all posts by

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