This is something I’ve talked about for a long time, and now with the releases of the Killzone Collection and the Resistance Collection on the PS3, I think it’s finally time to meet this issue head on. Like a matador, cause they confront bulls for some reason, and that’s what we’re doing here today, confronting a lot of bull. It’s a lot of bull as in its bullshit how the companies… yeah let’s just get on with it.
It all started on that cold November day in 2009. I was a young lad back then, lost and confused about a lot in life. I wasn’t the *ahem* “pretentious dick” I am today, and was happy with any Call of Duty rip off you shoved in my face, my poor dad’s wallet for shame Activision. Then one day I saw it, the God of War Collection, containing the previous two games with a shiny new coat of paint and trophy support. I never played the original games despite owning a PS2 however, so just imagine my joy when I found out I could get two for the price of one!
Now imagine that young boy getting completely confused and slightly frustrated by what he then assumed was a strange business model. Surely people can buy the two games cheaper for PS2, most of the (then current) PS3 models still play PS2 games. This kinda seems like a rip-off, there’s no way people will fall for this.
But imagine the shock and horror when I found out they did. Not only were people buying it despite being able to get the PS2 versions cheaper, but so were people who already owned both games! All for ever so slightly better graphics and trophies, two things most gamers say don’t matter much.
I didn’t fully understand Sony’s reasoning behind it back then, but now it’s pretty clear. Not only is it just an easy and quick buck, it’s also an attempt at destroying the used game market. Sure you can argue against this statement, saying that now most PS3’s aren’t backwards compatible and that some people haven’t played the original PS2 games. You could even say some people genuinely want nothing more than a new coat of paint, and enjoy putting their hard earned money in a paper shredder on weekends. But just how exactly do you defend the Killzone and Resistance Collections? Games that are already on the PS3, with absolutely nothing new added except maybe gimmicky Move support.
Here’s an example, the Resistance Collection is going on sale for $40. As of right now, if you buy all three Resistance games used on Amazon, it’ll come to about $38 including shipping. Or you could buy the Resistance Greatest Hits Duel Pack (Resistance 1 and 2) and Resistance 3 (used o course) for $36 including shipping. Did you catch that last part? There already is a Resistance collection with just the first two games!
We all know that innovation, or the lack thereof, is the industry’s biggest problem right now. Are we really willing to back these HD remakes when it makes that problem even worse? What does it tell the publishers when we buy these HD remakes, especially when we can buy them cheaper used? It shows them all they have to do is constantly re-release older games in this HD remake format, and that those games should keep getting sequels, see Ratchet and Clank.
And let’s look at the term “HD remake”. If your definition of a remake of a video game is simply upscaling the graphics then by all means it’s a remake, perhaps I can also take this time to inform you that you just won a million dollars and all you have to do to claim it is give your bank account and personal information. A true HD remake is what Microsoft and 343 Industries did with the Halo Anniversary. They recreated the graphics from the ground up to run specifically on the 360, even going as far to use a new engine. You could even change the graphics from the original to the new version with the push of a button.
So even though Sony has been doing the HD remakes for years, and has produced about thirty billion, Microsoft strolled up in did it right. They sure taught Sony how to remake a generic FPS. But the best thing Microsoft did was leave it at one game. They didn’t combine it with Halo 2 and Halo 3, they didn’t overprice it, they released it digitally, and they haven’t done another HD remake since. It was a onetime deal with their biggest game, and treated it with respect and dignity, rather than shitting out the same game with one or two less jaggies and Move support that no one in their right mind cares about anyway.
If all the companies that did these “remakes”, PSP games, and continuing dead franchises, put their resources into creating new franchises and new games, then we could possibly have some great stuff. Imagine if instead of Flower or Journey, thatgamecompany was forced to do an HD remake of Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain or Heavy Rain.
There is a case that these companies, like Ready at Dawn or Sanzura Games, somehow get more experience and exposure. That’s simply not true. The games are already made, all they have to do is enhance the graphics. It’s like learning how to play guitar by only playing other songs. That’s not learning how to play guitar, that’s learning how to play songs. To play guitar, you must learn how to play on your own and make your own songs. Why force these new developers to simply paint your house when they can build you an entirely brand new one?
Its spot the difference!
It seems the real reason for phasing out the original backwards compatible PS3 models is to eliminate the possibility of someone buying used PS2, and forcing customers to buy these HD remakes. This is pure speculation of course, but it does make sense given the current climate of the industry. If Sony is shameless enough to completely rip off Super Smash Bros., or Microsoft to release a completely broken Eye Toy clone, or Nintendo to constantly release the same three games over the course of twenty years, who’s to say what they would and wouldn’t do?
I gotta take my shots where I can.
Given the lack of innovation in the industry, and the general agreement in the gaming community, I find it completely bizarre that these HD remakes sell so well. I find it even more bizarre that only Sony is really doing it. So getting rid of these damn HD remakes might not be the first step in bringing back innovation, Sony does release a lot of new IP’s on a regular bases, but just think of how many more games could be made, how many more IP’s could come from it by freeing up these new, small companies. Think of how it’ll help Sony’s image. Think of how used games aren’t the video game equivalent of a man who categorizes rape as if it were a woman to be put away in a binder. Not getting too political for anyone, am I?