Tell Us Dammit: HD Remakes

It's funny how Nintendo decided that Wind Waker, of all games, was the title in its back catalogue most deserving of a HD remake. We're talking about a game that has not aged a single day. Why that one? Why not Twilight Princess? Why not choose a game that would benefit most from a bit of spit and polish?

I was talking about HD remakes with Chris Jager, resident Lifehacker journalist. He doesn't really see the point. Me? I've found them a mixed bag. I don't think I've ever finished a HD remake right till the end. Usually I put a few hours in, satiate my curiosity, then move along to something new. Just enough time to remember the game, feel good about having played it, but not let the thing outstay its welcome.

I haven't played Wind Waker HD yet, but I suspect I'll go through the same process again.

What are your experiences with HD remakes? Good, bad, indifferent?


    I don't think I've played a single one. I'll be getting Windwaker HD eventually though, since I've never actually played it.

    Majora's Mask needs another release. A full-on HD remake for the Wii U would be brilliant, but I'd be happy with a 3DS remake like Ocarina of Time.

      With other HD remakes though, I'm in a similar position to you Mark. The only ones I've extensively played through are the two N64 Banjo-Kazooie games and the three PS2 Ratchet and Clank games. The others, I get a taste and then move on.

      Last edited 10/10/13 11:22 am

        If M$ ever puts the BK games on special ill be right there - as it is they've never been discounted in four years of owning an Xbox

          And they're still worth every penny.

            god was thinking HD remakes were awesome like Combat Evolved Anniversary
            buuut then i remembered TMNT Turtles in Time: Re shelled :(
            fingers crossed for Killer Instinct 3 to be quality its kinda a remake of sorts and looks hot

      Ah majoras mask, loved that game - I think I started again on an emulator a few years ago (don't worry I still have my n64 copy :P) but I find these days that I burn out on games that run 30+ hours. Just don't have the attention span or the free hours any more :( Took me a couple of stints across 3 years to get through twilight princess, slowly working through skyward sword now. I love the idea of HD remakes but I think I'd struggle to go back and play through any old games whilst my back log of new games grows at a rate of knots .

      I'd be severely disappointed with a Majora's Mask 3D. Particularly if they just used the same old N64 sound effects again like they did with OoT.

      The post-credits credits were a total slap in the face with that orchestral piece.

        I wouldn't, I'd just love to experience Majora's Mask again on a handheld.

          I wouldn't. Because the "handheld" experience means nothing to me, and I've already got the game on 64 and Cube. Multiple copies of games are pointless.

    They are a good chance to play an older game for the first time without it looking like rubbish. However, I don't see the point of WW HD as it was cell shaded. I certainly don't think it should be as expensive as more graphically complex games that have been re-released, let alone MORE expensive.

      I don't know why someone would re-buy a title just because it's now HD.

      I haven't bought WW HD but I plan too. It's the only console Zelda I have never played.

        That makes perfect sense to me. It's a decent game. I'm more just reflecting on the fact the remake wasn't really necessary if you can get your hands on an older copy.

          Yeah. It's not rebuying in that sense. When I first got my Wii I actually looked for WindWaker and a gamecube controller online and it was really expensive.
          Given the gamecubes sales, I'd imagine there are a lot of zelda fans who never played WindWaker. (Although, looking at Wii U sales, that may remain the case.)

          I've still got my GameCube and my copy of Wind Waker. It looks like crap. It's not that the graphics are bad, they're great, but I watch movies/TV in HD, play XBOX 360 and PS3 in HD, and now I even play Wii U in HD. Relative to that the Wii/GameCube/N64 (and their non-Nintendo equivalents) look like a blurred mess of colours to me. I don't have any problem with pre-3D games but pretty much anything post-Mario 64 hurts my eyes. It's like trying to play with my head in a fish tank.

    I love them personally, I only get the games I really love, I got msg hd collection and dumped many hours into it getting platinum, I plan on getting FFX:HD and fully completing that as well, I really want to do another playthrough right now but I've decided to wait.

    I bought the Metal Gear collection (2+3+PW), Shadow of the Colossus+Ico and now the Metal Gear Legacy Collection and probably going to get the Z.O.E. Collection too.

    I think the weirdest thing for me is that I don't really play them, I just like having them. I'll play a little bit when I first get them, but because I've already played through and finished them (multiple times) there's little incentive to put the time in to finish them AGAIN, especially after the novelty of seeing the new HD look has worn off.

    I haven't played an HD remake of a game I played and finished years ago. Wind Waker MIGHT change that, if I ever get a Wii U, since it has admittedly been a long time since I played it on my Gamecube. Having said that I did play through the first two Metroid Prime games again once I got the trilogy on the Wii, but you can't really call those HD remakes...just rejigged for widescreen and Wii controls.

    However, I HAVE played and finished HD remakes of games that I missed the first time around. ICO and Shadow of the Colossus are two examples of that, and I'm currently working on the first two God of War games. In that respect, HD remakes are good.

    Last edited 10/10/13 11:28 am

      Widescreen and a changed control scheme are arguably a bigger leap than going "HD"

        Well the HD remakes games pre PS3/360 are also an upgrade from standard (4:3) widescreen.

    To me HD remakes are like hooking up with an ex. Sure the nostalgia and experience is great, but afterwards I always feel like some memories should be left as just that... memories.

      But that ex sure was good in the sack, plus she's lost some weight and looking better than ever... Time for a revisit?

      Last edited 10/10/13 11:32 am

        Sure. But none of the bugs have been fixed and I hate to say this, but over all she hasn't aged that well. :(

      One night and one more time
      Thanks for the memories
      Even though they weren't so great
      He tastes like you only sweeter

    I don't recall ever playing a HD remake.. If there were ones of GTA III, Vice City & San Andreas however, I would play the shit out of those like I did the originals.

      I feel like GTAV is basically Vice City + San Andreas in HD.

        Except without the stellar soundtracks or half the humour.

          Are your speakers not working?

          The soundtrack in GTAV is fantastic. And the humour is as much a [horrifyingly accurate] reflection of reality as ever as well...

            Yup! At first I didn't take a liking to the sound track when I saw the list, but then playing it I found some neat tracks. By many accounts Vice City had one of the best, if not the best soundtrack though.

              VC soundtrack was awesome, a lot of genres well represented with strong songs, some pop hits and some cool b-sides.

            No decent rock or metal AT ALL, some boring indie and pop rock sounding stuff, lots of dance/electronic and trap. Channel X is a joke, just pop crap and overrated bands, (the suicidal song is its only saving grace). Even the Non Stop Pop station is full of filler, not really 'popular' hits. Only decent station is West Coast Classics, and even then there are a lot of filler, B-side tracks in there. Close second would be the Funk station Space, but it's just got too much meh.

            Hardly any of the commercials are funny either and a lot of the snide and cynical jabs at pop culture come off as either obvious or just lame, not nearly as biting as previous instalments.

              I like the Kenny Loggins station and although its no K-Rose, Rebel Radio comes close!

              I have to rate any soundtrack which includes 2pacs 'Ambitionz as a ridah' which is the opening (and title track) of his best album

                Always been a Biggie man, myself.

              How dare they not cater for your niche music tastes :O

              Sorry, on a less patronising note [ :p ], it's hard to include music which will appeal to every player.

              I've got a pretty broad taste in music. And honestly, the music in the game for the most part isn't music I would normally listen to if I'm just listening to music. However, as radio stations in the game, I feel that the music goes fantastic with the gameplay. I'm not playing to listen to music, it exists to augment the game. And to me it does this brilliantly.

                I know right?? Where is my Norwegian Black Metal Station??!?!

                Obviously it's hard to cater to everyone, but I've found with all the other GTAs there's been some good stuff in there, which is what I was expecting for 5, but I've found it really bland and lop sided.

                I mean there's a station called flying lotus, where the guy called flying lotus just plays flying lotus tracks (9 in total, so almost half the number of songs) with a couple of other tracks in between , Then there is Soulwax that plays almost exactly the same stuff: boring electro dance crap.

                Then you have Radio Mirror Park that plays 'Indie' and Vinewood Boulevard plays practically the same stuff as well!

                Channel X is the closest you get to any kind of 'heavy' stuff, but even then it's really boring and half assed.

                But then again Maybe it is an accurate reflection of modern 'popular' music, I don't listen to the radio or anything like that in real life so maybe it's just as shit?

                  But then again Maybe it is an accurate reflection of modern 'popular' music, I don't listen to the radio or anything like that in real life so maybe it's just as shit?

                  Yep. Commercial radio, anyway.

                  Shame it doesn't have the MP3 station feature like every PC version of GTA has had, used to love loading that up with my current playlist.

                  Usually I don't change the station, just listen to whatever was playing in the car when I "borrow" it. Though if I switch it's usually to LS Rock Radio. Bob Seger, Elton John, Queen, Simple Minds..... awesome to drive around town to.

                  Though, I swear every time I get in a car that has Pop FM playing, it's the SAME. THREE. SONGS.... ALWAYS..... Rihanna, Robyn, Fergie [their respective songs].

                  The only good thing on FlyLo is the Aphex Twin song (the video clip is nightmare fuel - esp when viewed on Rage at 3am after a night out)

                  I still find the selection better than IV which had one good rock station, one good R&B station, one good Disco station and seemingly half a dozen reggae stations!

          Personally I didn't much care for San Andreas, and while I remember liking the soundtrack for Vice City, I also remember I played it on PC and made my own radio station from my mp3 collection.

          The GTAV soundtrack is not great, but there's some decent tracks.

          They need to rename Los Santos Rock Radio to "Easy Listening" or something though.

            One Def Leppard song does not a rock radio station make.

              It's more of an AOR or MOR station (while I'm one of the few people on earth that consider Chicago as a rock band "If You Leave Me Now" is basically Adult Contemporary

                A lot of those bands in that era had a crossover/commercial sound, some good songs came out of it even if it wasn't strictly 'rock'. I think it was because popular bands then were actually musicians and wrote proper songs, not auto-tuned, electro dance dubstep dickheads like we have today.

          There's West Coast Classics & Los Santos Rock Radio, both have tunes from the times both games were set. The talk back radio sucks imo, I wish they'd write stuff like we had in GTA III, Vice City & San Andreas. Hell more Just or Unjust from GTA IV would've been awesome. But for the most part I agree, I feel let down with the soundtrack, the original music composed for the game however is great I love it.

    I picked up the Silent Hill 2/3 collection remake. It was alright. Buggy in a few places. Graphically not as good as you'd expect from a HD remastering, but they're great games so I was happy to update them into my collection since I don't have a working PS2 anymore. Of course now the Xbone/PS4 are coming out and aren't backwards compatible... I feel like I should be buying a 360 to keep as a spare for when my current unit inevitably craps out in a couple of years.

    Oh, I also bought the special editions of Monkey Island 1 and 2. Same excellent games with a more polished veneer. Nothing wring with that.

    Halo CE Anniversary edition was okay, but I didn't like how you had to use Kinect for all of the encyclopedia entry scanning. Just so you could yell the word "scan" at the kinect instead of pushing a button or saying it into your headset. :/

    I haven't played many HD remakes, mainly because a lot of the games getting remade aren't ones that interest me too much. Of the ones I have played, the experience was good.

    Sure, just as long as developers realize that ppl don't expect to pay the price for a new game for it... everything has been done except the HD graphics..

    The ones i have seen have been nowhere near the current graphics quality of other new games out at the time. So the only ppl i can imagine that would be interested in HD remakes are the people who want to play an old game that you've beatin, just with nicer graphics.

    so put them at 5-10$ and be happy with the ppl who want to make a trip down memory lane.

    I don't think companies have enough of my money yet.

    I got the Silent Hill, Devil May Cry and Metal Gear Solid HD collections and I don't think much of them. The DMC Collection actually looks worse due to the HD upgrade, Silent Hill looks decent, and Metal Gear looks amazing. But in the end they are the same games I played on the PS2.

    HD Remakes are more for the fans of the games, giving them a way to play them on their new shiny consoles and giving publishers/developers a few extra dollars at the same time. First timers might get disappointed with them since they aren't up to current day standards.

    To each their own.

    I think Wind Waker because it was a great game on a poorly sold console and at the time of it's release, many of the Gamecube owners complained about the "cartoonyness". So ultimately the game didn't sell as well as it should have. Now (3 cartoony Zelda games later) we've mellowed out and maybe the game deserves another chance... On a console that's selling worse than the Gamecube did... Wait....

    Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword are both playable on the Wii U (albeit in standard def with wiimotes) so Wind Waker is the obvious choice.

    My opinions on HD remakes? I picked up the Prince of Persia, Tomb Raider, Team Ico, and God Of War and Metal Gear Solid ones. The only game I ever played previously in those collections was Snake Eater so it was a great way for me to play older games, specifically PS2 games given that I'd stopped gaming around then, that I'd missed.

    That said, to date I've only finished the 3 Tomb Raider games and the first 2 Prince of Persia ones.

    But lets face it, those other games were upscaled and, in some cases, retextured. No major changes were made and that's where The Wind Waker is different. Many small niggling things have been fixed up, the sailing has been reworked with all the items you'd need on to the boat automatically at hand, and the Game Pad is great as both a map and a touch screen item menu. There's so much work gone into this HD remake compared to some of the sloppy ports we got before.

    And the game looks great. I mean, it always did. Bit now it looks so good that when you go back and look at the Gamecube version, you'd swear it looked better before.

    I'm all for HD remakes because some people can't get their hands on, for example, Ico on PS2. Give people a chance to play whatever game they want, on the gaming system that currently lives in their TV cabinet, with a little upscaling and with those much needed (Sarcasm?) trophies and achievements.

      Stupid long and better written version of mine grumble grumble...

    Only one I've played is Super Street Fighter 2 Remix. It was pretty awesome actually.
    Will be picking up WWHD once I clear my current pile.

    I think the point here is capitalising on what is a great game that went unplayed by a lot of people for various reasons - low gamecube sales, naysayers on the style at the time, kids who were too young/didnt exist back then. Seems to happen a lot with the remakes, like Ico/Shadow, very much reaching out to those who skipped the end of ps2. Just my hunch. Other times like MGS it's just an excuse for fanatics to spend more money on the series.

    I've been really impressed with WWHD. It's so crisp and more enjoyable to play (due to the swift sail). I really like the Tingle bottles too, and although they add nothing to the story, the sense of community makes the world feel more vibrant and alive. The original has aged well mind you, so a remake really wasn't necessary, but the end result is still charming.

    As for other remakes, I'm hard pressed to think of anything that "needs" it. Maybe older games which still play well, but have poor gfx by today's standards. Older FPS and the like (Hexen anyone?). I'm looking forward to the FFX remakes though. I never played X-2, and my copies of X (1 sealed, 1 played) went walkabout in a house move. Not happy Jan.

    I loved the Splinter Cell Chaos Theory HD ver, as it took a game that was mechanically still brilliant and polished it even further. I think it's the same (from what i know of) with Wind Waker.

    I think HD remakes fail when it's only nostalgia that they are relying on - a game really needs a compelling reason to play it again.

    Loved the Banko Kazooie remakes and am looking forward to Wind Waker when it arrives in the post but generally I don't buy them.

    Banjo worked well because the N64 was a blurry mess so it was nice to see it so sharp, and Wind Waker is one of my favourite games so I'm happy to buy that with a bit of polish on it.

    I did buy GTA3/VC/SA on PC so I could play them in HD too!

      What are these Banjo remakes I keep hearing of? I've only found Nuts & Bolts on X360.

        There's HD remakes of Banjo Kazooie and Tooie on on the Xbox Live marketplace.

        Although not quite remakes. The graphics are the same as on N64, just in higher resolution, with adapted controls for 360.

        Last edited 10/10/13 1:24 pm

          So emulator + 360 pad is the same I guess. Thanks though, didn't know about it!

    If the game is old to the point of distraction and the remake a big improvement then I like them. The Monkey Island SE's were pretty great (well, at least MI2SE was). They gave me a good opportunity to share the game with my wife.

    That being said, she just turned on the subtitles and skipped through the dialogue as quickly as possible, so I'm not sure she got all that much out of the experience except a series of obtuse puzzles that she kept asking me for the solution to. Oh well. Horse to water and all that.

    Resident Evil REmake was amazing.

    I love HD remakes. Like a few other people here, I played the hell out of Banjo Kazooie on 360. When I love a game, I usually end up playing it through a couple of times. HD remakes are a chance for me to do that again years later. It's mostly nostalgia but the truly classic games are worth playing all the way to the end.

    I'd love more than anything to see the original GTA trilogy get a HD remake. I'd probably only play Vice City through to 100% but I'd still pay money for all three which is the most important thing in getting it made.

    I like the idea, it makes older games more accessible.

    Take Shadow of the Colossus for eg. Imagine wanting to play that game and having to fork out hundreds to buy the PS2 version.

    Also the God of War games looked better in game than during a cinematic.

    I've got about about 7-ish HD compilations on ps3 and couple more individual remakes on PSN. of which I had only really played around 3 of the individual games beforehand, so I don't really have the nostalgia value for most of them.

    It's always interesting seeing how well the games stand up today, some of them feel like they haven't aged a day like kingdom hearts and okami, and then some of them are near unplayable *cough*hitman*cough*.

    Last edited 10/10/13 12:27 pm

      I got the Hitman HD collection. Fired up the first one (so, second game in the series I think) and yeah... gameplay is pretty poor. :(

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