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?


    Essentially, my experience with HD remakes is like anything else, if it's done well, they are fantastic, but if done poorly, they are absolutely horrible. The main points I like, or at least make them a good thing in my eyes are:
    - They let me catch up on games I missed the first time around because I had less money or time.
    - They make the game look less ugly, and don't make the graphical tricks used to overcome the limitations of the hardware as obvious
    - They usually update the gameplay and controls to better match today's standards (where possible)

    As I said though, good ones are great to play and I don't care about the old school graphics and design, but the ones that don't age well and were poorly designed from the outset are really horrible to play.

    Said it before, saying it again.

      Yes please. HD remake of burnout 3 takedown.

    I love my HD remakes. I didn't get around to God of War when it was current and I always wanted to, so when GoW 3 came out, I bought it even though the HD collection, ludicrously, released about two weeks later. It was an awesome way to get into the series, and I was astounded by how good they looked and how well they played. I've got the Ratchet and Clank, Ico + Shadow, and Jak and Daxter collections too, and love them.
    Now, having said that, Wind Waker is actually paused on my screen as I type. Essentially, my thoughts on it are this: I love this game and would replay it in a heartbeat anyway. So why not play it in a new set of clothes?

    I'm all for HD remakes, it gives me the chance to play games I missed earlier, but I probably won't get a HD remake of a game I've already played..

    I got MGS: Peacewalker and Snakeeater on Xbox, both which I have not finished. Will get back to them one day, but newer games always take precedence. I hardly ever go back and play older games.

    The gameplay of some older games was great at the time but tedious today, so a HD remake might rape your wallet but not really get the replay value. While others the gameplay is still spot on, and a HD remake just makes it easier to keep playing on a 50" screen. I feel Wind Waker falls into the second category.

    I assumed Windwaker got the HD treatment because it is otherwise unplayable on the Wiiu. MM and OOT can be via the Wii VC and I'm pretty sure the NES and SNES titles are available too. Without GC games on VC and the lack of backwards compatabilty WW couldn't be played. That's always why I thought they did it. I'm still gonna buy it though as I never played it.

    I've got a few now:

    Ocarina of Time 3D: perfect remake with genuine improvements

    Splinter Cell 3D: apparently a remake of Chaos Theory - suffers from a lack of a second analogue stick but at least that makes you careful cuz you've got no hope in a fire fight!

    Super Mario Advance 2, 3 & 4
    Currently the best versions of these games with character voices lifting them above the SNES versions

    Bionic Commando Rearmed: brilliant and bloody hard - still haven't finished it and not for lack of trying

    NBA Jam OFE: maybe this is not a remake but I bought it for the nostalgia value alone

    Turtles in Time: these side scrolling beat-em-ups which were all the rage when I was a kid feel so pedestrian now - almost finished

    MGS 2&3 / MGS Peace Walker: fantastic, given I haven't played them (gave up on MGS2 on the PS2 have gotten further with it on my 360) I'm having a blast! Peace Walker is such an improvement over the other two control-wise its not even funny

      Gotta disagree with SMA3 - no way that was an improvement over the SNES version. Especially the Yoshi voice in place of the sound effects they used to have, which I'd forgotten about til you reminded me :P

      SMA4 is excellent though. And becomes something else entirely once you throw the e-reader into the mix.

      To this day though, Metroid: Zero Mission is my number one favourite remake of all time. Nothing but improvement plus adding a tonne of new content, all without detracting from the original in any way.

    Bought the original ICO over a decade ago. Played it, loved it.
    Bought the ICO HD release nearly 2 years ago. Played it, loved it, though the elements of surprise and discovery were not as intense as the first time. Replayed it again to get the platinum trophy. That was an interesting challenge!

    Last edited 10/10/13 5:04 pm

    I had never played the God of War titles, so getting the two games for a low cost was a no brainer. And I'd missed the handheld entries, so getting both of those on the cheap was nice too. Id loved the Jak and Daxter games, but I'd sold them long ago and missed them. So when I could get all three for a song, that felt good. In some ways I was revisiting games, in others, I was getting a collection I'd missed out on.

    Well i didnt even finish this game on the gamecube. Heaps of boring conversations and lots of boring sailing. I actually want a reason to buy a wii u but this is why i know i should wait till the system is nearly dead and then i can just cherry pick the five or so decent titles

    KOTOR 1 & 2 with the cut stuff put back in. I know I've played the mod version of 2 but it doesn't feel the same as if it was done officially.

    Also is it too early to ask for HD remakes for Mass Effect for next gen?

    Finally a 3D remake of Pokemon Red and Blue would be complete amazingness.

    I'm just annoyed that OoT 3D didn't received the same amount of polish and refinement as Wind Waker HD. It was 2011 Link + core characters stuck in an environment that looked more 1998 than 2011. It was still a fantastic game with many improvements on the original, namely master quest (although that wasn't new) and boss rematches, and a big step up from Mario 64 DS, but I still feel that it lacked the treatment that Waker HD appears to have received.

    On another note, I didn't really like HCEA. It just didn't feel as awesome, although I admit that the lack of a PC release, in contrast with the original, left me feeling bitter.

    I just wish they weren't necessary. In a perfect world every XBOX game would run at full HD on the XBOX 360, every PSX and PS2 game would run at full HD on the PS3, and every GameCube and Wii game would run at HD on the Wii U. Preferably as both a digital download (out of the box) and via backwards compatibility (with a game update) so there's no need to do a full production run.
    I think the PS3 was potentially heading there, but the architecture issues forced them to abandon the future proofing they were setting up. A bit of a day dream but still, it'd be great to be able to play my old games with the same benefits we see on emulators.

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