I got myself a copy of Beyond Good & Evil HD over Xbox Live Arcade recently, and since purchasing it, have been playing the shit out of it. It’s a game I’ve completed several times in the past, having owned a PC copy for many a year and it’s a joy to play, but it has been some time since last picking it up, so I thought this would be a good chance to give it another go. And fuck is it awesome.
It looks absolutely gorgeous in HD, and all the elements I loved from before are still there. The story is excellent, the gameplay fun if a little dated, and the photographing of animals and searching for pearls adds some longevity to the game. Beyond Good & Evil was a critical darling when it was first released, but unfortunately, that didn’t really translate into sales. This is another part of the reason I bought the game once again. The more copies it sells, the more chance we have of finally getting that sequel we’ve all been waiting so long for. Just look at some of these sexy screenshots:
Pretty nice, right? Not as nice as playing it. It struck me while playing how great a platform the HD remake is. When a movie or an album has been out for quite a long time, it’s still easily accessible for most people. Games are a bit more difficult. Technology moves on, and the systems the games are created on stop being made altogether, meaning the games themselves stop being released. These remakes are a way for newer or younger audiences to play the games they might have missed the first time, and gives those of us who did get to play them first time around and loved them a chance to try them again, and get that huge hit of nostalgia that fills us with pleasure. And Beyond Good & Evil HD is a good example of a remake that cleans up things like the textures and framerates, but leaves the gameplay alone, giving you the exact same experience from when it was first released. Unlike something George Lucas would do.
Another perfect example that I’ve been playing a bit of lately is Perfect Dark, which I also purchased from Xbox Live Arcade. The game looks fantastic, and the framerate issues that the game had on Nintendo 64 are gone. But the gameplay is still the same as it used to be. The AI is stil just as stupid as it used to be, which I think is awesome. Give the people what they want. Now if the same could be done for the original GoldenEye 007 instead of the pretty shitty “reimagining” that got released for Wii and then again to Xbox 360 and PS3, then we’re really cooking. And Perfect Dark sure as hell beats its sequel, Perfect Dark Zero.
There’s plenty of other HD remakes out there that I haven’t touched, but it’s great to see so many out there that people can get their hands on. I for one am going to get myself a copy of the Silent Hill HD Collection very soon, because Silent Hill 2 is one of my favourite games of all time, and having the chance to play it again will be a treat. And with the announcemnt of a similar treatment for Abe’s Oddysee, another one of my all time favourites, there’ll be plenty of classic gaming to be lived all over again soon.
So what about you, Dear Reader? Do you like the idea of these remakes, or do you think they’re a waste of time? And what have you been playing?