The last few years have seen a number of classic titles being re-released on modern consoles, usually with significantly updated graphics and controls altered to suit their newer platform. While remaking or remastering older games, and porting to different platforms, is nothing new for the gaming industry, as more fans reach the age to enter the industry and influence products, it seems that it’s becoming more and more common for developers and license holders to revisit old titles.
With much-anticipated titles such as Final Fantasy VII seeing real progress in a remastered release as well as old favourites like Parappa the Rapper having playable demos, it definitely seems like 2018 will continue the current remake trend. We have seen The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask both perform well with their 3DS releases, and Pokemon re-releases such as HeartGold and SoulSilver were also well-received by fans worldwide. Even spiritual successors of older games, Youka-Laylee for example, are generally doing well. As long as nobody looks too hard at Mighty No. 9…
Many companies are sensibly releasing these games as compilations. With the way technology has progressed in leaps and bounds, what was once a game that just barely fit on a cartridge or disc can now be included with a group of other games. This allows players who may remember one game or who are fans of the franchise in general, but who were for whatever reason unable to play all the titles in the franchise, a chance to get all the games together in one pack. Square Enix & Disney Interactive Studios have been doing this for a while with the Kingdom Hearts titles, bringing the Japan-exclusive and handheld console games to PlayStation in bundles.
2017 saw its own fair share of remade games, Yakuza Kiwami for example, but the most recent and possibly the most notable is the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, released in June. This classic trilogy had a massively positive reception from fans of the original series and new players alike. Players were delighted to be able to visit or revisit the world of Crash, one of the biggest mascot-characters from the PlayStation in the ‘90s without having to dust off an old console. (Yes, we know you keep your old PlayStation in a box in the loft ‘just in case,’ so do we!)
So, given how Crash was able to blow all expectations out of the water (probably with TNT or Nitro), what’s next for the remake list? We’ve already seen a new Sonic the Hedgehog game designed to appeal to classic fans, and indeed there is a fan-made HD version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 in the works, of which there is already a fantastic demo available. Might we finally see a full revisit of the original three Rayman titles? Or… Could it possibly, finally, be the Year of the Dragon?
It certainly seems like Activision have some consideration for how Spyro would fare if he got a remastered version. And given the reception of Crash it would very likely be a smart move for them to go down that route. In fact, it’s likely that many titles from the mid to late ‘90s would also be welcomed by fans. Spectacular visuals and deeply involved storylines are always great, but sometimes you just want to breathe fire or throw your disembodied fist at something. Rayman classic does already have a mobile release, so it’s really only fair to look at a certain purple dragon, right?
With older fans chomping at the bit to find out what the next big remake title will be, we hope it won’t be too long before we get an announcement of some kind. Since many of the licenses from those years are likely widely distributed amongst many companies, it could come from almost anywhere. It’s possible, though unlikely, we might see a Spyro release announcement in time for the 20th anniversary next year, which would definitely make a lot of fans extremely happy. However, it will be interesting to see any re-release announcements, since there are so many spectacular games to choose from. Even a Croc: Legend of the Gobbos remake would be awesome to see, and there are plenty of people who would probably jump at the chance to play MediEvil in glorious full HD.
But for some of us, we will continue to hold out hope for our little dragon friend Spyro, and his firefly sidekick Sparx.