Thursday, January 25, 2018

SuperPhillip Central Best of 2017 Awards - Top Five Remakes & Remasters

Let's kick off the penultimate day of awards in the SuperPhillip Central Best of 2017 Awards with a wholly new category! Yes, this category has never before been seen on the SuperPhillip Central "Best of" Awards in the ten-year history of this annual event. It's a look at the Top Five Remakes & Remasters of 2017. You can include ports in here, too! These updated games on this list had enough additions to be worthwhile, were remastered to utter beauty, ported to the impossible, or a combination of other factors. From racing to ripping and tearing, these best video games remakes and remasters (and ports) were the best of the best for 2017!

5) WipEout Omega Collection (PS4)


This past summer saw the return of the WipEout series, a weaponized rival to franchises like F-Zero and X-Treme G. It seemed with the shuttering of Sony's Liverpool studio, the creators of the WipEout series, that PlayStation's futuristic racing franchise would not be seen again for quite a while. Though it's not a brand-new entry in the WipEout series, it's the next best thing, a collection of three of the most modern games on the series: WipEout HD, WipEout Fury, and WipEout 2048. Able to played in glorious 4K via PS4 Pro or similarly impressive on just a vanilla PS4, WipEout Omega Collection is a stunning racer that makes the WipEout series look better than ever before. With 26 total tracks, 46 ships, and nine unique modes, this WipEout collection is a futuristic racing fans' dream come true.

4) DOOM (NSW)


If in 2016 someone said to you, "You know this super amazing looking game on PS4, Xbox One, and PC? Well, it's going to come to a Nintendo platform in the future," would you have believed them? Furthermore, would you even believe Bethesda would support a Nintendo system after all of this time? DOOM on the Nintendo Switch did, in fact, happen, and somehow the port made by Panic Button brought DOOM's 2016 entry to the Switch in a big and impressive way. While obviously certain graphical aspects had to be toned down from a game made for a high-end console and PC to fit onto less powerful hardware, Panic Button did a highly serviceable and way impressive job (less so in undocked mode, but still amazing that it somehow runs well even in that mode). Containing the whole single-player campaign, the full multiplayer with its 6.66 update including all of the 16 maps and reconfigured rewards, and stellar online, DOOM on Switch seemed like an impossibility, but Bethesda and Panic Button proved to people that things aren't always what they seem.

3) Metroid: Samus Returns (3DS)


While there has already been a remake of Metroid II: Return of Samus created by a fan, there has yet to be an official one by Nintendo. That was until last fall where Metroid: Samus Returns for the Nintendo 3DS released and Samus went on an updated mission with some story and gameplay-related twists and turns. For one, Samus could now aim more precisely and by varying degrees instead of strictly left, right, down, and some diagonals. A new counterattack meant enemies who got too close for comfort for Samus could be stunned or destroyed in an instant. The environments boasted lots of variety, especially in the second half of the game, and story-wise, the inclusion of new bosses and story beats added more lore to the Metroid series in general. Both Nintendo and MercurySteam crafted a long awaited and satisfying return of the Metroid series, and it makes me quite hopeful for the future of the franchise, something I couldn't quite say after Metroid Prime: Federation Force, despite enjoying that game for what it was.

2) Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy (PS4)


Samus may have had a long awaited return, but the wait was nothing compared to PlayStation fans and one of the characters synonymous with the brand, Crash Bandicoot. Activision and Vicarious Visions teamed up to create what fans had been clamoring for ages for, a remake of the original Crash Bandicoot trilogy, a trio of games released way back on the original PlayStation. With the PS4 remakes all in one neat and tidy packed, Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy brought several added conveniences to the old games while making them look absolutely jaw-dropping in their gorgeous brilliance. The new animations, the detailed worlds, the advanced lighting, and the tremendous effects on display meant that Crash had finally entered onto the PlayStation 4 in top form. And the wait was worth it, as all three games were brought to their best (yes, even the original Crash Bandicoot, which I still think is not particularly a great game). Fans were thirsty for more Crash Bandicoot, and sales charts in the West have shown this on a routine basis.

1) Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (NSW)


At first glance, Mario Kart 8 on the Nintendo Switch didn't seem like such a big deal, but looks can be deceiving. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe not only jazzed up its presentation, but it had all the purchased DLC from the Wii U game already available in the Switch port, new characters like King Boo and Bowser Jr. to race as, a completely overhauled and better-than-ever-before Battle Mode with eight unique arenas, and multiple modes to keep the races running wild all throughout the year. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe remains a mainstay at parties with friends and a game in the rotation for when I play the Switch with my older brother. This is after already playing the Wii U original for 80+ hours! With being placed on a new, much more popular piece of hardware, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is on its way to easily outselling its Wii U predecessor, and whether it's at home in docked form, on the go with handheld mode, or gathered around a patio table in kickstand form, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe can be played and ultimately enjoyed whenever and wherever with whoever you want, making it SuperPhillip Central's pick for the best port of 2017!

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