Tuesday, April 12, 2011

When Remakes/Ports Are Better Than Their Predecessors, Part Two

Last Tuesday we took a look at seven games that were ports or remakes that were superior to their originals. This week we're going to look at several more. These games have enhanced visuals, added content, and other bonuses that their predecessors were lacking. Let's dive in and explore which of these titles outdid their originals.

Resident Evil (GCN)

Return to the mansion with all-new, still-impressive-to-this-day graphics, added areas of the mansion to explore, Lisa Trevor, Crimson Head zombies, new bonus material, and so much more. This Gamecube-exclusive remake is one of the best entries in the classic Resident Evil series to date with more thrills and chills than you can shake Barry's beard at. Who could forget entering a room with a zombie on the floor only for it to rise up and come charging at you? Not this superhero.

Star Ocean: Second Evolution (PSP)

With much better load-times than the original (Star Ocean: The Second Story), voice work for nearly every scene in the game, a new character to recruit, character portraits in scenes, and improved balance, Star Ocean: Second Evolution is yet another PSP port that does its job well. What makes this port a joy to play is that it takes one of my favorite Japanese RPGs of all time, and it adds just enough new content to be worth a second look.

Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together (PSP)

A remake of the PlayStation One classic, Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together feels like a brand-new experience with its added bonus content and fresh crafting system.. The battles are fierce and frantic, and you'll need all your mental mettle to come out on top. New classes add a totally varied dynamic to the gameplay allowing for strategies never before seen. If you're looking for a tactical RPG to take on and have already completed War of the Lions, Tactics Ogre is the game for you.

Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver (DS)

The recent remakes of Pokemon Gold and Silver add a bevy of content to the fold. There's double battles, the ability to transfer Pokemon from Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum as well as the Game Boy Advance line of games, challenging Pokemon to catch, and updated visuals to give your Pokemon experience a fresh and new take on the franchise. Don't forget the ability to trade and battle online with friends or total strangers making these Pokemon entries one of the best the franchise has ever known.

Final Fantasy IV (DS)

Combining those charming yet crude 3D models the DS is known for with all-new content and was the original game to include the Active Time Battle combat system, Final Fantasy IV for the Nintendo DS is a truly magnificent game. It features the hard mode version of the game where grinding was a must and knowing the right strategy was the difference between success and a game over screen. The updated score is additionally an awesome touch to this impressive remake.

Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes (GCN)

When Shigeru Miyamoto asks you to put one of your signature games on his console of choice, you can't help but do it. That's exactly what Hideo Kojima did with the help of Silicon Knights. Adding in a new first-person perspective which some say breaks the game (I think it just makes an otherwise frustrating game more manageable) and Nintendo-centric Easter eggs, the Twin Snakes introduced over-the-top cutscenes, upgraded voicework, the action/stealth gameplay you know and love, and the convoluted script you come to expect from a Metal Gear Solid game.

Metroid: Zero Mission (GBA)

Take one part Metroid, add in new, colorful 2D visuals, throw in a map system to easily get around the planet, and thrust forth a dab of intriguing post-game content in this excellent remake to the Nintendo Entertainment System classic, Metroid. Samus Aran was more powerful and dangerous than ever before in the portable space with powers unlike any ever seen, and killer abilities. If you were annoyed by the lack of a map in the original NES Metroid, take a dabble in the remake, Zero Mission.


Have I left any of your favorite remakes/ports out? What about those that are actually worse than their originals? Hit me up with a comment in the comment section.


Anonymous said...

I'm with you except for FFIV DS. There's something timeless and immortal about those original SNES sprites that will still make the SNES Final Fantasies playable 25 years from now, but the DS's blocky polygon characters are going to age badly and be an eyesore and instant headache very soon.

Also, while I definitely agree it trumps the original, I only consider Zero Mission to be a remake in the loosest possible terms (especially compared to the likes of Resident Evil 4 Wii, Skies of Arcadia Legends, and Mario All-Stars). It's really a new game.

CM30 said...

Well, Super Mario Advance 4 is possibly a better game than the original. On one hand, the graphics and music are a bit worse than the Super Mario All Stars version of Super Mario Bros 3, but on the other hand, it adds all new levels, items, tip movies and features through the e-Reader function. More interestingly, many of the additions are bosses and enemies brought in from Super Mario World, Super Mario Bros 1 and Yoshi's Island.

Super Mario All Stars might be a good example of a remake done well, at least in regards to Super Mario Bros 2 and 3.

Other than that, if you want some obscure examples, you've got those Satallaview versions of Super Mario Bros 1 and 2 and early Legend of Zelda games back on the SNES. Or Super Mario Bros Deluxe for the Game Boy Color.

Heck, maybe Donkey Kong 94 in regards to the original arcade game?