Monday, December 30, 2019

SuperPhillip Central Best of 2019 Awards - Top Five Remakes/Remasters

The second awards category on this Monday for the SuperPhillip Central Best of 2019 Awards is for the Best Remake and/or Remaster. There's sometimes annoyance from gamers towards remakes of older games. Some would prefer wholly new experiences as opposed to treading old territory. However, I'm of the opinion that if an older game that would otherwise be stuck on dated hardware gets an even better version, then what's the problem with that? These following remakes are ones that I believe do just that, or at the very least complement the originals well. With that said, here we go with the list of winners for this countdown.

5) MediEvil (PS4)

Kicking off this countdown of the top five remakes and remasters from the past year is MediEvil. Now, MediEvil was a remake through and through, being insanely faithful to its source material. Perhaps too much so in some critics' cases, as there were occasional warts that showed up in the form of a high difficulty and some obtuse puzzle design. This wasn't a game back on the PS1 that held your hand, and in 2019, this remake was not one that did the same either. If you dug the original MediEvil like I did growing up, then you'll definitely find yourself in love with this remake. Again, warts and all.

4) Spyro Reignited Trilogy (NSW, PC)

We move on from one classic from the PS1 era to another with Spyro the Dragon, a little precocious purple fire-breather whose platforming trilogy I greatly prefer to a certain bandicoot's. Be that as it may, the Spyro Reignited Trilogy released on both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One last year, and it wasn't until this past September that all three remade games saw their journey to the Nintendo Switch and PC. The latter of which is more than enough of a reason to put the games on this list, as the PC version was fantastic and looked absolutely jaw-dropping and gorgeous if on the right settings. Don't worry, Switch fans, the Spyro Reignited Trilogy also looked great for that hardware as well, especially being able to play all three games on the go. Both new versions amount to this remade trilogy reaching the fourth spot on this list.

3) The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (NSW)

My return trip to Koholint Island was one that brought me faint memories of playing the original Link's Awakening as a child, being bewildered by bosses and puzzles inside the eight dungeons of the game. However, back then I had my trusty Nintendo Power to guide me through. This time around, despite The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening being completely remade on the Switch and having Koholint Island look like a totally different--albeit just as cozy--place, my memories from my youth came flooding back like waves of nostalgia. Even then, the new content made it so my adventure wasn't a predictable one. Koholint Island had never looked better with its warm, fuzzy, toy-like appearance, and the new arrangements of old classic tunes made for a game that I will happily return to for the rest of my gaming years. The original Link's Awakening gave me plenty of happy memories as a child. The Switch remake has already given me even more to enjoy as an adult.

2) Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled (PS4, XB1, NSW, PC)

What can I say about Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled that I haven't already? Well, I'm going to have to think up some things, not just for its placement on this list, but also for a later category as well. Crash Team Racing's remake saw Beenox put so much effort into the game. Familiar locales and tracks were completely made over with a fabulous brand-new look that if one didn't recognize the layouts, they might not even recognize the tracks at all! Not only were the CTR original tracks and characters included, but so were those from Crash Nitro Kart. Couple this with a meaty amount of modes, as well as the continued monthly sequences of Grand Prix events, and you have a game that delivered for fans thirsty for incredible kart racing action featuring characters other than those from the Mushroom Kingdom.

1) Resident Evil 2 (PS4, XB1, PC)

Utterly terrifying as a game in both scare factor and quality, Resident Evil 2 marked Capcom's continued rise in prominence this generation after having faltered quite a bit last gen. There is a fine line when remaking a game. Change too little and you've done the bare minimum. Change too much and you might ruin what made the original special. Capcom nailed the balance perfectly, offering a remake in Resident Evil 2 that satisfied both new players and fans familiar with the PS1 original game. This substantially "gore-geous" game brought a more serious story and tone, offering truly intense and emotional moments. Then, there was the tried and true gameplay that changed the perspective to a third-person over-the-shoulder one which worked flawlessly, as did needing to watch your limited ammo and manage your meager amount of inventory space. Dealing with zombies--a once benign threat--now turned into scenarios where every encounter with the undead was a dangerous one. And that's nothing to say about the newly added threat introduced halfway through the first section of the game. Resident Evil 2 delivered in every way one could imagine, making it the best remake of 2019.

No comments: