Thursday, December 30, 2021

SuperPhillip Central Best of 2021 Awards - Top Five Remakes & Remasters

What's old is new again with this awards category as part of the SuperPhillip Central Best of 2021 Awards. These games brought back classics in a great way with updated visuals, quality improvements, and even some new features to make these remakes and remasters some of 2021's absolute bests. Here's the list of winners.

5) Sonic Colors: Ultimate (Multi)

Although its launch was a bit of a rocky one, perhaps one sabotaged by Dr. Eggman (that dastardly doc!), Sonic Colors: Ultimate shaped up to be a stellar HD remaster of the Wii original Sonic Colors, one of the Blue Blur's best 3D outings bar-none. It's not just a good Sonic game, it's a great game in general. The upgraded visuals look stunning, the remixed music alongside the originals are true bops, and the added features like Metal Sonic races and the ability to customize Sonic made for an HD remaster that rolled around at the speed of awesome.

4) Nier Replicant ver.1.22474487139... (PS4, XB1, PC)

The original Nier was an oft overlooked game, so it was a blessing that Square Enix gave the game a second chance to shine--and boy, did it ever shine! Not only did the sales top over a million copies, blasting past projections, but the improvements and upgrades to this remaster made a great game even better. The most obvious of these upgrades are within the visuals, which delight and captivate with a fresh coat of paint. However, there is also that of the combat improvements, which made Nier a far less frustrating game than the original title. Nier Replicant ver.1.22474487139... is a stellar remaster overall.

3) Pokémon Brilliant Diamond & Pokémon Shining Pearl (NSW)

Despite not really digging the chibi art style of this duo of Sinnoh region remakes, the visuals eventually grew on me and dare I say I managed to discover somewhat of a fond appreciation for them. Sometimes a remake doesn't really need to really reinvent the wheel, and that's what makes Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Pokémon Shining Pearl such great remakes. This pair of titles doesn't deviate too far from the blueprint laid out by the Nintendo DS originals, which may disappoint some, but new features such as character and Poké Ball customization, The Grand Underground, and Super Contest shows add to the value of these remakes. If you wanted the fun and challenge of the Nintendo DS Pokemon games with some added features and in a fresh coat of paint, you got them with Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Pokémon Shining Pearl. 

2) The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD (NSW)

SuperPhillip Central's Game of the Year way back in 2011 shined brightly ten years later with a glorious HD remaster of one of Link's lesser liked 3D adventures. The development team added a slew of new features and quality of life improvements to Skyward Sword to make it a more welcoming, less tedious journey for both players and Link. The most prevalent of these was that of traditional analog controls for sword slashing, using the right stick to maneuver Link's blade. The standard motion controls were also included, offering similar swordplay and gyro-fueled goodness to the Wii game, albeit with more syncing needed. All in all, it was a pleasure to be able to revisit Skyloft, the Sacred Grounds, and all parts of Skyward Sword's world all over again with this HD remaster, and being able to experience the game once more was an absolute privilege to do.

1) Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania (Multi)

Essentially remaking the levels of Super Monkey Ball 1, 2, and Deluxe, and packaging them together in one forty dollar, content-rich game, Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania served as the series' 20th anniversary title. And, goodness gracious, what a way to celebrate 20 years of Monkey Ball madness. Banana Mania was a return to form for the Super Monkey Ball series, offering oodles of delightful and exhilarating gameplay, countless in-game challenges to complete, cosmetics to unlock, levels to overcome, and mini-games to enjoy. While not a 1:1 perfect recreation of the original Super Monkey Ball games' physics (so purists may be disappointed here), what is present is one of, if not the best Super Monkey Ball game to date. The value is extraordinary and the game itself is a banana-fueled blast.

No comments: