High Definition has already set in a while ago. Most people love the addition of watching things in advanced resolutions and that’s all dandy for them. Movies have long since picked up on the matter and started releasing their work, or rereleasing it even, to be viewed in this circumstance. Again, it’s an understandable move. Movies have a key feature in how their visuals come across and thus updating this illustration enhances the whole experience. But now games have also come into the trend of rereleasing their work with a shiny HD sticker. This is a somewhat lesser understandable move.
Recently, it was announced they were going to bring out Team Ico games once more; specifically Ico and Shadow Of The Colossus. This followed the HD release of God Of War. There are also rumors for a Sly Cooper update, Odin Sphere and Muramasa: The Demon Blade, amongst many others being whispered through at the local water cooler. In fact, Sony is already so adamant on the success of the venture, they’ve started using box art with the subtitle “Classics HD”. So, it’s safe to assume many other older games are on route to take a second bow. But why is that? What is so fundamentally flawed about the games that they need to be remade? Nothing is wrong with the games; they’re just being made to look shinier and new again. But that’s good, right? Bright new shiny game, what could be wrong with that?
It's coming, might as well get used to it...
The main aspect of a game is still the part where you can play or ‘game’ with the product, therefore having the term gameplay. If its key feature was to merely look at it, it would be an interactive movie, Kojima. So, the part where you pick up a controller (or not now) and go about the fictional area of the world is the part of the game you should focus on. A high definition release doesn’t really touch that part. It spruces up your characters and background, maybe heightens the framerate, but it leaves the game aspect as it is and as it was. So actually, you’ll be playing the same game or an old game if you haven’t before; but it will be the same experience as years before, when it was thrown into the savage game market. The rerelease doesn’t add anything to an already existing product; it’s all cosmetics. So where is the point in playing something old that already is exists in the exact same state? There isn’t really a point to it, but it’s worse than simple redundancy I’m afraid. I could fathom people wasting their own time; far be it for yours truly to dictate how people piss away their pointless time, looking at shiny objects.
The fact is a HD release takes up time, effort and resources, just like all other work in life. Luckily, all the major prep work is already done, so the only thing left to do is polish up the silverware or maybe give it the ol’ spit shine. But it is essentially repeating the same work once over. Allow me to demonstrate (please take into account this is fiction):
A professional company holds a qualified team of 20 people. These people work on games, on any aspect their respective fields contain. From making games, to illustrating artwork, to doing PR, etc; they all have their job to do and do so well.
Now, this company feels it can take on 3 projects with its team. On one end, they have 12 people working on a large multi-platform title. Then they have 5 people working on a handheld title. The remaining 3 people have been told to prepare the newest HD release. Seventeen people are now working on different material. Three people are revising and tweaking old stuff, which might not even be their own, such as BluePoint Games and God Of War. This basically wastes the time of 3 people capable of either aiding their colleagues or creating something novel themselves. Instead, they’re busy doing the work that has already been finished and released and passing it off as if it were something new, which is just lazy.
Let’s say Level 5 is working its men (and women, you feminist trolls) on releasing the amazing, upcoming Ni No Kuni. The gross amount is working to release the PS3 version in Q2 of 2011. The smaller team is prepared to finish the DS version on December 9, 2010 (that one is actually correct). The 3 remaining people are reworking Team Ico’s ventures. These 3 people could’ve spent time on helping Ni No Kuni getting here as well. There’s no point in them creating Ico; that game is already available, it’s here, it’s done, move on. With their aid, who knows, Ni No Kuni DS could’ve gotten here by December 9, 2010!
Wait what; that’s the exact same date? Well of course it is; like mentioned these are professionals. They’ll take on projects they feel they can finish within in an allotted time. This isn’t Daikatana, where Romero spent so much time shouting random things, it basically ruined him. Well, except if you don’t count going away from Ion Storm, the creators of Deus Ex, to go work for LOLapps in the end, the creators of Critter Island. My point here is that their talent is ‘wasted’ on doing something already done, instead of helping to create novel work. Not only that, but someone is sinking funds into old material, bringing in resources and space. Three months spent shining up graphics, a hundred thousand dollars in man hours for the project, 3 office cubicles allotted towards making the release, it’s all for naught. This in the end is harmful to gamers wanting games.
Imagine all the people...
Note that harmful is in the most indirect and feeble way possible. The developers aren’t coming to your home, to destroy your previous copies of games and cutting you up with the shards. But compare it to someone coughing next to you, without having the courtesy to holding his hand up. This act of lazy opportunism may not do much against you; it’s not even a direct attack to your person or anything meant to be harmful. But because that person chose to be lazy and not have the effort of holding up his hand, your immune system gets to deal with germs and you could get sick; be it ever so slight. A High Definition release is like a cough in the face; not the end of the world but it’s a bit rude and it might smell a bit, you lazybones.
Daav Valentaten, NoobFeed.