What Once was Old...

No one can deny that this is an exciting time for the video game industry. Intricate plots are being woven with undeniable maturity, graphics and animations are increasingly realistic, and the quality of writers and actors has improved immensely over the last decade. To put it simply, the medium is growing and evolving, inching closer to the time-tested juggernaut that is the movie industry. This is an undeniable triumph on many levels, but there are two sides to every coin. Specifically, I'm speaking of the push towards a mass market. With a larger audience and sales expectations continually rising, there is renewed concern that the creativity of this wonderful art is being hampered. I do not mean to imply that originality is gone, as there are far too many examples of poetry in motion being released on a regular basis to backup that claim. Instead, I simply wanted to comment on the rash of remakes, rehashes, and re-releases that are currently dominating all forms of entertainment.

I'm pretty sure I own at least one of these on PS2 already.

I own a lot of games that I've yet to play. I'm not proud of it, but I enjoy collecting, so I can usually justify my actions. However, one cannot help but doubt prior purchasing decisions when a new and better version always seems to be a development cycle away. This is something Hollywood has been doing since before we were born and, to a smaller extent, an exploit that the gaming industry has been working since the early days of interactive entertainment (think of all the Atari, Intellivision, Capcom, etc. collections that are released for every console). I am not actually trying to rail on this practice because, honestly, I don't know how I feel about it. I love the idea of catching up on games that I missed and getting to experience a definitive version of an already respected product. In fact, I've got a copy of The Sly Collection sitting on my shelf, Ico/Shadow of the Colossus preordered, Beyond Good & Evil HD on my mind, and God of War Collection waiting patiently in my PS3. Yet, I can't help but be disappointed that so many resources are going towards these products as opposed to something completely original.

Stabbing giants in the eye just got prettier!

In the end, I don't have any answers. These are just the thoughts running through my head as I start to play the God of War II HD remake today. It's good and I'm glad I'm playing it. When I played the original God of War on the PS2, I came away unimpressed. The story was interesting, but I found the combat to be too repetitive. Regardless, I fought my way through endless enemies and soaked up the drama of the Greek Gods. Then, I largely forgot about the series. However, with the recent release of God of War: Origins Collection, I've been wondering where things went with the sequels, especially given all the fanfare from stab-happy reviewers.

My first impression was that the game looks fantastic. The character models, lighting effects, animations, and environments are great. It's clear a lot of work went into the HD conversion, but it's also clear that the game must have been truly impressive in its original form. In the short time I've spent with it, the gameplay seems to be very similar to the first one. I mash the buttons and the enemies go away. The game starts with an abilitease, so I'll have a better impression of skill progression and strategy as I go further. Mostly, I'm just trying to run through the game to get the story and see the sights, so it should go quickly. Still, I'm feeling things click like I never did with the first one. I think it's just an objectively better experience.

RenegadeSaint: Last seen November 10, 2011.

That's it for now. I've got a couple old-school games lined up, and I'm always ready for some Reach or Borderlands. And of course, Gears 3 is around the corner and Skyrim is just over the horizon. The future looks fun. And busy.

8 Comments
9 Comments
Posted by RenegadeSaint

No one can deny that this is an exciting time for the video game industry. Intricate plots are being woven with undeniable maturity, graphics and animations are increasingly realistic, and the quality of writers and actors has improved immensely over the last decade. To put it simply, the medium is growing and evolving, inching closer to the time-tested juggernaut that is the movie industry. This is an undeniable triumph on many levels, but there are two sides to every coin. Specifically, I'm speaking of the push towards a mass market. With a larger audience and sales expectations continually rising, there is renewed concern that the creativity of this wonderful art is being hampered. I do not mean to imply that originality is gone, as there are far too many examples of poetry in motion being released on a regular basis to backup that claim. Instead, I simply wanted to comment on the rash of remakes, rehashes, and re-releases that are currently dominating all forms of entertainment.

I'm pretty sure I own at least one of these on PS2 already.

I own a lot of games that I've yet to play. I'm not proud of it, but I enjoy collecting, so I can usually justify my actions. However, one cannot help but doubt prior purchasing decisions when a new and better version always seems to be a development cycle away. This is something Hollywood has been doing since before we were born and, to a smaller extent, an exploit that the gaming industry has been working since the early days of interactive entertainment (think of all the Atari, Intellivision, Capcom, etc. collections that are released for every console). I am not actually trying to rail on this practice because, honestly, I don't know how I feel about it. I love the idea of catching up on games that I missed and getting to experience a definitive version of an already respected product. In fact, I've got a copy of The Sly Collection sitting on my shelf, Ico/Shadow of the Colossus preordered, Beyond Good & Evil HD on my mind, and God of War Collection waiting patiently in my PS3. Yet, I can't help but be disappointed that so many resources are going towards these products as opposed to something completely original.

Stabbing giants in the eye just got prettier!

In the end, I don't have any answers. These are just the thoughts running through my head as I start to play the God of War II HD remake today. It's good and I'm glad I'm playing it. When I played the original God of War on the PS2, I came away unimpressed. The story was interesting, but I found the combat to be too repetitive. Regardless, I fought my way through endless enemies and soaked up the drama of the Greek Gods. Then, I largely forgot about the series. However, with the recent release of God of War: Origins Collection, I've been wondering where things went with the sequels, especially given all the fanfare from stab-happy reviewers.

My first impression was that the game looks fantastic. The character models, lighting effects, animations, and environments are great. It's clear a lot of work went into the HD conversion, but it's also clear that the game must have been truly impressive in its original form. In the short time I've spent with it, the gameplay seems to be very similar to the first one. I mash the buttons and the enemies go away. The game starts with an abilitease, so I'll have a better impression of skill progression and strategy as I go further. Mostly, I'm just trying to run through the game to get the story and see the sights, so it should go quickly. Still, I'm feeling things click like I never did with the first one. I think it's just an objectively better experience.

RenegadeSaint: Last seen November 10, 2011.

That's it for now. I've got a couple old-school games lined up, and I'm always ready for some Reach or Borderlands. And of course, Gears 3 is around the corner and Skyrim is just over the horizon. The future looks fun. And busy.

Posted by the_OFFICIAL_jAPanese_teaBAG

Well Im assuming those collections are for people like me who never really got a chance to play those games when they were younger and to get them interested into a new game (God of War III)

Posted by Sweep

Moderator
Edited by RenegadeSaint

@Sweep: You are much too kind.

@the_OFFICIAL_jAPanese_teaBAG: You make some excellent points. It is a great thing for new gamers to experience the classics of the past and sometimes this is the only way for that to happen. It seems a little bit shadier to use these re-releases as advertising for the next game in the series, but as long as they come out as a quality product, who am I to complain? In the end, I think quality remakes are probably a good thing, but I can't help wonder about the original projects that were bumped in their wake.

Posted by HandsomeDead

@Sweep: Why didn't I get that?

Posted by Sweep

@HandsomeDead: Because you have only written one blog in the past 11 months! We are trying to feature users who are regularly writing in the Blog Initiative. However, your blog has already been recommended for this weeks community spotlight, I believe ^____^

Moderator
Edited by the_OFFICIAL_jAPanese_teaBAG
@RenegadeSaint: Yeah I get what you mean.  Companies like Square Enix just bothers me.  They make all these prequels and just these games that are merely like side projects but they cant get around to the next game in one of their most important series.  I seriously wonder if Kingdom Hearts 3 is ever going to come out.  I also need to get around to getting PS1 games on the Playstation Store so I can play those games and see what the fuss for some of those games are about (FFVII)
 
Oh and congrats on being part of the Blog Initiative!
Posted by Kazona

I think there are various factors at play here.

First of, there is the risk of creating something wholy original as opposed to a sequel or remake. Everyone knows that Gears 3 will sell, but Epic's other published game, Bullet Storm, didn't fare all that well, despite Epic putting quite a bit of marketing muscle behind it.

So considering today's cost of developing a game, I can't really blame many of the publishers opting for the tried and true.

Another factor would, of course, be that in an area increasingly saturated market it becomes harder and harder to create something original.

I'm sure there are more reasons one could think of, but I think those are the two biggest.

Great blog post. You earned yourself a follower.

Posted by wemibelec90

As the Bomb Crew has said more than once, it is way cheaper to uprez a set of textures and art assets then it is to develop brand new ones.  Can't really blame companies for wanting to make a quick buck, especially since we keep buying them.
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