by Joel Smart (Sports Editor)
We’ve seen it in the film industry many times. As new mediums emerge, our old favourite films are rereleased in the new form. If you bought it on VHS, the special features and crisper picture may have had you ready to buy your favourite films again on DVD. Then Blu-ray Discs (BD) came along, with even better forms of the same films. The same is true of music. If you’re old enough, you might have a version of the same album on record, tape, CD and mp3. Now it’s beginning to happen more often with your favourite video games.
The Wii features the Virtual Console in which you can buy digital copies of your favourite old Nintendo games. The PlayStation 3 features a section on the PlayStation Store that allows you to download old PlayStation games for extremely low prices that can then be played on the PS3 and PlayStation Portable.
The newest trend is the HD re-release. Sony began this past year when they released God of War and God of War 2 on the same BD for a low price with improved textures and higher resolution, not to mention trophy support for those trying to bolster their trophy scores. The rerelease sold quite well, considering it came out just before the third game in the series and allowed people who hadn’t played the originals to catch up on the back-story at a reduced price.
Thus began the “Classics HD” line for the PS3, high definition BD rereleases of beloved previous-generation PlayStation games. The soonest to arrive will be The Sly Collection, featuring the three Sly Cooper games released on the PS2, now in HD. The Sly Collection is introducing new gameplay as well, by adding in Move support. That means parts of the game will now be playable with the new motion control device.
The most exciting of this new rerelease line to be revealed is the Ico and Shadow of the Colossus Collection featuring both Ico and Shadow of the Colossus in high resolution. Both games undersold when they were initially released, but developed cult followings for their incredible story and gameplay. Both are brought up regularly to bolster the argument that “video games are art,” and so it is pretty cool to know that these two games will get one more chance at reaching the public. Another cool feature that will be added to the series, beyond trophy support, is the fact that the games will feature the option to play them in 3D, when played on a TV that supports it. Considering the incredible atmosphere of both games, this could be a jaw-dropping experience.
There are also two fairly likely rumours for new “Classics HD” to be released as well. The first one is a Mortal Combat trilogy, while the other is Prince of Persia 3D, which would feature the PS2 trilogy in 3D on a single BD.
While buying rereleases can be costly and sometimes unjustified, they can be great for those who never got the chance to play them the first time. For fans, having a newer, better version of a treasured game experience can also make rereleases worth it. So, while it may initially seem like a cash grab, the hard work put into some of these newly re-mastered editions is a positive sign.