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Remake or Compilation

Over the past few weeks and probably the next few, I have been playing quite a few games that, in actuality, I had already played many times before.  Remakes seem to be all the rage in the video game industry right now, along with every other industry for that matter, and they all tend to offer either polished graphics or new features.  The real question becomes whether or not these games are worth getting.

As somewhat of a collector, I tend to hold onto my favorite games for a long time.  Sometimes, a new release of that game will come along and I’ll end up picking it up again.  Let’s take The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for example.  I actually own this game a whopping four times.  One is my gold cartridge copy for N64, another my pre-order bonus for Wind Waker that came with Master Quest, the next is the Gamecube compilation with everything up to Majora’s Mask, and the last is Ocarina of Time 3D.

This brings me to the first way these re-releases are made: as compilations.  Typically, they’ll take two or three games from a particular series and slap them all on one disk on a system one generation up.  Most of the time, the only thing that’s been done to these games is a minor facelift to the graphics and added trophy/achievement support.  While the allure of being able to get those trophies out of your old favorites is hard to resist, if you own, and have played, these games several times over, it may just be a better idea to play the copy you already own again.

The other way games get re-released is as a true remake.  If they’ve taken the game from the ground up and enhanced the graphics, revamped the controls and/or redone the sound, then you’ve got a true remake on your hands.  Some good examples of this are Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes, Resident Evil for the Gamecube, and Ocarina of Time 3D.  The great thing about these games is that they are able to capture the memories of your old favorites while breathing some new life into them.  Sometimes, once you’ve finished a game, you get that feeling like you wish you could experience it for the first time again.  The closest you’re going to come to that feeling is one of these games.

When looking to get another copy of a beloved game, make sure you know what you’re getting into.  If it comes with several other games, has HD in the title, or looks relatively unchanged in the screenshots, it’s a compilation.  Compilations are fine to get, great in fact if there are games in there that you haven’t played before, but if you’re looking for something new you won’t find it there.  If it is only one game, has a slightly different title and looks remarkably different, then you’ve got a remake and it is usually worth your time if you are a big fan of the game.

Remakes and compilations are continuing to be very popular and are here to stay.  So, just make sure to shop smartly for them and you won’t get burned.  On that note, stay tuned for my review of the Ico and Shadow of the Colossus Collection next week!

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