Monday, May 7, 2012

HD Collection wishlist

It seems that HD collections of games from last generation's consoles are all the rage right now - at least, from the developers' standpoint. And frankly, any given one of them - from the largely criticized Silent Hill HD collection to the more graciously accepted Devil May Cry and Metal Gear Solid HD collections - are solid packages for the price. Paying $30 to $40 for two to three games, each of which lasts significantly longer than many current gen titles is none too shabby. Personally, I would like to see some more of these HD collections hit store shelves. I realize that the some of the games listed below have a much better chance of seeing inclusion on an HD collection than others. But this is my own personal wishlist, and if I want to bend the rules a little bit, I shall do just that.

With the WiiU on the horizon, Nintendo could break into the market of these HD collections by turning to releases from the purple lunchbox. While I personally stuck with the Gamecube through thick and thin, there are quite a few gamers who opted for the Playstation 2 or Xbox and in turn missed out on some great gems. Nintendo does like to group games based on the audience they are catering to, and as such I have organized two hypothetical Nintendo HD collections by the ESRB ratings of the included games.

The first is the 'E for Everyone' collection, whose main attraction is Super Mario Sunshine. Mario Sunshine is an underappreciated entry into the plumber's adventures, and has a lot to offer in terms of playability. Included with it would be Pikmin, a brilliant little strategy/adventure game, and Kirby Air Ride, a very different experience with the pink puffball than his traditional side-scrolling platformers.

The second collection would include games labeled with the 'T for Teen' rating. At the forefront would be Metroid Prime, which is hands-down one of the best games from last generation's consoles. The second entry would be Star Fox Assault, one of the most graphically gorgeous games on the Gamecube. The story mode is linear in comparison to Star Fox 64's multiple routes. But switching between vehicles provides dynamic gameplay and the multiplayer is surprisingly addictive. To top things off, F-Zero GX would be included for the gamers who want an extra level of challenge (which isn't to say that the other two are a cake walk).

I love what Konami has done with the Metal Gear Solid HD collection, and I really commend them for porting Peace Walker over to consoles. I would like to consider the possibility of them creating another Metal Gear Solid HD collection, and including The Twin Snakes and Portable Ops. This might not seem as substantial a package as what the first MGS HD collection offered, but if they were to include the original Metal Gear Solid (accessible from the menu of The Twin Snakes in the same manner that Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake were accessible from the menu of Metal Gear Solid 3) and the VR missions, as well as everything included with Portable Ops and Portable Ops Plus, the sum of those parts would serve as a nice rounded out package. I'm not knocking the original MGS. But the character models and environments are really nothing spectacular considering the graphical limitations of the original Playstation. That's why I would feature The Twin Snakes as a prominent part of the package. But if both tellings of the Shadow Moses incident can be incorporated into a second Metal Gear Solid HD collection, then obviously players should have their choice.

Capcom loves to repackage and re-release their games as many times as possible. While the HD versions of Resident Evil 4 and Code Veronica did not make as big of a splash as Capcom had probably hoped, they could easily make up for this by releasing a proper physical HD collection to follow up those two games. Should Capcom choose to revisit the formula that the older games in the series followed, my suggestion would be that they stick with the earliest events in the Resident Evil chronology. As such, the games I would include in a second Resident Evil HD collection would be Resident Evil Zero, the Gamecube remake of the original Resident Evil, and Resident Evil 2. The two Gamecube entries present the classic horror style that the series is known for, and look downright gorgeous for the hardware they originally ran on. Resident Evil 2 certainly looks more dated, but is one of the most popular entries in the series, and would be more warmly received than either of the Outbreak titles or Dead Aim.

Finally, an entry that I really cannot see happening anytime soon (if at all) would be a Sonic Adventure HD collection. This collection would include both Sonic Adventure DX and Sonic Adventure 2: Battle, as those versions of each game would make for a more completed package. It's possible that SEGA could tack Sonic Heroes on as well, but beyond that there are really no other 3D Sonic games old enough to be considered for such a collection. The reason I consider a Sonic Adventure HD collection so unlikely is that Sonic Adventure was ported to the Xbox Live Arcade not too long ago, and SEGA even went ahead and released a Dreamcast collection disc that included the likes of Space Channel Five and Sonic Adventure. Also, Sonic Generations is still relatively recent in gamer's minds, so I can't see SEGA jumping on an HD collection anytime real soon.

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