It appears that the only games worth noticing are the ones we’ve already played.
Yes, this week is all about retro remakes, re-releases, and something… different. It’s been quite the trend in the industry for a few years now to simply remake games you’ve already played, and no, this isn’t a shot at Madden NFL. I don’t know when it started — probably long ago — but publishers/developers have realized that we, as gamers, are incredible suckers who will buy the same game several times over.
There are two main ways that companies go about feeding us what we’ve already consumed. Sometimes, they’ll go all out and completely remake the game, redrawing sprites, adding and removing certain elements, re-translating it. This week’s Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon for the Nintendo DS is one such title. Shadow Dragon is a remake of the original Fire Emblem game, which never actually made it over here. It’s got Marth!
The other way that our money is taken from us is in compilations, or in the case of this week’s release, Super-Mega-Compilations of Mass Temptation (TM). Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection is probably the greatest gaming deal in existence, if paying money for a bunch of games over a decade old is your idea of a deal. Chances are, if you read this site, that’s an affirmative. Seriously, this thing’s got more than 40 goddamn games on it. It’s got all four Phantasy Star games, all three Streets of Rage games, Shining Force and Shining Force II, and entirely too many more. And it’s only thirty bucks! Seriously, if you’re going to be suckered into purchasing a bunch of old games, this is the way to do it.
Finally, we have a game that embodies the saying “imitation is the greatest form of flattery.” Retro Game Challenge is, I’m sure, pure distilled awesome. In short, it consists of several fake versions of old NES games, from space shooters to a full RPG in the vein of Dragon Quest. Mr. Parish and Mr. Barnholt have been talking about RGC for the past week on 1up’s Retro Blog (you are reading it, right?), and Ray has the best episode guide for Game Center CX (the show that inspired RGC) at his site, Crunk Games. These people know their stuff better than I do, so please to be reading their fabulous work.
It looks like releases are finally starting to pick up; the next few weeks look positively wallet-destroying. Has the industry finally figured out that they don’t have to release everything during the last three months of the year? Find out next time on Dragon Ball Z — er, I mean, New Games Plus.