New Games Plus: Everything old is new again

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.

3 thoughts on “New Games Plus: Everything old is new again

  1. Who’s idea was it to make so to unlock for the SMS Phantasy Star in the Genesis Collection that the first boss of Sonic 2 would have to be beaten by two players? That’s unfair. I play RPGs, I have no friends.

    And wow, I can’t believe I beat Alex Kidd back in the day. The controls are awful. He handles like he’s on ice.

    But the save state on Fatal Labyrinth makes it much easier–perhaps unfairly so, as you can now save before trying a potion. Kind of brakes the Rougishness, but that game’s cousin, Dragon Crystal, broke my will, so it is payback time!

  2. You know, I really never expected to find myself regretting my purchase of the “Sega Genesis Collection” from a little while back. Almost 30 games for $20? Almost every worthwhile game on the Genesis? Wow, great deal! But no, wait another… 2 years? Tada, they get rid of the almost and toss in the original Phantasy Star too. Just someone tell me they didn’t go so far as to include Zillion, Fantasy Zone 2, the Wonder Boy games, or the one good Alex Kidd (Miracle World). My new game isn’t selling enough for me to keep up on all these wonderful old games here.

  3. The only SMS games in this collection are Phantasy Star and Golden Axe Warrior. But there is the arcade version Fantasy Zone to be unlocked.

Comments are closed.