Ah, HD. The current ‘trend’ in gaming has the community all riled up again, following two new HD update announcements via Resident Evil 0 (Zero) and Darksiders II. The former may be ripe for the concept, but the latter? Which begs the question, is everything worthy of an HD update? Where does it end?!
So that got me thinking, what games would really deserve the concept of a fresh, fully upgraded experience. Made sense to make a list out of it then (hey, it’s trendy to make lists!), so here you go:
10. The Metroid Prime Trilogy
The Wii had its fair share of high quality titles, none more important to its lifespan than the Metroid Prime trilogy that set a new standard for the franchise. Whilst there have been rumours for some time that Nintendo are keen to dip back into it with Retro Studios in tow, there hasn’t been any concrete evidence to back that up.
But with no Donkey Kong Country title in the wings, that could possibly free Retro up for a full on sequel or, barring that, an HD update to the trilogy itself. Nintendo seem to have a strong track record with that concept, the Zelda titles have sold gangbusters on the 3DS and WiiU respectively on that front, so why not reintroduce another franchise to the mix whilst we wait (with hope) for a proper new instalment.
9. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
The first of many long shots on this list, which is largely due to the fact that Rockstar rarely re-release their old content, outside of the iPhone and iPad editions of GTAIII and the like, of course. San Andreas would continue the concept of free roaming with as many options as possible, and its story was one of the stronger of the original bunch, though on the back of GTAV that might be a tough act especially since that game in particular has a similar setting.
If we’re talking about a good three or four years before we see the next iteration in the franchise, how about adding some San Andreas content into GTAV to tide us over, allowing more control over our character creation or reintroducing the concept of looking after your health, etc. Or, of course, there’s the possibility of revisiting my personal favourite in Vice City…
8. The Operative: No One Lives Forever
There’s actually a very interesting story behind why The Operative will never again (so they say) see the light of day, which I’ll link to here. In summary though, it seems there are too many fingers in the pie as to why owns the rights to the series, which is a real shame. An HD overhaul of one of the better spy games from yesteryear would be a welcome change of pace from all the war and sci-fi settings, that and it would be great to bring back such a fantastic leading lady.
7. Jet Set Radio
Funny thing about Jet Set Radio, it still looks good today. I revisited its Xbox iteration (JSR:Future) recently as part an upcoming Let’s Play series of mine called Nostalgia (more on that soon), and found it just as entertaining as when I first picked it up all those years ago. Looking at it from a modern point of view, its colourful imagery still holds up but imagine what it would look like now. An update would put all those poorly designed Sonic ideas well away from our collective memories.
6. Vagrant Story
Everyone keeps going on and on about wanting Final Fantasy VII back, meanwhile Square has its heart set upon everything else other than that. There’s one RPG in their back catalogue, however, that also deserves to be thrown into the topic of HD conversation, and that’s Vagrant Story.
Back in the day it was partially overshadowed by another Final Fantasy, FFIX, but its story and battle system were highly praised upon launch to the point that it received a perfect score from Famitsu magazine. Perhaps now, in light of the success of Bloodborne and Dark Souls, an RPG of its calibre would once more fit right in.
5. Blade Runner
There’s no better time to revisit one of the classic (and some might say forgotten) movie tie-ins than Blade Runner, what with talk of a movie sequel AND the continued rebirth of point and click adventures via Telltale. This 1997 PC release had you playing as a new Blade Runner, Ray McCoy, in a story that played along side the original movie arc. Considered to be one of the first adventure games to make use of a real-time 3D engine, its success unfortunately didn’t garner any further sequels, but a fully revitalised game engine and perhaps even with Telltale at the helm, a modern update would go down a treat.
4. Viewtful Joe
Capcom hasn’t always treated its IP’s all that well, when you think about it. Mega Man hasn’t seen a full blown release in a while, Resident Evil went off the bend and lately there’s been a heavy focus on HD updates as it is (the aforementioned Res 0, Devil May Cry Everything) so why stop there? Viewtful Joe was a solid release and its sequel wasn’t half bad either, with an unusual art style and almost as unusual play style. Given the 2D platformer has more than just established itself as an important genre, Joe wouldn’t look amiss if he returned with a sharper set of skills.
3. Super Mario Galaxy
Super Mario Galaxy and its sequel were powerhouse releases for the Wii, forever cementing Mario as the platforming hero whilst taking him on an entirely new and mind bending adventure, giving it that much needed boost of originality in the process. Taking Mario on an intergalactic adventure that used varying gravity and dimensions was a perfect marriage of ideas, one that many would love to see continued on the WiiU.
However it’s the visual presentation of Mario Galaxy, its colourful and intricately detailed worlds, that deserve to be shown in full HD for the first time. The Wii could only do so much, after all.
2. The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim
Yeah, I know, probably not the most obvious of suggestions, but think about it. With the PS4 and Xbone finally up to snuff with the power needed to get the most of Bethesda’s juggernaut release, surely someone at the company has thought about it? Skyrim on PC outshone its console counterparts in almost every way visually (the same could be said for most games of that late 360/PS3 era, mind you), so it could just as easily find a home on the newer systems. There’s still an active community too, and with the success of The Witcher 3 comes an even greater interest in open world RPG’s. Of course, Bethesda could be a little too busy with something else…
1. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
As I’ve already mentioned, Nintendo has a good track record with Zelda updates. Both its 3DS renditions of N64 hits Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask went down well with fans, OOT sales saved the 3DS almost on its own in its early days, and Wind Waker HD was a welcome addition on WiiU. Twilight Princess, mind you, would be a far bigger undertaking HD wise, given the graphics at the time were more detailed and complex than any previous Zelda title. That and many fans consider it the closest to a darker, more adult like Link adventure that they’d love Nintendo to concentrate on.
Now that the next Zelda has been delayed (probably until the new console, that’s a prediction), there’s a fairly decent sized gap in the release schedule to fill. Question is, does Nintendo have something up its sleeve that isn’t Starfox, Mario, Metroid or even F-Zero? We’ll know for sure next month, but personally I feel like Twilight Princess deserves to the same kind of respect and nourishment Nintendo put into its previous three updates. So there.
Alright folks, what do you think? What deserves the HD treatment? Sound off in the comments below, we’d love to hear your thoughts.