Thursday, August 13, 2015

Leopaul's Heaven and Hell: Some video games don't understand the past

Even this is a very very very old game, that game still making my pants wet. #perfectdark #xboxone #rarereplay #gaming

A few days ago, I bought myself a compilation of old video games for my XBOX One console called Rare Replay, and I am utterly enjoyed by the British-based video game developer's history lesson in the form of thirty greatest hits. For me, the games I have enjoyed playing the most on their greatest hits are the Perfect Dark series because they made my pants wet everytime when I go to bed, remembering what am I doing during hours of gameplay with these first-person shooters.

Thanks to Rare Replay, some people involved in the world of video games do very well when it comes to recalling their past achievements and show it to the new generation of gamers much like those classic Fisher-Price toys sold in most stores where parents remembered playing one in their toddler years and then show it to their kids. That begs me the question, do some video games understand their past feats...or not at all for numerous reasons?!

Ever since the XBOX One and PS4 were launched to the world two years ago, the words "Backwards Compatibility" is no longer in their vocabulary and that shocked most video game aficionados like you and I. In the past, we were able to play our old games in modern-day consoles not only for nostalgic reasons but to pass the time of our own. Yes, our PS3 consoles (depending on the model) can play your old PSX and PS2 games, our XBOX 360 consoles can play old XBOX games, the list goes on and on, but with consoles like the PS4 and the XBOX One, that argument holds no value anymore.

However, this year, the tables have been turned because back in E3, Microsoft announced that their next update to their XBOX One console will have backwards capability with almost all XBOX 360 games. Yes. You can play most of your old XBOX 360 games like your XBOX 360 versions of your favorite IDOLM@STER games, Ridge Racer 6, Beautiful Katamari, or any other XBOX 360 games you have on your XBOX One and record most of your favorite moments either snapshot or Game DVR. That is a wonderful feature but what about the PS4 per se? Well, sadly, the blokes from Sony rejected the idea because, well, they're not interested with their past games playing on their modern equivalents, but they did offer a feature where users can play PS3 games in PS4 via Playstation Now subscription but the games offered are very limited and they're just a bit pointless. There's almost none of your favorite PS3 games where you can share your favorite moments by pressing the Share button from your PS4 controller.

This is much like a similar problem that I faced with my PS Vita a few years back because when I played a certain PSX game or a PSP game in my PSVita and engage the special feature that can create a snapshot, it displayed a message saying I cannot create a screenshot on this game. What was that? Something needs to resolve this issue.

That's the problem with today's video games right now because for some, the past is no longer bearing with them and it will be best to have them wither away like the sands from the beach and decided to push forward to the future. Does forgetting the past makes them more interesting or less interesting?

Okay, enough with the console chitchat and into every video game franchises because with most franchises advanced and ready for the next generation, there are, of course, some are completely forgotten from the history books or not ready to adapt themselves to the new generation of gamers for numerous reasons we don't understand. Take this Katamari Damacy series, for instance, it has spawned six installments; two for PS2, one for PSP, one for XBOX 360, one for PS3, and one for PS Vita, among many others. We all enjoy playing as the Prince and his cousins rolling stuff big and small but sadly, we have no word from the Cosmos on when will they return. Looks like their little adventures had come to an premature end. Man, if only the folks from Bandai Namco could return the Katamari games, just for the PS4 if I'm hopeful.

There are some other video game franchises that couldn't adapt to the next generation of gamers for numerous reasons such as Crash Bandicoot, Syphon Filter (if the folks from Sony plan to reboot it), Suikoden, Castlevania, Project Gotham Racing, Monster Rancher, Dino Crisis, Tokimeki Memorial, the Shutokou Battle series, the .hack// games, name any video game franchise that stopped after making numerous installments. Couple of reasons why can be jotted down to lack of audience, lack of funds, lack of manpower, and many other reasons some installments from the past stopped after making numerous installments, and I think that's quite odd that even for big-time video game makers, they just let their glorious past works rot like they have no residual value at all.

There are some who are wished to have their past favorites be spawned in either an HD remaster or Definitive Edition. I once had HD remastered versions of my games like Metal Gear Solid, Zone of the Enders, and Tales of Symphonia and with games like these, they sure know how to remember the past and that's a good thing. This whole HD remastering business is like remastering a very old movie and make it watchable to the new generation of viewers, it sounds like a brilliant idea but what's not so brilliant is the market size needed to pay for the development fee to create an HD remaster. One such example that I have encountered before is the Xenosaga trilogy. The sci-fi JRPG trilogy was released on the PS2 from 2002 to 2006 and with some gamers truly remember the trilogy for its graphics and the incredible storyline, they really wish that this trilogy would be remastered so they can play it with their newer consoles but sadly, the producers couldn't make it because it was expensive and it needed lots of manpower to make it possible. Pity, we just wanted to see some remastered versions for newer generations to see, and EA, if you're reading this, we just wanted to see a definitive edition of the Mass Effect trilogy complete with all the extras.

Reboots aren't a bad idea and such example is in the case of the Pokemon games, which the latest versions, the Omega Ruby and the Alpha Sapphire games on the 3DS, can trace back through their original GBA counterparts, the Advanced Generation years. The idea about a rebooted game is looking back in the past and resurrect it with some peppered features that its original counterpart couldn't had. One of my favorite examples of a rebooted game is the 007 GoldenEye game. I once played the old N64 version as well as my siblings because it was very enjoyable and because it was very enjoyable, it became a template of all shooter games thanks to its multiplayer. When the rebooted version of GoldenEye came out on Wii back in 2010 as well as its Reloaded versions in XBOX 360 and PS3 a year later, I had no words to describe it but it feels more tougher and more realistic than the original N64 version I used to have.

As gamers, looking back at the past is just one of the main reasons why we love playing video games and with the rise of next-gen gaming thanks to the PS4, XBOX One, and Wii U, it's hard to see one of our favorite franchises rising up to the challenge or give up. We are expecting Metal Gear Solid V The Phantom Pain to arrive in our next-gen consoles this September, we are looking forward for an IDOLM@STER game in the PS4 in the near future, we are really hoping for a Gran Turismo PS4 (if they have the guts to make one), yes, some franchises really stepping up to the future, but if I had a lot of wishes for video game makers to adapt in the fast-changing world, my wishes include Sony to reboot the Syphon Filter franchise from the very start, revive forgotten franchises like the Suikoden RPG or the Dino Crisis survival horror games, bring back long-running favorites such as Katamari Damacy, Ridge Racer, Castlevania, or other games I know, and in the name of anticipation of the upcoming Bond movie, Spectre, give us a brand new James Bond game fit for next-gen consoles so we can drive that brand-spanking new Aston Martin DB10 by ourselves and I wanna see how our new M, Ralph Fiennes, looks (or sounds) like in a video game!

Anyway, this ends here, but what I will say before I go is that video game makers are never too late to recover their pasts because if its like deleted them from their recycle bin, they're gone for good and never come back for the new kinds of people who are willing to get their hands on.

Here's for the past, present, and future of video games.

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