Entries in remake (5)


QCF: Toki

n somewhat of an ironic twist, one of the fondest memories I have with video games from my childhood isn’t a video game that I played on my television, but a show that I watched on my television about video games. As the 16-bit boom kicked off the nineties, Nickelodeon debuted Nick Arcade—a new game show that embraced the gimmickry of its video aesthetic with the grace of cat walking along a floor made of bubble-wrap.

While the show has only gotten hokier with age, it was vital for a Challenge segment that showcased some of the hottest new games in action on my television screen, something no issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly or GamePro could ever do, and one of those games was Toki: Going Ape Spit.

In a climate that was undeniably overwhelmed with action-platformers, Toki managed to stand out from all of the other classics that were lined up for the show with its bizarrely unattractive, yet colorfully sharp visuals, and surprisingly delicate balance of action and strategy for an arcade shooter. Decades later, the lumbering primate has suddenly slouched his way back into 2018 with a remastered remake of the arcade classic that mostly considered to be vaporware at this point, until the development of it was taken over, and then released by a French developer and publisher Microïds.

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QCF: Secret of Mana

ack when RPG’s were barely beginning to pick up in sales with western gamers in the 16-bit era, there was a humble release from a little-known company by the name of SquareSoft, named Secret of Mana—it revolutionized the genre for years to come.

Even 25 years after its initial launch on the SNES, the game has been ported time, and time again for the modern generation, with waves of new players also falling for its vibrant color palate, sprite work, and timeless action-oriented battle system. Strangely enough though, for all of the re-releases that Secret of Mana has seen, the game has never received a full-fledged remastered release on modern consoles up until now, with Square developing a new 3D rendered-revision exclusively for PlayStation 4, Vita, and Steam.

While the core gameplay from Koichi Ishii’s classic has still managed to have aged gracefully, the game engine’s translation over to a 3D-rendered world and models aren’t anywhere near as elegant as it should be, resulting in an admittedly beautiful, but undeniably underwhelming version of the beloved RPG.

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QCF: Crash Bandicoot: N Sane Trilogy

hile there are dozens upon dozens of gaming franchises that are languishing in obscurity these days, none have quite sparked the sort of fiery demand that Marsupial Mascot Crash Bandicoot has. The once revered Sony icon had recently resurfaced as a cameo character in the latest Skylanders entry, and the fan service in response proved that plenty of folks had still held onto their memories of the edgy Jorts-wearing furball fondly, which didn’t go unnoticed by Activison or Sony.

Wisely banking off of the nostalgia of the Bandicoots earlier titles during his prime, the two companies had finally decided to pull the trigger, Crash Bandicoot: N-Sane Trilogy, exclusively for the PlayStation 4, a remastered collection of the first three titles newly developed from the ground up by Vicarious Visions.

The question here however was never whether or not Crash Bandicoot could be brought back but rather, whether or not he SHOULD be—many of the charming elements of the series are also some of the same rough-edged quirks that relegate the games into being the clumsy 3D relics (pun gratifyingly intended) that they ultimately are.

While there are few conventions that haven’t aged well, and a few new glaring issues that weren’t there before, the trilogy still manages to iron out a lot of the wrinkles of the originals, delivering a wonderful compilation of the Bandicoot’s early outings that both fans, and new comers alike.

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QCF: DuckTales Remastered

s binary as the term “remake” would suggest by definition, the reality can actually elicit a variety of responses, anywhere from positive to “this is horse-shit.”  I’ve mentioned nostalgia quite a number of times and the sensitivity that revolves around applying it when you’re remaking a game versus re-releasing it.

The dilemma of mishandling swings both ways, you either desecrate the source material and kick the loyalists right in the childhood, or you over coat your product with the rose-tinted sugar of reminiscence that panders down memory lane instead, isolating your audience from the youngsters who’re late to the party, and just don’t get what the fuss was all about.  There are certain exceptions to this scenario, where the experience is so brilliant that they’re regarded as a timeless treat to everyone who plays them—to be completely honest, DuckTales is not one of those exceptions; and that what makes DuckTales Remastered amazing…WayForward recognized that the sacred cow wasn’t beyond the flaws of time.

The studio famous for injecting whimsy and charm, made subtle tweaks to an admittedly aged but solid formula, and in the process, adapted a twenty-four year old gem into a game that appeals to everyone in today’s video game generation.

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QCF: Y's I & II Chronicles+

This Review was Frelanced by Johnathan Sawyer; you can find his other work here.

 storm had arrived. Nothing could pass through this supposedly impenetrable "Stormwall," as it had come to be called. The land looked as though it would be seeing its final days, until a lone man with fiery-red hair washed up on the shores of Esteria... It is here in Ys I & II Chronicles+ that the saga of Adol the Red begins and puts several memorable marks into the pages of gaming history along the way.

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