HD Collections: The Good And The Bad

By: Spencer Pressly

hd-collections-the-good-and-the-badIn recent times there has been a lot of popular gaming franchises being re-released in HD, allowing you to have a new way to play some of your favorite games all over again.

In most cases an HD collection comes out for two reasons. Firstly, there might be a new game in a popular franchise coming out so they will put out the older games for new fans and old to play them. Secondly, they want to release older games again to promote an anniversary of the series.

I’m not trying to say that these are solely put out to make money for the publisher, after all almost every game is put out to make money for the developers and the publishers. But HD collections are also made for the fans who love the series or games they played before and want to see them running in high definition. Still, over the years these collections have done many things right and even some things wrong, so here’s what I think are the best and worst parts about HD collections.

We’ll start off with the good shall we?

Remembering What Made These Games Classics
Even if you have gone through Metal Gear Solid or Jak and Daxter many times before on the PS2 like I have, there is something so special about playing these games you love again, but with an even better presentation than before. Still if you have never played some of these before you can finally get into these games, which can be hard to come across at a reasonable price (Ico and Shadow Of The Colossus Collection).

Finding New Ways To Play
I am a huge fan of trophies in games because they give me an excuse to go back and play a game in a way I normally might not ever think about. So as you stride to get every trophy in the game you will get to see these games for all their worth. One of the best examples of this would be the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection because it is a perfect mix of story trophies and random Easter Eggs that are some of the funniest things I have seen in years.

Bonus Features
Many gamers who buy these HD collections are serious fans of the series and the studio that made the game, so whenever a HD collection puts in bonuses that we never had before it’s a massive, well, bonus. This could range from the E3 demo of God of War 3 in the God of War collection, to a series of video that Team Ico put out talking about the history of their games, The Last Guardian, and promotion videos from past games. Even having the best version of a game’s release, such as things they added into earlier rereleases and things left out of the original game, make you feel like you are getting the ultimate version of these games.

Sometimes classics hold up no matter how long a game has been released and other times it is not always the case. HD collections for the most part make just about any game look better when compared to the original game. The resolution for 1080p and 3D support is nice for people who have the option to use those features as well. Cel-shaded games like Sly Cooper seem to hold up pretty well, with everything brighter and crisper.

So that’s the good out of the way, what are some of the bad things about HD collections?

Features Missing
Why is it that in some HD collections, the developers just didn’t take that extra time to include all the extras fans love? In some cases this may sound a bit nitpicky, but when you have some HD collections that keep everything in, and even add more, it just looks lazy to keep some fan favorite parts out. Some notable missing features would be the skateboarding level from Metal Gear Solid 2 (yes this is a real thing), the nightmare from Metal Gear Solid 3, and the original voices from Silent Hill 3.

Games Missing
Most of the HD collections that have come out are around $40-$50 retail price and if you think about the fact you’re getting 2-3 games, it’s not a bad deal. Still there are a few times where a game is missing from the franchise. This leads many fans wondering what will happen with those games that are still important to them in the games series. Games such as Jak X: Combat Racing, Ratchet Deadlock, and Silent Hill 4: The Room to name a few. There’s also the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection not including the original Metal Gear Solid. With these games not included, it leaves many fans to wonder when or if they will ever get to play these underrated and sometimes underappreciated games in HD.

No Option On Changing Games
This doesn’t sound like much at first, but when you realize you can’t go back to the game select menu without quitting the game and restarting the game, it just makes changing games a pain. There has only been one game that lets you go back and select another game and that is the Metal Gear Solid collection and even that is flawed a bit. Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3 give you the option to go back, but Peace Walker does not and that is because Peace Walker was made at Kojima Productions.

With the first HD collection that came out in 2009, there have been many new ways to release an HD collection and even just an HD version of a game digitally. There is still a long way for people to go before they learn what to do and what not to do when remastering classic games for this generation. However, Sega have managed to get this right with their classic collections for years.

If you were around during the PS2/Xbox days and have not tried a HD collection, I would highly recommend it. There are many to choose from with more coming out every year. If you have any opinions on HD collections or this feature leave a comment below.

Source: Gaming Union

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