Porting Old Video Games: A Smart Idea
Why it's important to revisit the classics.
Publishers love re-releasing old video games on new systems. Sega, for example, continues to bring 16-bit Genesis games to the iPhone and iPad, while Sony digs into its back catalogue of PlayStation One titles for PSN.
That said, Nintendo is the undisputed king of the rehash. The company has made Scrooge McDuck amounts of cash from pimping its classic NES, SNES and N64 games. It's so crazy that we've lost track of how many different versions of Super Mario Bros. there are.
Of course, you don't need to be Dr. Wily to figure out why Mario and Co. do this. Consumers love retro games and will pay a modest sum for nostalgia, especially when it involves franchise characters like Kirby, Samus Aran and Link.
It's therefore no surprise that Nintendo already has two ports coming to 3DS in the form of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D and Star Fox 64 3D, two beloved N64 classics that have already appeared on the Wii via Virtual Console, a fact that led critics to cry foul.
To be fair, they have a point. New games are usually more exciting than old ones, but sometimes, it's a great idea to revive the classics. Here's why.
Old games for a new generation
Sometimes, gamers need to remove the blinders from their heads to examine the big picture. Just because they played Star Fox 64 to death 14 years ago doesn't mean the rest of the world did the same. Younger players, for example, were not even born yet. Bottom line, the publisher can introduce a triple A title to a new generation.
Most importantly, there's a lot of money at stake. If someone loves Star Fox 64, it may inspire said person to purchase older/future games in the franchise.
Putting a series in context
Eventually, the first and/or second game in a series should return so the newest chapter makes sense.
Just look at Kingdom Hearts. Square Enix released the first game on PS2 in 2002, a sequel in 2006 and then went handheld crazy by publishing spin-offs for Game Boy Advance, DS and PSP. When part three finally arrives, new players will dive into the game with little to no knowledge of the first adventure. Re-releasing it would give those consumers the chance to catch up on what they missed.
Hey, Square Enix. Please release the original Kingdom Hearts on 3DS and NGP. Thanks.
Enhancing a classic
Let's face it, aside from the Classic NES Series on GBA and the Wii's Virtual Console, most ports receive a facelift in some fashion, whether this involves improved graphics, superior audio and/or control tweaks. In other words, it's the same game, but a different experience.
For a perfect example, look no further than Ocarina of Time 3D. While the story remains the same, Nintendo tweaked the visuals, added gyroscope controls and touch screen features, in addition to glasses free 3D. At the end of the day, it's still Ocarina, but a vast improvement over the N64 original.