Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Why the Okami HD remix is nothing to be excited about

I am going to catch some heat for this one.

Let me be clear, Okami was a very good game. It was quite enjoyable when I played it in 2006.

2006 was really not that long ago, and it existed on hardware only one generation in the past, hardware that is still readily available for next to nothing. The game itself it not that difficult to come by, and if you don't want to dig up a PS2 or don't have one of the super cool early PS3's Okami was re-released two years later for the Wii. My point is that this is not a game that is difficult to obtain. If one were to have a sudden urge to play Okami it would not be difficult to do so.

But it's an HD upgrade, you shout, with trophies and move support! Move support is something you put on the game box when you run out of other nice things to say about a game. It is a bullet point, not a feature. HD upgrade? Yes, I watched the video and yes, it did look better, but not much better than PS2 games ran through the 'upgrade' filter on my launch PS3. And trophies? Not much I can say about those, being a bit of an achievement whore myself, but using that as a selling point smacks of straw grasping.

This is a quick cash grab by Capcom. If this is meant to obtain funds to finish up the new Darkstalkers, fine, but the odds of that are slim to none. I would sooner have had even the limited resources required for this glorified up-port applied to a new game instead of remaking one that isn't that old to begin with. Okami HD's only redeeming feature is it's price, proving that Capcom took the time to see what used copies were going for before pricing their digital new one.

Is the idea bucket for developers so low that they need to remake games that are only six years old? This same argument could be made against the Beyond Good and Evil XBLA release, or Konami's Metal Gear and Zone of the Enders compilations. Why is time and effort being put into releasing old games on new consoles instead of making new games on new consoles?

The answer is financially obvious: remaking an old game is a safe investment. Just ask Square how many times each Final Fantasy has been released. I can buy Final Fantasy 1 on my god damned Windows Phone, and nothing comes out for Windows Phone. These games finance the AAA titles, are fodder for collectors, and are generally a waste of time for anyone else. But where does it end? Capcom has a tremendous back catalog of old properties, what's to keep them from releasing nothing but remakes?

How about *gasp* a sequel? Capcom certainly has no problem with those. But a good sequel requires effort, money, and time, and all of that is tied up with Resident Evil 6 and spinning the retail failure of Street Fighter X Tekken.

1 comment: