If there is a category that sees frequent releases while growing in popularity over the last few years, it is HD ports of older and generally beloved games. We have easily seen dozens of HD ports over the years, a lot of which have been released in collections of two or three games. I personally love that publishers and developers have decided to re-release their popular games in high definition for several reasons:
1). It gives people the chance to play games they might have missed from past consoles.
2). People will get to see their favorite games run in the best possible way without transforming the graphics (depending on how the HD port is handled of course).
3). A majority of the ports will have achievement or trophy support.
4). Most of the time, they are all a fantastic value. The games that are re-released on their own used to be $50 when they first came out. You are getting a bargain when they release a collection with two or three games at a $44 value.
5). They are compatible with HD TVs unlike last gen consoles to output a crisper picture resolution.
With Nintendo’s first step into having a console boasting HD graphics alongside the recent announcement of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD port to the Wii U, they have a great opportunity to release many of the fantastic games that were originally released on the under-appreciated Nintendo Gamecube. Whether they are individual games or ones that should be released in collections, here are ten choices that deserve the HD treatment for the Wii U.
Note: I have not played all of these games personally. Most of them I have, but some were put on this list because I have heard nothing but good things about them or I think they could be great with a coat of HD paint. I also know that some of these are simply not possible, but we can all dream, right?
Eternal Darkness HD
The first time I ever saw this game was in Ohio when I was nine or 10 years old. I was visiting my grandparents and my second cousin brought it over to their house. Even though he only played the beginning of it – and by beginning I mean the first ten minutes – both he and I succumbed to a case of the spooks. Eternal Darkness gave this intense atmosphere that I still think about every now and then with spending a mere 10 minutes with the game. Now that I’m older, I think it’s about time I experience this game because I have heard nothing but praise from the people who have played it for its story. I would also imagine that since the Gamecube overall did not excel in sales, it is likely many gamers missed out on Silicon Knight’s title. It also had great visuals for its day, so I can imagine that it would look pretty on an HD console.
F-Zero GX HD
About two months ago, I read a brief article on Shigeru Miyamoto where he was told Nintendo fans desire a new entry to F-Zero. Oddly enough, Miyamoto was surprised to hear this. He felt the series had not evolved much with each iteration and did not see the purpose in creating a new game in the franchise, though he was pleased to hear there are still fans out there who want to see a new title. If Nintendo ultimately decides to not create a new F-Zero game, why not give us an HD version of what is, in my opinion, the best game in the franchise?
Like its previous entries, GX was a fast-paced racer that required you to be careful if you wanted to survive till the end of the race, it had a TV-punching hard-as-nails story mode that felt extremely satisfying even upon the completion of a single level, and you could customize your own racer, which was incredibly fun. Even if they do not put the man power into a new F-Zero or a newer version of GX, I would settle for a button on the GamePad where Captain Falcon shouts “Show your moves!” in the middle of a race.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD
I was originally going to have this be the “The Legends of Zelda HD Collection,” but Nintendo had to go into awesome sauce mode and give us Wind Waker HD, so now I can only talk about having the amazing The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess remade in HD. Thanks a lot Nintendo. Anyway, even though it is a Zelda game and most of its universe is not tangible by any stretch, it is one of the best looking Zelda titles because it is graphically the most realistic game in the series. I still love the visuals of Wind Waker among the HD visuals we are blessed with today, but I’ll never forget turning on black cubed box and seeing the start menu of Twilight Princess come up where I saw Link and Epona in – at the time – the most realistic looking way. If Nintendo puts as much effort into the Wind Waker HD port as they would into a Twilight Princess HD port, then we would have ourselves a visual treat.
Mario Sports HD Collection
(Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour, Mario Power Tennis, Mario Superstar Baseball, Super Mario Strikers)
I will go ahead and say this right off the bat (or golf club): I want another freakin’ Mario Golf Nintendo! How many years has it been since the last Mario Golf? Seriously? 8.5 years? I do not care what way shape or form we get another Mario Golf. Please, no motion controls for it either. I would love to sit down and play Mario Golf on my GamePad whether it’s Toadstool Tour or not. You might argue “But Wii Sports already has golf on, it is only $20 and it has four additional sports to play.” If you are thinking that, you clearly have not played Mario Golf and are a fool, a foolish fool!
I am joking of course. In all seriousness, I long for a new Mario Golf even if it means giving Toadstool Tour, a game I have poured hours into, a high definition boost. Oh yeah, and they should throw in those other Mario sports games I did not care much for just to sweeten the deal.
Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes HD
In my opinion, Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes is an outstanding example of justice when it comes to remaking a game. Twin Snakes is an overhaul of the original Metal Gear Solid developed by Silicon Knights. Using a new engine, the high-tuned visuals while utilizing the gameplay mechanics introduced in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. Twin Snakes evolved into a game the original aspired to be. Combine its fantastic story with the upcoming Metal Gear Rising Revengeance and eventual release of Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes, it would be a perfect time to get Metal Gear fans pumped by releasing Twin Snakes HD.
Metroid Prime HD Collection
(Metroid Prime, Metroid Prime 2, Metroid Prime 3)
When I bought the Metroid Prime Trilogy on the Wii at Best Buy, I got it for $11 brand new. No, that is not a joke. At the time, I had not realized how rare the game was until I walked into a GameStop one day only to discover a used copy was worth $70. I never got around to playing the Prime series until I bought the trilogy, and I can say now that it is a shame they did not release more copies for more people to experience Samus’ bounty hunting endeavors. With the GamePad’s touchscreen and controller layout that works out well for first-person viewed games, the Wii U would be an ideal platform to release the “Metroid Prime Trilogy HD Collection.” Releasing this could also get people excited for Prime 4, which is what Retro Studio’s cryptic new project could be.
Resident Evil HD Collection
(Resident Evil, Resident Evil Zero)
I know, I know. Both of these games have been released a few times already. First there was the original Resident Evil, then the director’s cut, then both it and Resident Evil Zero’s release for the Gamecube. Finally their Gamecube counterparts came out for the Wii in the form of Resident Evil Archives. People have played these two games over and over again, but honestly, I want this to release simply because I want to see what a vamped version of these games would look like on an HD console. Both Resident Evil and Resident Evil Zero still look drop-dead (pun intended) gorgeous and have visually aged incredibly well. It will also give people the chance to see how Resident Evil originally played.
Star Fox HD Collection
(Star Fox Adventures, Star Fox Assault)
I have a confession: I have never understood why people have hated on Star Fox Assault and Star Fox Adventures. Grant it, it has been years since I have played Assault, but I still do not understand. I remember Assault being fairly entertaining. It had battles in the Arwing, Landmaster and even foot battles with Fox. I would not say it’s at the same caliber as Star Fox 64, but it was still a rather entertaining game.
Adventures may have been nothing like Star Fox 64 exempting the select few times you need to travel from area to area piloting the Arwing, but it was a beautiful game for its time and thoroughly entertaining to play through with its adventurous gameplay (even if Prince Tricky got annoying). Even if we do not get a new entry to the series, another potential game from Retro Studios, Adventures and Assault would be great substitutes for the HD treatment when and if the time comes for a new Star Fox.
Star Wars Rogue Squadron HD Collection
(Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader, Star Wars Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike)
Man, the Gamecube had a lot of visually great looking games, and Star Wars Rogue Squadron is no exception. As one of the launch games for the Gamecube from Nov. 2001, Rogue Squadron II still stands tall graphics wise, gameplay and brutal difficulty. It was awesome flying the X-Wing through a galaxy far far away to annihilate the Death Star or venture on one of Wedge Antilles’ untold missions as a pilot for the Rebellion forces. I never got around to playing Rogue Squadron III, though I would imagine it is a great game like its predecessors. Even though Factor 5 closed its doors in 2009, perhaps another development team *looks at Lucas Arts* can breathe life into the franchise.
Mario and Friends HD Collection
(Luigi’s Mansion, Super Mario Sunshine, Wario World)
There you go again Gamecube with those crazy good graphics for your time. Luigi’s Mansion is another pretty launch game whose graphics still hold up well. It was also a unique game for its time because it did not star the red-shirted mustachioed brother. Rather, we equipped ourselves like a Ghost Buster and stepped into the trembling shoes of Mario’s underappreciated brother, Luigi. Though it’s widely regarded as the worst 3D Mario game, Super Mario Sunshine is still a fantastic game where we were given the F.L.U.D.D (or Flash Liquidizer Ultra Dousing Device) and expected to clean up the island of Delfino. Using the F.L.U.D.D. is still a unique concept and quite helpful in many different situations, especially when you are about to fall into an endless abyss. Though I never played Wario World, it seems like the big guy does not get enough attention, and from what I have seen on YouTube, Wario World looks like it could be a fun game to play through at least once.
Honorable Mention: Sonic Adventure HD Collection
(Sonic Adventure DX: Director’s Cut, Sonic Adventure 2: Battle)
Now, I want to hear your opinion. Do you think these games are worthly are of HD transitions? Would it motivate you to buy a Wii U? Do you think Nintendo should focus on new IPs? Let us know in the comments below.
Robbie Key is a “Reviews and News Editor” for Analog Addiction, Entertainment Editor for the Pine Log newspaper at Stephen F. Austin State University, and blogger for IGN. Follow his completely relevant Twitter updates and watch his awesomtacular YouTube videos.