When I was little, there were three video games I would play: “Mario Bros.,” “Sonic the Hedgehog” and “Crash Bandicoot.” While the first two have stayed relevant, Crash’s popularity went down in the mid-2000s and he has not been heard from since 2010. That is until last year when it was announced at E3 that developer Activision would bring back Crash and his first three adventures in remastered form to the Playstation 4.
My inner 7 year old was extremely ecstatic to hear the news. My excitement was further increased when it was announced last month that “Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy” would be released in June this year. I am happy that Crash is getting the attention he deserves, but I know that I’m falling for a trend that has been going on for the last couple of years: buying remastered games.
Much like Hollywood producers reviving old, popular movies, developers bring back once-successful video games from the grave, albeit with better graphics, to make a profit.
Our generation has a fascination with nostalgia, and we cling to stuff that reminds us of the good ol’ days. Developers realize this and grab an old title and polish it up to make it look shiny and new so that consumers will think back to playing the original game, even though it is the same game with a fresh coat of paint. We get no new gameplay, content or innovation; it is just a move that video game companies use to make a quick buck, and it works.
Besides older video games, games from the last generation (PS3, Xbox 360, Wii) are also being remastered. For instance, in 2013 “The Last of Us” was released on PS3 and was a smash hit: it has sold 5.9 million units. A year later, it was re-released on PS4 as “The Last of Us Remastered,” adding slightly better graphics and downloadable content you previously had to buy: it has sold 5.4 million units. In other words, what you are playing right now will be re-released in three years on a new system, and you will more than likely buy it again.
Just look at “Street Fighter II,” a game that came out in 1991, and see how many times it has been re-released. Clearly, people are still paying to play it.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t think remastering games or putting them in a collection is wrong. There are many classic games out there that deserve to be remastered or remade. “New Super Mario Bros.” is a good example of bringing back the original 2-D style of Super Mario Bros. in an innovating way by adding new power-ups, levels and gameplay features. However, I don’t think games that have come out in the last decade should have the priority of being remastered; if I really want to play “Batman Arkham City” again then I will hook up my PS3.
In the end, I believe Crash deserves his chance in the spotlight again. After all, he hasn’t had a good platform since 2004 (I choose not to acknowledge “Crash of the Titans” or its garbage sequel). However, if we are going to bring him back, I want a new game that has the quality of the originals with some new gameplay innovation that will add to the experience.
Written by Bo Smith