Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Gaming Thread: Remake-o-Rama

One thing that I sometimes find disconcerting is that a lot of the games I've been buying are remakes of old games. Now, there's nothing wrong with resurrecting great games so that the next generation can enjoy them, or to fix old problems brought on by old system limitations. It just makes me feel like I should find some way of expanding into new material without relying on old franchises to continue forever. But for now, I can feel nostalgic.

So, any remakes you enjoy? Here's a list of some of mine:

Final Fantasy IV DS: It had been a long time since I played FF4 when I decided it was time to try it again, with better script writers. I was not disappointed, and they had some good voice acting for the dramatic scenes. I was glad they decided to consistently pronounce the lead character's name "Seh-sul" instead of "See-sill." I probably would have had a harder time taking it seriously otherwise.

Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions (PSP): Another well-done remake with a much improved translation. I love how they handled the movie scenes with the faux-drawn effect. My primary complaint, however, is the slowdown for a number of attack animations. It doesn't help that it can cause the sound to go out of sync. But for the sake of being able to follow the plot better, it's worth the minor annoyance.

Mega Man Maverick Hunter X (PSP): Not a completely straight remake, which adds a bit of variety. One thing I found that changes the nature of the game is that your X-buster doesn't penetrate walls. That little detail makes the obstacles feel much more solid than before. Being able to play as Vile is a nice touch for replay value. He gets a larger variety of weapons, but he can only equip one of each type (Hand, Shoulder cannon, Knee) for a level. Do like the added story scenes.

Mega Man 9 (Wii/PS3/Xbox360): Not a remake, but a new old school Mega Man game. Eight robot masters, no charged shots, no sliding. Back to the fundamentals and what made the game great. One minor complaint is the variety of gimmick platforms. It ends up making the levels feel a bit more MM4-5-6ish, which contrasts the MM1-2 control feel. I like that they have accomplishments you can work for. I've gotten the basic speed runs covered.


King of Ferrets said...

Pff, I spit on your remakes!

I can get most of the original ones free.

Right now, I'm playing FFVI/III; Kefka is awesome.

Bronze Dog said...

Best Kefka line evar: "You sound like chapters from a self-help booklet!"

King of Ferrets said...

I'm not very far in, I'm just barely past the Kefka poisoning the castle part.

But that sounds awesome.

I found the "Son of a submariner!" line amusing.

Don said...

Best Locke line that they removed from the GBA remake: "Call me a treasure hunter or I'll rip your lungs out!"

King of Ferrets said...


Is there a reason for Locke not wanting to be called a thief, or is it just a quirk?

Don said...

Because thieves are bad, and he is good.

At least, that's how I always figured it.

King of Ferrets said...

So, basically just thinking that thief has a negative connotation.

King of Ferrets said...

Is it just me, or does Gau do 5 times as much damage as everyone else in the party?

Don said...

It's just you. Gau sucks balls.

King of Ferrets said...

I think it's because right now, Gau has one rage ability that lets him cast lightning 2. Nobody else can cast even other level 1 spells besides their starting ones.

N.B. said...

Gau is...useful, but not as useful as some other characters. With the right rages he can deal disgusting amount of damage, but you have to actually take the time to learn them and know which ones to use in order for this to be the case.

Personally, I think the most overrated character is Sabin.

Anonymous said...

He doesn't want to be called a thief because thieves steal things, and he doesn't consider himself to be stealing what he takes, just "collecting".

In terms of sheer numbers, the math is in, and the characters in FF6 are NOT balanced. Some truly are better than others in terms of gameplay, if all you care about is winning.

However, I find all of them fun. Even Umaro had his moment of coolness... until the fact I had zero control of him got old. Relm's sketch is pretty close to useless, but it sure is fun. The main problem with that ability, and it's "control" upgrade, is generally speaking, whatever you are sketching is usually able to absorb it's own magic type or is otherwise pretty well immune to itself, and enemies usually come in monster groupings of similar types.

FF6 has had a lot of ports over the years... At this rate, I'm expecting a DS remake, but considering the quality of the graphics and what I really expect from a remake of FF6, I'd prefer something on, say, the Wii.

King of Ferrets said...

Sabin? Overrated?

With him and Edgar, the rest of my party does practically negligible damage.

Don said...

Yeah, I've heard that "Overrated Sabin" line a few times and as a player of the game from way back, I have to disagree. I'm not any kind of munchkin or min-maxer, and so Sabin is an incredibly useful member of my party.

I also cannot stand berzerker characters. I like to have control over what my party does and not rest a battle on a character who might do a ton of damage or who might spend the round navel-gazing. This is why I hate Gau.

Anonymous said...

I see where you're coming from there. I never bothered with the maxing of stats before (minning just doesn't come into the equation, as every single stat in the game is one that's better if it's higher), but in recent playthroughs I do so far more. Using esper stat bonuses on level up, everyone else quickly outdoes Gogo, and he no longer seems nearly as overpowered.

That said, the game is fairly easy and maxing stats is done purely for it's own sake. The additional dungeon in the GBA remake certainly changes that though. That's something that really puts all that theorycrafting on who's best to the test. For the record, Terra is awesome when her Trance is fully charged. Oh, I also liked the updated translation. Some of those "classic" lines are gone, but the translation is far more accurate.

The one thing that strikes me as odd is that the story overall seems to have a very humanist outlook on life, what with the whole end speech showing that life being eternal isn't the point, it's living it that is. However, there's still a sort of afterlife in the very least with the phantom train. I always wondered if the end destination of that train was simply oblivion and the train was just an esper trying to do what it could to give people peace before they died.

Oh, MM9. I'm loving this game. Not really sure what you mean regarding the "special platforms". Do you mean things like the Galaxy Man stage portals? (I loved those, that really activated the kid in me.) Or, perhaps those swinging platforms in... I think Gem Man's stage? Anyway, MM2 had plenty of that too, like those disappearing blocks (which have been reused eternal), those crazy platforms on wires in Crash Man's stage, and those conveyer belts in Metal Man's stage. Oh, Metal Man is my personal favorite robot master ever. First of all, for a robot name, it's redundant :D, and secondly, he just looks cool and spinning buzzsaw gears are basically the best weapon ever made (including in that game, and the ammo lasts forever).

I think the series kinda went downhill starting with 5. I know some people say it was with 4, but I loved 4 myself.

Oh, for those who miss the charge gun and slide (introduces in 4 and 3 respectively), there's the Proto Man addon. I think it was worth it, even if there are no achievements for doing things with that guy.

Oh, I gotta say that a bunch of these achievements are haaaard. I'm impressed that you did all the timed challenges. This game is very hard. I keep hearing "hard as MM2" but well, I think MM2 is far easier. It may just be that I've played it since it first came out pretty much, but this game seems to fit the recent strategy of making MM games frickin' difficult. Oh, and yes I did play MM2 on difficult mode. There's not that much of a difference really, though I prefer it now because those giant cannister robots break apart in that mode, and that's just plain fun.

That said, as a kid it did take me a long time to beat the game, even on "normal" mode (I say it that way because the Japanese Rockman 2 had no diffucultiy selection, and was always in "difficult" mode).

Bronze Dog said...

The gimmicks platforms I'm talking about: The extending platforms in Hornet Man's stage, the rotating platforms in Tornado Man's sage, those swinging ones in Jewel Man's stage, the teleporters in Galaxy Man's stage, and the water-draining floaty platforms in Splash Woman's stage.

The variety is kind of disconcerting. Conveyor belts, the eternal bwooping blocks, and the track platforms are fairly standard fare for me, so they're almost invisible.

Still a good game, though.

Anonymous said...

Those disappearing blocks... that sound effect is awesomely bizarre. It rises in pitch in some alien way. Bwoop isn't what I'd call it (that's more like the acid drops in the very last stage of Megaman 2).

I suppose I've just learned to expect bizarre platforms from Megaman. The first one had the worst, those conveyer belts that drop when they hit that "thin" part of their wire. It's just so instant that it gets pretty hard to learn when to jump. At this point I jump a full "block" before it hits the gap. (I think a "block" is the unit of 2D gaming distance).

I have to say that the final Wily boss of Megaman 9 was a bit of a disappointment. It's probably because I actually thought MM2's Wily robot was scary looking, especially after breaking off part of it and he still fires at you with a broken gun. A dinosaur thing launching eggs just didn't quite pull it off. Also, they've recycled the "final saucer fight" a bit too often. Still, a nice game. I'll need to work on those achievements, though I must say some of them are the stupid kinds, like "win the game 5 days in a row".