Retro Revival – Bringing the Good Times Back

Things from years gone by have been undergoing revamps and facelifts for the past few years; from clothing styles to TV shows and films, things that were old are now ‘new’ and ‘cool’ again. Okay, they’re not always good reboots  (*cough*ClashOfTheTitans*cough*), but they’re being brought back to the attention of a generation that might not have caught it first time around.

Even video games have been caught up in the craze of reinvention and revival, with old favourites such as The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and the world’s most famous blue hedgehog getting a retro refit. But, like other old favourites brought back to life, they’re not always guaranteed to be good.

For me, the most notable gaming revamp failure was Perfect Dark Zero. It says something when you’re able to pick up the Special Edition steelbook version for 99p from a game shop just over a year after its release. It certainly surpassed its predecessor in graphics and multiplayer modes (despite the game itself being a prequel to Joanna’s first title), but a lot of major changes during the game’s development seemed to take its toll on the story and voice work.

Thankfully for fans of the original Perfect Dark, the Zero title can be put at the back of the shelf now that the original game has been tweaked and is available through the Xbox LIVE Arcade.

Both Ocarina of Time and the classic Starfox 64 have not just been revived- they’ve been given a shiny new 3D treatment thanks to Nintendo. Despite my original reservations about the 3DS and the 3D boom in general, I suddenly find myself the owner of one of the new Metallic Red 3DS handhelds.

The reason?

Because of titles such as Starfox 64 3D and the upcoming Kid Icarus: Uprising, and other Nintendo classics that have carefully been given a new lease of life without destroying what we loved about the original. I am excitedly looking forward to Luigi’s Mansion 2 in the hope that they have been as kind to this underplayed title as they have been to Fox McCloud and the gang.

Remember back in the old days, hanging out with your friends and playing GoldenEye 007 on the N64? Cursing at anyone who played as Oddjob and stood in just the right spot? Running away from whichever player had got the Golden Gun?

The 2010 remake for the Wii was released with good reviews and a shiny golden controller. But a reworking of this reworking is set to be released in November across the other 2 current-gen consoles, complete with multiplayer and, yes, Oddjob. Early indications are that it’s been shown a lot of love and care, and might stand out from the multitude of FPS games that Sony and Microsoft have under their wing already.

But if you want a game that really shows its history, I doubt you’ll be able to beat the forthcoming Sonic Generations. With both 2D and 3D levels, a plethora of characters and levels spanning Sonic’s 20 year lifespan and an interesting (albeit it a little clichéd) storyline, Generations will bring together the old and the new, uniting the Mega Drive players with the younger DS fans.

With a long list of sequels and almost endless downloadable content on the release lists for the rest of this year, a splash of something old given a new lease of life might be a welcome addition to some peoples’ gaming libraries.

Tegan Harris – October 2011 – for The Geek Show

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