Thursday, January 24, 2013

Wind Waker HD (And remakes in general)

I WAS going to talk about the Half Life Source and the reason why it is what it is.  There's a lot of legal and technical reasons why and it's fascinating.

Then Nintendo Direct had their conference and everyone starts talking about this:
They are remaking The Wind Waker in HD for the Wii U.  To compare, here is Wind Waker run in HD on the Dolphin Emulator (this is NOT mine)

Yep, it's being entirely remade.  New models, new backgrounds.  There's not much done in the way of programming or models yet.  (The woman with the jar is from Outset Island, but the location is Windfall.  We also never see Link, Tetra, or Jar girl move)  but the little we can see is beautiful.

Now, why are they remaking it and what is the minor controversy?

The official explanation for remaking the Wind Waker is that they are working on the next proper Zelda title, but they are reevaluating what makes the series "The Legend of Zelda" and so the next game will take a long time to make.  (One of the things they are reevaluating is the game progressing in a linear order, the other is if  it needs to be single player.  Personally, I love linear games since it allows for characterization to grow (though I will say FFXIII was a bit TOO linear.  I would like to go back and look at things, listen to things, pick up items I have missed) and single player games are a necessity in this day and age. People do want to play by themselves sometimes.  Mandating multiplayer might dissuade players from buying it.  Now, if it's optional like Journey, that would be okay.) 

So, in the mean time, they are giving us this game.  There's probably another reason.

They want to get familiar with the Wii U software and programming. 

When new software comes out, the games fall one of three ways.  Very original games, remakes, (Practically) Simultaneous releases, and sometimes new sequels. 

Okay, that sounds like every game ever.  Sorry.  But with a new system, everyone has to relearn how to program.  So, they either make a completely different game that will let them figure out how to program without dramatically hurting their brand (See Catherine, The World Ends with You, Devil May Cry, etc)  or a remake/sequel where they already have at least some art and assets that they can reuse.  And, even if they don't, they know what things will look like anyway.   This allows them to focus on the ins and outs of the programming without worrying too much about other art and assets unless they conflict with the programming. 

End result, they know more about the programming as they go onward. 

That's not always the reason for remakes though.

As should be obvious by now, I'm a Kingdom Hearts fan.  Kingdom Hearts celebrated it's tenth anniversary last year and it's gotten REALLY confusing.  (Time Travel has been added to the series.  The rules make very little sense.  It turned a few minor things into major plot points.  Other things got MUCH more confusing)  Sly Cooper has also celebrated it's tenth anniversary, but all of the games were on the PS2 and no game has come out for a while.

How does Kingdom Hearts put all the information in one place while Sly Cooper boosts awareness for the (at that point) unannouced fourth game?

Remake time!

The Sly Cooper Collection was released a while ago and gave the new series creators a chance to go over the games, art, and gameplay on the PS3. The Kingdom Hearts 1.5 (a 2.5 is presumed to come out)  Covers Kingdom Hearts Final Mix, Re:Chain of Memories, and a movie of 358/2 (It was to be the full game, but they didn't have time to program it.)  While Square has worked with the PS3 before, they haven't used it for Kingdom Hearts, and the series needs a refresher anyway.

Team Ico?
The Last Guardian will be completely different from the first two, but the first two games are hard to come by, and practice for the PS3.

Devil May Cry Collection?

Most of the games were on the PS2,  and a new game is coming out. 

However, most of these games are reusing a lot of assets from the original games and just upgrading the textures.  As you can tell from the Wind Waker Wii U games, it's a complete upgrade.  New models, new backgrounds, new programming (otherwise they would have more people around and more action) 

The minor controversy around the Wind Waker remake is... why wasn't it Majora's Mask?  My best guess is that either they didn't want too many remakes and Majora's works better for the 3DS.  They already have the assets from Ocarina of Time, and Majora's Mask in the Nintendo 64 reused most of those assets.  Since they already have the work done from Ocarina 3D, it would fit there. 

Wind Waker had a different art style, was one of the debut gamecube games, and did a lot of for the series.  Wii U would be a different fit.  It would make a great impression.

Besides, the Cell Shading is always timeless, but improving it makes a GREAT impression.

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