Both PSN and XBOX Live have a bunch of games available for download these days, a lot of them straight ports from the first consoles rereleases of classic games that helped shape the videogame industry into what it is now. Like in Hollywood, there’s a lot of ReanimationRecycling… reviving of old IPs going on.

And yet, I feel slightly disappointed by the fact that some of these IPs could probably become instant next-gen classics with a decent investement and a real development cycle good sprucing and a little imagination. Not only would you have the power of an established IP, which would instantly cause the ears of a lot of gamers around my age to perk up – I’m absolutely certain that at least a portion of the world is waiting for the next Front  / Phantasy Star Offline / Back-to-the-roots-Doom / Symphony of the Night / UFO: Enemy Unknown X-com game, but let’s be honest, you can’t just take the same old 20-year old game, graphics, and engine and port it over to the new consoles without at least a facelift and a bonus dungeon or three.

It _has_ been 20 years, and as some people have mentioned before me, a lot of these games have not aged well – altough it’s very interesting to me that some of the 16-bit 2D games have aged better than the first 3D PS games –  While there is definitely a market for ‘retro games’,  I would wager that a lot of (younger) people are going to be turned off by the graphics alone. The other thing to consider: certain companies have already rereleased a bunch of their games before (FF4 is now what, in its 5th iteration?), and some gamers out there are noticing and not biting the bait anymore. I personally know at least 3 people who weren’t that excited about the rerelease of Chrono Trigger earlier this year, and all three said the exact same thing: “I’ve bought the game and played the game before.”

I understand that some companies are using these rereleases as a way to test the waters. I understand that whatever the third incarnation of Parasite Eve is going to be, the idea is that if it sells enough copies, Square Enix might take it to mean that there _is_ enough interest to invest the money and devpower into bringing the IP to the next gen consoles – or at least, I would hope that would be a possibility. The problem, to me, is that there is a lot of competition out there. The worst case scenario I can imagine is one of these classics being released into the churning sea of titles, and sinking because the developers didn’t put in enough time and effort to give the game a coat of polish comparable to that of current generation games. This would cause the game to not generate enough sales to warrant a new iteration, and the IP would be left to die in some

In a strange turn of events, it was Capcom, of all developers, who decided to go back to the roots and truly create a new retro game. Megaman 9 has it all – 8-bit graphics, gameplay identical to the original, a few tweaks, a new collection of zany robots to defeat, and pixellated ending screen goodness. It really is like going back in time, and it might work as a barometer of consumer reaction to the IP. It is technically a new game in the original series, and it looks like fun enough.

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