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HD Collections: Cash Cow or Console Classic?

We’ve had sequels, sequels of sequels, cash-ins, endorsements, bastardisation, remakes of originals, hd remakes of the sequels, brand coalition, straight up re-releases and now finally the mother of all cash cow’s – HD Collections.

I love the original Tomb Raider. In fact, I love it so much that I’m prepared to buy the original game for £15 again on the Xbox Live arcade just to re-experience it. But if I’m doing that, I might as well splash out another £10 and purchase it for the new iPhone I just got for Christmas. Oh wait, what’s this? A Tomb Raider HD Collection coming out in March? I’d be a fool to miss out on that! I need those better visuals more than I need this £30. There we have it, £55 from just one customer who also probably purchased the original for £25 over a decade ago. So, 80 squiddleys for one game? That’s what I call very, very clever business.

So far so negative, right? Well this is where I need to get off my soap box and actually admit that I think these HD Collections aren’t such a bad idea. After recognising the tireless amount of ways that customers have purchased the same repackaged content year after year, I honestly had no intention of ever investing my money into enhanced collections of pre-existing titles. This all began when SEGA released the “Mega Drive Ultimate Collection” on the Xbox 360. It perfectly quenched my longing for nostalgia during a few cold months in which nothing original was being produced by the larger companies, but soon after I’d purchased that game I discovered that I only cared for about 4 classics, all of which were soon available to purchase on XBLA for 100 Microsoft points. Painful.

Nostalgia hit me once again last year in the form of “Beyond Good and Evil HD”. It was my favourite game of the previous generation and I had spent a great deal of hours researching whether or not it would ever be added to the arcade to download, or if I could purchase the original disc and somehow make it all backwards compatible. A fool’s hope, you could say. Without learning from my previous SEGA mishap, I dived on top of Beyond Good and Evil HD faster than the cast of Loose

Women dive on top of chocolate fudge cake every Friday – and I loved every minute of it. Was this because I just loved the game so much, or because the high-def updates genuinely enhanced my enjoyment of it? I’d honestly have to say both.

With this revelation in mind, I set about searching for any news regarding a re-release of Silent Hill 2 via a similar method (i.e – Google). Silent Hill 2 was another stunning game but one I had never actually owned a copy of for myself. Another fool’s errand had me checking the updated list of backwards compatible games for the Xbox and PS3 more often that I’d care to mention, and never was my quest satisfied… Not until a few months ago.

It appears both Silent Hill 2 and 3 are to be packaged as one for the HD Collection available mid-March 2012, with enough legitimate updates (including a complete re-cast of voice actors for the more contemporary fan) to justify its honest price tag. This revelation took me down a metaphorical rabbit hole and it suddenly appeared that an onslaught was coming – Devil May Cry: HD Collection, God of War Collection, Ico & Shadow of Colossus, Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, The OddBoxx, Prince of Persia Trilogy, Tomb Raider Trilogy etc.

Yes, you cannot deny that these are all flogged cash-cows; that’s more obvious than a horse’s head in a gangster’s bed. Yet there is one major reoccurring theme between these titles that hasn’t already been prevalent in any re-release package, and that is the fact that these are all wonderful, wonderful games that are being polished. I would be proud to purchase any of these titles due to the sheer impact they have had on gaming society, developer’s success and the history of genres and industry. It’s a fantastic idea in which everybody is the winner; we can play some breathtaking titles with all the old flaws removed and they can roll around in a big pile of our hard-earned cash. When they release the “COD Modern Warfare & COD World at War HD Collection” then we have to panic, but for now – let’s just enjoy this new venture, because at the end of the day it’s always nice to polish the trophy cabinet.

My name is Albert and I have been gaming since I ever got my hands on a Game Boy Color. You could say I am in love with the gaming industry and pretty much anything involving games. I have written about games briefly for another site and I hope to broaden my horizons through Explosion. I am currently a sophomore majoring in Communications and I take plenty of time to relax on the Xbox 360 mostly, but I'm open to it all!