written by Twisted Ideas
I attempted to write this review only about on the God of War Origins Collection but I found myself immediately referencing Sony’s other HD collections. I realized then that doing a review of the collection would be the no different from reviewing Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta as PSP titles. It makes more sense to look at these HD releases as a whole than doing comprehensive review of last generation games. I have been sucked into buying most of the HD releases while still owning most of the originals still. I will give a brief review of the ones that I own.
First things first the HD releases convert the games to widescreen, clean up and replace textures and sharpen polygons. What doesn’t happen is the addition of polygons. Characters and objects that looked misshapen in the originals will still look misshapen. The HUD are usually redone to be sharper. The games run smoothly at 60 fps and are have more vivid colors. These are consistent most HD releases give or take one or two things. For people with 3D TV’s the HD collections have 3D support.
The Prince of Persia HD Trilogy
Originally released in North America in a download only format we received the disc version after Europe. I only have the downloadable version so I do not know if the disc versions have new features. Then again it is Ubisoft and I don’t expect that much from them. Certain cut scenes look odd and I suspect that the original games were zoomed in to achieve widescreen. A few cut scenes have characters are slightly out of frame. I do not know if it’s a new issue or preexisting one but it’s not a big enough deal to confirm. The most surprising flaw in the collection are the glitches. The game engine caused animation glitches when performing certain actions and visual glitches when rewinding time. Those are minor but PoP: Warrior Within has numerous game ending glitches requiring a new game to fix. There were glitches involving cut scenes not triggering and portals that don’t work. It is unknown what causes these glitches. I played through WW several times and only encounter one game ending glitch that involved back tracking near the end of the game.
I have not been able to confirm whether or not Ubisoft have fixed any of the game ending glitches but in my experience you won’t encounter them. Despite the glitches The Prince of Persia Trilogy is a great collection that excels in puzzle platforming. These games feel more complete than The newer PoP games despite their age.
The Sly Collection
The Sly Cooper games are all cell shaded and cartoonish so in HD they don’t suffer as much as realistic character models. The Sly Collection adds brand new minigames. These minigames are compatible with the Playstation Move and supports up to four players. There are 4 minigames and designed with the Move in mind. They are mildly entertaining but you wouldn’t buy the collection for the minigames. The Sly Collection had content removed. Developer in-game commentary in Sly 1, hidden movies in Sly 2 and the original 3D levels in Sly 3 are now missing.
I don’t know why Sucker Punch decided to remove some content from part 1 and 2 (Part 3 had cheap 3D levels with the old fashion 3D glasses and now supports new 3D technology) but are minor and strangely not all bonus content was removed. The Sly Collection is bright vivid and original. There is a lot of fun to be had in these games. Upon completing all three games there is an announcement trailer for Sly 4.
The God of War Collection
There isn’t much to say about this collection other than character models look much better than the ones in Prince of Persia. Also to note that when first release it had a download code for the E3 God of War III demo which is absolutely pointless now that the game is released.
God of War Origins Collection
The Origins Collection is the PSP ports thus are already in widescreen and doesn’t suffer from that conversion process from full screen to widescreen. The only new feature is an interview that can also be downloaded on the Playstation Network. There’s a good chance that a lot of people miss out on these games due to the fact that they are on the PSP. If you enjoyed the God of War games then you will feel more or less at home here.
Both of the God of War collections hold up well and have a good amount of preexisting content for action games.
These next two games are not part of a collection but are HD releases that are also available on the Xbox 360
Beyond Good & Evil HD
Beyond Good & Evil is a hard to find game and has become a cult classic. You play as Jade and you have to uncover the secrets of an alien conspiracy threatening the galaxy. Jade is a female protagonist who is feels that she is as strong and attractive as she would have to be in this adventure. This is a unique adventure game that has a greater focus on stealth, exploration and puzzles rather than action.
Beyond Good & Evil HD is the type of game that you don’t see any more. It is the type of game that draws inspiration from many games from the past but still being its own game. The game doesn’t use the fact that she is female as a sign of weakness nor does the game flaunt her femininity. Jade is Jade and Beyond Good & Evil shows that sometimes that can be enough.
Resident Evil 4 HD
Resident Evil 4 HD unlike the others benefited the least for an HD title. Character models are improved but textures remain unchanged. The game appears zoomed but it is actually removing the black bars that were constant in previous version. The only new features are Trophies/Achievements and leader boards for Mercenaries Mode. The button layout has changed from the PS2 version. The run and action buttons are reversed to match the controls seen in RE5 and I believe that the Ashley command button has also moved. Personally I don’t understand why they did this and why there isn’t an option to revert them. Most games that use tank controls and Mario games have the run button to the left of the action button for easier control.
I love Resident Evil 4 and I own it for Gamecube and Wii but the changes in the control layout are off-putting. If you have played Resident Evil 5 and have yet to play 4 then you will see just how much 5 has borrowed from 4.
These HD releases are mainly graphical updates and lack many or any special features. That isn’t such a big deal to me. I don’t expect for developers to start adding more game to their games that not forward thinking. The visuals are bright and vivid and add a lot to already great games. For those who have never played these games before I give them recommendations. Certain elements of some games may feel old but these were wisely chosen games. If you own the originals and are on the fence about them ask yourself if you want to play them again but don’t want to pull out your old system.