Game Review: A new life for old video games

January 29, 2015 byDerrik J. Lang
This photo provided by Deep Silver/Volition Inc. shows a scene from the video game, "Saints Row IV: Re-Elected." (AP Photo/Deep Silver/Volition Inc.)

For some video games, what's old is new again.

Following last year's re-release of "Halo 2," ''The Last of Us" and "Grand Theft Auto V," several other titles—and one hand-held device—are receiving similar resurrections in 2015.

A look at recent revivals:

— "Grim Fandango Remastered": The treasured 1998 adventure game has been lovingly restored for PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita and PC with better graphics, a new point-and-click interface and a freshly recorded orchestral soundtrack performed by the Melbourne Symphony. While searching for clues in the game's Land of the Dead locale feels a bit dated by today's standards, that dry "Grim Fandango" wit still holds up 17 years later. Three stars out of four.

— "Saints Row IV: Re-Elected": Other than voice commands and slightly smoother graphics, not much change has come to this refreshed edition of the zany "Grand Theft Auto" spoof for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It's only worth a purchase for die-hard "Saints Row" fans who missed the fourth chapter in 2013, or for those who desire a bundle with all the game's downloadable bonus content, including the new afterlife-set addition, "Gat Out of Hell." Two stars.

— "Resident Evil HD Remaster": The landmark 1996 survival horror game has been rebuilt for new PCs and consoles, making creepy Spencer Mansion feel even creepier in 1080p resolution. The designers have smartly appealed to purists and modern players alike by including the option to switch between original and updated controls, as well as aspect ratios. It's not quite "The Walking Dead," but "Resident Evil" still delivers zombie thrills. Three-and-a-half stars.

— New Nintendo 3DS XL: Nintendo has made over the large version of its glasses-free 3-D hand-held doodad with a faster processor, secondary analog stick, shoulder buttons, eye-tracking capability for improved 3-D viewing and a sensor that can recognize "amiibo" figures. Bizarrely, a power adapter isn't included, and the redesign annoyingly hides the unit's micro-card slot underneath the back of the 3DS. Still, it's an impeccable improvement overall. Three stars.

— Other remastered games due this year: new-gen renditions of the role-playing entries "Final Fantasy Type-0" and "Final Fantasy X/X-2"; a compilation of the "Homeworld" sci-fi strategy series called "The Homeworld Remastered Collection"; versions of "The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask" and "Xenoblade Chronicles" optimized for the New Nintendo 3DS XL; and the re-invigorated hack-and-slash game "Devil May Cry," dubbed "DmC: Definitive Edition."

Explore further: 'The Legend of Zelda' game coming to Nintendo 3DS

Related Stories

Nintendo reveals 'Skylanders'-like toy line at E3 (Update)

June 10, 2014

Nintendo is taking a cue from "Skylanders" and "Disney Infinity." The Japanese gaming giant unveiled a toy figure line called "amiibo" that will work in tandem with its video games like the toys-meet-games franchises from ...

Best of 2014: The top 10 video games of the year

December 31, 2014

With the launch of new consoles, expectations were high for 2014. Games such as "Titanfall" and "Watchdogs" captured fans' imaginations and offered a glimpse of what the next level of games would look like. Unfortunately, ...

US video game sales fell 4 percent in March

April 15, 2011

(AP) -- U.S. retail sales of video game systems, games and accessories fell 4 percent in March as game software sales declined, according to new data from an industry group.

Recommended for you

Coffee-based colloids for direct solar absorption

March 22, 2019

Solar energy is one of the most promising resources to help reduce fossil fuel consumption and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions to power a sustainable future. Devices presently in use to convert solar energy into thermal ...

What can machine learning reveal about the solid Earth?

March 22, 2019

Scientists seeking to understand Earth's inner clockwork have deployed armies of sensors listening for signs of slips, rumbles, exhales and other disturbances emanating from the planet's deepest faults to its tallest volcanoes. ...

A social bacterium with versatile habits

March 22, 2019

Related individuals of a soil bacterial species live in cooperative groups and exhibit astonishing genetic and behavioural diversity. ETH researchers recently published these findings in Science .


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.