Posted by murraychu on 15th August 2009
This week I reviewed Active Life: Extreme Challenge and Brave: A Warrior’s Tale, both for the Wii. Active Life is another mini-games compilation series, which was talked about in last week’s blog. Brave, on the other hand, is an example of another type of shovelware, a port.
A port is, more or less, a version of a game, that originally came out on another console, made for another console. Usually, these are older games remade for a new generation of console. Ports are, compared to completely new games, easy to develop and are safe on release. Everything you need to make the game is already there, including the 3D models and whatnot. As well, since you have a good idea of how well the original game sold, you can except a rough percentage of that to rebuy your game along with some new customers.
Everyone is guilty of porting and it is not always a bad thing. In all fairness, Brave was remade with whole new levels, more than doubling the size, scope and length of the game. This is more than can be expected from most ports, which are done without even so much as a graphics upgrade, such as a lot of what you will see on the Virtual Console and XBLA.
Speaking of Nintendo, they are quite guilty of repackaging IPs. There is a whole line of “New Play Control!” games, like Pikmin for the Wii, which is basically the same game as the one for the GameCube, but with only new controls tacked on. Luckily for them, their games are awesome. I hate to admit it, but I am looking forward to the new Pokemon Heart Gold/Soul Silver that was just recently announced to be coming to North American in Spring 2010. This game is a remake of the original Pokemon Gold/Silver. Note that remake is different than a port as the game is redone from bottom to top.
Another remake, which unfortunately is not doing as well, is the Turtles in Time Reshelled for XBLA. The original game was a masterpiece and it is a shame to see that this version leaves a bitter taste in most people’s mouths due to poor art direction and soundtrack decisions.
To summarize: ports of good games are well accepted. Ports of decent games with vast improvements and new additions are also welcomed, as they are almost remakes. Most remakes are welcomed, unless they ruin the game instead of improving it.
Tags: Active Life, Brave, Extreme Challenge, Heart Gold, nintendo, Pokemon, ports, Reshelled, Soul Silver, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, TMNT, virtual console, Warrior's Tale, wii, XBLA
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