With the long delayed Silent Hill (2 and 3) HD makeover finally released this past March, we’re drawn to think about whether such a process is necessary in the gaming industry.
Silent Hill 2 garnered its cult reputation on the very fact that it wasn’t visually perfect, its intentionally lowered resolution giving the game a grainy, misty feeling. With the turnover to HD, it is hard to retain such a rickety effect, meaning much of the game’s magic will arguably be lost on fresh eyes.
Silent Hill 3 has perhaps benefited from the transition more, its wealth of bloody special effects positively glowing with high resolution redness. Not that this should be anything to worry about for Silent Hill players, as being squeamish has never exactly been a core attribute of a typical fan.
The HD collections that the industry is surely waiting for, though, are those of the classic PSOne Final Fantasy titles.
Final Fantasy VII may be considered one of the greatest games ever made but, visually, it’s aged worse than the original Tron movie. Final Fantasy VIII was always more ambitious than the console it was made for, and as for Final Fantasy IX, well, throw some make-up on those cartoonish visuals and the result would be spectacular.
But looking at Silent Hill 2 and 3 as examples, we can see that HD remakes are useful for both introducing new gamers to the older generation, and treating current fans to some fear-induced nostalgia. These new polished upgrades look the perfect grown-ups to the young adolescents they once were. When you think of Silent Hill in that fashion, a fear of growing up suddenly doesn’t seem so irrational.
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