Amongst all the new games that came out in 2016, we also saw numerous reissues of beloved classics. Some were simply ports with graphical upgrades, while others introduced features and redesigned mechanics to satisfy modern tastes. Given that most of these games were great to begin with, it's not easy picking only five to highlight, but here's what we believe are the most impressive games that were reissued in 2016.
When Japanese developer Vanillaware opened shop in 2002, the first game it produced was PlayStation 2's Odin Sphere, an RPG set in a captivating world constructed from high-res 2D graphics. It was the game's defining characteristic and became Vanillaware's calling card. Earlier this year, Odin Sphere was revived for PlayStation 4 as Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir. While its presentation received the necessary upgrades to make it look at home on HDTVs, the existing graphics translated quite well despite their age, especially with the improved framerate on PS4. The more exciting additions were redesigned enemy AI, new mini-bosses, smoother combo mechanics, and tweaks to inventory and abilities based on feedback from the original game. Vanillaware already had a gem on its hands in 2007, but nine years later, Odin Sphere looks and plays better than before, making for one of the best RPGs on PlayStation 4.
Following the remaster of GameCube's Resident Evil Remake for modern platforms, Capcom took the next logical step and revived the oft-overlooked Resident Evil Zero. Beyond the obvious benefits of a bump in resolution and a wider aspect ratio, Capcom introduced an unexpected and awesome feature that unlocked after you beat the game: Wesker Mode. Say what you will about Wesker's reputation, but don't knock his presence in Zero until you take him for a spin. He doesn't need weapons: Wesker can sprint and barrel through crowds of zombies, or unleash a powerful energy blast from his eyes to make an enemy's head explode on impact. After spending hours slowly creeping through the shadows and carefully managing limited ammo reserves, replaying Zero with Wesker's powers is a cathartic release that almost entirely changes the tone and pace of the game. It's one of the best examples of replay value in recent memory.
Despite releasing mere months after Vita launched in 2012, Gravity Rush remains one of the system's most memorable experiences. When it made the jump to PlayStation 4 earlier this year, an already great game became even better. Its vibrant graphics were extensively remastered, and its controls were refined to take advantage of DualShock 4's capabilities in lieu of Vita's prominent touchscreen. Bluepoint Games is renowned for its work porting games like Titanfall to Xbox 360, and it did such a great job moving Gravity Rush to the big screen that you'd never know it was a handheld-exclusive to begin with.
According to Rez creator Tetsuya Mizuguchi, his original vision for the 2001 game included virtual reality, but because VR technology floundered for years both before and after Rez's inception, he ultimately had to wait 15 years to realize his dream. Although Rez was beloved when it first came out on Dreamcast and PlayStation 2, the remastered version for PlayStation 4 and PSVR will go down as the definitive version of Mizuguchi's masterpiece. Fying through Rez's existing stages in VR enhances the ways you absorb its colors and sounds, but Area X--a new level designed just for Rez Infinite--went off the rails, allowing you to freely fly through a shimmering dreamscape. As a whole, Rez Infinite offers an incredible mix of sights and sounds, but Area X in particular is a hypnotic experience unlike anything else we've played in VR.
Tim Schafer has had an illustrious career as a game designer both at LucasArts and Double Fine Productions, the studio he founded back in 2000.. Amidst managing teams and contributing to games like Broken Age and Psychonauts 2, Schafer and friends somehow find the time to polish their earlier hits for modern systems. Day of The Tentacle is the latest LucasArts game under Schafer's watch to be overhauled, and the upgrades extend far beyond remastering old pixel art for HD displays. The game's controls have been modernized through retooled menus that appear directly on top of interactive objects. The entire soundtrack has been reorchestrated as well, and for anyone who's curious about what Schafer and co were thinking during the creation of Day of the Tentacle, a commentary track provides hours of insight as you explore the game. Day of the Tentacle Remaster revitalized the classic game for a contemporary audience and managed to give something back to the fans who've loved it all along.
GAMESPOT'S BEST REISSUED GAMES OF 2016
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