Retro remakes on PS4 - essential buyer’s guide

 
 

Shadow of the Colossus

Developer: Bluepoint Games / JAPAN Studio
Publisher: SIEE
Players: 1

The 2018 remake of Team ICO’s classic retained everything that made it such a hit on PlayStation 2 – while rebuilding its visual assets from the ground up.

The result is an incredibly beautiful action adventure, that enhances its original, haunting tale with rich HD graphics and revamped control options. Best go into this one knowing as little about it as possible, for maximum impact…

Iconic moment:
When the first colossus falls beneath your sword… and the emotions that follow. 

 
 

PaRappa the Rapper Remastered

Developer: SIEE
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc.
Players: 1

Rapping dogs became the in-thing when the orange beanie hat-wearing PaRappa bounced onto the PlayStation scene in 1996. And after a sequel and series of spin-offs, fans were clamouring for a return, which came in the welcome shape of a PS4 remake in 2017.

PaRappa’s rhythm action rhymes and quest to win the heart of the fragrant flower Sunny Funny are back with enhanced audio, high res textures, additional features and dynamic 4K support for PS4 Pro. Chop Chop Master Onion, Cheap Cheap The Cooking Chicken and the rest of Parappa’s crew never looked or sounded so good.

Iconic moment:
“Kick, punch, it’s all in the mind!” Hearing Chop Chop Master Onion’s crazy flows again. 

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy

Developer: Vicarious Visions
Publisher: Activision
Players: 1

Spinning an influential path through 3D platform adventures, the world-famous marsupial was an instant hit on PlayStation in 1996, preceding a variety of follow-ups to satisfy fan fervour.

This glossy PS4 return to the original three games delighted players, as Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back and Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped all got a HD makeover. Fur shaders, more detailed environments and dynamic lighting are but a few of the enhancements, along with smoother controls to match.

Iconic moment:
Spinning into your first crate, complete with zany sound effects. 

 
 

Final Fantasy VII Remake

Developer: Square Enix
Publisher: Square Enix
Players: 1

Another game which had been on fans’ wishlists for decades, Square Enix finally answered their prayers with a return to the city of Midgar that left jaws agape.

No expense has been shared to bring back Cloud, Tifa, Barret and their friends in this iconic RPG, featuring a fleshed-out story, staggering visuals and voice acting that captures the essence of the iconic original. Not only that, but the combat system has been overhauled to retain the classic feel, while also incorporating exciting real-time action, with lots of options over how you play.

Iconic moment:
The opening scene with Aerith in Midgar, that drifts into Cloud’s introduction, all set to Nobuo Uematsu masterful score. 

 
 

LocoRoco 2 Remastered

Developer: Japan Studio
Publisher: SIEE
Players: 1

The colourful singing blobs made popular on PSP lose none of their charm in the HD PS4 remake. Tasked with saving the world, the LocoRoco’s battle to defeat the dastardly Moja army is a vibrant jaunt across a kaleidoscopic landscape of platforms and puzzles.

While the PSP original used the L1 and R1 buttons to control the joyful blobs, the DUALSHOCK 4 wireless controller lets you not only use those same shoulder buttons, but also its motion controls. So now you can roll, bounce and tilt the LocoRoco through 25 musical stages in an enjoyable new way.  

Iconic moment:
When the LocoRoco start harmonising to the background music for the first time. 

Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled

Developer: Beenox
Publisher: Activision
Players: 1-8

Not to be left in the dust by Crash Bandicoot N.  Sane Trilogy, this high-speed remake of the PlayStation original came powersliding onto PS4 to make sure Crash fans had plenty to get revved up for.

While all the classic tracks and racers are present, the glossy new visuals, online multiplayer and global leaderboards make this a Crash Team Racing fan’s dream.

Iconic moment:
Seeing Crash’s flailing legs as you get some turbo-boosted air time. 

 
 

Resident Evil 2

Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Players: 1

After an unforgettable debut on PlayStation back in 1998, returning to the zombie infested streets of Racoon City is even more terrifying than before, with stunning visuals and remastered audio.

But it isn’t just horrifically good presentation that brings Resident Evil 2 bang up to date – a new over-the-shoulder viewpoint, refined controls and rebuilt environments all ensure you’re getting a modern revamp of the iconic survival horror experience.

Iconic moment:
Your first, bloodcurdling encounter with Mr. X.

 
 

WipEout Omega Collection

Developer: Sony XDev, Clever Beans & EPOS Game Studios
Publisher: SIEE
Players: 1-8

Futuristic racing picked up speed when the hugely popular WipEout made its debut on PlayStation in 1995, creating fans so fast that it got a sequel only a year later. So it should come as no surprise that both games feature in this PS4 collection, also strapping in WipEout HD Fury for the ride.

With 26 reversible circuits, 46 unique ships, online multiplayer and a full HD overhaul – which is also enhanced for PS4 Pro – WipEout Omega Collection is a dream for any racing fan. And let’s not forget the iconic soundtrack, which has been updated to feel as fresh now as it did over a decade ago.

Iconic moment:
Seeing the dramatic camera pan around your anti-gravity ship, as it hovers at the starting gird.

Resident Evil 3

Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Players: 1-5

When the hulking and near-indestructible bio weapon Nemesis first bursts onto the scene on PlayStation in 1999, it was an unforgettable experience that shook up the series. And that shock to the system is recreated in stunning HD on PS4, in a chilling reimagination of Capcom’s survival horror masterwork. 

Wrapping classic, spinetingling Resident Evil gameplay within the same powerful graphical engine used in the Resident Evil 2 remake, this latest revision to the series is a striking showstopper. And if you want to switch up your scares, the online 4 vs. 1 asymmetrical multiplayer game, Resident Evil Resistance, is also included.

Iconic moment:
Nemesis bursting through the wall to make his terrifying introduction. 

 
 

Trials of Mana

Developer: Square Enix
Publisher: Square Enix
Players: 1

With the original only getting released outside of Japan in 2019, for many this vibrant remake is their first encounter with the sequel to classic 16-bit action RPG, Secret of Mana.

Delivering a stunning 3D version of the original’s beautifully drawn 2D graphics, Trials of Mana takes an epic tale of six heroes in a world on the brink of destruction, and revamps it for a modern age. Voice acting, a remastered soundtrack, an upgraded battle system and other extras make this an unmissable feast for JRPG fans.

Iconic moment:
When the first strains of Hiroki Kikuta’s musical score begins, riffing off the Mana series’ most popular tracks. 

 
 

Yakuza Kiwami

Developer: SEGA / Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio
Publisher: Deep Silver (EU) / Sega of America (US) 
Players: 1-2

Kazuma Kiryu’s adventures across the dark and dangerous streets of Kamurocho became legend on PS2 classic Yakuza, so it was only a matter of time before SEGA brought him back for the PS4 generation.

After emerging from a 10-year stint behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit, it’s up to you to guide the so-called Dragon of Dojima through a gritty urban action adventure. The original crime laden story is enhanced with additional dialogue and extended cutscenes, while upgraded character models, audio and other technical improvements help bring the city to life.

Iconic moment:
Watching Kazuma Kiryu coolly stroll down the neon-lit streets in his crisp white suit, as if he owns the world. 

MediEvil

Developer: Other Ocean Emeryville & Sony Worldwide Studios
Publisher: SIEE
Players: 1

The battle between Sir Daniel Fortesque and the evil sorcerer Zarok was one PlayStation gamers held close their hearts back in 1998, so seeing the skeletal knight arise from the grave (again) to take up arms on PS4 was a welcome sight.

Maintaining the fun hack-and-slash action adventuring from yesteryear and pairing it with eye-popping HD presentation, an improved camera system and other tweaks means there’s plenty for old and new fans alike. And if you’re feeling particularly nostalgic, there’s even a version of the original game hidden away for you to discover…

Iconic moment:
Watching Sir Dan’s single eyeball swivel around in its socket as he faces down the demon hordes. 

 
 

Ratchet & Clank

Developer: Insomniac Games
Publisher: SIEE
Players: 1

It’s not often that a game becomes so popular that its modern day return is also in collaboration with a movie, but that’s exactly what Insomniac Games’ action platformer did. Kicking off a successful franchise on PS2 in 2002, Ratchet & Clank spawned over a dozen sequels and spin-offs before its remake on PS4.

This spectacular reimagining packs all the zany humour and over the top adventuring of its precursor, with a fresh retelling of how furry Lombax mechanic Ratchet and rebellious sentry robot Clank became best of buds.

Iconic moment:
Beating back enemies with Ratchet’s trusty Omni-wrench.

 
 

Spyro Reignited Trilogy

Developer: Toys for Bob
Publisher: Activision
Players: 1

The plucky little dragon that lit a fire under PlayStation gamers in 1998 brought back the heat on PS4, in a collection of three fan-favourite action platformers: Spyro the Dragon, Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage! and Spyro: Year of the Dragon.

Remastered with vibrant textures and character models for a dazzling contemporary look, and improved controls, this is the best way to wage a hot war against Gnasty Gnorc, Ripto and other villainous foes across the realms of Dragon World.   

Iconic moment:
Taking to the skies with Spyro’s little purple wings for the first time. 

The Bard’s Tale: Remastered and Resnarkled

Developer: inXile Entertainment
Publisher: inXile Entertainment
Players: 1

Fans of the 1980’s home computer classic probably never expected to see this genre defining role-playing game return, so its arrival on PS4 was a like a sweet song from the Bard himself.

A remaster of the 2004 remake, The Bard’s Tale: Remastered and Resnarkled follows the basic story template of its forebearers, adding modern visuals, voice acting by Hollywood talent such as The Princess Bride’s Cary Elwes and a more action-oriented combat system. Although one of the biggest changes is to the Bard himself, who’s now a selfish world-weary rogue, in the centre of a hilarious satire of the RPG genre.

Iconic moment:
Hearing that lute laden intro music, casting the perfect atmosphere of swords and sorcery.

 
 

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