A Gaming Retrospective with Sequels to and Remakes of Video Games for Spring of 2020


Take a moment to consider how far the video game industry has come in the past decade. To return to the level of progression ten years ago, gaming enthusiasts were marveling over the sophistication of software on consoles such as the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Nintendo Wii. The handheld gaming industry was being capitalized on and explored by the Nintendo DS, which left a landmark as the most purchased handheld gaming platform in history up to that point. Videogames a decade later have rocketed into a new dimension of storytelling, interactivity, and technological development. The gap between the handheld and console gaming industry has been slowly but surely bridged with the Nintendo Switch. PC gaming has ascended to new levels of accessibility and prowess with programs like Steam. Now, the industry is even knocking on the door to a newer generation with the announcement of the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5. This year will undoubtedly hold substantial developments for video games, and the highly-anticipated titles to pioneer these developments are getting closer every second. 

The unveiling of the brand-new Xbox Series X at The Game Awards 2019 promises many anticipated changes for Microsoft enthusiasts. Previously known as the mystery-enshrouded Project Scarlet displayed at E3 2019, this new hardware boasts higher frame rates, upscaled resolutions, and of course, new titles. For instance, Halo Infinite, the next entry in the iconic Halo franchise, has been scheduled to drop as a release title for the Series X around the holiday season of 2020. This is not to say that the spring season is empty-handed just as a build-up to the new console, though. The highly anticipated follow-up to the 2015 smash hit Ori and the Blind Forest, titled Ori and the Will of the Wisps, was released on March 10th of this year. The first Ori title is still well-known for its astonishing visuals backed by a gorgeous color palette and fun platforming mechanics. In terms of graphics, its aesthetics have won the hearts of many critics and platforming fans over. Building upon this success, the trailers released by Moon Studios for this sequel have been praised as nothing short of impeccable. The visuals and gameplay retain their graceful polish, much to the fans’ delight. It is a widely-accepted sentiment that platforming fans with Microsoft consoles have been blessed with one more beautiful platforming package on the Xbox One before being swept into a new generation of gaming.

The premise of taking a beloved title and amping it up in an updated remake with new mechanics is bound to excite many fans looking to re-experience their favorite titles and also the newer players who get to experience franchise-defining moments with a new spin. In years past, remakes such as Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy (2017), Spyro: Reignited Trilogy (2018) and Resident Evil 2 (2019) have taken some of Sony’s most famous titles and brought them back to the public’s attention. As for Resident Evil 3, this title’s first release dates all the way to 1999 as the last Resident Evil title on the PlayStation. This game refined the classic survival-horror genre and introduced arguably one of the most iconic villains in the entire franchise: Nemesis, whose name took the subtitle of the original release. Many classic Resident Evil titles have been cited as difficult to come back to in the modern day by some; the style of movement– commonly referred to as “tank controls” in the sense that one can only rotate their character while stationary like a tank– makes movement intrusive to some players. The remake of its aforementioned predecessor Resident Evil 2, however, streamlined the controls, giving players unaccustomed to tank controls hope that its successor shall follow suit. Resident Evil 3 was released one week prior to another long-wanted remake by Sony fans on April 3rd, 2020. 

Sony enthusiasts have been clamoring for a remake of Final Fantasy 7 for years on end, making it arguably one of the most desired titles in history. First released by Square Enix (then known as Squaresoft) for the original PlayStation in 1997, Final Fantasy 7 took its place as a cult classic among gamers and a definitive gem of the JRPG genre. At E3 2015, an announced remake in the works for this groundbreaking game shook the world. Fast forward past the worrying silence and news of delays all the way to 2020, and the game is finally scheduled for release after one of the most reportedly arduous development cycles ever heard of. Final Fantasy 7 Remake has a new system of interactive combat yet still offers the classic turn-based RPG elements in its settings. New story elements have been sprinkled all throughout the plot, the graphics have been raised to gorgeous new levels of detail, and the game features an all-new cast of voice actors to capture a feeling distinct from any previous versions of the classic character cast. Although it was first set to drop in March 2020, the release date was pushed back a little bit to April 10th, 2020, joining the month of Resident Evil 3’s release. Capcom, Square Enix and Sony fans waited on bated breath to see such desired titles be brought back to the forefront of their respective game genres, and all games received

Recognizing these reinvented classics and newer chapters to titles held dear helps gamers truly get a grasp on how far the video game industry has progressed. Even in the span of half a decade, cherished games dating back all the way to the 1990s are being remade as well and games released from that time frame are now receiving sequels. The fact that this is all coming to fruition before the next console wave crashes upon the industry’s shores is truly something to admire. This especially rings true during today’s wild uncertainties brought about by the self-quarantine order during this COVID-19 pandemic. These few games were fortunate enough to be finished and released before the outbreak made its way to the rest of the world. Thanks to that, trips through nostalgic titles- remastered or otherwise- are being taken more than ever with all the downtime people have seen. For the games that were scheduled to release later in the year, however, they have all seen delays for quality assurance and preservation of health. In a more advanced technological age with a safer environment, perhaps gamers will have the time to savor these polished gems and connect with more worlds with memories of their old favorites in mind.