Aah Nostalgia! That feeling when you reminiscence about a particular time that now lies in the past. It overcomes you and your senses. It fills your heart with either joy or sorrow. How we feel depends on what we are thinking back on. Usually we think back at good times, people who used to an integral part of our lives.
Though there was a time when nostalgia was considered a disease. In the late 1600s, Swiss physicians termed it an illness similar to ‘Homesickness’. Irrespective, a healthy dose of nostalgia helps us come to terms with our past. We cherish it.
We recollect the times when we did something so epic and amazing that it is forever ingrained in our memories. My personal favorite memory, is of myself when, me and my best friend ( of that time) didn’t move from the couch for 7 straight hours as we played Prince of Persia while snickering and talking about our future Princes. ( we were teens, what else could we possibly talk about?)
‘Prince of Persia’, was a game that originally released in 1990s. Originally made on Apple II, it had quite a fan following all over the world. Post the movie ‘Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time’ based on the game, it was inevitable that a complete revamped game was launched. With better graphic and more adaptability, it was quite a money earner. In pipelines is another unpreventable relaunch from Ubisoft Montreal.
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Many a times the one question developers need to ask themselves is, ‘should I do it?’ instead of merely stopping at ‘Can I do it?’
This subtle difference matters as today majority of production houses are relaunching past games and basically selling us old wines in new bottles.
Ask yourself. Why did Angry Birds become so popular? Why did that one game from a fledgling company make it so big? It was the ‘Wooden Slingshot’ which triggered the child in us to try this game as Slingshots were probably the most common of children’s toys. The success of this led to Angry Birds being downloaded over 1 billion times. Paid downloads account for more than 25% of total downloads, making it one of the top selling games in the Apple App Store.
Let’s have a look at some other games that have followed the same thought process and relaunched games.
- Mario Bros:
Probably the most iconic game to ever come out of another iconic game. Mario was a character first made famous in ‘Donkey Kong’. Atari released these games in the early 1980s. There are many claims to fame, suggesting the origins of Mario. But, there is no denying that the creators reused this iconic character and made it an entity in itself. The game was originally an atari Television console game. This game was first launched as an arcade game offering Single-player and Multiplayer options. It was released over time on a number of home version. Apple II, Atari 2600, Atari 5200,Atari 7800, Atari 8-bit computers amongst others. It was relaunched in 2008 on Wii, Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. Needless to say, this classic game didn’t enjoy the same success of its original version.
- Donkey Kong:
With a record number of franchises which mainly comprised 2 different games genres, plus spin-offs, Donkey Kong is an iconic game of its time. The hallmark of this game was the barrels which the Kong uses as weapons. It healmed the arcade game golden era as probably the best game of its time. It later loaded on Atari 2600, Colecovision, Amiga 500, Apple II, Atari 7800, Intellivision, Commodore 64, Ibm PC booter, Atari 8- Bit Family etc. it was relaunched last in 2015 on to Wii U, Nintendo 3DS as Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars. This was the 30th version of the original game including the spinoffs! Wow! Talk about beating a dead horse.
- Mortal Kombat:
What an exemplary video game franchise. As the star of Jackie Chan, the Martial Artist grew across hollywood, it was only natural that it would re generate people’s interest in Karate. The game Mortal Kombat brought together fighting and fantasy, it became amongst the most successful videogame of its time. It was also famous for creating a multiple number of hidden easter eggs. Be it hidden games within the game or even secret characters like Galaga. Originally launched on PS1 and nintendo 64, it has been recently relaunched in 2016 as Mortal Kombat XL on PS4, XBox One and as a mobile game on iOS/Android. This relaunched version received mostly positive reviews and topped sales charts within the month of its release.
- The legend of Zelda:
Oh Zelda! We bow at your feet. What an amazing action and adventure game. Developed by Nintendo in 1986, it is considered as the best seller from Nintendo. Incorporating real like gardens and thus creating an entire world for the gamers, Zelda really hit merchandise jackpot with toys, guidebooks, apparels and even a cereal called Nintendo Cereal System. Amongst the most popular name uses of Zelda was its greatest fan and avid gamer, the late Robin Williams. He named his daughter Zelda! Talk about being a fan. Originally released on Nintendo’s platform, Zelda was launched once again in 2006 as The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. This has till date sold more than 9 million copies, making it the most famous version of the original game series. It was launched in an HD version in Wii U exclusively in 2016.
The one constant thing about technology is that it is always changing. This continuous change brings either advancement or holds our imaginations captive. The symbolism of the relaunched games success is that we, in our subconscious mind want to live back our glory days. These games bring about a flashback of how things were and how we wish we could. So why not enjoy those moments through these relaunches. Hey Space Invaders!! Take a hint! Relaunch already!!!