An HD remake is an opportunity to fix the small gripes fans had in classic games. Even the best games have little annoyances or problems, and taking advantage of the chance to fix these is the best move a developer can make. Ports are buggy, we know. It’s hard work. I’m not going to yell at you or write nasty letters because I got stuck in a wall a few times. But there are things you should probably fix.
I bought PoPTT HD because the PS2 version had severe frame rate issues when you were around too much glowing sand, everything was kind of blurry, and the audio was muffled. And I’m happy to report that all of those issues have been resolved. I don’t expect you to recode the engine, remodel the characters and fix unresponsive controls, but that doesn’t make me not wish you had. PoP has a serious problem with controls not working out the way you wanted, and it’s been responsible for more than a few deaths. In fact, I would not be the least surprised that the recall ability was spawned from dreams of play testers on beds of broken controller components. Plus the PSP version had a few more levels in it. Why couldn’t we keep that? Sometimes when you closed a sand portal you would be transported to a dreamlike mini level. Then there are the Necrid-like sewer creatures. Instead of simply splitting in two, the game generates a second model and has them fall apart.
The character development kind of backpedals into a muddy ditch here. All the strength the Prince had is gone again, making him whiny and weak. In WW he was taking charge, accepting responsibility, and all around making progress in life and his emotional state. Now he is once again reduced to a sniveling kid being pushed around by a voice in his head.
As to the game itself, the controls aren’t as fluid as I would like, and I find myself stumbling a lot. The voice acting is much better than most games and the story is somewhat compelling. But you promised me better textures Steinmen, YOU PROMISED ME PRETTY! You can lose yourself climbing, jumping, and parkouring along nondescript hallways and palace rooms. It’s nice to quietly think to yourself while playing on autopilot. That is until something totally unfair happens and you bounce off a ledge and fall to your doom. That’s another thing, everything looks the same, you can call it the brothel staircase or the palace walkway it still looks like the same Arabian architecture.
The trophies for these remakes are ridiculous. Either there are a large amount of easy trophies or there are about ten and most of them are harder than some platinums. A gold trophy in PoP is to play the entire game without dying once. This means that if your health goes down to red, even if you rewind, you don’t get the trophy. But in Jak and Daxter you get silvers for the easiest stuff. It’s mind boggling that they can’t get this shit right.
I’m not sure if it’s a porting bug or that Ubisoft originally wanted it this way, but the Dark Prince does not light up anymore. I’m cool with it if they couldn’t decide and are using this chance to include something they didn’t would work or not, but if it’s a porting glitch, it’s pretty damn big. Also the infection does not seem to spread up the Princes arm onto his back, so I’m assuming it’s just broken. WHICH IS RIDICULOUS. Maybe studios should have critics in house, with a bottle of vodka and a cat-o-nine tails.
When all is said and done, I would only recommend the HD release to those who never got to play the game on the PS2. And for shits sake stop hiring these small studios to port your games! Because well done, another port ruined.
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