Nostalgia Gone Mild
March 17, 2012 2 Comments
I’m not going to try to force my anti-retro-gaming stance onto anyone. I’ve had long, drawn out arguments with people I consider my friends on this issue. I simply think playing old games I’ve already beaten is a waste of my time. Others are content to beat Chrono Trigger for the third time this year, turning their nose up at our modern, newfangled stuff like Mass Effect 3. “Psssh, new stuff. That’s so gay.”
We’ll never see eye-to-eye on this issue, but I think I found something we can all agree on: re-releasing mediocre games that weren’t all that great to begin with is not an event. Apparently, it is to Sony. They’re in the middle of their “Spring Fever” promotion on PlayStation Network. It began this week with Journey and will apparently end in two weeks with Closure, an award-winning indie game. Yep, this promotion is only three fucking games. And what is the middle game? Rayman 3.
Really, Rayman 3 is apparently so special now that it’s release is part of an exclusive promotion that lasts a whopping three weeks. Rayman 3 is. Ray fucking Man fucking 3. It’s not even going to be exclusive to their system! It’s being ported to XBLA as well.
I know there are a ton of Rayman fans out there, but really, this is a mascot more committee designed and soulless than Sonic the Hedgehog. Sure, he’s got a better track record in recent times than the overrated Erinaceinae, but it’s not like it’s an iconic character or anything. I would wager a guess that it’s barely more recognizable among causal gamers and non-gamers than a second-string Pokemon. My boyfriend Brian is a semi-regular gamer, in the sense that he plays major releases like Gears of War and Mass Effect, and he couldn’t have picked Rayman out of a lineup before he was introduced to the series with Rayman Origins courtesy of me.
But why is Rayman 3 special? Look, I like the series. Rayman 2 was one of my favorite Dreamcast games as a kid. But the game has been ported and re-released so many times to so many platforms that I get nauseated hearing about it. And now, Rayman 3, a game nearly ten years old, getting a modern port is apparently a special event. Rayman 3 was kind of the jump-the-shark moment in the series for me. Well, Raving Rabbids on the Wii not withstanding. It was just a rehash. Like Ubisoft lucked into making something that was a borderline masterpiece in Rayman 2, decided not to fuck with the formula, and shot anyone who had an original idea. Oh, and it was one of the first games that kicked off the idea of sequels having less content than the original. In this case, the cool projectile attacks of #2 were replaced by, well, nothing.
I was 13 when Rayman 3 came out, so I get it. It’s been a long time and there’s a whole world full of fresh-faced kids who will experience Rayman 3 for the first time. It’s the same reason fanboys should lay off Nintendo for porting Ocarina of Time and Star Fox to the 3DS. You’re not the target audience and neither am I. Having said that, I can kind of see why the Nintendo ports would be an event. Zelda especially. It’s considered one of the greatest games of all time. But Rayman 3? Or how about Marvel vs. Capcom 2? Microsoft did that as part of the Summer of Arcade promotion a few years back. These aren’t even B-Lister games.
As much as I loathed the Simpsons Arcade Game, at least all parties involved had the decency to just quietly put it out on the market with as little warning as possible. The same goes for the Chronicles of Riddick rehash, Assault on Dark Athena. It’s a prime example of how retro re-releases should work: the developers don’t talk about it and consumers do not buy it. What a re-release shouldn’t be is a featured game in an event designed to draw attention to a platform. Way to go Sony, you fucked up yet another event. You did it last summer when you included Street Fighter III, a game nobody asked for a port of, as part of your horrible Play event. And you’ve done it again here with Rayman 3, another game nobody asked for. I look forward to the next Sony event to find out what game nobody gives a shit about will be the next game elevated to super-special status and promoted. And by promoted, I mean Sony mentions it on their Facebook page. Really, they don’t pimp these things too hard, do they? Come on guys, you’re fucking Sony. At least pay someone somewhere to talk about your shit, even if it’s just a town crier.
Sadly, Closure will not be reviewed by me. I checked out the trailer with Brian. Lots of strobey lightning effects. Me is a sad kitten 😦