Those of you who enjoy bathing in nostalgic bliss have been spoilt for choice over the past couple of years, thanks to the now-ubiquitous HD Collection releases. Retailing at a budget price, these PlayStation 2-era classics not only receive a bit of spit and polish in terms of visuals, but companies have also invested in adding the likes of 3D and Trophy support among other goodies. From God of War Collection to Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, Sony’s PS3 has seen a number of fantastic titles subjected to the HD treatment, giving both newcomers and fans alike a reason to revisit the 128-bit glory days.
However, it’s not all rosy in retro land. Occasionally, we’ve seen a couple of blunders when it comes to polishing up our beloved franchises of yesteryear. Whether it be performance-related issues or key content being left out altogether, PSU.com has cobbled together what we believe to be PS3s most disappointing HD Collection releases to date.
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Silent Hill HD Collection
Released in March 2012 to tie-in with the then-upcoming Silent Hill: Downpour, the Silent Hill HD Collection attracted perhaps more flak from fans than any other collection to date. For starters, it only offers two games: Silent Hill 2 and 3. Now, while they’re undeniably some of the finest slices of survival horror gaming you can get your mitts on, the omission of Silent Hill 4: The Room is nonetheless lamentable. Sure, it may not be as revered as its predecessors, but it deserves a spot on the collection nonetheless, and is officially part of the SH canon. Most conspicuous of all, however, is the array of glitches and other technical hiccups that plague the contents of this bundle. Both titles suffer from some horrendous lip-synching, some questionable newly-recorded dialogue (of which only Silent Hill 2 can be reverted back to the original recordings), and a noticeable absence of the perpetual fog that cloaks Silent Hill. This results in areas looking pretty bare and at times, you can quite easily discern where the environment abruptly stops; something which wouldn’t have been spotted had the fog been properly implemented. Overall, a glaring disappointment in what should have been one of the best HD Collections on the market.
Splinter Cell Trilogy
Stealth games don’t get much better than Splinter Cell (well, okay, and Metal Gear Solid), but sadly even after a HD makeover Sam Fisher looks a little rough around the edges. The Splinter Cell HD Collection, while solid from a gameplay point of view, is bogged down by a series of performance issues that prevent it from being the sensational stealth bundle fans deserve. For one, the game is prone to outright crashing from time to time, and a choppy frame rate ensures things don’t run as smoothly as they should. However, the most glaring setback to befall this HD Collection is the absence of multiplayer. This isn’t just limited to the fantastic Spies vs. Mercenaries online mode either; co-op functions from Chaos Theory are also MIA, resulting in the overall product feeling exceedingly lacking.
Devil May Cry HD Collection
No, the reason we’ve included the DMC Collection here is not due to the elephant in the room, otherwise known as DMC2. After all, that game was always going to be as bland as we remember, regardless of a HD facelift. Rather, the reason Capcom’s stylish demon killing series made the list is due to a distinct lack of polish. For starters, the HD conversion hasn’t gone as smoothly as some of the other collections; the visuals are pretty muddy in places, and aside from DMC3 the rest of the package comes up lacking. More alarming however are the ugly borders that infest the collection – try playing it on a decent-sized TV and you’ll see what we mean.
Hitman HD Trilogy
Agent 47’s original stealth-based adventures were remastered earlier this month, packing Blood Money, Contracts and Silent Assassin into one package. It’s up for debate as to how many of the games have aged poorly, but we won’t get bogged down with that; the HD remaster as a whole is lacking somewhat. For starters, the visual upgrade is pretty barebones, and won’t titillate anyone who has already seen the PC versions in action. Bloody Money in particular – which hadn’t previously graced Sony’s black beast – is a no-thrills port, with very little polishing up to speak of. In addition, there’s very little in the way of bonus material to tuck into; given Hitman’s illustrious career, some behind-the-scenes gems and other content would have been most welcome. Trophies are pretty underwhelming, and we doubt anyone but the most tenacious hunters out there will be bothered about picking them up.
Do you agree with our list? Perhaps there are some other HD Collections out there that didn’t get enough love and attention? Let us know in the comments section below.