The PS4 has received a healthy helping of criticism for its status as a console geared primarily toward Remasters. "RemasterStation 4," as it's pejoratively known, just got its most recent remaster with PaRappa the Rapper. Although the console's most popular remaster is undoubtedly that of The Last of Us, many of these games are straight out of the retro PlayStation era.
But something just occurred to me: after June 30, 2017, when Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy releases, will they greenlight anything else? What, from the PlayStation One library, is a good candidate for a remaster? Of course, I am obviously aware of the upcoming remakes of Final Fantasy VII and Resident Evil 2 (should they actually release), but those are already greenlit. With all of these titles, what's left?
Inarguably, Crash Bandicoot is one of Sony's most recognizable IPs, and the fact that it didn't have any sort of revisiting of this nature sooner can only be attributed to the scores of trash-tier Crash games that have come out since.
PaRappa the Rapper is one of today's most influential games, with its DNA found in all popular musical titles, such as Rock Band, Guitar Hero and Def Jam Rapstar. It's also one of the most-memed games from that era, for whatever that's worth. PaRappa became infused with the pop culture of today's 90s-born generation. So, again, is anything left from the PS One?
This is, of course, not to say that there are no good PS One games that haven't been ported or remastered on the PS4. There are scores of them. The question is whether or not any of those games are iconic enough and have a big enough following for a remaster. The most iconic games from the PS One that haven't been remastered are doing just fine. Gran Turismo, Tekken, Tomb Raider, for example, are all into the nth installments with millions of copies sold. I can think of a few other titles that are decent candidates, but I doubt will come to fruition.
One big name is Ape Escape. With a simple premise (capture escaped apes), the 1999 platformer was ridiculously well-received, scoring a 90 on Metacritic and being widely regarding as one of the best games on the PlayStation.
The real issue it faces, though, is that there still isn't much of an audience for it. The most-viewed Ape Escape gameplay videos on YouTube have south of 200,000 views (compared to the millions of a game like Crash Bandicoot). Pathetically enough, a Change.Org petition for an Ape Escape remaster on the PS4 got all of 174 signatures.
Plus, it already sort of had a remaster with Ape Escape: On the Loose for the PSP, and people weren't all too enthuses. Our own review criticized it for being outdated, and we weren't alone in that thinking. Crash fans had to beg and plead Sony for years before they finally gave in and started to develop a remake, so it's safe to say they're only looking to remake the sure things, and Ape Escape doesn't appear to be that.
The only other title that comes to mind that has yet to grace the PS4 in any meaningful way is Spyro the Dragon. While Spyro did appear in several mediocre titles throughout the laster console generations, this certainly does not disqualify it from a remaster. People forget that there were Crash Bandicoot games up until 2010, and it is still getting a remaster.
However, I'd say any Spyro remake will be marred by its place in the genre. We're in what I can call an odd time in gaming, in that the 3D Platformer is about to be inundated with high-profile titles. Yooka-Laylee just came out (albeit to mixed reviews), and Super Mario Odyssey is due this holiday season.
Any Spyro remake or remaster would likely find itself on the outside looking in, in terms of consumer engagement, if it release any time in the next year or so. This could mean that a PS4 Spyro is years away, and the mixed reviews of Yooka-Laylee may be even more reason to say away. Thus far, modern gamers have not reacted kindly to 3D platformers from the old days.
Now, I don't think PS4 will stop having remasters, but it's probably going to move on to the iconic figures from the PS2. Sony has already announced a Jak and Daxter PS4 port, at very least, that's due later this year. It just seems that the book is rapidly closing on remasters and remakes from the PS One era, and I expect Crash Bandicoot, perhaps unfortunately, to be the last one to receive the go ahead, and I expect the eventual releases of FFVII and RE 2 to be the last ones that actually release.
What do you think? Am I glossing over anything important that you think should be remastered from the PS One era? Be sure to let me know!