Vidjagame Apocalypse 60 — Remakes That Remade

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Too many HD “remakes” these days are content to slap on some sharp new textures and call it a day. Most don’t want to risk the ire of gamers by actually overhauling gameplay or design that worked 20 years ago, but a notable few have braved those waters and actually come out better for it. We celebrate them in this week’s Top 5, then move on to talk about Trials Fusion, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, and what your favorite Internet pranks were from this year’s April Fool’s Day.

Question of the Week

What’s a real-world fact that you first learned by playing video games?

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29 thoughts on “Vidjagame Apocalypse 60 — Remakes That Remade

  1. Assassin’s Creed 3 has taught me alot about American History. Being an Australian, We don’t get alot of American History unless it’s pop culture related. So Assassin’s Creed taught me alot about American History e.g. The British being a bunch of Pricks to your country (Hey, Australia was a convict settlement)

    Also the main protagonist and I share the same first name 🙂

  2. Pretty much any knowledge I have of real life guns comes from videogames like Medal of Honor, Call of Duty, or other pseudo realistic shooters. It’s thanks to those games that I can tell by sight that the rifles the cops in my city carry are M16 rifles, or that the mounted guns they have in some of their armored trucks are M60 machineguns. Most importantly I learned the propper name of the AK-47 trough games, since everyone in Mexico calls them “Cuerno de Chivo”. (Which means “Goat Horn” in english, go figure why people decided to call them that int he first place..)

  3. QotW: The countless hours spent playing Civilization while on the road have taught me a ton about the progression of technologies, the backgrounds of many existing and long dead civilizations, and the leaders who ruled them. For example, I learned that guilds were the natural predecessor to early division of labor, during what is usually known as the feudal stage of development, I learned that the the Byzantium was as powerful as traditional Rome at its peak, and I learned that you never let Gandhi get nukes, cuz fucker uses em every goddamned time.

    1. I was going to say the same thing and then saw your comment. Civ 1 for PC taught me a lot about world development and progression. I forgot my exact age at the time but it had just come out (so maybe about 8 or 9) and I was still in elementary school. I knew the purpose of an aqueduct and different ancient military types before other kids even heard of them. All the Ancient civilization cities (as well as modern) and many of the great emperors and leaders. Man, looking back, that was really good as a kid.

  4. Honestly, the earliest thing I learned was probably just the meaning of hundreds and hundreds of words as a lil boy. Playing Pokemon actually teaches you a whole ton of Vocab if you play it at the right age.

  5. The definition of the word heresy from the Halo games. I hadn’t even heard the word until I played Halo 2 for the first time, but seeing in context of how the word was used in a negative connotation told me that heresy is basically having a belief or teaching things that are contrary/contradictory to the teachings or beliefs of a certain faith. I was then in middle school able to state the correct definition of the word when it was finally brought up in my English class years ago and when I stated that I had learned it from Halo, my teacher was legitimately surprised and actually stated that it seems that games like Halo do have educational value after all.

  6. Dave, no one on mic reacted to your Borat-esque “My arm…” but I am compelled to let you know that I laughed my ass off on this end. Cheers.

  7. I learned the phonetic alphabet from Gunship on PS1. Each of the waypoints and companion AI controlled choppers had a phonetic name. Each chopper pilot would awkwardly voice the commands given.
    WHISKEY 3 to WHISKEY 1 engaging enemy.
    Or in other words
    MR. BLACK three to MR. BLACK one we’ve reached waypoint NOVEMBER.

    Please leave a message for Mike GRABOWSKI.

  8. I learned a whole lot of depressing facts about all the ways coal mining companies found to screw over their employees from Kentucky Route Zero.

  9. What did I learn from video games? Two things: 1) Futility, because I owned and “played” E.T. on the Atari. and B) Ducktales Remastered has proven that any skill that I truly once had, is clearly gone thanks to modern gaming.

  10. I picked up Euro Truck Simulator 2 during last year’s Steam Winter sale and after playing it I finally learned that pretty much all of Europe except the UK drives on the right side of the road. I’m from the US and I always thought Europeans drove on the left.

    Another good episode, always nice to hear Brett!

  11. In High School I answered a Physics question correctly by explaining how to best accelerate when base jumping, from San Andreas.

  12. I hadn’t really watched anime around the time Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon for the N64 came out, so this game was my first exposure to Japanese culture and humor. It all went over my head at the time, but it was also a small shock to see that the perverted jokes made it into a game that was rated “E” for everyone.

  13. I actually did an insect report on black ants using SimAnt! Many hours of “research” were spent learning how to defeat the evil red ants and take over the nearby house. I loved the little facts that they added, and it definitely added to my presentation.

    Of course, someone else also did a similar report on ants and that was a bit awkward.

  14. For me, whether a video game remake is successful or not boils down to a single factor:

    Does the remake completely remove any reason for me to play the original.

    Bionic Commando Rearmed does that.
    Metroid Zero Mission DEFINITELY does it.

    Final Fantasy IV on the DS absolutely does NOT. That game is an AWFUL remake. It takes the beutiful looking SNES sprites and replaces them with horrible N64 looking graphics. And it straight up ruins the gameplay. The game can only do, like, 3 enemies at a time. So they make up for that by giving tougher enemies multiple actions in a row, which, because AI attacks are often randomized, can lead to you getting wiped out without even getting the option to react if a boss decided to use it’s biggest attack several times in a row.

    By contrast, Final Fantasy IV: Complete Collection is a fucking FANTASTIC remake. Same game as the original, but all the sprites are redone with HD versions that look gorgeous. It uses the music from the DS version, it add all the new content from the previous remakes, and contains all of The After Years.

    The PSP versions of FF1-2 is just as good. Redone HD sprites, remade music, extra endgame content.

    Meanwhile, the iOS versions of 5 and 6 totally suck. Graphics aren’t redone, music isn’t remixed. They’re pretty much just straight ports of the GBA versions.

    If they ever get around to making a REAL Remake of FF6, I hope it’s either like the PSP versions of 1, 2 and 4, or they do something like remake the game in the Bravely Default engine. At least then it won’t look like ass.

    Other remakes I think remove the need to replay the originals:

    Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes
    DuckTales Remastered
    Super Mario All Stars
    Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix(I know some people don’t like it, but I have no interest in going back to Super Turbo anymore with this out)
    Castlevania Chronicles
    The two Monkey Island remakes

  15. Assassin’s Creed 3 taught me that George Washington was an evil, power hungry tyrannical king. That ain’t sometin’ that you would learn from any o’ dem fancy history books.

  16. I learned how to swim from playing Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time/Majora’s Mask

    I just watched how link did the side stroke and copied how he swam in the game and eventually I learned how to swim.

  17. English, probably. It’s not my first language (Dutch is), and I wasn’t taught by anyone. Instead I pretty much picked up the language automatically within a year of learning how to read. TV and subtitles also helped with that, but games forced me to just go through the entire experience in a single language with nothing to fall back on.

  18. Age of Empires 2: Age of Kings taught me a lot about medieval history and weapons of war. I recall knowing who Charlemagne was and what a trebuchet is (called it a truh-bucket until I played the campaign, ugh) surprising teachers.

    I also recall my younger brother learning the word “obtained” from Pokémon. He used it in a sentence once and was praised by my parents. “Hey mom, look at this tamagotchi I obtained at school today.”

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