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Feature: 12 Nintendo Games That Deserve An HD-2D Remake

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Image: Nintendo Life

HD-2D is just about the new lofty bar for retro-inspired RPGs or remakes of our favourite Super Nintendo RPGs. Square Enix’s new trademark visual style started with 2018’s Octopath Traveler and contains also been found in this year’s strategy RPG Triangle Strategy. But, arguably, its true potential has been realised in the beautiful remake of Live A Live.

With every new HD-2D game, Square Enix has pushed the boat out further. Colour-popping pixels and stunning diorama-esque worlds made us imagine remakes the very first time we saw this visual style become more active, but Live A Live proved it had been possible and absolutely worthwhile. And Square isn’t resting on its laurels either, with Dragon Quest III also because of obtain the HD-2D remake treatment.

Imagine, though, if Square Enix wasn’t the only real company which could use HD-2D since it is now. Think about the options of seeing your favourite retro games on modern-day hardware looking that beautiful.

We have been obtaining a bit giddy considering what we’d want to see in HD-2D (or similar), and we’ve narrowed it right down to 12 different Nintendo games most of different styles and genres so not only RPGs, though there are some of these here if Square Enix ever let others borrow it. Just a concept.

Check out our picks, then vote inside our poll below and tell us where we’re going wrong (or right!).

The Legend of Zelda: A WEB LINK to days gone by (SNES)

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES)

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES)

Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo EAD

Release Date: 13th Apr 1992 (USA) / 24th Sep 1992 (UK/EU)

The Legend of Zelda‘s top-down 2D adventures have previously proven perfect remake material, with 2019’s Link’s Awakening blowing us away in its adorable little plastic toy style. But hear us out think about giving those Super Nintendo pixels from A WEB LINK to days gone by just a little polish?

Hyrule’s beautiful greens, browns, and blues would stand out within an HD-2D world imagine what the water would appear to be. And consider how Nintendo could play with the lighting in the Sacred Realm and Dark World. Seeing exactly the same location in two various ways had been incredible in 1991, but with some juiced-up pixel art emphasising the differences in shades and colours between your parallel worlds? We think there is no better solution to showcase HD-2D’s beautiful lighting and shadows than here.

Mother 3 (GBA)

Mother 3 (GBA)

Mother 3 (GBA)

Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: HAL Laboratory

Release Date: 20th Apr 2006 (JPN)

Okay, now we’re being ambitious. Mother 3 hasn’t seen the official western release (hey, exactly like Live A Live before 2022!), sufficient reason for endless teases and our constant hopes being dashed, why do we enhance the pain of waiting by thinking about a remake?

That is a different one where we’d honestly simply take a port, and we’ve also seen fan interpretations of Mother 3 for the reason that cute little clay or toy style. But so long as the Peanuts-style art is preserved, and the weird and wonderful world is fully realised we think HD-2D will make what’s already an unsettling, emotional, and beautiful story a lot more incredible. We’d welcome an EarthBound remake too that goes without saying but Mother 3’s inaccessibility makes this a prime candidate.

Super Metroid (SNES)

Super Metroid (SNES)

Super Metroid (SNES)

Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo R&D1

Release Date: 18th Apr 1994 (USA) / 28th Jul 1994 (UK/EU)

Another side-scroller! But Metroid’s star is rising once more, and in the wake of the utterly fantastic Metroid Dread, although some people may want a Mercury Steam-style remake of the Super Nintendo classic, we wish those creepy, pulsating pixels to be preserved for some reason.

Super Metroid continues to be the queen of atmosphere in both its visuals and music; the depth HD-2D could lend to the maps of Zebes would do wonders to emphasise this further. The bubbling lava and acid might lead to Samus and the strange lifeforms of Zebes to cast threatening shadows. Kraid’s humongous sprite could tower a lot more in glorious HD-2D detail. And Samus’ selection of skills and weaponry could easily get some very shiny extra effects that could dazzle not only the enemies, but us aswell. We’ll have a return visit to Zebes any day, but a pixel art remake of Super Metroid could have us on another available spaceship.

Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow (GBA)

Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow (GBA)

Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow (GBA)

Publisher: Konami / Developer: Konami

Release Date: 6th May 2003 (USA) / 9th May 2003 (UK/EU)

Perhaps among the oddest ducks on our list, Aria of Sorrow may be the very best Castlevania game, and it’s really already beautiful on just a little handheld screen (or perhaps a Switch screen, in the event that you will). But who’s to state sidescrollers can’t also adjust to that HD-2D style?

There are some ways we think HD-2D really can make an Aria of Sorrow remake pop those environments and backgrounds could really bring a lot more depth, light, and shadow to each location that Soma Cruz explores. We’re able to get yourself a few more boss fights just like the Balore one, which uses the backdrop and creates sort of faux-3D effect. Plus some of these character sprites could easily get a lot more expressive. Ayami Kojima’s art deserves a far more excellent pixel art style, and frankly, HD-2d would ensure it is shine even brighter.

The Legend of the Mystical Ninja (SNES)

The Legend of the Mystical Ninja (SNES)

The Legend of the Mystical Ninja (SNES)

Publisher: Konami / Developer: Konami

Release Date: Feb 1992 (USA) / 1994 (UK/EU)

This quirky little adventure game sparked off a whole series for Konami, however the Goemon franchise is one which often gets forgotten about. Not by us, so we’re demanding a comeback by dreaming about any of it in even prettier pixels.

The Legend of the Mystical Ninja may have you walking from left to right more often than not, however the town areas enable you to explore in sort of 3D plane, with characters appearing out of buildings and enemies sneaking up from behind doors. It’s already a kaleidoscope of colours on the SNES, too. Plus, we are able to get yourself a taste of HD-2D platforming, first-person dungeons, and a Gradius-style minigame in a sensational new visual style? If HD-2D really wants to create a statement for each sort of pixel art game, Konami’s classic is an excellent place to begin.

Final Fantasy III (SNES)

Final Fantasy III (SNES)

Final Fantasy III (SNES)

Publisher: Square Enix / Developer: Squaresoft

Release Date: 11th Oct 1994 (USA) / 18th Mar 2011 (UK/EU)

We’re frankly a bit surprised that Square Enix chosen a ‘Pixel Remaster’ series because of its classic Final Fantasy games when HD-2D is there. We realize that HD-2D isn’t cheap, considering that it uses Unreal Engine, however the Pixel Remasters aren’t on Switch, yet. And Final Fantasy VI, using its changing world and stunning set pieces, will be a true showcase of the visual style on Switch.

Square Enix has said that it really wants to remake more games with HD-2D visuals, even though there are several deserving, missing classics that we’d want to see, how do we deny among the best Final Fantasy games a genuine remake?

Oh, and when you’re really not convinced, we’ve two words for you personally opera scene.

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