Nintendo Direct Remasters: Why you should be excited

Paper Mario remaster
Paper Mario remaster

On the 14th September 2023, Nintendo hosted its Autumn version of Nintendo Direct, a showcase of what games are currently in development. Some of these are console exclusives, whilst some will be available on all consoles. There were many exciting games announced, most of which were remasters of older much-loved games. Here’s a breakdown of these remastered games and why you should be excited.

Super Mario RPG (Known as Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars)

The original was designed by Square Enix, a company who are internationally renowned for their JRPGs, including Final Fantasy and Octopath Traveller. This alone should get you excited. Honestly, I’m not really a huge fan of RPGs/JRPGs, and for a game to hold my attention for that long and for me to be excited about its remaster should tell you enough.

Outside of the Wii & WiiU virtual console and the Super NES Classic Edition console, the game was never released in Europe, mainly due to it being extremely close to the release date for the N64. This means there may be a lot of people who never got the chance to experience this gem. It may help to clarify certain Easter eggs within Nintendo games, such as why Princess Peach has a frying pan as a weapon in Super Smash Brothers. 

The story starts with Mario confronting Bowser, trying to rescue Princess Peach. During the fight a giant sword named Exor crashes through Bowser’s castle, sending everyone flying and claiming the kingdom and the world for the Smithy Gang. Players can assemble a party of 3 consisting of Mario, Bowser, Peach and 2 characters that have not really been seen again – Mallon and Geno, each with their own characteristics.

In the upcoming remake, whilst most things have remained the same, some changes have been made to accommodate new players. Firstly, an easy mode has been introduced, this is good as I remember the game being really hard. Nintendo have also increased accessibility by including European translations. One feature that the game sorely missed was a boss replay mode. I had a love hate relationship with one boss, and would have loved to have replayed it after completing the game. 

The remake is being handled by Square Enix, and if as much time and attention is put into it as they’ve done with the Final Fantasy 7 Remake, you can rest assured it will be a great game to add to your collection, especially with the updated graphics shown in the trailer. The animations, names and designs have been updated, which helps make it feel like a new game entirely rather than a remastered version. The game is due out on the 17th November, and I for one, cannot wait to replay it, especially as it is regarded as one of Nintendo’s best ever games.

Tomb Raider I, II and III Remastered

Some of my earliest (and fondest) PlayStation memories were spent playing Tomb Raider I before having to get ready for school. A Late 90’s game, Tomb Raider is an action-adventure style game with puzzle elements where you play as Lara Croft an explorer on the hunt for various relics. Tomb raider 1 and 2 were games released before the Dualshock was released and utilized respectively, and in the 20 + years since I last used one, I’ve never looked back, until a nostalgia trip a few years ago led me to try and play the first game. Unfortunately, using the d-pad to play the game was impossible, making the game inaccessible and me sad.

The news that this game is getting remastered along with the option to chose between both analogue and d-pad controls gets me really excited to be able to re-experience the games again, as I remember the first game being good, but never really played the second one as arachnophobia back then stopped me on the first level. Memories of III are extremely hazy, but think I loved it. 

Each of the 3 included 90’s games are from the original trilogy, which will get any retro gamer enthusiastic to revisit them. Ask anyone who’s played the games to tell you about them and they’d probably mention the T-Rex in I, locking Winston the elderly Butler in the freezer in II, along with the explosion cheat and that video cheat; and in 3, properly exploring Croft Manor and having to escape from prison. The game also comes with hidden levels and expansions, which is something I’m looking forward to exploring, along with the ability to switch between the original polygonal graphics and the fresher HD graphics. 

The fact that you can get all 3 games remastered for a reasonable price is great value for money in itself. It is also available on all consoles, so it will be great to experience them again on the PlayStation. It may also introduce younger gamers to one of the most badass female protagonists of all time, Lara Croft. 

Finally, it’s released on Valentine’s Day, making it the perfect gift to the gamer in your life (or yourself). Just don’t blame us if they chose to spend it with an old / new crush instead.

Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD (Known as Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon)

Of all the remasters covered, Luigi’s Mansion 2 is the most recent, having been released in 2013 on the Nintendo 3DS. The game sees you portray a timid Luigi who’s forced to save Mario from the clutches of King Boo. Of the 3 games, this entry plays the most differently, making players explore 5 different mansions, each split into set missions which can be played numerous times, both to get a better score and to capture the hidden Boos, thus extending the replayability of the game and allowing for players to jump in and out of the game at any time and not need to remember where they’ve been. 

At the time of writing, little information has been announced about the game, but there is expected to be multiplayer included, which could make this a fun game for a party night, or playing alongside your kids. For those who never had a 3DS it will provide an insight into how Luigi met Polterpup, a character introduced in the second game; and technically this will be the last game where Charles Martinet will voice Mario and Luigi, albeit in the form of old recordings. The graphics look fantastic and combined with both the silliness of the series and the way Super Mario 3D world was handled, it should be a great game. The game is slated for a 2024 release date, so there’s still plenty of time for more information to come from Nintendo, but is well worth keeping an eye on.

Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door

Ask me about the greatest Nintendo game of all time and I will always say this one. Released in 2004 on the Gamecube, it is without doubt the best game in the Paper Mario series (which was technically the sequel to Super Mario RPG) and won RPG of the year in 2005. I was super excited when this game was announced for a remaster at the end of the Direct, especially as I’d paid £90 for a preowned version about 10 or so years ago. 

Set in a 2D world, Princess Peach has gone on Holiday to the tourist island of Rogueport, a site where a tragic incident happened long ago. She buys a mysterious treasure map and mails it to Mario in order to tempt him to visit. During the adventure Mario makes new friends and learns new abilities, such as turning himself into a paper aeroplane, which opens up new areas. 

The story in Thousand Year Door is compelling and has numerous side quests to complete, which will keep you busy for ages. Without spoiling any of the story, it is hard to describe, but I would really recommend purchasing this game when it’s released. Again, not much info was released during the reveal, but the game is slated for a 2024 release. It will be interesting to see if (or what) apart from the updated visuals has changed, but it is definitely a must have for any RPG fan or recent convert through Paper Mario: The Origami King.

So, there we go, a quick look at the remastered games mentioned during the Nintendo Direct; there’s certainly a lot of exciting games to get Mario fans in a spin jump for; which games are you most looking forward to playing?


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