The Remade 'Shadow Of The Colossus' Proves Our Nostalgia Has a Use-By Date


And, though it hurts to say it, the new ‘Shadow of the Colossus’ might mark that moment.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at


I have to be honest, I have a really hard time not getting irrationally angry at arguments like this. “Unnecessary”? Of course it’s unnecessary. Show me a video game that has ever existed that wasn’t.

It’s pretty straightforward: if you find this “unnecessary” because your nostalgia for it has faded, then it’s not for you. It’s for those of us whose nostalgia for it has not faded. Or it’s for the 18 year old who was 5 goddamn years old when the game first came out, and has been an Xbox gamer for their entire life. Or the person who couldn’t get past the technical issues on PS2. Or literally anyone else who wants to play it.

I’ve seen Frank Cifaldi refer to it as a remaster, not a remake. Same story, content and systems underneath, just running on updated code and with updated graphics. I, for one, was awestruck when I saw the first colossus in the new trailer. I immediately thought “How can you look at that majestic creature and believe, for even a second, that you are the good guy?” It felt profound.

I don’t think there’s any justification for discouraging a game developer or publisher from trying to make it as easy as possible for as many people as possible to experience their games, especially when we’re talking about one of the most beloved games of all time.

It just reeks of geek gatekeeping and it sucks. {While we’re at it, if anyone at Sony wants to push Capcom for another remaster of Okami, I would be on board for that.}


I understand why people don’t like film remakes. It seems lazy to remake a movie when the original is right there, ready to be watched. But I don’t mind game remakes at all. In fact, I love it when games get remade. This is because, unlike films, often times the original game isn’t very accessible. I was an infant when Ocarina of Time came out. When I got into games, if I had wanted to play it, it would have required me to hunt down a cartridge, then hunt down an N64. If it hadn’t been remaster for the 3DS, I would have never played one of the most critically acclaimed games of all time. The remake, then to me, wasn’t so much of a “nostalgia cash in” as it was a chance to see what everyone had always been talking about and experience it for myself.

I’m excited about the Shadow remake because not only does it look stunning, but it’s also a chance for a whole new generation of people to experience the game. There’s probably a lot of people for whom the PS4 is their first console, and now they have access to an amazing, groundbreaking game, which should be celebrated.


While not really angry, I too am a little surprised at this analysis. I thought the reworkings looked beautiful and tasteful, and felt no worry looking at them that the atmosphere would be somehow diminished. I actually personally would really like a version of this game to play on my PS4 as it would be a game I’d replay quite often given the opportunity.

It’s true that just backwards compatibility would have worked as a solution, so maybe from that perspective it’s ‘unnecessary’ but I also think there’s a very good point about giving the games a chance to live again for a new generation of players.


I think it’s a little weird to compare Shadow of the Colossus to Crash Bandicoot, Ratchet & Clank, and DOOM to say that there isn’t really a place for it. As someone with no nostalgia for any of the franchises (but a distant respect for Shadow of the Colossus), a remaster of SotC is much less likely to annoy me than any of those other games. Those games absolutely have their audiences, but, excepting DOOM, none of them are regarded as ‘important’ games that one should play. Having SotC available in a wider range of formats is something I’m absolutely interested in.

If the remake is bad, it’s bad. That happens! Hopefully the eye textures won’t be replaced with teeth like Silent Hill.


I really don’t understand where all the remaster/remake hate comes from. I’m assuming it’s a misguided belief that remasters take away resources from studios that could be producing new content, but I don’t think this is a strong argument.

SOC had a remaster for the PS3 so I can’t imagine the work to bring it up another generation is an insurmountable task. Not to mention Sony has a bunch of 1st party franchises they’re still working on, it’s not like they’re just cranking out old games all day. If you don’t want to play it then don’t buy it, but I love SOC and would never get bummed that more people have the opportunity to play it.


I have never played Shadow of Colossus because I didn’t play video games for most of the 90s and the early 2000s, and only then on PC. I have a PS4 now. I could play this game now! I bought my PS4 to play the Journey remaster for PS4.



I don’t think the article really means that giving access to the game is bad.

What I think it was intended, at least my reading of it, is that the game was already beautiful and brilliant in its two prior forms.

In my personal opinion I do not like some of the art choices with this remake/master. Much like the very divisive Monkey Island 1 remaster this feels like the art has gone away from some of what was so defining about the original game. That’s not to say it’s bad art but as someone who adored the prior versions this doesn’t have the same feel to me personally.

I look at it on the lines of Star Wars Special Edition films. If that was your first go at Star Wars then sure, those redone CGI ships are probably fantastic for you, but if you were heavily into the original work then perhaps you’d prefer the model work and would like to still have that option (which has been a good choice in some of the remasters of the last decade, such as MI). It doesn’t make one better than the other as they’re both doing what they’re supposed to (any other Special Edition changes are up for debate but the ships were fine).

It’d be lovely to see SOTC have one of those switch-toggles between visuals if it is indeed a remaster, but from the looks of it the whole heft of the PS4 is probably taken up. Right now this certainly isn’t much of an issue, PS3’s are easily available if I want to buy and play the HD version, but down the line when archiving and history come up I’d like the original work to be preserved in an accessible version too.


I never played Flower, despite owning a PS3, so I gave the PS4 remaster a whirl. It is breathtaking.


Maybe this is my lack of knowledge on the subject but is the remaster going to replace the older game - wouldn’t archiving save both, especially if they will be two different SKUs?

Also, I’m the person who really doesn’t want to invest in older consoles I never owned before if I can help it!


Idk, like
Personally, I’m ecstatic that a new generation of players will be able to experience this masterpiece, and any effort to keep the game from becoming technically obsolete is a-okay in my books


No, I just meant I just want to have access to the old one as well as the new one so nothing is lost.


The main reason SOC hasn’t aged particularly well is the original’s awful frame rate and muddy visuals. Getting it on the most powerful machine possible is an excellent way to remedy this, and in no way makes the original unavailable. I see no reason why someone would want to switch to the original and drop 10 frames to play, and I’m sure the creators back in the day wish they had hardware to match their ambitions like we do now.


I’m not against the remaster! I thought I was clear on that but obviously not.

All I was saying was that I don’t like this art change and so, in the distant future when I want to replay the game, I’m going to want to play the version I prefer which would end up being the HD Remaster since it kept the artstyle but beefed up the technical side. I think it’s OK to say that the change in art is something that affects the personal enjoyment without saying the remaster should never be done.

That said these are digital things and we should preserve all of them. What a magic ride it will be to look at bits from the original PS2 release all the way up to this version (and any that could end up happening in the future as hardware changes and fails)!


I think Mike is writing these during his gut reaction instead of having to think about it a little more. When Austin talked about this remaster he was completely positive on it as looking carefully at it the remaster help the original with new lighting, textures, and smoothness that allows the feeling of isolation and being under-powered that the original had. To truly be “Unnecessary” it wouldn’t done the extra work to get those visuals and just look and run how the PS2 version was. I got the original, the PS3 release and I will get this one because I love that series and they went out of their way to make it better.


I think that’s probably true, but still it’s a level of cynicism that I don’t really come here for, which is why it struck me as a surprising take.


Here’s my cold-ass take: I would like the Nice Game that everyone tells me to play to look Nicer and also be on a console that I own thank you.


I totally see where you’re coming from. I don’t worry too much about the issue of preservation in this case simply because there’s such a ridiculous amount of PS2’s out in the world, that version isn’t too tough to find. The art style thing is fair though, there will always be bits lost to time as new teams get their hands on the game to make the remaster adjustments.


Okay because now I’m super confused - how many versions of this game are out there currently and including the one we’re getting?


This will be the third!

It was first released to PS2, then had a PS3 HD Remaster and now this PS4 remakester!

The PS2 version was brilliant but hampered by the ambition vs the tech and ran at like… 25fps most of the time and dipped with some regularity. The PS3 version was basically the same game but running at a much better framerate, higher resolution and in some places it had higher-res textures based on the old art.