Top 10 Revisits in Gaming
Remember those moments when you go back to an area that you've played from a previous game? Well, I shall delve the world's dark secrets to see which of these moments stick out the most!
Vampire Killer (remix) - Rondo of Blood
Revisits in games are when you go to an area in a game that was used in a previous game....but it has to be a particular place (it can't be like the Mushroom Kingdom as a whole, for instance....it has to be a level). In the revisit of the newer game, you could see the changes that happened within that area over the time that passed over the courses of the games--perhaps seeing some sort of updated graphics. Maybe you may return there for a different mission, or for a trip down memory lane. Either way, it's neat to come back to these places to see what changes the developers made to the areas--whether they be small or massive ones.
In a sense, remakes have tons of these "revisits", but for this list, I'm not going to do that since that would make this list filled with levels from remakes and it would make the list a bit too easy to make. Instead, I'm going to pick out the ones from games that just sequels to franchises that may include a level from a past game as a bonus. It's also more interesting to find those, too. Therefore, here are my top 10 best revisits in gaming.
A few rules though:
- No levels from remakes, like I said earlier.
- One level per franchise.
- No levels from fighters or racers--that might be a list in of itself for there are so dang many.
Also, be warned that I may give out spoilers to the games being mentioned.
This one is only an honorable mention since this place.....really isn't a level. It's basically just a hub-world of sorts. Before you go into missions in Mass Effect 2, this is the place where you can talk to your space minions and get sidequests and do all of that kind of jazz. There are several floors to this ship. The higher-most one is your personal cabin, the one below that is where you can choose which mission to go to, the one below that is where your crew stays all clumped up in one smelly floor, and the one below that is the engineering room is located (with the fugitive Jack cooped up on the bottom of that floor for whatever reason).
This ship was used throughout ME2. But interestingly enough, you get to use the same ship in Mass Effect 3 during the fight against the Reapers. For the most part, Bioware kept most of the ship the exact same way. This is good in the sense that you already know where most of the things already, yet that also means that they included those super-slow-elevators-that-take-forever-to-load-a-floor for a reason that I HOPE is only so that the game can load the floors. A new floor has been added to the ship...although there really isn't much more purpose of it other than to upgrade your guns and to see this hombre who works out too much (if you're into that kind of thing). Something of note that has been added is the war room....but other than adding as a vital room to the story (I mean, all of the race counselors meet up there), then it doesn't have much point unless you are one of those lucky individuals that have multiplayer. Nevertheless, the Normandy is still the same sweet home for your renegade commander.
Yeah, there's going to be some spoilers with this one.
The Moon Cave first made an appearance in Okami and it was the dungeon where you had to infiltrate a demon hideout and use a piece of paper with whatever you wrote it (I did a screwattack bolt) on your face as a disguise. ......How that works I have no idea but just go with it. You also had to track down some demon ingredients fit for a King of Evil such as myself so that you could sneak your way up to the top of the cave so that you can have an epic battle against an 8 headed serpent named Orochi. This was definitely one of the major points of the game, and therefore one of the most memorable areas in the game.
Okamiden came years later as a direct sequel. Spoilerific stuff happens and then you get to a point that you have to stop a demon from getting it's full power. .....But to stop it, you have to do some time traveling and it's later revealed to you that you have traveled back in time RIGHT at the point where you entered the Moon Cave back in Okami! You also have to enter the Moon Cave there as well and you get to see some parts of the Moon Cave that you haven't seen in the previous game. Even the music has an awesome remix. What's better is that you get to use that paper disguise again! I have a Back to the Future 2 vibe going on here...
As if that wasn't enough, you later have to travel back even FURTHER in time to revisit the Moon Cave! A revisit within a revisit....REVISITCEPTION!
This one isn't higher on the list since the gap between the revisit with the past game doesn't feel that long.
While I'm not 100% sure that Stage 1 in Contra 4 is the exact same location as the first level in Contra 1, they both share lots of similarities and I think I can recall some in-game comic that mentioned that the first area in Contra 4 was indeed a revisit.
If you haven't played the first level in Contra then....you really need to get Contra then. Like---now. Actually....get Contra 4 while you're at it since that game includes the original as an extra. Anywho, the first stage in the original consisted of you going through a jungle area with some pond areas, exploding bridges, soldiers that look like football players in red clothing, the boss that's like this tower with a guy on top, and a rather epic tune as well.
The first stage in Contra 4 is very similar....which is awesome. It feels as if the original stage had a facelift and that the security has been beefed up. After all, I do consider Contra 4 to be considerably more difficult than the original. There are plenty of types of enemies added, yet they still have that distinct red futuristic football clothing on. They also have bridges that get destroyed too....but at least this time around you find out WHY and HOW it's done (a guy clings onto it and blows up). If you play on the hardest difficulty (like any respectable warrior would) then you would hear a rather rocking remix from the original Contra. If that wasn't enough to pump you up, then hear about how the boss is exactly like the one from the original...except that it gets BIGGER after you take it out!! But after you deal with that, you get rewarded with tons of explosions and you're like---
If you have played Super Metroid...then you know EXACTLY what I'm talking about. In essence, the whole dang planet was a revisit. However, I'm sure that Zebes has been revisited many times in Metroid games and in its spinoffs...so the whole revisiting of Zebes has lost a little bit of luster.
HOWEVER, there is one moment in Super Metroid that feels as if it leaves a bit more of an impact to an already superb game. Not long after you land on Zebes, you have to delve below the surface to acquire some of the more basic items. While you travel down, you may notice that there are practically next to no enemies, yet there are some smaller creatures that watch your every movement....to add a feeling as if you're being watched. You get to go through the final rooms of the original Metroid, such as the place where you fought Mother Brain. You also get to revisit the first room in the original Metroid as well---which is a nice homage. As you travel along, you'll see that moss and other such plants have grew along the walls and floors to show that the place has barely been touched since the last time you've been there.
After you grab the item down below, a camera points its light at you....which is kind of neat. It's also the exact same spot that you got the ball upgrade from the original as well... It's funny that I didn't even notice that this area was a revisit the first time I played, so I give a little merit to this sneaky one.
I bet that the Stickman is parading around the room after seeing this one for his unexplainable passion for this game. Nevertheless, I must still admit that this revisit was worthy of a spot on this list.
In Dead Space 1, you were Isaac--an engineer who is quite skillful in slaying zombie aliens. ....wait no...aliens that take over and morph dead flesh. Makes sense. Anyway, he visits this massive ship called the Ishimura with some unreliable partners as he discovers that the whole place is a nightmare (if you were actually scared of this game to begin with--I wasn't, of course). After many excursions with rooms that include a hospital and front lobby, you seek out this red-and-black stone called the marker and attempt to destroy it so that you can stop the Necromorph outbreak.
Well.....humans are dumb because they decide to make a new one in Dead Space 2 and wouldn't you know? The Necromorphs come back! Happy fun times all around for Isaac as once again he is given the unfortunate task of destroying the new Marker. Farther along into the game (Chapter 12, I believe) you have to trek back to the Ishimura and to many of the rooms you have visited in the previous game. The place has been changed up a little bit since some workers have attempted to clean up the place before they were attacked by Necromorphs. Most of the same hazards are there as well, some with a different twist. The attention to detail in this area is quite extraordinary since the place looks just like it did in Dead Space 1. Even the doors have that similar lighting to the original. There was one part of the game that included a flashback to a scene where this giant tentacle grabbed you--which is a nice touch.
The Zelda franchise has been known for putting in hidden little snippets that are references to past games. In Skyward Sword, for instance, one of the squid-dragon-things says "It's a secret to everybody."-- an obvious reference to the original. Some of the games even use the same music or same dungeon format. Twilight Princess is a big example of this one (Grass Dungeon, then Goron, then Zora, etc.). However, Four Swords Adventures has a rather heavy emphasis that it's style has been inspired quite a bit from the SNES game, A Link to the Past. It's as if the graphics look like polished 16 bit specs, and many of the trees, rocks, etc. look a lot like the SNES game. It's almost as if the Hyrule in the game is the one in the SNES game years later....or earlier...? (I'm not sure, the timeline is super-confusing.)
Either way, a few areas look quite similar to the SNES game. However, the Hyrule Castle and the Tower of Hera have been so radically changed that I can't tell if they are true "revisits". The East Palace, on the other hand, feels a bit more worthy of being a revisit. I always had a bit of a craving for a past Zelda dungeon to be remade into something a bit more difficult (or at least different) and the Master Quest on Oot 3D was the closest I got (well there was this Oracle of Seasons dungeon that tried to replicate the very first Zelda dungeon....but it was very different) except for the East Palace in Four Swords Adventures.
The reason I say that the East Palace feels more like a revisit is that it has that similar style in dungeon format with the green walls, the rolling boulders, the giant room in the middle with two branching paths, and much more similarities. Except, this time it's as if the dungeon got cranked up to hard mode and the place is much, MUCH bigger. Several new mechanics are added in and they really got carried away with those rolling boulders, believe me! They also added some fog effects and made the place look older...I guess so that it would feel as if it's been years since your last visit. The only way they could have made this better is if the boss was a harder version of the SNES one (you know, those six armos?). Then again, the boss for this East Palace actually isn't half-bad.
Admit it, the Throwback Galaxy is probably one of your most favorite levels in the game. GT even made a short video out of it to make it have a side-by-side comparison with the N64 level (Whomp's Fortress) with the SMG2 one.
Hopefully you are familiar with the N64 level. The level is filled with blocks that try to push you off the level, some piranha plants, whomps and thwomps (naturally), some rotating platforms, and a giant thwomp on the top. While there were several objectives in the level, a few of the more memorable ones include actually climbing to the top to defeat the Whomp King, firing out of a cannon to reach a star, and using an owl to drop into a cage. It wasn't a big level, but it is still one of the more memorable levels of Super Mario 64, regardless.
While I was hoping for some more returning levels (for the additional stars) in Throwback Galaxy, I still felt that what they did to recreate Whomp's Fortress was good enough. While you aren't able to have an owl miraculously carry or nor the abilty to destroy a corner of a wall, most of the enemy placement and hazards are still there. I must admit though that the place looks a lot more colorful and bright this time around...although it's Super Mario Galaxy 2 so that's kind of expected. The best part though is the actual battle with the Whomp King. He is far more difficult this time around....although that's still not saying much since you can still take him out without much trouble.
*more spoilers ahead*
Yep, I'm talking about Metal Gear Solid 4 again. Although, this revisit is quite the worthy one indeed. Act 4 is probably one of my more favorite parts of the game since it's so drastically different than any other area of the game and it has a lot of nice little touches (sometimes secrets) added in. I should probably quickly mention that I haven't played Metal Gear Solid 1 so........uh......you didn't see that.
While I haven't experienced the original events that transpired on Shadow Moses Island, I can definitely tell that there has been some history to this place from all of the chit chat about how "oh, remember the time with that electric floor or key cards?" or something similar that has happened before in that area. I can also probably guess that the developers put a lot of detail to recreate the place to what the area looked like in MGS1. Why do I say that? Well...before you even enter the island area, you treated to...basically the first area of Metal Gear Solid 1 (or what I suppose is a very early segment of the game) with the old graphics and everything. When you re-enter that area in MGS4, it looks scarily similar to the original. I can only guess that they put that much effort in the other parts of the island since many flashbacks occur in places. If only the Encounter theme would play if you got caught....then again the one you get is still really good.
My favorite part of this place is when Otacon tells you to change discs. lol
*spoilers? Yep, they're here too*
When you find out that your journey is only halfway done after defeating the Elite Four, you have this crave to conquer more lands well up inside you. Better yet is when you figure out that you have to traverse through the old Red and Blue version regions all over again...except that this time the trainers are leagues more powerful and it's now been set two years in the in-game world's time span.
While I do wish that Team Rocket was more prevalent in this area and causing mischief, hearing all of the glorious old tunes again and going to the same towns and going through those gyms again. It's also a nice touch-up that some of the gym leaders have been changed around and that they have a lot more power to deal with. For example, Koga (for a reason that I'm very interested in hearing since he wasn't that hard) becomes an Elite Four member and his daughter becomes the gym leader. Gary becomes the gym leader of Viridian City since Giovanni has left the building....and those forsaken arrow tiles make a nasty return as well *ugh*.
There are some other things different that occur there as well that you have to find out for yourself....but they are worth it.
I know that this is kind of cheating since this is a game and not really just one level, but gosh darnit, I think that this still deserves a mention with the amount of effort put into recreating these levels...both in 2D AND in 3D. I wouldn't be suprised if there were other games similar to this format where they put a bunch of old levels that are revamped and then mix it into one game. Although....I certainly did wish that certain franchises could do this. *stares at certain massive franchises ominously as thunder rumbles in the distance*
YET! Sonic Generations the game has so many awesome revisits, it deserves the #2 spot. It recreated/revamped old levels from older games such as Sonic, Sonic2, Sonic and Knuckles, Sonic Adventures, and even Sonic 2006 for whatever oddball reason they had in their mind. Some of my favorites are the Green Hill level, the Factory level, and the Speed Highway level. While I haven't played the original versions of most of these levels from their respective games since I'm not the biggest Sonic fan BUT I can tell that most of the main mechanics in the newer versions of the stages were used since I've seen some video gameplay from the older games (and I have played the original Sonic and Sonic Unleashed).
It was very interesting to see how the developers mixed it up for the 2D and 3D stages....even to the point that I.....like the 3D stages? Sonic 3D levels being....good? What madness is this?? The only thing I wish from these games is that I wanted some more of these revamped levels. If that's my only main wish for the game to be different, then that's certainly a good thing indeed.
Again, I'm kind of cheating on this one if you consider Mushroom Kingdom, for instance, to not count as a revisit...yet this place is so hardcore and evil that I believe it deserves the top spot. Every single reincarnation of this castle in nearly every Castlevania game is still a whippingly (or slashingly in some cases?) a good time. Some can be vastly different yet some can be quite similar. However, many of the times, some reoccuring themes are in the Castle no matter how many times you traverse through the castle of evil.
The opening hallways, for one, tend to have gray, cracked walls with some torn red overhangs to pay as a homage to the original Castlevania. Castlevania 3, Castlevania 4, Rondo of Blood, and even Lords of Shadow (at a stretch) have this in some form or fashion. The clock tower also makes many appearances in Castlevania games, and you can bet that those pesky medusa heads will come to knock you off ledges to your doom. The castle usually has a library, some kind of dungeon with iron bars and prisons, and a swamp-like area. Nearly every game has the final area, Dracula's lair, a room that appears to connect to another massive tower with only a red staircase as the moon looms in the background. Many remixes of past songs are somehow inserted in the levels and you can expect some oldie bosses to pop up now and then...usually with a twist (like the Frankenstein monster inexplicably using a machine gun as an arm!) Even Egyptian creatures make an appearance sometimes...(?!?)
Dracula's castle to me is the video game version of a haunted house that you and your minions go to year after year. Some things are different, but it still feels like the amazing place that you still remember for the past years, which is why this place is #1 as the best revisit in video games.
A GANON AWARD goes to g1 Stickman for his Space Penguin #1.5 comic that even other g1s put effort into....including yours truly. Also, keep an eye out for #3, because it's coming soon......SOON!
I also have a quick announcement to make. College is starting back up again so I'm going to limit myself to creating only one blog a week (I'll try to shoot for every Sunday). However, I might even post less blogs if needed, because school comes first. Don't worry, I'll still look at your stuff regularly.