After I got my wi-fi setup going, one of the first things I did was download the Bionic Commando Rearmed demo onto my PS3. I had never played the original 8-bit game, but I knew its reputation as a classic both for its unique mechanics and for its famously graphic end sequence. After seeing some attractive hi-res screens of the remake and listening to some awesome samples from the remixed soundtrack, I became convinced that this was how a remake of an 8-bit classic should be done.
Playing the demo, however, has made me realize that graphics and audio do not date a game nearly so much as the absurd difficulty so common among games of that generation. Sadly, it seems the difficulty level was one thing the developers didn't feel a need to update for modern sensibilities.
I thought I had a fair grip on the mechanics until I neared the end of the demo and faced a scenario that completely baffled me. I quickly proceeded to waste all my lives without ever feeling that I was close. Eventually, with a little help, I was able to grasp at least the theory of the solution, but I lost all my lives again before I could actually pull it off. I gathered then that that was what the game really amounted to: precision platforming combined with an unintuitive design. Were I to go back and play the demo again, I'm sure I could beat it effortlessly in about a minute. But I'm not sure I want to commit to a game where every minute of gameplay stretches into fifteen minutes of punishment before pulling through.