It's been a party since StarCraft Remastered launched earlier this afternoon.
StarCraft fans, delighted to see their favorite series relevant again, have flocked to the launch stream on Twitch to watch Brood War pros compete. The tagline: "Relive nostalgia!" At 43,000 viewers, StarCraft is currently sitting at number four in Twitch's rankings.
That StarCraft Remastered was a couple hours late getting out of the gate has done nothing to dampen their enthusiasm. These are the fans who are keen to rekindle the magic of the late '90s and early 2000s, when real-time strategy still ruled and DotA was little more than a popular custom map for WarCraft III.Watch live video from Day9tv on www.twitch.tv
Since the decline of StarCraft 2 following the launch of Heart of the Swarm, little has emerged to fill the gap left in the once vibrant RTS community. So it has been left to the remastered version of the original StarCraft to bring back a little bit of the magic.
For today, at least, it's managed to do that.
Seeing all the Starcraft Remastered chatter makes me all nostalgic and warm inside. #StarCraft— Jay Blanco (@bkkkk) August 14, 2017
The warm fuzzies haven't been limited to social media. The fans over on Reddit have been jubilant as well.
This is really amazing. I can't believe how stunning they made a game from 1998 look while retaining all its core features and essence that made it what it is. Bravo Blizzard! I hope you do this with all of your games. It really means a lot to me. I grew up with this game. Spent all of High School playing it instead of doing my homework lol. Today is a good day.
StarCraft Remastered includes new high-definition 2D art, as well as the ability to swap on the fly between the old graphics and the new. More importantly, it brings with it ranked matchmaking, which was unavailable back in 1998, making it by far the most accessible version of the original game.
So far the only damper has been the problem some fans have had trying to play ranked mode. Some players are reporting wait times of 200 seconds or more. For my own part, though, I was able to get into games without any trouble.
The heavy focus on nostalgia is natural for StarCraft. As one of gaming's first ever eSports, it enjoyed massive popularity through much of the 2000s, particularly in South Korea. Many fans are simply returning to recapture their youth, or the the days spent skipping class and trying to improve their APM.
But nostalgia is a double-edge sword. Despite the introduction of proper ranked matchmaking, many fans are apt to move on a day or two after launch, leaving the community to settle back into the old guard. StarCraft's gameplay is timeless, but few are apt to be converted to a 20-year-old RTS.
But if Blizzard decides to give Diablo 2 the same treatment? That could be really interesting.