An Abundance of Remasters: Originality in the Gaming Industry
There are some games that are just too amazing to be forgotten. Whether it be the story, the characters, the gameplay, or everything combined, gaming publishers and their fans know when a game has made its mark. But alas, even the best games only enjoy a certain amount of fame and time in the immediate spotlight. Eventually, every good thing must come to an end.
So when nostalgia is not enough and it no longer satisfies a fan base, what is there left to do? Well, remaster the game, of course.
Lately, it seems that all the gaming industry has to offer are HD remasters. Every time you turn around, another game from the past is being regurgitated into high definition for your brand new console. Some gamers grumble and groan about it, while others leap with glee and hand over their money without a second thought. Some do both. Square Enix’s popular Final Fantasy X, for example, was originally released on the Playstation 2 in 2001, yet since then, it has been remastered twice for both the Playstation 3 and the Playstation 4. Fans of the game have had mixed feelings toward the plethora of remasters for one individual game, yet sales have reflected that remasters will indeed sell. Why are so many remasters being made lately? What is it about remasters that keeps us coming back for more, and are they worth the money?
A lot of people argue that the gaming industry has lost most of its originality. Often it seems that when a producer cannot come up with something new, their next best move is to pull out one of those classic, beloved titles from the early 2000s and recycle it with enhanced graphics. Monetarily speaking, it is a good decision. After all, the day will never come when everyone bands together and decides against purchasing remasters. Whether we like it or not, remasters are here to stay. They are an easy cash-in for companies in a stalemate, or for those who need to keep the hype train going between Game X and Game Y.
The answer to the “why remasters” question, however, is not as simple as money. There is much more to the remaster market than financial profit, both for producer and consumer. This article will address some of the variables that affect the somewhat exhausting output of remasters as of late.
Remaster or Remake?
It is first necessary to make the distinction between “remaster” and “remake” to understand the remaster market itself. These two types of games are very different, though the terms are sometimes used interchangeably. Remasters are simply the same exact game with high definition enhancements and improved graphics. Remakes are actual reboots of an entire franchise, sometimes discarding its predecessor(s) and the continuity preceding it altogether. Remakes usually garner very polarized responses from fans. On one end of the spectrum are those who welcome any addition to their franchise, while on the other end are those who think a remake must stick closely to its source material lest it become something entirely different with a popular franchise’s name slapped onto it for brownie points.
In 2013, Capcom rebooted its popular Devil May Cry franchise with DmC: Devil May Cry. The new game featured a protagonist seemingly different from the Dante fans had known and loved, from his physical appearance to his personality. Needless to say, it caused quite an uproar in the DMC fan base. However, upon its release, DmC met favorable reviews, averaging 8 out of 10 stars from nearly every reviewer. For a game that garnered such negative response in the beginning (and continued to endure during its release, after its release, and still to this day), the numbers could not lie: DmC, while not meeting Capcom’s predicted profit outcome, held its own even in spite of the critics.
The same story often goes for HD remasters. For every few people who complain about a remake or a remaster, several of them will still purchase the game. Even then, some of them will not regret it. The numbers cannot be fuddled. If a game sells well, there is a reason for it—and if a game sells well, it will set a precedent for those to follow. If the numbers show that fans will always purchase remasters, then they will very likely continue to purchase remasters.
The Purpose of a Remaster
As established through the comparison of remakes and remasters, consumer attitude and response is essential. Again, money is the easiest answer to this question. A company will never forget how well their games performed and how well they were received. In that case, as far as the producer is concerned, it would be stupid not to remaster a popular title—wouldn’t it be?
But it certainly goes beyond money. The second-biggest reason companies seem to be remastering games nowadays is to bring new fans to a franchise that they might not have experienced in the past for whatever reason. Recently, Sony has endured much criticism for releasing so many remasters on the Playstation 4 (PS4), a newer console which has only been out since the end of 2013. Part of their reasoning behind this is that quite a few gamers are coming over to the “Sony side” from the “Microsoft side,” aka converting from Xbox to Playstation. Because of this, new Playstation players likely have not experienced beloved classics from the generation of the Playstation 3 (PS3)—classics such as Naughty Dog’s Uncharted series, which was recently released as Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection for PS4. Since the PS4 is not (yet) backwards compatible, these classics cannot be experienced without a PS3.
To make these favorites into bundled HD remasters on the current generation’s console is a smart move for these companies. The biggest problem with series that begin on much older consoles is that they do not allow for an expanding fan base. How can someone enjoy the fourth, fifth, etc. game in a series if he or she has not played its predecessors? How can someone play these predecessors if he or she does not have the appropriate ancient console? It takes a lot of work (and money) for a player to collect all of the consoles and games required to fully appreciate a franchise. Companies who choose to entirely remaster these series for new consoles create an opening for new fans to “catch up” on cherished series of the past that they might have otherwise missed out on.
Remastering a franchise can bring in new fans, but it can also bridge the gap between the last game released by a company and their highly-anticipated game coming in the near future. Square Enix is a master of this practice (and as far as many fans are concerned, annoyingly so). Since 2005, fans of the Kingdom Hearts Series have eagerly stood by for the third installment. That was ten years ago, and they still wait. Of course, Square Enix is busy with other projects in the works, such as Final Fantasy XV, World of Final Fantasy, and the long-awaited remake of Final Fantasy VII, but in the meantime, Square knows how to sate the appetites of its fans. In 2013 and 2014, Square released Kingdom Heats HD 1.5 Remix and Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix respectively in North America. These games were remasters of the originals but also included some of the other, lesser-known games in the Kingdom Hearts series, like Re:Chain of Memories and the cinematic version of 358/2 Days. Though a beloved series, the timeline of the Kingdom Hearts world is so convoluted that even hardcore fans sometimes struggle with putting the pieces in order, so the addition of these “B-side” games helped eliminate some of the mystery. Nevertheless, Square enjoys its royalties and increasing fan base as it continues to release HD remasters of old games which have been spread out over a number of consoles and handheld gaming devices.
But at last, a new gameplay trailer for Kingdom Hearts III was released at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in 2015, rebooting the hype train for a game that had been put out of sight and mind for most gamers. Fans went wild upon the debut of the new trailer. Could it be that Square was finally closing in on a release date for a game in development since 2006?
Unfortunately, it was not so. Even to this day, KH3 still does not have an official release date. In the meantime, however, Square has announced another HD remaster: Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, scheduled for release in 2016. This HD collection includes Dream Drop Distance, the cinematic version of Kingdom Hearts χ, and Birth by Sleep—A Fragmentary Passage, which is a short episode that occurs after the events of Birth by Sleep. Though a well-received announcement by most fans, others believed that KH2.8 is just another cash-grab for Square while they continue to prolong KH3. Whether this is true or not, Square’s HD release tactics only further prove that HD remasters serve a larger purpose than making money for the company. After all, if Square had gone since 2005 without releasing another game in the series (or even a single HD remaster), how could they stay afloat, both financially and in the gaming industry? In the end, HD remasters are simply good business strategies.
Are Remasters Even Worth the Money?
If we know that a company’s primary purpose for releasing an HD remaster is for profit, then why do we continue to fall for the bait? In most cases, our love for the original game(s) wins out over practicality. That minute addition to an HD bundle also holds sway, whether it be an entirely separate level or episode, or a cinematic release of a spin-off game. It is one of those times when a deal for something we want and love seems too good to pass on. Furthermore, no one can complain about having all of their games in a series on one or two discs, and for one console. Convenience may cost gamers another fifty to sixty dollars, but in the long-run, it almost makes more sense to compress your collection into something smaller and more uniform—especially since most consoles only enjoy a shelf life of ten to twenty years. What would one do with all of those old games when the old console gives out?
There is, however, one question that is more important than why we continue to purchase remasters: Are they even worth our money? As mentioned above, additional content can sometimes be the deciding factor for some consumers. HD collections are also especially worth the price for those fans coming to the series for the first time, and new fans and increased interest in a series can give it that extra push to keep going into the future.
On the other hand, some fans are too nostalgic for the original game on the original console to change over to a new, HD version. This saves money for a player who could otherwise simply switch around some cords and hook up the old console. After all, is it really a good investment to spend fifty to sixty dollars on a game you already own? Beyond that, some players cannot tell the difference between original and HD graphics—that is, the difference is so minimal to some that purchasing the remaster would be a total waste of money in every way. Those who can tell the difference may not believe a remaster is justified, that the story remains the same even in the face of enhanced graphics, and that it is ultimately still about the story anyways.
The value of a remastered game depends entirely upon the individual. Regardless of the general consensus, however, remasters are not going anywhere. As much as consumers gripe about it, many will still purchase those remasters. The future of the remaster continues to rest in the hands of both the producer and the consumer.
What do you think? Leave a comment.
It seems like remasters are going to be more common, considering the fact that Sony and Nintendo systems don’t have backwards compatibility. It’s probably a good thing remasters exist though–as you say in your article, old consoles won’t last forever. I’d be surprised if my Dreamcast is able to function for longer than an hour before shutting down! It’s a shame that not every game can get remastered, though.
Every Street Fighter 2 game ever made is a remastered version. Something to consider.
But because of the graphical limitations of its time and even the HD remaster of it still uses sprites, it has an excuse in a way. But when it comes to some 3D games, that can be problematic. Just seeing the one image of Yuna in this article on the 3 different systems is quite jarring as the PS4 one looks blurry.
Street Fighter 2 Hyper Fighting Fighters Turbo Tournament Champions Championship Edition X.
Remasters are great. They allow a wider and new audience to experience older games without having to go through the hassle of having to buy an old games console to do so.
Ya know, the idea of remakes/remasters doesn’t bother me. I am a bit peeved at some of the price points. Paying $40 for a rehashed version of a game I had on last gen’s systems is asking a bit much. Also, not everything needs to be remastered. I get the point that alot of us haven’t played it because we are hardcore and others are not, but I feel like remasters should be limited to games with critical acclaim. For the most part thats the case, but games like Dishonored? Really? No do not try to reforce this garbage down the unsuspecting throats of the people who do not follow games as closely as I do.
One needs to understand the implications behind this becoming a common practice. Lets say this is successful on some front. It becomes the very reason some studio’s may decide to wait to release their game until the end of the generation cycle. Likewise, it offers a safety net to those companies who want to release half assed games. As a gamer, i prefer quality over quantity. I don’t want gaming to go the way of hip-hop. So no, remasters should be limited.
I can’t think of a reason to be against remasters. I’m stoked that I can pop something like Rare Replay into my current gen Xbox and have some of the greats at my fingertips.
They aren’t impeding the development of new content, so I say have at it.
Remasters aren’t for those that already played it.
It’s as simple as that.
Remasters are fine if they are not prioritized over making sequels or other ventures. I dislike when they’re used to fill a spot within an exclusive lineup and then justified with the easy excuse of offering these games that newcomers to a specific platform may have not played before.
This is interesting to read about as I was just talking about this in my one class. From my own experience, remastering helps to tweak up a game with better controls and graphics without changing a lot of the game’s presentation, as the 2 Zelda remasters on the 3DS are great examples. But some remakes can be questionable indeed. I remember learning that the PS4 remake of DmC included improved visuals, controls, adding in lock on, and also more costumes including the classic Dante. Otherwise for other games, not really sure if its worth a bang for your buck. It could be too for another reason why we’re getting a lot of these is because we’re going on such a nostalgia kick these days. Nintendo is always famous for that as they have many franchises and characters that are iconic to gaming, so I think other companies are trying to do the same with some of their games that are considered popular and/or iconic.
Remasters have always been a thing
I encourage them if it means more gamers get to experience them. There are many games/series I got into because of Remasters. There were many games I played for the first time on PS3 thanks to remasters (Jak & Daxter, Metal Gear Solid, Ratchet and Clank, Sly Cooper, Shadow of the Colossus, God of War, Killzone, etc.). I owned a PS2 briefly and sold it (regrettably) before many of these series came out, so it was a blessing to be able to play many of these PS2 titles on my PS3, with better graphics and a better framerate, albeit for a slight premium.
I love this article.
Get mad at the developer if they release a broken or unfinished game. Not if they re-release great games for more people to play. Sure, it could be a cash grab in some situations, but what is it really hurting?
Video games in general aren’t “hurting anyone”, even the truly terrible ones. So that isn’t really the best argument.
Whether people are willing to accept it or deny it, the money, time, effort and resources that go into remasters are getting in the way of new IP. There is no way around that and really no denying it. Now, whether you think all of that is worth it, in order to play a 1-4 year old game again on a new platform, with slightly better performance and a higher resolution, is up to you.
As for me, personally, I think it’s an absolute waste and the worst trend of the 8th gen, so far.
The ONLY reason I’d ever be against Remasters is if it stole resources from a potential sequel or new IP game. They don’t seem to do this very often if ever because they’re usually handed off to someone else.
Remasters are great and they aren’t hurting anybody.
First, I’d like to respond to a couple of your points directly. Then, I’ll get into my perspective on remasters/remakes.
“Lately, it seems that all the gaming industry has to offer are HD remasters. Every time you turn around, another game from the past is being regurgitated into high definition for your brand new console.”
It seems that from the very beginning, you take for granted that remasters and remakes make up a large part of the market for “new” releases for consoles in general–as if they overshadow new franchises or new entries in a series. In reality, however, these types of releases make up only a small portion of the market for new releases, especially now that there has been more than a year since their initial release One blogger who claims to have run the numbers sets this number at about 10% (http://www.grabitmagazine.com/blog/post/are-remasters-remakes-and-re-collections-ruining-this-generation-of-consoles/), and though I admittedly cannot speak to the validity or thoroughness of this analysis, it seems to be a reasonable comparison of the new vs. re-release breakdown in numbers.
When they were initially released, all three of the major consoles had limited lineups. Naturally, these companies sought to supplement those lineups with re-releases and remastered editions of old games—for one, to keep early adopters who had the older systems (i.e. those who upgraded from PS3 to PS4 or Xbox 360 to Xbox One) pacified while they waited on actual new releases, and, secondly, to catch hold of those new to the brand by introducing them to older franchises that they may not have played on the previous iteration of said console. Sony said as much in an interview with Game Informer, noting that they release remastered and remade games for PS4 in an attempt to reach the 40% of the user base that had never owned a PS3 (http://www.gameinformer.com/b/news/archive/2015/06/17/sony-remasters-serve-the-40-percent-of-ps4-owners-that-didn_2700_t-own-a-playstation-3.aspx). When you break down how much of the user base that is, it amounts to over 8 million people—that is a ton of revenue to pull in by introducing new players to old franchises while getting them on board for new entries in a series. It’s really a pretty brilliant one-two marketing punch to re-release and remaster games, as they are a cost-effective way to revitalize aging franchises. Besides, since these consoles’ release schedules caught up to the new technology, there has been a consistent stream of original games that far outnumbers re-releases and remasters.
“A lot of people argue that the gaming industry has lost most of its originality. Often it seems that when a producer cannot come up with something new, their next best move is to pull out one of those classic, beloved titles from the early 2000s and recycle it with enhanced graphics.”
You have a decent point here, and many of the franchises you mention throughout the article are prime examples of the very practice you’re critiquing here. However, I think you’re understating the demand for remakes on some level. For example, the announcement of a Final Fantasy VII remake sent hordes of ravenous fans rejoicing, as many have been waiting to see one of the most beloved RPGs ever made updated to modern-day graphical glory, and, judging by some of the footage of the remake that has been shared publically, the makers have also retooled the fighting engine to be more in line with more contemporary expectations of action-RPG style battle systems. This remake wasn’t unexpected or decried for its being a rehash of and old fan favorite. On the contrary, this announcement was met with near-unanimous praise throughout the gaming community. This is arguably the most popular console game in modern history. The title is synonymous with epic story-telling and addicting gameplay. But it was originally published in 1997! This remake has been almost 20 years in the making.
While FF7 may be a unique example in terms of its popularity, you must also consider that other franchises have dedicated, loyal fan bases that are willing to spend cash on remakes simply because they love the franchise.
At the same time, I think you’ve also ignored the other ~90% of the market that has seen both the introduction of new franchises and sequels to older ones without fully considering some of the major successes that have become success stories within the last year or so.
Re-releases and remasters aren’t going away, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Sometimes old franchises can use revitalization, keeping hold of those revisiting the games while introducing new players. Releases and remasters allow gamers to rekindle old flames, so to speak, and, as with the case of FF7, retain and introduce whole generations of gamers. As long as console companies take their time with releasing new content, they will be re-hashing the old stuff to fill the gaps. And, again, what do they have to lose? If anything, they have much to gain by doing so. It’s a strategic play for customer loyalty and retention that works well for the industry and for profit margins, so why would they want to stop the practice? And why should anyone be upset or disappointed that they are there to fill those gaps?
Good work on speaking about remasters. I especially like the inclusion of comparison pictures.
As long as Publishers think that they can do less and people will still buy it, then they’ll just continue to push it far as they can, before people react.
It’s a terrible trend.
I’m okay with remasters. But it’s something that mostly projected at people who’ve missed those games from previous generation of games. Take Uncharted Collection for example. Great way to get the community interested in Drake’s journey throughout, especially those who missed last-gen.
Everything these companies do is for cash.
No matter how any of us feel about any of these items, they all have their place as well as an audience that appreciates them. It may not be you, but somebody somewhere is glad these companies are investing the time and money to deliver an experience they either missed or wanted to continue experiencing on their new console…
There’s nothing illogical about porting old games to new consoles. The only other way to play those games are to track down old hardware that could break at any moment and track down the old games, which won’t be upressed and will lack the social features that games have like trophies and high scores. There should always be a way to buy any game on current consoles, which sadly doesn’t happen as much and so there are many gems that are lost to the past and never remastered, while a vast majority of films and music can still be purchased today on modern formats. Bitching about remasters just makes the gaming industry look even more childish and unprofessional.
While I can see why people would be disappointed if there seem to be more remasters than original titles on any system to date, I personally have no issues with them whatsoever. It’s not like I am being forced to pay for it, especially when the original release still plays intact on the original system it was intended for. You can vote with your money and skip remasters if you don’t want to see them in the future. But you are only 1 paying customer. If most people keep buying them, don’t blame the publisher for providing a product that people are interested in spending money on, again and again.
The only problem I have with remasters is if they are done badly, which let’s face it, isn’t very often.
I personally enjoy remasters. I don’t purchase all of them, I suspect nobody does, but there are certain games that demand to be played again. Plus, as the author mentions, not everybody has the luxury of owning previous consoles, so it is nice to pick up games I may have missed from past generations.
One thing I am grateful for is a tastefully done remaster.
In particular, many of the mobile remastered versions of console games. Copyright laws and deadened companies from the 8-bit and 16-bit era are usually what stand between a quality reboot onto an Apple or Android mobile platform now-a-days.
I wish it wasn’t the case, but to keep up with a constantly changing platform like IOS/Android it requires money and constant attention to feedback.
When you put that into perspective the only way to take advantage of previously released games that may never see the light of day again is to jailbreak or illegally download the software on your device. Now, I’m not condoning illegal activity but to think some people would go to these lengths definitely suggests that there is a market for these remakes.
Square Enix, one of the gaming companies you’ve suggested, has built it’s company off of the nostalgic feeling from it’s retro games. They’ve even made money off of me.
While I do enjoy playing these remasters, I am a little disappointed that game companies would rather release remasters to make a quick buck rather than release a new, original IP. The game industry is going to suffer if this lack of originality continues.
We’re seeing this influx of remasters, especially on the PS4, as some people have already said, because the PS4 is not backwards compatible and continuing franchises (Uncharted, Dishonored, perhaps God of War) need solid ground in newcoming gamers who are buying their first console.
Even though the average gamer is in their 30s, we mustn’t forget that there are lots of kids out there who enjoy gaming as much as we do and deserve to experience the games that all of us love to talk about.
Remastered games can be great especially for those who never got the chance to play the original game. For instance when they are going to remaster the final fantasy 7 game. If they just remade it with HD updates it would not do very well in comparison to a remaster. However, I think that these remasters, and HD updates are there to give the people another chance to play an amazing game. Nintendo 64 Legend of Zelda Majoras Mask came back out which is great. Now I can just but it for the DS instead of having to buy a Nintendo 64, a controller, and the game itself.
Kingdom Hearts is an interesting example because all those games were released on different platforms and were not all played as much as others in the franchise, so this is a great way to bring new fans into the series (as you said) and to monetize off of existing fans that may have missed out on what could be considered essential story lines. As for general remasters, unless it’s something really drastic like the FF7 remaster, it seems unnecessary, but I’ve already spent money on almost unnoticeably remastered versions of any Zelda game that’s been remastered, so I barely have room to talk.
I have absolutely no problem with remasters of past games as long as they do not take the place of new IP’s. As much as I love a lot of these older games, Kingdom Hearts included, I loved them because they were new and different. While I can appreciate bringing a new and younger audience an experience they may not have seen before, I’m still excited to see what else the industry has to offer, perhaps improving over past accomplishments and learning to grow into, once again, new and exciting territory.
It’s a shame that most people don’t understand the difference between a remaster and a remake. I, for one, am fine with the occasional remake, as it gives gamers an opportunity to experience a franchise that they might have missed for some reason or another. I do, however, hope that remastered games don’t become TOO popular…
I think remasters are fantastic! It allows games that were hindered by the limitations of their time to be properly fleshed out and given the advantages of a modern era. Whether that be visual design or even gameplay elements.
Take something like the remaster of Majora’s Mask for the 3DS. There were several elements of this game that were frustrating and could not be changed due to the fact that cartridges cannot be patched. Certain battles in the original release (such as the canyon temple boss) do not involve much player interaction and many could argue that the original encounter was boring. A remaster allows developers to take lessons from modern games and improve on these shortcomings and better match the original vision.
Of course, just like in film, there is the potential for a remaster or remake to come accross as a simple cash grab or appear to be uninventive. Therefore, it is important for developers and studios to not exploit their audience and create an experience that is worth looking at again.
The idea that more people get to experience some of the greatest games in history is a fantastic one. A point that should be said is that many games appear quite dated. This can make it difficult for audiences with no prior history with a game to play it through. Some games have a timeless aspect to them yes, Mario for example, but others clearly do not. Would Knights of the Old Republic look better with a fresh graphical update? 100% it would.
Remakes and remasters, like anything, are perfectly fine in moderation. Think of what the highest selling video games are of late – Call of Duty and its innumerable iterations, Grand Theft Auto V, and the yearly release of the FIFA franchise. Think also of Nintendo, who have relied on their established franchises since the 1990s – Mario, Legend of Zelda, Donkey Kong.
Is there an issue with this? I cannot help but see a similar trend in hollywood, where the majority of films being released are either remakes, sequels, or adapted screenplays from video games or comic books. Is the well of originality slowly going dry? Or is this what consumers really want? Is this also a reflection of the unbalanced power that brand names possess?
I’ve bought a few remasters of my favourite games and liked them, although I do think it was nostalgia that made me want to purchase them. It’s fun to see the bonus content that is sometimes added and to see the characters remade in HD. That being said, as an avid Legend of Zelda fan, I’m getting antsy for a new game.
I would love remasters of games from the 5th generation of gaming (N64, PS1).
Games like Super Mario 64, or Spyro would benefit immensely from new-gen graphics.
I have to admit I like remastered editions. They allow the player to relive the glory days on a new system, potentially with new people. Also, I can understand the remastered editions of Kingdom Hearts. The story line is very intricate and bringing these older games to newer consoles allows for everyone to be up to date when Kingdom Hearts 3 finally comes out.
Final Fantasy VII was the first game that really exposed me to digital storytelling. I am so excited for the re-release, though I am hoping that Square Enix remains true to the spirit of the game and the original story line. They seem intent on giving players a new experience, but I am hoping this comes from stylistic and gameplay changes rather than the content of the story. I’m still uncertain about their plan to break the game into multiple parts–I hope this isn’t a DLC-type gimmick or something similar that will ruin the game for fans.
I completely agree with the argument given how prominent these remasters are nowadays. However, had it not been for remasters, I would’ve never been able to experience The Last Of Us, as I was a 360 guy back in high school and only recently acquired a Playstation 4. Remasters can work to an extent, but a the same time an overabundance of them (Kingdom Hearts) can make a company stalling for time look pretty blatantly obvious while doing so.
the technology advances to fast, and, therefore, there is a necessity of the remastered version. i´m currently playing FFX, and truth be told, i wouldn´t play it if there isn´t a HD version.
Regard the photos that showed in the article, i didn´t see the PC photo. And we all know that the real power to make an better version of an old game relays on the PC market. Of curse, there isn´t gonna be a great difference between PS3 and PS4, but there is another history in PC.
PD: i don´t speak English as my native thong, so apologies for any writing mistake…
I think remakes have more of a place in video games than the current epidemic within the film industry (and even books if you include rehashing the same idea over and over because it is profitable). If you are watching an 80s film like The Empire Strikes Back of The Dark Crystal, you can forgive their visual shortcomings, but the movie watching experience hasn’t really changed. If you were to play a video game from that era, like the original Mario Brothers of Final Fantasy, the mechanics and technical restrictions make the game drastically different.
That being said, I am still hoping that there is still enough originality and creativity left in the industry to produce at least a couple of interesting new games per year.
There’s two point of view about remasters.
1. if you haven’t playing those games at the time they launched and dont have the old consoles,
ok im good with that and you can be introduced to the game.
2. But in the other side, if you can play the old one then go for it, because
you gonna enjoy the original masterpiece indeed. The original is better because the company
put so much effort to do the best with the hardware avaiable at the time.
“The beatiful copy of the Monalisa can be appreciated too but never gonna be like the original one with scratches caused
by the time”.
Observation : “Sorry English is not my native language”.
I’m of two minds. The purist in me always wants to be experiencing something in its intended form, in this case on the original platform with the visuals that were made at the time it was completed. At the same time, I don’t think that’s always super necessary, depending on the game. Sometimes the difference is just a wider aspect ratio, while sometimes its littered with 2017 particle effects that can sometimes feel out of place when it plays like something from the PS2.
I guess ultimately what matters to me is that its done with the intention of preservation, and doesn’t try to take too much of a revisionist stance.
I’m a fan of the remaster. Looking forward to checking out the Devil May Cry HD collection, DMC 4 was my introduction to the franchise. Still a little torn when it comes to remakes. Square Enix’s Secret of Mana remake released this year is a good example. Reviews seemed to consider the 1993 original as a superior game. It will be interesting to see if Square can avoid this when we finally get our hands on the Final Fantasy VII remake.
Remasters seem to be a bit like the new Hollywood Reboot. Instead of creating new stories, Hollywood and the video game industry, seem to be more interested in remastering and rebooting. While, being a gamer myself, I do like the convenience of HD remasters. However, I still recognize them as cash grabs and not new stories.
I love a good remaster, provided it doesn’t stand in the way of new and innovative narratives.
I think there’s an art in remakes and remasters, especially when adapting games from an older era to a more modern, innovative audience.
When the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D came out, even with near-perfect reviews from critics, fans still insisted that it wasn’t the same as playing the original — I suppose that I agree in that there’s just no replicating the nostalgia that comes with playing the original during its peak years. Sometimes the original “faults” and “glitches” in these games are what makes them so charming and lovable in the first place.
However, while it’s easy to dismiss remakes and remasters as unoriginal cash grabs, we need to understand that remakes and remasters aren’t going away anytime soon. Perhaps we ought to know the value in them: 1) Game developers can see what has worked the best with older games and they can see how they can incorporate these methods into future franchises. 2) Like what you had mentioned, it can introduce new audiences who have never had a chance to play these older, beloved games to these popular franchises.
There’s plenty of originality in the video game industry, although I think our disappointments lie in where we are looking. Massive video game companies like Nintendo and Square Enix may struggle with creating genuinely unique games because they might feel bound to their already established franchises. If we want originality in the game industry, we just have to know where to find it. I’m a huge supporter of indie and third-party games, and I think that’s where we will discover the originality that we want while still appreciating the innovations in remakes and remasters.
Except that remasters often are cash grabs, which is why certain companies (ahem Capcom) force you to buy a copy for the current generation console, even if you already the game for a prior console that has reverse compatibility with the current. I really don’t believe selling 10 year old games for $60 can be justified. I don’t mind HD remasters of older games as much (like how I recently bought the Resident Evil Origins Collection), but they shouldn’t be happening only a few years down the road. I remember an issue of Game Informer from 6-7 years ago making fun of this trend of Remasters in their “Game Infarcer” segment with the fake “HD Collection Collection,” demonstrating that this trend of cash grabbing is indeed not going away.
I do have mixed feelings about remastered games; on the one hand it seems like a cash grab, but to the contrary, it does give a game a certain freshness.
We will see a lot more in the coming future. Its easy money and that’s what this industry is all about now.
I think remasters (and especially remakes) serve a purpose in the industry. And I think for the very very old games, there is a value in reinventing them for modern hardware. But I think there’s a line somewhere between useful remasters/remakes and just plain cash grabs. But as you said, the companies recognize that the player’s love for the old games will win out over sense.