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Remakes - Yay or Nay? [roundtable]
 
Time and time again, I see people discuss how they'd love to see their favorite games remade. Final Fantasy VII. Resident Evil 2. Ocarina of Time. Usually the argument is that the original game was good for its time, but technological advances made since its release have made certain aspects (often the graphics) outdated in today's market, so the idea is that remaking it would make the game relevant to today's market/audience. In some ways this may be true, but I believe that if a game was good once, it'll always be good. Some games will require more of an adjustment to get the hang of depending on where you're coming from as a player, but I don't believe that a game's quality actually "degrades" over time, thanks to advances made in the medium since its original release. I disagree with that notion.

Some remakes turn out to be quite good (the Resident Evil remake, for instance, is very well-regarded), but despite this I don't wish to see every game I've ever loved be remade by current-gen standards. I'd rather companies focus on new games, as opposed to remaking every game out there. This is part of why I find a number of announced 3DS ports to be underwhelming (I'm not interested in Star Fox 64, Ocarina of Time, Metal Gear Solid 3, etc.). I don't think that they shouldn't be made at all; it's always a good idea to expose these games to a new audience, but it seems to me at times that some would prefer to keep having all their favorite experiences remade time and time again, rather than give new games a chance. I find this sort of idea disappointing.


What are your thoughts on this? Do you welcome remakes of games (whether you've played the originals or not), or do you wish companies would focus on developing new games instead? If you like to have games remade, why? Is it so you can play newer versions of your favorites, or experience modern-styled versions of older games you've never played before?

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Posted: 01/30/11, 12:03:20
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I like how the REmake feels as if it's designed for people who are already intimately familiar with the first game. It's still playable for first-timers of course, but if you come in after having played the original, the mansion design overall is pretty switched up, which adds to the disorienting feel for Resident Evil veterans. But then you have to consider that the switching up of the design will be lost on a first-time gamer, so I chose to play the original game first, followed up by the REmake at a later point in time so that the changes wouldn't be lost on me. I suppose it's no harm done if the remake is still fun by itself, but I wanted to get the full experience of play the original, then playing the remake to see all that was changed.
Posted: 01/31/11, 23:42:45
Posted: 01/31/11, 23:47:12
I think they're lazy and cynical, and I hate them.

Unless they're made by Nintendo. Then they're awesome.


My knee-jerk reaction is to reject remakes of any kind. But upon reflection, I have no problem with remakes of games that I personally haven't played. I'm not big on the whole 'nostalgia remake' thing. OOT 3DS doesn't excite me, but Starfox 3DS does, perhaps because I never mastered the game. I guess what I'm trying to say is, I'm a big ol' hypocrite. But I don't have a problem with that.

I also think 'reimaginings' can be interesting. For games. Not movies. Those are stupid and unnecessary.
Posted: 02/01/11, 18:40:30  - Edited by 
 on: 02/01/11, 18:41:50
@carlosrox But isn't Remake essentially the same game with much better presentation + a lot of new stuff added? You know what is interesting, back when Remake released I never even suspected it could be a lazy port, it seemed like a full-on project from the start. And it was, and turned out great. But now it seems remakes are usually just cheap cash cows, few developers will put the effort into a remake that Remake did. I wonder if we will see any remakes (especially on handhelds) that are a huge step forward?

@Secret_Tunnel HA. I knew I wasn't the only person who couldn't look into mirrors late at night. And the problem is I start thinking to myself "don't think about bloody Mar... OH CRAP, I'M THINKING ABOUT BLOODY MARY NOW. Well don't start chanting her name over and ov... OH CRAP, WHY IS MY MIND CHANTING HER NAME OVER AND OVER?!" It only works if you say it out loud, right? Right?
Posted: 02/01/11, 19:05:32
@Zero
I guess so. But...the design of things were still different in the original. It was probably graphical limiitations but everything in that game was much more sterile and it had this strong "PC-ish" feel which I absolutely adored (and still adore, but that feeling is obviously dying now with games becoming so high production). Not to mention that the sound design was pretty damn different and probably better in my opinion. The noise the Naked Zombies made when they bit you and stuff? HORRIFYING. No REmake could outdo that. Some of the music's probably better in the original too.

Trust me, just because you've played REmake that's no reason to avoid the original. The original is a fantastic game by its own merits, and again, it's just...different. REmake and RE are just remixes of eachother and the only thing obviously better (again, somewhat subjective) is presentation, while the graphics are a given. REmake was pretty scary at the time but RE was much more so at the time IMO, so it obviously gets points for that. There was nothing else like that at the time really, the game was extremely sophisticated. It was something brand new, more or less.
Posted: 02/01/11, 20:21:44
@Zero

Square is kind of hit and miss on remakes. Some of the early FF games have been remade countless times, but the effort that put into the DS entries wasn't insignificant. Whether or not they always add to the experience compared to the original is another issue, I suppose.

As for the topic at large, it really depends.

There are some 8-bit era RPGs that could stand a solid remake, as the interfaces were rough. Needing to mash A a bunch of times to buy a lot of potions in Final Fantasy was awful, the menu interface in Dragon Warrior was terrible, etc. But when it comes to stuff like FFVI or FFVII? I don't know that the care put into other Final Fantasy remakes creates a more compelling experience. As someone who played and loved the original FFIV, I enjoyed the remake but prefer the original; I wonder how someone new to the game would feel. My concern would be the same for FFVI (my favorite FF) or even VII, though the later could use a remake just to change one of the most awful endings in the history of gaming.

When it comes to other genres, I don't know. I worry that they'll come off like TMNT Turtles in Time Reshelled, where stuff is supposed to be "better" but in the transition it loses the appeal the original had.

REmake did a good job retaining the original formula and shaking things up enough to make the experience fresh. That said though, I don't know that the same approach applied to RE2, 3, CV, etc. wouldn't get old really fast.

That's a long winded way of saying... it really depends on the remake.
Posted: 02/01/11, 20:40:52
@carlosrox

You knock RE4 for its "humor" and I guess overall cheesiness, but then you recommend the first RE on the PSOne, which I haven't played but still know all about the "master of unlocking" and other cheesy lines. From what I know, it would be pretty much impossible for the first RE to scare anyone at this point, especially if they've played through REmake already. No?
Posted: 02/01/11, 20:46:09
@Pandareus
There's a fine line between humour between two characters who know eachother and someone mocking the villain or cracking a joke before facing an ungodly hideous freak of a mutation that wants to kill you. That was 1996 and I'm not sure if people will ever know if those lines were intentionally horribly cheesy or accidental. It's not so much the script as it is the delivery. It sounds as if robotic teenagers were chosen to deliver these lines with the most halting and emotionless way possible. And the cheese in RE1 isn't necessarily a bad thing since it added to the game's charm, and again, it mighta actually been on purpose.

RE1 was 1995/1996, comparing that to a game from 2004/2005 isn't fair, especially when they should know better at this point. It's like knocking the script in Zelda 1 in comparison to OOT.
Posted: 02/01/11, 20:57:34
I think there's a difference we need to make. Remake versus enhanced port. For example: Final Fantasy IV for DS, with it's upgraded visuals, re-written dialog and voiced cutscenes, is a remake. Chrono Trigger for DS, with one ending added from the PSX version and some other extras (sound test, concepts, etc), is an enhanced port since it, aside from the added whistles, is exactly the same
Posted: 02/01/11, 21:03:02
As a rule of thumb, I'd take a new game anytime before a remake, unless the remake is of an old game that is unplayable by today's standards or brings back a long lost franchise. Even then, it still depends on what gets remade. Graphics and sound are a given, but are the controls also changed? Are there any extra levels or bonuses included? So yeah, it's a gray area for me. One thing I know for sure is that I hate "reboots" of any shape, form, or function. Don't just slap franchise names and characters in an attempt to increase your sales. How hard is to have an original story and create new characters anyway?

Examples of remakes I endorse:
Resident Evil, Ocarina of Time 3D

Examples of reboots I do not endorse:
Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, DmC

Yes, I love SH:SM as a game. Yes, I hated that it messed up with SH1's canon when it could have easily been its own separate tale. I'm not even getting started on my hate towards the new Devil May Cry reboot for fear of derailing the thread.
Posted: 02/02/11, 00:55:42
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