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Gaming Remakes and Revamps


Shinmaru
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I posted about this a few months back but, seeing as it's in the archives, I thought now would be a nice time to bring things back.

Remakes and compilations have been in gaming for a long, long time. Some of the more famous of them include Super Mario All-Stars, Sonic Jam, the Activision and Midway compilations and so on. Remakes aren't too uncommon, either; we have Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX, Super Mario Bros. DX, Tetris DX and more. Game Boy Color wasn't really known for having too many remakes but there were some good re-releases of NES games on there.

In recent years, however, especially with the advent of the Game Boy Advance, remakes and compilations have been made like crazy. The Super Mario Advance series, the two Legend of Zelda compilations, the Sonic compilation, etc. More often than before, games are being remade and released as new games. They're even being included as extras in games (Metroid is unlockable in Metroid Prime/Fusion and Metroid: Zero Mission and there are several NES games available to play in Animal Crossing).

There are both good and bad sides to this - the obvious bad is that some of these games just [i]can't[/i] hold a candle to some of the games of today. There will obviously be some games that will always be timeless classics and will provide great gameplay that can be enjoyed by anyone...but that doesn't mean that some games will be nearly as enjoyable as they were in your youth (or whenever you first played them).

Despite this, however, I'm all for remakes. Firstly because there are several games that I have never gotten the chance to play (such as the original Metroid) that I can now play because of remakes. I'm sure this is good for a whole generation of gamers who have also never had the chance to play some of these classic games that were released before their time.

Secondly, sad to say, some of my older gaming consoles aren't in the best of shape. I won't go into details but I'm unable to play a lot of the older games that I have. Remakes give me an opportunity to purchase and continue to enjoy games that I might not have otherwise been able to play anymore.

So, what's your opinion on remakes? Do you buy them, regardless of whether or not they have extras (and I'll tackle that issue in another post)? If you don't buy remakes, why not?
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In my opinion, I just feel remakes are used as 'fillers' in today's gaming market. Not only this but I feel game companies are trying to make things appeal to the 'older generation' of gamers.

It is an old game but take Pong for example on the Playstation, I know several adults who bought that just for the name of it being, 'Pong', I guess their nostalgia was creeping up on them again.

I myself do not buy remakes, at least not to my knowledge anyway. Well, the only remakes I can think of were some of the older Final Fantasies released on the first Playstation but that was generally because I'd never played them before so I guess they do not really count as remakes on my behalf.

I don't particularily agree with the creation of remakes and revamps as I feel today's gaming industry lacks [b]innovation[/b], a key point in a game in my tastes. So my view on these games is directed at companies such as Nintendo and others, "Give us new, top notch games, not your dust collecting titles on a portable console!" Well, perhaps not to that extent but remakes just really don't appeal to me, that's my two pence on the situation anyway.
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[color=indigo]Myself, I'm kind of split down the middle; it really depends on the game that's being remade when it comes to whether I support it or not. Some, like Zelda: A Link to the Past, Super Mario World, and the Zelda compilations, I think are wonderful. Even though I had beaten all of these games before (besides Zelda II which I was finally able to beat on the compilation), I still had lots of fun replaying them. And in the cases of ZLTP and SMW, I've played through the remakes five and six times, respectively, so I definitely think they were worth the money.

Others, such as Super Mario Advance, a remake of Super Mario Bros. 2, I don't see as being worthy of being remade. I mean, some games just don't age well, and shouldn't be brought back and sold at full price. Games like that should be included as extras in other things, or in larger compilations that are priced cheap. Nintendo did this with the original Metroid, and I think it worked well. As a straight port, the original wouldn't be anywhere near worth paying $30 for, but as an extra in Prime and Zero Mission, it's a cool little bonus and it gives people the opportunity to play a game that they missed.

Now, admittedly, Metroid Zero Mission is itself a remake of the original Metroid. But the difference there is that Zero Mission is a [i]real[/i] remake, not just a straight port like most "remakes" are. Tons of stuff has been added and changed in Zero Mission so that the game plays more like Super Metroid than it does the original. Because of this, I think it, too, is worth the full $30 of a new GBA game. I've gotten about 12 hours out of it so far, and I expect to get about 15 total before I stop playing--that's the same amount of time I got out of Metroid Fusion, a completely new game. So I definitely have more respect for remakes that actually have a decent amount changed than I have for straight ports.[/color]
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Yes, I think most people largely prefer remakes that strive to add something to the original gameplay over a straight port (even people who have never played the original would likely prefer stuff added on).

Take Resident Evil for the GameCube: The basic core of the game is the same, but there are quite a few changes, the most obvious being the updated graphics. The game simply looks amazing and the darker feel gives that extra kick when it comes to horror aesthetics. Also, Resident Evil had some remade puzzles and the design of the mansion was tinkered with so that the GameCube remake of Resident Evil would feel totally different from the original PlayStation version. You have to admire that.

Also, look at Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes. Again, the basic core of the game is the same, but the graphics are updated to match (and exceed, I think) Metal Gear Solid 2 in graphical quality. Also, the play mechanics of MGS2 are integrated into the game, thus the need to totally revamp the rooms and areas of the original Metal Gear Solid. I can assure you that Twin Snakes will most likely [i]not[/i] feel like the same old Metal Gear Solid that most people played almost six years ago.

So, yeah, I would largely prefer developers to go above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to re-releasing games - it really, really helps out a lot.
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i like remakes/revamps because they actually work and look nicer than the original. moreover, i don't like people who complain about them being bad, because they aren't. When is digitaly enhansing a movie to look like it was made a few years back, than a decade ago bad, anyways? I think its the same with games, so i like it.
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[FONT=Tahoma][SIZE=2][COLOR=DimGray]I know I'm going to be one of the first in line to grab a copy of Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes, and I was also one of the first to get myself Resident Evil on the Cube. So I guess my opinion of remakes is a good one.

If the game was good the first time around, why not get a bigger, better and badder(metaphorically speaking, of course) version of a title that you treasured so many years ago. With titles like Resident Evil and MGS: TTS on the Cube, they have so many extras it's like a whole new game that you're playing. I know how terrible the acting was and how easy the gameplay was in the original Resident Evil, but in Remake I was blown away by how much harder and more believable it was, even if Wesker's VA sucked worse than that Queer Eye show does, it was still miles ahead of the quality of the original.

Of course, there's always bad remakes. I'll never enjoy a Pokémon game as much as I enjoyed Red and Blue, but there's always emulators and roms for that kind of stuff.[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
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  • 2 weeks later...
In some cases, remakes can be great. For example, I really hadn't played a Mario game until about 2 years ago because I was a die-hard Sega fan up until the Dreamcast bombed and Sega nearly ended up six feet under. To my horror, I was forced to see how shallow I had been in believing that any game not made by Sega was not worth playing. The GBA allowed me to go back and play these amazing games that I had missed, and also allow people who are new to gaming to experience these classics like I got to.
Unfortunately, this means that you have to take the good with the bad. I for one would not buy a port of a Megadrive Sonic game, unless they actually remaked it and added some damn good features to make it worth my hard-earned cash. But many people would, as they may have missed out previously. So I believe that remakes will stay as they are, as most people buy remakes to either relive their most treasured gaming moments, or to experience something that they otherwise would have missed out on.
Although, I like the idea of 'real' remakes that Desbreko mentioned, but I think that they should also include a straight port on the same cartridge/CD, so you can get the best of both worlds. :D
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[color=#707875]I think that remakes have their good and bad points. In some ways, simple re-releases (like the Famicom Mini series) are great, because your old NES may not be working so well after all these years...and having these classics on the GBA has the added benefit of them being handheld, where once they weren't. In this case, the mere fact that they're for GBA is giving them an increased desirability.

In the same way, games like Mario Advance (and its sequels) offer the handheld treatment, which is in itself a good thing for many players.

On the other hand, the fact that these games always include the token Mario Bros. (which is now becoming a very stale addition) as well as the fact that these games aren't really [i]new [/i]Mario titles, presents a problem. How many people would love to see an [i]all-new [/i]2D Mario game for GBA? I know I would. I'd buy it in a heartbeat, probably.

Then you've got the remakes that have been mentioned -- games like Resident Evil. The great thing (and the clever thing, in marketing terms) about these games, is that they cash-in on the nostalgia factor, while also being new enough to entice gamers who owned the original.

They say that around 70% of RE is new on GameCube. I'd believe it. And it makes the game feel fresh and interesting again, while still having a nostalgic appeal. In my view, this is the absolute best way to "remake" a game.

However, I could see a situation where Nintendo remakes their first Zelda title on GBA with new graphics but the same gameplay. Perhaps some purists would dislike that. Maybe it could potentially ruin the value of the game (even though I'm confident that Nintendo would do it well). That's also a factor to consider, in any case.

So I think there's room for both direct ports and total overhauls. But I think the direct ports tend to cause a bit more frustration amongst gamers, especially if we see the same games being ported over and over again.[/color]
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The Midway Compilation is not very good, but the Activision one was amazing. I don't consider massive, well done compilations like that "remakes", really. However, Activison has make several compilations in the past, so it was getting to be a bit much.

Technically, Nintendo already made the original Zelda with better graphics and the same gameplay for the Satellaview System in Japan. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if they just threw it on a cartridge for the GBA in the future. Honestly, I don't know that I'd even mind that considering it's basically impossible to play now without emulation.

Remakes are a hard thing to do well. When I think of remake, I don't think of "port". Stuff like Resident Evil 2 and 3 being brought over to other consoles and the PC with absolutely no improvements are obviously something I don't care for. And although things have been added to and changed in the Mario Advance games, they really don't feel substantially different in any way. I'm very mixed on the Mario Advance series because even though it offers nothing new (other than annoying voices) and Mario Bros. is slapped on every game in the series, it offers me a way to play some really great games on the road. What can you do though.... at least SMB3 had those neat add on e-card levels.

With remakes, there are so many factors to consider. We're to the point where people expect more than just graphical upgrades, in many cases. However, it also seems to depend on when the game came out. I, personally, wouldn't complain if a really good SNES game was remade in 3D, but stayed largely the same gameplay wise. They've done this before with RPGs (Dragon Quest in particular) and with that sort of game, it's nice that it's largely the same as the original.

However, when you start getting into remaking 32/64 bit games, you get the issue of people actually playing these games rather recently by comparison. In the case of RE, I really don't think a simple graphical change would have interested people as much as the fact that so much of the game was expanded upon. I personally wouldn't have bought it on graphics alone. I bought it because I enjoyed the original despite its flaws (I thought it was best in the series) and figured this would be a nice improvement.

The problem with remakes is that you're not going to please everyone. If people really loved the original, they're going to compare the new version back to it in almost every situation. Often with rose tinted glasses. People are hard to please. One group wants changes, another wants it faithful to the original but somehow different, some want it exactly the same. People will be disappointed sometimes. I guess it's the risk you take. However, remakes really are not just for the original fans. They're also for newcomers to the series and often they are better equipped to get people to become fans themselves.
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[color=#707875]There's also another interesting point to all of this, especially regarding direct ports of older 8/16-Bit games. And it relates to emulators and ROMs.

Many people who use ROMs will tell you that they only download games that are out of circulation in retail outlets, because they are unable to purchase an original copy of the game. Even though this does not actually make the ROM legal, it is definitely understandable.

However, when Nintendo takes an old game and ports it to a newer system (therefore putting it on sale/in circulation once more), they are able to better protect their older properties.

A large part of this apparently relates to some specific copyright expiration. For example, Nintendo tends to actually copyright game code and game concept, as well as the name and characters of the franchise. So while newer Mario games like Mario Sunshine or Mario Party 5 ensure that these trademarks are still "fresh", older games that aren't in circulation may face copyright expiry on other elements (their code specifically).

Apparently Nintendo is able to dramatically extend their copyrights and protections by re-releasing old games on newer platforms. It's a pretty good idea from their point of view, though as has been mentioned in this thread, there are drawbacks for consumers at times.[/color]
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I'm all for remakes/compilations. There are many games that I love to revisit, and many classics that I've never played.

Take, for example, The Wind Waker's bonus disk containg Ocarina of Time and OoT: Master Quest. When it was announced that the disk was coming to Australia, I cried. Seriously. I was more excited to get another copy of a game that I already owned on the N64, and that I had completed already, than being able to finally play TWW. I would have happily payed the same price as a new video game for it had they released it as a stand-alone product.

Remakes are great too, like Metroid Zero Mission and MGS: TTS. I've never played the original of either of these two games - and now I get to experience them in an updated form. Including the original game with Zero Mission is also a good addition, as I'll actually be able to play the first game in the series in all its pixelated glory.

I can't really see the downside to revisiting old classics. Yes, it's an easy way for publishers and developers to make money, but as long as it keeps me happy I couldn't really care less if Shiggers gets an extra plate of sushi for dinner.
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