A Critique of Video Game Remakes

Discussion in 'General Gaming Discussion' started by Ryukouki, Jan 25, 2014.

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Looking at video game remakes, do they have merit in the gaming industry?

  1. Yes

    72 vote(s)
    80.9%
  2. No

    17 vote(s)
    19.1%
  1. Ryukouki
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    Ryukouki See you later, guys.

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    [​IMG]

    Hope I was not missed too much. What do I have to bring today? I was playing Final Fantasy IV a little while back, and it hit me that this game has just seen too many rereleases spanning multiple consoles. While I love this game to death, I kind of have to put my foot down and say, hey, Square Enix, enough is enough. I'm interested in looking at some feedback from you guys about your thoughts regarding video game remakes and ports. Are video game remakes healthy for the gaming industry? And where should we draw the line? Is there a theoretical point where as a gamer, you think that something has been released too many times to be enjoyable?



    There clearly needs to be a line established between port and remake; ports being less expensive to make as it essentially migrates the game to a different platform, with the goal of making it more available to the general public, whereas a remake is redone from the ground up and providing a new way to experience an older game. When I look at a game like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, I see a timeless classic that should be remade for the newer generation to be exposed to it. I feel like that should have been the purpose of these ports and remakes; exposing the game to a newer generation so that they are able to experience the adventures we did back in the day. Ocarina of Time appeared as a port on the Nintendo Gamecube with the Master Quest bundle, along with a port on the Wii Virtual Console, and an "in-between" on the Nintendo 3DS which kind of felt lacking due to the presence of the older and rather outdated soundtrack. It kind of went between port and remake and updated the some aspects while retaining other aspects.

    I then move on to a company like Square Enix, who as of late has severely disappointed me and seems to not be focusing anymore on unique content, instead taking previous ideas and rehashing them time after time. Gone are the days where Final Fantasy was about exploration and an epic journey with incredible storytelling. All I see now are games like Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy XIII-2, and Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Returns, which deviate little from the original game. When we look at the release of Final Fantasy IV, the game has been released on the Super Famicom, the Playstation, the Game Boy Advance, the Wii, the Playstation Portable, and the Wonderswan, and even the mobile industry. It has been ported over and repainted so many times over the past two decades that at this point it just feels old and evident that Square Enix is running out of things to work with. While it is unfair to criticize their ports, it begins to feel like that is all they have done over the past several years.

    When I mentioned that it is good for remakes to expose the game to newer generations, when you look at a timeline like that of Final Fantasy IV do you find that a line should be drawn and say that the game needs to stop since it has access almost anywhere now? It is unfortunate that even Capcom is taking a similar route, one of them being the Ace Attorney franchise. The original trilogy is all over the place now; having originated from the Game Boy Advance, it is now on the Nintendo DS, Wii, coming to the 3DS, and on mobile.

    When we look at games that are being ported over constantly like this, does it ever come to mind that these companies are just taking the easy way out? A little while back, I criticized the video game industry, and made comments about how developers are not taking enough risks and generating interesting content. While the overall goal of a company is solely to make money, where is it that gamers should draw the line and be able to request more, especially from a big company such as Square Enix or Capcom? Do we even have the right to legitimately criticize companies for their actions? When I see ports of the same game on every single platform (easy money), and rehashing of the same content (easy way out) it just feels like the dedicated gaming base is getting spat on. And God knows that I'll still be there to buy the next installment of whatever game, because that's the way life works. It's an interesting paradox I've found myself in. The same could be said of the Pokémon franchise, which I have been playing since I was a kid, and acknowledge that, to some degree, it could be more and more of the same.

    [​IMG]
    Unhealthy? Square Enix has remade Final Fantasy VI to disparaging reviews citing how poor the graphics now look in comparison to the original.

    Could it happen to be that we gamers are now getting older, therefore we don't see games the same as we did when we were young? Look at the Pokémon franchise, we used to relish catching critters as kids and now as we grow older all we think about are the analytics behind each creature! Has our age jaded us to the point that we just expect more and more out of games?

    Going back to the original point, are ports and remakes in themselves healthy? For me, I find it to be both yes and no. Yes, remakes are nice because it provides new material and updated visuals and features that could not be done for the original release, due to restrictions in technology at the time. At the same time it also provides players a new way to experience an older title that has been upgraded to match the current technology available. Ports can be both healthy and unhealthy (to me at least). It could be healthy to provide a developing company the money necessary to work on future titles, yet it could be unhealthy because it takes a lot less effort to migrate it over.

    For those tuning in, do you find that gaming ports and remakes are good for the industry (thinking about it in terms of games like Final Fantasy IV or the Ace Attorney series) and should be encouraged, or do you think that remakes should get minimal exposure and instead tell gamers to search for older systems to enjoy the content on, thereby giving developers more time to actively develop unique intellectual properties? Let me know what you think!
     


  2. JackSakamoto

    JackSakamoto Bad Ending Guy

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    By the way,did they resolve that glitch that made FFVI on Android unbeatable ?
    Nevertheless,most of the "remakes" on console are " HD Collection ",not even a true remake with bonuses ( more glitches doesn't count .. )
    The only true remake I've seen ( played ) is Persona 4 Golden,for now.
     
  3. Tom Bombadildo

    Tom Bombadildo Honk!

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    I forgot
    I myself would prefer re-releases instead of "remakes", like PSOne Classics or Nintendo's "Virtual Console" games; a classic game is released at an affordable price that's playable on current devices. I find releasing a "remake" of a game (read: upping textures to "totally HD promise!" or just applying new textures and disregarding new content, etc) and then charging full price to be...annoying. Why should I buy a reskinned version of X if I can find the old version for $20 cheaper?
     
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  4. Gahars

    Gahars Bakayaro Banzai

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    Sure, in the same way that remakes have merit in any industry. John Carpenter's The Thing, one of the great science fiction and horror films ever made, was a remake. Battlestar Galactica took a cheesy, cheap Star Wars cash in and produced a riveting, thought provoking program (for a few seasons, anyway). Remakes/updates/rejiggerings of classic video games can give a whole new audience a chance to experience the game for themselves.

    I don't think a game can be remade too much. I think the responsibility lies with the audience there; stop buying the remakes and the companies will get the message.

    I think the bigger concern is developers "updating" the games in ways that actively hurt them, especially since it can be so hard to access the originals. The AV Club just posted this article the other day, funnily enough, and the points it raises are very relevant to the topic at hand. It's definitely worth a read.
     
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  5. Ryukouki
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    Ryukouki See you later, guys.

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    Honest question how do you find this stuff?
     
  6. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    As I've said countless times, remakes do have a point as long as they are actual remakes. Putting a fresh coat of paint on an old title is not a "remake" much like putting make-up on an 80-year-old woman doesn't make her 20 again.

    A remake only makes sense when it improves the game - makes it accessible to a contemporary audience not only from the distribution standpoint but also due to improved mechanics, graphics etc.

    I often mention "Ocarina of Time 3D" as a terrible remake, and here's why - the game was (supposedly) made from the ground up and this fantastic opportunity to give the story a modern flair was... wasted, because it plays virtually the same as the original and it looks only marginally better, all things considered. Why remake something if your aim is to end up with a virtually identical product? All you're accomplishing is releasing a product which feels old and stale the moment it's released - you might as well release a port of the old game and the end result will be the same while the amount of work required will be much, much smaller.

    With the same breath, I mention "Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes" as a fantastic remake. Not only did the transition to a new engine bring better graphics than the original, it also introduced mechanics from Metal Gear Solid 2 games such as FPS view, hanging of ledges, hiding in lockers, hiding corpses in them etc. into the game which substantially changed the way it was played. Voice acting and music were re-done from scratch aside from one song, and that refresh of the sound track really made the game feel fresh. Even the cutscenes were changed, giving them a more cinematic feel. The story was the same, sure, but the game felt fresh, brand-new and relevant.

    So here's my point again - remakes have to remake a game, make it feel fresh, new and relevant. They shouldn't feel like ports with improved graphics - that's not the point of a remake. There is a place in the industry for ports, HD ports, remasters and other such re-releases, sure - they're welcome, but they have to be priced appropriately. I'm willing to pay full price for a game that was remade, but when it's just a re-release of a title I already played, I'll only buy it if the price is "right", meaning low.

    Old games belong in the budget bargain bin, I'm afraid - if you want to sell the same story, you have to make it worth it, you have to make an effort, otherwise what's the point in calling the game a remake in the first place?
     
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  7. XDel

    XDel Author of the Alien Breed Odamex Projekt.

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    Unlike 99% of movie remakes, ya totally... though there have been some that should have just been left alone such as the Burgertime WiiWare release...

    ...they'd have done us all a great service by releasing Super Burgertime as a WiiVC instead.
     
  8. Gahars

    Gahars Bakayaro Banzai

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    I don't know. I just sorta... do.

    If you're interested, I'd definitely recommend the A.V. Club. They cover a wide range of media, from film and tv to music and books and, most recently, video games. The site can veer a little towards the hipsterish side, but overall the quality of the content is pretty solid. Even the comments section is pretty good, as far as comments sections go (the comments for Dexter easily score 10/10).
     
  9. Ryukouki
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    Ryukouki See you later, guys.

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    I will look into that! :D Always looking for sites where I could possibly grab a news item or source of inspiration. :)
     
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  10. Nightwish

    Nightwish GBAtemp Fan

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    The question is fairly generic, so I said yes. The idea of a remake is neither good nor bad and shouldn't be confused with a port, even if it happens many years later.
    For a good example, look at the Baldur's Gate remakes, they're pretty ace.
    Also, if copyright lengths were anywhere near sane, remakes would have no choice but to improve on the original, instead of... well, crap like this.
    Thank the deities for emulators and piracy.
     
  11. Missing Number

    Missing Number GBAtemp Regular

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    Remakes are important, IMHO.

    Think of games as books. Over time stories can be told time and time again, but sometimes the context is lost to all but the true historians and end up just being garbled nonsense to the current gen.

    With that being said, not all remixes are made equal. compare FFIV and VI's remakes..... one of the two shouldn't even be classed as one. When developing remakes, devs should do what they did with FFIV's opening and not be afraid to add in new mechanics, so long as it doesn't bastardize the source material
     
  12. Ryukouki
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    Ryukouki See you later, guys.

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    Definitely agree. I just find the whole mobile lineup of FF games to be disdainful.
     
  13. RikuCrafter

    RikuCrafter GBAtemp Regular

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    What's wrong with that remake? It's a port of the PSP remake.
     
  14. Nightwish

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    As far as I've read, it upped the difficulty so you are encouraged to microbuy your way forward.
     
  15. RikuCrafter

    RikuCrafter GBAtemp Regular

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    That's weird, I've been playing it and haven't even found an option for IAP.
     
  16. XDel

    XDel Author of the Alien Breed Odamex Projekt.

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    I would hope "pay for in game advancement" is not a feature in the series now. That would be a shame. Video games are like love, you can't just buy the feeling of accomplishment you get when you earn your way through a level or past a boss, puzzle, or what have you. There was a time and a place for such things, it was called the arcade, but at least that brought people together, literally.
     
  17. DinohScene

    DinohScene Capture the Dino

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    Rerelease in HD or exact remake in HD are great imho.

    But the way FF does it is just to much.
     
  18. loco365

    loco365 GBAtemp Guru

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    Yeah, they did. I was looking at FFVI Android on the Play Store last night, and it was in the changelog. The ONLY redeeming factor that this version has is that it has the original SNES audio. The Always-Online DRM and the graphics kill it for me.
     
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  19. Acidflare

    Acidflare HomeBrew Beta Tester

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    HD remakes are kind of different when looked at through source code though, go get a phat ps3 try to load up jak and daxter the precurssor legacy I personally can garuntee that it won't play at an even playable rate it's like playing it on a p4 using pcsx-2 when it could run a tad bit stable on something like a p4. but they remade it with HD graphics using an updated graphics engine and then it worked and now you can enjoy it,

    So yeah the HD Classic's are actually different, sony had to do the same thing with gow1/2 and the devil may cry series why? because the ps3 has no emotion engine which powered half of sony's personal library of ps2 games so they needed to remake them with newer graphical engines that didn't rely on the emotion engine gpu.
     
  20. the_randomizer

    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    Dr. Wahwee's castle

    Same. The game looks too much like an HD version of RPG Maker XP ;) Some remakes I'm fine with, others like this, not so much.