Show Some Love

Posted on Dec 2nd 2017 at 08:00:00 AM by (Crabmaster2000)
Posted under Remake, Video Game, Remake, Remaster, Rerelease, HD, Collection,

In some forms of media, the word ďremakeĒ can be a scary thing. In the realm of Video Games though that word is often embraced and encouraged. In fact, the word "remake" often doesnít do this ďnewĒ release justice, so many sub-catergories have been created to better describe a new version of an old favorite. You may have heard terms such as: Port, Enhanced Port, HD Remake, Re-Release, Localization, Directorís Cut, Compilation, Backwards Compatibility, Virtual Console, Emulation, Complete Edition, Game of the Year Edition, Legendary Edition, Demake, and so many others people use to better describe the type of experience you can expect from an impending release.

The practice of remaking video games for new audiences has been around since nearly the beginning of video gaming history and can be traced back to at least the 1970s. Itís basically a necessity in most markets, since unlike movies or music, there is no universal standard, such as DVD/Blu-Ray or CD/Vinyl, to experience video games on in any given generation. Itís a very fractured medium. For example, if you wish to experience the seminal classic that is Street Fighter II, your options are staggering. You can play it on arcade hardware, a SNES cartridge (on this console you have multiple options available), digital emulation is an option, a brand new remastered and enhanced version is available on the Switch, if you grew up in Europe you may have even had a copy on cassette to play on your ZX Spectrum home computer, and those are just a few of the dozens of options. Essentially, to expand the potential audience to as many people as possible, a company would have to release their game on as many platforms as possible.

Even hardware has become prone to remakes and has been gaining momentum as of late. While Plug n Play systems such as the Atari Flashback, with a collection of classic games bundled into the console itself, has been around for decades. The NES Classic Mini and more recently the SNES Classic Mini have been filling up wishlists and shopping carts for gamers lucky enough to score one of these highly desirable consoles. These kinds of hardware/software bundles are being re-released for much the same reason software does, to maximize an audience that may not have the ability to experience these games without modern technologies.

Some people may grow up with remakes and not even have realized it. I know several kids who only had this as their introduction to Super Mario

Itís not all sunshine and roses in the world of remakes though. Sometimes companies make mistakes and have to deal with the ire of fans. The cult classic Nintendo 64 game Conkerís Bad Fur Day was remade on the original Xbox hardware after Microsoft purchased developer Rare.  This new version saw heavy censorship for a title that was known for itís lewd content. Needless to say, this didnít go over well with fans of the game. The upcoming Final Fantasy VII remake is something fans have been pleading for for nearly two decades. When initially announced, there was much celebration. As more information is given about its impending release, many fans are becoming nervous as developer Square Enix seems to be taking many liberties with the original content such as messing with the classic turn-based battle systems and deciding to release it as episodic content rather than as a stand alone release.

This repackaged and rereleased game had a huge impact on me as a child. Absolutely would have missed out on it if it was stuck solely on the Sega CD.

With the recent sales successes of Crash N. Sane Trilogy, the NES Classic, Metroid Samus Returns, and countless others, there is no reason to believe remakes are going to slow down, and I for one could not be happier. While I already own many of the games being remade and donít wish to purchase too many of them myself, it fills me with great joy knowing that a whole new generation of bright-eyed gamers are digging into some of the very games that shaped me into who I am as I grew up playing them. It also ensures that new game developers growing up now are going to be influenced by material from a wide variety of generations and not simply the small window they were accidentally born into. So far this has allowed my son and I to share a love of games like Zelda, Shovel Knight, Duck Tales, Pokemon, Mario, Marvel vs. Capcom and so many others. When it comes to movies, music, and books, we share very little in terms of common interests, but because of how widespread and accepted remakes are in the world of video games itís allowed both our generations to blend and merge into a general acceptance of a wide variety of content. This is a trend that I hope never ends.

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honestly, I'm always happy when old games are made playable on new hardware. I'd always rather have too many games to choose from than not enough.
I always have mixed feelings, but I think that is nostalgia talking.  For the most part a remake is to be celebrated, if not for anything new associated with the game, but for the chance for a new group of players to experience the game.  Recently I've been crushing on Wonderboy: The Dragon's Trap (a graphical remake of the SMS game, which also contains the original) and River City Ranson: Underground (more of a sequel, but keeping to the 8-bit aesthetics of the original while introducing ten characters with wildly different fighting styles).  Keep'em coming, is what I say.

Great read, Crab.
Super Mario All*Stars was the reason I got a SNES
Another chance to play an excellent game is always worth a re-release to me, even without any improvements at all. Some games are just great the way they are.

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