koola's little side of the internetkoola's little side of the internet

Posted on Mar 30th 2024 at 06:18:05 PM by (koola6)
Posted under The Return of a Game, remasters, rereleases, remakes

Hey. I'm koola. I already forgot to do my first two articles of the year. So that's fun.

Something I've been thinking about recently is the remaster. What does "remaster" even mean, why are there so many of them, and what is the difference between one and a "remake" or "rerelease"?

First, let's start with remasters, as there are a lot of things claiming to be remasters.

The simple definition of "remaster" in this day and age is simply the rerelease of a game. I argued with myself a lot writing that sentence, because you would assume that for something to be called "Remastered" it would have to have some changes, right? There are many different types of remasters, but I find they can be easily categorized as rereleases, HD rereleases, and full-on remakes.

There are very few games considered to be remasters that are simply rereleases (excluding collections of classic games such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: the Cowabunga Collection or Mega Man Legacy Collection.

A good example of a game considered a remaster that is simply a rerelease is the video game simply titled moon. Originally released in Japan only on the PlayStation, the game got what most consider to be a remaster in 2019 that would port it to the Nintendo Switch, PS4, and PC and add a full English translation. Ever since I started playing the game, a thought lingered in the back of my mind: "Why do people consider this a "remaster"?".

moon's rerelease in 2019 added a couple of things: a song select that allowed you to pick from a couple of area theme songs from throughout the game (similar to Earthbound's Sound Stone, if you know what that is), and a border, because the game was originally in 4:3 (being a PS1 game) that you could slightly adjust the position of through the settings menu. Upon reading that, you may wonder why the game was even bothered to be call itself a remaster. Plot twist: it didn't. The 2019 rerelease of moon claims to be exactly that. The only additional thing it claims to have is a full English translation, which it does have. (A fact that I am extremely grateful for, as I am a resident of the United States of America and thus only speak English.)

Next, let's talk about HD rereleases. A good recent example of an HD rerelease is Super Mario 3D All-Stars. Super Mario 3D All-Stars is an emulated collection of games (specifically Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy, contained in a small little package to celebrate the Mario series's 35th anniversary. Although I do like this game, I would not consider HD rereleases "remasters" in the literal definition of the word, as they aren't remaking the game, and most of the time they aren't even running natively.

Lastly, let's talk about full-on remakes. These are what most people meant when "remasters" first came on the scene, and that's because that's what most of them are. These are remakes of the original from the ground-up, remaking every aspect of the game to be in-line with modern standards. Oftentimes, these also come with an easy mode or the removal of lives from the game. These are my favorite, and in my opinion the only ones deserving of the title "remaster".

When it comes to remasters in general, I think they're a good thing, because it helps people who may have never heard of the game before try it out and see if they like it. A game's age doesn't matter as long as the game is fun, after all, and for that I am grateful for remasters.

I've been koola, and "Re-Pac" isn't a word.

(Sorry for the lateness and rushed state of this article. I've been focusing a lot on things going on in real life, and have also been playing waaay too much Pizza Tower...)

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Interesting reflection, and good to have clarity in the respective definitions so as to manage expectations.  The older I get, the more interest I have in QoL additions like save-states and improved performance.  But even just having an older, less accessible game re-released is still a win in my book.

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Welcome to my little side of the internet! This is where I post game reviews, video-game related things, and stuff about MY game, OMNIFATE. Expect a new article about every month; sometimes I post more than once in a month or take five-month long breaks.

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