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Everyone loves retro games, playing that old Sonic or Mario game from 10 years ago gives you that warm fuzzy feeling inside. But can games nowadays give you that feeling? Or will you have to wait 10 years so you can reminisce? It seems that developers want to renew that warm nostalgic feeling, and making sequels just doesn’t cut it any more. Rebooting old games for new systems is becoming quite popular. But is it what we really want?

It seems that remaking a game from long ago can be seen as one of two things; either a fantastic idea, or a cheap cop-out. Got no ideas? Lets remake that game from 8 years ago! Throw on some pretty new graphics and apparently it’s a brand new game. Personally 90% of the time I think it’s a terrible idea, games should only be remade if there is an irrefutable demand for them. Games like Final Fantasy 7 or Ocarina of Time have had fans demanding remakes for years, and strangely enough, the games that are demanded the most, are the ones we do not get. Instead we get remakes like Tomb Raider Anniversary, which really, nobody wants.

Games companies these days are walking the razors edge, one slip up and they could end up closing down. Which is exactly why we get remakes and sequels, taking risks is far too… risky. We don’t get anything new. It’s not often we’ll get a brand new franchise that will blow us away, they’ll go back through the files to find something that impressed us way back when, throw some new wallpaper on it and hope that with current gen graphics it will impress us again. Sorry guys, that’s a no go. Are game remakes more profitable? Yes, simply because every gamer wants to see their favourite retro classic in HD or with spankin’ new graphics. Meaning that developers with take the easy way out just for a bit more cash in their pockets.

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New Vs. Old

It all comes down to money, refurbishing an old game with new graphics is a hell of lot cheaper than making a brand new one. Why spend oodles of money hiring artists and programmers when you can put a new coat of paint on something old? Companies won’t make a new game when they could make just as much money, if not more, on remaking a classic. The only company who know what they’re doing when it comes to classics is Nintendo, the Virtual Console is far better than getting remake after remake, increasing the availability of classic games should be the preference over remaking them.

Game remakes aren’t always bad, but they never seem to live up to the original versions. Simply because it’s never quite the same. Port’s are worse than remakes, what’s worse than remaking an old game with new graphics for money? Simply putting an old game on a new system. Ports are great when they come in the form of games like Chrono Trigger, but crap when you know that it’s just for the sales, like the new play control games for the Wii. New Play Control Mario Power Tennis? Seriously? Nintendo hit the mark with the Virtual Console, but missed with these. Remakes, of course, are trickier. But as long as the basic game premise is maintained, all you need to do is give the game some graphics and level maps, and its good to go.

Gamers love it when old games are released new and improved, not just new graphics but improved gameplay elements. A perfect example of this would be Capcoms recent Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix. Not only did the whole game get one hell of a face-lift, the movesets were rebalanced, online play was added and gameplay tweaks that they’ve learned since the original game was released were implemented. Now that’s a remake we can appreciate.

Pure Remake Perfection

Pure Remake Perfection

I’d push for game remakes if they were targeted at new gamers. The current generation of gamers haven’t even heard of half the games you grew up with. Ask the next kid you meet who Ecco the Dolphin or Geno is, see if they know. You may be buying you’re twelfth Final Fantasy game but for a lot of kids its their first. Pushing the old classics to give kids a taste of what they’ve missed is a great idea, but I don’t see it happening too often. Chrono Trigger was released before a lot of today’s gamers were even born, but with the Nintendo DS, they too can experience one of the greatest RPG’s of all time. Square-Enix for example have ported most of the old Final Fantasy games onto the GBA or DS, but don’t remake Final Fantasy VII, why? Because it’s cheaper to put Final Fantasy IV on the DS than Final Fantasy VII on the PS3. With one you just have to touch it up, the other requires a complete do-over.

I love my old games, breaking out my GameBoy to play Kirby’s Dream Land is something I do often. But as much as I love my classics, I’d never prefer a reboot of one to a hit new franchise. Companies need to start taking risks with new games, or else we’re just going to end up going around in circles. Being spoon-fed the same games for years to come. That’s something I do not want, and it’s the kind of thing that could cause me to stop playing games altogether. We bitch and moan about the games we want remade, and we complain that we never see anything new, gamers today seem to trying to play both sides and it just doesn’t work like that. Do you want new and exciting games? Or do you want you’re favourites remade? Having both would be nice, but it’s not something that’s going to happen.

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  1. The “new” Mario 64 screens blew me away. In my opinion, if Nintendo made a Wii version of Mario 64, in a different castle (with some of the levels as throwbacks), make the gameplay like Galaxy, it would be better than Galaxy. Gameplay aside, I liked the levels in “64″ much more.

  2. As much as I agree with you, I would re-buy FF7 in HD without fail.

    I’m a tragic, you know this :)

  3. Remakes have never matched the original game simply because of nostalgia for me. Most of the time they like to add a new feature or tweak something, can’t tell you how disappointed I was with Conker: Live and Reloaded.

  4. I think I like revitalized versions of games as much, if not more, than playing new ones.

  5. avatar Scott M

    I see your point with things like Tomb Raider: Anniversary, but Cloud & co’s look in things like Advent Children and Crisis Core has become the archetypal look for those guys in my mind, supplanting what was originally put there by FF7 so, whenever I do go back to the original game, as awesome as it is there’s always a part of me that’s pleading to see the game updated to match the spectacle of it’s impressive, yet inferior spin-offs.

  6. avatar Abaddon

    Three words Squeenix: Vagrant Story Remake.

  7. Sequels/Licenses are already too dominant over new IPs, hate remakes as I really have no inkling to re-buy a game I already played 10 years ago because it now has shiny graphics. I would much rather be amazed at new games like Mirror’s Edge, Bioshock, etc. than buy one of those Sega Collection Packs thingies. It reminds me of something Stephen Moffat (current writer for Doctor Who) had said at Comic-Con when people were asking about bringing stuff from the old series back. “my job isn’t to pander to nostalgia, my job is to create new nostalgia.”

    That is what game designers should be doing, making brand new games that 10 years time you’ll be breaking you dusty old PS3 out of the attic to get that retro game going. In

  8. avatar Name (Required)

    Rofl! Because kids who are trying these out for the first time are actually paying them! Rofl!

    Give me Final fantasy 7 remake and I’ll buy in a heart beat. A heart beat. I am no fanboy for consoles or even most things for that matter, but that thing is final fantasy 7!

    • avatar Nick

      Really, a lot of old-school RPGs could be brought fawrord. Final Fantasy VII, yes, of course. But my all-time favorite game is Xenogears. The execution on the Playstation was terrible, I’ll be the first to admit. The second half of it was never even finished (the last ten hours is basically reading a plot synopsis and fighting occasional boss battles), and the graphics were not good even by Playstation standards. But the world, and the characters, and the arc of the story you can just see the gem peeking out from underneath. A remake could fix the crap and deliver the game Xenogears should have been to start with. I’ve lusted for a remake since the PS2 came out. *sigh*

  9. avatar Kevin C

    Rofl! Because kids who are trying these out for the first time are actually paying them! Rofl!

    Give me Final fantasy 7 remake and I’ll buy in a heart beat. A heart beat. I am no fanboy for consoles or even most things for that matter, but that thing is final fantasy 7!

  10. As I am a newer gamer I don’t have the nostalgic connection to older games. However, as Tim is the one who converted me, I have come to understand the beauty of retro/older gaming. I usually enjoy both versions of games for different reasons… e.g. resident evil (old) hilarious voice acting and such + resident evil (remake) better graphics and less laughter during the tense moments. Both are fantastic and both are different. I think if every remake could follow that example, we’d be in good shape.

  11. @Abbadon
    I love Vagrant Story and would love to see a remake, that game gets no recognition.

  12. I loved Vagrant Story, but I found the combat to be a less fun Parasite Eve.

  13. Vagrant Story’s presentation really blew me away when I played it. Dark, dank and grim, the world of Valendia is definitely one I would like to see touched upon again with some improved hardware.

  14. It’s a bit of a double edged sword, re-makes that is, we get so much from so many of them but because of their release they dominate the market and swallow any of the smaller titles which have tons of potential. But at the same time I want my Zelda sequels/Prequels (Majora’s Mask/Wind Waker-brilliant) and I want my God of War 3 but the companies have to remind themselves that they are a business and need to stay alive-thus sequels are bought out and re-makes are made. I guess that is one thing we keep forgetting.

    I can’t say I’ve played any game, any NEW game, that has astounded me in terms of pushing the boundaries and made it a new experience.We are going in circles but it is hard to determine where that will end..

  15. avatar Richard Sparrow

    Lots of people are really wanting a Terranigma Remake.. but it’s never going to happen..

  16. avatar Jacky

    Madrat@25: Perhaps I should have mtoniened that we’ve only had our PS3 since Nov. ’08 and rarely have it connected to the netweb as it was moved misserably far from our router about a month after we got it. My partner tends to move furniture around a lot without regard for the need to hook stuff into other stuff. He seems to get bored with the lay of the land pretty quickly. That and the recent arrival of a little one have shoved gaming (and in particular randomly digging for remakes of past enjoyed games) to the back burner. Getting that longer piece of data cable is REALLY low on the priority list.

  17. avatar Cheryl

    Metal Warriors (SNES published by Konami)Possibly the best (only?) 2d sosidcrelling multiplayer mech game for the SNES.Little Nemo the Dream Master (NES)Marvelous sosidcrelling gameplay ala Adventure island, but with more creative/trippy level design, and references to the old Little Nemo comics.@IronEdithKidd Great call on the adventure games. I would love to share Sam Max with others, and I never got a chance to play Grim Fandango (my PC was too low-end at the time).@The Bus I had forgotten about Blast Corps! Great suggestion!

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