No Right Answer: Are Remastered Video Games Stupid?

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Are Remastered Video Games Stupid?

As the prophetic Jim Sterling foretold, Resident Evil is being remade...again. Is this a stupid, unimaginative move, or a way to introduce new audiences to great games?

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Remasters are shameless cash grabs more times than not.

and yes while Black mesa was nice.. it was never bloody finished!

Take Doom3 BFG Edition.

I don't mind an update to a classic. Sometimes it's fun to see what they can do with an older game. The Halo Anniversary game was great. I expect Halo 2's update in the Master Chief Collection will be similarly great. They're doing a ton of work and including a ton of content as well as some things that have never been available before. Like Halo 1 online multiplayer. That's exciting for fans of the series, myself included.

And even if they are just throwing old games in a collection, sometimes there is value in having your favorites available for the new systems. I picked up the Ratchet & Clank collection for the PS3 and I loved replaying those older great games.

Bottom line, if the fans want it I don't feel it's a cash grab. That's just answering market demand. That's how economics works.

Of course there are exceptions. As a counterpoint, Capcom throwing old unchanged RE 2 & 3 code onto the PSN and XBLA for insanely high prices, that's the ones I'll call a cash grab. And no one was asking for that or wanted that. An update that has some work put into it though? By all means, so long as it's well done. Great games live on in our memories for a reason and sometimes it's desirable to revisit a beloved piece of your past.

The problem with many Remasters is that they only improve upon the presentation. Granted, graphics are somewhat important in games, but there is more to a good videogame. A remaster that only improves the presentation is like re-releasing a book, but instead of using cheap,super-thin, slightly brownish paper you use thicker, slightly whiter paper instead of ironing out plot-holes and grammatical errors.

If Remasters would actually improve gameplay, improve map-layouts, make the AI smarter, tweak the in-game economy, offer more unlockables and such things, people would be much more open to the idea I think.

The Resident Evil remake for instance is going to incorporate a new relative control scheme. I personally won't be using it, but I know many people can't stand the absolute one from the older games. So that is an improvement which makes the remake seem not as lazy as other Remasters.

I haven't played it but does The Last of Us on PS4 actually improve upon the PS3 version? Other than the presentation I mean? Is the AI smarter? Is the item-management better? Is it an overall better experience or just a better looking experience?

ZZoMBiE13:
And even if they are just throwing old games in a collection, sometimes there is value in having your favorites available for the new systems. I picked up the Ratchet & Clank collection for the PS3 and I loved replaying those older great games.

Bottom line, if the fans want it I don't feel it's a cash grab. That's just answering market demand. That's how economics works.

This. I don't mind Last of Us for PS4 because it was selling not to people who bought the game on PS3, but to all the people who didn't have a PS3 (either because they had 360s/Wiis and switched to PS4 this generation) or people getting a PS4 as their first console. Would Naughty Dog mind if you bought the game over again? Not at all, but they're looking to sell to a market they didn't have before.

Also, while odds are good that the people on this website have more than one gaming system, a lot of people don't; either they don't have the money, or they play games irregularly enough that they don't see plunking down $300+ for an additional console they will use once every year or so for an exclusive as a good investment. If you can say to those people, "Here is all the Halo games, which are very popular and well-received, and they will only cost you $60 with no worrying about getting a compatible system," you're going to make bank. Even people who have the old systems will think about getting the shiny new versions that are conveniently at hand on one disc.

"Cash grab" is such a worthless term. All games are fundamentally cash grabs on the "AAA" level.

I do, however, think both of you guys are right in most senses. While there are some remasters I like, there are more than a few where I think "what's the point?"

However, I disagree on TLOU. Considering how many new people are buying Playstation 4s, the remastered edition is the first edition to many gamers. I don't know about you, but if I've never owned a PS3, spending 200 bucks for last gen's console and then more to get the games doesn't make sense. Ignoring the part where some of them may be new to gaming entirely and want to play that "best game evar!!!!!!" many played exclusively non-PS consoles last gen.

Consider, then, that these games may not be made for you and me. Though Halo's rerelease appears to be made for the fans.

Instead of no right answer, I think there are two.

BigTuk:

and yes while Black mesa was nice.. it was never bloody finished!

Much like the Half-Life series!

Can't honestly disagree that most remasters are shameless cash-grabs, it doesn't change the fact that they can still be necessary. With how much the industry and, increasingly, gamers have clamored for better and better graphics, the 3D models of no more than seven years ago would probably turn off less dedicated players who would rather play something just as engaging but with better models. So, for games like that or games with problems made before the days of console patches, I can understand the need. Furthermore, even though applying graphics mods to PC games really isn't that difficult, I also understand that people new to PC gaming would probably be mystified by it and would rather just purchase an HD rerelease.

The only points I can speak against the practice are the price points and doing it to non-3D games. Remasters should never be the same in price to a full price game, it's improbable that the amount of work put into them is the same as the amount of work put into a brand new game so the premium is unnecessary. If non-3D games must be remastered they should be done as close to the original graphics as possible, see Squeenix's Android releases of Final Fantasy games for awful vector graphics and a general guide of what not to do.

Also, I fully expect Valve to ship Half-Life 3 with the first batch of Steamboxes as their way of proving that it isn't vaporware. A man can dream...

Re-releases can be great!
Re-releases can be terrible!

For example, changing game play and redoing all the models to look better is a damn shame, because I could just play the newer games in the series if I wanted that. If all they did was add new resolutions, add the ability to enable new graphics technologies such as better anti-aliasing, then released it at a low price, it's great!

If they bundled Halo 1-3 together, set them to 1080@60fps, and priced it at 10-20$, that shit would sell like hotcakes, and not take very much time to create, considering all they have to do is make them compatible with a new version on windows (ie. the Xbox 1). Shit, two of the games already run on Windows 8, and to quote Wikipedia's Xbox 1 page:

The Windows kernel on the Xbox is not compatible with standard Windows programs, though developers will be able to port them over with little effort

BigTuk:
Remasters are shameless cash grabs more times than not.

and yes while Black mesa was nice.. it was never bloody finished!

Take Doom3 BFG Edition.

A shameless cash grab doesn't necessarily need to be...er...bad though.

If the core product is respected, it is simply an update for the future. Not everything needs an update though, examples incoming:

Heroes of Might and Magic 3. I played this on LAN this summer vacation and it still kicks enormous amounts of ass. There is no need for a new one as the original both 1: works on new systems (at least the gog version) and looks fine.

Resident Evil 1: I LOVED the original. In fact, I loved it so much that for a few years ago I bought a used gamecube just so I could play the update. And it was GLORIOUS. If the new version is anything like that, I will easily pay to get it on my ps3. It is a game I would have NO problems playing again.

Is the resident evil one a cash grab? I wouldnt think so, the original is pretty far gone, and it looks awful. A new version would be fine.

Re-releasing all the halo games. Or even The Last of Us? Shameless cash grab and pointless. There really aint that much to improve. Especially with Last of Us.

Remakes would be 100% unnecessary for any games of the Gamecube, PS1, Xbox generation or later if you offered full backwards compatibility in all systems to go back that far. Re-releasing or remaster old cartridge based games, I fully understand because the technology has evolved to a point to where we simply can't play the Super Mario Bros cartridge on a WiiU, but for a very small price, we can just buy an downloadable version of that same game.

I'm against the remake, remaster, re-released unless it is to bring back something that can't be played, or to improve on something that actually benefits from the improvements. And as for stuff like the Last of Us or Tomb Raider Definitive Edition, they wouldn't be needed if the current gen consoles were backwards compatible. But MS and Sony want more money and won't offer those options to those of us willing to pay for those options (because there are plenty out there that want said options). So this is just something we're stuck with until people actually do something interesting in this generation of games. :(

it depends on the remaster really, Tomb Raider, Last of Us, Halo MCC are not good remasters because the games still look good on their original console and are very easy to find so it wasn't really necessary

Resident Evil is insanely difficult/expensive to get on the GameCube when you consider that you need to get the console, a working controller, memory card, a non HD TV, and the game itself. So while it sucks that it's not a new game it's kinda cool that gamers that started playing video games with 360 back in 2005 get to try out one of the best games in the RE franchise.
Now if only Konami would remaster the Twin Snakes for PS4 as well

Is it unimaginative? Yes. Is it lazy for the publishers? Yes...

Is it stupid or unnecessary? No, it is not. For a medium so tied with technology, having to remaster sucesful games now and then is pretty much a necessity.

Zachary Amaranth:
Considering how many new people are buying Playstation 4s, the remastered edition is the first edition to many gamers. I don't know about you, but if I've never owned a PS3, spending 200 bucks for last gen's console and then more to get the games doesn't make sense. Ignoring the part where some of them may be new to gaming entirely and want to play that "best game evar!!!!!!"

Wouldn't this issue be solved much more efficiently if the console manufacturers weren't intent on axing backwards compatibility? I think there is a merit to a remaster after some amount of time, but anything from the last gen would almost certainly have been better served by just having backwards-compatible consoles.

I am playing Wind Waker HD for the first time right now, so I'll be sure to look for your name in the credits once I beat it XD

Mega Man Powered Up. it sucks that it was put on the god damned PSP rather then a PS3/360 Arcade release but STILL!

All the criticism of HD editions and remasters comes from core gamer's and games journalist's lack of perspective if you ask me.

They all own a Wii, Xbox 360 and PS3 plus a nextgen console/beefy PC and two thirds of those games that are getting remastered. From that perspective, the remasters are a bad deal (no shit!).
But that's all these remasters are, they're a bad deal for your group of people. It's not reflective of the gaming public at large and it's not like anyone HAS TO BUY THEM (but that seems to be the implication here).

Sony announced that many PS4 owners were not on PS3, why do you want those guys to spend another $200 just so they can play The Last of Us or PS3 hit soandso?

Also, when criticising Remaster practise, you're essentially defending exclusivity, just that it's not exclusivity of manufacturers (Sony/Microsoft), but exclusivity of console generations (PS2/PS3/PS4).

As for the cash grab argument... I'd rather have X people buy a remastered edition of a game than have microtransactions in my game.
I don't fear that remasters could hurt a studio's new game too much either, as remasters in the style of The Last of Us or Sleeping Dogs HD are pretty much just work for marketers and coders, both of which don't have a lot to do in pre-production.

Did anyone here complain when they started re-releasing movies on Blu-Ray and iTunes? :D

shirkbot:

Zachary Amaranth:
Considering how many new people are buying Playstation 4s, the remastered edition is the first edition to many gamers. I don't know about you, but if I've never owned a PS3, spending 200 bucks for last gen's console and then more to get the games doesn't make sense. Ignoring the part where some of them may be new to gaming entirely and want to play that "best game evar!!!!!!"

Wouldn't this issue be solved much more efficiently if the console manufacturers weren't intent on axing backwards compatibility? I think there is a merit to a remaster after some amount of time, but anything from the last gen would almost certainly have been better served by just having backwards-compatible consoles.

Backwards compatibility is nice but, in the big picture, its a relatively rare thing to have. During the 8bits/16bits era, it was unthinkable to have a new console playing old games. Nintendo introduced it with the gamecube/wii, and Sony with the PS1/PS2, but it was mostly by "accident" (the fact the PS2 and PS1 shared some key components made it feasible. The fact that this doesn't happens with the PS2/PS3 or PS3/PS4 was what make it not economically profitable).

My point is that remakes are necessary because for 80% of the history of the medium, backwards compatibility has been nothing but a pipe dream, and it seems like it will still be in the near future...

I have played several "Remastered" games in my life. Some are great, some are okay, some are terrible. Sometimes you get a huge improvement, like Shadow of the Colossus HD fixing the framerate issues of the original, and sometimes you get an utter disaster, like Silent Hill HD Collection being unbelievably worse in every last possible way compared to the originals.

Speaking of re-releases I saw you guys had the final fantasy X remaster limited edition on a bookshelf.I'm pretty jealous because they didn't sell it here in Canada so I had to get the standard one. Though it seems like a pretty good re-release aside from changing some music tracks and art.

All games are made as cash grabs, don't get any illusions.
The care and amount of polish that go into it by the actual making of it is what matters.

Also, you guys constantly talk about hooking up older systems...
It's not like everyone has those, and getting a hold of them is only going to get harder and harder.

So there is a case by case need to say: Good remake, or bad re-release.

They should give us the "remastered" as a patch for FREE! like what cdproject did with the witcher. How come developers never show gamers any gratitude for our support?

Remastering games has a more positive than negative effect if the timing is right. For example: Metal Gear Solid hit the PS1 in 1998, then was remade in 2003 (or '04?) for the Gamecube, and that was the version I was able to beat. Besides, so many classic games are made for now-obsolete systems, so we WANT to play them, and they may not have a PC version available.

I'm glad they're re-releasing REmake. I never got a chance to play it on the Gamecube, and it's fucking impossible to find nowadays. It was also exclussive to Gamecube, whereas now it's getting a PS3, PS4, 360, Xbone, and I'm assuming PC release.

But then I have no issues with HD remake/remasters in general. Whether it's movies, music, or games, everything gets re-released and remastered for whatever new tech hit the scene. And it's a nice way to show off older stuff in a more technological advanced way. And it's not like the original won't still be there... well, most of the time. Not when counting REmake, that's for sure.

Remastering/remaking something that only came out a few years ago strikes me as pointless. Doing this with something from a previous eon that can benefit from all the advances from then until now is fine, or even great. Something like those old terrible-looking early DOS games or early Win95 games with dodgy compatibility.

Reselling something in a collection is good, especially if it's for older systems that aren't easy to come by.

shirkbot:

Wouldn't this issue be solved much more efficiently if the console manufacturers weren't intent on axing backwards compatibility? I think there is a merit to a remaster after some amount of time, but anything from the last gen would almost certainly have been better served by just having backwards-compatible consoles.

How much extra are you willing to pay for backwards compatibility, though? That was one of the primary forces behind the price of the PS3 early on. I mean, Nintendo can get away with it because the guts of a Wii cost a buck fifty to add in nowadays, but in all probability you're looking at another two hundred bucks for backwards compatibility on either Nintendo or Microsoft's consoles. Do you think the market would support 600-700 dollar consoles? Software compatibility had no end of trouble last gen, too. I'm not sure that's necessarily a guarantee of efficiency.

Would backwards compatibility be nice? Yeah. Would it readily cure the woes here? Maybe. Would it do so in an efficient fashion? Probably not.

As with all games, it depends on how well it's done. I bought Ocarina of Time HD and loved it, having never owned a N64. I'd also buy Majora's Mask HD if only Nintendo would actually make it.

I think we can all agree though, that if a company loses or destroys part of it's coding, they probably shouldn't try to remaster it anyway.

There are so many factors that it varies from game to game. Super Mario All Stars added the lost levels, and upgraded all the graphics. Silent Hill removed the factors of creepy that made it a good game.

Its pretty much a case by case basis.

I play most of my games on PC, and I also own a 360, but I've never owned any Playstation console. Rereleasing the best PS games for PS4 - specifically Last of Us and the Uncharted series, would make that a very tempting purchase for me. I played Resident Evil 4 for the first time this year on PC (and loved it). I've never played RE2 or 3 so would like to see those come to Steam.

On the other hand, games I've already played, I have no desire to buy again just for some shinier graphics. The Metro series immediately comes to mind.

Does Tomb Raider Anniversary count? It was almost a complete rebuild of game mechanics and level design. Its probably my favourite game in the series so I'm glad that happened.

Are Remastered Video Games Stupid?

I can answer this question with two words and a number: Dungeon Keeper 2
I cannot play this game. Really, it is hideous. I want to like this game, but the graphics are in this first gen 3D and look like folded paper.
Re-Release it with todays graphics and you get a game that gives the player no eye cancer.

There are two types of remakes in my mind:
1) The remake in which they do very little but upscale the resolution to something more modern. I consider this to be a cash grab as they hardly did anything to make it look better. The Last of Us Remastered (More understandable considering that the game was very new)
2) The remake in which they completely redo all of the assets for the game. This kind of remaster is worthwhile, and a lot of effort obviously went into making it. Example: Halo: CEA and the Master Chief Collection.

It depends. I like a good remake. For example, I've been waiting for ever for a remake to FF7, so I can play it. I've simply become too accustomed to modern-day graphical standards to play the old version (which hasn't aged well), and want to pay money and buy a new one.

I want to play Majora's mask again, but I simply won't until a remake comes out. The N64 textures and art style of that game ages poorly, and it needs a serious facelift (before I put it ahead of the other games in my backlog). I know Nintendo's working on it.

While we're on the Zelda category, I just finished WWHD. That's a game that really didn't need a remake. It aged fine. And yet, playing it on the gigantic new Samsung, I'm glad it exists. It was carefully crafted, and wasn't just a shit-out version (and thank god, because it's my favorite game).

I see nothing wrong with making remakes. At the end of the day, it's up to the consumer to choose whether or not to buy it. And games aren't like movies - the old-time quality of an old movie can make it charming, but the poor textures of an old game make it difficult to get through.

If only someone would remake Space Station Silicon Valley. It'll never happen, which I guess means I'll just never stop bringing it up.

captcha: i love lamp

Most remastered rereleases have been good for me. I never played Shadow of the Colossus or Ico. Playing a PS2 on an HD tv looks horrendous and muddy. I don't own a tube tv anymore so remasters are good for me. I never personally owned or beat any of the Halo games but I have an Xbox One now so that would be a good investment.

I bought a Vita for the sole purpose of playing Persona 4. I tried to play P4 on an emulator but the disc would stop spinning and the game would lag until the disc started spinning again. I've up more games for Vita so it was a good investment as well.

Of course remastered video games are bad. Is it stupid though? well if you keep paying for them then no its smart way to make them richer.

See, if the game is built well to begin with, it will scale with new hardware and will be just fine. ive seen Silent Hill 1 in 4k resolution and you wouldnt really say its that old of a game if you didnt knew it.

Meanwhile doing something that should be automated based on hardware and then asking extra money for it seems to somehow work, for example Tom Raider, The Last of Us.

Mat is wrong with the "Crap version" argument. If a game is good, it will remain good 10 years after. If it doesnt, it wasnt that good to begin with no was it. Also as he correctly points nostalgia is a very strong factor why people love older games. Thing is, most of the time its more fantasy than reality. For example i utterly love Orda. Looking objectively though its a horrible game.

geier:
Are Remastered Video Games Stupid?

I can answer this question with two words and a number: Dungeon Keeper 2
I cannot play this game. Really, it is hideous. I want to like this game, but the graphics are in this first gen 3D and look like folded paper.
Re-Release it with todays graphics and you get a game that gives the player no eye cancer.

I played DK and DK2 last year. yes, the graphics are pretty bad, but its still fun to play. Also DK1 has fan made engine rebuild, which is free and uses DK files to make thier own game (its actually identical to original, they just say similar for legality reasons) which improves the graphical problems a bit.
Besuide the half-working menus in DK2 otherwise the game works fine.

senkus:

Sony announced that many PS4 owners were not on PS3, why do you want those guys to spend another $200 just so they can play The Last of Us or PS3 hit soandso?

Also, when criticising Remaster practise, you're essentially defending exclusivity, just that it's not exclusivity of manufacturers (Sony/Microsoft), but exclusivity of console generations (PS2/PS3/PS4).

the fault here lies with Sony for limiting TLOU to PS3 to begin with.
Also had console manufacturers pulled their heads out of their asses and followed manufacturing standards, backward compatibility wouldnt be an issue. See - PC backward compatibility.

So in the end, It would all be Sonys problem that they created themselves.

Regardless of how you feel about remastering, can we all agree it's dumb to call the it things like "definitive edition" as if the people who bought the original don't own the 'true version'? That really pisses me off.

GoodNewsOke:
The problem with many Remasters is that they only improve upon the presentation. Granted, graphics are somewhat important in games, but there is more to a good videogame. A remaster that only improves the presentation is like re-releasing a book, but instead of using cheap,super-thin, slightly brownish paper you use thicker, slightly whiter paper instead of ironing out plot-holes and grammatical errors.

If Remasters would actually improve gameplay, improve map-layouts, make the AI smarter, tweak the in-game economy, offer more unlockables and such things, people would be much more open to the idea I think.

The Resident Evil remake for instance is going to incorporate a new relative control scheme. I personally won't be using it, but I know many people can't stand the absolute one from the older games. So that is an improvement which makes the remake seem not as lazy as other Remasters.

I haven't played it but does The Last of Us on PS4 actually improve upon the PS3 version? Other than the presentation I mean? Is the AI smarter? Is the item-management better? Is it an overall better experience or just a better looking experience?

But if you change those things, people would be annoyed by the lack of faithfulness. In reality, most people want remasters to be the same exact game with better graphics so it doesn't feel so outdated and old when they play it. Such as Final Fantasy 7. It may be a cash grab most of the time, but change too much of the game and you haven't remastered anything, you just made a very similar game.

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