When a Game Remasters Juuuuuuust right

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What makes a remaster? Other than the urge to release something as a result of being out of ideas.

Okay bad question to start with. Let's try this, what makes a remaster work?

By right, the term itself means modernizing something old with new conventions, which could mean all sorts of benefits, like adding stuff, tweaking bugs, making it better obviously.

But, should a remaster have the need to repair the faults of the original game?

I mean, if you take something old filled with bugs, and have it reborn with all those issues fixed, is it still the same game?

Remaster? Best would be Ocarina of Time 3D. It did not vastly change -anything-. It upped the graphic quality, including giving Link his Majora's Mask belts, added a thing to help people if they get lost that is optional, added Master Quest, and made the Water Temple less confusing. Who knew that all it took to fix it was some vivid yellow lines?

Remasters should fix all negative bugs. Some might want to leave in fan-favorite bugs or exploits though if any. I prefer they not alter content too heavily though. I cant stand Majora's Mask 3D, cause it kept moving things, mostly in ways that make everything just kinda off which can really fuck with ya.

They generally should not 'update' it too much though cause it can also mess up how the game works. The remake of Metal Gear Solid 1 added a first person targeting mode thing that turned the fight against Revolver Ocelot into cake walk, since the whole fight was meant to use the over-head camera against the player.

Well... Once the Master Chief Collection was patched of all those damned horrible online bugs, definitely that one.

There's also Serious Sam Fusion 2017 which was basically a HUGE port of all their old SS games (except 2) from the old engine to their newest one (Serious Engine 4) which is QUITE an amazing engine.

Finally, Tomb Raider: Anniversary is probably the BEST Tomb Raider game ever made.

-

For the worst remaster though, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Remastered. Hands down. The SP was great but everything else was just awful.

(Skip to 1:40.)

A button that you press to toggle between the new and old graphics is de facto the best feature a remaster can have.

Aerosteam:
A button that you press to toggle between the new and old graphics is de facto the best feature a remaster can have.

Has any other games but the Halo remasters done that?

Saelune:

Aerosteam:
A button that you press to toggle between the new and old graphics is de facto the best feature a remaster can have.

Has any other games but the Halo remasters done that?

Not to my knowledge. :p

I've got to say that Homeworld: Remastered is the best I've ever seen. It left the core of the game alone, but applied a load of quality of life updates. It felt like the original, but looked modern and departed from all the old '90s UI design choices.

So, to answer the question, I think that a remastery needs to make UI fixes, update the graphics, apply some QOL updates, and maybe clean up any audio faults, but it should leave the core of the game, the gameplay, difficulty, etc, alone.

Saelune:

Aerosteam:
A button that you press to toggle between the new and old graphics is de facto the best feature a remaster can have.

Has any other games but the Halo remasters done that?

The Lucasarts point and click adventures like Full Throttle, Monkey Island and Indiana Jones all had remastered graphics you could switch instantly between and hte old graphics if you so desired.

Aside from that, the Goldeneye XBLA remake had it built in, but sadly never got released because Activision, Microsoft and Nintendo just couldn't make up their minds over who should get the most money over its sales :'(

Squilookle:
Aside from that, the Goldeneye XBLA remake had it built in, but sadly never got released because Activision, Microsoft and Nintendo just couldn't make up their minds over who should get the most money over its sales :'(

Goldeneye was great when it came out and was a very important step for console shooters. But Perfect Dark then came out not that much later and made it completely and entirely fucking irrelevant in every damn way. <3

Arnoxthe1:

Squilookle:
Aside from that, the Goldeneye XBLA remake had it built in, but sadly never got released because Activision, Microsoft and Nintendo just couldn't make up their minds over who should get the most money over its sales :'(

Goldeneye was great when it came out and was a very important step for console shooters. But Perfect Dark then came out not that much later and made it completely and entirely fucking irrelevant in every damn way. <3

Correction- made Goldeneye's multiplayer irrelevant in almost every way, with it's introduction of multiplayer bots, custom weapon loadouts and greater variety of modes and arenas. Goldeneye's singleplayer, on the other hand, still utterly wipes the floor with Perfect Dark, with far more replayability, balance, and a much more satisfying experience overall.

Squilookle:

Arnoxthe1:

Squilookle:
Aside from that, the Goldeneye XBLA remake had it built in, but sadly never got released because Activision, Microsoft and Nintendo just couldn't make up their minds over who should get the most money over its sales :'(

Goldeneye was great when it came out and was a very important step for console shooters. But Perfect Dark then came out not that much later and made it completely and entirely fucking irrelevant in every damn way. <3

Correction- made Goldeneye's multiplayer irrelevant in almost every way, with it's introduction of multiplayer bots, custom weapon loadouts and greater variety of modes and arenas. Goldeneye's singleplayer, on the other hand, still utterly wipes the floor with Perfect Dark, with far more replayability, balance, and a much more satisfying experience overall.

Meh. PD has more guns by far, better graphics, better functionality, and more customization (with Perfect Dark mode) than GE. And I think a lot of the levels are less linear than GE as well. Also, counter-op mode.

Black Mesa managed to get a lot right, but it was more of a Half-Life 2 experience set within the Black Mesa compound than an improved Half-Life 1 experience. Which is infinitely better than simply recreating HL1 maps with higher resolution textures, as all that does is emphasise just how much the game world has aged. Photo-realistic rock textures doesn't make a sheer-edged polygonal rockwall convincing; quite the opposite. It brings to the forefront the agedness of the game, which is like stepping in front of a high-def camera.

In some cases, it might be better to stick to graphical reduction: The boom in 3D popularity in the late 90s destroyed a lot of 2D franchises that jumped on the polygonal bandwagon. Escape from Monkey Island was a travesty that effectively killed an entire genre, and should've stuck to 2D rather than succumb to the allure of the third dimension. Thinking about it, it wasn't just the graphics that made it a stinker, but my point stands. A remaster--not that it's worthy of one--should return it to its cartoonish hand-drawn roots.

Take the remaster of Gods, for example:


Holy heck what an ugly mess

Making shit look better is not enough: there are so many more aspects to consider when remastering. It's not just graphics that need to be updated: the mechanics of the game might have been revolutionary in 1992, or 1998, or 2006, or whatever, but tastes change as fast as the technology that replaced these games. No matter what anyone says, the remake of Final Fantasy VII will never recreate what made the original so special, because the original's mechanics are decrepit and unthinkable in a modern-day game, charming and nostalgic as they still are. In fact, play most PS1-era games nowadays, and once the soaking of nostalgia has dried up, you'd invariably be left with a very, very hard, frustrating game that requires Battletoadsian muscle-memory-like reactions and endless replays of short, uninteresting sections of game that you have to master before you can continue. These narrative-interrupting mechanics of pure tedium are not only present in games like Tomb Raider II, but all the way up to Uncharted 3. Think about it: without the constant interruption by hundreds of armed guards preventing Drake from continuing to the Nazi sub or whatever, the Uncharted games would last about 2 hours. Cover-shooting for 15 minutes every 100 yards you run is just interruptive and hearkens back to the early days where you can see the exit, but you can't get there without dying 748 times. These mechanics have evolved, somewhat, in Dark Souls-era games. The frustration/constant death is still there, but at least nowadays you can change your approach, and choose your own pathway and tactics. Tomb Raider, ehhh, you had one route, and it was a bitch to conquer.

Arnoxthe1:
Tomb Raider: Anniversary is probably the BEST Tomb Raider game ever made.

Yes! Crystal Dynamics managed to take the fun puzzle/exploration part of the game, and cut out the frustrating mis-timed jumping elements. It was a 1996 narrative with 2006 mechanics, and 10 years of gaming is nearly three generations of ever-evolving technology.

My favourite remaster is Abe's Oddysey: New 'n' Tasty, as it sharpens the graphics and the controls, and keeps the puzzle elements (which are timeless) and secrets the same. It was a good-looking game at the time, and only really needed higher-resolution graphics in the remaster (plus a tightening of controls, signposting, and more-responsive animation). I was a little uneasy about the transition of 'pseudo-3D flip-screen 2D' to 'pseudo-2D Unity-based 3D', but after a few minutes playing, you can see why they took that route. I even liked the bloom, which people thought took the industrialised look of the original and turned it into funfair-levels of overexposure, but I think it adds to the otherworldliness of the game.

More guns, better graphics and functionality and customisation in PD yes, but singleplayer levels were much less linear in GE, and most would say counter-op, as amazing as it was, ran too slowly to be playable.

Don't get me wrong, Perfect Dark is the N64 game I go to first when I want some instant action multiplayer, but Goldeneye had the better singleplayer, with the same level of customisation (007 mode basically was Perfect Dark mode).

Also despite how many hundreds or thousands of hours I've put into PD loving every minute of it, I have to admit the design of it's arenas is pretty crap. Both Goldeneye and The World Is Not Enough had better multiplayer map design than PD.

Fixing original bugs, performance issues, etc. is of course an essential part, but also anything that adds interesting new content is appreciated, although it should be optional to the original experience.

Loved Tomb Raider: Anniversary, Shadow of the Colossus, Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin, God of War Collection. Perhaps the biggest surprise was the original Killzone, as I've heard the original was pretty rough performance-wise and I kinda gave up on ever being able to play it. I wasn't going to buy another PS2 for it so it was cool they redid that one.

Aerosteam:

Saelune:

Aerosteam:
A button that you press to toggle between the new and old graphics is de facto the best feature a remaster can have.

Has any other games but the Halo remasters done that?

Not to my knowledge. :p

Wonder boy on PS4 did it as well. I agree it's a neat feature.

Preferably a remaster just improves performance but keeps the rest intact. Not the biggest fan of up-resing SD resolutions as it just makes the texture quality much poorer. I recently played through one of my most favorite games of all time RE4 on PS4(which I believe is the 'ultimate PC edition') and noticed how bland and low on detail many 'filler' environments were. Something I never noticed on SD/tube television.

The PS3 port of Shadow of the Colossus actually greatly improved the experience by fixing the framerate and having way less stutter and being less jagged. With PS2 you really noticed how the game taxed the system to the max but the PS3 version ran much shooter.

Another would be Resident Evil Remake Remastered. The remake is a phenomenal game but here up-resing the pre-rendered backgrounds worked in the game's favor which shows how incredibly detailed they were even in 2002.

Saelune:

Aerosteam:
A button that you press to toggle between the new and old graphics is de facto the best feature a remaster can have.

Has any other games but the Halo remasters done that?

There was one game I saw that did that. I can't remember the name exactly. It was a side-scroller with a bit of metroidvania, where you could play as a small dragon, or a mouse with a shield, and a few other characters. The switching was extremely significant in this case, considering the original was an NES game. It let you switch from NES graphics with bit music, to hand-drawn with instrumental music, back and forth. It was like jumping between two completely different games with the exact same mechanics and level design. It made you want to keep switching back and forth in each area.

EDIT: Looks like Stroopwafel had the same idea. So as he said, it was called Wonder Boy. I saw a neat Lets Play of it.

I liked the DS version of Chrono Trigger even if the updated script did changed one of the funniest character interactions in the game. They changed the line where Frog called Slash "Sir Slush." That was funny! Oh well. Also they tried to tie it more into Chrono Cross which is something I try and ignore. I prefer to pretend Chrono Cross is a stand alone game with no connection to Chrono Trigger.

Saelune:
Remaster? Best would be Ocarina of Time 3D. It did not vastly change -anything-. It upped the graphic quality, including giving Link his Majora's Mask belts, added a thing to help people if they get lost that is optional, added Master Quest, and made the Water Temple less confusing. Who knew that all it took to fix it was some vivid yellow lines?

Remasters should fix all negative bugs. Some might want to leave in fan-favorite bugs or exploits though if any. I prefer they not alter content too heavily though. I cant stand Majora's Mask 3D, cause it kept moving things, mostly in ways that make everything just kinda off which can really fuck with ya.

They generally should not 'update' it too much though cause it can also mess up how the game works. The remake of Metal Gear Solid 1 added a first person targeting mode thing that turned the fight against Revolver Ocelot into cake walk, since the whole fight was meant to use the over-head camera against the player.

I never understood how people had trouble with the water temple I always found it pretty easy to do.

OT: They should fix fatel bugs and improve how the game looks and plays in ways to fit the new controller.

Oh and add some new content or some incentive like a new super dungeon or post game stuff.

Squilookle:
More guns, better graphics and functionality and customisation in PD yes, but singleplayer levels were much less linear in GE, and most would say counter-op, as amazing as it was, ran too slowly to be playable.

Don't get me wrong, Perfect Dark is the N64 game I go to first when I want some instant action multiplayer, but Goldeneye had the better singleplayer, with the same level of customisation (007 mode basically was Perfect Dark mode).

Also despite how many hundreds or thousands of hours I've put into PD loving every minute of it, I have to admit the design of it's arenas is pretty crap. Both Goldeneye and The World Is Not Enough had better multiplayer map design than PD.

Counter Co-op is prob one of my fav modes ever and I wish more games had it. The first few levels of PD and playing with a friend is damn fun.

Veldie:

Saelune:
Remaster? Best would be Ocarina of Time 3D. It did not vastly change -anything-. It upped the graphic quality, including giving Link his Majora's Mask belts, added a thing to help people if they get lost that is optional, added Master Quest, and made the Water Temple less confusing. Who knew that all it took to fix it was some vivid yellow lines?

Remasters should fix all negative bugs. Some might want to leave in fan-favorite bugs or exploits though if any. I prefer they not alter content too heavily though. I cant stand Majora's Mask 3D, cause it kept moving things, mostly in ways that make everything just kinda off which can really fuck with ya.

They generally should not 'update' it too much though cause it can also mess up how the game works. The remake of Metal Gear Solid 1 added a first person targeting mode thing that turned the fight against Revolver Ocelot into cake walk, since the whole fight was meant to use the over-head camera against the player.

I never understood how people had trouble with the water temple I always found it pretty easy to do.

OT: They should fix fatel bugs and improve how the game looks and plays in ways to fit the new controller.

Oh and add some new content or some incentive like a new super dungeon or post game stuff.

Well, based on the addition of the lines, its the tediousness of going back and forth, up and down, and changing water levels. Its not -hard-, its just not -fun- and that makes many people give up or not bother. And its annoying when you just cant seem to find that one key you missed.

Veldie:

Squilookle:
More guns, better graphics and functionality and customisation in PD yes, but singleplayer levels were much less linear in GE, and most would say counter-op, as amazing as it was, ran too slowly to be playable.

Don't get me wrong, Perfect Dark is the N64 game I go to first when I want some instant action multiplayer, but Goldeneye had the better singleplayer, with the same level of customisation (007 mode basically was Perfect Dark mode).

Also despite how many hundreds or thousands of hours I've put into PD loving every minute of it, I have to admit the design of it's arenas is pretty crap. Both Goldeneye and The World Is Not Enough had better multiplayer map design than PD.

Counter Co-op is prob one of my fav modes ever and I wish more games had it. The first few levels of PD and playing with a friend is damn fun.

I wish I got to play it more- whenever a friend was over we'd try it a bit and they'd say 'that was fun. Now let's do deathmatch!' and that was the end of it.

Did you know they were planning to put counter-op into Banjo-Tooie as well?

Squilookle:

Veldie:

Squilookle:
More guns, better graphics and functionality and customisation in PD yes, but singleplayer levels were much less linear in GE, and most would say counter-op, as amazing as it was, ran too slowly to be playable.

Don't get me wrong, Perfect Dark is the N64 game I go to first when I want some instant action multiplayer, but Goldeneye had the better singleplayer, with the same level of customisation (007 mode basically was Perfect Dark mode).

Also despite how many hundreds or thousands of hours I've put into PD loving every minute of it, I have to admit the design of it's arenas is pretty crap. Both Goldeneye and The World Is Not Enough had better multiplayer map design than PD.

Counter Co-op is prob one of my fav modes ever and I wish more games had it. The first few levels of PD and playing with a friend is damn fun.

I wish I got to play it more- whenever a friend was over we'd try it a bit and they'd say 'that was fun. Now let's do deathmatch!' and that was the end of it.

Did you know they were planning to put counter-op into Banjo-Tooie as well?

I could see it being much harder to implement in a Banjo game but it would be fun id think.

One of my fav things in PD was how you could disarm guards and they would raise there hands and beg you to spare em. Or if you shot them they would drip blood as they moved around leaving a trail.

Might seem minor but in the N64 days that was so cool to me and led me to do non kill runs of missions

Well, whenever I think of the perfect Remaster/Remake I think of Final Fantasy 4 DS, and it is probably what I'll always hold up as a shining example of what Remasters/Remakes SHOULD do until something surpasses it. They took a previous 2D Final Fantasy and made it 3D, with voice acting, cutscenes, reworked the translation, and a few other tweaks that does a lot to make the game feel new, but left the game as it was mostly alone. The combat system is largely the same, the areas are of the same configuration, and the story isn't altered much at all, which means it's an improvement for newcomers to enjoy and has enough changes to prompt the longtime fans to come back while also avoiding butchering it in the process. The graphics are a bit blocky but it's to be expected on the DS given it's capabilities, if it had been on an actual console it would've looked significantly better.

immortalfrieza:
Well, whenever I think of the perfect Remaster/Remake I think of Final Fantasy 4 DS, and it is probably what I'll always hold up as a shining example of what Remasters/Remakes SHOULD do until something surpasses it. They took a previous 2D Final Fantasy and made it 3D, with voice acting, cutscenes, reworked the translation, and a few other tweaks that does a lot to make the game feel new, but left the game as it was mostly alone. The combat system is largely the same, the areas are of the same configuration, and the story isn't altered much at all, which means it's an improvement for newcomers to enjoy and has enough changes to prompt the longtime fans to come back while also avoiding butchering it in the process. The graphics are a bit blocky but it's to be expected on the DS given it's capabilities, if it had been on an actual console it would've looked significantly better.

Funnily, thats one of my go to examples for my pet peeve of taking a 2d game and giving it 3d graphics for no particular reason (Other then the style of 3d is probably easier or more readily available then redoing the 2d art). Which seems to be Square's thing rolling right on to Secret of Mana now (although that one is also altering the game mechanics from the video I watched).

I'd much rather get the HD versions of the 2d art then retooling it into 3d models that are operating on a 2d space anyways.

I can't pick. All remasters are good. The more people can play it, the better.

Super Mario Bros 3 in the Super Mario Allstars bundle is probably my favorite redux. Everything is the same just with a new coat of paint. They didn't change the Mechanics to much and just fixed some glitches.

Pokemon Heart Gold and Soul Silver are probably my least favorite of good remakes because those games feel so much slower then the original. Maybe its gen because it was built on the same engine as Gen 4 or maybe there just a lot less mechanics in Gen 2 slow down pacing.

Veldie:

One of my fav things in PD was how you could disarm guards and they would raise there hands and beg you to spare em. Or if you shot them they would drip blood as they moved around leaving a trail.

Might seem minor but in the N64 days that was so cool to me and led me to do non kill runs of missions

Also you could shoot the guns out of their hands and hold them hostage, sometimes if you looked away too long or didn't pick up their gun, they would either pick it back up again or pull out a back up pistol. Annnnd you could use the psychosis gun to turn them against their own side. I could go on and on about the little things in that game, it really did push a lot of boundaries that still seem absent in even modern day shooters, ffs.

OT: Nobody mentioned The Last of Us remaster? GTAV remaster was/is pretty substantial too.

max734734:
What makes a remaster? Other than the urge to release something as a result of being out of ideas.

Okay bad question to start with. Let's try this, what makes a remaster work?

By right, the term itself means modernizing something old with new conventions, which could mean all sorts of benefits, like adding stuff, tweaking bugs, making it better obviously.

But, should a remaster have the need to repair the faults of the original game?

I mean, if you take something old filled with bugs, and have it reborn with all those issues fixed, is it still the same game?

To me good remaster is one that tackles 3 things:
I. attempts to apply fresh coating of paint
optimizes the game to modern machines and refurbishes graphics without killing the theme; if there were iconic glitches, you can recreate them in controlled manner (i.e. so you don't need to restart/load game) as a nod to the original game and people that knoww it.
II. checks what's under the hood and what is available/possible
matter of officially fixing outstanding bugs and inclusion, re-creation/adaptation of community mods (best games on PC always attract people capable of that) that don't change or rehash the game entirely.
III. finishes what was already started but left behind
final thing is taking all of the available code, leaked or shared information or even reaching out to original developers to create and include missing content, that for practical project management reasons had to be cut before launch and never found its way to the game.

That 3rd part is the most tricky one imo and often is treated by remaster creators as a pass to add in whatever they see fit as their own 'touch' to bring game to 'current year' standard/present relevance etc. In reality thou it is pretty much 'jerking off on a piece of art because one can and people will have to look at that'. Absolutely deplorable attitude. I don't say that re-creators should be working on their knees but healthy archeologist's attitude would be in order (preserve, recreate and most importantly don't damage/deface anything while working).

I'd love to see extended and remastered editions of i.e. DeusEx, DE: Invisible War, KotOR 2. Planescape torment happened already as did BG but in my opinion, both missed point of part 3 of their work (each in different way though).

Saelune:
Remaster? Best would be Ocarina of Time 3D. It did not vastly change -anything-. It upped the graphic quality, including giving Link his Majora's Mask belts, added a thing to help people if they get lost that is optional, added Master Quest, and made the Water Temple less confusing. Who knew that all it took to fix it was some vivid yellow lines?

Did it make the Shadow Temple less shit though?

Ironman126:
I've got to say that Homeworld: Remastered is the best I've ever seen. It left the core of the game alone, but applied a load of quality of life updates. It felt like the original, but looked modern and departed from all the old '90s UI design choices.

So, to answer the question, I think that a remastery needs to make UI fixes, update the graphics, apply some QOL updates, and maybe clean up any audio faults, but it should leave the core of the game, the gameplay, difficulty, etc, alone.

They toned down the difficulty in that remaster. It made they game WAAAAAAAY to easy.

But yea I agree in general. Dont touch the story and or gameplay.

iseko:

Ironman126:
I've got to say that Homeworld: Remastered is the best I've ever seen. It left the core of the game alone, but applied a load of quality of life updates. It felt like the original, but looked modern and departed from all the old '90s UI design choices.

So, to answer the question, I think that a remastery needs to make UI fixes, update the graphics, apply some QOL updates, and maybe clean up any audio faults, but it should leave the core of the game, the gameplay, difficulty, etc, alone.

They toned down the difficulty in that remaster. It made they game WAAAAAAAY to easy.

But yea I agree in general. Dont touch the story and or gameplay.

Did they? I was pretty young when I played the original, so I assumed the ease with which I beat the remastery was due to the fact I'm infinitely better at videos games 15 years hence. All I really know for certain is that they incorporated a lot of Homeworld 2 into the remastery and as a result the frigates are made of tin foil and weetabix.

Hmm. The original Homeworld was over-difficult in the Wastelands and Garden (especially Wasteland 2) until you figure it out - and those are pretty early levels.

Saelune:

Aerosteam:
A button that you press to toggle between the new and old graphics is de facto the best feature a remaster can have.

Has any other games but the Halo remasters done that?

Well I've been playing Starcraft Remastered and you can press F5 to go back twenty years.

I think it depends on how faithful the remaster is under the hood. Starcraft Remastered had to play exactly like the original, so it's easy to do. Other remasters have a different engine, a few tweaks here and there, they play like the originals but there are tons of subtle problems with trying to show the old graphics.

max734734:
What makes a remaster? Other than the urge to release something as a result of being out of ideas.

a remaster is when the developer gives you literally the exact same game, but just improves things like the Audio Quality, the picture resolution and Quality and the dev might include all the DLC from the original and such on the Disc.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Pokken Tournament DX are Remasters.

A Remake is when the Developer literally builds and "remakes" the game from scratch and might include things like new story elements and such.

Metroid: Samus Returns & Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowsers Minions are remakes.

Remakes > Remasters

Souplex:
Did it make the Shadow Temple less shit though?

The only bad things about the Shadow Temple (although the problems are kinda substantial) are two things. One, the puzzle to actually, you know, get to the boss door was so bloody obscure and that should have been changed. And two, the boss itself was pretty anti-climatic. If I had it my way, I would have made the Shadow Temple the last temple in the game and would have had it give some insight around Ganon's dark powers and/or life. Perhaps also put in some show-but-don't-tell stories about Hyrule's nasty little atrocities in the past that it sometimes clearly hints at in the game proper.

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