Opinion: Remakes, Yay or Nay?

Lately I’ve been playing through The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, the remake of 1998’s timeless classic and the reason many of us bought Nintendo 3DS’s so early. It’s got me thinking, are remakes good or bad? What remakes are done better than others? I’ve played plenty of remakes in the past decade. Are enhanced remakes, HD ports/remakes or full remakes the way for a series to go? How can you determine this? I had so many questions, so I decided this week it would be a good idea to bounce my ideas around. Let’s get started, shall we?

As I mentioned, I’m currently playing the enhanced remake of Ocarina of Time, but how does it fair against the original? Well, honestly, it’s almost exactly the same, it’s primarily a graphical enhancement. With that on the mind, does this make for a good type of remake, one that doesn’t change or improve the core gameplay and is instead a graphical enhancement. I think this is the perfect kind of remake for those “timeless classic” type games such as Ocarina of Time, Halo: Combat Evolved, and Super Mario Bros. It’s not really “Selling out” or “Milking” especially if they’re released for a lower amount of money than they originally went for and have a large gap of time in between. Enhanced remakes are the perfect way for a new group of gamers to experience a game us older gamers used to play without the aging looks.

One game I absolutely love is the God of War series. I almost never get enough of Krato’s rage and often get lost in the Greek mythos. So of course, when the God of War Collection launched in stores I was on it day one. Popped it into the disc drive and away I went. But how does the brutal killing compare to the original? Well, the HD was really just in the rendering. The gameplay was unaltered 100%, the textures were almost exactly the same, and it was mostly designed to just play on an HD TV. It looks fine, yes, to ME, someone who has played the game many times in the past, but to someone new who is just now picking up the experience? It might be unappealing and give them a taste that leads them to not like the game as much as they should. Gamers today have higher standards when it comes to graphical looks; HD ports are more of a fan throwback and not an audience grabber.

Full remakes are a dime a dozen, but there are some really golden experiences out there. Super Mario 64 DS is the perfect example of a full remake. It includes the original game with graphical enhancements, three new playable characters, new stars to collect, a few new areas, mini-games and multiplayer modes. It takes the original game and not only improves it, but adds tons of new gameplay mechanics and modes of play. If you’re a fan of the original, it gives a reason to go back. If you’ve yet to experience Super Mario 64, this is one of the best ways to introduce you. It’s wonderfully appealing every way around and nobody can argue with what it’s done.

Enhanced remakes, HD ports and full remakes are all ways for people to re-experience or experience at a later date, a game that has long since passed. I’ve never had a problem with most games being remade/ported to a new console and I hope in the future we see more of these wonderful experiences re-mastered in a way that will appeal to the audience it’s aiming for. I’ve played many games in my career, and it’s always a wonderful feeling playing through a once loved game with a prettier coat of paint, new items to collect and new friends to experience the game with.

Enhanced remakes: Yay
HD Ports: Nay
Full remakes: Yay

The only thing I think rival remakes in terms of controversial releases are… reboots.

[Stay tuned for part 2, “Reboots, Yay or Nay?”]

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