Remakes & Remasters

These seem to have increased in number this console generation but what is the difference between the two? Do these belong on the current generation of hardware at all? Should developers just focus on the new gaming experiences? That’s something us gamers should really think about.

My general views on whether or not I like them is that it really depends on the game and how much I enjoyed it in the first place and if I’d like to play it again with a nice shiny new coat of paint. Of course, the games that are worthy of this will be different for each person so somebody’s view may change depending on the remakes or remasters that are available at the time. A remastered game is one that takes the original and most likely increases graphical detail, perhaps an HD remake, increased texture detail, increased draw distance and quite often takes the original assets associated with the game and brings them up to a level that can compete with more modern games. But of course, these changes are still based on older games so, although it can look very nice, it often lacks many of the more modern graphical features that newer games include.

A remake is in stark contrast to a remaster whereby the game is built from the ground up like it was a completely new game. It’s the developer going back to the drawing board and going over each area of the game and bringing it up to a completely modern standard. These remakes are technically better than I remaster but it IS still an older game that had been remade even though it has had a lot of effort and expense put into it. Whether a developers times is best spent rebuilding an existing game instead of focusing on a completely new experience is up to the gamer and which game they really want to be updated to modern standards. Even if a gamer wants a game updated, it still is at great time and expense to the developer so, for example, a shadow of the colossus remake is great but how about a shadow of the colossus 2 instead? Whether it would be made even without the remake is debatable so we aren’t entirely sure if a sequel would be made anyway even without the remaster.

A lot of enjoyment can be had from remasters and remakes but I don’t want them taking the focus away from developers giving gamers new experiences. These remakes and remasters have an inbuilt audience and the publishers would have an idea through market research just how many units it will sell. One problem is that the gamers will never know if the resources committed to these games could be used for a sequel instead. Not to mention that the buyers of these games could in fact be guinea pigs for if a sequel is to be made. If certain sales numbers needed to be met with the remake, then perhaps those same numbers would have been met with a sequel instead?

Regardless that is the case or not, and putting aside if a remake or remaster should be made at all, if the game is quality then the exisiting fan base I’m sure will want to play it and if it’s a better version of an already great game then I can’t argue too much with that. My main concern regarding the practice is that when I new generation of consoles is upon us, I don’t want the launch window or the first 1-2 years of the consoles life to be inundated with games from the previous generation.

I do hope these remakes and remasters find success but in saying that, if publishers find there is greater profit to be made from these than an all new game then It is us, the gamer who will ultimately lose in the end when we scream that we don’t have the games we desire. We will just have to wait and see how it all plays out.

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