It seems these days that not a week passes by without the announcement of a remaster/remake of a beloved game from a previous generation of consoles. Of course, Hollywood has long been recycling and nowadays the likes of a Jumanji remake can make a studio over $800 Million. You could be forgiven for thinking that the creative juices of entertainment media just aren’t flowing as freely as they have in the past.
EliteGamer.com’s editorial staff share their worthless opinions on this trend…
Sony: You are better than this
Tom the Newsman Taylor believes that from Sony’s perspective, it is partially understandable why they’ve released a tonne of remastered games. Sony haven’t invested in backwards compatibility. It’s hard to know the exact figure since they stopped counting individual unit sales in June 2014 but the general consensus seems to be that the PS3 and Xbox 360 sold about equally.
Given that the PS4 has dominated this current generation, there are going to be a lot of PS4 owners who switched over from Microsoft and these remasters are the only way that many of these gamers can play these PlayStation classics.
while there is a rich library of titles already on PS4 and some fine titles ready to drop in next 18 months, this particular period is a dry spell
For the PS4 we’ve had first-party games like Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection, God of War III Remastered, The Quantic Dream Collection and the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy.
This week, Shadow of the Colossus has been released AGAIN after getting a treatment from Bluepoint games. Some will see this as a positive as it brings a well-received game to people who have never played the original. Others will be more cynical and say this is just a way for Sony to make up for the fact that while there is a rich library of titles already on PS4 and some fine titles ready to drop in next 18 months, this particular period right now is a dry spell for fresh exclusives.
But you would expect it from Microsoft…
MS would have been criticised by their own fans, PlayStation owners and forgettable internet mouth-pieces like us…
Microsoft has been less concerned with giving first-party games a remaster. Although they did release Halo: The Master Chief Collection, that’s one of the few examples of a first party game being remastered for the current generation.
As discussed earlier, MS have been roundly trounced by PlayStation meaning they needed to add selling points to their ailing console. Moving to backwards compatibility cut Microsoft’s ability to resell older first-party titles – the Redmond behemoth could have chosen to omit their most popular 360 titles from the BC line-up and remastered them but it would have undermined the value of backwards compatibility. So we can’t really give Microsoft too much credit for laying off the first-party remasters.
After all, they would have been criticised by their own fans, PlayStation owners and forgettable internet mouth-pieces like us. That is the last thing they need and even Microsoft aren’t blind enough to see the damage such a move would do.
Third-Party remasters and remakes that nobody asked for
Third-parties have not shown such restraint with a plethora of third-party remasters of games that while good/great on the PS3/360, there wasn’t really a demand for. These include Assassins Creed: The Ezio Collection, Batman: Return to Arkham, Bioshock & Borderlands Collections, the list goes on.
it just seems like the public interest and sales of some remasters is so low that the remastering process must be inherently cheap
We know that studios find it very useful to remaster a game to new console to help them understand the hardware in preparation for a new IP or sequel. For example, Naughty Dog brought the Last of Us Remastered to the PS4 not only because gamers wanted it on the PS4 but it also helped them in the development of Uncharted 4.
But it often seems like the public interest and sales of some remasters is so low that the remastering process must be inherently cheap. If growth in remake/remaster announcements is anything to go by. Publishers simply wouldn’t keep rereleasing or remastering for a loss.
Price points for remasters dramatically affect how a remastered game will be received by the general public. Anything over €40 and it would likely not be received well. but say you bought the game on the previous generation of consoles for €60 and now you’re being asked to fork out another €30-€40 just so you can play the same game with higher quality textures and a higher frame-rate.
There have been in excess of fifty notable remakes/remasters/rereleases on PlayStation 4 and just over thirty on Xbox One (excluding the countless minor titles refreshed for PSN and Xbox Live).
PrimeTime: A Response
Empty vessel PrimeVinister believes that, in moderation, remasters and remakes can be a positive force in gaming. Thomas Telfridge even mentioned one himTelf – not owning a particular old system or switching teams is a massive reason to bring back the classics for one more round.
Halo:MCC, WipEout Omega and Uncharted Collections serve as perfect examples of gathering great titles together to kick-start a library or fill in a gamer’s playedography
Immaculate Collections (Yes, I do Madonna puns)
For anyone old enough to have played Super Mario All-Stars on Super Nintendo, you will long know the joy of seeing the transition to a new console and the sorts of refinement it brings. That particular bundle was also a collection of three of the best titles on a great system and added the Japanese version of Super Mario Brothers 2 under the name ‘The Lost Stars’. It stands as the definition of a remake done right and that was 25 years ago. It’s also worth mentioning that across Europe the Master System kept the NES at bay. Most of us simply never played these slices of video game history until it was remade so well.
The texture warping and apparent pro-aliasing capabilities of early 3D games were acceptable on a 14″ portable in your bedroom but they will give you motion sickness on a modest 32″ HD TV.
Many remakes fall under those categories, a chance to ‘wow’ consumers early in a console lifecycle with a collection of games that not everybody played or just for newcomers to gaming.
Even now, this is evident – Halo: MCC, WipEout Omega and Uncharted Collections serving as perfect examples of gathering great titles together to kick-start a library or fill in a gamer’s playedography. Each of these are incredible value propositions even for those who played some (or even all) of the titles in their respective selections.
The passage of time has DESTROYED certain titles
Even if we exclude collections, there is merit in the right kind of remake or remaster at the right time. Capcom have taken the piss for over two decades now, porting and rereleasing everything they have ever made. But let’s not forget that Resident Evil on GameCube rebuilt a heavily-flawed, ugly masterpiece and delivered the definitive version of Resi – a port that has stood the test of time to this day.
If you can avert your eyes from the missile-surfing in MGS: The Twin Snakes, the GameCube is home to another all-time greatest PS1 remake.
HD remakes of titles like these offer these games a route to the mainstream love that they deserve
Modern remakes like Final Fantasy VII and Crash N.Sane Trilogy relegate their original releases to the retro hardcore – OG PlayStation titles are horrid to look at nowadays. More or less all 3D PS1 and Saturn titles are in the same category – they just look like s**t on any TV made in the last decade. The texture warping and apparent pro-aliasing capabilities (lol) were acceptable on a 14″ portable in your bedroom but they will likely give you motion sickness on a modest 32″ HD TV.
Bringing a Game Back from the Dead (A True Zombie Game)
A remake can do certain titles the world of good; technical issues or a limited release can see video gaming gems remembered by many but actually played by few. State of Decay being a obvious example. Year One sees the XBLA hit expanded beyond recognition while fixing (but also introducing) many horrible bugs.
Many gamers have never played Saturn classics like NiGHTs Into Dreams due to the Saturn’s obscurity in certain markets or simply being too young. HD remakes of titles like these offer these games a route to the mainstream love that they deserve. Many NeoGeo games still cost hundreds of euros to obtain in their original form – their updates for modern consoles, no matter how minor, bring some amazing games to a massive audience with maximum convenience at a fraction of the cost.
Although I will concede that nobody really wants to play Assassins’ Creed again…
For every cynical rehash there is a similar number of gems brought out for one last hurrah, even if remakes, remasters and rereleases are now coming thick and fast. There are dozens of examples of superb reworkings made with the utmost care – the PrimeVinister believes the public aren’t stupid (himself excluded unfortunately) and can decide for themselves.
Do you think that developers are too quick to reach for the remakes or are you old enough to decide what to buy for yourself?? Xbox owners: Does Backwards Compatibility make you think twice before shelling out for a remaster?? Let us know what you think.