Remakes, Remasters and Ports

Just after a conversation with a friend who spent £60 on a Red Dead Redemption Remaster, and I’m curious. What is everyones stance here on remasters of games which frankly should just be ported polished and available to you if you owned the original disc?

I am sick and tired of seeing budgets being absolutley wasted on products which aren’t hard to get and play just fine, this also goes to the Persona 3 remake, I don’t get it!!! I have more feelings about this but I am curious what everyone here thinks before I share my further feelings.


Rationally, I totally agree, devs (or perhaps rather publishers) have jumped on the bandwagon with regards to finding new ways to make us buy the same shit, and it’s annoying.

Logistcally, though, I can’t really see how it would be feasible, or at least how it would have been feasible until recently, for ownership of a disc entitling you to a remaster of it on new hardware. The whole “cross generational” stuff that has happened in this console generation is I guess kind of that, sometimes, and I think that’s good.

I dunno, I’m maybe more agnostic about it than you seem to be. Surely not everyone who both has a current console and who also would want to play and would enjoy Persona 3 has played it, and the new remaster or remake or whatever gives those people a good opportunity. So long as the remaster or remake does the original justice, though.

Remakes, Remasters, and Ports are in an interesting place at the moment, there is actually something to talk about with regards to whether a remake or even a remaster or a port can become something’s “definitive edition.” It’s kind of weird how that is both becoming more feasible, but, is it actually happening more often? Remakes/Remasters/Ports cannot even be considered preservation if one approaches the act of preservation with an extreme sense of purity about what preservation is and what its worth is, but, at the same time, I think it’s worth saying that in terms of preserving and presenting a game as an experiential thing rather than a historical object, nothing beats a certain kind of Remaster.

This is just a thought I am going to slop out here but Final Fantasy VII and the Final Fantasy VII Remake trilogy has got to be the interesting case study possible for this conversation.


I gobble all that garbage up unless it’s like a port of a game that looks better on a CRT. Then I’d spend $200 getting that game second hand to play on original hardware lol


Port/remasters perhaps aren’t 60€ worth, but getting a game made and tested in PowerPCs with peculiar cpu/memory architectures working into ARM/X86 consoles does require some time = money. As a hobbyist game spelunker I can tell you there was at least some new code and format variations in RDRr vs old engine.

Giving it for free would be commendable, but I don’t really resent them if they ask for some compensation. Not that I would pay so much though.

As for remakes I think they are fine but unless notably different I have no real interest in them (ie. I don’t think the Persona 3 remake would fix the issues I had with the original).


It’s too bad that the philosophy of the free or nominal fee “cross generation upgrade” didn’t set more of a precedent.

Then again it’s hard to not recoil in horror at the idea of what games might cost if everyone involved in them were to be paid a living wage. Not that them gouging us accomplishes that, it’s just, you know. Insert circular argument here


I will be fully transparent in saying I have purchased FF7 Rebirth day one however that game atleast has an interesting take on remaking ff7 as it deals with the themes of fate in such a diagetic and non diagetic sense that it allows for the themes of the game to feel so enriched. I will just say my point seemingly also stems from where the money is going. I wish rather than Atlus making another goddamn persona 3 version (which isn’t even the definitive edition of the game) they gave that money to some more intersting projects, which we know do sell! Look at Overlord Unicron, a seemingly random game wtih sales over 500,000! I understand Persona is a huge franchise but jesus christ so muuuuuch money being spent on that game, and people bought it so the shareholders will just keep it going…


I totally understand my head in the clouds wishful thinking and I really do appriciate the work that goes on ports but I feel like we are getting these 60£/$/€ products which are just rehashes of things we have already seen. I just want more originality! I want the classics to be easily accessible! I have recently taken a stance agasint game subscription services and pulled the plug on all my subs but if we had a PS1/PS2 or Dreamcast/Sega console service where we can play a lot of the classics I would totally think about that!

Not to diverege into a different topic but the new MS preservation team left a sour taste in my mouth, I can’t help but be pessemsitic about it all.


Shame I have to take out a second mortage to play pokemon emerald on my game boy advance :frowning:

I think it would be I guess healthier to have minimally tinkered with ports like the recent Shenmue or SMT III Nocturne re-releases than like the SOTC or Demon’s Souls style. The RE2make is great but I still have to admit it’s another embarrassingly juvenile side of the medium, which is already filled to the brim with sequels and endless franchises.


I think games that were made exclusively for the PS3, 360, and early PS4, XB1 are a bit janky most of the time. It’s nice to see remasters of those games where they clearly could have a much higher frame rate and resolution.

This is just my long form way of saying I want a Bloodborne remake… :')

Yeah i see that, i just think that at this point i should be able to get a copy of Blur or something on the ps3 and have the same thing xbox does and just fps boost it, or even pay £5/10 for an ‘‘UPGRADE’’ so i can help the devs which worked on it make some money back

Not really possible with PS3/360 stuff considering they’re PowerPC arch.

But yeah, I’d def pay 10-20 bucks for a PS4/PS5 patch to Bloodborne.

I’m sort of ambivalent on them. Work goes into making them, so I don’t mind them having a price, but I also don’t get much of value from them, typically. It’s rare that I pick up a remaster or faithful remake (a la the recent-ish Link’s Awakening for Switch) and actually play them game for more than an hour or so because, when it comes down to it, I’ve already had that experience

But in general I like that they exist, because they remove barriers to a first introduction to a game, like needing older hardware and things like that


I’m currently playing the Demon’s Souls remake and the HD remaster of Final Fantasy X and I’m happy that they exist. I don’t have any other way to play DeS because I don’t own a PS3. I do have a PS2 and a copy of FFX, but there ain’t no way that I’m going through all the trouble of hooking that up to get it running.

I think there’s ways to do remasters/remakes/ports correctly, and so far I think DeS and FFXHD are both doing that. A game that I recently gave a spin that I think fell flat on its face attempting to remaster was FFVIII. There’s so much of the original aesthetic that’s being lost due to the upscaling; the game radically changes when everyone is smooth and cartoony looking.


Not everyone has seen Persona 3. It was a late cycle PS2 game at a time when people were more interested in different types of games. Remaking it allows a team to take a different approach and re-present it for a modern audience.

For Persona 3 specifically, it is a relatively safe development project because there is a script and structure to follow and a proven demand for it. If you want money to go to more interesting projects, that money has to come from somewhere. By releasing P3make, Atlus will sell X million units and got a big fat Game Pass deal. That money doesn’t sit in a Scrooge McDuck pile, it goes to games like Unicorn Overlord (where the profits are much smaller) and that new RPG I can never remember the name of which is taking years to make. Just releasing the PS2 version on PS5 would not generate as much money and Atlus would suffer from shareholders who want more Persona games out there.

Expecting to get Blur on the PS5 with a £10 upgrade is, if I may be blunt, a nonsense. All games from different eras were written on dramatically different systems and porting them is often a large effort. That effort needs to be paid for and a £10 dollar upgrade to port a PS3 game to PS5 just isn’t going to cut it.

I am glad that more and more games are getting remasters or ports as it makes them more available to more people. I also think the remakes that do something different with the source material are excellent. The Resi 2 remake reimagines whole swathes of the game and stands as a different take/companion piece to the original.

Also, remakes are a good way to safely test a concept before applying it to a new game. You have an existing structure to tinker with and apply new ideas to without having to sell players on a whole new thing. They also exist to train up newer staff members in a relatively safe space.

Games cost 10s and 100s of millions of dollars to make. If you want the new stuff, remakes, remasters and ports are things that help pay for that.

I agree that more classics should be readily accessible and things like the selection of PS1 and PSP games on PS5 are ridiculously poor. However, the rumoured new PS2 emulator for PS5 gives me hope that Sony may be righting the retro ship as it were.

I understand the frustrations you are venting but it isn’t realistic and remakes, remasters and ports have a lot of value for players and help fund lots of cool games (and if you want more interesting games, platforms are actually full of them).

Edit - must say though that 1:1 remakes with “”“better”“” graphics like Demons Souls and SOTC miss the point of the original completely and to my tastes, somewhat worthless.


I understand the commercial imperatives for all the remastering and remaking, and grant that there have been some great games to come out of the process. Would I prefer that the skill, imagination, and resources that went into making the RE2make produce something completely new? Yes, but I can see that it probably could not have been made at all without the bankability of the original game.

I don’t think I’m quite convinced that the revenue from these remakes is being meaningfully re-invested into smaller, more novel projects. What’s the evidence of this?


I love modern ports. Shenmue HD giving us a delicately touched official way to play 2 without having to track down an original Xbox is a universal positive. I like this style of port. I also enjoy remasters like Zodiac Age that have a lot of new elements and clearly took a lot of thought and effort.

I do not like examples like the FFX remaster where they take perfectly spectacular graphics and make changes that make it look worse.

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Awww dang, I didn’t know that was the case. Did they actually remake some stuff, or was it an AI upscaling thing that resulted in some funk?

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They made the character faces actively worse imo


The best game of all time is probably Tetris, and Tetris is probably the game that’s been remade the most times. Coincidence? Probably not. There isn’t one perfect version of Tetris, but I bet everyone has a favorite for whatever subtle differences that align with your own personal tastes.

When buying or playing a remake, it’s good to ask the question of “why does this thing exist”. What is the team working on this’s interpretation of the art? What are they trying to say, and who are is this for? Their priorities can tell you a lot. While I don’t think Remakes/Remasters/Reborns are replacements for the original game, the way that the new games are staged can provide fresh perspective or can give you something you can’t necessarily get from the original game. I hate that these games are so often marketed as being like paint restoration on an easel painting, when I prefer to think to it more like a new theater director putting on their version of a play. I think remakes are most honest when it’s marketed as “Bluepoint’s Demon Souls” or “Bloober Team’s Silent Hill” instead of papering over the old one, because the priorities and incentives for a remake are always very different than those of the original artists making those games.

The Final Fantasy Pixel Remasters, Persona 3 Reload, and Link’s Awakening are my favorite kind of remakes, because it respects the original experience, offers something a little bit new but generally gets out of its own way. They leave a reason to still go back and play the original games. The art direction is different enough that it doesn’t feel like it’s copying or bastardizing the original, the soundtracks are tastefully orchestrated or remastered, good voice direction, improved button mapping and accessibility options, and minor tweaks to game balance preserves the original intent and feeling while effectively cutting out bloat. I can ignore things like the cheat codes in the pixel remasters as something optional that isn’t for me so I can ignore it, however stuff like the dungeon map and bestiary are net positives because for me integrates something that I might go to GameFAQs to find, but instead it’s available within the package of the game.

Then again, you also lose something with remakes, often games with a big sense of imagination and unrealized ambition are impossible to really remake without losing that feeling entirely. I was sad to see the Mario RPG remake completely stripped of its personality and smoothed out to be as inoffensive as possible. Emphasizing “streamlining” a game which was already so simple and breezy was the wrong direction to take that particular game, and it bummed me out that the game played it so safe.

The FF7 Re-imagining sits on the opposite side of that spectrum, as a game which reinvents itself in such a glorious way it that does not need to be beholden to the original games. They created something so idiosyncratic that it is not fair to call it a remake, but the abstract concept of what “a final fantasy 7” is persists and has now taken on a new life of its own.