Remakes, Remasters and Ports

I’m not quite sure where I’m going with this, but I think I am simultaneously annoyed by and okay with remasters and remakes.

Firstly, ports are usually 100% okay by my books. Well, sometimes the port itself is bad, but the idea of making the same game available across multiple platforms is only of benefit as far as I’m concerned.

Remasters are, mostly, fiiiiiine. I’ve bought some of them over the years! I have the PS2 original releases of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus and then I bought the combo remaster for PS3. (note, this is different to the later remaster SotC got). I bought the Metal Gear HD Collection on PS3. The first Last of Us remaster that happened on PS4. A few others. Again, these are usually just making a game available to a wider audience (while, yes, serving a Capital need to Sell More Stuff).

Remakes can sometimes be a bit odd, but one need only remind oneself that the original game still exists. A great example of this is over in the One Day at a Time: Persona 3 Game Club SPECIAL thread, where people are choosing to play different versions of this same game for their own reasons. P3P should maybe be considered a “port”, but P3R is certainly a “remake”. Personally, I’d launched P3FES a few times ages ago and never got it to stick, but the release of P3R is what got me to actually play this game. I likely would never have gotten around to it otherwise – that’s got to be a mark in the “good” column for remakes, right?

Sometimes, remakes change a little bit too much for players’ liking. That’s understandable, but again – in almost all cases, the original still exists. I used to be annoyed by them, and similarly used to be annoyed by remakes of films. I think I’ve calmed on that considerably lately, and have just accepted that these things will exist but I do not need to engage with them if I don’t want.

It’s a bit like other media: sometimes the remake is awful and actually does replace the original, and I don’t like that – eg, Lucas’ Special Edition versions of the Star Wars trilogy and the subsequent deleting of the originals from circulation. Sometimes it is clearly no replacement for the original, but exists to to accessibly provide some/most of the same feelings one experienced with the original work – eg, your local cover band playing the hits for a $2 cover charge rather than you spending Big Bucks to go to a concert for some band that only tours your way once every ten years. It is obviously Not The Same, but it also is in no way attempting to replace the original.

...and sometimes a remake really is That Good, and the original author essentially transfers ownership of the work and we are all floored by this other version of an existing thing: