Videogame Remakes and The Attitudes Surrounding Them

@treefroggy#15589 Sure, but the remake does not carry forward the low res cgi, the low res prerendered backgrounds, 2 types of polygon models, the blurry-sounding, limited-palette music, etc. Not making an argument re which is “better” just that I think 7R and kiwami 2 both maximalize certain qualities, and in so doing paint over what was there before. Very different atmospherically. And of course 7R reworks a certain significant plot point from the original

I suspect that bc FF7 has made a much stronger impression than yakuza 2, there's not so great a danger of it being erased by the remake

I think it's regrettable that the yakuza series didn't continue in the 2->3 vein of being somewhat more subdued and grounded. It's really starting to lift off into self-parody which, I do enjoy, but it's starting to be kind of a pizza every day situation (at least to me). So kiwami 2 probably has just erased ps2 2 from the consciousness, and what's left is max-silly yakuza. Ciest la vie oh well

I’ve been thinking about this a lot because of the Nier remake coming out. Today they posted a 10 minute gameplay clip showing Facade for the first time:

and I felt... dismayed by it a little bit. Facade looked different than I remembered. So I went to look at some videos and sure enough.



huh. They completely changed the way the city looks. The vibe is just very different. There’s so much light. It’s so clean. It’s....just Automata. They’re just making this game look like Automata. I understand them doing that for the gameplay but for some reason I was assuming they wouldn’t be translating the visuals like that. And this sucks! I don’t want the Nier series to just have this homogenized look. I like Automata just fine and it felt distinct from the first game in style. I mean I see how they get here when they’re marketing this game as "“The Prequel to Nier Automata"(barf) but it’s definitely not what I was hoping for.

Sometimes, the best part of a remake is that the original still exists. Even when it's utterly replaced in the digital market like dark souls remastered did… you can still acquire it somewhere.

@treefroggy#17116 Yeah I have a PS3 copy of the original thankfully. I’m still looking forward to playing the remake because Automata's combat was pretty fun and I wanna see how that changes the game but these visual changes definitely bum me out.

@sabertoothalex#17119 exactly how I feel about Demon's Souls.

An update to Nier:

New trailer is a 1-to-1 reconstruction of the first trailer for the original. Seeing them side by side is really interesting as you can see very clearly what is and isn't changing. I feel pretty conflicted on some of it.

I look at the new models vs the old models and think. Well, the new ones certainly look closer to Akihiko Yoshida's character sketches than the older ones looked compared to DK's character sketches. How much of that was intentional vs how much of it was time and budget related? Does it matter?

The lighting is considerably different, but not always in a bad way. The yellow filter is completely gone. The bloom is there in some scenes but I'm sure they're gonna lessen it overall. Also it's hard to tell if it's the lighting or an actual change but it seems like they made the skin of the Facade people lighter?

The re-done bosses look pretty sick. The bullet hellish stuff looks a ton better.

I don't know!

With *Last of Us* and *Dead Space* remade, and now the RE4 remake on the way, I feel like bumping this thread to read later and also because these three remakes feel especially weird, like we've really crossed a line. Not only is this a string of games that share a common lineage of over-the-shoulder action horror but this is a style of 3rd person shooter that was so distilled when it entered the world in 2005 that even with all the modern refinements being stuffed into these remakes not much has been done to justify retreading territory that remains eminently playable, if you ask me.

I've only played a little of the RE2 remake and liked what I saw. That one doesn't bother me as much, not because the original "hasn't aged well" but because the gameplay is so different. It was an interesting adaptation. These other three don't feel different enough, on the other hand. I haven't played them though, so you tell me if I'm jumping to conclusions.

{They're also appearing very soon since their progenitors! RE4 has the biggest gap with 18 years, DS with 14 and TLoU with 9, though none of this is even the most egregious: *Super Mario All Stars* remade SMB3 4 years after that came out on Famicom. Has there ever been such a tight turnaround in film remakes? I'd sure like to know!!} I was tired when I wrote this. *Whom amongst us…??*



Has there ever been such a tight turnaround in film remakes? I’d sure like to know!!

Tim seems to mention every other episode that Tokimeki Memorial was completely remade one year after its original release.

I don't have any strong thoughts about remakes. Most games that get remade or HDified are games I didn't play and probably won't play, though all the chatter of a rumored Final Fantasy IX remake makes me so excited I think I'll asphyxiate.


@“connrrr”#p108320 Has there ever been such a tight turnaround in film remakes?

Hollywood [remakes foreign hits]( right away all the time. _CODA_ was released seven years after La _Famille Bélier_, but it was shot in 2019 and the release delayed due to COVID. _Vanilla Sky_ was released four years after _Abre los ojos_. _The Departed_ was released four years after _Infernal Affairs_. _True Lies_ was released three years after _La Totale!_. Etc.


@“edward”#p108322 Tim seems to mention every other episode that Tokimeki Memorial was completely remade one year after its original release.

It’s also one of his weirdest / most disingenuous takes. They are basically ports with added features from a time when different hardware architectures required drastically different solutions.

From Konami, there is more of a case to be made for Snatcher and Policenauts getting proper remakes very soon after their original releases.

@“edward”#p108322 are those remakes or ports? Like, would Jet Set Radio for GBA count as a port or a remake (or a demake)?

@"◉◉maru"#p108323 this is a very good point that completely slipped my mind, thank you.

Also it's late so I'm tired and going to bed in a moment but video games don't often get remade as completely different games in lieu of localization like films do, I don't think. Right? Has that happened before?

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@“connrrr”#p108324 I guess a case could be made for 8-Bit / 16-Bit localized ports that changed so many things they not only altered the graphics (à la Raw Danger) but even slightly altered some mechanics and some of the level design.

Your mileage may vary on Doki Doki Panic and a bunch of Anime games turned license-free overseas, but what comes to my mind more specifically is the case of 🇯🇵**Magical Hat no Buttobi Turbo! Daisakusen** vs. 🇺🇸🇪🇺**Decap’Attack**, which are effectively two different games.

@“connrrr”#p108320 I have the same mixed feelings as you about a lot of these newer-gen remakes.

I talked to a friend about this pretty recently when they decided to... uh... 'remake' Roald Dahl's books. He found it shocking but while I think it's bad it feels like a logical decision. I feel like we've passed a point where media properties can simply die a dignified death instead of money hungry publishers wanting to tinker with it to try to extend its life by another 10 or 20 years. They might have good intentions or want to simply court enough controversy to have people panic buy the original and eventually market a separate run as the 'original' edition, but it doesn't really matter. Video games have been doing this forever, so I think it's just a byproduct of capitalism that a game _**must**_ be remade as long as it can make money. The spice must flow to keep this industry profitable.

I also think there's a perverse incentive to kinda fuck up remakes just enough so that you can fix it later and sell it again. Like with Final Fantasy IV, there will never be a definitive edition because the GBA/PSP version has easter eggs, the 3D version has harder balancing, and the Pixel Remaster has that sweet orchestral audio, but none of them have all 3 so you better buy them all even if you just end up playing the SNES rom because of nostalgia. I know this is a very cynical take, and I'm sure most remakes are done with the best intentions. It's just that sometimes remakes change things just for the sake of changing things. **_I_** don't think Link's Awakening is improved by adding the Color Dungeon in Link's Awakening GBA or the Dungeon Creator in Link's Awakening Switch. I think it's just there to tell the old heads that they need to buy it for more almighty _content_. Those remakes are still good and introduced millions more to a great game they might not have played if it was a black and white gameboy game, but I have conflicting feelings about the way companies go back to edit stuff.

As we get into the PS3 generation of remakes, and the source material is still highly accessible to modern players, there's definitely diminishing returns on what these remakes can be. I think most remakes are just taking the coward's way out and slightly tweaking the graphics and control layouts and adding superfluous stuff. I wish more developers would take a bold vision, like what was done with FFVII-R. I think they'll probably end up selling more copies and introducing more new people to FFVII's 2015 remaster because of the ways they are foundationally changing things in that remake.

One idea I've always had is that if they **_have to_** remake something, try remaking from a different character's perspective. Like when Final Fantasy X gets its inevitable PS6 remake, what if instead of following Tidus, we saw it from Yuna's POV? It would still follow most of the same story beats, but obviously have a very different beginning and scenes in Bevelle/Home, but instead of having Tidus wonder what Yuna is thinking about, we could see her wrestle with keeping secrets from him and see her allow herself to let her guard down and invite him into her life only to learn his past. I think it would also invite the new players to check out the older (still very accessible) version to see it from his perspective. If these stories have to be told again, I think dev should have the guts to do something original instead of just papering over it with phony 'content'.

(Wicked was one of my favorite musicals as a kid and I didn't appreciate Wizard of Oz until I saw it, video games should copy that formula.)

Capcom remaking RE4 isn’t particularly confusing or out of left field but I do think it’s interesting considering that game has been consistently ported and remastered across most platforms since it was released. They’ve done a good job making sure the original is available in many forms so it does feel like the remake is mostly a big opportunity to sell a $60 game instead of a $20 port.

It does look like it’ll be hella fun tho tbh

I‘ve seen results to recent Japanese focus polls that suggest newer/younger players are the primary audience for straight reissues, whereas remakes are intended to bring back older/lapsed players, which is sort of the opposite to what I’d always assumed, especially considering how many reissues are so intensely oldhead-focused.


@“◉◉maru”#p108323 Hollywood remakes foreign hits right away all the time.

Remember when Spike Lee remade _Old Boy_ (ten years later but seemingly fairly soon after _Old Boy_ and Korean film was starting to pick up steam in the west) and it had Josh Brolin scream the line "Help! I'm trapped in this hotel room!" or something quite similar

My opinions on remakes have 180‘d recently due to the RE4 remake. At first I was nervous that they would heck it up and replace my favorite video game with a lesser version. I realized that this line of thinking was just making me a sort of pearl clutching nostalgia goblin.

The game I like is not going to be erased by the new release. I applaud remakes, remasters, and rereleases because they don’t directly change the original and I can always go back to the thing I like if the new shiny thing doesn‘t tickle my fancy. The remake could potentially replace the original as the “required reading” version to the general public, but it won’t make it so that the OG is completely inaccessible to the average player.

However, the way that games are updated constantly after release does effectively erase versions of a game from existence.

Remakes vary in quality, but I generally consider them a good thing. Yes, you can have too much of a good thing (personally, I thought the remake of TLOU1 seemed a little predatory capitalistic) but the idea of rebuilding or repacking something while leaving the original be is pretty neat.

@“connrrr”#p108320 These are my thoughts on RE4make pretty much exactly. I loved RE2make but (because!) that game is a fundamental reimagining of its source material. What I’ve seen of RE4make simply looks too similar to a game that hasn’t exactly “aged poorly”. Unless they’ve substantially changed the very basics of the original game to such an extent that it constitutes a truly new experience, I’m just not clear on what Capcom’s pitch is for me to buy RE4 a third time at full price, now with less goofy but still dumb cutscenes.

I’ve been having a similar issue with the _Link’s Awakening_ remake, which I’ve complained about in the general games thread. It just feels… gratuitous. It slavishly preserves the form and layout of the original game while altering the execution in a way that makes the game, in aesthetic and mechanical terms, simply make _less sense_: every area in _LA_ was designed around the economy of squares and screen space on the Game Boy, so turning it into a 16:9 HD display while keeping the level layout identical just makes the whole game suddenly feel tiny where it was previously abstract. Likewise for grafting analog movement onto a game that was never designed for it, to say nothing of the performance issues this version has running on the Switch that the original never did on its native hardware. The new plastic diorama aesthetic adopted to make these abstracted environments more pleasing when rendered with 3D models on an HD display, while fine on its own merits, is a clear departure from what the original game was going for; likewise, the instrumental versions of the original game’s chiptunes have an unmistakably different (imo far less memorable) feel from what they’re superficially adapting. I think it’s a peak example of an overly literal-minded remake that preserves the superficial form of its source material without investigating the _spirit_ of what made that game tick. I’d much rather a remake take some risks on _reimagining_ its original than just end up as a gratuitous update of things that never needed updating. Otherwise, why not just “remaster”?

I am totally cool with remakes. Some are great and some are slimy cash grabs. Either way it can make series more accessible for folks. The PS3/360 era might not seem that long ago but for someone who has a new PS5 the Dead Space Remake is a more reasonable option than finding a disc copy and a used PS3. I also got Mario All-Stars for SNES when it was new because I never had an NES (although I played plenty of SMB 1, U2A, and 3 at friends and relatives) so that was a way for me to experience those games at my own house.

@“tomjonjon”#p108421 funny thing, I actually played Dead Space on a 2008 MacBook Pro booted into Windows. It was one of the only contemporary AAA games I can remember running smoothly under that setup, it and DMC4.

It's also back compatible and available on Gamepass ultimate as part of EA play on Xboxes, and everyone's got one of those… r-right, gang?? \*collar tug*

I generally have a very complicated “I know if I love it or hate it when I see it” relationship with remakes! There are a whole bunch of rereleases that I treat somewhat differently from remakes, since I think it‘s often helpful or good to provide quality of life and modernization improvements that make a game more accessible (this includes things like saving anywhere, localization for languages that weren’t supported in the original, and speed toggles). While I lament the loss of nice looking pixel fonts for the localization, I am almost entirely okay with these. Same thing with remasters, especially since they‘re centred around games from the PS1-3 era in general, because they address presentation issues, add in higher res versions of original art assets, and sometimes add new content that was cut from the original. Where I start to get a little wobbly about is when we get to remakes, which are things like the new version RE4, FFVII, and so one. For me personally, I always question why it is that we get that instead of something new, either related or unrelated. (To be clear: I know exactly why we get that, and it’s that nostalgia sells in a fairly guaranteed way that new products don‘t, and I know that Square Enix has to make sure number goes up for their investors.) I guess I should rephrase that I always wish that we would get something new instead. I don’t begrudge them doing it, because I know it supports to some degree rereleases of older oddities or games with original versions that never left Japan, and most importantly interesting new works.

As far as my feelings about wanting new things instead of remakes of old things go, I'm the same way with movies. I'm absolutely 100% not sure why we ever need a US remake of a non-English language movie, ever, and I'm not sure why we need remakes of most movies at all, but it's something that's been going on since at least the 1930's.