Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Carlo's Take: Remakes and Remasters and the Case For and Against Them!


With the release of the Resident Evil Zero Remaster, and news of this amazing-looking Metal Gear Solid Fan Remake, more and more games from the past are cropping back up on present day consoles. If that's not enough evidence for you, how about the release of old PS2 Star Wars Titles like Bounty Hunter, Jedi Starfighter and Racer Revenge on the PS Store for Playstation 4s? Clearly companies are choosing to revisit old games and update them, but are they always worth it?
Firstly, lets take a look at an advantage; for the companies, and the consumers, nostalgia is a big selling point. Many people wouldn't mind, some even jumping at the chance to relive their old memories with a fresh coat of paint. Seeing things days gone by in a new light is a good way to see how things changed, as well as possibly reviving old I.Ps completely in order to make the franchise annew.

It could also be seen as a cheap, lazy alternative as opposed to making new creative decisions on the side of the developers. After all, taking pre-built sound and environment assets and giving them higher resolutions and better textures must be significantly easier than creating new ones, am I right? Some could say it hinders the progression of the gaming industry as a whole by preventing innovation, and that could be true, if there were to be an increase in remaster/make production.

However, while it may be easier, upscaling and creating better textures based on pre-existing models still takes effort and work. That work creates experience, and that experience makes better games from that developing company in the future, not to mention possibly expanding the audience of the game when it may not have been able to reach certain consoles in the past. Take for example, Last Of Us Remastered. One of the best games of last generation released at the very end. Say it didn't happen. Would the public like Uncharted 4, earlier but not to as good a standard than if they had made the Remastered edition? We wouldn't, had we known it could be better would we?

But, it could ruin the franchises' legacy. It may not have been true when talking about LoU:Remastered, but a different development team makes Remasters. Sometimes the new studio doesn't have enough experience. Maybe they have a different direction or new additions they want to make. Said direction or addition may be unwanted  (*COUGH* FF7 Episodic Remake *COUGH*), or simply too many mistakes could make for a lackluster contribution and severe blow to what is usually a cherished legacy. They wouldn't re-release it if it didn't have one of those - not enough faith in non-established things.

Either way, we can't stop remasters and remakes from happening. Fans clamour for them anyways. But what's your opinion on the matter? Focus on the new IP's and sequels, or keep looking to the past?

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