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Thread: Remakes: How Different Should They Be?

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    Question Remakes: How Different Should They Be?

    How faithful should a remake or "re-imagining" of a game be to the original game? How different should it be for it to be worthwhile? Should companies that want to make remakes just focus on sequels instead of rehashing the same story and gameplay of the original? Should companies instead put their efforts into making sure the original games can be played on today's consoles via faithful emulation of the originals instead of higher-priced remakes? Should things be more like the early old days when innovation was seen as the key to success instead of sequels and remakes - kind of like during the golden age of Activision and Imagic? And what about the same for movies, TV shows, books, comics, or other series?

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    Oof...tough question to answer with some objectivity. Personally, it'd be nice if companies DON'T crank out the remakes or reboots and give people something fresh. If you're going to dive into the back catalog, then bring the originals back BUT make them more accessible to the modern audience, like the NES/SNES/GEN/TG16 minis do with save states. That way we folk that grew up with the games who don't have the same amount of time as then can enjoy these titles and go back to them where we left off and new folks have that save state in case they get their rears handed to them. Resist the urge to redo the game with a fresh coat of paint. That's my thought anyway.

    However, playing on nostalgia is big business and it's a "safe bet" to do something that's already been treaded on. It's just doing it right is the hard part to try to keep the old and new audiences.

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    It depends on the game, and how the remake turns out. Plenty of remakes are better than the original, others are worse or overall pointless. I'm pretty sure the first Leisure Suit Larry was a remake of a text adventure. There's also enhanced versions like early VGA upgrades to earlier 16 colour games on PC, these are usually good. Other old arcade games like Pong or Centipede were remade into new games, these don't really replace the original versions and are also good.

    It mostly depends on how badly the first game played whether a remake is really worth playing over the original, usually I prefer to play the original version.

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    I feel the Resident Evil remake on GameCube and the more recent Resident Evil 2 Remake on PS4/Xbox One captured the essence of the originals perfectly while updating visuals & controls to a modern standard.

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    I've actually been enjoying these brand new remakes better than what we've received as a graphical remake. If I want to go play these older games, I can go back and play these older games on pretty much any of the systems that I have them on. A graphical remake is fine, but honestly they're just the same game.

    The remakes follow the same game sure, but you're having an overall different experience, so whether it's Resident Evil, Wild ARMs Alter Code F, Resident Evil 2, Resident Evil 3, Final Fantasy 7, DmC Devil May Cry, Castlevania Chronicles, Lufia Curse of the Sinistrals, Ys Oath in Felghana, etc, they're all new games and that interests me more.
    Everything in the above post is opinion unless stated otherwise.

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    I'm okay with sequels, I'm not really that big on remasters of games that were already on HD systems. Something like Medevil went for PS1 to PS4, I liked that. A PS3 game remastered on PS4, not so much. I don't think I'm the target audience for remasters though. The only time I really get into them is if it's a game or series that I missed the first time around, such as the first 3 Uncharted games. I didn't play the PS3 versions, so I picked up the trilogy on PS4. I think it was worth waiting to play those on PS4.

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    This past Thankgiving holiday I saw the movie "Scoob" with my family. It's the latest "reboot/origin story" of Scooby Doo, namely how Shaggy and Scooby meet (which was apparently more in the early aughts, by the way things look and the references made). After the initial meeting of the future Mystery Inc, we get a modernized version of the classic "Scooby Doo! Where Are You?" TV show intro as a type of montage of what the gang all did over the years. It made me feel odd watching this, like someone at Hanna Barbara decided to "forget" the past and say "THIS is Scooby Doo".

    Watching that movie made me think of this thread along with a past trend that I had totally forgotten about: the colorization of black and white films. I remember back in the 80's (though this was probably being done prior) watching a program on how movie studios were taking classic films and then "colorizing" them to make them more "modern". The announcement of "Now see 'It's a Wonderful Life' in glorious color!"- followed by a before and after side swipe from the original to a somewhat washed out color version. This was, as mentioned in this Mental Floss article, an easy way for studio to make some "easy" money from their vast old movie catalogs, potentially making almost double of what it cost to colorize the film. As the article says, it was popular in the 80's and 90's but the interest fizzled by the turn of the century.

    "Modernizing" by giving an old game a fresh coat of pixel paint is just the game company's version of colorizing a black and white movie. I still stand by my original post-I don't mind the ability to save at any time, even though that can change how the game can play. But at least that gives the modern gamer, may they be young or older, a chance to actually play the titles in what little time they may have.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArcadePerfect View Post
    I feel the Resident Evil remake on GameCube and the more recent Resident Evil 2 Remake on PS4/Xbox One captured the essence of the originals perfectly while updating visuals & controls to a modern standard.
    Can't say I agree personally. For me a big problem with the RE remakes is that they take games that originally had more of a fun/silly vibe, and go all edgey/dark on them. This is a bigger problem with RE2 I feel, but overall Resident Evil as a serious psychological horror that could compete with Silent Hill just doesn't work.

    In general, I think there's only ever one reason to do a remake: that being if the original creator feels the original screwed up. Even this is tenuous though, and could lead to George Lucas situations where even the remake just isn't as good as the version they have in their heads.
    Last edited by Edmond Dantes; 11-30-2020 at 10:25 AM.

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    i think thats kinda loaded for different reasons most people think.

    I think it depends on the game...

    for instance i think if you were to remake superman or ET they would have to be ground up for what the og creator really wanted

    but on other games like say ridge racer or ace combat, as long as you update the way the game looks for the modern era and kept controls and music as close as possible to the originals you'd be safe

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    I dont want remakes. if the game is still fun to play in 2020 sesite being 30 years old, there's no reason to remake it. I dont need to buy 80 versions of the same game every time a new format comes out

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    Quote Originally Posted by YoshiM View Post
    This past Thankgiving holiday I saw the movie "Scoob" with my family. It's the latest "reboot/origin story" of Scooby Doo, namely how Shaggy and Scooby meet (which was apparently more in the early aughts, by the way things look and the references made). After the initial meeting of the future Mystery Inc, we get a modernized version of the classic "Scooby Doo! Where Are You?" TV show intro as a type of montage of what the gang all did over the years. It made me feel odd watching this, like someone at Hanna Barbara decided to "forget" the past and say "THIS is Scooby Doo".

    Watching that movie made me think of this thread along with a past trend that I had totally forgotten about: the colorization of black and white films. I remember back in the 80's (though this was probably being done prior) watching a program on how movie studios were taking classic films and then "colorizing" them to make them more "modern". The announcement of "Now see 'It's a Wonderful Life' in glorious color!"- followed by a before and after side swipe from the original to a somewhat washed out color version. This was, as mentioned in this Mental Floss article, an easy way for studio to make some "easy" money from their vast old movie catalogs, potentially making almost double of what it cost to colorize the film. As the article says, it was popular in the 80's and 90's but the interest fizzled by the turn of the century.

    "Modernizing" by giving an old game a fresh coat of pixel paint is just the game company's version of colorizing a black and white movie. I still stand by my original post-I don't mind the ability to save at any time, even though that can change how the game can play. But at least that gives the modern gamer, may they be young or older, a chance to actually play the titles in what little time they may have.
    If the director/cinematographer supervises the colorization and they can do a really good job being faithful to the true look of the film, I am fine with colorization. Its nice to have the option to see the original version though

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    Quote Originally Posted by gbpxl View Post
    If the director/cinematographer supervises the colorization and they can do a really good job being faithful to the true look of the film, I am fine with colorization. Its nice to have the option to see the original version though
    From an earlier post, you said you didn't want remakes-does this include graphic overhauls? Like say if they took Pitfall! and just remade the graphics and didn't muck with anything else (physics, extra abilities, etc.)?

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    they remade Pitfall in 94/95. the original Pitfall's graphics werent even sufficient enough for enjoyment

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmond Dantes View Post
    In general, I think there's only ever one reason to do a remake
    Now two things I have to say to this, first off, I don't give a crap what the original creator wants, they don't own the IP, more on that in a bit because I'm going to go through some thorough examples.

    The other though is that people state "the original creator" like that has any real meaning. Now the director does have a hand in directing where the project goes, obviously, but many ideas and aspects of the game aren't theirs and too many unknown developers are left unknown for only one person to very often receive the credit. Often times this can be seen as a fluke, I mean look at Tabata who was the creator of Crisis Core Final Fantasy 7 who really just used influences from the previously created Parasite Eve to trip and actually make a good game, because not only was Type 0 a brand new game he was allowed to direct a pretty bad game, but also Final Fantasy 13 which he had three years to take what was already created and make a good game. Three freaking years for what we got. Is it fair to say that Crisis Core Final Fantasy 7 is a good game for the most part due to Tabata? I would say so because everything else he directed was trash, but the people under him before he quit the company to start his own studio as some super star developer are never going to be recognized.

    However, being the director also means that if it's a bad idea, those ideas are shot down and the director determines what is in the game or not, and as much as I love Matsuno games, he makes near perfect games in every single way and then complete and utterly broken in one aspect making them truly unplayable, but this really depends on the game. And this is where I don't think they should care whether the original developer gives their blessing or not, because I'm going to point out several game breaking issues on many Matsuno games. The original Tactics Ogre is one of my favorite games of all time, but when you are literally two levels below the enemy, the enemy has a MASSIVE advantage over you, and the experience system is worse than it could have and should have been to be honest, it's not completely unbalanced, as they did add training mode and it takes no time at all if characters are more than one level under the highest level character to get everyone on the same level. Let's not forget how agility effects both speed and accuracy, dexterity has no use whatsoever, and you're required to cross class with Ninja or Archer to make people hit the enemy, and everyone knows just how broken these characters are.

    Now, who do they have to develop and rework a remake of the same game on the PSP? Matsuno. Now, again, nearly everything in the game is perfect. Of course it was already a nearly perfect game, but there's not one, not two, but three major issues with this release that make it completely broken. Every time you get a new class it starts at level 1 and the class is useless. This requires an unbelievable amount of grinding if you ever want to use new classes. Weapons and armor have a level requirement, which a character even one level below is worthless compared to everone else because they can't equip equipment on par with everyone else. Tactics Ogre has some pretty huge maps compared to some of these games, and on the original game movement was good. Movement on the PSP version however was reduced. This means mages move three spaces at a time, nearly everyone else moves four, with Ninja moving five. This makes it an incredible slog to get anywhere on the map, putting far more time than it should take and despite reducing the power of archers, making archery even better than before.

    If a developer wants to make a new game and they get the okay from the owner of the IP, I don't think it matters who develops it as long as it's good, because just because they're a veteran of the industry means nothing. IGA who is falsely branded the creator of SotN, he's not he only co developed it, has made several games much worse, and his first one Harmony of Dissonance, despite enjoying is a very broken unbalanced game that is nothing more than a rip off of the card system from Circle of the Moon with the different books and weapons as well as what SotN hoped to achieve. He happened to create a game that was on equal footing with SotN with Aria of Sorrow again, but instead decided that what if every enemy gave a unique spell or skill which was a great idea and it worked well. It worked well in the second game Dawn of Sorrow, again, a game on equal footing to SotN. However it was Portrait of Ruin and Order of Ecclesia that, while not bad, show that IGA really has no clue what makes a good game because these games were full of straight hallways with little variation, and both of these games, especially Order of Ecclesia were heavily effected by weapon type damage making the games even worse. Again, good and decent games, but major issues between both, oh, and once again reusing assets aka SotN as a sort of way to extend the game as both games had nearly half the assets reused atleast once. Let's not forget Lament of Innocence which had a good combat system was nothing but hallways, and then Curse of Darkness he felt the hallways were great so he made hallways even longer with these long, long, long hallways with nothing in between, only to make the combat even more repetitive(although the combat wasn't bad, it's like Dynasty Warriors yes, but good with some of the mechanics they added.) Don't even get me started about NanoBreaker. That game was complete trash.

    So yeah. Excuse me if I don't have faith or give a rats ass what sort of permission that these directors give games. It's the development teams behind the directors, a good director will only guide the game to be a bit better than it would be otherwise.
    Everything in the above post is opinion unless stated otherwise.

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    remaking a masterpiece is idiotic. that goes for games, films, songs, paintings, anything. dont fix what isnt broke

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    what you might think as a masterpiece the artist may not have been able to fully realize the full potential of the piece.

    in this case game creators may have been limited by hardware and there for their masterpiece isnt yet finished.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kupomogli View Post
    So yeah. Excuse me if I don't have faith or give a rats ass what sort of permission that these directors give games. It's the development teams behind the directors, a good director will only guide the game to be a bit better than it would be otherwise.
    This is true too.

    The more I think about it, the more I just don't see the point of full-on remakes (which just to be clear, I hold as being different from a port or an HD upscale). They're almost kind of offensive since they tend to carry the implication that the original is "obsolete," which then is like telling those teams that made the original "ha ha your hard work was for nothing!"

    In fact, one thing I wish would become a law of sorts is that remakes/reboots should always include the original game, at the very least as bonus unlockable content, much like the Splatterhouse remake or Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time did (although Sands of Time wasn't a remake per say, more like just a new game in a long-running series, but it still did well by including the original POP as an unlockable bonus).

    My big problems with remakes is usually they tend to just be chasing modern trends. This might not be a popular thing to say, but Nostalgia Critic (of all people) nailed it in his review of the Live-Action Cat in the Hat: "By seeking to modernize it, you make it more dated, and by seeking to 'improve' it you show you don't respect the source at all." I can't remember the full line, that's from memory, but I remember it being one of the few things he ever said that I agreed with wholeheartedly. The original Robocop is still a good movie because it wasn't following trends, it was just being its own thing. The 2014 Robocop was just "let's take the basic premise and do what a modern filmmaker would do with it," which wound up being an insult. Similarily this is part of why I don't like the Resident Evil remakes and how they took originally campy and silly games and went all edgedark on them because, ya know, that's what all the other horror games do... pretty much the equivalent of the comic book trend in the 1990s of making everything gritty and edgy, even characters like Superman who have no place being done like that.

    Then of course, most time "remakes" end up just being all new games anyway, so why not just market them like that? (Yes I know the real reason is name-brand recognition, but I've never understood most corporate logic, most of which seems to be superstition. Like I'm pretty sure the Tomb Raider reboot would've sold just as well if it was called "Tomb Raider: A New Beginning" or something to distinguish it).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmond Dantes View Post
    My big problems with remakes is usually they tend to just be chasing modern trends.
    This deserves it's own thread but this is my same opinion but of all games, not just remakes. Most games from AAA developers have them doing something modern, rather than taking a look at what was done in the past.

    I'm going to go back to Final Fantasy 7 Remake and Dragon Quest 11 and despite liking both games, I do want to point out why modern JRPGs will never be as good a classic. Now on the FF7R, forget about the change in combat, the graphics, the story, etc, what is the biggest most notable change that really makes a difference? It's the games viewpoint. Almost everything third person now days has to be that behind the back view, where classic JRPGs were always overhead birds eye view. Now of course behind the back doesn't necessarily ruin the game. Look at SMT Nocturne a game I would rate 10/10. However, in first person or with the camera angle being behind the back, there's only so much you can view. You literally have to walk around a path to actually see what is down the path, to see if there's a dead end or to see if there's a treasure box. All games have a mini map now days, but most games aren't going to have a treasure box at that dead end, so you have to look and see yourself, and that takes time. You're putting in a lot more time searching every nook and cranny.

    Now compare what I stated above to how classic games do it in a bird's eye view and again, the example is Final Fantasy 7 or another Dragon Quest game so say Dragon Quest 7. With the games view being a bird's eye view, you now see overhead and that treasure box that is on the other path that the character can't see, you as the player can instantly see everything that's on screen. So you know there's something there, it just requires you to circle around. This means that classic games whether they have a larger area or not, are going to have a much more snappier pacing to them and this makes these games more enjoyable for that alone. Not only are you not just focused on a minimap and can use the actual screen to see what you're looking at, you can easily view that there are objects that can assist you provided it can be seen in the particular map you're on.

    Another thing that modern games have done is that modern games feel the need to put a lot more text, like they always have to go into detail to describe something. Something that I didn't like on Dragon Quest 11 was that despite the game having a very generic storyline, the amount of time it can take to get through a scene of dialogue is really quite ridiculous. Classic games were often more concise in their writing, not having the player listen to so much dialogue before actually getting to the point. Now of course I don't mind games with a lot of dialogue, but I also would like it if the games had a little more respect for our time and if they're going to put a lot of dialogue atleast make the writing much better.

    So this is pretty much a reason that modern games are worse than classic games, simply because by design the pacing is worse, and as you stated, the whole Resident Evil being dark, while I really enjoy Resident Evil 2, every time games get better and better graphics, the first thing developers try to do is improve shadows. It's got to the point that some games are near impossible to see and in some of them and in game light is less effective than a pen light in real life. The fact that Resident Evil 2 only allows your light to be on at specific locations instead of whenever you feel like it is also a design flaw imo. If I can't see I should be able to turn the light on whenever I damn well choose.
    Everything in the above post is opinion unless stated otherwise.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kupomogli View Post
    You're putting in a lot more time searching every nook and cranny.
    It's done on purpose to extend the game time, this is how RPGs can advertise being 100+ hours long. They find ways to waste your time.

    Actually that's something else I dislike with modern games, having multiple paths designed for multiple playthroughs. Usually these don't offer much like some very slightly different dialog to explain something in further detail, but you have to replay the game to get it all unlike older games where you can just further explore dialog options until everything is exhausted.

    It's a reason I dislike that most recent Telltale King's Quest game as you have three ways of solving puzzles and these affect which ending you get, these are really just cheap ways of extending the playtime. Old games would just be linear and made longer to have more content.

    Quote Originally Posted by kupomogli View Post
    Another thing that modern games have done is that modern games feel the need to put a lot more text, like they always have to go into detail to describe something.
    Yes, modern games seem to take themselves too seriously compared to older games, even when a story is really poorly written it's treated like it's extremely important so I just get irritated with it. Not all games need a serious story or complex plot to drive the gameplay. It's the same with modern movies and anime too, I'd often just prefer a simple story like 80's action and fantasy movies had so I can just be entertained without needing to spend effort deciphering the plot. If I need to read a wiki page to figure out what's happening in an action movie then the plot is probably too complex.


    Also what I dislike in modern games is Quick Time Events, especially during cut scenes. I'm sure they put a lot of effort animating a cut scene and are including crucial exposition to the plot, but I'm ignoring all of that as I'm just focusing on the button prompts to complete the section so I can get back to the actual game. Cut scenes used to be a reward, now they're just tedious. It's another reason I dislike the Telltale King's Quest game. Copying the gameplay from Dragon's Lair isn't a good thing, we're not dealing with laserdisc limitations so this poor gameplay isn't excusable in modern times.

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    Ya know, the more I read kupomogli's post, the more like he sounds like a genius. I seriously never noticed how much the viewpoint affects the experience.

    I have noticed the speed thing though. It's something that's a bit of a bugbear for me.... for example one reason I had trouble liking 3D gaming was because it was inherently slower. A quick walk across Hyrule in 2D is now an hours-long journey in 3D, full of mostly empty space (though Breath of the Wild manages to make the world interesting to explore). Another thing I notice a lot is simple actions like attacks. In a lot of older games it was often just a simple few frames and bam (Strider is a good example), but now a simple kick can take minutes. I also remember there being this terrible period where literally every game played like a beat-em-up, with button-masher combos and enemies with long life bars even if they were just common mooks. Like, it gets tedious when every battle is a boss fight. It's okay to have at least some guys you can down with a single attack.

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