When it comes to video game remakes people love to tear it apart. It’s nothing like the classic or it is an easy cash grab move made by greedy people are amongst the most heard complaints. Yet a remake can be so much more. It’s all dependent on what lens we are looking trough. Since we all should stay inside there is no need to put on those pitch black sunglasses. Let’s put on some rose tinted to goggles to give your house and your games a fresh new look shall we?
Nowadays we treat Capcom or Square Enix or anyone reissuing anything, as the evil corporations once only depicted in games. The legendary RPG maker is giving us two games (maybe more) instead of one… They want to empty our pockets three times over. They Remake the third resident evil game in the same style als RE2… thats so easy.. it’s just because they want money. While to an extent that might be true it also is not. Gaming has evolved, development is easier and done on a much larger scales. Companies don’t have to pay 6 employees they have to pay 100.
Back in the days not a single developer was like “we don’t care about money.. all we want to do is create good games.. let’s wait a few years and then release the one because it feels right. No! Teams were small, the same squad working on Chrono Trigger would have to be put on the next game as well. That’s why releases where few and far apart. They aren’t more money hungry now, earning money is what they exist for, that would be like calling an alarm clock evil for waking you up every morning!
As it stands there is a lot more money to be made in the industry and would you own the company you would do the same, we all pretend to be better but if we ran a company we would want to get as much profit as possible as well. If we would not we would fail. In fact it is because they gain so much money games have developed so fast. It brought us in the amazing world we are in today. Back in 1996, if I did not like the newest Final Fantasy I’d have to wait for years.. hoping one MIGHT come again.
Nowadays, Final Fantasy XV comes out and it’s not for me..but I know that I will get a game I like in some shape way or form. Few years later I got treated to Final Fantasy VII Remake! I am thirty three years old and I am well into my “been there done that years”, new games do not feel new to me anymore yet thanks to remakes, I can still enjoy modern gaming without it feeling to samesie..because somehow Nostalgia cancels that. That doesn’t sound evil to me that sounds smart.
I believe each and everyone of us has a saturation point. Bob can play twenty demon based first person shooters before beginning to notice the twenty first really looks like Doom, the first one he played. The twenty second is..surprisingly similar to Hexen. Johny might be a bit more of a sourpuss and will notice Animal Crossing and Stardew Valley after just two games.I believe people reach a saturation point for new IP’s or franchises at one point. The better the originals in a genre the faster it happens.
Take for example the Party Racer (Karting Genre. Mario Kart made such a strong base that only a handful could stand up to them. Crash Team Racing, Diddy King Racing and maybe those Sony and Sega Super star racing games are in general the only ones people think can stand up to the big one. No one really likes Little Big Planet Kart or that Shrek karting game.
I have reached that Mario Kart level, with many genres, I experienced games I found so good, that the new stuff doesn’t impress me as much. This isn’t even because I am cynical, this is because I gamed for over 25 years. Just like people remember their first kiss more fondly than their 37th. While new games and franchises can still be great, they can’t be magical to me anymore.
Remakes however still contain that magic, because that magic was never in the game itself.. it is within ourselves, within our minds. We only have so much magical memory to give away, our sense of wonder unfortunately is a finite resource and a good remake or even a half decent one at that can bring back that magic a bit. Within limits, but more on that later. I am happy with a new Pokémon Game because it brings back the memories and that magic, but even though I love my Snom and Falanks encountering them.. never feels like seeing Pikachu pop up in the grass for the first time.
Now as much as I like Red and Blue, Gold was the game I was much more aware of playing. Less overwhelmed more armed for the task. To this day I think Pokémon Heart Gold is the best pokémon game ever.. and with me many people agree. A good remake can not only bring back that magic but amplify it. They keep what work and make it better and maybe.. just maybe they can allow you to gain a bit of magic back to give..it will never be as much as you put into that game.. but by seeing what they did to make our beloved things better, we might appreciate that same more modern mechanic in things we did not believe were magic before.
Bob and Sally
Now not all remakes invoke this sense of nostalgia. A lot of the Final Fantasy games for mobile do not work for me, the new Pokémon rescue squad is cute.. but I kinda prefer the original GBA version. This applies to sequels even more. Vice City was the best GTA game in my book and while I still enjoyed San Andreas a bit and Chinatown wars, GTA IV and V did not do it for me anymore. Sequels carry over less magic than remakes, when I see Sobble, Scorbunny and Grookey I am like.. let’s pick the little crybaby thing it’s cute. When I played Heartgold and I saw Cyndaquil in it’s pokéball again I was like “It’s my BOY!”
Like meeting new people at a con is great, but meeting an old time friend you haven’t seen in five years is so much better. Remakes are harder to do right however. While we do not mind a new friend asking a bit of an odd question to us here and there.. with a friend of old we are much less lenient. We are easy to blame them or scold the, for doing something wrong. So how do you make a solid remake?! Well it’s time for another analogy.
I could explain what exactly we want to see in a remake going in depth in the power of nostalgia. However I do not care for that and instead have opted for another route! We are going to imagine that first kiss again.. or your first crush I mean we are geeks, so no harm no foul if you have never been kissed. Imagine you are 15 or 16 and have your first real romance with a woman named Sally or guy named Bob. You share a magical moment together.. but as time is cruel, you move away.. or maybe they do. Now 20 years later sit in a bistro or walk across the street when suddenly you see a familiar face. Now there are about three to four ways this situation can unfold.
Option A: They are exactly the same!
Oh my Arceus! It’s Sally/Bob! They have aged but you can still recognise them and you proceed to talk with them. Things are just like 20 years ago.. a little to similar. While Sally obviously looks like a 35 year old and wears clothes of the time instead of those colourful nighties neon jumpsuits she still only talks about My Little Pony.. and I am not talking about the Friendship is Magic show from 2010 here! She keeps yapping about the 1986 one and refuses to acknowledge anything beyond that. She also thinks cellphones are a bit to modern so she gives you her home address and home phone number so you can call there within a set time. Bob still has the exact same newspaper route and hangs out with the exact same people as he did in middle school. While it is nice to catch up again, you can’t help but feel they are a little bit sad and wished they would at least get with the time already.
Option B: They are completely unrecognisable?!
Remember Sally?! Well he is called Sander now, that my Little Pony thing they used to talk so much about has completely vanished, they did that to conform to their gender role back in the time, right now they are into dark and edgy stuff. Sander is a Roadie to My Chemical Romance and a blacksmith in real life. While Sander might be a great person, he is in no way that person you kissed twenty years ago. Bob is DECKED out! He used to be a fat kid, who would shyly write you a little poem about your hair being winter fire, January embers, where his heart burns too. Now twenty years later he is a buff billionaire, scrumptious to all the sheeple! He is people magazine’s most eligible bachelor of the year, everyone wants Bob now.. but it is not Bob… sure you might like to sink your teeth into the beefcake regardless.. but it’s not Ben anymore… I mean Bob! That magic isn’t there you just want to jump the bandwagon.
Option C: They Added to Much
Sally looks great, she got a facelift, she has plenty of new things to talk about, like a career fitting ot the times. However She now comes with sixteen cats. To be able to “play” with Sally you are going to have to make sure the cats are fed and satisfied. The woman also developed an allergy to bought stuff, particularly that of a rubber persuasion. So to be able to enter the further stages of romance you will have to visit an Native American Shaman in order to craft the items you need to proceed. It really doesn’t fit Sandy to be like that.. I mean it’s not like she crafted all her my little pony stuff back in the day…but now since DIY is hip she suddenly is really into it..and you have to be too. Bob has a bunch of kids, one of each ethnicity and sexual orientation of course. In order to win Bob’s heart you are going to have to go bowling with one kid and treat the other to Taco Bell, the youngest needs you to play hide and seek with them. This is not what you signed up for! More stuff to do is not always better! Even if it’s modern and popular!
Option D: Bob and Sally Improved.
Sally is a lawyer now, Bob is a well paid male nurse. Both have clearly gotten a facelift, and some Botox. She is wearing a sexy dress that is in fashion and he has opted to go for a more classic look the fiber count in his suit is much better than they used to make it.. making it still feel contemporary. Sally still loves My Little Pony but she went with the time and talks about the actual Friendship is Magic show. Rather than being called on their home phone you can now use modern technology to call them more easily or even send out a casual text message. While some locations you would use to visit when courting them went out of business you will just plan around it and make due with what you got. You might not be able to take them to the Drive In, like in those memories of old.. the new option of Netflix and Chill is pretty solid as well.
In all cases I described above there is a case of subjectivity though. There is no universal measure for too much of something. There are plenty of people who want a remake to barely change anything, but if it’s to different for them they can still play the original. The remake still will invoke that desire to play that game. If you play the old one or the new one the remake can still trigger horus of fun, even if it is just by proxy bringing back relevance to that forgotten title. Some want to see something significantly different, if they can not get what they want either a new franchise will rise up to give these people what they want (How Temtem caters to a specific demographic of disappointed pokemon fans for example) or someone in the comments will point you towards a game you might like who is similar but still different enough, allowing you to discover things that went under the radar.
Regardless if a remake is good or bad it brings activity to the fandom.It makes your favorite game either celebrated or talked about again. Perhaps a new generation can discover your gem.. even if it has kinda lost is shine to you. While RE3 remake may be to short and to much like RE2 remake it will allow you to talk about Nemesis again. It opens discussion again if Claire or Jill is better. Just by existing regardless of quality. New games don’t do that!
Besides, maybe someone has not played RE2 before so this remake meant less to them than this RE3 remake did! When someone tells you about their first kiss with Sandy you don’t tell them.. Oh it’s Sander now.. you let them reminisce and enjoy. Who cares that you have to pay a few full games to get FF VII’s full story, each part has a lot more content and bang for your buck than many other games. You still have the option to play that story in one game anyway. Some people are thrilled because now they get that magic they got all those years ago.. not once.. but multiple times! Do not hate on remakes for the sake of them being that.. because while it might just be a cash grab to you.. it is magic to some. While if you dislike it you can play the original.. or join a debate instead.. and you get robbed of something that could have been, by being a jerk and joining on reddit to prevent this sort of content in the future.. you might be robbing someone else of magic. I’d say that magic is a much more valuable good.