It seems with out fail, whenever Hollywood announces a remake/reboot of a beloved film or film franchise it’s met with so much toxicity that’ll make System of a Down blush. However the complete polar opposite seems to happen with video games. The yells and cries of gamers everywhere saying that “Oh they have no new ideas!” or “How dare you, they better not ruin my favorite game” are unheard of or are extremely faint to say the least. Take for example the newest remake to come out, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening. In the small time since the game has been released, and as of this writing, I have yet to find a single negative comment about the game. Gamers I follow on social media can’t stop praising the game. The original was much loved and apparently this remake is going to get that same love and then some. Currently it boasts a 9.4 rating on IGN and MetaCritic has it at a 88. Yet the cries of ‘cash grab’ and ‘why would you rehash a game’ are no where to be heard. Why is that? Well I believe I know why. It’s because gamers are mostly fine with remakes and releases, especially when those games are getting to be pretty high up there in age. We can relive our childhoods for a short while and also introduce a new generation to a classic game that’s becoming a little hard to come by.
Lets rewind the clock a bit to a few years ago. Activision announced that they would be fully remaking the entire Crash Bandicoot trilogy in one complete package. Full HD visuals, trophies, the works. Fans couldn’t believe it. I personally thought the Crash franchise was dead and buried. Turns out I was wrong, and not only did the original games get a HD remake, but the classic kart game, CTR: Crash Team Racing got one too and came out just this year. All of a sudden, Naughty Dog’s famous ex-mascot, and the mascot for the original PlayStation, was back in our living rooms once again. Before this release, the only way to play these classic games was if you got the original PlayStation games. A quick search on eBay and you can find a full, manual included copy, for around $25. It’s not going to break the bank, but you would have to deal with some glitches and the pain of plugging in your PlayStation if you need to do that sort of thing. The visual update is also a VERY welcome addition. Personally I’m OK with seeing past the poorly rendered polygons of the N64 and PlayStation era, but for some gamers they have been spoiled on those HD, 4K graphics we’ve come to expect from modern games. Yet the looks aren’t the important part, it’s the gameplay and if the game is still fun. For Crash, it definitely was. The game was still very challenging and I laughed every time I saw a click bait article complaining about the difficulty. Even the Spyro Trilogy got high marks. The reviewer for the IGN Link’s Awakening article said that “this is a masterclass in remaking a timeless classic.” You can read that whole review here. To me that means the game is essentially the same with some updated visuals and added modes that enhance the experience, not take away from it.
Of course not every remake has been met with praise upon release. The most recent one that comes to mind is the Secret of Mana remake that came out for the PS4 just last year. The game was plagued with random crashes and fans weren’t really happy with the finished product. Yet when I heard about it I was ecstatic, it was a game I’ve always wanted to play but couldn’t because I didn’t have a SNES (until the classic came out of course). Yet once the reviews came out and I saw the game first hand, I was a little bummed. Yet with that Nintendo Direct we got earlier this month revealing some gameplay footage of a completely remade Trials of Mana, my hype started all over again.
Bottom line is that we gamers love a remake of a classic game from our childhoods. I can’t tell you how many times my friends and I have wished for a complete remake of Pokemon Snap from the N64, and just look at the hype for the upcoming Final Fantasy VII Remake. Of course we should all take the announcements of these remakes and remasters with a grain of salt, but when they do come out and turn out to be great games, it makes us love them even more than when we did when we were kids.