The past few years we have seen so many games get the 21st Century upgrade. Games that we loved back in the day getting facelifts and being introduced to the younger generation makes me smile. It’s also a change of pace because unlike another industry I know of, when a classic game gets either a remake or a remaster the fans (the one’s I’ve seen anyway) jump for joy. No one yells or criticizes the idea of a older game getting a rerelease or a remake until the game is actually out. We have some big remakes coming out in the near future. Final Fantasy VII Remake is just around the corner with Trials Of Mana hot on its heels. Even the past few years with the Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy and the Spyro Reignited trilogy have been huge hits. So why am I talking about this? Well it seems that every time a new big gaming announcement is made it somehow involves a remake of some kind. Of course the remake/remaster isn’t the focal point of the presentation, but it’s still talked about on news outlets, podcasts, and the like. Have some remakes missed the mark? Yes, some aren’t as good as the original (Secret of Mana remake I’m looking at you) yet mostly these remakes are great.
So why remake or remaster a game in the first place? Well for many reasons. One of the biggest is that as timeless as certain games are, they did not age well. Now I’ll always be a fan of the pixel era, I love seeing 8-bit and 16-bit sprite art, but even I can attest that the PS1 and N64 graphics are a little sore on the eyes. Now that’s not to say the older graphics are bad, there are many titles from that era of gaming that will always stand the test of time and have a beautiful art style, when I saw aged well I’m not just talking about graphics, I’m also talking about certain aspects of gameplay. Ocarina of Time 3D being a huge point here. Now I’ve only dabbled with playing the original N64 version. I lost my system before I could truly play it and when I played it on the 3DS I loved it. However I couldn’t get what my friends were saying about the water dungeon. It was difficult sure, but not as bad as I thought. Then I understood why. The 3DS remake made it so you could have your Iron Boots in their own item slot which made equipping them much easier. Back in the day, you had to constantly go into the menu over and over again to get the boots on and off. Now with the remake, you could get through the quote/unquote “Worst water level ever” with much more ease. It’s little things like that which make the game more accessible especially to younger players whom have never heard of Ocarina.
Reboots can also be a great thing for certain franchises. When DOOM 2016 was announced I was excited. I loved playing the original DOOM and just from watching the trailers I was excited. Granted the early beta and news of development troubles wasn’t a good sign, but once the game came out, you couldn’t stop hearing about it. That reboot essentially revitalized a long beloved series and got people excited about DOOM again. So much so that the older games were ported to a slew of consoles so we could relive the old days of demon slaying.
Now one other thing about how having older games remade isn’t a bad thing is that you can also experiment and make improvements to the games mechanics along the way. Even though these titles aren’t officially out yet (at the time of this writing) but Final Fantasy VII REMAKE and the Trials of Mana remake both have demos out which showcases the gameplay. As someone who loves the old school turn based battle system of Final Fantasies past, I got to tell you. I love this new battle system for VII. It’s fresh, its quick, they took all the elements from the original game and changed them in a good way. It also looks like they’ll be adding a whole lot more story to the game that was never in the original. For Trials of Mana the game was never released in the US until just recently. It is a fun game, I’ve been enjoying it quite a bit, but I’m digging the improvements to the combat and exploration segments in the demo. Not to bash the original game, but this remake of a Mana title is doing what the previous one didn’t. Instead of making the gameplay the exact same, they’re making it so it’s fun to explore and discover. No longer do you just have a top down view of the field, you can see everything from eye level, and it’s easier to doge monster attacks as well. One big plus from the demo is that your save file from the demo can carry over to the main game once you get it. That way you can have different save files with different characters and they’ll all move over so you don’t have to go trough the tutorial again.
With how popular these games have become I doubt we’ll stop seeing these classic games remade or rereleased and to be honest I’m OK with that. I’ve said before that these are good for those who want to relive the old days on a system they for sure own and for sure works. Also it’s a great bonding tool with the younger generation so they can see what games were like back then. Also these games do tend to be cheaper than the originals. Don’t get me wrong I would love to have the original cart of certain games, yet those can, and are, really expensive and I don’t have the means to play them. The rereleases are the only way I would be able to play those classics that end up on many’s gaming bucket list. Either way, I’m excited to see what comes out in the future and how developers make changes to some of our favorite games.