Sitting here, blasting my way through DOOM (2016) and it got me thinking about remakes. DOOM isn’t a remake but the return to the high intensity, gory action got me thinking about other games that received a remake. Remakes themselves aren’t a new thing. We’ve seen Metal Gear Solid and Resident Evil receive remakes on the GameCube and Metroid II: Return of Samus on the 3DS. Admittedly, I still haven’t played any of these. In fact, I still haven’t played the original Resident Evil on any console despite having it on the Saturn, GameCube and PlayStation 3. However, we have seen remakes more and more, with the likes of Final Fantasy VII Remake, Resident Evil 2 & 3, Spyro Reignited Trilogy, Crash Team Racing and Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy. There’s even a Last of Us remake in the works and a rumoured Resident Evil 4 remake too (yet no Resident Evil: Code Veronica – for shame Capcom, for shame).
Of course, there is a difference between a remake and a remaster. Final Fantasy VIII, for example, received a remaster on last gen consoles. The graphics look crisper and it added in new features such, as cheats and achievements, but kept the same core design from the 1999 original. Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy, on the other hand, was completely rebuilt from the ground up, presenting an updated new graphical style while attempting to keep the same gameplay of Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped. Of course, this led to some timing issues for some players when it came to Crash Bandicoot and Crash Bandicoot 2 as the originals had slightly different control schemes. However, there are some games I never really mentioned as remakes or remasters. Dragon Quest IV-VI received a fresh coat of paint and new features for its release on the DS. These games were somewhat faithful representations of the NES and SNES originals (even if some players preferred the originals). Dragon Quest VII would also receive a full remake on the 3DS a few years later. Yet, I never really here these thrown in with talks of remakes (maybe it’s just the circles I travel in). Of course, there are more cloudier “remakes” out there. Several older Final Fantasy games received rereleases on Steam and Mobile with updated graphics. These graphical changes weren’t warmly received and as a result, a “pixel perfect” release is now being planned.
For the most part, remakes appear to be warmly received by fans. Resident Evil on the GameCube is often considered one of the greatest games of all time and a perfect example of how to remake a classic. Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes received great reviews as it blended the original’s story with the new features and graphical stylings of Metal Gear Solid 2. Resident Evil 2’s remake was greatly anticipated. The original was a phenomenal game that improved on every aspect of the original. It had a great cast of characters, a well detailed environment to explore and improved voice acting (which wasn’t hard). The remake took us to a much more grittier Raccoon Police Department, where terror lurked around every corner. The game’s presentational style, atmospherically chilling sound effects and wonderful cast all helped us to remember why the original was so great. Of course, I did have some criticisms in regards to Mr. X becoming more of a nuisance than anything else and the lack of a proper 2nd scenario, like the original. I still loved it.
Of course, not every remake gets such a warm reception from fans. For Spyro Reignited Trilogy, the gameplay and art style were very well received but the fact only the first game was on the disc drew a lot of criticisms. For Resident Evil 3, there was a bit more of a disappointment in some elements of the fans base. The short length, making Nemesis more of a timed event than a constant threat and the removal of some key areas of the original (for example, the Clocktower) all upset fans. I still enjoyed this one but was mystified at how the Clocktower was reduced to a boss fight. I wasn’t too bothered by the short length as the original Resident Evil 3 Nemesis wasn’t exactly a long game but the decisions you made could add to its replay value. Then there’s Final Fantasy VII Remake. While other remakes will update the visuals, add in new features and bring the original story to a new audience, Final Fantasy VII Remake attempted to do what can only be called a “reimagining” or “requel” of the original. By expanding out a short section of the original Final Fantasy VII, Square Enix were able to add in all sorts of new features, from new characters to new locations and even new twists. I enjoyed my time with this one for the most part. The pacing was off in some areas but others were greatly expanded upon. I am not a fan of how the story has evolved but we are only in the first part of the series. Personally, I don’t think Final Fantasy VII Remake should be counted as a remake similar to Resident Evil 2, Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes or Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy but this is more of a personal preference than anything else.
Remakes are something that are just part and parcel with the games industry. We’ve seen them in the sixth generation with the aforementioned Resident Evil and Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes but also with Conker’s Bad Fur Day: Live and Reloaded, on handhelds with Metroid: Samus Returns, Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, and in the last generation with Mafia: Definitive Edition and Resident Evil 2. I don’t mind a remake, especially if it’s based on a game from several generations ago. I would love to see remakes of games like Jet Set Radio, the Mother series, Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire, Suikoden and even Resident Evil: Code Veronica so that new players can enjoy these classics.
What remakes do you like? What games would you like to see the get the remake treatment?