It seems that a new recent trend with many Gaming companies is to release a fresh batch of remakes of old games to celebrate the start of the new console gaming generation.
So far we have Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire, The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time 3DS, Wind Waker HD, Majora Mask 3DS, on Nintendo’s devices. The Master Chief Collection and Last of Us are the major exclusive releases for Microsoft’s and Sony’s console respectively.
Last week I celebrated the release of Binding of Isaac Rebirth on PC and it’s debut on PS4 but that is not the only contender on this gaming trend. Lately we also have the official re-release of Grand Theft Auto 5, Tomb Raider, Sleeping Dogs for the new consoles.
Everyone has some stance when it comes to buying video games, there are those on the internet who are excited for these games to come out for their new devices, and other have gone to the forums proclaiming that these and most remakes are just a cheap trick pulled by these gaming companies to get a quick buck as filler content before they can announce their proper next current generation game.
I land somewhere in the middle, so for today I am going to provide my personal checklist to answer the question, “When is it ok to buy a remake of a game?”
**The first thing on my list is when the old game is ported to a new engine.**
We see this with Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire being ported to the X/Y 3DS engine, with Binding of Isaac moving away from being coded on flash and I can not speak for the Halo development team but I assume their Xbox One games as well.
Being ported to a new engine means that the developers actually put effort into recreating the old world with the new technological tools they had since the game first came out, proving it is not just an upgraded port of the old game. As Edmund McMillen said in his F.A.Q, moving away from flash was able to have the freedom to add more content and have the game better reflect what the type of game he wanted from the beginning.
**New content added….beyond the bundled DLC**
I can only talk about Pokemon ORAS and Binding of Isaac with confidence but both games have added more content to their base game. Just like porting the game to a new engine added content is there as a sign that the game developers put some serious thought and effort into remaking the game to provide more content and reason to justify the decision for the consumer to rebuy the game again.
With Pokemon we have the game play advances we have all come to know and love since the old Gameboy Advance games like the inclusion of fairy types and mega evolution but on top of that we get the recently advertised feature the new Hidden Move, Soar, giving the players the ability to roam around the Hoenn region as the next logical step for HM02, Fly.
With Binding of Isaac, we have all content from the basic game and the Wrath of Lamb DLC already in the game, but even with all of that the game was just about half the content, the people behind Binding added more items, trinkets, enemies, bosses and levels. With all the returning the old and new items the game has been balanced and tinkered with to provide better synergize with different types of tear shots from all the possible item combinations.
The last and most important criteria for buying a remade game, in my opinion, is:
**A remanded game that could still be needed even with backwards compatibility**
Backwards compatibility has been a big issue with me with this gaming generation, as well as others, when there was the announcement that newest consoles, aside from Nintendo, could not and would not play any of their games from previous generation’s library. This category focuses on all the games I have not mentioned yet like The Last of Us, Halo 3 & 4, and all the other third-party games remakes.
This leads me to a major question I have with these recent AAA remakes, as a PC gamer is “Why”? Why would anyone play and even pay full price for the same game again with just a graphical upgrade? To side with people I mentioned earlier, It does seem a bit lazy just porting an old game to the PS4 and Xbox One and it only happens that because of the technical ability of the platforms these game developers chose to work with. I do not recall much from the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 launch library but I do not remember just after the last gen was revealed a major influx of remastered old PS2 and Xbox games for everyone to buy again.
You can give Nintendo flack for rehashing established Intellectual Properties and reselling their old games on every new platform but at least it is new to the device, like we see with the NES/SNES ports on the 3DS or old games that dates back two generations, like we see with Zelda Wind Waker, and where credit is due, half of the Halo collection.
But that is just my opinion, I want to know what you think, what are the criteria for buying remade/remastered games? Feel free to leave a comment below.
Be MOP focuses on the world of videogames with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the gaming industry. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays