The art of the remake.

Scotty W

No game is ever perfect, or exempt the ravages of time, thus, remasters are always essential.

But there is an art to remastering which I am going to explicate here. First, bad and broken gameplay must be fixed, otherwise, the game will go on in its brokenness for all time. For example, you might recall the Dreamcast game Outlander that got remade. People were amped for it until they got it and realized that it was the exact same game, and broken and not so great. A bad game NEED NOT be bad forever. Designers have to stop being lazy and work harder.

Unless that is part of its charm, as in Super Mario Sunshine where the player will inhale large chunks of Delfino sand and oyster-like polish these flaws until they sit like perfectly polished pearls across your heart. I mean, who doesn’t adore the clipping camera in Mario 64 or wax nostalgic for they days of fragging noobs on a skipped frame in a low latency match of Quake. These flaws are what made the game great!

Visuals are a great example of the Dukes of remaster Hazzards. This is most obviously the area where a game can benefit from a remaster. Think of the 3DS OoT remaster. Every fool that saw it loved it. But there are pitfalls of this too. Everyone was disgusted by the HD Street Fighter 2 and Chrono Cross releases from a few years back. As gamers, we demand that pixellated games remain pixellated as that is a big part of their charm. Animated remakes are so cheap and showy too. The lesson is simple: make the game as gorgeous as possible and don’t ruin the look of the original (because nostalgia) unless it didn’t have a good look and people are not nostalgic for it.

Framerate is very impotant in this respect as well. Framerates must be fixed as high as possible except when a lot of expert techniques are dependent on a low framerate. This is most games, quite frankly and so a game must be 120fps but retain the look and feel of 15-20fps, but only in the ways in which that original brokenness is part of their original charm.

One big problem that plagues a lot of these games is the been there done that feel. You know and love the game, you probably beat it 50 times, and there is no more blood in the stone. Remasters and remakes need something fresh. But it must be tastefully done, otherwise it takes you outside of the game. Like, the free aiming option in the Metroid 2 remake was totally jarring as were the new areas, though lets be honest, new areas are always jarring. If you have new content, make a new game! To sum up, a game should feel familiar, well worn, familiar and brand new, but it must not try anything new, since this drives up the price tag. Anything higher than 20$ is an abomination, and designers should be ashamed of themselves; I don’t care how hard you worked, it’s a remake, it should be super easy.

Finally, and most importantly, a rerelease must look and feel new while retaining all the game breaking bugs that are so important. Speedrunners are the most important category of gamer, so this is super importz. One of the reasons the rerelease of Zelda OoT was such a miserable failure was that it cut out the bugs like the one that let you hit Mido was a deku stick while going into a 35 backflip sequence to clip you all the way to Gannon. Just horrible! Won’t someone think of the poor speedrunners?

And on a related note, it is no secret that every game made before 2016 fails in regard to diversity, inclusion and equity. Game designers should use this opportunity to insert as much inclusivity as possible into remakes. Of course, it must feel natural and may require tastefully changing story elements, while staying true to the original. For example, in Chrono Trigger you could have Lavos represent capitalism, and Zeal is a kind of Wakanda, make Flea black and let Marle and Lucca get married in the end. But don’t change too much! The changes must feel natural.

And some games should just not ever be remade. If you think of, say, Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, any alterations and improvements would spoil the graphics, the gameplay organized around those graphics, and the perfection of the original. There are a lot of perfect old games that are lovably broken, yet perfect in their brokenness, and unremakeable. Maybe it is better not to remake.

So game designers, just give us something that feels new and fresh, and stop diluting the purity of the originals. You got your second chance, now make it perfect! Work harder, Morons.
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Gold Member
Friday the 13th was an interesting takebif they even intended for it to be a remake of the NES version. Well, some clear differences though.

Remasters have been great though such as Shadow of the Colossus and Demons Souls. I'd buy a remake of the first Quake even if it wasn't on P.C.
This reads like a nerdy high school essay, or an op-ed submission to some newspaper. Did you copy & paste it, OP?

Anyway, remakes can be done well or poorly just as any other product. It matters the designers intent & skill behind it. Tomb Raider Anniversary is probably my favorite remake ever. Built from the ground up and close enough to the original but also a unique and fresh vision. The Resident Evils also seem well done. Neither franchise remake makes the originals obsolescent. The new Actraiser is on my wishlist for when it goes on sale.

Still waiting if someone totally fudges up Metal Gear Solid, or does it justice. One thing we definitely agree on however, there MUST be injected as much diversity, inclusion, and equity as possible, or else why even bother?


The quality of a remake is meassured on how close they are to surpassing Resident Evil (2002).
So far, it hasn't happened. And from the looks of it, it will remain that way for the forseeable future.


Spot on OP. Someone already mentioned the Resident Evil 1/2 remakes and Tomb Raider Anniversary, which are some of my golden standards for remakes. The new Dead Space looks fantastic since it keeps atmosphere and gun play intact while still changing up and adding a ton (faithful with great additions is the best way to go, like REmake). FF7 I hear is fantastic, though I haven't played (too much of a turn based puritan).

I never see the point of remakes that don't change a thing. TLOU is the biggest offender since it remade a game that still looks/plays great and has been remastered already for current gen. Demon Souls is somewhat of an offender, but I give it a pass since it's a much bigger jump and its hard as shit to play the original. There's also the GTA collection and the Silent Hill collection (one could argue it's a remaster more than a remake, but they lost a ton of code from the originals and tried make it up themselves for what was missing; they failed).
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