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Game Remakes, A Double Take...

Every day there is a new article posted on remakes and ports, going back-and-forth as to why they love and hate the practice. Stating that Metro was a proper remake while Last Of Us, GTA and Tomb Raider are all just cash grabs. Slightly updated visually and repackaged.

Tomb Raider was one of the best looking and playing games on next gen systems this year, above those others that were designed from the ground up for it. Last Of Us was released on a year that brought us a new generation of game systems. So a lot of people didn't experience it the first time around and are getting a gorgeous remake to play for the first time.

GTA V looks better than any Next Gen game released so far. It isn't simply an up rez'd port, they went back and redid most of the texturing, lighting, effects, weather, etc... To fully take advantage of Next Gen systems. While some articles read as if they just upped the resolution to 1080p and are shipping it out untouched.

Then, articles go on to praise these developers for getting to know the Next Gen systems by releasing these ports so they could properly bring us true next-generation games. So which is it? They praise Metro, which was basically a copy of the PC version of both games. While downing the games that they went back and did a ton of work on to get them up to next-generation standards. Which all I listed took over a year of development time to accomplish, some two.

I agree that next generation system owners do not need simple ports of last generation games, but in no way shape or form has anybody delivered simple ports of any of the remakes. If anything, almost as much work went into making sure that next generation system owners had games they could show off to their friends as if they were brand-new. The only game that could be considered close to what they stated was just an uprez'd port, would be Rayman. I also question Metro,, as PC owners were already playing the game that looked pretty much exactly the same a year or more ago. Not that it makes those games any less desirable, as I didn't play either of them last generation, as many like me. It just seems like those games received less time and energy then those that many mention in their articles as being straight ports with a slightly higher resolution.

The beauty of all of this is, nobody has to buy any game they don't want to. If you think that a remake is simply a cash grab, then don't buy it. But don't come into forums and tell people they are wrong for choosing to buy those titles that they may not have played last generation, just because you dont agree with the practice. Obviously, it is quite lucrative to do this for developers and also gives them the leeway to put more money into their true next-generation titles, otherwise all of these developers wouldn't be going back and doing it. Meaning, that gamers arent speaking with their wallets, whether they like the remakes or not. Because obviously developers wouldn't go back and re-make a title if they thought nobody was going to buy it, they are basing their remakes on the success of all of the others that have come before. Which lies directly on gamers shoulders for buying them. So if you have anybody to be pissed at, it's gamers who are buying these remakes and not the developers themselves.

It's like faulting Walmart for selling glass screen TVs, because there is all of the sudden a huge interest from consumers for them again. You think the entire market should be flatscreen and digital, yet consumers are buying enough of these glass screen TVs to make it lucrative for businesses to go back to making them and selling them again. This is just an example and isn't really happening, but you can see where I'm coming from. Demand is always going to trump need. It happens in every market and is controlled by what consumers are buying... not what the market needs to move forward.

Turn to cell phone games for the best example. The advent of cell phone gaming, basically brought the game world back to its roots again. People went back to playing and loving games that were no more advanced than those we were playing in the late 70s and early 80s. It didn't move the market forward, but it's what consumers were buying. And, we can bless that this has happened, because it brought more people… People who had zero interest in gaming just a few years ago, into the console market. Making gaming even more popular than it's been for its entire existence. Broadening the spectrum of those who were playing and making it okay to call yourself a gamer.

Something that had it not happened, May have caused another crash to the industry. Because things were getting stagnant and stale again. Indie developers brought back originality to gaming, while big-name developers and publishers were content on re-releasing and rehashing the same games we've been playing for the past 10 years. Not because consumers wanted them, but because they were selling well. Then, you say, what is the difference? Consumers didn't have a choice, we were being shoveled the same games with a different coat of paint whether we liked them or not. If you were a gamer you had no choice... you were playing what others were playing, because there was nothing else. Indie developers started making games that they wanted to play, which in turn was something different than what gamers were used to playing. Ideas that were copied and pasted by big game developers who saw the true need for innovation, not replication.

I think all of this banter back-and-forth as to why remakes are lesser than true next-generation ground up games is just gamers trying to convince themselves that they needed more of a reason to buy a next generation system. That their money should've went for true next-generation games and not these ports that they may or may not have played and beat last generation. Which is fine, you have the right to speak with your wallets. The problem is, a lot of other gamers don't feel the same way and are giving developers a reason to go back and revisit these games that were groundbreaking in their own time and introducing them to a new audience who didn't have a chance to try them the first time around.

With all of the delays that we have experienced this year for true next-generation games, if it wasn't for these remakes… We truly would have almost nothing to play. And, as I stated before, these arent just simple ports. Developers are working hard to make sure that these games look and play like next-generation games, even if they have last generation roots. So I guess the question becomes, would you rather be playing nothing or just a few 1st generation examples of next generation gaming... or the best versions of the best games from last generation, redone so you couldn't tell they were developed from the ground up for our shiny new systems?

As others, I see it from both sides of the fence. But, I am one that skipped the last few years of last generation so these games are somewhat new to me. So my opinion may be skewed in one direction, while I can understand why those who have played and beat and put hundreds of hours into these titles, may not want to go back and revisit them. But, if those AAA examples of the best of last year are releasing to an entirely new audience who didn't get a chance to play them and are bringing more people over to next gen systems... it only benefits everyone in the long run, as developers have more people to sell their games to.

Sort of a double-edged blade that I hope gamers from both sides of the fence can understand. Instead of bickering between each other, find some common ground to understand that not everybody played those games that you did and are experiencing the greatness that you experienced for the first time in a new way, on our great next generation systems.

xymox3333188d ago (Edited 3188d ago )

You make good points about some stuff. But you have to understand why remakes and ports have the potential to drag gaming down.

If developers feel they can make money off ports and remakes as opposed to making brand new games from the ground up. Most will. You can't really put all the blame on them though. The money it takes to make AAA games is insane. I don't think most gamers realize what they are asking for when they demand "Next-Gen" AAA games.

These developers in many cases spend millions on something as simple as in-game engines. Every time gamers demand increased graphics and Frame-rates. They put pressure on the developers because if the game fails to make a profit (after they just spent millions on it). The developers could be facing bankruptcy.

So ports and remakes are generally a much safer bet. Especially on 8th-gen systems that are doing bad such as Wii U and Ps Vita. However, as you said this is a double edged sword. Gamers have a legitimate fear that if game developers realize they can simply make money by releasing ports and remakes. That's all they are going to do.

I would say that last bit is insane, But Capcom, EA and Activision are examples that if a company can get away with a business practice that rips people off. They will continue to use that practice until something is done. Activision has been releasing the same Call Of Duty games for years now. Just giving them different names. People complain. But as long as they keep going out and buying the game. It is most likely never going to end. Same goes for Capcom and EA.

I am someone who did not own any last-gen systems outside of the Psp. So I understand wanting to experience last-gen games on new hardware. The fighting between gamers needs to end. Because if it doesn't. Most big companies will try and make as much money as possible. While giving very little back in games.

theXtReMe13188d ago

I agree that some developers may take it too far, but I would much rather have a polished, next gen version of a last gen game... than a new, half baked next gen idea. Once again, that double edged sword comes into play, as when do we finally start seeing quality new titles? As with every generation, they seem to come in year 3 and beyond... When developers learn and know the intricacies of these next gen systems and can exploit them to full potential. Until then, I am going to enjoy playing those last gen games I missed, with a next gen sheen. With, hopefully, some new next gen games thrown in. The Witcher 3 looks like the first to push the envelope and truly deliver something that couldnt have been done in the past, on last generation hardware.

xymox3333187d ago (Edited 3187d ago )

I agree. Now before I start, so I don't confuse you. I will tell you what my definition of "next-gen" is.

To me. The "next-gen" started when the 3DS was released. It was the first console (because handhelds are consoles, I don't know why people pretend they aren't) to release int the 8th-gen of gaming. With that aside.

Like a I said I agree. I never owned a 7th-gen console outside of Psp. So I missed many last-gen games. Being a Ps Vita owner. I was gald when Mortal Kombat 9 and Boardelands 2 came to the system. These to games are perfect examples of what to do (and what not to do), when bringing last-gen games to current hardware.

Mortal Kombat on Ps Vita was a near flawless port of a last-gen game, (go look at critic and user reviews, you will see it scored higher then last-gen versions). It used the Ps Vita's touch and tilt controls wonderfully, It had modes dedicated to them. It came with all the previous DLC. It was the most complete version of the game at that time (the online servers for Vita got shut down this year). The only downfall was slightly reduced character models and I think it was missing one online mode. Everything else was there. Including 60 frames-per second.

Boardelands 2 on the other hand, might be the very embodiment of what gamers fear as far as remakes and ports go. I admittedly have not played it. But from what I have seen. This game is terrible. Frame-rates can dip so low they end up in the single digits. The main menu screen and text are still adapted for home consoles (making words hard to read). While the developers managed to keep a surprising amount of graphics detail (especially on character models).

The textures are very noticeably gone from home console versions. The Ps Vita's unique controls have been poorly used. You can look at the game and see the developers just didn't properly optimize the game for Ps Vita. It was a horrible transition to a 8th-gen console, and even sadder. This game was bundled with the new slim models. At least it came with most of the previous DLC.

So like I said. I understand the need for last-gen games on "next-gen" platforms. But not when they end up like Boardelands 2 on Ps Vita. So you don't think I am just exaggerating. I will give a link for a in-depth look at this game.

I will have to take a look at the Witcher 3. Haven't seen anything on it since last year.

CerealKiller3184d ago

Great article. The market speaks to publishers and tells them what games to make. Its called the invisible hand. Remember these companies are businesses and they supply what the consumer demands.