Let’s be honest here, whether you like them or hate them, remakes and remasters are undoubtedly a hot topic at the moment, and they remain to be extremely popular. Nostalgia is an easy drug, all you need to do is prey on a consumer’s childhood memories, bringing them back to when times were easy and the world wasn’t so grim, and then hey presto! You’ve got yourself a hit.
But the topic also remains to be extremely divisive. Take the recent Mafia: Definitive Edition that was announced, and a little less specifically, the Mafia: Trilogy, many fans were overjoyed to see an old and beloved classic with new graphics, but some were unhappy to see yet another remake/remaster on the market. The same could be said for Tony Hawks Pro Skater 1 and 2, or Saints Row 3 Remastered etc...
But fashion always comes back, it’s popular to relive the 90’s fashion style at the moment, that style is ‘in’ right now, so why does popular culture get a bad rep when the same thing happens? Do we just appreciate games as a work of art that shouldn’t be tampered with? Imagine if JK Rowling just up and said Dumbledore was gay the entire time? Wait hang on… That actually happened... and just look at the reaction fans had there.
But in all honesty, remakes/remasters aren’t all that bad, at worst they’re just the base game with a new coat of paint and modern compatibility, such as remakes bringing old games to new hardware. Take the original Resident Evil 3: Nemesis for instance, it’s almost impossible to get the game running on a modern day PC without the use of an emulator, which brings up several moral and ethical questions. Essentially, you’ll never be able to play the original RE3 again unless you have the original console to play it on. And that’s what makes the recent Resident Evil 3 Remake a lot better (okay, debate whether or not it’s actually a good remake, but my point here still stands).
Okay, so yeah sure it may seem like there’s a lot of remakes and remasters out there, but in reality that’s just because there’s a lot of games coming out right now. 10 years ago we didn’t have nearly as many games coming out in a single year, now there’s hundreds, and remakes are easy to latch onto because they’re recognizable.
But on the flipside, it’s just content being recycled to make more money, and some of the time there is hardly any effort put into making the remake/remaster worth your time again. Is the remake/remaster craze just a selfish ploy by video game companies? Or is there actually some merit to playing old games with new content/coat of paint?
So are there really too many remakes/remasters? Or are we just noticing them more because they’re recognizable? And is that even a bad thing? Or is the industry genuinely preying on our nostalgia and they should stop? Let’s debate!