Critical Hit | Give Remakes A Rest

By 22.08.2011 7

They call me grumpy, they call me cynic, they call me sceptic, always the same. That’s not my name, that’s not my name, that’s not my name, that’s not my name! My name is, in fact, Ross Marrs and I feel obliged to share my thoughts on videogames. Therefore, here arrives Critical Hit, a monthly look at my various annoyances about the videogame industry.

This month I’m concerned about the recent influx of 3DS owners campaigning for remakes on the system, as well as Nintendo staff also stating they’d like 3D remakes of Mario and Zelda titles. Back in June we received a remake of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for Nintendo 3DS. Well, I say remake, but really it was more of an upgrade of the original, with improved visuals and the extra Master Quest gameplay mode added in. It was the first of two remakes from Nintendo for the system, the other being Star Fox 64 3D (though I still insist that it’s called Lylat Wars...), which comes out next month. With just two remakes coming from Nintendo, I wasn’t really bothered, but in recent weeks, there’s been a push for a Majora’s Mask remake. Not really bothered still. But then add on top the idea Shigeru Miyamoto's desire to remake The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, plus the recent comments from Super Mario Galaxy director Yoshiaki Koizumi stating that he’d like to see 3D remakes of Super Mario Galaxy, Super Mario Sunshine and even more Zelda titles, and it becomes a bit too much.

Overdoing remakes just starts to get tedious to me, and in recent years I’m very much for originality when it comes to videogames. It’s actually one of key features I always look out for, when I’m looking for new games to take my interest. Though they are, of course, not remakes, the yearly overdose of the Call of Duty and FIFA games similarly hold no interest for me - and for all I care, they might as well be the same thing over and over again. In fact, I struggle to comprehend why they do so well and it has led me to believe that the majority of videogame players would rather play something to fit in with their crowd of friends. Or perhaps they just don’t like new experiences? Either way, I think it’s sad to see some of the most beautiful, unique games get neglected.

Still, that’s another topic in itself, and I may talk about that another time. One of my other gripes about remakes is that some aren’t made with appropriate technology, or appropriate systems, in mind. For example, going back to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, I feel it would have been even more impressive to see Nintendo remake it on Wii U instead. Not only would it benefit from the power the system offers, but being able to play it on a large screen in HD, with better speakers and a comfortable controller to hold - as was originally intended, as a home console title - would have been nice. In fact, with the controller’s touch-screen, they could have even made the inventory swapping more convenient, just like they did on the 3DS version - even the gyroscope usage would have transferred over well.

Changing an old game too much can ruin it for fans of the original version. In drastic cases, it can even result in parts of the new game literally being worse, whether that nostalgia factor is there or not. A recent example of this is in the Lylat Wars remake (sigh...Star Fox 64 3D...). The newly produced soundtrack sounds awful compared to the original, with the music on Venom sounding like a mixed up mess. The voice acting has also changed and they’re also worse than the original voice clips.

My main problem is that I’d rather see developers creating original games, rather than putting their time into remakes. I have a concern that the Nintendo 3DS is going to have far too many remakes and that they’re not really offering much new in terms of content. There’s much more that could be added, but it just seems it’s all about remaking them in 3D - which I personally don’t use much. Even Nintendo have been playing it down in their latest advertising...

Do you share Ross' views on remakes? Let us know in the comments section below, and keep an eye out for more of Ross' ravings in the not-so-distant future!

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The only way I can defend remakes sometimes is to say it gives the chance for a new generation of players to experience great games they missed out on in the past. You could argue OOT and SF64 have been released on the Virtual Console and in other ways, but by remaking them, it perhaps gives them a chance to be more successful than they should have been back then (disregarding OOT of course, as everyone knows how good that is).

The recent Tales of the Abyss on 3DS was never released in Europe originally, so in that sense, redoing games that didn't see release in the first place is a good idea, and this is probably for which games it's best used, rather than ones that have already seen success worldwide.

Had Nintendo released a brand new Zelda and Star Fox in place of OOT and SF64, I would definitely have considered a 3DS a lot more. It's easy to say just ignore the remakes - it's not like you have to go out and rebuy SF64, but you are - however, there isn't much else out in place of these remakes. It's the remakes that are the big games at the moment, so as a 3DS owner, you don't have much of a choice.

I think within a couple of years or more, we should hopefully have a nice selection of remakes and original games - the best of both worlds. But it would have been nice to start with original quality titles right from the off.

Personally I like remakes, providing it doesn't sway too far from the original design and charm. That said, I do feel remakes should be an "extra" - so the new entry/game comes first, with the remake available as bonus content perhaps?

Remakes certainly excite me, but I do agree that there should be some more original/new content. It is a good way of building a decent userbase fast though.

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As staff from the Zeldauniverse website said, a Majora's Mask remake would most likely be developped by Grezzo again. Considering that Ocarina and Majora share a lot of assets, it would only make sense that they develop a potential remake of Majora's Mask as well.

If a completely new Zelda was to be made for 3DS, I doubt they'd give it to Grezzo, so a Majora's Mask remake would in no way prevent a new Zelda to be developped at the same time for the system.

All that being said, I don't care for remakes of A Link to the Past or other Mario games as much. But just that one more : Majora's Mask. I'd like to see that happen.

EDIT : Love the formula of your new feature Ross Smilie

( Edited 22.08.2011 09:38 by Kafei2006 )

Cubed3 Limited Staff :: Review and Feature Writer

Definitely agree more with some points Azuardo, jb and Kafei made. Sorry, Marzy. Smilie

It's true, these games are available on the VC but by putting updated versions of them on the shelves again, people who normally wouldn't bother with the VC or even know of it might just pick those games up. As long as remakes stay side projects, like OoT 3D was, I'm totally fine with it. The handheld Zelda team surely has been working on a new 3DS Zelda for a long while now and giving Majora's Mask to Grezzo again to tide people over is certainly not a bad idea, especially because Majora's Mask deserves probably the most attention out of all older Zelda games. Well that and I'd like to see how badass Zora and Oni Link would look like with the updated graphics. Smilie

Super Mario Galaxy or other newer games, I actually don't want to see remade at all for another generation at the very least. Galaxy got respectable sales and more than enough recognition so it should definitely rest for a good while. I'm not so sure about Sunshine though. I loved that game but it repeatedly gets called the black sheep of the series even though it was actually a really good game. I wouldn't say no to a remake of that game (with 150 Shines instead of 120, like in SM64 DS) but I would actually rather see the concept of Sunshine return in future Mario games. Water and gravity mixed together could make for some crazy platforming and even things with water alone would be really cool, like flipping those tiles in the casino (just kidding Smilie ).

That said, I don't mind remakes/ports at the beginning of a console's lifespan because original games are going to come sooner or later. The DS only had SM64 DS at the beginning as well and look how that turned out. 3DS sales will definitely pick up a lot with the price drop plus two Mario games coming out soon and a larger install base means less risk for developers to create original games, so I think it's going to be fine in the near future.

Jackie (guest) 22.08.2011#5

Remakes on occasion are fine, and perhaps it does help a new generation into gaming however, it lowers the bar for the newer generation. Despite people's pleas that Ocarina of Time is the best Zelda ever, or Super Mario 64 is the best Mario ever, if both games were released today as genuinely new games (not as remakes), then people would not be so keen to accept them as greater than that of Twilight Princess or Super Mario Galaxy.

Remakes were great games on release, good games when remade, but if not for their revolutionary endeavors of their time then they simply would not hold up as 'the greatest Zelda/Mario' title. Although, Azurardo, your argument is fair and their textual integrity transcends contemporary society hence why people continue to purchase, play and replay these games.

Well, yes, thats the problem with our current standard rating systems.
We treate games as "absolutely" good or bad with a number, rather then acknowledging its all kinda relative to whats around at the time.

Games get better as time goes on (in an absolute sense), not just graphics but gameplay does get refined.
But we also get less and less revolutionary stuff.
As for remakes, my basic rule is if the games avaliable to buy, legaly and first hand in some way, then I dont care for a remake.
Honestly, I dont really care about new gamers not playing old games - if they dismiss something due to graphics thats there own stupidity.
That all said, if there is very little cost associated with enhancing an old game in some way, then why not?
Emulation at a higher resolution, for example.

( Edited 22.08.2011 13:39 by Darkflame ) <-- Tells some truly terrible tales.
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D (guest) 04.09.2011#7

Well, remakes are there for fan service mainly but generally there to bring familiar names to the market with less hassle, especially in the early phases of a game console's lifespan.

This is what has happened with every Nintendo hardware, the GBA did it, the DS most certainly did it and now the 3DS is bringing us remakes.

But I understand that it should be toned down. But it does make sense from Nintendo and other publishers perspectives that remakes should be done to bring the game quicker to market.

I do agree that remakes should include more substantical additions than simple graphical upgredes like new modes or online play.

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