When gamers see video games, they see endless possibilities of worlds to envelope themselves within. Video games take our hands and guide us into worlds where we must fight dragons, save princesses, or escape evil robots that falsely promise us dessert.
But how many new video game ideas can we have before all that becomes monotonous? How many times can we save a princess in another castle before we stop playing?
In much the same means as movies make reboots of old films to potentially include special effects or CGI (computer-generated imagery) with fresh new casts of actors, video games employ these methods in order to recreate old video games.
The other side of this situation is that of remakes. Rather than attempting to create new functions for the games, the developers instead turn to trying to make the games look and play better by re-creating them with the assistance of newer game developing systems. Such game series, including The Legend of Zelda, Kingdom Hearts, and Halo, are just a few of the many games that have received remakes.
In regards to both reboots and remakes, the occasional upset behind them is much the same: Are we just getting the same games over and over?
Looking at reboots, the results can vary in likeability. For some franchises, such as the Metroid Prime or the Devil May Cry games, the sequels can expand the story, improve the graphics, and can even sometimes change the entire outlook of the game. For example, the Metroid Prime games was a 2D side-scroller with an expansive story that captivated its players.
However, as times changed and new gaming consoles were introduced, Nintendo followed suit with this series and made the game have a first-person motion controlled Samus. Upon doing this, though, sides were taken by all gamers on which was the better gaming experience.
Some believed that the stories were hindered and lacking due to Nintendo focusing more of their attention on the gameplay mechanics while others enjoyed the functions and ignored the story’s lacking nature.
On the other hand, while there are certain games that benefitted from being recreated onto newer game consoles, there are others that fall short. Very short. Whether it is because the developers put no effort into the final product or they were rushing to get it out due to demand and failed to uphold expectations, there are some game series that find themselves on the bad side of the reboot spectrum.
One of these games that fell short was that of Sonic The Hedgehog (2006), also known as Sonic ’06. While the game had its moments between the three story lines that it follows, game problems like glitchy camera angles, obnoxious loading screens, terrible controls, and game-breaking glitches that caused you to restart entire levels from the beginning were just a small piece of what gave the game its bad reputation.
Coupled with these was the issue with the other half of the game: the plot, which critics called ridiculous while pointing out the bland-melodramatic story progression.
The flipside of reboots is remakes. These also have equally varying amounts of success. Much like there are two sides to reboots, remakes are also in the same position. For some, the results allow for the developers to improve the graphics, making them look better, thus making the gameplay a more immersive experience.
Back in 2012, when The Last of Us was released, Naughty Dog, its creator, found their success to be so profound that in 2014, they released The Last of Us Remastered, paired with new downloadable content that expanded on an aspect from the original game. The Remastered version utilized the DualShock 4‘s touchpad to navigate inventory items, and the light bar signals health, scaling from blue to orange and red when taking damage.
In addition, audio recordings found in the game world can be heard through the controller’s speaker; the original version forced players to remain in a menu while the recordings were played. Not only did they include these features, Naughty Dog enhanced the game’s playability as well, by adding an increased draw distance, character models of higher resolution, improved lighting and shadows, and an upgraded combat mechanic.
While many games are usually successful in their endeavors to sell their remade counterparts, there are many that fail to do so, despite the fact that their original games were popular. One game that followed this path was Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. While the original version for the Xbox was an incredible game, the remastered version for the Xbox 360 was not as popular with gamers.
In fact, the video game community turned the HD version inside out after it was released finding issues in many forms with one such format being the game’s suffering dips in its frame rate. The game’s graphic upgrades weren’t very apparent either, and the inclusion of some additional features were missing, making this remake seem as though it was a waste of time.
Between remaking games and rebooting them entirely, game developers have a lot of expectations to fill. The playability of older games can only last so long if not remastered or redone properly to add content and make them better on the eyes than their original versions.
As aforementioned, when talking about GTA: San Andreas, gamers know when they are being played; if they feel that they aren’t being given enough new content, the game will ultimately fail in the long run. While there are slip-ups with certain companies in terms of giving gamers what they want, there are still successful games coming out every year to make up for such shortcomings.
Personally, I enjoy visiting the older version of games that have recently been remade and rebooted. While their features aren’t the same, I find it fun to see what the series began as and how they’ve progressed since then.