If the recent Nintendo Direct is anything to go by then yes, double yes!
Remaking games has always divided opinion amongst the gaming community. A lot of people see it as the video game company in question being lazy and trying to make easy money off of an older game that was popular back in the day. Some worry that the charm of the game won’t transfer to an updated look or indeed be relevant to a younger audience who never had the pleasure of playing the game around release time. You could also argue that companies do this because they have run out of ideas for new IP’s. Let’s get stuck in and check out some recent examples!
Pokémon Let’s Go
I’m in the camp of, I’m happy for remakes if they are relevant and they are handled with the love and attention they deserve. Take the recent Pokémon Let’s go! which was released late last year, there was a lot of resistance to this Pokemon Yellow remake from 1998. So-called ‘hardcore Pokémon’ players were up in arms that Game Freak (the developers) were remaking this classic instead of concentrating on the next successive Pokémon game (Generation 8). They even dared to change the catching mechanics from a turn-based battle style to a proper catching mechanic akin to the one used in the extremely popular mobile title Pokémon Go! This turned out to be a masterstroke, not only did it improve the catching style, but it brought something from Pokémon Go! which was familiar for the younger player who this might have been their first experience of Pokémon.
Game Freak stayed true to the original, while still managing to make it relevant to the current generation of gamers, thus giving the game appeal to both young and old. All this aside, Pokémon Let’s Go! Looked fantastic too and played great. It quenched my nostalgic thirst while also feeling like a new game. It sold fantastically well and was received well by all. A good job all around.
Resident Evil 2
The most recent remake was Resident Evil 2. While I never had the pleasure of playing this or the original, I kept a close eye on it and indeed Jill, one of our writers, wrote a detailed review. One thing I do remember from Resi 2 was the early 3D polygon graphics which age far worse than pixel styles so the graphical changes were welcomed with open arms. In fact Capcom created the remake from scratch, duplicating the entire game from the ground up, and it looks fantastic. It’s not a carbon copy however, it’s been tweaked in places. Slight changes to the storyline for coherence and little changes to environmental aspects. The biggest change was the fact the first Resi 2 was made with a fixed camera angle, this had its pros and cons, notably heightening the scare factor while also making it difficult to manoeuvre. The remake deployed a modern familiarity in the over the shoulder camera style, more like the 3rd person games we are used to nowadays. With that being said it did run the risk of losing the charm of the original and being ‘just another 3rd person shooter’ but it also had to be relevant to a modern and new audience that it wanted to sell to.
All in all the Resi 2 was a resounding success both critically and commercially. We rated it 9/10 and we were not alone in rating it so highly. Capcom did the difficult task of staying true to what was loved by the original, while still making it relevant and appealing to newer people to the franchise.
The Legend of Zelda: Links Awakening
So on to the inspiration of this article, Zelda. At the end of last weeks Nintendo Direct we were given a trailer to beat all trailers, Link battling the high seas in the style of the older Japanese box art. He’s then seen floating adrift a small island with an egg atop a volcano with the words we were waiting for, The Legend of Zelda: Links Awakening. This was followed by a few short scenes of gameplay which had me stunned. I don’t mind admitting that I was as giddy as a schoolgirl, not just because it’s Zelda, but because this game was huge for me growing up. I had this back in 1993 at release on the original GameBoy and it was my absolute favourite game on the system, more so than Pokémon which released later in the decade. This was my first taste of Zelda and I loved everything about this game, the story, the graphics, the puzzles and dungeons, even the funny little characters and wit of the writing. It’s an adventure that will always stay with me.
This remake looks stunning, absolutely. Yes it’s been 26 years and yes it couldn’t look more different to the original but it is still instantly recognisable as Links Awakening, unmistakably. Even seeing the little BowWow protecting the house like a guard dog brought back fond memories for me. The introduction of this remake has been widely welcomed, with a few critics calling the art style too cute. This game is totally different to Breath Of The Wild which was a gritty adventure of self-discovery. Links Awakening is about Links hunt for the instruments of the sirens to awaken the Wind Fish thus allowing him to escape the island, no Hyrule and no Ganon and is more like a dream, therefore I feel the new style is fitting. Link almost looks like a wooden figure, painted to perfection. It looks totally stunning and I can’t wait to return to Koholint Island.
Best of the Rest
Many other games have been, or are being remade. Most notably Final Fantasy 7 which is for many one of the greatest games ever. However, I fear I’ll never see it in my lifetime as it’s constantly delayed! Shadow of the Colossus was remade last year too with rave reviews, and a decent price at launch to boot. Let’s not forget Tomb Raider which has also seen a reboot in recent times. I am welcoming all these remakes, they are fresh and relevant to today’s audience while staying true to the originals. It brings games worth playing to people who won’t necessarily search out the originals
What games would you personally like to see remade? Do you agree with remaking games or would you prefer developers to stick to new content? Let us know in the comments section below, on Twitter or our Facebook page!