While many players hate video game remakes, many titles work when devs do them correctly. Some good examples include Crash Bandicoot, Resident Evil, and even Story of Seasons. The element that makes them great boils down to a few major details.
Not every title deserves a remake. Many games, under players’ rose-tinted glasses, seem like they deserve a reimagining. This detail is no more further from the truth.
A title needs a solid gameplay loop that can give it a natural transition to the new genre. For example, a point-and-click adventure game called Leisure Suit Larry was superb in the ’80s. It was not only a great title, but it was controversial in the player’s quest to lose his virginity.
The game got its 2013 remake in Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded, but lost its glam on the way. The only reason people loved the game was its taboo nature in the ’80s. Now, the story is not only lame, but it didn’t age too well, even if it has positive reviews.
The situation comes in contrast to Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town. While FOMT was too religious with the 2003 version, the gameplay loop held up. The farming simulation, idyllic life, and cute characters are still great.
What makes video game remakes well is their nuanced faithfulness to the source. Apart from gameplay loops, the ability to bring the feel of the original game is crucial. It’s not enough to modernize the old style; remakes also need to add something.
A remake, by definition, is a modern reimagining of the original title. Unlike a remaster, a remake should carry the “spirit” of the old game. It needs to bring back what people loved from the original game.
A good example of such a game is Resident Evil 2. The RE2 remake came back to its survival horror roots, keeping players on edge. The game removed all the tank controls and brought the horror closer with its gameplay.
This comes in contrast to another zombie horror title Dead Rising: Chop ‘Till You Drop. While RE2 brought along many of its original gameplay elements, Chop ‘Till You Drop did not. It abandoned many of the gameplay elements that made it enjoyable.
There are a lot of things that make video game remakes good. Some details, including the right gameplay loop and faithfulness to source, help.
Featured image courtesy of Activision/Youtube Screenshot
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