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Attempting to recapture the spark. The good and bad of remasters

The newest trend in gaming is the remastering old titles. As a whole, that's a good thing, but there are some examples of mishandling.

So what is this article about? This will be me, pointing out both the major reasons why remasters can be great, and bad(or at least, pointless). The reason for this is is that currently, I have noticed that there is a split online, of both people being for and against them. I'm here to inform both sides by giving a positive reason and a negative example/ mishandling. So let's begin.

Accessibility and bringing back a legend.

Sometimes, a little goes a long way for atmosphere. — by Lyubomir Atanasov
Sometimes, a little goes a long way for atmosphere. — by Lyubomir Atanasov

This is the main reason, and where the term “remastered” comes from. Port of a classic game that could not be played (unless you have an old machine), for the current generation of machines. Which make sense, new and old players get to experience that weird old title, that keeps popping up in many “Top 10 Best X genre games”. This is especially good for classic adventures games, such as “The Silver Case”, “Grim Fandango” and the Monkey Island series.

The old ways, do not fit into today's ones.

Remember that time where to solve a puzzle, you had to talk,push,take,use,look at etc. everything on screen. — by Lyubomir Atanasov
Remember that time where to solve a puzzle, you had to talk,push,take,use,look at etc. everything on screen. — by Lyubomir Atanasov

The problem with bringing back an old title? The fact that, even though it was loved at the time, it's gameplay “quirks” don't gell well with today's sensibilities. Things like “pixel hunting” and “split-second timing” and “moon logic”. Today, people don't have the sense that to solve a puzzle you have to throw a rock at a mountain so that a fish would fall out a tree, but only if you talked to the sleeping gold lizard beforehand.

Visual Upgrade.

Another plus that everyone is happy with at first. With today's tech, everything can look sharper and/or smoother, more real or more stylised. This is especially true for the blocky or imperfect “realistic” games of the console era. The best ones that come to my mind first are “Crash Bandicoot: N.Sane Trilogy”, The upcoming Spyro collection and “Shadow of the Colossus”

There people who would argue that newer textures are ruining the style of the original... In this case I would argue that they are wrong! — by Lyubomir Atanasov
There people who would argue that newer textures are ruining the style of the original... In this case I would argue that they are wrong! — by Lyubomir Atanasov

Style Downgrade.

Newer does not mean better. Pixels have a style to them and technical limitation had let to creative ways to create an atmosphere. I personally dislike some of how some the games that “update” the pixel sprite with more solid drawn images. Why? Because in some cases they stand out so much, that they look like early era flash cartoons/games.

As for the atmosphere stuff, there are two major examples. one being the soon to be released “Dark Souls Remastered”. Plenty of big DS 1 fans have tried the demo and some of them bring up the problem how real-time lighting and other illumination objects, break the world a bit. By that, I mean the world does not look like a fantasy kingdom, consumed by dread and darkness. And now that feeling has been extremely lessened.

The other big example is the HD collection of Silent Hill. Completly getting rid of the sense of foreboding dread and even

some of the scares. So bad that fans steer newcomers to the old titles rather than the collection.

Bonus Positive Point: Complete Editions.

This I will add since, during my research, I found plenty of sources that combine definitive editions and remasters together. So yeah, technically complete editions are good, in a sense that, when the game has its patches, DLCs or whatever done and done, then it would be smart to put a version of the product with all the things included.

Bonus Bad Point: Completly Greedy Editions.

Lets have a promo edition, with not all expansions and a 1 year before the sequel to the game comes out. — by Lyubomir Atanasov
Lets have a promo edition, with not all expansions and a 1 year before the sequel to the game comes out. — by Lyubomir Atanasov

While definitive editions are good for older, long-running games, today's industry speed is fast. So fast that very often people get in a situation where they buy a game on release, and not a year later, the same game releases with all the things that you wanted to be included, with even some fixes that your version does not have! All for the same price (or like +15 bucks more).

While I am all for attempting to reintroduce a good game for the newer generation, with modern bells and whistles, I did have to note how sometimes remasters end up are not as good as the original once was.

This article was originally published on @thetubich