Brian’s Rants: Remastered Games

RBJBrian By RBJBrian, 22nd Jun 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Technology>Games

In this rant, Brian goes off about the plethora of remastered games being released for the current gen systems. None of the consoles are innocent - as all have committed the crime. He discusses examples from Nintendo's Wii U and 3DS, Sony's Playstation 4, and the Microsoft Xbox One.

Brian’s Rants: Remastered Games

Every time a new video game console comes out, we are treated to the newest capabilities - amazing graphics, powerful processing, and killer features. This newest round of current gen systems certainly didn’t disappoint in its promises - the Nintendo Wii U, Sony PlayStation 4, and the Microsoft Xbox One. However, what one thing that I noticed a lot advertised in great depth from all three of these console makers is the remastered versions of products that came out on previous gen systems.

For the Nintendo Wii U, The Legend of Zelda: Windwaker HD. It originally was released on the Nintendo Gamecube in the year 2003 - over ten years ago! However, it is one of the big games promoted during the all important Holiday 2014 season (along with the critically acclaimed sequels of Bayonetta 2, Mario Kart 8, and Smash Bros.). While the remastered Zelda game has graphics updated and even parts of the game have been updated, it is still just a remake of a game that in my opinion, was one of my least, if not least, favorite Zelda games to date (not counting the embarrassments to the name of the Philips CDi disks).

Staying on the topic of Nintendo, their handheld system, the Nintendo 3DS also suffers from this issue as well. Two of their best selling games are remakes of previous releases on the Nintendo 64 - StarFox 64 and Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. If you include the Nintendo DS, then you would also have to pile on others such as both Super Mario 64 and Diddy Kong Racing. These are some incredible games that go into the vaults as some of the best games made for Nintendo. However, I believe that their lack of original titles probably demonstrates something else. I believe that it demonstrates their need to release AAA games in a timetable that they cannot meet, unless they port over the classic. I believe a lot of this has to do with the lack of major third party support.

The Sony Playstation 4, with all its processing superiority, also has fallen into the depths of making remakes of popular previous gen games on its new hardware. The one that I’m thinking of in particular is The Last of Us. After only being available for a little over a year for the Playstation 3, the Naughty Dog studio (owned by Sony Entertainment), released the critically acclaimed game for the PS4. Now, while I am not an owner of a PS4 myself, I have watched a walkthrough of the game, and the remastered edition is gorgeous! But, as the game only came out about a year and a half prior, a new sequel to their games hasn’t been released as of yet (although Uncharted 4 is scheduled to be released in 2015).

Equally guilty of releasing “remasters” of previous successful titles is Microsoft. When one thinks of the greatest games on the Xbox, unavailable on other consoles, I would doubt that not much comes to mind besides the incredible Halo series. The first title, Halo, originally was released for the Xbox back in 2001, and with critical acclaim, was followed up with Halo 2. Subsequently, several other titles under the Halo banner were released (and previous titles re-released) on the Xbox 360, and even Windows and Mac operating systems. While Halo 5, a new game in the series is currently being developed, Halo: The Master Chief Collection is another example of a successful game being re-released as a remastered edition on the current gen system.

So why are my gears grinding about these re-released, remastered version of great games? I mean who cares if the game developers make a little extra scratch? I’ll tell you why - a delay on future titles. The AAA games of today are massive, multi-year commitments and while many of the large developers have multiple studios, the allotment of resources from one to another could ensure that games are released (in finished form - I’m looking at you Assassin’s Creed Unity) in a timely fashion. While Nintendo may have to do this due to their lack of sufficient third party support, Microsoft and Sony’s development studios focus on remastered releases end up pushing back new sequels or original IPs.

So what do you think? Would you rather have a prettier version of an old game, or have a new release of an original game/sequel several months earlier? Let me know via the contact information below.

Feel free to contact me:
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Twitter - @RBJBrian


Microsoft, Nintendo, Playstation, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Ps3, Ps4, Remaster, Remastered, Sony, Video Games, Wii, Wii U, Xbone, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One

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author avatar RBJBrian
Co-Founder of | Historian | Gamer | Treker | Consumer Economist

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author avatar Papa KyKy
10th Jul 2015 (#)

Great post! I have mixed feelings about remastere games. I agree that it is a cash grab, but it also gives people who don't have the previous console to get the game. Xbox should have fewer transfers now that backwards compatibility is possible with the Xbox360.

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author avatar RBJBrian
11th Jul 2015 (#)

Thanks Papa! I appreciate the comments - and even I am guilty of purchasing the remastered games when I hadn't played them on their own original consoles.

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