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Games Entertainment

A Case for Video Game Remakes 300

The MTV Games site has up a talk with Morgan Grey, the producer on the recent title Tomb Raider: Anniversary. Anniversary is a remake of the now-classic original Tomb Raider title and (perhaps not unsurprisingly) Grey makes an argument to Stephen Totilo that game remakes are a way of preserving gamer culture. "'We have all witnessed remakes of movies that have been modernized for us to digest that came out 50 years ago before we were born,' he said as a point of comparison. If games are to achieve the same timelessness, the classics need to be easily accessible. But anyone who has tried to play certain 3-D gaming classics from even just five years ago -- let alone tried to get someone who didn't play them at the time to put up with outdated controls, graphics or camera-work -- know that it's hard to appreciate them." Grey goes on to point out that this is less true of 2D titles; he's primarily talking about 3D games here. Any titles you'd like to see remade, like Anniversary, or even re-envisioned ala Prince of Persia?
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A Case for Video Game Remakes

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  • by illegalcortex ( 1007791 ) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @02:14PM (#20929787)
    I'd settle for certain gameboy games getting redone as SuperNES-quality sidescrollers. Metroid II tops the list. I'd like to play a lot of them, but just wouldn't be able to put up with the graphics. Unfortunately, when these things get remade they tend to wind up no the newer Nintendo handheld. That was OK when it was the GBA, as I could use a gameboy player (did that for Metroid Zero Mission). But I wonder if I'll ever play DS games due to lack of a good way to play them on a TV.
  • A few... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Gulthek ( 12570 ) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @02:16PM (#20929825) Homepage Journal
    Wing Commander

    Ultima IV-VII


    Grim Fandango (Residual should take care of this)

    Bionic Commando

    Combat (on XBox Live!)

    Mail Order Monsters (what's the last fighting game you remember that included tactical nuclear weapons?)

  • by MobileTatsu-NJG ( 946591 ) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @02:28PM (#20930001)
    "Let's take Super Mario Brothers. Now let's improve the graphics, the sound, tweak the controls to better fit today's control schemes, and what do you get?

    Super Mario Brothers 3. Or Super Mario World. Or Mario 64. Or... you get the point."
    ... um, no, not really. You picked a bad franchise to illustrate your point with. Heh Mario 64 is a graphical upgrade to Super Mario World. Cute.

    "Video Games don't need to get remade."

    Considering that platforms die, making it difficult to play games from 10 years ago on their native hardware, I don't agree. I didn't realize how much I missed those old games until I fired up the VC on the Wii.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @02:42PM (#20930193)
    Books aren't remade. It's not like someone sits around says "Hey, a Tale of Two Cities would be great... but let's set it in the middle east instead of Europe!" Obviously authors are inspired by each other, and that's fine, but you don't get wholesale remakes.
  • Starcraft 1 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by calebt3 ( 1098475 ) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @02:55PM (#20930395)
    I would be great to play Starcraft 1 with SC2-like graphics. I can see it now:
    Greater than 640*480 resolution
    3D Graphics
    Lips synched with audio.
    and maybe a few SC2 goodies in StarEdit.
  • by Targon ( 17348 ) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @03:10PM (#20930613)
    Looking at responses, a big factor would be how good the storyline was. Was the storyline really good enough to bring back to modern audiences?

    Now, look at games like Pool of Radiance and the direct sequels. By the standards of the time, and even today, the storylines work well enough to bring them back. Because the size of the areas were so small by the standards of today, the levels would need to be redesigned to make them worth playing again. The entire city where Pool of Radiance was played in, if taken directly into a modern engine, would be the size of just one area of a modern game. The storyline would not need to be touched, but the scale of things would need to be re-worked to make things seem interesting.

    There are some games that would be nice to see. Betrayal at Krondor would make for a great re-make because it was so story driven that with a new engine it could be brought in without needing a lot of new features. There have been some remakes out there done by the community, like FreeCiv and free Sim City clones that were close enough to the original to keep the feel of the original.

    There were some great games like Starflight 1 and 2, Alien Legacy(many people have never heard of it), Dungeon Master, and many others that really were different.

    Then, you have games that were a lot of fun that many people have never paid much attention to. Populous: The Beginning was a real time strategy game that did what other RTS games just refused to do, deviate from the design of Warcraft 2. The difference in Pop: TB was that instead of just dumping resources into making units from nothing, your people would reproduce(as long as there was housing), and then you would have them train and turn into the unit you wanted them to become. The sad thing is that DirectX support was a bit too weak to let me continue playing without feeling that the game was running in software emulation mode.
  • by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @03:35PM (#20931045) Journal
    Personally, I am way, way too excited about the impending release of the remake of Quest for Glory II [].
  • by archen ( 447353 ) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @04:01PM (#20931413)
    If that includes the same Tie Fighter edition as the one that used the graphics engine as "X-Wing vs Tie Fighter", here's a fun fact about THAT fucking game. It REQUIRES something like Direct X 6. Not a later version, NOT the version that Windows 2000 comes with UNUPGRADED, no it must be a specific version of Direct X. And no you cannot downgrade. Oh yeah, if you do manage to get it to run (on win98) you'll most likely have no graphics acceleration. Have Fun!

    Seriously, this is the kind of garbage that made me give up PC gaming. If PC vendors want to know why people are abandoning PCs for consoles, it's because the games are often buggy garbage that has to be patched to hell, often doesn't work in a few years, and quite often is crippled if you even CAN get it to work.

    And you know what? My Pentium 133 was so vastly overpowered for the DOS version that with all options turned on there was NO slowdown and I had a freaking blast. There have been a few weekends I was going to attempt to get dosbox up and running on Linux just to play Tie Fighter (my favorite game of all time).

    You know why I don't need a remake of Final Fantasy 7? Because I can still play it on my PS3. Oops, no I can't. Sony just took backwards compatibility away. Note to Sony: Nintendo may be about to school you big time once you jilt PS2 owners with massive libraries that have been waiting for PS3 prices fall to where they can afford them.
  • by Chyeld ( 713439 ) <chyeld&gmail,com> on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @05:18PM (#20932565)
    I may be the only one who has played any of these and would want a remake. But damnit, I never got to finish Universe II before dead floppies took it from me.

    For those who never played either of the first two, these were part-space sim, part trader, part interactive fiction, part X-Com style tactical combat (well before X-Com was even a twinkle in anyone's eye.)

    The space sim was a 'hard science' simulation, as opposed to a 'fighter combat' simulator. You plotted courses and routes and watched your 'nav screen' to check that other ships weren't attempting to intercept you. Ship to ship combat was handled by missles rather than magic space beam weapons. And if you managed to disable their shields (or they yours) you could send boarding parties over to take control of the ship.

    That started the tactical combat, with your squad of marines fighting through randomly generated cooridors attempting to take enough control nodes to shut out the other crew.

    If space combat wasn't your thing, you could mine planets. Uninhabited planets were relatively easy to mine, but the best ores were almost always in inhabited planets, leading to a similar combat to the boarding parties, to wipe out the local defences while your mining equipment did it's thing.

    And if you were a non-violent person, you could dock at almost at any planet, pickup a huge variety of goods and attempt to make a profit off it. Each planet had it's own set of legal and illegal goods, as well as a 'sophistication' level that determined what they would be interested in.

    The IF story is where I eventually got stuck, you play an undercover agent in a Cold War-esque standoff between two planetary alliances (you are on the "democratic" side of course). I got to a point where I couldn't get anything else to happen and lacking the era of easyily found walkthroughs, never figured out what I missed.

    But even then, it was still fun wandering the cosmos blasting ships and making a buck.
  • by 7Prime ( 871679 ) on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @10:08PM (#20935343) Homepage Journal
    But here's where it get's weird:

    Metroid -> Super Metroid = Sequel
    Metroid -> Metroid: Zero Mission = Remake

    I'm sorry, but Super Metroid may as well be a retelling of the original Metroid, no less than Zero Mission was. Sure, they made some excuses for the same exact plot happening over again, but it was basically a retelling. Zero Mission was, once again, the same plot, and completely redesigned gameplay (and areas) from the ground up. The only difference is that ZM CLAIMED to be a retelling, where-as Super Metroid claimed to come afterwards, but that differences is mearly superficial, especially since plot is was not exactly a primary goal in the Metroid series until Prime.

    I'm just pointing this out because I think it illustrates how superficial the arguement about sequals/remakes is in the game world. Especially in the 8-bit era, and into the 16-bit generation, as well, most sequels consisted of little more than the same game with a different level set, and maybe a new sentance added to the 3-sentance plotline.

    Humans aren't usually comfortable with altering a timeline once it's been set, but we also like the security of building off of something we already know, which is why many game sequels are basically the same game, but explained that they're part of a series of repeating events.

    Calling Mario Bros 3 a remake of Mario 1 may be a stretch, as the gameplay changed so drastically... but then, so did Zero Mission's. Where do you draw the line, and is there really a solid line to be drawn?
  • It's been done (Score:4, Interesting)

    by DES ( 13846 ) * <> on Thursday October 11, 2007 @06:25AM (#20937717) Homepage
    Sierra's Space Quest I, for instance, was rereleased in 1991 with upgraded graphics and sound and a point-and-click interface instead of the original text interface.

    Id Software's Doom was remade (or "reimagined" as they put it) as Doom 3.

    Several Valve classics were converted to the Source engine. There is also a project underway to completely reimplement Half-Life on the Source engine with new models and textures (Valve's own Half-Life: Source uses the models, textures and sounds from the original game)
  • Classic Doom (3) (Score:3, Interesting)

    by RingDev ( 879105 ) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @10:12AM (#20939433) Homepage Journal
    There was actually a community project that recreated the original Doom using the Doom 3 engine, my buddy did the music for it, and the whole thing turned out awesome.

    Anyways, check it out if you are looking for a beautifully remastered version of the original Doom: []


Exceptions prove the rule, and wreck the budget. -- Miller