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Classic Games (Games) Games

Why Classic Video Game Revamps Must Disappoint 129

An anonymous reader writes "Somehow my brain, so addled by pop-culture and videogames, drew a link between the alteration of the game-play mechanics in a 20-year-old series, and growing up. I want things to be how they were. I want to play the games I played when I was a child, only I want them to be new. Naturally, this just can't happen. Things will never be the way they used to be. Summer days are no longer spent running around outside before collapsing on a sofa to try to beat Labyrinth Zone; instead they're spent in a sweltering office full of morons who watch The Apprentice. Life has changed. Circumstances have changed. Even if the perfect 2D Sonic game were released tomorrow, it still wouldn't feel right, because I'm no longer the person who played those games.'"
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Why Classic Video Game Revamps Must Disappoint

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  • Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Haeleth ( 414428 ) on Friday June 24, 2011 @05:33PM (#36560684) Journal

    And yet when I go back and play classic games, often in emulators -- games made at least 15 years ago, and in a few cases over 25 years ago! -- I sure feel like I'm enjoying them.

    And it's not purely nostalgia; I have enjoyed games from that era that I did not play at the time.

  • by Hahnsoo ( 976162 ) on Friday June 24, 2011 @05:40PM (#36560786)
    Sonic the Hedgehog may be a poor example for this topic. The gameplay consisted mostly of running and jumping really fast while grabbing rings. It took advantage of the console technology of the time to provide smooth framerates with no tearing, which allowed the backgrounds to zoom by quickly, giving the illusion of speed. But that was the gimmick. Sonic the Hedgehog, as a series, wasn't known for being difficult (like Mega Man) or innovative (like Marathon). It doesn't even have that much of a compelling story (like RPGs). The same gameplay 20 years later may appeal to some people, but most gamers who played Sonic back then are different people now and are looking for more than just running and jumping really fast while grabbing rings (which is one of the laments of the article).

    A better example of a classic revamp would be the Bionic Commando Rearmed or the most recent Mega Man game. Bionic Commando Rearmed adds a lot of modern features to the original game, like big boss battles, hacking mini-games, and the ability to swap weapons within the stage, but the basic mechanic of swinging and shooting is still challenging. The most recent Mega Man was pretty popular, despite (or perhaps because) it staying true to the 8-bit Mega Man graphics and gameplay, mostly because it still maintained the same level of challenge.

    Of course, many classic games are getting a cloning vats treatment on the iPhone/iPad/iFranchise and Android market. If anything, the older 8-bit, 16-bit, and PS1 era games (or clones of those games) are seeing a bit of a renaissance on those platforms.
  • Comcast! AT&T! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by earls ( 1367951 ) on Friday June 24, 2011 @05:42PM (#36560822)

    Someone throttle this pirate!

  • WoW sucks. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 24, 2011 @05:45PM (#36560872)

    ...Sorry, couldn't resist the snipe.

    But I reached this conclusion after being bored this past winter, and searching for a decent MMO. There aren't any. (EVE, of course, but I'm sorry - anything that requires complex spreadsheets that would make economics majors cringe isn't a game. It's not even a hobby. :P)

    I started reflecting upon the sad state of affairs that is the MMO genre, and I realized something. Part of what made MMOs attractive in the first place was the fact that they were, pardon the pun, game-changing. Sure, there were text-based MUDs aplenty - the golden age was just starting to wind down. Sure, there was UO, but at the risk of annoying legions of UO fans - well, come on, it was UO. Not even close to the same level as that horrible monstrosity and destroyer of lives, careers, marriages and time - EverQuest.

    There was something unique about EverQuest, that no other MMO has ever been able to capture, no matter how hard they've tried or what improvements they made. It was the 'newness'. Just a brief time earlier, there was nothing out there like it. But suddenly - bam - the future was here, and holy shit. A massive, 3D world, with ungodly amounts of players. It was the stuff of science fiction back when I was a kid, having to deal with mere 8-bit game consoles - but there it was, finally. The future(tm)! Woo!

    Now? Anyone can make an MMO. And it isn't exciting. Because it isn't new. You can change the names of classes; you can add cheesy mechanics, but that initial moment of awe-inspiring potential - stepping into a massive, virtual world for the first time and simply being astounded by the potential - can never come again. ...Also, no moment in gaming will ever be as awesome as getting to the end of Bionic Commando and seeing Hitler, in 8-bit glory. :(

  • Re:Really? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Friday June 24, 2011 @05:56PM (#36561024) Journal

    As an avid retro gamer I don't think there's much more to be said. Maybe he forgot how to have fun. The rest of us enjoy classic game play.

    Personally though, I don't see the point in retro remakes. I'd rather play the original, in almost every circumstance. Developers should spend their time making new games in the classic genres.

  • Nope nope nope (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 24, 2011 @06:17PM (#36561312)

    Remakes suck because the designers remove things that made the original great.

    Persona was remade on the PSP, so they gutted the original soundtrack (one of the most memorable ones in a videogame) and replaced the entire thing with J-Rock/J-Hip-Hop. This was done out of some misguided sentiment of making the game more hip and youth friendly. People were disappointed across the board. Now with a sequel coming out, they held a press announcement _just_ to tell people the original soundtrack would be included.

    Or look at the Silent Hill 2/3 HD remake. They are canning all the original voice work and re-hiring new voice actors because Konami is too cheap to pay the original VAs for re-using their work.

    Contra 4 on DS came close to being a good remake, but had such excessive difficulty that it was impossible for anyone to enjoy even on the easiest setting. All the original Contra games were challenging but not hard for the sake of frustrating the player.

    The biggest problem with remakes is that frequently nobody from the original teams are involved, and they are made by people new to the industry with almost zero experience. So you get people with good intentions but no guidance and no real skill. Compare this to the original games that were all made by industry veterans with years under their belt.

    That's why remakes suck.

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