The first video game I remember playing was Super Mario Bros. on the NES. I’ll never forget holding that uncomfortable rectangle controller in my tiny hands as I watched in amazement a little red man jumped on turtles and walking mushrooms. So naturally when the New Super Mario Bros. was released for the 3DS in 2006 I was ecstatic, the same old levels I remembered with an updated look. Then 3 years later they released it again for the Wii, it was 2D Mario Bros. game you could play with 4 four people at once. So I bought it thinking it would be the last 2D Mario game for awhile. But they made more, and more, and more, and more.
Recently we learned Resident Evil would be getting an HD remake and be released on all major platforms. Am I exited? Of course, I love the first couple games in that series. But I have to confess I’m disappointed in all these devs re-creating old classics. Sometimes not even that old, or classic. Not to pick on Nintendo but they seem to be leading the charge with remakes. 2004’s FireRed and LeafGreen practically started the trend. There’s no arguing the games were good, but imagine if that team put all that effort and time into a totally different Pokemon game. Of course they would eventually get around to making new pokemon games but low and behold they would get right back to it with HeartGold and SoulSilver. The original Pokémon Gold and Silver were released in 2000 meaning most young gamers most likely didn’t get the chance to play these titles. Therefore remaking them makes a lot of sense. But Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire came out in 2003 and were the first Pokémon title for many gamers today. Do we really need to play them again?
Evidently yes we do. These remakes sell, that’s why they’re being made repeatedly. Nintendo has sold me New Super Mario Bros. four times, I know the game is going to be exactly the same as the last when I buy it but I still want to harken back to my childhood. Sony aswell, they bundled entire past series’ in one cheap product and consumer’s ate that up.
So am I in favor of remakes or do I think they should stop? I have no clue, the idea of re-releasing old titles to new audiences is brilliant and a win-win situation for all parties. The best example being the original Earthbound. Released in 1989 this charming RPG would become one of the best for the NES but never saw a western release. Until Last year when it was finally available on the Nintendo E-Shop for all territories. But then we have scenarios such as The Last of Us Remastered. Although a fantastic game, it did not need to be re-released on the PS4 only a year later. I understand it was to bring the experience to those who didn’t have a PS3 but then why not port the original to the PSN as a digital download instead of giving it a complete overhaul?
All these ports/remakes/re-releases worry me. It feels as if half the titles announced for the new consoles are one of the three. Yet that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it can be good to play old favorites. At the end of the day they make money, which is all that matters in the industry. Therefore if we need to play games we’ve already played before to get the new ones, I’m okay with that.