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Is it wrong to feel bad for wanting remasters/remakes?


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In the thread for Skyward Sword I said I'd really quite like a switch port, hopefully with a bit of effort put into it, of Ocarina of Time. 

 

I felt a bit bad for admitting this as the gaming industry can be accused of trading to much on nostalgia and you can make the case that putting a team to work converting Ocarina of Time for the Switch is a team that could have been working on another new game. 

 

But equally, that attitude seems to be largely unique to the games industry. No one got upset to see Die Hard ported to DVD, Blu Ray and 4K. If you want to watch Home Alone at Christmas, you're not also going to want to reach for a VHS player and the original video - you'll want to stream it or play the Blu Ray.  Indeed, we would think it was criminal if Die Hard wasn't updated to all the latest video and streaming formats - it would be chucking away an iconic bit of cinema and film history. Yet, this is largely the natural course for most games. They are released and 15 years later almost impossible to play again with any form of ease. 

 

Instead of being pleased when a remaster/remake of a game is announced should we instead take the the view that as a matter of default classic games should be available to play on modern gaming platforms. Is it not criminal that we cannot play a game as classic as Ocarina of Time on the TV without digging out a console which was first released 15 years ago - The Wii was the last console to allow you to play OOT on the TV. 

 

Or is this an example of where nostalgia has a negative impact on creative industries - that instead of creating new games and movies, we're simply recreating things we enjoyed 20 years ago. That generally creative and original titles often struggle in the marketplace compared to a compilation of Mario titles which sell like hotcakes. 

 

So, I'm slightly torn between feeling that I should be wanting new games whilst also thinking it is not the worst thing in the world to expect that classic games should still be easily playable. 

 

It is perhaps largely a Nintendo issue, MS have worked hard to make it so you can play Xbox and later titles on the current series of Xbox consoles. Equally, there are plenty of Xbox games which now cannot be played - see the ridiculous rights issues which means that Outrun 2 cannot be played on the latest machines. On that title, it seems a deliberate choice not to make the effort to make that game available to play. Do what TV shows do with licensed music, if you cannot reliance it then remove it and replace it with something generic. 

 

If we do conclude that the industry should do a better job of making classic games accessible to modern audience, would we accept a simple rom dump of a game which looks and plays like it did on first release or do we also expect the title to be updated featuring new graphics, resolution and perhaps QOL fixes? Obviously, one option is much less time consuming than the other. 

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2 minutes ago, Alex W. said:

I don’t think that analogy really helps you out here. A game remake is usually a major part of that studio’s release slate, takes a reasonably significant commitment in manpower and resources, and often significantly deviates from the original as part of the process.

 

When a film studio releases something from its back catalogue on a new format, it usually involves a far more modest outlay in resources, rarely constitutes part of its theatrical slate for that year, and with a few notable exceptions doesn’t meaningfully change the source material.

 

The Virtual Console/Xbox route of extensive platform-endorsed emulation is a great solution very much more like re-releasing a movie and keeping it on sale.

 

Indeed. I think the secondary question is whether most games should be made available by way of a broadly simple model such as virtual console even if this is not anywhere near as far as a remaster/remake. 

 

But currently even that approach to archiving classic games is the exception rather than the rule. MS is working hard but still, only a tiny proportion of original Xbox games are playable on latest consoles. 

 

Nintendo made strong progress in this area with Virtual Console which sadly seemed to die a death with Switch and now we're back to be slowly dripped fed NES and SNES games. 

 

Now, I'm sure there are loads of films which haven't made the jump to physical Blu Ray or 4K releases but largely even historic titles which no one really remembers are often available on one or other of the streaming services or digital purchase even if they had not been technically updated. The gaming sector is very different in that for the most part, old games are simply not able to played on modern systems which is a massive shame. 

 

Equally, I'm still not sure if I should feel more excited if a decent remaster of OOT was announced vs an entirely new game announced. I think it should be a bit of both but I do think there should be a bigger effort to make older games available to be played.  With the exception of some racist titles, the entirety of Disney's back catalogue is now available for consumption on any modern TV whereas you're pretty much out of luck if you want to easily play something like Wave Race 64. For such a techy industry, it just seems a shame that so many games are incredible difficult to play these days. 

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I suppose to extend that thought, movie studios are rarely “upscaling” a movie to a higher quality format, just making a more-faithful approximation of an existing “reference” version.

 

A good parallel just occurred to me - TV studios sometimes do try to make video game-style HD remakes.

 

Star Trek TOS was remade for HD broadcasts with new CGI effects that were controversial.

 

Babylon 5 was converted to widescreen with extremely shoddy results.

 

Star Trek TNG got a full HD remaster that was well received but luxuriously expensive.

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Nintendo are just abysmal at this. Considering their IP they should have a back catalogue which keeps you locked into their system, not just their IP actually, but all their exclusive games. They had some of the greatest JRPGs of all time on the Switch and Gamecube, which don't need to be remade or remastered in any significant way.

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17 minutes ago, Alex W. said:

I suppose to extend that thought, movie studios are rarely “upscaling” a movie to a higher quality format, just making a more-faithful approximation of an existing “reference” version.

 

A good parallel just occurred to me - TV studios sometimes do try to make video game-style HD remakes.

 

Star Trek TOS was remade for HD broadcasts with new CGI effects that were controversial.

 

Babylon 5 was converted to widescreen with extremely shoddy results.

 

Star Trek TNG got a full HD remaster that was well received but luxuriously expensive.

 

Yeah, but I think my point is whether or not they are updated, all of these shows and many more can be consumed at a touch of a button through a modern TV. 

 

Imagine if TNG had only ever been released on VHS? We'd be like, what on earth is going on with a classic TV series not be available for modern audiences to watch. But this is literally the case for a large part of gaming history. Classic and great games not being able to be played, not through tech limitations, but through broadly a lack of respect from platforms and publishers. 

 

Is there any tech or expense reason why the Wave Race 64 cannot be played on the Switch? That's the disappointing aspect, just casually disposing of gaming history.  Imagine if Disney said that Toy Story (1995) was too old to bother putting on Disney+. We'd be like 'what mate, that's a classic film'. But games like Wave Race (1996) are seemingly just discarded. 

 

For all I'd like some classic games to get a fantastic remaster (effectively the TNG treatment) I also think it is a crashing shame that to begin with the original titles themselves are largely unplayable on modern machines. 

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> Imagine if Disney said that Toy Story (1995) was too old to bother putting on Disney+.

Companies aren't trying to help the consumer, they are trying to extract cash from them

 

https://www.vulture.com/2019/10/disney-is-quietly-placing-classic-fox-movies-into-its-vault.html

> ... the company’s long-standing “Disney Vault” strategy of artificially creating excitement for a repertory title by keeping film prints out of theaters for years or decades, and periodically manufacturing a limited number of physical media copies (on VHS, then DVD, and eventually Blu-ray).

Thankfully the community provides:

 

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7 minutes ago, hungry joe said:



> Imagine if Disney said that Toy Story (1995) was too old to bother putting on Disney+.

Companies aren't trying to help the consumer, they are trying to extract cash from them

 

https://www.vulture.com/2019/10/disney-is-quietly-placing-classic-fox-movies-into-its-vault.html

> ... the company’s long-standing “Disney Vault” strategy of artificially creating excitement for a repertory title by keeping film prints out of theaters for years or decades, and periodically manufacturing a limited number of physical media copies (on VHS, then DVD, and eventually Blu-ray).

Thankfully the community provides:

 

 

I'm not saying to take away the financial incentive for company's to properly archive and allow access to old titles. I don't mind paying for old titles, it is when you don't even have that ability that is a concern. 

 

It is when they don't even bother to try and monetise old titles that is a worry. 

 

The community is great at preserving titles and thank goodness but it seems something almost unique to the gaming industry that we are almost use to the situation that old titles are routinely not available on modern systems. 

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15 minutes ago, McCoy said:

The community is great at preserving titles and thank goodness but it seems something almost unique to the gaming industry that we are almost use to the situation that old titles are routinely not available on modern systems. 


Ignoring the boom-bust cycle of a lot of software houses (and subsequent loss of source code, assets, rights or all of the above), the film industry isn't upgrading the platforms used to play their material every 5-7 years. Resolution bumps are occurring but there has been only one non-backwards-compatible mass shift in physical home media for film in the last three decades.

With that said, just look at the number of films or series that haven't received a Blu-ray release and can only be seen on out-of-print DVDs or have ephemeral presences on streaming services. (As with games, piracy is sadly the only recourse here.) Popular films are largely evergreen but some of the more interesting, offbeat stuff out there is slowly slipping though the cracks.

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5 minutes ago, DeciderVT said:


Ignoring the boom-bust cycle of a lot of software houses (and subsequent loss of source code, assets, rights or all of the above), the film industry isn't upgrading the platforms used to play their material every 5-7 years. Resolution bumps are occurring but there has been only one non-backwards-compatible mass shift in physical home media for film in the last three decades.

With that said, just look at the number of films or series that haven't received a Blu-ray release and can only be seen on out-of-print DVDs or have ephemeral presences on streaming services. (As with games, piracy is sadly the only recourse here.) Popular films are largely evergreen but some of the more interesting, offbeat stuff out there is slowly slipping though the cracks.

 

It is absolutely an issue with all mediums, but it does feel like more of an issue with games. Outrun 2 was considered one of the best games of its generation by both critics and consumers. Ditto something like Ocarina of Time. 

 

Are there equivalent hit movies which never received a DVD or streaming release?  

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3 minutes ago, McCoy said:

 

It is absolutely an issue with all mediums, but it does feel like more of an issue with games. Outrun 2 was considered one of the best games of its generation by both critics and consumers. Ditto something like Ocarina of Time. 

 

Are there equivalent hit movies which never received a DVD or streaming release?  


It depends on the project but I'd say that most of the time we'd end up coming back around to the point of games requiring more time and resources to port properly than most films being remastered from existing reference material. Obviously projects like the TNG restoration buck this trend.

As for your second question, the Disney vault provides a perfect example- when working in HMV, I spent about half a decade being asked for DVD copies of The Lion King before Disney finally created enough demand. We were asked every day, without fail. You could argue that Nintendo are doing the same thing by sitting on stuff like OoT, I suppose. Their behaviour is a bit perplexing as there's clearly a lot of money being left on the table but I also wonder if they do this to maintain the perception of value.

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2 hours ago, McCoy said:

 

It is absolutely an issue with all mediums, but it does feel like more of an issue with games. Outrun 2 was considered one of the best games of its generation by both critics and consumers. Ditto something like Ocarina of Time. 

 

Are there equivalent hit movies which never received a DVD or streaming release?  

 

Outrun 2 has the added complication of licensing (with Ferrari) with of course is now exclusive to another studio.  This was all badly agreed at the time and is a huge blocker for a lot of Playstation onward titles.

Actually, oddly enough for a Nintendo game, I'm pretty sure Waverace (N64) does too with Yamaha I think.

OK so realistically, both of these examples are likely relatively easy swaps, but again, it's additional work over films, which are mostly just a case of going back to the original analogue media and pulling more data / resolution out as the technology improves.  Of course, sometimes this doesn't pay off. Die Hard for example, reportedly the 4K Bluray isn't much of an improvement over the regular 1080 Bluray, but then the film isn't judged so much on the quality of the master (by the general film buying public), it's still a good film regardless.

 

Nintendo are probably the best example of why this doesn't happen.  You only have to look at a thread on someplace like Hot UK Deals to see the negativity surrounding them remastering games and selling them again.  20th Century Fox can flog Die Hard for another 15 quid in 4k, but when Nintendo try to sell 3 Mario games for 40 quid people are negative.  If they did it that with 50 games, I think the casual gamer world would explode :lol:

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...also realised I didn't address the original question...

 

Is it wrong to feel bad for wanting remasters/remakes?

 

I don't think so.  Some games simply don't have equivalents in modern gaming, and better a remaster than a game pretending to be something it isn't. 

With that being said, I think there is a difference between companies who do remasters/makes well, and with good reason, like some of Nintendo's Zelda HDS output, or Demon's Souls, or Spider-man on ps5, compared to those remastering games that were mediocre in the first place and ought to be left alone but get remastered simply to extract more cash from the wallets of those with rose tinted glasses on, like Spyro Reignited... 

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36 minutes ago, Corranga said:

Actually, oddly enough for a Nintendo game, I'm pretty sure Waverace (N64) does too with Yamaha I think.

 

Kawasaki. Nintendo stripped out the logos from the Wii VC release but they went back in for the Wii U.

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36 minutes ago, Corranga said:

...also realised I didn't address the original question...

 

Is it wrong to feel bad for wanting remasters/remakes?

 

I don't think so.  Some games simply don't have equivalents in modern gaming, and better a remaster than a game pretending to be something it isn't. 

With that being said, I think there is a difference between companies who do remasters/makes well, and with good reason, like some of Nintendo's Zelda HDS output, or Demon's Souls, or Spider-man on ps5, compared to those remastering games that were mediocre in the first place and ought to be left alone but get remastered simply to extract more cash from the wallets of those with rose tinted glasses on, like Spyro Reignited... 

 

Yeah, the whole thread got slightly side tracked from my original pondering. 

 

At a certain stage it feels wrong for wanting to wallow in yesterday's memories but equally some games were great games at the time and there's no reason not to want a bit of spit and polish and a current gen release. 

 

Obviously not every game deserves a remaster but there are some classic games which really should never be left to rot in oblivion. 

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Theres a guy on here who posts about wanting traditional Tomb Raiders back and I agree, Tomb Raider original trilogy remade Id buy straight away, Tomb Raider Anniversary is now older than the original was when it was released 10 years after so they should do that again with the other two

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On 22/02/2021 at 12:58, McCoy said:

Imagine if TNG had only ever been released on VHS? We'd be like, what on earth is going on with a classic TV series not be available for modern audiences to watch. But this is literally the case for a large part of gaming history. Classic and great games not being able to be played, not through tech limitations, but through broadly a lack of respect from platforms and publishers. 

 

This happens with less commercially viable TV and films all the time. The only shit that gets constantly recycled is the the stuff that can get ROI.

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TV remasters are an interesting comparison actually, quite a lot of stuff has been 'remastered' in such a way that involves cropping a 4:3 image to fit a 16:9 screen because broadcasters don't want black bars. They did it to the world at war, I've been rewatching curb your enthusiasm which does this in early seasons. It can look absolutely shite at times. 

 

The Wire was a bit different but still not ideal, they went back to the original negatives and reformatted into wide screen, but that still means it isn't as the director intended. 

 

Video game remasters are often like that where they randomly swap out some texture for some reason. 

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22 minutes ago, deerokus said:

The Wire was a bit different but still not ideal, they went back to the original negatives and reformatted into wide screen, but that still means it isn't as the director intended. 

 

David Simon gave it his blessing in the end and having watched it recently, it was a very well done conversion, or an alternative take as Simon himself called it:

 

Quote

At the last, I’m satisfied what while this new version of The Wire is not, in some specific ways, the film we first made, it has sufficient merit to exist as an alternate version. There are scenes that clearly improve in HD and in the widescreen format. But there are things that are not improved. And even with our best resizing, touchups and maneuver, there are some things that are simply not as good. That’s the inevitability: This new version, after all, exists in an aspect ratio that simply wasn’t intended or serviced by the filmmakers when the camera was rolling and the shot was framed.

 

Quote

Personally, I’m going to choose to believe that Bob Colesberry would forgive this trespass on what he built, and that he, too, would be more delighted at the notion of more folks seeing his film than distressed at the imprecisions and compromises required. If there is an afterlife, though, I may hear a good deal about this later. And in consideration of that possibility, I’m going to ask anyone who enjoys this new version of The Wire to join me in sending five or ten or twenty dollars to the following address:

 

https://davidsimon.com/the-wire-hd-with-videos/

 

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On 22/02/2021 at 18:01, Monkeyspill said:

I still don’t understand why Sega can’t just rerelease Outrun 2 and replace the Ferraris with generic cars, as they have with the original Outrun.

 

Help me out here,  have i missed something or forgotten?

 

what have they done did you say?   - are you on about the original arcade Outrun?

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54 minutes ago, Hello Goaty ♥ said:

 

Help me out here,  have i missed something or forgotten?

 

what have they done did you say?   - are you on about the original arcade Outrun?

The 2000s outruns. Can't be released as they had licenced ferraris. 

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I've been wanting a Mass Effect trilogy remaster for, oooh, since the PS4 came out. There is nothing wrong with wanting improved versions of your favourite games. 

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On 22/02/2021 at 18:01, Monkeyspill said:

I still don’t understand why Sega can’t just rerelease Outrun 2 and replace the Ferraris with generic cars, as they have with the original Outrun.


At a guess, probably two reasons - the first, and most likely, is that they don’t believe it would sell sufficient numbers to justify the work necessary (remodel all the cars, up-res all the assets, covert to modern platforms).

 

Then you have to to consider - who is going to do the work, and would Sumo have any say in that? There may be further wrangling involved in that decision. 

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On 22/02/2021 at 16:57, therearerules said:

Nintendo are just abysmal at this. Considering their IP they should have a back catalogue which keeps you locked into their system, not just their IP actually, but all their exclusive games. They had some of the greatest JRPGs of all time on the Switch and Gamecube, which don't need to be remade or remastered in any significant way.

The thing is Nintendo don't think of it like this at all. They see you spending 25 hours on Mario 64 and 25 hours on Mario Odyssey as competition for each other and would rather sell you Mario Odyssey until they figure out how to market Mario 64 to you for a similar price.

 

Virtual Console was a failure for them because most sales were only for the big hitters and licensing meant it wasn't worth their while or third parties' to keep it going - hence the collections and piece meal releases.

 

Your best bet now is for Nintendo to stick with the Switch platform so when they resell everything again at least you'll be able to take it forward to the Switch successor. Once they struggle to bring games to release, they'll start dipping into the vault again.

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I think the desire for remasters/remakes has a few factors that make them so popular now and I'm all for them.

 

As we age we often start to narrow the scope of the entertainment we search for, mostly listening to our established music collections/playlists, watching endless Top Gear repeats on Gold etc 

 

Remasters let us enjoy the old stuff again but with less disappointment as a modern sheen is often stuck over the top of them, so we get to simultaneously validate liking the old game in the first place as 'it holds up well today' whilst not actually having that memory ruined by playing the dated original version.

 

There is something comfortable about playing an old game you last touched 10, 15, 20y ago in that even if you don't recall all of it you'll get flashbacks of memory or sections of the game and its not the same as starting something totally new you have no established connection to, and no desire to learn a whole new set of controls, interactions, inventory etc.

 

It's like an improved form of nostalgia somehow.

 

As the heckle went on the brilliant alternative comedy night on Phoenix Nights - 'Tell us a joke we've heard before'

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19 hours ago, deerokus said:

The 2000s outruns. Can't be released as they had licenced ferraris. 

 

They can easily do what they did for Daytona USA, which has been re-released in the past without the Daytona license, until they decided to re-release it again essentially with the license.

 

The lack of any sequels since Special Tours is a more telling sign of why they don't bother, this is now the longest gap between official sequels so the series is likely in the vault for now as the Arcade is dead and only a very specific type of racing game series continues to be made for that market.

 

It's 99% of the time about the Benjamins, not the quality of the game in question.

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