Why do people want remakes of classic games?

Recently, Final Fantasy character designer Tetsuya Nomura mentioned in an interview that  "no one should expect a remake anytime soon" for Final Fantasy 7.  Ever since Sony/Square-Enix showed off a clip of what appeared to be the first moments of  FF7, remastered in modern hi-def glory,  at the 2005 Sony E3 press conference--people have been dreaming of a remake of FF7.  I never really understood the public outcry for a remake of FF7.  While I did love the game when it first came out for the PS1 back in 1997, I never understood the desire to relive a game that is mostly story based.  In fact, I never really understand the desire for anyone to see a full out remake of a classic game. 
 
I have to admit, I am a slave to nostalgia as much as anyone.  I have bought several copies of  Super Mario Bros in its multiple releases over the past few years, most recently via the Wii virtual console.  I've bought Doom, Wolfenstein 3-D, Dragon's Lair, and Space Ace all for the iPhone mainly for the nostalgia itch.  Every time I hear of a classic game being released via the PSN, or Wii virtual console, or X-box live, I have to hold myself back from getting the game.   But nostalgia is an interesting beast.  When I buy a game from my childhood, I usually want the game to be as close to the original version as possible.  In fact, when games get "enhanced" for a modern release--I tend not to like the changes made.  The TMNT arcade game was recently released this past summer, and at first I was excited--until I saw the 3-D graphics and goofy music.  This wasn't the game I wanted to play.   I wanted to play the original version. 
 
This brings me to the question of remakes.  I understand the desire to play an old game from the past as much as anyone, but in this "digital age", almost all our classic are or will be released via download eventually.  This is a great time for classic gaming.  But why would people want a game redesigned?  When I play an old game, I am brought back to a time in my youth and the graphics, the music, and gameplay all tie into that feeling.  I tend not to get that nostalgic satisfaction with a remake.  It's like Mom's best dish.  You grew up with the dish, loved it and reminds you of home.  Then you go off to college and when you come back home, all you want to eat is Mom's home cooking.  Then one day, Mom decides to change things up a bit and add a bit of sugar to the whole dish--while your wife (who never had the old dish) says the food is delicious, it just isn't the same.  You don't like the change.  Any change, no matter how small just ruins the final product for you.  This is how I feel about remakes.   
 
Secondly, when offered the option of a developer designing a brand new game in a beloved series vs. a remake, I will always vote for the new entry.  I played the old game.  In fact, I probably own the old game (or can at least find it around).  I want a new experience.  Coming back to FF, why would I want to play a story based game, when I already know the story?  I'd rather explore new worlds, meet new characters, and be apart in a brand new adventure.  So I'd rather people focus on new project, because the past is already readily available. 

31 Comments
32 Comments
Posted by JCGamer

Recently, Final Fantasy character designer Tetsuya Nomura mentioned in an interview that  "no one should expect a remake anytime soon" for Final Fantasy 7.  Ever since Sony/Square-Enix showed off a clip of what appeared to be the first moments of  FF7, remastered in modern hi-def glory,  at the 2005 Sony E3 press conference--people have been dreaming of a remake of FF7.  I never really understood the public outcry for a remake of FF7.  While I did love the game when it first came out for the PS1 back in 1997, I never understood the desire to relive a game that is mostly story based.  In fact, I never really understand the desire for anyone to see a full out remake of a classic game. 
 
I have to admit, I am a slave to nostalgia as much as anyone.  I have bought several copies of  Super Mario Bros in its multiple releases over the past few years, most recently via the Wii virtual console.  I've bought Doom, Wolfenstein 3-D, Dragon's Lair, and Space Ace all for the iPhone mainly for the nostalgia itch.  Every time I hear of a classic game being released via the PSN, or Wii virtual console, or X-box live, I have to hold myself back from getting the game.   But nostalgia is an interesting beast.  When I buy a game from my childhood, I usually want the game to be as close to the original version as possible.  In fact, when games get "enhanced" for a modern release--I tend not to like the changes made.  The TMNT arcade game was recently released this past summer, and at first I was excited--until I saw the 3-D graphics and goofy music.  This wasn't the game I wanted to play.   I wanted to play the original version. 
 
This brings me to the question of remakes.  I understand the desire to play an old game from the past as much as anyone, but in this "digital age", almost all our classic are or will be released via download eventually.  This is a great time for classic gaming.  But why would people want a game redesigned?  When I play an old game, I am brought back to a time in my youth and the graphics, the music, and gameplay all tie into that feeling.  I tend not to get that nostalgic satisfaction with a remake.  It's like Mom's best dish.  You grew up with the dish, loved it and reminds you of home.  Then you go off to college and when you come back home, all you want to eat is Mom's home cooking.  Then one day, Mom decides to change things up a bit and add a bit of sugar to the whole dish--while your wife (who never had the old dish) says the food is delicious, it just isn't the same.  You don't like the change.  Any change, no matter how small just ruins the final product for you.  This is how I feel about remakes.   
 
Secondly, when offered the option of a developer designing a brand new game in a beloved series vs. a remake, I will always vote for the new entry.  I played the old game.  In fact, I probably own the old game (or can at least find it around).  I want a new experience.  Coming back to FF, why would I want to play a story based game, when I already know the story?  I'd rather explore new worlds, meet new characters, and be apart in a brand new adventure.  So I'd rather people focus on new project, because the past is already readily available. 

Posted by moelarrycurly

I agree with you completely.

Online
Posted by GunnBjorn

I'm with you, but i was really stoked when they announced the remake of the original Resident Evil on the Gamecube back in the day. 
I still would love to see a remake of RE2. 
I also liked the remake of Monkey Island with the enhanced visuals, the toggle between new and old was a neat feat. 
And lets be honest, every sequell pretty much is a remake, especially with fighting games. 
As much as i loved SFIV, i still prefer to play SSF2T HD Remix.

   
Edited by ryanwho

Im okay with reprints and if the game is 3d, I'm about down with remastering. Up the textures a bit, better anti aliasing, all that jazz that most soft emulators are capable of. Im not a God of War fan but I get it, what they were doing. I see the logic there. But a remake seems mostly pointless, yes. If you're so shallow that you can't return to a game you can get for like 5-15 dollars on VC, PSN, XBLA, steam, etc. right now without them completely overhauling the graphics, I feel sorry for you. Really, what you're saying if you can't go back is that without great graphics, its just not a great game. That's the message I get from people foaming for a remake when they can buy FF7 on PSN right now. 
 
Its like with movie remakes. A lot of people seem to think a movie did well because of the concept alone. That's stupid. The reason I liked, say, Legend, so much was because of young To Cruise, young Mia Sara, and a ridiculous looking Tim Curry, and crazy puppets. If you remake that, it would completely lack the character of the original. The smallest of details are what define a classic, and making everything 'prettier' risks paving over the small nuances that made a game appealing. The controls are off just enough, the jumps just a little floatier, the new art style and is just tepid enough, and the new voice work is just annoying enough that suddenly a game you loved is leaving a bad taste in your mouth.

Posted by Jimbo

Because it isn't all about nostalgia.  A lot of these classic games and gametypes were genuinely good but just aren't being made anymore.  True, you can still play the original, but a lot of them would be much better with a fresh coat of paint and some of the conveniences and general improvements we have become used to.

Posted by ryanwho
@Jimbo said:
" Because it isn't all about nostalgia.  A lot of these classic games and gametypes were genuinely good but just aren't being made anymore.  True, you can still play the original, but a lot of them would be much better with a fresh coat of paint and some of the conveniences and general improvements we have become used to. "
You can do that without remaking. You can put The Last Blade on the virtual marketplace and give it solid online support. You really think you have to throw the whole thing out just to modernize it? Gimme a break dude. Online support and achievements can both easily be worked into just about any old game without remaking the whole thing.
Posted by Bruce
 @JCGamer:  
 
I feel that there's a point to it for adventure games and RPGs.
Posted by Jimbo
@ryanwho said:

" @Jimbo said:

" Because it isn't all about nostalgia.  A lot of these classic games and gametypes were genuinely good but just aren't being made anymore.  True, you can still play the original, but a lot of them would be much better with a fresh coat of paint and some of the conveniences and general improvements we have become used to. "
You can do that without remaking. You can put The Last Blade on the virtual marketplace and give it solid online support. You really think you have to throw the whole thing out just to modernize it? Gimme a break dude. Online support and achievements can both easily be worked into just about any old game without remaking the whole thing. "
It depends on the game, but I think improving visual quality, audio quality, interface quality and online functionality can all add value to a title - and I think you can achieve all of those things without ruining what people liked about the game in the first place.  There are a ton of little unnecessary problems with some of these games which nobody cared about at the time because we didn't know any better.  The intervening years have spoiled us and it can be hard to overlook these issues when we / I go back.
 
People seemed to like Bionic Commando Rearmed - there are plenty of games I would like to see given that treatment.  Syndicate was a great game in it's day, and it could be great by today's standards with a little TLC.  If somebody could turn these things around in ~6 months and afford to sell them for ~$15, I think there would be a market for them.
Posted by crusader8463

I like some remakes for the simple reason as i just want to experience that games characters, story, and setting again, only updated with modern modifications. The reason i like a lot of old games is because of their stories, so if they made a new one it wouldn't be the same thing, i wanted THAT story, not a new one. However some of these games are so ugly, outdated and some times impossible to find a working device to play them on, as it has been so long since they where made, it would be nice if they had their graphics updated to today's standards, and where released on a format that is more readily available today. As well their may be interface, and gameplay tweaks that could be done to make things better, cleaner and more enjoyable to play, as the industry has learned more about game design since it was first made. While yes, some of this can be accomplished with a new game, it just wouldn't be the same experience as the game it is being based on, and wouldn't offer the experience we where looking for. I wanted to play that game, not something like it.
 
I would love to see Vanguard Bandits and Front Mission 3 get that kind of treatment.

Posted by ZenaxPure
@ryanwho said:
" Im okay with reprints and if the game is 3d, I'm about down with remastering. Up the textures a bit, better anti aliasing, all that jazz that most soft emulators are capable of. Im not a God of War fan but I get it, what they were doing. I see the logic there. But a remake seems mostly pointless, yes. If you're so shallow that you can't return to a game you can get for like 5-15 dollars on VC, PSN, XBLA, steam, etc. right now without them completely overhauling the graphics, I feel sorry for you. Really, what you're saying if you can't go back is that without great graphics, its just not a great game. That's the message I get from people foaming for a remake when they can buy FF7 on PSN right now. "
Normally I don't like remakes either, but I think FF7 really needs one. I don't think the game aged particularly well and before I got into "next gen" gaming at the end of 2008 I went back and replayed FF7, sure the graphics are terrible (I even thought so for the time tbh) but there are other things wrong with that game. It doesn't feel like the translation is the best, hell some items get respelled on different discs, and there are numerous bugs through out the whole thing. That game needed a lot more polish that it originally had.  
 
Though, maybe then even a remake isn't the best idea. As cool as it would be FFT on the PSP did fine with a simple re-translation, if they would at least do that much for 7 + fix the bugs of the original and put it out there on PSN I'd happily buy it.
Posted by Tireyo

I don't really mind re-makes.

Edited by ReaperOfLiving

People hate change.  And apparently new things.  (Explains hate for FFXIII?)  
 
MW2 was a remake?  XD

Posted by therabidfrog

I got a batter question. Why do people want video games turned into movies?

Posted by ReaperOfLiving
@therabidfrog: Make a thread now!!! 
Edited by VanderSEXXX
@Jimbo said:

" Because it isn't all about nostalgia.  A lot of these classic games and gametypes were genuinely good but just aren't being made anymore.  True, you can still play the original, but a lot of them would be much better with a fresh coat of paint and some of the conveniences and general improvements we have become used to. "

What he said! I totally agree with this. Like a good example for me was when they remade Metal Gear Solid in the gamecube with better graphics the game virtually changed since it also included a different experience given the tweaks to its system. Although it came at the cost of some cinematic and voice over quality, Its virtually not the same game even if the story is the same.
Posted by therabidfrog
@ReaperOfLiving said:
" @therabidfrog: Make a thread now!!!  "
Done!
Posted by ryanwho
@VanderSEXXX said:
" @Jimbo said:

" Because it isn't all about nostalgia.  A lot of these classic games and gametypes were genuinely good but just aren't being made anymore.  True, you can still play the original, but a lot of them would be much better with a fresh coat of paint and some of the conveniences and general improvements we have become used to. "

What he said! I totally agree with this. Like a good example for me was when they remade Metal Gear Solid in the gamecube with better graphics the game virtually changed since it also included a different experience given the tweaks to its system. Although it came at the cost of some cinematic and voice over quality, Its virtually not the same game even if the story is the same. "
Twin Snakes is a great example of why remakes can be a bad idea. 
Posted by Godwind

Quite frankly, I don't mind remakes.  As long as it similar, but improved, I would be happy to buy it. 

Posted by c1337us

I like a remake, particularly when it gives me an opportunity to go back and have a crack at a good game I missed when it first came out.

Posted by Alex_Murphy
@therabidfrog said:
" I got a batter question. Why do people want video games turned into movies? "
I think most of the time it's the studio that looks at a popular game and thinks that if they make it into a movie, the same people who liked the game will hand over their $10 for the movie.
Posted by therabidfrog
@Alex_Murphy said:
" @therabidfrog said:
" I got a batter question. Why do people want video games turned into movies? "
I think most of the time it's the studio that looks at a popular game and thinks that if they make it into a movie, the same people who liked the game will hand over their $10 for the movie. "
Without a doubt, but sometimes gamers are standing in the background ringing their greasy hands. Like wit the Halo movie. Why would any one think a game about a guy in a green cardboard box running around in space shooting things with gay pink crystals would translate a decent film?
Posted by Diamond
Sometimes a remake is good, it really makes the visuals and sound more appealing and adds gameplay elements, like Bionic Commando Rearmed.

Sometimes a remake is bad, it makes the visuals less appealing, messes up the music, and doesn't innovate the gameplay, like that TMNT Turtles in Time remake.
Posted by Bellum
@Jimbo said:
" Because it isn't all about nostalgia.  A lot of these classic games and gametypes were genuinely good but just aren't being made anymore.  True, you can still play the original, but a lot of them would be much better with a fresh coat of paint and some of the conveniences and general improvements we have become used to. "
 
I'm with this guy. I don't play old games for nostalgia. I play old games because they are fun. Because I don't want to deprive myself of a good game just because it doesn't have the production values of a modern cinematically oriented mainstream title. If they happen to make an updated version that takes advantage of advances in interface conventions or whatever, even better!
Posted by sewageking

The thing with FInal Fantasy VII is that many fans feel that it deserves better graphics and sound than what was available at the time of its release.  My thoughts on remakes are that they are only necessary if some technical aspect of the original was a detriment to the game.  For example, I don't think that a Super Mario World remake would be necessary.  New graphics and sound wouldn't help that game; it's fine as it is.  However, I think that Final Fantasy VII does deserve a remake.  A lot of the game's potential was lost to the technical limitations of its time, especially in the graphics and sound.  The lego-model characters can't really convey the emotions that better-rendered character models can.  The music, though it is great, is played entirely with MIDI instruments.  FF7 in full 3D with FF13-quality graphics and sound would be awesome.

Posted by super_machine

Does anyone wish there was a steam classic? Give me a easy to use 486 dos emulator and a cheap way to buy games like Tie Fighter and Ultima7 and I'll be paying some good money. They don't need to remake those games (a new tire fighter game would be nice though). They just need to make an easy way to buy and play those old games that doesnt include glitchy emulators and illegal ROMS.

Posted by TooWalrus

While some games age gracefully, some don't. I welcome game remakes. Creating an updated version doesn't destroy the original game that nostalgia tells you was the best thing ever, even though it wasn't. I attempted to play Final Fantasy VII and Metal Gear Solid for the original playatation, and found it difficult to do so, because the games look and control like garbage compared to what I'm used to. I found myself just not caring, but I would welcome a remake, so I can see what I missed out on story-wise. I also apprieate games being remade for portable systems. I'm glad for all of the SNES games that got ported to the GBA and DS, and I would like to play Ocarina of Time again more than any other game, and I want it given the Mario 64 DS treatment.

Posted by teh_destroyer

You are spot on with your post, but it just settles into the whole, "It would be awesome if my favorite classic game could look like this!" type like thing going on.

Posted by Cube

i know what you mean, but i'm far more baffled at people wanting a new kid icarus.

Posted by NathHaw

In the same way I sometimes replay some of my favorite games, I'd play a remake years past of the same game that is much improved.  I remember the video of FF7 from E3 '05.  I would love to replay that game with PS3 graphics.  Love to.

Posted by crystalskull2

I don't mind remakes because i haven't played most of the classic games and now they often feel too outdated.

Some of this games have great stories that current generation consoles can use and it would probably make a better experience.

But often developers mess up remakes and so people hate remakes. Still,if done right, remake can even offer better expeience than the original.

So,i'm all for remakes.

Posted by Halberdierv2

if there are enough extras and it's well, done, I dont mind a remake.

Posted by Bellum
@super_machine said:
" Does anyone wish there was a steam classic? Give me a easy to use 486 dos emulator and a cheap way to buy games like Tie Fighter and Ultima7 and I'll be paying some good money. They don't need to remake those games (a new tire fighter game would be nice though). They just need to make an easy way to buy and play those old games that doesnt include glitchy emulators and illegal ROMS. "
 
Steam? No. Good Old Games? Yes.