Community Review: Remasters

Community Review: Remasters

Last week we had Burnout Paradise Remastered and this week has Assassin’s Creed Rogue Remastered hitting our shelves. Remasters aren’t going away any time soon, so how do you feel about them?

It feels weird that we’re getting a surge of remasters to games that feel both very recent and very readily available. Both Burnout Paradise and Assassin’s Creed Rogue can be picked up on PC, but the remasters don’t exist for that crowd. They’re for people who want to play them on console without hooking up their old hardware or people who missed out the first time around.

Now I’m totally on board with introducing games to people that missed out on them before. Shadow of the Colossus is an absolute classic that had the misfortune of being released on the Playstation 2 during the awkward period where the Playstation 3 was also being launched. There was already a remaster made for the PS3 some years later but it was nowhere near as good as more recent PS4 release.

Kingdom Hearts 1.5 + 2.5 Remix and Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue which lets people finally have every Kingdom Hearts game on the same console even if the naming scheme is outright silly.

The problem is that many of these remasters can feel like lazy cash grabs. An attempt to use nostalgia to get people to rebuy games they used to enjoy without putting in any real effort to update them to current standards.

Where do you fall on remasters? Are there any stand out attempts that have made you fall in love with a game all over again? What about the ones that disappointed you, the unnecessary ones that just made you shake your head and walk away?


  • Now I’m totally on board with introducing games to people that missed out on them before.
    This really nails it for me. I have no use for remasters. I’m glad they exist though, as they are really the best way to allow someone to “get” a classic that they missed the first time around. The thing a lot of these games worth remastering have in common is that their “vibe” is the best part about them. They were games that were so good that you cold look past a slightly shonky control system or draw distance that make the game a short-sighted simulator and see the game the developers intended.

    If you ask someone to play these games for the first time now, it’s impossible for them not to compare old games to their successors, so re-releasing these titles with the bells and whistles that people are now used to just makes sense.

  • Firstly, you should really remember the difference between a “remaster” and a “remake”. Having the recent ‘Shadow of the Colossus’ be the header image when it is in fact a remake is kinda disingenuous. I can see that you mention the PS3 remaster and then compare stating “it was nowhere near as good as more recent PS4 release”, but you still didn’t differentiate that one is a remaster (aka. taking the original and increasing the resolution/texture quality/framerate), whilst the other is a remake (aka. rebuilding the game from the ground up with new models/animations/world design/textures/features).

    • Yeah, and also a Remaster has to do a certain amount before it can be considered a remaster. It can’t just be a texture upgrade. It needs to probably include improved effects and audio, as well as making the UI work properly on all modern reses. This includes 21:9, as its fast becoming THE PC ratio now.

  • I love a re-release. I think a good example would be nintendo bringing a lot of its WiiU games over to the switch. Sooooooooooo many people missed a good few handful of games because the Wiiu sold so poorly.

  • I like a good remaster, but it’s sometimes rough to be confronted with just how dated the game is/was. Sometimes a fresh set of textures or models can’t quite cross the bridge in quality between hardware generations. Take Souls’ as an example.

    To my mind, the order of awesomeness in the Dark Souls series has gone, from best to worst:

    Dark Souls 1
    Dark Souls 2
    Dark Souls 3

    After playing Bloodborne recently, I started craving the – to my mind – far better Dark Souls 2. Realizing DS2 (which I played on PS3) was remastered for PS4, and that I’d never tried the remaster, I fired that up last week.

    Visually, it has not aged well. The mechanics are still solid, but man, graphically it looks like Morrowind compared to Skyrim.

    Clearly not all remasters are equal. I’m REALLY hoping that rather than whacking a texture pack on existing assets, the Dark Souls remaster is going to be more comprehensive, and bring the visuals and frames up to the standard of DS 3.

    • I had the same reaction when I played the PS4 remaster of Dark Souls 2 after I played Bloodborne.

      But with Dark Souls 2, I think it’s more a case that the coherency on their visual design is a bit all over the place. Majula and a couple other places are pretty, but a lot of the rest of the environments are rehashed Dark Souls 1 textures that look like they’re splitting apart at the seams.The fact that environments are also smaller, therefore change more often, also doesn’t help.

      You see this when you look at youtube videos. A friend who only played Bloodborne and DS3 asked me about this once. “Why does DS2 look so bad when Dark DS1 youtube vids look fine?”

      The DLC doesn’t have these problems, though.

    • I’m real scared that it won’t be doing that. Scholar was sharper with better lighting but other than graphically identical to its 360 forbear. I think the DS1 remaster a) won’t change anything b) will boost res/framerate

      • Yeah. Waiting for reviews for this one. I’m a little concerned that most of the hype for this is going to come from the Switch crowd, hungry for Real(tm) games on the platform, with a tiny handheld screen that will be more forgiving of the graphics.

        Also, I know it’s borrowing multiplayer changes from the later games, but if it takes on any of the game design choices from DS3, I’m fucking out. Fuck that bullshit.

    • Dark Souls 2 is generally considered the aborted turd of the bunch. It without a doubt looks FAR worse than Ds1, it’s literally a down grade. I don’t understand why some people like it, pvp maybe? Ds3 is way better

      • DS2 had hands-down better combat systems/mechanics. DS3 made heavy armour and weapons utterly pointless, nerfing the fuck out of any build/style that wasn’t Bloodborne-style aggressive/mobile. If you played with fast weapons and light armour you might’ve enjoyed it, but for anything else it was the worst game in the series.

          • Enh, the only good weapons were fast, stunlocky weapons. The scenery was nice, but it’s hard to appreciate when the combat that you spend all your time doing in that scenery sucks balls.

            DS3 was characterized for me by being an exercise in frustration from start to finish. No point to any of the gorgeous armour options, no point to half the stats you could invest in, no point to slow weapons, not much point to shields. They just imported the bloodborne playstyle into the Dark Souls setting, throwing out half of what made DS1 so great.

          • I agree that the slow beefy weapons and armour were pretty superfluous in number 3, it was all predicated on speed and quick slashes. I jus haven’t felt a need to go back to 2, whereas I actually got all the achievements for 3 I enjoyed it that much. But then I think I was swayed by the upgraded graphics on the xbone some hehe.

        • Ds2 had shit mechanics like lifegems and adaptability. It wasn’t just ugly, it had no personality either. Ds3 had way better enemies and bosses, even if the weapons didn’t feel as varied the extent is over stated. Ds2 has one leg to stand on which is PVP and really it was about 2% better. Ds2 wasn’t a challenge at any point, i have the platinum trophy for both. I can barely understand the arguement for ds2 being bettet than ds3 but Bloodborne… omg :'( Bloodborne is king

          • The fact that you favour Bloodborne explains why you prefer DS3. DS3 was basicallly an attempt to turn Dark Souls into Bloodborne.

            I don’t begrudge Bloodborne doing its own thing because it didn’t litter you with utterly pointless bait like heavy armour, shields, and heavy weapons. Dark Souls chucked all that stuff in as a trap, because if you tried to play DS3 like Dark Souls instead of Bloodborne, you were going to spend the entire game stunlocked to death by dogs, daggers, and rats.

            Dark Souls 3 was so bullshit that it actually legit makes me mad that they wasted their Swansong and improved graphics on such bullshit combat mechanics.

  • I’m all for it for renowned games that might not have received the praise or recognition on release.
    I wish the publishers made the effort to make it worthwhile for people who have played them already though. They should take the approach criterion takes for film. Have the games at their best with loads of supplementary material like art and a short doco on the making of the game and its impact. Stuff like that would be great

  • I love them because I have missed many good games. Bioshock series (havent played yet), shadow of the colossus, the last of us, tomb raider.

  • I’m happy with remasters and remakes.I have a couple,with Bioshock collection and New ‘n’ Tasty (Abe’s Oddysee) being fantastic.Some seem like cash grabs if you’ve played them,but I think they’re for new players and nostalgia fans probably.i wouldn’t mind a remastered/remake of Tenchu amongst others.

  • Average, the remaster of Halo by 343 made it HD, but got rid of some of the dark dank effects of not having everything all lit perfectly. Took the game from something I remember as almost scary from a fps when flood came along, to this like cartoony (And yet very polished) flood coming at me

  • Don’t really care for them, remakes are better if they add something to them. Metroid Zero Mission’s long been my poster child for remakes done right, anything else is just filler that I’d rather hunt down the original of if I don’t have it already. Usually cheaper that way too.

  • Falls into active preservation. If backward compatibility isn’t available, this is the only way games continue to be able to be purchased and accessed (excluding emulation of course but that can often be years away for a start).

    Remaster everything! Just don’t do stupid stuff to the game (I’m looking at you Secret of Mana).

  • Falls into the it-wouldn’t-fly-elsewhere category for me. How annoying would it be if someone took Star Wars: A New Hope and decided to mess with it to “make it better”? How about van Gogh’s The Starry Night? Even something small like the HD sheet placed over the recently re-released DMC trilogy has had a negative effect on its visuals.

    There’s good cause for preservation of various media, but preservation isn’t giving the Mona Lisa a more pronounced smile to make it more appealing to contemporary audiences.

    And also some other crap about a game being more than a single component and modification of a part unbalances the whole.

    • “How annoying would it be if someone took Star Wars: A New Hope and decided to mess with it to “make it better”?”

      Um…………………………….. they did. Hell, there were changes from the theater release to the FIRST VHS edition of the movie, minor, but still changes.

      Then there was the time they did CGI Jaba. Or the new CGI alien singer in the bar. Not the best example.

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