Editorial: Remaking Perfection

All games are beautiful and perfect in their own right. The previous sentence was false but it served its duty as being an attention-grabber for the theme of this editorial: video game remakes. In a time where nearly every studio seems to either be remaking or revitalizing old franchises, it is only right to to look around and analyze what makes a successful video game remake.

Gee willikers, it is pretty.
The game’s HD visuals are aided by its unique art style.

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker released on the Nintendo Gamecube in 2002 and its remake, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD released on the Nintendo Wii U in 2014. What is interesting to note is the way in which the remake changed the base game, specifically, how it altered the third act where Link has to collect shards of the Triforce in order to defeat Ganon. In the original game, Link had to travel to different islands and find Trifoce charts that needed to be deciphered by Tingle on a separate island for a fee of 398 rupees, which means that the player would have had to find a wallet upgrade as the starting wallet can only hold 99 rupees at a time. Other changes were made such as the new lighting system and numerous gameplay changes to streamline actions for the player such as speeding up grappling animations and text speeds alongside the Swift Sail letting players move from island to island at approximately double the speed from the original game. Instead of radically changing the game, the developers kept what fans liked and fixed what fans disliked without being overly drastic about it. The two biggest complaints with the original were usually about the sailing and the Triforce shards and the remake addresses both, making it so that players can achieve their goals faster without having to go through content they disliked ten years ago. Overall, one can argue that The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD is a standard in which video game remakes can be held, while others will say that too much or not enough of the content has been changed to justify a fifty dollar price tag.

Would skeletons even have boobs? It is an honest question.
While the models are noticeably easier on the eyes and the lighting has changed, the art style remains intact.

Now, for a more of a bare-bones (pun intended) comparison, Grim Fandango Remastered came out on multiple platforms in January of 2014, while the original Grim Fandango was released all the way back in October of 1998. The remake was handled by Double Fine and really did not change much outside of the improved visuals and audio tracks. Of course, a more modern control scheme was implemented with the option to revert back to tank controls, and developed commentary was added along with concept art and achievements. However, aside from these changes it is very much the same game with no actual content changes, just the same games fans loved at the time with visuals suitable for the modern era of gaming. However, this did lead to criticism as some believed the original game’s puzzles to be too difficult to comprehend, which once again opens up the discussion on if it would have been right to change the core content of the game for a remake. It is easy to make the case that it ruins the nostalgia for gamers when they see their favorite games changed outside of visuals and music as gamers tend to mentally improve their memories already, while others argue that remakes are still games and should be subject to criticisms that would be given if it was not a remake.

The cutscenes are also pre-rendered and the lack of servbot heads during cutscenes is a bummer.
Instead of being able to render 800 zombies like the original, the Wii delivers a solid 100!

Last, but certainly not least is the classic, Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop on the Nintendo Wii, a remake of the original Dead Rising on the Xbox 360. Released only three years after the original, the remake comes with a smaller map, mini-games, the removal of jumping and picture-taking, reduced graphics, and the ability to render less zombies than the original title. All in all, a near perfect title, ensured to tickle even the most cold-hearted of gamer’s fancy.

Do you just video game remakes based on how well they have improved on the original game, or do you view them as standalone titles available to all forms of criticism? What is your favorite video game remake? Make sure to leave a comment below!


  1. I like the gameplay streamlining of the Wind Waker HD remix, although I would have been perfectly happy with leaving it untouched and, on balance, I think that would have been preferable. However, I am not pleased with the bubble-effect that people in the game now have, where everyone looks like a balloon. Also, the game has a LOT of glare. The result is that it is increasingly unpleasant to play to the point where I actually prefer the original Gamecube release.

  2. @Lusipurr Intetesting. I thought it looked a lot better. Didn’t have the glare problem myself.

  3. Grim Fandango isn’t a remake – it is essentially just a port of the PC original. It does not belong in this article.

    Resident Evil on the PS4 is one of the best and most faithful remakes I have ever seen.

    @Lusipurr: I agree wholeheartedly. Wind Waker looked less sparkly on the GC, but I believe that it ultimately looked a lot better.

  4. @SiliconNooB It is a remastered edition of the original game, more than a port. Specifically intended for modernizing it using the improved audio, textures, and graphics. If you look at the editorial you’ll notice how it goes from a remake with a lot of work put into it to improve the base game, the minimum amount of work with just improved textures and audio, and last a very bad port that actually made the game worse. Therefore, it does belong in this article.

    @LegendaryApple I didn’t have a glare problem either, but that could be my personal settings on my tv since I adjust them for different consoles. Overall, I like the look more but don’t like the lighting when Link holds up an item or when too much isn’t moving as it gives the characters a weird clay effect.

  5. Nope, but I have a pre-existing knowledge of the game because I watched a full playthrough of it without commentary. So I’ve seen all the plot, puzzles, all that fun stuff, tried to get it running on my own computer but never got it to work. Plan on purchasing it during the Winter Sale when it’s 75% off again.

  6. I have the PC original and the PS4 version. The PS4 version is pretty much the stock standard game as it was released back in the late 90s – with the only differences being that they added some shadows to character models, and included the ability to stretch the image to 16:9 [which distorts the image horribly]. Calling the game anything but a port is being charitable in the extreme.

  7. If you look at Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop it’s actually a remake from the ground up and yet terribly worse than the original, even though it’s worse than the source, people call it a remake because it was made from the ground-up, which is why I’ll agree Grim Fandango Remastered isn’t a full remake but it is definitely a remastered edition of the original game and that’s not being charitable. It doesn’t matter if it’s worse if they didn’t do an amazing job, it would just be a really bad remaster.

  8. It’s literally the same game with a shadow mod bolted on to it.

    If Grim Fandando is a remaster then 1998’s PC release of FFVII was also a remaster because Square decided to draw little mouths onto the character models.

  9. You’re leaving our the orchestral score and modernized controls, along with trophies, director’s commentary and concept art but those three are to a much lesser extent. The visual elements are underwhelming to say the least given it’s 2015 and it’s probably possible to find better work done by a dedicated fanbase, but it’s still wrong to discredit it as being only a port, and they’re much more noticeable improvements than drawing a little mouth on character models. There main goal was to make it playable for a modern audience and although they did kind of a crappy job at that they still did enough to warrant the game being called a remaster and not a port.

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