To Remaster, or not to Remaster?
If it's one thing that the Crash Bandicoot Remaster announcement from the Sony Showcase at E32016 has shown me, it's that everyone has an "exception" to the saying, "I'm tired of all these remasters, use resources on new IP". It has gotten to the point that whenever I start discussing this topic with someone and they start giving me the "waste of time" speech that I usually ask them what was their favorite game of the last 10 years, and follow up with "What if they remastered that?" I could bet you know what the answer to that question is 99% percent of the time. For the other 1%, it's usually because they aren't thinking hard enough on what game they would want most. The fact of the matter is that everyone, and I mean everyone has that one game or franchise that they wouldn't mind seeing get a polish to bring over to current hardware. For those of you on the PC that is about to give me the "well that's why I play on PC, you can play any game blah blah blah"... Obviously this discussion is geared towards the console player. I still love you though. Enjoy playing every game ever created with the click of the mouse.
Now for those poor souls, such as myself, that don't have the convenience of the Steam Marketplace, what game would you like to see remade? For me, I play with this question often. I normally come up with Kingdom Hearts port for the remakes they did, or Prince of Persia. The question that I think needs to be discussed however, are Remasters necessary, or are they a waist of developers time? Personally, I think they are a necessary evil under the circumstances.
Keeping in mind that we are living in a console community now that full backwards compatibility is a thing of the past for both Xbox and PlayStation, we have to rely on these masters if you want to be able to play some of your favorite titles as time marches on. Yes, I know that Xbox One offers some compatibility, boasting a roster of over 200+ titles now, however there are still classics I can't boot up (Rockstar I'm looking at you. Red Dead Redemption *Wink*). The fact is that if we are to expect that publishers aren't going to bump up the prices of games as we move from one generation to the next, they have to allow the developers to make their money somewhere. For some, it is this function that allows them to break even on a game. Look at Dark Siders 2, that was a game that no one was clamoring for a remaster, but the developer was able to regain some of the lost capital buy repackaging and selling it once more.
Developers such as Bluepoint, have created a business out of these remasters and definitive collections. With a catalog such as The Metal Gear Solid HD Collection & he Last of Us Remaster, it's now wonder that some of these devs dedicate their entire staff to producing these products. That is what many of us fail to remember, that while we may think that a remaster is a waist of time for the developer, many times it is not the original developer doing the heavy lifting. In the case of Crash Bandicoot, you will see another 3rd party company step in and handle that one, not Naughty Dog. That would be a huge mistake, and I mean that.
Now while I get ready for the overload of direct messages and emails, asking me if I am crazy or the imminent "Naughty Dog should make another Jak & Daxter" argument, I am going to sit here and dream of a Mass Effect Definitive Collection. After all, if you were all honest with yourselves, you know there is a game or two you wouldn't mind seeing remade. If you have a game that jumps to mind, let me know in the comments below. Time to go boot up Tomb Raider Definitive Collection.