Nowadays, I’m not sure if people know what remake actually means. We’ve had a lot of games throughout the past where gaming companies would consider a game as a “remake”, but it was just a port. The word remake gets attached on to many games nowadays and the fans feel like they have been slapped in the face. There’s the term reboot, but that is nowhere near what a remake should be. If you are planning on keeping a franchise the way on how it was before but modernize the controls and graphics, that is a remake. If you are just considering porting a game to another console with updated graphics, that is a remaster.
If you’re wondering what defines a good remake, check out my personal list below.
Resident Evil 2 (2019)
Resident Evil 2 came out last year and it blew my mind away. I haven’t enjoyed a Resident Evil game in a long time since Resident Evil 4. Resident Evil 7 was a mediocre game but definitely a stepping stone where the company needs to get back and focus on: horror. Besides that, RE2 (2019) did almost everything right. It nailed down everything from its faithfulness and gameplay to its characterization. That is how you do a remake. But wait, what defines a remake? Is RE2 (2019) considered as a remastered? This made me think about what games are considered remasters and remakes.
If you’ve played the original Resident Evil 2, then there should be no surprises for you. You basically know the story of the game, and it’s the exact same thing. Controls are different. Controls have been modernized to be an “over-the shoulder” third-person shooter, which Capcom executed flawlessly. No clunky controls. Simple as aiming and shooting away the zombies.
I can’t stress this enough but I am happy that Capcom executed this remake flawlessly. Although the controls are modernized for the better, everything about the original game is still here. No changes at all. They kept the original RE2 faithful to its original title. Whatever content the original RE2 had, RE2 (2019) included that. Yes, that game mode you played back in the days with the TOFU Survivor? That wasn’t new in RE2 (2019). That was already featured back in the original title.
Pokemon Heartgold & Soulsilver
Arguably my all-time favorite Pokemon game to this day. Hands down. There is no other Pokemon game that could come close to HG/SS. The content that it had back in the days was insane. HG/SS came out 10 years ago and still has more content than certain games. This is another prime example of what a remake is supposed to be. Staying true/original to the original game? Yes. Gamplay has been updated to match modern titles? Yes. This game was made so it could be compatible with Diamond & Pearl. To be able to bring back one of the oldest/loved generations of the game and enhance it to make it more playable for others is truly a god-send move.
Because of its compatibility with D/P, HG/SS doesn’t just stop at Generation 2 Pokedex like the original. They went outside the box to include Generations 1 – 4. (which again in my opinion are the best generations) To help modernize the game, the special edition of HG/SS had the Pokewalker which acted as a pedometer to help players interact with the game while being away from the Nintendo DS. Another feature which I thought was amazing and I hope it comes back in the next remake (D/P please), is the ability to have your first Pokemon in your party to walk alongside you. Just like Pokemon Yellow, they grabbed this feature and added it in to HG/SS.
Final Fantasy VII Remake
I wrote about this game already so I’ll try to keep this section relatively short here. If you want to see my thoughts & review on it, here it is. FF7 Remake lived up to its expectations. We’ve gotten a new fresh take of the combat system, where it abandons its traditional turn-based RPG into a more action RPG gameplay. That gameplay here fitted perfectly well with this remake. Although this game is essentially 20% of the original FF7, this game felt long due to its filler missions. But those filler missions fit perfectly in this remake. FF7 Remake gave us more characterization than the original title. Characters such as Jessie feels more alive than ever.