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Joystiq presents

Age of Remakes: Roundtable discussion, part 2

Earlier this week, we presented you with Part 1 of our roundtable discussion about the proliferation of remade classics on the DS. We questioned some of our esteemed colleagues in the gaming community about the motivations behind remaking old games, the benefits and potential pitfalls of such a practice, and, of course, their personal feelings on the issue, including games that they'd like to see.

For the second installment of our roundtable, we tapped two Nintendo bloggers with whom you're all very likely to be familiar: Kevin Cassidy, chief marathon blogger at GoNintendo, and our very own DS Fanboy site lead, Alisha Karabinus. We'd like to thank everyone for participating in our discussion, including the readers, who participated by reading.

Kevin Cassidy,

There's no denying that the sales of the DS are pushing developers to get product out on the DS as fast as possible. There is money to be made, and last time I checked, developers/publishers like money. What do you do when you want to make a quick buck? You dive deep into your established titles/franchises and whip up a remake. Can we really blame the devs though? These remakes sell, and they sell enough to warrant their appearance on whatever platform they grace. If we are against the idea of remakes, we have to stop buying them!

Personally, I have nothing against remakes. My issue is with the time in-between the original release and the remake. For all intents and purposes, Disney Meteos is a remake of Meteos. Sure, you hold the DS in a different manner and there's a fresh coat of Disney paint, but this is the same game we just played months earlier. A remake of a DS game...on the DS. That's just a tad too quick of a turnaround for me. I'll bet my beard that we'll see another Meteos version before the DS dies out.

On the other hand, Square Enix is going all out on their Final Fantasy/Dragon Quest remakes. While we are yet to judge a DS Dragon Quest remake for ourselves, we are looking for that same quality found in Final Fantasy III for the DS. It is obvious that Square Enix took their time with this title. The game received a major overhaul in all areas, and even offered up some new gameplay elements. This is the other end of the spectrum when talking remakes. This is the type of quality that warrants a remake in the first place. The only problem is that Square Enix sees that there is a lot of dough to be made from these remakes. Let's hope the quality of FFIV DS doesn't drop in the name of the almighty dollar.

I get the feeling I appear to be coming down hard on remakes. There are titles that I want to see get a new life on the DS. I really think we need some more classic NES/SNES/Genesis titles on the DS. Perhaps it is the aging gamer in me, but I want these young DS owners to see where gaming came from. Spruce up the graphics a bit, redo the sound, but don't go nuts. Let's get a BattleToads and Double Dragon remake on the DS. These are characters that older gamers are still fond of, yet we haven't seen much of them in a very long time. Where the hell have Zitz, Pimple, Rash, Billy and Jimmy been? TradeWest (if you still exists!), Rare...make this happen. Trust me, there are people out there that want this!

And no...we don't want touchscreen fly-eating...

Alisha Karabinus, DS Fanboy:

You certainly can't say that the lion's share of DS remakes are being driven by the handheld's particular technology ... but then again, do they need to be? Sometimes it's just nice to have a really great or really popular game in portable form. The Virtual Console is awesome, but you can't take it with you. Look at FFIII -- it didn't really benefit, as such, from anything other than the rote power of the DS, but when you have an RPG that focuses so heavily on grinding, the ability to carry it around can make that process a lot less painful. And if you want to look at another example, which is not really a remake, look at Mario Kart DS. In a lot of ways, Mario Kart didn't gain anything from being on the DS, other than Wi-Fi. All of the things that were added in are nice, but unnecessary. Oh, yay, I can draw an emblem! But is that the game's strength? No -- it's the fact that you can take it with you and get your game on at your convenience.

But I think technology drives some of the remakes as well, which is why we're seeing so many PC-based games, like Myst and Sim City, head to the DS. Anything that relied heavily on a mouse can translate very well to the DS -- whereas a lot of similar games have been less than user-friendly on traditional consoles and handhelds. I just hope we really see that potential come to fruition in the way that we've seen adventure games blossom.

Does that mean we need all these remakes? Nah, especially with some of these Final Fantasy titles, since they were just redone for the GBA. But if I had to choose, I'd rather have them made for the DS. Sure, you can play your GBA carts in your DS, but some of these older games are still available in classic form and the GBA isn't always a huge leap ahead. Again, look at FFIII -- it gave the characters names, even, and added a whole new dimension to the title. Some people may not like it, but hey, they don't have to play. But for those of us who do, I think it's nice to have the option of something updated, something fresh.

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Reader Comments (Page 1 of 1)


10-13-2007 @ 5:43PM

flameofdoom666 said...

I read both of your thoughts, and I think remakes are fine in small doses. Square-Enix is going a bit crazy with them. I wish they made brand new games, even spin offs (FF IV-2), then just the same game over again. I like that they are also remaking Dragon Quest 4, 5 and 6 and the US can play them for the first time. That is a trilogy after all, and we have only ever seen 4i n the states. Sometimes remakes are good, but to many is very bad.


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Ry Guy2

10-13-2007 @ 9:51PM

Ry Guy said...

People are vastly exaggerating how bad the remake situation is. The majority of the DS library is NOT inhabited by remakes. I have a list of about 10 reserved DS games coming my way. This is the list:

Contra 4
Mario Party DS
Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword
Dimentium: The Ward
Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations
Megaman ZX Advent
Dragon Quest Monsters Joker
Geometry Wars Galaxies

All of these games look like they're going to be good, and they're all coming in the span of about 4 months. We do not have a lack of new content by any stretch of the imagination. Hell, I just picked up Phantom Hourglass and I'm already tempted to get that Bleach fighter! It's barely been a week since I got a new DS game!


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Alisha Karabinus3

10-13-2007 @ 10:47PM

Alisha Karabinus said...

I certainly like it, so long as retailers are making other games -- and lo, they are. In fact, it seems like there's always more on the DS that I want than I can afford, so I've got nothing to complain about. The best thing about remakes? No one has to buy 'em if they don't want to!


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10-14-2007 @ 12:44AM

flameofdoom666 said...

Alisha, thats so true! haha


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10-14-2007 @ 12:44AM

flameofdoom666 said...

Remakes that ENHANCE the game, like FF3 is pretty cool though. Its like a new spin on a classic tale.


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10-14-2007 @ 1:15PM

iofthestorm said...

Yeah, if they keep doing remakes like FFIII I'll keep buying them, because I never played those games back when they first appeared.


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10-15-2007 @ 10:16AM

ethan42404 said...

It seemed to me that the GBA was the KING of remakes - not the DS.


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10-21-2007 @ 4:01AM

shouryuuken said...

yeah.. the gba was a king of ports.. not remakes, theres a difference. with that being said, im glad the ds isnt full of ports.. thats just lazy, i would say that the ds is full of nostalgic games and sequels that are from game series that havent been seen for a while or are in the spirit of the older iterations, such as starfox command (basically the unreleased starfox 2), yoshis story 2, or megaman zx. Im glad theyve done that because originally i thought it was going to be a stable for n64 ports since the gba had so many snes games ported.


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10-23-2007 @ 9:52AM

Myth said...

I would like to see remakes of games that are impossible to find unless you drop a significant chunk of change on them. Chrono Trigger, for instance. I played this on a friend's SNES cart around 2000 and I have never seen a copy in a store. eBay prices skyrocket on these classic games and the PlayStaion remake in Final Fantasy (Chronicles? Anthology? I forget) was lackluster.

I would argue that games with good and memorable art don't need the graphics updated if they get remade. Who doesn't love the sprites of Final Fantasy VI or the 2D animation from Street Fighter II Turbo? I have FFVI for the GBA and I don't think I would enjoy it nearly as much if they had changed the graphics. In many ways I actually prefer the older graphics. Many older games had very distinct art styles that were emotive and memorable. That is certainly an achievement for such limited graphical power.

A major benefit the DS has when porting RPGs is that they can have the battle screen up top and the menu screen on the bottom which frees up valuable screen space on an already small screen (not that the DS screen size is a problem, it's just a small screen compared to a TV).

I have a copy of Front Mission bought and paid for, I just need to wait for GameStop to open so I can pick it up. I really hope it turned out well. I played it emulated because it wasn't available here in the States. With any luck, the port turned out well.


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11-11-2007 @ 11:00AM

Brello said...

I like the DS for being the last bastion of "classic" type games, but the remake scenario is a little awkward. At the very least, they're not just direct ports. I hate ports beyond anything, considering I probably still own the original. Thankfully the newer consoles offer these games as digital downloads, and I'm hoping that ends the ports forever. Remakes are okay too, if they add something substantial. Personally, I love Tetris DS, but it offers so much more than did the original Tetris. Even Super Mario 64 DS was alright with adding in 3 characters, some goals and a few levels.


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