Top 10 Things Video Game Remakes Always Get Wrong



Top 10 Things Video Game Remakes Always Get Wrong

VOICE OVER: Ryan Wild WRITTEN BY: Ty Richardson
Remakes and remasters of classic games are great and all, but when they don't live up to expectations they can tarnish a franchise. For this list, we're looking at the many issues that plague video game remakes and the games that displayed these issues. Our countdown includes Implementing New Features That Don't Work, Only Upgrading Visuals, Changing Story & Characters Too Much, Cutting Content and much more!
Script written by Ty Richardson

Top 10 Things Video Game Remakes Always Get Wrong

Remakes are great and all, but when they don’t live up to expectations, prepare for a PR nightmare. Welcome to WatchMojo, and today, we’re taking a look at the Top 10 Things Video Game Remakes Always Get Wrong.

For this list, we’re looking at the many issues that plague video game remakes and the games that displayed these issues.

#10: Audio Issues

While it hasn’t been too common of a problem in recent years, audio problems have historically been a glaring issue. The “Silent Hill HD Collection”, for example, effectively threw away the hype it had generated amongst fans due to its poor audio syncing. Plus the subtitles weren’t even updated to match the revisions made in some scenes. The 2018 remake of “Secret of Mana” attempted to remix the original’s soundtrack, but only ended up souring it due to how drastically different some of the tracks play. “Mafia II: Definitive Edition”, on the other hand, suffered from just all-around dreadful sound mixing. Really, why does the audio fluctuate so much between gameplay and cutscenes? Sound design is just as important as having great visuals.

#9: Forgetting New Tech Exists

What is even the point in remastering or remaking games if you aren’t even going to fully utilize modern technology? Too many remakes have forgotten about the capabilities of modern consoles and computers, and it’s downright aggravating. While “Turtles in Time: Re-Shelled” did introduce online multiplayer, it failed to provide a stable connection. Speaking of online, “Star Fox 64 3D” missed the opportunity to bring its battle mode to the online world, stranding it forever in local multiplayer. And you absolutely CANNOT tell us that it was impossible for “Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy” to run at sixty frames per second on modern consoles like the PS4 Pro! Same goes for “Spyro: Reignited Trilogy”!!

#8: Turning Classics Into Live Services

When you turn a classic game into a live service, you run the risk of coming off as greedy and looking to profit off of the nostalgia gamers have for past favorites. Worse yet, you risk soiling an entire franchise’s reputation. That’s what happened when Electronic Arts shelled out the manipulative “Dungeon Keeper Mobile”, which demanded players pay money to speed up extensive cooldowns. Activision has been similarly criticized for shoving microtransactions into “Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled” roughly a month after launch. “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered” was generally well-received, but the microtransactions soured many fans on an otherwise excellent remake.

#7: Implementing New Features That Don’t Work

Putting in a new feature that could potentially revamp gameplay sounds like a good idea, but most of the time, it has only overshadowed what made the originals so great. The 3DS remake of "Luigi's Mansion", for example, tried to implement gyro controls. However, the size of the 3DS and lack of response of the 3DS XL’s secondary stick ended up making the whole experience frustrating. Then, you have the DS remake of "Diddy Kong Racing" which included a track editor that was severely underwhelming. And "Link's Awakening"? Wow, they really squandered the dungeon building feature - that could have been so much better and become a "Zelda Maker" mode!

#6: Only Upgrading Visuals

A common mistake in modern remakes is that some studios seem to think all players want is a visual upgrade. Titles such as “Shenmue 1 and 2” as well as “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD” did the bare minimum by only raising resolutions, reducing load times, and making things crisp, but they failed to justify why players should spend their hard-earned cash again. A more recent example of this would be, once again, “Link’s Awakening”, which demanded sixty dollars for the same archaic control scheme and relatively short adventure. Basically, you gotta give players more to sell them, especially when so many of them have most likely kept original copies in top-notch condition.

#5: Changing Story & Characters Too Much

We can understand the need to alter characters or stories to fit with modern times or give it a fresh coat of paint. Unfortunately, many remakes have changed our favorite characters a bit too much. As critically acclaimed as the 2016 remake of “Ratchet & Clank” was, a major complaint made by fans was how Ratchet went from goofy bad boy to goody two-shoes cop wannabe. Then, you have some remakes like “GoldenEye 007” that’ll change actors to fit with modern times, but here’s the problem - Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig portray James Bond in dramatically different ways. And in “Final Fantasy VII Remake”, Sephiroth loses all nuanced reasoning behind his maliciousness. Why do we need such drastic changes?

#4: Not Fixing Certain Segments

While remakes and remasters are a great way to preserve classics and introduce them to newer audiences, some titles have desperately needed changes. And yet, many forget to capitalize on the opportunity and retain the flaws of the originals. Stage 4 of "PaRappa the Rapper" was the most frustrating and broken level in the entire game, but its timing issues were kept in 2017's "PaRappa the Rapper Remastered". Then, you have the 2019 remaster of "Ghostbusters: The Video Game", which is still plagued with a puzzle centered around a broken mechanic. Dare we mention the cheap bosses in “Turtles in Time: Re-Shelled”, or “MediEvil’s” outdated combat? What about “Secret of Mana’s” hit detection problems, or how “Skyrim Remastered” had a buggier launch than the original?

#3: Overcharging Players

As we mentioned earlier, you need to give players more reason to buy a remake if you’re wanting to charge full price. This is yet another area in which “Link’s Awakening” suffered. The lackluster additions like the “custom” dungeons don’t justify the price tag, especially when the game retains outdated design choices. Another recent victim was “Resident Evil 3”. Sure, Capcom included new content to provide more context, but it also removed content, so in the end we weren’t really getting that much more. And as much as we loved “Shadow of the Colossus”, did we really need to pay forty bucks for a THIRD release of the game?

#2: Cutting Content

One of the absolute worst things you can do with a remake or remaster is axing content. The second you do remove something, you’re walking on eggshells with fans, and several games have learned this the hard way. “Conker: Live & Reloaded” gained notoriety for censoring even the most harmless of swears. The remaster for the first “Modern Warfare” launched with FEWER maps than the original to sell the rest as DLC whereas the remaster for its sequel didn’t even include multiplayer! As for “Resident Evil 3”? Capcom axed entire sequences that did nothing wrong in the original which is pretty absurd, to say the least.

#1: Remaking Already Near-Perfect Games

Let’s be honest - there are some games that you simply should NEVER touch! Remakes for timeless classics like “Resident Evil 3”, “Conker’s Bad Fur Day”, “Link’s Awakening”, and even “Shadow of the Colossus” have suffered from more than a couple points we’ve made in previous entries. It’s the same reason that so many fans have been resistant to Disney’s live-action remakes - why spoil something so special by trying to update or reimagine it? When your game has aged well, there’s simply no reason to rehash and change things, and the second you announce you’re touching something, you’re inviting scrutiny. Looking at you Capcom! We love you, but don’t you dare go and mess up “Resident Evil 4” now!