The GTA trilogy is a prime example, because it’s great games that are poorly reworked extensively. Too bad, to the point where you no longer understand from this editor why these games were so important two decades ago. There are of course good and bad optimizers, for both good and bad games. But even the best remasters often deviate from the original vision of the creator. While that is exactly what we must preserve.
To be clear, I’ll take the GTA trilogy again, because that’s a great example in the textbook of how not to do things. Apart from unstable frame rate, rain and exaggerated effects smoothingThe games seem so useless. There is no graphical filter or effect in the game. From a high point you can immediately see the entire game world. This suddenly makes San Andreas very small, as if you were looking at a game city. If you see too much the magic disappears.
In the original version it became blurry in the distance. In fact, the viewing distance in the city was shorter than in the countryside. This was due to a technical limitation: the crowded city required more of the PlayStation 2 than the countryside. But this created a certain atmosphere. The city felt oppressive, warm and filled with smog. While you are in the countryside, you can breathe fresh air freely. It is precisely these kinds of aesthetic details that are very crucial to the game’s atmosphere.
There are more examples of adapters failing when it comes to preserving the original vision. Even “good” benefactors make mistakes. I recently played Halo 4 again in preparation for Halo Infinite. The original release of Halo 4 on Xbox 360 ends, logically, with the credits. They are accompanied by a beautiful performance of Never Forget, an emotional exclamation point at the end. In Master Chief Collection, the credits are cut short and the post-credit scene begins immediately. It is technically not immediately Mail– More credits scene.
I am very annoyed by these kinds of things. Games are works of art and made with a vision. Image and sound are combined in a certain way. From votes in the list to credits and everything in between adds up to the whole.
In recent years, I have consciously chosen a TV and audio set that reflects this vision as closely as possible, without saturated colors or exaggerated bass. But when the game is a few years old and ready to be remastered, should we just accept that some random bastard is going to run out with source material? Just keep your hands off her
If the game is a few years old, should we just accept that some random idiot is going to run out with source material?
I’m not saying that because I don’t want to pay (again) for my token. I say that because I love games. And you want to keep the things you love. Unfortunately, this gets more and more difficult with games. They are threatened from left and right. Digital stores go offline, games become dependent (also) on patches or online services, or publishers pull the first release as re-releases appear.
Rockstar, for example, pulled original GTA games from digital stores. The PC versions are now (limited) downloadable again, but the console versions are no longer available. Sony Deleted Recently, with the goal of releasing Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection for PS4 indie games (nuance: these PS4 versions are still available as a bundle). Halo Infinite is just a glorified DRM switch; The game itself does not exist at all. This is not a problem now, but it does make consumers totally dependent on digital distribution. It is really widespread.
Then there are technological “advancements”. For example, my modern TV no longer has a scart or RCA connection, so connecting my PlayStation 2 without the involvement of accessories is no longer an option.
Long story short, wanting to play old games is a boring heartache — and it only promises to get worse. Publishers like to take advantage of this problem by launching remasters, but this has not been proven time and time again to be a satisfactory solution. This is partly due to the consumer, who often expects something of an upgrade with this re-release. So the end result is mostly neither meat nor fish.
Oddly enough, the game industry (both publishers and consumers) is very different from the movie industry in this respect. There are a lot of old movies on Blu-ray 4K for sale. The resolution is higher, HDR has been added and the audio has mostly been upgraded to modern audio formats like Dolby Atmos or DTS-X, but it’s still the original movies from start to finish. Nobody suddenly expects new content or improved special effects. And those who will now wisely say that with every re-release, something is being adapted to Star Wars: it’s true. No one was ever happy about it except for George Lucas himself. Exactly my point.
Movies are an entirely different medium than games and are less affected by the ravages of time, but a similar approach to games is certainly possible. Microsoft proves this with its backward compatibility strategy. It makes the original games playable on modern devices. Only if it is possible (hardware) to increase the resolution or frame rate, or HDR is added. But that’s it: the original game remains unmodified and even those technical improvements can be turned off again. This is where we need to go. This is how it keeps the classics in their original glory and makes them playable on modern devices.
Then we can immediately switch to better, more consistent terms. Get rid of the Legendary HD Definitive Super Edition. As a director, do you really want to tweak something, for example by expanding your game with additional content or a different camera perspective? Then we talk about the director’s cut. Do you really want to recreate a game to modern standards? Then it is called a remake. It might be sold again for a full blow, but do your best at it. Have some fun with the chance to recreate a classic. In all other cases, please leave the source material as is.
Only in this way can we preserve our history. Only then can today’s generation understand that Grand Theft Auto 3 was truly important in its day. Only in this way can I, in a nostalgic mood, sing along with some beer from Africa Toto as I wander along neon-lit Vice City Boulevard.
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