In audiovisual productions, there are several ways to re-release a classic from a certain era: it can be a remaster, a remake, reboot or reimagining. However, sometimes it is confusing to know the difference between them, since many confuse remaster with remake, and are in doubt about what a “reboot” is.

Also, many times a remake has elements of reimagining too, making things even more complicated! Therefore, in this article we will explain what each one is about, trying to clarify a little about them.

Remaster: giving CTRL+C and CTRL+V and improving something

The remastering process within the world of games is a conversion of a game from one platform to another, usually changing something. For easy understanding, it’s like a “copy” and “paste” procedure on the PC, but you improve a “point here” and another point “there”, but without changing the structures of the game as a whole.

On consoles, remastering a game for a new one shows that the game is “old”, even if it is adapted for higher resolutions. the relaunch of sonic cd for example, is it a remaster, and why is that? Because it is a copy of the game originally released for the SEGA CD, but adapted to current technologies, with Wide Screen TV support and stereo sound. Still talking about Sonic, Adventure DX itself is a remaster of Dreamcast’s Sonic Adventure, where they did a CTRL+C and CTRL+V, but increased the polygonal amount of the characters, changed some textures, but in the core, it’s a same game.

Remake: recreating a game from scratch

Unlike the remaster that copies and pastes with some changes to adapt the current technology, the remake takes the original project and remakes it “from scratch”, being a new game. Basically, they take the project that was “on paper” and remake it, but keeping all the structures of the original game like systems, dialogues etc, but modernizing it for contemporary audiences

A good example is Pokémon Fire Red released for the GameBoy Advance with Pokémon Red from the original Gameboy Color. Resident Evil 2 or Final Fantasy VII are remakes, but also with elements of reimagining.

Reimagining: freely adapting an old game

As the name suggests, the reimagining seeks not to be a remake, but to bring a new experience to the player at all points, just taking advantage of the same theme. What best exemplifies this is Mickey Mouse’s Castle of Illusion, since the re-launch in the 2010s has absolutely nothing to do with the game originally released on the Mega Drive, even though it has the same story and the same scenarios, but that’s all. different.

It’s literally a “reimagining” of an old game. The Green Hill Zone of Sonic Generations is another example of taking the same theme and reimagining a classic setting. The background is the same, but the phase is different.

Reboot: reset everything!

A reboot is when you erase everything that has been built so far and decide to restart an entire series “from scratch”, usually using only the same name and some elements, such as the name of the protagonist. The best example of this is 2013’s Tomb Raider, which has absolutely nothing to do with the 1996 release of the same name. New gameplay, new story, Lara Croft has another personality with just a few “traces” of the original, a new origin for the character, a new island, a new “everything”. Reboot is the same as a restart.