Speaking of Remastered, Remake and Enhanced.
Some time ago, I published an article referring to an approach to the types of players according to various qualifying aspects. However, today another completely different element to be discussed is presented in order to be able to focus in the future a series of articles dedicated exclusively to that end, and that is that this time we are talking about a particular practice in the relevant video game industry. We refer to the re-releases of the titles of old generations in the new consoles with an important technical / artistic retouch to adapt it to the technology of the moment, or make it compatible with it. First we will leave the following pertinent questions for reflection and we will move through an idea that seeks to re-understand what these “rescues” of the old video games should pursue. So:
Does the remastered, remake or enhanced not seek to revitalize the old virtual titles?
Is it wise to judge this revitalization as good or bad?
First of all, let’s define these terms a bit:
Remastered: it translates as remastering and, as a verb that it is, it is made up of two elements: the prefix “re” and an Anglicist verbalization of the word “mastered” which in turn is derived from the word “master”. In short, its conjunction can be defined by extension as “doing again but masterfully” something (in this case a video game). It is also valid to understand it as “the master remaking” and we even propose the possibility of translating it as the “mastering” a virtual title from a generation prior to the current one. Under this structure, there have been many games that have been proclaimed as a remastered of themselves on other consoles, but the truth is that each concept responds to a different moment within the revitalization that can be done. Later we will see these nuances.
Remake: It has a lot of similarity to remastered but it goes further. By literally meaning remaking, the remake of a game must also focus on the mechanical aspects of the game and not only on the graphics. For this reason, it is approached from the base of the game to change various elements present (including the graphic engine of the same or the gameplay itself), but not for this altering the nature of the development of the game’s narrative. We will need to describe one last concept before clarifying definitions.
Enhanced: the most accurate translation is “improved”. When we refer to improvement in the video game industry, there is a risk of reading between the lines of “correcting flaws”, and it is that to a large extent enhanced comes to be understood just as unanticipated minor corrections of the video game when it is already on the market. .
Today, there is a peculiar drawback with these terms because, from the writer’s point of view, they are used as empty synonyms that serve as a disguise for one of the flaws of any artistic creation: innovation. Therefore, let’s detail some opportune differences to clarify this problem:
A video game can be understood as a “play” in all its phases. When it is its premiere or launch, it may have some flaws that make the consumer who acquires it uncomfortable. Normally, these flaws are corrected with patches or updates that take root in these errors and try to give a solution as quickly as possible. These refinements mainly seek that the game develops as it was planned in its complete structure and does not necessarily imply a relaunch of the game.
In fact, doing so is counterproductive as the claims and complaints of users gain greater force at a critical moment: the first days of the game’s release (which are in practice the moment of return on the investment made in it and estimates a balance of future earnings). It is in this situation where a game is “improved”, that is, when patches and fixes solve any unexpected issue in the shortest possible time. This is the case where you should talk about enhanced.
A smoothing in the textures, changing the interface and an in-depth revision in order to polish errors and improve the graphic quality, processing, etc., requires more time and, therefore, greater dedication focused on improving these mechanics of the videogame. This is the most common scenario to refer to remastered that they are made. The main characteristic is that it implies relaunching the title back to the market either for the same platform or for others. Many times, it is common to get to this kind of games like “HD” Or simply high definition, but in practice it refers to the very nature of the video game remastered.
There is still a more detailed space when it comes to improving the quality of a video game. While it is true that patches correct errors and smooths stylize textures, many times there are virtual titles that go through a more complex process, either during development or already finished. In the second case, a relaunch of the title is carried out with important changes that focus on the base of the game. Typically, this case requires redoing various elements, including creating new skins and features to complement existing mechanics or change them entirely. This is the case of remake of a video game and mainly occurs with flagship games from large companies.
How practical is this revitalization of titles?
Everything indicates that this idea pursues favorable objectives both for the industry and for consumers, although in reality it is different. In practical terms, the fact of requiring an enhancement means that the development times were rather short for the planning and creation of the video game, or that the budget was low for it. This inconvenience is the responsibility of the developers and generally delays the release dates or harms virtual titles during it, not to mention that the consumer will be seriously affected as they will feel disappointed when they notice that the product they have purchased does not meet expectations. quality it has. Nowadays it turns out that these elements are made sequentially, either due to serious problems during the production of the video game or because unfinished products are thrown onto the market that they hope to be able to solve at the last minute.
But on the other hand, the video game industry has launched memorable and unique titles that were able to set a trend within it. These games are the ones that always remain as part of the identity of the players and often go unnoticed by the new generations as they are forgotten in the cycles of programmed obsolescence that developers handle. Like history, these virtual titles have to be rescued so that consumers understand where the great development companies of today have come from and the trajectory they have gone through. Despite this, a new question arises:
Do all games deserve to be revised, improved and relaunched in order to revitalize them?
In reality, all games should comply with what they announce at the time of their development and not play with the expectations of the consumers. These “techniques” or tools used to improve video games must be used more as a contingency at the time of their launch (in the case of enhanced), since it is clear that no game is saved from failures; or they must also be used to bring flagship games of the companies back to the market, without this being an excuse for the lack of originality of the content published in the new deliveries. After all, the main purpose for which this means of entertainment was created was the virtual recreation of its followers, and it has to be one of minimum acceptable quality since it is not free or often cheap.
It is noble to want to show the public of today the iconic games of previous generations, but that is not an excuse to relaunch them with the minimum necessary technical improvement and obtain economic income with the minimum effort.