What Makes a Remaster So Enticing?

Hey everyone! Shadow Complex is finally here! …again. That’s right, after months of waiting, we can all finally dive back into ChAIR’s excellent metroidvania-style action adventure! Actually, come to think of it, I could have been playing on my Xbox 360 all this time instead of waiting for the re-release. ….huh. How about that? Why was I all jazzed-up for this re-release again?

(trailer from IGN’s YouTube channel)

Unless a remaster offers either a significant noticeable upgrade over the old experience or a chance to play a game missed when it was originally released, is there really a good reason to get excited about it? I believe the answer should definitely be “no”, but that hasn’t stopped me from buying remasters. In fact, all of the remasters I’ve bought are for games I already own. I bought into the Sly Collection, the Ratchet and Clank Collection, and even DisHonored: Definitive Edition, and was happy to have each of them. What I just can’t seem to fathom is why that would be.

In every case, there’s been no real changes to the games being offered. They’re all the same games that I bought for full price back when they released, and they’re all games that I still have the means to play. There’s absolutely nothing stopping me from plugging in the old systems and enjoying them again without having to buy the remastered versions. In the case of DisHonored, the difference isn’t even very obvious! Yet, here I am glad to have it on my PS4 regardless.

Now it may sounds like I’ve got some buyer’s guilt going on here, but that’s not really it. I’m saying that I’m actually happy to have these new versions even though I know I  probably shouldn’t, and I find that interesting. It might be that the convenience of not having to drag out a new system is rather nice, but I don’t think that’s all that’s going on. In fact, I think this just might be good ol’ nostalgia at work again.

Even though the games being offered in these collections are essentially the same as they’ve always been, something about the simple existence of a the new versions makes them seem more interesting and fresh than they’ve been in years. Perhaps its an excuse to go back to something that I’ve long been done with, or perhaps its that I now have new chances to talk about games I’d otherwise had to leave behind in the ol’ memory. Perhaps it’s because it’s another chance to help show that many of us are still very interested in these old titles, and that by buying the games and talking about them, we can help encourage the development of a sequel (that’s what I’m hoping will happen with Shadow Complex Remastered anyway). In reality it’s probably all of these things put together and the excitement of the possibilities the release of a remaster represents. I mean if the developers and publishers have enough faith to release a remastered version, who knows what else could be coming down the pipe?

Guess we’ll just have to wait and see, right?

Do you buy remastered games or game collections? Why do you think these sorts of releases are met with so much excitement?

Image by Flickr user: JBLivin (cc)


  1. duckofindeed says:

    I buy remasters largely due to simple…, well, paranoia. There are these certain games I can’t live without, so I buy the HD remakes so that, if anything happens to my older consoles, I can still play the games. I know it’s rather silly, but it’s comforting when a favorite game has multiple options for how it can be played. It also makes it easier to play older games when I have a copy for a newer console.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hatm0nster says:

      You know, I hadn’t considered that. Data isn’t indestructible, so it’s good to have redundant copies just in case. Games are locked to their systems unless they’re ported, so your logic is actually solid here…hmmm perhaps I should start looking at the Virtual Console a bit more seriously with that in mind.


  2. Dina Farmer says:

    I only buy remasters because like Duck I’m afraid my old console is going to die. However, I only buy ones that truly matter to me. With the whole host of ports that look like remaster coming from Square I’ve been largely disappointed in the remaster market. I mean, if you are going to remaster a game then truly remaster it. Don’t port it to the new console. Smooth out the graphic and overhaul the game.


    1. Hatm0nster says:

      Yeah, now that I think about it, your logic makes a lot of sense. Consoles aren’t built to last forever.

      I agree that a lot of remasters are kinda disappointing too. I got the remaster for DisHonored thinking that it would be cool to play it with the improved horsepower of the PS4. The only issue is that there’s almost no difference between the newer ps4 version and the Xbox 360 version that came out in 2012. Still at 30fps with slightly higher resolution. …ah well. Still a fun game I guess.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. cary says:

    I’ve usually been one to pass on remastered editions of games. (Though maybe I should be more worried about our older games like Dina and The Duck!) However, the Uncharted collection has swayed me a bit towards them. What’s most astounding is how amazing the games look in their remastered forms. I remember them looking very nice on the PS3. But wow, the PS4 versions blow those out of the water! There’s so much more detail to the environments that it make them much more enjoyable to explore. Of course, that doesn’t make up for the less-than-great shooting/cover mechanics that plague the games, but you can’t win ’em all. 🙂

    Not saying that the Uncharted collection has made me want to go out and start buying remasters of games, but I certainly understand better the appeal.


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