Remasters and remakes, as popular as they are, are odd products. For those unfamiliar with the original game, the remake/remaster might as well be just another release.. For those who were fans of the original though, it’s something else entirely. It’s a trip down memory lane that is, at the same time, also a new experience reworked to fit modern standards. It’s not what it was, which is a big part of the appeal…or at least it should be. I’ve had nebulous inclinations floating around in the ol’ noggin for awhile, but a recent trailer for Spyro: Reignited Trilogy finally brought them into sharp focus.
(video from YouTube channel: Spyro The Dragon)
All this trailer does is showcase a neat little feature in the game. Players can, at any time, switch the music from the newly re-orchestrated music to the classic tracks from the original games. It’s a nice feature that I’m sure I’ll make heavy use of once I pick the game up. However, seeing the new game accompanied by the old music prompted an odd response in me. As good as the new game looks (it’s absolutely gorgeous), as wonderful as it sounds (it sounds excellent), as close as it is to the original games (as close as a remake can possibly get), it felt like it didn’t go far enough somehow.
Hearing the original score makes me miss the old sound effects. An exceedingly minor thing, but…yeah. It’s not that the new one are bad, it’s just that they don’t have any of the punch of their older counterparts. Collecting gems, hitting switches, torching enemies, etc…none of it sounds as satisfying as it should be compared to the original. It’s all understated and quiet, exactly how a modern game of this sort should sound. Yet, I miss that punch the old sounds had. I acknowledge that it’s a ridiculous complaint, and yet here I am with an odd sense of disappointment nonetheless.
(video from YouTube channel: JohnnyDFox)
Is this a fault in the Spyro: Reignited Trilogy? No not at all. It is, for all intents and purposes, a re-imagining of the originals. It needs to differ in places in order to make it worth the while of fans of the original trilogy. This is the correct course. And yet, fans can listen to the old music but not the old SFX. And that’s disappointing. It shouldn’t be, but it is. I suppose that’s what happens when it comes to remakes of classic games like Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon.
They can be, at the same time, too nostalgic and not nostalgic enough. It not a fault in design or anything; it’s just how the a subjective thing like nostalgia works. You can either appeal to it too much, or not enough. There is no true middle-ground. Must be a maddening project to work on as a game developer, eh?
What’s your take on remakes and remasters? Do you think there’s a way to get it just right? How would you do it?
Lede image from IGN.com