Scent of a Gamer

From the computer to the tabletop, this is all about games. Updated each week-end.

The rise of the remaster

It might be my age – okay it’s almost certainly my age, but the next game I’m looking forward to this year isn’t new at all. They are games I played many years ago updated for current technology. And I’m all for it!

Wasteland remastered now has a release date for 25 February and today I did something I almost never do – paid for a game that hasn’t been released yet.

The Wasteland release follows from a successful remaster of the Bard’s Tale fantasy CRPG series. Like Wasteland, this comes to us from the 1980s.

In the case of these very old games the graphical updates are expected. What separates a successful from an unsuccessful remaster is the degree to which the spirit of the original is captured.

Quite radical changes can be made, as long as the game feels like it used to.

Remaster or remake?

I’m guilty of using the terms interchangeably, but it’s important to distinguish between as remaster, where a game is re-presented using new technology, and a remake, where a game is rebuilt from the ground up.

Typically in a remaster the game is recognisable and plays as it originally did, with the exception of quality-of-life changes to the interface. There’s nothing like playing a game from 15 years ago or more to realise that user interfaces really have improved over the years.

These interface improvements are important, without them, the game may not be received so well, regardless of how nice the upgraded graphics look.

Remakes are a different topic and not one I want to address here. each is its own can of worms.

Wish list

When Wasteland is out, there will be two more games at the top of my wish list. I have no idea how likely they are to come out though.

Dragon Wars is like peak CRPG for me. I came out after the Bard’s Tale and Wasteland series. The Commodore 64 version, I felt, was pushing against the limits of that computer too much. I remember having to turn off the option of having graphical representation of the monsters since it was too taxing! The game itself was engaging though, and I think the box is lying somewhere under my house, it’s glorious Boris Vallejo art hidden in a pile somewhere. It would be great to see this game again.

The second game on my list is Mechcommander 2. It’s already available for play in its original form (minus the entertaining video interludes) however it’s another one I would like to see benefit from a graphical and user interface upgrade.

What games would you like to see remastered?

5 comments on “The rise of the remaster

  1. John@justneedsvarnish
    February 8, 2020

    Enjoyed the post! A long time since I’ve played anything, but I always enjoyed Command & Conquer: Red Alert!

    Liked by 2 people

    • davekay
      February 8, 2020

      Thanks John, it seems a lot of games from the 80s and 90s and being remastered – it’s just a case of hoping your favourites come out well!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. skinflintgames
    February 9, 2020

    Seconded on Red Alert- RA2 is my favourite all time, I think, RA3… Just didn’t feel right, don’t know why

    Liked by 1 person

    • davekay
      February 9, 2020

      There’s a danger when a game is made by a team that wasn’t previously involved in a series, where the game looks the part, but no longer ‘feels’ the same as the core gameplay elements aren’t there.

      Liked by 1 person

      • skinflintgames
        February 9, 2020

        I think that’s it, it had all the right elements, just never pulled me in the same way.. like it was a tribute act to the first two

        Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on February 8, 2020 by in Computer Games and tagged , , , , .
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