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A video game remake is a video game closely adapted from an earlier title, usually for the purpose of modernizing a game for newer hardware and contemporary audiences. Typically, a remake of such game software shares essentially the same title, fundamental gameplay concepts, and core story elements of the original game.
Remakes are often made by the original developer or copyright holder, sometimes by the fan community. If created by the community, video game remakes are sometimes also called fan game and can be seen as part of the retrogaming phenomenon.
A remake offers a newer interpretation of an older work, characterized by updated or changed assets. A remake typically maintains the same story, genre, and fundamental gameplay ideas of the original work. The intent of a remake is usually to take an older game that has become outdated and update it for a new platform and audience. A remake may also include expanded stories, often to conform to the conventions of contemporary games or later titles in the same series in order to make a game marketable to a new audience.[ citation needed ] For example, for Sierra's 1991 remake of Space Quest , the developers used the engine, point-and-click interface, and graphical style of Space Quest IV: Roger Wilco and The Time Rippers , replacing the dated graphics and text parser interface of the original. However, elements that had not become dated, like the narrative, puzzles and sets, were largely preserved. Another example is Black Mesa , a Half-Life 2 mod that improves in-game textures, assets and models, and facial animations, while taking place in the events of the original Half-Life game.
Games that use an existing brand but are conceptually very different from the original, such as Battlezone (1998) and Defender (2002) or Tomb Raider (1996) and Tomb Raider (2013) are usually regarded as reboots rather than remakes.[ citation needed ]
A port is a conversion of a game to a new platform that relies heavily on existing work and assets. A port may include various enhancements like improved performance, resolution, and sometimes even additional content, but differs from a remake in that it still relies heavily on the original assets and engine of the source game.[ citation needed ] A port that contains a great deal of remade assets may sometimes be considered a remaster or a partial remake,[ citation needed ] although video game publishers are not always clear on the distinction. DuckTales: Remastered for example uses the term "Remastered" to distinguish itself from the original NES game it was based on, even though it is a clean-slate remake with a different engine and assets.
In the early history of video games, remakes were generally regarded as "conversions"[ citation needed ] and seldom associated with nostalgia. Due to limited and often highly divergent hardware, games appearing on multiple platforms usually had to be entirely remade. These conversions often included considerable changes to the graphics and gameplay, and could be regarded retroactively as remakes, but are distinguished from later remakes largely by intent. A conversion is created with the primary goal of tailoring a game to a specific piece of hardware, usually contemporaneous or nearly contemporaneous with the original release. An early example was Gun Fight , Midway's 1975 reprogrammed version of Taito's arcade game Western Gun, with the main difference being the use of a microprocessor in the reprogrammed version, which allowed improved graphics and smoother animation than the discrete logic of the original. In 1980, Warren Robinett created Adventure for the Atari 2600, a graphical version of the 1970s text adventure Colossal Cave Adventure . Also in 1980, Atari released the first officially licensed home console game conversion of an arcade title, Taito's 1978 hit Space Invaders , for the Atari 2600. The game became the first "killer app" for a video game console by quadrupling the system's sales. Since then, it became a common trend to port arcade games to home systems since the second console generation, though at the time they were often more limited than the original arcade games due to the technical limitations of home consoles.
In 1985, Sega released a pair of arcade remakes of older home video games. Pitfall II: Lost Caverns was effectively a remake of both the original Pitfall! and its sequel with new level layouts and colorful, detailed graphics. That same year, Sega adapted the 1982 computer game Choplifter for the arcades, taking the fundamental gameplay of the original and greatly expanding it, adding new environments, enemies, and gameplay elements. This version was very successful, and later adapted to the Master System and Famicom. Both of these games were distinguished from most earlier conversions in that they took major liberties with the source material, attempting to modernize both the gameplay as well as the graphics.
Some of the earliest remakes to be recognized as such were attempts to modernize games to the standards of later games in the series. Some were even on the same platforms as the original, for example Ultima I: The First Age of Darkness , a 1986 remake of the original that appeared on multiple platforms, including the Apple II, the same platform the source game originated on. Other early remakes of this type include Sierra's early-1990s releases of King's Quest , Space Quest and Leisure Suit Larry . These games used the technology and interface of the most recent games in Sierra's series, and original assets in a dramatically different style. The intent was not simply to bring the game to a new platform, but to modernize older games which had in various ways become dated.
With the birth of the retrogaming phenomenon, remakes became a way for companies to revive nostalgic brands. Galaga '88 and Super Space Invaders '91 were both attempts to revitalize aging arcade franchises with modernized graphics and new gameplay elements, while preserving many signature aspects of the original games. The 16-bit generation of console games was marked by greatly enhanced graphics compared to the previous generation, but often relatively similar gameplay, which led to an increased interest in remakes of games from the previous generation. Super Mario All-Stars remade the entire NES Mario series, and was met with great commercial success. Remake compilations of the Ninja Gaiden and Mega Man series followed. As RPGs increased in popularity, Dragon Quest , Ys and Kyūyaku Megami Tensei were also remade. In the mid-'90s, Atari released a series of remakes with the 2000 brand, including Tempest 2000 , Battlezone 2000, and Defender 2000 . After Atari's demise, Hasbro continued the tradition, with 3D remakes of Pong , Centipede , and Asteroids .
By 1994 the popularity of CD-ROM led to many remakes with digitized voices and, sometimes, better graphics, although Computer Gaming World noted the "amateur acting" in many new and remade games on CD.Emulation also made perfect ports of older games possible, with compilations becoming a popular way for publishers to capitalize on older properties.
Budget pricing gave publishers the opportunity to match their game's price with the perceived lower value proposition of an older game, opening the door for newer remakes. In 2003, Sega launched the Sega Ages line for PlayStation 2, initially conceived as a series of modernized remakes of classic games, though the series later diversified to include emulated compilations. The series concluded with a release that combined the two approaches, and included a remake of Fantasy Zone II that ran, via emulation, on hardware dating to the time of the original release, one of the few attempts at an enhanced remake to make no attempts at modernization. The advent of downloadable game services like Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network has further fueled the expanded market for remakes, as the platform allows companies to sell their games at a lower price, seen as more appropriate for the smaller size typical of retro games. Some XBLA and PSN remakes include Bionic Commando Rearmed , Jetpac Refuelled , Wipeout HD (a remake not of the original Wipeout but of the two PSP games), Cyber Troopers Virtual-On Oratorio Tangram and Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix .
Some remakes may include the original game as a bonus feature. The 2009 remake of The Secret of Monkey Island took this a step further by allowing players to switch between the original and remade versions on the fly with a single button press. This trend was continued in the sequel, and is also a feature in Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary and later in Halo 2 Anniversary as part of Halo: The Master Chief Collection .
The Nintendo 3DS' lineup has included numerous remasterings and remakes, including The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D , Star Fox 64 3D , Cave Story 3D , The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D , Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions , and Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey .
Games abandoned by the rights-holders often spark remakes created by hobbyists and game communities.An example is OpenRA , which is a modernized remake of the classic Command & Conquer real-time-strategy games. Beyond cross-platform support, it adds comfort functions and gameplay functionality inspired by successors of the original games. Another notable examples are Pioneers , a remake and sequel in spirit to Frontier: Elite 2 ; CSBWin, a remake of the Dungeon crawler classic Dungeon Master ; and Privateer Gemini Gold, a remake of Wing Commander: Privateer .
Skywind is a fan remake of Morrowind (2002) running on Bethesda's Creation Engine, utilising the source code, assets and gameplay mechanics of Skyrim (2011). The original game developers, Bethesda Softworks, have given project volunteers their approval.The remake team includes over 70 volunteers in artist, composer, designer, developer, and voice-actor roles. In November 2014, the team reported to have finished half of the remake's environment, over 10,000 new dialogue lines, and three hours of series-inspired soundtrack. The same open-development project is also working on Skyblivion, a remake of Oblivion (the game between Morrowind and Skyrim) in the Skyrim engine, and Morroblivion, a remake of Morrowind in the Oblivion engine (which still has a significant userbase on older PCs).
Although remakes typically aim to adapt a game from a more limited platform to a more advanced one, a rising interest in older platforms has inspired some to do the opposite, adapting modern games to the standards of older platforms, sometimes even implementing them on obsolete hardware platforms, either physical or emulated.
Modern demakes often change the 3D gameplay to a 2D one. Popular demakes include Quest: Brian's Journey , an official Game Boy Color port of Quest 64 ; Super Smash Land , a Game Boy-style demake of Super Smash Bros. ; D-Pad Hero , a NES-esque demake of Guitar Hero ; Rockman 7 FC and Rockman 8 FC, NES-styled demakes of Mega Man 7 and Mega Man 8 , respectively; Gang Garrison 2 , a pixelated demake of Team Fortress 2 ; and Halo 2600 , an Atari 2600-style demake of Microsoft's Halo series.There is also a NES-style demake of Touhou Project game Embodiment of Scarlet Devil . Some demakes are created to showcase and push the abilities of older generation systems such as the Atari 2600. An example of this is the 2012 game Princess Rescue , which is a demake of the NES title Super Mario Bros.
For much of the 1990s in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, black market developers would create unauthorized adaptations of modern games such as Street Fighter II , Mortal Kombat , Final Fantasy VII or Tekken for the NES, which still[ when? ] enjoyed considerable popularity in the regions because of the availability of low-cost compatible systems.[ citation needed ]
The Atari 2600, originally branded as the Atari Video Computer System until November 1982, is a home video game console developed and produced by Atari, Inc. Released on September 11, 1977, it popularized the use of microprocessor-based hardware and of games stored on swappable ROM cartridges, a format first used with the Fairchild Channel F in 1976. The VCS was bundled with two joystick controllers, a conjoined pair of paddle controllers, and a game cartridge—initially Combat and later Pac-Man.
The Atari 7800 ProSystem, or simply the Atari 7800, is a home video game console officially released by Atari Corporation in 1986 as the successor to both the Atari 2600 and Atari 5200. It can run almost all Atari 2600 cartridges, making it the first console with backward compatibility. It shipped with a different model of joystick from the 2600-standard CX40 and Pole Position II as the pack-in game. Most of the announced titles at launch were ports of 1980–83 arcade games.
The history of video games began in the 1950s and 1960s as computer scientists began designing simple games and simulations on mainframe computers, with MIT's Spacewar! in 1962 as one of the first such games to be played with a video display. The early 1970s brought the first consumer-ready video game hardware: the first home video game console, the Magnavox Odyssey, and the first arcade games from Atari, Computer Space and Pong, the latter which was later made into a home console version. Numerous companies sprang up to capture Pong's success in both the arcade and the home by creating clones of the game, causing a market contraction in 1978 due to oversaturation and lack of innovation.
In software engineering, porting is the process of adapting software for the purpose of achieving some form of execution in a computing environment that is different from the one that a given program was originally designed for. The term is also used when software/hardware is changed to make them usable in different environments.
Galaxian is a 1979 shoot 'em up arcade game developed and published by Namco. It was licensed and distributed by Midway Manufacturing in North America. The player assumes control of the Galaxip starfighter in its mission to protect Earth from waves of aliens. Gameplay involves destroying each formation of aliens, who dive down towards the player in an attempt to hit them.
Xevious is a vertical-scrolling shooter arcade game developed and released by Namco in 1983. In North America, it was published by Atari, Inc. Controlling the Solvalou starship, the player is tasked with wiping out the Xevious forces before they destroy all of mankind. The Solvalou has two weapons at its disposal: an air zapper to destroy flying enemies, and a blaster bomb to destroy ground-stationed enemies. It ran on the Namco Galaga arcade system.
1984 saw many sequels and prequels and several new titles such as Tetris, Karate Champ, Boulder Dash, 1942, Cobra Command and Punch-Out!
Spelunker is a 1983 platform video game developed by Timothy G. Martin of MicroGraphic Image. It is set in a colossal cave, with the player starting at the cave's entrance at the top, and the objective is to get to the treasure at the bottom.
Pac-Attack, also known as Pac-Panic, is a 1993 falling-tile puzzle video game developed and published by Namco for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and Sega Genesis. Versions for the Game Boy, Game Gear and Philips CD-i were also released. The player is tasked with clearing out blocks and ghosts without them stacking to the top of the playfield — blocks can be cleared by matching them in horizontal rows, while ghosts can be cleared by placing down a Pac-Man piece that can eat them. It is the first game in the Pac-Man series to be released exclusively for home platforms.
Atari Flashback is the name of a series of dedicated video game consoles designed, produced, published and marketed by Atari, Inc. from 2004 to 2011. Since 2011, the consoles have been designed, produced, published and marketed by AtGames under license from Atari. They are "plug and play" versions of the classic Atari 2600 and Atari 7800 consoles; rather than using ROM cartridges, the games are built-in.
In the history of video games, the second-generation era refers to computer and video games, video game consoles, and handheld video game consoles available from 1976 to 1992. Notable platforms of the second generation include the Fairchild Channel F, Atari 2600, Intellivision, Odyssey 2, and ColecoVision. The generation began in November 1976 with the release of the Fairchild Channel F. This was followed by the Atari 2600 in 1977, Magnavox Odyssey² in 1978, Intellivision in 1980 and then the Emerson Arcadia 2001, ColecoVision, Atari 5200, and Vectrex, all in 1982. By the end of the era, there were over 15 different consoles. It coincided with, and was partly fueled by, the golden age of arcade video games. This peak era of popularity and innovation for the medium resulted in many games for second generation home consoles being ports of arcade games. Space Invaders, the first "killer app" arcade game to be ported, was released in 1980 for the Atari 2600, though earlier Atari-published arcade games were ported to the 2600 previously. Coleco packaged Nintendo's Donkey Kong with the ColecoVision when it was released in August 1982.
Dragon Spirit is a 1987 vertical-scrolling shooter arcade game developed and published by Namco. In North America, it was distributed by Atari Games. Controlling the dragon Amul, the player must complete each of the game's nine areas to rescue the princess Alicia from the demon Zawell. Similar to Namco's own Xevious, Amul has a projectile weapon for destroying air-based enemies and a bomb for destroying ground enemies. It ran on the Namco System 1 arcade board.
In video gaming parlance, a conversion is the production of a game on one computer or console that was originally written for another system. Over the years, video game conversion has taken form in a number of different ways, both in their style and the method in which they were converted.
Pac-Man is a 1982 maze video game developed and published by Atari, Inc. under official license by Namco, and an adaptation of the 1980 hit arcade game of the same name. The player controls the title character, who attempts to consume all of the wafers while avoiding four ghosts that pursue him. Eating flashing wafers at the corners of the screen will cause the ghosts to turn blue and flee, allowing Pac-Man to eat them for bonus points.
Toki is a run and gun platform game released in arcades in Japan in 1989 by TAD Corporation. It was published in North America by Fabtek. Designed by Akira Sakuma, the game has tongue-in-cheek humor mixed with the action. The player controls an enchanted ape who must battle hordes of jungle monsters with energy balls from his mouth. The ultimate goal is to destroy the evil wizard who cast a spell on the title protagonist; thereby transforming him from an ape back into a human, and rescuing the kidnapped princess. The game was ported to several video game consoles and home computers.
A tile-based video game is a type of video or video game where the playing area consists of small square graphic images referred to as tiles laid out in a grid. That the screen is made of such tiles is a technical distinction, and may not be obvious to people playing the game. The complete set of tiles available for use in a playing area is called a tileset. Tile-based games usually simulate a top-down, side view, or 2.5D view of the playing area, and are almost always two-dimensional.
Fangames are video games made by fans based on one or more established video games. Many fangames attempt to clone or remake the original game's design, gameplay and characters, but it is equally common for fans to develop a unique game using another only as a template. Though the quality of fangames has always been variable, recent advances in computer technology and in available tools, e.g. through open source software, have made creating high-quality games easier. Fangames can be seen as User generated content, as part of the retrogaming phenomena and as expression of the remix culture.
Halo 2600 is a 2010 action-adventure game developed by Ed Fries and published by AtariAge for the Atari 2600, a video game console released in 1977 that ended production in 1992. Inspired by the Halo video games series, the game sees players control Master Chief and fight through 64 screens with varied enemies. Completing the game once unlocks a tougher "Legendary" mode.
Atari 2600 homebrew is a term describing hobbyist-developed games for the Atari 2600 video game console. The first such game was written in 1995, and more than 100 have been released since then. The majority of games are unlicensed clones of games for other platforms, and many were written for the technical challenge. There are also ROM hacks and some original games. Several games have received attention outside the hobbyist community. Some have been included in a game anthology by Activision.
The Elder Scrolls Renewal Project (TESRenewal) is a fan volunteer effort to recreate and remaster the video games in The Elder Scrolls series. The team is best known for its Skywind project, which seeks to recreate the 2002 The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind on the 2016 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: Special Edition game engine, known as the Creation Engine.
There is a version that just works, without an emulator, and it’s free. [...] A madman by the name of Paul Stevens spent six months, eight hours a day, writing 120,000 lines of what he calls “pseudo-assembly language” to rebuild it in C++. And then released the game and source code for free. Can he do that? I’ve decided that yes, he can, which legitimises my promoting it to you.