Boss Rush Banter: What Makes A Remaster Worth Buying?

In today’s video game industry, games are getting remastered left and right. These games vary from games just released on the Wii U like Pikmin 3 Deluxe and Super Mario 3D World, to games from the PlayStation era like Chrono Cross getting an upcoming remaster in the form of Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers Edition. While it’s always great to play these games again on a fresh new console, many of us have had the experience of being halfway through a remaster, only to realize we just paid full price for essentially the same game we already own. 

Obviously, remasters in gaming are usually successful, with some even outselling the original, like with Mario Kart 8: Deluxe. Others get remastered, though the remaster is seen more as a “port,” like the recent The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword on Switch. So what features make a remaster worth buying, and what makes you regret you purchase?

First and foremost, remasters are great for players who never played the original title. Nintendo, for example, has had mountains of success porting many Wii U games to the Switch, given that more people owned a Switch than a Wii U after just one year. Additionally, releasing a remaster may bring in new fans who maybe weren’t old enough to enjoy the game during its initial release or who weren’t into video games as a hobby yet. 

But what about people who already own the game? When I first got my Nintendo 3DS, one of my first games was Star Fox 64 3D, a remaster of a game I already owned. Playing this game on the go was awesome, but I quickly realized that Star Fox 64 3D felt like I was playing the same game, just with slightly better graphics. Now with Star Fox 64 on the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack service, I’ve noticed I still prefer the original game, despite graphical improvements to the 3DS version.

Another 3DS remaster I got, and actually enjoyed, was Ocarina of Time 3D. This game felt like it had fixed a lot about the operating menu and button layout, and overall gave me a more enjoyable experience than the original game had. With how long the game can take (for someone who hadn’t played the original since he was five years old), being able to pause the game, put it in my pocket, and whip it out later in the day at school or a friend’s place helped me get small portions done in the game overtime. In this case, not only the features of the game, but the format the remaster was presented in, helped make the game worth buying.

There are plenty of factors that go into making a remaster worth buying, or that can make a remaster lackluster and unimpressive. What do you think? Do you buy the remaster of any game you liked? Or do you find just as much joy playing on your older systems as you do these new ones? Let us know in a comment, or hop on over to the Boss Rush Discord.

Image Source: Zelda Dungeon

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