Remakes vs Remasters: the Best Version of Your Favorite Games

Are you a gamer? Have you ever played a game that blew you away with its graphics, gameplay, and story? These days, chances are it was either a remake or a remaster of an older game. But what’s the difference between these two terms? And how do you know which one is worth buying? Whether you’re an avid enthusiast or just a casual player, it’s important to be informed when deciding which games are worth your hard-earned money and time. So, join us as we explore the differences between game remakes and remasters – what they involve and why they differ from each other – with this guide to all things gaming related!

What Are Game Remakes and Remasters? A Simple Definition

In the gaming industry, remakes and remasters are two terms you’ve probably heard bandied about quite a bit – but what do they really mean? Well, let us fill you in!

A game remake is:

  • A fresh re-working of an existing game
  • A complete overhaul that incorporates new content and updated graphics
  • A modern version of a classic game rebuilt from scratch

A game remaster is:

  • An improved port of an existing classic title
  • A digital facelift that enhances visuals, sound, and performance
  • A faithful adaptation that preserves the core gameplay and story

Both remakes and remasters offer gamers the opportunity to continue playing their favorite games in modern times by breathing new life into old classics. Graphics aside, though, these versions of older games also often have additional levels or characters that weren’t available in previous releases, providing gamers with the added bonus of enhanced creativity! Although purchasing either one can be pricey at first, gaming aficionados will agree that these titles are wonderful investments for both moral and monetary gain in the future. Put simply: if you’re looking for an immersive experience that easily rivals modern gaming… you can always count on good ol’ remakes or remasters to give you hours upon hours of joyful entertainment!

A History of Game Remakes and Remasters – Exploring Their Origins and Evolution

The games industry has seen a resurgence in recent years of titles from the past being re-released as remakes or remasters. This process of revisiting classic titles began in the 1990s and early 2000s, with titles such as Final Fantasy VII (1997), which was reworked for PC, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android, and Windows; Resident Evil (1996), which was remade for GameCube, Wii, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Windows; and Metal Gear Solid (1998), which was remastered as Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes for GameCube. However, it was not until the late 2000s and early 2010s that game remakes and remasters became more popular and widespread.

Several factors contributed to this trend. First, the advent of downloadable game services like Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network allowed companies to sell their games at a lower price, making them more accessible and appealing to a broader audience. Second, the advancement of technology enabled developers to create more realistic graphics, sound effects, and gameplay mechanics, enhancing the immersion and enjoyment of gamers. Third, nostalgia played a significant role in attracting both old fans who wanted to relive their childhood memories and new fans who wanted to experience classic games for the first time.

While remakes differ from remasters in many regards, their overall purpose is the same – to bring classic gaming experiences to modern consoles with enhancements that take advantage of more powerful technology. By adding new features and improved graphics, it’s not just nostalgia that brings gamers back to these titles – many also enjoy experiencing them with a more up-to-date graphical style. Since the advent of remakes and remasters, countless franchises have given second (or third) lives on new platforms, bringing unforgettable experiences and beloved characters back to life. In this the case of games like Final Fantasy VII Remake, the experience and story diverts so much from the original that the work put into making this new opus in a well-known franchise is well worth the price.

Visual Enhancements – How Remakes and Remasters Update Game Graphics

In games, visuals play a huge role in how enjoyable or immersive the experience can be. Depending on which console you prefer, a remake and a remaster can offer unique visual enhancements that can make even an old game look amazing. A remake might focus more on changing up the feel of the game with new textures, models and lighting, while a remaster could opt for sharper resolution and improved framerate for near instantaneous feedback. Ultimately, both are designed to tantalize your eyes with eye-catching visuals. Whether it’s an HD remaster or a complete facelift done by a remake, these updates can do wonders in making an aged game experience something brand new again. Some of the most notable examples of game remakes and remasters that have enhanced game graphics include Shadow of the Colossus (2018), which was rebuilt from scratch with stunning visuals; The Last of Us Remastered (2014), which increased the resolution to 1080p and boosted the framerate to 60fps; and Halo: The Master Chief Collection (2014), which updated all four Halo games with improved textures, lighting, models, and effects. And, of course, as you all well know, Final Fantasy VII Remake presents the game as we imagined it in our heads back in the day. The stark difference between the original and the remake is astounding. But how exactly do remakes and remasters improve game graphics? And what are the benefits and drawbacks of each approach?

To be more precise, remakes usually involve recreating the game from scratch using a new engine or platform, which allows for more freedom and creativity in changing the game’s appearance. They can add new features such as ray tracing, dynamic lighting, or realistic physics that can make the game look more lifelike. However, remakes also require more time, money, and resources than remasters, and they may lose some of the original charm or style of the game. Remasters typically involve enhancing the existing game by increasing its resolution, framerate, texture quality, or color depth. Remasters can make the game look sharper, smoother, or more vibrant without altering its core gameplay or design. However, remasters may not be able to fix some of the underlying issues or limitations of the original game, such as bugs, glitches, or outdated mechanics. You often end up with the same issues you may have had in past game iterations. One more recent example is Like a Dragon: Ishin!, remade in Unreal Engine 4. While the graphics certainly improved and a lot of other aspects also, any issues a player may have had with the gameplay, such as the combat system initially created in 2014, will still have them because these aspects have not changed. It is very much the same game with a fresh coat of paint.

Audio Improvements – How Remakes and Remasters Make Old Games Sound New

When it comes to remakes and remasters of popular video games, one of the most exciting advancements is the audio improvements made to enhance the quality of in-game music and sounds. The sound effects and background music are very important in creating a particular atmosphere during gameplay, so using new technology in remakes and remasters allows game developers to make these enhancements in ways that weren’t possible before. Remastering can also allow gamers to experience the original game with enhanced audio quality – for example, making older games compatible with modern sound systems or Dolby Atmos surround sound technology. It’s incredible how dramatic a difference freshly updated music, and sound effects can have on an old favorite. Some of the most notable examples include Final Fantasy VII Remake (2020), which features a dynamic soundtrack that adapts to the gameplay and environment; Resident Evil 2 (2019), which uses binaural audio to create a more immersive and terrifying atmosphere; and The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (2019), which updates the original Game Boy music with orchestral arrangements. But how exactly do remakes and remasters improve game audio? And what are the benefits and drawbacks of each approach?

Remakes usually involve re-recording or re-composing the game’s music and sound effects using new technology or instruments, which allows for more variety and quality in the game’s audio. Remakes can add new features such as voice acting, surround sound, or adaptive music, making the game sound more realistic or expressive. However, remakes also require more time, money, and resources than remasters, and they may lose some of the original charm or style of the game. Remasters enhance the existing game’s audio by increasing its bitrate, volume, clarity, or balance. They can make the game sound sharper, louder, clearer, or more balanced without altering its core gameplay or design. However, remasters may be unable to fix some of the underlying issues or limitations of the original game, such as poor voice acting, repetitive music, or low-quality sound effects.

Online Connectivity – How Remasters Enhance Networked Play

Online connectivity has revolutionized gaming in recent years. Through online networks and platforms, players can compete or cooperate with each other in various games. But how does online connectivity affect remakes and remasters? Networked play has undoubtedly had a positive impact on the way these titles are experienced. Remasters typically include upgrades that allow for an expanded online gameplay experience. This can range from more difficult mission-based scenarios to additional maps and features like cross-play between multiple platforms. For example, the recent remake of The Last of Us allowed fans to interact with the game’s large following via its detailed Multiplayer mode. On the other hand, it’s unlikely that games made purely in the spirit of being remade (such as Crash Squad N-Sane Trilogy) will include any significant changes when it comes to online connectivity – as they usually aim to remain faithful to the original’s concept and mechanics. While remakes usually don’t change much regarding online features, remasters often include upgrades that improve the online gameplay experience.

Some of the most notable examples of remasters that have enhanced online features include Halo: The Master Chief Collection (2014), which combines six Halo games into one package with cross-play and cross-progression support; Dark Souls Remastered (2018), which increases the multiplayer limit from four to six players and adds dedicated servers; and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 (2020), which adds online multiplayer modes such as Trick Attack, Graffiti, Horse, and Combo Mambo.

Expanded Content – How Remakes and Remasters Add More Fun and Variety to Games

Gamers always seek something new; a remake or remaster can offer that. Whether it’s brand new characters, levels, weapons and game modes or existing content enhanced to incorporate more detailed graphics and smoother gameplay, there is always something interesting to explore in a remake or remaster. From ultra-realistic first person shooter campaigns with multiple endings to expansive open-world role-playing games that keep the player engaged for dozens of hours, the opportunities for discovery are seemingly limitless. When you decide to invest in a remake or remaster, the possibilities are truly at your fingertips. Some of the most notable examples of remakes and remasters that have expanded content include Resident Evil 2 (2019), which adds new scenarios, modes, weapons, and costumes for the main characters; Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age (2017), which introduces a new job system, a fast-forward feature, a trial mode, and improved graphics; and Super Mario 3D All-Stars (2020), which collects three classic Mario games with higher resolutions, smoother frame rates, and updated controls. But why do remakes and remasters add more content to games? And what are the benefits and drawbacks of doing so?

Remakes and remasters add more content to games for various reasons. Some may want to appeal to new audiences by adding popular or expected features in modern games. Some may want to reward loyal fans by adding cut or missing content from the original game. Some may want to extend the game’s lifespan by adding content encouraging replayability or exploration. However, adding more content to games also has some challenges. Some may face technical difficulties or compatibility issues when adding new content to old games. Some may face criticism or backlash from fans who prefer the original game’s vision or design. Some may face legal or licensing issues when adding new content that involves third-party properties or rights.


From classic platformers to first-person shooters, game remakes and remasters have been a part of every genre. By revisiting our favorite releases from days gone by, we can experience them in ways we weren’t before. With visual and audio enhancements, online connectivity options, and expanded content, these versions of classics can keep us hooked for hours. They also bring back our old favorites with renewed life. What are some of your favorite game remakes and remasters? Let us know in the comments below. And if you’re looking for more gaming content, don’t forget to subscribe to our blog and follow us on social media.


What Makes A Great Western RPG?


If there has been one genre that has captivated gaming audiences more than any other in the last decade, it is the RPG genre. We have seen some of the most genuinely staggering adventures delivered to our screens by very talented western developers. Each presents unique quirks, art styles, mechanics and narratives that make them stand out within a very saturated field. That’s right, there are hundreds of AA and AAA RPG titles made every year, but only a handful get their time in the spotlight.

Not every game can be a Breath of the Wild, an Elder Scrolls or The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. However, there is a particular formula that makes a successful RPG game. While that may not be too clear from the outside looking in, we aim to delve deep into the phenomenon and find out what makes these games so popular. So, without further delay, here is our guide as to what makes an excellent western RPG.

#1 – An Expansive, Detailed World

First and foremost, you need a setting that is conducive to the RPG title. This means you need a unique environment rich in lore, visually appealing, full of exciting characters, fauna, wildlife, different cultures, biomes, and groups that underline the world’s population’s most essential morals and beliefs. It’s about making the world feel like a complete escape from our own yet giving it enough similarities that we can still find relativity with our real-world ideas and opinions.

Take Fallout New Vegas as an example, a post-Apocalyptic world full of mutants and ghouls. Yet, at its core, this is a world that has left and right-wing political parties fighting for control of the state of Nevada, much like modern-day America. So, in short, make the fantasy detailed, unique, and relatable.

#2 – Emergent Gameplay

The second point relates to emergent gameplay, which for those unaware, means gameplay that will differ from player to player. If you are playing a role-playing game, you crave those moments that you can clip and share with your friends. An odd glitch, a moment that defies physics, an NPC mishap. Anything that makes the experience different from other players. Arguably, western RPGs do this better than any other genre. Their enormous scope allows for many different approaches, enables players to make different decisions and ultimately, has them live with the consequences of their decision. Without this, it’s a rather hollow experience, so a good western RPG needs alternative choices and consequences.

#3 – The Freedom to Role Play

Another aspect of a good western RPG is the ability to play your own way. You can play the main story, prioritize side quests, simply wander aimlessly, or you could sack off the whole potentially world-ending plot and become a chicken farmer. No matter what the player’s desire is, the game must allow for this eventuality.

Compare Fallout 4 and Red Dead Redemption II, for example. While it is hailed as one of the best RPGS of its time, this is a shortcoming. Almost every quest has one set method for completion and in terms of the time in-between. Aside from building your settlement, there are few grounds for role-playing. Whereas in RDR2, you can approach the quests in some ways, you get graded on your approach and in the lulls in between, you can hunt, fish, upgrade your camp, rob, steal and generally cause chaos. In short, RPGs need to allow for roleplay, plain and simple.

#4 – A Strong Progression System

One of the critical components to a western RPG that keeps players engaged long-term is a cohesive leveling and progression system. This system needs to help you build the character you want, give you new skills that allow you to manipulate the in-game world with ease, open up new areas and mechanical possibilities to the player. Plus, all this info needs to weave together seamlessly and inform the player very clearly. So, the UI needs to be on point.

One of the best examples of excellent progression systems would be Disco Elysium. It allows you to gradually build your character’s personality and uncover a mystery as you progress. Or on the flip side, games like Horizon Zero Dawn and the Middle Earth series do a great job of offering more mechanical options to the player, giving them a heightened sense of power.

#5 – Varied Gameplay Mechanics

Then to ride on the coattails of the last point, the mechanics and gameplay within these titles need to be varied, ever progressing and most importantly, fun. This means that players should be constantly given new quests, game modes, combat skills, weapons, loot, vehicles, be continuously challenged with new enemies and bosses. Plus, the game should be balanced so that one play style isn’t inherently better than another. We are looking at you, Skyrim, with your indulgence for stealth archers.

One of the best examples of constantly progressing game mechanics that keep the game feeling fresh is Stardew Valley. This relaxing and straightforward RPG (though neither a western RPG nor a JRPG) utilizes simple farming game mechanics. However, as the game progresses, even up to three or four years into your campaign, new mechanics and content are hurled your way. Showcasing that even with limited scope, you can still provide gameplay that evolves as you play.

So that is our breakdown of what makes a western RPG successful. What do you make of our list? Do you think that we left out any key components? What is your favorite western RPG of all time? Let us know in the comments section below and as always, thank you for reading.

Nostalgia in Gaming – The Cure or the Curse

Nostalgia is one of the biggest trends in the modern video gaming world. You only need to look as far as a release schedule to see sequels of games that have been running for years on end, and even games that have been re-imagined and reintroduced into the realms of gaming.

Nintendo is a company that beats the nostalgia drum quite heavily and with repeated fashion. Look at their top games line-up and you’ll see the likes of Mario and Zelda rearing their heads to cast their gaze over you and your wallet.

Nintendo has gotten it right for the most part. While a large portion of their games may come from the same universe, not many of them are absolute carbon copy or re-imaginations of older titles. Quite a few of them can stand on their own as solid examples of video games.


The Psychology of Nostalgia

Behind the nostalgia that you may feel while gaming is a rather sound psychological principle. It’s a mix of both positive and negative emotions that arise when thinking back to meaningful events. Media content is a trigger for nostalgia that can help people feel better about themselves and get rid of that solitary feeling.

Nostalgia can promote mental health and well-being. This especially true when teaming up with the same characters from before. These relationships, while social and complex, allow players to see these characters as extensions of themselves or members of their social circle.


Defining Nostalgia in Gaming

It’s a difficult task to look at nostalgic gaming because there’s no real answer as to how the games make people feel or indeed, what guides them towards these games. But you don’t need to look into too much depth to see why the games are defined as such.

The Final Fantasy series is one of the biggest inclusions, despite the games having advanced in terms of both graphics and gameplay. The newer games don’t feel much like the older ones at all. The stories have very little to do with each other (save for the remakes), but there is usually a common thread that lies within the games. The developers throw continuity out of the window in favor of the title to generate the feelings of nostalgia and sell games.

So, while you have to sort through the feelings that are generated by such titles, there are some new games that came out recently that spark the feelings of nostalgia, but still, in their own rights, are amazing games. Titles such as Cuphead and Undertale are two that strike an immediate spark. Both of the games have been designed to, either purposefully or accidentally, spark the feeling.


True Nostalgia

The truest form of nostalgia in every sense of the word is bringing back the games of old. Looking back through consoles like the SNES and even the Sega Mega Drive, we saw a bunch of games that defined the industry as a whole. Where would games be without the influences of characters like Sonic and Link? How would games be different today if it weren’t for the button mashing of the first fighting games, or chopping down multiple enemies in Golden Axe?

Looking back to the late 1970s, Oregon Trail is a game that few played, but many know about because of its meme power. The game was supposed to be a form of edutainment, teaching people about the settlers across the old west. It was able to teach you that every decision you make is probably the wrong one and will kill you without any fear of hurting your feelings. You’ll die of dysentery multiple times, and it’s as simple as that.

Going back to play the game now is a waste of time for most gamers. The game looks terrible is awkward to play. Its soundtrack is pretty shocking, to say the least and it has almost no replay-ability for the sake of being boring and repetitive.

Something like Ultima 7 was a game of true nostalgia. Had you sunk many hours into it when it was first launched, you’d understand everything about Britannia. The music as you entered Lord British’s castle, the way you and your companion Iolo had discussions over ale in the tavern, and even feeling sad for Spark, after seeing his father’s gruesome death. The game conjured up emotions, told weaved tales, had amazing music and was a genre-defining game that pushed the limits of technology at the time.

Opening the game now is a little different. It may be that technology plays a big part in why games cannot be felt the same way anymore. Games seem dated, clunky and obtuse. With gamers playing on huge monitors, and the type of gameplay and graphics we’re now accustomed too, those games of old can only do what they can to conjure up images of fun and joy from your youth.

Nostalgia isn’t always a saving grace though, as Duke Nukem Forever proved. Trying to relive the glory days in the world of first-person shooting, Duke Nukem Forever failed in every single avenue possible and was a mere shadow of the success of what Duke Nukem 3D was… Or was it?

Do we remember those games so fondly because they were that good or just because there were so few to choose from? Looking back at some of the more popular games that were available, they did seem to be rather difficult by comparison. Games wouldn’t last a mere 4-6 hours of gameplay. People would put months into games from the Mega Man series, constantly trying to best their enemies. Even games as new as Baldur’s Gate would boast upwards of 40 hours of gameplay.

The nostalgia of the gaming industry may be less about how good were the games we played, but more about the time spent in a world of fiction, enjoying the experience that lay out before us.


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Boss Fight Books: Final Fantasy V

Final Fantasy V is the first book of the latest season of Boss Fight Books, written by Kotaku editor Chris Kohler. His Wikipedia page reads as: “Chris Kohler is a video game journalist and editor who has written for several publications in the past decade, including Wired, Animerica magazine, and Nintendo Official Magazine UK. After graduating from Tufts University with a degree in Japanese, Chris attended Kyoto Seika University on a Fulbright Fellowship, and completed major research for a book tentatively titled Super Mario Nation: The Cinematic Japanese Video Game. At Tufts, he taught a for-credit undergraduate course titled “A History of Video Games” and continues to study Japanese at an advanced level.”

In many ways, the author’s experience with FFV and Japanese only titles in general mirrors my own. Personally, the first time I went through it was in Japanese. I learned about the different colors (ao-mahou was my favorite, Blue Magic), I found that it was actually still possible to finish a game without understanding the plot in its entirety. I say “still because the first game that I played and beat in Japanese was a Dragon Ball game. Knowing the anime and manga, as well as most gameplay systems of the era, my friends and I deduced many of the words we saw, especially hiragana and katakana. Kanji had us beat and we could only memorize so much. The game was a lot of fun nonetheless, it followed rather faithfully the show’s narrative, so we got the gist of it and filled in the rest with our imagination or simply creating the related dialog with funny anime voices of our own. It was only after finding the fan translation that I could truly experience the narrative of FFV on my PC using emulators. The story was crazy as always and very interesting. Nevertheless, it could not beat the greatest feature of this game no matter the language you play it in the JOB SYSTEM!

The book does very well in explaining the system, it even goes as far as unveiling just how one can go about and create the ultimate team, able to mow down anything and anyone in-game in as little rounds as possible. Those strategies require some time and dedication nonetheless and should be expected to be quick cheats such as the famous Konami Code. Knowing the job system intimately is the first aspect of building the uber-party, the second: patience…

Overall, Chris Kohler did a good job not only retracing the history of Final Fantasy V but mostly getting first-hand information and comments from members of the team working on it. Simultaneously, much insight is given about all other titles of the series up to Final Fantasy XIII. Many of my, and his, generation, will find that reliving those moments, their recollections of the general emotions and dreams of the time echo his own. It is a very nice read for a great game, written in a passionate voice that lends well to the structure and pacing of both the game and the well researched recounting of both the real life stories of Chris and Square (now Square-Enix) over the years, centered around the point in time when Final Fantasy truly became the Hail Mary the company needed to succeed.

I received an early copy of this in e-book format as a backer of the season 4 of Boss Fight Books Kickstarter. Click on the book cover at the beginning if any wish to get it in paperback or e-book format from Amazon. Another option, of course, is to get it directly from the official Boss Fight website. Stay tuned for other reviews, the next one will probably be either the book Mega Man 3 or Bible Adventures (yes, there ARE Catholic NES games out there!!).