– By Tony Rivera
Nostalgia is a powerful feeling and a deeply emotional one. A yearning for something we can’t quite put our fingers on but is most assuredly there and absolutely positive.
It’s been proven that video games offer one of the strongest forms of nostalgia. Many of us who grew up with gaming systems in our homes are now adults with full-time jobs, pining for the days when we had nothing but time to play video games. Our favorite games and franchises have a special meaning to us, and developers have undoubtedly taken notice with the constant stream of remasters and remakes entering the market.
Game development has clearly come a long way, even from the age of Final Fantasy VII. Historically, video game design has often been inspired by technological limitations. Things like shiny color pallets in Pokémon Gold and Pokémon Silver and different arenas in turn based RPG games are iconic design decisions that were made because of the technology available at the time.
Now that technology has advanced, old games can be brought to life in new ways. A prime example of this is Final Fantasy VII Remake, a re-imagining of old characters and narrative with new combat and gameplay mechanics that has been widely praised. Another fairly recent (and positively received) remake was Resident Evil 2 – which was a great re-imagining even if it lost the converging character arcs that made the original unique.
This isn’t to say there haven’t been negatively received remakes; there are plenty of remasters that just couldn’t capture the magic of the original game or were dead on arrival due to technical issues (see Blizzard’s Warcraft III: Reforged). A bad remake can almost ruin a games legacy – which is always something that devs have to be aware of when deciding to revive a classic.
Some people will also argue that focusing on these nostalgic projects stunts creativity and keeps new ideas from developing. This is fair when you consider just how many resources go into a project like Resident Evil 2 or Final Fantasy VII Remake.
But a good remake/remaster has a captive fanbase hungry to scratch their nostalgic itch and can introduce great games from the past to all new audiences. When done right, a remake is a boon for the industry as a whole – reimagining a classic, showing off how much things have progressed, and helping fans relive some of their greatest gaming experiences.
And at the end of the day, throw a Pokémon remake my way and you’ll have my money for both versions – because I make my partner play with me – EVERY TIME.
Nostalgia is a good thing for games. Seeing the reimagining of old games with modern technology is fantastic and I am excited to see which games from my childhood get revitalized next.
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