What is a remaster? If I were to ask you would you know exactly how to answer it? This is a question I’ve had to ask myself quite often, because the sole idea of remastering video games seems to have been lost somewhere along the way. By that I mean most of the games that were classified as a “remaster”, for last gen (PS3 and Xbox 360), were a cheapo upscale of the previous version, which in some cases is fine. My only problem with this is that these developers have tried to slap it with a full retail price tag ($60USD or $80-90AUD) and act as if it is a totally new version of their game, most of the time they would indicate that the game was actually running at a native resolution, something like 720p (1280×720) or 1080p (1920×1080) when it simply wasn’t or didn’t appear to be running at a native resolution. Next gen, (PS4 and Xbox One) however gives us a clearer picture as to how a remaster should perform, giving us a native 1080p resolution and 60fps… even if some titles are stuttery it still tries.
Now this is a problem due to the idea that developers seem to mislead consumers into thinking they are purchasing an actual remaster. So what is my definition of a remaster, compared to what we have been receiving for quite a while? Well a remaster, to me, should be defined by improvements. Such improvements as fixing broken AI, fixing broken animations, adding improved texture quality, redoing all or some cutscenes if possible… this, to me, is a remaster–a borderline remake, but still a remaster.
Now, if none of that is possible, I believe the gaming industry as a whole needs to get its business straight and come to a conclusion as to what they mean by a ‘remastered version.’ Having six or more different names for essentially the same thing is too misleading and confusing to the end user. Just stick to the word remaster and do it correctly– thanks.