Games: Remake Mistake

 
 

Remakes are the saviour of the unimaginative, writes Emer Sugrue

You have the money and most importantly the desire for more money required to make a game, but you have no ideas, nothing that will capture the imagination of the fat-walleted public. There are two ways to solve this problem:  remake an old game, or remake an old game but pretend you haven’t by slapping a different name on it.

The second variety is shockingly common. These are usually sequels or spin-offs that follow exactly the same pattern as the last game. The most obvious example is Pokémon, which not only releases the exact same game every single time and brings it out twice, but in different coloured boxes to double the hassling of the parent.

After selling Crash Bandicoot for undisclosed squillions of monies, creators tried to emulate Naughty Dog with a host of similar animal games hoping to recreate the magic, but it never quite worked – remember Ty the Tasmanian Tiger? Lame, Electronic Arts. I like my Austral-Asian creatures from the major continent thank you very much.

The other type is straightforward remakes and this is actually much trickier and needs to be handled quite delicately. You may want to bring your once-successful pixel baby to a new audience, but there are hordes of die-hard fans of the original, ready to shit on your doorstep if you screw up.

The latest game in line for this treatment is GoldenEye 007, originally released in 1997 for the Nintendo 64, to cash in on the recent Bond movie. It was an overwhelming critical and financial success. It’s remembered as one of the best first-person shooters ever made and topped dozens of pointless “best of the decade, century, millennium” polls.

13 years on however, is there anything a remake can offer? Better graphics of course, and more interactivity considering it will be released for the Wii (my guess is some Wiimote action on Natalya Simonova). For an FPS, the Wii is not a good choice. The Wii is for cartoons, for pretending to chop celery; not sexy violent Bond action. They can’t be marketing it at kids, so is it for the Dads who played it in the 90s?

The market is flooded with realistic FPS; Halo Reach just came out last month, so who is going to buy GoldenEye 007? There isn’t even a Bond film coming out  and apparently the plan is to delete Bronson and sellotape Daniel Craig’s face in there. Wicked. But in this cruel cynical world, I can’t help but feel this shameless cash-in will pay off.

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