There is nothing inherently wrong with remakes and remasters of video games. It gives new players a chance to experience games they might have missed out on, or fans of old games to revisit improved versions of games theyloved. This is an especially common practice among games that came out before high definition was a thing, bringing standard-def games closer to modern HD standards. It also happens a lot when a new round of consoles comes around, where a game from the previous generation is remastered in order to make it feel more like a current-gen game.
What’s important is to remake games that people actually want redone. There are countless games that frequently fill gamers’ wish lists of most-wanted remakes–games that are currently hard to find, tough to play because they are on less-than-timeless hardware, or games that are just so beloved that people want them to be given a brand new coat of paint.
Because so many games continue to elude the remake/remaster treatment despite years of begging and petition-signing– Panzer Dragoon Saga, System Shock, Onimusha, Star Wars: KOTOR— it’s infuriating to see time and resources wasted on remaking and remastering games that people barely care about anymore– if they ever did to begin with.
Here are the 15 Worst Video Game Remakes Nobody Asked For.
15. Final Fantasy Type-0 HD
To have a major Final Fantasy release come out in Japan and nowhere else is a major blow to the franchise’s many Western fans. That’s what happened when Final Fantasy Type-0 hit the PSP in Japan in 2011 but was never localized for Europe or North America.
However, by the time the game was brought here, it was four years later–and about two years too late. It wouldn’t have been so bad if they simply localized the PSP original and sold it as is, but they decided to remaster the game in HD and pass it off as a PlayStation 4 title. There’s very little that can be done to a PSP game to make it feel like a PS4 game, short of completely rebuilding the entire game, and it showed, as the game barely looked like a first-generation PS3 game. Worse, despite the game now being on consoles, the original’s multiplayer mode was stripped out completely– so it actually has less content!
Besides, most FF fans, if given the choice, would’ve much rather seen an HD remaster of PSP’s Crisis Core or Dissidia than Type-0.
Video game adaptations of movies often involve minimal effort, with developers being paid to throw together a game as quickly and as cheaply as possible in the hopes that fans of the movie will buy it without bothering to check review scores first. With the release of the Deadpool film, that typical laziness was brought to a whole new low when Activision took their 2013 Deadpool game for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC and slightly remastered it for XB1 and PS4 to coincide with the movie. Since the game predated the movie, it had absolutely no connection to the film’s plot, visual style, lineup of allies and enemies, or voice cast.
Trying to trick people into buying a game that they think is based on a movie wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world… if the game in question was good. And Deadpool is just not very good. Despite a novel premise and a pretty good grasp on the character and his tendency for fourth-wall-breaking humor, the Deadpool game is a largely mediocre experience with repetitive, unsatisfying combat, which was improved in the slightest– nor was anything, really– for the new version.
13. Legend of Kay Anniversary
Legend of Kay wasn’t a terrible game, but it came out on PS2, which was home to some of the best non-Nintendo platformers of all time. Unless you burned through every Ratchet & Clank, Jak, and Sly Cooper title and still didn’t have your platform itch sufficiently scratched, there just wasn’t much reason to bother with Kay. For those that had fond memories of it, a fairly basic port was released digitally for PS3 and X360 which is plenty for a game of Kay‘s quality and legacy.
Yet, here is one of the second-tier PS2 platformers with an unnecessary HD remaster– and with a physical version to boot– in time for the game’s 10th anniversary. The nine people who would’ve even celebrated Kay‘s tenth birthday were probably over the moon for Legend of Kay Anniversary. Everyone else picked it up at the store, went “Huh, so I guess that’s a thing,” and went back home to play one of the HD remasters of the previously mentioned gems of the PS2’s platform lineup instead– or better yet, the fantastic PS4 Ratchet & Clank remake.
12. Tales of Symphonia Chronicles (Dawn of the New World)
A lot of so-so games get HD remasters for the sake of a complete series collection, and that’s fine. We all skipped over the HD version of Devil May Cry 2 in that franchise’s HD collection, but we also would’ve been kind of annoyed if it wasn’t there at all. It’s just one of those things. However, in the case of Tales of Symphonia Chronicles, the lesser game should’ve just stayed behind.
The original Tales of Symphonia for GameCube is a great RPG, and was definitely worthy of the HD remaster treatment. Its Wii sequel, Dawn of the New World, definitely was not. The problem is that including two games and calling it a “collection” has two side effects; first, it lets a company pass the game off as a full-priced PS3 release rather than just a one-off remaster that might’ve only been 10-15 bucks digitally. Second, it takes resources away from the better game, so instead of getting one epic blow-out remaster of a great game, we get two pretty-good remasters of one great game and one crappy one. It’s basically just a waste of money for everyone, on both sides of the transaction.
11. Prototype: Biohazard Bundle
For the last three or four console generations, there has been a trend of taking a game from the previous generation and porting it to the new generation in a slightly better-looking form. However, that has most commonly been done within the first year of the transition, and with new games– meaning that a game would, say, come out for PS3 and PS4 at the same time. It’s an easy, cost-effective way to pad the typically thin lineups that consoles have in their first year.
However, even with the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in full swing and not really needing last-gen help anymore, companies are still lazily reaching into their last-gen catalogs for games they can get away with selling again as new games. When it’s a game as good as Grand Theft Auto V— and significant upgrades are being made– fine. When they’re games that people forget about a few months after they played them, like both Prototype games, re-releasing them six years later is completely unnecessary. 2009’s “decent” games are 2015’s “dated and forgettable” games, remastered or not.
10. Voodoo Vince Remastered
The original Xbox had some stiff competition from PlayStation 2 and GameCube in the character-driven platformer space, and never really proved itself as a major destination for fans of that type of game. Xbox die-hards tried to extol the virtue of exclusive platformers like Blinx: The Time Sweeper and Raze’s Hell, but the truth is that those otherwise unremarkable games would’ve fallen on deaf ears had they released on other consoles.
The best of the Xbox-exclusive platform games was, by far, Voodoo Vince, but that still doesn’t make it an amazing game– and it certainly doesn’t make it a game that needed a full remaster 13 years later. Microsoft never even bothered to make the original playable on X360, so that should be a pretty good indicator of how they felt about it. Xbox One owners have Rare Replay available to them if they want to play good platform games from more than a decade ago. There’s no reason for anyone to have bothered with this remaster.
9. Resident Evil 6
Resident Evil 4 is one of the most critically-acclaimed games of all time and influenced an entire generation of action games. Resident Evil 5 is Capcom’s single best-selling game of all time– and this is a company that also made Street Fighter II. So why did the company have to completely reinvent the RE franchise with this year’s Resident Evil 7 if it was on such a hot streak? Because Resident Evil 6 was a complete disaster and derailed the series in the midst of its most successful era since the 90s.
It’s no big surprise that Capcom would try and milk RE6 for all they could. After all, even RE4 saw yet another remaster on PS4 and XB1. But it’s different with RE6 because RE7 has been widely praised and looked at as something of a fresh start for the franchise, largely as a reaction to how poorly RE6 was received. It would’ve been perfect for RE7 to have this console generation all to itself as a way to reinforce the solid new beginning for the series. Instead, RE7 has to sit alongside a barely year-old remaster of the very game that it was trying to make gamers forget.
8. Cel Damage HD
“Cel-shaded” graphics were all the rage in the early 00s, first made famous by Sega’s Jet Grind Radio for Dreamcast. It’s a clever visual trick that outlines characters and objects in dark outlines to mimic a hand-drawn cartoon, and allows a game to get away with fewer polygons and simpler textures. When done well, it’s a striking effect, and one of the best pre-HD examples of the style was 2001’s Cel Damage. Unfortunately, the action/racing game underneath that beautiful veneer was a game that lacked the mechanical polish to match its graphics. Not only were reviews justifiably unkind to the game, but sales were weak as well. The game’s developer tried to shop a sequel around to all of the major publishers, and every one of them turned it down, seeing no viable market for it.
But hey, you obviously don’t need a game to review or sell well to give it an HD remaster, even if it’s been 12 years. Just like the original, Cel Damage HD is gorgeous to look at but not at all fun to play. Even if you can’t play Mario Kart 8, you should still avoid this beautiful lemon.
7. Ty the Tasmanian Tiger
Now we start getting into remasters of D-list platform games. What’s next, Tak and the Power of Juju Remastered? Even if you have fond memories for this series– and yes, it was a series, hitting four installments– it just didn’t need to make a comeback. What typically happens is that the best game of a genre or error above its competitors and is the only one that gets to move on, with the others rightfully being left behind.
In this current trend of remasters, however, the previous “losers” try for remastery redemption rather than just retiring with dignity. We were all good with leaving Ty behind in the 2000s. He didn’t need to boomerang back at us with a completely superfluous remaster two generations later. A full HD Ty collection might not have been so bad– four full PS2-era platform games remastered in HD is a decent proposition, even if the games are all just kinda good. But any one of them on its own isn’t nearly enough to be worth it.
6. Grabbed by the Ghoulies
Had all of the games on Rare Replay been remastered in 1080p, there wouldn’t be a problem with one of the company’s weakest post-Nintendo games also getting that treatment. But the sad and baffling reality is that Grabbed by the Ghoulies is the only game that got that treatment in the entire collection, which doesn’t make any sense at all.
Fine, so the games that started out on or were ported to the X360 and were already in 720p didn’t need to be bumped up to 1080 since they were already in HD. But to have Rare go through all the work of remastering Ghoulies while leaving the far better, far more beloved Conker’s Bad Fur Day in its original N64 form is just stupid. It’s not even the Xbox version of Conker; which would’ve looked awesome if it had been remastered. But that version is just completely forgotten– added multiplayer modes and all– and the rough N64 version is shoveled onto the disc alongside a prettied-up version of a game nobody liked to begin with.
5. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate HD
While that wordy title makes the game sound like it’s a hybrid of three different game franchises, it belongs entirely to the Castlevania series at one of its lowest points, right before effectively being put on indefinite hiatus. While the reboot title Castlevania: Lords of Shadow was a solid game that looked like it might be the beginning of a promising new era for the classic series, all of that goodwill was immediately squandered with an unbelievably disappointing follow-up. Things got a tiny bit better when the series tried to return to its 2D roots with the 3DS sequel/spin-off Mirror of Fate, but it was still a far from a great game.
If remastering a 3DS game as an HD console game seems like a silly idea, that’s because it is. Portable games are just constructed differently than console games, and the small proportions of the characters and their environments just looked off on big-screen TVs. It’s even worse when the game being remastered wasn’t all that spectacular to begin with. A sad pseudo-finale to a legendary franchise.
4. Risen 3: Titan Lords Enhanced Edition
The pirate-based Risen series has always been more of a fan favorite than a critical darling, never lighting up review scores but selling well enough to become a trilogy. That said, Risen 3 couldn’t have made anyone but the franchise’s absolute biggest fans happy, as it was definitely the worst of the bunch. Technical issues and glitches abound in Risen 3, from game-breaking bugs to a framerate that is seldom steady. Worst of all, the combat from the second game– which was highly criticized– came back pretty much untouched for part 3, and it’s never acceptable when a sequel doesn’t bother fixing a previous installment’s flaws.
Metacritic scores for Risen 3 topped out 65% for the PC version and bottomed out at an embarrassing 36% for the PS3 version. Surely the remastered Enhanced Edition for PS4 made things right for the console crowd and fixed all of the games flaws, right? Well, it brought the Metacritic score up to a whopping 55%. Bad is definitely an improvement over terrible, so it’s technically acceptable to call it “enhanced.”
3. Putty Squad
Hey, remember Putty?! That was a rhetorical question, because no, no you don’t. It was an early-90s game for Amiga platforms, and later ported to Super NES as Super Putty. The game was so “popular” that a sequel was developed in 1994, but it didn’t get an official release until 2013. So a game that spent years as a prototype and was a hot item in the extremely niche market of Amiga 1200 collectors finally got published and released. Awesome. That’s the end of the story, everyone is happy, the end.
Not so fast! Because then someone decided that a game that didn’t have the potential audience to be released for nearly ten years despite being completely finished by most accounts needed to have an HD remaster. So now we have Putty Squad, a game for seemingly nobody. The game’s 38% Metacritic score only reinforces that. Maybe they should’ve called the game Pity Squad.
2. 3D Classics Urban Champion
As a game developer, Nintendo’s track record is pretty incredible. The company has released very few outright terrible games that were developed in-house over the past four decades. But there certainly are a few notable clunkers, including what may be the single worst game that Nintendo has ever made: Urban Champion. And while Nintendo typically isn’t afraid to sweep their embarrassments under the rug and never acknowledge them again– Virtual Boy, anyone?– the company seems intent on keeping Urban Champion‘s legacy alive.
Nintendo made sure that Urban Champion found its way onto the Virtual Consoles of both the Wii and the Wii U, charging $5 for a game that they should have to pay people to play. However, in one of Nintendo’s most annoying decisions since the invention of Friend Codes, they decided to make the awful Urban Champions part of the “3D Classics” line on 3DS, taking the time to rebuild that stupid game in 3D! So now anyone who wants to experience an already-dreadful game in a slightly askew 3D perspective– and pay an extra dollar for the privilege– can do so. You’re too good to us, Nintendo.
1. Night Trap: 25th Anniversary Edition
The crowd-funding platform Kickstarter is a good litmus test to see if people are interested in a game idea. If a project isn’t funded, then people obviously didn’t want it. It was hopefully just morbid curiosity that caused 664 people to pledge a combined $39,843 for the Kickstarter campaign to remaster infamous FMV game Night Trap in HD. Regardless, the project rightfully fell far short of its funding goal, and cooler heads seemed to have prevailed, leaving a terrible game– that most people have only heard of because of the controversy that surrounded its release– in the past where it belonged.
Then, in April of this year, it was announced that Night Trap would, in fact, be released in remastered form for PS4 and XB1. It’s even getting a limited physical release! So now all of the people who have spent years trying to convince everyone (but mostly themselves) that Night Trap is actually good can relive the game’s 20 glorious minutes of “gameplay” all over again, in sort-of high definition. The rest of us have better ways to spend our money, by doing literally anything else with it.
Which game do you think was horribly remade? Lets us know in the comments!
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