With The Last of Us Remastered coming out and garnering lots of praise for being a good remaster, and with many games getting ‘definitive versions’ for this generation, let’s look at some do’s and don’ts when it comes to remastering, porting and remaking games for a new generation.

DO: Make your remaster the definitive experience when it comes to that game.

Like with TLOU: Remastered, make sure that the remastered edition is the complete package when it comes to features. Not only have it looking nice and shiny, but include all the DLCs, updated content and bonus features as well. Make it so that people who missed out on your game the first time have everything in one place and for fans who are maybe buying the game again, give them some extra goodies so they aren’t just flushing money away. Whilst most people know that a remaster is most likely an easy way to generate cash, at least make it a decent product.

DON’T: Update your game’s graphics and lose the feel of the original.

I’m looking at you Silent Hill Collection. If you are going to make your game HD, fantastic. Make it run at 1080p, update the models and have it looking pristine. At the same time, don’t remove aspects of the game that made the originals so iconic, just because you are making the game in HD. Removing much of the fog from Silent Hill 2 in the remaster made the game lose much of its atmosphere, as without it, the game didn’t feel as nearly as creepy. Understand that some design choices, while they may have been limitations of the system in the original release, add to the game’s overall aesthetic and should not necessarily be removed in the remastered version.

DO: Add new content and fix old glitches if you are porting a last gen game.

Take Skies of Arcadia Legends for example, one of the greatest ports of a game. Not only did they fix glitches from the old game and turned down the ridiculous random encounter rate for the port, but add brand new bosses and Discoveries whilst improving the character models and load times. If you go the extra mile with a port by adding some cut content and treat the source game with the respect it deserves, fans both old and new will appreciate your work.

SoA Lookout

I’m on the lookout for decent ports.

DON’T: Rush out a rubbish port for one system, just to meet a release date.

PC gamers know this feeling. Don’t shaft a whole subset of gamers, just because you need to hit a target. Put as much work into every port in order to make a decent experience for all players, rather than just favouring console/PC gamers just because you may sell more copies on a certain system. Don’t pull a Dark Souls and rely on fan-made hacks in order to fix your rendering problems, take the time out to make sure the game is up to par with other versions of the game before you release.

DO: Use the knowledge and new features from previous installments in your remakes.

For all the criticism people level at Nintendo for basically making the same games over and over again, at least they know how to do a good remake. The Pokémon remakes are testament to that. They utilise all the new mechanics from previous instalments, add new areas for players to explore, give the game a graphical overhaul (in the case of HGSS and ORAS) and redo and remix much of the music. A proper remake should be a great place for new players to jump into the franchise, as well as being a welcome addition to the series for veterans.

DON’T: Have your remake be worse than the original.

Worse than having a remake no-one asked for, is a remake which ends up being worse than the original. Why would you censor most of the swearing in Conker’s Bad Fur Day? Why would you make Dungeon Keeper an awful, microtransaction-riddled mess? Why would you remake Pac-Man as a 3D platformer, based on a bad kid’s cartoon? Not only do these remakes have no reason to exist, but they end up being an insult to the source material which they are made from. They don’t inspire nostalgia, they don’t add anything new to a series and they suck most of the time. If you’re going to remake something, do it for a good reason and make it at least better than what came before.

So there we go, some pointers on how to make your remaster, remake or port worth playing. What do you think about this class of games? Do they have a place or are they just mindless cash grabs? Comment below and tell us your thoughts.