Remakes are video games that are adapted versions of older games. Unlike sequels, which usually continue a story or introduce new mechanics, the video game remake typically covers the same ground as the original title, simply rebuilding it from the ground up.
Video games, unlike many other forms of media, typically age poorly after a decade or so. This is due in part to the rapid improvements in technology, as a single decade can include three distinct generations of consoles. Therefore, in order to make older titles more accessible, they are often rebuilt from scratch, often on entirely new platforms.
Similar Concepts Edit
Remakes are similar, but distinct from, several other kinds of titles, including remasters and ports. Remasters simply use the same assets and mechanics as the original game and modify them, while ports are simply games changed to be played on other platforms. Remakes, in contrast, are radically different from the games they're based on, to the point of being distinct entities.
Early in the history of video games, titles were frequently changed drastically to meet the standards and limitations of different platforms. However, the true video game remake was largely unknown until the dawn of the fourth generation of consoles, which allowed for drastically changed versions of earlier games for the first time.
The first highly successful remake was the compilation Super Mario All-Stars, which was a remake of the NES-era Super Mario titles with entirely new graphics. It would become one of the best-selling games on the SNES. However, remakes only became truly common starting around 2001, with the advent of the sixth generation. As even handheld platforms like the Game Boy Advance were now significantly more powerful than older hardware, it was possible to remake games with new content, mechanics, and graphics. The Super Mario Advance games were a mixture of remakes and ports, with new levels included even in the ports.
Meanwhile, the advent of digital distribution meant that simpler or smaller games, such as Street Fighter II, could be remade and sold at a reasonable price and to a wide audience. Therefore, remakes of older games became staples of digital stores.
Despite this, the Game Boy series continues to be the home of the remake, with remakes of classic titles being very common. Super Mario 64 Deluxe for the Game Boy Nitro was the most successful 3D platformer in the history of handheld gaming. Nintendo has also released or is currently making remakes of Donkey Kong 64, Star Fox 64, and Mother 3 for the Game Boy 3DS.