Even game studios are defining remakes/remasters differently

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Inconsistent definitions

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Welcome back! It’s time for a new episode of the Spot Dodge Podcast exclusively on Destructoid. Topics: Tonight we’ll be talking all about the magnificent and recently stealth-released Metroid Prime Remastered. Along with that, the team discusses the difference between a remaster and a remake — And how even game devs are split on the meaning.

I know what you’re thinking, the difference between a remaster and a remake is clear. A game like Wind Waker HD is a remaster and Resident Evil 2 (2019) is a remake. Wind Waker retained the same skeleton as the original but overhauled the graphics. Essentially being 90% the same game. Whereas Resident Evil 2 was a full reimagining of the original game. With new gameplay, dialogue, characters, sound, and more.

Boom. It’s that simple. Or is it? Because PlayStation is dead set on The Last of Us Part I being a from-the-ground-up “remake”. Not a remaster. Despite retaining the same skeleton as the original and featuring the exact combat, sound, voice acting, and gameplay mechanics. With subtle tweaks to the enemy AI and additional accessibility options. Should this not be categorized as a remaster? Being that the only substantial upgrade was the visuals?
Compare that to a game like the newly-released Metroid Prime Remastered. This “remaster” not only overhauled the visuals but even added modernized controls and enhanced sound. But Nintendo is clearly going with “remastered” verbiage for the game and its title.
Finally, there’s a game like Final Fantasy VII Remake which is not really a remake at all, but more of a reimaging of the first 3 hours of FFVII, and even somewhat of a sequel to the original. And that game literally has “remake” in the title! It’s such a messy topic I can’t wait to discuss.
Our lovely cast from around the web: Brett Medlock (me) and Mary Stowe from Destructoid, John Friscia from The Escapist, Greg Bargas from PC Invasion, and Brett Larsen, our extra special guest. Behind the scenes, Gamurs’ Eric Weichhart is live-editing this week’s show.

Spot Dodge is a weekly Nintendo-focused Podcast here at Destructoid where we dedicate an hour or two to go over the latest Nintendo news and discuss the games we’re playing. If you’re a fan of Nintendo Switch, RPGs, or having a good time, Spot Dodge will be a great addition to your podcast rotation. So be sure to subscribe!

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Afterward, the show will be available on-demand for audio listeners via SpotifyApple Podcasts, and more. The live video version will remain on both YouTube and Twitch (don’t forget to follow and subscribe). So many options!

About The Author
Brett Medlock
Head of video at Destructoid
More Stories by Brett Medlock