Everyone knows what it’s like to hear the same stories and watch the same movies repeatedly. In fact, many people benefit from repetition. It can train their brains to predict events upon previous knowledge.
1. A Culture of Repetition
The movie and video game industries are full of remakes and re-releases. Nine Fast and Furious, nine Star Wars, endless James Bond movies. Is anyone keeping track of how many Super Mario Bros. and Sonic are there? What about online slots NetBet and the seasonal slot games that make waves whenever a new franchise branches out?
Repetition provides a comforting sense of familiarity and predictability. It partially explains why fans can’t get enough of their favourite stories.
Chances are you’ve played Sega’s timeless success ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’, or are aware of the blue, very fast hedgehog. The original game starts in the Green Hill Zone. The landscape is colourful, with green fields, waterfalls and slopes. It was an instant classic, and the green hills under the blue sky would mark the game aesthetics forever.
The same landscape came back in 1996 in Sonic 3D and appeared once again as a tennis court in a Sega-themed game. It also appears in Sonic-themed LEGO and the live-action movie starring Jim Carrey.
2. A Nostalgia for Novelties
Nostalgia is an essential factor in keeping the trend going. Is it the only factor, though? The answer is obviously ‘no’. As digital technology evolves, game developers want to try them out on new games.
However, using new technologies to update classics like The Legend of Zelda, or Mortal Kombat, is an effective way of making fans buy new consoles. Moreover, this market has a constant demand for new content.
Elaborating over tried and tested franchises is much easier than creating entirely new content. Besides, every new version of God of War will reach the shelves with millions of fans already. New games need to build their fan base from scratch. So, remakes tend to be more cost-effective.
3. A Tricky Feeling
Appealing to nostalgia doesn’t guarantee success, though. Triggering nostalgia in people is more challenging than just rebranding classics. The storyline and gameplay shouldn’t go under extreme changes. Otherwise, they’re at risk of becoming unrecognisable for fans. Check below some remakes that failed.
Super Mario All-Stars
When Nintendo released Super Mario All-Stars, fans had great expectations. The new version changed the physics of Mario’s jump that was trademark to the game, causing general disappointment.
Pac Man 2: The New Adventures
The SNES remake of this arcade classic changed it into entirely something else. Point-and-click mechanics replaced the arcade gameplay. Fans and critics were less than impressed.
Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link
The second game of Zelda’s franchise also brought disappointing changes in gameplay. Such change left countless fans quite frustrated. The game is also infamous for its clumsy English translations.
There’s always space for the classics. Some remakes can play with our memories. However, finding the gold proportion between traditional and innovation can be tricky. Evocating childhood memories is no guarantee of success in this case.