3Remakes That Are Actually Faithful to the Original
Games are remade nearly as often as movies, because gamers love the chance to replay classics with new additions or enhanced graphics, while publishers like money and hate creativity. But a few famous games are still running after the remake train, often for silly reasons. Square Enix has said that it won't remake its popular spiky hair and giant sword simulator Final Fantasy VII until they make a better game than the original. Now, putting aside the fact that Final Fantasy Tactics came out after FFVII and the "better game" criterion has already been met, it's not like Square Enix are trying to beat their former glory with every release. They made a Final Fantasy rhythm game, for chrissakes. And of course "no remakes" does not prevent "endless rereleases" (see the money bit, above). So if you really want to see Aeris die in glorious high definition, you'll have to make do with this fan remake, where the characters look like actual people instead of angular blobs.
Although it still doesn't excuse the impracticality of a machine gun arm.
If you're less about incomprehensible metaphysics and tween-level romance and more about blowing up space monsters with missiles, you're probably more interested in the Metroid series. Have you played Metroid 2? No? We don't blame you: It was an old Game Boy title that wasn't successful enough to merit an official remake. But thanks to one serious fan who's in the midst of adding color, enhanced graphics, and gameplay elements from later Metroid games, that might change. He's not quite done, but you can play what he's completed until he gets there.
We're holding out for a remake on virtual Virtual Boy.
Then there's Chrono Resurrection, which was going to be yet another remake of Chrono Trigger, this time in 3D. It's weird how all these people keep trying to remake your games, isn't it, Square Enix? It's almost as if there's some sort of demand for it ...
And with actual industry professionals working on the game in their spare time, Resurrection had the potential to be the greatest fan remake ever. Until, of course, the black mages at Square Enix cast their devastating cease and desist spell, wiping out the entire project.
Fans launched petitions to have the legal order rescinded (because they were apparently too busy playing Chrono Trigger to notice how fruitless Internet petitions are). Square Enix's response was essentially "Buy more games and maybe we'll remake it," which is the first case we've ever heard of emotional blackmail on the part of a video game.
Video games are a relatively new form of media, having only been in the mainstream for about 30 years. So while old books and films have been lost to the ravages of time, there's nothing stopping future generations from learning about the Cold War by playing the interactive documentary Metal Gear. It's not like video games are going to just disappear, right?
Is this a trick question?
Actually, they will, thanks to a process called bit rot. It sounds like a particularly nasty digital STD, and in a way, it is -- it's the unofficial name for the decay of storage media. Early video games were stored on these things Earth historians call floppy disks, which have a maximum life span of 30 years. So if you decide to boot up your original copy of Zork in 2027, you may discover that the entire game has been eaten by grues. And if you feel like a nerd for getting that reference, don't worry: In 10 years, it'll be lost to time forever. The decay of cartridges, CDs, and DVDs is also inevitable, so one day all physical games will be as lost as old people in a Best Buy.
Farewell, sweet Jungle Hunt.
All this digital history can be preserved in a virtual library, of course, but those run into more legal trouble than your average NFL player. This has obviously not deterred the Internet (which views laws more like rude suggestions), so you can find tons of emulators and ROMs of games that would have otherwise been lost to the ages. Unfortunately, most emulators are far from perfect simulations. Because of various programming quirks, emulated games can have anything from missing shadows to glitches that make the game impossible to finish. Even little things, like the way Mario jumps or the way the 8-bit boobs look on the girl from Bubble Bath Babes, get lost in translation. If playing a game on an emulator has never felt the same to you, you're not crazy. It really isn't.
Enter higan, a Super Nintendo emulator that claims to emulate every SNES game perfectly. Preserving video games isn't just about keeping games around, but keeping the very way in which they were played alive. Why, higan is so authentic, it even simulates the general crappiness of old televisions.
Wow! It's like you're really back in your parents' hideously shag carpeted basement!