I dunno, different remasters have different levels of effort put into 'em, and as such can be of varying quality compared to the original. On the best end of the spectrum you've got games like Majora's Mask 3D
, which reworked most of its graphics, improved the sample quality of its music (still not orchestra recordings, but definitely sounds better, especially for string instruments), improved the controls, ran at a mostly steady 30fps (original couldn't even maintain 20fps most of the time), added new usability features to improve the flow of the game, and remade the bosses nearly from scratch. These are rare, and tread the narrow line between remaster and remake, and really are worth the money IMO (assuming the game is any good in the first place).
A step down from that, you've got remasters like Final Fantasy X HD
, Resident Evil 4
, and Metal Gear Solid: HD Collection
, which improve some textures that especially need it, and add lighting and performance improvements here and there. These are great for people who missed the games the first time around, but maybe not worth the investment unless it's one of your absolute favorite games.
A step lower still is the no effort but technically functional "remasters", nothing but ports by a different name. These pretty much don't change anything but the game's native resolution, and possibly an improved framerate if it's on a newer system. This is the Steam version of Final Fantasy VII
, the PS3 version of God of War
, and virtually every Dreamcast game that Sega has brought to PC in the last few years. You're often just as well off buying a used copy of the original, ripping the disc to your PC, and emulating it, assuming you can find it cheap enough. Really, these are only worth it if the original is rare, or for a system that can't be emulated well.
Then there's the bottom tier. The ones that, in spite of some nominal improvements, are somehow worse than the original. These are games like Chrono Trigger
for the PlayStation, which added unnecessary FMV cutscenes and severe load time problems, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD
, which managed to completely fuck up its physics, Silent Hill 2 HD
with its severe performance problems and mis-rendered effects, and the Steam version of Sonic Adventure
which has more problems than I can count and is pretty much inferior in every way to the Dreamcast version.
Ultimately, not everyone had the chance to play every game the first time around. Some people were too young, some were too wrapped up in other games at the time, and some simply missed 'em. I will never begrudge studios for remastering their games in and of itself, for making older games more available to new audiences. I think it's too much to expect every company to put in the same level of effort that Nintendo and Grezzo put into MM3D
, but as long as a remaster is done with a modicum of care, I'm fine with the concept. After all, nobody's forcing me to rebuy games I already completed just because they're available on a new system. As long as they're held accountable for crap remasters like Silent Hill 2
, I'm happy.
The Last of Us
That is ridiculous. The Last of Us didn't need a new one right away. Maybe at the end of the PS4's life cycle when it would have looked even better and some of the design flaws could have been fixed.
served an alternate purpose: Porting the engine to the PS4 so they could use it for other things, and so that their devs could gain PS4 experience. While the game didn't necessarily need one, doing so has played a fairly significant role in the development of Uncharted 4
, which they hope will be better because of the time and experience invested in The Last of Us Remastered
. This is also why it was done by the original devs instead of handed to an external company like remasters usually are.