A new Lollipop Chainsaw remake has been announced!
Remakes are a dime a dozen these days.
It used to be that people would remaster and repackage their games in order to resell them to a consumer, and indeed a lot of companies still do (see the recent Sonic Origins package for the best way to mess up what should have been a complete and utter slamdunk).
But companies quickly learned that sometimes that simply wasn’t enough, and people weren’t going to buy repackages forever, and in order to make as much money as possible, they needed to start remaking the games from the ground up.
Games such as Final Fantasy VII Remake, Resident Evil 2, and now Lollipop Chainsaw aim to recapture the original audience and bring them back. But what makes a game tick? What really makes a remake worth the time?
There are certain games that I’d personally never even think about remaking.
For example, the original Sonic The Hedgehog and the original Super Mario Bros are so heavily ingrained in video game history and in the formation of video games that doing anything with them would feel almost blasphemous, especially given how both series are constantly paying homage to their own heritage.
Games like Kingdom Hearts 1, while very much of their time, are so beautiful to me as a gamer that I wouldn’t ever want to see them try to replicate them again, in case they fumble it and make it bad.
Why Certain Remakes Work
Final Fantasy VII Remake, for me at least, worked so well because it deviated heavily from the original game. It takes the metanarrative nature of the remake idea itself and challenges it, making you consider the way that you’re playing it.
Final Fantasy VII Remake isn’t the rule when it comes to remaking games, it’s the fluke in a system that doesn’t usually work. XIII, Silent Hill HD Collection (arguably more a remaster than a remake, but a disaster nonetheless), Dungeon Keeper Mobile, the list goes on and on and on and on.
Bad remakes are easy, good remakes are almost impossible because you have to satisfy a specific audience.
The Lollipop Chainsaw remake needs to really appeal to the audience that liked that game when it released but more than anything else, it needs to show that it has grown with that audience.
Lollipop Chainsaw released in 2012, making the game ten years old now, and meaning that if you played that game when you were twelve that you’re twenty-two now, and your taste in video games has probably changed dramatically.
If Lollipop Chainsaw can prove that it has evolved along with the player base, then it can actually work as a remake.
Changing The Gameplay In Remakes
Of course, that’s not to suggest that a remake needs to justify itself it needs to change the story of the game. It’s more in terms of the gameplay that it has to change, as seen by the sheer quality and critical acclaim of the Resident Evil remakes.
While Resident Evil 3 Remake might not be as beloved as Resident Evil 2 Remake, it still does exactly what it needs to do to be beloved by that specific audience. It evolves the gameplay, removes the tank controls, and adds features that will surprise people who are even the slightest bit familiar with the original games.
Mr. X in Resident Evil 2 (the original, that is) didn’t follow you around, he didn’t really threaten you at all outside of those scripted gameplay segments. Now he follows you around like you’ve stolen something from him and he’s absolutely furious at you, and won’t stop going after you until you give him it back.
It’s a genius move really, one that’s necessary when remaking a horror game for a new and an old audience.
Only The Worst Kind of Remake
In my experience, the worst remakes change things for absolutely no reason and don’t change the right amount of things. The previously mentioned XII remake changes the graphical style of the game, ruining the way that the game looks and doesn’t even really change the gameplay that much.
This was due to the fact that the entirety of the original source code was lost, meaning that they had to redo levels, assets, cutscenes, and animations just to be able to even release the game in the first place. Fans have so poorly received the game that the company has announced they’re remaking the redo later this year, which is a totally wild thing to think about.
Hopefully, the developers of Lollipop Chainsaw’s upcoming remake take the cues from the good remakes and not from the bad ones. Right now, we’ll have to wait to see how it all works out. With remakes becoming much more prevalent in the industry over the last decade or so if the whole ‘genre’ wants to survive it needs to evolve as best as it can.