Not every game that we’re interested in is made for you or me. I believe that this is a reality we must accept to spend more time enjoying the games that we love and less time fuming over what we want games to be. There is a difference between games that are so bad that they are unplayable versus games that are not our preference. It’s important to understand this difference so that we don’t get trapped in an endless cycle of negativity that takes away the fun of what gaming is supposed to be. One of the biggest examples I’ve seen where anticipation leads to great disappointment is when a beloved game receives the “Remaster” or “Remake” treatment.
Even with its “59” Metacritic score (including a “0.6” user score), I was more than happy with my purchase of Warcraft III: Reforged last year. Many of the negative reviews centered around the game missing things initially advertised (a legit beef), Blizzard owning the rights to mods created in the game, and Warcraft fans feeling it was just overall inferior to the original Warcraft III. So what made me purchase the game? Well, because I only played about an hour of the original Warcraft III, I was not in a position to compare it to the “Reforged” version. Many of the details that Warcraft III players noticed as being changed in the newer version escaped me. I liked the way the game looked as I was getting more into strategy RPGs at the time so I decided to give it a shot. To this day, Warcraft III: Reforged is a game I’m satisfied with owning. I believe it is because I was not comparing it to the previous version and judged it on its own merits.
This brings us back to the original point of this post. Many gamers had a hard time accepting that ultimately Warcraft III: Reforged was not for them. I understand the disappointment. And I also can empathize with feeling let down. These specific gamers were huge fans of the original Warcraft III and went in with high expectations for Reforged. When those same expectations were not met, they were overcome with frustration and anger. There’s nothing wrong with feeling that way after being let down. But what we must understand in gaming is that newer games will sometimes not be our cup of tea.
I seldom play modern sports games. The reason being that I don’t believe they can compare to the games during the first decade of the 2000s. To this day, I play ESPN NFL 2K5 and Madden NFL 08 when I want to play an NFL video game. Whatever EA decides to do with Madden or whether 2K will eventually start making NFL simulation games again is of no consequence. I’ve found what I like and I’m fine sticking with it even if it is for the rest of my life. The point that I’m making is this: When you find a game that you love and enjoy, cherish it and keep it close. It won’t matter if the remake or remaster is just as good or a dud because you already have your treasure. You already found the game that was for you. Sure the upgraded graphics and promise of other enhancements may be intriguing. But understand that there is a huge possibility that it will pale in comparison to the original experience.
Around the same time that Mass Effect: Legendary Edition was released, I bought the original trilogy along with Mass Effect: Andromeda on PC. I had no interest in the Legendary Edition because the original three games were already ones that I delighted in. There was no need for an upgraded edition and whether or not the Legendary Edition was any good didn’t matter. When you find a game that you truly enjoy, one of the greatest gifts is to come back to it and find that it is still exactly as you remembered it. In the case of Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, the ones who have never played Mass Effect at all will be in for a real treat because they won’t be hindered by making comparisons to the originals.
Even though I’ve played the original Final Fantasy VII, I was fully on board with Final Fantasy VII Remake the moment I decided I would accept whatever differences emerged from the original provided the game was of good quality. I still own the original Final Fantasy VII on Steam as well. They are both games that I enjoy. But even if I didn’t care for Final Fantasy VII Remake, I would not have spent time being angry with the developers because they didn’t fulfill my vision for what the game should have been. I would have understood very quickly that it wasn’t a game for me and moved on. Amazingly, that was not the case with the remake and I’m glad to have played and experienced it.
At the end of it all, my advice is to focus on the things that you enjoy. It’s okay to come back to it years later. And it’s equally okay if the remakes and remasters along the way do not draw you in. I believe some gamers spend too much time upset at games that don’t fit their preferences instead on focusing on the ones that do. We should be spending our time on the games that make us happy. That leads to less disappointment and frustration. We have to accept the reality that not every game is going to fulfill our expectations. This doesn’t automatically mean it’s a bad game. It means that it just isn’t for us.