Remakes that Aren’t Remade

February 17th, 2009

I’ve noticed a bit of a trend in the past few years that’s slowly snowballed into a bit of an epidemic, that is the misuse of the term ‘remake’. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed it too. The misuse is most apparent on the portable platforms but the same applies for the consoles too. Take a look at this list of guilty suspects:

Valkyrie Profile Lenneth (PSP)
Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions (PSP)
Star Ocean: Second Evolution (PSP)
Chrono Trigger DS (DS)
Okami (Wii)
New Play Control! Series (Wii)
House of the Dead: Return (Wii)
Resident Evil 4 (PS2, Wii)
Resident Evil GameCubes (GCN)
Super Mario ports (GBA)
Final Fantasy ports (GBA)
Banjo Kazooie (XBLA)

All games that are nothing more than reworked ports of previous titles with a few significant spruce ups. No doubt the changes are pretty significant like redone script, new areas or new controls. But a remake? Probably not. How can we classify these games as remakes in the same vein as:

Resident Evil (GCN)
-overhauled graphics and sound
-new content added
-gameplay tweak
-redone script
Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 (GBA)
-remade into isometric perspective
-many element downgraded for GBA
Tales of Symphonia II (Wii)
-same game world
-new story, characters, environment
-many original areas remixed
Prince of Persia Classic (XBLA, PSN)
-overhauled graphics and sound
-new game modes
-high score boards

I honestly don’t think that it’s fair to group the two together. For marketing sake though I guess the word ‘remake’ has a better sound to it and as such -like fish to water- the games media have wrote about the first list of games under the guise of remakes. I’m not convinced, where do you guys stand?