In my GameFile column today at MTVNews.com I ran an interview I did last week with Morgan Gray, a senior producer at Crystal Dynamics.
He had been in New York last week to talk about "Tomb Raider: Anniversary" for the Wii.
That's all well and good, but I wanted to talk to him about re-makes.
"Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes" ... "Metroid: Zero Mission" ... "Final Fantasy III" on the DS ... "Resident Evil" on GameCube.
And now a re-make of the first "Tomb Raider." Do we need them? (Gray says they're essential.) And if we get them, what should developers keep from the originals and what should they chuck?
There's much to consider, including how faithfully a developer should stick to what was in the original vs. what people remember vs. what you think the ESRB will let you get away with in this day and age (no more Lara impalements, Gray told me.)
Let me give you a taste with a couple of paragraphs I cut out of the column. It's about why Gray applauded the inclusion of the door-opening animations in the GameCube "Resident Evil" remake:
Similarly, he cheered the decision to keep the special animations of doors opening that play whenever the player switches rooms. On the PlayStation they were used to cover for the game processor taking time to load of the next room. The animations became a signature of the series, so even though they weren't needed in the new one -- and could be skipped -- Gray said keeping them in kept the game true to the original experience.
"It was a completely good decision, because that is the affectation of the original experience. Obviously on the PS1 it is 'We are streaming in the new level before the door opens.' They didn't have to do it [in the remake], but it is also 'here is a new unknown,' right? The door opening is an unknown, right? Not to sound too art-school... By keeping that it kept the same vibe: new environment, new challenge, what in this room is going to jump out and say boo? It was great."
Check out the column for more stuff like this. So... do you want to see more gaming re-makes?