The Mezunian

Die Positivität ist das Opium des Volkes, aber der Spott ist das Opium der Verrückten

UPDATE: Grumpy Ol’ Mezun Rants ‘Bout these New Remakes & the Glory Days o’, like, a Couple Years Ago

Actually, in my defense, from what I’ve seen, Super Mario Odyssey looks so good it might e’en rival Super Mario 64, which is god-tier — something I’m writing a huge article ’bout, which you should expect sometime within the next 5 years maybe. So Nintendo has shown that they can not fuck things up when they actually make new things. I say “from what I’ve seen” ’cause o’ an ol’ policy I’ve followed my whole life, & shall continue to do — a policy I’ve tried to teach my young nephew when the bourgeosie’s crafty sugary candy o’ consumerism consumes him himself: ne’er buy a system less than a year after it comes out. Shit, I just recently tried out the original Wii last month for a mere $60 — & you suckers paid a couple hundred for it a mere decade ago.

But our subject isn’t that, but shitty remakes — to be specific, shitty remakes that I haven’t actually played, but are shitty in terms o’ aesthetics — & I’m reasonably sure they’re just the same games ’neath the new paint.

See, I love remakes that somehow manage to be aesthetically worse than their originals, since the 1 thing you’d expect new technology to add is better graphics & higher-quality sound. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it yet, but I oft laughed @ how pitiful those new Yoshi’s Island games — the DS 1 with its utterly forgettable music & cheap graphics or that 3DS 1 with the fucking kazoos. I marveled @ how these new-fangled games sucked so hard, they looked worse & sounded much worse than a game that came out in 1995 for a system that had a mere 3.58 megahertz & a mere 128 kilobytes. It made me wonder why they e’en bothered to make a new version o’ a game that, clearly, is perfectly good as it is. If Yoshi’s Island looks better & sounds better than games that pass the condiments today, ¿how could it be called “outdated” in any way?

The same applies to 2 recent Mario remakes: Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser’s Minions ( ’nother example o’ Nintendo’s newfound love for awkward game titles ) & Mario Party: the Top 100.

The former replaced the original Mario & Luigi’s expressive & beautiful cartoon graphics — a surprising rarity in Mario games, which are usually either pixelated or polygonal — that made the series stand out with cheap polygonal graphics that look like ripoffs from New Super Mario Bros. I can’t wait till they finally remake Paper Mario with its shabby, outdated flat graphics so that it’ll be mo’ consistent with modern Mario games — i.e. look just like all the others with no heart or personality o’ its own.

Lots o’ people, e’en up to reviewers like @ Destructoid ( when they can pull themselves ’way from talking ’bout wanting to fuck Shantae — ne’er live it down ), have noted that character expressions are mo’ generic: Toads’ eyes no longer pop out when they become frightened in the opening cutscene, Peach’s tears are mo’ generic…

Now, the thing is, they could’ve improved this game’s graphics by actually keeping to the heart o’ the game’s aesthetics. ¿Imagine how this game’s graphics would look if it had high-resolution handdrawn graphics? What we got is just a sad rehash o’ an ol’ argument I thought had died: “Duh, it’s polygons, so it’s better ’cause that’s mo’ ‘advanced”’.

But I do have to ask, ¿did we truly need a remake o’ Superstar Saga? ¿When did this game come out? ¿2003? ¿Do we truly need to remake a game every 15 years, ’specially when the technological increases that s’posedly warrant them are getting diminishing returns? ¿What was wrong with the orignal Superstar Saga? It’s just seemed like such a strange decision that came out o’ nowhere.

Mario Party: the Top 100’s different in that it’s not necessarily a remake so much as a greatest hits compilation o’ minigames, a celebration o’ Mario Party’s long history just a year before its 20-year anniversary o’ the 1st game’s December 1998 release ( maybe I should do a retrospective on that series next year ). They apparently e’en brought back Minigame Island, which was a mechanic they dropped since the 2nd game for reasons I can’t comprehend.

That said, Metacritic gives it middling scores ( granted, I question how selective their “critic” choices are, as many o’ them I’ve ne’er heard o’, & quite a few can’t write coherent English ) & I saw some obnoxious Game Grumps ripoffs say it’s not good, & it seems like they have good reasons. Also, the game costs $40, which is hilariously ridiculous in a world where I can get games with much mo’ depth off Steam for $10 – $20.

But I’m mostly aiming my ire @ the remixed music. Since this game remakes minigames from all the ol’ Mario Partys ( ’cept DS & Advanced, which is bullshit, as the latter was awesome & the former a’least had good minigames ), logically it remixes the songs that played in those minigames. Well, not truly “logically”, since they came from N64 & after systems, which had perfectly good sound quality. Nintendo were wise when they didn’t change Super Mario 64 or Ocarina of Time’s music in their remakes: they were perfect the way they were.

What amazes me ’bout the remixed music is that they usually sound technologically inferior, as if from a less powerful system than the N64. The music in the 1st 2 Mario Partys sounded like natural music — no beeps or bips. But the new music makes it sound mo’ technoish — that generic technoish sound that’s infected most modern cheap Mario games.

Let’s look @ the 1st abomination I saw: “Blue Skies Yonder” — the original & the modern version. The original sound like real instruments & evokes a slightly country feeling with its whistles. It’s the kind o’ song you play when you’re, say, riding up a mountain on train tracks. ¿You know what goes great with that mood? Fucking techno. & yet, that’s precisely what the modern version added. I want to emphasize ’gain: the original sounds like real instruments. The modern legit sounds like a MIDI version. ¿How the hell does a remake on a much mo’ powerful console make a song sound mo’ like a MIDI?

Other songs are mo’ mixed. In the modern version o’ “Going for Coins”, I like the bass, but the horns are so pathetically tepid.

Also, it’s probably pointless to bring this up, since the change happened games ago, but the parrot announcer from the original games is far better than the hokey new voice actor they have, who sounds like just some executive working @ the company.

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Posted in Video Games