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11:40 AM on 04.17.2014

Is Nostalgia Blinding Us?

I love this industry. I really do. I grew up with it, reading game magazines, working my ass off to buy just one game that I would play into the ground, and making lasting memories with titles like Super Mario World, Goldeneye, and Final Fantasy. I get excited when I meet game devs, I wander around conventions wide eyed and excited, collecting anything with a game brand plastered on it. I live and breath games, and I could talk your ear off about them if given the chance, but there is a side to the fandom that, while I admit I have taken part in from time to time, I honestly believe is taking a toll on how we view games.

Admittedly my first real Final Fantasy was 7. I know, how dare I, but I was young and stupid. Before that I was into games like Sonic and Choplifter. And for its time it was amazing. It convinced me to go and try out other JRPGs.
And I had great memories of the game, as I am sure thousands, if not millions of others do as well. Flash forward to today and FF7 has become one of my least favorite title. Not because of gameplay or the graphics, but because its the game that people ask to be remade the most. Every time there is a post on anything Square Enix, the comments are filled with "REMAKE FF7!" and "Square is stupid because they wont remake the game we want!", even if the article is about something completely different. Every time I see this, or any other demand for remakes of old game I always have to ask: Why?

Why do you need a remake of 18 year old game? Why does the entire game need to be redone in new graphics, with new cutscenes, and possible new design changes? The game has been re-released on Steam and doesn't look like a huge seller. Square releases older titles all the time, usually on ipad, and people complain about how they changed things (An example on Destructoid for FFVI). So why would it be any different if they remade 7? I can guarantee you they will not do exactly what you imagine it being. They will change something that will send you running to the message boards in a fiery rage demanding they shut down immediately for ruining your fond memories of the game.

And it feels like its only this game that gets this much heat. I don't see cries to remake Ocarina of Time, Resident Evil 2, or any other number of classic games. Why the fascination with FF7? And what would you want to be remade? If its graphics, then immediately half the users on this very site are now labeled hypocrites, as they always complain that graphics don't make the game. How about the story? Make too many changes and its no longer Final Fantasy 7 but some official fanfiction. Or the gameplay? I can already see the rage in every review, questioning the sanity of those who dared to make "their" FF7 different. Why then, do you want FF7 remade? 

The game was great for its time. And that same game is available for cheap on one of the most accessible digital marketplace. You can replay it over and over if you like. What would, as a company, Square look to earn from spending millions to remake this game? Low review scores, loss of even more fans, and millions of dollars is all I can foresee.

And while FF7 looks to be the most requested game, nostalgia has been ruining our outlook on games all over. I know when I play a Battlefield game, I feel a pang of loss that its not like 1942. The new carrier assault mode in BF4 is nothing like the amazing titan mode in 2142. Diablo 3 doesn't have that same feeling of adventure and fear that Diablo 2 had. The new Thief is nothing like the titles I grew up with. And while I may grumble and moan, I still find myself enjoying these games. There have been great new features added despite the steps back. But others don't see it that way. If its not exactly like how they remember it, then its garbage and ignored, never given the chance. But if they keep it the same, the devs are lazy and looking for a quick buck. Now I will grant you there are instances where the changes are appalling and downright disrespectful of the title (looking at you SimCity), but thats usually due to a changing of the guard in development, and new heads bring new ideas that can be drastically different for a franchise. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't

In closing, I know I mainly focused on FF7 and Square, but the question still stands: Why do we need to focus so much on the past to the point where it clouds our look on current titles? Change can be good, and discounting new ideas because you liked the old ones better don't help the developers find what you really want.   read

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