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Should the 8-bit Sonic games be remastered?


J.R.

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The Game Gear/Master System games are rarely re released or not as re released as the classic sonic games. Most of them are incredibly fun titles and for the ones that aren't really good like Sonic Blast should get re released for a cleaner, widescreen released like the 4 games for the upcoming origins. These are games that should get more love and recognition and really deserve a new remaster to bring em' to a broader audience. What do you think? 

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I feel like the easy answer in a fandom like this is a "yes, because I personally care and would like it."

And yes. I personally care and would like it.

But there's an element that fans of something don't always account for, and it's the question of "Will there be people who aren't intense fans that will also care," and I kinda gotta say... no.

I think you can recreate the whole thing, redo the art, just absolutely Star Engine the heck out of it, but you're also giving it the weird baggage of "We did this to some weird Sonic games that didn't play like the 16-bit games, so we're not quite selling you new games, but we're also not giving you something familiar."

They would need to be VERY good remakes or very cheap remakes to justify that.

For it to make sense in my head, you would have Headcannon (or Evening Star or whoever you want to associate with modern 16-bit Sonic) getting into a much more consistent relationship with SEGA to the extent that they are just the people that SEGA goes to whenever they want a smaller Sonic project. And after profitable project #2, this gets pitched in the vein of "Let's do this small passion project, it won't do crazy numbers, but it will eek a bit of profit, and makes for a healthy relationship while in the background we make you the thing that will make the actual money." I say this all purely as a hypothetical, because I haven't really seen SEGA building those development relationships, but who knows how things will stand when we're post-Origins.

If not for the movies doing to darn well, I could imagine an alternate reality where a small publisher just licenses one of them to release something like the Monster Boy and Alex Kidd remakes.

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I'd love it since they're the ones I personally grew up with - but 8-bit games are significantly less "acceptable" than their 16-bit counterparts in modern times, so I can't see it happening without major changes.  They might as well just make a new game at that point.

I'd love a simple, cheap and cheerful collection of emulated versions so I can play them on my switch though.  As long as both the Master System and Game Gear editions are included.

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The remakes of Sonic 1 SMS and Sonic 2 SMS that Creative Araya made for the PC are the closest we'll ever get, and they're pretty damn good. Just wish there was a way to make it so Sonic is SLIGHTLY closer to the left-hand side of the screen when its scrolling, so as to make it easier to avoid upcoming obstacles.

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Having recently played every game gear game (well, Labyrinth is in a couple episodes) for my Sonic podcast, I can only say I think they'd need a lot of changes to really be worth rereleasing. They're full of weird little archaic design choices and a lot of the worst of the classic games are even more pronounced in the 8-bit games than in the genesis versions. If you proposed full-on from the ground up retro engine remakes, that'd be one thing, but in their present state they've aged too poorly for a regular port to be worthwhile in my opinion. Labyrinth 8-bit and Aqua Lake are just...incredibly unfun.

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Depends I guess. Really, when it comes to stuff like the 8-bit titles, I just want them in widescreen and with modern saving for all the games. I have no idea how much work you'd need to put in to make these games widescreen, and save states are something that is easy to impliment, Mega Collection Plus definetly had them.

In a perfect world, yeah, I'd love every single Sonic game ever to get a nice fancy, port like Origins will do for Sonic 1/2/3&K/CD. But in reality, nobody but Sonic fans and some retro enthusiasts care about the 8-bit library. I doubt you could ever justify the funding for it. It does annoy me because since these games won't justify their own collection, and they don't come with Origins, I'm not sure how they could get rereleased, maybe outside of just being dumped on store fronts individually like (some of them?) were for the 3DS eshop.

And the other thing is, how many other 2D Sonic games can you think of that should probably get the fancy rerelease treatment before the 8-bit titles? I mean to me at least, the "obvious" pick would be the Sonic Advance trilogy. Never made it off the GBA, would probably benefit immensly from a good port job, and in terms of gameplay alterations, you could probably throw in a bypass for the final stage so you don't have to do the often obtuse Chaos Emerald hunting Dimps was infamous for. Not to mention the Sonic Rush games, Colours DS, the 3DS titles, I'd probably do all of them before I'd think of doing anything with the 8-bit titles to be honest.

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In a perfect world, yes.  But in reality, it's more problematic.

The 8-bit games are fascinating artifacts but they are very much of their time and of their system.  It's not like these are some hidden gems; none of them hold up as well as the Genesis classics, and to put it bluntly, your average video game fan is probably barely aware that they even exist.  Trying to sell them, either individually or in the context of a collection, is essentially to try and sell a bunch of also-rans; and in a collection, there's simply no killer app, no one great game which can carry the rest.  Sure, they sold them individually on the 3DS Virtual Console; but, you know, there's a reason why Nintendo stopped doing the Virtual Console.  It's because most things they put on there didn't actually make any money.

So, what do you do?  The remastering process, giving them more screen real estate and eliminating lag, would definitely help, but in some respects it might also expose the games' flaws.  As for remakes, whilst I have great admiration for the fan remake projects then they are essentially new games broadly inspired by these obscure old pieces.  Either way, that's quite a bit of expense to put into, what, how many of these games are there?  Like a dozen?  Meanwhile Sonic Origins is charging us over thirty quid for four/five games of which three had been remastered already - and those are games which people actually want.

I think the best-case scenario which might actually happen is to hope for emulated versions to become legally available by some avenue or other (Nintendo Online, or some kind of classic SEGA package with a whole shedload of games in it), and maybe for SEGA to pick up and officially license some of the fan remake projects.  It's a shame, but I simply don't see the work these games need being invested by anyone other than fans.  Maybe I'm wrong.  I hope so.

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Yeah, I gotta say while the fan remakes are impressive for what they are, they aren't really preserving the original games in any meaningful way.  Chaos and Triple Trouble are "fan games" through and through.

The Sonic 1 & 2 PC/Mobile remakes by Creative Araya... as someone who grew up with the originals, at first I was excited, but I found they went completely off the rails.  Sonic 2 in particular has entire zones replaced, new zones added, colour palettes changed, level layouts different.  Again, they ended up more as fangames inspired by the originals rather than any sort of enhanced preservation.  Last time I tried Sonic 2, the rolling physics weren't accurate to the original game either.  They've done a lot of cool stuff, but they aren't for me, unfortunately, rather they seem to be for people who dislike the original games and felt they were in need of "correcting" somehow.

I think they rub me the wrong way because unlike Chaos/TT, they advertise themselves as preservations much more than Chaos/TT do.  It kinda ticks me off to see people considering them the definitive editions just because the visual aesthetic was left intact, when at times they become wildly different games.

But it does make me realise that whatever my personal "dream" version of Sonic 1+2 remade is, it's gonna be someone else's nightmare.  This is why I think the best we can hope for is a cheap rerelease at a cheap price, sold as a niché product for the sake of preservation only.

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I love Sonic 1 MS. It's actually the first videogame I ever played so I have this super high reverence for that title (and Sonic 2 MS to some degree... despite that bloody paraglider section back in the day). So I think if they were to remaster 1 & 2 I'd just like them to keep it simple, maybe some basic cleanups and frame-rate fixes. 

Actually... the NES title Kirby's Adventure (that became part of the remastered 3D Classics on 3DS), is akin to what I'd personally aim and expect for from a remastering/port of the games (obviously they doesn't have to be in 3D).

I am glad these games are still available to some degree (especially for preservation) within the 3DS virtual console where the GG titles live, I think are my favourite ways to play them currently - and I'm super sad these will be shut off from sale soon.

I really wish the Master System versions were more legally available to download as well though.  

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4 hours ago, JezMM said:

Yeah, I gotta say while the fan remakes are impressive for what they are, they aren't really preserving the original games in any meaningful way.  Chaos and Triple Trouble are "fan games" through and through.

Yes :) :)    The simplicity of the exact layout of the original zones is part of Sonic and videogame history; i am hopeful, although not expecting it, that once both of those games are complete, some team or group will be given access to mod them and make the equivalent of the original zone layouts and maybe also tune the physics to be more similar to the originals as well!! 

The GameGear Sonic physics are very weird compared to the more logical Genesis/MegaDrive ones, but they still feel like a Sonic game somehow!!

 

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I think that Sonic 1 sms holds up just fine, it plays almost like a Mario game, and the level design is fine for what the game is... all it needs is some polish, a better and more fluid game engine with solid collisions, a bigger screen view, and some little changes here and there in the levels.

The problem there is that the game is very short, and if you do such a remake, it probably needs to be bundled with something else or digitally sold on e-stores for a cheap price, because there's just not enough content for a full stand alone game. Sonic Origins would have been a good place where to bundle it, as a bonus or something.

The other ones, while I like most of them, I can see how they probably are not worth to remake, you would have to change them too much that they would become new games completely.

They should not remake, but totally do a spiritual successor to Tails' Sky Patrol though, maybe for touch devices, I think it has potential.

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I feel like I'd like to see the Sonic Adventure DX strategy used again some time. The games are fine but they're definitely relics and as stated above don't really have a wide enough appeal to warrant full-on remasters. They definitely deserve to be seen and played though (Sonic Blast notwithstanding) so I would love to see them included somehow in future Sonic content.

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The 8-Bit Games aren't really as popular as the 16-Bit counterparts. Although personally i Would love to have a modern version of Sonic Blast or Sonic Tripple trouble, It likely wouldn't make enough income on sega's end compared to how much it would be to produce it. And, Plus, with sonic Origins releasing soon, i think more remasters are the last thing on sega's list.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Depends on which of the 8-bit games we're talking about here. I would love remasters of Tails Adventure and Triple Trouble, maybe even 8-bit Sonic 2 and Sonic Blast. But I'm not sure if I'd even want remasters of the two Drift games, or Sonic Labyrinth. Not that I specifically hated those three games, just that I didn't see the potential in them that I saw in the other ones I mentioned.

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I do feel like with these games a remake would have to emphasize a lot of style over substance to preserve the original's more simplistic nature while still trying to have some meaningful change. 

Something Like Dragon's Trap yeah, with a QoL adjustments to controls and physics. But with a maybe cuter artstyle. 

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