- After The Last of Us 1 remake controversy, Naughty Dog is back yet again with the needless remaster of the 3-year-old Part 2.
- I don’t see any reason to justify this, and all this effort could’ve been directed to something like the legendary Jak and Daxter fans so eagerly want.
- The proper need for a remake or remaster needs to be analyzed, and if possible give the deserving candidates a chance first.
For any entertainment medium, nostalgia is a pretty strong factor. When you see something you liked as a child re-appear after many years, a feeling of joy and excitement engulfs you naturally. It’s the same for gaming, too. The medium has been around for quite some time now, and to preserve and reuse titles from the past, the concept of remakes and remasters appeared. Was it for better or worse? Well, it’s not simply black and white.
Both merits and demerits exist. The initial purpose of this concept was to preserve and refresh deserving titles, and we have good examples of how this was indeed accomplished. But over time, many needless projects started surfacing, too. A barely 3-4 years old game was successful and quite popular? Alright, remake or remaster it and it will become a source of money once again. This is the dark side of this idea, and we have another addition to it now, The Last of Us Part 2.
In What World Did The Last Of Us Part 2 Need A Remaster?
Okay, let’s be fair for a moment, do you think a Last of Us Part 2 remaster was necessary? Back when it was only rumors, I felt this was the most useless project, and my fears were realized when it was officially announced. The Last of Us 2 is getting a remaster. Yes, a merely 3-year-old game somehow needs enhanced visuals and presentation now, or it will look obsolete. I mean, at least try to hide the cash-grab attempts. Gems like Jak and Daxter are a waste in Naughty Dog’s hands.
Don’t get me wrong, The Last Of Us 2 is a fantastic game to play through despite some issues and is an enjoyable adventure, but in no way did it need a remaster. And just take a look at that remaster. There is not a speck of visual improvement between the new and the old, at least I can’t spot anything. And how could there be a significant difference? The game is still very recent and looks very much like a modern title.
Last of us 2 PS4 vs Last of Us 2 PS5 remaster. W or L?
2019 vs 2024 😬 pic.twitter.com/zfNNcYTcHl
— Visual Fidelity (@VisualFidelity) November 18, 2023
Then, why the remaster? A remaster is to bring games that are visually obsolete but mechanically competent up to the modern graphical standard. But The Last of Us 2 is neither visually nor mechanically even close to extinction. Instead of a game that is extremely viable without a remaster, wouldn’t it be better to dedicate these resources to something more deserving? All in all, this has to be the most blatant money-making remaster treatment so far.
This Isn’t Naughty Dog’s First Offense Either
Oh, and did I mention that this has started becoming the norm for Naughty Dog lately? The company is set on capitalizing off The Last of Us franchise as much as possible. Before this recent project, there was the case of The Last of Us 1 remake. Naughty Dog launched a remake for a game that was considered a gem once in a generation and held up extremely well, yet the company had to make more money.
The Last of Us 1 was one of the most influential and impactful stories I sat through, and the PS4 remaster was an absolute treat to play. It was visually magnificent and mechanically a lot smoother. Even now, the remaster is a solid option, let alone back then. When The Last of Us 1 remake, it was seen as nothing more than a needlessly expensive way to experience this brilliant adventure. A good game no doubt, but still not worth the price and trouble of buying the game again.
And now we’ll see history repeat with The Last of Us 2. I don’t know about you but I see not a speck of a reason to justify this remaster of a very recent game. This franchise has always been among my favorite video game works, but now, Naughty Dog is slowly making it a cash cow. And it’s not just Naughty Dog either, some of Sony’s decisions as a whole have been questionable, like the high price for Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered PC for example.
How About Something More Deserving Instead, Like Jak And Daxter?
If you ask me what is the purpose of a remaster or remake, several things come to mind. Preservation of classic titles, bringing beloved games of the past up to the modern standard, refreshing games that are pretty aged now, and bringing back nostalgic adventures. There are too many games that would fit this criterion, but we have to keep the companies’ interests in mind as well. A game has to sell for it to be viable, it needs to have a solid demand.
What if I tell you there’s a perfect Naughty Dog game that fulfills all these points? That my friends, is no other than Jak and Daxter. Modern action platformer kids only know Ratchet and Clank as the iconic mix-specie duo, thanks to the franchise’s epic revival, but we veterans know there was another equally entertaining one in a sci-fi-style world filled with innovative platforming, engaging mysteries to keep you on edge, beloved characters in a meaningful story, and phenomenal world design.
With three mainline entries and multiple spinoffs, this legendary series is living proof of the grandiose PS2 era of gaming. Alongside Sly Cooper and Ratchet and Clank, it stands as the platforming giant and pioneer. Although these two franchises are comparatively stronger in their niches of puzzles and gunplay respectively, the Jak and Daxter series more than makes up for it with its innovative design choices that defined this genre years ago. This is an IP that deserves a resurgence more than anything else.
Listen To The Fans For Once, Naughty Dog — Give Us Jak And Daxter
I can go on and on about why Jak and Daxter is a worthy candidate, considering how much I love this series and want others to experience it too. It is an age-old game that will benefit from the visual upgrade, it has a strong nostalgic factor and is of a genre young and old both appreciate. Above all, it is a series of pure creative and innovative goodness that needs to come back. It checks all the boxes for a perfect candidate.
But as I mentioned, we need to keep in mind a game has to sell for the developers to consider it, so what about that? Well, I don’t think there’s any need for worries, as there is a very solid demand for this series, fans have been asking for it for years now. Take a look at Crash Bandicoot, a similar Naughty Dog franchise. The N. Sane Trilogy brought immense joy to its fans, and its solid reception is proof of this. Can the same not be done for Jak and Daxter?
As I grew impatient and tired of Naughty Dog’s apathy, a ray of light appeared in front of me. There were more frustrated fans like me and they took it upon themselves to make the franchise playable on PC, and honestly, I couldn’t be happier. If people are resorting to these means, it shows how much the series is alive in the hearts of fans, and I think Naughty Dog has nothing to lose by using this popularity and giving the series a proper revival. It’s better than a needless remaster.
Remakes And Remasters Should Be Justifiable
This point is the need of the hour, as remakes and remasters have become quite frequent nowadays. It can be argued that original games are required now more than ever, but if a remaster/remake is unavoidable at least let it be a justifiable one. Blatant cash-grab attempts at titles that don’t even need a remake are the last thing I want. Especially as this means deserving candidates like Jak and Daxter do not get their chance.
You might say what about Resident Evil 4 then? Wasn’t it a needless one too? If this was anyone other than Capcom I would’ve agreed with you. In fact, if I hadn’t played the RE 4 remake myself I would’ve agreed regardless. But this remake is a masterful work any other remake/remaster attempt pales in comparison to. That’s how much of a splendid job Capcom did as the remake cements its own identity and doesn’t replace the original.
Still, for a moment let’s say Resident Evil 4 didn’t need a remake. The original game is an 18-year-old title that was visually dated. At the very least, it wasn’t a barely 3-year-old game still in its prime condition. No matter what example you put up, there is nothing that can justify The Last of Us Part 2 remaster. I’ll always see it as Naughty Dog’s obvious attempt to make as much money off the franchise as possible while giving zero consideration to deserving gems like Jak and Daxter.
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