The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening: 5 other video game remakes with drastic changes

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A remake of classic Game Boy game The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening comes to Nintendo Switch this week and it looks very different from the original. Here are five other video game remakes that had some pretty drastic changes from the original release.

Remakes are a tricky proposition. On paper, it’s almost never a bad idea. Expose the game to a new audience, fix problems that you didn’t have the time or budget to fix in the original, etc. But how much do you change a beloved classic? How much is too much? Did the changes go horribly awry?

A remake of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is out this week for the Nintendo Switch and it has a drastically different look and various improvements from the original, even if it keeps the same plot and basic setup.

This is hardly unheard of as just earlier this year the Resident Evil 2 Remake might have actually set the bar with its critically acclaimed release this past January. While some remakes or re-releases of older games are simply given an HD coat of paint, here are five others that like The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, weren’t afraid to mess with a good thing, for better or worse.

#5. Secret of Mana HD

This will mostly be an article focusing on remakes where the changes were significant and for the better, but I had to list at least one game where there was significant changes and it was pretty much a disaster.

Secret of Mana is one of the most beloved RPGs of all time. You can’t really credit that to its boilerplate story and mostly unremarkable characters. It’s the fun art, the cute monster designs and the really solid gameplay that makes this game so memorable.

What does the 2018 remake that came out on the PS4, PlayStation Vita and PC do? Wreck everything that was good about the original.

The “upgraded” polygonal graphics look downright bad and have lost any charm. The added spoken dialogue for characters that barely spoke in the original is badly acted and cloying. Arguably the worst offense though is that they really messed with the perfectly functional battle system and made it far more annoying. For example, in the original Secret of Mana, it would remember the last spell you cast and keep you on that spell, which was great for when you had to cast one as often as possible or have it at the ready. The remake does not do that which adds an annoying amount of sorting through menus to battle.

Luckily this is not gamers’ only option aside from tracking down a Super Nintendo and an original copy of the game. The original game is included in the Collection of Mana that released on Nintendo Switch earlier this year and the game is also included in the SNES classic edition. Either of these is a far better option than settling for this disappointingly mediocre remake.

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