A defense of the remake

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#1 by funk
2020-02-14 at 01:06
I just finished a blind let's play of the remake of this game (shameless plug: link) and I came here to check out what theories people had on the unanswered questions the game left, and I ran across a lot of people talking badly about the remake, so I just wanted to offer another perspective.

For one, I never would've played this if not for the remake. Also a lot of people complain about the art style being too generic, but personally I didn't have that problem at all. The original graphics just look so dated that I feel it'd be hard for a lot of people without nostalgia for the original to give it a chance, so this was a clear upgrade from my perspective.

Obviously I can't compare it with the original, but I thought the voice acting was very good. And from what I can tell the music is mostly remasters of the original tracks, so I don't see how it could be a significant downgrade there.

Most important of all though is the gameplay improvements. I really cannot imagine getting through this game without the hotspots being visible, the hint system that allows you to see where you need to go to advance the storyline (saving you lots of time just pointlessly wandering around), the extra couple hypersense stones you get that reduce backtracking, etc.

Even in the remake the game feels very dated at times. In certain scenes it makes you click on every hotspot to advance, or it makes you wander around aimlessly for a certain amount of time before it'll let things move on. I can't imagine how worse it'd be if you didn't that extra bit of guidance to get you through these bits.

I'm sure the game was extremely revolutionary for its time, but for modern times the original is extremely dated in a lot of ways. The remake reduces how dated it seems, and allows for the game's excellent story to shine through. So personally, for anyone that hasn't played this I'd recommend this as the version for them to try. I think they'd not only be more likely to try it, but also be more likely to see it all the way through.Last modified on 2020-02-14 at 01:06
#2 by jayveedee
2020-02-14 at 01:22
Yeah, I've seen it getting a ton of flack on the steam discussions too, so I haven't jumped on it yet. Though I have a question, have you seen the anime adaption of the Visual Novel? If yes, how would it compare (without spoiling too much) to the visual novel?

I've seen the anime and I liked it a lot, though I know that a plenty of things were left out because of the episode cap and the format adaptions, which is basically to try fit all routes in without actually explaining most of them well enough haha, but all in all I liked it. Just wanted to know someone's take on it, that has played and watched anime.
#3 by funk
2020-02-14 at 01:26
I haven't seen the anime, no. I plan on checking it out sometime soon. Usually though in cases like this, the source material is always better.

Also a big part of the draw for me to this game was the gameplay. Ironically people talking about how hard it was to finish and to not screw up placing hypersense stones in the wrong spot sounded like a plus to me.
#4 by tows
2020-02-14 at 04:56
Okay, let's go through all your points because I'm bored to death. Also, I just want to mention that I've played original only and saw the anime adaptation, as well as read lots of stuff about the remake and changes it brought. I was splitting between going with either remake or original at the time, but ultimately chose the original, so "nostalgia" counter-point will not work on me. LET'S-A-GO!

1. Art.
Not gonna sugarcoat this one at all: it's shit.

It's bland even by modern standards. I loved original sprites and outfits more. Not a fan of "retro" style in general, but I just felt lots of soul in this old art and CGs. I can't feel that at all in the new art. Especially Yuuki's rework - what the fuck is that, really?
Or maybe Eriko? Not even gonna comment on her less risque outfit, but a fucking lolipop? A FUCKING LOLIPOP? What is that, a 4Kids show? She's a goddamn smoker. Both smoking hot and smoking dem cigarettes. Some of the gags relied on that trait. And it's a cool trait by itself, it kinda added to her personality.

2. Voice acting and OST.
Well, as far as I can tell, remake version uses the same VA as in the anime adaptation. It's... okay, I guess? They kinda nailed Eriko's voice, as far as I remember, but I liked the original better, it had more texture. Yuuki's voice was downgraded to match his shitty rework, not cool. Takuya's voice is good, I think, but, again, original voice acting had more charm, more emotion. Not gonna go through every character, but OVERALL, voice acting was okay, sometimes good. But "okay" and "sometimes good" doesn't mean "great". And original was great in that regard.

Heard lots of people shitting on the remade soundtrack too, but in this case I believe that it's generally better than in the original. I liked some original tracks with some old "beep-boop" noises more, because they just stir some strings within my soul, but, really, just a few.

3. Gameplay improvements.
Honestly, that's probably the biggest out of the very few pros in the remake. Highlighting clickable points and having some help tips would REALLY save me a couple of burnt out brain cells I wasted trying to figure out WHAT THE FUCK I WAS DOING WRONG. Not to mention, in the original you sometimes needed to click on a specific pixel a few times to progress the route, and when you are totally lost in the story, you sometimes forget about these small steps and start feeling even more lost than you already are.
I could've lived without a couple more stones though, just with highlights the game is significantly easier to get through.

4. The game feels "dated".
Never understood that point, really. Not just in YU-NO, but in almost any other game that was made way after the videogame industry just started. It feels more like an excuse for casuals to justify their poor non-adaptable decision-making skills, gameplay-wise, or their way to say that they don't like "the old style", design-wise. The only aspect here I'd call dated are characters, most of them are bland. And while it's not very noticable in the original, because they at least LOOK SO FUCKING GREAT, COLORFUL AND(in case of heroines) DELICIOUS and, when voice acting came out, SOUND SO FUCKING GREAT, it becomes apparent in the remake.

All in all, this remake was bad, and it became bad that very moment, when it was decided to pull the original apart, remove the "dated" parts, censor the shit out of it and stitch what's left back together, therefore losing lots of the game's charm in the process.

As a game of its own, though - meh, alright, I guess.Last modified on 2020-02-14 at 04:58
#5 by behappyeveryday
2020-02-14 at 07:36
@1 You are very wrong. "Looks dated"? Almost all indie games look dated nowadays. I played it without any nostalgia and did it in the 2014-15 year maybe and enjoyed it a lot. Original art is better and less "dated" than, for example, this: link
Anyway, your "art" argument is really really subjective.

@4 Bro, you nailed it. Though I think that a good story is still a good story even if Remake made it less so. Still, I would expect some polishing of the plot from it, after all, there were some not answered questions/minor plot holes and undeveloped plot developments (the last part of the novel felt somehow rushed).Last modified on 2020-02-14 at 07:38
#6 by laukku
2020-02-14 at 10:25
Someone needs to make a patch for the 2000 Windows version that replicates as many QoL UI improvements from the remake as possible, especially the indication of exhausted hotspots. The cursor (or menu option) could be in a different colour when over an exhausted hotspot. Hopefully a general solution can be coded for this instead of having to handle every single hotspot in the entire game.

Re art: The original sprites are much better drawn. The new ones are full of amateur mistakes such as weak poses (originals have subtle but great compositional lines (like great Disney animators) to lead your eyes and add dynamicity), directionless shading, sameface and more.

Music: Several rearrangements contain outright errors (a note is a semitone higher in Reminiscence for example) or are ugly (WTF happened to Sword Cape and Suspicion 2?), and Kazuhiro Kanae's mostly excellent tracks were replaced by entirely new, blander compositions. Fountain/Spring and Reunion are vastly more emotionally effective and memorable than the respective Bank of Solitude and Work at the Brink. While there are some good rearrangements they IMO don't outweigh the remake OST's flaws and the original is preferred.

@4: Eriko's cigarette was changed to a lollipop only in the anime. Still, in the remake her normal sprite lacks it for some reason.
#7 by adamstan
2020-02-14 at 10:34
@6 - Probably the best solution would be other way around - a patch or mod for the remake that would reintroduce old art and voices (AFAIK original music is already available as an option in the remake). So kind of port of the old version to the current engine. Although it might be pretty difficult to create, depending on the remake's engine.Last modified on 2020-02-14 at 10:36
#8 by tows
2020-02-14 at 11:53
@5 Well, you see, visual novel is called "visual" for a reason. Sure, all in all, the story is good, even despite many shortcomings, but in order to cover these very shortcomings there should be great visuals.
That's why I was really fucking enraged when I was looking through the original/remake visuals comparing them before choosing which version to play. Not to mention, there were mentions that remake was bugged af after release. Yuuki's sprites were the last straw and deciding factor.
When I just heard about remake being in development, a long time ago, I was overjoyed, because I wanted to try out YU-NO for a long time back then, but in the end, after learning about censorship and changes made to character design, I was, like: "Fuck that" and ultimately proceeded to go with the original. This is just sad.
Some of the questions were answered in the anime, btw. For example, who was THE MYSTERIOUS PHONECALLER, which was a total letdown, really.

@6 Ah, so that's just a shitty re-skin. What a shame, in a way that's even worse.
#9 by funk
2020-02-14 at 13:17
@2 It's really all subjective, but I just don't agree with the art criticism at all. The screenshots on VNDB have zero appeal to me, whereas the remake looks totally fine and significantly better than many great VNs. (Higurashi, the Zero Escape series, etc.)

As you agreed with, the gameplay changes are the biggest deal, and I really can't imagine going through the game without it.

Also I encountered zero bugs. Maybe 2-3 typos throughout the very long story, but no bugs.
#10 by risus
2020-02-14 at 14:19
Agree with funk! I played remake only and I like it very much! For me personally this novel is the best I played so far, I think on par with Fate and Dramatical Murder.Last modified on 2020-02-14 at 19:08
#11 by surferdude
2020-02-14 at 15:31
#12 by risus
2020-02-14 at 17:04
#11, respect for what? He or she simply criticized all parts subjectively, that's all.
#13 by tows
2020-02-14 at 21:47
@12 True, I was speaking mostly for myself, though as we can see here, some people do agree with me. If you want some objective criticism #6 got ya covered. He went through technicality of things.
#14 by risus
2020-02-15 at 10:11
#14, thanks, I have read all he wrote. Nevertheless, it's his private opinion.


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