On Sequels

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Toty54:
Doesn't his argument falls flat on its face when you consider the fact that silent hill 2 was made by the same developers of the first one.

Correct me if i'm wrong.

Same developers =/= fans.

The entire problem here is the mindset. Fans walk into it holding the previous installments as a "holy grail". They don't try to improve them (because in their mind you can't), they try to "live up to them". Not only does this become immensely limiting (because whatever the previous game did will be this game's boundaries, so most likely there'll be nothing new) but it's ultimately futile fan wank... There's nothing new... It's just necromancing old material basically. If we wanted the "old material" we would play the old material...

Developers, generally, don't have that. They do tend to also be their own critics, and rarely will you find, say, a game developer or movie director, that doesn't try to improve their own work (unless you're Hideo Kojima... Or Michael Bay... Or work for EA...).

I think it's important to clarify what is meant by 'sequel.' When I think sequel, I think of a continuation of a story from a previous story. As was mentioned in the article, we should exclude serials--subsequent chapters of a story that are their own project but part of a greater storyline--when talking about sequels, because they are often (but not always) less annoying than true sequels.

As an example: the Back to the Future movies are a serial--they were one big story chopped up into three wonderful movies, and the pacing of each movie necessitated the chopping up. The Mummy Movies, on the other hand, are sequels of the most repugnant variety. The Pirates of the Caribbean movies are sequels. The first Pirates movie was a complete story, but because it was surprisingly successful the producers decided to make some more. The next two were nothing more than long, drawn-out encores of the cleverness the first movie found, surrounded by a lot of dull, un-clever crud.

I'm not incredibly familiar with the Call of Duty series, but I am under the impression that each game is separate from the others, is that correct? Separate characters, separate storyline, etc? If so, then I wouldn't really call that a sequel. It's more like another issue. That can get old, too, but I don't think it's inherently bad. Sequels, as I described above, are, in my opinion, inherently bad because they are largely unnecessary. At best, they are tolerable. It's a lot like playing russian roulette--at best, nothing will happen to you.

well there are some games that dont go into sequels any more. usualy it when a company stops making the game and move on to other ideas , but the there come other companies that get the franchise make the game they're own why. i can only call 2 games that do that its crash bandicoot and spryo. crash bandicoot didnt change much till the third part. then another company took over the game and it was similar to the old 3 , then there was another crash bandicoot game made by sierra , they made crash twinsanity the fans still loved it but felt taht something changed. then sierra changed the game completly a lot of fans were angry about because "it wasnt how they wanted it to be", but to people who hadnt played the old parts actually even liked the new ones better.

aristos_achaion:

Macgyvercas:
Enlighten me. If Yahtzee hates sequels, why is his favorite game Silent Hill 2?

Watch his Fear 2 review. He recognizes that there are good sequels, but thinks that sequels produce more overall negative than positive.

Rats. Ninja'd. But there are few truer points out there. Sequels, by and large, tend to be worse than the original, often even terrible. And while many people can name great sequels (like Team Fortress 2 and Silent Hill 2), the exceptions prove the rule.

Personally I don't mind sequels, depending on how many their are. for the one character, i believe 1-2 sequels for the original game are acceptable, before the plots get a bit dry. After the 3rd game of the same character, it gets worrisome. (see, spyro, crash bandicoot and soon Rachet and Clank). If it is the same universe, but not the same character, that is acceptable for more then 2 sequels.

Good points but they fail before simple market logic

game has enough fans to make sequel worthwhile = make fan boy squeal = profit = return to stage one

this wonderful logic will keep such events going for a long time.

I'd say that sure generally speaking sequels tend end up being worse than the original of a title, this is true even between Secret of Monkey Island and Monkey Island 2; both of which developed by the exact same team.

However you flip to that other Lucasart favourite Manic Mansion and suddenly the whole situation is completely reversed. Again it's the same team that worked on both Manic Mansion and Day of the Tenticle but the sequel is undeniably far better.

Especially when it would be extremely important to not that Monkey Island 3 & 4 both had some of the original staff involved in development. Even TellTale's new "Tales of Monkey Island" have the original staff involved to a degree; as well as the original voice actors that brought the characters to life in the CD releases of the originals.

I think the main issue isn't who made the game, but that after two unimpressive sequels this has affected how ZP feels about the game. Personally prior to Tales being released, I played throught the recently released Secret of Monkey Island Special Edition (for XBLA, Steam and PSN) which isn't a new game but rather a revamp of the original providing it with a more modern interface system and full voices which the original lacked. Alright so the new Tales does push some "fan service" in it's dialog but the puzzles and story feel quite new and unique. Alright so it might not be everyones' cup of tea, but as a long-standing fan of the series I thought despite feeling a little short; that it got back to it's roots with the puzzles and storyline. Especially the humour, as it has that black streak to it that makes you swear Tim Shaffer was involved in some part.

Still I can see what Yatzee is trying to say about fan sequels, and as a rule... yeah they tend to be worse; but there are always exceptions to the rule and you don't prove anything by actually using one of the exceptions. It's like saying that all gamers are fat and lazy using CliffyB as the posterboy for the "fact", it's just retarded.

If anything I think his beloved Silent Hill series (which btw Yatzee I'm one of those people who only actually liked Silent Hill 3 .. ya know the one you so-called real fans don't want to believe even exists) the last few titles honestly have just been crap; Homecoming for example, sure it checks all the right boxes as far as a sequel goes. Still there'in is the issue, there is a) nothing new but more importantly b) it feels like a Silent Hill 1 remake where the guys involved completely forgot what happened.

I have nothing against sequels or even fan sequels, what I think the real issue at work here and there should be a rule for is developers pumping out crap generic games. Alright so you have a good game idea, eh? Well how about this PLAY THE DAMN THING BEFORE RELEASE!

How many games have you played where it was good except for fundimental issues that actually make you never want to play it again? Or rather reluctently play it cause everyone else does. There are other games, where you just wish they'd fix certain issues.

Superlordbasil:
Good points but they fail before simple market logic

game has enough fans to make sequel worthwhile = make fan boy squeal = profit = return to stage one

this wonderful logic will keep such events going for a long time.

thats the way all works. the game developers or makers (bad englsih) look at fan boys like a money bag or something.

So here's the scenario: You own some intellectual property. Let's pick an example completely out of the air - Monkey Island. The last game was Monkey Island 2, which ended the story about as thoroughly as it could, without sawing its own legs off. But the cocaine trough is running low and you want to make a sequel. Two people want the job. One didn't really like Monkey Island 2 much because it got a bit too morbid at times and Guybrush looked like a member of Spinal Tap, so he wants to set the new one in space. The other is a die-hard fan of the series who swears he will pay proper respect and bring back all his favorite characters and running gags and give it great big cuddles and make sure no nasty men do it any harm for ever and ever and ever. Who do you give the project to?

I have no idea who'd I give the project to. It's look like I have to choose between two poor draws. The one I would like to give the project to is someone who liked the game, but see room for improvement. Most likely I'll also ask the guy what he thinks needs improving.

Pick the guy who doesn't like the game and we likely get a sequel which differs from the original to the point where it's probably better to start a new series instead of making a sequel. Which gamers are the most likely to buy a sequel? That should be people who liked the first game. Someone who didn't like Monkey Island is unlikely to buy the sequel. So why would you want someone who didn't like Monkey Island make a game that's to a large extent for people who liked Monkey Island?

The problem with the fanboy was already covered in the article, so I will not repeat that. I will however add that the fanboys aren't the main customer base. Even if it may sometimes seem as if the fanboys are everywhere, there's still more players who consider Monkey Island one enjoyable game among many others. So just as it doesn't make any sense to let someone who doesn't like the game make a sequel for people who did like the first mentioned game, it doesn't make any sense either to let someone who see no flaw make a game for people who does see flaws.

I don't dislike all sequels (and I recognize that Yahtzee doesn't either), but there needs to be a line drawn somewhere, especially in games where story is hardly part of the game: Mario Party. It was worth it to buy one of the titles in the series, but it gets to the point where the only things that serious change up are the boards and the way things are written.

My sister bought into the series in a major way, so I had the wonderful opportunity of seeing the opening screen to 6 (or 7? 8? Who the hell knows, really?) where the narrator says, "Mario was taking his morning constitutional one day." Really? Is this what it's come down to? Needing to trash words like "walk" for fancy smanshy words in order for people not to immediately see that, yes, this sequel is rather copy and paste of the previous! And clearly, companies that have been putting out over 8 sequels to a game within a decade and can afford to can get away with subtly calling their audience retarded.

On Monkey Island, I am quite the fan and was introduced by Curse of Monkey Island as the odd Christmas present I knew nothing about. That really sunk me into PC gaming, unlike say Kings Quest VI, which is more punishing than the text of a research study to an illiterate child. Since that fateful day, I've played all of the games in the series with the exception of the second one seeing as that's butthurt all to find...reasonably. However, the series began to melt at the fourth iteration, especially with that dry Monkey Kombat (as such, I'd rather watch the Disney Channel for a full day than play that game again).

It is of my opinion that the new episodic Tales of Monkey Island (from Tell Tale? Get it? ToMI?) is subpar. At first, I was squealing with delight, thinking, "Oh good! We're not going to end on that sour note. And Ron Gilbert gives his blessing? Bless him," but it seems that this one isn't turning out any better thus far.

Don't get me wrong. As is, Tales could be doing much much worse, but it could also be doing better. The relationship Guybrush has with Elaine and LeChuck, for instance, is going in odd directions that are all pointing to tragedy. And one thing I really miss are all the things you could do with individual items, "I can't talk to the ramrod," not to mention needlessly, yet entertainingly so, long dialog trees. Sure I can understand why these decisions were made, but they are sad ones that take away a chunk of flavor to what made the games so appetizing. No one would eat Cheetos without that diabetes cheese.

All the same, we talk as if Shakespeare's son would be the ideal candidate for crafting a game. I'd rather a fan make a sequel than someone that's completely alien to the series for the following beautiful reasons: No sprinkling of MI references (though I agree that over saturation of these are unwarranted), characters doing things that are uncharacteristic (yet we see that occurring already), and Bomberman: Act Zero. No one wants another Act Zero. No one.

Still, it's very hard for me to say to other people, "This isn't worth your time," as the series was a sort of wunkerkind to me. But I suppose I must admit defeat, especially once I saw a nearly identical jungle maze in the second episode that was in the first. It's heart breaking, but hopefully, we can still be friends. Kiss kiss.

"But Yahtzee!" the snarky fangirl cries. "You like Half-Life 2!"

"Shut up," Yahtzee growls, glaring at her from under the brim of his sweet hat. "That doesn't count."

And you'd be right, really... for two reasons. First, Valve is exempt from all rules of videogames, simply because they have no need for having silly "rules" about how they may and may not make their videogames (except... the hopping-through-radioactive-sludge-while-zombies-jump-out-and-gnaw-your-legs-off bits are getting on my nerves). Second, it wasn't made by fanboys, it was made by the original creators. Also, they didn't make the same videogame, only in a vaguely different environment, they created a whole new one! And that's awesome.

So, yeah. I just gave an argument against your argument and counter-argued myself in your favor. Whatever.

I think a good example of how to do a sequel was the jump between the first and second Hitman games. The first game was a neat concept but terrible execution - basically only the Hong Kong and Budapest levels were any good, and the rest of the game seemed to forget the whole idea of "Stealth" or "Hiding in plain sight" that was what the game was MEANT to be about, and instead became a rather un-fun 3rd person shooter.

But by the time Hitman 2 rolled around, the developers actually LEARNED from their mistakes, got rid of all the stupid shootery crap (Except the last mission - but I didn't claim it was a perfect game) and focused on the elements that were actually interesting from the first game. Of course, the plot still wasn't any good but 4 games in and they aren't getting any better, so by this point I'm pretty sure they just don't know how to write a video game story and don't let it bother me - it's not like I'm playing those games for the story anyway.

Anyway, the point is, the Hitman series did what a sequel should do - they took a flawed but interesting game and refined it to the point where it actually became quite good.

Yahtzee Croshaw:
Extra Punctuation: On Sequels

Yahtzee discusses why sequels should not be written by fanboys.

Read Full Article

The only problem I'd see with a world without Sequels is that the Sequels would still be made.

What would happen is someone would make Halo, and then if it succeeded you'd see "Not Halo: The Next Battle"...well something more clever than that. It would be the same game in a sequel with different characters acting out what the original cast would have done to a T.

It's more noticeable in movies when people carbon copy the same story over and over and just change the breast size and hair color of a few characters.

So... ZP doesn't like Monkey Island 3? I thought everyone did.

4 was weak, of course, but that goes without saying.

If sequels were made by the same people who didn't like the original, then we'd never have what we got for sequels for game's like Half Life, God of War, GTA, Resident Evil (4 at least), Total War etc.

I know there have been sequels that weren't up to the standards of the first but I'm trying to think of some that were complete failures...

...erm... Empire Earth III springs to mind first.

Well, IMO sequels shouldn't be made by fanboys, who worship the original game like some kind of deity. But then again - if people really hated the original they'll probably won't be interested in improving. They'll most likely try to milk the franchaise...

I'd say he's on to something. I mean, a lot of fan-made sequels work on the assumption that they can never create anything better than that masterpiece, and try to copy various bits, good or bad.

The key is that the sequel be neccessary and that the team try everything they can to IMPROVE the series. Take only the best bits, combined with new ideas.

Better yet, make a new series. Screw sequels.

AvsJoe:

aristos_achaion:

Macgyvercas:
Enlighten me. If Yahtzee hates sequels, why is his favorite game Silent Hill 2?

Watch his Fear 2 review. He recognizes that there are good sequels, but thinks that sequels produce more overall negative than positive.

Rats. Ninja'd. But there are few truer points out there. Sequels, by and large, tend to be worse than the original, often even terrible. And while many people can name great sequels (like Team Fortress 2 and Silent Hill 2), the exceptions prove the rule.

I wouldn't go that far. In movies and books, I'm all for stamping out sequels like diseased rats. But in video-games, sequels give the developers the chance to correct all the mistakes they made in the first one, and generally improve the gameplay- and seeing as story isn't usually such a consideration for them, they generally don't really suffer much as a result. I think you could list more good videogame sequels than bad, debateably.

I agree with this article far, FAR too much, though. To the point that I was just thinking about this the other day. Not concerning videogames, though- I saw a poster for "After Juliet", a play that apparently extended on the events of Romeo and Juliet after they both died. SHAKESPEARE FANFIC, ladies and gentlemen. Featuring Benvolio and Rosaline, the side-characters. Ugh.

Anyway.

I think the problem starts as soon as people stop thinking "Let's improve on the last one" and start thinking "Let's LIVE UP TO the last one." Because as soon as you start thinking that, the best possible outcome is a game that's almost as good as the original. And of course, normally it's not even as good as that.

General guideline, I think, is:

Developers: Ignore your fans. Honestly, here. Think about them, consider them, make the kind of game you think they'd like, yes. But god, don't listen to their advice. Because their advice is "Make it like the first one. But better."

Fans: The first game was great. It will allways be great. The second game isn't going to change that. Honestly, if the first game's great, why do you need another one that copies that? Let them do some things different.

Topical thought: This is why I'm not too worried about Deus Ex 3- the newbie developers have actually come out and said that the first game had (Gasp!) flaws, that they want to fix, and they put in a regenerating health system despite a fan outcry. Whether the game'll be good is another matter, but at least they've got some balls.

Now I just hope to get people thinking on this one. What does he actually mean by sequel.

Is it a game with a continued storyline over a period of time, such as the Half Life and Max Payne series?

Is it simply something with a number put on the end of it after a previous number with little to no relation to the previous story, such as a large number of RPG series, such as Fallout and Final Fantasy?

Is it somewhere in between those two?

vxicepickxv:
Now I just hope to get people thinking on this one. What does he actually mean by sequel.

Is it a game with a continued storyline over a period of time, such as the Half Life and Max Payne series?

Is it simply something with a number put on the end of it after a previous number with little to no relation to the previous story, such as a large number of RPG series, such as Fallout and Final Fantasy?

Is it somewhere in between those two?

i think that was covered in this part:
'sequel is scheduled, planned out and factored into the story from the very beginning, as with, say, the Lord of the Rings movies. That's not really a 'sequel,' is it? It's more of a 'serial.' I'm thinking more in terms of new stories after the first one has been resolved'

but otheriwse it would be a 'different' game following the same concept
and in the Monkey Island spirit: Have you stopped wearing diapers yet?

A genuinely poor idea. I've seen sequels that were made by people who were not fans of the original, or, at least, not on the original development team, and they sucked. New developers that come in and ignore what made the first popular and fun to play, wanting to "better" it with "their own vision". They end up screwing the pooch.

I know the fanboi-ism can get on one's nerves, but the alternative is worse. I know the "rule" was stated with tongue firmly in cheek, but still, bleah.

Of course the opposite holds as well; if the original game blew chunks, but for some odd reason they're making a sequel of it, hack away, new development team! A good example of this was the sequel to Overlord. The original had it's moments, but still badly needed some changes and enhancements to it's gameplay. Instead, we get a sequel that's true to the original, but who's gameplay is even more lackluster. THAT series needs an overhaul.

I can see Yahtzee's point here, it's not a sequel if it's just a remake of the first game. But I don't (completely)* agree that fans should be ignored when it comes to making a sequel. If there is something in a game that alot of people like, why not carry that item accross to the new game, or something that reminds players of it.

But the whole point of a sequel is to advance the game, not sit still and rehash the same thing over and over again.

* The obsessive basement dwellers are ok to ignore.

Respect for a franchise SHOULD take the embodiment of the sequel maintaining the heart and soul of the source material, while still taking it to new and interesting places.

But it never does.
Ever.
So I agree 100% with this article.

While I agree with a lot that's being said here, particularly about the new Tales of Monkey Island, I can't help but feel that Monkey Island 3 was unfairly labeled here. It was a brilliant game. Both in humor and puzzles. The introduction of Murray alone...

It's hard to believe this article was thought out at all, but I guess Mr Croshaw is good at being funny and ranting which is great entertainment, but he doesn't really have a precedent for delivering real, analytical views on games. So I suppose I should be forgiving for that.

But really, this article is just one big false dilemma. It seems our beloved Yahtzee is so jaded he sees drooling, single-minded fanboys and raging, misanthropic game critics as the only two sorts of people in the gaming world.

First let's get the hard part out of the way look at things from a business perspective. Now I'm one of those artsy literary assholes, so I HATE "business" in the sense of companies that consider an "intellectual property" as a means to make money, rather than money as a means to pay for food and shelter so you can continue to improve and extend the IP. But from even the "evil" business perspective, the idea of sequels not being made by fans, for fans, is extremely counterproductive.

What are "bad" sequels, really? Name recognition. Anybody that liked the first is practically guaranteed to buy the second regardless of how bad it is, because in the real world how many people actually read reviews? These kinds of people are also usually so desperate for gratification they will be pleased by the smallest things and become zealously loyal to brands they don't even really like. It has to do with games becoming the next status symbol and social flagpole, but that's best left for another post. Suffice it to say a lot of people will buy sequels to games they didn't even like out of a need to follow social norms, and businesses know this. The sequel doesn't need to be good, it only needs to be "good enough." But what's important is it needs to appeal to the people who bought the first, or they won't buy the third. Why should companies change things in sequels? Generic Game 2 will sell regardless, but pissing off the fans makes it less likely they'll buy Generic Game 3. Sure, you get new fans to replace them, but you've ended up spending a lot more time and money and not gaining any significant returns. There's a reason cash cows exist: they work.

Looking at things from an smartsy-artsy sort of view: both options are wrong. No real fan thinks anything they are a fan of is flawless. That's not being a fan, that's being so socially insecure you have a need to define your identity by things you like because you believe that will make you friends with other people who like the same thing. Real fans hate fanboys more than haters, because it's fanboys that give the haters the excuse to hate, and make anybody that even associates with the work in question look bad, meaning real fans get flak from idiots that can't tell the difference. These sort of fans will doubtlessly attempt to define the work more and more to match themselves, not because they think it will improve the work, but because they want to be associated with this thing and be recognized. In short, these sort of people are failures as human beings and should be herded up like cattle and sold into slavery, not making games.

On the other hand, if you allow people who hate the game to make the sequel, the sequel will change too much. It will become exactly like something the hater likes, and instead of being a copy of the first game, it'll just be a copy of some other game. Even if the hater is smart enough to avoid doing this, the chances the sequel will remain consistent and keep its identity is extremely slim. I think Yahtzee is guilty of a pretty big fallacy here. It sounds like if HE doesn't like it, it should change, and since he hates nearly everything, that means change is always better. I wonder just how well he could defend this idea if one were to remind him of Prince of Persia. Or would he say it was the fan's idea to make PoP2 so dark and emo? There's a big difference between "improvement" and "change," and allowing haters to work on sequels would bring far too much of the later, which not everyone would agree is the former. And honestly, if someone hated the first game, I doubt they would buy the second no matter how much it was "improved."

Between these two options, I say letting the fans make sequels is better. This way the sequels maintain their identity, and we know if we didn't like it before we still won't, if we did, we probably still will, and at least the people who actually care will be happy, while the casuals will continue to buy whatever makes them popular in their circles. But this sort of thinking is far too black and white. There ARE real fans that see the flaws in games and love them anyway. People who really WOULD pay respect by not pulling any self-insertion bs and fix the game's flaws while leaving everything good alone. That's how we get games like GTA3 that kept the humor, freedom, action, and key elements of their first two games, and moved past the flawed camera and control scheme that made it such a pain to enjoy everything else. Or Devil May Cry, which first tried to change too much and make the characters something they weren't, as well as introducing another character that played too differently from the former badass we all wanted to see more of, but then realized its mistakes and fixed itself in 3, bringing back the cocky, taunt-loving kid-in-a-man's body we loved, cranked up the difficulty again, and re-simplified the combat so it was once again easy to pull off combos that would make your grandma shit her pants in excitement. Or Half-life 2, that took its cinematic you-are-Freeman style of storytelling and original, gameplay-changing puzzles to the next level while ditching the cramped, narrow corridors in favor of larger set pieces that allowed more choices in battle. I don't think these games were made by haters. I think haters is why we got emo-Dante in the first place. I think haters are why Fallout is no longer an RPG, and Resident Evil is now an action game. Haters are why World of Warcraft no longer has any semblance of difficulty, and why it exists in the first place (RTS haters).

Meanwhile fangirls are why after 2, Star Ocean became about the ugliest anime characters ever created having a contest to see who could come up with the worst plot device or hire the most annoying voice actor, and fanboys are why that bitch Krystal still appears in Starfox games. BOTH sides are wrong, and so is Yahtzee for not recognizing that real, respectable, level-headed fans do exist, and sometimes they even get to make games.

Pertaining to the 2.5D commentary: Yahtzee's reaction made me realize something.

Yes, alot of people commented/corrected him on the topic, but none of them were particularly adamant or upset. Despite this, the sheer amount of repetition managed to make everyone involved sound obsessive and irritating.

What should we take away from this? Read the thread before you correct someone. Odds are you won't be the first to have noticed their mistake. Or you could just not be anal about things of that have nothing to do with the topic at hand.

No sequels?

Dune 2 > dune
gothic 2 > gothic
Homm3 > homm2 > homm
civ 4 > civ 3
bg 2 > bg
etc
etc

I usually either agree with Yahtzee or don't really care, but there's one thing that caught my eye:

if you can't tell a complete story within 10 hours of gameplay then maybe you should consider simplifying it a tad.

Soooo... Baldur's Gate 2 had a bad story? I guess Planescape: Torment did as well? Maybe you should work on your attention span...

I do think that games should have some kind of gentleman's agreement (an agreement not pinned down by constitution, but by trust, fact-o-t'day) that, should the company/team drop it, no-one else should pick it up without their consent.

OTHERWISE, you get 3 types of new developer

the aformentioned Fan who just wants the same thing
the aforementioned improver, who may or may not completley balls it up
the moron who brought the IP because it's sucessful, and dosen't have a clue about the source material = MAX PAYNE KART RACING CASH-IN

The people who invisioned a game KNOW their characters/stories, they can at least ATTEMPT to come up with something new. Other people will either completley ruin the story, or bring back the obviously-dead villain for an "EVEN BIGGER EVIL PLOT" That has the same amount of difficulty and tension to destroy

Sequels should only be made by people who didn't like the original.

I have one word for you Yahtzee, bollocks.

I must admit that during your Fear 2 review i shared your vision for a world without sequels because although we would miss out on some great games like HL2 there's no reason that what made those games great couldn't have been brought to the table by new IP's, and they wouldn't be dragged down by the residual filth of the previous games.

But, my friend, you can't have your cake and eat it too. You could hide a stripper in it i suppose but that's tangential.

If the people who make a sequel hate the original, then they won't want it to be anything like the original. So what you're left with is some thing that not only runs the risk of sucking but is now laden with pretense because the everything iconic about the first game is now associated with something that has almost no connection to it.

Think about it, if the makers of Thief 2 had hated the original, they would have hated the stealthy, patient gameplay. They may have hated everything but the combat, so then have set off making Thief 2 as some cliched brawler. If they hated the combat as well, god only knows what hideous abomination could have been born with the name Thief 2.

I agree with your point about how people who are in love with the franchise should stay the fuck out of any kind of input, lest a game turn into one big glorified tonguing of the crown jewels, but handing it over to people who have NO respect for it? Do you really think handing over anything to someone whose opposed to it would yield anything but a butchering? That's like giving a beloved action figure/cartoon show over to the hands of a military fetishist like Micheal Bay and asking him to make a movie out of it. Oh wait, they, and LOOK WHAT FUCKING HAPPENED THERE.

If a sequel is going to be made right, it needs to be made by someone who neither loves nor hates it. Someone who respects it for it's merits, but not some one who treats it like a flawless gaming equivalent of Christ. Ideally some kind of emotionless machine, devoid of feeling or judgment, but a world inhabited by those is my own unachievable utopia.

Original developers , like creators or leaders of every kind, ought to keep around a trainee they can impart their ideas and concepts in. Not merely to make him start liking those kinds of ideas (because a certain hint of admiration has to exist when building something in the image of something else), but to make him understand WHY the original concepts worked. How the creator thought the idea should evolve, how it came to be, and so forth. Giving the person whom should succeed the creator a full view of just how things should come to a head in future installments, if any. Not that they ought to become proper clones of said men/women, but so that they can continue the work they left behind, should they wish to.

And there are quite a few sequels made with not a hint of fandom in them that have been disastrous (as Yath already pointed out). We're already hearing disturbing things about how Syndicate may be getting a new iteration , and how it's completely over the top in all the wrong ways.

Sequals can, and must be done right. No need to change the team behind it if they know what they're doing. Then it's just an opinion what a sequel is. Im thinking primarily on the longrunners as the supermario games (not the sport/party/other spinoffs) or perhaps the final fantasy.

One great example when a sequel is done right is the twisted metal series. The first game was an arena based vehicle combat game wich players bought, played and then said things like nice/great game and then bought another game. Then twisted metal 2 (world tour) arrived and players bought it, played it and said "awesome" and some continues to play it to this day (<-)

Then, if i'm not mistaken, another company was placed to work on the twisted metal series and ruined the third and fourth game. Black was ok.

Point being if done right sequals can be better and just becuse they seldom are we can't just wish they'd go away(wow, i got a wierd picture of yahtzee sitting in his couch and reapeting "no more sequals please" wile writing this :D)

What about Starcraft II and III? Because, it was announced that they can't fit the whole story in the second game, they decided to make it a trilogy.

I don't understand why people care about the .5 dimension comment...
These people can't understand when something is a joke?

Tales of Monkey Island didn't have Tim Schafer writing for them... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Secret_of_Monkey_Island
I'm thankful for that, I can't wait for another original game written by Tim Schafer.

I would submit that you have a point, but it should probably be amended as follows:
"Sequels should be made by someone who has a grudge against the previous games, and has to prove how the original can be better."

Because I can't get the Neon Genesis Evangelion anime out of my head. Later material was made specifically to mock the fanbase.

Applying this to video games ... well, you've reviewed the Sonic games. For the latter-day games, they can't be accused of catering to their fanbase. A human love interest? A silver hedgehog from the future? A werewolf that rips off God of War? A lack of high-speed running? Heck, Team Sonic could just crank out a bunch of forgettable 2.5D Sonic games for XBLA or Wii Store at $10USD a pop, for 1/10 the effort of their other bloated product, and everyone would be happier. But no, instead they make these bizarre games that don't please anyone. That sounds too much to me like the new Sonic games are being made by folks who hate Sonic. And who also feel like they have nothing to prove, since fanboys will buy anything.

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