Extra Punctuation: Building Sequels Badly

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I mostly agree with Yahtzee's hatred of sequels.

I'm actually surprised that he didn't harp on Gears of War 2, though. Sure, the first game ended on a sequel hook, but Epic left it so that if Gears 1 wasn't popular enough then they could just leave it at that and never make a sequel. But it was popular, so along came Gears 2, which was better in every regards (using Gears 1 as a jumping off point to create a new, brand new, much more moving story) but seemed to lose some of the "feel" of Gears along the way.

No biggie, I guess. :/

2xDouble:

sievr:
That comment that Yahtzee made at the end of his article. It is about you.

Of course it is. I'm a fan, and so are you. So is everyone on The Escapist.

Touché, sir.

And that includes Yahtzee as well, I suppose.

Soveru:
Too bad fans are the people holding the money

Good point. Alas it's also quite common for stupid people to have money too. Has anyone actually personally participated in a focus group for a game company? If not, then who are the actual FANS speaking on behalf of all fans? Who is telling these developers to get out their cookie cutter? I would say economics would be part of it, but Valve actually through more money at Potal 2 than Portal 1 and got a worse game out of it -- not sure if the sales would justify the additional cost.

Hey... where is Half Life Episode 3 already?

here's my only opinion on this: Prince of Persia: SoT wrapped things up really, really well. It had the best video game ending I've ever seen. It was such a good ending that I didn't want to ruin it by playing the sequels and watching the prince go off his angst medication. It was a tight story, and it didn't need any additional bells and whistles.

Norks:

Name me one sequel to a game that wasn't left open for sequels, with the same main characters as before, whose story was regarded as better than the first. Let me help you out: there aren't any.

Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion

Not according to Morrowind fans.

I'm sort of reading backwards through all the EPs here, and I thought I'd just say that GLaDOS is awesome and I really did not care that the gameplay of the story of Portal 2 (See white panel, shoot white panel) was much watered down into constant tutorial section - 1 puzzle - next tutorial cycles. When I take Portal and hold it against Portal 2, Portal has the innovative gameplay, and the minimalist story telling and is an excellent game. Portal 2 embellishes the story at the expense of gameplay, but in my mind at least, these two balance out, and hearing GLaDOS again and Cave, as well as the rest of the arc/music/settings completely makes up for the tremendously easy puzzles.

The puzzles in the co-op and indeed the Perpetual Testing Initiative are much better than the ones in the storyline, and compare much more favourably to Portal. They suffer a bit from not having a terribly good arc I think, as the bots and black dot man don't really progress as characters through the levels the way Chell does in the first, finding Ratman clues and eventually escaping from the facility. But overall the pithy writing is back, the difficult chambers are back, and the cutscenes bookending the co-op work well.

So in all, yes, Portal 2 single player lacks some of Portal's gameplay flair, but it is enjoyable for other reasons and this makes it at least equivalent IMO. However, Portal 2's Co-op is in my eyes the true successor to Portal. And the Perpetual Testing Initiative is just icing on the cake.

Aside from this, I'd like to say that, as a fan, I may be buying everything with GLaDOS's voice in it and enjoying them immensely regardless. Totally enjoyed Defense Grid: The Awakening's Potato ARG tie in Portal DLC. I've played Chime's "Still Alive" level to death. I'm planning on watching whatever that movie is that is coming out which has GLaDOS's voice in charge of a boat 'defending' humanity for whatever reason. And I'm waiting for Poker Night at the Inventory 2 to come out so I can listen to her berate everyone for their unfortunate grasp on the fundamentals of probability.

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