Extra Punctuation: Building Sequels Badly

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A lot of the [Portal-specific] points you've made were exactly what I was thinking. I felt that the charm of Portal 1 was that the back stage areas were not intended as tests for Chell. Portal 2 is just "Do tests. Do more tests. Do even more tests. The End." Sure, there were the transitions, but the majority of the game is spent in Aperture's intended testing area. It's like if you went through all the chambers in Portal 1 and then saw GlaDOS at the end looking over the fire pit where she tries to kill you and that was the end boss battle. It's ultimately not as satisfying. Still looking forward to one of my friends taking on the co-op with me though.

And of course, it's very strange that GlaDOS has the potential to manipulate everything now, whereas before she could only send turrets and those eye ball missile launcher things at you.

HeroKing89:

The thing about Zelda is that each sequel works more like a remake than a continuation or a separate story. It's the same story, again & again, just with slightly different settings and slightly different dialogue.

Except that's not true and unless you are saying that for comedic affect i would greatly appreciate you don't make strawman arguments when you obviously don't have a clue what you are talking about. Yes many of the games are similar with similar themes and story structures but if you think that Majora's Mask and Wind Waker are remakes then you sir need your head looked at.

I just wanted to thank you. I'll be quoting this and posting to my friend's FB page. We were debating "geeks" vs. "nerds" and I think you have properly defined it here. Despite what contradictory, poorly translated hypotheses you may have read off IGN and other sites about the overarching timeline of Zelda, once you saw the ending to Ocarina it became pretty difficult to argue that there is a consistent, linear timeline going throughout the franchise. Zelda has much more in common with, say, Robert Rodriguez's Mexico trilogy than Star Wars. Some games clearly take place after others, but overall the same events keep happening and each game can clearly be read as much as a remake as a sequel. So you may rescind your condescension, Mr. Snarkypants, because everything he said is true.

Also, what is this "Strawman" you keep referring to? :P

I dunno, I thought that HL2 was a pretty decent sequel to HL. I can sort of let the episodes slide seeing as they were meant to be sort of like single player expansions and to get some continuation of the events.

Although now that it's been such a looong time since ep2 I sort of want that the next installment will be a HL3 and not an ep3. But, only if HL3 introduces new game mechanic elements, uses a brand new engine and actually ends the story.

Am I literally the only person on the Earth who actually thinks Portal 2 is better than Portal 1?

Don't get me wrong Portal 1 was fucking amazing, but imo Portal 2 manages to keep everything that was good about Portal 1, plus adding new puzzle elements that at no point felt out of place. I also disagree with Yahtzee about the story. Now I know everything about Aperture and GLaDOS's origins it only makes me feel more satisfied with the entire experience.

I do believe it has never been said better than by Yahtzee already in one of the Silent Hill reviews, "Fans are clingy complaining dipshits who will never ever be grateful for any concession you make. The moment you shut out their shrill, tremulous voices, the happier you'll be for it."

I've grown increasingly bitter against sequels over the years myself. It's either pure moneymilking or simply the they-changed-it-now-it-sucks routine. And people wonder why I demand demos and trailers before I buy anything and every time I buy a game that sucks I feel angry and ashamed that I wasted my money on it with no chance of decent refund.

funguy2121:
despite what contradictory, poorly translated hypotheses you may have read off IGN and other sites about the overarching timeline of Zelda, once you saw the ending to Ocarina it became pretty difficult to argue that there is a consistent, linear timeline going throughout the franchise.

In the entire franchise? Yes.
But there are some games that are direct sequels, such as OoT to Majora's Mask. Wind Waker itself is far from a remake is itself states to have taken place after many of the other legends. I also recall that Wind Waker had a direct story line sequel as well.

Dude, God of War 2 was effin' great. And it in no way tainted the established plot.

... i said that i thought portal 2 was just as good as the first, if not better. and i got labeled as a fanboy and sent on my way.

yaaaaaay.

Yahtzee:
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.

I see you on that and raise with a sequel that wasn't left open for, with the same main characters, whose story is regarded as better than the first AND has WORSE gameplay (although that last point is arguable):

Metroid 2: Return of Samus

Hitman Dread:

funguy2121:
despite what contradictory, poorly translated hypotheses you may have read off IGN and other sites about the overarching timeline of Zelda, once you saw the ending to Ocarina it became pretty difficult to argue that there is a consistent, linear timeline going throughout the franchise.

In the entire franchise? Yes.
But there are some games that are direct sequels, such as OoT to Majora's Mask. Wind Waker itself is far from a remake is itself states to have taken place after many of the other legends. I also recall that Wind Waker had a direct story line sequel as well.

Yes, there are. Majora's Mask was a sequel with the same character. Wind Waker's sequel? You mean the portable game (whichever one it was)? I don't know. I lack the knowledge specific to portable games to argue yay or nay as canon. But I don't really play the Zelda games to be wowed by the story. I play them because they're fun as Hell.

I just can't agree with him on Portal 2. In my opinion, it took everything that Portal 1 had, added a few things and made them better. Actually, I don't think I'll ever be able to play Portal 1 again after I've played the marvelous Portal 2. Sorry Yahtzee but I think that you're completely wrong with Portal 2.

Falseprophet:
If you made a list of all the awesome characters in fiction whose character arcs were hijacked to pander to fans, it would probably circle the earth. It's been an issue for over a century at least, if we consider Sherlock Holmes readers as the first manifestation of modern fanboys.

True, and an even better, or rather earlier, example is King Arthur. Damn that stupid Lancelot.

He did say sequels with the same main characters, ya know?

Anyways, even if you could name a few (and that must be the funnest part of this thread), I think the point is that when developers hash out a sequel that, due to fan demand, has to rehash the characters from the first when their story has largely already been told, it makes for a weaker game, story-wise at least.

Of course, if the developers don't use the original game as a concrete "jumping off point", you end up with something polarizing like Chrono Cross.

One of my favorite (direct) sequels I've ever played was Shadow Hearts: Covenant. It refined gameplay features, used mostly new characters (the original's protagonist was playable, other party members were related to original party members in some ways, too), and made the story not feel like an extension of the first by using these new characters to set it up, and made the main character's return not feel forced by adopting the bad ending of the first game as canon.
Though the original didn't have a huge vocal fanbase like the big budget titles today, so it probably didn't have the fan pressure that might've made it turn out worse.

I see the argument here, but I think there are notable exceptions - mostly in cases where the first game is low-budget basically proof-of-concept. The devs can them come back to the sequel armed with more money and a bigger team. Assassin's Creed, for instance. You could make a pretty good case for Otogi or Mass Effect. Witcher 2 looks like it's gonna be this way too.

Day of the Tentacle.
Monkey Island 2.

Now that we're under the mindset of not listening to the fans, I'd like to suggest this be applied to the Sonic games.

"Return to the classic gameplay" my ass.

Well it official, Zero Punctuation is starting to become The Jimquisition, only with less sarcasm.

SirBryghtside:

Sequels aren't a bad thing - sure, in movies they're often a little pathetic, but with games, they're a great way to expand on the original's mechanics. Half-Life, Mass Effect, TES - all great games with great sequels, that are often better than the originals.

Yes, but Half-Life and Mass Effect were originally designed to have sequels and TES has sequels with little in common with the first, different characters, different settings, and new storylines. Yahtzee's point still stands, that unless the game is made with sequels in mind, it doesn't make a good one. But that holds true for any medium. Look at movies or books.

funguy2121:

HeroKing89:

The thing about Zelda is that each sequel works more like a remake than a continuation or a separate story. It's the same story, again & again, just with slightly different settings and slightly different dialogue.

Except that's not true and unless you are saying that for comedic affect i would greatly appreciate you don't make strawman arguments when you obviously don't have a clue what you are talking about. Yes many of the games are similar with similar themes and story structures but if you think that Majora's Mask and Wind Waker are remakes then you sir need your head looked at.

I just wanted to thank you. I'll be quoting this and posting to my friend's FB page. We were debating "geeks" vs. "nerds" and I think you have properly defined it here. Despite what contradictory, poorly translated hypotheses you may have read off IGN and other sites about the overarching timeline of Zelda, once you saw the ending to Ocarina it became pretty difficult to argue that there is a consistent, linear timeline going throughout the franchise. Zelda has much more in common with, say, Robert Rodriguez's Mexico trilogy than Star Wars. Some games clearly take place after others, but overall the same events keep happening and each game can clearly be read as much as a remake as a sequel. So you may rescind your condescension, Mr. Snarkypants, because everything he said is true.

Also, what is this "Strawman" you keep referring to? :P

A strawman fallacy is where person A refutes an argument that person B does not make or argues against a position that person B does not hold.

Also the quote HeroKing has is mine, though he has dropped the quote code for some reason.

edited for spelling.

Sequels that are better than the originals.

Star Control 2 (Massive story that blows the original out of the water. SC3-not so much.)
Frontier: Elite 2
Wing Commander 2, 3, 4, Prophecy (Constant upgrade to the gameplay mechanics. Introduction of cinematic exposition.)
King's Quest 6.
Doom 2
Baldur's Gate 2 (Can anyone who played both not agree?)

You know how these games succeeded. Lack of feedback except through trade magazines/info. The inclusion and permeation of the Internet has doomed us all. Such a concept back in the day would drive developers mad.

MAD!!!!

MAD, I TELL YOU!!!

How about all the Trackmania and Jumper games?

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.

Very few games meet those criteria at all. Even Bioshock 2 does not, since it shares virtually none of the same characters....

The phrase "wasn't left open for sequels" is, in particular, too limiting. Very few games aren't left open for sequels.

Some games I'd point out that meet the criteria in spirit would be Half-Life 2, Halo 2, Saints Row 2, each of the two Neverwinter Nights expansions (both were full campaigns, both let you carry over your character, and both had better stories than the original game), and Gears of War 2 (by virtue of the first having a self-contained story where a sequel is only hinted at by some voiceover tacked on to the ending). A couple of examples I'm not sure about but would probably be candidates are Just Cause 2 and Dead Rising 2. Never played either of those games, but the consensus I've heard is that they're really good, whether or not they meet your "story is better" requirement.

One could probably argue that most of those don't fit the criteria, and that would largely be on technicalities, because the criteria are too restrictive for the statement to be meaningful. Even Portal doesn't meet that requirement, because I'd argue that ending with Chell passing out and with GLaDOS singing about still being alive, the suggestion is that it is "left open for a sequel". As much as the original Half-Life was, at any rate... particularly once you factor in that they went back and added some content onto the ending. In practice, many of the games on the list I provided are only left open for a sequel by some trivial thing exposed at the end, that could have been as easily removed.

Okay, people keep giving examples of gaming sequels that are better than originals, but that's generally true. He said games that DON'T NEED sequels while using the same character and then focusing solely on the quality of the story. I would say Portal 2 was a better game than Portal 1 (and I completely disagree with almost everything Yatzee said in this article about it), but not many games fall into the category he laid out for it. Gears of War 2 almost does and was a lot better in my opinion, but even that game sort of left it open for a sequel story wise (and really does for the triquel). Uncharted 2's story was awesome and well executed. I never played the first, so I have no idea what the first story was about XP. Anybody got an opinion on it?

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.

Unfortunately, there is one game that should have had no sequel, yet it does, and people even regard it as better. Hint: It's another Valve game.

Which basically just proves that people obviously want more story just slapped onto the original story, with the same character, even if he's actually no character, just a half-retarded mute.

Every week Yahtzee gives me a glimpse of what it would be like to have British dad.

Choppaduel:

funguy2121:

HeroKing89:

Except that's not true and unless you are saying that for comedic affect i would greatly appreciate you don't make strawman arguments when you obviously don't have a clue what you are talking about. Yes many of the games are similar with similar themes and story structures but if you think that Majora's Mask and Wind Waker are remakes then you sir need your head looked at.

I just wanted to thank you. I'll be quoting this and posting to my friend's FB page. We were debating "geeks" vs. "nerds" and I think you have properly defined it here. Despite what contradictory, poorly translated hypotheses you may have read off IGN and other sites about the overarching timeline of Zelda, once you saw the ending to Ocarina it became pretty difficult to argue that there is a consistent, linear timeline going throughout the franchise. Zelda has much more in common with, say, Robert Rodriguez's Mexico trilogy than Star Wars. Some games clearly take place after others, but overall the same events keep happening and each game can clearly be read as much as a remake as a sequel. So you may rescind your condescension, Mr. Snarkypants, because everything he said is true.

Also, what is this "Strawman" you keep referring to? :P

A strawman fallacy is where person A refutes an argument that person B does not make or argues against a position that person B does not hold.

Also the quote HeroKing has is mine, though he has dropped the quote code for some reason.

edited for spelling.

Geezus, Uncle Grandfather, I thought you could tell I was joking from the emoticon. So we both agree that you weren't using the "strawman?"

Anyway, I refuse to use the word "strawman fallacy" in an argument because it's very largely troll terminology, and because the people using the word are usually the people doing it. Also, that is not a fallacy, which drives my inner word-nerd nuts.

Now, turn around, and...back into my hand.

...and if you don't get that reference, then no cookies for you for ever.

Anyway, about what I want in a sequel:

- keep the good stuff. Meaning MECHANICS. Maybe characters, but it's not usually necessary. I give no shit about what happened to the soldiers in Crysis. I just want to play more of the same, or at least more of the good stuff.

- repair bugs and other shit, so the new game plays better than the original.

That's it.

Nothing else.

This is by far the weakest extra punctuation yet.

When talking about game sequels the gameplay changes are the most important issue by far, but all Yahtzee worries about is the stupid story.

Games. The original story was shit, the following story is shit and the shit doesn't matter.

Game sequels are good, because there's almost always parts to improve or expand for the actual game.

Hitman Dread:
You make a lot of assumptions, such that the writers themselves didn't want Glados back, and that had been the intended story from the get go. You also seem bothered by the fact that Valve didn't think the core of Portal was the same one you did.

Exactly. So much for trying to make a point, I guess Yahtzee didn't pay much attention to the Portal 1 developer commentary.

Yahtzee Croshaw:
Extra Punctuation: Building Sequels Badly

Yahtzee takes another look at the ongoing problem of videogame sequels.

Read Full Article

May I point out that Portal allready had a sequel.

Namely Portal : Still Alive

Just like dragon age origins had dragon age Awakening.

May I also point out that Portal's story wasn't concluded at all.

May I also point out that portal 2 is EXACTLY what you ask from it, it's portal but then with new puzzles and areas to explore.

Yahtzee may I ask you : do games ever exclude tutorials?
The answer here is NO they don't.

Portal 2 like all other sequels starts kind of from the beginning again since there will allways be people who pick up the sequel before even ever having heard of the original.

Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw you're a whiney prick if I ever saw one.
Portal 2 does exactly what you set rules for
The reason why none of the new features are really like you'd expect them is because you expect a triple A title now, you're not expecting portal done like portal you're expecting a triple A title cause there's a bigger budget now

May I finally point out that the CO-OP is naturally going to be better puzzle wise since people are expected to play that after the singleplayer campaign, or otherwise having played the original beforehand.

TL;DR version : Yahtzee you've officially stooped down to the level of whining cause you're asked to whine about things and you bloody damn well know it's true

funguy2121:

Choppaduel:

funguy2121:

I just wanted to thank you. I'll be quoting this and posting to my friend's FB page. We were debating "geeks" vs. "nerds" and I think you have properly defined it here. Despite what contradictory, poorly translated hypotheses you may have read off IGN and other sites about the overarching timeline of Zelda, once you saw the ending to Ocarina it became pretty difficult to argue that there is a consistent, linear timeline going throughout the franchise. Zelda has much more in common with, say, Robert Rodriguez's Mexico trilogy than Star Wars. Some games clearly take place after others, but overall the same events keep happening and each game can clearly be read as much as a remake as a sequel. So you may rescind your condescension, Mr. Snarkypants, because everything he said is true.

Also, what is this "Strawman" you keep referring to? :P

A strawman fallacy is where person A refutes an argument that person B does not make or argues against a position that person B does not hold.

Also the quote HeroKing has is mine, though he has dropped the quote code for some reason.

edited for spelling.

Geezus, Uncle Grandfather, I thought you could tell I was joking from the emoticon. So we both agree that you weren't using the "strawman?"

Anyway, I refuse to use the word "strawman fallacy" in an argument because it's very largely troll terminology, and because the people using the word are usually the people doing it. Also, that is not a fallacy, which drives my inner word-nerd nuts.

Now, turn around, and...back into my hand.

...and if you don't get that reference, then no cookies for you for ever.

I'm utterly humorless... sometimes.

hmmm... I don't get the reference
image

I don't think that the fanbase is contradicting itself. It's just that it's really big meaning there's many different opinions. A portion hates Windwaker but loves Twilight Princess but for another portion it's vice versa.

Choppaduel:
snip

Your avatar. "Uncle Grandfather," from the Adult Swim mini Perfect Hair Forever. There may be a small chance I'm wrong and that it's the old dude from Dragon Ball but...excuse me, my dork is showing.

Anyway, in case you can't tell from his name, Uncle Grandfather (yes that implies exactly what you think it does) is a perv.

Well Yahtzee, we all have opinions. But in this case I must disagree with you saying that Portal 2 was not as good as the original.

You say that nothing good comes of it if developers listen to the fans.
Yet I recall that in a review of the Thief series you said that the second game was the best in the series because the developers actually listened to the fans.

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