Extra Punctuation: Building Sequels Badly

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I have the complete opposite opinion to Yahtzee when it comes to sequels. I almost always enjoy them a heck of alot more than the originals and in the case of Portal 2 well I'm playing that game a third time now whereas the first I played once.

It appears to me that at the moment the Deus Ex: Human Revolution guys are doing the right amount of fan service. They're listening to fans on superficial things, things that would immediately turn off an obstinate gamer unwilling to change. The controls are basically the same as they were in the first game. They've given players the option to remove the yellow highlighting of objects. Basically, they're succumbing to the fans on things that don't matter. I haven't heard if JC Denton's going to be in the game, but it seems to me like anything beyond a nod (as Yahtzee says) would be too much considering the timeline of the game.

Take these comments with careful optimism since the game hasn't been released though.

The Legend of Zelda (GBA)
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (GBA)
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES)
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (GB)-
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64)
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (N64)
The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons (GBC)
The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages (GBC)
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past & Four Swords (GBA)
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (GC)
The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures (GC)
The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap (GBA)
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (GC)
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (NDS)
The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks (NDS)
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

most of those games work more like remakes than sequels

No, no they don't. The atmosphere is different for most of those games, and many of them tell a completely different story then the game that game before it... mostly.

I SAID "each sequel works more like a remake than a continuation or a separate story."

taking the LoZ series as whole, this makes sense.

Next time, think before you post.

TL;DR
link -> get maguffin -> defeat evil/recue princess
I SAID LIKE, NOT IS.

Yes they are similar but that is because it is a long running franchise but they all have different atmosphere and most of them have a different narrative style as well which sets them all apart even if the gameplay is essentially the same. By your logic Silent Hill is all the same because it is essentially

Normal Person >> Collect keys >> Learn dark secret

Silent Hill's gameplay hardly budged an inch in all the years with the exception of SH4 and we all know how that turned out.

That isn't to say trying new things is bad but it is like arguing with final fantasy fans as well who said the series is going downhill since 6 and we all know there are plenty of people who liked the games after. It was another astonishing point that Yahtzee said it was universally agreed that the series got worse but in truth, the games got better. Silent Hill Homecoming and Origins for instance was a far better game then SH4.

Worr Monger:

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.

Personally, I think it's safe to assume Yahtzee himself would say Half Life 2 is better than the first...

I would completely disagree, but that's just me. I'm just hear to point out the contradiction.

I feel like there was an opening at the end of Half-Life for a sequel, one that seems fairly clearly referenced at the beginning of Half-Life 2. (You know, G-Man whisking Gordon away for further adventures at the end of Half-Life). I'd agree it's way more tenuous than the connection in most sequels though.

SirBryghtside:
Um... I preferred Portal 2?

You seem to have missed the point a little bit on the GLaDOS thing, which led to a couple of contradictions. You say that she's changed, which was bad. The reason she's changed is pretty obviously because of Caroline's influence - and yet you then complain that she was in the game, and therefore too similar?

Anyway, that wasn't the main point of the article. But still, I don't see the problem in continuing a story, gameplay idea, whatever, that people liked.

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.

I don't know what TES is, but Mass Effect and Half-Life were both designed with sequels in mind, so they don't really fit what Yatzhee is talking about. Yahtzee's saying, essentially, that Portal 2 which did not focus on elements of the first game's plot would have had greater potential than to revive and recycle said elements. Put another way: the Portal world might be quite large, but we continue to obsess over one single corner of it.

In a way, what Yahtzee is saying is (I think) true of Portal the First. It does, after all, appear to be an event in the Half-Life universe, a chance to see a completely unrelated tale with nary a Gordon Freeman in sight, showcasing events that take place far, far away from the Combine and all that stuff. Hell, we don't even know the exact time it takes place. Anyway, that analogy seems to be pretty close to the Silent Hill 1/2 example he provides: the point being that you can tell more than one story without having to make the tales in question "continuations" of one another.

I agree, only maintaining that a sequel shouldn't lose the spirit and game play of the original in a general sense, especially if there was nothing wrong with it.
I'm fine with things being added on, but practically changing sub-genre to cater to a completely different audience doesn't usually go over well.

Just look at Supreme Commander 2.

Yahtzee Croshaw:
Why not click on the comments for this article and watch my point being proved?

Ahh, Yahtzee... what a masochistic relationship we have.
You keep flailing at us, yet we still keep coming back for more :P

Yeah fans are, for the most part, pretty unreasonable when it comes to dealing with these kinds of things. Hell, I've been the same way too, *cough* Resident Evil 5 *cough*.

At the end of the day, its best for the makers to just do what they wanna do and then let the fantards whine.

Dr Spaceman:

Worr Monger:

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.

Personally, I think it's safe to assume Yahtzee himself would say Half Life 2 is better than the first...

I would completely disagree, but that's just me. I'm just hear to point out the contradiction.

I feel like there was an opening at the end of Half-Life for a sequel, one that seems fairly clearly referenced at the beginning of Half-Life 2. (You know, G-Man whisking Gordon away for further adventures at the end of Half-Life). I'd agree it's way more tenuous than the connection in most sequels though.

Yeah, the first thing that came to mind when I finished Half Life one was "Crap, now I gotta wait for a sequel to see what that's all about."

I'd say that a case of where a sequel is held up in higher regard then the original while using the same characters from the previous title, having the same premise, and gameplay would be things like Marvel vs Capcom 3, Super Street Fighter 4, or StarCraft 2. But competitive games are a whole different beast then story based games. Also I don't think Yahtzee counts those as games anyway.

Zechnophobe:

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 find it interesting how many people have responded to this quote, and then give bad examples! Look at the various points:

1) Wasn't left open for a sequel.
2) The same main characters
3) Story is regarded as better

Duke Nukem 3D. Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Trilby's Notes.

It depends. Sometimes all I want is the same mechanics with a new story. Other times I wanna see a complete revamp. Depends on the game, honestly, and how much I liked about the original. I definitely agree with the fact that games that aren't open for sequels shouldn't get sequels, but then again, what do I know about the true intentions of a developer? Maybe the devs DO have a series planned, but don't know what's gonna happen to their first game, so they make games that end neatly in case they don't get to make sequels for whatever reason.

At any rate, I'd rather deal with an unnecessary Bioshock 2 and maybe be pleasantly surprised than be promised an epic trilogy like Too Human or Advent Rising and watch as it falls flat with the first game.

But what would I know? I'm just a stupid fan. I mean, do critics really think they'll quit bitching when all their complaints are met? They're fans too. Fandoms may not know what they want and they bitch a lot, but I don't think critics truly do either.

This just feels like such a non-issue. People need to get over the fact that Portal is one good game in a world of so fucking many. Why should every game be like Portal?

I don't know about Half-Life, but Mass Effect was definitely a planned series. He is talking about a game that comes out meant to stand on it's own, but is hugely successful, so the creators feel obligated to make a sequel. Case in point, Bioshock 1 and 2. Bioshock came out and was not expected to be the hit that it was, so it ended. You killed the bad guy, the city was saved/destroyed, and it was over. There was no opening for a sequel, but because the game was so successful, they decided to try and expand on something that wasn't really there to begin with.

Well I thought of the Assassin's Creed and Uncharted franchises as counterarguments by the end of your article, but, to be clear, those two are unspectacular in their own regard. When it comes to great, singular achievements, Croshaw makes a good point: never bother making a sequel; and, if such an endeavor is necessary, never listen to the fans. His supporting evidence, in that context, is appropriate. Bioshock 2, in appealing to the fans and their stimuli, simply had more philosophy and more Big Daddies, which is, by face value, precisely what people thought they wanted. But, evidently, that was not true; instead, what was learned from all of this is that deconstructing a great thing into smaller, simpler components--and subsequently using those components to create a piece altogether new--is folly. The whole tryptich--words, emotions, and drama--is instead mutilated and pieced together like a serial killer's ultimatum. There is no one leg of a game that holds it. There is no one brick that holds the entirety of a building, no one root that holds the tree, no one nail on the bedroom floor; it is the whole which shines, which is brilliant, which we cherish. Yet the fans, those removed from the creativities and artistry behind the achievement, focus their attentions on a single aspect that is the most noticeable. In the case of Portal, it was GLaDOS and the companion cube, and the portals itself. And such items clamored for, returned. Perhaps the result is not so bad. Perhaps, in plausible persistence, that this return is satisfactory, and, lacking this, the game would not be satisfactory. Well all in a pig's ear, I say. No new thing was learned by this; the game industry did not improve upon its release; the critics learned no new gesticulations from this; the artists found no new styles from this. All it does is simply exist, and in art simply existing is existence, but not at all. In books, we have likely came onto the last renaissance of technical innovation, after the modernist movement died out; the only frontier left is how much emotion we can tease from human hearts into the words. But games are not quite as developed, and we do not have the same privileges in such experimentation. We still have to push the technical boundaries of games: what we can create, how we develop them through our machinations, and, in the culmination of this, how we will make the system so perfect that every action, every scene becomes purposeful and unwasted, with the audience laughing, or crying at curtain call. We have not achieved this--our precision is too wide--but we can achieve this. So we cannot afford to continue with fluff, if we know all too well that the fluff is insubstantial; if we've resources, we must use them for the benefit of the medium. I could have let Portal 2--and all misfits like it--go, because it amuses, because it amazes, but the spark, the Promothean flame behind its human inspiration, is gone. Art is indeed individualistic passion and derives from no source, except in how we dress and carry it, but other than that its spirit is singular. I think it is time to move away from Aperture Science, and into the vast expanse with a stronger, surer vigor. Often, the only way for art to develop is to rebel against the work of old and to find greater beauty in a different attempt. Sequels, which dwell on the past, improve nothing.

Edit: Man I have no life. But I am utterly convicted that this is true. The only way that this medium will get anywhere is if we allow the game writers creative freedom. Putting on them restrictions, or allowing themselves to restrict their writing in a crazy shoot-the-hostages psychosis, is detrimental to what we can accomplish. Also, this is probably why Melville went insane over the demands of the writing industry: creative restrictions.

Yeah, sequels that expand the world are awesome things. But if I can't have that then I really am very happy to splash about in the same world from a slightly different viewpoint. It's the same reason people buy skins for their phones, I think. It lets them enjoy the old in a new way, if only for a little while.

My only points against Portal 2 (excluding the loading screens, which was just criminal) were the length (I think it was about the second time I had to backtrack because a stupid elevator was closed. Just smash a window and portal up, dammit!) and Wheatley. I only realised his name was Wheatley right towards the end because prior to that he just reminded me so strongly of Bioshock's 'Atlas'. Friendly, helpful and sort-of soothing.

And although obviously a sequel could never have the punch of the original, Portal 2 still gave me quite a few emotional punches. When GLaDOS

I finally accepted it as a character 'on my side' instead of an Atlas. Stupid, not sinister.

And oh man, the bit at the end with the elevator? Heh. :D Awesome.

Portal 2 was fun and I'm really glad they made it. So there. :P

yeah... what iamultraman said. ^^^

Still sore about the chase sequences in 7 Days a Skeptic, Yahtzee?

You're right, though. People don't know what they want, and so you need to beat then over the head with it.

Captcha: coronal icysag. N-No, you are a coronal icysag! Jerk.

I'm posting in this thread to prove Yahtzee right

Godfather part II. Picked up where the previous left off, and where it started, and was infinitely better.

Also, I love Portal 1 to death, but Portal 2 is probably the best game I've ever played.

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.

Easy:

Just Cause 2
Dead Space 2
Portal 2 :)

Just Cause barely had a plot and did not leave itself open for a sequel whatsoever. It just ended with you killing the bad guy THE END. JC2 has the same main character, Rico "God King" Rodriquez and the story, though not too good, was much better than the original. Bam.

Dead Space 1 had a nice plot, but it didn't feel as expansive and enveloping as DS2. For all we knew, DS1 ended ambiguously: Isaac Clarke could have easily just died of starvation in the cold depths of space or fallen victim to those crazy hallucinations. It didn't seem to have much of a sequel hook at all, except the whole RAWR ZOMBIE SEX thing, which I don't consider a hook. Isaac Clarke is the main character in both. Boom.

Apparently I'm the only person who thought that Chell died or was unconscious at the end of Portal. I thought that with all that high speed shrapnel flying around she died and that was the reason the camera was still at the end. A bit of a tragic ending, Chell only escapes in death, but still. So Portal wasn't exactly open for a sequel. Say what you want, but the story in Portal 2 is far more expansive and interesting than it was in the first game. Sure, you uncover some things about Aperture Science and GLaDOS, but still some things remain mysterious...

Chell in the main character in both. Booyakasha.

Also, just wanna point out GLaDOS isn't all powerful.

Kimosaber:

Zechnophobe:

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 find it interesting how many people have responded to this quote, and then give bad examples! Look at the various points:

1) Wasn't left open for a sequel.
2) The same main characters
3) Story is regarded as better

Duke Nukem 3D. Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Trilby's Notes.

Sweet cow of Moscow, I hope with all my soul that this is indeed true.

So I've noticed that you still haven't talked about Wheatley? How do you feel about him? (Yes I know you'll never read this.)

EDIT: Also I just realized that the same thing can be implied to Resident Evil 4, and how so many fans freaked out because they changed it so much, yet they couldn't see that it made the series so much better.

MK2 was an awesome sequel

I think a lot of Yahtzee's problem with Portal 2 is Wheatly. To an American a British accent adds +10 charm and IQ where as to him the character is just an inept wanker. Also there is his hate for the sequel as a concept so there are two big strikes off the bat. I will also agree that the game did seem easier. I can only think of one time I was ever really lost in single player.

Also Bioshock was popular because it was a unique setting and driven by an original story(for a video game) so Bioshock 2 was doomed from the start because the story of rapture was closed already. Portal was driven by the unique game mechanics and just adding to the portal physics and expanding the story made a good sequel.

Loonerinoes:
Hilariously on-point as ever. I think I'm genuinely starting to like Extra Punctuation moreso than Zero Punctuation.

Another example I come across I think is Mass Effect 1 and Mass Effect 2. Now...though it doesn't quite fit what you describe here as a pre-requisite for a good sequel, I remember always running across comments like "Oh, but the RPG elements and the equipment bollocking around is what MAKES it a *proper* RPG" and "Yeh, but the music was shittier in ME2 whereas ME1 was that old-skool 80s stuff I like to regurgitate all the time."

And unsurprisingly regardless of these vocal fans, Mass Effect 2 was even MORESO liked than Mass Effect 1, not just in terms of sold units but also by critical acclaim. Because guess what...RPG mechanics dissapearing doesn't have to be as sad as you oldschool numpties make it out to be. And this is me speaking as a big-ass fan of the uncompromising nature of killing off your characters in games like Baldur's Gate 1! Also, if you genuinely think min/maxing stats is what people in general find enjoyable about RPGs...you are wrong. You're just one of *those* people and while it might be going opposite of your own personal fetish, a lot of people also disagree with you.

Finally, the music was utterly ace. Oh, it might not have been quite the 'classic type' from the 80s you claim you love so much. But what it *was* was reminiscent of all the electronic music coming out in videogames during the 90s, some of which I still have very fond memories of. And you know what? A lot of us love those things to death even MORE than the 80s shtick.

Meh. Already wrote way too much here as it is. Probably going to have a ton of comments 'proving me wrong' and getting into it all again. That said, keep on writing by all means! For the past few months or so I can't recall a time when I clicked Extra Punctuation and found myself dissapointed or worse 'sorta half-way pleased'. It always provoked me and that is good.

"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."

The Mass Effect series was planned as a trilogy from the start and thus the ending to Mass Effect 1 was left wide open.

Yahtzee Croshaw:
Extra Punctuation: Building Sequels Badly

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

Read Full Article

You know Yahtzee, you can just fuck right off. Why? You didn't even "review" it! All you did was bitch and moan about how Portal 1 was better. Come to think of it, you've NEVER "reviewed" a game that wasn't terrible. You never recommend a game, you never say a game's bad, and you never say a game's good! If Portal 2 "Payed respect" to Portal 1, it would just be 3 Portal 1's stitched together. But Portal 2 has 3 distinct acts, all with new gameplay elements and they all contain the story, WHICH ALMOST NEVER INTERFERES WITH THE PUZZLES (go ahead and try to point out the second time a story bit interrupts a puzzle, just try).
Don't get me wrong, I love your rants. I just cannot EVER take them seriously.

I may have stumbled on something a little interesting. I just finished Portal 1 for the 2nd or 3rd time and noticed that the ending has changed. It happened after a bunch of steam updates, but instead of merely lying on the ground looking at the remains of GLADoS, you are dragged away. I may just have not noticed it before, but it struck me as new.

1: Someone said BiOShock 2 is better than BioShock 1. That made me laugh.
2: People saying sequels are the devil are holding back videogame potential. Other mediums are capable of perfectly good sequels, why not videogames?
3: GLaDOS was built (aside from being, hilariously, a disk-operator/de-icer)to RUN THE FACILITY. That naturally comes with some amont of control.
4: Chell never escaped; Valvealtered the ending (via Steam) so that she's dragged back in by a "Escort Robot" or something.
5: GLaDOS was "Still Alive" but not active; her mind was still functioning, but she couldn't do anything.
6: Yahtzee said he liked it; it's amazing how schizophrenic his views can seem from different perspectives.

I really don't like the Portal 1 to Portal 2 comparison, but not because I disagree with Yhatzee's conclusions. I don't like comparing the two games because they are not the same game. As Doug Lombardi (Valve dev) has said, "Portal was a test bed. Portal 2 is a game." (see http://half-life.wikia.com/wiki/Portal_2).

Portal 2 is meant to have more story, less action. It's meant to be more involving on an emotional level, to do more and show more and be bigger in length and scale, and it's not meant to just be a puzzle game. It should be graded as such.

If Portal 2 had been exactly like Portal 1, but with newer, more difficult puzzles (think Portal: Prelude), wouldn't Yhatzee have given it flack for that?

By the by, massive example of sequel being better than original: Mass Effect 2. Full stop. Better written, better designed, better gameplay, better everything. And no driving sequences. No, planet scanning does not matter. It wasn't in Mass Effect 1, so if you're comparing, it doesn't make a difference.

I find it amusing that after seven pages of comments, unless I missed something, not a single person had a problem with the "It's exactly like picking up women." part.

Maybe there are no girls on this thread? Maybe they don't disagree with that assessment?

Either way: hilarious.

I thought The Longest Journey 1 and the sequel (Dreamfall) fit together fairly well despite having several characters in both games, although it's true that the main character of Dreamfall wasn't that of the original.

And that is why Nintendo is still around.

Agayek:

BonsaiK:
Yeah go on Yathzee, ruin the co-op story before I've even gotten a chance to play it, you asshole. Grrrr.

Agree with the central point though.

It's okay though, he didn't actually spoil anything. You can still save science worry free.

Yes he did. Now I won't be playing through the co-op campaign wondering if there's a sinister twist or not, he wrecked that for me.

I feel so strongly about this that I'm going to cancel my subscription to The Escapist next time it wraps around until I've recouped enough money that I would have spent on subscriptions to pay for Portal 2 (at current prices).

Metal Gear Solid 3 I think is better than 1 or 2, though that's probably just me. Saint's Row 2 I'd say is better than Saint's Row. Mass Effect 2 seems to generally be considered to be superior. I liked Assassin's Creed 2 much better than 1 as well, though that arguably didn't feature the same character.

Looks I think the majority of us agree that Bioshock 2 SUCKED, but clearly not all sequels are bad for instance look at Mario 3. Probably the best NES game of all time.

Dr Spaceman:

Worr Monger:

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.

Personally, I think it's safe to assume Yahtzee himself would say Half Life 2 is better than the first...

I would completely disagree, but that's just me. I'm just hear to point out the contradiction.

I feel like there was an opening at the end of Half-Life for a sequel, one that seems fairly clearly referenced at the beginning of Half-Life 2. (You know, G-Man whisking Gordon away for further adventures at the end of Half-Life). I'd agree it's way more tenuous than the connection in most sequels though.

Perhaps it's my own bias... When I played Half Life 2, I had to remind myself that it was a sequel, cause it just didn't feel like one. To each his own I suppose.

I guess that means I agree with Yahtzee... sequels suck.. Notably Half Life 2.

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