The Good, the Bad, and the Sequel

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Did anyone else instantly realise Yahtzee would jizz his pants when Jim called Silent Hill 2: "my favorite game of all time." ?

I liked what Bob and Yahtzee said (could give 2 shits about Jim though) and I too have issues with the whole "sequel thing".

A sequel (on it's own) can neither be good or bad; It's how it is applied that makes that distinction.

Some companies use it as a definite "cash grab" (Madden), others use it as a way of broadening the players experience (more story) and others use it as a way of showing off their new tech (same great game now with physics!).

The only way you can say AYE or NAY is to play, then make your own decision.

Sequels are a dicey subject because there are many stories that do well when continued. However, there are plenty that follow the Bioshock 2 example and tack arbitrary and unnecessary length to a storyline that just doesn't need it. As has been said, the best ones are sequels with their own stories that are related to but not direct continuations of the very same plotline of its predecessors. They should be like a book series; they can have some of the same characters and maybe the same setting, but they need to have new events and new characters introduced. Bioshock 2 gave us new characters, but the setting was the same, the story was essentially the same (a faceless, voiceless protagonist being used by the people in rapture to try and further their own ends while he himself just wants to survive) and the gameplay was essentially the same.

Actually that is one point I think should be made. If it comes down to a choice, it's better to keep gameplay the same and let the story/setting/characters evolve and change. Why? Because gameplay is the area of a game that can stay the same and not have people judging it poorly as a result. It comes down to the "if it's not broken, don't fix it," philosophy. The Jak & Daxter series is a good example, same gameplay (for the most part) but the story and locations are varied and different each time.

But story/setting/characters doesn't operate by that same reasoning. Telling the exact same (or unavoidably familiar) story through the same medium with only a slightly different method doesn't do much to enhance the experience. It's like reading a book then reading the same story on a Kindle; you get the same experience, just in a flashier setup. And for some stories this can be a good thing, having replay value. But if you're playing a SEQUEL, you naturally expect something new to experience besides a different vehicle through which to see the same old sights.

krellen:
As with films and TV, when I get into a sequel it's because I want more of the same. If I'm getting something similar but somewhat different, that's a rebranding - Stargate: Atlantis instead of SG1, for instance. If it's something completely new, it should be a new franchise.

I hate when sequels reinvent the gameplay. Tweaks to things that didn't work are okay - Fallout 2 is an excellent sequel to Fallout, because it keeps the same gameplay elements and adds tweaks and minor features that caused annoyance with the first. Fallout 3, on the other hand, is a horrible sequel, because it bears only very passing resemblance to the titles that came before. Fallout: New Vegas, while being basically a true sequel to Fallout 3, nevertheless exists as a rebranding off the originals, and thus fit expectations much more.

Sid Meier's Civilization did similar things - 4 has many resemblances to 3, which has many resemblances to 2, which has many resemblances to 1, though 1 and 4 are still very different because of the separation. When Sid Meier wanted to try some radical changes to the makeup (which eventually were worked into Civ 4 because they worked), he didn't call it Civilization 2 - he called it Alpha Centauri.

In this sense, I view Mass Effect 2 has a colossal failure; both in terms of story and in terms of gameplay, there are only peripheral similarities to Mass Effect. Mass Effect 2 should have been a rebranding, because it wasn't really a continuation of Mass Effect at all, except for the superficial presence of a "Captain Shepard" and a few other characters.

I tend to agree with all that you said. Especially about Fallout 3.

And off topic: do you post at Twentysided as well?

I'm sorry, but as great as this discussion was, I really need to call Moviebob out on something:

Moviebob:

I can agree up to a point with Yahtzee re: "franchises" getting too much focus - or, rather, developers not getting enough... though I wonder how you go about "fixing" that problem. I hear people in and around the games business often talk of wishing there were more "name-brand" developers or "superstar" developers; but I'm not sure that's THAT much better - game-development being such a heavily collaborative process, is following one "name" (like Peter Molynuex, for example) from game to game so different from following Master Chief or Sonic?

Film is a medium heavily based on collaboration. On an average blockbuster, the studio will be employing a staff force many many times greater than your average game development team. There are all the different filming units, the production team, the special effects guys, the marketing team, all the actors and extras... hundreds nd hundreds, if not thousands, of people all working together on the same movie. And yet:

Steven Spielberg. James Cameron. Christopher Nolan. Martin Scorsese. Peter Jackson. George Lucas. Christopher Nolan. Tim Burton. Stanley Kubrick.

These are all names that even people only casually interested in film recognise. None of these men ever made their films single-handedly. They all had to collaborate with their production teams and their filming crews. And yet, they got their names out there. Because they were heading the projects, they got their names out there, and got people to nto just recognise the films, but the hard-work that went into making the films. People didn't flock to see Avatar just because it was a pretty CGI film. They flocked because it was a James Cameron film. They'd seen his previous films, they knew the legendary amount of work he puts into his job as a director, and thus they got excited about the potential of his latest. Of course, opinion differs on how that one actually panned out...

My point is, games are no more or less collaborative than films. Spielberg sure as heck didn't write all the lines for Jaws, Peter Jackson didn't design every sword and axe for Lord Of The Rings, and Christopher Nolan didn't redesign the Batsuit all by himself. And yet, people flock to see films by these guys because the name usually acts as some kind of stamp of quality.

That is what's missing in games. That is why we're mired up to the armpits in needless sequels. We need to focus less on the franchises themselves, and more on the developers who make them. Gears Of War was a huge success, a graphical leap forward, and kick-started a new wave of third-person shooters. That's a heck of a compliment about the game, but what does it say about the guys at Epic? They managed to breathe new life into a tired genre, and squeeze visuals out of the 360 that no-one thought possible. Doesn't that at least suggest a little bit of outside-the-box thinking at Epic headquarters? If one team of developers were able to do so much with a third-person space marine shooter, should we not be interested in that they could achieve if their imaginations were given freer reign, as opposed to being chained to a single franchise.

That's the problem with the industry now. Developers aren't known for their talent, or artistic skill. By and large, they're known for the single, sometimes couple, of franchises that they're chained to. Ubisoft is cranking out yearly Assassin's Creed sequels, Infinity Ward hasn't done anything outside of Call Of Duty for years, and even Bioware has been unable to move out of the sci-fi/fantasy trench they've been dug into for the past few decades. We need to allow our developers freer reign over their own creations, and stop shackling them to franchises that are way overdue a quiet death. If we don't, we're going to kill our own medium. It's as simple as that. A medium cannot survive by rehashing the same stuff forever, and if new properties are not forthcoming, people will eventually get bored and move on to something else.

I'm miss James Portnow, but Jim Sterling is a decent replacement and good for a collaborative article like this.

I almost never buy games when they're at full price. The only game I've bought at full price & new release was DoW2:Redemption. I am wrestling with myself about buying Space Marine as a new release too - it's tied to 40K fluff I think.

If you consider the last few games I've bought:

Mount & Blade: With Fire And Sword A$15 - taleworlds.com

Caesar IV A$10 - EB Games

Fallout 3 GOTY A$35 - Dick Smith

MS Combat Flight Simulator (Europe) A$20 - EB Games

Ryu ga Gotoku IV (Yakuza 4; Japanese version) - JPY3000+JPY1500 postage (approx A$60) - amazon.jp

DOW2:Redemption A$70 - EB Games

Machigai Museum II (JP game) JPY1500 (approx A$20) - Sofmap Nipponbashi

Only one of these are 'new releases'.

But the key thing is I never pirate PC games ... unless I have already bought it on a different system. In which case I consider it acceptable (not legally, but to my own conscience). C'mon ... I've paid for the property! With music, whether I listen to it as an mp3 on my iPod, a cassette in my car, a CD in my stereo, or have a vinyl pressed of it, I still paid for the IP - not the form it comes in, nor the device it plays on.

Two things...

1 - Fuck you, Jim. Silent Hill 1 was amazing.

2 - The reality of Extra Credits leaving The Escapist is all the more sad when I read this.

Wow. This just proves how freakin out of the loop Yahtzee is. Sorry but I'm with Jim and Bob.

"Well, why don't I kick this one off by saying that sequels often represent a lot of what I hate about the games industry today."
Let's see if what you hate is at all reasonable.

"Too often the decision to make one is rooted entirely in business than any consideration of whether or not the story demands it."
How about if there's no story. Also, business shouldn't be used in a negative connotation because every a business decision means one that'll satisfy its customers which is a GOOD THING.

"There has never been a case of a sequel being better than the original if the original had an entirely self-contained story and no sequel hook, unless (in the case of games) there's a significant technology upgrade between titles that allows for stronger gameplay. And that's just gameplay, not story."
What if the game has no story. Story is not a requirement for a game. Do you even care at all about the gameplay because all this crap has to do with story which, regardless of quality, doesn't make a good game.

"Sequels are a symptom of a larger problem within the games industry, which is that the fans latch onto franchises rather than developers."
This is just stupid. Of course people will follow franchises they like. If anything we shouldn't latch onto developers as if they were rockstars.

"It's a result of an increasingly corporate culture that designs more and more games by committee and has less and less emphasis on exposing or crediting individual creators. Most people tend to go "Oh, another Gears of War, I will check it out because I liked previous Gears of War." Rather than "Oh, a game by Cliffy B. I will check it out because I enjoyed Cliffy B's previous works.""
Well, yeah. Most games CANNOT be credited to individual creators when they have 60 people helping them.

"It shackles creators to single properties rather than giving them opportunities to explore their other big ideas. And this doesn't seem to happen as much in the film industry. Everyone knew that Inception was by Christopher Nolan, and everyone went to see it because The Dark Knight was good"
WE DO NOT PLAY GAMES FOR DEVELOPER CREATIVITY, we play games for fun. Developers are not damn rockstars and they can't do whatever they want. They have to make games for people, not themselves. This is the real cancer killing the industry. So what you hate isn't at all reasonable.

people change because they must, but if industry seen no change people get stuck, don't you understand it? every change has a beginning.

There are many kinds of sequels and not all of them need a better story.
A better story is only needed in franchise that is based on story actually. If the strong point of a series was never it's story,then an improvement on the story department isn't that urgent.
For example take Mario and most of Nintendo's game.
Each Mario games tells the exact same story and repeats the same events over and over again.
Mario doesn't need anything more than that actually.
But think of a Mass Effect game without a good story.
Mass Effect (1) tried to balance good story with good gameplay,but its very well written story and cinematics made the real difference.Bioware saw this,and they made Mass Effect 2's story stronger,while (IMO) gameplay became more stale and honestly I got bored after realizing the pattern the game had "Talk to X,X will ask you for a favor,you go there shoot many usual dudes to get to objective,fight a boss,repeat".
I think that what a sequel has to have to be considered good is to keep all the essential characteristics,its definitive points the same,while expanding,refreshing and perhaps altering less significant things.
What is Castlevania whithout Dracula,Mario without platforms,or an id Software game without darkness and disgusting moments ?
Developers should keep the main things that shape up a game's experience the same,while changing or improving anything else.
I expect from a sequel to make me feel the same kind of feelings I felt with an original,but while offering new content to make the experience feel fresh.
I believe that if a developer would like to make substantial changes regarding a game's,basic feel shouldn't name it a sequel.
And that's why I think Prey 2 should be named something else.
I played Prey and liked it but when I learned that Prey 2 is going to be nothing like the original I felt bad inside me 'cause I thought "The game I liked is dead and now I will never play something like that thing I liked again".
Something that made me prejudiced against Prey 2.
It might be a good name,but from a Prey game I'd expect an Indian mechanic using spiritual powers to fight aliens,playing around with portals and watching disturbing vistas every now and then,similar to DNF's "hive" level.
When I see that a sequel is so different and doesn't hold the things that made the original what it is,I feel like being tricked over to buy something that I think it's something else.
Sequels should be made if there are clear ideas in a creator's mind of how it should be done properly I think.For a sequel to be good,the main designer should have a clear vision of how the game will play,and how the series will evolve from before.

Andronicus:

Of course, it comes down to whether or not we think the lead designer should be held in the same sort of regard as a movie director is, above the rest of the development team.

I guess that rather depends on just how influential the designer really is.

To what extent is a game a reflection of a single person's vision, and to what extent is it a collaboration?

Sid Meier and Chris Sawyer probably did do almost the entirety of the games they are known for by themselves. (Chris Sawyer outsourced things, but that's different to having people working with you to design something.)

Shigeru Miyamoto designed the original Mario & Zelda games. There were other people designing the levels, and doing programming (and probably music), but the game mechanics (and character design) are largely his responsibility.

By contrast, by the time of mario 3, Shigeru Miyamoto probably already had far less direct involvement with how those games were made... (These days he's usually listed as Executive producer most of the time.)

Doom and quake, meanwhile, seem to have been games built almost entirely around the question of 'what can we do with our cool new technology?'.

I guess it's possible for a game to reflect the vision of a single (or small number of) people, but at the same time that doesn't seem to be the working practice of most modern game studios.

hermes200:

AJey:
WTF? Jim, you serious? "Game can be good with a weak story"! Are you F-ing serious?! Most pathetic piece of argument ever! wow! Show me a good game that has a weak story! You gonna use Angry Birds maybe?! Show me a single good game without or with weak story!

Let me put it this way. You show me any game from the 80s or earlier that has a good story. Any game...
Now think of any game released during that time that were actually good: Mario 1 and 2, Megaman 1 and 2, Street Fighter 1 and 2, Wolfestein, Pacman, Galaga, Tetris, etc. Any game in that group is an example of games that are good but have almost no story. And that not even counting more modern games.
Story is games is almost always weak... Other than RPG, most games stories is more like a premise (save your girlfriend, get the MacGuffin, shoot everyone before they shoot you). Most modern games focus on setting to set them apart, more than story.

I agree! Those are pretty good games that have a premise at best. But thats a completely different era of gaming. With the technology of that time and dominant genres, story was very often impossible. Not to mention that then game was about fun, and fun only! Today, games have vastly expanded. They still have to be fun, yet a story, characters, plot, gameplay, mechanics, esthetics, music and many more variables are required to have a valid game. Imagine Morgan Freeman without a story, fantastic supporting characters and setting. Imagine Final Fantasy having only a hack-n-slash element. Imagine Elder Scrolls being only about killing monsters! And the list goes on. I get your point about 80s, but its not relevant in 2011. Games have changed drastically. Im also NOT trying to say that everyone should only care about story. I do play games like Counter Strike or COD sometimes. However in todays gaming world, at least a decent game is obliged to have a story (among other essentials). Not to mention there really are not many good games out there!

Thrakkesh:

AJey:
WTF? Jim, you serious? "Game can be good with a weak story"! Are you F-ing serious?! Most pathetic piece of argument ever! wow! Show me a good game that has a weak story! You gonna use Angry Birds maybe?! Show me a single good game without or with weak story!

'Good?' or 'Successful?'

Because uh, Counterstrike comes to mind. I don't like Counterstrike, but a very large group of people do and have for a very long time. Also 'good story' is pretty subjective--I wouldn't say Punch Out had a good story, but the game was a blast. Hell, the entire Street Fighter franchise has a 'storyline' so laughable that you literally probably shouldn't know it, but remains an excellent franchise for what it is. But of course, I could list games like this all day. If it's something as subjective as how much you 'like' them you're just going to shoot them down because they're not your kind of games.

Granted not any kind of story is a good story. I do recognize the difference between "good" and "successful". COD is successful yet it lacks story. At the same time COD represents only a fraction of a game. Lets compare COD to Halo. They are both successful. Not to make fanboys mad, but I would say COD is more popular. Does it mean COD is a better game? No! Why? Because an additional element that Halo has - story - is present and is pretty decent. There are many important parts in games, however today story remains the most important. Story helps progress and build characters, it helps set the setting, it helps you immerse into a game etc. Of course there is a fun factor. But even a flash game can be fun. Im not trying to speak form a preferences point of view. When I play any kind of game, I also try and evaluate it professionally. So I can enjoy and like the game, but not think that its necessary good!

AJey:
WTF? Jim, you serious? "Game can be good with a weak story"! Are you F-ing serious?! Most pathetic piece of argument ever! wow! Show me a good game that has a weak story! You gonna use Angry Birds maybe?! Show me a single good game without or with weak story!

Let's ignore old games for the time being, and just look at all the awesome games that have little story, if any at all. Audiosurf. Cogs. Greed Corp (it has a setting, nothing more). Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (sure, it has a story, but who gives a damn?). Almost any FPS. Wolverine: Origins.

Hell, even Half-Life 2's story is mostly comprised of excuses to go to places. The original Portal didn't have a plot besides "then I walked to here, was insulted by a robot, and did something clever" until near the end of the game; World of Goo does something similar. Despite this, all three games definitely told you something. They evoked; they brought to life. HL2 had Alyx Vance and a world under control by a sinister influence. Portal presented you with the mystery of the puzzles themselves and the meta-mystery of what exactly was going on and who this enigmatic, crazy-sounding computer was. World of Goo nudged you every now and then to tell you that as you solved simplified engineering conundrums, something not-that-innocuous was happening somewhere in the background, distracted you with whimsy, and then pulled a climax out of nowhere and threw it straight at the part of your brain that controls wonder.

I think we need to write letters to people about creating a price tiering system, not only do I think it's a great idea, AND I'd probably be saving money, but I think it would work brilliantly. Some games just don't have the mass appeal to warrant being priced in the upper tiers. 40 for big deal releases, 30-20 for new IP with some studio backing, and any lower then that you're talking indie devs and they already have a lower price point in the form of the XBLA/PSN.

Am I the only one that read Yahtzee's second post and suddenly thought of a drive-in-roller-coaster?

AJey:

hermes200:

AJey:
WTF? Jim, you serious? "Game can be good with a weak story"! Are you F-ing serious?! Most pathetic piece of argument ever! wow! Show me a good game that has a weak story! You gonna use Angry Birds maybe?! Show me a single good game without or with weak story!

Let me put it this way. You show me any game from the 80s or earlier that has a good story. Any game...
Now think of any game released during that time that were actually good: Mario 1 and 2, Megaman 1 and 2, Street Fighter 1 and 2, Wolfestein, Pacman, Galaga, Tetris, etc. Any game in that group is an example of games that are good but have almost no story. And that not even counting more modern games.
Story is games is almost always weak... Other than RPG, most games stories is more like a premise (save your girlfriend, get the MacGuffin, shoot everyone before they shoot you). Most modern games focus on setting to set them apart, more than story.

I agree! Those are pretty good games that have a premise at best. But thats a completely different era of gaming. With the technology of that time and dominant genres, story was very often impossible. Not to mention that then game was about fun, and fun only! Today, games have vastly expanded. They still have to be fun, yet a story, characters, plot, gameplay, mechanics, esthetics, music and many more variables are required to have a valid game. Imagine Morgan Freeman without a story, fantastic supporting characters and setting. Imagine Final Fantasy having only a hack-n-slash element. Imagine Elder Scrolls being only about killing monsters! And the list goes on. I get your point about 80s, but its not relevant in 2011. Games have changed drastically. Im also NOT trying to say that everyone should only care about story. I do play games like Counter Strike or COD sometimes. However in todays gaming world, at least a decent game is obliged to have a story (among other essentials). Not to mention there really are not many good games out there!

Your original point was about weak story, not no story.
I agree that most games today need to have a story, but in 90% of the cases the story is paper thin... Sure, one could argue that Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter or Guitar Hero has a story, but its mostly a justification to the gameplay. Truth is, most games hasn't evolve over the "kill the invaders" premise of Galaga. Almost every game (successful or not, good or not) can have its story summarized in a single sentence.

Burly Marines Part 96, coming this fall for PS3 and Xbox.

I guess I'm one of those few people that does embrace certain developers, or at least publishing houses, rather than purely the franchise. For instance, I am a total whore for NIS and Atlus. I will happily get nearly anything they put out. Sure, not everything is a masterpiece. Some of it flat out sucks. But I'm usually happy with their products, even their new titles.

I'm also someone who tends to fall into that "cheaper is worse" trap. I ignored the indie market for a long time, mostly because I couldn't imagine a <$10 game being any good. But, then I got the Breath of Death VII/Cthulhu Saves the World pack from Steam for $3. Best money I've ever spent and two of the best, most fulfilling gaming experiences I've had in YEARS. I will likely be a support of Zeboyd games for a long time.

Though I should state I only seemed to take the "Cheaper is lower quality" stance while looking at the indie market, something I should be flogged for I'm sure. Often I look at new games and say "There is no way that is worth $60," and often I'm right, even when referring to tried and true titles. Take DNF or even Portal 2 as examples. DNF, despite the 90 year dev time, is not worth $60. Just looking at it, it looks cheap, maybe $40 tops. Portal 2 is the same. It is undeniably great, but its not a $60 game.

I find that I've suddenly greatly embraced my PSP. I rarely take it anywhere, but with the component cable to hook it up to my HD Tv.. I'm getting high quality, big screen gaming experiences for $30-$40 with some easily being worth $60 but only costing about half of that. In a lot of cases, if these games were $60 PS3 titles, there's no way I'd have made the investment, but I can gamble $30 and not feel too bad if it doesn't pan out.

I forgot:

WE DO NOT PLAY GAMES FOR DEVELOPER CREATIVITY, we play games for fun. Developers are not damn rockstars and they can't do whatever they want. They have to make games for people, not themselves. This is the real cancer killing the industry. So what you hate isn't at all reasonable.

Judging by your comments, you must be 7 years old at best(Yes, I know, your comeback will be "I'm 29 years old and 6'12'' and bench press 900lbs, bring it on fag" save it for CoD), or else you wouldn't be so ignorant to the fact the stuff you cling to now exists because developers took the chance to be creative.

New and creative games are what make gaming fun. New and different experiences that expand the gaming palate and help the entire industry grow. What you want, what you embrace, is tedium and repetition; stagnation. If developers weren't creative and didn't try new things, all your cover-based, FPS, regenerating health-bar, shovel-ware garbage wouldn't exist because the ground work would have never been laid by people with some actual innovative ideas. Unfortunately, thanks to people like you, now every game uses those ideas and refuses to gamble on new and potentially interesting and fun ideas.

I'm honestly amazed you could set down Call of Duty 57 long enough to write your response. People like you are the industry cancer, happily shelling out $60 for the exact same game with a new sub title every 6 months and sending the message that all we want is the exact same game to play over and over again.

hermes200:

AJey:

hermes200:
Let me put it this way. You show me any game from the 80s or earlier that has a good story. Any game...
Now think of any game released during that time that were actually good: Mario 1 and 2, Megaman 1 and 2, Street Fighter 1 and 2, Wolfestein, Pacman, Galaga, Tetris, etc. Any game in that group is an example of games that are good but have almost no story. And that not even counting more modern games.
Story is games is almost always weak... Other than RPG, most games stories is more like a premise (save your girlfriend, get the MacGuffin, shoot everyone before they shoot you). Most modern games focus on setting to set them apart, more than story.

I agree! Those are pretty good games that have a premise at best. But thats a completely different era of gaming. With the technology of that time and dominant genres, story was very often impossible. Not to mention that then game was about fun, and fun only! Today, games have vastly expanded. They still have to be fun, yet a story, characters, plot, gameplay, mechanics, esthetics, music and many more variables are required to have a valid game. Imagine Morgan Freeman without a story, fantastic supporting characters and setting. Imagine Final Fantasy having only a hack-n-slash element. Imagine Elder Scrolls being only about killing monsters! And the list goes on. I get your point about 80s, but its not relevant in 2011. Games have changed drastically. Im also NOT trying to say that everyone should only care about story. I do play games like Counter Strike or COD sometimes. However in todays gaming world, at least a decent game is obliged to have a story (among other essentials). Not to mention there really are not many good games out there!

Your original point was about weak story, not no story.
I agree that most games today need to have a story, but in 90% of the cases the story is paper thin... Sure, one could argue that Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter or Guitar Hero has a story, but its mostly a justification to the gameplay. Truth is, most games hasn't evolve over the "kill the invaders" premise of Galaga. Almost every game (successful or not, good or not) can have its story summarized in a single sentence.

I can summarize War and Piece by Tolstoj into one sentence. Will it make it a bad story? Of course not. Also lets not confuse a premise and a story. Mortal Kombat or Guitar Hero merely have a premise, a direction to follow. While story is a whole world. And sure, I completely agree that most games have paper thin stories. Thats why there are not many really good games. Fun, popular and enjoyable does not equate to good by the way. So when Jim states that a good story is not essential for a good game, naturally that makes me agitated.

Sylveria:

I forgot:

WE DO NOT PLAY GAMES FOR DEVELOPER CREATIVITY, we play games for fun. Developers are not damn rockstars and they can't do whatever they want. They have to make games for people, not themselves. This is the real cancer killing the industry. So what you hate isn't at all reasonable.

Judging by your comments, you must be 7 years old at best(Yes, I know, your comeback will be "I'm 29 years old and 6'12'' and bench press 900lbs, bring it on fag" save it for CoD), or else you wouldn't be so ignorant to the fact the stuff you cling to now exists because developers took the chance to be creative.

New and creative games are what make gaming fun. New and different experiences that expand the gaming palate and help the entire industry grow. What you want, what you embrace, is tedium and repetition; stagnation. If developers weren't creative and didn't try new things, all your cover-based, FPS, regenerating health-bar, shovel-ware garbage wouldn't exist because the ground work would have never been laid by people with some actual innovative ideas. Unfortunately, thanks to people like you, now every game uses those ideas and refuses to gamble on new and potentially interesting and fun ideas.

I'm honestly amazed you could set down Call of Duty 57 long enough to write your response. People like you are the industry cancer, happily shelling out $60 for the exact same game with a new sub title every 6 months and sending the message that all we want is the exact same game to play over and over again.

You can disagree without all the petty insults and presumptions about me. I can barely reply because your reply is filled with so many presumptions (especially funny because I'm not fond of Call of Duty or FPSs)rather than an actual rebuttal that I'd like to refute but would go away from the main subject.

New and creative games aren't BY THEMSELVES what make gaming fun. A game can be new and creative but that doesn't mean anything if it isn't fun. It's the execution of a game's rules and structure that make it fun, which most sequels (hopefully) try to improve and refine with each installment. Also, it's not the people's fault that there are so many FPSs but the publishers with poor business skills that are responsible.

Yahtzee mentioned that "when I said 'sequels' I meant ones involving the same characters". In that case, Bioshock 2 and Assassin's Creed 2 are on the borderline, since you play with different characters and fight different villains, or am I wrong here?

In my opinion, with the exception of a few rare games that really bring out something new, we've been playing sequels (sorry, 'clones') of games from the 90's for too damn long. Some have improved on the formula. Assassin's Creed is the worthy successor of Prince of Persia. Why on earth would they still release Prince of Persia games without the open world idea of AC is beyond me. I can dig remakes of older games, such as Tomb Raider Anniversary, to the extent that I can't figure out why they took time to make Deus Ex Human Revolution from scratch, instead of remaking the original. There are sequels which I would love to play (if done right), such as a No One Lives Forever game, a Sim City or Transport Tycoon. I'd love to see a good Pharaoh successor, or Rome Total War remade with current graphics. I for one can't wait for Skyrim and I pray to the gods that it's more like Morrowind than Oblivion (fat chance tho). Or Heroes uhmm.. (which one is it?) and pray that it's as close to Heroes 3 as possible. I've been praying to the dark side for years to get a Jedi Knight game (not that console port crap they did) or an I-War 3. Or Thief 4 :( And look, Metal Gear Solid 3 was a joy to play and had probably the best spy story ever told. Sequels aren't bad... it's the choice of what's turned into a sequel and HOW they 'sequel' it that is. Let's all be honest and just say what 'sequels' we hate to see.

Fifa (and all other sports games): an update roster every year and better graphics wouldn't be BAD, but the changes are so small that you're better off buying one at 4-5 years interval.

NFS: it's been bad ever since they made the good one: Porsche Unleashed. They've been toying around with other stuff and Underground 2 was fine but they just stretched it out too much. They stepped on GTR's turf and got smoked for it. Unless they come back to the "one brand history" type, they'll just continue to waste time and money. We're bored with NFS and have plenty of better alternatives.

Final Fantasy: been good for a long time, but Hironobu Sakaguchi left just after releasing his masterpiece (FF9) and it's been steadily going downhill ever since. FF12 was fine but they abandoned the concept too fast. From "I can't wait to see the next title", most of us are now thinking "I wonder just how BAD the next one's gonna be".

Metal Gear: this 'thing' just won't die... The third one was splendid but the more they go into weird futuristic conspiracies stuff, the worse it will become. I wonder just how many entire minutes of play we'll have in the next one.

Call of Duty: I would forgive them if they simply made Stalingrad again. And again.. and again. And let me play the German side. Modern Warfare 1 was fine, but they've ran out of cake and now they're just releasing Fifa with guns.

Prince of Persia: just die! Die, you time rewinding freak! Pass your shit to flight sims where that trick would be really useful. I'm tired of having a broken column as my only possible path to save life on earth. Anybody here ever marveled at just how stupid architecture design is in PoP?

The rest (everything else that has a number next to its name): some are good, some were bad to begin with. Some are good for a while (like GTA, before GTA4), then mess up, then turn into something good (Red Dead Redemption). Others blow up their chance on the second title (Mafia).

It all sticks to a very simple formula: with few exceptions, games have become more and more shitty. The main reason is simple: graphics. Too damn expensive and take too damn long to make. Everything else derives from this simple truth. The problem with any sequel is basic physics: it's released some time AFTER the original. Thus, it's shittier, but with better graphics. Sequels are not the CAUSE of everything that's wrong with the gaming industry. Sequels are a symptom and, in unfortunate cases, a simple victim.

I agree that the Final Fantasy formula seems the best way to go about it. I mean GTA basically uses that idea and now Bioshock is in on the act two.

But I would rather we followed developers than names. So Bioware seem to have managed to make a name for themselves and the same with Valve (Blizzard would be an example if they ever produced an original game)

EDIT: But Yahtzee is right that even name only sequels are limiting. FF's have always been particularly unshackled from each other. Cid, Chocobos and JRPG being pretty much the only thing in common (and even that gets broken every now and then) and they've ruined their name a little bit by releasing games that people weren't expecting and have serious flaws. To keep a franchise clean it would again seem to be encouraging less risk

I just found this today and while I'm sure many of you know of it's existence I almost screamed like a school girl and when I saw what is on it's glorious HTML coded pages: http://www.gog.com/

Why am I posting this on a topic spawning from emails questioning the validity of sequels? To stress that even though a sequel can be justified because of enhanced graphics and game mechanics doesn't mean that the story should be butchered to do so. So instead of rehashing old stories or attempting to squeeze blood out of a turnip with a new one - there are games out there that need no sequel, they just need to be remade!

I don't want a new game, I want the old game with better graphics! I don't care if the subplots are finished up or expanded on, maybe new missions or NPCs or different events, I just want the wonderful story with new graphics and an updated GUI! Good stories don't need to be messed with they just need a face lift! Don't stuff in new ideas or remove the bad ones (ok, maybe the really bad ones), just take me from dot matrix to HD!

This isn't he movie industry where you need to wait 50 years before a studio can rationalize the remake of an old film. Games have changed more in the past year than movies have in the last ten. And I'm not talking about reboots (Spiderman... Hulk...) I'm talking about REMAKES! Same story, characters, plot points - REMADE!

Fix the bugs, close the plot holes, expand if you must on character development but give me the same old song and dance again! Even if you have to throw a new story in there to get me a little more intrigued - remake it! Even if you include the original in all it's glory with the new package - remake it! Hell, create a multiplayer aspect too and add in a micro-transactions system but for God's sake - REMAKE IT!

If the story is what makes the game interesting it doesn't really matter what it looks like, unless it looks like shit! So instead of slapping a 2 or a 'Reborn' or, for Gods sake, a S3QUAL in the title, just remake the damn thing! We'll be happy about.

What you ask me could possibly be just remade? - Duke F/n Nukem 3D - that's what!

There can't be one person on this site that can't say they would want just one game remade!

Sylveria:

Judging by your comments, you must be 7 years old at best(Yes, I know, your comeback will be "I'm 29 years old and 6'12'' and bench press 900lbs, bring it on fag" save it for CoD), or else you wouldn't be so ignorant to the fact the stuff you cling to now exists because developers took the chance to be creative.

New and creative games are what make gaming fun. New and different experiences that expand the gaming palate and help the entire industry grow. What you want, what you embrace, is tedium and repetition; stagnation. If developers weren't creative and didn't try new things, all your cover-based, FPS, regenerating health-bar, shovel-ware garbage wouldn't exist because the ground work would have never been laid by people with some actual innovative ideas. Unfortunately, thanks to people like you, now every game uses those ideas and refuses to gamble on new and potentially interesting and fun ideas.

I'm honestly amazed you could set down Call of Duty 57 long enough to write your response. People like you are the industry cancer, happily shelling out $60 for the exact same game with a new sub title every 6 months and sending the message that all we want is the exact same game to play over and over again.

God this is a fucking stupid post, filled with petty insults and presumptions, and the good ol' cliche Call of Duty moniker to slap on to us simpletons who play video games for fun.

People like YOU are the reason gamers keep looking down on art/indie/"deep" games as pretentious dickheads with their heads up their ass. Somebody talks about how gaems are suppose to be fun(which, hey what do you know, they are!), and you go off on a tired ass rant.

"incredibly unbelievable" - Jim

This is a repeating redundancy.

When does Burly Marines Part 96 come out?

AJey:
WTF? Jim, you serious? "Game can be good with a weak story"! Are you F-ing serious?! Most pathetic piece of argument ever! wow! Show me a good game that has a weak story! You gonna use Angry Birds maybe?! Show me a single good game without or with weak story!

Bayonetta. It's a good, I'd even say outstanding game (game of the year in my book) that has virtually no story.

Same goes for Valkyria Chronicles, which is one of my favorite games of all time, but has a pathetic excuse for a story too.

And I'm not bringing up the 80th games. Yeah.

I could probably name a few other good games with bad stories, but these two are the ones that come to mind first.

purifico:

AJey:
WTF? Jim, you serious? "Game can be good with a weak story"! Are you F-ing serious?! Most pathetic piece of argument ever! wow! Show me a good game that has a weak story! You gonna use Angry Birds maybe?! Show me a single good game without or with weak story!

Bayonetta. It's a good, I'd even say outstanding game (game of the year in my book) that has virtually no story.

Same goes for Valkyria Chronicles, which is one of my favorite games of all time, but has a pathetic excuse for a story too.

And I'm not bringing up the 80th games. Yeah.

I could probably name a few other good games with bad stories, but these two are the ones that come to mind first.

Bayonetta technically has a story it's just confusing as shit and once you understand it, it isn't that amazing since they hid it too hard.

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