Sequels Part 2

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Sequels Part 2

The much awaited sequel to the original with MovieBob, Jim and Yahtzee.

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I do have to agree with Yahtzees last statement. Trying a in theory banning of sequels will be interesting. Because the shit of sequels will out weigh the good and people will stop looking for sequels to make quick n' easy money and use their brains for once.

I would like to point out that us nitwits the publishers kindly refer to as customers tend to get stuck to a storyline we think is good then stay with it until it finally ends. I think this can be observed much better in literature rather than games, because literature tends to take longer to complete in terms of a sequel.

On a side note, would like to see a discussion on game pricing. Should be interesting even if they all agree.

The problem is that creating a sequel is the easiest form of marketing that there is; people see a game with a 2 on the end, remember the original and pick it up, even if said original was only okay.

Another problem is IP ownership; a developer is going to genuinely care about their IP, and if they think they can't carry on a series in a good way, they probably wouldn't make another game. But the publisher almost always gets the right to the IP, so if something will sell because is it part of an established franchise, they know the game can be awful and still sell. Although I never like the series myself, I'd state Halo as an example. Bungie made their Halo games and then decided to move on, but because Microsoft owns Halo they're giving it to another developer and making THREE MORE BLOODY GAMES.

I wonder if there's any chance we could get those red boxes filled with useful dialogue instead of their current contents? This column, while otherwise very enjoyable, seems to suffer greatly due to the missed potential of those sections.

On cliffhangers... HL2:Ep2 anyone? le sigh.

On pricing... I know it's not the point of this article (as Yahtzee points out) but I still go "wtf" when I walk into any games store and see a boxed Portal 2 for PC with a RRP of $90AU, when I swear I saw it on steam last night for under $30US - with currency parity atm, it's a bit of a joke. And an extra bit of hilarity, when an uninformed person purchases said boxed copy, intalls it (and steam), fires up steam to launch the game, and the first thing they see is an ad saying "Congratulations! You paid 3 times the price, how do you feel?" - Yeah. Pretty poor.

I assume this is more a publisher thing than a developer thing, business as usual in the land down under. ><

Twisted Metal director David Jaffe said $60 was a "shit ton" of money to ask from a gamer. But are they reducing their own prices? Nope!

I don't know if that's fair. How much pull would David Jaffe have in terms of the game's pricing? Somehow I think that if he actually could make it less than $60, he would. But isn't his job just to make the game so that Sony can sell it at whatever price they see fit? Maybe I'm thinking too small, but I don't see how he would be able to do anything more than make a comment or two about it.

The point about cliffhangers is an interesting one too. I'm fine with good cliffhangers. I'm just sick of games that end too early and feel like there's still a part of the current story missing. I want a cliffhanger ending to make me get excited and start speculating about what happens next and have me on the edge of my seat waiting for the next game, not make me think "Hey, where the hell is the rest of this game? The story isn't finished yet! Augh. Do I have to wait a few months for DLC or a few years for the next game? This sucks."

Keslen:
I wonder if there's any chance we could get those red boxes filled with useful dialogue instead of their current contents? This column, while otherwise very enjoyable, seems to suffer greatly due to the missed potential of those sections.

Oh ho ho, the "I hate Jim Sterling" crowd never gets old.

Or maybe it's just that it's been old from day one, thus doesn't appear to be getting old because there was nothing funny or clever that would start getting old and tired. Yes, I think this is far more likely.

My contribution to the whole sequel dilemma is that the sequel is only good if it was planned from the beginning AND the separate parts still have a functioning beginning/middle/end.

But I do like the point about how we commonly mislabel sequels and franchises. Sequels are a continuation or addition to the plot whereas a franchise just has similar elements and possibly no plot connection whatsoever. Sometimes a franchise can be a sequel in name only *cough*Xcom*cough*

If I had to pick games that i know of that fit those molds best I'd say that Kingdom Hearts is a sequel series (I'll be honest the Kingdom Hearts story is a mess because it doesn't seem to have been planned out from the beginning) and Legend of Zelda is a franchise series.

Isn't MarioKart 7 the 7th version of that series?

Previous versions:

Super MarioKart
MarioKart 64
MarioKart Super-Circuit
MarioKart Double Dash
MarioKart DS
MarioKart Wii

Am I missing one or has MovieBob made a silly mistake?

Jim Sterling:
I think there's an automatic aversion people have to cliffhangers, like they are inherently a bad thing, which I disagree with. I'm pretty tolerant of them, and if it's a good cliffhanger, I'm all for it.

I completely agree with this statement. I don't understand why people think cliffhangers are a problem in and of themselves; it's entirely possible, and not uncommon, for a cliffhanger ending to be a great ending. The Empire Strikes Back? Back to the Future 2? Both of them end on huge cliffhangers that make it very obvious another film is coming, but they're both fantastic endings. Even the much-hated Halo 2 cliffhanger is, in my opinion, sufficiently well-done to not really bother me. Well, apart from the fact that you then needed to buy a new console to finish the story, but that's a different issue.

mjc0961:

Twisted Metal director David Jaffe said $60 was a "shit ton" of money to ask from a gamer. But are they reducing their own prices? Nope!

I don't know if that's fair. How much pull would David Jaffe have in terms of the game's pricing? Somehow I think that if he actually could make it less than $60, he would. But isn't his job just to make the game so that Sony can sell it at whatever price they see fit? Maybe I'm thinking too small, but I don't see how he would be able to do anything more than make a comment or two about it.

Yeah, Jaffe wouldn't be able to do much. Bethesda on the other hand, they'd probably be able to do something. And if not them, then EA could definitely do something. They have their own store selling their own games. They recognized the problem 4 years ago.

And yet they don't do shit. No, wait, they bitch about used games and are pushing DLC and whatnot to get us to pay more after the hefty $60 investment.

Selling Battlefield 3 for $40 would be the best way to try and outsell call of duty.

Or even Skyrim. Selling the games at $40 would be game-changing. Because then people would start going "why should I pay $60 for your game, when I can get something like Skyrim/BF3 for $40?"

JoJoDeathunter:
Isn't MarioKart 7 the 7th version of that series?

Previous versions:

Super MarioKart
MarioKart 64
MarioKart Super-Circuit
MarioKart Double Dash
MarioKart DS
MarioKart Wii

Am I missing one or has MovieBob made a silly mistake?

Ninja'd. I can't think of any others, so yeah, I'm pretty sure this is the 7th. Time to look at Wikipedia...

Ah, there's two arcade games, too. But when do publishers EVER count arcade-only releases when numbering their games?

I'm thinking back to all the Dragon Age 2 hate. That was a decent game in and of itself; it just wasn't a direct sequel to Dragon Age: Origins. Rather, it was a somewhat different game in the same world setting. It was also billed as a game about a "rise to power" rather than a game about being "swept along by events". Cue massive nerd rage flowing from frustrated entitlement.

Maybe the problem isn't sequels, it's lazy marketing. As long as you know what you're getting, you can't complain when you get it.

Extra Consideration:
Extra Consideration: Sequels Part 2

The much awaited sequel to the original with MovieBob, Jim and Yahtzee.

Read Full Article

To Jim:

If you're aware of the origin of "cliffhanger," than you're probably also aware that it was a combination stall tactic and marketing device. And most importantly, it was used in small scale serials. Scheherazade was just buying one more night. Hardy was just putting things off for one more month.

Games don't generally have episodic content with a fast enough turn-around that cliffhangers really work to build the suspense. Half Life has proven that even the best of intentions can't keep good games coming fast enough.

Of course, there is a difference between a cliffhanger and an open ending. The difference, really, is that an open ending still has an ending. There's a payoff of some sort, and it's substantial and satisfying... and then there's a nod to some unresolved story elements that may have more significance than we originally though. That can be as simple as having a few unanswered questions, of which you may or may not remind the audience before closing out the current story.

It's like a meal. You anticipate getting your entree, and you're hungry and excited. A cliffhanger is like saying, "Sorry, but your meal will be delayed just a bit." If it goes on too long, you're going to leave--and rightfully so. An open ending, if done well, is more like saying, "Sorry, but your full entree is going to be delayed, but here is one of our best appetizers to tide you over, and we'll throw in a dessert at the end for making you wait."

Or, for another analogy, a trail of breadcrumbs can be used to lead a bird where you like. But if the breadcrumbs are too far apart, the bird is going to lose the trail (or just lose patience). You either need to place them more often, or consider leaving bigger pieces.

How bout you guys stop picking on the COD series for no reason. Seriously, grow up.

REPTILE 0009:
How bout you guys stop picking on the COD series for no reason. Seriously, grow up.

There's a definite reason for them "picking on" CoD; which is that it hasn't made a significant evolution since Modern Warfare.

Now I loved CoD 4, loved it to death- and I will defend it against anyone who badmouths it. Yet, even with that love, I can't deny that MW2, Blops, and probably the upcoming MW3 are/appear to be more of the same. Same settings (or at least types), same Cold-War era mentality (even in the "modern" ones due to the villainous Russians), same HUD (which is now spreading to other games), etc.

Essentially, Activision believes that releasing the same game every two years with better graphics (and little else in the way of innovation) is justification for an additional $60. This is an attitude that is poisonous to the entire games industry because it propagates crass indulgence and money-grabbing instead of technical or artistic innovation.

So, yeah, they aren't "picking CoD for no reason," they are suggesting flaws in the current system of gaming, of which the continuous cloning of CoD 4 is a serious symptom.

If anyone needs to grow up around here, it's a fanboy who blindly defends a series that has stagnated against any constructive criticism which might make the series better in the long run.

Prof. Monkeypox:

REPTILE 0009:
How bout you guys stop picking on the COD series for no reason. Seriously, grow up.

There's a definite reason for them "picking on" CoD; which is that it hasn't made a significant evolution since Modern Warfare.

Now I loved CoD 4, loved it to death- and I will defend it against anyone who badmouths it. Yet, even with that love, I can't deny that MW2, Blops, and probably the upcoming MW3 are/appear to be more of the same. Same settings (or at least types), same Cold-War era mentality (even in the "modern" ones due to the villainous Russians), same HUD (which is now spreading to other games), etc.

Essentially, Activision believes that releasing the same game every two years with better graphics (and little else in the way of innovation) is justification for an additional $60. This is an attitude that is poisonous to the entire games industry because it propagates crass indulgence and money-grabbing instead of technical or artistic innovation.

So, yeah, they aren't "picking CoD for no reason," they are suggesting flaws in the current system of gaming, of which the continuous cloning of CoD 4 is a serious symptom.

If anyone needs to grow up around here, it's a fanboy who blindly defends a series that has stagnated against any constructive criticism which might make the series better in the long run.

And what exactly excuses companies like Nintendo and Capcom from releasing the same game for the past decade?

REPTILE 0009:

Prof. Monkeypox:

REPTILE 0009:
How bout you guys stop picking on the COD series for no reason. Seriously, grow up.

There's a definite reason for them "picking on" CoD; which is that it hasn't made a significant evolution since Modern Warfare.

Now I loved CoD 4, loved it to death- and I will defend it against anyone who badmouths it. Yet, even with that love, I can't deny that MW2, Blops, and probably the upcoming MW3 are/appear to be more of the same. Same settings (or at least types), same Cold-War era mentality (even in the "modern" ones due to the villainous Russians), same HUD (which is now spreading to other games), etc.

Essentially, Activision believes that releasing the same game every two years with better graphics (and little else in the way of innovation) is justification for an additional $60. This is an attitude that is poisonous to the entire games industry because it propagates crass indulgence and money-grabbing instead of technical or artistic innovation.

So, yeah, they aren't "picking CoD for no reason," they are suggesting flaws in the current system of gaming, of which the continuous cloning of CoD 4 is a serious symptom.

If anyone needs to grow up around here, it's a fanboy who blindly defends a series that has stagnated against any constructive criticism which might make the series better in the long run.

And what exactly excuses companies like Nintendo and Capcom from releasing the same game for the past decade?

Nothing.
And none of the commentators (with the possible exception of Nintendo fanboy Bob) are excusing them for that. And I certainly won't jump on the defending Nintendo bandwagon either. It just seems odd that you jump up to defend CoD when that was far from the only game they were commenting on.

This discussion reminds me of my recent ire toward Skyward Sword.
The more I hear about that game, the less it sounds like a classic Zelda game (if anything it kind of sounds like an Atlus RPG in the style of Persona or something).

And that's cool, it sounds like Nintendo is finally doing something different. So why do I hate it? Well, it's because if they intend to completely overhaul LoZ why not just call it something else? The superficial Zelda trappings just seem like a pointless framework they're trying to crowbar something new into.

If they don't want to keep making Ocarina of Time clones, that's a step in the right direction- but it's completely pointless if they release it in a way that says "we're not confident we can make anything that will get played by anyone but nostalgia-blinded 30-somethings."

Okay, this is just ridiculous. You may claim that games borrow too much fromcinema, but this sequelphobic idiocy is out and out copied verbatim from film. And its ludicrous.

Look, here are the facts. Look at Gamesrankings list of the best games of all time. The first original IP is Halo: Number 11 - an original IP no longer breaks the top 10. After that? LittleBigPlanet: Number 21. After that? Half Life: Number 30. Of the top 50 games ever made, you have a grand total of 5 new IPS - Company of Heroes and Gears of War rounding out the list.

Of what has been judged the best games ever made, new IPs make up 10%. What value does a new IP bring outside of some arbitrary weighting to it being a new IP? It beings originality? Compare Brink with Resident Evil 4. It brings a new story? Compare Homefront with Half Life 2. This obsession with new IPS is just a ridiculous holdover that seems to assume that gaming is the exact same as Film.

mjc0961:

Keslen:
I wonder if there's any chance we could get those red boxes filled with useful dialogue instead of their current contents? This column, while otherwise very enjoyable, seems to suffer greatly due to the missed potential of those sections.

Oh ho ho, the "I hate Jim Sterling" crowd never gets old.

Or maybe it's just that it's been old from day one, thus doesn't appear to be getting old because there was nothing funny or clever that would start getting old and tired. Yes, I think this is far more likely.

To address the elephant in the room: No, I do not perceive any redeeming qualities in the content Jim Sterling has generated that I have consumed. That being said, what does he have to do with anything I was talking about? I was (and am) asking for a smoother, more consistent content flow within this column and it makes no difference to me how that goal is achieved. It is especially unfair to accuse me (however indirectly) of hating the man when I've never even met him!

I get the distinct impression from this two part discussion topic that Jim and Bob are having a serious, thoughtful discussion and Yahtzee is just throwing around big, childish blanket statements that need constant addendums to hold up any kind of water.

As the two serious debaters pointed out, sequels can be a great thing, and franchises/sequels are often used--by good developers--to bring around radical new gameplay mechanics but under a market friendly face that minimizes such risk. It's unfortunate that it needs to be done, but it's better than the "expansion pack sequels" as Bob says. A whole lot better. Not even on the same level.

Personally, I find cliffhangers inexcusable in any medium. I didn't like it when I finished the first Discworld or the first Hitchhiker's novels and found that I need to buy the second to find out how it ended, even if I had already decided I would buy them while reading. Anything that makes itself out to be a self-contained thing should be so, and anything that wants to be part of something greater should leard how to do so while remaining self-contained.

I really doubt that the people who enjoy the story in gaming are so small a minority to be a small blip in devs' minds, and I really doubt they are a smaller minority than those who defend games should have no stories at all. Maybe it comes from narrowing down what 'story' means in a game, and forgetting that a game like Team Fortress 2 can have a great story without having any story whatsover in a traditional way.

I hope you come back to the pricing discussion later. One bad thing from the idea Jim brought up is that if $60 games are still being bought, then that is a price people are comfortable with, and any scaling in price should go from that point upwards. Isn't that what Activision did? Or what DLC does indirectly? But this discussion has much more potential in it - games are electronic media, and pricing in electronic media is very weird, because - well, if you want to sell, say, a salad, you add the cost of the ingredients of the salad, add a little more to pay for the cook that makes the salad and the waiter that serves it, and a little more for profit, and there you have it. In electronic media, the 'cook' is paid a lot, and they are paid for a long time before you can serve the salad, and the ingredients are worth almost nothing but if you charged only a little more you'd never cover the costs of what you paid the cook for the last three years. I don't doubt price fixing exists in gaming but I'm not sure how much is nefarious executiveering and how much is legitimate fear of what will happen to the market if this baseline is destroyed.

mjc0961:
Oh ho ho, the "I hate Jim Sterling" crowd never gets old.

Or maybe it's just that it's been old from day one, thus doesn't appear to be getting old because there was nothing funny or clever that would start getting old and tired. Yes, I think this is far more likely.

Yeah, just like Jim Sterling. MASSIVE ZINGER

Yahtzee takes it away from $60 pricing because Australians get gouged quite severely by all mediums (except imports), Steam has been known to jack the price up $20-30 USD (even though the AUD's cheaper...) on the majority of titles saying 'it has no control over it'. Right, that's like saying I have no control over the selling price of a pack of gum in a retail corporation, absolute crap. You can say 'you fairly price it for all or GTFO'.

Where games regularly go for $84AUD (around $92 USD), some PS3 titles hitting $110 (and some N64 titles many moons ago that were at $120 like conker's BFD) SC2 barely hits $70 (god damn I hate blizzard for everything after W3) even a year after release where DEHR has regularly been $30 on sales before its release.

Extra Consideration:
Extra Consideration: Sequels Part 2

The much awaited sequel to the original with MovieBob, Jim and Yahtzee.

Read Full Article

Just a heads up, but the first link in "Again, I feel titles like Call of Duty is dominating while the games of Suda 51 and his eccentric ilk disappear without a trace." (in the last paragraph of the first section of the first page) is borked and eating all the text between it and the following link, so the entire section about Deadly Premonition and whatnot ends up missing/not displaying.

Bob seriously needs to stop with the whole Madden thing, he clearly doesn't play them and has no idea what he's talking about. I know quite a few people who play the Madden games, and none of them has ever gone on about how excited they are for a "roster update". What they care about are things like massively improved enemy AI (one of my friends just wouldn't shut up about how much they improved the AI's ability to respond to your decisions in the most recent one) and engine changes that improve the flow of the game and remove animation glitches. He just sees that they all look the same without stopping to consider that they all look like football and have no reason to change that, and he never bothers to notice what's different under the hood because he never actually plays the bloody things. The $60 price point is probably still too high considering the yearly iterations and the number of art assets they can reuse, but that isn't the complaint he's making.

Escapist, please take note of what Yahtzee says and do one of these discussions on pricing.

The Random One:
Personally, I find cliffhangers inexcusable in any medium. I didn't like it when I finished the first Discworld or the first Hitchhiker's novels and found that I need to buy the second to find out how it ended, even if I had already decided I would buy them while reading.

I always thought the main characters were intended to have died at the end of the first Discworld, making it a definitive ending, but Pratchett changed his mind and wrote them back to life.

MovieBob:
Activision got away with it with Madden fans full price for a yearly roster update.

I know it's popular to hate on Activision (and I don't blame you... Bobby Kotick deserves it), but it's EA that makes Madden. Not Activision. Activision makes a Completely Different franchise that gets milked regularly.

OutrageousEmu:
Okay, this is just ridiculous. You may claim that games borrow too much fromcinema, but this sequelphobic idiocy is out and out copied verbatim from film. And its ludicrous.

Look, here are the facts. Look at Gamesrankings list of the best games of all time. The first original IP is Halo: Number 11 - an original IP no longer breaks the top 10. After that? LittleBigPlanet: Number 21. After that? Half Life: Number 30. Of the top 50 games ever made, you have a grand total of 5 new IPS - Company of Heroes and Gears of War rounding out the list.

Of what has been judged the best games ever made, new IPs make up 10%. What value does a new IP bring outside of some arbitrary weighting to it being a new IP? It beings originality? Compare Brink with Resident Evil 4. It brings a new story? Compare Homefront with Half Life 2. This obsession with new IPS is just a ridiculous holdover that seems to assume that gaming is the exact same as Film.

So true. Well some of it. I wouldn't use gamesrankings as a list of best games but most of the best games we have are all sequels. I too am tired of this sequelphobia. As I said in another thread, originality is overrated.
What's worst is how people are so hypocritical with it. Some idiot whines at another Mario or Street Fighter game, regardless of their quality, and complains about no new IPs from Nintendo while at the same time bitching about why there isn't a half life 3 or kingdom hearts 3.
Also, this discussion has now brought story into it which is a whole other mess.

REPTILE 0009:

Prof. Monkeypox:

REPTILE 0009:
How bout you guys stop picking on the COD series for no reason. Seriously, grow up.

There's a definite reason for them "picking on" CoD; which is that it hasn't made a significant evolution since Modern Warfare.

Now I loved CoD 4, loved it to death- and I will defend it against anyone who badmouths it. Yet, even with that love, I can't deny that MW2, Blops, and probably the upcoming MW3 are/appear to be more of the same. Same settings (or at least types), same Cold-War era mentality (even in the "modern" ones due to the villainous Russians), same HUD (which is now spreading to other games), etc.

Essentially, Activision believes that releasing the same game every two years with better graphics (and little else in the way of innovation) is justification for an additional $60. This is an attitude that is poisonous to the entire games industry because it propagates crass indulgence and money-grabbing instead of technical or artistic innovation.

So, yeah, they aren't "picking CoD for no reason," they are suggesting flaws in the current system of gaming, of which the continuous cloning of CoD 4 is a serious symptom.

If anyone needs to grow up around here, it's a fanboy who blindly defends a series that has stagnated against any constructive criticism which might make the series better in the long run.

And what exactly excuses companies like Nintendo and Capcom from releasing the same game for the past decade?

That they make other games and they don't actually make the same games. The only times they ever make the "same game" is when its a remake or compilation of older titles for, you know, people who may not have played them the first time or even owned the console they were on, which isn't a bad thing.

Well the potential down-side to breaking the $60 price tag is that big name games (like Call of Duty or whatever may replace it) may become more expensive because audiences are willing to pay more. If there is a market for Call of Duty Elite, it would demonstrate that prominent titles could be charged for a good chunk more.

I forgot:

OutrageousEmu:
Okay, this is just ridiculous. You may claim that games borrow too much fromcinema, but this sequelphobic idiocy is out and out copied verbatim from film. And its ludicrous.

Look, here are the facts. Look at Gamesrankings list of the best games of all time. The first original IP is Halo: Number 11 - an original IP no longer breaks the top 10. After that? LittleBigPlanet: Number 21. After that? Half Life: Number 30. Of the top 50 games ever made, you have a grand total of 5 new IPS - Company of Heroes and Gears of War rounding out the list.

Of what has been judged the best games ever made, new IPs make up 10%. What value does a new IP bring outside of some arbitrary weighting to it being a new IP? It beings originality? Compare Brink with Resident Evil 4. It brings a new story? Compare Homefront with Half Life 2. This obsession with new IPS is just a ridiculous holdover that seems to assume that gaming is the exact same as Film.

So true. Well some of it. I wouldn't use gamesrankings as a list of best games but most of the best games we have are all sequels. I too am tired of this sequelphobia. As I said in another thread, originality is overrated.
What's worst is how people are so hypocritical with it. Some idiot whines at another Mario or Street Fighter game, regardless of their quality, and complains about no new IPs from Nintendo while at the same time bitching about why there isn't a half life 3 or kingdom hearts 3.
Also, this discussion has now brought story into it which is a whole other mess.

I used Gamesrankings cause its the most balanced and democratic - instead of just giving some nostalgic asshole or a fanboy free reign to say "These games are the best ever" and saying Halo is the worst thing to ever happen, we have games journalists coming to a consensus. There are flaws and games that clearly shouldn't be there, but its the least flawed method I could come up with.

Excellent piece. Now can you PLEASE do one on the pricing of games.

Nice touch with the 'Sequels Part 2' title.

I cant believe the escapist is still keeping this going after Extra credits left. I have nothing to say on their dispute as i dont know what really happened or who was wrong but to keep with the same name after the show that started it left is kinda dickish.

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