When the Sequel Is Worse Than the Original

When the Sequel Is Worse Than the Original

The easiest way to increase the success of a product is to build upon a recognizable name that has already well. Sometimes that goes wrong.

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"Sorry but gotta disagree with you on at least two of those. SMB2 Was a good game. If they'd released the real SMB2 people would have accused them of just being lazy. Because let's face it. It was just more of SMB1 . That was the game that first cannonized the physical differences between the two brothers.

Not to mention gave us more than a few of the franchise staples. like Birdo, the Shy Guys, and of course the Bob-Bombs.

Zelda 2 The adventure of Link... again... WHatchytalkinbout?. That game was solid. The fans of the first just couldn't handle the addition of platforming. The game actually had a lot more actual narrative to it than the original and you could speak to towns folk to get some occasionally helpful hints as opposed to relying on Nintendo Power.

Sorry after thinking about it gonna have to disagree with you on CV2 ona technical ground. CV2 was just a little ahead of it's time since many o the same mechanics and ideas that were hated have now become the genre standard.

MonsterCrit:
"Sorry but gotta disagree with you on at least two of those. SMB2 Was a good game. If they'd released the real SMB2 people would have accused them of just being lazy. Because let's face it. It was just more of SMB1 . That was the game that first cannonized the physical differences between the two brothers.

Not to mention gave us more than a few of the franchise staples. like Birdo, the Shy Guys, and of course the Bob-Bombs.

Zelda 2 The adventure of Link... again... WHatchytalkinbout?. That game was solid. The fans of the first just couldn't handle the addition of platforming. The game actually had a lot more actual narrative to it than the original and you could speak to towns folk to get some occasionally helpful hints as opposed to relying on Nintendo Power.

Sorry after thinking about it gonna have to disagree with you on CV2 ona technical ground. CV2 was just a little ahead of it's time since many o the same mechanics and ideas that were hated have now become the genre standard.

I was about to make many of these same points myself. CV2 was weak because they ran out of time and gimped the ending but a lot of the exploration and things was interesting. In fact, it was that kind of idea that eventually led to Symphony of the Night. CV2 had some very good ideas in it even if one might argue that the first was better.

The same can be said of LoZ 2 as well. What narrative did the first offer that the second failed to deliver? And a lack of progression? LoZ 2 had more progression than just increasing how many bombs you could carry or how many hearts you had. It was also a far more challenging game. ONce you knew where things were in LoZ 1, the game was a cakewalk. Death Mountain in LoZ 2 remains challenging even if you know what to expect and the game had really innovative bosses for its time.

The worst claim here is that SMB was better than SMB 2. It wasn't, at all, not even close. The level design was more interesting, the enemies were more interesting, the game was more challenging, the story was better, the mechanics were MUCH better with a greater selection of character choice which actually changed the way you played! There is simply no category I can think of that SMB 2 didn't kick SMB 1's ass.

I'm going to have to agree with the author that SMB 2 and LoZ 2 were crap compared to their predecessor, and the followups. Now, on their own, I can agree that both games have some merit, but when looking at the games they were the sequels to, the design direction was poor. Both diverged drastically from the game they were supposed to build on in play style, which for some gamers (such as myself) was disappointing. We didn't get what we wanted or expected from a game that was supposed to be a followup. Both series then redeemed themselves by listening to the players and returning closer to form with the 3rd games.

Innovation is good, but when you want a turkey sandwich and you get tofurkey instead, you get disappointed.

In music the convention was always you'd have a new artist with talent hit with a bang at first where they lay down all the stuff they've been working on or thinking of for years and then there's the infamous "difficult second album" as people flail about a bit at the idea of everyone wanting more of the same and then in third you get a more mature constucted effort IF they buckle down and actually have real reserves of talent.

this "the middle one is shit" phenomia also pops up in other media for example the many movie series and in gaming occasionally too (DMC for example).

People like Zelda 2 and Mario 2...

I've got to say I'm in the minority (but apparently represented by at least two people) in saying I found all three games presented here to be fun and engaging. They may not have been better than the originals, but I did play the hell out of them when they were current and still enjoy the hell out of them now.
Simon's Quest gave us the open-world aspect, it just needed a better translation. The day/night cycle was (as far as I can tell) the first time that had been a game mechanic and it added an extra challenge to the game.
Zelda II was also fun for me because it changed up the method and was one helluva challenge. I got to the final boss and had a rough time but entertainingly so fighting the shadow Link... and beating it was absolutely awesome.
SMB2 I've probably beaten 20 ways to Sunday and still enjoy popping it in every now and again.
I'm in the minority but I've played so many games that were objectively bad, at least those 3 (aside from a poor translation for Castlevania 2) were functional and playable to the end.

Personally, I prefer Zelda 2 over the first one. Both games are great, but Zelda 2 would probably be one of my top 10 favorite NES games.

I'm inclined to agree. None of your points hold any water with me. These sequels are ungraceful at best, but they are by no means inferior to their predecessors.

Simon's Quest, on the surface looks pretty bad, but it's actually not terrible. It may seem cop-out-ey but a lot of games like that, at the time were "Nintendo Power Games," meaning you needed a subscription to Nintendo Power in order to learn all the secrets (this being an era before walkthroughs or the internet) Yes, it was cryptic, but was it any more cryptic than the original Zelda? Let's not forget, you're just thrown into a world with no indication of where to go or what to do in the original Zelda. That too was a Nintendo Power Game. And much like Arin Hanson said in his Sequilitis video, Simon's Quest is one of the earliest games that use gameplay to set it's tone. I agree with his idea that the game's theme is horror, and you can't really do that with goofy skeletons throwing bones, but you can do that with something that's out of the players control, which is exactly what the day and night element does.
Symphony of the Night was the same god damned game, y'all love it so much...

Same with Zelda 2. It's really no more cryptic than it's predecessor, and it has the benefit of trying a different play style, not being a carbon copy hastily shat out riding the profit waves of the first Zelda. It's combat was interesting, it's use of magic hasn't been seen in any Zelda since, nor has it's basic rpg elements. It's actually pretty close to what Symphony of the Night became. I'm upset that they never explored this style of gameplay again in a Zelda game. Imagine it, Link's Smash Bros controls which work perfectly in a 2-D landscape, puzzle solving, RPG elements, coupled with modern day fundamentals like a map, and better clues on what to do, it would be great!

And I'm sorry, you're absolutely wrong about Mario 2. In no way is it inferior to it's predecessor. Mario 1 will always remain a classic and a masterpiece, but Mario 2 had the exact same fundamentals set in a more interesting world, with way more stuff going on. Also, it's worth noting, remember the time when this came out. We in the western world had no idea Doki Doki Panic or The Lost Levels were ever a thing, so to us Mario 2 was the only direct sequel. This shit blew our minds when we were kids. It was weird, interesting, there were new and different mechanics, every character was unique and distinguishable, even the idea that Peach and Toad became playable characters was great. Plus, this game introduced several characters that would later become Mario canon, the shy-guys, ninji, bob-ombs, Birdo to name a few.

All of these games are a little rough around the edges, but none of them are truly inferior to their predecessors. I think even to go back into the past and foster this idea that if a sequel isn't EXACTLY like the original AND better than it's immediately worse than what came before it is incredibly shallow, and exactly why we get a new Assassin's Creed and COD every 5 months. God forbid anyone try anything different, even in the past.

I remember when I first played Zelda II and Mario 2 when I was a kid. And I remember being very disappointed. They weren't the same games. They weren't the same mechanics. I remember being completely lost in Zelda II, having no idea where to go--and not in a good way--and getting super frustrated with it.
And in Mario 2, I remember thinking, "Where's the lizard guy? How come I'm not jumping on mushrooms?" These were very important things to me as a child, and the lack of them really alienated me from Mario 2. It didn't feel like a Mario game to me--despite the fact that there was only one other one at the time--just like Zelda II didn't feel like a Zelda game to me.

So yeah, I understand where this article is coming from. I liked reading it. Can't speak to the Castlevania one, as I've only played Symphony of the Night.

President Bagel:
Personally, I prefer Zelda 2 over the first one. Both games are great, but Zelda 2 would probably be one of my top 10 favorite NES games.

LoZ 2 and Street Fighter: The Movie : The Game? I have to admit you have some unique tastes; to each their own, I guess.

Ninja-Jordan:

Same with Zelda 2. It's really no more cryptic than it's predecessor, and it has the benefit of trying a different play style, not being a carbon copy hastily shat out riding the profit waves of the first Zelda.

It was "hastily shat out" 11 months after the first Zelda. Not going to disagree with your opinions but just wanted to correct that fact.

I think that Simon's Quest is the reason we currently have Castlevania in existence. The ideas in that were far ahead of their time. They had issues, but it was an awesome experience nonetheless.

Super Mario Bros 2 is still my favourite Mario game. Followed closely by World. Real Mario or not, I found the game to be enjoyable and interesting.

I will agree that Zelda II was a misstep. It was awkward and clumsy. It has some fantastic bits but the game didn't feel like the exciting adventure I was expecting.

None of these games even comes close to Deus Ex: Invisible War in terms of sequels worse than their predecessors. Even if you don't consider its legacy, it was just a bland and generally bad game.

While I personally do not like Mario 2, I still recognize it as a good game. Its feel is different enough from Mario 1 to make it unique, but it still feels like a Mario game despite not originally being one.

Zelda 2 however, I like it a little more than Zelda 1. Admittedly, if Zelda 1 had been my first Zelda game, I probably would like it more than 2, since 2 is so radically different. Since I started with the likes of Link's Awakening, Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, Zelda 1 does not have the "oomph" that the later games have, thus Zelda 2 feels more interesting to me personally.

Denamic:
None of these games even comes close to Deus Ex: Invisible War in terms of sequels worse than their predecessors. Even if you don't consider its legacy, it was just a bland and generally bad game.

Dragon Age 2. Better known as "Hey mash this button to win" or "Recycled cave asset simulator". Made infinitely worse of course by the way ever major gaming outlet gave it great reviews - while ignoring the fact that it was smaller than its predecessor, dumbed down, easier combat (literally smash 'a' to win with Hawke), used recycled assets, contained multiple worthless fetch quests (often requiring you to visit the same boring area 2 or 3 times) and had pretty much only one real outcome (sorry, but that's not two separate endings) and one choice of any consequence (pick a side! exciting!)

This was the game that turned me from a loyal Bioware customer (I owned every title since Shattered Steel in 1996) to never buying another game of theirs ever again. It also made me stop reading gaming reviews and start looking at lets plays and user reviews instead.

Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria.

The original Valkyrie Profile was a neat little non-square RPG back on the original playstation, with a nice artstyle and a setting roughly based on Norse mythology. It wasn't perfect, by any means, but the combat system was neat and the characters were fairly endearing, and the story (especially the A ending) was quite fun in a cheesy, PS1 RPG, anime sorta way.

Valkyrie Profile 2 on the PS2, however, was awful. It was a prequel set about 2000 years prior to the first game, so already basically no connection besides callbacks. They used not particularly great 3D graphics instead of spritework like the first game did, and they just didn't work that well with the sort of world they were trying to build (on top of not aging particularly well). The characters just weren't as good, and the plot culminated in a bunch of time-travel shenanigans that not only invalidated the story of the entire first game, but resulted in the deaths of several characters from the original game too (some were gods/other immortals who were actually alive 2000 years in the past, some time-traveled back as part of shenanigans). It just kind of left a bad taste in my mouth, and it was a terrible way for the series to go out.

kris40k:

Ninja-Jordan:

Same with Zelda 2. It's really no more cryptic than it's predecessor, and it has the benefit of trying a different play style, not being a carbon copy hastily shat out riding the profit waves of the first Zelda.

It was "hastily shat out" 11 months after the first Zelda. Not going to disagree with your opinions but just wanted to correct that fact.

No . SMB The lost levels was 'Hastily Shat out' Basically if you held Lost levels (Wjhat was sold as SMB2 in Japan) up to SMB you would have no idea which one you were playing. Same, Assets, same, music, ... just the same game with more levels.

I don't think anything bound the fairy Sprite and the Heart Sprite were reused in Loz2. The game play was entiurely different, The mechanics were entirely different. You could finish it rather easily without consulting intendo power since the towns folk actually told you stuff. Heck the game even rewarded you for innovative thinking. LKike for example the simple fact is that once you learn the Fair Magic... you never have to worry about keys again. Yeah You could simply squeeze through the keyholes. THink about that.

SMB2 Did the same thing, the US one. The levels were designed so that different characters could use different methods to finish the game. There are areas accessible only to Luigi and the Princess. Some only to Luigi.. Where as Toda was better in frantic combat situiations and pulling up bonus coins. which increased your chance for extra lives.

Simon's Quest. Again. It's greatest sin was the translation. I will admit. But everything else.. was solid.

FoolKiller:

Super Mario Bros 2 is still my favourite Mario game. Followed closely by World. Real Mario or not, I found the game to be enjoyable and interesting.

Agreed on all points.

I'd have cut some leniency if it was just Zelda 2, since that one's fairly love/hate in the Zelda community (though personally I love it), but Mario 2? I have never seen people talk about that game being bad. There are SO many cases where a sequel was noticeably worse than the sequel to the point of even the fandom hating the game, that it seems kinda odd that you went with a game that's sorta borderline, and another that I honestly don't think people hated.

This article could have had more modern examples, like aforementioned Invisible War and DA2 in addition to notoriously bad DMC2. It might be just the limitations of the time, but I can't comprehend NES-era games being visibly worse than anything 3D in general - but then again, I started playing with PS1.

 

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