Why sequels suffer and why they succeed

Discussion in 'General Gaming Discussion' started by ShadowSoldier, Sep 12, 2012.

Sep 12, 2012
  1. ShadowSoldier
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    Member ShadowSoldier GBAtemp Guru

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    MAJOR tl;dr sequence ahead.

    So if you read my previous blogs, you would see that I absolutely hate Final Fantasy XIII. There's no good redeeming quality about it.

    And in my last blog, I had no idea what game I should play out of my list. So I decided to play some Uncharted 3. I took a major break from it after going through the first 2 quickly non stop. But I wasn't that far in so I could still remember the story. I just finished the part where I escaped from the burning building.

    This is how a video game should be. Why is it that when Uncharted 2 came out, it blew Uncharted 1 out of the water. And now that Uncharted 3 came out, it hit the frickin ball out of the park and made Uncharted 1 and 2 look like it's bitch.

    How is it that these games constantly get better and better. And yet so many games these days, seem to be getting worse and worse? Granted I'm looking at my library of games now and all of them have been greatly improved over their prequel.

    [​IMG]


    Games like Mass Effect 3 (I don't care what you say, that game is a god damn masterpiece in my mind), Skyrim which is milestones better than Oblivion, and that's coming from someone who doesn't even like TES, but I love Skyrim. Batman Arkham City is another example. Somehow these games just destroy their prequel in every single way possible. And these are big budget titles that have a lot of hype behind them, so they have a lot to live up to, and they shine like gold through a pile of shit at the bottom of a pool.

    So why is it something like (again, going to use it here as an example because it's my most recent frustration and an example everybody will understand) Final Fantasy is just getting worse and worse? To me, I loved Final Fantasy X. I thought that game was probably the best in the series, but I never played the older ones, so I can't speak from much experience past FFV. But Square is a big company, well, was, and their games are just getting worse and worse? That doesn't make sense to me at all. I have a couple theories as to why some games become better and better, and others become worse.
    • - Some games don't change much from the formula. They follow the rule "If it ain't broken, don't fix it". Uncharted hasn't changed much in it's gameplay, Batman hasn't, neither has Skyrim or the NHL games which I am a fan of (They actually improve on the games unlike the Madden series).
    • - Instead of constantly trying to reinvent itself, it gives the fans what we want in most cases, just another story to play through in a new land with a few tweaks.
    • - They find ways to improve on the graphics to make it look more realistic. I mean, lets be honest, Uncharted had fantastic visuals, we thought there was no way they could get better. But nope, not once, but twice we were proven wrong. It doesn't have to be a complete overhaul, just the tiniest things like adding a blur, or simple foliage or garbage on the streets immerse us into the games so much more.


    Final Fantasy, I believe, is no longer Final Fantasy. I believe that Final Fantasy was all about exploring dungeons, going to towns, getting lots of weapons and armor, playing mini games, and have a simple turn based battle system. That's what it was like up until FFX, then they changed it all, and look what happened. We no longer have stories about the characters growing from some "I don't want to help nobody" asshole to "I'll die saving this planet".


    [​IMG]

    Speaking of Final Fantasy, I feel that Hironobu Sakaguchi, the father of Final Fantasy, was the only reason the series was good. What do I mean? He was either the producer the Executive producer up until XII where he was no longer working on the games. Sure X-2 sucked, but it was still a pretty enjoyable game and the battle system I think is one of the funnest in the franchises. But ever since he left Square, Square has just been going down hill and making no money at all. Then Hironobu leaves and forms Mistwalker and gives us games like Blue Dragon (eh, mediocre but still alright), and Lost Odyssey, which I believe is totally underrated and should be played by everyone. And it kept the gameplay simple to what Final Fantasy was. Then he gave us The Last Story, which I never played so I can't speak for it.

    I'm going to leave it there because I'm kind of getting off track, but I just wanted to know if you guys agreed as to why I think sequels in games suffer. I would love to hear your opinions on why you think sequels suffer and why they succeed.
     
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  2. Clarky

    Member Clarky Don't you know who I think I am?

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    my take for some sequels going rotton is that the publisher is usually wanting to export the game to a larger audience or chasing whatever is popular at the time. As for Final Fantasy now a days, it really is just a name now a days
     
  3. Hyro-Sama

    Member Hyro-Sama I'm from the fucking future.

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    Final Fantasy X may have been great but Meg Ryan is still a horrible protagonist.

    In all seriousness, companies like Square-Enix release shit games because they "try something new" too often. For example,the vast differences between XIII, XIII-2 and now the dreaded Lightning Returns is completely ludicrous. XIII was a step in the right direction but SQEX had us running down pretty looking hallways which gets fucking annoying after 10 minutes.and other factors which just made it an overall shit game. XIII-2 fixed most of the problems people had with XIII but failed where XIII succeeded in some areas. We've yet to see a lot information regrading the final installment but I'm sure as hell that as more info is revealed Lightning Returns will be drastically different game from it's predecessors. As you mentioned, most successful gaming franchises stick to a "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" philosophy. Hence why the earlier installments in the Final Fantasy franchise are more successful then their modern counterparts.

    In short, I concur with your long rant.
     
  4. Guild McCommunist

    Member Guild McCommunist (not on boat)

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    I always do get annoyed at the tendency for people to say that an older game is better than a newer game simply for nostalgic or "retro" purposes. Like Ocarina of Time was a great game... 15 years ago. Nowadays though Twilight Princess was just so much better. Frankly I can't sing as many praises for the Zelda franchise as others do but Twilight Princess is a fantastic game and it was a surprisingly bolder direction for the series than people want to admit.

    I mean there are bad sequels but generally most sequels are better. For Final Fantasy, they're not really "sequels" as much as they are "other games in the franchise". You could abandon the numbers and put new names like "Final Fantasy: Cloud's Journey" or "Final Fantasy: A Broody Emo" (for FFVIII of course) and it'd be the same, exceptions for FFX-2 and FFXIII-2.
     
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  5. Just Another Gamer

    Member Just Another Gamer 星空のメモリア-Wish upon a shooting star- Fanboy

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    But some older games in some franchises are better than newer ones in alot of aspects except for graphics. I mean looking back at FF I can easily say that the older ones like 1, 2 and 3 are much better than XIII and Crisis Core is horrible compared to VII. Not all series are affect by this very often like LoZ but this can easily happen to a series with alot of sequels and stuff.
     
  6. Guild McCommunist

    Member Guild McCommunist (not on boat)

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    I feel like you skipped my whole thing on Final Fantasy. The games are hardly related. And yeah, there are better games in a franchise that are predecessors instead of successors but people blow this way out of proportion. People seem to instantly assume the previous game is better because it makes them "retro" or "unique".
     
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  7. Just Another Gamer

    Member Just Another Gamer 星空のメモリア-Wish upon a shooting star- Fanboy

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    I didn't really skip as I said series and not sequel since a series like FF, Persona etc aren't connected to each other but they can still be compared to each other in terms of quality, gameplay and whatever so my statement to XIII being shit compared to an earlier game in the series does work, I don't think they assume instantly that the new game is shit and the older game is better but usually the newer addition needs to top all previous games in its series in order to get fans. I mean if the only improvement is the graphics and everything else was rushed then its obvious it will be shit when compared to the older game so I don't think nostalgia or retro counts but this is just how I see it i'm sure there are people who likes the previous game just because it is.
     
  8. The Milkman

    Member The Milkman GBATemp's Official Asshat Milkman

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    I'm sorry, wat? I read up to the point you said Skyrim was better then Oblivion. How is dull combat, watered-down stats and one-way dungeons better then Oblivion? Oblivion introduced aspects people never thought to put in RPGs such as physics engines for environmental combat, adding things like Block-and-Slash that were prior to, used mostly in Action-Adventure (like Zelda) and fighters. All Skyrim added to the series was pretty graphics and Shouts. Ill keep reading before I say anything else but I felt that needed pointing out.

    EDIT: Ok, you got some good points there buddy, I thought you were just hating on RPGs for a second there, till I saw you played LO and FFX (Hell, I don't even like FFX, I think they started sucking after FFIIV) but I don't agree with your points of making a new story with the same features and mechanics. I like a similar game here and there don't get me wrong, but ill strike up an example like Zelda. If EVERY Zelda game was exactly alike (You have the same dungeon running, combat, weapons and such) I would have dropped that shit a long time ago. In fact, to me sometimes its things like gimmicks that offer and bit more fun to the experience. Think of one of Smash Bros or Monster Hunter, if they never added anything to those games from release to release who the hell would play them? I would just stick with Melee and Tri if that was the case. Also, I feel like your making this problem seen nore widespread then just Square. Square is shit now, like Sega, they are running off the fanboy fumes which cant keep them alive forever. But Capcom has been doing similar with Megaman (I mean, look how much he changes so often, BT and Zero were released within a year of each other and they are radically different, still both were great games)
     
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  9. Guild McCommunist

    Member Guild McCommunist (not on boat)

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    Oblivion had horrific combat. Skyrim's isn't great by any means but it was tenfold better than Oblivion.

    Stats, eh, that's more of an opinion I guess. On one hand, it's a lot more accessible and streamlined. Some people like that, I did for one. But yeah, you have a point.

    Physics engines for environmental combat? Doesn't Skyrim have that?

    Block-and-slash in Oblivion was still fucking horrible though. You literally attacked once or twice then blocked until they hit your shield and staggered back. At least Skyrim added some variety with like shield bashing and such.

    It doesn't really matter what Skyrim added or didn't add, it matters if it's a better game. It took what Oblivion introduced to and refined it greatly. It looks better, it plays better, and there's more to do. Yes, it's heavily flawed, but no more so than Oblivion was.

    EDIT: But New Vegas is better than both those games.
     
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  10. Ritsuki

    Member Ritsuki ORAORAORAORA

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    This kind of debate could be interesting if most of the people could make the difference between "a bad game" and "a game I don't like". I'm not saying that's easy, but at least we shoud try to have some constructive debate :)

    I think that old gamers are used to a certain type of games, and unfortunately, tastes have changed. It's not that the sequels are worse, it's just that now the public is not the same, and the games change with the tastes of the people. Just look at games like Call of Duty. Pretty much no difference between the new episodes, but it sells. Why ? People like this game. Doesn't matter if it's good or not, people like it and they'll buy it.
     
  11. The Milkman

    Member The Milkman GBATemp's Official Asshat Milkman

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    you got a point there, but the way he stated his points it sounded like he was talking more as in what the game ment at the time. Oblivion ment shitloads more when it was released then skyrim, while Skyrim clearly expanded and fixed things like Oblivion, it overall feels more like a mediveal FPS then a Open-World Action RPG.
     
  12. Guild McCommunist

    Member Guild McCommunist (not on boat)

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    The whole "when it was released" argument just doesn't work. Games age. It happens. Doom was revolutionary at the time but was it as good as Half Life when it came out? Absolutely not. And in retrospect, was Half Life better than Half Life 2? Absolutely not. What it did at the time doesn't matter, how good the game is now does.

    Calling it a "medieval FPS" is just an incredibly atrocious case of mislabeling. How is Skyrim a "medieval FPS" any more than Oblivion? They each have a large open world, each have a series of quests to do, players have choice, players customize their character from appearance to adventure to profession. Difference is that Skyrim is just better. What makes Skyrim a "medieval FPS" when it's very close to Oblivion, just more refined? If you're going to make such a claim you should have a slew of evidence to back it up.

    Plus it's not like so much time has passed from Oblivion to Skyrim. It was still the same console generation, even the same engine. They could have easily done what they did with Skyrim on Oblivion. But Oblivion was more of a stepping stone onto a superior game. If Oblivion came out ten years ago then I might consider your point but the games aren't a stone's throw away from each other.

    As I said in my earlier example, Ocarina of Time was a great game when it came out but it's really not any more when subsequent titles have done what it does both bigger and better.
     
  13. jalaneme

    Member jalaneme Female Gamer

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    I can't stand Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy XIII-2 all you do in the game is press X for 100 hours, the dungeons are linear and no diversity apart from pretty nice graphics, i own both games and brought them both at full price when they launched but i still haven't played them, you know why? because of reasons above on top of that jrpgs are going the way of the dodo, no one wants linearity anymore, they want exploration and diversity.

    Sorry it had to be said, but i played mass effect 3 the other day and stopped, you know why? I didn't care so much for the characters, the game didn't seem to want me to care about them, i tried so hard with thier avalible setting to get a rpg experience but it still feels like a shooter to me.

    Each and everytime i play these games i always go back to skyrim, you know why? Because that game has diversity, free choices, non linear gameplay, yes the combat is not up to scratch compared to demon souls but the other parts of the gameplay makes the game great.

    Also there is a reason why people go back to the older games not because of nogilstic reasons but because the classics will always be better time and time again, i think a lot of game developers seem to forget thier roots and only please thier investors and companies or risk loosing thier jobs, these days they have to make the games as casual and as simple as they can, not only that but to take out stuff to sell later too.
     
  14. Guild McCommunist

    Member Guild McCommunist (not on boat)

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    Mass Effect 3 is part shooter. It's no more RPG than shooter and no more shooter than RPG. The series realized that we shouldn't have to choose between having a good RPG and good combat. I mean it's an action game still, it's supposed to be action-filled. People seem to think there's some mutual exclusivity when it comes to RPGs and gameplay. You either choose a RPG with a good storyline and all the stat-based goodness to make a Microsoft Excel programmer get a raging erection or you choose good combat which is actually enjoyable but doesn't require all this stat or storyline bullshit. As for ME3 itself, I agree with ShadowSoldier on most things with it (see his blog on it if you want more).

    TBH Skyrim has the exact opposite of diversity. Every quest involves going to a dungeon and killing draugr. Like literally, almost every mission devolves to going here and killing monsters. There's a lot of quests but they're incredibly samey. There's an embarrassing lack of monster diversity and quests are all practically the same. And combat is pretty bad as well so that doesn't help.
     
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  15. jalaneme

    Member jalaneme Female Gamer

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    mods take care of that problem, unfortunately console players don't have that, but it's still possible for pc players, good thing about TES games is you can do anything at your own pace you don't even have to do the main questline you can just explore and that will easily take hours before you even touched the surface.
     
  16. jalaneme

    Member jalaneme Female Gamer

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    imo mass effect is 90% shooter and about 10% role playing, there is even a option for the game to choose the answers for you in conversations! how can that be a ROLE playeing game? the game lets you create a character that you are supposed to control and decide options for future events in the series. so why does such a option exist? i understand the other option where you can just watch a movie and let the story play out, it may be for lest experienced players, but the other option shouldn't be there you are the main character and should be making the choices, end off.
     
  17. ShadowSoldier
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    Member ShadowSoldier GBAtemp Guru

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    Because like it said in the game:

    RPG is for the people who want the RPG type game and full ME3 experience
    Shooter is just for people who just want to blow shit up
    Story is for people who just want the story.
     
  18. The Milkman

    Member The Milkman GBATemp's Official Asshat Milkman

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    Wait... weren't you JUST defending Skyrim?! And pretty much everything you said about it is why I thought it more of a medival FPS then RPG, are you in one of those moods today :P?
     
  19. Guild McCommunist

    Member Guild McCommunist (not on boat)

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    I'm defending Skyrim in terms of Oblivion, both games are horrifically flawed. I never said that Skyrim is a god amongst games, I was simply defending it as better than Oblivion. I enjoyed the time put into Skyrim but it seems very bland compared to something like Dragon's Dogma or even Kingdoms of Amalur.

    I'm in a mood where if you make a terribly inaccurate statement that you have to defend it.
     
  20. The Milkman

    Member The Milkman GBATemp's Official Asshat Milkman

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    How is an opinion terribly inaccurate >_>
     

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