Lots of Sequels, But Is It a Problem?
With E3 coming to us next week, I couldn’t help but think of the bazillions of sequels to existing IPs that are inevitably going to be announced. With stuff like Dead Space 2, Infamous 2, Little Big Planet 2, Kane & Lynch 2, Dead Rising 2, Batman: Arkham Asylum 2 and all the other twos that are headed are way soon, one can only wonder if this is a good or a bad thing. While some might argue that having so many sequels might devalue the series and take the spotlight away from the new stuff, there are plenty of great things about sequels that make them great.
Right off the bat, I will admit that not all sequels are perfect and they are not always a good idea. The Silent Hill series comes to mind when thinking of this. While the first two games are widely appreciated as gems of the survival horror genre, the further into the series you go, the more the games start to lose their appeal. This is really just an example of not knowing when to stop and it has gotten much better as of late. Even the Silent Hill series got a nice boost with Silent Hill: Shattered Memories which did a fantastic job of taking an IP that already existed and making into something that felt new.
Games have to be shipped at some point and no matter how hard they try there is always something the developers wanted to work on further. This is the true beauty of a sequel. It gives them the chance to take not only these new ideas and apply them, but also refine the ideas which were already in place. More often than not, I’ve found, this ends up producing an even better product than before. A great example of this would be Mario Galaxy 2, which I have been playing recently. Nintendo took all the things that made the original game great and threw them together with some new ideas to create a fantastic package.
Sequels have, in the past, had a stigma attached to them. People are always afraid, and believe me I’m one of them, that the new one is going ruin the original. Well, I’m here to tell you that sequels are not out there to hurt your favorite series. Sometimes there are missteps in their journey, but they are there to learn from their past mistakes and become one step closer to an even more perfect version of that original game you loved. So, embrace the sequels and you will be rewarded with an awesome experience.