Monday, November 8, 2010

Sequels to Shitty Games

Well it's been a rather disappointing year in the sequel and remake department. We've had the insulting Metroid: Other M,  the tedious and non-scary Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, the love-it-or-hate-it Sonic The Hedgehog 4 (although I fell into the "Love it" camp), and as of last Tuesday, the in name only remake of GoldenEye (played it, hated it, moving on).*

However, these are all games in well-known, storied series. It's natural that after a certain number of games (or in the case of GoldenEye, one inimitable classic), the fanbases become unpleasable and the developers lose steam.
God in Heaven, what did we do to deserve this?

On the other hand, the fact there is a Kane and Lynch 2 is completely inexcusable. And with word that two other critically panned games, Naughty Bear and Wet, are receiving sequels, one has to wonder. WHAT THE HELL ARE THEY THINKING?

The thing that Kane and Lynch, Naughty Bear and Wet share is that none of them did particularly well with critics or gamers. And they aren't cult classics that went unappreciated like Ico or Lunar. All three got mediocre (at best) reviews. Is mediocrity the new great? Is that what developers should be striving for? Remember from the 16-bit days, games like Radical Rex and Awesome Possum? Remember the long series they spawned? Of course not, because they fucking sucked! -or at least were so average as to NOT warrant sequels. Games that aren't successful are usually unsuccessful for a good reason. There's a reason that shit sandwiches like Blinx the Time Sweeper and Space Bunnies Must Die never went beyond a first installment. Because they sucked and no one wanted to own them, or be that weird guy down the street who had a copy of eXtreme Paintbrawl.

And before you ask, YES, all of those games exist. I did not make any of them up.

So anyway, why do we get sequels to lukewarm piles of elephant droppings when there are so many good games that have never received sequels? Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem? A Boy and His Blob on the Wii? Heck, how about a new Earthworm Jim game?

But no, of course not. We get what amounts to big-budget shovelware. The least they can do is, if they're going to give us a rotten game, give us a rotten game that's beautiful to look at and listen to (Final Fantasy X, I'm looking at you). The thing is, there are plenty of good franchises out there. And heck, some games need a second installment to refine and improve the first (Resident Evil is a shining example). I'm not saying that every good game needs to be a franchise, either. I mean I'm sure we could have gotten by with just one God of War,  but you know what? It was a good game that continued in two other good games!

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm planning a PS3/360 reboot to Wally Bear and the NO Gang.

*Some of these complaints may be related to my current problem with the Wii- the big name, 'important' games that don't feature Mario or Link have been pretty uniformly awful. But that's a tale for another time.

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