So sequels in books, movies, and games are typically considered to be.. not as good as their first iteration counterparts. But, some of them are undeniably charming in their own right. Which game series has a sequel that you actually really like?
I hear Majora's Mask is pretty good, too. A Link Between Worlds as well. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Trials and Tribulations also deserves a mention.
oh yes, a link between worlds is great! i didn't think that counted as a sequel aha. but i picked it up on a whim just bc i was collecting games hardcore at the time and it was getting great reviews. i'm not that great at top down zelda games, but i really enjoyed it and had a great time with it. it encouraged me to go ahead and preorder the link's awakening remake that drops soon bc i expect that it will be as great as link between worlds + breath of the wild isn't really my type of game so i skipped out on that and need a zelda fix.
while i'm back in this thread, i can't believe i forgot super mario galaxy 2!! a phenomenal game and i mean you could consider it a little too similar to the first one, but they're honestly both such a joy to play that it really doesn't matter which one your preference is. i only own the second one and i love yoshi so i have obvious bias, but i mean. it's still an amazing game, coming from the worlds worst platformer player. lol
I don't know how to consider series which have not direct sequels but newer installments as in many cases those improve so much over the originals (Gran Turismo is a series that comes to mind, also many Mario platformers, most Mario Kart titles, and many strategy games), so I'll just consider direct sequels here:
- Pokémon GS and B2W2 over RB and BW respectively (also the only direct sequels), Gen 1 retrospectively had lots of weak spots which Gen 2 corrected (plus Gen 2 gave us so many things that are standard now); and B2W2 imho corrected all of the things that weren't so great in BW, sure there wasn't the novelty of new Pokémon only but I strongly prefer the larger pool of available Pokémon than the very restricted one of BW, and that was only one of many things B2W2 did better imho.
- Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back is my personal high point of the series and it was a definite improvement over the original (which still was a really good game), first of all it scrapped the unforgiving and very arcade-style saving system, then it added or tweaked many new things that became staple to the series.
- Sacred 2: Fallen Angel is one I do not like more than the original (at best I consider them equal) mainly because of the weaker story and the clear signs of its troubled development, but in many aspects it was a clear improvement over the original and I'd say it has more replayability value. I'm of the opinion that if the developers hadn't gone bankrupt because of its development hell it could have had a lot more support and maybe eventually overtaken the original, the fan community has done a lot of things on this aspect but there's a limit to what fans can do.
Borderlands 2 comes to mind immediately. I don't know how many times I've played that game but it was a very enjoyable sequel.
I don't know if you call it a sequel, but Pokemon Emerald is my favorite Pokemon game. The Battle Frontier was great, I love Hoenn, and the evil teams were funny and enjoyable.
Lastly I'd put Super Mario Galaxy 2 in the conversation. Phenomenal game and a lot of fun, probably my favorite Wii game and maybe favorite Mario game (but then again how can you contend with the original Super 64).
Oh, Virtue's Last Reward without a doubt. For some reason I was stuck on this question for a while without thinking about how my favorite game is one. Granted I loved 999, but VLR really had me hooked from a narrative perspective in a way that no other game has since or had before. Loved the characters, loved the way the story was experienced (piecing together the larger narrative through player-chosen routes is something that stuck with me hella hard, makes seeing other people go through it such an experience), love everything about it really.
But uh...I kinda feel like it's not my favorite sequel. On its own I think it's a masterpiece and I do think it improves on certain things 999 did but I feel like I'm more into it on its own merits rather than what it does better.
I feel like Lightning Returns is a good mix of that for me. I was a fan of the XIII trilogy, and it felt like- well it was that with each iteration they were kinda trying to figure out what people wanted out of the games. At the beginning they literally had an interview saying that they didn't add towns to XIII because players didn't want that, they just wasted time. Come release day people are wondering why it's such a hallway, why there's no towns. Then you'd get this weird "guys you're not quite getting it" vibe in the sequels when they'd basically uh...respond to player feedback by adding what they wanted in like
really weird, stilted ways
So for instance XIII explained almost nothing to the player, leaving full details to certain cutscenes in codex logs and expecting you to know things that were, again, only explained in the codex logs. So come Lightning Returns we get Hope chiming in every 5 seconds to explain the thing that was said 5 seconds ago but with more words and sometimes less detail. And the Lightningsposition.
But still Lightning Returns is among my favorite FF titles along with My Life as a King, Dissidia, and XIV. The battle system feels incredibly well put together for something that also feels like it was just an idea they were playing with- in fact, the whole game feels like one big brainstorm if it were made into a game and it's hella fun. But what's really impressive is that everything feels like FFXIII and you can tell that they were working off of the same engine and base ideas but these things still just work. There's a good mixture between towns to open world to dungeons that it feels like they actually kind of got it for once, and while sometimes the game can feel cheap or silly or whatever, it never really feels unfun in the process of any of this.
Plus it's one of the only games I've played in a long time where doing sidequests, with zero exception, felt like it was contributing to the world and the overall narrative. It was busywork sometimes and trivial at others but I never asked myself "why am I doing this" and I never really felt bored doing them. Also grinding feels good in this, support the good ARPG grinding agenda. Support good ARPGs. Pls.
Oh, also, The Sims 2. Goes without saying, hits this nail on the head. Probably one of the best sequels I can even think of, the goddamn golden age of The Sims right there. While I do 500% miss the music from The Sims 1 and lament every single day that that guy's just doing commercial's now when he made psyducking gold, literally everything The Sims 2 did was a step up and that was where the series really found its identity. Not gonna go on about it because long post is long but TS2 was fantastic, the expansions were great (lookin at you, Open For Business), just yeah, for a game that I love purely for what it does better than its predecessor, this right here.
Aaand SDR2. Sonia stans rise up
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