It’s often easy to say that a sequel doesn’t require as much effort as an original game. After all, you have all the blueprints from the original game to work with, as well as a fanbase that will eat it all up.
In reality, however, even more pressure is laid on the sequel of a good game because not only does it have to live up to the reputation of its predecessor(s), it also has to be innovative enough to keep it feeling fresh. Some games accomplished all that in one iteration, but still had sequels thrust upon them for the sake of revenue. Here are some of the games we felt didn’t really need their sequels.
Legend of Legaia didn’t need a sequel.
It’s hard to tell when a game could have a sequel. Does the plot leave any loose ends? Does it have enough surviving characters to fuel another adventure? Regardless, depending on the game’s success, there can be many reasons for having a sequel.
Some games don’t need more than one chapter, and anything more can feel like beating a dead horse. The player can be treated to an insular universe where the plot wraps up nicely and the heroes win the day, leaving players feeling happy and accomplished. Logically, a game containing the same basic ideas should be able to do the same thing. Unfortunately though, it often feels more superfluous rather than innovative.
Legaia 2: Duel Saga felt just like that. It tried to capitalize solely on its predecessor’s name, offering nothing new and exciting to the world and mythos of Legaia. In terms of combat, it stayed somewhat true to the original, but the plot and the execution felt completely different. Legend of Legaia managed to wrap up its story, leaving few loose ends and leaving the player with the feeling of having finished a good book. All that a second game did was make it feel like an afterthought rather than a wholesome addition.
If nothing new is made from the sequel, then it probably shouldn’t have happened. But people will always be curious about what happens next in the world that they’ve come to grow and love, so even though some games won’t need sequels, they’ll still get them.
- Tom Farndon
Perfect Dark didn’t need a
Many of my childhood memories can be traced back to all the time I spent playing a rented copy of Perfect Dark. For me, it was one of the greatest videogame in the Nintendo 64’s library. It took everything Goldeneye did right and mixed it with all the elements needed to make the greatest First Person Shooter of that generation. Perfect Dark had the perfect balance of action and gameplay. It just felt right playing it, even with the N64’s weird single analog controller.
The next console generation came and went with not even a sniff of a Perfect Dark sequel. After that long, I never expected there to be another game in the series, so it came as a big surprise when it was announced that the next Perfect Dark was coming out as an Xbox 360 launch title.
Perfect Dark Zero brought in new elements that disrupted the balance of the original. They added a cover system that placed your view in third person, bringing the pace of the game down to a crawl at times. Gameplay speed was also crippled by your character’s movement speed, which at times felt outright painfully slow.
Even if the game had pretty graphics and showed off what the then new Xbox 360 was capable of, it just didn’t feel like a Perfect Dark game anymore. If Rare really wanted to show off the capabilities of the Xbox 360, I personally think that they should have created a new unique IP that we all know that they’re capable of doing.
- Allain Richard
Mega Man X5 didn’t need a sequel.
Mega Man X’s fifth foray may not have blown me away as much as X4 did, but it proved to be an enjoyable addition to the franchise. Former Mega Man series artist and producer Keiji Inafune aimed for X5 to be the last of the X games, and had no involvement with its subsequent sequel: 2001’s Mega Man X6.
But the game being Inafune-less was the least of its problems.
Mega Man X6 is an exercise in frustration. Going through several of the game’s levels, it becomes quite apparent that this was a rushed game, given its abhorrent enemy placement (like those minibosses in Blaze Heatnix’s stage) and gameplay that’s rooted in trial-and-error.
It’s almost as if Capcom just wanted to repeat history and have three PS1 entries with recycled sprite art to mimic the SNES’ trilogy of X titles. The only difference here is that X1 through X3 were all equally fantastic, whereas the PS1 entries got progressively worse.