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  • Showing only topics in ~games with the tag "franchises.video game". Back to normal view / Search all groups
    1. What's a sequel you were disappointed by?

      Warning: this post may contain spoilers

      See title. I thought this might make for an interesting topic and I can't see one like this in the search, so...

      What sorta got me thinking about this - a couple days ago, I noticed that Dying Light 2 got a sizeable update, with a pretty heavy emphasis on changes to the game's parkour mechanics. I absolutely loved the first Dying Light, as well as both Mirror's Edge games - parkour and other kinds of momentum-driven gameplay are my jam - so that got me curious enough to check it out again, for the first time in a year.

      I played for a few hours, got some of the way in, and... felt pretty underwhelmed. It certainly feels better than it did last time I played, and the change to retain momentum during parkour moves does feel pretty nice... but it still feels far too slow and floaty to me. It feels awkward and unresponsive to me. On top of that, the combat updates - while I actually appreciated DL2's changes to the combat over DL1's (a major gripe I've always had with DL1's combat is that sometimes zombies take just one or two hits and sometimes they take twenty, and I have never been able to detect any kind of pattern to it - combat level, game progress, weapon damage, etc., none of them seem to impact it so I have no idea what's up with it), playing it again now... left me feeling pretty disappointed.

      I booted up DL1 for the first time in a while the next day, just intending to compare how it feels - and I've since found myself drawn several hours into it. Even in the first half hour of the game, where your climbing's super slow and everything, it feels so much more snappy and reactive - it feels good. And while my previous gripes with its combat are still present, it feels so much better to me now than DL2's does (for the most part - fighting human enemies still sucks). I can't quite put my finger on what it is, but there's just something really visceral and satisfying about it that DL2 doesn't have.

      As I've been playing DL1, as well, I've been thinking about its story again. As much as it's maligned for its story, I think it's actually a really interesting subversion and deconstruction of expectations in a lot of ways - while that could be a thread (or video essay, I've thought about it) of its own, the way I see it: despite how the intro and story set him up, Crane actually fails pretty hard at being a hero until towards the end. I mean, the very first thing he does is take a crowbar to the back of the head, get bitten, and get someone else killed. It's a pattern that continues throughout most of the game (and even The Following, I'd argue, even though I don't care for it much). I find it pretty memorable beecause of that, even if it falls flat in some places.

      Meanwhile, Dying Light 2... I honestly couldn't tell you much about the story? It didn't leave any kind of impact on me at all. I'm not really the kind of person who plays games for their stories very often (unless it's something like Ace Attorney where that's explicitly the point), and I have to admit that I went into DL2 with low expectations to begin with (I held off getting it at launch because of Denuvo, by the time I did pick it up reviews were already fairly negative; and I tend to view "your choices really matter!" in advertising as a huge red flag so that wasn't a good sign either), but even so. It might be in part because I actually quite liked DL1's ending - I found it pretty refreshing for a post-apocalyptic zombie game - so DL2 throwing that out didn't sit well with me from the get-go (also part of why I'm not too keen on The Following, but that's a different matter).

      Overall, it just sorta left me thinking about how... even though I'd tried to go in with tempered expectations - all I really wanted was a fun zombie-flavoured parkour game, where climbing and jumping and swinging and stuff felt fluid and rewarding - I still found myself left feeling pretty hollow about it, even after an update that allegedly addressed some of my biggest issues with the game. It's especially frustrating, because the Inner Circle (I think that's what it was called, I can't remember - the second city map) is really, really cool and I would absolutely love to just aimlessly run around it... if the movement didn't feel floaty and awkward. Stuff like climbing to the top of the VNC Tower felt exhilarating and awesome - I could catch a glimpse of something excellent there, but it was so outweighed by everything else.

      So... Yeah. I dunno, I thought this'd make for an interesting question. Have theere any been any sequels you've played that left you feeling underwhelmed, in comparison to the previous game? If so, why?

      alright maybe some part of me just wants to ask this so i'd have an excuse to waffle about dying light and its story a bit but still i think it's an interesting topic nonetheless
      EDIT: formatting

      51 votes
    2. Pokemon - What is your favourite game in the series and why?

      My favourite game is Crystal Version for the Game Boy Color. I've been playing Pokemon since the beginning - Red and Blue. I loved the original games, and as a kid I saw the hype for the release...

      My favourite game is Crystal Version for the Game Boy Color. I've been playing Pokemon since the beginning - Red and Blue. I loved the original games, and as a kid I saw the hype for the release of Gold/Silver online. Gold/Silver's release is easily the most excited I've been for anything in my life. When they finally came out in the west, they hit all my expectations and more. The introduction of genders, time-based events with a visible day/night cycle, new types, new Pokemon, held items and so much more made the games a hugely more in-depth experience compared to the originals. No other game in the franchise has offered such a marked improvement over the previous to date.

      Crystal, being a third version, is essentially an enhanced version of Gold and Silver. It doesn't blow them out of the water, but what it does add is nice. Animated sprites, some feature refinements and an improved storyline makes it the quintessential Gen II game in my opinion.

      Remakes of Gold/Silver - with some Crystal features included - exist in the form of HGSS for the Nintendo DS. A top five Pokemon game in it's own right, I like it slightly less because they don't have quite the same vibe the originals had. This is almost entirely due to nostalgia, but it's what I believe.

      Do you agree? Do you disagree entirely? Share with us your favourite Pokemon game and why.

      36 votes
    3. Racing / driving games: What do they get right? What do they miss?

      I was playing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe with my kid the other day and it was a blast. Nintendo have really nailed this game, especially in the balance of accessible enough for beginners to have fun but...

      I was playing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe with my kid the other day and it was a blast. Nintendo have really nailed this game, especially in the balance of accessible enough for beginners to have fun but hard enough for people to have a challenge too.

      My other favourite game (although I haven't played it for a while) is Sega Rally Championship on Sega Saturn. This game has 4 tracks (one of which needs to be unlocked) and 3 cars (and again, one of these needs to be unlocked). The tiny number of cars and tracks means that you get to do the same corners over and over. This might sound tedious, but when you hit the corner just right you know it. You can get a sense of mastery over it. I've spent many hours playing games in the Gran Turismo series, and I really enjoy them, but fair play some of the tracks and cars are just shovelled into the game and you don't spend much time with them

      In the first Gran Turismo the licensing tests were properly hard. They weren't messing around. Getting bronze requires people to read the manual and understand what the point of the test is. Getting all gold is an actual challenge for experienced players. I feel like the tests (at least, the bronze levels) got easier in later games. The UK soundtrack was small but pretty good.

      My final mention is the Burnout series. I loved the crash junctions. I'm not sure the open world of Paradise was fun - it meant spending a lot of time driving across a map to get to the start line of various events. I feel the same way about many games - I'd rather just have a menu of levels and what I need to do to complete them (GoldenEye, SNES PilotWings, BlastCorps are all good examples) than have this stuff obscured by the open world. Burnout on the Nintendo DS was a genuinely awful game. I think Burnout Dominator was my favourite in the series.

      So, what do driving games get right? What do they miss? What interesting game mechanics do you enjoy?

      7 votes