Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Remakes, Sequels, Spinoffs, and Spiritual Successors

  1. #1
    Wildökarudo Mercen-X's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    8,629
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default Remakes, Sequels, Spinoffs, and Spiritual Successors

    While some concepts can be innovative and implement "outside the box"-thinking (a map made of text blocks explored by a single "letter"), not every game can be a unique little butterfly. Eventually, most games are gonna start to feel very familiar if you have nothing more important to do than examine their similarities. But many titles leave this sense of "lingering" like an empty "tickle" taunting you.

    This has nothing to do with mechanics or graphics although both can lend to stirring the pot in which this emotion simmers. This has everything to do with plot but, more accurately, story. There's more here than they could say with just one game, you think to yourself. While movies have done similar things to egg on a potential franchise, often games just suffer a stricter limit of time and resources so putting out a continuation of a story is farthest from their minds.

    (ranting)Unlike video games, I am a unique butterfly. Their are far too many naysayers in the world. "Sequels, remakes, spinoffs, spiritual successors - it's all just franchising. Franchising is just all about the quick cash grabs." And yes the QCG can result in "bad" stuff if the producers don't care about the quality of what they're putting out. But just because a game is receiving an "addition" pf some kind, doesn't mean it will be of any less quality by default.

    I also personally do not agree with those who say that games with a main story arc which has been neatly wrapped up with a pretty bow is finished and finding out what happens next will just ruin what we've already experienced.


    I am a major enthusiast for epic story-telling. That's what the MCU is. That's what Kingdom Hearts is (admittedly, not the best example). Of course, it's a matter of taste. I used to write short stories and now I'm in the habit of combining everything I've ever written into one cohesive universal timeline.

    Nevertheless, I value the continuation of stories even if the original writers meant to leave us with a final box to "theorize" over what's in it (what did it all mean? What caused it? What will happen next?)

    I don't mind if the same studio never gives us an answer. I will gladly play anything that is suggested to answer questions I have about a game I played previously.

    I personally feel there are too many stand-alone games whose stories I want to experience more of (background, fate).

    Anyone in agreement or does my statement about being unique hold more water than initially believed? What games need continuation? (no matter what form that takes)

  2. #2

    Default

    I generally feel pretty much tbe opposite. Generally I find most games, at least ones with epic world expanding stories, would be ill-served by direct sequels. There's only so much you can do with the same characters and settings. If it feels like a character has conpleted their narrative arc after the first game, sequels are probably going to feel tired, uninspired, and ultimately like a pale shade rehash of what came before.

    When I think of the games that do sequels following some kind of continuity well, theybstill seem to shift enough in characters and setting to avoid this problem. So, for example, while the Suikoden games were set in the same world with some shared characters running throughout, the main character was always someone new, and the setting was always different. It wasn't like "see Cloud's continuing adventures in Midgar."

  3. #3
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Nowhere and Everywhere
    Posts
    17,741
    Articles
    57
    Blog Entries
    20
    Contributions
    • Former Cid's Knight

    Default

    I'm with Lord Golbez here. Trying to add onto a story that has no where left to grow is just a headache. That's not to say I'm against sequels and spin-offs, but I feel there are rules you have to follow to make it work. The simplest being that if you're going to make a franchise work, you have to lay the foundation first. You can't just make a contained work and then after the fact, trying to expand on it. It rarely works out well.

    The MCU works because it was established from the first Iron Man film that they were building an expanded universe with the films with other non-Iron Man characters being referenced or popping up. That's why the multiverse element works for the film because Marvel had planned on every film in Phase 1 to climax with the Avengers film.

    Contrast this with FFX and Kingdom Hearts, which both had teaser trailers hinting to a sequel with their International Editions. These teaser trailers were made to discern if fans would be interested in one, not necessarily because the staff actually had a story in mind. Now look at the sequels they produce and notice how the feeling of them is dissonant from the originals. KH's narrative did have room to grow, but the sequels took a decidedly different path with the franchise that alienated the first title. X-2 didn't really have anywhere to go and its plot is a muddled mess because the staff never had a clear vision to begin with and simply wanted to explore the characters without purpose. Which is probably a lot of the reason why the game has a love it or hate it relationship among the fans.

    The other issues with tacking onto the story is that the writers have to change things around to build conflict that can often cause continuity errors or retcons to the original premise. This works based on the strength of the writers and the fans willing suspension of belief. Retconning Big Boss's past in MGS works because half the information concerning him was Japanese only for awhile, and frankly, it as never detailed enough to begin with. So the few continuity errors in MGS3 work because the details it smudges were never terribly important to begin with. Contrast this with the Compilation of VII's retcons concerning the Great War or Kingdom Hearts retconning the rules of its own universe. You can quickly see how these changes now change the context of earlier works in a way that doesn't work for them. Everything mentioned about Shinra and even Wutai's history is retconned in Crisis Core as it changed the entire purpose of the Great War backstory. Likewise, KH1 now has a lot of inconsistencies concerning the nature of the keyblade, Kingdom Hearts, and the issue of Donald and Goofy not knowing what a Keyblade was despite the prequel games clearly showing they do. This is why you shouldn't tack on new concepts and rules without checking for the inconsistencies they may cause.

    Remakes are different story, and I've grown to accept them as a chance to do something new and different with them as opposed to just updating a few aging components. Granted, I do feel remakes can be excessive. I'm tired of seeing Spider-Man get rebooted, and lord knows that Capcom and Konami need to stopped from remaking Resident Evil and Castlevania titles, especially as they struggle to make good sequels. The largest issue I do have with remakes is that I inherently disagree with the idea of remaking a good title. I don't want a Chrono Trigger remake because I don't feel like it can really be improved by one. On the other hand, I would not be bothered by Chrono Cross getting one because the game had a lot of glaring problems that I feel could be smoothed out with a second attempt at the game. The Secret of Mana remake from last year was a poor one because it really didn't do anything but update the graphics and music with questionable quality. Contrast this with the Trials of Mana remake coming next year which looks like they are actually changing around things to fit the 3D world being added in, and hopefully re-balancing the game's questionable control and UI issues from the original. That's how you do a smurfing remake. It's a large part of why I'm still on the fence about the VII Remake because honestly, I don;t feel like the Midgard sequence could be improved much outside of a few technical changes, and I'm worried that the new content will hurt the near perfect balance the original sequence possessed just to overload the game with some of the worst excesses of the genre that has become predominate in the last decade or two. I don't want to explore the rest of Midgard if it's just going to be relegated to silly fetch quest/monster farming nonsense. I'd rather just leave the splendor of those sectors to my imagination if they are not going to do anything meaningful with it. That's always the issues with remakes or adding new stuff into an old IP. How well does the new content blend in with the old? One of the reasons why I felt the new VI Advance content worked so well for the game was because it was done so seamlessly that you would have had to play the original to even know some of those quests or espers weren't in the original. Same deal with Persona 3 FES whose new content worked seamlessly to make the original feel more like a beta than a finished product. Whereas Golden feels awkward in P4 because we're shoving in a new character not from the original and giving a social link to another one that is a bit too *wink wink, nudge nudge* to fans of the original P4. It's practically telling you to look at all the changes we did and making it more obvious to old fans that it doesn't really fit in.
    True beauty exists in things that last only for a moment.
    Current Mood: THIS IS ALL I EVER SING! THIS IS MY SOUL!!


  4. #4
    Slothstronaut Slothy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    I'm in space
    Posts
    13,453
    Blog Entries
    27
    Contributions
    • Former Cid's Knight

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf Kanno View Post
    lord knows that Capcom and Konami need to stopped from remaking Resident Evil and Castlevania titles, especially as they struggle to make good sequels.
    RE7 and the RE2 Remake are legitimately fantastic games thank you very much.

  5. #5
    The Alpha and the Omega WarZidane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    621

    FFXIV Character

    Cattleya Paphia (Sargatanas)

    Default

    I think the most important thing in a good sequel story is just to not crap on the first game's story and character arcs. If characters went through hardships to make the world a better place and finish their own personal journeys, don't make a sequel that goes "well actually, within a year the world went to trout anyway and all those characters are in a bad place now" (Looking at you, Tales of Symphonia 2)

    Of course, I agree that the best way to go is laying the foundation for expanding your world, and then exploring those expansions through the lens of different main characters in different places. Have familiar aspects of the world and recurring characters, but don't have them be the focus. Enough new and enough old. (Looking at you, Trails and Ar Tonelico)

    But Yakuza, for example, shows that this isn't entirely necessary. Yakuza 1 is absolutely a self-contained story, with the main character starting a new life at the end of the game. Then Yakuza 2 (and 3, and 4, and so on) comes along and he's dragged right back into the same underworld of Kamurocho. Then again, that might just be a matter of scale. Yakuza's stories are just crime dramas that take place in one part of a city. Still, it feels like the sequels respect the story more, progressing instead of going "well let's just undo it all to create cheap drama".

    As for remakes, while I can understand the anxiety concerning them, RE2 proves it's not always a bad thing when a good game is remade. The original RE2 was, at the time, well-received and all that. People still love it. But that remake's damn amazing, and people who never played the original RE2 got to see it in all the glory it deserves.

    I will say, if you're gonna remake a game, go all in. To take Wolf Kanno's example, don't be like Secret of Mana, afraid of change and ending up stale because the gameplay just doesn't work in 2018. Be like Trials of Mana and RE2, recognize that old gameplay style isn't going to be as successful anymore, aim to make something better.

  6. #6
    Wildökarudo Mercen-X's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    8,629
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default

    Remake: update, expand, make shiny, fix issues, possibly add cut content, address plotholes or unanswered questions

    Sequel (cannot be built around game mechanics): expand story, follow new characters, let OCs rest until the third game (or the sequel's third act), address plotholes or unanswered questions

    Spinoff: follow familiar characters, new story/premise or alternate reality

    Spiritual Successor: familiar characters may cameo, virtually no other connection aside from a similar playstyle or thematic tone


    Some games have an ending but feel as though the story has not concluded. These include indies such as Journey, Limbo, Inside, Little Nightmares, Braid, etc.
    Last edited by Mercen-X; 08-24-2019 at 12:55 AM.

  7. #7
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Nowhere and Everywhere
    Posts
    17,741
    Articles
    57
    Blog Entries
    20
    Contributions
    • Former Cid's Knight

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Slothy View Post

    RE7 and the RE2 Remake are legitimately fantastic games thank you very much.
    That's just my zombie bias creeping in. Still, RE5 and 6 could have both been better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mercen-X View Post
    Some games have an ending but feel as though the story has not concluded. These include indies such as Journey, Limbo, Inside, Little Nightmares, Braid, etc.
    I honestly felt Journey ended perfectly and I really can't see a reason to delve back into that story without wrecking everything else the first game did well. Braid also strikes me as a game that really doesn't need a direct sequel. Spiritual sequels could work for both but they don't really need sequels. Same deal with Team Ico's titles, I just feel like trying to add onto those would result in losing something from the original.
    True beauty exists in things that last only for a moment.
    Current Mood: THIS IS ALL I EVER SING! THIS IS MY SOUL!!


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •