The lights are on
Recently, we posted a story that covered sequels that vastly improved upon their predecessors. This spawned a discussion around the office regarding sequels in gaming, and we acknowledged that this medium tends to lend itself to sequels better than movies. Typically, a second entry in a game franchise improves upon the original's mechanics (and oftentimes, narrative). Unfortunately, that isn't always the case. While we're lucky to get titles like Assassin's Creed II, Uncharted 2, and Street Fighter II, the second entry in a series isn't universally superior. Let's take a look at some of the disappointments.
Devil May Cry 2
In 2001, Capcom released a game that served as inspiration for many action titles in the future. Devil May Cry wowed gamers with its stylish combos, massive boss fights, and daunting difficulty, but its 2003 sequel was met with unanimous disappointment from fans. Dante replaced his cocky, humorous quips with a new ultra-serious demeanor, and the original game’s trademark difficulty was nowhere to be found. Coupled with bland environments and recycled missions involving the new female character Lucia, fans of the first Devil May Cry were understandably upset with this lackluster sequel.
Early in the Xbox 360's lifecycle, Crackdown offered gamers an addictive and action-packed open world experience. Teaming up with a buddy to bound over buildings, collect agility orbs, and toss cars at enemies was a blast, and fans were excited when the sequel was announced. It promised four player co-op and more of a focus on interesting missions, but only one of those came true. Collecting orbs with three friends was still fun, but the generic missions and lack of plot dragged the experience down. More damning than the missions was the city itself, which was identical to that from the first game. With little to add to the experience, Crackdown 2 feels more like disappointing DLC than an actual sequel.
Perfect Dark Zero
Rare lost the James Bond license after the massively-successful Goldeneye, but they bounced back in full force with Perfect Dark on Nintendo 64. Featuring the familiar controls of Goldeneye, Rare added a ton of interesting weapons and introduced gamers to superspy Joanna Dark. Her debut outing was a hit, but Perfect Dark Zero didn't get the same reception when it released alongside the Xbox 360. With brainless AI, a questionable redesign for Joanna, and unreliable controls, the game was another sign that Rare wasn't quite what it used to be.
Email the author Dan Ryckert, or follow on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Game Informer.
Overblood 2 lacked enough Pipo to top its Predecessor.
Oh man, don't even get me started on Crackdown 2. I can't believe it took those guys 3 years to add zombies, remove the city's personality, and throw in a few new weapons. I can't even believe that Microsoft had the guts to put a "2" on the box, where it was more like "Crackdown 1.2". Probably the worst sequel I have spent the full $60 on.
I enjoyed PDZ