Ewan Rants: Prequels and Sequels

Where would we be without sequels? Probably in a better place to be honest, a lot of sequels nowadays are unneeded and clearly unwanted or unnecessary, but what about those sequels we do want and enjoy?

A game series that instantly pops to mind is the Call of Duty series, they’re released every year around September/November time to cash in on the holiday rush, because who doesn’t like a shit story? Millions upon millions of 8 year olds will line up and buy it on launch day, skip the campaign, head straight to the multiplayer and scream so defiantly into their microphone you’d think a pack of vultures had attacked them. Every year. If you’ve read my review for Advanced Warfare you’ll know I absolutely loved that game because the campaign was really good, but before that Call of Duty had lost its footing and it looks like Black Ops III is going to continue that tradition. Having played Black Ops III for a good twenty minutes, I’m glad to see it’s continuing the tradition of being awful, how nice of them to return to their roots.

But do we honestly need more Call of Duty sequels? No, to be quite honest, most games do just fine without a sequel once a year, look at Grand Theft Auto, it’ll be a very long time before we get a sequel to GTA V, but obviously it isn’t as easy to make as Call of Duty. No, all you have to do is point at a country, scream “THEY’RE THE BAD GUYS” and away you go. It’s ridiculous, nobody needs this many Call of Duty games, just narrow it down to the best five (World at War, Modern Warfare, Call of Duty 3, Call of Duty 2, Advanced Warfare), we’re at about 20 or so Call of Duty games and it’s only been around for 12 years.

Look at Beyond Good and Evil for example, an outstanding game that, by the looks of it isn’t getting a sequel, it got a trailer, but not a sequel. I would happily trade all the Call of Duty games for a beta trial to a sequel for that game, let alone the release of it.

Then we have the games that actually require a sequel to make sense but wont be getting one in the next few centuries, see Half Life 3 for that one, or even Commander Keen for Christ’s sake. Most sequels and prequels are just blatant cash grabs that weren’t needed. We’d thought we’d seen the end of Gears of War, but unfortunately that isn’t the case as now we have Judgement, a HD remake for the Xbox One and another instalment on the way. I’ll be playing it, for John DiMaggio’s sake. We thought we’d finally buried the Medal of Honour series, but then that came back and made itself look like the stupidest shooter we’ve seen in a very long time, now it’s been buried again. So reviving older game series’ isn’t always the best idea, if you don’t believe me then you should see my post on rebooting game series’.

Prequels are even worse, it’s basically a developers way of saying “We made a great series and now it’s ended, but it’s popular and it’ll make money, prequel time!” The Halo franchise has seen it’s fair share of sequels or games that don’t include Master Chief, like Halo Wars, Halo 3: ODST, Halo 4 and Halo: Reach, however the difference is that those games are good (excluding Halo 4), now I might own an Xbox but I’m not an Xbox fanboy. Halo Reach had a very good story and Halo Wars is the only good RTS on the Xbox 360 that I know of. Unlike the prequels to Five Night’s at Freddy’s, or sequels or whatever the hell they were. Nobody knows, nobody cares.

Of course, it’s nice to see that when a sequel to a beloved series is bad the developers pay the price. Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts and Duke Nukem Forever showed us that even the most beloved series are not safe from revivals that aren’t needed. However, the story behind Banjo Kazooie’s sequel is a very long one, which I’m going to sum up with a sentence.

The end of Banjo Kazooie 2, you’ve defeated Gruntilda and she says “Just wait until Banjo-Three-ie”, everyone throws their N64 controllers up in the air and a bear noise is heard throughout to signal the calling of a third game. Then Microsoft happened, they bought Rareware and most (if not all) of the IP’s they had been working on, including Banjo Kazooie. Rareware then spent the next few years making horrible games like Grabbed by the Ghoulies, Kameo: Elements of Power and Perfect Dark Zero. THEN THEY MADE BANJO KAZOOIE: NUTS AND BOLTS THE END.

I’ve had enough with sequels, I’m just not going to play any games that have a sequel now.

Wait, they’re making a sequel to Bully?

andy dance

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