Sequels are often regarded as inferior to an original, established concept, regularly created as a means to satisfy popular demand, egocentric satisfaction of further critical acclaim, and of course financial profit is their fundamental motivation. Duplicating almost instantly like economical, beneficiary mitosis, extended to a point of deteriorating madness, until every last drop of figurative blood has poured from every available orifice of the corpse, now in an advanced stage of rigamortis, that was once the exhibitor of huge pride, and the envy of lesser imitators, vanquished by greed and self-obsessed profiteering abuse (take note George Lucas). Like regular substance abuse, it has detrimental effects that reverberate around a series success and failures. Exploiting the cash cow in the short-term is a relatively viable commodity, but extending the longevity of the abuse unveils the unforseen consequences. Expectation plays its part but so does excess, you can have too much of a good thing….though this hypothesi doesn’t appear to apply to the almost invulnerable gaming industry.
A game, even with the most adequate of commercial eminence, recouping average financial returns, with the right critical reception is likely to secure a sequel, and compared to other forms of media, interactive or otherwise, will improve on the original, building with further advancing development, a philosophy of determined intent to eclipse its predecessor, but for how long can you continue to improve before advancements become indistinguishable from all that’s come before? A numerical introduction can distract ones attention away from a games malevolence or feeble differings. The rapport with the fans is extinguished by overused, extremely fallible and barely noticeable additions, or in some cases subtractions, with more numbered variations than an episode of countdown. I fear the day that a bad Uncharted game is released, for I know it’s a certainty, because I never once believed that Capcom would develop a bad/mediocre numbered Resident Evil, but here I sit, still surrounded by the putrid stench of its decaying egotism, that once resembled the conquering, fear inducing survival horror, now reduced to a level of potent mediocrity, which even an Umbrella dispersed, Fabreeze pathogen couldn’t adequately dispel the nauseating stench (a little dramatic I’ll admit, but it’s still painfully fresh in the memory).
Theres an adept sense of manipulation with publishers, consciously aware of their duty to produce consistently viable products, and if it’s a success then they will make a sequel, fair enough, it’s a business and should be operated as so. But there has to be metaphorical line drawn to avoid derivative, stagnation of previously inventive games, such as the ironically named Final Fantasy, which continues unimpeded with no ending implied by the title (bear with me here). With the roman numerals depicting the number 13, with an added 2, which transforms a sequel, to a sequel of a sequel, but not a sequel, more of a continuation of the previous 13, but with an additional 2, which doesn’t formulate into 15, because there hasn’t yet been a 14 and…..Oh dear?! I’ve gone cross-eyed.
Are there too few original ideas in the gaming industry? Or do you enjoy the numbered sequels? Let me hear your thoughts…..but please, no abuse regarding Final Fantasy, I’m confused enough as it is?