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The first one is still the best one

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As time has gone by, the view of game sequels has changed. It used to be back in the day that almost all sequels were superior in every way to the games before them. Gradually, this has changed to the point where it's not a given that the sequel will be better, but there is still that sense that everything evolves. For some games, though, I feel that the second game took a step in a direction I didn't agree with, and I still prefer the original that started everything.

 

I'd be interested in reading what games other people might bring up (Super Mario Kart? Bayonetta?), but my choice is

 

Super Smash Bros. (N64)

 

The Smash Bros. series has become a viable, respectable fighting game franchise in its own right, but I feel that something was lost when it retooled everything for Melee and subsequent sequels. The fact that the game relies as much as it does on nostalgia for the characters, arenas, and items plays a part, but not significantly. The huge roster of characters is also not a factor. It's probably just me, but I feel that the feel and atmosphere of the series changed from Melee onwards, and it has lost me.

 

The characters feel different. The fighting system has become much deeper and complex. The frame rate is much better. Sure, I can now see that the original was broken in many ways, but I miss the more primitive, sumo-like feel of the original, slower and more decisive. I also miss the conceit, where it wasn't about figures and trophies, but simply about a child playing with their Nintendo dolls on their desk or bed.

 

Smash Bros. is a series I can respect, but never really enjoy.

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I think lots of people will post Mario Kart, but I don't agree with them.

 

Final Fight

Sega Rally

Golden Axe (on consoles, anyway - there was an arcade-only sequel that is excellent by all accounts.  I haven't played it)

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Metal Slug

 

Adding things like turning the player into a slowed down zombie or slowed down fatso is NOT an improvement in an arcade run and gun game.

 

Contra

 

The original is great.

SNES Mode 7 levels sucked. Hard Corps is too hard. The newer ones don't exist.

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31 minutes ago, partious said:

 Hard Corps is too hard.

 

The US and EU versions are a botched release. They were made artificially too hard to “prevent” rentals. 

 

Play the OG Japanese release. It’s totally the best Contra and not that difficult to play all the way through.   

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Lemmings.

as will be a common theme, the sequels were thought to have to expand (and, to be fair to DMA Design, they’d stretched those original 8 lemmings and what tricks could be played with them pretty far by the end of the first game: they didn’t have much choice other than introducing the tribes if they wanted a game that was approachable enough to sell) and so lost the essence of what made the game great in the first place.

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SSX

History seems to have decided SSX Tricky was the best in the series but I absolutely adored the first one. Maybe it's because it was a launch title and there was nothing else out for ages or maybe it's because the game really did feel like a generational leap. I loved every minute I put into that game and could never recapture the same feelings with any of the sequels. 

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Smash Bros is a good choice ! I've always kind of felt the same, but never known anyone else to say it too. For me it was just the increased speed of Melee i didn't like, it's just too much. I was too overwhelmed by everything in the game to really know i wasn't enjoying it as much because it's phenomenal in terms of its ideas and levels, i think it pushed the concept as far as it could go. In particularly the F Zero levels are incredible.

 

Smash Bros N64 was substantially slower, you could get a better sense of what is happening, check opponents health, plan attacks, avoid projectiles and pokemon. In Melee onwards it all happens in a blur. With how busy it gets it feels more like things happen to you rather than you doing it.

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2 hours ago, Azrael said:

Halo:CE. 

 

I loved Halo 3, ODST and Reach but the original Halo is still the best. 

Halo was the first game that came to mind for me too.

 

I also loved ODST and Reach, they came close but didn't have the impact.

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Bomberman - again a beautiful simple idea that got over complicated and unnecessary graphical upgrades over the years, never to its benefit

 

I believe my first experience of it was on SNES but somebody will probably say it was on PC Engine before that ?

 

 

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13 minutes ago, Gotters said:

Bomberman - again a beautiful simple idea that got over complicated and unnecessary graphical upgrades over the years, never to its benefit

 

I believe my first experience of it was on SNES but somebody will probably say it was on PC Engine before that ?

 

 

 

most people in the UK had their first bomberman experience on the SNES

 

followed by the saturn version ;)

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Souls. Whether you start counting at Demon's or Dark it's still hard to argue for the sequels.

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1 minute ago, Benny said:

Advance Wars. None of the sequels were as good or as pure as the original.

 

already the 7th game in the series, though.

 

sorry.

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I really loved the original Timesplitters. The second one seems to be the one that everyone remembers, with that Goldeneye level and the stage builder, but the first game is seriously underrated. While the sequels kind of went in a more traditional single-player direction, with longer and more complex levels, the first game was essentially a series of really challenging bite-size challenges, often with very tight time limits, and pretty much everything you did unlocked stuff for multiplayer. I have very fond memories of weekends spent playing this four-player splitscreen (long live the PS2 Multitap) and spending most of the intervening week trying to unlock new characters and stages for everyone to play. Plus it had the Chinese restaurant level which is one of my favourite multiplayer levels ever.  It's insane that this series just died out.

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2 hours ago, partious said:

Metal Slug

 

Adding things like turning the player into a slowed down zombie or slowed down fatso is NOT an improvement in an arcade run and gun game.

 

Contra

 

The original is great.

SNES Mode 7 levels sucked. Hard Corps is too hard. The newer ones don't exist.

 

Contra 4 on the DS is pretty good, not too hard and it's essentially a true direct sequel to Contra, retaining all of the original gameplay (including the 3D sections) and style.

 

 

But wait, you say... my eyes!! My eyes!!! Why the hell did they make it over the two screens?

 

Because people sometimes forget the original arcade had a vertical monitor

 

 

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Crackdown.

 

CD2 didn't hit the spot and didn't need zombies.  CD3 is OK, but still not as good as I remember the first one being.  The multiplayer mode in 3 is especially lame.

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My picks:

Condemned 

Mass Effect

Rocket Knight Adventures

Shock Troopers

FEAR

Soul Calibur

 

Already mentioned :

Sega Rally

Gears of War

Crazy Taxi

Metal Slug

 

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Just now, Down by Law said:

My picks:

Condemned 

Mass Effect

Rocket Knight Adventures

Shock Troopers

FEAR

Soul Calibur

 

Already mentioned :

Sega Rally

Gears of War

Crazy Taxi

Metal Slug

 

 

uh, soul edge/blade?

 

what is wrong with you people!?!

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Jack the Nipper: The second one should have been called "Monty Mole in Tropical Trouble" or something. 

 

Manic Miner: I don't care what people say, Manic Miner was TIGHT, Jet Set Willy was too sprawling, too difficult and filled with too many bugs

 

Goldeneye: Even when they remade the original, Daniel Craig's voiceover work should have been a clear indication of how he was going to approach future Bond films. Appearing bored shitless.

 

 

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9 minutes ago, Garwoofoo said:

I really loved the original Timesplitters. The second one seems to be the one that everyone remembers, with that Goldeneye level and the stage builder, but the first game is seriously underrated. While the sequels kind of went in a more traditional single-player direction, with longer and more complex levels, the first game was essentially a series of really challenging bite-size challenges, often with very tight time limits, and pretty much everything you did unlocked stuff for multiplayer. I have very fond memories of weekends spent playing this four-player splitscreen (long live the PS2 Multitap) and spending most of the intervening week trying to unlock new characters and stages for everyone to play. Plus it had the Chinese restaurant level which is one of my favourite multiplayer levels ever.  It's insane that this series just died out.

Definetly agree. We played that game pretty much every night until the sequel was released. My mate was always the duck, his brother the Gingerbread man and I was the Elvis impersonator. We used to make our own games up that had us giggling for ages.

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19 minutes ago, Yasawas said:

Souls. Whether you start counting at Demon's or Dark it's still hard to argue for the sequels.

 

Quite. Demon's Souls was my first pick. Dark Souls was great and the early stages of the map were a real strong point, but it had many areas that were essentially big spaces to walk through. Demons had great design on every stage, despite them not being linked. Then there was a lot of the online stuff in Dark that just didn't appear to work as intended, and the PvP became a 'circle for the backstab' routine.

 

My rather less popular pick is Way of the Samurai on PS2. A game with small scope built on a great premise of sword collecting/enhancing. Break a sword and it's lost forever (save was deleted on each game load so impossible to cheat the system), but use it with care and you could learn to auto-parry powerful moves as well as building your own move list. The sequel increased the scope of the game but lost all the sword-RPG stuff.

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3 hours ago, bum said:

Final Fight

This was this first thing that sprung to mind. The SNES only sequels are good, but not a patch on the arcade original. Which is only to be expected in a time when arcades were a lot more powerful than home consoles.

 

UFO / Xcom: Enemy Unknown

The original was probably the greatest turn based strategy of all time. An absolute masterpiece. Not without its faults, but all could be forgiven due to the brilliance of both the organisation management side of things and the tense, tactical battles. All with some fantastic world building thrown in - the whole plot, the different types of enemies, the music, the atmosphere, the scenery. Just amazing all round.

 

Terror From The Deep should have been a slam dunk, but it was deeply flawed. Crippling difficulty - allegedly caused by a bug in EU that meant it was on the easiest difficulty, whatever you selected, so people said it was too easy - sucked a lot of the fun out if it. As did the ship maps having hundreds of cabins, so you could spend literally hours searching for that last enemy. All not helped by it not handling the on land / underwater mix at all well - you had underwater and on land only weapons and you were stuffed if your troops turned up with the wrong ones.

 

The there was Apocalypse. Ugh. Some really odd design choices. Trying to mix real time and turn based battles just didn't work. The balance was off do some enemies were a lot harder to deal with in one mode or the other. The setting wasn't great and it stripped out a lot of the features that made the original so enjoyable.

 

I really should give the reboots a lot more attention...

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