Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Keep Faith Alive, a.k.a. These Games Need Sequels!

By Syko Shadow

For the past month or so, there has been some news regarding one of my favorite games of this generation, Mirror's Edge. Apparently, development of a sequel has been pushed to the side by Electronic Arts so that the developer DICE can focus on making a game to compete with Call of Duty, presumably Battlefield 3.

Fuck that, I want my sexy free-running goddess, I do NOT want another patriotic Aryan poster boy fightin' the dang Ruskies for the old Stars and Stripes! American military videogames weren't fun the first time around, now we've got more interactive advertisements for the U.S. Army than I can count, and on top of that DICE is tossing aside a sequel to one of the most unique games on today's consoles to continue this stream of semper fi bullshit.

You know, Mirror's Edge is far from the first original IP I've grown to love, yet others look down on, and due to that the aspects of a sequel are... less than hopeful. With that in mind, I decided to write about my most desired sequels I need, but may never get.

Mirror's Edge

The original game, developed by DICE and published by EA, was one of the funnest games I've played this generation. It was a great urban free-running platformer that won my heart because of its style. The art direction, music, gameplay and even its story had me playing through each level with glee. While some may find the gameplay slightly off, I never had any issues with it. I loved the constant movement, moving around obstacles, clearing seemingly impossible gaps using walljumps and doing really sick on-foot maneuvers.

What I love the most about this game is the potential it had to separate itself from almost every other game around. There is a cheevo (a.k.a. Achievement) in the game called "Test of Faith" which is awarded for playing through the entire single-player without ever shooting someone. As soon as I knew that you were actually awarded for NOT killing, for playing through the whole game as someone who avoids combat even when presented with the capability to fight, I had to play this game. Guns were available to me, and there were a few moments where it would have been easier for me to pick up a pistol off the ground and pop a cap in a motherfucker, but I chose not to. Even if there was no cheevo, I still would have played it this way, the cheevo was simply a hint by the developers on how to play the game right. It's an interesting and fun experience when you're playing a non-horror videogame as a vulnerable person against enemies much more suited to combat than you and running is the most sensible option for survival, and it's an experience I wouldn't have wanted to miss out on for the world.

Of course, if a sequel is made, I fear the folks at DICE and EA will instead listen to the fucking douchebags who bashed this game because "the gunplay sucked" and Mirror's Edge 2 might be more of a shooter... which would be fucking atricious! Let me make this clear, anyone who played Mirror's Edge like a Call of Duty game, or thought that the game would have been better if it was more of a first-person shooter, is a goddamn fucktard.

Beyond Good & Evil

One of the best original IP's of all time, and it's gotten almost no love whatsoever. Sure, it got great reviews and it's got a good cult following to this day, but it sold like shit when it came out, and almost nobody actually played it because people are assholes. Fortunately, out of all the games on this list, this game is the most likely to get a sequel, since Beyond Good & Evil 2 has been announced, Ubisoft is just being lazy fuckers, making tired-ass Raving Rabbids games instead of this. They've re-released the original game, in HD, on Xbox LIVE for 10 bucks, so there's no reason not to get it.

Especially since the sales of Beyond Good & Evil HD will no doubt decide whether we see a sequel.

People would think Beyond Good & Evil HD is merely an appetizer for the sequel, but the world is not that nice. Ubisoft is no doubt using the sales of the downloadable game as a gauge of people's desire for a sequel, which will shape their decision on whether or not to focus on making Beyond Good & Evil 2. My problem with this, it's hard to gauge the desire for a sequel by re-selling an older game. There will be people who already have the original, and don't want to buy it again, and most people who don't already have the game haven't heard of it at all, so that will hurt sales of BG&E: HD a bit, which will in turn hurt the chances of BG&E 2. So what I am asking of anyone who is reading this is, even if you have the first game, even if you've played through it many times, buy it on Xbox LIVE. I want to see a sequel to this game, dammit!

Star Wars: Republic Commando

There's rarely a genre of videogames that I used to get excited about as much as Star Wars games. People don't even consider them "licensed games" in the same vein as movie tie-ins, as Star Wars games have ascended above and beyond normal games. Before the awful Force Unleashed began the downward spiral of Star Wars' reputation amongst gamers, we had amazing games like Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader, Jedi Outcast, Knights of the Old Republic, and of course Republic Commando. When it comes to linear first-person shooters, this game stands above them all. Yes, it's better than Halo. Any game that can make the plotline of the Star Wars prequels seem awesome is worth its weight.

The first game ends on a semi-cliffhanger, with the status of one of the characters left ambiguous, a major battle of the Clone Wars just about to get underway, and the looming threat of Order 66, all of which I would love to see from the perspective of RC-1138 and the other clone troopers of Delta Squad. More than anything though, Republic Commando was just SO FUCKING GOOD! It's one of the best FPS games I've ever played. Everything about it is amazing, the gameplay is superb, the presentation of the plot is done extremely well, the visuals are breathtaking due to the attention to detail, and the sound design is simply genius. A sequel to this game would hopefully continue this fantastic game design.

Sadly, there has been absolutely no talk of a sequel whatsoever. LucasArts doesn't seem to remember this game even exists, and even if they did the team at LucasArts aren't exactly showing the same level of greatness that they showed for Republic Commando with their latest Star Wars endeavours.

Marc Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure

Man, if I was to give a shout-out for most underrated game ever, this game would be it. It's a solid game, has one of the best licensed soundtracks of any game ever, and it shows real reverence towards ghetto culture. Of course, rap music and ghetto isn't very popular with "mainstream" (i.e. suburban white) gamers, so the game has gotten almost no respect at all, with most people even shitting on it like it was a bad game, to the point where my hopes and expectations for a sequel have long since plummeted.

But that won't stop me from still trying! Whether it's a direct sequel, a spiritual successor, or whatever, this game needs to live on somehow! I would prefer a spiritual successor, which seems infinitely more likely than a sequel, mainly so it could be distanced from the Ecko brand label that tarnishes an otherwise great game. Let's face it, no game can be taken very seriously when the founder of a clothing label has his name in the title of the damn game, which would only add speculation of the game being another shallow hip-hop sellout, which it wasn't, but people will see it that way. Marc Ecko himself has stated a desire for a sequel, to "continue the brand," but it leaves me wondering exactly which brand he's talking about here, the game brand or the clothing brand.

The urban, ghetto, rap culture isn't exactly an untapped intellectual resource for gaming, with the Def Jam games, Saint's Row, 50 Cent's gaming forays, 187: Ride or Die, and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. The problem is the culture has been abused, neglected, or whitewashed in videogames, so almost none of those games do the source material justice, whether they have shit gameplay like 187: Ride or Die and 50 Cent: Bulletproof, or they perpetrated a worse crime, like GTA and Saint's Row, in that they are about as ghetto as Vanilla Ice. We need a game to do for ghetto what Red Dead Redemption did for westerns, combining a strong ghetto vibe with equally strong gameplay, and Getting Up was the closest we've ever gotten so it's a perfect place to start.

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

I am about to say the most honest, truthful thing I have ever said in my entire life. Nothing in the world holds as much truth as the following statement:

There is no game I want to see on this planet more than Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic III.

The two KotOR games stand proudly as my favorite Star Wars games of all time, and other than Mass Effect are my favorite videogames ever. The originak KotOR was a masterpiece that I will never get tired of playing over and over again, and Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords was a very worthy sequel even with the rushed released. With that in mind, I think it's kinda sad that KotOR has had this pattern, the first game was allowed to be finished, the second game was rushed out partially unfinished, and the third game was outright cancelled. It's almost as if LucasArts gradually grew more and more disinterested with the franchise... fuckers.

If there is any decency in this world, that game better be un-cancelled! I don't care what anyone at BioWare says, an MMO set 100 years after KotOR II is not a worthy sequel. The greatest Star Wars trilogy since the original movie trilogy needs the final act!

Besides, BioWare and LucasArts could make a boatload of cash if they did this right. Here's what I'm thinking: current-gen remakes of both KotOR games, complete with the ability to import savegames Mass Effect-style to each subsequent game, including the potential threequel. Working on remakes for the first two games using the originals as a basis would be relatively easy, and from what I've heard they were pretty far in KotOR III's planning stages before it was cancelled, having written the storyline, designed levels and characters for the game. I see no logical reason not to do this sometime down the road, and it's something everyone would eat up.

Regardless of how it gets here, Knights of the Old Republic III needs to happen!

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