Balancing the Old and the New in Video Game Sequels

Gaming Sequels

I started playing Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones for GBA yesterday, and while on the Fire Emblem Wiki I glanced over the summary of the game’s reception, which went something like this:

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Don't Worry Video Games Can't Influence You, Can They?

Racist Video Games

In another post, I argued that video games (like all expressive media) influence the world but that, cumulatively, their influence is more likely to be positive than negative because games can show us new. 

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Let's Dive into XCOM’s Enemy Within Compelling Story

Video Game Story Xcom

            Partway through XCOM: Enemy Within (the expanded version of XCOM: Enemy Unknown), I realized that its video game story would never work in a movie.  It wasn’t that the premise wouldn’t work – alien invasions are hardly confined to video games—it was the way the story was being told. There was absolutely no attention being paid to characters’ personal lives.

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Can Gameplay Have Spoilers Like Stories Can?

 Video Game Spoilers

            I remember how stunned I was when I played through FINAL FANTASY VII for the first time and got to the part where, in a cutscene, the player-character and fan favorite Aeris/Aerith was impaled and killed by the villain Sephiroth. I had invested in the character both in terms of story and gameplay/RPG character development.

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Does Interconnected Game Play Work / And How So

Games and interconnection

 In the last couple of years, interconnected games in which player actions in one game affect options or situations in another have started to pop up more frequently than usual.

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BioShock 1 “Rapture” Vs. BioShock Infinite “Columbia”

BioShock, BioShock Infinite

Just finished a re-play of BioShock Infinite the other day. There are so many reviews and gamers calling BioShock Infinite one of the best games every made for the PS3.

I’ve been so excited to actually have time to re-play this masterpiece “Its hard to make time with kids” Lol... I have played the first two games in the series so; I have truly enjoyed the under water world of rapture.

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Does Playing a Certain Type of Video Game Character - Good or Bad?

Video Game Characters

Is there a revenge element to the plot?), so there aren’t any direct plot spoilers here. You only need to avoid reading the post if you don’t want to know whether a character or game’s situation is morally ambiguous or complicated.

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Why Hasn’t There Been a Great Movie Based on a Video Game?

Silent Hill Movie

When I saw the roller-coaster-like movie Gravity, I was surprised to realize that I occasionally felt like I was watching a video game on a giant screen. The film fluidly changed perspectives back and forth from third to first person, often framing the action as a game would, and the focus on challenging environments presenting life-and-death decisions almost constantly was also very game-like.

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Who Killed Grand Theft Auto IV, and Got away with It?

Grand Theft Auto IV

I recently finished a playthrough of the amazing (if flawed) Grand Theft Auto V. It got me thinking about why my experience of it was so, so far away from my disappointment with GTA IV. This post is about why, despite my desire to like it, GTA IV finally drove me away. A follow-up post will explain why GTA V won me over as an amazing if still sometimes maddening game.

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Why Keep the Flawed Masterpiece GTA V So Stupid, When It Could At Least Be Irreverent and Clever?

Grand Theft Auto V

I recently finished a fifty-five-hour playthrough of Grand Theft Auto V. It is a brilliant achievement. It’s a ridiculously fun game. It’s also a very disappointing game.

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The Halo Series & How Great Game Play - Can Help Strengthen the In Game Narratives

Halo Multi-Player Games

 Should Halo Expanded it's giant Universe going forward? Or Not?

I never owned an Xbox system until I bought a 360. I was almost exactly ten years late to the Halo party when I fired up a hand-me-down copy of Halo 2 that fall. Halo 2 was showing its age by that point, of course, but it still made an impression in a couple of ways.

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Bioshock Infinite vs The Last of Us: A Look Back Part 1

BioShock Infinite, The Last of Us - best story games ps3 

Bioshock Infinite & The Last of Us were easily my personal most anticipated games of the seventh generation of gaming, so why not revisit them in order to make them fight to the death for my long-term affections? In the tradition of the Old School Game Vault blog’s earlier comparison of Bioshock Infinite to the original Bioshock. 

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Bioshock Infinite vs The Last of Us: A Look Back Part 2

BioShock Infinite, The Last of Us - best story games ps3

As Part One [here] of this article explained in more depth, this is a showdown between Bioshock Infinite and The Last of Us, two of my most anticipated and most satisfying games of seventh generation of gaming. My comparison is based not on replay value or how the games have aged, but on how influentially they’ve stuck with me a year after my initial playthrough of each. 

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Rarer than Unicorns: Escort Missions That Deserve Saving

The Last of Us

As I discuss in a related post [here], escort missions are usually terrible, bringing otherwise fun games to a screeching halt with shoddy mechanics, annoying characters, and terrible AI.

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