Monday, November 07, 2011

Sequels


Yahtzee Croshaw went off the deep end a while ago and stated that no one should ever make sequels. Of course he says that there are many good sequels and he revisits the subject constantly, but it's a huge issue with any creative industry. Movies and Games are just the easiest to see. There are also books, TV shows, paintings, comics and whathaveyou that suffer from much the same issues.

Yahtzee talked about this in depth for the first time in his F.E.A.R 2 review. The biggest issue is that the creativity of the original game, especially if it was a great game, is all but totally squandered. The blogs like, Joystiq and Destructoid, went through this not too long about with Portal 2. Justin McElroy compared Portal 2 to Hangover 2, in that the specialness of the first is taken away by the existence of the second. In the case of Portal 2, I don't agree, but it's hard to not understand what he's talking about.

Going back to the well over and over again is both terrible and great. It's terrible because it's an easy way to make money. Everyone bought Gears of War? Well, just as many people will buy Gears of War 2, in fact more people will. Everyone saw and loved Hangover (I didn't)? Then everyone will see and love Hangover 2. It's great because sometimes a great game or movie needs a great sequel. With a rich world it's hard to ignore more depth to an amazing story, but it's annoying when there isn't need for a sequel even if the first is amazingly deep and rich.

James Cameron's Avatar is a great example. I really liked the movie and so did a lot of other people. I mean, the story wasn't crazy original, but the characters were great and the world was outstanding. Sometimes it was a bit silly or overdone, but a fun movie to say the least. I won't spoil the ending (the good guys win) but that ending had a lot of closure that wasn't unreal. It didn't make room for a sequel, it wasn't open ended. It was a great ending. We don't need an Avatar 2, but it's certainly happening. Not because it calls for a sequel, but because the first was very successful.

Of course you could argue that the ending of Avatar didn't close off a sequel, but the film certainly doesn't need one. Going back to Yahtzee Croshaw, if we didn't have sequels we would lose a lot of great films and games for sure, but think of a world where there is always something new. We wouldn't have to relieve World War 2 over and over again. We'd have more vampires than Edward Cullen. The creative means is endless and amazing. There might not be any Star Wars trilogy, but we wouldn't have the Star Wars prequel trilogy either.

Also, I know I didn't mention Disney or Nintendo, but do I have to?

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