"Teaching an Old Dog Sort of New Tricks"
In the gaming world, a sequel can spell doom or greatness. While gamers are fond of new experiences, sometimes they favor more of the same. For example, the jump from the first Zelda to the second did not go so smoothly. While The Legend of Zelda II was a good game, it did not compare to the greatness of the first. The same can be said for games nowadays. Look at the Diablo series. While Diablo III is immensely popular, the game is not as beloved as the second one.
So, what is the secret formula to sequels? This is the magic question that all game developers look to answer. Is it reinventing how we play the original? We can see that going from Super Mario World to Mario 64 was a great leap. Perhaps that is the answer. But if a company cannot achieve such a feat, what should they do? It is improbable to create a sequel that changes the way gamers play. Games like that come out every 10 years or so. Perhaps there is another answer out there. How about bringing in more of the same, but with subtle differences? You need an example? Let's look into Fire Emblem: Awakening for the Nintendo 3DS.
For years, Fire Emblem's gameplay has withstood the tests of time. Yes, Fire Emblem is a strategy RPG. Yes, players will spend time on a gridded map and defeat enemies. Once the battle is over, gamers are treated to story bits and get whisked away into battle again and again.
In this sequel, Fire Emblem: Awakening, Nintendo brings gamers more of the same, but with some subtle changes to the formula. These new features are brilliant and do not interfere with the game's core gameplay. In fact, these changes enhance Fire Emblem: Awakening a great deal.
Pairing up is a theme behind the gameplay. Party members can support each other by being adjacent to one another. This means, if two members are close to one another, the attacker will get bonus stats or an extra attack. This system works on the opposite end as well. On an enemy's turn, party members that stand next to each other will grant bonuses to those being attacked. In some cases, a member may not receive any damage at all due to the support bonus they get! If a player is diligent in putting two members together for a long time, members of the opposite sex can marry each other and bear children.
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Chris started playing games at the tender age of 5. Since then, he sees mushrooms, hearts, aliens, and spikey-haired blondes in his sleep.
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