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Sequels vs originals

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Is it just me or do AGs have a great track record when it comes to sequels? They are generally better than (or as good as) the originals. Looking at the Top 100 there are a lot of sequels included, and it’s usually an exception to think of a series where the original is better (Broken Sword? Simon the Sorcerer? Longest Journey?). A big contrast with movies, where sequels are almost always inferior.

As you can probably tell, I’m bored and just finding ways of wasting time. So anyone have thoughts on this?

     
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Total Posts: 308

Joined 2018-12-01

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This is a slightly different topic - it’s more about “is Police Quest 2 is better than 1?”, rather than “Daedalic should make a new IP instead of a Chains of Satinav 3”.

But thanks for that.

     
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ah, i got it.
There was like an old discussion before at the old site about something like this “Sequels that are up to the Original”

but i believe 75% original is always superior unless very rare occasions like Riven, Black MirrorII, and whatnot.

     

Total Posts: 308

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Advie - 21 April 2020 05:19 AM

ah, i got it.
There was like an old discussion before at the old site about something like this “Sequels that are up to the Original”

but i believe 75% original is always superior unless very rare occasions like Riven, Black MirrorII, and whatnot.

Really? Even with PQ2, Monkey 2, Day of The Tentacle, Gobliins 2, Journeyman Project 2, QFG2, Discworld 2, Conquests of the Longbow, GK2?

I could go on forever.. I wonder if a poll would have been worthwhile…

     
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Total Posts: 8084

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many agreed with ye by the way.

ask admins on the next post for a poll to create, and they will have it for you, or PM LK or Timovieman, Subbi, Dale or however you feel like and they will do it for you on the original post.

     
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Total Posts: 196

Joined 2007-08-13

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I got curious to find some quantitative measure of this phenomena, so I analyzed the ratings of the official Adventure Gamers reviews. There are currently 166 game series with scored reviews for multiple games on the site. For 50 franchises, all sequels have lower ratings than the first game. In 43 cases, no sequel got a higher rating but at least one got the same as the first game. The remaining 73 series have at least one sequel with a higher score than the first game. I’d say that means the sequels are doing pretty well.

Below is a list of the series where a sequel got a higher score than the first game. Note that the “first” game is the earliest release that has been reviewed with a rating. There might be cases where the game compared to is actually not the first in the series. Also note that Full Throttle and Grim Fandango are here only because of their highly scored remastered editions.

1112
Ace Attorney
AGON
Anna’s Quest
AR-K
Bad Dream
Ben and Dan adventures
Bertram Fiddle
Black Cube
Black Mirror
Blackwell
Bone
Cameron Files
Carol Reed mysteries
Casebook
Cognition
Conquests
Crystal Key
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
Dark Fall
Dead Secret
Deponia
Discworld
Doctor Who
Doorways
Downfall
Dracula
Drawn
Dream Chronicles
Enter the Story
Fall Trilogy
Fenimore Fillmore adventures
Full Throttle
Grim Fandango
Indiana Jones adventures
Jake Hunter
Jolly Gang
Journeyman Project trilogy
Kentucky Route Zero
King’s Quest
Last Half of Darkness
Law & Order
Leisure Suit Larry
Life Is Strange
Maniac Mansion
Monkey Island
Myst
Nancy Drew mysteries
Pahelika
Pajama Sam
Penumbra
Police Quest
Portal
Quantumnauts
Quest for Glory
Red Comrades
Red Johnson’s Chronicles
Reversion
RHEM
Sam & Max
Shadows on the Vatican
Sherlock Holmes mysteries
Space Quest
Star Trek
Tales from the Dragon Mountain
Tex Murphy
The Journey Down
The Raven
The Room
The Whispered World
Wallace & Gromit
We Were Here
Zork

     
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Total Posts: 196

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Pegbiter - 21 April 2020 09:52 PM

Note that the “first” game is the earliest release that has been reviewed with a rating. There might be cases where the game compared to is actually not the first in the series.

Monkey Island is an obvious example when this happened. Because the reviews of the first two games were associated with the Special Editions, the “first” game was considered to be The Curse of Monkey Island.

     
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Total Posts: 434

Joined 2017-12-19

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It really depends on the series, there’s no formula that works in every case. We can see some patterns though. For instance, with Sierra, the best of the series was always some other game than the first one.

In some other series, like Monkey Island, Broken Sword, and Runaway, they peaked with the first game.

Another related question would be, is there any developer that has maintained same quality throughout a series of games?

And even more interesting question is, how does the quality of the games change when different developers work on the same subject matter, like Star Trek, Sherlock Holmes, etc.?

     
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Joined 2005-07-07

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Comparing reviews only tells us someting if it’s the same reviewer. Taste is always a factor, as is bias.

How the original Dark Fall and Black Mirror games recieved lower scores than their sequels is beyond me. Yes, the latest Dark Fall is up there, but still not as great as the first. And the two games in between are solid games but not in the same leage as the original. Imo of course.

The same goes for Black Mirror. I consider the first one to be a minor classic. The sequels are pretty bad and the latest entry is downright awful.

But I agree that sequels in many cases are better than the original. Developers learn and the technical side of computer gaming moves forward.

     
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Joined 2017-08-15

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Veovis - 22 April 2020 08:02 AM

Comparing reviews only tells us someting if it’s the same reviewer. Taste is always a factor, as is bias.

How the original Dark Fall and Black Mirror games recieved lower scores than their sequels is beyond me. Yes, the latest Dark Fall is up there, but still not as great as the first. And the two games in between are solid games but not in the same leage as the original. Imo of course.

The same goes for Black Mirror. I consider the first one to be a minor classic. The sequels are pretty bad and the latest entry is downright awful.

But I agree that sequels in many cases are better than the original. Developers learn and the technical side of computer gaming moves forward.

I agree with you on Black Mirror. Dark Fall 2 surprised me, it had an emotional component which moved me and therefore I rate it higher than 1, whose story was fairly standard ghost story fare.

     

Member of the NAALCB - (North American Anti- Lobster Cop Brigade) since 2019.

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Total Posts: 434

Joined 2017-12-19

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Veovis - 22 April 2020 08:02 AM

But I agree that sequels in many cases are better than the original. Developers learn and the technical side of computer gaming moves forward.

That technical side can make a sequel worse than its predecessors too, so it works both ways. Simon the Sorcerer 3D had maybe the best writing in the series, but the forced 3D thing made it one of the most hated sequels in the genre.
(I’m not even commenting King’s Quest: Mask of Eternity here…)

     
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I don’t think Anna’s Quest should be on the list as the first “release” was basically chapter one/a promo and the full game, including chapter one, was released some time later so there is, in fact, only one game.

     

Life is what it is.

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For Red Comrades, you could only go up after the first game. One of the truly worst game series I’ve ever played.

Heart

     

I enjoy playing adventure games on handheld systems- PS VITA, Nintendo DS and ipad mini.

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Total Posts: 196

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Veovis - 22 April 2020 08:02 AM

Comparing reviews only tells us someting if it’s the same reviewer. Taste is always a factor, as is bias.

I’d say the reviews give a crude estimate at least. A somewhat more qualitative examination could perhaps be made using aggregated scores from something like Metacritic.

Jabod - 22 April 2020 08:57 AM

I don’t think Anna’s Quest should be on the list as the first “release” was basically chapter one/a promo and the full game, including chapter one, was released some time later so there is, in fact, only one game.

Good point. I did no manual exclusions, so this got in the list just because there were two separate reviews.

     
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I agree with you to an extent, I think the “good sequel” phenomena is connected to a 90s, because the genre was mainstream, and original games brought money that could be invested in sequel, that could, in many cases, upgrade the original game. Monkey Island 2 is a classic example. Nowadays (or in the last 10-15 years), authors are making adventure hit out of nowhere (not really out of nowhere, but you get my drift), the fans naturally expect a good sequel, but since it’s usually small teams or one-man team, they’re put under a big pressure and heavy task. Even big (or reasonably big) companies couldn’t really do it - is Silence better than the Whispered World? Syberia 3 than Syberia 1/2? I don’t think so. And then, we have a myriads of average sequels, like Lost Horizon 2, Dracula 4/5, Jack Keane 2, Memento Mori 2… Actually, in the last 5-10 years or so I can’t think of a sequel that got better than the original. Not counting remakes, remastered editions, episodic games, Carol Reed (way over the simple “series of games”) and Nancy Drew games (way, way over the simple “series”).

The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 is probably one that came close to it, Memoria as a sequel to Chains of Satinav, Samorost 3, and Broken Sword 5 as, not “better than original”, but a worthy addition to the series.

     

Recently finished: Four Last Things 4/5, Edna & Harvey: The Breakout 5/5, Chains of Satinav 3,95/5, A Vampyre Story 88, Sam Peters 3/5, Broken Sword 1 4,5/5, Broken Sword 2 4,3/5, Broken Sword 3 85, Broken Sword 5 81, Gray Matter 4/5\nCurrently playing: Broken Sword 4, Keepsake (Let\‘s Play), Callahan\‘s Crosstime Saloon (post-Community Playthrough)\nLooking forward to: A Playwright’s Tale

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