10 Games I Loved With Predecessors I Didn’t

Sequels aren’t just commonplace in video games; they’re practically the standard. More now than ever, new ideas are risky so developers stick to well-worn themes and franchises to give them the best chance at keeping the lights on. The results are often disappointing, however. Going to the well multiple times, one may find the well dried up. At times, new teams are brought in who struggle to keep up with the vision of previous games, much less surpass them.

However, there are some games that completely overshadow their predecessors. They fix whatever was wrong or add tweaks to perfect the formula. These are the games I want to shine light on in this article. These are some of my all-time favorites, which are sequels to games I played but didn’t get into for whatever reason – be it design flaws or my impatience. Continue reading

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Silent Hill 2: The Second Time

I haven’t kept up with this blog lately. I’m sure it’s the only blog on the Internet with that issue, right? It’s mostly been for good reasons: I’ve been working on a screenplay that I’m pretty excited about and I really want to hammer out the first draft ASAP. But I’m still gaming, so I wanted to speak on that a bit.


My wife and I are playing Silent Hill 2 right now. It’s a game I really didn’t like when I reviewed it. I didn’t find it scary, and a lot of it annoyed me. But recently, Games Radar awarded it the best video game story ever, so I decided to give it another shot. In fact, we chose it over Bioshock Infinite (buy here), which I picked up for $30 a month or two back.

We’re playing the Xbox port – Restless Dreams – which I bought years back at a Hollywood Video closing. Thankfully, it’s backwards-compatible with my 360. It’s also a pretty fun game. My wife hates scary movies, but can handle scary games. Having her next to me, jumping at things, actually enhances the experience. Plus, she loves maps; Silent Hill 2 has awesome maps that are updated constantly as if you’re drawing on them.


Is there a gathering of games more animal-shelter pathetic than the Xbox Marketplace’s Indie Games channel? I like to browse it every so often, and download trial versions of games that look interesting – knowing full well the rate of success is low. Even still, I’ve found some really cool stuff in there: Quiet Please, DLC Quest and Dead Pixels instantly come to mind. Add One Finger Death Punch to that list.

If it was described as Kung Fu with a stick person, you’d think it was terrible. The description isn’t wrong, but it misses all the awesome things. The game is violent, it’s fast-paced, and throws so many interesting things at you. I’m inspired to replay levels until I get gold medals. Basically, it’s Kung Fu with an “if I knew then what I know now” philosophy. And it’s a buck. So if you have an Internet-connected 360, I suggest you buy it. And look up those other games, too – as well as You Will Die, Ophidian Wars, Shoot 1-Up, Fast Fast Laser Laser… Ya know what? Maybe a list is in order. I’ll add it to my to-do.

The Steam Summer Sale was an amazing thing, per usual. The addition of virtual trading cards is just another way to get you to buy more, even though the things are quite useless. I grabbed a few games. To The Moon is an RPG I’ve been wanting forever. McPixel is best described as point-and-click adventure games meets WarioWare. I got some other stuff, but won’t mention them as I haven’t played them yet. I did sink more time into The Binding of Isaac, though. I’m lucky to get to the third dungeon before dying (though I’ve earned several trading cards).

And it’s worth noting that one day, out of all the games I own, I chose to start playing Duke Nukem Forever (buy here). As obsessive as I am, I spent about half my time trying to knock in all the billiard balls and getting a high score on the in-game pinball table – both of which have just terrible physics. But I did actually have fun seeing what Duke’s been up to. Still, it remains to be seen if I’ll go back to it.

And going back to Rock Band 3 (buy here) is what I did last night, around 2 years after I last played it. As my wife played Animal Crossing: New Leaf (buy here), I plugged in my guitar and rocked it for a while. I was surprised both how many songs I have and how quickly I got my skills back. I often play on Hard, and moving my hand along the fretboard was still intuitive.