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Subject: Persona 3: FES
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Author Topic: Do you like sequels with or without continuity?  (Read 1237 times)
Lard
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« on: May 30, 2007, 01:26:57 PM »

In getting into a raging debate about canon and continuity, I'm curious.

Do you prefer your RPG sequels to continue on from the previous game - ala Digital Devil Saga or Xenosaga? Or at least do a good job of world building with consistent details ala Suikoden?

Or do you prefer sequels that are independent from each other but carry on the spirit of the previous game - ala Grandia, Final Fantasy or Phantasy Star?

I much, *much* prefer the worldbuilding over independant sequels. There's alot to be said for a consistent vision with rules and attention to detail. Makes me feel like the writers actually give a damn.
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Dade
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« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2007, 02:20:55 PM »

I would really love a game that does the continuity....not enough games do that. The only ones I can think of are Xenosaga and DDS. It's like a good movie trilogy.....you go through it, shelf it for a while, and then pull it down and dive right into a huge world.

The Final Fantasy style is all well and good, because the games are usually rock solid, but after a while it's just another independent game.

The Suikoden series is really where I got excited. Before it came out I really hadnt played many games that flowed into another and goddamn when you see McDohl in Suikoden 2....i nearly shit my pants.

THAT right there is why I want more continuity in my RPGs.
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« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2007, 02:24:40 PM »

The only time said "serialized" sequels become a burden is when, say, the plan is made for a 6-8 game series, but due to myriad factors has to be cut down to 3-4.  

El Dorado Gate for Dreamcast comes to mind as a serialized RPG that was forced to cut itself short due to the Dreamcast's untimely demise.  Xenosaga too had to cut itself short big time.  Need I mention ShenMue too?

Trilogies can work in gaming, but more than that is begging for disaster given the factors of development time, writing, and console life among others.  Anything more than a trilogy?  Probably work better as a series of books or a TV miniseries than as games.

I do like when there is continuity between games in a series, but 3 is the magic number as far as I'm concerned.  I believe some game series like Dragon Quest have storylines broken down into trilogies.
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« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2007, 02:47:35 PM »

Honestly, I think independant games turn out better. In theory, I'd love to have series plot continuity, but in actuality, more often than not, it's a disaster.

The biggest problem is the world map. See, I'm a freak for having a "world map", in which, by the end of the game, you're free to sail the skies, or whatever, and really take in the full breadth of it all. Direct sequels have a huge obstical in that the world has already been explored, so you can't approach it from the same direction again. Therefor, you have to resort to doing one of a few things:

- Take characters to a different world (Star Ocean, Xenosaga)
- limit travel to one very small part of the world, and screw the exploritory aspect (Chrono Cross)
- use the same world map, just with different locales (Final Fantasy X-2
- completely rearrange the world map, for no apparant reason (Lunar 2, Wild Arms)

Some series, like Suikoden, are always focused on a small area, and every game takes place during a different international dispute, which works really well. Unfortunately, this limits your options as to the scale of your game.

No, honestly, for what I like, the Tales series does it just about perfectly for me right now. I've never had a problem with self-contained serial games. They're free to keep some of the mechanics around, and improve on them, but introduce a whole new set of characters, world mechanics, and story. Many times, the most interesting pieces of the characters and their relationships are revealed and resolved by the end of the first game, so then the next becomes a little forced on that end of things. Better to have new characters, for the most part... maybe one or two crossovers.

BTW: my friend swears to the end of the earth that the Grandia series is all interconnected, and takes place on the world of Grandia. I haven't played the first game, but nowhere else in the series have I heard that word mentioned. I think he's full of shit.
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Sketch
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« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2007, 07:17:54 PM »

I'll take the continuity option, and I think Xenosaga and Digital Devil Saga are perfect examples of continuity done right. More often then not, games with sequels not unlike those listed above get major face lifts throughout the course of the series, and it's always fun to see the different ways the developers add on to the formula and tweak it around, while still retaining the core details like the characters and story.

Just a side note here, but I'm not really fond of the term sequel when it comes to stuff like the Final Fantasy series. Maybe I'm being nitpicky, but I just don't see how they can be when they have absolutely nothing to do with eachother, aside from oddball series' staples like the chocobo and moogle. It's not a sequel when you can swap the title from "Final Fantasy XII" to "Vaan's Venture" and find it hard to compare it to the previous games in the series.
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« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2007, 08:26:59 PM »

Quote from: "Sketch"
Just a side note here, but I'm not really fond of the term sequel when it comes to stuff like the Final Fantasy series. Maybe I'm being nitpicky, but I just don't see how they can be when they have absolutely nothing to do with eachother, aside from oddball series' staples like the chocobo and moogle. It's not a sequel when you can swap the title from "Final Fantasy XII" to "Vaan's Venture" and find it hard to compare it to the previous games in the series.


I consider it a series... but not sequels. A series doesn't have to imply continuity, it just means that there is some sort of relationship between them (it's hard to argue that there isn't some manner of overarching formulae to the series). They're basically along the lines of albums by a band... being the same band, they have some similarity, but there isn't supposed to be any specific connection to them.

In many ways, the video game industry has a little more in common with the music industry than with the film or TV industries. Most games are bought instead of rented, series very often are sets of unrelated games, etc.
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Willy Elektrix
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« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2007, 12:17:27 AM »

The biggest problem with planned series or trilogies is when the individual games cease to have satisfying conclusions independently. For instance, the TO BE CONTINUED ending of Golden Sun 1 was bogus. Give me some damn resolution!
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« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2007, 08:21:04 AM »

Tangent- speaking of Golden Sun, wasn't that supposed to be a trilogy?  Whatever happened to the 3rd Golden Sun?  

You know, maybe even trilogy is too much in gaming.  Maybe a part I and part II are enough.  If each part is a 30-50 hour game, surely that's enough to tell a full story, right?  I mean, a 26 episode TV series with half-hour episodes can tell a complete story in less than 13 hours.  

Continuity in gaming can be a good thing, if done right and with considerations for various factors exclusive to gaming such as development costs, whether those costs were recouped in sales of the first installment, development times, projected console lifespan, etc.  

The idea of a serialized 8 or 24 part RPG saga?  Not a good idea.  2-3 games in a serialized subset of an overarching umbrella series?  A better idea, since there's brand recognition with the umbrella series.
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Willy Elektrix
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« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2007, 10:50:11 AM »

Quote from: "Dincrest"
You know, maybe even trilogy is too much in gaming.  Maybe a part I and part II are enough.  If each part is a 30-50 hour game, surely that's enough to tell a full story, right?  I mean, a 26 episode TV series with half-hour episodes can tell a complete story in less than 13 hours.


Except none of those 13 hours on TV series is devoted to non-story related activities like buying equipment or grinding. Although, honestly, as much story as games actually tell, I think you could fit all of it in one 40 hour game. What makes games long is not the fact that they're jam packed with plot twists and turns...
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Murdoc
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« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2007, 11:26:33 AM »

Quote from: "Dincrest"
Tangent- speaking of Golden Sun, wasn't that supposed to be a trilogy?  Whatever happened to the 3rd Golden Sun?


I heard Camelot was working on a new RPG for the Wii, so either they've given up on Golden Sun or maybe that'll be it (which would be pretty cool).
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