Day 22: A Game Sequel Which Disappointed You

As I slowly inch my way forward through the 30 days’ worth of video game topics, I arrive upon a pretty easy one, a game sequel which disappointed me.  One game in particular springs to mind, but since it is such an obvious choice, I also wanted to briefly discuss one of the biggest crimes a sequel can commit.  For me, anyway.  We’ll see if you agree.

The game in question is Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts.  The issue: I really hate when a series completely forgets what made the fans care about it in the first place.

Lesser examples are Chrono Cross and Ni no Kuni II.  Both are perfectly fine games, but they revolve around a whole new set of characters, so the emotional investment from the first game is immediately squashed.  Another example is the complete change in gameplay from the lighthearted platformer Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy to the dark and edgy Jak II, which now has our previously mute protagonist wielding guns.  While plenty of people liked the change, there are certainly those like myself who were not as pleased.

The most heinous example, however, of completely changing a game beyond all recognition was Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts.  Though I already knew this game offered none of the original Banjo-Kazooie experience for which I so hoped, I bought it regardless, out of some sad desperation that my favorite series from the Nintendo 64 might yet be revived in this XBox 360 “sequel”.

But alas, as I played through this game, my soul died a little bit more with each passing day.  And I can’t comprehend why it had to be this way.  The argument Rare made was that creating another traditional platformer would have been too old-fashioned.  I agree that games probably do need to update with the trends (I mean, look at how poorly Yooka-Laylee did), but that doesn’t mean a series needs to completely change, either.  If platformers were so out of date, how come people still love Mario?  Super Mario Odyssey is an example of an amazing, modern platformer that does not feel stale at all.  Clearly there is a way to update and freshen up a franchise’s gameplay without completely changing its identity.

Banjo-Kazooie was fun in part because it revolved not around one character, but two, and how they worked together.  I’m sure with the right amount of ingenuity, such a concept could be updated for the modern gamer in the same way that Super Mario Odyssey built upon the 3D Mario experience that started on the Nintendo 64.  Mario’s ability to throw his hat on enemies and control them actually made sense because Mario already had a variety of abilities, such as the ability to fly or shoot fireballs.  Now these new abilities are simply coming from the various enemies in each world rather than regular power-ups.  In a similar sense, people who enjoy the Zelda series no doubt enjoyed the great sense of adventure in Breath of the Wild.  In this case, Nintendo really veered off from what was expected, and it really paid off.

But I can’t really see how vehicles is the next logical step in updating Banjo and Kazooie’s natural abilities.  I understand series have to change.  I’m not saying Nuts and Bolts was disappointing solely because it was different.  I’m saying it didn’t make any logical sense for it to be a Banjo-Kazooie game.  I would have seen it far more positively if it was its own unique thing with its own characters and story.  Truthfully, I wouldn’t have bought it because I don’t enjoy building vehicles, but it would have still been an interesting concept.  But when you throw some of my favorite characters into a totally different game that did not seem to be intended as a spin-off, that’s the best way to lose me.

What about you, dear readers?  What is a game sequel that you found disappointing?  What is the defining factor that can ruin a sequel in your eyes?  Don’t forget to comment below!

Image by Flickr user wheresthebrain

10 Comments

  1. Krystallina says:

    Yeah, I agree on Chrono Cross. I remember rushing out to buy Chrono Cross right after finishing Trigger, and I disliked it so much. Took away so much of what made CT fun.

    Like

    1. duckofindeed says:

      I never understand why they make a sequel totally different from the game that came before it. Ni no Kuni II was so disappointing for the same reason. Everything I loved in the first game was completely absent, making Ni no Kuni II feel bland and generic in comparison.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Matt says:

    I have never played Nuts and Bolts, but I still hope to do so someday despite all the negative comments surrounding it.

    Like

    1. duckofindeed says:

      Nuts and Bolts certainly wasn’t a bad concept. Thanks to the ability to build our own vehicles, there was really an endless variety of ways to reach one’s goals, and everyone’s playthrough could be a bit different. If you enjoy that kind of thing, then you might really end up liking the game. I just didn’t have much fun because I’m awful at building things, ha ha!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Geddy says:

    Never played Nuts & Bolts, but when I saw the post title and the screenshot, I assumed this was about Banjo-Tooie, which I… really did not enjoy lol.

    Like

    1. duckofindeed says:

      What did you not enjoy about Banjo-Tooie?

      While I really liked the game myself, I find myself enjoying the first game the most because it’s more…compact? I rather enjoy the lack of backtracking and less distance to travel in Banjo-Kazooie. Sometimes simpler is better.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Geddy says:

        Ahh Banjo-Tooie… Kazooe was a staple of my childhood and while I had Tooie as well, I never got really far in it.

        The problem was, in my opinion, that Rare tried to cram so many things into the game, that everything became a slog. The interconnected worlds made it _so much work_ to get a Jiggy, that nothing ever felt satisfying.

        In Kazooie, you solved a puzzle, bam! Reward. In Tooie, you solved a puzzle, and great, now you can access.. another world through a secret door. But you needed to run across the map now, visit Mumbo and turn into a washing machine or something, walk back across the world, enter the other level, talk to a bird, do 10 more things, and then FINALLY you get a Jiggy. It’s just soooo sloooow to do anything.

        The moves were also just … ridiculous. Everything you needed to do required you to go back and do something else to prepare for it. For example, you’d get to one of those individual Banjo/Kazooie pads where you needed a skill, but that meant they needed to be separated. So you’d need to go back and find a stupid separation pad and next thing you know, “woops, I need to get them back together again for a certain move”, so back you go yet again to find the pad through these massive levels.

        In other words, it suffered from the same nonsense that Donkey Kong 64 did, like how you needed to keep finding the barrels to switch your active Kong to collect 5 stupid floating bananas. It was unnecessary and could have been fixed with a button press that allowed Banjo and Kazooie to detach/reattach instantly (same with DK64, a button press to change Kongs would have probably saved 5-10 boring hours from the game).

        It wasn’t a bad game but I was actually able to skip the entire last level because I had exactly the required number of Jiggies to fight the final boss, which made me so unbelievably relieved, and you should never feel relieved to _not_ have to play through a level of a video game. Then the final boss was a huge pain and took me like 10 attempts to beat. I will never play this game again, where as I’m writing this, I already want to experience Banjo Kazooie again.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Geddy says:

        Haha, as I re-read your original reply, we’re in the same boat. In short, backtracking and wasted time traveling around is exactly why BK was great and BT was lackluster at best. Too many ideas does not a good game make. DK64 being the culmination of too many good ideas, with not enough left on the cutting room floor.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. duckofindeed says:

          I used to really enjoy Banjo-Tooie and DK64 when I was a kid, but as I grew older and had less time for gaming, games that waste my time no longer have the same appeal. I do still love Banjo-Tooie despite its flaws, but Banjo-Kazooie is just so much fun. I can finish a whole world in an hour, and the whole time I’m having fun, not spending half my time travelling between point A and point B.

          I can’t beat the final boss of Banjo-Tooie unless I use the Honeyback cheat, which gradually restores your health. That battle feels nearly impossible without it.

          Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.