Comp-U-Zone #6

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#6: Sequel Shenanigans

There’s an interesting phenomenon that exists entirely within the world of video games. I call it “The Super Streets of Sonic Fighter II Effect”. I’ll break it down:

  • New game is introduced. It’s novel and exciting and blows people’s minds.
  • Shortly afterwards, a sequel to this game is released.
  • It proves to be better than the original in every single way.
  • There’s no going back to the first one, and you feel a fool for ever having loved it.

The SSSFII effect is distinct from other observable phenomenon of this kind as the technology used to make video games often takes huge quantum leaps in a short space of time. This was especially true in the eighties and nineties. When you bought your computer or games console, you could be sure it was obsolete by the time you got it home and opened the box. Things just kept changing and getting better – we seem to have reached something of a plateau these days, but back then you could be sure that the sequel to your favourite game would do something you’d never seen before.

Join me as I take a look at games of yore, and try and parrot back our thoughts as we played for the first, second or last time!

Streets of Rage

They modeled Adam after me.

They modeled Adam after me.

First Playthrough:

“Sweet! I get to play as three characters!? I’m spoilt for choice! The streets are really grungy, it’s just like being in an action movie!

streets_of_rage_02

Oh my god! Did you see that!? I totally smashed that guy’s face in! Take that, dick patrol! I should be a cop, nothing says ‘justice’ like a knife in the tummy. Holy shit, my backup squad just blew that guy away with a bazooka!”

Playing the Sequel:

“Wow, look how big the sprites are! There’s no Adam this time, but we get a giant muscle man and a kid with rollerskates. These moves are slickI’m going to practice my jump kick in the back garden – a couple more days of playing this and I’ll be a martial arts master. Those sound effects are great! I winced a bit hearing the drainpipe crack that thug’s skull open.

111935-streets-of-rage-2-genesis-screenshot-blaze-s-flying-kicks2

Sweet! I totally saw up Blaze’s skirt!! This is the best game ever!

Going Back:

“Uggh! Is this a Master System game!? What’s wrong with the graphics? Did Blaze dye her hair or what?

There’s only three characters!? What a swizz. And that special attack is so cheap. Back you go, Streets of Rage, into the drawer of shame with the 32X carts.”

 

Sonic The Hedgehog

sonic the hedgehog title screen

First Playthrough:

“A hedgehog? He doesn’t really look like a hed- Oh crap! Look how fast he is! Woah, these graphics are so colourful, it’s like being in a cartoon! Sweet, I get to smash TVs and little robots. Bosh!

Let’s see Mario run around a loop like that!”

Playing the Sequel:

Sonic_2_SpecialStage2

“Wow! Everything’s so shiny! These levels look great! What’s that, there’s ten Zones this time!?

Who’s this sexy beast? A two-tailed fox!? Aw, he follows me around! And I can play as him, too!? Holy fucking shit the Special Stage is 3D…! It’s like being in Tron!

Going back:

“Hm. Why’s the music so slow? And why doesn’t the clock keep time? I don’t remember Sonic being purple, either. Oh, it’s over.”

 

Street Fighter

streetfighter-flyerus

First Playthrough:

You never played this game.

Playing the Sequel:

You never will.

Going Back:

There is no Street Fighter I. There is only II.

 

Metroid:

1355101207-00

First Playthrough:

“Oh man, this is creepy! These caverns go on forever!! I best bust out a pencil and paper or else I’ll get lost forever. Sweet, I got a new beam! It actually goes to the edges of the screen this time! I wonder who this “Kraid” is that the instruction manual talks about…? Bet he’ll be tough to beat! JUMPING JEHOSHAPHAT SAMUS IS A LADYWOMAN!”

Playing the Sequel (and we all know it’s Super Metroid):

“No game has ever been this good. This is real to me now. Shit, these Space Pirates are scary. They have eyebeams and everything! Oh yeah boi, I got missiles for ya now! Kabosh!

super-metroid-4

Hey, Kraid’s back. How you doin’, little guy? Hm, he’s a bit on the small side… I wonder what’s on the other side of the door, then? FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK KRAID GOT BIG!!!! Game over man, game over! Oh, he’s dead.

Man, this is the longest game ever. It just keeps going on! The map is really helpful. It’s interactive. One day in the far future, mankind will have this technology.

Super Metroid - Crystal Flash

Woah! I can have a cool magic shield thing!? They didn’t mention that in the manual. Oop, my energy’s getting low, time to shed the hardware! I THINK I SAW A BOOB.”

Going Back:

Metroid-NES-review

“Oh lord, it’s like playing the map screen! Why doesn’t my gun do anything!? Every room looks the same! MAKE IT STOP!”

 

And so that brings us to the end of our sequel-a-thon. I’ve been writing about games a lot lately… I’ll get back onto toys soon, if you’re very good boys and girls and eat all your dinner. Do you have anything to add…? Did you play a sequel and have it forever spoil your enjoyment of the original? Or did the opposite happen? Sound off in the comments!

“The drainpipe crack”

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4 comments on “Comp-U-Zone #6

  1. Ooh, ooh Streets of Rage 2, sooooooo good! I still prefer the first Sonic game to it’s sequel (though I do like Sonic 2) and I actually did play the original Streetfighter, my hands are still sore to this day from all the bashing on those mechatronic pads….ouchie!

    • aniblack says:

      Streets of Rage II is probably the best beat ’em up ever, so much better than the first and third games. Although I did like playing as the kangaroo!

      I’m intrigued about the Sonic thing! Of course the game has a special place in my heart (along with the MS version!), but I think it’s hard to deny that Sonic 2 wasn’t better. Don’t get me started on 3, though. Half a game for the price of a full one. A rip-off!

      You’re the only person I’ve ever met who’s seen a Street Fighter in the wild, Bruce! Maybe I just don’t know the right people, hehe! As far as I know it only got one home conversion, on the TurboGrafx CD, but It had a different name. Fighting Street, I think. I can’t stop laughing at that – what numbskull came up with that name!? At least be original! It’s like if they released home versions of R-Type and called it “Type R”. Was it a licensing thing? Who knows.

      • The original Streetfighter also released on Spectrum, C64 and I believe Amiga and ST too, and yeah, I remember playing it in an arcade when I was living in Southampton sooooooo many years ago! and Fighting Street, I remember that too, had a Turbo Grafx back in the day, loved that machine…

      • aniblack says:

        There was a killer port of Street Fighter II on the TG, it had a great soundtrack and put the Mega Drive version to shame, if you ask me!

        I’ve always wanted to open one up. The PC Engine was so small by comparison, it makes me wonder how much of the TG16 is just empty space, or if it has a unique board inside. ^_^

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