By l4wd0g 7 Comments
I've replayed some of my favorite NES games recently, and I've discovered something I find truly interesting. A lot of those famous video games (Mario, Metal Gear, Castlevania. Zelda, and to some extent Metroid) all had sequels that were radically different from the original. Ryan Davis has said on multiple occasions that the gaming industry is heavily driven by sequels. It was great that developers were taking risks (even if they weren't necessarily risks at the time).
Now we are presented with more Uncharted, Gears of War, Halo, Call of Duty, and the like. Why aren't game developers taking risks on dramatically changing their game designs? Would be be OK if Vincent van Gogh had made Starry Nights 2 and 3, but subtly changed the way the stars were colored or arranged? At some point people would right off van Gogh as a "one trick pony."
Zelda 2 was divisive, and that's OK. Maybe developers need to stop worrying about reselling me on the next Call of Duty, and work harder on moving the industry forward developing new gameplay, storytelling, mechanics, user interface, and much more can be radically improved.
Look at the jump from Mass Effect to Mass Effect 2. While not as stifling a jump as Zelda to Zelda 2, it was a huge change and it made the game that much better for it.