We’re nearing the holiday season, and as any gamer worth their salt knows, tis the season for sequels.
However, any feelings of joy as repressed by a heavy sadness in my heart.
I’m lagging behind, my friends. I just may not have the time to enjoy these sequels as intended.
You see…I haven’t finished their predecessors yet.
Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney looms overhead, cackling. “Why, you haven’t forgotten about me, have you? How could you ever dive into Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies without beating me first? You fool! TIME, SHE IS A TICKING!”
I’m not sure if you knew or not, but Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney can have a real dickish sense of humour. Regardless, it’s got a point. I can’t let myself play Dual Destinies without first finishing the one before it. It’d be criminal, especially for such a story driven series. I mean, have you seen Apollo Justice in Dual Destinies? He’s hardly the clean cut male model we see in his original outing. I’m sure it’s best I get to know him on a level beyond what I see on the boxart.
Do you feel the same way? Must a game’s predecessor be completed before even attempting the latest entry? Interestingly enough, this very subject came up on the latest episode of the Player One Podcast. Unfortunately, I can’t echo the statements made by that show’s participants; they all agreed playing a previous installment isn’t necessary.
But is Dual Destinies just an exception? Is its story focused nature the sole reason to play each title in succession? A confident yet disheartening “Nope!” escapes my mouth.
I’ll be picking up Rayman Legends for my Vita early next month, and by god am I ever crunching through Rayman Origins in preparation. There’s no real need, no information that needs to carry on from one to the next. It’s a platformer, and while I’m sure there’s a story, I seriously doubt Legends will spoil whatever plot was spun in the first (unless Rayman suddenly grew arms at the end, that’d be huge). The reason I’m trying to finish Origins is that there really is no looking back from that point. I don’t want to play through a sequel only to lose whatever progress and advancements were made when going back to previous games. I can’t imagine playing the Super Mario Bros. series backwards, watching the improvements disappear the further backwards I go.
So what else do I have on my docket? The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past is a big one, what with A Link Between Worlds steadily approaching. Yes, I haven’t finished A Link To The Past, thank you very much, I’ve been tarred and feathered already for this oversight.
Thankfully, RPGs don’t really fall within my guidelines, or I’d have a generation’s worth of Pokémon to trudge through. I may be dumb and buy my favourite RPGs the day they release, but I’m not crazy enough to wrap up those that came before it. A sin, certainly, and if I could bend time to my whim I’d change my ways. I imagine I’ll play through Pokémon X, only to curse myself later as I play through an outdated Soul Silver.
But if I sit down, relax, and actually use my head, I realize that sequels forcing my hand isn’t a bad thing. It’s putting some unwanted pressure on me, sure. But at least I’m working through a disgusting backlog. Maybe every game deserves a sequel, just to encourage the wrapping up of its predecessor. Despite owning it since launch, a potential Lock’s Quest 2 will get my ass in gear on the original. I should look at all this in a different light, spin it in a positive manner. I’m going out there and beating games, damn it! Is there any greater joy*?
*Beyond marriage and having children.