[Game Sequels] DO I BUY THE TUNA MAYO OR THE SPICY TUNA RICEBALL?!

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Annotation 2020-06-06 120234

Hey everyone, and welcome back to Gray’s Otome and Visual Novel Corner, in today’s blog I’m going to talk about sequels to smashing hit titles such as Code: Realize, Kissed by the Baddest Bidder, and other VNs that have followed the trend of creating sequels to their popular (or unpopular) titles.

While I’m usually hesitant in getting a sequel to any game whether it is an RPG, JRPG, or a simulator of some sort. It’s easy for a game to get overhyped because of its predecessor and then the gaming falls short on its expectations. So what are my opinions on sequels and fan disks? Grab your fencing gear and get ready to parry with me on regards to if sequels are worth it or a plain ‘no.’

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The Tip of the Blade

Coming into your first brush with an amazing game, you get an adrenaline rush because the feel-good chemicals in your brain and spirit felt at peace with how the game ended. Several months to a year later, you get a cue from the game company that they will be releasing a sequel to the game, and they reel you in by stating that you’ll get special side stories for the great price of $39.99-59.99 if you happen to get their special edition cases.

Yes, I am jabbing right at game corporations for doing this. It’s a double-edged sword when a company reveals a sequel, but because they know there’s a huge fanbase that will happily dish out the dollars for another continuance of their favorite game. They will sometimes, if not half the time, cut corners and make the game with shorter stories and less than engaging story-rich content. Charging hefty prices for a game that can be finished in less than four hours, especially if you read fast, they rarely include alternate routes to challenge you and give more quality content to enjoy.

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Not to say all games are like this, but games that are cash cows for the crowd, such as Kissed by the Baddest Bidder and also Hakuouki make a tremendous amount of money because they are popular in MSM. It’s hard not to purchase a sequel when you’ve enjoyed the first game, for it was the Kingdom Hearts series, and Final Fantasy X/X-2. Similar to me, you may not have been ready to depart yet from that universe, and when game creators throw a bone out there, we eagerly grab for it without really understanding what we may have bitten into.

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The Backside of the Blade

Code-Realize

I refer to the backside of the blade as games who make the actual cut of being decent sequels and living up to the height of their predecessor(s). Games such as Code: Realize ~Future Blessings~ and ~Wintertide Miracles~ definitely captivated my heart and closed out the series strong. I was very pleased to have purchased these games and finally ease my heart of anxiety that the purchase was well done and that I can always come back to these charming games, should I ever need to visit their realms again.

While I actually wasn’t a big fan of the original game itself, as the story-rich world became very overbearing in certain routes, including Lupin’s true route. I felt there were many loose ends that weren’t explained, and felt very dissatisfied with the actual concept even though it had fantastic artwork and VAs.

So when Otomate announced the release of the game’s sequels, I was not too keen on it until one of my friends who had the games from the original Japanese release convinced me to try ~Future Blessings~ and ~Wintertide Miracles~ as the stories in those two games would more than likely fix my sore spot for the original.

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Otomelandians, I was glad I bought them as I felt more satisfied with these games as it helped me see a different side of things to the first game. I do have some gripes that Finis’ route should have been the true route in the original Code: Realize but this is just my opinion. While these two games combined, are a lot less in content and gameplay than the original, they were worth the price and time.

Two other sequels that I felt lived up to their hype was Hakuouki SSL and Amnesia Later x Crowd , the games carry out some plots of the original concept but spin-off into different universes from the original. Creating a fun story-rich experience to become immersed in all over again, and see through a changed perspective. However, these are just a few of the games that the sequel lived up to what my hopes are; I appreciate these games wholeheartedly, and I am thankful for the closure for these series.

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The Frontside of the Blade

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I refer to the front end of the blade as the ones that pierced into my wallet and stole every last coin to leave me bleeding dry, and angry for even have considered the game had brought something new to the table. Case in point, I wanted to give the games a benefit of the doubt that there was more character growth for both the MC and her LI. However, I was pretty exasperated and left dissatisfied with the resolve that some of these games took.

Just because you can make very pretty images (which is the selling point for most games, because aesthetics is a major key in selling their games), most will simply gaga over the fact they can ogle their favorite male/female character and not care about plot or development. Then, there’s me. Someone who wants to see further character growth, development, and seeing the character to their HEA ending.

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Sequels are like an assurance to the reader or player that their beloved characters get the HEA or HFN endings that they deserve. Which is why we (some of us) buy sequels. However, there are some games that take the cake on why there shouldn’t be sequels…

Secrets of Me is a game from Forbidden Romance who usually markets their games for ‘particular‘ tastes, and I’m all up for weird and different games, (except Horse Prince, that was weird) but this game shouldn’t have had a sequel to the main story. I’m not sorry, the game itself is based on revenge but the MC and the male characters fall short in making me even like them, and the revenge plot? I don’t even know what happened to it… So when I saw the sequel was about .99 cents, I thought, why not, maybe they wrap up the loose ends they didn’t include?

I’m lucky it was only about .99 cents to purchase, but I felt it was a waste considering there was nothing furthering their relationship or anything. It was a complete bust.

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I’m about to get steamrolled for this, but I don’t agree with the sequels of the Kissed by the Baddest Bidder series. I’m certain there are STANs all over Otomelandia that will fight me about this, and you are entitled to that opinion. As I am entitled to my own, I had hopes that the heroine of the game would further develop into a stronger and likable person. However, in every route after her main story with any of the men, it seemed she lost more intelligence than gained knowledge.

By the time I played through the sequels of all the men, I wordlessly cursed at whatever I had just read because the game emphasizes certain toxic characteristics in relationships that are absolute NO-NO. I probably held high expectations for the game since I had heard that Voltage was taking in the feedback from their audience, so I genuinely wanted to love this game. While the concepts and the darker side of the universe of Otomelandia are in here, the game falls flat with character development and uses much of their ‘ikemen,’ to drive the story plot versus both the MC and LI driving the story together.

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GRAY’S CORNER

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My honest opinion about sequels? It doesn’t hurt to try and see the endings through even if I wasn’t happy with certain games (which is rare). I find most sequels to games to be fantastic or even better than their predecessor, which is why games like Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy (sometimes), and Higurashi still continue to have a large fanbase even after the games have officially ended. I do believe that sequels can also ruin an original game or novel, and it can be a hard pill to swallow when your favorite game makes no sense in its sequel.

But it’s always a gamble we take when we purchase games at the store or online, so trust your gut, always.

As always, thanks for reading and I’ll see you on the gaming side~!

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