Everyone Has an Overlooked Sequel They Wish More People Played


The Evil Within 2 launches at midnight tonight, and I'm guessing most of you—most of anyone, really—won't play it. I'll save my full impressions of the horror sequel for another piece, but knowing so many won't bother giving The Evil Within 2 a chance not only bums me out, but raises another question: what's your favorite overlooked sequel?

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/gy5avq/everyone-has-an-overlooked-sequel-they-wish-more-people-played


Frog Fractions 2. It doesn’t have the same element of surprise as the first one, nor the benefit of being free (not to mention the fact that it’s hidden inside another game), and it has a very different structure, but it was still very entertaining, and it’s a shame that I haven’t really heard anyone talk about it outside of the initial buzz when it was discovered.


For a long time, my favorite series in video games was Ratchet & Clank. Everybody liked the first one, the second one was released, then everybody LOVED Up Your Arsenal. I’m here to tell you the Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando was the best in the series. It’s the funniest of the bunch and evolves past the simplicity of the first game’s mechanics gloriously, without get bogged down in overcomplicated upgrade systems that came up in later games. It also has the best collection of weapons in the series which, as we know, is the most important part of those games.

I also just want to take a moment to acknowledge that Persona 5 doesn’t get the credit it deserves from a lot of folks just because it’s going for a different tone/theme than P4. I wouldn’t say it’s overlooked per se, but rather largely discounted.


Fear 2? The first Fear came out after Half Life 2 and kind of took FPS firefights to the next level. Fear 2 came out and kind of made the switch to consoles, but I thought it was pretty solid. I can’t really remember what happened in it, just that the shooting was kind of awesome.


The Grin Studios Bionic Commando. It wasn’t a great game, it was simply a good game, but the core mechanic was really satisfying. With tweaking and refinement, it could have made an incredible third person action game, but alas it bombed and we’ll probably never get another one ever again.

Resident Evil 7. A lot of people played it sure, but Capcom still considers it to be under performing. That probably has more to do with their business ideas than the game itself, but still. It’s a fantastic game that more people should experience, and Capcom should be motivated to make a sequel.

Alan Wake’s American Nightmare. Alan Wake was a bad game. The story’s tone shifts like its in a washing machine, the game play is barely competent, and apparently Remedy though spawning enemies behind you without telling you was the height of game design because they do it every single time. American Nightmare by comparison tells a relatively tight short story and the game play is actually really satisfying. Fighting enemies in AN is exciting and strategic where as AW is just a slog. I will say it gets a demerit for having Alan give the absolute worst justification for his actions imaginable, but other than that it really makes you wonder what the original Alan Wake could have been.


I wish more people would play DE: Invisible War. It’s not a great game but still… it goes into some super cool ideas that i still think are well worth exploring.


Jet Set Radio Future improved highly on the original in music, visuals, gameplay, story–in literally every way, but despite being one of the most notable exclusives for XBOX original and being packed in with the more popular Sega GT…

No one freaking played it.

Despite being a critical darling and one of the most stylish games of the last two decades…

No one freaking played it.

And the original game was remastered instead of the sequel and is the one ubiquitously available right now, while the sequel is still chained to the original XBOX, not even emulated.

So no one’s freaking playing it.


I believe Microsoft mentioned plans to start making OG Xbox games available in some form, so there’s another chance for the slew of early Xbox games Sega made that never got ported.


I personally prefer Up Your Arsenal but I will say nothing you said about the reasons Going Commando being the best is wrong.


I came here to say exactly that. It’s not groundbreaking in the way the original Deus Ex was, but there are a couple of things it does that make it worth playing.

In particular for me, it’s the endings—how it acknowledges how hopeless this world you’ve effectively created is and doesn’t give any real way out of that paradigm. In hindsight, it feels much more grounded than the original’s endings, despite all the sci-fi/conspiracy elements still being there.


L O S T P L A N E T 2 BAYBEE! Sequel was so good and nobody played it.


Yeah, it’s still just a promise, but I’m really hoping that happens. The Xbox is one of the consoles that is still struggling in emulation and a lot of games are still only playable on the big clunky thing.


KotOR II. It’s not just the best Star Wars game; it’s in serious contention for best Star Wars thing.


Somebody’s gotta say Titanfall 2, right? Titanfall 2 got done the dirtiest just about any game has been done in the last few years.


Drakengard 3, easily, but then again nobody played Drakengard 1 in the West. Probably a lot of people got turned off by it being an action game with not-so-great performance and some outdated visuals but it’s got one of the best “stop reading the fucking wiki” plot beats ever.


They bust their asses making a game that’s better in every conceivable way, add an entire excellent campaign, and get screwed by that release date. Finally played it late this year (guess I’m part of the problem since I waited to buy it) and realized how fantastic it is. Shame.

I’d also like to talk to whoever let Rise of the Tomb Raider release the same day as Fallout 4. Why, Publishers?


That was maybe the first time I was exposed to transhumanist ideas. I don’t think it was a terribly good game, but it was a very different brand of science fiction than what I was used to.

Thief 3 used the same engine and took a lot of flak pre-release due to the way the maps were compressed for the Xbox. I actually think Thief 3 WAS a terribly good game despite that.


Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories (the GBA version). A lot of people instantly wrote it off as a portable tie-in/side story which it kinda sorta was except that it wasn’t. Ignoring how actually vital it was to understanding the plot/direction the series was taking (which a lot of people understandably weren’t a fan of (if they were even fans of the series to begin with hahaha)), I always felt it had hands down the most interesting gameplay of the entire series.

Sure, an active time card battle system sounds insane on paper, but in practice it… was still kind of insane, yet there was a method to the madness. Instead of just mashing the attack button while occasionally dodging and/or casting some magic, you had to put a lot of thought into how you approached each battle, especially the boss fights later in the game (to clarify, I love character action, Wonderful 101 is probably one of my favorite games of all time, I just like when there’s a bit more style and panache behind the input/output (though I also fully support those games having easier/auto combat modes cause to each their own and also accessibility (which makes it really weird when you think about the type of person who tends to rag on that kind of thing often also championing PlatinumGames when PlatinumGames seems almost obsessively dedicated to making sure their titles have numerous accessibility settings. Sorry that was a long tangent))).

Combat was this really interesting mix of twitchy dodging and placement (think side scrolling 2D beat-em up but in a closed room) on top of resource management. In Chain of Memories all actions during combat that weren’t movement based (running, jumping, dodging) were performed by using a card from your deck. Cards came in three types, red for attacks, blue for magic, green for items, with each card having a value from 0-9 (1 being the weakest, 0 the highest). In the menu you selected and arranged your decks with your limited point budget that you could increase over time when you leveled up, stronger cards costing more points etc. Arrangement was key to your strategy and playstyle. In combat using a card temporarily burns it until you recharge your deck like a DBZ character going Super Saiyan (except for items which were one time use per encounter if I remember correctly). If two cards are played at the same time (enemies are limited to using cards to perform actions as well) the higher number wins, countering the lower numbered card while burning both. On top of all this you could combine 3 cards to create a much higher value combo/special attack, the catch being that the highest numbered card in said combo is permanently burned for the rest of the encounter.

Now I know all of that sounds mind numbing when written down and probably isn’t everyone’s cup of tea in execution either, but it was such a uniquely left field approach to combat, even beyond the sheer novelty of how weird it was. Figuring out the best deck order, the risk/reward of permaburning my best cards to stop a fullscreen attack because I was one hit away from death, having to stop moving so I could recharge my deck cause I had burned all my cards, I’d never felt a tension like that before. It was so much more than just hitting the attack button.

And the story (spoilers imminent). I was probably just 10 years old and it was the first time a game had just straight up lied to me, but along with the disconnect offered by the GBA visuals compared to the PS2 game that preceded it, it had this very surreal dream like quality to it’s storytelling as it quite literally attempts to rewrite your memories of the first game. I legitimately started to question what I remembered of my time with Kingdom Hearts 1. Naminé’s character self-inserting into the canon of the previous entry of what was then the worlds highest budget crossover fanfic at a time in my life when I myself had been coming up with stories where I would self-insert along characters I wish I had been able to go on adventures with instead of being alone in a room left to my own (or I guess more appropriately, someone else’s) imagination… It was an experience to say the least.


Not a sequel, but a version that no one played: Home Alone on the Sega Genesis. Everyone I’ve talked to has played the awful NES or SNES versions, but the Genesis one isn’t only a different game: it’s a different genre!

It combines side-scrolling action with strategy. A 3/4 overhead map let you sled between houses. If you get somewhere before the burglars, you can place traps. Otherwise, you spend the game collecting parts to create weapons. It had a pretty impressive crafting system! You’d get a base, ammo, and launching mechanism, like an ice cream scoop, snowballs, and rubber bands to make a Snowball Mortar. Or replace the snowballs with glue to make a Glue Mortar. I played this game for HOURS trying to beat my best score.

It’s on Archive.org, so do yourself a favor and check it out. Also, Animaniacs is another game where the Genesis version was not only better, but a different genre. (It’s Three Vikings.)


I still have my copy and still play it, and adore it. :heart:

Though I do wish it had an HD remaster as well.