Feb 4, 2014

New and… Better?

Babbling at the Counter #27 – Video Games

New and… Better?

Here’s a thought: When you build a new version of something, you should keep in mind what it was. Why do I bring it up? Momodora is why.

Momodora is a pretty good game. I really enjoyed it, and when I sat down to play Momodora 2, I expected it to be at least as good as the former. But it wasn’t. Don’t get me wrong, both are great games, but the second one lost track of what the first had done right.

Let’s go to some examples (spoilers ahead): Momodora was pretty straightforward. You had a selection of guns, and even if you didn’t keep using all of them, you kept switching to at least three (unlike Cave Story, that managed to make all the guns almost equally useful). You could play the game as fast as you could, or you could go around trying to get all the secrets. I’m still playing it to get everything!

On the other hand, Momodora 2 had better graphics, actual NPCs and a plot. It added bosses, which is great, and some nifty and flavorful things with those statues. But it forgot everything Momodora had done right! It doesn’t have crazy weapons or secrets. It’s even shorter than Momodora 1.

End of Spoilers.

As a standalone game, it would have been alright. Regrettably, as a sequel, one can’t help but compare it, and find it lacking.

The lesson here is a simple one: Don’t forget what your previous work has done right. Improve upon it, not in spite of it.

(In Momodora 2’s case, more weapons would have helped the Metroidvania mechanics. And don’t get me started on hiding secrets through a map that forces you to go back and forth. The game is practically begging for these features).

- The Storeman

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