We’re talking about sequels this week– sequels that are better than their originals. This makes me think of a different kind of sequel. Sequels that might not really be thought of as sequels, even though they are. What kind of games am I talking about?
Super Mario Bros.
Possibly the most influential game of all time and it’s a sequel? Yes, I jest not. See there was this little game called Mario Bros. that was somewhat less than super. The guys at Nintendo R&D3 (later EAD) beefed up the level design, added a memorable cavalcade of enemies, and whipped up some classic tunes and environments, and voila, a classic. They did have trouble with Luigi’s colors at first, though.
Misadventures of Tron Bonne
If you didn’t know this was a Mega Man game, you probably wouldn’t know it. The forty Servbots (forty-one in the Japanese version) somewhat resemble 8-bit Mega Man, but other than that, the direct references end. It combines 3D Mega Man-style gameplay with robbing, looting, and other general escapades that involve poor manners, at best. Still, with a rollicking sense of humor and a fun premise, this is one sequel (of a sort) that’s more than a little fun, if less groundbreaking than the one above.
Kirby’s Dream Land
I’m stretching it a little with this one, but the Kirby series was in part spun off from HAL’s Adventures of Lolo games. Yeah, it’s a bit far-fetched, save for the fact that Lolo and his girlfriend Lala both appear in the game. As enemies, but they’re still there nonetheless. Since we have yet to see a new Lolo sequel for a while, it’s apparently the best we can get.
Super Mario Bros 2
This is actually kind of the opposite. It’s not a sequel that was necessarily better than the original; it’s a great game everybody thought was a sequel but actually wasn’t. Since it isn’t a real sequel, it’s questionable whether it actually belongs on this list, but it’s definitely a fantastic game, so we’ll give it a pass.
What? This game is a sequel? Oh, wait. Remember that gargoyle-type enemy from Ghosts ‘N Goblins? Yup, Firebrand is him, only far cooler and with a much beefier game. Plus, unlike Arthur, the original hero of Ghosts ‘N Goblins, Firebrand has an actual life bar. Wait, what’s that?
Secret of Mana
In Japan, this game is called Seiken Densetsu 2, which kind of implies that there’s a Seiken Densetsu 1 around there somewhere, doesn’t it? And there is, except in America it was called Final Fantasy Adventure, and even though it did originally have something to do with Final Fantasy, in the end it became a game series in its own right.