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Justin Williams of Park City Utah: Best Video Game Sequels

Justin Williams of Park City Utah examines some of the best follow-ups to classics.

PARK CITY, UTAH, UNITED STATES, February 21, 2020 / -- Producing a sequel that lives up to its predecessor is often a tough prospect to face: fans of the original might be resistant to change, overly-critical of new features, or resistant to new story beats. And yet, there are those sequels that outshine their progenitors, improving on them in nearly every single way. Justin Williams of Park City Utah counts down some of his favorite sequels and lists his reasons why they’re great.

Justin Williams of Park City Utah starts with a real classic: Sonic the Hedgehog 2. While the original introduced several of the franchises key iconic features, including collecting golden rings for health, speeding through levels as quickly as you can, and Sonic’s nemesis Dr. Robotnik (played in the new movie by Jim Carrey), it wasn’t until the sequel that two mainstays of the series were introduced. One is Sonic’s “spin dash” move, which lets him curl up in a ball and take off at high speed. The other is Sonic’s sidekick, Miles “Tails” Prower, the two-tailed fox that can fly. Both of these additions have been included in every single release since. Besides these iconic additions, Justin Williams of Park City Utah says that Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for the Sega Genesis also included slightly better graphics, catchier music, and longer levels than the first game, making it an overall improvement.

Perhaps, the most agreed-upon “best sequel” contender, Justin Williams of Park City has to bring up Half-Life 2. The first Half-Life was a revolutionary first-person shooter for its time, and Half-Life 2 improved upon it in every single way. Incredible graphics that hold up even today, intelligent AI enemy characters, and an impressive physics engine that was utilized to solve puzzles all helped Half-Life 2 become one of the most legendary sequels of all time. Justin Williams of Park City points out that the game, unfortunately, suffers from “Seinfeld syndrome”: while it was revolutionary for the time and did things no other game was doing, it inspired so many future games that it now seems relatively generic. Those who were around for its release know, however, the special place this game holds in gaming history.

Finally, Justin Williams of Park City Utah shares with us his last pick for worthy sequels: Batman: Arkham City. This entry in the Batman: Arkham series is the sequel to Batman: Arkham Asylum, and expands upon the original’s mechanics in ways that were risky, but proved to pay off. Justin Williams of Park City explains that the original Batman game, Arkham Asylum, took place entirely inside of the titular building. This allowed the developers to craft a finely-tuned, detail-oriented story and game world that received the praise of critics and fans alike.

For the sequel, this concept was turned on its head as the game transitioned into the popular “open world” format of other games such as Grand Theft Auto or Saints Row. At first, people were trepidatious about the change, believing there was no way the game would retain its quality—however, those fears proved to be unfounded, and Batman: Arkham City not only lived up to the first game, but also won several awards.

It’s hard to live up to fan favorites, but these sequels prove that it’s possible.

Caroline Hunter
Web Presence, LLC
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