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More of This, Less of That

Michael Cunningham

Blue Dragon hit Japan at the end of 2006. Now here we are in 2009 with a third Blue Dragon game on the way to Japan. While neither of these are actually considered to be Blue Dragon 2, the fact that they both exist means that the series must have had enough of a draw to warrant these, along with an anime series. I'm going to put my personal bias against the series aside and just ask the question, do we really need more Blue Dragon, especially this soon?

I'm not really writing this to focus on a single game, I want to state that if recent games are going to receive the sequel treatment this quickly, why not some other games? Let's see some lower budget titles get a new coat of paint, a fix up, and a new game. Jeanne d'Arc, The World Ends With You, and Rondo of Swords could all get a quick turnaround for a second title. Instead we get another Mega Man Star Force game or another Pokémon color.

We got a quick follow-up with the Persona 3 & 4 games, but it isn't always like that. I really like what Obsidian does by taking a popular, successful franchise and making a quick sequel. It's like they find a great game and go, "Hey, you aren't going to reuse this in a sequel? Well, can we?" They did it with Knights of the Old Republic II and Neverwinter Nights II, and it sounds like they are doing the same for Fallout: New Vegas. I applaud the idea and fully support them doing this, because they don't overdo it. It's not like we see fifteen million copies of the same game, just a quick release and done.

I just want more fun. I want another Lost Odyssey, even in a lower cost portable format, before I want a THIRD Blue Dragon. If developers are going to go for a cheap, quick cash-in at least be diverse in your game selection. Do we really need three new Kingdom Hearts games? Call me crazy, but I just want some more options, not the same old series over and over.

So that brings me to the center to all of this, new IPs. I'm afraid that so many developers are afraid to try something new because it might fail, so we're stuck with half-hearted sequels and spin-offs (I'm looking at YOU, Blue Dragon) or new, innovative ideas that fail due to over-ambition (Hmmm, I'm going to fault Infinite Undiscovery here). What we need is more fun, not just a new direction. Don't try something new just for the sake of trying it, try for something enjoyable regardless of the implementation.

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