James Bishop of TheGameReviews argues in his Spoony Bard column that attempted innovations of series themes and mainstays in God of War III and Final Fantasy XIII have disturbed both games to their detriment.
I've really enjoyed god of war 3...
And you should. I don't mind the complaint that a game feels too familiar but it's one of those things that shouldn't be forced. I hate when change results in drastic alterations. Also, I rarely mind familiarity. It's a sequel to a game so why expect major changes to the core formula? Gameplay doesn't age as fast as graphics and for the most part if gameplay is solid then it should remain in tact. Look at MW2. People complained it would be too similar to MW1, but what would you expect? Additionally, they did make changes, but they were so horrible that they ruined the game. It's a fine balance that is hard to master. I look at Bungie with Halo now and Reach's multiplayer is receiving numerous gameplay changes. Again, as long as that balance is there with the familiarity of a sequel then I don't mind it.
...but too much familiarity can make a game feel like a semi-sequel, not an actual evolution. I didn't enjoy God of War 3 as much as the previous games. It just felt too uninspired and samey, but to each his own.
Change always seems to be a little intimidating. We all like familiarity after all but it does take a while to adjust to especially if we're used to a set way of doing things as the previous God of War and Final Fantasy games made us feel.
None of the God of War games have had a new game plus. GoW3, for better or worse, doesn't change the formula up at all.
Way to make me doubt myself! I was positive, and while Wikipedia isn't the best source, this was gleaned from there: "There is also "Arena of the Fates", customized battleground with user-selected numbers and type of opponents. The experience points gained therein can be used in the main game. A rank of Titan must be achieved in the Challenge of the Titans in order to unlock the Arena of the Fates. Grecian urns are hidden urns throughout the game that unlock additional abilities when starting a Bonus Play." You can change the game other than just supra-abilities.
This article makes me wonder what changes they might be making in Starcraft II. Granted there's only been one previous title (plus its expansion), but the fans since who been waiting since its late 90's release will want/expect a similar experience, but geared toward modern systems/sensibilities. (Enemy AI and game interfaces have progressed somewhat since then.) Part of what's kept me away from Mass Effect 2 is the amount of changes they've made. Removing inventory may have streamlined gameplay, but it doesn't sound like the experience I'd been hoping for. (I'm sure I'll end up getting it eventually, and hopefully I'll be pleasantly surprised.)
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