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We don’t need more sequels

I find it very surprising that this past summer movie season has seen a few good original ideas like Pacific Rim and Elysium, with that in mind it makes me wonder if I’ll ever be able to say the same about video games. This is an industry that is practically built on sequels, most of which do little more than rehash the first game. It pains me that old ideas continue to sell because there are plenty of sequels that don’t have any need to exist. Every video game has this apparent goal of selling well enough to justify making another one. Is making money the only thing that developers care about?

I’ve always believed that any story, be it a novel, movie, or a game should stand on its own. There are plenty of games I can think of shouldn’t have gotten a sequel, such as God of War, Bioshock and Dragon Age: Origins. These are all games that told a complete story and left little room for expansion. There was no need to continue, and the sequels to all three of these games do pretty much the same thing that the first games do. Games like Bioshock; Infinite are a different story as it does a lot of things differently with the original game in both gameplay and story (mind you I haven’t played it yet) , but that makes me wonder why it can’t be a completely different game entirely. Every single video game franchise, from Halo to Metal Gear Solid started with an original idea that was successful enough to merit a sequel.

Pictured: The most successful franchises in video game history, most of which shouldn’t even exist.

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What to expect from the Next Xbox

This upcoming Tuesday (the 21st if you’re counting), Microsoft will reveal their next Xbox console to the world, bringing the video games industry even closer to the eighth generation of video game consoles. This month, there has been lots of speculation and predictions of the capabilities of this new Xbox. There are rumors of the console requiring a constant internet connection and then subsequent rumors that deny this claim. There have speculations on the look of both the console itself and the controller, and just about everyone has a different name for this new console. I feel the need to throw my hat into the ring. So here it is. This is what you can expect from the next Xbox.

Rumoured names for the consoles include; Xbox 720, Durango, Infinity and simply Xbox.

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Most Anticipated Game of 2013: Tomb Raider

Well the new year has rolled around, so to start things off I’m going to discuss the game that I am looking forward to the most in 2013. I’ll admit that this is a crowded category for me. There are many games to look forward to: Bioshock: Infinite, Beyond: Two Souls and the Last of Us. All of them look amazing, but  the one game I am looking forward to the most is the upcoming Tomb Raider reboot. It barely beats out The Last of Us (which I think is a potential Game-of-the-Year). I’m not anticipating Tomb Raider solely based on its potential quality, the deciding factor is that the success of Tomb Raider is more important for the video games industry than the success of other games. It will show how the industry has or hasn’t changed, depending on its quality. While I would always prefer a new game to sequel or a reboot, Tomb Raider will provide an opportunity to look back on the last two decades and show how much the industry has grown and hopefully, how it will continue to grow.

Lara Croft is perhaps the most iconic and recognizable female character in video game history. She was a female protagonist in an era when lead characters were exclusively men. Mostly due to her famous pair of assets, Lara was the first video game character to reach the status of a sex symbol. It’s easy to scoff at this but it represents an shift in how people see video game characters. By becoming a sex symbol, Lara Croft raised herself above a mere assortment of pixels and into something that closer to an real person. It was obvious pandering, but the fact that it worked was important for video games. Lara’s popularity kept growing. In 2001, a film adaptation was made starring Angelina Jolie and while it wasn’t horrible it does share the dubious honor along with Resident Evil, of starting a trend video-game-movies. Despite this, Lara Croft is a significant figure in the history of the industry.

Lara in Tomb Raider: Legend, seven years before she discovered pants.

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