You know that feeling of playing a game you are incredibly amazed by. A game that for some reason just grips you and doesn’t let go. You’ve played it for hours, maybe even finished it multiple times and then they announce it: The sequel. The heaven part, the sun is shining, the world is pink… … and then, it disappoints…
As most likely any gamer had at some point, I too had my fair share of disappointing videogame sequels in my time as a gamer. Funnily enough, most of them aren’t really bad games per se. They were just (a lot) different from what I expected, or wanted. And here I was, thinking I would talk about a few of them until I realised I could fill an entire article about a single one. The sole reason that made me think of this subject in the first place.
Jade Cocoon: Story of the Tamamayu
Jade Cocoon on the PlayStation (1) is one of my favourite ‘hidden gems’ ever. It blends exploration and RPG combat with the ability to catch, breed and level monsters. Call it a PokéMon clone if you like, but that would only make it a 3D PokéMon adventure and there is no going wrong there. The story is original and interesting, the combat balanced and fun and the characters well fleshed out.
The more mature look and feel of both the game and the monsters made me fall completely in love with this gem. At the time, I enjoyed my fare share of PokéMon and loved it to bits! I must have played well over 500 hours of PokéMon Silver! Don’t get me wrong though, Jade Cocoon is more an adventure RPG with catch mechanics than a PokéMon clone. There are no real cutesy minions in the game, in stead opting for a more ‘monster’ look and feel.
The ability to catch minions in you Cocoon is amazing, but the breeding even more so. There are four elements, all in a ‘rock, paper, scissors’ weakness to each other. However, breeding different elemental monsters can make your minion into a monster with 2 or even 3 types! (It’s even possible to change it in to a four-element minion, but that would also make it weak to everything.)
The looks and colours are also inherited from the ‘parents’ making millions of different options and thus your minion unique of likely everybody else’s.
..and then, disappointment
Enter; Jade Cocoon 2 on the PlayStation 2. Boasting an incredible graphical upgrade over the PS1 origininal. To compliment those graphics, they made an interesting story which somewhat continues over the previous game… … and butchered the combat engine.
Although some players may actually like the more tactical look and feel of the combat, I personally hate it intensely. Instead of the traditional turn-based RPG combat they shifted to a more tactical multi-minion combat. Apart from the set-up, you have way to little control over your minions and apart from choosing the element, you have little to say about what you do. Truth be told, last time I played it was years ago, and I probably never got further then two hours in, but that is most likely the sign of a bad sequel right there..
Don’t get me wrong though, even though I tried to like it multiple times, it just didn’t.. click. As stated, Jade Cocoon 2 is probably not a bad game per se. I wouldn’t know though, as I never stayed long enough to experience it.
This resulted in one of my favourite games having a sequel, and me being unable to enjoy it. The world is a cruel one indeed.
There are more games I loved which have disappointing sequels, and most likely, we’re discussing them over on PressQuit on Twitter as you read this. As always, we’re incredibly curious about your opinion, and in this matter it’s no different.
What videogame sequel disappointed you the most and why?
We’de love to hear from you!