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I guess i didn't explain myself too well. You have convinced me that the game is indeed fun, but i have no love for games that call themselves sequels when they really have nothing to do with the series. The best example i could come up with is what was called gothic IV: Arcania.

On its own, it was a pretty decent game, with some fun combat, some open world exploration but not too much, and a fairly bland story.

I wouldn't call it a bad game per se. But they called it a gothic iv, and it has _NOTHING_ that really relates it to series (and no, borrowing the characters doesn't count, it just added to the feeling of nonsense).

You see, there are some things in the gothic series that you would expect, like branching paths (typically based around choosing one of the 3 choices, wheter they are camps, gods or whatever) . This also meant that, for example, if you wanted to go full warrior you would not be able to learn magic, or at most you could use holy magic (think paladin), and conversely, as a mage, you will never be able to master melee combat.
Now this game shits all over these conventions by allowing you to start out as a warrior and end up as a master wizard (which is what i did).
Oh, and also you don't even have to bother finding someone to train you, since you get to choose what to train at each level up. The only vestige of the "3 choices" is when you finish some "quest", after which you get offered 3 different kinds of armour, with the "mage" one being generally just better (which annoyed me until i finally switched).

After saying all this, remember that i never said that this game is actually bad. It just doesn't belong in the gothic franchise. If they called it something like Arcania: a Gothic spinoff or something along these lines, i wouldn't have complained at all. Now, coming back to the main topic: bioshock 2. No, i won't play it, because it's not really a sequel to the game. It has NOTHING of what made bioshock BIOSHOCK. Again, if they called it something like "Bioshock: Big Daddy edition" or "Bioshock: extreme drilling" or anything that doesn't seem to imply that it is a sequel, i would be ok with it.

Dammnit, i ranted too much. I hope i was able to bring my point across. Thank you for taking the time to read all this, if you bothered to, and if you didn't that's ok too :)
aduken: I guess i didn't explain myself too well. You have convinced me that the game is indeed fun, but i have no love for games that call themselves sequels when they really have nothing to do with the series.
I do understand what you're saying, but... Isn't it a bit unfair when it comes to Bioshock 2? I don't know about Gothic as Gothic series never really worked very well for me, but let's take Fallout 3 - it builds upon completely different foundations than the original. That's where I would definitely understand the argument. But the only crime Bioshock 2 commited was not having Ken Levine on board.

You can hardly say it had nothing to do with the series, as the devs understood very well what made the original work in the gameplay department, and the writers actually seemed to have a firm grasp of what the original's storyline was all about, even tho they were unable to reproduce Levine's genius (obviously.)

But even with what they've had, they have managed to build a storyline which had more impact on me than that in the original. YMMV obviously, but you can't deny that the second game did a very good job of expanding the original's lore, seeing the world as a little sister being the obvious highlight.

If you indeed do want to pick on a game from Bioshock series for quite simply not being a Bioshock game, it's Infinite, which plays substantially different and while it expands upon its storyline, it doesn't actually expand anything which would particulary need expanding.
Fenixp: omissis
Indeed my friend. Now, while i can't talk about infinite as i don't have it, your point is moot, since it's not called Bioshock 3 (implying that it's a direct sequel to previous instalment), but rather a game set in the same universe (possibly - i am assuming things here, as i previously said).
So i don't see the problem if the game is actually very different from the original one.
It's the same thing i said about about bioshock 2: if they merchandised it as a spin-off, instead of as a sequel, i would have no complaints. I'm not blaming the game for not having Ken Levine, and again i'm not saying it's not a bad game; but if you can't make a sequel that holds up to the original, but you still want to have it set in the same universe, go ahead, but don't try to merchandise it as a successor, because you'll get no sympathy (from me at least).

In the end, you could also say that i'm being an ass about something as minor as its name, but for me it's something a bit more.

I'll give you one more example: think about dead space.
The first one was a pretty decent survival horror. Not so much for the survival part, since you never suffered from a lack of firepower or more generally from the ability to defend yourself, but it had some nice atmosphere to it without having to rely on jump scares [i]too[/I] much. Oh, and let's not forget about the cheesy story to along with it.(it was ok overall though)
Now consider the ds 2 and 3. They are action games and nothing more. How do they relate to the original horror game? They don't really. Sure, they have the same story, and the same protagonist. But the latest one even has co-op(and let's not forget cover based shooting. And rolling.)! It's as far from an horror game as you can get. Why not call them Dead Space: Limb Shooter and Dead Space: Limb Shooter 2 (or Call of Space: Limb Duty)?

This way you, as a dev/publisher, come clear with your customers by telling them "look, this is a good game, but it's not really a sequel to dead space, a survival horror. This is a game with lots of aliens that you can dismember and do lots of fun things to, allright? No horror here, no sir. If that was what you liked about the first game, we have nothing here for you, sorry".

I hope i managed to get my point across better this time.
aduken: ...
You actually managed to got your point across well enough the first time around, but again - Dead Space 1 -> Dead Space 2: Massive shift in gameplay, storytelling and ... Well more or less everything about that game, whereas Bisohock 1 and 2 are more or less the same, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Bioshock 2 has worse story and better gameplay, but retains everything about the original which made it what it was. Just execution changed a little. In this way, you could claim that any sequel which had any aspect worse than it's predecessor doesn't deserve it's predecessor's name.

I didn't see anyone arguing that Deus Ex: Human Revolution was not a sequel to the original, yet it moved a lot of its gameplay and storytelling somewhere else. Or that Fallout 2 isn't a real Fallout game because it got a lot less serious and its general feel suffered. Same applies to pretty much all sequels out there - often they're flatout worse than the original, yet liked by their fans. Do you want to tell me that most sequels should be hated because they didn't live up to the original?
Post edited June 17, 2013 by Fenixp
Fenixp: Why do so few people mention it and how comes the original overshadows it so much?
I'm guessing its because you share an opinion with the minority of the player base? If Bioshock 2 had come first, it would probably seem much better than it does now, but following the first game I can't agree that they improved much.

People ask for more of the same... which they provided, but it felt rushed and they did change some important things... like playing a big daddy.

Sidebar: look at people's complaints about Thief 1 and Thief 2. What do most people hate about Thief 2? The big robots. They also hated zombies in the first one. Anytime you introduce NHC (non-human characters) you are whittling into niche area. Not a perfect example, but I think it explains a bit. I did not enjoy playing a big daddy. I had no love for him. I hated the visuals and sounds which follow you through way too much gameplay while being one of those things.

IMHO, the difference from BS1 to BS2 would be like saying, ok, for Thief 4 you are going to play a zombie. In bioshock 1 I felt like a lost person with a fascinating, what's-going-on, story where exploration, ambiance, and weapon choice/strategy played a big role. In BS2, I felt like a big robot blasting anything that moved. When BS1 ended I was ready for more. When BS2 was about halfway over, I was checking walkthroughs to see how much more I had to play to finish.

As I said, BS2 likely wasn't horrible on its own... but, just like Deus Ex, it gets compared to its predecessor and expectations are... expected. I don't think that BS2 is quite the disaster that DX2 was... but there are some similarities.

So, this is partly why you don't hear about it much. It was rather bland IMHO and doesn't give much to talk about. The first was original and well down. The second felt like a cash grab where the only innovation was in questionable, or at least, debatable areas. I'd likely change my opinion on a newer playthrough, but rating from my memories today I'd give BS1 an 8.5/10 and BS2 a 6/10.
Fenixp: omissis
Well now, i don't want to sound like an ass, but yes, sequels should be hated if they don't live up to the original: afterall no one is forcing you to make a sequel. Of course, it all boils down to what it means to live up to the original. I'll get to that in a moment.

It's funny that you mention DE:HR as a sequel, despite it being a prequel (ahah, i'm just messing with you, i understand what you mean), but it's interesting how you didn't mention that other DE (or maybe it was deliberate? Most people will claim that game doesn't even exist afterall). Anyway, apart from the forced boss fights, i don't think (maybe i'm wrong) that anyone can claim this game doesn't belong as a good, maybe excellent successor to the original game.

So, coming back full circle to bioshock, what was that made that game stand out? I'm going to say that, as bazilisek said, it's the narrative. Of course, i'm basing much of my "theory" on what i heard and from his own review, but since you too agree with him, i'm going to assume that he's basically right in what he says.
So, for me, a bioshock without a good narrative isn't a bioshock, and so i'm not going to play it, because it will be missing what, for me, was the best part of the game. I would like to be able to comment on the fallout 1 / 2 /3 issue, but i can't comment on 2 since i don't own it, and i never finished 1 when i had it, but from what i played (and remember) while 3 clearly changed a lot of things (2d to 3d for starters) it still felt like fallout.

Actually, feel free to enlighten me on the fallout 1/2 issue, i would be interested.

edit: a new challenger appears!
Post edited June 17, 2013 by aduken
hucklebarry: ....
All right, first of all: I can't really comment on feeling like a guy in an unknown city. I felt like a killing machine in an unknown city, barely endangered by anything (and I have played both games with vita-chambers off.) I guess that's a big part of why did I prefer second bioshock to the first: Being a Big Daddy actually made sense given the circumstances. You're going to murder loads of splicers anyway, it might as well start making sense.

As for the cash-grab, I just can't disagree more. It might have started like that, but it's obvious that a lot of effort went into the second game. They could just take what they've already had and make a new improvements, but they have decided to do something entirely different and actually try to improve the game.

I'll grab enemies as an example - for typical splicers, they might have just grabbed the ones from the original and nobody would notice. But no, what they actually did was to make completely new models for them, with distinct features so they all don't look the same as in the original. Nobody would really notice if the second game didn't improve on enemy variety, but it did anyway, and quite a bit. Nobody would complain if they left the old hacking in the game, but they didn't, and devised a new system. It's all these details which tell me that someone who really loved the original has made the second game.
aduken: ...
I have ignored the second game of Deus Ex series because there was neither a gameplay shift, not anything actually better about it. While the game wasn't bad, it was just flatout worse than the original, and by a huge margin.

Now as for Fallout 1 and 2 - basically, Fallout 2 is the case of 'more of everything!', but in the end, it ends up a lot more shallow. The fact that the first game was quite serious and the second makes fun of itself on every turn doesn't really help either.
Post edited June 17, 2013 by Fenixp