As long as there have been video games, there have been video game sequels. OK, technically not "as long" but you get the point. If a game was successful a sequel was almost guaranteed to follow. From the early days of Ms. Pac Man and Donkey Kong Jr. we were conditioned to think that these sequels should be superior to the original. The fond memories of these great follow-ups often causes us to forget the ones that didn't measure up.
When developing a sequel there are three paths developers can take:
- Take the original game engine and slap some new levels on it, changing as little as possible. Examples: Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Doom 2.
- Scrap the original game engine but produce a game that plays remarkably like its prequel, often done when moving a series to a new system. Examples: Super Metroid, Super Mario World, well.. most of the "Super" games on the SNES.
- Go a completely different direction, making it a sequel in name only. Examples: Adventure of Link, Donkey Kong III, Super Mario RPG.