What Makes a Good New Game Plus? ~ Design Doc

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From Chrono Trigger to Nier Automata, from Zelda to Undertale, New Game Plus has extended the life of games for decades. But that same label can mean so many different things. Let’s unpack four categories of what goes into a New Game Plus and see how developers put their own unique spin on the same postgame concept.

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Very light spoiler timestamps!
Games Discussed in Detail
Resident Evil 4: 3:30 – 4:04
Dead Space: 4:04 – 4:17
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater: 4:17 – 4:49
Persona 5 (Vanilla): 4:49 – 5:55
Ratchet & Clank Series: 6:42 – 7:22
Dark Souls 1 & 2: 7:22 – 8:38
Code Vein: 8:38 – 8:52
Batman Arkham City: 8:52 – 9:19
The Legend of Zelda (NES): 9:36 – 9:44
Zelda: Ocarina of Time: 9:44 – 10:09
Super Mario Galaxy: 10:10 – 10:32
Donkey Kong Country Returns/Tropical Freeze: 10:32 – 11:01
Devil May Cry V (Potential Spoilers): 11:46 – 14:01
Borderlands: 14:01 – 14:21
The Legend of Korra (Platinum Games): 14:21 – 15:11
Dead Rising: 15:12 – 15:41
Chrono Trigger (Potential Spoilers): 16:16 – 16:55
Chrono Cross: 16:55 – 17:19
Resident Evil 2: 17:19 – 17:59
Nier Gestalt (Potential Spoilers): 17:59 – 18:20
Nier Automata (Potential Spoilers): 18:20 – 19:15
Undertale (Potential Spoilers): 19:15 – 19:54
Zelda: Oracle of Ages and Seasons: 19:54 – 20:34
The Quiet Man: 20:44 – 21:00

#nierautomata #undertale #devilmaycry

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42 COMMENTS

  1. Im a little late here, but did you ever get mentioned the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games? Finishing the game is only half, and pressing continue after returning to the screen gives you a new continued story.

  2. imo, souls games have a pretty mundane ng+ system and it's mostly because of the game's design. Every enemy is hand placed by the devs and they all have their own attack patterns, weaknesses, etc. All ng+ does in souls games is decrease the amount of hits your character can take and once you get to ng+ 5, you're basically going on a no hit run as every enemy does a shit ton of damage. ds2 is the only one that did something different with it's ng+ system and it's probably the best out of the 3 souls games

  3. As a man who loves video game soundtracks, I appreciate how you played music corresponding to the game you were talking about in a very seamless manner. Couple of them took me back down memory lane.

  4. Shovel Knight Spector of tourment, duh. Beacuse the game is change in such a way that it the same thing but its different enough to fun.

  5. I'm interested to see how people will react to my style of NG+ when it's finally ready. Not to say I can allude to what that is, but also that I don't know where it fits in this grid.

  6. I'm not sure if it would work, but I'd like to see a game that balances a Rogue-like style and a New Game Plus style.

  7. Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. While a divisive game, does the new game + even better because on the next play through not only does it allow you to continue your progression like in previous titles, but also is narrated by other characters giving it different (more comedic) narrative tones

  8. Final Fantasy : Crystal Chronicles Ring of Fate's new game + and new game ++ ramp up the difficulty, carry over character levels AND allow you to see a true fulfilling ending. Haven't completed + nor ++ so I'm not sure whether only + is required or if you have to go through ++ but it's a nice system.

  9. Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance has this skill ramp, with the extreme difficulty, which even unlocks a new character upon completion

  10. fire emblem three houses has an interessting aproach to new game +
    you have 4 different storylines at the second half of the game, 3 difficultys and you can carry over some of your progression, but have to buy it. This allows you to pick class bonuses from classes you mastered in a previous run, but do not intend to use on you current. As an example: i mastered bishop with every playable carackter in the game, and now i can use the regeneration ability in every succeding run, if i choose to do so, and have the reputation-points to buy it

  11. 18:50
    THANK you. I'm always annoyed when people talk about Nier Autamata, saying that, "You have to beat the game 5+ times to get the whole story?", when that's not at all how that works. As you said in the video, it's a framing device- they're chapters, not entire playthroughs. One playthrough includes all of the main endings and isn't any longer than any other game given the amount of content.

  12. Dragon’s Dogma has a great ng+; because certain quests change if you do something different, and also some become unavailable if you don’t do certain actions

  13. In the game ico, you don't understand the language people speak and it's all giberish. But in new game plus, you get subtitles and finally get to understand what people are saying.

  14. I love new game+ where you can effectively shift difficulty to a casual walk or climbing Everest without gear. I do enjoy the god mode to see it as a reward for beating the game, such as with three houses. First NG+ was taking my last playthrough MVP and making her god tier while keeping everyone else underleveled. Taking advantage of the professor class to keep up skill requirements, but keeping stats low. Basically turning it into playing a high card game with only 5s and lower with one Ace in hand. It comes to how I use them and compensate for what my army need in each position. It was a blast!

  15. I really enjoy the wind waker's newgame+
    The base game is more or less the same, but you get to play through the whole game in link's pajamas, which is cute. However, the real draw comes in the narrative context. Throughout the game, several characters will talk in strange characters you can't understand, although in any of these situations, there is enough context to get the jist of what they're saying, usually in the king of red lions carrying on the other side of the conversation. In newgame+ though, instead of these strange characters, they talk in plain text, so you get all the context, very subtle but interesting draw.

  16. I've been playing Stella Glow on the 3DS for a while now and I feel it deserves a mention. Stella Glow is a tactics RPG type game. The game is split between "mission time" and ""free time." During free time you can do various things to progress your relationship with your party members which in turn gains them new skills, abilities and shows story skits/elements between you and them. However there isn't enough free time to max out all the characters in the game so you will miss some story elements and fail to see all the skills and abilities. NG+ only carries over your money which is a nice anti-grind measure but not so big an advantage that you are in a god mode. More significantly it gives you 3x as much free time as before. This is actually enough time to max everyone and see all their stories. However this is still not a god mode per se. By the nature of a tactics game you almost are never playing with your full party of characters (usually you pick 6ish per mission) so what this means is, rather than being overpowered, it actually expands the roster of characters you use. Whereas the base game promotes using a small subset of all the characters since you will only be able to max a few of them, NG+ really allows you to play with all the characters you ignored during your first play through since all the characters a much more viable now.

  17. Things about Dark Souls.
    Ng+ definitely tendss to the god mode side of things, at lest the first cycle in both ds1 and ds3. The only way enemies can overpower you in ng+ is if you leveled your stats poorly or if they're dlc bosses, that are usually made with ng+ in mind.

  18. My favorite new game + is shovel knight king of cards and spectre of torment. King of cards makes your money into your mana, keeps you at 4 health, and makes it so that if you get hit, your money falls out and bounces around, but you keep your items and upgrades, and killing an enemy heals you. There is also a money multiplier that disappears when hit. It also removes all the checkpoints from main levels, and most from bosses.

    Spectre of torment combined your health and mana, gets rid of healing items, and makes your health slowly diminish. You can heal by killing enemies, but usually the most optimal routes (using items) would cost too much health to be sustainable. It has the same level changes as long of cards.

  19. In all honesty, my favourite of those 4 is the Godmode NG+. It is just so amazing to run through a game time and time again being overpowered as heck!
    Then again, a nice little change to it is never wrong of course. Like more story to explore, new outfits and items to unlock, etc

  20. Just an added thing about Persona, not sure 100% about 5, but definitely in 4, there are some speech checks in the early game that are impossible to pass on your first playthrough, and having your stats carry over on NG+ is the only way to see this dialogue that you couldn't access first time around

  21. You…..SERIOUSLY missed the point on what makes Chrono Trigger's NG+ so engaging.

    So in the first playthrough, you're scraping by on what you can get, grinding lots of enemies and earning every inch until you're barely strong enough to beat the final boss, all while enjoying a great story. Classic JRPG stuff.

    Round 2, though, things are different. Everything short of plot-relevant items have carried over, and the trash mobs you were fighting before aren't worth your time, at least until you hit Black Omen, so the goal becomes AVOIDING encounters, which changes the nature of the game for its overworld sections as this is its own challenge of memorizing enemy movements rather than just leaping in like you would the first time. Otherwise, fights are a breeze and this time the final boss is little threat.

    Round 3 is the victory lap. None can stand before you! This is the time to bop off to smack the final boss at the different points in the story where it changes the outcome, since you can just progress the file forward assuming you didn't save in the boss chamber. You can even take on the superboss now! At this point, all that remains is the lv99 Spekkio, but most would say this is a fine time to drop out unless you're madly dedicated.

  22. Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force actually combines all 4 of these NewGame+ types. Halfway through the game, there's the attempted summoning of a god. There are 3 routes to take, but 2 are only possible in new game plus, and you have to do the third and true route after completing the previous two. In the first half of newgame+, you are in God Mode with your stats, like the first kind.

    Like the Third Kind of New Game+, the game lets you remove seals off of monuments to the gods to gain perks. You can't remove all of them in 1 playthrough, so you naturally remove more in the 2cnd and 3rd playthrough. This affects the outcome of the midgame event, and then you take an entirely new route. The enemies are now balanced to your new levels and provide a challenge, like the 2cnd Kind. The stories in all the routes are completely different. You will gain exclusive party members on certain routes and different things about each character in them. Some of your own party members in one route will end up being the final boss of another.

  23. NieR:Automata does not have a new game+ mode. why is it here? its a chapter select that pretty neat but its not a new game+.

  24. Some game, especially game with lots of branching content (like RPG) that have strict time limit and missable stuff… like Persona 5 for example, enjoy greatly the new game plus, though it may throw game balance out of the window… the reason is simple… because it's impossible to unlock everything in your first run and/or in a single run… but the game is also too long (and boring) for most people to play it multiple times (I believe no one likes to grind over and over again, especially for something you have unlocked before).
    So everything you failed to do in your first run, you are most probably able to do it in your second, new game plus run. So people have incentive to play it at least one more time.

  25. Bravely Second is my favorite use of NG+, considering the first time it happens, it's not really NG+, but the term being used for the characters to take a second chance to beat the bad guy, since they totally failed the first time. The second time is a standard real NG+ option once you beat the game.

  26. Fire Emblem: Three Houses is a little unique. It has somewhat of a God Mode because of it’s Renown system. The catch is, the only upgradable skills/stats are ones that have been in unlocked in previous playthroughs, so it doesn’t give so much legroom on earlier new game+ runs. Gameplay wise, players have the options to ramp up the difficulty on the new run, making the harder difficulties more accessible. It acts as an optional secondary challenge. Since there are 4 somewhat unique routes, new game+ can reveal more of the story. A major flaw in this system is the first half of the story. On my 3rd and 4th run, the first half was a drag to get through, since the differences between runs are so minimal then. The problem is that the newer content is locked behind a lot of repeated content. If different gameplay is what the player wants, that is easily accessible, but for those invested in the story alone, it can become tedious.

  27. I feel like P5's new game+ is meant more for those who weren't able to get all the confidants. Now that you have the social stats, you don't need to worry about them, allowing you to focus on your confidants. Getting all your confidants finished in your first run is almost impossible, even when you complete each palace in two days(which I did) it's still hard. So I personally like P5's new game+.

  28. Borderlands Pre-Sequel is interesting because it also includes narrative changes in the later playthroughs, as you get different characters narrating and commenting on the events in later runs than the first one. I always thought that was pretty cool.

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