It takes passion. Passion for creating a game based on gameplay first, to make the transition a smooth and successful one. I think of Mario, Metal Gear, Metroid, Marvel vs. Capcom. Those franchises made the transition look effortless. The problem was when developers relied too heavily on the sheer idea of 3d becoming the new standard which ultimately produced a large number of "graphics first," titles. Sonic, Mortal Kombat, and Halo come to mind. I remember reading a passage introducing Halo 2 and the authors specific word of choice was, "generational,' in the graphics department. I'm not opposed to graphical leaps but I can't look you in the eye and tell you Halo 2 was anywhere close to memorable as Combat Evolved. But, that's just my opinion.
Buuuut, Halo to Halo 2 didn't involve a generational transition. I do agree that Combat Evolved was superior to Halo 2 ( at least if we're talking the main campaign ), but would stop well short of saying it wasn't anywhere close to being as memorable.
- "If you have the heart of a true winner, you can always get more pissed off than some other asshole."