Screen Rant

Screen Rant

This user hasn't shared any profile information

Posts by Screen Rant

Teraflop: Gaming Specs Explained | Screen Rant

0

Whenever a new console or piece of tech is announced in gaming, there are a lot of technical terms that get thrown around with little to no explanation of what they actually mean.

Chief among those in recent years is Teraflops, a term that continuously appears, trying to highlight the power of new consoles, like the Xbox One X and now the Xbox Series X. But the question is, what actually are Teraflops?

Related: PS4 and Xbox One Sales Plunged Ahead Of 2020's PS5 and Series X Launches

The answer can get a bit technical, but there are still some basics to understand. It's also important to understand the implications this technical term has for next-gen, as it's something consumers will hear more and more of.

In simple terms, Teraflops, or TFLOPS, are mathematical equations that measure computing power. FLOPS stands for Floating-Point Operations Per Second. Floating Point Operations are the calculations a computer needs to do during a certain task, like drawing polygons for graphics. FLOPS corresponds to the number of calculations involving floating-point numbers a computer can do in a second, and as you might expect a higher number of FLOPS means more computing power.

Just like other units of measurement, such as bytes for information, flops have multiple units; kiloFLOPS, megaFLOPS, gigaFLOPS, teraFLOPS, etc. So with that, a Teraflop means one trillion calculations per second. Keep in mind this is different from something like GHz (Gigahertz), which measures a processor's clock speed. Instead, FLOPS is more about the calculations that a processor can handle. Obviously, that all still sounds a bit complex, but just keep in mind that Teraflops corresponds to the computing power of a computer or system, but it doesn't necessarily mean that something is going to be all-powerful.

In the most basic sense, yes, higher  Teraflops do mean that games on next-gen consoles will have better graphics and performance, but it doesn't guarantee it. Microsoft announced that the Xbox Series X has 12 Teraflops, double the six that the Xbox One X has. By comparison, the original Xbox One had 1.3 Teraflops, while the PS4 Pro has 4.2. That doesn't mean the Series X is necessarily twice as powerful, though, as more factors go into it. The system's core speed and processer build will also factor into everything.

In short, Teraflops isn't something consumers will need to think about when jumping to next-gen consoles. Yes, it's a sizable improvement, but it's not an ultimate measurement of a new system. Companies like to throw around Teraflops as a term, but consumers don't need to think about the specification. Higher Teraflops will help next-gen games as they try to use complex systems like Ray Tracing, and the numbers do indeed show that the Xbox Series X, and most likely the PS5, will be quite a bit more powerful than the current-gen systems.

There are a lot of factors going into the Xbox Series X and PS5, and Teraflops is just a small piece of the overall puzzle.

Next: PS5 Vs. XBOX Series X: What We Know About the Next-Gen Console Wars

Ori and the Will of the Wisps Developer Interview | Screen Rant

0

Fans will soon have their hands on the long-awaited Ori and the Will of the Wisps, sequel to the hit platforming title Ori and the Blind Forest, as the game is finally set to release on March 11th, 2020. Moon Studios has been hard at work on Ori and the Will of the Wisps for a number of years now, and that hard work is immediately apparent upon booting the new game up for the first time.

Featuring a world more than three times bigger than the original and a number of gameplay tweaks and additions, Ori and the Will of the Wisps includes all of the things players loved about the first game and then piles even more content on top of that. Now featuring a plethora of NPCs, multiple powers players can map to the controller's face buttons, and autosave checkpoints instead of a manual save system, the sequel to Ori and the Blind Forest has clearly been made with a distinct vision in mind, and it hearkens back to a time when every video game sequel was an enhancement of what came before, not just a retread.

Related: Ori And The Will Of The Wisps Preview - More Than Everything From Before

Screen Rant was invited to visit Moon Studios and, while taking a look at Ori and the Will of the Wisps, had a chance to speak with a few of the creators who brought the project to life. Check out the full interview below, in which Senior Producer Daniel Smith and Composer Gareth Coker discuss the inspirations and decisions behind all of the new mechanics in Ori and the Will of the Wisps, including the reasons for the game's new RPG-like shard mechanics and how influential early Disney films were on the creative team.

How long does it take to create music for a project like this? I know that's something that ties into every aspect of the game.

Gareth Coker: Well, my approach is perhaps a little different to many other composers. There's two types of composers in the game industry: there's composers who play the game and composers who don't. Both are valid, but I play the game. I put in hundreds, probably thousands, of hours into the game at this point. When we start development, I learned the game, I learn the flow. The flow of the game is super important to how I think about writing the music. But it can be a couple of years of development before I actually write anything.

It's interesting that you say that, because it's one of the things that I think a lot of people picked up on. There are parts in the first game which were super difficult for a lot of players, but one of the things that made it easier was the fact that the music doesn't stop and keeps cycling through.

Gareth Coker: Yeah, deliberate choice. The only drawback is that sometimes things don't line up exactly how I want them to, but the benefits far outweigh. Because when you reset the music, it's kind of like resetting a film set. It's like "Alright, actors, Ready, go." Everything has to start again. Anything that breaks immersion is bad; stopping the music is bad. When you have a game that has no loading screens like this - and having watched a bunch of people play the last couple of days - you have to willingly want to stop. Because there are no breaks. It's just constantly new stuff.

Daniel Smith: I love your comment about the difficulty. And, definitely, we learned a lot since Blind Forest. The definitive edition included difficulty setting, and we've carried those forward in Will of the Wisps. There's a whole lot more: like, one of the philosophies around the shard system is that if you're a skilled player, you can equip yourself with shards that make you super offensive at the trade off of being more vulnerable. Whereas if you have difficulties, you can equip yourself with super defensive shards or shards that help with navigation or traversal. You probably saw the sticky shard. And if you're stuck in a particular escape sequence or boss fight, you can just start abandon run. There's a lot of things that we've done to basically aid players who may be having a difficult time, as well as amp things up for players who are like, "I love the challenge. Can I have more?"

The biggest thing that stands out for me, in terms of gameplay differences, is no more manual saves. Let's talk about why that is.

Daniel Smith: There are a few very good reasons for that. We love soul link in Blind Forest; you had to deliberately spend energy to save, and we celebrated that by being able to level up soul link. It was definitely one of the more prominent points of player feedback, and we really listen to our community and what we can do to just make Ori evolve further and further.  One of the points of feedback was, "Gosh, I get frustrated sometimes if I lay down a soul link, and then I get an hour ahead and I forgot. Then I die, and I have to go way back."

And that's that stopping point, where it's just like, "Okay, I'll come back to this later."

Daniel Smith: Yeah, so in early experiments with auto checkpointing everywhere, we noticed player frustration was just eliminated around that particular subject. That, and there's a trade off. Soul link took up a face button on the controller. And what we found is that by introducing all these weapons, all these abilities, all these options for Ori to very quickly pull open an ability wheel and map these things, we're actually saving a face button.  So, really, we feel like we're gaining so much more than we're losing by having Soul Link gone.

It seems like you tried really hard to give Ori much more agency as a character. In the first one, the player kind of had the idea that his powers came from the orb. Whereas in this one, it's all coming from him. He doesn't have that secondary character like floating around telling him where to go and what to do.

Daniel Smith: Yes. It's much more of Ori's destiny story, and character progression is much more revolved around Ori in this one, for sure. That's really interesting that you noticed that and are calling that out. Ori is older. Ori is growing.

He has a family now.

Daniel Smith: That's right. Ori may be rusty at some of the original abilities in the very beginning of the game, but you can see that things evolve very quickly.

I noticed that you're giving the player abilities much faster than in the first one.

Daniel Smith: Yeah, it's very interesting. In Blind Forest, Ori receives Wall Climb as as the first ability. But then the next ability is Double Jump, and that's a ways further. We really just wanted to make sure we're paying attention to the cadence that you're growing and progressing in your character development in this one. And we feel really good about it; in all the users study sessions we've done, I think people are just having a blast with how powerful you're growing quickly. And that progression never stops. I mean, this is a much larger game. It's three times the size of Blind Forest. I feel good about player progression, even in this longer, much more robust experience. Ori continues to grow all the way until the end.

Gareth Coker: Just to expand on that. I mean, it's one thing that we're throwing new abilities at you a lot. But we kind of always want to make sure that there is something of interest around the corner, whether it's a little cutscene or there's a boss fight... You're never that far away.

It does seem like there is more things happening in every area. Now it's filled with characters.

Gareth Coker: One of our goals was to make the world feel very, very alive.

Daniel Smith: Are you in the Wellspring Glade right now, where all the NPCs kind of gather? We have a little area; we codenamed it The Hub. It's called the Wellspring Glade, and it's inspired by things like Terraria. You build kind of a haven for NPCs to coalesce and live, or have homes. The Wellspring Glade can be upgraded.

There does seem to be a lot more almost RPG-type elements. It's everything from the first game, but also this mechanic and also this mechanic.

Daniel Smith: Yeah, Blind Forest was much more, I'd say, Metroid-like. Whereas this game, to me, is much more Zelda-like. A lot more enriched with characters and RPG elements and things like that.

Do you mean Zelda 2, because of the downward thrust on your sword?

Daniel Smith: Yeah, or Link's Awakening is another big one that we draw inspiration from. But it's incredible that we were able to draw such powerful affinity to the characters and emotion. We love all the videos of people crying and things like that from the first game.

It's dramatic, but it feels almost childlike because of the animation. The music helps a lot with that; it gives it like an ethereal sound. But it's also dark in a way that old Disney movies are, or The Secret of NIMH.

Daniel Smith: Yeah. I mean, we're inspired by so much pieces of media and content that we grew up with.

Gareth Coker: Lion King. Even Bambi. Bambi was actually one of my references.

You can feel that in the intro of the first game.

Daniel Smith: Fantastical creatures, but with very human qualities. I think that's why a lot of our original characters from Blind Forest resonated; people were able to identify with these characters. And for us this time around, to a build a bigger game, that was also another core pillar. Let's just expand the universe of Ori, so there's loads more characters in this game.

Something that was interesting about the first one is the very slow way that the story and the plot is revealed. Was that on purpose, to slowly ease you into the lore and not give you too much information at once?

Daniel Smith: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, you remember the prologue in the first game. We had people crying right off the bat. There's much more of a slow build in Will of the Wisps. But we've gone to great lengths to make sure that we're still trying to tie in as much emotional depth in our storytelling as we possibly can. I think it was pretty cool what we pulled off in Blind Forest. Like, let's make people really feel something; let's make the story resonate in a Metroidvania genre. And I'm really happy with how that's turning out in Will of the Wisps. We're just trying to push that even further.

Gareth Coker: Obviously, the main story is one thing. But there are also a couple of sub characters who we're on the verge of meeting that also have interesting stories. It's gonna be interesting to see, because there's this one character that's one of my favorites. That story arc is very, very interesting, but you don't get to experience it today. Just having like more characters for people to relate, because people did find the characters relatable in the first game, is a big plus. Plus, it's more fun for our animators.

And not only more characters, but also more side missions.

Daniel Smith: There's a golden path storyline that still has forks, you know. You're able to go, "I'm not going to do that first; I want to do this other thing." But there's a number of optional quests and side missions and spirit trials. Did you ever get to play spirit trials from our previous demo? There's something new that we're talking about, which is called spirit shrines. It's the same type of idea, like, let's bring a mode into the game that will keep people coming back in. "Tonight, I'm going to ignore story. I want to just attack spirit trials or shrines."Shrines are really cool. You'll come across these structures where you enable a shrine, and then you'll just have waves of enemies with increasing difficulty come at you. They're very combat focused, and if you defeat all the enemies, you'll get these very significant rewards. Spirit trials have all tested really well. At Gamescom, we had a hard time getting press to leave the BCD rooms. You're like, "Guys, really, you gotta go." "No, one more try!" It's always a good sign. We've drawn inspiration from things like Super Meat Boy for those modes.

When Blind Forest came out, there wasn't as much of a resurgence in the Metroidvania genre as there is now. Do you think your popularity helped to spur that on?

Daniel Smith: I'm glad you bring that up. I don't think any of us are going to take any responsibility for that. But I will say that I feel like Blind Forest came out at just the very beginning of a cusp of a resurgence of the Metroidvania genre. And since Blind Forest, there have been piles of great Metroidvania games. We love Hollow Night, Dead Cells and all these great games. And I really feel like Will of the Wisps will be part of the wave. Personally, it's one of our favorite genres. I just love seeing more and more games in the genre space come back.

Gareth Coker: It's not just the 2D games, it's bleeding into the AAAs. Control and Fallen Order are technically Metroidvanias. You wouldn't necessarily think that, but they are.

I have a quote here that says, "Will of the Wisps should be to Blind Forest what Super Mario Bros 3 was to Super Mario Bros."

Daniel Smith: That's [Moon Studios' lead developer] Thomas Mahler's quote. Basically, what we're trying to do is not make an Ori 1.5. We're really going for something so dramatically different and larger. We're trying to improve every aspect of Blind Forest that we possibly can. That's the combat; that's the visual aesthetic. It's full 3D pipeline. We've gone to great lengths to make the music even better, and have more of it. I believe that is a true statement.  We feel really good, honestly, about the direction of the game. And we've had a lot of success lately with our player sessions, where people were fresh and new to the experience. Again, we're trying our best to just make an absolute true sequel; something that's very fresh and new, but also has a lot to love for fans of the original.

One last thing: in the first one, you're playing the game and you feel like you have a feel for it, and then you get to about halfway through the Ginso tree. You get the Bash ability and, all of a sudden, the entire game is different. Enemies aren't as scary anymore and everything becomes traversal as opposed to attacking. Is there going to be a moment like that, about halfway through the game, where all of a sudden everything flips again and you turn it on its head?

Daniel Smith: This time around, we've had the fortunate benefit of having better telemetry through development. And I think we're being very mindful this time around about having difficulty just gradually increase. The same goes for like unlocking new abilities and character progression. I think we'll always find that there are speed runners who try and just sit through without engaging in any enemies or combat.

Gareth Coker: But you will have to engage in combat, because we have boss fights. You can't ignore the combat this time.

Was that one of the reasons that you decided to include boss fights this time?

Gareth Coker: We wanted boss fights because we wanted more spectacular stuff. That's really the reason. We had the chase sequences, which were spectacular. Obviously, we've got more of those. It's like, "What else can we do?" We can do boss fights. And for me, the really exciting part is the multi-phase boss fights, which you won't reach today. It starts off with the combat phase, and then there might be a chase sequence, and then another combat phase. And then it's all seamless.

Daniel Smith: I think Bash was that one very beloved ability in the first game, for sure. It's tough for me to put a finger on one ability that will really be the beloved ability.

Gareth Coker: There's some additional traversal abilities in this game. I think in this game, it will be the combination and the chaining of ability that people like. The amount of stuff you can chain together is staggering, which makes the later part of the game very empowering.

Next: Ori And The Will Of The Wisps E3 Trailer Gives A Touch Of Magic

Ori and the Will of the Wisps releases on Xbox One and PC on March 11, 2020.

Super Mario Run: How to Unlock The Secret Characters & Levels

0

Nintendo has had a good run of mobile games, including Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, Pokemon Go!, and most recently, Super Mario Run. The game has been wildly successful in the time it has been out, garnering somewhere around 200 million users having download the game. The popularity of the game outpaced Pokemon Go!, having reached 25 million downloads seven days faster than the Pokemon game.

Super Mario Run is mostly a paid game. Although it is free to download and parts of the game are free to play, there is a one time purchase of $9.99 to get the full Super Mario Run experience. However, compared to Pokemon Go!'s microtransactions for in-game equipment or Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp's monthly fee for additional animal help or storage space, Super Mario Run only has the one-time payment for access to the complete game. And a lot of the hidden items in the game's levels make the purchase worthwhile.

Related: Super Mario Sunshine Recreated Within Super Mario 64

This game provides players with the option of finding secret levels and unlocking characters throughout the gameplay. It is the perfect opportunity for players to try out different characters with different skills. This experimenting gives players a better chance at collecting coins and moving on to new levels at a faster rate. This quality alone makes the game worth the purchase because it provides a wide variety of ways to play the game.

The unlockable playable characters can be obtained in different ways. Some of the characters are extremely simple to get while others may be a little more tricky. To unlock the whole roster of characters, details, and guide to finding and unlocking every character in Super Mario Run. The unlockable characters for Super Mario Run are Yoshi, Peach, Luigi, Toad, and Toadette.

Yoshi will more than likely be the first character that players unlock, The requirement for Yoshi is that players need to collect 30 red toads and 30 yellow toads. That makes Yoshi the easiest character to unlock, bar none. Yoshi's arrival is extremely handy for players because he offers his trademark flutter jump. This will give players a chance to collect those hard to reach coins that are just out of reach.

The easiest character to unlock would have to be Peach. Unlocking Peach requires no real work on the part of the player. Once players defeat Bowser in World 6-4 in World Tour mode, she'll automatically become a playable character. Peach offers her classic floaty jump, making further jumps more possible for players.

Luigi is also easy to unlock but requires a good amount of work from players. In order to get Luigi to become playable, players must collect 150 green toads and 150 purple toads. Luigi gives players a chance to jump higher and for longer, making his older brother seem like the weaker jumper of the pair.

Unlocking Toad is a little more tricky than previous characters. Players will have to link their Super Mario Run account with their My Nintendo membership. To do this in-game, simply go to the Kingdom Builder icon. On the top right should be a My Nintendo option. Once the screen loads, double-check to ensure that the Rewards tab at the top is highlighted. When it is, players will see a big image of Toad. Simply tap on it and then wait until the page finishes loading. Scroll through the page until a red Redeem button shows up. Tap it and a pop-up will ask if you'd like to confirm spending zero points for Toad. Select yes, then return to the Kingdom Builder screen. A gift box should be bouncing up and down in the upper right-hand corner. The box will be next to the castle. Tap the gift box and Toad should be a receivable option. Toad is a benefit from his counterparts because he's faster than other characters. This will give players an edge on time-based levels.

Toadette has a tough requirement compared to the other characters on the list. In order to get Toadette, players must collect 200 of all five colored toad fans. This can prove to be a difficult task, considering there are blue, yellow, red, green, and purple toads populating the game. Players will have to collect around 1000 toads in total in order to get Toadette. Her playstyle is similar to Toad, in that she's faster than other characters. The real benefit of playing as Toadette is that, well, she's not Toad.

The secret levels are the hardest unlockable content in the mobile game. In order to unlock the levels, coins of certain colors have to all be collected on levels. For example, in order to get the pink secret level, players have to collect all five pink coins on every single level. This creates a total of 120 pink coins per level that must be collected in order to unlock the pink secret level. Once players have all the pink coins, head back to the Kingdom Builder mode. Having this many coins will give players a chance to purchase a Pink Pipe, which will open the secret level for players.

The same idea can be applied to the black and purple coins that show up after the pink. Players should collect all the purple and black coins, each totaling 120 apiece, and turn in the colored coins for new colored pipes. Although initially, the pink coins are tough to get comparatively to the traditionally gold coins, the purple and black are more difficult than the pink. Players will need to ensure their wall jumps, double jumps, and rolling jumps are all in tip-top shape in order to collect this massive amount of coins.

The great part about Super Mario Run is that it is ever-changing. Players may get access to more unlockable content as time goes. Nintendo has finally seen the light and added their amazing characters and stories to mobile devices. There is a chance that more updates and unlockable content will be available at a later time.

More: Super Mario Odyssey: Tips & Tricks to Hat Handling

Super Mario Run is available on Android and IOS devices.

Super Mario Run: How to Unlock The Secret Characters & Levels

0

Nintendo has had a good run of mobile games, including Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, Pokemon Go!, and most recently, Super Mario Run. The game has been wildly successful in the time it has been out, garnering somewhere around 200 million users having download the game. The popularity of the game outpaced Pokemon Go!, having reached 25 million downloads seven days faster than the Pokemon game.

Super Mario Run is mostly a paid game. Although it is free to download and parts of the game are free to play, there is a one time purchase of $9.99 to get the full Super Mario Run experience. However, compared to Pokemon Go!'s microtransactions for in-game equipment or Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp's monthly fee for additional animal help or storage space, Super Mario Run only has the one-time payment for access to the complete game. And a lot of the hidden items in the game's levels make the purchase worthwhile.

Related: Super Mario Sunshine Recreated Within Super Mario 64

This game provides players with the option of finding secret levels and unlocking characters throughout the gameplay. It is the perfect opportunity for players to try out different characters with different skills. This experimenting gives players a better chance at collecting coins and moving on to new levels at a faster rate. This quality alone makes the game worth the purchase because it provides a wide variety of ways to play the game.

The unlockable playable characters can be obtained in different ways. Some of the characters are extremely simple to get while others may be a little more tricky. To unlock the whole roster of characters, details, and guide to finding and unlocking every character in Super Mario Run. The unlockable characters for Super Mario Run are Yoshi, Peach, Luigi, Toad, and Toadette.

Yoshi will more than likely be the first character that players unlock, The requirement for Yoshi is that players need to collect 30 red toads and 30 yellow toads. That makes Yoshi the easiest character to unlock, bar none. Yoshi's arrival is extremely handy for players because he offers his trademark flutter jump. This will give players a chance to collect those hard to reach coins that are just out of reach.

The easiest character to unlock would have to be Peach. Unlocking Peach requires no real work on the part of the player. Once players defeat Bowser in World 6-4 in World Tour mode, she'll automatically become a playable character. Peach offers her classic floaty jump, making further jumps more possible for players.

Luigi is also easy to unlock but requires a good amount of work from players. In order to get Luigi to become playable, players must collect 150 green toads and 150 purple toads. Luigi gives players a chance to jump higher and for longer, making his older brother seem like the weaker jumper of the pair.

Unlocking Toad is a little more tricky than previous characters. Players will have to link their Super Mario Run account with their My Nintendo membership. To do this in-game, simply go to the Kingdom Builder icon. On the top right should be a My Nintendo option. Once the screen loads, double-check to ensure that the Rewards tab at the top is highlighted. When it is, players will see a big image of Toad. Simply tap on it and then wait until the page finishes loading. Scroll through the page until a red Redeem button shows up. Tap it and a pop-up will ask if you'd like to confirm spending zero points for Toad. Select yes, then return to the Kingdom Builder screen. A gift box should be bouncing up and down in the upper right-hand corner. The box will be next to the castle. Tap the gift box and Toad should be a receivable option. Toad is a benefit from his counterparts because he's faster than other characters. This will give players an edge on time-based levels.

Toadette has a tough requirement compared to the other characters on the list. In order to get Toadette, players must collect 200 of all five colored toad fans. This can prove to be a difficult task, considering there are blue, yellow, red, green, and purple toads populating the game. Players will have to collect around 1000 toads in total in order to get Toadette. Her playstyle is similar to Toad, in that she's faster than other characters. The real benefit of playing as Toadette is that, well, she's not Toad.

The secret levels are the hardest unlockable content in the mobile game. In order to unlock the levels, coins of certain colors have to all be collected on levels. For example, in order to get the pink secret level, players have to collect all five pink coins on every single level. This creates a total of 120 pink coins per level that must be collected in order to unlock the pink secret level. Once players have all the pink coins, head back to the Kingdom Builder mode. Having this many coins will give players a chance to purchase a Pink Pipe, which will open the secret level for players.

The same idea can be applied to the black and purple coins that show up after the pink. Players should collect all the purple and black coins, each totaling 120 apiece, and turn in the colored coins for new colored pipes. Although initially, the pink coins are tough to get comparatively to the traditionally gold coins, the purple and black are more difficult than the pink. Players will need to ensure their wall jumps, double jumps, and rolling jumps are all in tip-top shape in order to collect this massive amount of coins.

The great part about Super Mario Run is that it is ever-changing. Players may get access to more unlockable content as time goes. Nintendo has finally seen the light and added their amazing characters and stories to mobile devices. There is a chance that more updates and unlockable content will be available at a later time.

More: Super Mario Odyssey: Tips & Tricks to Hat Handling

Super Mario Run is available on Android and IOS devices.

Every Sleepaway Camp Movie Ranked, Worst To Best | Screen Rant

0

Sleepaway Camp has maintained a reputation as a cult classic of the horror genre, but over time it’s found a greater appreciation, which has also extended to the film’s less impressive collection of sequels.

The slasher sub-genre of horror has literally gone to ridiculous places like space and hell, but the 1980s were a glorious time for horror where a summer camp was enough of a draw. Movies like Sleepaway Camp helped summer camps become popular settings for horror films, and now series like American Horror Story have turned to the topic for inspiration. While there are many horror films set at camps, Sleepaway Camp sets itself apart from the rest due to the extremely unpredictable direction that the movie takes.

Related: Why Sleepaway Camp 4 Is The Fifth Movie Released

Sleepaway Camp made enough of a mark on audiences that a number of sequels went into production over the years. The subsequent Sleepaway Camp films do their best to capture the insane energy of the original film, but they struggle to get there. That being said, the Sleepaway Camp sequels still add a lot to the series as a whole and are the home for some of the most outrageous deaths of the slasher sub-genre. It may only be a matter of time until some producer decides to reboot Sleepaway Camp, but until that happens here’s a look at the various sequels in the franchise and how they all stack up against each other.

The fourth Sleepaway Camp went into production shortly after the release of the third, but when the film’s production company went bankrupt, they were forced to cancel the movie. Only half an hour of the film was shot, but over a decade later, dedicated fans were able to acquire the footage and combine it with scenes from the previous films to produce a complete version. Sleepaway Camp IV: The Survivor tells a story about trauma and returning to the notorious campground to confront past demons. The ending is also a cheap ripoff of how the finale of Return to Sleepaway Camp plays out, which isn’t this movie’s fault, but it does make Sleepaway Camp IV seem even less necessary. In the end, it feels like a project that hardly qualifies as a film and was put together more out of obligation than passion, even though an incredible amount of work was done to make this film a reality.

Return to Sleepaway Camp seemed like it could have been a return to form. It brings the original film’s director, Robert Hiltzik, back into the picture with a modern take on the setting. Unfortunately, the film’s release was shelved for years until the special gore effects in the film could be properly finished. There are many deaths that echo back to kills from the original movie, and while there could be some charm to that idea, they mostly just come across as worse versions of old ideas. Admittedly, the film does get much more ambitious with its many murders, but with the film coming out decades after the previous two, it's less easy to be forgiving about shoddy effects and the quality of the gore.

Oddly, Return to Sleepaway Camp feels more dated than its predecessors. It's satisfying to have Hiltzik back as well as Felissa Rose, who played Angela Baker in the first movie. Besides that, this just feels like a cheaper, less charming version of the original movie. It's a nostalgia grab that unfortunately only highlights the discrepancy in quality between titles, but at least it makes an effort (that nail bed death is actually pretty cool) and isn't filled with flashbacks and old footage, like Sleepaway Camp IV. The note that this movie concludes on is also a strong, cyclical place to end the franchise, even if the journey to get there is sloppy.

Related: Why Sleepaway Camp's Ending Is Best Slasher Movie Twist

Sleepaway Camp II cleverly introduces a sly, meta sense of humor to the franchise, but Sleepaway Camp III gets too broad on the topic and really toes the line between horror and comedy. Pamela Springsteen returns as Angela, and her over the top performance is the best thing about this sequel. The murders and motivations are much thinner this time around, the highs never reach the same heights, and its lows are seriously awkward. One death is so unimaginative, as Angela simply takes a stick she finds and beats some campers to death with it.

Sleepaway Camp III may be a serious drop in quality from Sleepaway Camp II, but it’s still monumentally better than the next two movies that follow. There are a few deaths, like the lawnmower sequence, that make a strong impression, as well as some truly bizarre character beats that give the film a quirky personality. It doesn’t completely run out of ideas for how to turn a summer camp into a deathtrap.

Sleepaway Camp’s first sequel, Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers, is a surprisingly fun follow-up that knows exactly what it is and embraces it in the best way possible. Angela returns under an alias and poses as a camp counselor, but her previous baggage quickly creeps up, and old habits die hard. Angela’s intensely repressed and disassociated sexual urges come out in dangerous ways as she judges the freer campers who aren't trapped by trauma and inhibitions.

The best part of this sequel are gratuitous kills, which include things like severed tongues, campers that get torched on barbecues, and murders where Angela not only wears Freddy Krueger's gloves to kill someone, but another where she wears someone's face and wields a chainsaw while taking out a camper who dons a hockey mask like Jason. It's this level of self-aware reflexivity, as well as Pamela Springsteen's committed performance in the role, that keeps Sleepaway Camp II from being a failure.

Related: Every Psycho Movie Ranked, Worst To Best

The original film that started it all, Sleepaway Camp, looks at young Angela and Ricky’s time at a summer camp where a killer runs amok. There’s an incredibly simple structure in place, but Sleepaway Camp coasts on a bizarre tone that’s hard to ignore. All of the deaths are weird and noteworthy, plus there’s actually a fun mystery over who the killer is.

In Sleepaway Camp, even side characters like Aunt Martha, who are only in the film for a few minutes, manage to deliver absolutely unforgettable performances. Everything in this film perfectly comes together into such a strange, unexpected package. The whole campy, B-movie nature makes the massive twist at the end hit as an even bigger surprise. Sleepaway Camp is lightning in a bottle that speaks to why the sequels aren’t able to recapture the strange energy that fuels the film. It’s also the only horror film out there that’s dedicated to “a doer.”

Next: Every Paranormal Activity Movie Ranked, Worst To Best

Screen Rant's RSS Feed
Go to Top