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#1 Posted by Mageman (352 posts) -

What do you think are some video game franchises which with it's first instalment seemed great/refreshing, simply good but then got worse as new releases were added ?

In my opinion, Kingdom Hearts takes the cake. The first one had a great atmosphere and setting which imo worked marvelously and really drew me in, the gameplay was engaging, fun and challenging. It remains one of my favourite games of all time.

However next came the later instalments which drained the game's heart out with it's catering to fat yaoi fangirls, forced and random overly weeaboo characters, lame button mashing combat (press triangle to win now !), linearization of level design, complicating a vaguer more symbolic plot into complete nonsense...it's just so sad to see a concept which you fell in love with get fucked over so bad.

#2 Posted by Bishna (334 posts) -

I would agree with Kingdom Hearts, although I have never played past Chain of Memories on the gba.

For me it would definitely be the Megaman X series. The first was my favorite 2D action game of all time. 2 was pretty good, 3 was ok, and then from there I thought the rest were garbage.

#3 Edited by Dallas_Raines (2047 posts) -

God, Kingdom Hearts is the absolute epitome of this. Also, Megaman Battle Network.(I was going to say Assassin's Creed, but then I remembered that the first is still the worst.)

#4 Posted by BisonHero (5657 posts) -

Literally anything that is an annual franchise. It's usually a pretty good idea to start with, which is why the publisher decides to keep releasing sequels every year, and it just goes downhill from there.
For a specific example, Splinter Cell? There's just a zillion examples.

#5 Posted by beeftothetaco (418 posts) -

Pandemic's Mercenaries franchise. The first one was SO good, and when the second one was revealed it looked even better. In the end it was just a buggy heap of garbage that pretty much caused Pandemic to shut down. Also, Sonic.

#6 Posted by ArbitraryWater (10990 posts) -

I believe Silent Hill is a pretty textbook example of this, considering anything past SH3 is viewed with varying degrees of dislike from the fans, but I wouldn't know from experience, considering I still haven't finished Silent Hill 2, partially because it plays terribly and partially because it does its job of making me uncomfortable pretty much at all times.

I guess Resident Evil could fall under here as well, but I like Resident Evil 5 and I haven't played 6 (yet) so I wouldn't know from that angle either. Really, the only series I can give any sort of crap for getting worse over time is George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, and those are books, and in fact not video games.

#7 Posted by Marcsman (2871 posts) -

Final Fantasy by far.

#8 Posted by Yummylee (20541 posts) -

@beeftothetaco said:

Pandemic's Mercenaries franchise. The first one was SO good, and when the second one was revealed it looked even better. In the end it was just a buggy heap of garbage that pretty much caused Pandemic to shut down. Also, Sonic.

Yeah, the sharp nosedive in quality between the two Mercenaries games was unexpected. And I even sort of liked Mercenaries 2! But it was still a buggy mess with a heap of problems and wasn't reaching anywhere close to the awesomeness of the first Mercenaries.

@ArbitraryWater said:

I believe Silent Hill is a pretty textbook example of this, considering anything past SH3 is viewed with varying degrees of dislike from the fans, but I wouldn't know from experience, considering I still haven't finished Silent Hill 2, partially because it plays terribly and partially because it does its job of making me uncomfortable pretty much at all times.

I guess Resident Evil could fall under here as well, but I like Resident Evil 5 and I haven't played 6 (yet) so I wouldn't know from that angle either. Really, the only series I can give any sort of crap for getting worse over time is George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, and those are books, and in fact not video games.

I'd say anything past SH4 maybe. It's Homecoming that started the track of people suddenly wanting nothing to do with the series. I still personally like the more recent games (Besides Origins), and Shattered Memories is also a genuinely great Silent Hill game -- in fact it's possibly one of its best! But for as much as I also liked Downpour, it isn't exactly the series high point.

Oh, and yes, Resident Evil fits the bill here perfectly.

#9 Posted by Video_Game_King (34577 posts) -

@Bishna said:

I would agree with Kingdom Hearts, although I have never played past Chain of Memories on the gba.

Then how would you begin to agree?

@Mageman said:

catering to fat yaoi fangirls, forced and random overly weeaboo characters

And WHAT!?

Online
#10 Posted by AssInAss (2393 posts) -

Horror games. Since they're about mystery, that is lost with a second game that builds on the same base. I fear for Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs.

#11 Posted by bobafettjm (1252 posts) -

The Tony Hawk games past 4 is the first one that jump right to the front of my mind. Also I will say Call of Duty, a series I actually loved pretty much up until Black Ops, after that the online just became more and more broken.

#12 Posted by Bishna (334 posts) -

@Video_Game_King: Ya, my opinion on it isn't super informed. I just remember really enjoying the first, then 2 and Chain of Memories not living up to the great potential.

The new stuff could be dope as fuck, but my past experiences don't do anything to get me excited about playing any of it.

#13 Posted by believer258 (11035 posts) -

There are so many examples to point out.

Let's be fair about Kingdom Hearts, though - the first one also had many of those things that you complain about. It just didn't have them anywhere near as badly as its successors, and the story, while somewhat nonsensical, at least had a little bit of heart to it. The later ones feel like they got a bunch of college art department dropouts to write the stories and characters.

But, hey, at least they're still using Simple and Clean. I don't like that song in the same way that I generally like music, but it does set a pretty good mood for the first game and when you're playing the others, it does a good job of reminding you that the series started off pretty well.

But what series do I think has fallen too far? Crash Bandicoot. Naughty Dog gave it away and it immediately took a nosedive down the shitter. Also, Dragon Age seems to have taken a nosedive even sharper than Kingdom Hearts.

And FEAR. I played through all three of those over the month of November for some insane reason, and the first one still holds up. It's pretty fun, it's pretty difficult, you should play that game. But the second game, while still definitely not bad, got rid of the lean function. It was way too easy, I didn't die 'til the last third whereas the first FEAR has you dying pretty often throughout. And then there's the third game, which I admittedly still have fun with because the shooting is pretty good, but I'll be the first to admit that FEAR 3 is not a good game.

#14 Edited by Canteu (2814 posts) -

All of them.

Except maybe street fighter.

And Dark Cloud of course.

Morrowind > Skyrim

#15 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (4281 posts) -

Assassin's Creed

#16 Posted by Deranged (1837 posts) -

Sadly, Resident Evil takes the cake here. I'd also like to note Need for Speed as I wasn't really impressed by Hot Pursuit although I have yet to play Most Wanted.

#17 Posted by oraknabo (1419 posts) -

I think it's actually pretty rare to go from a strong first game to a direct drop in quality.

The biggest franchises I can think of follow more of a pattern of refinement or refreshing additions for 2 or 3 titles, then take a nosedive by trying too hard to maintain things established in the best game of the series or turning in a more commercial direction that betrays what was great about the first few games. AC, Zelda, Silent Hill, maybe Mass Effect? This is pretty subjective though.

Then there are the series that alternate up or down with every installment, like DMC, Deus Ex, maybe Final Fantasy?

Honestly, most franchises are lucky if they can even get enough games to establish a pattern.

#18 Posted by Cold_Wolven (2167 posts) -

Franchises that have gone downhill for me are Assassin's Creed after Brotherhood, Fable after Fable 2, Fear after Fear 2, Hitman after Blood Money, Super Mario Bros. since they slapped New on the front, Oddworld after Exoddus.

#19 Posted by clumsyninja1 (817 posts) -

Anything that Capcom owns: Resident Evil, Megaman, Bionic Commando, etc.

#20 Posted by RecSpec (3678 posts) -

Kingdom Hearts: 3D is actually pretty good. Good luck keeping up with that story (which is all canon by the way, KH3 is fucked), but it's actually a decent game. 

#21 Posted by RecSpec (3678 posts) -

Kind of hard to think of a series that has gotten worse and worse without ever getting better (which would DQ most of these here), but I have to say Tenchu. 

#22 Posted by Yummylee (20541 posts) -

@AssInAss said:

Horror games. Since they're about mystery, that is lost with a second game that builds on the same base. I fear for Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs.

It's got nothing to do with mystery, it's whether or not the developers administer enough creativity and invent different methods of being scary with the same set of tools, or by adding completely new ones. Resident Evil 2 had the Mr. X tyrant guy who would occasionally smash through walls and arrive to ruin your day. Bloody terrifying when you're playing through the B Scenarios for the first time. And then in Resident Evil 3, you've got Nemesis, who's essentially the same idea. Only this time Nemesis will now chase you through rooms. Furthermore, upon following playthroughs he would sometimes arrive during a different part of the game as well. Another especially great example is Resident Evil remake, and while it was still heavily steeped in zombies, once it would introduce Crimson Head zombies all of a sudden they're your worst nightmare all over again. Also, Hunters. Those fuckers have (nearly) always been terrifying.

And while I haven't played any of them unfortunately, you've got a series like Fatal Frame that consistently proves to be rather scary each time. A similar example would also be ZombiU and after Patrick admitted that he just never thought zombies were all that scary anymore, he actually adored ZombiU in part because of how scary he found it. Of course much like comedy, what people find frightening is different per person. But series like Resident Evil and Silent Hill were able to keep me on edge across multiple sequels. Much like how Slender was still scary the 10th time I played through it.

Of course certain horror tropes can definitely become stagnant, but to think that every horror game sequel is automatically nullified of any possibilities of scaring the player solely because it's a sequel is simply wrong. I'm willing to bet that A Machine for Pigs will still be pretty damn frightening for a lot of the fanbase.

#23 Posted by oraknabo (1419 posts) -
#24 Posted by RecSpec (3678 posts) -
@oraknabo: I still can't figure out why I didn't like the 3rd Tenchu despite EVERYONE else loving it. Something about it just felt off.  
I might have to find a way to track that down. The vita one was...bad.
#25 Posted by Pr1mus (3512 posts) -

This is too easy. Ask which one hasn't deteriorated instead.

#26 Posted by AssInAss (2393 posts) -

@Yummylee said:

@AssInAss said:

Horror games. Since they're about mystery, that is lost with a second game that builds on the same base. I fear for Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs.

It's got nothing to do with mystery, it's whether or not the developers administer enough creativity and invent different methods of being scary with the same set of tools, or by adding completely new ones. Resident Evil 2 had the Mr. X tyrant guy who would occasionally smash through walls and arrive to ruin your day. Bloody terrifying when you're playing through the B Scenarios for the first time. And then in Resident Evil 3, you've got Nemesis, who's essentially the same idea. Only this time Nemesis will now chase you through rooms. Furthermore, upon following playthroughs he would sometimes arrive during a different part of the game as well. Another especially great example is Resident Evil remake, and while it was still heavily steeped in zombies, once it would introduce Crimson Head zombies all of a sudden they're your worst nightmare all over again. Also, Hunters. Those fuckers have (nearly) always been terrifying.

And while I haven't played any of them unfortunately, you've got a series like Fatal Frame that consistently proves to be rather scary each time. A similar example would also be ZombiU and after Patrick admitted that he just never thought zombies were all that scary anymore, he actually adored ZombiU in part because of how scary he found it. Of course much like comedy, what people find frightening is different per person. But series like Resident Evil and Silent Hill were able to keep me on edge across multiple sequels. Much like how Slender was still scary the 10th time I played through it.

Of course certain horror tropes can definitely become stagnant, but to think that every horror game sequel is automatically nullified of any possibilities of scaring the player solely because it's a sequel is simply wrong. I'm willing to bet that A Machine for Pigs will still be pretty damn frightening for a lot of the fanbase.

Good points for those older games, but then there's the modern risk of developers falling for the "bigger, better, and more badass" strategy for sequels justifying bigger budgets such as in Dead Space or Resident Evil 4 and later where they're just not scary anymore. You can add more mechanics to the combat and be more cinematic like Dead Space 2 or RE 6, but that goes against the disempowering aspect and makes for a more predictable affair.

Of course, this isn't the case for indie horror games on PC where they don't have to worry about hitting a big profit margin and fall into this trap. Amnesia is in good hands with the Dear Esther guys, but still am skeptical.

#27 Posted by Poppduder (459 posts) -

The correct answer folks:
 
MOST OF THEM.

#28 Posted by Yummylee (20541 posts) -

@AssInAss said:

@Yummylee said:

@AssInAss said:

Horror games. Since they're about mystery, that is lost with a second game that builds on the same base. I fear for Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs.

It's got nothing to do with mystery, it's whether or not the developers administer enough creativity and invent different methods of being scary with the same set of tools, or by adding completely new ones. Resident Evil 2 had the Mr. X tyrant guy who would occasionally smash through walls and arrive to ruin your day. Bloody terrifying when you're playing through the B Scenarios for the first time. And then in Resident Evil 3, you've got Nemesis, who's essentially the same idea. Only this time Nemesis will now chase you through rooms. Furthermore, upon following playthroughs he would sometimes arrive during a different part of the game as well. Another especially great example is Resident Evil remake, and while it was still heavily steeped in zombies, once it would introduce Crimson Head zombies all of a sudden they're your worst nightmare all over again. Also, Hunters. Those fuckers have (nearly) always been terrifying.

And while I haven't played any of them unfortunately, you've got a series like Fatal Frame that consistently proves to be rather scary each time. A similar example would also be ZombiU and after Patrick admitted that he just never thought zombies were all that scary anymore, he actually adored ZombiU in part because of how scary he found it. Of course much like comedy, what people find frightening is different per person. But series like Resident Evil and Silent Hill were able to keep me on edge across multiple sequels. Much like how Slender was still scary the 10th time I played through it.

Of course certain horror tropes can definitely become stagnant, but to think that every horror game sequel is automatically nullified of any possibilities of scaring the player solely because it's a sequel is simply wrong. I'm willing to bet that A Machine for Pigs will still be pretty damn frightening for a lot of the fanbase.

Good points for those older games, but then there's the modern risk of developers falling for the "bigger, better, and more badass" strategy for sequels justifying bigger budgets such as in Dead Space or Resident Evil 4 and later where they're just not scary anymore. You can add more mechanics to the combat and be more cinematic like Dead Space 2 or RE 6, but that goes against the disempowering aspect and makes for a more predictable affair.

Of course, this isn't the case for indie horror games on PC where they don't have to worry about hitting a big profit margin and fall into this trap. Amnesia is in good hands with the Dear Esther guys, but still am skeptical.

Oh sure, you're absolutely right. I just thought your original post was a bit too all-encompassing :P

#29 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4281 posts) -

@Yummylee said:

@ArbitraryWater said:

I believe Silent Hill is a pretty textbook example of this, considering anything past SH3 is viewed with varying degrees of dislike from the fans, but I wouldn't know from experience, considering I still haven't finished Silent Hill 2, partially because it plays terribly and partially because it does its job of making me uncomfortable pretty much at all times.

I guess Resident Evil could fall under here as well, but I like Resident Evil 5 and I haven't played 6 (yet) so I wouldn't know from that angle either. Really, the only series I can give any sort of crap for getting worse over time is George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, and those are books, and in fact not video games.

I'd say anything past SH4 maybe. It's Homecoming that started the track of people suddenly wanting nothing to do with the series. I still personally like the more recent games (Besides Origins), and Shattered Memories is also a genuinely great Silent Hill game -- in fact it's possibly one of its best! But for as much as I also liked Downpour, it isn't exactly the series high point.

Shattered Memories was great because it offered a genuinely different take on not only Silent Hill, but the genre of horror games. Downpour again did its own thing with Silent Hill and while not technically the best game, it is an admirable jump forward for the series.

Basically the problem with Silent Hill at this point is that too many studios just look at SH2 and go "yeah let's re-do that" and don't bother to try and put their own fingerprint on the series. We need more studios like Vatra and Climax. You know, the studios with the stones to do their own thing.

Oh and Resident Evil has definitely gotten worse with age.

#30 Posted by AssInAss (2393 posts) -

@Yummylee said:

@AssInAss said:

@Yummylee said:

@AssInAss said:

Horror games. Since they're about mystery, that is lost with a second game that builds on the same base. I fear for Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs.

It's got nothing to do with mystery, it's whether or not the developers administer enough creativity and invent different methods of being scary with the same set of tools, or by adding completely new ones. Resident Evil 2 had the Mr. X tyrant guy who would occasionally smash through walls and arrive to ruin your day. Bloody terrifying when you're playing through the B Scenarios for the first time. And then in Resident Evil 3, you've got Nemesis, who's essentially the same idea. Only this time Nemesis will now chase you through rooms. Furthermore, upon following playthroughs he would sometimes arrive during a different part of the game as well. Another especially great example is Resident Evil remake, and while it was still heavily steeped in zombies, once it would introduce Crimson Head zombies all of a sudden they're your worst nightmare all over again. Also, Hunters. Those fuckers have (nearly) always been terrifying.

And while I haven't played any of them unfortunately, you've got a series like Fatal Frame that consistently proves to be rather scary each time. A similar example would also be ZombiU and after Patrick admitted that he just never thought zombies were all that scary anymore, he actually adored ZombiU in part because of how scary he found it. Of course much like comedy, what people find frightening is different per person. But series like Resident Evil and Silent Hill were able to keep me on edge across multiple sequels. Much like how Slender was still scary the 10th time I played through it.

Of course certain horror tropes can definitely become stagnant, but to think that every horror game sequel is automatically nullified of any possibilities of scaring the player solely because it's a sequel is simply wrong. I'm willing to bet that A Machine for Pigs will still be pretty damn frightening for a lot of the fanbase.

Good points for those older games, but then there's the modern risk of developers falling for the "bigger, better, and more badass" strategy for sequels justifying bigger budgets such as in Dead Space or Resident Evil 4 and later where they're just not scary anymore. You can add more mechanics to the combat and be more cinematic like Dead Space 2 or RE 6, but that goes against the disempowering aspect and makes for a more predictable affair.

Of course, this isn't the case for indie horror games on PC where they don't have to worry about hitting a big profit margin and fall into this trap. Amnesia is in good hands with the Dear Esther guys, but still am skeptical.

Oh sure, you're absolutely right. I just thought your original post was a bit too all-encompassing :P

Yeah, my bad on that :D

#31 Posted by Demoskinos (13830 posts) -

Assassins Creed holy shit. I don't think its physically possible for me to care less about a game than Assassins Creed 3. I seriously think Assassins Creed 2 is one of the defining games of this generation and they drove that shit into the ground and shit all over the fiction and story.

#32 Posted by Hunter5024 (5163 posts) -

Probably a litle too early to say, also I'm beating a dead horse, but Dragon Age, is the first thing that pops into my head. I've never seen a sharper drop in quality.

#33 Posted by Anund (848 posts) -

Mass Effect comes to mind. And Dragon Age.

#34 Posted by Slag (3333 posts) -

Arc the Lad

that final game was god awful. It killed the whole series

#35 Posted by tunaburn (1879 posts) -

RESIDENT EVIL

WTF HAPPENED TO IT

#36 Posted by Red (5991 posts) -

Call of Duty. I know, I know, duh, but just playing the campaign of Black Ops 2 over the past week helped me remember how absolutely amazing Call of Duty 4 was and how ridiculously stupid things got afterwards. I could not possibly explain the plot of Black Ops 2 to anyone, and I found its attempts at creating choice pretty laughable.

#37 Posted by Nikoran (164 posts) -

The Elder Scrolls for me. It started to go downhill after Morrowind for me. Oblivion was alright but Skyrim I found was just very boring and repetitive. It was definitely my biggest disappointment of 2011.

#38 Posted by Sgtpierceface (587 posts) -

I would say Halo. Although I know that not everybody's going to agree with me, I think the series hit its high point with 3. It was simply the funnest times I've had with my friends playing games.

#39 Posted by egg (1339 posts) -

Kingdom Hearts is a terrible game what is wrong with you people

#40 Posted by WilliamHenry (1195 posts) -

Doesn't every franchise go downhill at some point? You can only do the same thing so many times before you run out of ideas or start implementing bad ones.

#41 Posted by TheSouthernDandy (3625 posts) -

@WilliamHenry said:

Doesn't every franchise go downhill at some point? You can only do the same thing so many times before you run out of ideas or start implementing bad ones.

I think that's probably true. Games seem like the hardest medium to keep a franchise consistently good in. Even if you create the greatest game ever you can't just keep making that game again or you'll get called out for milking the same old thing and if you try to switch it up you run the risk of screwing up what made it good.

#42 Posted by Discoman (148 posts) -

Duke Nukem is an obvious one, but it seemed down hill since 3D was released. Crash, Spyro, or any other game series that got developers switched on them. Resident Evil is also a big one. The Sonic Franchise is just so bad, like they could have released half of those games as new IPs but they decided to make them Sonic games.

#43 Posted by L44 (510 posts) -

Surprised not to see Prince of Persia in here.

#44 Posted by PandaBear (1264 posts) -

Minesweeper.

#45 Posted by TopSteer (624 posts) -

@Slag said:

Arc the Lad

that final game was god awful. It killed the whole series

You're talking about Arc the Lad: End of Darkness right? Yeah, that game really bummed me out.

#46 Posted by Legion_ (1194 posts) -

@Anund: Started to believe in human kind again. Then you came along.

#47 Posted by Slag (3333 posts) -

@TopSteer said:

@Slag said:

Arc the Lad

that final game was god awful. It killed the whole series

You're talking about Arc the Lad: End of Darkness right? Yeah, that game really bummed me out.

yeah, that's the one.

It's probably one of the five worst games I've ever played.

#48 Posted by smallmanoncampus (114 posts) -
@Poppduder said:
The correct answer folks:  MOST OF THEM.
#49 Posted by bluefish (370 posts) -

What franchise hasn't gone downhill is a better question maybe? It's really rare to find a franchise that continued to improve after it's second installment.

Deteriorated: Crackdown :\

Improved: Gears of War (jury out on the new one of course)

#50 Posted by bluefish (370 posts) -

@PandaBear said:

Minesweeper.

Nah, it's still as great as it ever was. No worries bro.