• 69 results
  • 1
  • 2
Avatar image for mageman
#1 Posted by Mageman (387 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.

Avatar image for bishna
#2 Posted by Bishna (339 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.

Avatar image for dallas_raines
#3 Edited by Dallas_Raines (2269 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.)

Avatar image for bisonhero
#4 Posted by BisonHero (10505 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.

Avatar image for beeftothetaco
#5 Posted by beeftothetaco (437 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.

Avatar image for arbitrarywater
#6 Posted by ArbitraryWater (14689 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.

Avatar image for marcsman
#7 Posted by Marcsman (3598 posts) -

Final Fantasy by far.

Avatar image for yummylee
#8 Posted by Yummylee (24646 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.

Avatar image for video_game_king
#9 Posted by Video_Game_King (36564 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!?

Avatar image for assinass
#10 Posted by AssInAss (3254 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.

Avatar image for bobafettjm
#11 Posted by bobafettjm (2092 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.

Avatar image for bishna
#12 Posted by Bishna (339 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.

Avatar image for justin258
#13 Posted by Justin258 (14374 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.

Avatar image for canteu
#14 Edited by Canteu (2968 posts) -

All of them.

Except maybe street fighter.

And Dark Cloud of course.

Morrowind > Skyrim

Online
Avatar image for colourful_hippie
#15 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (5710 posts) -

Assassin's Creed

Avatar image for deranged_midget
#16 Posted by Deranged (2020 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.

Avatar image for oraknabo
#17 Posted by oraknabo (1733 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.

Avatar image for coldwolven
#18 Posted by Cold_Wolven (2484 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.

Avatar image for clumsyninja1
#19 Posted by clumsyninja1 (851 posts) -

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

Avatar image for recroulette
#20 Posted by recroulette (5447 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. 

Avatar image for recroulette
#21 Posted by recroulette (5447 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. 

Avatar image for yummylee
#22 Posted by Yummylee (24646 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.

Avatar image for oraknabo
#23 Posted by oraknabo (1733 posts) -
Avatar image for recroulette
#24 Posted by recroulette (5447 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.
Avatar image for pr1mus
#25 Posted by pr1mus (4158 posts) -

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

Avatar image for assinass
#26 Posted by AssInAss (3254 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.

Avatar image for poppduder
#27 Posted by Poppduder (522 posts) -

The correct answer folks:
 
MOST OF THEM.

Avatar image for yummylee
#28 Posted by Yummylee (24646 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

Avatar image for oldirtybearon
#29 Posted by Oldirtybearon (5626 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.

Avatar image for assinass
#30 Posted by AssInAss (3254 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

Avatar image for demoskinos
#31 Posted by Demoskinos (17325 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.

Avatar image for hunter5024
#32 Posted by Hunter5024 (6702 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.

Avatar image for anund
#33 Posted by Anund (1204 posts) -

Mass Effect comes to mind. And Dragon Age.

Avatar image for slag
#34 Posted by Slag (7349 posts) -

Arc the Lad

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

Avatar image for tunaburn
#35 Posted by tunaburn (2021 posts) -

RESIDENT EVIL

WTF HAPPENED TO IT

Avatar image for red
#36 Posted by Red (6146 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.

Avatar image for nikoran
#37 Posted by Nikoran (172 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.

Avatar image for sgtpierceface
#38 Posted by Sgtpierceface (735 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.

Avatar image for egg
#39 Posted by egg (1667 posts) -

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

Avatar image for williamhenry
#40 Posted by WilliamHenry (1285 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.

Avatar image for thesoutherndandy
#41 Posted by TheSouthernDandy (4107 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.

Avatar image for discoman
#42 Posted by Discoman (190 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.

Avatar image for l44
#43 Posted by L44 (638 posts) -

Surprised not to see Prince of Persia in here.

Avatar image for pandabear
#44 Posted by PandaBear (1484 posts) -

Minesweeper.

Avatar image for topsteer
#45 Posted by topsteer (740 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.

Avatar image for legion_
#46 Posted by Legion_ (1718 posts) -

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

Avatar image for slag
#47 Posted by Slag (7349 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.

Avatar image for smallmanoncampus
#48 Posted by smallmanoncampus (122 posts) -
@Poppduder said:
The correct answer folks:  MOST OF THEM.
Avatar image for bluefish
#49 Posted by bluefish (858 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)

Avatar image for bluefish
#50 Posted by bluefish (858 posts) -

@PandaBear said:

Minesweeper.

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