Something went wrong. Try again later


This user has not updated recently.

759 6584 42 49
Forum Posts Wiki Points Following Followers

Series Rebooted To The "Wrong" Genre

Marathon is back!

And in a way no one wanted!

Ain't it funny how often that seems to happen?

Beloved game series that is dormant is revived, much to everyone's delight, only for it to be revealed that the game will be a genre or type of game so radically different than the originals that people question why it is even the same series to begin with.

Let's take a look at some other examples from history...

[still under construction]

List items

  • While the 90s versions of Shadowrun weren't exactly faithful in capturing what people loved about the Tabletop RPG, this 11 year wait for a game set in the Shadowrun universe felt like an even farther departure.

    Not many people who were into the franchise for its fantasy cyberpunk worldbuilding or its dice based tactical gameplay hopped on board for a loosely Shadowrun flavoured team-based multiplayer Counter-Strike clone.

    It sold poorly, it reviewed poorly, and it died without much people caring.

    Thankfully, Shadowrun fans got what they wanted in a Tactical RPG just six years later, spawning a trilogy of games from Harebrained Studio worthy of the tabletop rpg's legacy.

  • People might forget it now because we eventually got the absolutely killer XCOM: Enemy Unknown from Firaxis around the same time, but The Bureau, this campaign shooter set in the XCOM world, was originally the only XCOM game announced as a reboot for the franchise. In fact, its name when revealed in 2010 was just "XCOM".

    Turns out that both The Bureau and Enemy Unknown were in development at that point, but people wouldn't know about Enemy Within until two years later. So from the outside looking in, it seemed like 2K only made the XCOM people wanted after the negative feedback to a reboot that was a completely different genre than the strategy games people loved.

    In the end, Enemy Unknown delivered on the 11-17 year hiatus (depending on who you talk to and what game they count as being the last "real" xcom prior) first and became a new classic in the genre. The Bureau released a year later to middling reviews and was largely forgotten.

  • Its hard to talk about series making the jump from 2D to 3D because so much needs to change to adapt a series from one to another that its easy for a game to lose its way in the process. Is it a new genre? Or is it the same genre, just with a completely different set of hurdles that an extra dimension brings? It's really a case-by-case basis on where a game falls....

    ...but I think Bionic Commando falls far enough away from its original that we can call it a different genre.

    Now I know there are some big Bionic Commando 2009 defenders out there, but you gotta admit that a third person shooter with almost scripted grappling sections is a pretty far departure from what is expected of a classic platformer action game built around its (for the time) fluid, swing anywhere mechanics. And the story? Well, it went from campy killing nazis to edgy wife-arms.

    The disparity between the two was even more apparent with the excellent remake, Bionic Commando: Rearmed, releasing the year before BC 2009 . Which, side note, also was announced after this genre shift reboot much like XCOM.

    On release, this sequel-18-years-in-the-making didn't do well for Capcom and if this version of Bionic Commando wasn't in Marvel 3, I doubt this game would be remembered at all today.

  • I tried to keep the mobile games to a minimum on this list because it would be flooded with them otherwise, but I think one of the most well known examples is worth including.

    Dungeon Keeper was a beloved real-time strategy series in the 90s from Bullfrog, one of the many studios that was gobbled up and closed by EA. Nothing was heard of this franchise for 15 years until...

    They created a farmville-like of it on iOS.

    I never played the original, but I'm sure it was horrifying to see someone puppet the corpse of your favourite games to try and sell you a time skip on your strawberries growing.

  • Another "Is this another genre? Or is this just a bad jump to 3D?", this reboot 15 years after Golden Axe 3 was pure garbage either way. It looked ugly, it ran uglier, and played even worse.

    No one remembers it and, 15 years later yet again, we have yet to see another Golden Axe game.

  • Lords of Shadow is a weird one in retrospect.

    It was released only a year after Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth, the remake of a classic (albeit bad) Castlevania, and only two years after Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia, a new excellent metroidvania game on the DS, but 2010 was a weird time. Handheld games and downloadable games were viewed as somehow inferior to "full" console or PC games, as a lesser way to play games that was not a "real" Castlevania game.

    It was a ridiculous notion and one that hung over the game industry for a surprisingly long time. Its even more ridiculous nowadays, especially after the Switch came out merging the handheld and console markets for Nintendo and the biggest game of the year is now on that hybrid.

    That all being said, there were a lot of people looking forward to a "Real" Castlevania game while somehow ignoring the half dozen or so amazing ones to come out since the last "full" console release 5 years earlier.

    But Lords of Shadows was not it.

    It satisfied fans of neither of Castlevania's identities. Instead it was a very thin beat-em-up on the gameplay front with a hamfisted story that has been laughed at in the decade+ since its release.

    It sold well, but for the people looking for a "real" Castlevania to show up again, it never came. And the series died not long after the second game crashed and burned and Konami continued being... well... Konami.

  • I'll be honest: I was down for a Contra twin stick shooter to be good.

    But it wasn't the type of Contra game people wanted after an 8 year hiatus, especially not one this bad.

  • Doom 3 is an interesting one because it wasn't the verbs that changed, but the vibes. Its still a first person shooter, but instead of being an actiony romp that you approached everything guns blazing, it leaned in harder into the Horror of the setting.

    The infamous flashlight in the game highlighted this change. Originally the game didn't let you have a gun out while having your flashlight out. And with the game being very dark to ratchet up that tension and fear, that meant that you had to be defenseless a lot... in a Doom game. Suffice to say that many fans were turned off by that alone.

    While "duct tape" mods existed for the game that allowed you to use both, it didn't exactly fix the rest of the game to not be a Horror game with Doom flavour. Plus it wasn't until 2012's BFG edition, 8 years after the game originally came out, where that feature was rolled into the game proper, almost as big of gap as the 7 year wait between this reboot and Doom 2.

    Now, Doom 3 is a good time to highlight that just because a game moves into a genre that fans don't want, doesn't mean the game is going to be a commercial or critical failure. It was neither.

    But when looking back on the series as a whole, it felt like Doom lost a part of its identity after Doom 3. Developers didn't know where they wanted to take the next game (a Doom 4 was started and scrapped several times) and fans didn't really know what to expect of the games. Doom went from a household name to a series that kind of petered out and was forgotten.

    Sure, Doom 2016 would propel the series back into being a hit, but I remember the significant trepidation that was around that game on its release. And I can't help but think that wouldn't have hung over Doom 2016 if Doom 3 had been more like its predecessors.

  • Much like Doom 3, Nuts & Bolts isn't bad, just completely different than what the fanbase of 3D Collectathon platformers wanted after Microsoft purchased Rare. Even in 2008, the genre had already sort of wilted away. Fans of the genre and of the series were itching for a new game after 8 years to collect those 100 jiggies in, but the new direction turned a lot of those fans away.

    Now, again, Nuts & Bolts is a good game. In fact, I would say it was ahead of its time, coming out just before sandbox games like Minecraft became huge sensations and had these massive reverberations across game design we still feel today. Hell, there were a lot of people calling Tears of the Kingdom "The Legend of Zelda: Nuts & Bolts" without a hint of derision against TotK.

    And that's just it: Nuts & Bolts came out at the wrong time.

    In 2008, fan mistrust of Microsoft doing right by the beloved Rare franchises was very low after Perfect Dark Zero and the Xbox remake of Conker (even with Viva Pinata being a delight). What Microsoft needed to do to get that trust back was to hit a very safe, conservative, fan pleasing game out of Rare. If they did that, built up that trust, and made Nuts & Bolts afterwards, new IP or not, I think it would have a very different legacy today.

    Instead they took a risk on bringing a beloved franchise into a completely new direction and, even with good word of mouth from those who played it and enjoyed it, it was a commercial failure. Not only that, but the trust in Microsoft tanked from Rare fans and 3D platformer fans mourned the death of yet another franchise.

    And... Rare never really came back from Nuts & Bolts. They got put on Kinect titles for the next few years and had a hand in Killer Instinct's revival (though most of that was Double Helix and Iron Galaxy), but by the time Sea of Thieves came along, Rare was a completely different company. Their legacy was gone and, honestly, so were most of their fans.

  • I feel bad talking about Rare like Nuts & Bolts was the biggest part of their downfall without talking about the game that arguably started that downward spiral: Star Fox Adventures.

    Its such a weird game with a troubled development history. It had been in development hell for years as Dinosaur Planet, Shigeru Miyamoto himself convinces Rare to bring in the Star Fox characters into the game, the development is all going down while Microsoft is trying to buy Rare, possibly pushing the team to just get the game done and out the door while they could. It was a mess.

    And it was.... okay? Yeah, that's about the best I can call it. "Okay." Other than some incredibly impressive visuals, it didn't really have anything going for it. Its Dinosaur Planet shell wasn't that engaging, but the stuff that was cool was willing to be dropped at a moments notice to have Fox jump into an Arwing just to call itself a Star Fox game without actually being a satisfying Star Fox experience.

    It kinda lead to lower notes in both the history of Rare and the Star Fox franchise.

    I know there are some Star Fox Assault defenders out there (myself being one of them... if we're talking about its ridiculous multiplayer), but its kinda telling when the most beloved game to come out of the franchise after Adventures was a remake of Star Fox 64.

    Rare meanwhile went on to make not only the aforementioned Perfect Dark Zero and Conkers remake on Xbox, but also the much maligned Grabbed by the Ghoulies and Kameo. They weren't the studio hitting home runs constantly like people knew them to be in the SNES and N64 era, even with Nuts & Bolts and Viva Pinata.

  • This one hurts still.

    Shining Soul isn't a bad game, but its where the series pivoted to something completely different. Released 4 years after the final episode of Shining Force III in Japan, it brought the classic tactics series into a more action focused direction. Which, sure, it was made by Grasshopper and was a GBA game so a side story action game.... "What fun, SEGA! Glad you can try different things with the series while you're working on the next Shining Force game, right?"


    And to this day, I don't know who these extremely generic anime action RPG games are for. I never hear of them selling well. I never hear of people who play them. I never hear of them reviewing well.

    But oh god do they continue to come out and every time I see them, a part of my soul dies.

  • I feel bad about including other jumps from 2D to 3D without including this one that changed so much in the jump.

    Metroid Prime is a masterpiece. It sold well. Everyone loves it. This is all despite it becoming a first person shooter. Mostly because it didn't actually lose its roots of being a Metroidvania. It just was an FPS also.

    I don't remember much about the reaction to this direction prerelease. From what little I do remember from internet forums and Nintendo Power, most people were just happy to see another Metroid game at all 8 years after Super Metroid. The fact that we were also getting a 2D Metroid in Metroid Fusion probably softened the blow this genre shift had as well.

    Anyway, I feel like if I'm including Bionic Commando or Golden Axe, I have to include Metroid Prime. Because I still can't think of a game that changed more in that 2D -> 3D jump, but felt this right at home.

    But just because I included Metroid Prime, doesn't mean I will be neglecting to talk about the OTHER big gap in Metroid's history....

  • ...because Federation Force was some hot garbage.

    Federation Force is already 7 years old at time of writing and I still can't tell you what the fuck Nintendo thought they were doing with this one. 6 years after the abomination that was Metroid: Other M and instead of learning "hey, maybe don't let Team Ninja be in charge of our stories from now on", they thought "hey maybe what people want out of Metroid is to make it look nothing like fucking Metroid".

    So that's what they did. They stripped all the Metroid out, made a coop multiplayer focused shooter for the 3DS with its skin, and had you play as the least interesting protagonists I think I've ever seen in a game.

    It B O M B E D.

    Like I'm talking "selling less than ten thousand copies in Japan" Bombed.

    Like I'm talking "cancel the dlc and cancel the support we're distancing ourselves as far as we can from this" bombed.

    Like I'm talking "I'm surprised Nintendo didn't whip around, phone up MercurySteam, and cancel the then-unannounced Metroid: Samus Returns on the fucking spot" bombed.

    To this day, I'm thankful, but shocked, they didn't.