It used to be that a sequel to a popular game was an idea that inspired excitement and joy. That is, still, mostly the case but there have been more than a few entries into favorite franchises that have soured gamers on the notion that more is always better. Here’s a look at just a few.
Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite
This seemed like a sure thing. It was a sequel to the popular tournament game, Marvel vs. Capcom 2 . The core premise of the game remained the same, where gamers would be able to choose from a roster of both Marvel and Capcom characters to make dream teams that can defeat their foes. The result was lackluster, though. The gameplay felt slow, the story felt forced, and the roster felt limited. There was a sense that Disney’s acquisition of Marvel might have had a thing to do with it, since they have exercised quite a bit of control over the brand. Largely what we saw were popular movie heroes. Boo!
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2
The first Star Wars: The Force Unleashed was an amazing game that existed back when the Star Wars expanded universe was a thing that people cared about. And the prospect was enticing. A dark game where players took control of Darth Vader’s apprentice to explore a story that helped bridge the gaps between the prequels and the original trilogy. The second game, though, was far less cool. It didn’t expand on the gameplay and, in some ways, took some steps back mechanically. The pacing was all off and the game felt rushed. What’s more is that the central story was eyeroll inducing. The charm just wasn’t there.
Dissidia Final Fantasy NT
The first Dissidia title was exciting because it was a fighting game that featured characters from a large selection of Final Fantasy games. Its story was serviceable, too. The second game was great, too. But the third? Dissidia Final Fantasy NT? An absolute trainwreck. Its story is really just a selection of unlockable cutscenes that you can only see after grinding currency in the games lackluster other modes. The game is also 3-on-3 which would be fine if it didn’t mean relying on poor AI or other players. The online multiplayer, which should have been a huge feature, died near launch. A free version of the game helped things along a bit and the developers have provided a bunch of cool DLC, but nothing can save what is just a flawed core experience, it seems.
Bomberman: Act Zero
This game is incredibly confusing and the developers seemed to miss just what it was that people liked about the original Bomberman games. Instead, they tried to embrace the mature, action style that was popular at the time. Sure, there was some semblance of the original games present in it, but it was hardly noticeable and there was just no reason to play this over the other, readily available quality titles.
Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts
I am not a person who minds innovation. In fact, I love it when developers take risks. But when I heard there was going to be a new entry into the Banjo-Kazooie franchise, which was one of the premier collectathon games at the time, I was expecting another platformer. I wasn’t expecting a game where Banjo and Kazooie build wacky vehicles to overcome obstacles. The character of the level and narrative that had made the other games great just wasn’t here.
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
The first Zelda game blew minds when it was released on the Nintendo Entertainment System. It was reasonable to expect more greatness from the sequel, but Nintendo’s compulsion to change things up was apparent in this side-scrolling title that took away the feeling of freedom and adventure that made the first game so great. It isn’t a horrible game by NES standards, but it is far from what gamers wanted.
GoldenEye: Rogue Agent
GoldenEye was one of the first big multiplayer shooters to engage gamers on a home console. It’s not just a matter of nostalgia, either. The game was rife with great elements like interesting weapons, great map design, and interesting modes. The sequel, GoldenEye: Rogue Agent , felt more like a cash grab that wanted to rake in nostalgic gamers. What it was, though, was basically an underwhelming title that had more in common with other, better games of the time than it did with the original game.
Duke Nukem Forever
I’ll say one good thing about this game. The voice acting was a step up for Duke. But the game’s terrible development cycle, and the amount of time it took to come out, meant that it would be very hard to meet expectations. The humor didn’t seem to age well, and the gameplay was frustrating. It didn’t feel like the originals, nor did it feel like a quality, modern title, either.
Star Wars Battlefront II
I am talking about the EA title that came out in 2017. The original Star Wars Battlefront games were amazing. Eventually, EA acquired exclusive rights to make Star Wars games on consoles and one of the first things they did with it was to reboot a popular franchise. The first reboot was middling at best. The second was so infamously full of predatory microtransactions that gamers revolted. The publisher changed some of its practices, but the end result still didn’t compare to the games from 2000s.
Resident Evil 6
There was something terrible about the controls of the original Resident Evil games. The controls got an update with Resident Evil 4 that was absolutely fantastic and seemed to revitalize the series. These controls carried over into Resident Evil 5 which, while an amazing game, didn’t quite inspire the enthusiasm that 4 did. Resident Evil 6 messed with the controls once more, and the result was a game that felt like a pure action game, which meant the horror element was downplayed and the players felt powerful. Add on a wealth of other issues, and you have a game that just doesn’t live up to its predecessors in any way shape or form.