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7 Game Franchises They Drove Into the Ground

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the gonna-wrap-this-thing-around-the-first-light-pole-i-see dept.

Games 275

Via the ever-excellent Game|Life, a post on Games Radar that details seven destroyed game franchises, taken from us in their prime by callous game publishers. Running the gamut from the venerable Sonic (of whose decline we've already spoken) to the good-to-crappy-in-two-years Viewtiful Joe, these are all games that just deserved better. I personally lament the decline of the Tomb Raider series (number 7 on the list) the most. Her most recent outing was much better than previous iterations, and I definitely hope that Eidos can keep up the momentum. Are there any series that you feel have fallen from heights that should have made the list?

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More have died... (4, Informative)

LinuxGeek (6139) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754142)

Aside from games that have fizzled, I lament the passing of both the Thief and System Shock series. Company (mis?)managment has probably killed most of the great gaming franchises that died in their prime. Hopefully Bioshock [] will make it to release and System Shock will kinda, sorta live again...

Remember that several game developers had their funding cut so Daikatana [] could see the light of day ( at a burn rate of $1,000,000US per month).

Re:More have died... (4, Insightful)

Daemonstar (84116) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754200)

I always loved the Wing Commander series, but, sadly, it seems to be no more.

Re:More have died... (4, Insightful)

Ford Prefect (8777) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754570)

Deus Ex. Fantastic to cack in just two games. Alas...

Re:More have died... (1)

Dr Caleb (121505) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755280)

Seconded. I liked the multiple ways you could play. Stealthy non-lethal defence, or straight out in your face offense.

Another that bit the big one after only 2 was 'Blood'. I loved the dark humour.

FYI: Thief 2x (1)

cliveholloway (132299) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755150)

is keeping the Theif franchise alive. And it's damn good []

Re:More have died... (1)

RexRhino (769423) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755354)

I consider Bioshock to be 100% part of the system shock series. It is basicly art-deco System Shock. The fact that they decided to change the setting is actually proof that they are NOT running the franchise into the ground (as the old sci-fi setting would be getting a bit boring).

Re:More have died... (1)

LinuxGeek (6139) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755758)

I just found a new article [] on Bioshock. It is great to see much progress on the project.

Mega Man ruined? (3, Insightful)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754164)

Funny how he sees that the decline of Mega Man came with the Mega Max X series. When the first three games appeared while in high school, all of my friends and I were excited about them. And the easter egg that is Ryu's street fighting moves was a pleasure for all. Saying that the games were crappy seems to be a minority opinion, and possibly one based more on retrospect than on how one felt at the time of release.

Re:Mega Man ruined? (1)

Zephyros (966835) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754364)

I remember the first few fondly as well. I never played any of the middle or later ones, but considering the comment in TFA -- "which were truly awful for awhile" -- I think those might be the ones to which he is referring, not the early ones.

Personally, I think the Battle Network games are more damning than anything in the core or X/Z series. For better or worse, the core Mega Man and the X and Z stories stuck with the same formula: Upgrade Equipment, Kill Bosses, Kick Wiley's Ass, ???, Profit. In my opinion, it wasn't broken, so there wasn't much need to fix it.

This reminds me, I need to check into the used bins around here and see if the recent collections are hiding in them...

Re:Mega Man ruined? (1)

Thansal (999464) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754410)

I honestly don't get it either.

I think they just don't like the MM:BN games, and I admit, they do get repetative eventualy, however I still really like them.

The MM:Zero games (GBA) were wonderful for a new line in the series (Currently playing ZX on my DS)

MM:X were exactly like the old school megaman games, just with more stuff to do (always a plus in my book)

So I admit, I don't get it.

Re:Mega Man ruined? (1)

Gogo0 (877020) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754436)

No kidding, Megaman X (1) is one of my favorites in the entire series.
It did some fresh things (namely the equipment upgrades) that differentiated itself from the main line. Plus I cant get enough of the music, its one of my favorite SNES soundtracks.

It has definitely been going downhill, though. I dont think the X line has fared as well as the main line in the same number of games.

Re:Mega Man ruined? (1)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754520)

I really enjoyed Mega Man 2 for the NES. I tried the first in the series after that but was disappointed to see that it was the same game. Ditto for 3, 4, 5, 6... Then in Mega Man X you could hold down the shoot button to charge a shot. I've seen like 2 games worth of innovation spanned across how many games in the Mega Man series? 20?

Re:Mega Man ruined? (1)

PingSpike (947548) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755212)

I agree the format was spread a little thin over that many games...but the design was pretty much perfected with MM2. (MM 1 had no level codes, and was therefore: fucking impossible) I can't blame them much for not messing with a winning format. The games had a lot of things to love that set them apart from other platformers of the time.

Re:Mega Man ruined? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17755252)

Considering that the Mega Buster (charged shots) was introduced in Mega Man 4, I don't guess you played 4/5/6 that much. Not to argue your point, I'm just saying.

As far as innovation in the series goes...

Mega Man 2: Non-weapon items such as Energy Tanks and Dr. Light's tools like the jet platform which later turned into Rush. Mega Man did have one tool like this, but since you had to have the Guts Man weapon when you went to Elec Man's stage in order to get it, most players missed it. Also, a password system.
Mega Man 3: Rush and Proto Man are introduced, we have some intermediate stages after the robot masters but before Dr. Wily's Castle, and there's a quasi-boss fight with Proto Man between all that. Also, Mega Man can now slide.
Mega Man 4: Mega Buster. Also Fliptop is introduced.
Mega Man 5: Beat is introduced, which is a new versatile tool for Mega Man. Also, Charge Man, while having one of the most pointless weapons in the series, does definitely demonstrate "a new way" to use boss weapons, since his works when you slide.
Mega Man 6: Jet pack.
Mega Man 7: The only SNES game aside from the X-series, so realistically speaking the biggest innovation is the graphics. Introduced a money system (originally done in the 4th and 5th GB games) to buy items or upgrades that could be used at will. This was later employed in Rockman & Forte (AKA Megaman & Bass, unofficially Mega Man 8.5), along with the data discs and branching paths for fighting bosses.

Mega Man X was a departure of course and offered quite a few new ideas into the series. For one thing, Mega Man X was the first Mega Man game to have multi-directional scrolling areas, meaning that rooms could be both taller and wider than a single screen. This was of course originally a system limitation of the NES, but Mega Man non-X has largely stuck with it. Also, Mega Man X had upgradeable components which could boost energy, attack power, defense, or offer new ways to do things. The new attack types translated into chargeable attacks for boss weapons, meaning that single-shot firing of a boss weapon usually had a different action than a charged shot. Also, MMX was the first game with switchable weapons without the need to go in a pause menu to switch them. Also, subtanks introduced, the idea of being able to store excess energy collected in a tank where it could refill your power gauge later. MMX also had a stronger focus on story development and dialogue, and it introduced driveable vehicles.

I never played the PSX/PS2 Mega Man games, so I can't really comment on what was done there, but from what I gather, this was the point where the series really started to suffer. The side games stand reasonably well on their own. The Megaman Legends series, despite being very quirky games, are held by most fans as being a fantastic new direction for the series (at the expense of once again eschewing the old timeline by "destroying and rebuilding civilization"), and the Battle Network games aren't bad if you can look past the dreadful localization (or just laugh at it). The Zero series on the GBA brings back some of the classic gameplay with a significant challenge level. It's probably where most of the old school fans have their attention now, especially with the newest one on the DS.

Re:Mega Man ruined? (1)

Astarica (986098) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755196)

Most purist fans of Megaman series consider X4 to be the pinnacle of Megaman goodness and it is certainly a far better game than any Megaman game that came before it in terms of polish, X or original. You can say the games after X4 are a failure because they failed to meet the bar set by X4 but they're still solid good old Megaman games. Battle Networks is probably the most successful of the Megaman franchise in terms of sales and I view it the same way as Yugioh, World of Warcraft, or Pokemon: they're not games I, as a purist of the genre, would say is good, but who am I to tell the makers that their best selling title is no good? It may not be a game I appreciate but they certainly figured out something in BN that makes it profitable.

The Z series is also quite good and again its only shortcoming was the last Z game (Z4) failed to set the bar set by Z3, which is expected because the Z series was supposed to end with Z3.

Re:Mega Man ruined? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17755482)

Megaman X was blasphemy.

I lost every inch of hope on the X series with "Cyber Peacock".

The original six still have a place in my heart. I can time attack MM2 in 23 minutes, MM4 in 30. Every now and then I'll blow out the cartridge and pop it in just to make sure I still have my old MM skills. The same reason they give for loving the first Spy Hunter sequel is the same reason I love all six of the original Megaman series... Fight the master robots, kick Wily's ass, take yer helmet off and smoke a blunt. Pure. Simple. Straight to the point. It didn't try to be anything else. However losing the control over Rush after MM3 did peeve me a tad, I got over it. Beat was... well, Beat. Useful in certain situations (Whoopin Wily in MM5 being the main one) otherwise he was just something to collect to say you could.

That Fluffy Pink Guy (2, Interesting)

zyl0x (987342) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754198)

What about those Kirby games? The last one I can remember is the N64 version, which was pretty bad, at least IMO. The only place you see that guy anymore is in the Smash Bros games.

Re:That Fluffy Pink Guy (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754332)

He went handheld. Kirby's Tilt'n'Tumble on the Gameboy Color was great - top-down Super Monkey Ball with a Wii-predating tilt-sensor. The DS game is pretty brilliant, too - you have to draw tracks for him with the stylus to avoid the bad guys.

Re:That Fluffy Pink Guy (1)

zyl0x (987342) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754432)

Ah, see I'm not big into handhelds, so that would explain why I don't see him very much anymore.

Re:That Fluffy Pink Guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17754620)

In addition to the prior notes about the handheld games (of which there have been four, two GBA, two DS) since the N64 game you've mentioned, there was a racing game for the GameCube (Kirby Air Ride, which people generally regarded as living or dying by its simple control scheme, though it was the first network-capable GCN game), and a gorgeous full-fledged platform adventure game shown at E3'05, but conspicuously absent at E3'06. The common belief is that it was shelved due to the waning life of the GameCube and may possibly be resurrected on the Wii (see also Super Paper Mario, which is confirmed for release in April).

What about PC series (3, Interesting)

danbert8 (1024253) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754252)

These are apparently only console titles... If they included PC series driven into the ground, there are quite a few that would have topped the list. Command and Conquer I would call number 1, Generals very near sucked and didn't fit a C&C profile at all. I guess I'll just have to wait to see if EA comes back with a classic with the new C&C. Oh, and I know it's not a series, but I used to play Star Wars Galaxies, and SOE really killed that one with a passion.

Re:What about PC series (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17754560)

How about Fallout, X-com, Deus Ex, or Master of Orion?

Re:What about PC series (2, Insightful)

Enry (630) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755104)

By Generals, you meant Renegade, right? Generals restored my faith in the C&C franchise after playing Renegade. Even the behind-the-scenes videos that come with C&C: The First Decade barely mention renegade.

Re:Might and Magic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17755392)

Am I the only one that remembers the first six or so of this series fondly? The next few games were mediocre, and now Dark Crusade comes out without even being an RPG.

Re:What about PC series (1)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755486)

I've complained about the first two before, but here it's at least on-topic.
  • Rainbow Six
  • Ghost Recon
  • Need For Speed
Both Tom Clancy games were completely dumbed down, they basically took out all the stuff that made them different from the countless FPS titles. All the tactical elements are gone and so are most of the squadmates (only 2 instead of 7 in R6), not to mention that the friendlies are now ressurectable! If they called the R6 game "Gears of War: Vegas" I'd give it around 80%, but as it is I consider it to be the low point of the series*. Where's the Bill Brown [] music?

NFS turned from a game where you race unobtanium cars on spectacular tracks into something where you drive a riced-out civic around a boring city. They somewhat improved the situation with cars with the addition of exotics and muscle categories, but the tracks still suck. Oh, and the music here also sucks, but that's to be expected from EA.

All these games all still popular with the masses, but then, so are the Sims series and iPods.

*-I know about Lockdown, but one crappy game is forgivable, Vegas makes it clear where they want to go.

My Picks (4, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754296)

Wing Commander - We should have had Privateer Online. Instead, EA dropped it for their new hotness over at Blizzard. Thus one of the greatest series of all time ended.

Command & Conquer - C&C was good. I mean, darn good. But then Westwood failed to deliver Tiberium Sun as promised, and gave us Red Alert instead. Ok, fine. A lot of people liked Red Alert even though it wasn't as good as the original. So we kept waiting for Tiberium Sun. 4 and a half years later, Westwood just kicked it out the door, merely a shadow of what it was intended to be. From then on out, C&C was nothing more than a "property" in which vaguely related games were released one after another, with no real connection to the gameplay that made the original famous.

Graphical Adventure Series - While not really a game series in of itself, the concept of Graphical Adventures has been mostly dropped by the industry, depsite the fact that it was a great way to tell a story. Nearly all the Lucas Arts games sold well, and never really showed a decline in the market. The concept just... fell into the ether, seemingly in favor of "more adult" gameplay. (Boo! Hiss!)

One More! (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754348)

Star Trek - Activision finally pulled Star Trek out of its gaming gutter with smash hits like Armada and Elite Force. Then Paramount drives the franchise into the ground, Activision sues, and we fans get no more Trek games. (Boo! Hiss!) I've heard that Bethesda Softworks is picking up the torch, but I'm not holding my breath. :(

Re:One More! (1)

Thansal (999464) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754524)

Startreck universe running on a Daggerfall like game!

yegods, I can't figgure out if I want to salivate or laugh my ass off.

Re:One More! (1)

(A)*(B)!0_- (888552) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754872)

The newest game "Legacy" was released by Bethesda and is terrible. You can't remap the keys and, as a left-hander, WASD movement doesn't really work comfortably for me. The graphics are pretty poor as well. Yes, don't hold your breath - the game is terrible.

Re:My Picks (1)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754614)

Wing Commander is sorely missed and would indeed make an unbelievable MMO. Upgrading ships little by little would be sublime! I doubt we'll see that IP resurrected any time soon, unfortunately, due to the shitty movie and EA's stranglehold.

Graphic adventures are making a comeback in a huge way, though. I'll be especially interested to see how episodic gaming works out. I'm rather enjoying the new Sam and Max series, though it's so easy that the game is just an excuse to play the dialogue. That's okay by me, though. Al Lowe (Leisure Suit Larry) and Jane Jensen (Gabriel Knight) are both in the middle of making new adventure games with fresh new characters so I'm highly anticipating those releases. Plus, groundbreakers like Indigo Prophecy are breathing new life into the genre, though I'd be thrilled to have a quality point-and-click game any day.

Re:My Picks (1)

Jarlsberg (643324) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754984)

I'm currently playing "And then there were none", which is a pretty good take on an Agatha Christia mystery done as a point and click adventure. I definitely recommend it if you like adventures.

Re:My Picks (1)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755294)

During our vacation a few weeks ago my girlfriend really enjoyed Murder on the Orient Express. We needed to consult a walkthrough a few times since the designers obviously slapped-on some silly logic puzzles, but otherwise we had a great day playing through. Great graphics and a fun premise. We'll certainly check out And Then There Were None.

Blizzard? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17755640)

Don't you mean Westwood.

When EA bought Westwood Studios, they killed Origin's in-development Privateer Online in favour of Westwood's "Earth and Beyond". Most of the developers that were on the Privateer team left Origin when the project was cancelled and formed the Sony Austin Studio which gave us Star Wars Galaxies.

Re:My Picks (1)

Pxtl (151020) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755744)

Agreed. That list sucked - half the "franchises" weren't even franchises. Seriously, who remembers Dynasty Warriors and Tenchu. Spy Hunter doesn't deserve to be called a "franchise" - it's a nostalgia revival. Complaining about Spy Hunter is like saying that the re-make of "The Shining" was the end of "The Shining" franchise - that's not a franchise, that's one old classic and one crappy re-make.

Megaman X wrawked. The thing that killed Megaman was Capcom's total inability to move it out of the sprite-based engine - sprite-based games are now in the ghetto of handheld gaming alone. A modern platformer is done in 3D graphics (possibly using shaders for a cartoon effect), or at least heavily uses the 3D chip... and attempts to convert Megaman to 3D produced the gameplay-abortions that were the Megaman Legends games.

Oh, and I believe that Sonic the Hedgehog will be played by Eddie Murphy in the eventual movie adaptation, unless they are in fact the same person (which is true, judging by their careers).

Imho, Dune/C&C belongs on this list - what started as incredibly innovative gradually turned into a series of "same game, new engine" with originality that would rival EA Sports.

And let's not forget Earthworm Jim. And the X-Wing series (although Alliance reclaimed some of that which was lost in X-Wing vs. Tie Fighter).

Personally, I'm more interested in the ones that have been completely run into the ground while starting as smash hits - Sonic has no rivals there.

Star Control (2, Informative)

SirLoadALot (991302) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754314)

Star Control: good first game, fantastic second game, AWFUL third game by different developers, then Accolade dies and we're done. More than TEN YEARS LATER, the source code for the 3DO version of Star Control 2 is released and turned into a great open source game for multiple platforms. That's love.

Re:Star Control (1)

bckrispi (725257) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754574)

Plus, Toys For Bob are trying to get Activision to green light a new StarControl game.

Re:Star Control (1)

pluther (647209) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755144)

A new Star Control game? Sweet, it's about time!

(Goes to check.)

Damn - they're not taking pre-orders yet.


Nope, still not.


What, no Sims? (2, Insightful)

ludomancer (921940) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754322)

I'm shocked that after terrible incarnation after terrible incarnation, and umpteen-million expansion packs of mediocrity that cause the whole series to fade into obscurity, and their development not being slowed one bit despite that, it didn't make the number one spot.

You have to have a pedestal to fall off of (1)

Rix (54095) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754464)

The Sims was never any good to start with. You could call it an extension of SimCity/Earth/Ant/Life/blahblah, but that's stretching it a bit, and that series is very much alive with Spore.

Re:What, no Sims? (1)

smbarbour (893880) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754568)

Other than the repressed memory that is The Sims Online, there has only been 1 true sequel to the game (the expansions don't really count, they were just added content). True, it has been rehashed onto the consoles, and the gameplay isn't the same (IMO, the PS2 version is better than the PC version. The PS2 version actually has goals to fulfill.)

My two-bit commentary on games: Unless it is an MMO, completely open-ended games do not tend to hold interest for long. (And even with MMOs, if you don't have friends playing, it doesn't hold interest.)

Re:What, no Sims? (1)

Kuciwalker (891651) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754716)

I'm not, given how it remains incredibly popular and makes a hell of a lot of money.

Re:What, no Sims? (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754910)

Um, have you forgotten Sims: The Urbz or the upcoming Sims for the Wii (which I call Wii Sims)? Quite frankly, if you combine all Sims and Sims 2 sales, it's the number one game series worldwide.

Besides, Will Wright is focussed on getting Spore out for the PC and the Wii right now.

Re:What, no Sims?-- That assumes... (1)

rhartness (993048) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755352)

that the game was "good" to begin with. I'm not trying to troll here but I can honestly recall a lot of people hating this game from it's initial release. Most of the people I knew considered it a novel idea but a grand waste of money and not worth more than an hour or two of game play.

And to be clear, I was often mocked for actually enjoying the original.


Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17754330)

Sir-Tech's Wizardry

Dear God.... There is another like me? (1)

DRAGONWEEZEL (125809) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754562)

I loved Proving grounds of the Mad Overlord. I used to have all the mazes memorized!

Re:Dear God.... There is another like me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17755350)

IMHO Wizardry is so-so. But the Bard's Tale rules!!!

Re:Dear God.... There is another like me? (1)

Trails (629752) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755416)

Wizardry declined into so-so. Wizardry 8was decent considering they ran out of money halfway through dev.

I'd buy a wizardry 9 if it came out.

#8 (1)

Nevtje(hr (869571) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754338)

I greatly fear that on March 28th, C&C will be added to this list.

Am I the only one that doesn't really feel like I can trust that EA will do a good job on their follow-up of the Tiberian series?

Okay, alot of you probably think that EA already screwed C&C up with the release of Generals. However, that was a new idea anyway and it didn't really hurt the good memories of -in my case- Tiberian Sun. TS was my second computer game and I loved it! The feel, the atmosphere, story and gameplay. I occasionally take it off my shelf and have another go at it.

Anyways, I have a fear based on the fact that it is ever so popular to take hits and then just -destroy- them. Games and movies, the list can be made long. Had Westwood done it, okay... but EA?

I hope I'll be proven wrong.

Re:#8 (1)

steveo777 (183629) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755128)

Okay, I've got to ask. What's with all the C&C Generals hating? It's the only C&C game I've been able to truly enjoy. I've never liked any of the others in the series. I've had a chance to play them all but couldn't ever get into them. I love RTS games and very much enjoyed every Warcraft. Can someone explain some of the main gripes/differences?

Starsiege: Tribes (2, Insightful)

Gogo0 (877020) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754346)

Starsiege: Tribes (Tribes 1) dominated my PC gaming time until everyone moved to Tribes 2, which was good (but was no Tribes 1).
Then came Tribes Vengeance. It stole most of the community and then killed it by being a horrible game. Now the Tribes and Starsiege franchises are completely dead.

Re:Starsiege: Tribes (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17754656)

Earthsiege was a great series. Starsiege was the best version of it. It was the best giant robot sim of all, topping (but only barely) Mech 2: Mercs. While Tribes was great, I still have to consider it to be the downfall of this franchise. When Tribes turned out to be more popular than the original franchise, they totally killed off the original. And thus ended the days of the giant robot sim. (No the battletech-based series being done by Microsoft now does not count. It's good, but it's not the same genre.)

Re:Starsiege: Tribes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17754692)

Another vote for tribes here. In high school, that was the game to play. (I'm 23).

RE: Not all that universal... (1)

GearheadX (414240) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754380)

What is junk for some is good for others..

Another one that would've made the list, had the oldest title on it not been Mega Man, would've probably been Valis...

Valis went from one of the first platformer games, pretty much the same age as Metroid with the first undisguised female lead to, in the past couple of years, a porn title.

Sonic Rush for the DS... (2, Interesting)

casualsax3 (875131) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754388)

... was fantastic - take a look a the reviews all around, it was an excellent evolution on the 2d classic that made things faster and more fluid than ever.

Re:Sonic Rush for the DS... (1)

Gogo0 (877020) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754636)

While its definitely better than any of the 3d sonics, I didnt like Sonic Rush much.
In the old 2d sonics (the Genesis ones, some of my favorite games ever), there werent pits to run straight into everywhere like there are in Rush. The bottomless pits all over the place are so annoying, especially since the game moves so quickly.
I'll probably pick it up and give it another shot (I purchased it when it came out), but next time I wont be expecting a Genesis-Sonic experience (maybe that was my problem going into it the first time).

Re:Sonic Rush for the DS... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17755044)

If you stick to the top of the levels (there are a bunch of alternate paths), then any pit you fall into just slows you down and moves you lower into the level instead of killing you.

I thought Rush was awesome, I always hated the early Sonics because although the levels were great I couldn't beat the bosses. Not a problem in Rush.

Forgot some (0, Flamebait)

crabpeople (720852) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754398)

Please kindly add to that list every game released by EA in the last ten years.

Re:Hash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17755568)

Please kindly add to that list every game released by EA in the last ten years.
I guess that would take the list up to 8 then.

Duke Nukem? (1)

Rix (54095) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754400)

Or is not considered dead until Forever comes out?

Re:Duke Nukem? (4, Funny)

nuzak (959558) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754454)

You have to actually achieve movement in order to drive something into the ground.

Re:Duke Nukem? (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754584)

IMHO, 3D Realms drove Apogee's Duke Nukem into the ground. Apogee's Nukem was a really good platform series. 3D Realm's Nukem is a ripoff of the name just to make a 3D title with blood and porn.

Re:Duke Nukem? (1)

jfodale (1032534) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755676)

By really good, do you mean extremely crappy? I have fond memories of those platform games but in all honestly, they are pretty junky.

get some! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17754402)

Duke Nukem.

Final Fantasy (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17754442)

I remember when enjoying Final Fantasy wasn't a euphemism for homosexual intercourse.

ULTIMA (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17754474)

Thanks for driving another classic game series into the ground EA!

You suck.

Can you say Sierra? (4, Insightful)

PygmySurfer (442860) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754486)

King's Quest, Space Quest, Quest for Glory, Leisure Suit Larry, Police Quest/SWAT, Gabriel Night, Earthsiege/Starsiege/Tribes, Front Page Sports, The Incredible Machine, Dr. Brain, Caesar, 3-D Ultra Pinball, Homeworld, Outpost, Freddy Pharkas, Betrayal at Krondor... Sierra practically defines this topic, and it's not even mentioned.

Re:Can you say Sierra? (1)

Groghunter (932096) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754624)

Your're forgeting the Babylon 5 space combat game that got cancelled a month before release, and Middle Earth Online.

Re:Can you say Sierra? (3, Insightful)

Thansal (999464) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754714)

You sorta missed the point of the article.

They didn't drive any of those franschises into the gound, they just droped all their old titles

Re:Can you say Sierra? (1)

robson (60067) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755390)

...Police Quest/SWAT...

Slow down there, cowboy. SWAT 3 and SWAT 4 were both mighty fine games.

Hello? Tribes? (2, Interesting)

old_skul (566766) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754510)

Most of the games reviewed in TFA are console games. What about PC games like Tribes, which was successfully augered into the earth by Vivendi/Universal with the stinky "Tribes:Vengeance"? Sure, let's release a game that has broken bits (like tournament mode) and then refuse to patch it. Ever.

First they started with a great game: Tribes 1. Then the obvious thing to do was to make a sequel, which came out horrifically different from the original in terms of gameplay and feel - not to mention it was broken in the box. Endless patches ensued, until eventually the player community wrote maps and patches to make it feel and play more like the original game. After that debacle, development began on T:V, which as mentioned above was also broken.

Thanks, guys. You took a franchise which could have flourished and just buried it.

Re:Hello? Tribes? (2, Interesting)

SQLGuru (980662) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754982)

Don't forget arcade games as well.

Do we really need Super Mega Hyper Extra Street Fighter 9 or something? I love to play the game, but Anything past SFIICE is just sort of overkill to me. Same for MK.


Might and Magic (1)

Darkstorm (6880) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754548)

I have long loved the Might and Magic series. Starting on the c64 and moving on to the pc, it was one of the better hack and slash rpg's that came out. I even adjusted to #6 that included a 3d engine...and from there it went down hill. The 7th was ok, but similar to 6....while 8 was a touch above bad...and 9. Lets just say, it sucked.

I did see a new one in an add, but I don't know if I even want to bother. Of course I'll probably get it in hopes it will be decent...

Re:Might and Magic (1)

jfodale (1032534) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755706)

Six and Seven were both still quite good I thought. Towards the end of seven, you can start to see the decline. Eight was the steep decline. Nine is just an abomination.

Driven and abandoned .. (2, Insightful)

LionsFate (513762) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754580)


While others have said Wing Commander, it wasn't itself driven to the ground as more or less abandoned.
Ultima however I'd qualify as driven to the ground in its last release.


So many games after Fallout 2 claiming the "Fallout" name that basically drove to the ground.
The only hope is that Fallout 3 (now being worked on) can reclaim some of what it was.

Other ones that I consider more "abandoned" the driven to the ground -


Mentioned already, but the last game was still a pretty good game. It wasn't driven as much as left alone.

Most of the Bullfrog IP
Dungeon Keeper, Syndicate, Populous

Abandoned when purchased.

For that matter, doesn't it seem like most of the good PC games were killed off by EA?

Re:Driven and abandoned .. (1)

jkayca (1055704) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754836)

Definitely agree with the pick for Ultima. U8 took the franchise in a different direction. Unfortunately that direction was down.

Re:Driven and abandoned .. (2, Insightful)

PingSpike (947548) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755598)

Thats pretty much what EA does. It buys other people's good ideas, then defecates on them.

I prefer the beloved items of bullfrog IP remain buried, their graves undisturbed by EA...they would have just pumped out a couple half assed titles before dumping them anyway.

Re:Driven and abandoned .. (1)

Clever7Devil (985356) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755654)

Dungeon Keeper was a fantastic series. Fantasy RPG mixed with RTS. All the better, it had some wonderful humor. I know that it is dead and buried, but I saw the trailer and my hope lasted for quite a while.

Not a videogame, but deserves mention: (1)

nuzak (959558) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754590)

Every animated Disney flick ever made. I'm still anticipating the direct-to-video Snow White 2 any day now.

Re:Not a videogame, but deserves mention: (1)

brobak (683932) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755006)

I know you are taking a swipe at the disney flicks, and rightly so, but in all seriousness, there's a poster on the corner bus stop here in DC advertising a straight to DVD Cinderella III (yes three, there was a two?) Augh.

My picks (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754602)

1. Sly Cooper

The occasional side mission playing as one of the other characters was fine in the first game.

However, in the sequels, 2 out of 3 missions were non-Sly Cooper. The acrobatic, platforming perfection of the Cooper charatcer was replaced by one of two clumsy, annoying characters.

2. Xenosaga

After a great setup in the first game, they replaced the combat engine with one of the most hideous systems ever seen in an RPG. Basically, if you an eveny with anything other than the "correct" sequence of attack, you did about three quarters of a hit point damage. Add to that the fact that even the lowliest of baddies could boost their turn and constantly disrupt you desperate attempts to launch attack in the right order, and you had a bundle of frustration. I hear part 3 fixedd all that, but fuck 'em.

3. Silent Hill

Enjoyed 1 through 3, but something happened in 4. They did something to the control scheme that made it very frustrating.

Re:My picks (1)

otacon (445694) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754804)

Well I agree Silent Hill 4 was different in a few bad ways. But the concept was awesome, it was like nothing I ever played before or since. I would have rather played that game being a solid effort at something new than the same gameplay from 1-3 wrapped with a new story.

Re:My picks (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755690)

That made it all more the shame. The idea of the guy trapped in his apartment, and then finding the portals, was great. I never was sure exactly what they changed about the control scheme that fooked it up.

AD&D games? (1)

taxman_10m (41083) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754612)

Particularly I'm thinking of the goldbox series of games.

I was a huge fan of the Buck Rogers series. Too bad that died.

Re:AD&D games? (1)

airhed13 (732958) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754790)

Pool of Radiance, Curse of the Azure Bonds, Champions/Death Knights/Dark Queen of Krynn. Ahhh, the good ol' days. I got more mileage out of those than I did from M.U.L.E., and I still think M.U.L.E. was one hot game too.

I never did finish the Forgotten Realms series. What was after CotAB? Secret of the Silver Blades or something like that?

I fear I'm something of a minority in my preference for patient, turn-based combat. I'd love to see those games remade with updated gfx and not a lot else. This real-time fetish that the industry picked up has never been my thing.

X-COM (4, Interesting)

borfast (752138) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754642)

The X-COM series (actually, just the first two, IMHO) was probably the best strategy game I have ever played. Sometimes I even think it was the best game I ever played. It's a shame they ruined it starting with the third installment in the series.

UFO: Aftermath, Aftershock (and soon, Afterlight) are pretty cool games but they're nowhere near the coolness of X-COM: UFO Defense (or, for those of us in Europe and other parts of the world, UFO: Enemy Unknown) and X-COM: Terror From The Deep.

Those were the days... :)

Masters of Orion (2, Informative)

lp60068 (727840) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754694)

On the PC you can't forget Masters of Orion. Versions One and Two were great, and then they waited several years before coming up with a crappy version 3.

MechWarrior! (1)

SaDan (81097) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754748)

Talk about a sweet series that had a lot of potential!

My pics (1)

Reapman (740286) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754762)

Ultima - Died thanks to EA who could'nt do anything right with it
Wing Commander - Died again thanks to EA, not sure why they had to let it
Command & Conquer (however a TRUE new C&C is coming down the pipes)
Mechwarrior - so deserving of a new one
Descent - Loved the first, and apparently Freespace was pretty good
Duke Nukem - what more can be said?
x Quest Series - Good job Sierra
2D Sidescrollers - I hope Nintendo sees the success of New SMB and makes more 2D based Mario games.

Re:My pics (1)

93,000 (150453) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755624)

Freespace was amazing. The Freespace II was even better. Some of the most fun I've had gaming was with those two.

Turok (4, Interesting)

Sciros (986030) | more than 7 years ago | (#17754802)

I haven't read the article ("games" blocked :-P) but if they didn't mention the Turok series then they've overlooked one of the biggest losses to gamers in history. (If they mentioned Turok then sweet.)

Turok: Dinosaur Hunter and Turok 2: Seeds of Evil for N64 set new standards for console FPS games in terms of both graphics and weapon design. In my opinion, Turok 2 is yet to be outdone by any FPS as far as hardcore weapon lineups are concerned. Sure there is the occasional gem like HL2's gravity gun, but nothing has had as many great hurting machines as the Turok games.

Those first two games rocked. Great levels, awesome bosses. Turok 2 even had a half-decent multiplayer.

I don't know what went wrong after that, but the games just underdelivered in every way possible. There was Turok: Rage Wars which was the dumbest thing ever because when you have Perfect Dark (or Goldeneye) on your console, like heck you're gonna care about a multiplayer-combat-oriented Turok game. Whoopee. And it just went downhill from there.

They're trying to resurrect this franchise nowadays, so we'll see what happens. But my expectations at this point are quite low.

Tex Murphy (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755018)

I'm an adventure game fanatic. The Tex Murphy [] adventures Under a Killing Moon, The Pandora Directive and Overseer had a very nice three-dimensional interface that was ahead of its time back then. So MS (yes there they are again) bought Access Software who made the Tex Murphy adventures, and we've never heard of a new Tex Murphy adventure again. Thanks, MS. Chris Jones, the produces and codesigner of the adventures, who also plays Tex in the FMV versions of the adventures, would love to make a new installment of the famous series, but adventures games are going through a difficult time these days, so he hasn't gotten the opportunity yet.

Ultima (1)

tomk (20364) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755024)

Ultima. 1-7 (including 7 pt.2) got progressively better, until finally reaching what I consider one of the best RPGs of all time. 8 was a letdown, 9 was a nightmare, X was cancelled. Killed by EA in order to focus on Ultima Online.

The attack of sequelitis (1)

GVIrish (1043838) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755286)

Mortal Kombat jumps to mind when speaking of franchises driven into the ground. While fighting games were evolving and becoming more complex and nuance the MK series failed to adapt. Now its not even mentioned in the same breath as Virtua Fighter and Tekken. Street Fighter is also guilty of this, although some of the "Vs." games (Marvel vs Capcom in particular) were pretty good. One many may disagree with is Gran Turismo. Its still selling a lot of copies but the game's physics model hasn't taken a significant step forward since GT2 (and here we are coming up on GT5). Instead Polyphony Digital is obsessed with better graphics and more car models. Which is fine, but most people don't care whether they can drive a 1982 Daihatsu or if they can have 50 Skylines with different paint schemes. I thought Megaman was a interesting franchise because I feel like it was languishing right around MM3 or 4. When X came out it was just different enough to get me interested again, but then they started the same pattern of rehashes with the X series too. That guy left out Megaman Legends which I thought was fairly innovative and fun. Had they developed that concept better it could have done wonders for the series.

Where is Street Fighter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17755316)

SF2 came out. It was great. It had quarters lined up nonstop on the bottom of the screen. Then there was the apostrophe SF2 (Champion edition) and then Turbo. Those weren't too bad. They fixed some issues, gave us the four bosses, and gave our favorite girl a fireball.

After that it went completely downhill. All the extra characters, the new insane moves, and then there was the attempt at 3D. It killed what SF2 originally was and Capcom just DROVE THAT FRANCHISE INTO THE FRIGGIN GROUND!

Not just console games (2, Insightful)

willith (218835) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755544)

This article focuses only on console games, ignoring the similarly-large range of PC franchises torpedoed by bad decisions or greedy publishers.

Star Control III [] was nowhere the game its predecessors were. SC2 was possibly the best space exploration title ever released, better even than Starflight [] 1 & 2, whereas SC3 was a lame duck pseudo-RTS with a terrible plot and spaceships populated by talking puppets. [] Jesus wept.

Thief 3 [] was another PC title that fell far short of its predecessors, though a lot of the game's problems stemmed from compromises made in adapting the game for XBox, especially the division of levels into extremely small zones.

Starfox (1)

the dark hero (971268) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755582)

Star Fox is still best played on the N64. Starfox adventures was 20hrs of beautifully rendered boring fetch quests with a good 18 seconds of real starfox action in between each area. Then they made this crappy multiplayer starfox game that was riddled with control issues. When will we get our beloved on-rails shooter back?

How about Final Fantasy? (1)

Myria (562655) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755632)

I did not like FF8, FF10, FF10 1/2, FF11, or FF12. FF9 was an anomaly in the decline. The series seems to have gone way downhill, and it looks to me that an exclusivity contract with PS3 for FF13 will be the end.

Just Plain Abandoned (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17755678)

Freespace: 2 awesome games that filled in the gap left by a non existent wing commander. Vanished into thin air.

Allegiance: Another space combat / strategy game by MS. Most fun I've ever had in an online game. Wish they'd re-release this on X-Box arcade.

I know i'll get punished for it (3, Interesting)

Some_Llama (763766) | more than 7 years ago | (#17755826)

But i'm gonna add another PC game, a mod actually, Counter-strike. There I said it. Valve bought the rights to the mod, and then promptly split the community and actual game itself into 3 different (although similar) games, then they killed off the old server infrastructure making playing the original mod (non-valve IP) impossible.

What you have currently is 3 different types of "games" based on the same mod, CS, CS:Z, and CS:S, CS and CS:S cannot be played together, and I think CS:Z is only backwards compatible. And they are different, any fan of a particular "game" will tell you how much the other "doesn't feel right"/sucks, etc...

Not to mention dropping thrid party support for anticheat tools, and constant (almost weekly) "tweaks" to "improve gameplay" that make playing a standard game a near impossiblity..

I tried to play CS:S the other night on one of the varible pricing servers (were prices fluctuate due to demand) and it was quite frustrating.. how do I make my choices of what gun to buy when i have no idea how much it costs in relation to other guns without spending every week going over the pricing? I couldn't even buy armor and helmet without forking over 4500 bucks?!?! (sorry bit of a rant there).

My main gripe is that I used to be able to just jump in a game and play for a few hours, knowing the maps, knowing what my money would buy, knowing what equipment was available.. with source this is pretty much not possible.. it seems like Valve wants to kill it off completely.
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