When your favorite series derails

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Let's get this out of the way. I love Paper Mario. In my opinion, one of the best games for the N64. Even more so the sequel "Thousand Year Door". So when I bought Super Paper Mario I was sure my eyes would light up from my papery adventures. Two hours later I took it out of my Wii and returned it to Gamestop.

It went from a RPG with platfoming elements to a platformer with RPG elements. Completely blindsided me to the point that I couldn't stand the game. I thought no big deal, the next one will be fine. So I borrowed Sticker Star from my friend and sat down to enjoy some old fashioned Paper Mario. Returned it the next day.

Long story short has your favorite series ever changed course to the point that you can't the new games?

That's yet to happen to me.

About the worst thing I can think of off the top of my head is the drop in quality from Bioshock to Bioshock 2. But I still liked the sequel well enough. Plus the upcoming Bioshock Infinite looks pretty sweet.

(P.S. Predicting a lot of Bioware in this thread. Also, at least one person will mention Ultima.)

Final Fantasy has hit this point for me.
It was going down hill since 10, by all means 10 wasn't bad but it started slipping.
Now I just find 13 atrocious and can't even play it.

Resident Evil franchise.
Despite the fact that most people like RE4 for me it stopped being RE at that point.

Well, for a series to derail, it has to be a series first. So damn often you see the quality decline after the first installment. (This happens with bands too, first album is often the best).

So, while we're gonna hear a lot of Mass Effects and Diablos here, you can't really count them, since they (in my opinion) went to shit after numero uno. It happens so often and it makes me so mad. You release one awesome and succesful game, and you immediately start taking out the good things for the sequel.

Anyway, on topic, I can only second the Paper Mario and Final Fantasy series. They used to be so great, and look at them now. It's pathetic. An industry that's obsessed with half-assedly cramming clunky RPG-elements in everything sure seems reluctant to release an actual solid RPG these days.

Wild Arms 4 while the combat was okay it dropped the cool western feel for a generic post apocalyptic setting,a connect the dots map in place of being able to explore and replaced the cool puzzle heavy dungeons with annoying platforming(not helped by Jude having a really annoying set of phrases he shouts when he jumps) and really stupid whack the crystal puzzles. So yeah... Fuck this game.

Oh when my favourite series derailed, boy, it did in style, in the form of Sonic '06.

On a good day, I'd consider it worse than pretty much ever other Sonic game. On a bad day I have cursed it to hell and back for just it's sheer existence alone.

Command and Conquer.

It began as an innovative RTS series with awesome campaign scenarios and mesmerizing camp cutscenes, and has ended up a multiplayer only Free2Play cash cow.

EA sucks.

Duke Nukem, someone had to say it.

And obviously Bioware stuff, they don't intend to make good games and I don't intend to buy them.
Most other things had a gradual transition where I just saw things going far out of my tolerance, Ass Creed, CoD, MoH, Red Alert, Final Fantasy, Diablo, GTA, Darkness, Max Payne, DMC, Resident Evil, NFS, Rainbow 6, Splinter Cell,... and many more I can't think of.

But the great thing is new stuff is being made every day, so many in fact my backlog is just getting bigger and bigger.

Silent Hill is particularly tragic for me because the devs keep finding new ways of jumping bigger sharks with each new release, and make past horrible games good games by comparison. The series has been derailing for about ten years, six games and two movie adaptations now.

Silent Hill 4: The Room, 2004 - Boo, the controls are awkward! Too much backtracking! Worst SH evah!

Silen Hill: Origins, 2007 - Boo, this is such a shameless movie time in! Pyramid Head rip-off! Worst SH evah!

Silent Hill: Homecoming, 2008 - Boo, this is too action-packed! Pyramid Head is a sell-out! Worst SH evah!

Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, 2009 - Boo, there's no combat, no health, no items, just running! Worst SH evah!

Silent Hill: Downpour, 2012 - Boo, the games aren't scary any more! The combat is awkward again! Wah! Worst SH evah!

Silent Hill: Book of Memories, 2012 - Boo, what's with the isometric Diablo-ish perspective and the teen cast? Worst SH evah!

And so on.

Andy Shandy:
Oh when my favourite series derailed, boy, it did in style, in the form of Sonic '06.

On a good day, I'd consider it worse than pretty much ever other Sonic game. On a bad day I have cursed it to hell and back for just it's sheer existence alone.

Yyyyyyeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh...

I'll never understand what happened there, I think.

Also, ninja'd on Final Fantasy. XIII just feels wrong to me. It doesn't feel like a Final Fantasy game.

Ninja Gaiden, the original games were some of the most influential games on the SNES. The first two of the rebooted series were some of the very best entries in the modern Hack And Slash genre.

Then Ninja Gaiden 3 came out and... bleh. Apparently Razor's Edge has made up for it somewhat, but still... Team Ninja need to pull their finger out if they want the series to continue. Other developers like Platinum are still managing to make incredible action games, there's no reason why Ninja Gaiden 4 couldn't be the same.

Hero in a half shell:
Command and Conquer.

It began as an innovative RTS series with awesome campaign scenarios and mesmerizing camp cutscenes, and has ended up a multiplayer only Free2Play cash cow.

EA sucks.

kazann:
Dragon Age 2...

...EA >:|

Both of these sum up my two "derailed" series. Hell, one of them didn't even get past the second game before it derailed.

Also notice how both of their demises relate to EA, I see a pattern here.

Not all of these series were my favorites, but I personally believe there was a drop in quality or creativity in most of these games' sequels (if not all of them):

-Prince of Persia: Sands of Time (I played Warrior Within and Two Thrones, they were okay. But I still own SoT, can't say that of the others)
-Resistance: Fall of Man (the first game was great, the second one tried to be CoD too much and it detracted from the overall aesthetic of the game. I didn't get the third game)
-Mercenaries : Playground of Destruction (the sequel sucked)
-Any Assassin's Creed after 2. I don't give a fuck about the multiplayer in Brotherhood, that game was a joke/hack/waste of my time
-I didn't get Dragon Age 2. But that kind of goes without being said
-Sonic also goes without being said (funny how I felt obliged to say both)
-All Mortal Kombats after 3, until the most recent one
-KotOR (KotOR II and TOR had a drop in quality, IMO)
-I preferred Oblivion to Skyrim for a number of reasons, but I haven't played most of the series, so this one is more of a microcosm of one series

So yeah, I mean it is a fairly common gripe that people have. You know it, "The industry has no creativity. And all sequels suck." I agree for the most part. There are the exceptions here and there, but overall, it seems that we're all suckers for shit we know is only gonna get worse.

I'd say The Old Republic. I never subscribed. It goes without saying that a change from hardcore PC RPG to shitty grindfest MMO with a primitive engine, and archaic mechanics and gameplay versus the standards of its peers (TERA, GW2) represents a pretty bleak departure from what I wanted and expected. To hell with ToR.

Edit: And who cares that they've voiced 200,000 lines of the most atrocious sub-fanfiction quality dialogue ever written for a Star Wars game, seriously?

This has happened to me countless times, let's go over the list off the top of my head:
Resident Evil
Final Fantasy
Silent Hill
Sonic
Call of Duty (Does anyone else remember when this series was good? Seems like another reality.)
Fallout (though it got better, while I still have my problems with Fallout 3 I thank Bethesda for saving the series from having to suck Bawls forever)
Dragon Age (Don't know if I can really count this as a series)
Knights of the Old Republic
Splinter Cell
Suikoden
Perfect Dark (Same on the series thing, more like failed series attempt)

I know there are more that I am just failing to think of, but this is the short list with the top three being my most begrudged. Most of these series lost their fun factor as their original designer left, and to me that really says it all: When a series creator leaves then the series is really over, regardless of the corporate entity that owns the now deceased game deciding to trot out it's corpse for a puppet show to milk it's friends and loved ones for some more cash.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/6.338796-When-Dragon-Age-II-Fell-Apart

This excellent article sums up my exact thought process with DA2. I actually didn't mind the gameplay changes and in some cases I actually preferred them. DA2 also did a wonderful job at party interaction and characterisation. However as that article explains the story takes a tumble off a cliff and that's what really ruined my trust in the series.

ME2 also had numerous gameplay changes, many of which I liked but once again the story wasn't as strong so while it started to derail here the excellent characters and world building made me come back for ME3.

ME3 I KNEW was going to have a garbage ending when you get to Mars and Liara tells you about the Crucible. The Protheans had tried to build a massive super weapon to defeat the Reapers but couldn't get it to work? So they hid the plans for us to find? WHAT? It gets even worse when you find out the Crucible plans have been passed down from cycle to cycle possible thousands of times. What happened to the Reapers cleaning up after themselves and wiping out all evidence? How did they not discover the Crucible before?!

Assassin's Creed.

The first game was tighter than *insert sexual euphemism*; you had a handful of weapons, a target, and the job of getting one inside the other. The Ezio adventures made things more and more complex, giving you new tools and recruits to add some variety. However, they started to get really complex and unintuitive, so that by Assassin's Creed III you're running a farm and spending half of your time supplying, organizing and defending convoys and trade routes, rather than actually assassinating people.

None.

Maybe I'm just a fan who's easily pleased, or maybe I'm just a happy fan. But none of my favorite series have gone to the point I don't like them anymore. Star Wars, Baldur's Gate, LOTR, BioWare RPG's, Kingdom Hearts. They're all still great in my eyes.

When I hear fans of whatever franchise complaining about it being ruined forever, I just roll my eyes while they partake in their melodramatic bullshit.

This is an interesting question, but in all honesty, I can't think of a moment like that.
I think part of it has to do with the fact that I never actually play the game that's supposed to ruin the series.

For example: I love the Paper Mario games. However, I've only actually played the first game, and The Thousand Year Door. Never played the one on the Wii, (don't own one), and I haven't played Sticker Star, (again, I don't own a DS).

Similarly, I love the Need For Speed series, but I've only actually played Underground, Underground 2, Most Wanted (the original), Carbon (which wasn't great, but wasn't that bad, either), and Hot Pursuit (which was fun, and more of a throwback to the old school titles. It was miles better than the few that came after Carbon, from what I understand). None of them are bad enough to have 'ruined' the series for me. If I'd played Undercover, or any of the others that moved away from the idea of street-racing, I probably would say they ruined the series for me.

My all-time favourite series, Final Fantasy, hasn't, as far as I'm concerned, been ruined. XIII may have been a bit of a step sideways, but I still enjoyed it, for the most part, and XIII-2 was a decent enough improvement, though the cast of characters isn't my favourite.

Other series I enjoy include Ratchet and Clank, Uncharted, and God of War, none of which, in my opinion have been ruined yet. I guess this is a good thing? Or maybe it just means I'm really easy to please. Either way, I'm pretty happy about it.

Hmm... Wait. On the other hand, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is the game that finally made me sick of the Call of Duty series, (even though I've only ever held a passing interest in the series to begin with). Maybe I'll go with that.

Yeah, sure.

Andy Shandy:
Oh when my favourite series derailed, boy, it did in style, in the form of Sonic '06.

On a good day, I'd consider it worse than pretty much ever other Sonic game. On a bad day I have cursed it to hell and back for just it's sheer existence alone.

Totally agree with you.

It's a good thing that Colors and Generations came along and put the series back on the right track.

Dragon Age: II.
World Of Warcraft.
While the Metroid series did derail, it remained good with the first derailment. The one with Team Ninja never happened, so that doesn't count.

I hate these threads. They always bring out the most petty people imaginable.

As for me, well I can't say it's derailed exactly, but the old spark seems to have gone out of Mario games lately. Don't get me wrong, I still love them, but I'm not blindly devoted enough not to realize that something is missing. But then again I've been feeling like something is missing from the whole industry for the past 6 or 7 years or so.

Thunderous Cacophony:
Assassin's Creed.

The first game was tighter than *insert sexual euphemism*; you had a handful of weapons, a target, and the job of getting one inside the other. The Ezio adventures made things more and more complex, giving you new tools and recruits to add some variety. However, they started to get really complex and unintuitive, so that by Assassin's Creed III you're running a farm and spending half of your time supplying, organizing and defending convoys and trade routes, rather than actually assassinating people.

It would have been nice if all the additional stuff wasn't basically another weapon; so much could have been done with recruiting and using assassins in the field, but instead it was basically another weapon, but not as quick or effective as if you just walked up and stabbed whatever it was.

If there were actually some INVOLVEMENT in all the trade/city renovation/assassin's guild stuff, then we could have got somewhere, but then again including strategy game elements into Assassin's Creed would have been kind of pointless; so yeah, could have done without it.

That being said, I loved the settings of Brotherhood, Revelations and 3, just...everything else...bleh.

For me the main one would be the Final Fantasy series. I've played and completed every game from I to X-2. That's where I gave up. It's a shame, because I really liked the battle system in that game but most of the rest of it was either cringeworthy fan service or just plain awful. I'd already cut X some slack for having no open world, but that...

Wow nobody has said the new Devil May Cry. I am impressed, well done Escapist.

I guess ME3? Because the ending was just THAT horrible. Then again the amount of needless fanservice in that game was a bit weird...

"This was in our last game remember! Haha the throwbacks! Also this! And this! More of that! LOL BIOTIC GODS! LOLOLOLOL"

Christ after a while it was like my brain was getting wanked off by Bioware...

Johnny Novgorod:
Silent Hill is particularly tragic for me because the devs keep finding new ways of jumping bigger sharks with each new release, and make past horrible games good games by comparison. The series has been derailing for about ten years, six games and two movie adaptations now.

Silent Hill 4: The Room, 2004 - Boo, the controls are awkward! Too much backtracking! Worst SH evah!

Silen Hill: Origins, 2007 - Boo, this is such a shameless movie time in! Pyramid Head rip-off! Worst SH evah!

Silent Hill: Homecoming, 2008 - Boo, this is too action-packed! Pyramid Head is a sell-out! Worst SH evah!

Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, 2009 - Boo, there's no combat, no health, no items, just running! Worst SH evah!

Silent Hill: Downpour, 2012 - Boo, the games aren't scary any more! The combat is awkward again! Wah! Worst SH evah!

Silent Hill: Book of Memories, 2012 - Boo, what's with the isometric Diablo-ish perspective and the teen cast? Worst SH evah!

And so on.

I liked downpour, it did have some vary scary moments in them to me.

Anyone remember the Jak and Daxter series? First two games were really awesome. Third game was pretty good in my opinion. Then Jak X, which was a racing game... What? It wasn't terrible by any stretch of the mind, but it felt like the series had literally jumped the rails. Apparently they made a new game in the series recently and it was terrible, but I didnt play it.

Also, Kingdom Hearts. KH1 and KH2 were good, and I liked Chain of Memories. But recently, they've been spiraling the drain. 358/2 Days was boring and terribly paced, Birth By Sleep was stupid on so many levels and somehow made me angry about the lack of consistency in a universe with both Disney and Final Fantasy characters, and Dream Drop Distance was so boring and pointless that I haven't even finished it yet. Also Coded, but we don't talk about that

Leoofmoon:

Johnny Novgorod:
Silent Hill is particularly tragic for me because the devs keep finding new ways of jumping bigger sharks with each new release, and make past horrible games good games by comparison. The series has been derailing for about ten years, six games and two movie adaptations now.

Silent Hill 4: The Room, 2004 - Boo, the controls are awkward! Too much backtracking! Worst SH evah!

Silen Hill: Origins, 2007 - Boo, this is such a shameless movie time in! Pyramid Head rip-off! Worst SH evah!

Silent Hill: Homecoming, 2008 - Boo, this is too action-packed! Pyramid Head is a sell-out! Worst SH evah!

Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, 2009 - Boo, there's no combat, no health, no items, just running! Worst SH evah!

Silent Hill: Downpour, 2012 - Boo, the games aren't scary any more! The combat is awkward again! Wah! Worst SH evah!

Silent Hill: Book of Memories, 2012 - Boo, what's with the isometric Diablo-ish perspective and the teen cast? Worst SH evah!

And so on.

I liked downpour, it did have some vary scary moments in them to me.

Downpour is, admittedly, one of the better SHs following the first few games. My main complaint are the "monsters" being not particularly monstruous or abominable. I wasn't disgusted or frightened by their appearence, nor did I find them their design to be very inspired. As Yahtzee more or less put it, they're "little dudes with their dude wives attacking you with their dude fists" or something along those lines.

Metal Gear Solid series with MGS4 takes the cake for me. I started getting worried around the time Portable-Ops was released because it was showing that they were taking the mysteriousness out of the lore. Then MGS4 was released and is horrible in both gameplay and story aspects, I haven't played a new Metal Gear Solid game since.

The two Metal Gear games and the first three MGS games are fine games though.

Skoldpadda:

So, while we're gonna hear a lot of Mass Effects and Diablos here, you can't really count them, since they (in my opinion) went to shit after numero uno. It happens so often and it makes me so mad. You release one awesome and succesful game, and you immediately start taking out the good things for the sequel.

You can argue Mass Effect as it is very divisive, but very few people will agree with you on Diablo going to shit after the first one. The second game is considered to be one of the best sequels.

Call of Duty.
I really loved the first game. It had very good graphics for the time and it felt very intense and was fun to play through. Then CoD2 came. Already I saw a slight drop in quality and immersion, but nothing too bad yet. And then CoD3 happened...and the now familiar pattern had been born. The pattern of 'the same game with a new title for full price'. Not just that, but the single player derailed immensely too. Shorter campaigns, more and more focus on just action and movie-like scenes...ugh. I tried a little of CoD4 and MW1, but I really did not like either of them.

Command & Conquer:
I never played the first two, sadly. But god did I have a lot of fun with Tiberian Sun and Red Alert 2. (+Yuri's revenge) Campaigns, multiplayer at LAN's, just having fun with a friend. Those two games really were great. Then came Tiberium wars and RA3. TW was...pretty okay and still gave me that C&C feel. RA3 was too forced and over the top with it's campy-ness and seemed to think 'hey, hot chicks! You gamers like that right? Right?!' So I dropped that very quickly. Then Tiberian Twilight came, and I just stopped caring completely when I heard it had the same gameplay style as WH 40k: Dawn of War 2. (I tried that, and it sucked.) There was the generals series too. Generals was pretty okay, and fun in LAN multiplayer with my brother. Otherwise I didn't much care for it either.

Um.

This never or barely never happens with me.

If I liked the series the first time, chances are I will like the second game. And then the third. And so on.

I have actually reconized a few drops in quality in certain series, but never enough to the point than I just completly quit them. Quite frankly it seems like people overexagerate this stuff.

So yeah. Either I love the series from its first game, or I hate them (or I am indifferent, whatever).

Zhukov:
That's yet to happen to me.

About the worst thing I can think of off the top of my head is the drop in quality from Bioshock to Bioshock 2. But I still liked the sequel well enough. Plus the upcoming Bioshock Infinite looks pretty sweet.

(P.S. Predicting a lot of Bioware in this thread. Also, at least one person will mention Ultima.)

Allow me to surprise you, then! I greatly enjoyed the Harry Potter games on the PC. Even the simple act of collecting beans was interesting and enjoyable enough. The Philosopher's Stone had surprisingly tense and challenging sections, not least of which was the pit-jumping of the Defense Against the Dark Arts challenges, or the dreaded troll fleeing sequence. The Chamber of Secrets also had lesson challenges, as well as more difficult examination equivalents (I think), for each new spell you learned. These were a bit easier, but were great fun. You got to play Quidditch once or twice as well, which was a hoot.

I think the Prisoner of Azkaban was the point at which they pretty much perfected their PC game formula. Then they removed the exploration aspects and turned The Goblet of Fire into a series of dull, linear missions. No longer could we explore Hogwarts. They brought the exploration aspect back in The Order of the Phoenix, but that game doesn't exactly run very well on the PC, so I sadly can't enjoy it. After that one, the news I heard from people was generally along the lines of "The next one sucks, don't bother."

I liked the fact that the PS2 games were different from the PC versions. It made a nice change to play a game in which you switched between Harry, Ron or Hermione to move through puzzles.

kazann:
Dragon Age 2...

...EA >:|

....Aaaannd I claim my five pounds!

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