The Most Mishandled IPs/Franchises in Gaming?

wadark

New member
Dec 22, 2007
397
0
0
Several people have mentioned Metroid so I thought I'd elaborate on that one more in the vein of my original post.

Metroid, along with Castlevania, essentially succeeded in creating a whole new genre in its day. The premise being to create what basically amounts to a labyrinth for players to explore. And as you explore you find new gadgets, fight bosses, obtain weapons, and generally increase your power in various ways that allow you to access and survive new areas of the map. Backtracking is a very big part of the "Metroidvania" model, allowing the acquisition of new tools to open areas of the map that you may have seen before, but couldn't access.

The series REALLY hit stride with Super Metroid on the Super Nintendo system, becoming a huge success and, more importantly, being one of the few, if not the only, first-party Nintendo franchise to actually have a progressing story, despite its basically-silent protagonist.

Unfortunately, things started to go downhill almost immediately after that game. While Super Metroid did do well, Nintendo chose not to follow it up for quite some time. The entire Nintendo 64 generation passed without an addition to the franchise, excepting a couple GBA releases that did modestly well.

On a more positive note, the series came roaring back in the form of Metroid Prime on the Gamecube. Possibly the most remarkable feature of Metroid Prime was its ability to transition nearly-perfectly from 2D to 3D. Platforming still worked great even from a first-person perspective and the exploration and upgrade aspects of the series remained well intact. Prime was followed up with a successful sequel on the Gamecube, and another on the Wii (which I enjoyed but never finished due to the Wii controller giving me arm-cramps), which brought full voice-acting to the series for the first time in just about any Nintendo game.

Unfortunately, Nintendo then made an ill-fated decision. They chose to hand the series over to Team Ninja (of Dead or Alive and Ninja Gaiden fame) to develop a new entry called Other M. Unfortunately, the game was panned by fans, mostly in the story department. The essential complaint came down to Samus' character, previously one of the few truly capable, strong yet sexy, and importantly unobnoxious female characters in gaming. Team Ninja did away with much of that and reduced her to a stereotypical female stock character whose personality did not match what it was before. Samus had never had a voice before Other M, and many fans saw it as a betrayal to finally give her a voice only to undo all of the amazing character that she had taken on without ever speaking a word.

Fortunately, that is the only truly bad time in the Metroid line (unlike Sonic's numerous flops), so perhaps it can be written off as an anomaly, and future titles in the series will get back to what the series is great at. Only time will tell.
 

Comocat

New member
May 24, 2012
382
0
0
For me:

Losers

Final Fantasy- when you need to start putting dashes in your game titles, it might be time to retire it. They keep selling for some reason, but I have no idea why.

Dragon Age- The first game was pretty epic and the 2nd pretty much killed the franchise.

Blizzard games- Maybe Diablo and SC were relevant 10 years ago, but if you think 10 year development cycles are going to keep me hooked, think again.

Winners:

Mario: Always fun despite the fact Nintendo puts him everywhere

Fallout: Love every game (even tactics) made in the series

Civilizations: Always great!
 

Dansen

Master Lurker
Mar 24, 2010
927
34
33
Legion said:
Gears of War springs to mind. If you delve into the back story and books they had the potential for an incredibly deep and meaningful series, but they decided to go for the 'action movie' route and turned it into one of those clichéd "dark settings with childish yet with fratboyish humour" kind of games.

Halo is similar to Gears of War as it has incredible lore, and amazingly detailed back stories, but the games pretty much ignore all of it. Instead we get somewhat lazy stories told almost entirely in cutscenes, and the games "evolution" is pretty much a few new weapons and vehicles and briefly duel-wielding before going back to how the original game worked.

Both of these had the potential in their stories, but they were never properly used, so when people call them shallow, it's not really that surprising, because you shouldn't need to read the books of a game to get a decent story.

Obviously I still like them, but they could have been handled much better.
Totally agree with you about Halo. Halo ODST was probably the strongest one by far, but everyone seems to hate it for no good reason. One of my first threads on this site was about how Master chief needed to be removed for Halo to grow, seriously he is one of the most boring characters in the Halo universe. There are so many better things that could be done with that series, but instead we get halo 4.
 

Tdoodle

New member
Sep 16, 2012
181
0
0
JaceValm said:
Ok, that got even more complicated than I would have hoped but my point is Pokemon hasn't been adding anything meaningful, all the extra stuff is just toppings to what was once that game everyone had.
That's assuming that the whole Pokemon League quest what made Pokemon meaningful, and it never was. It was always about collecting and battling monsters, something which they've poured loads of time and effort into making more varied. If you think that the story is the core of the game and the Pokemon are just decoration then you've missed the point of the series entirely.

Deathlyphil said:
I know what the story is, I just think it's convoluted. I'd much rather they left the apple and other artefacts a mystery, or at most only hinted at their origins rather than start unravelling that pointless and distracting yarn. Now they've got all that silliness to deal with when they get round to concluding Desmond's story, when all his ancestors and most of the gameplay have been focussed on the Templar/Assassin war.

Include them, sure, but don't explain them. They don't need it.
 

Deathlyphil

New member
Mar 6, 2008
222
0
0
Tdoodle said:
I know what the story is, I just think it's convoluted. I'd much rather they left the apple and other artefacts a mystery, or at most only hinted at their origins rather than start unravelling that pointless and distracting yarn. Now they've got all that silliness to deal with when they get round to concluding Desmond's story, when all his ancestors and most of the gameplay have been focussed on the Templar/Assassin war.

Include them, sure, but don't explain them. They don't need it.
To be honest, I agree. They could have easily not had the "Ones Who Come Before" and left it as a straight Templar / Assassin fight. But I guess someone thought they had to explain the magic gizmos. I'm sure Ubisoft are wishing they hadn't included Desmond now. He's been ignored for so long it's probably too late to save him as a character now.
 

Deathlyphil

New member
Mar 6, 2008
222
0
0
Dansen said:
Legion said:
Totally agree with you about Halo. Halo ODST was probably the strongest one by far, but everyone seems to hate it for no good reason. One of my first threads on this site was about how Master chief needed to be removed for Halo to grow, seriously he is one of the most boring characters in the Halo universe. There are so many better things that could be done with that series, but instead we get halo 4.
I agree with you both. The universe for Gears and Halo is far more interesting than what is in the games.

ODST is my favourite Halo too. I liked putting it on legendary and trying to sneak about in the city at night. Completely changes the tone of the game, it felt like I was playing a survival horror.
 

Dr. Cakey

New member
Feb 1, 2011
517
0
0
havoc33 said:
Metroid

Seriously, I cannot believe how Nintendo continues to drop the ball (no pun intended) with this franchise. First they follow up the success of Super Metroid with no Metroid game at all on the N64. Then we get a glorius comeback with the Metroid Prime trilogy, only to have Team Ninja totally fuck it up all over again.
The thing is (and I don't recall where I learned this, unfortunately), Metroid is not a very big moneymaker for Nintendo. If I recall correctly:

Metroid was actually developed to showcase some Famicom expansion. I don't know what it was or what it did, so let's call it the Famicom Virtual Disk Drive Motion Plus Boy. This expansion sold about as well as you'd expect. The wide world never got said expansion, so it was released for the NES out there. So while it did well in the US, in Japan it probably sold a good five or ten copies.

Super Metroid took too long to develop, apparently, and I guess came out too close to the end of the console's life-cycle. (Metroid II did reasonably well, which I think was why Super Metroid came out, but still not excellently. At least, I think that's what it was.)

Metroid Prime should be a huge hint that Nintendo didn't give a crap about the franchise. They passed it off to an untested third-party developer, only to discover said developer's management were engaged in some kind of financial chicanery - Nintendo, not known for being subtle, tactical-nuked the company and sent in Miyamoto to bang pieces of the rubble together until something salable came out.

Then an amazing game appeared. Critics loved it, people bought it, and Retro Studios became a name. Nintendo, not known for dealing with success with a level head, immediately asked for a sequel NAO, so Retro made the same game only not quite as good and with a story or something. Nintendo, not known for their cleverness, decided Prime 2 was the killer app needed to sink the Halo franchise, and released it in the same window as Halo 2, with predictable results (well, the overlap of appeal between the two franchises is probably pretty low, so things could've been worse).

So Nintendo told Retro Studios to make a game that would trick people into thinking the Wii wasn't dumb (I say this as someone who is a Nintendo fan, and in fact owns no console other than a Wii) and release it as a Wii launch window game. That...didn't happen...so Nintendo did the next best thing. They knew that Prime 3, with its sexy controls and shiny, not-HD graphics would be the killer app needed to sink the Halo franchise, and released it in the same window as Halo 3, with...did I say this already?

As a sad-trombone coda, Other M sold under half a million copies in the US, which I would speculate adds up to not much over a million copies in total. Which...might be a good thing, from another perspective.

So that's the story of how Metroid sometimes makes money and sometimes doesn't make much money.

Captcha: rocket science
It's not that.
 

OblivionSoul

New member
Oct 19, 2009
109
0
0
Duke Nukem.

Half Life, on the basis of, seriously valve, make the fucking third one.

Timesplitters

F-zero

DmC
 

The Harkinator

Did something happen?
Jun 2, 2010
742
0
0
Tdoodle said:
JaceValm said:
Ok, that got even more complicated than I would have hoped but my point is Pokemon hasn't been adding anything meaningful, all the extra stuff is just toppings to what was once that game everyone had.
That's assuming that the whole Pokemon League quest what made Pokemon meaningful, and it never was. It was always about collecting and battling monsters, something which they've poured loads of time and effort into making more varied. If you think that the story is the core of the game and the Pokemon are just decoration then you've missed the point of the series entirely.
That is your opinion on Pokemon, I was offering mine on this forum.

It is rather rude to tell somebody that they have missed the point of an entire series when said series means different things to different people. For me, running in circles in long grass to level up pokemon is rather boring, I prefer to actually do the Pokemon League stuff, advancing through towns and battling different gym leaders as the fights get harder and harder. For you it is different, but don't tell somebody that their opinion is downright wrong.
 

Atmos Duality

New member
Mar 3, 2010
8,473
0
0
Ghostwise said:
Shadowrun. The abomination that was created for the 360 and pc just dumps all over the RPG.
^Good lord, THIS.

"Elves regenerate because they're elves!"
"Me:...WHAT THE FUCK?"

How do you even do that?! What is so goddamned hard about making a Shadowrun video game?
It was done twice before this and done better.

It has bloody everything you would want in a video game!
The mechanics, premise and setting could translate in so many ways.

So naturally, they ignore ALL of that and just made a generic shooter that happens to feature a few things they might have seen flipping through the pages of the rules books.
 

IamLEAM1983

Neloth's got swag.
Aug 22, 2011
2,581
0
0
Frission said:
Mikejames said:
Not the worst out there, but Assassin's Creed has certainly been wrung for cash.
We have a plot device that can take take us through any conflict in history, but the surface is barely scratched in favor of padding out.
I sort of wish they had gone to other time periods. In Assassin's Creed 2 you get to go to tombs dedicated to legendary assassin's. There was the Romans, the ancient Chinese, the Persians, the Egyptians. All of that and we go with the American Revolution.
Because AMURRIKAH. FUCK YEAH.

Ergo, oodles of cash for Ubisoft. It's unfortunate, I know, but it's also a no-brainer. Playing on patriotism in the case of game that obviously will be marketed in a country that's known for its patriotism feels pretty logical.

I doubt they'll ever go back and visit the earlier periods mentioned in ACII, seeing as word is that they're looking to more or less wrap up Desmond's personal narrative soonish. After that? Who knows; it's one of Ubisoft's cash cows. Just as Shepard's death won't stop EA from pushing out another Mass Effect, you can bet your ass closing off the Desmond Miles arc won't mean the end of the AssCreed series.

Lucy Stillman has a missing finger, for instance. Would that elude to her having a couple hidden blade-toting ancestors? I wouldn't mind jumping around as a female Assassin.