7 Game Franchises That Should Just Die Already
For every immortal gaming icon like Mario – or pretty much anything else made by Nintendo – these seven should have been laid to rest long ago.
Good things never last, and some bad things seem to last forever. Gaming has seen so many popular titles that never get their time in the sequel they deserved, but even more are dragged out to the point that they become shadows of their former glory and jokes within the industry. With the newest generation of consoles in full swing, it's a mad race to find properties worth rebooting for a quick buck. Here's seven series we wish would just die already.
Sonic The Hedgehog
Alas, poor Sonic. One of the only gaming mascots to ever get anywhere near Mario in terms of popularity, Sega’s blue speedster was an icon of the 90s and spawned a plethora of tie-in media and merchandise, including a Saturday morning cartoon. He even rejuvenated his popularity with a kick-ass 3D reboot on the ill-fated Dreamcast. But, it was all downhill from there. A gritty shooter called Shadow The Hedgehog that was almost as ridiculous as it sounds – and an attempted next-gen reboot with the 360/PS3 Sonic The Hedgehog that no one liked – sealed Sonic’s legacy in gaming history as the mascot who had it all but lost it all.
When Playstation One first hit the scene in the mid-nineties, Crash Bandicoot was one of the must-have games. Excellent visuals and fun gameplay made this goofy, uh… – is a bandicoot a marsupial or something? – a fitting flagship title for Sony's newborn console. Anyway, the game was really enjoyable and really successful, helping put Sony’s first system on the map. The first sequel, Cortex Strikes Back, was great, but it was all downhill from there. Several really lackluster attempts to cash in on the fun of the original, and even a kart racer, left Crash all but forgotten. After a total of 18 games, it seemed as if gamers were sick of the little orange weirdo; but, recently, there has been talk of bringing him back on modern consoles. Maybe it would be better to just let sleeping bandicoots lie rather than drag their legacy through the mud, again, for a dollar. Or, who knows, maybe a gritty Crash Bandicoot is one of those things we never knew we wanted.
Spyro The Dragon
Another classic from the Playstation One that wasn’t allowed to rest in peace. The first couple of Spyro games are regarded as classics, and then he got rebooted with The Legend Of Spyro. Legend Of Spyro took the cartoonish platforming-focused formula and added a hefty amount of combat. Even after a cross-universe adventure with Crash, interest in the purple dragon pretty much evaporated from the mainstream. That is, until he appeared as the leader of the Skylanders, the game that is also a toy line. He’s since been overshadowed by the 10 billion other little figures you can buy.
Tony Hawk Pro Skater
I don’t skate. It requires fine motor skills that I never developed. Still, I loved the early Tony Hawk Pro Skater games. Even though I didn’t have any idea who any of the skaters were (except when they made Spider-Man and Darth Maul unlockable characters), there was something about tearing around on a skate board and pulling off tricks that defy the laws of physics. The first few games were some of the best for the original Playstation and PS2, but the formula couldn’t hold up to yearly iterations and terrible gimmickry. By the time Tony Hawk RIDE came out, there wasn’t much love left for the franchise. It certainly didn’t help that the game required a goofy Guitar Hero-style skateboard peripheral that had you trying to ollie and kick-flip in the middle of your living room. The newest game, Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5, for PS4 and Xbox One wasn’t well-received by critics or consumers.
A delightful mascot with a series of successful games in the eighties and nineties, Bomberman was very successful with his simple yet competitive formula. After sales stagnated in the early 2000s, developers thought the hero needed to be ‘updated’, turning the cutesy pyromanic into this…
You can guess that 2006’s terribly titled Bomberman: Act Zero didn’t sell very well, and is universally regarded as one of the worst games ever.
Rock Band/Guitar Hero
When the first Guitar Hero came out in 2005, it was a runaway success. The little plastic guitar made people who didn’t really know how to play feel 100 times cooler than people who do, with .01 per cent of the effort. The competing Rock Band broadened the formula by adding drums and a microphone, but yearly entries of both franchises – which came with all new and expensive controllers – meant people got sick of them really quickly. What could have been a great idea – new songs as downloads and a hardware upgrade every couple of years – turned into a fad. Last year’s Guitar Hero: Live, hopes to rekindle people's love for fake plastic instruments and looking like a doofus in your living room.
Medal of Honor
What was a pinnacle of the World War II shooter genre became quite the dud when it was brought into modern times. The reboot in 2010 sold decently and wasn’t hated by reviewers, but when the next title, Medal of Honor: Warfighter, came out, not much had been done to make the game stand out among the Call of Dutys and Battlefields that currently dominate the market. Rumours abound that another reboot is imminent.
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