When a new game comes out that thrills and excites the focus immediately shifts to a sequel. Some game sequels are rushed, unplayable disasters which are a blatant attempt on cashing in off the reputation of the original. Here I list my top 5 biggest disappointments, would any of these be in your top 5?
1. NiGHTS: Journey Into Dreams (Wii)
When NiGHTS hit our shelves on the ill-fated Saturn it was critically praised. It was utterly unique and a beauty of a game and I spent many of my days trying to ‘A’ every level. It had bags of re-playability and a level of charm I haven’t encountered since. I still find myself humming the endearing theme song to myself when I’m feeling rather jolly.
Imagine my excitement when the announcement of a sequel was announced, I literally couldn’t wait. When I finally popped in I was horrified, it looked and sounded like NiGHTS but didn’t play anything like what I remembered. Firstly, too much emphasis was put on controlling Will and Helen. I didn’t care much for Elliot and Claris in the first so why they introduced a huge boring story around two new characters with the personality of a fart between them is beyond me. It lost it’s sense of being a platform/arcade game all in one and instead created a new genre all by itself, I call it sh*t. The parts in which I played NiGHTS were actually quiet good and remained relatively faithful to the original but it also had HUGE control issues. At least I can play NiGHTS in HD now, I suppose.
2. Super Mario Bros 2 (NES)
No surprises seeing this one the list, it is widely regarded as the weakest game in the Mario series. The original was one of the best games ever made, little did I know this at the time though (I was 3). Super Mario Bros was the first game I ever played and started my addiction to gaming and is the reason why I’m writing this now.
Super Mario Bros 2 didn’t feel like a Mario game, I always wondered why this was until I discovered the internet 13 years after playing the game. It was a rip off of Yumi Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic and was basically just re-skinned with Mario branding. The game scared the hell out of me, with its weird jumping and creepy looking enemies it didn’t sit right with me. I had nightmares of that egg shooting boss for years later #scarred.
3. Devil May Cry 2 (PS2)
The first game blew us all away with it’s gothic ambience and the cockiness of our new hero, Dante. It was considered to be a ‘better’ Resident Evil and took the genre to new heights. It was a system seller of it’s time and I bought a PS2 specifically to play and enjoy the game (being an Xbox fan at the time).
Devil May Cry 2 made me cry. They took away Dantes personality and made him also mute. There was no graphical improvement and it played like dog turd. It was also a much easier experience and offered no or little challenge to a serious gamer. It wasn’t the strategic masterpiece it once was and failed hard, critics seem to agree with me with low scores across the board. The game had so much hype that failure seemed inevitable, although most of us didn’t expect the game to suck so much. The added bonus levels playing as Lucia were nothing more than a cheap add-on considering we were just replaying the same turd of a game we had just played as Dante.
4. Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly (XB,GC,PS2)
Ok, this is not a direct sequel like the others but it needed to be included for killing off a well-loved series. The first 3 Spyro games were a real triumph for Sony, Insomniac and platform gaming as a whole. I spent endless hours trying to collect all the hidden gems and was they were one of the first series I ever tried to get 100% completion on in every game. Each had thrilling mini-games, charming characters and they are easily some of the best platform games ever made.
Enter the Dragonfly changed everyones opinion of Spyro, they took everything great and removed it. The camera angle was shoddy, the graphics and framerate ruined the experience and he just didn’t feel the same. Unlike the previous 3 it had no direction and was a borefest, I’m pretty sure the only people who actually finished this game were the reviewers who were paid to do so. He may look somewhat similar but this isn’t Spyro, this was Spyro on the road to be a steroid taking, drug addict that nobody wants to be friends with (what he looks like today)
5. Bomberman: Act Zero (XB360)
Not truly a sequel either but so bad it made the list. Bomberman surely featured in everyones childhood of a certain age. Nothing was more fun than 4 player with your mates round. The gameplay was simple, the characters were bland but had their own charm. The reason why Bomberman was so successful simply is because it a hell of a lot of fun and anyone could pick up and play and still have an enjoyable experience.
The sequel was unrecognizable, it was only Bomberman by name. It was like my mum and dad made a video game based on what they thought kids thought was cool. Generic metal armor type heroes and no gameplay whatsoever made sure this was found in bargain bins worldwide shortly after release (where they have stayed). It is one of the biggest gaming fails of all time, and left fans of the series scratching their heads….and scratching their ass with the disc (all it’s good for)
Duke Nukem should of made the list too. Maybe I should of done a top 6. Anyway, anyone else got any suggestions? Let me know!