Sequels Which Blew It And The Game Design Decisions Which Did It To Them

(or, how to really disappoint an ever-loving fan of your franchise)

Burnout 3, Burnout Revenge

See the post below.

Midnight Club 3 (only minor suckage)

See below. It actually is a pretty solid game, they just made a small mistake (in my egotistical opinion) by changing the way you acquire cars.

Halo 2

Can you say "weapons rebalancing"? Please. Screwing up grenades, emasculating the pistol, and basically changing everything that makes multiplayer Halo fun. It's just not the same game. What we all wanted was Halo 1's mechanics, Halo 2's phyics, and Halo 2's rendering engine. But what we got was so much less satisfying. (And don't get me starting on the streaming data glitches on level load).

Unreal Championship

Way to go! Take Unreal Tournament, and completely eviscerate it by giving each class of characters its own special move, which was then promptly used to cheat by all of the people playing it, so either you had to play as an Automaton and use the lighting jump glitch, or you'd never get anywhere. Frankly, I prefer to play as one of the Anuban or Nightmare classes, because I've got a soft spot for egyptian art and Hellraiser (that, and the only way to start out with the flak cannon is - you guessed it - to play as a specific character). I've heard that UC2004 does the same thing, only more so, which is why I haven't bothered to buy it. Damn you Epic! You enforced artificial class division and separation for no good reason! This doesn't enhance the game - it just makes it less fun to play than UT!

Prince Of Persia: The Warrior Within

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is a puzzle platformer game, with an action bent. Take the puzzle platformer aspect, and throw it nearly all away! Now, add in a hell of a lot more action! Oh, and remove all of the storyteller charm ("Oh no, sorry, it didn't happen that way. Let me tell you again") that made Prince of Persia so beautiful. I finished the first game quite happily. I have yet to be bothered to finish the second one, because I'm sick of all the fighting. I'm going to rent the third one before I buy it just in case.

Suffering: Ties That Bind

Suffering is a horror game. Suffering 2 is a horror game. Suffering 1 is a very creepy scary disturbing horror game, that my friend Steve was so scared by that he wouldn't play it after he watched the demo for 5 minutes. Suffering 2? He let his 15 year old kid play it. 'nuff said. Mind you, because XBOX 360 was coming out last year in November, and the game came out in October, no-one bought it anyway because they were saving up all their cash for the 360 and its games. Which is a shame, because the game plays much better than the first one, and looks a thousand times better. I worked on this one, so this hopefully proves that I'm not playing favorites or anything.

It really is a great game. We made it. I'm just a hardcore horror genre fan at heart, and this was a step back towards the mainstream. Most people prefer that. I just... don't.

Tribes 2

Release the game, and then release a 57Mb patch that you have to download before you can actually play it. I was at Sierra when this happened. Can you say clusterfuck or Death of a Franchise?

Spiderman 2

Spiderman was one of those games that you just love to see at the beginning of a new console's life. Bruce Campbell doing narration. Wondeful easter eggs. Highly polished engine. Great story, great gameplay, wonderful mix of indoor platform action vs. outdoor webslinging swingy bliss. (Never mind that you can't see what those webs are attached to - skyhooks, probably). In fact, Treyarch did such a good job with this game that I recommended it to one friend with the words - and I quote - "This game was made with a lot of love". And frankly there's no higher recommendation than that. Spiderman 2? Er... more like GTA with webslinging. Just cut the heart out of it, get rid of the indoor stuff, and lo and behold, it's just not as good as the first, even though you could go down onto the street.

Space Harrier 2

Er... it sucked? What more can I say. For some reason, it just didn't work as well as the first one. Although I've heard that the Sega Ages new Space Harrier game is excellent - but it hasn't been released here AFAIK. Damn you Sega!

Silent Hill 4: The Room

Going back to the room was cute. At first. But then it got really boring really really fast. Especially because you had to cure the room every now and then, and all the save points involved a long trip back, and a huge load/save. Silent Hill 3 was much better, and Silent Hill 2 still holds a very strong place in my heart. OK, so I like the concept, alright? It's just not that satisfying in execution.

Lemmings 3D

Lemmings does not work in 3D. It's a 2D game.

Worms 3D

Worms does not work in 3D. It's a 2D game. Goddamnit! Not EVERYTHING has to be in 3D people! Some games just do NOT translate from the 2D world.

Outrun 2 (XBOX)

Drift racing is great. If you don't spend all your time driving sideways, that is. Unfortunately, like an alcoholic caught in a snowstorm doing 60 mph downhill, in Outrun 2, you do spend all of your time doing that. And by that - in case there was any confusion - I mean driving sideways. It's just unnatural. Ridge Racer was a much better drift racer. Heck, the original Outrun was much better for drift racing. Crap, gimme Vanishing Point any day.

Honorary mentions:

Star Wars (Greedo shooting first in the remaster), Star Wars: A New Hope, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, and Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. Yes I know they're not games, but I'm totally with Simon Pegg on this one. (If you've not seen Spaced, you should find a way to do so).

Next time: My console games collection as it stands right now. I'll put the games I really love in bold or something. Hehehe.

About the author

Simon Cooke is an occasional video game developer, ex-freelance journalist, screenwriter, film-maker, musician, and software engineer in Seattle, WA.

The views posted on this blog are his and his alone, and have no relation to anything he's working on, his employer, or anything else and are not an official statement of any kind by them (and barely even one by him most of the time).

Archived Wordpress comments
JCE wrote on Thursday, March 9, 2006:

I recently had an inverse moment in my life. After years of raving the wonders of Tecmo Bowl and how the playability was far superior to any NFL game of today (I know you’re a non sporty brit but bear with me)….I downloaded a ROM and an emulator. Eagerly I booted up and to my dismay found the game sucks. It was only by actually returning to the prior games that I realized how much better new ones can be.

Even though they are both old you left of the worst sequel I have come across.

NOLF was clever and witty. You would crouch and crawl just to hear the crazy dialogue. NOLF2 was linear with silly “bosses” and no real sidebar wit.


clydetopper wrote on Sunday, September 17, 2006:

Suffering 2 is great, but mine has a glitch in chapter 12. A gorger is apparently supposed to break down a door after a battle on the prison roof yard, but he doesn’t. I can’t do anything. I’m simply left their to age. Any ideas?

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