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7 Game Franchises They Drove Into the Ground 275

Via the ever-excellent Game|Life, a post on Games Radar that details seven destroyed game franchises, taken from us in their prime by callous game publishers. Running the gamut from the venerable Sonic (of whose decline we've already spoken) to the good-to-crappy-in-two-years Viewtiful Joe, these are all games that just deserved better. I personally lament the decline of the Tomb Raider series (number 7 on the list) the most. Her most recent outing was much better than previous iterations, and I definitely hope that Eidos can keep up the momentum. Are there any series that you feel have fallen from heights that should have made the list?
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7 Game Franchises They Drove Into the Ground

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  • More have died... (Score:5, Informative)

    by LinuxGeek ( 6139 ) <djand DOT nc AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday January 25, 2007 @01:16PM (#17754142)
    Aside from games that have fizzled, I lament the passing of both the Thief and System Shock series. Company (mis?)managment has probably killed most of the great gaming franchises that died in their prime. Hopefully Bioshock [] will make it to release and System Shock will kinda, sorta live again...

    Remember that several game developers had their funding cut so Daikatana [] could see the light of day ( at a burn rate of $1,000,000US per month).
    • by Daemonstar ( 84116 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @01:20PM (#17754200)
      I always loved the Wing Commander series, but, sadly, it seems to be no more.
      • by phorm ( 591458 )
        The old sierra-style ones: Space Quest, Police Quest, Quest for Glory (formerly Hero's Quest), King's Quest, etc.

        However, the new Sam'n'Max game is perhaps still somewhat along these lines, and perhaps the episodic model will breath some new life into an old genre. I'd love to see a well done new version of the Space Quest series...
      • Wing Commander and WC2 were the best of the series. I was less a fan of the "interactive movie" WC3 and WC4. Privateer was also excellent.

        I still fire up wc2 in DOSBOX every so often!

      • by kefoo ( 254567 )
        The Wing Commander series is one my favorite of all time. The ending of WC: Prophecy was left open so there could be another game surrounding Christopher Blair if demand warranted but, alas, it's been 9 or 10 years since its release. Since Origin has been shut down I doubt we'll see the resurrection of the series.
    • by Ford Prefect ( 8777 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @01:39PM (#17754570) Homepage
      Deus Ex. Fantastic to cack in just two games. Alas...
      • Seconded. I liked the multiple ways you could play. Stealthy non-lethal defence, or straight out in your face offense.

        Another that bit the big one after only 2 was 'Blood'. I loved the dark humour.
    • is keeping the Theif franchise alive. And it's damn good []
    • I consider Bioshock to be 100% part of the system shock series. It is basicly art-deco System Shock. The fact that they decided to change the setting is actually proof that they are NOT running the franchise into the ground (as the old sci-fi setting would be getting a bit boring).
    • One great franchise that performed well on the market but died off for no reason was Jumping Flash. A great platformer before even Mario 64, fun to play and fun to control even if it didn't use analog sticks.

      Commander Keen, Wonder Boy, Streets of Rage, Road Rash, Splatterhouse, oh.. there are so many that I wish they would bring back in full force.
    • I could never get into System Shock, but I miss Thief horribly. I count the first two Thief games as two of the best computer games ever. The third one was fairly good, but the chances we'll see a fourth are slim to none.
  • Mega Man ruined? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CRCulver ( 715279 ) <> on Thursday January 25, 2007 @01:17PM (#17754164) Homepage
    Funny how he sees that the decline of Mega Man came with the Mega Max X series. When the first three games appeared while in high school, all of my friends and I were excited about them. And the easter egg that is Ryu's street fighting moves was a pleasure for all. Saying that the games were crappy seems to be a minority opinion, and possibly one based more on retrospect than on how one felt at the time of release.
    • by Thansal ( 999464 )
      I honestly don't get it either.

      I think they just don't like the MM:BN games, and I admit, they do get repetative eventualy, however I still really like them.

      The MM:Zero games (GBA) were wonderful for a new line in the series (Currently playing ZX on my DS)

      MM:X were exactly like the old school megaman games, just with more stuff to do (always a plus in my book)

      So I admit, I don't get it.
    • by Gogo0 ( 877020 )
      No kidding, Megaman X (1) is one of my favorites in the entire series.
      It did some fresh things (namely the equipment upgrades) that differentiated itself from the main line. Plus I cant get enough of the music, its one of my favorite SNES soundtracks.

      It has definitely been going downhill, though. I dont think the X line has fared as well as the main line in the same number of games.
    • I really enjoyed Mega Man 2 for the NES. I tried the first in the series after that but was disappointed to see that it was the same game. Ditto for 3, 4, 5, 6... Then in Mega Man X you could hold down the shoot button to charge a shot. I've seen like 2 games worth of innovation spanned across how many games in the Mega Man series? 20?
      • I agree the format was spread a little thin over that many games...but the design was pretty much perfected with MM2. (MM 1 had no level codes, and was therefore: fucking impossible) I can't blame them much for not messing with a winning format. The games had a lot of things to love that set them apart from other platformers of the time.
    • Most purist fans of Megaman series consider X4 to be the pinnacle of Megaman goodness and it is certainly a far better game than any Megaman game that came before it in terms of polish, X or original. You can say the games after X4 are a failure because they failed to meet the bar set by X4 but they're still solid good old Megaman games. Battle Networks is probably the most successful of the Megaman franchise in terms of sales and I view it the same way as Yugioh, World of Warcraft, or Pokemon: they're n
  • That Fluffy Pink Guy (Score:3, Interesting)

    by zyl0x ( 987342 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @01:19PM (#17754198)
    What about those Kirby games? The last one I can remember is the N64 version, which was pretty bad, at least IMO. The only place you see that guy anymore is in the Smash Bros games.
  • What about PC series (Score:3, Interesting)

    by danbert8 ( 1024253 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @01:22PM (#17754252)
    These are apparently only console titles... If they included PC series driven into the ground, there are quite a few that would have topped the list. Command and Conquer I would call number 1, Generals very near sucked and didn't fit a C&C profile at all. I guess I'll just have to wait to see if EA comes back with a classic with the new C&C. Oh, and I know it's not a series, but I used to play Star Wars Galaxies, and SOE really killed that one with a passion.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Enry ( 630 )
      By Generals, you meant Renegade, right? Generals restored my faith in the C&C franchise after playing Renegade. Even the behind-the-scenes videos that come with C&C: The First Decade barely mention renegade.
      • by Sigma 7 ( 266129 )

        By Generals, you meant Renegade, right? Generals restored my faith in the C&C franchise after playing Renegade. Even the behind-the-scenes videos that come with C&C: The First Decade barely mention renegade.

        Generals is an RTS game that some people considered a problem. While I did have preconceptions of the game being bad, that was based on the pattern:

        • Tiberian Sun/Firestorm: It's understandable that a balance issue with Nod's artillery found it's way into the game, and couldn't be fixed without c
    • I've complained about the first two before, but here it's at least on-topic.
      • Rainbow Six
      • Ghost Recon
      • Need For Speed

      Both Tom Clancy games were completely dumbed down, they basically took out all the stuff that made them different from the countless FPS titles. All the tactical elements are gone and so are most of the squadmates (only 2 instead of 7 in R6), not to mention that the friendlies are now ressurectable! If they called the R6 game "Gears of War: Vegas" I'd give it around 80%, but as it is I consider it

      • NFS turned from a game where you race unobtanium cars on spectacular tracks

        Dunno about unobtainium whole cars, but if you like the NFS Porsche Unleashed, you can still buy 356s (even Carreras, but they are way expensive) for less than a new Honda, Toyota, etc. or similar. Not to mention the 912, early 911s, etc. Heck, even the waterpumpers (944 series) are dirt cheap (less than $5k)

        But I'll admit that I'd never drive my 356 the way I drive in the game
  • My Picks (Score:5, Informative)

    by AKAImBatman ( 238306 ) * <{akaimbatman} {at} {}> on Thursday January 25, 2007 @01:25PM (#17754296) Homepage Journal
    Wing Commander - We should have had Privateer Online. Instead, EA dropped it for their new hotness over at Blizzard. Thus one of the greatest series of all time ended.

    Command & Conquer - C&C was good. I mean, darn good. But then Westwood failed to deliver Tiberium Sun as promised, and gave us Red Alert instead. Ok, fine. A lot of people liked Red Alert even though it wasn't as good as the original. So we kept waiting for Tiberium Sun. 4 and a half years later, Westwood just kicked it out the door, merely a shadow of what it was intended to be. From then on out, C&C was nothing more than a "property" in which vaguely related games were released one after another, with no real connection to the gameplay that made the original famous.

    Graphical Adventure Series - While not really a game series in of itself, the concept of Graphical Adventures has been mostly dropped by the industry, depsite the fact that it was a great way to tell a story. Nearly all the Lucas Arts games sold well, and never really showed a decline in the market. The concept just... fell into the ether, seemingly in favor of "more adult" gameplay. (Boo! Hiss!)
    • Star Trek - Activision finally pulled Star Trek out of its gaming gutter with smash hits like Armada and Elite Force. Then Paramount drives the franchise into the ground, Activision sues, and we fans get no more Trek games. (Boo! Hiss!) I've heard that Bethesda Softworks is picking up the torch, but I'm not holding my breath. :(
      • by Thansal ( 999464 )
        Startreck universe running on a Daggerfall like game!

        yegods, I can't figgure out if I want to salivate or laugh my ass off.
    • Wing Commander is sorely missed and would indeed make an unbelievable MMO. Upgrading ships little by little would be sublime! I doubt we'll see that IP resurrected any time soon, unfortunately, due to the shitty movie and EA's stranglehold.

      Graphic adventures are making a comeback in a huge way, though. I'll be especially interested to see how episodic gaming works out. I'm rather enjoying the new Sam and Max series, though it's so easy that the game is just an excuse to play the dialogue. That's oka
      • I'm currently playing "And then there were none", which is a pretty good take on an Agatha Christia mystery done as a point and click adventure. I definitely recommend it if you like adventures.
        • During our vacation a few weeks ago my girlfriend really enjoyed Murder on the Orient Express. We needed to consult a walkthrough a few times since the designers obviously slapped-on some silly logic puzzles, but otherwise we had a great day playing through. Great graphics and a fun premise. We'll certainly check out And Then There Were None.
    • by Pxtl ( 151020 )
      Agreed. That list sucked - half the "franchises" weren't even franchises. Seriously, who remembers Dynasty Warriors and Tenchu. Spy Hunter doesn't deserve to be called a "franchise" - it's a nostalgia revival. Complaining about Spy Hunter is like saying that the re-make of "The Shining" was the end of "The Shining" franchise - that's not a franchise, that's one old classic and one crappy re-make.

      Megaman X wrawked. The thing that killed Megaman was Capcom's total inability to move it out of the sprite-b
      • If there were nine Dynasty Warriors or whatever, that makes it a franchise. It might never have gained the popularity of a Castlevania or a Mortal Kombat, but it was a franchise nonetheless.

        Ask me, and I'll tell you that what hurt the Megaman franchise was Capcom's habit of tacking the name onto games completely unrelated to the canon in order to make a buck. Megaman Legends was actually a pretty decent 3D action/adventure game (with a dreadful control scheme); it just didn't have anything to do with Dr.
        • by Pxtl ( 151020 )
          I didn't like legends at all. The cute "animated fullbright textures" animation approach was cool, and the RPG-structure was nice, but the actual gameplay was weak, and the dungeons were abysmal constructs of cubes. Misadventures of Tronne Bonne was the game that Legends should have been (except for the tedious levelling-up of your servebots).
    • Graphical Adventure Series...
      Those were the days... Gabriel Night, Police Quest, Kings Quest, Goblins Quest, etc. Sadly no one makes creative games like the original Gabriel Night anymore.
    • by Renraku ( 518261 )
      EVE Online is as close as you can get to Privateer Online.
    • Graphical Adventure Series

      It seems like the graphical adventure series is having a minor resurge in the handheld market with the Nintendo DS. The Pheonix Wright:Ace Attorney game could be considered a graphical adventure and it sold well enough to get a sequel just released. Also, Hotel Dusk: Room 215 just came out, and it's a Noir adventure game with a unique graphic style, and it's been getting very good reviews. I also lamented the death of the adventure game genre, but I think with the handhelds as well
  • Star Control (Score:2, Informative)

    by SirLoadALot ( 991302 )
    Star Control: good first game, fantastic second game, AWFUL third game by different developers, then Accolade dies and we're done. More than TEN YEARS LATER, the source code for the 3DO version of Star Control 2 is released and turned into a great open source game for multiple platforms. That's love.
    • Plus, Toys For Bob are trying to get Activision to green light a new StarControl game.
      • by pluther ( 647209 )
        A new Star Control game? Sweet, it's about time!

        (Goes to check.)

        Damn - they're not taking pre-orders yet.


        Nope, still not.

  • What, no Sims? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ludomancer ( 921940 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @01:26PM (#17754322)
    I'm shocked that after terrible incarnation after terrible incarnation, and umpteen-million expansion packs of mediocrity that cause the whole series to fade into obscurity, and their development not being slowed one bit despite that, it didn't make the number one spot.
    • The Sims was never any good to start with. You could call it an extension of SimCity/Earth/Ant/Life/blahblah, but that's stretching it a bit, and that series is very much alive with Spore.
    • Other than the repressed memory that is The Sims Online, there has only been 1 true sequel to the game (the expansions don't really count, they were just added content). True, it has been rehashed onto the consoles, and the gameplay isn't the same (IMO, the PS2 version is better than the PC version. The PS2 version actually has goals to fulfill.)

      My two-bit commentary on games: Unless it is an MMO, completely open-ended games do not tend to hold interest for long. (And even with MMOs, if you don't have fr
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jaqenn ( 996058 )
      You have noticed that of the top 10 selling PC games, five of them are related to the Sims, right? You may think it sucks (I thought it was alright), but it hasn't fallen. Not by a long shot.
      Heres the data to back it up: []
  • Starsiege: Tribes (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Gogo0 ( 877020 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @01:28PM (#17754346)
    Starsiege: Tribes (Tribes 1) dominated my PC gaming time until everyone moved to Tribes 2, which was good (but was no Tribes 1).
    Then came Tribes Vengeance. It stole most of the community and then killed it by being a horrible game. Now the Tribes and Starsiege franchises are completely dead.
  • What is junk for some is good for others..

    Another one that would've made the list, had the oldest title on it not been Mega Man, would've probably been Valis...

    Valis went from one of the first platformer games, pretty much the same age as Metroid with the first undisguised female lead to, in the past couple of years, a porn title.
  • by casualsax3 ( 875131 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @01:30PM (#17754388)
    ... was fantastic - take a look a the reviews all around, it was an excellent evolution on the 2d classic that made things faster and more fluid than ever.
    • by Gogo0 ( 877020 )
      While its definitely better than any of the 3d sonics, I didnt like Sonic Rush much.
      In the old 2d sonics (the Genesis ones, some of my favorite games ever), there werent pits to run straight into everywhere like there are in Rush. The bottomless pits all over the place are so annoying, especially since the game moves so quickly.
      I'll probably pick it up and give it another shot (I purchased it when it came out), but next time I wont be expecting a Genesis-Sonic experience (maybe that was my problem going i
  • Or is not considered dead until Forever comes out?
  • by PygmySurfer ( 442860 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @01:35PM (#17754486)
    King's Quest, Space Quest, Quest for Glory, Leisure Suit Larry, Police Quest/SWAT, Gabriel Night, Earthsiege/Starsiege/Tribes, Front Page Sports, The Incredible Machine, Dr. Brain, Caesar, 3-D Ultra Pinball, Homeworld, Outpost, Freddy Pharkas, Betrayal at Krondor... Sierra practically defines this topic, and it's not even mentioned.
  • Hello? Tribes? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by old_skul ( 566766 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @01:36PM (#17754510) Journal
    Most of the games reviewed in TFA are console games. What about PC games like Tribes, which was successfully augered into the earth by Vivendi/Universal with the stinky "Tribes:Vengeance"? Sure, let's release a game that has broken bits (like tournament mode) and then refuse to patch it. Ever.

    First they started with a great game: Tribes 1. Then the obvious thing to do was to make a sequel, which came out horrifically different from the original in terms of gameplay and feel - not to mention it was broken in the box. Endless patches ensued, until eventually the player community wrote maps and patches to make it feel and play more like the original game. After that debacle, development began on T:V, which as mentioned above was also broken.

    Thanks, guys. You took a franchise which could have flourished and just buried it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by SQLGuru ( 980662 )
      Don't forget arcade games as well.

      Do we really need Super Mega Hyper Extra Street Fighter 9 or something? I love to play the game, but Anything past SFIICE is just sort of overkill to me. Same for MK.

    • Tribes was so far ahead of its time, too. I enjoyed the fact that I could play a support role that was just as important as any other role (and that I could switch from one role to another easily). I tended to play the "repair everything guy." Unfortunately, Tribes 2 really made the "repair guy" unimportant. And Tribes: Vengeance was just stupid.

      I also liked the three-dimensional aspect of the game: in most FPS at the time, you only had to worry about threats from around you. Tribes had the extra "holy cra
  • I have long loved the Might and Magic series. Starting on the c64 and moving on to the pc, it was one of the better hack and slash rpg's that came out. I even adjusted to #6 that included a 3d engine...and from there it went down hill. The 7th was ok, but similar to 6....while 8 was a touch above bad...and 9. Lets just say, it sucked.

    I did see a new one in an add, but I don't know if I even want to bother. Of course I'll probably get it in hopes it will be decent...
    • I actually enjoyed 7 more than 6, and 8 felt like a weak expansion pack, but I still enjoyed it. 9 didn't even feel like a Might and Magic game, it felt like a fan made alpha release. I tried, but I couldn't play more than 10 hours before I gave up on it.
  • Ultima

    While others have said Wing Commander, it wasn't itself driven to the ground as more or less abandoned.
    Ultima however I'd qualify as driven to the ground in its last release.


    So many games after Fallout 2 claiming the "Fallout" name that basically drove to the ground.
    The only hope is that Fallout 3 (now being worked on) can reclaim some of what it was.

    Other ones that I consider more "abandoned" the driven to the ground -


    Mentioned already, but the last game was still a pretty good game. I
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by PingSpike ( 947548 )
      Thats pretty much what EA does. It buys other people's good ideas, then defecates on them.

      I prefer the beloved items of bullfrog IP remain buried, their graves undisturbed by EA...they would have just pumped out a couple half assed titles before dumping them anyway.
  • Every animated Disney flick ever made. I'm still anticipating the direct-to-video Snow White 2 any day now.
    • by WMD_88 ( 843388 )
      The irony here is that Walt Disney himself hated sequels. The whole "sequelize everything on DVD" campaign started around the time of Walt's 100th birthday - apparently, Eisner's idea of a sick joke.
  • 1. Sly Cooper

    The occasional side mission playing as one of the other characters was fine in the first game.

    However, in the sequels, 2 out of 3 missions were non-Sly Cooper. The acrobatic, platforming perfection of the Cooper charatcer was replaced by one of two clumsy, annoying characters.

    2. Xenosaga

    After a great setup in the first game, they replaced the combat engine with one of the most hideous systems ever seen in an RPG. Basically, if you an eveny with anything other than the "correct" sequence of atta
    • by Rycross ( 836649 )
      Xenosaga 3 was much much better than 2 in just about every way. I agree with you on the battle system, and yes they swapped it out for a new one. Amongst friends, Xenosaga 2 is referred to as "the one you have to play through to understand 3." They also spent way way too much time with Jr's backstory in 2, which made it extremely boring.
    • I enjoyed Silent Hill 4, but it is my least favorite of the series. I don't understand why some people treat it like a travesity, but it was far from perfect. It was very annoying that they re-used all the locations, and the second time you had to drag around that idiot Eliene. The ghosts that you couldn't kill (just incompasitate with a limited number of weapons in the game) are really annoying as well. I don't know where an "offical" announcement is, but on several Silent Hill forums posters bring up
    • Enjoyed 1 through 3, but something happened in 4. They did something to the control scheme that made it very frustrating.
      there's a reason for this. Silent hill 4 was originally another game that was rebranded at the last minute as a silent hill title, with some references to earlier titles sprinkled in. On it's own, it's a good game, but seems oddly out of place after playing silent hill 1-3.
  • Particularly I'm thinking of the goldbox series of games.

    I was a huge fan of the Buck Rogers series. Too bad that died.
  • X-COM (Score:4, Interesting)

    by borfast ( 752138 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @01:43PM (#17754642) Homepage
    The X-COM series (actually, just the first two, IMHO) was probably the best strategy game I have ever played. Sometimes I even think it was the best game I ever played. It's a shame they ruined it starting with the third installment in the series.

    UFO: Aftermath, Aftershock (and soon, Afterlight) are pretty cool games but they're nowhere near the coolness of X-COM: UFO Defense (or, for those of us in Europe and other parts of the world, UFO: Enemy Unknown) and X-COM: Terror From The Deep.

    Those were the days... :)
  • Masters of Orion (Score:2, Informative)

    by lp60068 ( 727840 )
    On the PC you can't forget Masters of Orion. Versions One and Two were great, and then they waited several years before coming up with a crappy version 3.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by amuro98 ( 461673 )
      Ugh. Moo3.

      This game doesn't just suck. It teases and tantalizes you with hints of greatness - and then just proceeds to obliterate your spirit and crush your hopes.

      MOO3 is like the girl you dated who was really bad for you, and even though you know you're better off without her, every so often, you feel a twang of nostalgia, or think "maybe THIS time will be different..."

      Fortunately I got rid of the game so I won't be tempted to reinstall it ever again.

      You hear me, Moo3? NEVER AGAIN!
  • Ultima - Died thanks to EA who could'nt do anything right with it
    Wing Commander - Died again thanks to EA, not sure why they had to let it
    Command & Conquer (however a TRUE new C&C is coming down the pipes)
    Mechwarrior - so deserving of a new one
    Descent - Loved the first, and apparently Freespace was pretty good
    Duke Nukem - what more can be said?
    x Quest Series - Good job Sierra
    2D Sidescrollers - I hope Nintendo sees the success of New SMB and makes more 2D based Mario games.
    • by 93,000 ( 150453 )
      Freespace was amazing. The Freespace II was even better. Some of the most fun I've had gaming was with those two.
    • Re:Ultima (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Jerf ( 17166 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @03:55PM (#17757052) Journal
      Ultima - Died thanks to EA who could'nt do anything right with it
      Naw, Ultima died because every time technology advanced in capability by a factor of 2, Richard Garriot's ambitions increased by a factor of 5. In the end we were left with a tech demo.

      Ultima 7 had to be split into two parts because it was too ambitious initially, but it was worthwhile. The program itself is notoriously hacky because of its custom memory management, but it mostly works. (And Exult means it works on modern machines, better than ever.)

      Ultima 8 was too ambitious and while pretty, a lot was cut from the final game, including much of the fun.

      Ultima 9 is almost the definition of an over-ambitious game. So much time spent on the tech that there wasn't much game left, and the story is just atrocious.

      Ultima is almost the canonical example of why I don't really like the obsession with 3D; it becomes a design straitjacket. Anything you can't do in spectacular 3D isn't done at all. (My canonical example: Imagine a full 3D Nethack for the PS3, with no compromises whatsoever, full Nethack gameplay represented in glorious 3D. Good luck with that.) That really hurt Ultima because of all the details that were the spirit of it, most of which had to be cut in a full 3D world. Ultima 7 was the story apex, and Ultima 6 was the combat apex; combat was especially hosed by 3D. All solutions I've ever seen for running a full party of adventurers in 3D is a joke. (I haven't tried FFXII yet; waiting for a price drop while I play the many other AAA games I've missed. But in some ways I still bet it's a joke. Closest thing to an exception: Grandia 2 and 3.)
  • Turok (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sciros ( 986030 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @01:51PM (#17754802) Journal
    I haven't read the article ("games" blocked :-P) but if they didn't mention the Turok series then they've overlooked one of the biggest losses to gamers in history. (If they mentioned Turok then sweet.)

    Turok: Dinosaur Hunter and Turok 2: Seeds of Evil for N64 set new standards for console FPS games in terms of both graphics and weapon design. In my opinion, Turok 2 is yet to be outdone by any FPS as far as hardcore weapon lineups are concerned. Sure there is the occasional gem like HL2's gravity gun, but nothing has had as many great hurting machines as the Turok games.

    Those first two games rocked. Great levels, awesome bosses. Turok 2 even had a half-decent multiplayer.

    I don't know what went wrong after that, but the games just underdelivered in every way possible. There was Turok: Rage Wars which was the dumbest thing ever because when you have Perfect Dark (or Goldeneye) on your console, like heck you're gonna care about a multiplayer-combat-oriented Turok game. Whoopee. And it just went downhill from there.

    They're trying to resurrect this franchise nowadays, so we'll see what happens. But my expectations at this point are quite low.
  • I'm an adventure game fanatic. The Tex Murphy [] adventures Under a Killing Moon, The Pandora Directive and Overseer had a very nice three-dimensional interface that was ahead of its time back then. So MS (yes there they are again) bought Access Software who made the Tex Murphy adventures, and we've never heard of a new Tex Murphy adventure again. Thanks, MS. Chris Jones, the produces and codesigner of the adventures, who also plays Tex in the FMV versions of the adventures, would love to make a new installmen
  • by tomk ( 20364 )
    Ultima. 1-7 (including 7 pt.2) got progressively better, until finally reaching what I consider one of the best RPGs of all time. 8 was a letdown, 9 was a nightmare, X was cancelled. Killed by EA in order to focus on Ultima Online.
  • by willith ( 218835 ) * on Thursday January 25, 2007 @02:27PM (#17755544) Homepage
    This article focuses only on console games, ignoring the similarly-large range of PC franchises torpedoed by bad decisions or greedy publishers.

    Star Control III [] was nowhere the game its predecessors were. SC2 was possibly the best space exploration title ever released, better even than Starflight [] 1 & 2, whereas SC3 was a lame duck pseudo-RTS with a terrible plot and spaceships populated by talking puppets. [] Jesus wept.

    Thief 3 [] was another PC title that fell far short of its predecessors, though a lot of the game's problems stemmed from compromises made in adapting the game for XBox, especially the division of levels into extremely small zones.
  • Star Fox is still best played on the N64. Starfox adventures was 20hrs of beautifully rendered boring fetch quests with a good 18 seconds of real starfox action in between each area. Then they made this crappy multiplayer starfox game that was riddled with control issues. When will we get our beloved on-rails shooter back?
    • I wholeheartedly agree. Starfox Command was easily the best game since the N64 version, and it completely sucks. I'd kill for Starfox 64 2.
  • I did not like FF8, FF10, FF10 1/2, FF11, or FF12. FF9 was an anomaly in the decline. The series seems to have gone way downhill, and it looks to me that an exclusivity contract with PS3 for FF13 will be the end.
    • I think it's not quite that cut and dry. FF10 and 12 aren't that bad. However, as a whole, I agree that its not moving in the right direction. FFX-2 was a big mistake.
  • by Some_Llama ( 763766 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @02:42PM (#17755826) Homepage Journal
    But i'm gonna add another PC game, a mod actually, Counter-strike. There I said it. Valve bought the rights to the mod, and then promptly split the community and actual game itself into 3 different (although similar) games, then they killed off the old server infrastructure making playing the original mod (non-valve IP) impossible.

    What you have currently is 3 different types of "games" based on the same mod, CS, CS:Z, and CS:S, CS and CS:S cannot be played together, and I think CS:Z is only backwards compatible. And they are different, any fan of a particular "game" will tell you how much the other "doesn't feel right"/sucks, etc...

    Not to mention dropping thrid party support for anticheat tools, and constant (almost weekly) "tweaks" to "improve gameplay" that make playing a standard game a near impossiblity..

    I tried to play CS:S the other night on one of the varible pricing servers (were prices fluctuate due to demand) and it was quite frustrating.. how do I make my choices of what gun to buy when i have no idea how much it costs in relation to other guns without spending every week going over the pricing? I couldn't even buy armor and helmet without forking over 4500 bucks?!?! (sorry bit of a rant there).

    My main gripe is that I used to be able to just jump in a game and play for a few hours, knowing the maps, knowing what my money would buy, knowing what equipment was available.. with source this is pretty much not possible.. it seems like Valve wants to kill it off completely.
    • Are you honestly surprised at this? Valve has been heading in this direction for a long time. Remember Team Fortress 2? It's been vaporware for as long as Duke Nukem Formaldehyde.
    • by Sigma 7 ( 266129 )

      then they killed off the old server infrastructure making playing the original mod (non-valve IP) impossible.

      No, they just killed the Internet portion. You can still use the legacy versions by running in insecure mode and connecting directly to the server's IP address.

      I tried to play CS:S the other night on one of the varible pricing servers (were prices fluctuate due to demand) and it was quite frustrating.. how do I make my choices of what gun to buy when i have no idea how much it costs in relation to o

  • Not that i dont enjoy them (on the very contrary!) but franchises should never last past 3 or 4 games because they always get worst each time.

    A good recipe for a game only works for so long then you need to whip out a new one. I know there are are franchises that just won't die like mega man, dynasty warriors and Final fantasy but then I have to remind you that these games now don't provide nearly as much fun as they did when they began. mind you, FF did evolve with its latest installment.

    I've read elsewher
  • It was a great "murder simulator"/tactical shooter. But after Rainbow Six 3: Ravenshield the focus shifted to console games destroying the whole Rainbow Six concept that worked so well.
  • The reason the new Tombraiders are better are because SCI took over from Core Design as the developer. Core Design is a shell of the company it once was anyway, and I'm not going to discuss that here. You're about to see some other old favorites pop up at new developers from Fallout at BethSoft to another old favorite I can't comment about. =)

    My point is -- it helps to have a new design and development team to take a fresh approach if the orginal team has faultered.
  • I'll join the Wing Commander chorus here. Blasting Kilrathi in the later years just wasn't what it was in the beginning... there's only so many times you can be called a "hairless ape" before you get desensitized to it. And you'd think after a single human pilot wipes out 10,000 of their fighters and a couple of hundred of their capital ships they'd know better than to kill his woman or attack his homeworld.

    I'd also like to toss out Mechwarrior (downhill after 2) and Gunship (2000 was outstanding, Gun

  • A couple more... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CAIMLAS ( 41445 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @10:22PM (#17762466) Homepage
    - Oni - a quasi-anime third-person shooter/fighter game with a story. Hell of a lot of fun. Made by Bungie right before MS bought them; the sequel and network support they were working on were killed.
    - Mechwarrior - Microsoft killed the franchise when they bought them. They had a good thing going with MechWarrior 2, but the gameplay in 3 and 4 got progressively less challenging, refined, and balanced. Ditto for the Mech Commander games, which were medicore at best to begin with. They could do a lot of awesome stuff with this franchise right now, if they did it right. Mechwarrior MMORPG, anyone (ala Mechwarrior Merc on a trans-global scale)?
    - Privateer/WingCommander series - with the technology we have today, why haven't we seen this world continued in the old tradition? It was great.
    - Duke Nukem - OK, so where the hell is Duke Nukem Forever? Duke3D was great fun, then the release of a couple mediocre side-scrolling games for platform and PC, and we're still waiting for DN4R, which has been in the works for like... 7 years, now?
    - Descent - Descent 1 and 2 were great, and 3 was medicore at best in terms of single and multiplayer gameplay. Heck, Descent 1 and 2 are still fantastic to play with d2x and modern textures. The games were way ahead of their time technologically, as well, introducing physics systems, true 3d, and lighting in 1993, for cryin' out loud. And then they just kinda stopped making Descent IV.

Sigmund Freud is alleged to have said that in the last analysis the entire field of psychology may reduce to biological electrochemistry.