Game Sequels That Totally Ruined Promising Franchises

Sometimes, two is just too much.

As an overly critical, picky neckbeard, there is one thing I fear above all others when it comes to my media: sequels. I have had my hopes soar sky high many a time in anticipation for another dose of a particularly good game or film, only to have them crash down with no survivors.

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It has gotten to the point where I am beyond jaded with the entire concept. If I sound like I’m being over dramatic, just wait until I show you all of the game sequels that totally ruined promising franchises. It’ll make the Titanic seem like no biggie.

That hyperbolic statement is only the tip of this iceberg.

The following games have been chosen based on them being generally received poorly by their original fanbase (as opposed to major publication reviews) and for either killing off a series or killing off interest in a series. This list is also just my own opinion, so, if I talk about one of your favorite games, feel free to call me a butt sniffing lunatic in the comments section.

4. Fable 2

When the original Fable was in development, I was young enough to believe the Molyneaux hype. Once it was released, a lot of people were disappointed with how much was left out of the game. Despite its flaws, it was generally well received.

Upon Fable 2‘s release, many were disappointed to find it was more or less just the same thing as the original game. Not to mention that, it was also shorter than what most fans were waiting for.

Short only works for DeVito, baby.

Many fans of the original game felt that the dog partner was the only noteworthy addition. Sadly, man’s best friend only goes so far. When the third title came out, most of the original fans had already jumped ship. Those that stuck around panned it. 

3. Perfect Dark Zero

Back in the day when the console FPS genre hadn’t become a deceased equine, Perfect Dark came out on the Nintendo 64. It was essentially Goldeneye 2 with even better gameplay. Some of my best multiplayer experiences were had in this game.

Fast forward a bit later and Microsoft now owns Rare, said game’s developer. They decided that the Xbox360’s launch would be a great time to bring back Joanna and her FPS antics.

The game, like most of those featured on this list, got good reviews from most gaming publications. However, fans of the original entry in the series were highly disappointed with the game’s awful artificial intelligence, shoddily done level design, and overall poor presentation.

After Zero’s failure, it’s no surprise Rare has decided to keep Joanna in the dark.

2. Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts

Banjo-Kazooie is another beloved game from Rare in their N64 heyday. Featuring the loveable bear and bird duo, this game had two extremely well received platformer entries on the platform.

The second sequel to this game could have been an entry to introduce Banjo and Kazooie to a whole new generation of gamers. Old fans and new ones could have had hours of entertainment collecting thingamabobs in glorious HD.

What we got instead was something that still confuses me to this day: a racing game. It’s like if some Hollywood executives decided to remake The Goonies but instead made a racing game.

Horrible acceleration, but high top speeds.

Instead of rambling on about this entry, I’ll let boxing celebrity and youtube video game idol Jontron do it for me: 

This series can possibly be redeemed if Rare ever comes to their senses and makes a true sequel to the N64 titles. Until then, RIP Banjo and Kazooie. Cue the BoyzIIMen.

1. Dragon Age 2

I can write a rant detailing my loathing for this game that rivals the length of Crime and Punishment while being twice as bitter as any 19th century Russian could dream to be. It is what all sequels should strive not to be.

Dragon Age: Origins was an amazing game. It was the perfect blend of new school and old school Western RPGs. It had its fair share of blemishes with many finding the combat to be slow and, on the console version, difficult to manage, but its pros definitely outweighted its cons.

Almost every character in the game was interesting. Morrigan may have divided the fanbase, but it’s hard to find someone who could resist Alistair’s charm.

The first game had a level of depth in character origins (like the title implies) that made each playthrough feel unique. Not only was your start dependent on race, but also on your social standing.

…that all changed when the Fire Nation attacked.

When I was still beyond hyped for the sequel, one of the producers mentioned potentially attracting the “Call of Duty crowd.” Every piece of news thereafter filled me with a sense of dread.

Upon the game’s release, I heard nothing but: repetitive dungeons, terrible characters, and an amazingly awful plot. I swore never to touch the game.

I later touched the game.

I waited until I could get it used so that I would not in any way support the mess that they made of one of my favorite recent titles if the rumors proved to be true. The smartest decision I ever made in my life.

Dragon Age 2 had about as much dungeon variety as you would expect from a mobile game. Instead of the quests being fun delves into interesting environments, they made the player sigh until they developed a respiratory problem.

The dialogue options in the game, even with voice acting added, came with color coding to prevent the players from having to put any thought into how their character would come off.

 But I didn’t want to fight him, I wanted to give him a fist bump!

Not only did they simplify the game’s combat and dungeon running, take out the interesting aspects of character creation and interaction, but they also had the balls to make the story disjointed, offensive, and more importantly: boring.

Instead of being a heroic Warden, you are some Hawke-ass mofo whose story is told over the course of a few years, with each section being barely related to the previous one.

Bioware wasn’t satisfied with writing new boring lore, they also had to change the pre-existing Qunari. The new version of the Qunari (Qur’an-i) had parallels to historical Western stereotypes of Muslim fanatics that made me want to jihad myself into oblivion.

I’ll buy all the virtual horse armor you want, just get me away from this game.

Even in its offensiveness, the game could not entertain me. A handful of party characters and their interactions with each other were what kept me going, but it wasn’t enough to redeem this game of its Episode 1 levels of sin.

With the next Dragon Age title coming out relatively soon, it’s possible that fans of Origins might come crawling back, but I’m not willing to bet on it after this atrocity of a sequel.


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Author
Joseph Rowe
World traveling English teacher, writer, and aspiring front-end developer.