Readers discuss the video game series that used to be their favourite but they’ve now given up on, from Halo to Sonic The Hedgehog.
The subject for this week’s Hot Topic was suggested by reader Theseman, who asked what franchise have you enjoyed in the past but have grown cold on since? Is it because the sequels are all too similar or because they’ve evolved into something you’re not so interested in?
With many franchises having been going for decades there were plenty of big name games suggested, from Battlefield to Pokémon. But few people had given up entirely, and many mentioned that this year’s Call Of Duty and Assassin’s Creed had been the best in a long time.
It’s got to be Halo for me. I used to be dangerously obsessed by the games in the original Xbox and Xbox 360. They were my jam and not only did I play the multiplayer endlessly but I had tons of the books, toy… basically everything I could get my hands on.
But nowadays I couldn’t be less interested in Halo 6 and honestly hope they give the series a long rest after that.
The obvious thing to blame is Bungie leaving and 343 taking of, but to be entirely fair I think things were already starting to get old in the last couple of Bungie games and they were very wise to quite while they were ahead.
That said Halo 4 and 5 are easily the worst of the series and the story campaigns in particular have just been a disaster.
I guess it’s natural for all franchises to decline as time goes on, especially if they have as narrow a focus as Halo, but it’s still upsetting for me considering how much I used to be into it.
Switch it up
I used to be a big Pokémon fan but I’m not feeling it anymore. You could say simply that I just grew out of it, but I don’t think that’s it. I ways probably too old for it even when I started but it’s a deceptively complex role-player and I always enjoyed it for that. But it’s been the same game now basically for decades, and although I can accept on some level that Sun and Moon are probably the best versions yet but they’re just refining the same old thing and I gave up fairly early on.
My hope now is that things can be changed up for the Switch version, which actually seems very promising as simply being on the Switch opens up so many new possibilities. I just hope the first game isn’t a 3DS port, because that will be a very inauspicious start. Better to completely revamp the series and start with a reboot. I’m hoping that’s why Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon were created, to give them a bit more time to revamp things.
I wanna catch ‘em all again, but not if all the games are the same.
Does Zombies mode in Call Of Duty count? I do still get all the Call Of Duty games (although sometimes only later on cheap) but I can’t bring myself to bother with Zombies anymore. Maybe it’s because I don’t play with the same group of friends any more but the whole thing got so overcomplicated I just lost interest.
It’s one of the games where they kept adding stuff more and more to it but it never made it more interesting, just more fiddly. While at the same time the gameplay was still basically exactly the same time. So you were having to make more effort for the same amount of fun.
It’s a common problem with sequels I think, and that’s why they always have to have a ‘back to their roots’ soft reboot every few years.
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Showing its age
Not trying to upset anyone but I would say that Shenmue definitely falls into this category for me. I actually gave money to the Kickstarter campaign, which in turn inspired me to go back to the Dreamcast games and play them again. And oh dear me… those games have not aged well at all. Like, to the point where they’re almost unplayable.
I realise it’s an old game, but there are still a lot of games from around that time that manage to have a person walking around that’s not like a tank. And the dialogue and voiceovers, oh man. I really hope the third one is going to improve on this issues but I actually have some doubts. The script wasn’t a tech problem and the graphics actually look really bad from what’s been shown so far.
I hope it’s good, because I’ve got money in it, but I have severe worries it will be a disappointment.
I think I’ve already been put off Destiny for life. I really liked the second one when it came out and played it practically non-stop for months. Then the endgame started to get really repetitive and I started to lose interest. I thought the expansion would pep things up and yet it only accelerated the problem.
The whole thing with scamming the experience points and forcing you to buy the DLC really rubbed me up the wrong way and I think I’ve had it now. I’m definitely not getting any more expansions and Destiny 3 is going to have to be majorly different to get me interested again.
I wouldn’t say I’ve completely given up on Gears Of War but after the disappointment of the last one it’s basically got one last chance as far as I’m concerned. The fourth one was okay, particularly towards the end, but after all that time since the Xbox 360 versions it didn’t do nearly enough to prove the series has run out of steam.
I feel Fallout is in that same position. I enjoyed Fallout 4 and played it to the end but the complaints about it basically being Fallout 3 HD are completely valid. I don’t really understand Bethesda as a company, they seem to be really big and have all these popular franchises but they never spend any money on graphics.
It’s not like I’m some shallow graphics-only person but they need to be at a certain level to keep the immersion and Fallout 4 barely managed that, especially with all the bugs.
Easy. Any fighting games by Capcom. So disappointed by Street Fighter V and what I got for my money that I didn’t bother with this year’s Marvel Vs. Capcom.
Time to breakout my PS Vita and play through the ultimate edition on that. Great value for money with over 50 characters.
The old Lara
This is certainly a timely subject for discussion given the recent debates regarding microtransactions and loot boxes in modern games, and a cue for a bout of nostalgic recollection of times now past, so here’s my take on it. The franchise that no longer works in the same way for me is Tomb Raider, which somehow despite the advance of modern graphics has never quite recreated the series’ success of the original PlayStation era.
There are many reasons for this, highlighted in an article regarding development history by Eurogamer, detailing a push for regular sequels after the sales of the first two games, sadly leading to a diminishing return culminating in the debacle that was The Angel Of Darkness. Which was at times almost unplayable despite a promising and more adult storyline. This led to the franchise being transferred to Crystal Dynamics and a change of direction.
And although I have given the later games from the PlayStation 2/3 era a try none seem to quite capture the essence of being Lara Croft and the sense of isolation and immersion that comes with it.
I have yet to try the current generation reboot, as realistically my gaming tastes have broadened into strategy/role-playing genres, as well as other areas. And of course there are always those rose-tinted spectacles to take into consideration.
There is a demo online of a fan made level re-make using Unreal Engine 4 called Tomb Raider: The Dagger Of Xian by Nicobass and others that gives a flavour of what I would enjoy, but realistically a full game equal in size to the original ones probably would not be viable due to the time and resources needed for programming and everything else.
The reduced scale of the Anniversary update for the original game on the PlayStation 2 is a good indication of this. Please keep up the good work GC, and everyone else as your input as always complements my lunch break as a welcome relief from the world of work. My best wishes for Christmas and the New Year to you all.
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