Whether it is in regards to movies, books (or in our case, the 10 Worst Sequels in Gaming), there's an unfortunate curse with regards to the expectations of their predecessors. On one hand, studios try to gain success by repeating what was originally successful. But developers must also try and further the series, take chances and experiment all for the sake of bettering the overall experience. As a result, gaming franchises that are multiple titles long have an array of good and bad titles in their histories. We would like to shed some light on this experience with the 10 Worst Sequels in Gaming.
You would think that a SEQUEL to Final Fantasy 7, with both Monolith Soft and Square Enix at the helm, would be amazing, but alas, Dirge of Cerberus was downright horrible. The success of the over-the-shoulder third person perspective of Resident Evil 4 led to a lot of games copying that style of gameplay. And for some reason, Square Enix decided to make an atrocious shooter out of one of the most beloved RPG universes ever made. While most Final Fantasy titles after FF10 could have easily made this list of the 10 Worst Sequels of Gaming, Dirge's lackluster story (Vincent fighting a terrorist group who are trying to eliminate all life on the planet), and overall lack-of-fun was a foreshadowing of the brand's descent.
In the late '80s, many of us were surprised to see that the sequel to The Legend of Zelda would be so drastically different. While most did not mind this change from the top-down perspective (since it was only the second title), Zelda 2's overall experience was simply underwhelming compared to its predecessor. In Castlevania 2: Simon's Quest (which almost took Dirge of Cerberus' spot on this list), players were clueless as to how to advance in certain areas of the game with extremely-vague dialogue clues from random NPCs being the only guide, and Zelda 2 takes this concept and runs with it to the point of extreme frustration.
Before Lady Croft's stellar revamp this year, the Tomb Raider franchise was stuck in an abyss of mediocrity after the release of Tomb Raider 3. Angel of Darkness had a horrid camera system, shaky lock-on combat, stealth aspects which should never have happened, and more bugs than the hallway in The Temple of Doom. It makes no sense as to why the controls of a series would actually get worse as more and more sequels were being made, but Tomb Raider fell into a pitfall in The Angel of Darkness and never emerged until Lara had one heck of a makeover.
Despite all the love Capcom shows for their team of butt-kickers from Metro City by putting them in multiple fighting games, Final Fight has pretty much died as a standalone franchise; and Streetwise sealed the deal. Mayor Haggar, Cody and the rest of the team go to war against the dealers of a new drug named "glow", but nothing actually glows throughout this vigilante mission. Streetwise suffers from horrible controls, a camera system that is constantly obstructed, PS1 graphics (considering it came out in 2006 for the PS2), and all various other fixings of failure. Simply put: Final Fight: Streetwise is the quintessential 2D-to-3D flop.
We really wanted to like Resident Evil 6, but the truth is that if this game didn't have the characters we knew or had the RE license, most fans would have hated it even more. Just because Leon Kennedy is shooting slow-moving zombies again does not atone for all the other horrible errors, mistakes and fallacies that occur in one of Capcom's AAA franchises (which mainly occur in Jake and Chris' action-packed sequences). Forcing a horrible cover system, wacky flailing arms and dozens of cheap deaths were only a few of the major problems that frequently occur. RE6 is even more proof that trying to convert survival horror to full-fledged action for the sake of gaining outside players, causes the experience to suffer greatly, and leaves your longtime fans extremely disappointed with the overall product.
Oh Sonic, how the mighty have fallen. We honestly could have made a 10 Worst Sequels of Gaming list using nothing but Sonic titles alone. Again, we have another franchise that has mainly failed in going from 2D to 3D. Even while playing the demo, there were multiple cheap deaths occurring in sequences that should have been fast, easy and smooth in its execution. All that Sega needs to do in order to make a good 3D Sonic experience is copy what they did with Sonic Adventure, but they just keep getting it wrong.
Dante's second adventure (if that really was Dante), was nothing but underwhelming to say the least. Adding in a second playable character in the form of the blade-throwing Lucia, players were surprised to see that Dante lost most of his flamboyant, rambunctious attitude and was stoically quiet throughout most of the story. There were hardly any differences in playing through the game as either character aside from their fighting styles. Dante and Lucia's levels were exactly the same, and so were the bosses (which were all extremely toned down in terms of difficulty). Luckily, Capcom learned from their mistakes and redeemed themselves when they brought Dante back as loud-mouthed and badass as ever in Devil May Cry 3.
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 goes back and undermines every positive thing there was to say about the first title and presents an experience that looks (and plays) like it was made before the original. There were fewer enemy types, the graphical engine was cranked way down and the fantastic story of the first title (its main saving grace), was replaced with a laughable clone story. The story and dialogue were so bad in Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2, that it reminds us why you cannot spell SW: TFU without the STFU.
Bomberman has always been a short, big-eyed, chibi robots that is meant to throw cartoon bombs at other chibi robots. Act Zero's change in tone and aesthetic, all for the sake of a modern update, took a lot away from Bomberman's simplistic charm. Given most franchises need to change and evolve in order to stay relevant, Act Zero did so in a way which was broken from the get-go. The bomb blasts (a fundamental concept in a Bomberman game), seemed to be random in their explosive radii and were extremely hard to predict. Players were unable to save their progress in single-player campaign mode unless they were connected directly to Xbox Live, which greatly diminished any chances of beating the game for those without an internet connection. The tagline for Bomberman: Act Zero should have been, "Going from 2D to 3D really does blow".
Duke, Duke, Duke... we really wanted to like your game. From all the laughs you gave us in Duke Nukem 3D to the underwhelming Land of the Babes and Manhattan Project, we really wanted this 15 year-long tirade to end on a good note. But deep down, we knew that was going to never happen, because no game goes through that many developers unscathed (cough*Aliens: Colonial Marines*cough). Duke Nukem Forever suffered from horrible controls, extremely-long loading times, and looked thoroughly aged. This game looked like it should have been released on the previous generation of consoles, as if it was finished 15 years ago. Forever tried to make fun of mediocre FPS games through Duke's sarcasm, but Duke Nukem Forever became the very thing it was trying to ridicule. From his voice, to his babes, Duke has always been one of the most macho men of gaming. But his latest venture unfortunately tops our list of the 10 Worst Sequels in Gaming.