What sequel in a series that went downhill should we look at?

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Successful works get sequels, and the amount of things that eventually get run into the ground has spawned any amount of phrases (difficult third album, similar things for TV series, books might not land a trilogy, only as good as your last...). This can lead to people abandoning a franchise while the corporate overlords are content to run it into the ground. Occasionally though the money gets low enough, as does the corporate oversight/meddling, that people responsible for making it, which may well be fans of the "good" entries, can turn out something that merits an actual look. Or for those collecting cool kid hipster points then as they got famous is good, before they got famous is better but being a fan after they were famous... there is the good stuff.

For instance Heroes of Might and Magic, while the author of this piece is one of those dangerous subversives that reckons 2 gold is the height of the series rather than 3 then there are those that tell me the latest entries are possibly worth a look, especially with mods. The Tony Hawk games for many went downhill rapidly after 4, however I can safely say that the classic mode of American Wasteland did pretty well actually and naturally many will be quick to point out the recent remake of the earlier titles was very nice, though those looking to get into the series today I will probably point at the THUG pro mod/collation. Or indeed EA's Skate series which was sadly never allowed to be run into the ground like so many other EA franchises; did any of the more recent Call of Duty titles or Need for Speed titles do anything for those that might have dropped out during the PS3/360 era or indeed PS2 era?

This can include games that never saw sequels appear outside a region, in this case the once popular Wizardry series (one of the foundational games/franchises in dungeon crawling RPG) is a rare case of gaming Big in Japan (normally a fate reserved for musicians). It stopped being made in 1992 in the west but has continued on in Japan to this day (titles on the GB, GBC, GBA, DS, PS1, PS2 and PS3 as well as many mobile phone entries) having not really come outside it save for a few spinoffs.

To that end share a pick or two of games in once popular or influential franchises that got run into the ground, however later sequels actually had something worth considering when most dismissed them. If you are going to include a spinoff then try to make it at least vaguely in line with the base games; Summon Night and Summon Night Swordcraft Story are close enough, Street Fighter to Super Puzzle Fighter is pushing it a bit.
 
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Prior22

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There's no Spyro 4, just shitty Activision Spyro games.

Now, with Spyro having received a remake treatment, we may get Spyro 4 like we got Crash 4.
Enter the Dragonfly was published by Universal, not Activision. It was the first game of the series not developed by Insomniac, which was a big negative landmark event of the series.
 

AkiraKurusu

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Spyro 4. The first three games were fantastic. But the fourth, which was the first non PlayStation exclusive, was a glitchy rushed mess. Pretty much ruined the credibility of the series.
Eh, IMO, Spyro 3 was the worst of the original trilogy - regenerating twin dragons, that shrink in size when hit resulting in smaller targets? Unnecessary skateboarding stages, especially the races? The worst flight speedway gameplay of the three? Other characters with subpar controls?
No thanks; I'll stick with Spyro 1 and 2, thank you.


Hmm...Daytona USA. Haven't seen that series in ages, and the low-poly arcade game is still massive fun.
 

Jayro

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As far as bad sequels go... I'd have to say the Oracle Zelda games for Gameboy were a big downgrade to the series. Sure, we got full color and scrolling worlds, but the dungeons also felt very empty, not varied, and lacked any real theme or creativity. Link's Awakening DX is top-tier 2D Zelda done right, along with Link to the Past and Minish Cap.
 
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Takokeshi

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As far as bad sequels go... I'd have to say the Oracle Zelda games for Game ou were a big downgrade to the series. Sure, we got full color and scrolling worlds, but the dungeons also felt very empty, not varied, and lacked any real theme or creativity. Link's Awakening DX is top-tier 2D Zelda done right, along with Link to the Past and Minish Cap.
Seasons had very bland design, Ages on the other hand...

Man, I need to play these again.
 
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imo, final fantasy has really gone downhill, and that used to be one of my favorite series. I don't like how final fantasy xi and final fantasy xiv are called that instead of online and online II or something, plus final fantasy xiii was pretty bad. I haven't played xv, but I did download the royal version from psn, since it's part of the psn plus collection. I just keep hoping that they rekindle how I felt about the earlier games some day. I'm now more into dragon quest and tales.
if you do get to playing XV make sure you do it before you play the VII "remake"...holy shit is it a pain going back after being spoiled by a better combat system
 
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godreborn

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if you do get to playing XV make sure you do it before you play the VII "remake"...holy shit is it a pain going back after being spoiled by a better combat system
yeah, I've heard final fantasy vii remake is really good. I bought the game on the ps5 even though I don't have a 4K tv. it's mostly the near instant loading of the system that influenced my decision.
 

pedro702

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There's no Spyro 4, just shitty Activision Spyro games.

Now, with Spyro having received a remake treatment, we may get Spyro 4 like we got Crash 4.
Lol so activision spyro games dont count as a 4 entry but after the remakes if activision now makes a new spyro game it will ccount? it will still be made by activision lol it wont be made by insomniac, so now counts and the other 20 or so dont count? whats the diference? they will all be made by activision...
 

Marc_LFD

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Lol so activision spyro games dont count as a 4 entry but after the remakes if activision now makes a new spyro game it will ccount? it will still be made by activision lol it wont be made by insomniac, so now counts and the other 20 or so dont count? whats the diference? they will all be made by activision...
Quality.

Yes, Activision published the newer Spyro remake, but they've got the rep for the bad Spyro/Crash games.

I played Mind Over Mutant which had very good voice acting, humor, and graphics. However, the gameplay? Just no.

The Skylanders Crash game (ish) was actually pretty fun although I've only ever seen, not played it. I'm not into buying toys to play a game.
 

fvig2001

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I mean the most obvious one is Sonic games. The Wii games were mostly bad. Generations was where it kind of recovered and Mania is regarded as good then Forces was bad.
 
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Psionic Roshambo

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Castlevania... I didn't really like any of the 3D games. After SoTN it seems like the series mostly died, GBA and DS and that one WiiWare game are the last good ones I remember?
 
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Marc_LFD

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I mean the most obvious one is Sonic games. The Wii games were mostly bad. Generations was where it kind of recovered and Mania is regarded as good then Forces was bad.
I'm hoping the upcoming game is actually good because Forces was pretty bad.
 

medoli900

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Wow. It's amazing how 95% of the answers got completely off the question.

My two picks would be Crash Bandicoot and Paper Mario.

I don't think I really have to explain them, but it goes without saying that the OG Crash Bandicoot trilogy is loved. I still have to finish 2 and play 3, but I don't doubt that they're good. Wrath of Cortex was alright. A solid 7.5/10. And then comes the mud. The trilogy remake however was very well received, being the original trilogy. Then It's About Time happened. I don't know why, but after the first few days, the matter was dropped and I never heard of it again. It was a very competent sequel, with some prequel elements sprinkled around, and it was more good Bandicoot action.

As for Paper Mario, oh boy. I don't like Paper Mario 64. So many designs flaws coming from the N64 era. For me, the series took foothold with A Thousand Years Old Doors. What an amazing and engaging game that was. Super Paper Mario was excellent in terms of story-telling and visual designs, but not without some questionable game designs. Thankfully, as a whole, the game still played very nicely. Sticker Stars happened. Color Splash come back in force in terms of gameplay, but is still lacking in terms of main story, ironically being very bland, saved only with the comically meta jokes and side-stories throughout the game. Origami King is a great game, but very often overlooked as "Color Splash 2". It has both improved in term of story (still not at least Super Paper Mario level, but still) and gameplay, offering a refreshing puzzle aspect to the game. Moreover, origami is a genius take on the paper universe to play with.
 

CeeDee

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New Super Mario Bros (DS)

The game that basically desecrated the 2D Mario series to such a degree that it still hasn't recovered.
Honestly, I'd disagree. I think the original DS entry, disregarding the following entries, was a solid game.

It brought back 2D Mario from a long absence, and was a good addition to the DS's library at the time. It enhanced the moveset by adding moves like the wall-jump. The Star Coin system was a solid evolution of Mario World's dragon coins, which were pretty pointless. The unique power-ups were fun. The Mario vs. Luigi multiplayer mode is probably the best multiplayer in a 2D Mario game.

Now, the games that followed? That's where the real problem lies. They're the ones that reused the same engine, assets, and music, and failed to innovate on the prior games. It's easy to group in DS with them, but unlike the others, it was unique at the time.
 
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