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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such

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First of all, HoMM3 + XPACs is the absolute epitome of the series, no questions asked.
The newest games HAD the potential of surpassing the old entries, however they are plagued by numerous game-breaking bugs and performance issues, and HoMM3's OST is such a masterpiece that I feel it's incredibly hard to beat that + the game's charming graphics.
I'll expand on that: the very first thing Ubisoft did to HoMM (and to M&M) was replace any ounce of personality those games had left with bland sewage. Not a good foundation. I miss that world dearly, it's extremely underrated.
 

Taleweaver

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Unreal...managed to go from great to "wtf is this supposed to be?" after a single entry (well...okay: one and a half, as return to na pa li was great as well).
Unreal tournament follows sonic and windows naming schemes in the good-bad-good-bad line-up. (UT99, UT2003, UT2004, UT3...and then epic went with fortnite instead of an actually good game :P ).
 

ChiefReginod

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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.

I agree with most of what you said, and honestly I enjoyed the NSMB series enough to have 100%'d everything through New Super Luigi, but it's still a bad sequel compared to everything that came before it. No one would put it in the same league as SMB3, SMW or Yoshi's Island.

At the end of the day it was a downgrade, but as with everything Nintendo, people praised it anyway and the downgrades became permanent because they sold.
 
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CoolMe

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Jak & Dexter series it needs to come back imo, it ended with a racing game which is quite decent but the 2 psp games were a disappointment after it.. Now with since they're working on a J&D movie there's a chance they're already working on it, or they will. 🤞
Okami, Pokemon Ranger.
Okami? The DS game was quite good from what i remember?.. Or do you mean "downhill" as in we've never got a sequel since then..
 
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ZeroFX

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AC after rogue, persona after 2, bokujo monogatari after wonderful life, rune factory after 4, BD after second, FF after xii, KH after 1 or 2, The Sims after 2, any Ubisoft, EA, Obsidian game after "modern times"... The list goes on and on...
 

RichardTheKing

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Jak & Dexter series it needs to come back imo, it ended with a racing game which is quite decent but the 2 psp games were a disappointment after it.. Now with since they're working on a J&D movie there's a chance they're already working on it, or they will. 🤞

Okami? The DS game was quite good from what i remember?.. Or do you mean "downhill" as in we've never got a sequel since then..
Jak & Daxter I agree with; I've never gotten to play that series, since I never really heard about it as a child, aside from references in Ratchet & Clank.

As for Okami, yes the DS game was indeed "quite good" (though it does have issues with permanently-missable sidequest stuff, as a result of only being able to visit a lot of areas once or twice, and combat is definitely very simplified due to it being a DS game), but I mentioned that series because A) OkamiDen has never been rereleased on more modern systems, and B) there's never been a third game.

I didn't write that down initially because I just quickly posted my comment, since I had other stuff to do; I had intended on elaborating, but never got back to it until now. My bad!
 
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RichardTheKing

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AC after rogue, persona after 2, bokujo monogatari after wonderful life, rune factory after 4, BD after second, FF after xii, KH after 1 or 2, The Sims after 2, any Ubisoft, EA, Obsidian game after "modern times"... The list goes on and on...
I agree with "Bravely Default after Second" and "Final Fantasy after XII", but Persona? No way.
Assassin's Creed Origins was decent, though admittedly I never did reach the credits, and there was that incredibly stupid segment where you're forced to play as Bayek's weaker and less-interesting wife to climb a tower (and I think she also got a naval segment too?), so...sure, I guess I can accept your first option.

The rest of the specific game series you mentioned, I've never really played, so I've got no opinion on those.
 

ZeroFX

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I agree with "Bravely Default after Second" and "Final Fantasy after XII", but Persona? No way.
Assassin's Creed Origins was decent, though admittedly I never did reach the credits, and there was that incredibly stupid segment where you're forced to play as Bayek's weaker and less-interesting wife to climb a tower (and I think she also got a naval segment too?), so...sure, I guess I can accept your first option.

The rest of the specific game series you mentioned, I've never really played, so I've got no opinion on those.
P2 was great, P3 was kinda good, P4 was decent, p5 was ok, looks like downhill to me. But I agree with you that they aren't bad, just the start of a downfall. AC is not even AC after syndicate... It's like "let's start a new IP but use the famous name to give a kickstart".
 

ChiefReginod

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desecrated how?
Forgettable power-ups, shifting the focus away from the "simply fun" gameplay to the collect-a-thon aspect and generally uninspired design. The NES, SNES and even GBA Marios all strove to be great. NSMB strove to be passable.

As I said a few posts back, I actually liked the NSMB series for what it was. But taken as sequels to the legendary 2D Marios before it, they're a huge letdown and still have yet to do anything really memorable. You could make a case for multiplayer, but what else?
 
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