Top 5 great series that lost the plot
A game series that can go through more than three of four iterations without losing at least some of the magic that made the first couple of titles such classics is a rare thing. A steady decline as a series goes on is common, but some series don’t just gently decline, they dive-bomb in a most spectacular fashion. Here’s five of the worst…
Pro Evolution Soccer
I wrote piece yesterday about how PES had lost its magic and it got picked up by PESfan.com, the most hardcore of Pro Evolution Soccer online communities. I expected a defensive response from the faithful, but instead the consensus seemed to be one of agreement – there hasn’t been a worthy PES game this generation and fans are only still buying it every year out of loyalty. They said it, not me.
Medal Of Honor
There was a time when the Medal Of Honor series looked invincible. 2002 saw the double-whammy releases of both Frontline and Allied Assault and Medal Of Honor was established as the leading war FPS brand. But then some of the key personnel responsible for those games left to form their own company, Infinity Ward. Medal Of Honor Rising Sun and Medal Of Honor European Assault made it easy for Infinity Ward to turn the tables with Call Of Duty and by the time EA found some of what it had lost with Medal Of Honor Airborne it was too late. However, with key personnel moving on from Infinity Ward this year, perhaps this cautionary tale should serve as a warning to Activision.
Okay, so it’s true that there’s only ever been one truly crap Tomb Raider game, Angel Of Darkness of course, but even though better games would follow this disastrous release, the series never fully recovered. It was only a matter of time before a better, fresher series came along and made Lara Croft look like some kind of old timer and in 2007 Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune did the honours.
The man himself never lost the plot and still remains a skating god, but his branded videogames? Ouch! They make you cringe more than seeing Tony Hawk bail off a loop ramp, flipping backwards and smashing the back of his head against the floor. But they’re not as entertaining. Even before RIDE came along and really made an embarrassment of the whole franchise, the series had clearly run out of ideas and lost its way. Bring back the arcade magic of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3, that’s what I say.
Sonic The Hedgehog
The bigger they come, the harder they fall – this old adage was never true in games than of Sonic The Hedgehog. In the Nineties, Sonic was a true gaming icon, second only to Mario, but for the last ten years he’s hardly put a foot right. Please, just let Sonic The Hedgehog 4 be the game that turns it back around for Sonic. Please.