The 8 Ball 06.20.12: Top 8 Franchises That Need to Die
Posted by David McGregor on 06.20.2012
From the WWE franchise and Final Fantasy to the Legend of Zelda, The Sims and more, 411′s David McGregor counts down his Top 8 Franchises That Need to Die!
Hello and welcome to another edition of the 8 Ball for the Games section of 411, I am your host David McGregor.
Last week a few people didn’t like the fact that I wanted GTA to go back to its immature roots, most of you saying that was what Saints Row is for. Well SR is a good series but I don’t think anyone can beat the Rockstar team at its own game, even if Saints Row has now become the go to comedy sandbox game. Grand Theft Auto shouldn’t start becoming more serious because there are a million games out there that are so far up their own arse that they become laughable, and GTA was a well-established and beloved game for many years before it lost its immature edge. GTA is immature humour; it doesn’t need to be Bioshock with cock jokes. That sums my thoughts on the matter, now I can leave the comments section for a week. But thanks to everyone who commented, good or bad everything you guys write will be read. Unless its not accepted by the guys in charge, which only makes me want to see them more!
Anyway, this week I am going to count down the Top 8 Franchises that Should Just Die, or take a long break. I’m judging it on whether the series has over stayed its welcome, if it is bringing anything new to the table and if the story has run its course. Obviously opinions will differ and I’m sure you will let me know your opinions below.
8th – Angry Birds
I’ve realised that a lot of people don’t really accept mobile gaming as a part of the gaming industry, which is strange because it is one of the only parts of the industry that is thriving with creativity. I’m not saying that there aren’t creative console games out there but the vast amount of mobile games that are incredibly creative is quite astonishing. And onto the granddaddy of mobile games Angry Birds, with hundreds of millions of downloads it has become a bit of a phenomenon. There are even Angry Birds toys, theme parks and a TV series and movie in development. There is really no way to argue with the games success, but does it really need umpteenth spin offs over a bird being thrown into a pig? I understand the game is popular and insanely profitable but they have rung that game out for every penny they could get and I don’t think there is much left to force out.
The main problem with this one is that it doesn’t lend itself to expansion; the original game is a very basic format that was fun but not exactly an amazing experience. Updates with more levels was a welcome addition but when they started releasing games sponsored by crap like the Rio animated film and the upcoming racing edition that’s when I lost interest. I think this one just needs to call down its supposed plans for world domination and stick to providing the customer with a fun experience. I have even heard people say that this is the next Mario, it’s a bird that flies into a pig I mean come on there is no further that premise can go. This one just needs to go away and gives the consumer a rest; anymore terrible updates and I doubt this will even be spoken about come the end of 2013. Saying that I do want the Angry Birds iPod dock, I’m a hypocrite I know but that is pretty cool.
7th – Fifa Series and WWE/Smackdown Series
These two have the same problem so I lumped them together. I feel that these yearly updates just do not work for sports games, or sports entertainment games. The Fifa games have gotten to the point were most are impressed by the standards of the game, every year you see the same review about how this is supposedly the best football game ever. So where is the need for improvement? Football doesn’t change all that much every year so why is there a need for a whole new game every single year? Well money is the answer to that, and I fully understand that gaming is a business but when games are brought out every week so people can make money it is a bit disheartening after a while. I don’t see any reason why this series is still running, maybe a 5 yearly update or something with online updates throughout that time would be acceptable but £40 every year for a game that doesn’t change much? I don’t think so.
As for WWE series, that does change a lot sometimes as superstars come and go and new match types are created. But this one is here because the team who create this just seem as tired of the series as we are. Look for example at the 2009 edition, that was focused on improving tag team wrestling in the game. This is a type of match that hasn’t had any attention since 2002 with the Smackdown Six, yet in 2009 they decided to promote a game almost solely based on this premise. If that isn’t the developers desperate for a new concept then I don’t know what is. And now in WWE 13 we are getting a return to the attitude era, it sounds great but it also shows a massive problem with the series. The WWE TV series and game series are so void of ideas that they have to float by on past glories, it is just tiresome now. I think both of these franchises need to have one final game then call it quits for the foreseeable future. Someone else should take over the WWE games and produce a decent edition and FIFA should just stop until something noteworthy changes in football.
6th – The Sims
Someone recreated Brokeback Mountain with the Sims, come on that’s just weird.
There is only so much you can do in The Sims before you realise you are living vicariously through an illiterate gaming character, and even their life is boring as shit. I will be honest I enjoyed the games at first but that’s because I am a bit of a shopping addict that loves buying the rubbish for the Sims house, not exactly defying stereotype here. But after I have bought everything and made my ultimate bachelor pad I realise that the game is void of any meaning, I am just sitting here making a character smarter, fitter and more successful in their life yet it is meaningless. This accomplishes nothing and we are stuck in a loop of pointlessness with each and every edition of this ridiculous game.
There is nothing they can do that takes this game any further. They have included magic, sex and animals (thankfully not at the same time) and it is still as boring as the original in which you were some bum in a one-bedroom house. There is no reason for this game to exist never mind going away and dying. This one doesn’t need a break it just needs to go down the hole it came from and die, with a whimper the way it was brought into this world. I actually enjoy this game sometimes so I may have gotten a tad carried away with my critique.
5th – Final Fantasy
When a game gets by the 10 sequels mark you really have to start asking yourself what the hell is the point they are trying to convey here? I mean is there any need for 14 Final Fantasy games, I mean is there are point to the storylines any more? The most recent was blasted as one of the worst sequels of all time and it does beg the question whether there is any point throwing these games out there ad nauseum. This just feels like a TV show that has gone long by its sell by date and has become a chore to play through now, somewhat like The Simpsons but that has picked up in its recent seasons.
To most FF fans the last game that actually mattered was number 10, which means there has been 4 sequels that are just utter pointless. If any other series had had 4 purposeless sequels in a row they would be canned at a moments notice, but yet again loyalty has been taken advantage of by the developers. Final Fantasy doesn’t need to return there is no demand for the series, especially after 14 bloody sequels. And if you think somehow the story hasn’t been told in those 14 parts then you are seriously idiotic and you are the idiots that buy up crap and line the gaming world’s pockets with bundles of cash.
4th – Sonic the Hedgehog
When will this little hedgehog just accept fate and die? There has been attempt after attempt for this series to be revitalised, rebooted and reinvented yet none have managed to recapture the magic of the early games. I feel that they just need to stop trying all together and let the series die with a milligram of respect, I’m sure Sonic can make enough money playing second fiddle to Mario in a host of Nintendo games. I used to be all for a remake of Sonic, hoping that the series would enter into the 3D world with an ounce of self worth but time after time we have been treated to some of the worst attempts at a character revival I’ve ever seen. They have made the series too convoluted and filled with pointless ad on characters that make no positive effect on the game at all.
There have been decent Sonic games in the recent history but the series is so far gone now that it is almost impossible to pull it back from death. There have been way too many hands on this once precious commodity that the Sonic series is insignificant now when compared to its former glory. The only headline the series can grab now is when it is forced into collaborations with Mario, which ironically is the only time we see the character in a half decent game. I wish they would just let this one end and let all of us try and remember how good the franchise used to be.
3rd – Call of Duty
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was a brilliant game and completely turned the series upside down, long gone were the Nazi’s and in their place was a gaming experience like no other at the time. But that was in 2007, 5 years on it is old hat and people are sick to death of the constant ejaculate that reviewers throw onto the Call of Duty series. Now I realise how hypocritical it is for me to sit here and say I hate a game because people overrate it when I am one of those writers who faun over certain games, but when a game hasn’t really advanced in 5 years you have to call them out on it. The COD series is one of the biggest in the entire industry but its safe to say that the bubble has definitely burst, there is no longer than need to buy the next edition like there was with Modern Warfare 2. They are very simply Michael Bay movies on the screen, and that’s not a knock on them as the games are very good but there is no progression and once you’ve seen one great war movie the next with the same concept is going to be boring. This is what is wrong with the series, they are all too similar that there feels like there is no difference from one to another.
Now I don’t want this one to die I want them to take a break and create a game that is truly special again. The series is not a bad one and it would be a shame if it was to die due to burning out its customer base, which is what will happen eventually as too much of a good thing is definitely bad for you.
2nd – Legend of Zelda
This one hurts to say, it really does. I love the Zelda series, but my god how many times do we need to do the same thing over and over again before we realise it is the same bloody game! There have been advancements and gimmicks like turning into a wolf and going all cartoony, but seriously what has changed bar the scenery? We even need to find the same items each and every game, I have lost count of how many times I have found that bow and arrow and changed them into light arrows. It always feels different at the beginning and the game experience is still brilliant but everything feels so familiar, and it should because we have all done the same thing for the past 25 years.
The worst thing is that even Nintendo don’t know what to do with the series next, in a recent article they said that they have no idea what the next incarnation of the game is going to be like. Even the makers of the game have hit a brick wall over what to do with the series. I think it is best that we just saying goodbye to Link, not forever just for a substantial amount of time. Until we get nostalgic about the game and it can all seem fresh and not just a rehashed game that we have all played for decades now. Hurts to say but it is the truth.
1st – Halo
I respected Halo’s right to exist even though I don’t like it, as it was a long running story that stemmed through all 3 games. But with Halo Reach and now Halo 4 I’m starting to wonder what on earth is the point of this game series, bar profiting hugely for Microsoft. There is nothing worse than when a game is just released because it is a sequel to a popular series, it is pure and simple profit hunting. It only devalues your series and tarnishes its legacy in the long run, look at Sonic for example on what greed can do to your series. I’m sure Halo 4 will be a good game, but there is just no need for it to even exist when the primary story through all 3 games has come to a final conclusion. It is like after the last Harry Potter film Harry went off to kill all of the other bad wizards we didn’t really know about in the first 8 films. It may be a great film but it is just completely unnecessary.
Gaming has always strived to be considered an art like film and TV, but when you ruin a great experience like Halo that had a decent storyline you are not only demeaning your own series you are demeaning the whole industry. Halo 4 is Godfather 3, utter pointless and there for a large payday. Whether it is as bad as that train wreck is to be seen, and don’t say it wasn’t that bad Sophia Coppola is absolutely horrendous at acting. So just save the embarrassment as Master Chief doesn’t have to fall off a chair and die all alone in the middle of nowhere.
YouTube Video of the Week
Loved this one and I don’t care that it has nothing to do with gaming.
This song is amazing so I decided to put it here as well.
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