Today I am going to look at five franchises that have made colossal mistakes in recent years and, unfortunately, have lost fans as a result. Most times developers are smart enough not to try to be too creative with their franchises, but the following five are no longer what they once were due to unusual decisions made by their developers.
#5 GRAN TURISMO
Polyphony Digital is well known for making the Gran Turismo series, and the first game was a huge hit on the original Playstation. A sequel on the same console, followed by two more on the powerful Playstation 2 strengthened the reputations of both Gran Turismo and Polyphony. Why is it then that the team have decided to take so long with Gran Turismo 5? The original Gran Turismo 5 Prologue was released in 2007 which says quite a lot about the development time of this game. After Prologue was released, most thought that they would be able to play the full game in about one year’s time. Few would have thought that they would have to wait three more full years. There are still a few months to go, but Gran Turismo 5 is finally almost here. Unfortunately, a lot of fans online appear to have grown tired of waiting. Some have jumped ship to the 360 for Forza while others seem to look for greener pastures. Others just don’t seem to care at all anymore. It is one thing to delay your game for a while to perfect it, but Polyphony may have taken a little too long with GT5.
The SimCity series was always Maxis’ baby. Will Wright and his competent crew forged a masterpiece series that is beloved by many to this day. Unfortunately, after Electronic Arts bought Maxis, the quality of their games became questionable. Games such as Spore disappointed many and was not anything like what Maxis would typically put out. Fortunately for Spore, it isn’t a “true” franchise yet. SimCity is different, and after EA owned the rights to the series, they made a big mistake. Ripping the development rights away from Maxis, EA thought that it would be a good idea to let Tilted Mill develop the next game, which happened to be SimCity Societies. Upon release, Societies was ripped apart by critics and gamers alike. The demanding gameplay that had made SimCity was absent, replaced by a near sandbox experience that allowed even young children to create booming and successful cities. It was a huge blow to the SimCity series, and it has left a question mark hanging over the series. Will EA let Tilted Mill make another SimCity, or will they even go as far as to can the series?
#3 RESIDENT EVIL
Considering the fact that Resident Evil started in a mansion full of zombies that were literally undead, you have to wonder how and why Chris Redfield and Leon Kennedy were forced to fight human villagers in European and African towns. Capcom can pull whatever they want out of the air to explain why they’ve altered their zombies so much, but the simple fact is that these are not zombies anymore. Zombies do not talk, walk normally, use weapons, or possess any kind of intelligence that indicates that they think. Zombies are corpses that shuffle around looking for some warm food to savagely tear apart. Capcom has done away with what zombies should be in favour of what they think are cool new zombies. Here’s something you should know Capcom, they’re not cool. You took the best survival horror series ever and turned it into a series of somewhat decent action games. Fighting zombies shouldn’t be classified as “action” but it now is. Congratulations on destroying the best zombie video game series ever!
#2 SONIC THE HEDGEHOG
Sega has made a lot of odd decisions with Sonic ever since he went 3D. There hasn’t been a Sonic game in the main series since Sonic & Knuckles that has received universal praise. The only game featuring Sonic lately that has done so happens to be a kart racer, and this may not be what Sega is trying to accomplish. Sonic the Hedgehog 4 looks to correct the errors made by Sega, but they have made so many mistakes that even this amazing looking platformer is being met with lots of criticism from the fans. I suppose it doesn’t help when you let Sonic pretend to be a knight, get it on with a human girl (this is just horribly wrong) and, worst of all in my opinion, letting him become a were-creature. Sega, are you that dumb now? Not even Nintendo is stupid enough to pull things like this with Mario. It is no wonder that few people respect new Sonic games anymore. Just look at what Sega is doing to the poor guy!
#1 FINAL FANTASY
Undoubtedly the most successful RPG series of all time. Final Fantasy games have won over the hearts of many people all over the world, and we all love to think back to our fondest memories with Final Fantasy. Unfortunately, the Final Fantasy of today does not resemble the Final Fantasy of yesterday in any way, shape, or form except in name alone. The latest game, Final Fantasy XIII, has the player living on a floating metropolis-planetoid in the sky, summoning mechanical monsters that also turn into vehicles. Great, so Final Fantasy is just a Transformers spin-off now. It is completely baffling how Final Fantasy changes so much with each game now, alienating the people who enjoyed the previous games. It is hardly surprising though, considering how many of the key people who helped make Final Fantasy the unstoppable force it is today have left the Square-Enix company. Not even the founders of Final Fantasy are with the company anymore, so it makes sense that the games seem to follow a different vision now. For better or for worse, Final Fantasy is not what it used to be. Square-Enix will continue to pump out game after game in this series, but they will continue to lose their long-time fans if they continue this strange trend of making each game completely different from everything before it.