Top 5 Favourite Resident Evil Enemies

Resident Evil has become quite an old series and, as such, we’ve seen some pretty cool enemies over time. Since it is October, the month of Halloween, I decided to shine a light on my top five favourite Resident Evil enemies. The list may be pretty predictable, but that alone surely says something for my choices.

It just wouldn’t be Resident Evil without the slow, shambling undead. Resident Evil 4 tried to shake things up by removing zombies, which I feel was a bit of a mistake. This very mistake would be repeated in Resident Evil 5. Fortunately there’s still a plethora of Resident Evil games that feature zombies. One on one they were not very intimidating, but in groups? Oh, you knew you’d have a good fight on your hands if there were several! Not to mention hearing the shuffling of feet or a dead groan in the first few games was always enough to freak out a few gamers.

It’s hard to attach a human name to the “thing” that William Birkin eventually becomes. There was no cooler encounter in Resident Evil 2 than the stand-offs with the mutating G-virus creator. His mutations started off threatening enough, and were very clearly intimidating looking. By the end of it all, Birkin’s final form was pretty much just a gigantic blob of mush. Looking at his mutation become something so powerful only to degenerate into such a pitiful form makes me feel a little sorry for the poor man. He served as a great antagonist though, and gave many gamers some fond memories of Resident Evil 2.

We see this guy in a few games, and he’s always pretty menacing looking! I like Mr. X because he defies the rules of what makes a Resident Evil enemy. Mr. X doesn’t moan or shuffle, nor does he have any weird pulsating body parts. With that stone cold face and gigantic frame covered by an old trench coat, Mr. X had a very original look that gave him a very clear identity in the Resident Evil series. It’s also worth mentioning that he was pretty tough to fight in a few instances! This guy could take rockets to the face and still keep moving. Considering the fact that he’s often a persistent threat, his durability makes him perhaps one of the most fearsome enemies in the entire series.

Resident Evil 2 gave us one of the most beloved enemies of the entire franchise, the licker. Skinless, giant tongues, brains exposed, huge claws… What’s not to love? The licker is just so disgustingly awesome! When they first appeared in Resident Evil 2, they were a bit of a big deal. These “things” were not the slow moving zombies that we were used to, oh no! Lickers were stealthy predators that possessed terrifying agility. Gamers who weren’t too skilled at playing Resident Evil games would find themselves dreading every single encounter with lickers. They’ve also provided us with a few scares throughout the series. Who could ever forget the licker jumping through the two way mirror in Resident Evil 2?

Pure evil in human form, figuratively speaking Wesker was Satan. His build up from suspicious ally to eventual prime antagonist of the entire Resident Evil franchise was a stellar ride, and his huge role in Resident Evil 5 was bittersweet. Wesker was truly manipulative as well as fiendishly intelligent. Many events throughout the series can be blamed exclusively on Albert. He became even more of a badass in Resident Evil 5 when he brainwashed poor Jill, and then went on to show Chris and Sheva his awesome abilities. Wesker’s fiery demise was a little saddening however, because I felt upset to see the greatest villain in the series finally perish. RIP Wesker, you made Resident Evil what it is.

Return to October 2010 Articles

Top 5 Most Immersive Racing Games

As a huge fan of racing games, I like it when I feel immersed in what I play. I like to feel like I am the one racing, that the opposition are trying to cut me off, and not a digitally rendered racing car. There are a few games that, in my experience, nailed immersion so well that they should be recognized for their achievements. I’ve selected what I feel are the five most immersive racing games ever created.

Before Diablo, Starcraft, and Warcraft came into existence, there was Rock n’ Roll Racing. Today, the idea of Blizzard Entertainment making a racing game sounds laughable, but they did it in 1993. Of course, this was no ordinary racing game. Rock n’ Roll Racing was set on alien worlds, and the racers were aliens and monsters. So how could a game like this, which doesn’t even seem to carry much humanity in it, possibly be immersive? For starters, the soundtrack was stunning for it’s time. Midi renditions of Paranoid by Black Sabbath and other heavy rock and/or metal songs populate the soundtrack for this game. In 1993, this was simply awesome and was the next best thing to having the real recordings. The gameplay was pretty great as well, and I felt immersed by it simply because the racing felt truly personal. In a lot of weapon-themed racers (such as Wipeout), the in-race combat doesn’t feel authentic and only serves one purpose – to frustrate you. In Rock n’ Roll Racing, it felt different. The guy in second blasting at you? It felt personal. Add in a primitive career mode, which was rare at the time, and you have a good racer from 1993. It may not be much today, but back in the Super Nintendo’s early days this game was something special.

In recent years, Need for Speed has forced us to pretend that we are convicts, cool dudes from the ghetto, or whatever else their protagonists are now. This was a colossal mistake by Electronic Arts when they tried to force coherent storylines in each Need for Speed. It began in Underground and only got worse. By the time Need for Speed Undercover rolled around, I wouldn’t touch the series with a ten foot pole. You see, the key mistake that Electronic Arts made was not giving their racing games some basic storylines, no. What they did wrong was plunk us into the lives of daring street racing punks who, well, are nothing like us. There was just no connection, and I couldn’t get into the games as a result. SHIFT changed this by making you the main character in the story mode, which was essentially just a career mode. It was very refreshing, and it made me feel like I was really part of the game. There is some good voice over work in the game that only enhances the experience as well. Electronic Arts did a fine job with SHIFT by making the player the main character rather than having us follow the exploits of Biff Dangerous or Slugger McRoadkill. However, Electronic Arts failed to capture one thing that a few other games pulled off wonderfully. They failed to make the games “speak” to us.

Codemasters, on the other hand, have become masters of making racing games speak to us as if they are our friends or colleagues. Upon starting up GRID for the first time, players are instructed to create their profile, which includes choosing your full name, alias, and country flag. The game will use these to communicate to you. If you named yourself Bob, then you will probably hear the following during races: That was a great pass, Bob! GRID recognizes a few dozen male and female names, so there’s a good chance that the game will be able to call you by something. If your name isn’t one that the game knows, you can always give yourself a nickname that suits you. How does this sound? You’re on the last lap, Dump Truck. Yeah, I don’t know what to make of the nicknames, but the fact that GRID speaks directly to you and addresses you by name adds heaps of immersion to the game. On top of that, the career mode has you building up your own racing team by purchasing cars, designing liveries, signing sponsors, and so forth. There’s quite a bit to do in the career mode, and you’ll be guided by the voice of a female narrator of sorts who also addresses you by name. It’s pretty cool, and I was surprised by how much a game calling me by my name can help the immersion.

DiRT 2 is another Codemasters game, and it took everything immersive about GRID and refined it. The profile set-up is exactly the same as before, and you’ll hear your name a lot. What pumps the immersion up a lot in DiRT 2 is the pre-race menu system. The game itself is presented as a full career mode. As soon as you start the game, you are thrown into your travel trailer which is rendered in full 3D. From in here, you can select race events, check relationships with other drivers, and purchase DLC. When you exist your trailer, you can check out your purchased vehicles, go racing, and tweak the game’s options. It adds a lot of personality to the game, which is really fantastic. Immersion takes another huge leap up during race events when rival drivers will call you out by name. If you perform well after a race, they’ll always compliment you on your performance. Travis Pastrana serves as the game’s menu narrator, and he calls out to you a lot. In my case, I heard “Hey Dan!” a lot. You can also form friendships with most of the drivers in the game, which you can take advantage of in team events and such. DiRT 2 has a pretty good system, and is definitely Codemasters’ best at the moment.

Despite only playing Prologue, I am placing this mammoth at the top spot. Gran Turismo 5 never addresses you by name or tries to make you believe that you are behind the wheel, but these are all very positive points surprisingly/ Gran Turismo 5 has an absolutely perfect engine for racing, and the game plays silky smooth. The racing in the game is what is undoubtedly the most immersive I’ve ever experienced. GT5 blows every other racing game out of the water with it’s fantastic handling, intense racing, and stunning graphics. You really have to fight the cars in order to make them work the way you want, which is just fantastic as there isn’t even a single shred of arcade racing in this game. The stunning visuals help immersion along nicely, as some locations look so amazing that, at the high speeds you are usually driving at, they will pretty much look photo realistic. The lighting on the London street circuit looks absolutely awesome, and the panaromic mountain view at the Eiger Nordwand is pretty much the best looking landscape I have ever seen in a video game. The racing in Gran Turismo is where it’s truly at, and is proof that Polyphony Digital doesn’t need any gimmicks such as voice actors calling you out by name in order to make their games immersive. No, Polyphony relies solely on good, solid racing. Gran Turismo has always been famous for having fantastic racing, but the fifth game undoubtedly takes the cake as the king of racing. In terms of immersion, no racing experience can even come close to this behemoth.

Honourable Mention: ModNation Racers
It’s game driven by community-made content. How can you not be immersed when you play with a character you created who is driving a vehicle you also created…. on a track that you created as well? Now if only the game didn’t have hour long load times, which I’ve found to be huge immersion breakers sine they allow you to take full bathroom breaks while the game loads.

Return to August 2010 Articles

Top 5 Final Fantasy Villains

Final Fantasy is without a doubt the best RPG series of all time. You can say what you want about it, but the simple fact remains that this series is untouchable. While the more recent games in the series haven’t felt the same at all which many blame the numerous gameplay changes for, I think that it has more to do with the stories. You see, once the Playstation 2 took off and Final Fantasy X was released, it just seemed like the villains in the series were never the same again and, with each new game, the villains seem to receive less and less attention. In Final Fantasy XIII you don’t even see the face of the final villain until you’re about thirty hours into the game, which is just bizarre. When things like that happens, it makes the villains easy to forget.

Because of the forgettable nature of Final Fantasy villains including and after the tenth numbered installment, my list of the top five best Final Fantasy villains will only focus on the first nine games. So then, we have five out of a possible nine villains. Care to guess who they may be? Read on and find out.

Even though Zeromus was the true final boss of Final Fantasy IV, he really didn’t show his face until the very end of the game. For the majority of the game, we had to combat Golbez. As a villain, Golbez didn’t do a whole lot of bad things and didn’t torture many people unless you count the fall of Mist Village, which Golbez had a hand in behind the scenes. The reason why he just narrowly scrapes into my top 5 is because he is the brother of Final Fantasy IV’s protagonist, Cecil. So throughout the game, Golbez captures his brother’s lover, brainwashes his best friend, and also tries to kill him. Even if you’re being controlled by a greater evil, that’s still a pretty dick way to treat your own brother. In the end, Golbez helps the party combat Zeromus thus attaining redemption. Despite the fact that he ended up as a good guy after breaking free of Zeromus’ control, it’s still pretty hard to forgive him. He’s a lot like the Orcs in Warcraft. They weren’t really evil and invasive warmongers that decided to slay the human civilization just for fun. They did it because they drank the blood of a demon that corrupted them. Golbez is kind of like that, although unlike the Orcs, he stopped doing bad things after regaining control over himself. Sorry Orcs, but you guys are just assholes.
Insane/Mad Personality: Minimum
Mass Genocide/Slaughter: Minimum
Vendetta Against Party: Very High
Motivation: Controlled By Zeromus for entire game.
Redemption: Regains control of himself at the end. Fights (and loses) against Zeromus.

Final Fantasy V isn’t very fresh in my mind anymore, but I still remember the evil deeds of Exdeath fairly well. A lot of people are obsessed with Sephiroth and claim that he is the first villain of the Final Fantasy series to kill off a main character. Have these people never played Final Fantasy V or what? Exdeath beat Sephiroth by four or five years by killing off one of the most important characters in all of Final Fantasy V, and that’s Galuf. He played the role of Warrior of Dawn and King of Bal. That’s a pretty impressive resume, and the fact that he was an awesome party member only made his death that much harder to digest. Heck, Galuf even adventured with Bartz longer than Aeris did with Cloud! Late in Final Fantasy V when Exdeath is back at seemingly full power, he destroys various locations on two worlds and then merges them together. Many populated places are lost as a result, making Exdeath a pretty nasty mass murderer. Very few Final Fantasy villains have killed thousands of people with their own hands during the main storyline, and Exdeath is one. He makes this list for killing off Galuf and potentially destroying several kingdoms too. What a jerk.
Insane/Mad Personality: Medium
Mass Genocide/Slaughter: Off The Chart
Vendetta Against Party: Medium-High
Motivation: To gain the power of “The Void” and destroy and erase anything he pleases.
Redemption: Nil

Aside from having one of the most badass themes in the entire series, Kuja was sort of a homage to everything we loved from the classic Final Fantasy titles, which was also one of the major themes of Final Fantasy IX itself. Kuja’s development and pure evilness was pretty well on par with the greats from the 16 bit era. Let me go over what Kuja does in chronological order just to give an indication of how much of an asshole he is. First he assists Queen Brahne of Alexandria in killing off the entire kingdom of Burmecia, destroying Cleyra where Burmecian refugees fled to, and then forcing an imperial occupation on Lindblum. Kuja allowed Brahne to conquer an entire continent, which resulted in thousands of deaths and the destruction of an entire kingdom. He later kills the man who created him, Garland. Before dying, Garland tells Kuja that he is not immortal and never will be. This freaks Kuja out, which then causes him to destroy his home world of Terra. Yes, Kuja destroys an entire world. Like Golbez, Kuja clears his name by saving the party at the end of the game by teleporting them away from the final boss, Necron, after he is defeated. Unfortunately it is too late for Kuja to be saved as the Iifa Tree devours him and it’s game over for the game’s central antagonist. A fitting end to perhaps the most destructive and violent central villain in the history of the Final Fantasy series.
Insane/Mad Personality: Medium-High
Mass Genocide/Slaughter: Off The Chart
Vendetta Against Party: High
Motivation: Throws a hissy fit after realizing he isn’t immortal, wants to destroy all life.
Redemption: Teleports Zidane and friends to safety after defeating Necron.

You cannot have a top 5 Final Fantasy villains list without including Sepiroth. A lot of people put him at the top of the list, but I have never given the white haired albino the luxury of being put on a pedestal like that. Sephiroth does do several horrible things in Final Fantasy VII, but the fact of the matter is that the majority of lives lost in the game are not caused directly by him. Most deaths are caused by indirect factors that are a result of Sephiroth’s actions. He did do two very horrific things though. First off, he burned Cloud’s hometown to the ground. As if this isn’t enough to make Cloud hate Sephiroth, he then goes and kills the girl that Cloud has developing feelings for. Killing Aeris was quite a shocker. Even though Exdeath had killed off a party member several years before Sephiroth, the technique of ending the life of a primary character was still underused at the time. Seeing Sephiroth descend upon Aeris and stabbing her through her midsection while grinning fiendishly was definitely one of the most unsettling things I have ever seen in a video game. The burning of Nibelheim and killing Aeris are the two things Sephiroth will be remembered for because, quite frankly, aside from that he really didn’t do a whole lot besides slaughter Shinra executives at the start of the game. Despite sitting around on his ass for most of the game, Sephiroth made a lasting impression on many gamers and has become one of the most recognizable figures in the video game world.
Insane/Mad Personality: Medium
Mass Genocide/Slaughter: Low
Vendetta Against Party: Very High
Motivation: Missed his dear old mum. Sort of. Also served as her puppet to reawaken her. Jenova’s plan backfired and little Sephy prevailed. Oops.
Redemption: Nil

Had the mainstream RPG boom happened a few years prior to Final Fantasy VII, it is my firm belief that everyone would be praising Kefka rather than Sephiroth. This insane clown did every single evil thing in the book and then some. Kefka caused more grief for the main characters and more mass slaughters than any other villain in the entire Final Fantasy series. So what does the man in clown makeup do besides make a lot of funny jokes and laugh? Well, at the beginning of the game we are made aware that he brainwashed the main character of the game, Terra, and intentionally set her upon the Empire’s own soldiers just to see her obliterate them. He later sets fire to the kingdom of Figaro and attempts to destroy it, but this plan is foiled. Not long after, he sets his sights on another kindgom called Doma. Kefka poisons the water supply of Doma, killing everyone including the king. The only two survivors are Cyan, a playable character, and a lone castle sentry. Kefka later starts killing Espers and absorbing their powers so that he can simply grow stronger. Emperor Gestahl believes that he is keeping Kefka in line, but is later betrayed by Kefka when he fatally stabs the Emperor and pushes him off of the edge of the Floating Continent. Kefka then disturbs the statues of the Warring Triad. This resulted in the world shifting into ruin as well as Kefka quite literally obtaining the powers of a god. He would then sit at the top of his tower in the dying and ruined world, blasting cities and kingdoms with gigantic death beams and destroying anybody or anything that defied him. After the party climbs to the top of the tower and defeats the godly Kefka, he simply dies. He does not seek redemption and he is not sorry for his actions. Kefka, the most destructive, evil, and insane villain in the entire series, merely perishes as any villain should. When he is defeated, his tower collapses, magic is seemingly erased from the world, and the process that forced the world into ruin is reversed. Kefka’s defeat quite literally restored the world and brought life back to it. Let’s see any other villain’s death top that!
Insane/Mad Personality: Off The Chart
Mass Genocide/Slaughter: Off The Chart
Vendetta Against Party: Low
Motivation: He simply craved power and wanted to be all-powerful.
Redemption: Nil

Return to July 2010 Articles

Top 5 Creepiest Fighting Game Characters

Fighting games are loaded with cute but deadly animals, physically perfect blonde bomb shells, and arrogant macho men who just want to beat people up. These are probably the three largest stereotypical character types in fighting games, but there is a fourth one that is worth mentioning. The creepy characters.

Ever since the dawn of Street Fighter II, we’ve been exposed to characters that are designed to unnerve us. While the oldest fighting games are a little lacking in the creepy weirdos department, fighting games embraced these characters over time until it seemed that there had to be one in every single game.

I’ve taken advantage of this and have selected the five who I feel are the creepiest fighting game characters ever. Before I start with the fifth placed character, I would just like to give an honourable mention to Twelve from Street Fighter III. That bizarre entity just narrowly missed out on the fifth spot. Since I only selected one character per franchise, this means that none of the five characters I’ve chosen are from the Street Fighter series. Bummer, eh? Well, you’ll see why momentarily. The following characters put Street Fighter’s creepers to shame! Let’s begin.

#5 Drahmin (Mortal Kombat)
Who or what is Drahmin? Aside from being called an “oni” in the Mortal Kombat games, which is never even fully explained, Drahmin’s origins are a mystery. What we do know about him however, is that he is some sort of skinless mummy-zombie monster that is likely being eaten alive (even though he’s undead, or at least I think) by the hungry flies he can throw at you. Drahmin never utters a word and wears a slightly eerie mask over his face. His alternate costume removes the mask, revealing a very terrifying looking face with the most evil expression I have ever seen. Drahmin is what nightmares are made out of.

#4 Arakune (BlazBlue)
Arakune is some kind of black blob that used to be human. He (or it) is obviously no longer human, but is now just a completely insane and mischievious “thing” of some kind. He wears a very bland, emotionless mask as he screams in a hysterically loud and shrill voice. Arakune oozes and splashes all over the fighting arena while making sections of his blobby body resemble strange weapons and body parts. It’s worth noting that he also has a bunch of bugs living inside of him. That fact alone is enough to get him on this list. A blobby bug-ridden creature that is clearly psychotic. You cannot say that this is not a creepy creature.

#3 Voldo (Soul Calibur)
Voldo hasn’t done anything terribly unnerving besides kill people, which is kind of typical of characters in fighting games. The creepy thing about Voldo is his physical appearance. This strange man fights almost in the nude as he wears skin tight leather straps, thongs, S&M fetish clothing, and strange head pieces. Voldo never reveals his eyes to the player, as they are always obscured behind giant goggles or cloth wrappings. In combat, Voldo flips and flops around in frightening ways, performing strange crotch thrusts and moaning like a dying moose. Yeah Voldo, you definitely deserve to be on this list.

#2 Cleetus (Thrill Kill)
Who is Cleetus? What is Thrill Kill? Perhaps you’re too young, which makes me feel terribly old since Thrill Kill was scheduled to come out when I was about fourteen years old. You see, the game was going to be released on the original Playstation, but Electronic Arts obtained the rights to the game and then quickly trashed it because of the content. I suppose it makes sense, especially with characters like Cleetus. You see, this guy was a cannibal who died from a tapeworm INFESTATION. Gross. Now he carries around a severed leg which he enjoys biting into. Nasty.

#1 Bimorphia (Cardinal Syn)
All that really has to be said is that Bimorphia is half man and half woman. If that’s too vague for you, then how about this… Syn (the game’s main villain) took a man and a woman, cut them in half, and attached a half from each body together to somehow create Bimorphia. That’s right, folks. The left side of Bimorphia is a female body while the right side is a male body. I don’t know if it can really get any creepier than this. Not even a cannibal can compete with a dual-gender Frankenstein creature like this, it’s just way too weird. Yikes!

Return to July 2010 Articles

Top 5 Most Misdirected Franchises

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.

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?

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!

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!

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.

Return to June 2010 Articles

Top 5 Most Disappointing Sequels

#5 Jet Moto 3
One of the first former Singletrac titles to be developed by 989 Studios, Jet Moto 3 was a bomb. Reviews were not as favourable as they had been for the first two Singletrac developed games. I picked this one up hoping for fun and genuine Jet Moto experience, but instead I got a very dull racer with little charm or soul. It may as well have just been called Hover Jet Ski Racing, because all this game did was tarnish Jet Moto’s name.

#4 Robotron X
When I think of Robotron, I think of the classic arcade game that was good fun. Robotron X (or Robotron 64 on the N64) was a disgusting attempt to modernize the classic Robotron formula. What started with high hopes of revitalizing a classic arcade game ended up doing the exact opposite. Robotron X was a horrifyingly bad looking game with a horrible camera and inexcusably low production values.

#3 Tekken 4
After Tekken 3 and Tekken Tag, everyone assumed that this series could get only better, if that was even possible. With the release of Tekken 4 two years after Tag, the unthinkable happened. A bad Tekken was released. Tekken 4 tried to introduce strange things like partial free roaming stages, which resulted in bizarre controls and fights, and horrendous camera malfunctions. Tekken 4’s features and mechanics have never reappeared in a Tekken game since.

#2 SimCity Societies
SimCity has always been zoning your city and watching it develop. As the series progressed, the gameplay mechanics became more complex and demanding. After SimCity 4, Electronic Arts decided to take the series away from Maxis (the creators of SimCity) and give it to Tilted Mill. The result? An oversimplified version of SimCity in which you could place anything, do anything, and never feel any consequences. SimCity became a children’s sandbox game.

#1 Mario Kart Wii
While my experience with the latest Mario Kart is limited, I cannot help but wonder why Nintendo decided that it was a good idea to throw Double Dash’s innovations away. Being able to select two characters and carry two power-ups at once was perhaps the best feature ever added to Mario Kart, so why did they decide to do away with it? Is there even any kind of explanation? This would be like a Pong game evolving into Mario Tennis for the second game, but then reverting to Pong for the third installment. Why, Nintendo? Why??

Return to June 2010 Articles