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Top Five Game Series That Need to Expire

Expire Front

This week, rumors started flying around about the imminent demise of the Dead Space series following the release and controversy of the series’ third incarnation, including the rebalance of the action element over the horror of the previous games and the inclusion of microtransactions in the game (that last one inspired our Microtransactions Editorial). EA has since rebuked those rumors, saying the series remains an important franchise and attributed those rumors to websites trying to create buzz for themselves. In time, we’ll see where this leads, but our first thought was simple: why this series when so many others deserve the axe more?

Sure it sounds a little mean, but some series have reached their peak. We accumulated a list of the Top Five (or bottom five, depending on how you read it) series we feel the gaming world would be better without! Don’t worry, we like to remember when things were at their best, so we’ll post pictures of the best entries of the series with the exception of our #1 spot, and you’ll know why.

5.) Silent Hill

Silent Hill 2

If you love something, you have to let it go…

This one really hurts to have to put on here, but it’s time I accept it: the series is dead, and has been for years. Silent Hill gave us great atmosphere, subtle horror elements and some of the most vile (and metaphorical) enemies ever seen in a video game. However, after the second installment, it started a slight downward slope. Three was good, but not as good as two. Silent Hill 4: The Room took some departures, some worked, others didn’t (stupid breakable weapons), but it wasn’t horrible. Then the series went to the U.S. and the slope turned into a cliff face. Homecoming was predictable as hell, Shattered Memories was nowhere near as psychological as the gimmick tests you were given, and Downpour can’t even decide its own storyline by itself. And each lacked the subtlety of the Japanese releases, heavily borrowing the film versions’ physical appearance, forgetting the depth of the Japanese games. The U.S. ruined this one, and I’d hug my original copy of SH2 if I thought it would help. But it won’t.

4.) Alien vs Predator

AvP 2

At least AvP 2 had dual wield

If you’ve played, read, watched or even heard about the Alien vs Predator multimedia franchise, you already know what it’s all about. Evil Weyland-Yutani group decides Xenomorphs represent a new biological weapon and capture a Queen and some drones. Aliens break out of the facility, and the Colonial Marines are stuck cleaning up the mess. Predators, probably off on some intergalactic safari retreat, find the Aliens and decide to test their honor by killing a bunch of them. Planet descends into chaos. Depending on the game, you get differences in the names of the characters, but it always plays out the same. The early years brought variety in the form of side scrolling action, beat’em up and first person shooters. AvP on the PC was great, and AvP2 gave us that and a much better multiplayer. By three, we were already bored of it. And I don’t even need to mention the attrocious Aliens: Colonial Marines. Yeah, there were no Preds in it, but they have Invisibility Cloaks. They probably judged the Xenos as unworthy of a hunt and moved on, just like the rest of us should.

3.) Postal

Postal 2

Yeah, it’s that kind of game

This one is tricky. For most logical people, this game was never good, was just senseless violence and never should have been released in the first place. The thing is, for some it was a guilty pleasure and though this game isn’t one of mine, I get what guilty pleasures mean to people (Stupid Chips Ahoy. You make me fat, but I just can’t quit you…). Postal 2 brought the game from top down shooter to FPS, and was more ridiculous and controversial, but that kind of humor is understandable. Then Postal 3 came out, and not only might it have gone too far, even for fans, it wasn’t even enjoyable as it was riddled with bugs and generally a chore to play. Running With Scissors, the developer of the first two, outsourced this one and came down hard on the final result, but even if playable the series has run its course and RWS knows it. Why else would they have let Uwe Boll make a movie out of it?

2.) Leisure Suit Larry

Leisure Suit Larry

The oldies are the goodies, most of the time

Starting out as an adventure title released by Sierra in ’87, this game was a humorous alternative to similar titles of the time. In fact, it was one of the most popular series of the company at the time (I can’t confirm, I was two months old when the first one was released). When the series came to the XBOX, PS2 and PC in 2004, I was interested in the game for it’s lineage. When I played Magna Cum Laude, I was interested in throwing the disc out. It was basically mini-games (crappy) released under the guise of a racy (immaturely) game with a lot of comedy (few good spots). Box Office Bust (creative), the latest release on current gen consoles, got low enough reviews that the Wii version was cancelled. A new developer, Replay Games, has launched a Kickstarter project and currently has almost $700,000 so far, so it might be decent, but considering what they’re working with, we don’t look forward to seeing it. Ever. Never Ever.

1.) Dynasty Warriors

Dynasty Warriors

It doesn’t even matter which one this is from

Number one has been on life support for far too long. It was hard to pick a picture for this one because if you’ve played any of these after the original fighting game, you have literally played them all: third person action game with characters, stages and story from the Three Kingdoms period of Chinese history and the same combat every time. Sure, some minor feature like ranged combat or riding animals are added to the mix each installment, but EVERYTHING else is the same. Branch off titles, like Samurai Warriors, DW: Gundam and One Piece: Pirate Warriors (yeah, they did anime games) changed the story and cosmetic appearances, but underneath the superficial, there are no differences to the core. The Empire versions add some interest with a strategy element, but you still fight the same way: repetatively, battle after battle. DW8 was released in February, exclusively in Japan on the PS3, but I could borrow any of the other entries and get 95% the same game. And I won’t even rent it. I’ve played it a total of three hours with a friend. That is all I, or anyone else, ever need to play of it.

Do you feel we overlooked a franchise you personally despise? Drop the suggestion in the comments below!


About RedGuinness

Andrew Shortall (RedGuinness) is the Writer, Editor, Administrator and founder of Stay-At-Home Gaming. He also suffers from sleepless nights, summer new release withdrawals and trying to behave himself in front of his new nephew.

7 comments on “Top Five Game Series That Need to Expire

  1. Dom DeStefano
    March 7, 2013

    Disagree with the first two, agree with the last three. Silent Hill is struggling but not dead, as is AvP. Those two game series rely on “low visibility”, which means that the clearer graphics become, the less successful the fear content. If developers figure out how to make visibility low and put the human imagination to work, they’ll recapture those games.

    • RedGuinness
      March 7, 2013

      The problem with Silent Hill is the subtlety which it hasn’t had since The Room, the behind the scenes, if you will. The enemies of the other games had meaning and connection to the story. Homecoming and Downpour have none of the symbolism that the series became great through. And AvP lost a lot of that fear from the graphics, no doubt, but even if they did it right, it’s still a standard shooter for the Marine campaign and SSDD for the other two.

      It would be amazing if any of these series were to deliver a game that makes me reconsider. There’s always hope, but not for what we have now.

  2. mediarray
    March 7, 2013

    I have to agree with you on all of these – except “Silent Hill”. While I agree that the series tanked steadily after 3, there is still so much potential there if the series was in the right hands. Taking the focus away from the combat and scares and bringing it back to the story, characters, and chilling environment is a step someone needs to take. Here’s hoping someone finally does the series justice.

    • RedGuinness
      March 7, 2013

      Climax Studios, Vatra Games and Double Helix Games all tried their hand at it and disappointed. If Konami brought back a Japanese developer I would think it stands a chance. Where we have slasher horror, they have the psychological horror of the first four games, the quality that set it apart from its biggest rival, Resident Evil. If they did that, it would stand a chance.

  3. Silent Hill 1 & 2 are both amazing games, maybe even in my Top 10. I haven’t kept up with the series but it’s a shame the Americans gutted the things that made it a great game, mainly the suspense. It was scary without being overt. That’s what set it apart, If that’s gone, then good riddance to the series.

    • RedGuinness
      March 7, 2013

      Three continued the story from one, so it’s worth a play. There are some suspenseful moments in the new ones, but the sense of dread has gone the way of Lincoln, assassinated by simple stories and splatter gore. Good riddance, indeed, if they don’t bring back subtlety.

  4. Kimberly Scott
    March 9, 2013

    All true. These titles aren’t being reinvented, and there’s only so much enjoyment you can wring out after a while. Big gaming companies have difficulty letting go of their large titles I think, even when they’ve beaten them to death, because they probably see it as a bigger risk to try to forge a new fandom from scratch. Easier to just ride the ever decreasing waves of the hits of the past. Although, I’m optimistic about maybe seeing some new grand series out there with the rise of independent titles grabbing attention. This might inspire the big guys to take some risks, and we might find new favorites soon enough.

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