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Weekend Hot Topic, part 2: Bad video games in great franchises


Devil May Cry 2 – nobody likes the second one (pic: Capcom)

GameCentral readers reveal the worst entries in their favourite video game series, from Halo to Fallout.

The question for this week’s Hot Topic was suggested by reader Coolsbane, who asked what’s the worst game in your favourite video game series? Is it actively bad by other standards or does it just look that way compared to the others?

That last point varied greatly, with some saying the worst game in series like Dark Souls was still very good, while Sonic The Hedgehog got a number of mentions for its disappointing lack of consistency.

 

The obvious choice
Reading this Hot Topic immediately invoked memories of Devil May Cry 2… After enjoying the first so much (and going back to it multiple times, in multiple generations) the second was such a boring and simplistic sequel. Thankfully, despite some other small criticisms of other sequels I think the series got back on track after this, and Devil May Cry 2 was just a blip – I’m hoping I will be able to say the same for Mass Effect if a decent new entry helps me forget Andromeda!

Another that may surprise some would be GTA 4. It was… all right. And that’s about it. I don’t usually play the online aspects so can’t comment on how that’s given GTA 5 so much more, but just in terms of the story, characters, and gameplay I didn’t really enjoy GTA 4 as much as I thought I would. I completed it, but never went back to it. Whereas GTA 5 is always worthy of a replay in my book.
NL
PS: Off topic but saw a letter from Jez last week mentioning What Remains Of Edith Finch, so picked it up from the PS Store for a few quid – brilliant game! Definitely going to have to keep my eye on this developer too.

 

Total reboot
As a Halo fan that is hoping that Halo Infinite is going to be a major return to form I would say that Halo 5 is my least favourite entry, although I didn’t think much of 4 either. I’m really not convinced 343 are the right people for the job but I’ve got to hope they’ve learnt their lesson now as they’re the ones doing Infinite now.

Halo 5 is just an overall classic example of a franchise that’s getting long in the tooth and doesn’t know what to do with itself. The half-hearted revamp throws out everything that makes Halo unique and replaces it with bland gameplay and a short, completely uninteresting campaign that doesn’t have its main hero in it most of the time.

I also found the emphasis on co-op annoying, where it wasn’t really an option but a preference that was constantly forced on you. I really didn’t like the Quake style multiplayer either, the whole thing is just a dud. But maybe it needed to be that bad for them to realise that a total reboot was necessary.
Hand3

 

Not-so-super Metroid
As someone that thinks Super Metroid is a perfect video game I’d say my choice here was pretty obvious: Other M. As a Metroid fan the whole thing seems specifically designed to annoy me as much as possible and make a mockery of everything I like about the series.

The treatment of Samus is horrible and sexist, all the other characters are terrible, the controls are awful, the linearity goes against everything Metroid is about, the graphics are bad, the bosses are bad, the use of Ridley is bad, the lack of puzzles is boring and the combat is extremely shallow. I just can’t think of anything else they could’ve got wrong really.

Oh, and the name is stupid and I still don’t know what it’s supposed to mean.
Camfam

 

E-mail your comments to: gamecentral@ukmetro.co.uk

 

Further to fall
Since Fallout is my favourite franchise I’ve kind of got an obvious choice here. But as bad as Fallout 76 is I have to say I was more disappointed with Fallout 4. I knew Fallout 76 was going to be bad the second they announced it, and definitely after the reviews came in. But Fallout 4 reviewed well and I was expecting it to be good.

What I got instead was a watered down Fallout 3 with repetitive missions, bad dialogue, and only a few memorable characters. Oh, and of course lots and lots of bugs. Bethesda has really lost the plot lately and Fallout 5 is going to have to be some kind of amazing game to make me feel about the series the way I used to. How the mighty have fallen, as it were.
Deep

 

Final boss
Well, unless I’m desperate to track down those CD-i games (I’m really not), I have never played a bad Zelda game. The worst Sonic game I played all the way through was Sonic Chaos on the Master System. Yeah, I think both Sonic Heroes and Sonic 3D Blast were both better. For Resident Evil, that would be Zero.

Of course, I played the demo to Resident Evil 6. The Leon section was okay if underwhelming, but the Chris section was horrifying. And not in the way Capcom intended. I wasn’t about to put myself through any more of that.

Similarly, I played about as much as I could stand to bear of Shadow The Hedgehog and Sonic 2006. Which was very little. Saying which was the worse of those two is like comparing faeces. At the end of the day, it’s all poo, isn’t it?

I could talk about Soulcalibur 5, but I feel I talk about that game too much. So let’s pick on Tekken! Namely Tekken Tag Tournament 2. I can already guess your reactions. ‘Wait, wasn’t that at least better than the first one?’ Was it though? Was it really? I mean really, really?

I have played all the Tekken games bar the fourth, so unless it is a real stinker then Tekken Tag 2 is as bad as Tekken gets for me. I feel it got away with murder in the reviews and I bet nobody still plays it. On the one hand, it encourages repeated play with customisation items that need to be bought with in-game currency. But then puts you off with the most vicious arcade killer bosses in genre history. Which is really saying something.

Unknown went from being an intriguing, even decent little final boss in the first game to this dreadfully cheap outrage that makes Gill from Street Fighter 3 seem kind by comparison. It’s just no fun. Don’t anybody even dare say ‘Oh I could do it,’ or some other snotty comment along those lines. Yeah, they can be beat – but that’s not the point. It’s just no fun to do so. The challenge is not proportionally fair, nor does it enhance the experience.

What’s worse, it felt very sluggish to play. All the characters felt like they were moving through molasses, so it was not ever going to replace any other multiplayer favourite. Tekken 5, Tekken 6 and even the first Tag game were better to play, were faster and were smoother than this. Dead Or Alive 5 Ultimate plays much better than this, which was around the same time and didn’t get a fair shake in my opinion.

Tekken Tag Tournament 2 was so bad that it almost made me swear off fighting games for good. I hate it.
DMR

 

Track record
I would go with Mario Kart: Double Dash!! I think, since I generally regard Mario Kart as my favourite franchise (it’s the only game I can guarantee to be able to play with absolutely anyone, from hardcore Counter-Strike fans to complete non-gamers).

This was during Nintendo’s darkest period of the GameCube, when nothing seemed to be working out for them. The double passenger gimmick was bad, most of the new tracks were bad, even the music was bad. The only saving grace was Baby Park, which thankfully usually appears in most of the sequels.
Stormie

 

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

 

Mass disappointment
Mass Effect: Andromeda infamously giving this series of games a bad name does warrant a bit of a beating, though not to go too far. The reasons are sadly quite obvious and after getting through the game, it’s a shame I never felt the same great feeling of high emotion as I did from the original Mass Effect trilogy.

The original series was always progressing the story and taking you to new places and locations without them being anywhere near a sprawling open world environment. Funny thing is, I kind of hoped for planet exploration on this scale over a number of planets. But following the same type of terraforming pattern and completing a bunch of mini-missions for the natives can get a bit unimaginative and the main story and characters side quests can get a bit lost.

This takes up rather lot of the game up and even though it’s tied up in the main plot, using a book analogy, ‘it was not exactly a page turner. Don’t get me wrong, I did overall have a good experience with the crew and creating my character, but there were too many pauses and gameplay taking you away from a potentially interesting storyline.

What made the original series so good was, like the original Star Wars trilogy, it kept at the plot without stopping and only chilled a bit in certain places. In the Mass Effect trilogy I always liked walking around the space stations, habitat zones, city streets, and night club areas with a little planet exploring thrown in, but in a closed area and not too big. It basically never took you off the main reason for me playing: great combat, character interactions, amazing locations to explore/admire, and all in a story-driven game of sci-fi nostalgia.

I hope that we’ll get on target again for another great series or a single Mass Effect game which takes players’ dreams and emotions to another level.
Alucard

 

E-mail your comments to: gamecentral@ukmetro.co.uk

 

The small print
New Inbox updates appear twice daily, every weekday morning and afternoon. Readers’ letters are used on merit and may be edited for length.

You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word 4Player viewer features at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.

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