The Weirdest Video Game Sequels of All Time
Good video games leave you wanting more. You think to yourself, “Man, that was a great game! I can’t wait for the sequel!” They announce the release date of the next game in your favorite series and you think, “I can’t wait! I’d better reserve a copy now!” Then you finally get that video game home, rip off the plastic, shove it in the system, start playing and say, “What the!?” They may be great or they may be incredibly disappointing, but they are definitely a departure from the series you know and love. Here are the weirdest video game sequels of all time:
Perfect Dark Zero
One of the biggest launch day let downs I can remember was Perfect Dark Zero. The game looked great and had a multiplayer that allowed players to play with AI-controlled bots as enemies. Super fun! But the Single Player Mode had unrelenting AI, a frustrating health bar, and only allowed you to save once Mid-Level in a game that was designed to kill you A LOT. Perfect Dark Zero wasn’t a horrible game, but the let down from the very fun and user friendly N64 Perfect Dark was quite a surprise. Shame on you, Joanna!
GTA: Vice City
There really hasn’t been a disappointing Grand Theft Auto game in the series yet., but to go from the ground breaking, and gritty Italian urban setting of GTA III to a Miami Vice, Scarface infused early 80’s backdrop with GTA: Vice City was a pretty big surprise. It was a big success and added a shot in the arm that would carry through to 4 more installments in the GTA series, and the world of Vice City still has some of the most fun vehicles and set pieces in the Grand Theft Auto series. Still, you have to admit it was a weird jump.
Sim Ant doesn’t seem like that strange of an idea now, but when it first came out it was surprising because of the Sim City series timeline. First was SimCity. Then came SimEarth. The very next game to be released in the Simcity series wasn’t Simcity 2000, Simcity 3000 or Simcity 4. It wasn’t even SimPark or SimFarm. It was SimAnt. It was a big risk to go micro instead of macro and it didn’t pay off at the time. Critical poo-pooing led to mediocre sales of the title. But Maxis’ and creator Will Wright’s bold risk taking is still being looked at as innovative and fun to this day.
Mario Party 3 – 8
Mario Party on the N64 was seen as a fun but lopsided take on the party game genre via board game sensibilities. Mario Party 2 was expected because of the success of Mario Party, but it showed that the Mario party games were wearing thin on critics, even if the fans still enjoyed it. Mario Party 3 was seen as a last paycheck for Nintendo and a welcome end of the Mario Party series by the critics. Then the Gamecube and Wii put out 4 more volumes in the series from 2001 to 2010. Critics can’t stand them and kids can’t get enough of them. But with Mario party 9’s announced release prior to this post, every video game critic and gamer over 10 years old looks at every each new installment that comes out and can’t believe that the Mario Party series is still going.
Goldeneye: Rogue Agent
Goldeneye 64 was the best James Bond title ever made and one of the most addictive multiplayer games to date. So the next installment had a bunch of momentum working in its favor. It even shared the name of its predecessor. But Goldeneye fans quickly discovered that Rogue Agent was nothing more than a bland copy of its brother with a muddled plot and some extra weapons. The game was based around the fact that you were playing as a bad guy, but you never really felt it because the levels were tedious and the story was all over the place. The surprise here came in the enormous let down that Goldeneye: Rogue Agent gave fans.
Pac Land wasn’t a horrible game. It was simple and fun. Not too hard, so that it could be accessible to gamers of all ages.But Pac Land brought with it two surprises: it was a side scrolling adventure including ghosts in cars, planes and UFOs. But the thing that got me was that Pac Man had legs!? Man, those things look out of place and creepy to me. Pac Man with legs just seems so weird, like a land-squid or a skinny police officer.
Typing of the Dead
Let’s make a quick list of objects that can be used to kill a zombie: Gun, Machete, Chainsaw, typing skills… Wait, Typing skills!? In Typing of the Dead for the SEGA Dreamcast, PS2 and arcade, you used the keyboard peripheral to type in words and phrases that pop up on screen next to advancing zombies. Once you finished the word or phrase, the zombies would die. The game wasn’t the most fun in the world, but it had an odd quirkiness to it with phrases like “Smart-looking boy” and “Jichael Mackson” that needed to be typed. It was weird, fun and definitely surprising.
Bomberman Act Zero
It seemed like a great idea. Take the Bomberman series and bring it into the 3D gaming world. What the XBOX 360 faithful ended up with was a boring, confused, uncharming version of your favorite lil bomber dude. Bomberman Act Zero had too many power-ups, too simple gameplay and, the most egregious error… NO OFFLINE MULTIPLAYER!? The most enjoyable part of the series was blowing up your friends and laughing in their faces as you did it. The XBOX Live component was disappointing to say the least and left everyone wanting more. It was a shocker how different this game was from the rest of the series and not a lot of people I know like a shocker.
Super Mario Bros. 2
Coming off one of the most successful launch titles of all time with Super Mario Bros., I’m sure Nintendo thought they could do no wrong. They probably thought that no matter what they gave the gamers next, as long as it had Mario’s face on it it would be well received. And guess what…they were right. Super Mario Bros. 2 had all sorts of weird stuff going on, like multiple characters, vegetable picking for power-ups, throwing a beaker to create secret doors, the infamous power squatting for higher jumps and a huge departure in villains from the recognizable Bowser to the unknown frog ruler of the dreamworld “Subcon” King Wart. Even the fact that it started as a non-Mario game called Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic, didn’t matter to fans because Nintendo was right. Super Marios Bros. 2 ended up being the 3rd highest selling NES game of all time and is still a cult fan favorite in the series.
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
So you’ve created the greatest adventure game in the history of gaming. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, right? Wrong. Nintendo decided to switch from the iconic top down view that Legend of Zelda was applauded and known for and went with a full sized, side scrolling, hack and slash, Link in short shorts design for Zelda II. They also decided to crank off the difficulty meter to “nearly unbearable” and forced the player to fight annoying, hidden minions while traipsing across the landscape of Hyrule. All this being said, the game did have great elements like the added Magical gameplay elements for Link and a more involved NPC base with pivotal plot roles, a facet of the Legend of Zelda series that remains to this day. Some good, some bad, but all of them definitely made you go “What the #*$!?”Speak Your MindTell us what you're thinking... and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!