6 Game Franchises That Need to Go Away (as of 2012)

6. GoW

I am starting the list by breaking the rules and including two games at the same time, just because I’m feeling like that much of a badass. This is because “GoW” here stands for both Gears of War and God of War, making testosterone content of this entry so dangerously high, simply reading it may physically turn you into Dog the Bounty Hunter. The reason I am taking this risk though is because these two franchises are in an identical situation right now, one that is probably beginning to make a lot of lactose-intolerant gamers gassy. Both GoW’s have just completed their major trilogies with perfectly satisfying bangs that nicely tied everything together. Two or less years later, both are receiving sequels, which are prequels or something, that feel entirely too similar to the previous games. It’s like serving us up a very satisfying dinner, and five minutes after we finish the spot-on dessert, offering a nice juicy steak. I am sure that these new outings will be tons of delicious, goretastic fun, and will probably introduce some new elements to their respective series but with the finales that both franchises have just received, there was all the momentum for a long power nap or a drastic change in direction. If you must keep releasing GoW’s to make that guaranteed buck, at least, give us a setting that feels immediately fresh or tell a story of some other dudes with a good reason to disembowel things. Surely, an angry meat-head is not too difficult to top.



5. Metal Gear Solid

Hideo Kojima has confirmed that Snake (pictured) is set to return in Metal Gear Solid 5 (the mustache still unconfirmed), but don’t let that “5” fool you, this series has seen a total of 23 (twenty three) releases up to this point, 17 (seventeen) of which came out in the past 10 years. Yes, that is why you might not be particularly craving a new one. Another reason could be that MGS4 was meant to be and was in every way the series’ finale (before we got another prequel that is). As a matter of fact, Kojima wanted to kill Snake at the end but instead opted to include that scene where two old guys discuss gardening techniques (right?) for half an hour. The real bummer though is that this keeps Kojima from directing something fresh.The dude may not be much of a storyteller but boy does he know how to go the right kind of crazy. Hate him or love him, he is capable of exorcising boredom out of anything, whether its’ with some random gameplay trickery, unexpected wackiness, cheese, or even just plain old creeptastic weirdness. Can you imagine a completely new Kojima sword-and-magic RPG in the vein of Skyrim or a GTA-style urban sandbox game? Exactly, you can’t, because the guy is as unpredictable as the contents of his breakfast bong, while his peculiarities are always grounded just enough to understand without forcing it. Yet, this man is continuously confined to the same game universe all these years…



4. Sonic

Back in the 90’s, Sonic was uber cool. He had the moves, the “I’m awesome and I know it” smirk, the spiky hair, the jewelry, the squiggly finger gestures and the funky red shoes. Today, that’s a description of a 100% authentic douchebag. Not only that, since Sonic 3, there has been such a relentless barrage of crap Sonic games that a mere thought of another one makes me cringe like a midget in a crowded elevator. I’m sure that every Sonic title has a fan somewhere, where there are no other games present in a thousand mile radius, but for an average gamer, the stink that now surrounds this once-great franchise cannot be neutralized with just a decent new outing. That would be like spraying cologne on a filthy bum who just crapped himself. He needs to be showered in the most potent eau de toilette, or better yet, removed from society for awhile and returned a new man before someone willingly approached him without first taking a careful whiff from afar. I realize that Sega is probably pointing at Mario–the most exploited character in existence–and encouraging themselves to keep at it but one thing they really need to understand is that Mario has never sucked as much, or for as long, as Sonic has been. At this point, the only chance of salvaging this once-icon is to put him in a coma and let gamers forget and start wondering what happened to the guy. Then, Sega can remind everyone why Sonic was once cool with a worthy comeback. Currently, he is just a douche who won’t shut up about his former glory, which is getting increasingly harder to believe ever existed.


3. Final Fantasy

Final Fantasy series is in a unique position where each entry is adequately independent enough to somewhat alleviate franchise fatigue. Even though this is such a long-running series that they have run out of numbers and have now started assigning shirt sizes to the sequels, I doubt that many people will voice annoyed outrage if a decent FF game is announced tomorrow. So the real reason this IP needs to go away is not because I feel like everyone is tired of its’ story or anything; it’s because the FF department of Square Enix desperately needs to refuel creatively and see where most modern role playing gamers are at the moment. They need to take a long break, or to speed things up, have a Kurt Russelesque shirtless man sneak up on each developer and deliver an amnesia-inducing elbow to the back of the head (shitty video games cause violence), then have them read some books, play some modern RPG’s and reconsider their approach to storytelling, character interaction, combat, dialog and everything else that is stale about Final Fantasy. Oh, and while they are at it, they should really consider paying someone, who can actually write English and give him/her massive authority to take liberties with the translation. Perhaps, the whole thing will be somewhat tolerable enough not to want to shoot Acid spells in your eyes and ears.



2. Need for Speed

As far as I’m concerned, the 1994 Need for Speed for 3DO was the first game to introduce the experience that is now considered racing genre standard. It was and still is an exceptional title that started my long and forgiving relationship with the series, which was only broken in 2005, when EA kicked the franchise into milking overdrive that I just could not keep up with. See, when it comes to successful franchises, EA is like a fat kid who receives access to copious  amounts of delicious candy and who cannot not stop stuffing his face with one after another, and then two at a time, and then more, until his cheeks are covered in sticky goo and two candy-colored snot streams are drag racing for his weary mouth. NFS got the worst of it, by far. If I enter a game store today and ask for “the latest Need for Speed”, I have no fucking idea what to expect: will it be a racing sim or an arcade-style game with cop chases? Will I be free-roaming the street-racing underground or maybe even running on two feet instead? Sure, even in its’ infancy, this franchise was not exactly consistent in style but the games were always about racing exclusive cars and circling a  balance between realism and fun that would always retain the feel of NFS, even in that crasy-ass second one. Today though, if EA makes a Street Fighter-type game with that car-wrecking section, they will likely call it Need for Speed: Beatdown. Someone needs to take away that “NFS” stamp from EA brass ASAP because it’s killing the good ol’ Need for Speed, the game. Make Shift its’ own series, take Underground and Run and Shower and whatever else they have into their own directions and consider just what exactly an NFS game should be and stick to the same genre. Do so after a long break because rebooting NFS now will just make everyone think that it’s yet another oddball installment.

1. Silent Hill

I hate to make this about me again but I must mention that Silent Hill 2 is honestly one of my favorite games of all time, and I don’t use these words lightly (that shit will get you killed ’round hear!). The first two games were a stunner one-two punch that still have me thanking destiny for throwing this whole video game thing my way. Even the third game had a right to exist because it dealt with a very intriguing ending of the first one. Silent Hill 4: the Room though was already one sequel too many, not because the game was bad (I loved it) but because it was yet another trip to the same damn place. I realize that Konami cannot do what 2K is doing with Bioshock (switch setting), because they cannot name a game after a location and not feature the location in it. This is precisely why this series has no choice but to go away. Even if they do decide to stop butchering any dignity or reputation Silent Hill once had by developing a decent game, there is no getting around the necessary repetition. If there was a chance of Team Silent, the makers of the first four games, making one final sequel that would explain just how Silent Hill turned from a mystical personal purgatory of a couple of extraordinarily tortured souls into a creepy stalker, trolling every unsavory character in existance, then I’d be up for it but as it is, just stop it. Let us miss the foggy streets and actually want to experience the same ol’ place again in some futuristic HD.

14 comments on “6 Game Franchises That Need to Go Away (as of 2012)

  1. click here says:

    Im having a small problem. I cant get my reader to pick up your feed, Im using bing reader by the way.

  2. I adore your wp web template, wherever did you obtain it from?

    • alionlion says:

      Hello and thank you for coming and commenting AND the compliment. The theme is called Vigilance by The Theme Foundry. It is free and can be found on the wordpress.com search thingy. It may not be instantly recognizable when you see it but it is the theme.

  3. I agree with Need for Speed and Sonic but all those other franchises are amazing! Is this a troll post or a sad attempt for hits? Because you got me buddy but:

    what about Call of Duty?
    what about Resident Evil?
    what about Dynasty Warrior?
    what about the Lego based games?
    what about the DBZ and Naruto games? I mean….

    • Alienlion says:

      Thanks for coming WEL.
      I agree that most of the ones mentioned still produce decent games. Even NFS has decent racers. I am not saying that these franchises suck (well, not all), in fact, I want them to go away BECAUSE I like them, and because I want to continue to like them. Even the good ones, like MGS, could benefit from a break (especially if it means Kojima can do something else for a bit).

      For this reason, I didn’t mention the games that you posted (all of which are valid)–I’m not a big fan of them so I don’t really care. I’ve only ever played one COD (just not a fan and never been) and a couple of Resident Evils so, you know, they can do whatever they want.

      Regarding hits, as you can see, I post no ads on my site and don’t monetize it in any way so hits are useless to me. This is an honest personal opinion and I’d just love for someone to drop by and talk about this stuff, like you did, which I highly appreciate.

  4. Jason K Seay says:

    The metal gear really struck a nerv its a good series, so lemme get this straight mario can keep throwing the same format of game at us and that’s fine but a continuation to metal gear (a story driven game might i add) is going to far because the man behind it all has the potential of making other games. The truth is Kojima dose make other games case in point the new Z.O.E.

    • AlienLion says:

      MGS did strike a nerve with quite a crowd. I feel like it being a story driven series is precisely the reason it should take a break after the finale that was MGS4. It has nothing to do with MGS being bad, I’m a big fan.

      Mario, on the other hand, can star in a ping pong game as easily as he does Galaxy and Bros and it will still fit somehow. As already mentioned, he is a go-to character for random fun games, “Mario” is not a series.

      On a side note, Kojima didn’t direct ZOE. Watanabe did the first one and Murata did ZOE2.

      • Jason K Seay says:

        Kojima is also a consultant on the Z.O.E. games too that’s a job the last time i checked and he offered his insights on castlevania, my point being if he really didn’t want a metal gear to come out it wouldn’t happen the root of all of this is money. After the tsunami every game giant over in japan has been attempting to bounce back why not step forward on your best foot so to speak?

        One more thing there is no defending mario yes his games are a series with the same primness at that, So sonic made your list for doing some of the exact same things as mario yet mario is excluded simply because he is nintendo’s poster boy? I call bull crap on that one as well cause the fact of the matter is mario is just as convoluted as the blue blur.

        • AlienLion says:

          Well, you are entitled to your opinion of course, and I appreciate you sharing it here. In my humble opinion though, having input in a game, or a job as you put it, is not the same as directing it, like Kojima did Snatcher or MGS, where he had full control. And, if you follow the link in the article, you’ll see Kojima say that he intended MGS4 as his last MGS game. Sure there must be good reasons why he has to make another MGS but I wish he was more free to do whatever he wanted. Plus, MGS4 was a satisfying finale. But that’s just what I think.

          In regards to Sonic and Mario, again, I appreciate your point but I don’t see it that way. Sonic has one actual adventure series, not counting the cameos, and it’s been sucking quite a bit lately. Mario, on the other hand, is the default character to many separate, standalone Nintendo series, and every console generation gets only one or two of those AND they are consistently good. There is usually only one Kart game, only one or two adventure games, etc. And those games are not story driven but more arcade-y so it’s never forcing it to continue them indefinitely. Saying that Mario should be put to rest is saying that all the fun little Nintendo titles need to use a different character, which makes no difference, while saying Sonic should be put to rest is saying that Sonic, the series, should take a break. This is my intention behind it.

  5. UnloggedAmdin says:

    Mario isnt really a gaming franchise, he’s a default character of many different Nintendo games. Hes like nintendo’s mocap dude.

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