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Old 05-12-2019, 05:52 PM   #1
Prowler
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Video game series/properties that you feel could have been bigger

This could be whether because they just weren't as good as we initially thought they were going to be, or because their developer pulled the plug on them at a time they could capitalise on them instead, or because simply the developer was never able to promote them properly or do things that could have made the series more popular.

Star Fox: SNES Star Fox was a very interesting game. Looked like some sort of bizarre art experience turned into a video game. Sold relatively OK. And with Star Fox 64, Nintendo made a game that was a defining N64 title. Quite cutting edge for its time with its voice acting and graphics. It's also arguably the most quotable game of all time. Everyone knows "do a barrel role!"... but Nintendo seems to have failed to capitalise on it. On the GameCube they basically let Rare handle a game that was originally meant to be an original game and turned it into a Star Fox game. it sold reasonably well for a GC title, but together with Assault, both games had some mixed reception. They felt a bit disappointing for most people after a hit like SF64. And then there was no SF for nearly over a decade except fo Command on the DS which sold poorly. SF Zero had some hype and promotion around it, which meant maybe Nintendo wanted to care about the property again, but it also didn't sell very well.

So yeah, the series peaked in 1997 with SF64 and never really became relevant again, despite Fox being a mainstay in Smash and being the strongest Smash character in Melee alongside Falco. Wolf was also in Brawl iirc. Nintendo not only puts Mario, Mario Kart, Smash Bros, Zelda and Pokémon ahead of SF nowadays but also puts Kirby, Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem ahead of it as well.

F-Zero: SNES F-Zero was a quite cutting edge racing game for its time with its high speeds and mode 7 graphics that showed what the SNES was capable of. While other F-Zero games were good as well, the series was never able to sell very well. Not even F-Zero GX, the definitive game of the series. F-Zero has been on the shelf for over a decade now, and Captain Falcon feels more like a character that's been introduced in Smash than in another game these days. People know Captain Falcon for the Punch and not for his racing skills or his personality exactly. I guess the fact F-Zero is quite challenging and doesn't have the colourful and recognisable cast of Mario Kart didn't help it either.

Virtua Fighter: Virtua Fighter 2 was a pretty important fighting game back in 1995 or so. What Street Fighter 2 was to 2D fighters, VF2 was to 3D fighters. I remember being fascinated by VF2 and also LOVING Fighters Megamix back in the 90s. But VF debuted on Saturn, a console that was outsold by its competition. It was hard for VF to compete against Tekken or even Dead or Alive, which are more accessible 3D fighters with more colourful casts. Plus Mortal Kombat was going 3D at the time as well and MK always sells well.

But while VF is rather complex to become a pro at, I don't think it's THAT hard of a game to pick up as people think it is. VF games have great tutorial/training modes and the games also have a block button, instead of having to press back on the d-pad or joystick to block. I definitely had fun with VF when I was a kid and still sucked at games. So I don't see why anyone else couldn't. Virtua Fighter 4: Evolution is a pretty great game. I do admit that VF's cast isn't interesting or charismatic enough compared to the casts of other fighting games, though. And that might make the game look bland or boring.
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Old 05-12-2019, 10:53 PM   #2
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Interesting thread.

Let me think... well, for one thing, I think it's almost bizarre, given how popular Marvel has become in general in the last 10+ years, that we're just now about to get Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3. I'm on record as not being a "Marvel Guy" at ALL, but I've always found the Ultimate Alliance games (and the precursor X-Men Legends series) to be quite good. In fact, I'm kind of surprised/disappointed that despite the brand's upsurge in popularity, the only representation in video games that the Marvel characters have received in recent years at all has been in Lego games, mostly. I know that games are more expensive to develop than ever before, but you'd think that the audience is there to justify it, given that the movie franchise has made about a bazillion dollars and the audience is mostly the same as the one that plays games. Of course, the movie-based games based on Thor, Captain America, and the first two Iron Man films were supposedly "not great" to "pretty bad" (although I've heard good things about the Captain America game, and the Incredible Hulk one is also supposed to be decent, if just a re-do of "Ultimate Destruction"), but I'm very surprised that the "Ultimate Alliance" series has been on hold for so long, since they were generally a good snapshot of the larger MCU and they could ostensibly showcase most or all of the popular film characters, without having to secure actors' likeness rights. I would have thought that we'd be on the 5th or 6th one, by now.

- Likewise, although it wasn't as acclaimed, "Justice League Heroes" was a good first try at a similarly-styled team-based action RPG. It was a bit short and felt like it could have used more time before release - and as good as he is at other things, Ron Perlman is a lousy Batman - but on the whole, it was solid. I know it didn't set the world on fire, sales-wise, but I figured there would be more, which would improve on the foundation of the first one. "Young Justice" eventually got a game that was a bit more of a rip-off of the "Legends/Ultimate Alliance" formula, but it wasn't very good so I don't really count it. You'd think there'd be more DC games in general that weren't either Batman or Injustice, but nope. Licensed games on the whole seem to be a thing of the past; I guess they really do cost too much money to justify the expense. It's just kind of a shame.

- All of the Fight Night games were really good, and I'm kind of surprised that they haven't done one in a while. I know boxing in general isn't really very popular anymore, so I guess that could be why, aside from the fact that all of the games were very similar to each other. I don't really blame them for that, since they really nailed the control mechanics right out of the box and thus could only make smaller, incremental improvements and tweaks with each new installment. But I don't think there's been any movement on Part 5.

- I know that the series was ultimately abandoned so that the developers could focus on the "Old Republic" MMO series, but "Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic" seriously needed more than two games. I mean, the second one wasn't even finished and left tons of unresolved plot threads, so it seemed natural that there would be a third one (especially since Star Wars is ALL about trilogies as a rule), but nope. The developers said that The Old Republic was essentially "The next 20 sequels to KOTOR in one game", but it's just not the same thing. And KOTOR is secretly the single best Star Wars "thing", period; WAY better than the movies (fight me), so again, as popular as the brand is, you'd think we'd get more out of it. But nah, more Lego games. That's fine, sure.

- I'm kinda surprised that they stopped Viewtiful Joe at two games. I know the second one didn't do as well but for a hot minute those games were all the rage.

I could probably do a bunch of these but those were just off the top of my head.
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Old 05-12-2019, 11:03 PM   #3
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The video game franchise that comes first in my head is none other than Counter-Strike.

Its had a pretty big resurge in popularity since Global Offensive had the Arms Deal update, but I feel that its big for the wrong reasons.

Nowadays, all people seem to be doing is trying to get skins and microtransactions have utterly taken over the game.

I miss the days when Counter-Strike was bit more ambitious.

Even the worst selling game in the franchise, Condition Zero, atleast had ambition back in the day because it attempted to give the game new features (like a single player campaign).

The result was somewhat mediocre, but I'd love to see the next CS game try new things like a campaign, and get big for reasons other than skins...
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Old 05-12-2019, 11:45 PM   #4
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Earthworm Jim. I know there’s a new one being made for the Intellivision system but you’d think it would have continued to be mainstream. It even had a cartoon and toyline. I still have mine.

I do have EWJ 3D and beat it. It’s known for a bad camera or something but I never had any technical problems. Some parts are just really frustrating...mostly the Fatty Roswell fight.

Conker is definitely one. It was extremely popular at the time. I have the Xbox remake. It’s a true mystery that it never got a sequel.
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Old 05-13-2019, 12:46 AM   #5
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I played Conker fairly recently; its honestly not as good as its reputation. Too many frustrating/repetitive parts. It REALLY hopes that you think it's funny, but it's seriously unbalanced between parts that are stupid easy and parts that are needlessly annoying. I liked what they were going for but it wasn't as fun as I thought it would be. It's alright but it needed a lot of work.

I do agree that I both expected and hoped they'd do more of them, though. It wasn't a bad first try. I know they had a sequel planned, but I assume that the first game just didn't move units. It's kind of rare and expensive now, but I picked up my copy at Toys R Us brand new for $9.99 a few months after release; they had an entire "Clearance" wall of them. And used copies sat on GameStop shelves for ages for fairly cheap. So I assume it wasn't THAT popular.
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Old 05-13-2019, 02:28 AM   #6
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I thought the difficulty was fine.

I saw it on clearance too but it was at our local Kmart that was closing. Plus a lot of games got put on clearance it seemed. Guess places get too many copies of some games. Every game store I’ve been to has a bargain bin/shelf.

Another I’d like to add is Crazy Taxi. That was very popular for awhile. I have all 3. The mobile game is quite impressive. Could have been a part 4.
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Old 05-13-2019, 04:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prowler View Post

Virtua Fighter: Virtua Fighter 2 was a pretty important fighting game back in 1995 or so. What Street Fighter 2 was to 2D fighters, VF2 was to 3D fighters. I remember being fascinated by VF2 and also LOVING Fighters Megamix back in the 90s. But VF debuted on Saturn, a console that was outsold by its competition. It was hard for VF to compete against Tekken or even Dead or Alive, which are more accessible 3D fighters with more colourful casts. Plus Mortal Kombat was going 3D at the time as well and MK always sells well.

But while VF is rather complex to become a pro at, I don't think it's THAT hard of a game to pick up as people think it is. VF games have great tutorial/training modes and the games also have a block button, instead of having to press back on the d-pad or joystick to block. I definitely had fun with VF when I was a kid and still sucked at games. So I don't see why anyone else couldn't. Virtua Fighter 4: Evolution is a pretty great game. I do admit that VF's cast isn't interesting or charismatic enough compared to the casts of other fighting games, though. And that might make the game look bland or boring.
Fun fact! The Shen Mue series originally started off as a Virtua Fighter game before becoming its own thing.

Which brings me to Shen Mue. Those games were fantastic, and I can't wait for the third one to drop. I don't have much time to play games these days since I'm drowning in work. But that series will always have a special place in my heart.
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Old 05-13-2019, 05:38 AM   #8
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Adventure series like Another World, Blackthorne, Flashback and Pitfall
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Old 05-13-2019, 01:24 PM   #9
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I played Conker fairly recently; its honestly not as good as its reputation. Too many frustrating/repetitive parts. It REALLY hops that you think it's funny, but it's seriously unbalanced between parts that are stupid easy and parts that are needlessly annoying. I liked what they were going for but it wasn't as fun as I thought it would be. It's alright but it needed a lot of work.

I do agree that I both expected and hoped they'd do more of them, though. It wasn't a bad first try. I know they had a sequel planned, but I assume that the first game just didn't move units. It's kind of rare and expensive now, but I picked up my copy at Toys R Us brand new for $9.99 a few months after release; they had an entire "Clearance" wall of them. And used copies sat on GameStop shelves for ages for fairly cheap. So I assume it wasn't THAT popular.
Conker was the biggest N64 title alongside the original Smash Bros, Perfect Dark and Banjo-Tooie that I missed. Always been curious about the game, but can't say I'm too interested in playing it in 2019.

As a kid in the 90s, Rare did feel like a major company, and Banjo-Kazooie felt like the birth of a major video game series. Banjo was a lovely game back then and I think it aged rather well. You can still have fun with it as an adult.

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Fun fact! The Shen Mue series originally started off as a Virtua Fighter game before becoming its own thing.

Which brings me to Shen Mue. Those games were fantastic, and I can't wait for the third one to drop. I don't have much time to play games these days since I'm drowning in work. But that series will always have a special place in my heart.
Oh I forgot about that. The hero does look a bit like Akira I guess.
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Old 05-13-2019, 04:00 PM   #10
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The "hoverboard" stage or whatever in Conker can eat my ass in Hell.

Also, I recently picked up the Shenmue collection for Xbox One; haven't gotten around to playing it yet, but I'm really looking forward to it. I totally missed them when they were fresh.
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Old 05-13-2019, 10:29 PM   #11
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Bloodrayne should of had more than 2 games in its prime. I am still waiting for the 3rd game after that cliff hanger in the 2nd game lol.
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