Weekend Discussion: Kill These Game Franchises (For A While, At Least)

If it wasn’t all that clear from my review, my time with Resident Evil 6 was less than satisfying, causing me to wish out loud that Capcom would take a break from Resident Evil and give the series a rethink. Like Devil May Cry 4, it felt like just another number, a lackluster, mechanically uninspired mess that will likely need a full-on hard reset to get fans interested in the franchise again.

And until then, I hope we don’t see anything else Resident Evil-related for a few years. In fact, nothing could be better for the series than a break, some time away from the public eye for Capcom to go back, refresh, and find a new approach to the series (or some way to go back to basics for the new generation).

With that in mind, here are some other series that would do well with some time away.


Remember how in love we all were with Street Fighter IV? Part of that was because it had been so long since we’d see a new numbered entry in the series. And like that, Capcom was able to give new life to the fighting genre. I want Namco Bandai to do the same with Tekken.

Tekken Tag Tournament 2 was actually great inasmuch as it was the culmination of the features from the last few entries in the series. Part 4 was a disappointment, 5 was the high watermark, and 6 struggled to justify its existence beyond new lighting effects and shinier textures. The fourth and sixth entries were incremental improvements while the fifth was a blast of the tightened, perfect core experience for the game, and Tag Tournament 2 a celebration of the series as a whole. It’s growth has been iterative, but in the struggle to get a new game out every couple of years, we’ve had to deal with some disappointing entries, struggling to find a reason for being on shelves and in consoles.

While it’s my favorite fighting game series, I’d be just as happy if it went away for a few years outside of the normal three year or so development cycle to give the series a break and come back to it when the new generation of consoles gives them new platforms and tools to work with along with time to let the series linger and make us grow fonder in its absence.

Final Fantasy

We’ve reached the point where we don’t just get a new Final Fantasy game–we get a raft of sequels and side stories to the sequel. But the latest batch of games (save for XII) have felt like they were stubbornly committed to keeping old-school JRPGs alive while kicking the visuals up to 11. This has created this weird disconnect where the games look great and play like they were made back in 1992.

Maybe it’s time to retire the classic turn-based formula and start making the kind of dramatic leaps that XII did for the health of the franchise. And that means no sequels, no side-stories, nothing with the FF name on it for a few years allowing Square Enix to go back and reinvent the series–truly reinvent it for the current generation.

Anything with Sonic in it

We’ve now reached the point where there are more bad Sonic games than there ever were good. Let the Hedgehog rest, SEGA. Please.

Silent Hill

The next entry is a multiplayer dungeon crawler for the Vita while the last major console title was a buggy, overwrought mess that placed way more emphasis on combat than the series has in the past. It’s time for a vacation from the hellish town and a reconsideration of what makes survival horror tick in the current and next generation of consoles.

Assassin’s Creed

Alright, I’m half-kidding here as I’ve really enjoyed most of the last few AC games quite a lot. But we are getting them a little too regularly and with the one-to-three drop of II/Brotherhood/Revelations that feeling of intrigue and mystery that comes with delving into the game’s world was diminished a little (plus, they were all starting to feel mechanically similar).

Ubisoft appears to have taken that to heart with the drastic environmental shift for AC III and new protagonist (plural if you count Liberation’s Vita side story). My hope is that they space these out a little more so we can enjoy each new entry with fresh eyes.

So what do you think? What series should take a break and come back to wow us in a few years?

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