When it comes to being an enormous success and staying ahead of your competition in business, innovation is key. The innovators hold the keys, folks! But once the innovation starts, and the cash then starts rolling in for the people who revolutionized their fields, the non-innovators take a good look and say “I could do that! No, not be creative and use our my skills to take us even further into the future, but to simply copy what made these people so successful!” This is when the bad imitations start rolling in, looking for a quick cash grab. Which is too bad, because it makes you resent the original product that seemed so revolutionary before you got sick of all it’s terrible clones. And there probably isn’t any industry more interested in the quick buck rip-off than the video game industry. Don’t believe me? You jerk. As proof, here are 7 Video Games That Spawned So Many Bad Clones You Now Resent Them:
Sonic The Hedgehog
Not only was Sonic’s intense level design and incredible sense of speed poorly copied over and over in a myriad of increasingly frustrating cheap-o imitations, he as a mascot also led to the rise of cartoon animals with “tude” in video games. Remember Bubsy? Or Gex, the sunglasses wearing Gecko? They were the most annoying, and it all came from Sonic’s sly grin and mocking finger wag (later copied by Dikembe Motumbo).
Street Fighter II
With the death of the arcade, this one isn’t really an issue anymore, but man, 2D fighters were REALLY prevalent for a long time. It got to the point where every franchise, be it Power Rangers, or Ninja Turtles, joined the legion of vaguely-martial arts themed fighters already on the market. And none of them brought anything to the table! The haduken motion always led to some sort of projectile, back was block (occasionally there was a block button) there flaming uppercuts, spinning kicks, it was the same garbage, just with different sprites pasted onto it. Also, I had a really hard time with the “forward-down-diagonal down/forward” motion that was required for the uppercut, so I always resented my own weakness.
Space shooter! “Killer” system launch app! Can only carry two weapons at a time! EVERY SYSTEM DOES NOT NEED ONE OF THESE!
Call of Duty
I don’t even hate this game for all the other games that have cannibalized it, I hate this game for its constant sequels that have done almost nothing to differentiate themselves from each other. “Honey, there’s a new Call of Duty out.” “Oh, I didn’t know we’d changed months.”
Grand Theft Auto III
Essentially the creator of the modern “sandbox” genre, where you’re free to wander around doing what you want if you’re not interested in focusing on the main plot, SO many games went to sandbox style, and SO many of them did a terrible job. The GTA series, whatever problems you may have with its content, crams so many different activities and things to do in it, there’s essentially something for everyone. Most imitators just turn it into an excuse to make you slog through bad fetch quest after bad fetch quest.
World of Warcraft
SPEAKING OF FETCH QUESTS World of Warcraft took the existing genre of MMORPGs, which had initially been popularized by Everquest, and streamlined everything into a very playable, very intuitive system. And then every single MMORPG afterwards did the exact same thing. I don’t want to kill nine of something! Or go talk to this guy! Give me a little variety!
Good God, the endless 3D platformer clones! The Blastos, the Bubsy 3Ds, even Sonic Adventure was a pretty unsuccessful series. The designers of these games thought the novelty of 3D would be enough to make them popular and good, but Mario 3D was such an insane work of love and attention to detail. All of its bad imitators suffered from inaccurate controls (because when you spend the whole game jumping, why would you need accurate jumping mechanics?) and a really, really frustrating camera. At least in 2D you can see what’s happening in front of you clearly!
What games got ruined for you by bad imitators? What?! My father designed that game, how dare you!? Let us know in the comments!