10 Weakest Game Spinoffs

A split image of Alucard fighting an opponent in Castlevania Judgment and of Sonic, Tails, and Amy in Sonic Shuffleboard

It’s now inevitable that any moderately successful property, regardless of the medium, will receive copious spin-offs or attempts to flesh out an extended universe. This philosophy has been alive and well in video games for an especially long time and there’s a certain fearlessness with how video games approach spin-offs that would be impossible in film or television.

RELATED: 9 Mario Characters The Spin-Offs Always Ignore

Sometimes it’s the weirdest video game spin-offs that connect with audiences and they can even help save their mainline series from mediocrity. More video game developers need to embrace change and take risks, but there are also some truly dreadful video game spin-offs that should function as cautionary tales.

10 A Video Game Icon Can’t Find The Right Groove In This Dizzy Dance Game

Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>

Super Mario has had an incredibly positive spin-off career and many of the odd directions that Mario has taken turn out to be wild successes for the platforming hero, whether it’s kart racing, sports, or deviations into the RPG and tactical-strategy genres. Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix combines Nintendo’s most popular property and Konami’s breakout dance title.

There are decades of iconic Mario music to pull from that DDR: Mario Mix makes sense on paper, but it turns into a very bizarre endeavor. Mario and company never look comfortable as they move around to the rhythm.

9 The Blue Bomber Spins His Tires In A Sloppy Racing Spin-Off

Mega Man: Battle & Chase

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Mega Man races in Mega Man: Battle & Chase

Capcom’s Mega Man remains a formative action-platformer franchise that continues to influence games to this day. Mega Man has occasionally strayed from his roots in order for Capcom to take advantage of the character’s appeal and he’s even found his way in Super Smash Bros.

Mega Man: Battle & Chase is a clumsy attempt at a Mega Man racing game that’s largely been forgotten for a reason. Other perplexing spin-offs like Mega Man Soccer at least have some novelty to them, but Battle & Chase lacks the same charm.

8 A Scant Pokémon Spin-Off Feels More Like A Glorified Tech Demo

Hey You, Pikachu!

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Pikachu gets pet in the Nintendo 64's Hey You, Pikachu!

Pokémon is one of the most successful series of all time and the franchise has reached a point where most games that get released under the Pokémon license are going to sell well. There is no shortage of smart and inventive Pokémon spin-offs, whether it’s Pokémon Snap, Pokémon Stadium, or even something like Pokkén Tournament.

RELATED: 10 Most Divisive Entries In Beloved Video Game Franchises

The Nintendo 64’s Hey You, Pikachu! is a lackluster release that heavily revolves around the title’s microphone peripheral, which allows the player to communicate with their virtual Pokémon companion. This voice-activated sim genre had its moment during the late ‘90s, but it doesn’t offer much in terms of an extended gaming experience.

7 Edgy Action Antics Turn This Anti-Hero Into A Joke

Shadow The Hedgehog

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Shadow looms over the city in Shadow the Hedgehog spin-off

Audiences immediately took to the idea of Shadow the Hedgehog, a darker anti-hero to Sonic who’s first introduced in Sonic Adventure 2. Shadow has become a prominent character in the growing Sonic franchise. It doesn’t take long for Shadow to be pushed into the spotlight, but his self-titled multi-platform showcase is extremely edgy to the point of unintentional parody.

Despite Shadow’s speed, he’s equipped with a gun and heavy artillery as he blasts away the militaristic G.U.N. Shadow’s pursuit to figure out his origins and save a fractured future has good intentions, but wildly messy execution.

6 An Obscure Platformer Series Takes To Beachside Sports

Klonoa Beach Volleyball

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Klonoa and friends on the court in Klonoa Beach Volleyball

The Dead or Alive fighting franchise still holds the title for the most gratuitous sports spin-off with the Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball games. In that title, any effective gameplay is buried beneath endless fan service.

There’s at least a market for something like Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball, but the decision to spin-off Namco’s adorable platformer mascot, Klonoa, into a beach volleyball player is much more surprising. Klonoa Beach Volleyball isn’t necessarily an abysmal attempt at a volleyball game. However, the whole thing is just so odd that it fails to justify its existence.

5 A Boring Beat-’Em-Up Loses Sight Of Its Roots

Mortal Kombat: Special Forces

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Jax beats up criminals in PlayStation's Mortal Kombat: Special Forces

Mortal Kombat is strongest as a fighting franchise, but some curious spin-offs from the 2000s focused on specific characters from the franchise and explored their stories through eclectic genres. Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero and Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance weren’t good games, but they took some ambitious risks that didn’t go unappreciated.

RELATED: 10 Video Game Franchises That Are Begging For A VR Title

Alternatively, Mortal Kombat: Special Forces is a beat-’em-up game for the original PlayStation where players control Jax in a pursuit against Kano and his gang. Clunky, repetitive gameplay and bland environments turn Special Forces into a missed opportunity.

4 A Frustrating Fighting Game Wastes Decades’ Of Demons

Castlevania Judgment

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Alucard battles Dracula in the Wii's Castlevania Judgment

Castlevania has a rich legacy, and it’s the perfect property to spin-off into a fighting game. Castlevania Judgment features 14 characters that represent the eclectic warriors and monsters that fill up this gothic horror series. Unfortunately, this strong premise crumbles under its own weight and Castlevania Judgment isn’t just bad, but it’s one of the worst fighting games of its generation.

Curiously, Castlevania Judgment was only released for the Nintendo Wii and therefore subjected to the console’s limiting Wiimote and motion control gameplay mechanics. There is some inspired level design, but it’s a shame that felt like a chore to play and that it wasn’t ported and remastered to modern consoles.

3 An Unnecessary Adventure That’s Tacked Onto A Perennial PlayStation Classic

Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Vincent shoots through the city in Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII

Final Fantasy is still going strong after more than 35 years, but there are certain entries in the franchise that resonate more strongly than others. Final Fantasy VII remains one of the RPG series’ greatest heights and it’s no surprise that they’d attempt to extend this story through multiple spin-offs. They’re not all misfires, but Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII feels the most misguided.

The action-RPG and third-person shooter hybrid puts players in control of Vincent Valentine years after the fallout of Final Fantasy VII. Dirge of Cerberus can’t live up to its lofty expectations. Ultimately, stranger genre deviations like Chocobo Racing or Theatrhythm Final Fantasy are more fulfilling.

2 Players Make Their Own Multiplayer Mayhem

WarioWare: D.I.Y. Showcase

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>A Mario-based micro-game in WarioWare: DIY Showcase

Wario is the face of absurdist micro-games with his WarioWare series. There are 11 WarioWare games and likely even more on the way. Most of these titles impressively showcase the new hardware that Nintendo has on display in its respective handheld or console.

WarioWare: D.I.Y. Showcase is a WiiWare release for the Nintendo DS where players can create their own micro-games which can then be enjoyed on the Wii. It’s a novel idea, and this concept works well with the Super Mario Maker games, but D.I.Y. Showcase isn’t robust enough of a package.

1 Sega’s Attempt At A Mario Party Clone Falls Flat

Sonic Shuffle

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Sonic and friends on the same board space in the Dreamcast's Sonic Shuffle

Sega’s Dreamcast came and went in a too-short span of time, but its early days before the PlayStation 2’s growing dominance were an incredibly exciting time for Sega fans. 2000s Sonic Shuffle was designed to be Sega’s answer to Mario Party. Sonic and his many friends were put into board game-based shenanigans that centered on mini-games.

Sonic Shuffle should be a home run, but it somehow developed multiplayer entertainment that’s both boring and overly complex. Sonic Shuffle suffered from endless mechanics and a challenging enemy AI that made most games more frustrating than fun.

NEXT: 10 Video Game Sequels That Had Nothing To Do With The Franchise


#Weakest #Game #Spinoffs

Funimation India

Learn More →