One of my big pet peeves in the world of gaming is when people defend a game based simply on a name attached to it, no matter how shitty the game is. Now, I should point out that there is a distinction between this kind of behavior, and simply buying every single game in a series. I fall into the latter category; as you know, I buy every Mega Man title that’s released, regardless of how good or bad it may be. And I’ll be the first to say that yes, there are plenty of Mega Man games that suck horribly. I’m keeping them for my collection; I make no attempts to defend something shitty just because it’s got “Mega Man” or “Rockman” slapped on it. But I digress. In the gaming world, the biggest offenders are easily Final Fantasy and PokÃƒÆ’Ã†’Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â©mon; there’s many others, but I don’t want to be here all day. Do you?
Starting with what is arguably the US’ most popular RPG franchise…look at how ridiculous it’s gotten. In the 8- and 16-bit eras, make no mistake: Final Fantasy had some stellar titles. Once the PS1 hit…things started to roll downhill. First there was the massively overrated FFVII, which many fanboys still claim as “teh best game evar!!1!1” (looks like they haven’t played many video games). And it only got worse from there; FFVIII was so bad that it hurt the previous seven games, and FFIX was too little, too late. FFX was nothing but graphical flash, and FFX-2 was an insult to just about every male gamer on the planet. Finally…let’s be honest here…does anyone even care about FFXI or FFXII, other than the Squeenix apologists? C’mon, guys, there’s better stuff out there.
Next up is PokÃƒÆ’Ã†’Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â©mon. While the original RPGs still reign supreme, it’s the spinoffs that have driven many away from the franchise. While some were decent, others were just appalling. PokÃƒÆ’Ã†’Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â©mon Channel springs to mind; the fact that it’s not even a game aside, it had very low quality graphics and sound by Gamecube standards, and there wasn’t even much to do in it altogether. PokÃƒÆ’Ã†’Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â©mon Dash wasn’t so hot either, but it’s only the first of many games to appear on the DS for the franchise. Need I even mention the abominable Hey You, Pikachu? But legions of PokÃƒÆ’Ã†’Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â©Fans have elevated these games to near-mythical status for some ungodly reason.
This phenomenon applies to other media, as well. Look at comic books; people bought just about anything by slacker artist Joe Madureira a few years back, regardless of how cheesy it was, and trumpeted his art as the second coming of Christ. Never mind that his books never came out on time…there was what, over a year delay between Battle Chasers #8 and #9?
Chick-show mogul Joss Whedon wrote a science fiction clichÃƒÆ’Ã†’Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â©-fest called Firefly, and his lackeys somehow find it “unique” and “original,” neither of which is true. No one would have watched that show if Whedon’s name wasn’t attached to it; to prove the point, 99% of its fanbase is made up of rabid Buffy fans.
Still in the TV vein, look at the lackluster Star Trek: Enterprise. Most Trekkers weren’t keen on the idea of a prequel, and even though the show did vastly improve in its fourth and final season, overall, it didn’t come close to the quality of its legendary predecessors (glossing over Voyager, of course). Still, some Trekkers were literally claiming it was the best part of the franchise yet, as if they’d get beamed up to the ship itself in return (hey, they do have plenty of time travel in Star Trek).
Moving on to movies…the problem there can be summed up in three words: Star Wars prequels. ‘Nuff said.
See how quickly things spiral out of control? People really need to start standing up for themselves more often. If you’d dead set on supporting something with a famous name attached, the least you can do is make your criticisms known instead of blindly following the sheep. No pain, no gain…and you may just end up with a better product in the end if you stick to your guns. More importantly, singing the praises of an inferior product only makes you look foolish.