Welcome to this week’s, “Sequel, Spin Off, Start Over or Stay Dead?”Â Each week we’re going to look at a dormant franchise that was once pretty popular, but for some reason has disappeared into the sands of time. Diehard GameFAN staffers will have four options for what they want to have happen to the series and you can see them in the title of this piece. For a little more detailed description see below:
Sequel – A direct sequel to the franchise. This means if it used sprites and was in 2-D, that’s how you want the next game to be as well. This might involve putting the game on a handheld system instead of a console, but it keeps the nostalgia and classic feel alive.
Spin Off – This is where you take the characters or a specific character is a totally different direction from the established franchise. Examples include Luigi’s Mansion, Hey You, Pikachu!, Shadow Hearts (From Koudelka), and so on.
Start Over – This is a reimagining of the series from the ground up. Perhaps it’s time to bring the series into 3-D. Perhaps you want a totally different control scheme or to throw away the old continuity. In a nutshell, this is taking the brand name from the old series and that’s about it. Everything else is new and re-envisioned.
Stay Dead – This is pretty obvious. This is a toxic franchise that you don’t want to see return in any way shape or form. Let the dead rest.
This week we’re looking at a series that Capcom has let sit undisturbed for five years after one of the most spectacular failures in survival-horror history. You know something had to be bad when Capcom of all publishers stopped milking, rehashing, or spinning-off a series. Still the stigma of “Dinosaurs in Spaaaaaace” is still well known throughout the gaming community and so the Diehard GameFAN staff discusses whether or not the Dino Crisis series still has some life in it or if it should be as extinct as its antagonists.
Aaron Sirois – Stay Dead
Survival Horror is pretty much dead at this point. If you don’t believe me, take a look at Silent Hill and Resident Evil, undoubtedly the two biggest franchises in the genre’s history. SH started making moves to a more action heavy game with Homecoming, and RE switched over to a third person shooter nearly five years ago. If DC were to come back or start over, it wouldn’t be the same kind of experience. Instead, we’d probably get another Turok game with a reduction in the ammo you can use and a female protagonist. I love the idea behind Dino Crisis, but that idea is a relic from the past and it deserves to stay there.
Matt Yaeger – Stay Dead
Kill it with fire. I liked the original Dino Crisis. Sure it was just Resident Evil with dinosaurs, but that was fine by me. It was like the peanut butter and chocolate commercials. You got Resident Evil in my Jurassic Park! You got Jurassic Park in my Resident Evil! It was the stuff of B-level horror movies and that worked even though it did seem more absurd that you could fight giant dinosaurs, but the door that required the blue keycard could still get in your way. The sequel did an even better job with pacing the adventure.
Then the third one sent the series into space. Now space isn’t a bad atmosphere for horror, as Dead Space and several other games have proven. It’s dinosaurs in space. DINOSAURS IN SPACE. They weren’t even dinosaurs, but creations of a computer AI that went crazy. It had no relation to the previous games, the camera inspired motion sickness, and the combat was boring.
No more Dino Crisis. Sometimes something can suck so bad that it taints the brand forever. Dino Crisis 3 is that taint.
Alex Lucard – Stay Dead
To put it simply, I have absolutely no faith in Capcom when it comes to survival horror. Resident Evil has NEVER been survival horror, but really bad third person action games for the first few entries and then it switched to third person action games with four and five. Onimusha never did anything for me except Onimusha Tactics. The Dino Crisis series was basically everything that is wrong with Capcom’s take on survival horror rolled up into one trilogy of absolute suck. The games weren’t scary. The controls were horrible. I mean HORRIBLE. The graphics were jaggy and unimpressive. The stories made little to no sense. They were simply bad games in nearly every way and made money only because it cashed in on the fact people think dinosaurs are awesome and killing dinosaurs is even cooler.
Capcom has purposely shifted away from survival horror because they know they can’t do it properly. At least they’ve managed to get an occasional RE or Onimusha game right. Dino Crisis though? There is no salvation. It’s just a pile of crap that Capcom would like to pretend never existed and who can blame them. Leave it dead and buried so the world doesn’t have to suffer.
Mike O’Reilly – Start Over
Dino Crisis 2 was awesome. Some may say it was Resident Evil with Raptors, but who cares. It was a fantastic game, and the colossal disappointment of Dinos in Space needs to be purged from my mind. The only way to do that is to start the series over again. Give me lots of weapons and large amounts of ammunition, and then give me a reason to need every single bullet. Make me walk around with my assault rifle poised for an attack at every perilous turn and give me a movement engine that wasn’t designed to work with a D-Pad. Do all of that and I’ll be a very happy man. Pre-order bonus should be a new pair of snake skin boots.
Mohammed Al-Saldoon – Start Over
I liked the original Dino Crisis more than Resident Evil? Why? Because I was a huge wuss that was too afraid to face zombies. Sure, Dino Crisis was crazy but I like dinosaurs enough to think that they’re awesome when they rip my face off. I can not say the same for zombies.
After the abysmal third part of the series, maybe the best bet is to start over and launch a reboot to the franchise. Unlike RE, Dino Crisis really doesn’t have any particularly memorable characters so a sequel really wouldn’t matter.
I may be lynched for this but I could go with an RE4 style Dino Crisis….anyone with me?
A.J. Hess – Sequel
Seeing raptors jump through windows might have been a low point for the survival horror genre, but putting it in space was a neat twist. Where to go from here? Sandbox! One of the better aspects ofPrototype was the way the city eventually became more and more wrecked. Add in a fun shooter element like we saw with, for instance, Red Faction: Guerrilla and we have something. Or, we might have something. It’s entirely possible that the gaming community at large sees this franchise as a bit tainted.
Mark B. – Sequel
Dino Crisis is one of Capcom’s attempts to spin Resident Evil‘s mechanics off into another multi-million dollar franchise, much like Onimusha after it, but there’s a certain amount of charm to the idea of a survival horror game with dinosaurs in it, and it’s not a concept that’s been mined to death, so chalk me up as someone who finds the idea of a sequel appealing. I’m honestly kind of surprised that the franchise just puttered out like it did, as three of the four games in the series (Dino Crisis, Dino Crisis 2 and Dino Stalker) were actually quite enjoyable and fun, with only the fourth, Dino Crisis 3, being a festering pile.
I’m going to say that I think a sequel is the best choice, both because I think we’re all willing to pretend that Dino Crisis 3 never happened and because Regina was a cool enough character to keep on as the heroine of the franchise, and if nothing else, she was in Namco X Capcom, so she’s mildly recognizable years later. I’m also going to agree with Mohamed and say that a Dino Crisis game with Resident Evil 4/5 gameplay mechanics would pretty much be something I’d camp out for. Especially if I could fight a gigantic T-Rex with a chaingun. I would pay money for that twice.
Stay Dead: 3
Start Over: 2
Well, the staff seems pretty even split on the potential of Dino Crisis, although no one feels the franchise could be spun-off to any degree. A plurality feels that Dino Crisis need to remain hidden away from the public eye, never to return, but we have two strong minority opinions that both feel there is some life to the series. What do you think?
Next week we look at Sega’s first and mostly forgotten mascot. He recently appeared in a sub-par tennis game but other than that, he’s been buried for four console generations. Can he come back for a full game with or without rock-paper-scissors?