In a spin-off to T.J. Barnard's fantastic article on movie franchises that were destroyed in a single moment, we've decided to examine those 10 video game franchises that were similarly stripped of their credibility in a split-second.
Though a few of these decisions were an inevitable by-product of the developers trying to be current and move with the times, others were simply misguided creative calculations that didn't quite pay off. The result? The franchise might limp on, but it's forever tarnished by its now inferior status, and in most cases, these gaming series don't seem intent on course-correcting themselves anytime soon.
Here are 10 video game franchises that were destroyed in a single moment...
In 2001, Squaresoft released their first Final Fantasy game for the PS2, the hugely anticipated Final Fantasy X. It boasted stunning visuals, refined gameplay mechanics and, for the first time in the series, voice acting.
Gamers everywhere rejoiced at the prospect of the series' characteristically distinctive characters gaining even greater personalities through a vocal presence, but alas, the results weren't quite what we hoped for.
It all began with a laugh. There's a scene during the game when Yuna asks protagonist Tidus to laugh out loud, resulting in a cringe-worthy exchange, as Tidus' voice actor awkwardly laughs in a stilted enough fashion that the scene eventually gave way to a popular Internet meme. It simply seems like Square failed to hire competent voice actors or a knowing voice director to make the dialogue work, and we were all soon enough begging for the text scrawls to make a return.
This only got worse in later games, for while the acting may never have plumbed quite these terrible depths again, the increasingly sappy, anime-inspired narratives just sound a lot less credible when someone is actually speaking them.