Top 10 Black Sheep of Popular Video Game Franchises
8. Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops (PSP)
By the standards of most PSP games, Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops was a solid and enjoyable action game. By the standards of the Metal Gear franchise, however, Portable Ops paled in comparison to the other games. Series auteur Hideo Kojima did not direct the first PSP Metal Gear, and as a result, Naked Snake's adventure in the San Heironymo Penninsula lacked the immersive worlds and mindbending twists of its predecessors. Even the storyline, usually the strongest part of Metal Gear games, wasn't much more than a straightforward spy story that happened to clean up some loose ends in the overall series storyline. Kojima's limited involvement in Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops gave him the same ambivalence towards the game as his fandom, as evidenced by this line in his far superior PSP game Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker: " We can finally leave all that crap in San Heironymo behind".
7. Ratchet: Deadlocked (PS2)
As the Ratchet and Clank series progressed, it became clear to the developers at Insomniac that people liked the elaborate gunplay more than the funny animal platforming. With each installment, the series moved further from obstacle courses towards laser-scarred battlefields, but Ratchet: Deadlocked proved a move too far. Divorced of its elaborate worlds, engaging side-quests, and even its co-star Clank (who merely served a supporting role in this installment), Ratchet: Deadlocked was just another squad shooter that happened to use the Lombax's likeness. They even covered poor Ratchet's face for most of the game, in an armor that made him look like Master Chief with giant ears. Thankfully, the PS3's Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction took the series back to its roots, and by doing so allowed for much more interesting gameplay.
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Neil Kapit is a freelance writer, cartoonist, and "La Li Lu Le Lo" agent based in Los Angeles. His work can be seen on www.therubynation.com.
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