Winner: State of Emergency 2
SouthPeak Games |PlayStation 2
The first State of Emergency got lucky. Coasting on a tide of goodwill towards publisher Rockstar, who had just reinvented gaming as we know it with GTA III, the mediocre mess was generously embraced as a silly fun brawler and conveniently forgiven its many other sins.
So how does one develop a sequel to such a fluke? Well, you could stick with what miraculously worked and attempt to improve it. Or, you could simply stick with what worked.
Or, if you're one of the geniuses behind this game, you could alienate fans completely by switching the game from beat 'em-up to shooter. Then concoct a special blend of trial-and-error gameplay where undeserved death at the hands of ridiculously over-the-top thugs is the frustrating norm. Finally, leave the washed-out, washed-up visuals looking no better than they did four years ago.
And there you have it. A follow up so bad that it makes people wax nostalgic for the unmemorable and unworthy original.
Collateral Damage: Rengoku II: The Stairway to H.E.A.V.E.N.
Nobody liked the original Rengoku. It was a morass of boring combat and boxy rooms (filled with boxes). Knowing this, Konami brought out a sequel anyway. And, wouldn't you know it? Nobody liked it. Again. And nobody bought it. Bye, Rengoku.