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The Top 7... Failed Franchises We Know How to Fix


The appeal of Harry Potter is simple - we all want to live at Hogwarts. Yes, the epic narrative of good and evil is captivating. Of course, the magic and monsters are thrilling. The true reason we devour every book and queue up for every film, however, is simply that we wish to spend as much time in that wild and wonderful school as possible. We don't need to duel Voldemort or outrace a dragon so long as we can hang out in the common room with Ron and Hermione.

The games understand this desire... sort of. Between the half-baked action sequences, poorly designed puzzles and spoiler-free cutscenes, several of them enable you to explore a fully realized Hogwarts at your leisure. You can visit everything from the highest astronomy tower to the deepest dungeon. The only problem is that unless you really, really enjoy collecting jelly beans, or love endlessly fixing suits of armor, there's practically nothing to do in any of those beloved settings.



The fictional boarding academy in Rockstar's Bully, on the other hand, provides players with an almost overwhelming list of activities to pursue. Classes, jobs, sports, romances, fights, errands, races, holidays, parties, cliques, students and teachers all have a role. The template for Harry Potter is obvious. Bully's chemistry class becomes Potions; biology becomes Herbology. Replace dodgeball with wand duels and bike racing with brooms. Sling shots and spitballs transform into Dungbombs and Stink Pellets. The bullies are Slytherins; the preppies, Ravenclaws; the nerds, Hufflepuffs.

We could go on for paragraphs. Instead, watch this video and just count the similarities. If you want to feel like a real student at Hogwarts, not just an observer, this formula's a no brainer. 

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19 comments

  • Yoshi X100 - December 27, 2008 3:15 p.m.

    I disagree with the Godzilla thing, I think it should be more along the lines of a free roam Grand Theft Auto game where you go on the missions and campaign when you want, build alliances, destroy cities, fight monsters even when your not in campaign, oh and maybe upgrade abilities. Sound Good?
  • PittsburghPirates - January 21, 2009 1:17 a.m.

    No that Mirror's Edge is coming out for PC, someone is bound to make a Mod....
  • rghtstff12 - December 18, 2008 8:04 p.m.

    Thank God somebody finally said it! I am DYING for a solid Batman game.
  • Sebastian16 - December 20, 2008 10:20 p.m.

    I shall pray to the non-existant gods that Batman; Arkham Asylum will be the Batman game we've all been waiting for.
  • Anton_13 - January 4, 2009 10:19 p.m.

    on the star trek note, there's a star trek MMO (MMORPG?) in development
  • Anton_13 - January 4, 2009 10:26 p.m.

    good harry potter thought, but wouldn't that have a bit of a niche appeal? I think harry potter needs an RPG. Not like Mass Effect, because then it would lose something, but still more than just a big, open world.
  • crazyjames - February 24, 2009 10:04 p.m.

    Seeing Jaws chucking grenades at beach goers had to be the absolute highlight of this article. Priceless.
  • Blackhalos99 - April 22, 2009 10:27 p.m.

    Yea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • MoonPig - June 15, 2009 10:49 a.m.

    splinter cell FTW
  • Corsair89 - August 30, 2009 4:37 a.m.

    Congradulations, GR. Batman: Arkham Asylum did everything you suggested(except the Batmobile) and proved that you were absoultely right. Kudos.
  • h3110 - September 9, 2008 9:52 p.m.

    cool first comment and i tottlay agree with all of these
  • katwood92 - October 1, 2008 8:47 p.m.

    If every game was Mass Effect, gaming would get boring fast. However Mass Effect does have many different aspects that a lot of games could learn from.
  • rel123 - September 22, 2008 7:32 a.m.

    Our solution: Turn every game into Mass Effect. Excellent.
  • cricket0 - September 27, 2008 8:53 p.m.

    I think that every game needs an upgrade like these
  • PolarBarrett - November 23, 2010 1 a.m.

    funny how this description of the batman one is exactly like arkham asylum. i guess gr was ahead of its time
  • GamesRadarCharlieBarratt - November 28, 2011 4:21 p.m.

    You're welcome.
  • Slayer11496 - November 23, 2010 2:09 a.m.

    Needs more Chuck Norris.
  • ChuckB - November 24, 2010 2:13 a.m.

    That what I thought, Polar, when Arkham Asylum's details were revealed.
  • Sjoeki - November 29, 2011 noon

    It's just creepy how close your idea was to what would be the best game of 2009 (arkham asylum offcourse)

Showing 1-19 of 19 comments

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