->''Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine.''
-->-- '''''[[Literature/TheFourGospels John 2:10]]'''''

After a stellar first installment/season, a series has a second installment/season that either feels suspiciously like the last or just isn't as good. Tends to be more prevalent in dramas than comedies. A specific form of SeasonalRot.

SophomoreSlump concerns shows that make it past an awful season 2 and into a decent or fantastic season 3. If the show doesn't survive the second season, it's a SecondSeasonDownfall.

This happens in music with depressing regularity as well. Usually, it's because after the first album (which usually has a couple years of development under its belt and plenty of trial and error in concerts to determine what does or doesn't work), the record company wants a second album produced within a year. Combine this with the fact that most bands popular enough to get a second album will also be constantly on tour and one can see why this happens.

This term as used in sports refers to players who become breakout stars during their rookie seasons, only to follow up with underwhelming second years, whether because of injury, changes within the team, heightened expectations and publicity leading to faltering on-field performance, etc. Some of them are able to figure out how to get back on track for their third years and beyond, while others end up skidding for a few years and then disappear, with varying levels of infamy based on how highly-touted they were before or during their freshmen seasons.

A related term, used in computing, is the "second system effect." This is like the sophomore slump in reverse; freed of the tight schedule and budgetary demands of the first system, the programmers attempt to "correct" everything that "went wrong" the first time, usually with disastrous effects.

This may happen when your first season is widely considered a ToughActToFollow, but it's not a rule.

Compare OddballInTheSeries, {{Sequelitis}}, and SeasonalRot. Could cause a BrokenBase if another portion of the fandom disagree with the opinion that the work is going through a Sophomore Slump. If it's inverted, see GrowingTheBeard, SurprisinglyImprovedSequel, or EvenBetterSequel.

Has nothing to do with what comes after the [[WeightWoe freshman fifteen]].
----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime ]]

* ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'', if one counts Kanto/Orange Islands as the first series and Johto as the second. The Johto arc was more or less a total rehash of the first, except with even more {{Filler}} and SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute Pokémon on Ash's team that just didn't live up in power, personality, or appeal to the ones he PutOnABus after the Orange Islands. Of course, the Orange Islands arc itself has its own problems as well.
* ''Anime/DigimonAdventure02'' is infamous for its DistantFinale, and in part due to a KudzuPlot that left a lot of threads dangling. Also, having one of the most famous [[BigBad Big Bads]] in ''Franchise/{{Digimon}}'' history be defeated by [[spoiler:[[TalkingTheMonsterToDeath talking]]]] left a bad taste in many fan's mouths.
* The first half of ''CodeGeass'' R2 was pretty much a rehash of many elements of season 1, going so far as to have Lelouch reuse plots in suspiciously similar circumstances. It was purposely done this way [[ExecutiveMeddling to appeal to the new audiences in R2's new time slot]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film - Animation ]]

* ''Disney/CinderellaIIDreamsComeTrue'' received a rather harsh reaction, due partly to its poor animation and lack of a central plot. Its shortcomings seem even more heinous when considering that it became sandwiched in between [[Disney/{{Cinderella}} a movie that saved Disney from bankruptcy]], and [[Disney/CinderellaIIIATwistInTime one of Disney's best-reviewed direct-to-video sequels]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film - Live Action ]]

* Kevin Smith's much-loved first film, ''{{Film/Clerks}}'', was followed up by the much-maligned ''{{Film/Mallrats}}'', considered one of the weakest entries in his View-Askewniverse series by many fans.
* ''[[Film/IndianaJonesAndTheTempleOfDoom The Temple of Doom]]'' was this in the original ''Franchise/IndianaJones'' trilogy, with some fans finding it less memorable than ''Film/RaidersOfTheLostArk'', not having the fun or heart of ''[[Film/IndianaJonesAndTheLastCrusade The Last Crusade]]'' and just being generally mean-spirited, squicky and not in style with the other films.
* While ''Film/IronMan2'' was successful with both audiences and critics, many felt it was not as exciting as the first film.
* The second ''Film/MissionImpossible'' is the most reviled one while the third and the fourth are the best reviewed in the series.
* This isn't exactly a rare phenomenon with films planned as a trilogy, thanks to the simple mechanics of doing them. Since the first installment has to grab your attention and the third is often a rock-em, sock-em TorchTheFranchiseAndRun finale, they tend to hog all the good bits and the second often ends up just kind of sitting there treading water and holding your attention. Adding to that, audiences can be painfully aware that some characters pretty much [[PlotArmor have to survive to the finale,]] and dramatic tension can be lost that way. It doesn't help that most films are made as [[TwoPartTrilogy Two Part Trilogies]]. While the first film has to to be reasonably self-contained, the next two films are often made as a single unified story, resulting in the second film being little more than the first half of a proper story, and spending more time setting things up for the third film than standing on its own merits.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature ]]

* Also works with books. ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheChamberOfSecrets'' doesn't exactly have many new elements. Well, not many non-ChekhovsGun elements, at least.
* ''TheDresdenFiles'' was kind of this way with ''Fool Moon''. It wasn't bad per se, it wasn't as good as ''Storm Front'', but the series certainly improves with ''Grave Peril''. Opinions vary, though.
* Most of the ''Literature/WarriorCats'' fandom declares that ''TheNewProphecy'', the second arc, just isn't as good as the original series, though many admit that the writing quality, if not the story as well, improves at the third arc.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* ''Series/DesperateHousewives'' had a decline in quality after season one. Some people say it return to its premises in season three.
* ''Series/FridayNightLights'' had a number of implausible developments in its second season (including a murder perpetrated by two of the main characters) that did not fit at all with the realistic, muted tone of the show. The move to cable in the third season helped it to return to its previous feel.
** In an episode of ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'', Marshal's boss says he's prepared for the end of the world because he has a mine shaft ready with all five seasons of ''Friday Night Lights'' on DVD. Marshal tells him: "Okay, first of all you can skip season 2..."
* The second season of ''Series/OnceUponATime'' was considered a major step-down from the first, particularly in the second half.
* Many fans agree that season 2 of ''{{Victorious}}'' saw a noticeable decline in quality, mainly due to the massive {{Flanderization}} of {{Ensemble Darkhorse}}s Cat (from a MoodSwinger CloudCuckooLander to TheDitz) and Jade (from a JerkWithAHeartOfGold NobleDemon to TheSociopath), the ShipSinking of Cat and Jade's popular OddFriendship, and the excessive CharacterFocus on Tori, when in season 1, each of the characters had their own [[ADayInTheLimelight Days In The Limelight]].
** Season 3 [[BrokenBase broke the fanbase]]-it's either funnier than ever, shows some nice development all around and doesn't just waste characters, or even worse to the point where the show has JumpedTheShark.
* The second series of ''[[Series/DoctorWho New Who]]'' wasn't bad, but it was one of the most uneven. It gave us a few wonderful episodes like "The Girl in the Fireplace," and "School Reunion" but also had some of the show's bigger clunkers, like "Fear Her" and "Love & Monsters". There was also a story arc that didn't give as great a reveal as other Series, and which many fans felt was there for Russell T Davies to set up his own show. Also despite many fans loving the Doctor/Rose romance, there is quite a group that felt it was becoming a RomanticPlotTumour, even those who liked Rose in the first Series felt she became unlikeable here.
* The second season of ''GameOfThrones'' was, while still good, generally more uneven than the first season, since while the first book was mostly linear (with basically three main plotlines- the Wall, the East and Kings' Landing/related subplots) with a strong focus character (Ned Stark) and DrivingQuestion (Why was Jon Arryn murdered?), the second book ''A Clash of Kings'' suddenly had an explosion in the number of plotlines which were increasingly divorced from each other, and many which were not TV-friendly, which led to the TV writers making deviations that didn't quite work (Jon and Dany's plotlines were big offenders). These problems were mostly solved in the third and especially fourth seasons, as splitting the third book ''A Storm of Swords'' allowed the show to breathe, the writers became more confident with reducing the number of plotlines per episode, and the quality of TV original material improved massively.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Music ]]

* {{MGMT}} tried to avert this by following up the synth-heavy, well-received ''Oracular Spectacular'' with a [[NewSoundAlbum totally unexpected]] surf-rock inspired album, ''Congratulations''. However, this got slightly more mixed reception precisely because of this.
* ''Meat Is Murder'' by TheSmiths is a famous example of this. It's [[FridgeBrilliance actually pretty good]] outside of the title track and contains a few of their best known songs, but it received very mixed reviews when it was first released and is frequently regarded as their weakest album.
* {{Starflyer 59}}'s second album, ''Gold'', is an interesting case. Fans initially disliked it enough that they would tell Jason Martin to his face that his new album was terrible. Then the fans started warming up to the album. Nowadays, the old-time fans are the ones most likely to cite ''Gold'' as Starflyer's best album ever.
* ''Razorblade Suitcase'' by Music/{{Bush}}. A highly commercial {{grunge}} band cashing in on the state of popular music at the time probably shouldn't have chosen SteveAlbini as a producer (a man who, given his history with unconventional acts, probably shouldn't have chosen Bush as a client).
* ''Don't Look Back'' by Music/{{Boston}}. For proof, look at their ''Greatest Hits'' album, which essentially contains half their first album, plus a handful of other songs. Then again, it ''does'' happen to be the [[ToughActToFollow highest-selling debut album of all time]].
* ''Music/VanHalen II'', while not a bad album and has its share of classic songs, is still essentially a retread of their first album, making it one of the band's more forgettable Diamond Dave-era releases.
* The concept of sophomore albums essentially being a slapdash retread of a debut album's concepts/styles gets lampshaded with the title of Music/TalkingHeads' sophomore album ''More Songs about Buildings and Food.'' The album ''itself'' is a subversion; it's generally considered to be much better than their debut.
* Interestingly, the original liner notes to Music/TheBeatles' second album ''With The Beatles'' have the band's PR guy Tony Barrow not only openly admit that the album is a blatant attempt to recreate the formula of ''Please Please Me,'' he uses it as a selling point. Then again, when the band in question is ''The Beatles''...
* {{U2}}'s second album ''October''. In their defense, the band had to hastily re-record many of the songs because the original tapes were either lost or damaged.
* FranzFerdinand's second album, ''You Could Have It So Much Better'', while still quite good, is considered to be considerably worse than both their debut SelfTitledAlbum and their third album ''Tonight: Franz Ferdinand''. Most critics attribute this to the fact that they sort of rushed it (releasing it about eighteen months after their debut) in order to prove that they weren't just a flash in the pan, while they could take their sweet time on their debut and the third album (which was released nearly four years later and was something of a NewSoundAlbum).
* Mogwai's second album, ''Come On Die Young'' received lukewarm reviews upon release in opposition to the universally acclaimed ''Mogwai Young Team.''
* Since ''Appetite for Destruction'' is the on of the best-selling debut albums of all time, it's only natural Music/GunsNRoses would have a tough time following up. Their second release, bundling an old EP with some acoustic numbers, did not reach the popularity of their first album. Even the ''[[DistinctDoubleAlbum Use Your Illusion]]'' albums were following a very tough act.
* Manic Street Preachers' second album ''Gold Against The Soul'' is largely regarded as an awkward album, as it is half commercial songs intended to appeal in America, and half ones with intentionally controversial lyrics and somewhat abrasive melodies.
* Music/TheClash's ''Give 'Em Enough Rope''. The album is not bad, it just fails to deliver. This is because it contains a cover version of a well known song ("English Civil War"), a song with the same riff as a previous single ("Guns On The Roof", the single in question being "Clash City Rockers"), and "Drug Stabbing Time", which may be the worst thing (lyrically) the band ever recorded. The "commercial" production touches of Sandy Pearlman (best known for his work with Music/BlueOysterCult) also pissed off a lot of punk purists. However, the album's variety did pave the way for ''London Calling'', their most popular album.
* Music/PuddleOfMudd's ''Life on Display'', their second major label album was lambasted upon release. Part of the reason for this is that their previous album, the commercially successful ''Come Clean'', consisted of re-recorded versions of what they considered the strongest songs from their first two independent albums, so the material on that album was already what the band considered their best material.
* Gogol Bordello's second album ''Multi Contra Kulti Vs. Irony'' has always seemed like somewhat of a rush job. Before it came out they released a single "When The Trickster Starts A Poking/Occurance On The Border" which attracted some indie attention. Presumably this was intended as a stop gap but they included both songs on the album anyway. A few of the other tracks on the album like "Let's Get Radical", "Punk Rock Paranada", "Through The Roof And Underground" and "Baro Foro" are also loved by fans, but the rest of it has the air of filler and failed experiments. The band rarely play anything from the album these days except "Baro Foro".
* ''Fairweather Johnson'' by HootieAndTheBlowfish sold decently, but it got [[SoOkayItsAverage rather average reviews]] and quickly fell into obscurity. Granted, their debut album, ''Cracked Rear View'' was a ToughActToFollow, what with it being ''the second best selling debut album of all time'' at the time.
* Music/NickLowe's above-quoted twin songs were inspired by how his previous band Brinsley Schwarz flamed out due to record label mismanagement. Amusingly enough, both the album with them (''Jesus of Cool'') and its successor (''Labour of Lust'') performed more or less equally: they both got acclaimed and spawned a hit single ("I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass" for the former, but only in the UK, and "Cruel to Be Kind" for the latter, in the UK, USA and Canada).
* Music/{{Chumbawamba}} attempted to follow up their smash-hit major label debut "Tubthumping" with "WYSIWYG," whose lead-off single ("She's Got All The Friends") was quite obviously an attempt to mimic the shouty-pop of "Tubthumping." No one cared, and Chumbawamba returned to their previous preference of independent releases. (These days, the group would rather pretend that the "Tubthumper" era never occurred.)
* Milli Vanilli actually attempted a second album, believe it or not. After their twin 'debut' releases ('All or Nothing' outside of the USA, and the far more commercial 'Girl You Know It's True' in the USA) hit it big, they immediately recorded a follow-up album ('Keep On Running') using the same gimmick - middle-aged guys on vocals, dreadlock guys on the cover. Shortly after the title track was released as a single, however, the controversy erupted. The new album was retitled 'The Moment of Truth' and credited to The Real Milli Vanilli, showing the actual singers on the cover. In the end, the retooled album was somewhat of a success in Europe, as the group still held popularity there. America, unfortunately, hated the group at this point, and the album never saw a US release. (At least, not in its original form - the vocals were later re-recorded by other singers, and the album was released under the band name Try 'n' B. This version bombed completely.) They even made an album of the two stars ''themselves singing'' under the name Rob and Fab. It didn't do so well.
* GreenDay's ''Insomniac'' (though their ''mainstream'' sophomore, as it's their fourth) was not as well received as ''Dookie'', particularly for being DarkerAndEdgier.
* Likewise, after breaking out with ''Smash'', TheOffspring failed to deliver the same commercial success with ''Ixnay on the Hombre'', even though it was praised critically, some [[EvenBetterSequel actually considering it superior]] to the album prior.
* According to an article in the LA Times, {{Drake}} [[http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/music_blog/2011/11/drake-takes-cautious-approach-to-stardom-.html tried hard to avoid this]] with his second studio album, ''Take Care'' (hence the title). It was successful, as ''Take Care'' is his most commercially successful album.
* Referenced by Music/FallOutBoy with their song "SophomoreSlump Or Comeback Of The Year".
* Music/PinkFloyd's first album, ''The Piper at the Gates of Dawn'', is often regarded as a masterpiece of psychedelic rock. However, their second album, ''A Saucerful of Secrets'', was at the time generally dismissed as an inferior imitation at best, partially [[TheBandMinusTheFace due to the departure of Syd Barrett]].[[note]]After the success of ''Music/TheDarkSideOfTheMoon'', ASOS was re-released as double album together with the first album and turned out to be more successful the second time around. While it's easy to tell that the band were struggling to cope without Barrett, the musical ideas that eventually made Pink Floyd great are clearly present.[[/note]] Should someone discover Pink Floyd today, the Sophomore Slump is barely noticeable as ''both'' albums are far inferior compared to their later ones.
* Jennifer Lopez narrowly averted this with her second album, ''J.Lo.'' While the album and lead single "Love Don't Cost a Thing" started off strong, her follow up singles, "Play" and "I'm Real," both underperformed. It was only after her now-famous remix of "I'm Real" with Ja Rule that things got back on track.
* Music/TheJam's second album ''This is the Modern World'' is generally regarded as a rushed and very much inferior gap-filler between their pretty good debut ''In the City'' and the widely-hailed classic third album ''All Mod Cons''.
* Music/DeepPurple Mark II(a) released two classic albums, ''Music/DeepPurpleInRock'' and ''Machine Head''. Sandwiched between them is a little lost album called ''Fireball''[[note]]''Fireball'' actually charted higher than ''In Rock'' at the time, but posterity thinks otherwise[[/note]], which has a couple of great songs and a lot of failed ones that attempt to get out of the formula established by ''In Rock'' but end up nowhere. Interestingly, one of their greatest hits, "Strange Kind of Woman", was recorded during the same sessions but not included on the UK album (on the US or Japanese versions of the album, SKOW is included, making it somewhat stronger).
* Music/{{Suffocation}}'s ''Breeding the Spawn'', which is almost entirely down to [[TroubledProduction the production]] - and hoo boy, is it a mess. The reason is that the band got a pittance from Roadrunner Records, who were too busy chasing mainstream success to [[ScrewedByTheNetwork give a crap about Suffo or any of their other death metal bands]]. As a result, not only could they not get down to Florida to do another session at Morrisound (where they recorded ''Effigy of the Forgotten''), they apparently didn't have enough money to get a half-decent production job. This led to other complaints, namely that [[ItsTheSameNowItSucks they failed to evolve in any meaningful way]] from ''Effigy'' (although either a really good ear or a listen to any of the re-records placed on later albums pretty much debunks this and reveals the album as being one of the most technically complex albums not only of their catalog, but in the genre as a whole). Mercifully, they came back with a vengeance on ''Pierced from Within'', which paired the complexity of its predecessor with far better production, courtesy of a return trip to Morrisound.
* Music/JasonAldean's second album, ''Relentless'', was his only one not to produce a Top 5 country hit (although "Johnny Cash" and "Laughed Until We Cried" both just missed, at #6). It's also his weakest-selling album to date. However, he bounced back nicely starting with the third album and ascended to A-lister.
* Jerrod Niemann had a strong start with his first major-label album, ''Judge Jerrod & the Hung Jury'', which produced a #1 hit in "Lover, Lover" and a Top 5 hit in "What Do You Want". His next album, ''Free the Music'', performed dismally — its lead single barely made Top 20, and the followup barely made Top ''40'', and the album only sold ''eight thousand'' copies. However, he seems to have bounced back quickly with the third album, ''High Noon'', whose lead single "Drink to That All Night" quickly became his second #1 in April 2014.
* Rick Trevino, a minor country music singer in TheNineties. His self-titled first official album[[note]]he had a mostly Spanish-language album out before it, but no singles were released[[/note]] was certified gold and had two Top 5 hits. His next album had three singles, but two of them failed to make the Top 40. The third album, ''Learning as You Go'', brought him back to form, with three straight Top 10 hits, one of which ("Running Out of Reasons to Run") was his only #1.
* Randy Houser. His first album had a big hit in "Boots On", but his second album was delayed repeatedly due to its singles underperforming, with its second single ("I'm All About It") not even making the final cut of the album. The album was released to little fanfare and nothing else from it went anywhere. He was prepared for a third album, but when its lead single ("In God's Time") went nowhere, he left the label. ''Then'' he signed to Stoney Creek Records, where he promptly scored his first two #1 hits in "How Country Feels" and "Runnin' Outta Moonlight", followed by the #2 "Goodnight Kiss", all off his third album.
* Cat Stevens' second album, ''New Masters'', fared so poorly that he wouldn't release his third album, ''Mona Bone Jakon'', until 1970. Then again, ''New Masters'' has one of his most famous songs, "The First Cut Is the Deepest."
* [=SHeDAISY=]'s first album, ''The Whole [=SHeBANG=]'', was certified platinum and produced three straight Top 10 hits on the country charts. They followed it up with ''Knock on the Sky'', which underperformed and had only two singles, both of which barely made Top 30. Their third album, ''Sweet Right Here'', brought them back up to speed with gold sales and the hit singles "Passenger Seat", "Come Home Soon", and "Don't Worry 'Bout a Thing". The last of these mocks their sophomore slump twice with the lines "Ever knocked on the sky and had it fall on your head?" and "Ever found your last record in the bargain bin?"

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Game ]]

* ''VideoGame/DevilMayCry 2'' was the video game equivalent of being booted in the crotch by a large angry golfer. ''Devil May Cry 3'' was aces. These days, Capcom has taken to pretending the second game never happened; ''3'' was a prequel, ''4'' is set between the first and second, and the characters frequently comment on having no memory of the second game when they appear in other media (such as ''VideoGame/ViewtifulJoe'' or ''[[VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom3 Marvel vs. Capcom 3]]''), the only exception being Dante's {{guest|Fighter}} appearance in ''[[VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiIIINocturne Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne]] [[UpdatedRerelease Maniax]]'' (based off of his ''[=DMC2=]'' appearance, as it was the most recent release at the time of the game).
** A great deal of this most likely stems from the fact that neither Hideki Kamiya (the creator of ''DMC'') nor Team Little Devils (Kamiya's personal dev team for ''DMC'') were involved with ''2'', the project instead going to a different team under the direction of Hideki Itsuno (director) and Tsuyoshi Tanaka (producer). That being said, this same group of developers was responsible for [[SurprisinglyImprovedSequel the third game]], which handily proceeded to WinBackTheCrowd (critically, at least; sales were hurt somewhat by consumer wariness due to the second game's poor reception).
* ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'':
** ''SuperMarioBrosTheLostLevels'', the Japanese sequel to ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros1'', was a NintendoHard MissionPackSequel of the first game that went unreleased outside of Japan until several years later. ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros2'', the US sequel, was well-received but also a DolledUpInstallment barely playing like other titles. ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros3'', however, was a worldwide success, providing several positive changes while still retaining the style of the first game.
** The phenomenon repeated itself with the 3D ''Mario'' games. ''VideoGame/SuperMario64'' was universally beloved. ''VideoGame/SuperMarioSunshine'' was [[LoveItOrHateIt much more divisive]], stripping away the franchise's most [[MascotMook iconic]] [[PowerUp features]] and adding [[ScrappyMechanic some very un-Mario gameplay elements]]. ''VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy'' and its sequel represent a serious return to form.
* ''PrinceOfPersia: Warrior Within'' is considered by many to be an example of DarkerAndEdgier GoneHorriblyWrong. ''The Two Thrones'' goes so far as to {{Retcon}} the Prince's behavior in that game into being a ''curse''.
* The second ''VideoGame/UnrealTournament'' game, ''Unreal Tournament 2003'' was such a disappointment that Epic gave out rebates to owners who traded it in for the much better ''VideoGame/UnrealTournament2004''.
** Turned UpToEleven with ''Unreal II: The Awakening'', which Epic outsourced to a third-party developer, and ended up being so badly received that it was an outright FranchiseKiller for the single-player ''Unreal'' games.
* ''VideoGame/{{Dizzy}} II: Treasure Island Dizzy'' is rampantly the least popular of the series, due to the extraordinary FakeDifficulty of Dizzy spending the entire game as a OneHitPointWonder.
* On the NES, ''VideoGame/ZeldaIITheAdventureOfLink'', ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaIISimonsQuest'' and ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyII'' get heck for being [[TheyChangedItNowItSucks radical departures]] from the rest of the series. A reason was because the usual conventions and mechanics of the franchise weren't fully defined yet, hence why the developers had tried to expand the gameplay features. Though later games returned to more classical formats, these second entries did leave a legacy (''The Adventure of Link'', for example, introduced elements to the ''Zelda'' games like Dark Link, towns, magic and character names like Saria or Nabooru).
* ''Franchise/{{Metroid}}'':
** ''VideoGame/MetroidIIReturnOfSamus'' suffered this due to some gameplay changes and a more linear progression.
** ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime 2: Echoes'' is considered a bit of a slump for the ''Prime'' trilogy. While it's generally agreed to be a good game, the [[NintendoHard brutal difficulty]], key collection, and ammo system tend to draw ire. It's also criticized for having many of the same upgrades and weapons as the original, with the only really new upgrades being the Seeker Launcher, Screw Attack, and the Echo Visor. Another point of debate is the multiplayer mode.
* ''Franchise/AceAttorney: Justice For All'' didn't quite match up to the first game, mostly due to its universally despised third case, and the new health system being rather punishing at times. Fortunately, the next game, ''Trials and Tribulations'' got the series on track, mostly thanks to having a better overall storyline (Justice For All is the only game without an over-arching storyline.) On the other hand, Justice For All has chapter 2-4, "Farewell, My Turnabout", widely considered to be [[BestLevelEver one of the best cases in the series.]]
* ''EchoBazaar'' has a quasi-example, once you start the story line to become a Person Of Some Importance. All the POSI content requires either huge amounts of time and in-game resources or Fate (bought with actual money) to achieve, and are mainly {{cosmetic award}}s. Contrast to the earlier game, where things were much more reasonably priced.
* ''VideoGame/DeusExInvisibleWar'' turned off many fans, who felt that it sacrificed much of the complexity and freedom that made the original so enjoyable. ''[[VideoGame/DeusExHumanRevolution Human Revolution]]'' has been [[WinBackTheCrowd received significantly better]].
* MegamanStarForce 2 was poorly received, probably due to discarding most of the first game's stellar themes. It also had much less nuanced Villains of the Week (From sympathetic individuals possessed by manipulative beings in the first game to already evil villains who fuse with almost mindless BloodKnight entities in the second}. The easily broken battle system probably didn't help either. The third game was better-received, but doesn't seem to have been enough to save the series.
* ''MarioAndLuigiPartnersInTime'', while considered a ''good'' game, is generally not as well-received as its acclaimed [[MarioAndLuigiSuperstarSaga predecessor]] or its [[MarioAndLuigiBowsersInsideStory successor]].
* The second VideoGame/NancyDrew PC Game, ''Stay Tuned for Danger,'' suffered from this, since HerInteractive was still working out the kinks. It had a rather frustrating InsurmountableWaistHeightFence (namely, you started off the game picking a lock with a credit card; later on, other doors, which are identical and in the same building absolutely '''have''' to be opened with keys,) a pretty bad loophole (if you enter a certain room before picking up two necessary tools, you are unable to leave again to get them and Game Over,) a final game that was so frustratingly difficult they had to release a patch to ease the frustration, a pretty clumsy overworld map (where you had to click on a location, listen to Nancy hail a cab, talk to the driver, then arrive, which is frustrating after several repetitions; the other early games all took place in one location, avoiding the problem.) It's telling that, thanks to TechnologyMarchesOn, the first two games were discontinued because of issues with newer sound and video cards. The first, ''Secrets Can Kill'' was later remastered and re-released in 2010, but there seems to be no indication they plan to do the same with ''Stay Tuned for Danger.''
* Whereas ''VideoGame/{{Battlefield}} 1942'' was both a commercial and critical hit, its immediate sequel, ''Battlefield Vietnam'' got unspectacular reviews and sank without a trace in the sale charts. Nowadays, most people forget that particular ''Battlefield'' game ever existed, and those that do remember it generally rank it as the worst game in the franchise. However, the series' third entry, ''Battlefield 2'' was a return to form, and an even bigger hit than the first game.
* Kaos Studios was formed out of the core developers for the "Desert Combat" mod of Battlefield 1942. They went onto create ''VideoGame/FrontLinesFuelOfWar'', which was an extremely mediocre effort that didn't rise to any great heights, certainly not anything close to the love their Desert Combat mod inspired.
* ''VideoGame/{{Drakengard}}'' was hit with this for it's second game but not from the usual stuff. In fact the gameplay was vastly improved over it's predecessor. What happened was that the first games director, Yoko Taro, was not part of development of the second game leading it to have a fairly standard idealistic JRPG plot as a result in stark contrast with the first games CrapsackWorld setting and nihilistic tone.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]


* TotalDramaAction was not well-received by fans of the [[TotalDramaIsland original series]], mainly due to ''massive'' amounts of {{Flanderization}}. Most of the afflicted characters SnapBack in the third season and it seems like the writers are trying very hard to pretend none of it ever happened.
* Season two of WesternAnimation/SouthPark is [[OldShame loathed]] by series creators Matt and Trey to the point that they have called it their Sophomore Slump. It is the only season they have never done commentary for.

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