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Contested Sequel
"This isn't the best one to start with. It's not Sumo Slammers classic. It's Sumo Slammers: Hero Generation. It's a sequel to the original show, but they kinda' messed it up. It's like five years later and the bad guy Kanko has teamed up with the hero Ishiyama. It's not very realistic, is all I'm saying."
Ben Tennyson, mirroring much of the fandom's feelings about Ben 10: Alien Force

Sometimes there's a sequel that attempts to address complaints fans had with the original, or build upon the original's perceived strengths. Sometimes, in its attempt to do so, though, it may lose track of what made the original so great for many. If that happens, there may be a huge split in the fanbase, with some fans saying that the sequel is an excellent improvement, with others saying that the sequel's improvements aren't worth the other changes made. This can result in large flame wars when someone who prefers the original argues with those who consider the sequel to be superior.

Sometimes, the company will try to fix things with the next installment in the series, only to make more friends and more enemies. This may lead to an unpleasable fanbase.

See also First Installment Wins and Critical Backlash.



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    Anime & Manga 

    Classical Music 
  • Hector Berlioz's Lélio, ou Le retour ŕ la vie is one to his Symphonie fantastique. Whereas Symphonie fantastique, despite its program, was an instrumental work, Lélio is made up mostly of choral movements originally written independently linked together with spoken narration.

    Comic Books 
  • The Watchmen prequels quickly fell into this, even before they were released. One of the main complaints is that they're being released at all, in the face of the known feelings of its creator, Alan Moore, though some have pointed out that he himself has been using other authors' creations for his own stories, such as The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Lost Girls, while DC is using Moore's creations for their own purpose. The only difference is that Moore primarily uses characters from authors who are long dead, so it's hard to see Moore being on the high ground in this particular regard.
  • The Dark Knight Strikes Again, Frank Miller's sequel to the seminal Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. Many dislike it for being an ugly self-parody of the original work. Some like it for exactly that reason.
    • All-Star Batman & Robin The Boy Wonder, Frank Miller's sequel to the equally as seminal Batman: Year One, is perhaps even more reviled, to the point that most people only like it for Jim Lee's beautiful artwork. The idea that it is a parody has been discussed, with Jim Lee (when DC announced that they would be continuing the series as Dark Knight: Boy Wonder) promising more 'Over-the-top Batman action'. Jim Lee's involvement in the series meant that it sold like hotcakes in the very few months that it actually did come out.
  • The Buffy the Vampire Slayer comics, very much so. There are those who like it and those who are yelling the franchise is ruined because of them.
  • Runaways fans were not very keen on accepting their beloved characters as C-List Fodder in Avengers Arena. Or for matter neither are Avengers Academy fans. Or Sentinel fans. Or fans of any of the pre-existing characters that ended up in Arena...There are some that liked that the series averted Death Is Cheap and liked the plot, but there were also just as many that would rather not see their favorite teen heroes die in a Hunger Games/Battle Royale Follow the Leader book. The counter argument usually is that none of those characters were particularly popular to begin with (both Avengers Academy and Runaways received positive reviews but were cancelled due to poor sales), and that the fact that the characters were so obscure (thus meaning they were unlikely to get a quick resurrection) made the story much more tense than the usual superhero fights.

    Films — Animated 
  • Ice Age 3 Dawn Of The Dinosaurs is quite contested, some consider it an absolute disaster, others call it the best of the series.
  • Some will argue that An American Tail: Fievel Goes West is better than the first movie because it's not as depressing and it spends more time developing secondary characters, plus, you know, it has John Cleese playing a villain. Others would argue that making the movie Lighter and Softer completely took away what made the first movie so great in the first place.
  • All Dogs Go to Heaven 2. While most fans of the first movie consider the second to be inferior because they say that it mostly lacks everything from the original, some say that it's a superior followup to the original because it's not depressing and it has a good story with catchy songs.
  • The third and fourth BIONICLE Direct-to-Video movies. While most fans seem to agree that actually none of these are really any good, some do like the early movies, especially for nostalgic and "guilty pleasure" reasons. The third movie, Web of Shadows, is often criticized for trying to be too dark, yet still having jarringly silly and downright Narmy moments, and for having bad pacing. The fourth one, The Legend Reborn, is in turn disliked for being just all-round goofy and kiddish, lazy and simply uninspired, lacking any atmosphere, which the other films had in spades.
  • Is Fantasia 2000 a worthy successor in modern style to the original Fantasia, or a commercialized trainwreck brought down by cheesy celebrity appearances? It is an ongoing debate among Disney fans.
  • In the league of the Disney Animated Canon and it's DTV sequels, for every single DTV movie there is a huge discussion on whether it's decent, mediocre or horrible. The example that springs to mind most is The Lion King II: Simba's Pride - the general consensus seems to be that it could have been equal to the original if it was done by the "main team" instead of the "DTV crew", and that it was ultimately brought down by inferior animation mostly.
  • A Goofy Movie and its sequel An Extremely Goofy Movie, which is a Direct-to-Video sequel of a non-animated-canon Disney movie. Because Roxanne was removed, Max got Aesop Amnesia, and there was an Extreme Sport Excuse Plot, many people didn't like the movie at all. However, because the animation was really good, Bobby became a Breakout Character, Goofy got a Love Interest and PJ, The Woobie, earned his happy ending (which even some people who had less context were happy to see because it showed a sympathetic fat character getting a girlfriend based on his personality), other people thought it was amazing even if they hated the first one. The audience's reaction spans "awesome but the first one sucked", "even better than the first one", "as good as the first one", "not as good as the first one but still awesome", "not as good as the first one in most ways but better in some", "okay", "not very good but with some redeeming qualities" and "completely horrible".
  • Kung Fu Panda 2 is either a good movie, but not as good as the first, or an Even Better Sequel. That said, you'll be hard-pressed to find any fans that outright disliked it.
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2 got hit with this, as there are some people who dislike it due to its slow pacing and not as much development for the characters.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Godfather, Part III, released in 1990, is one of the prime examples of a contested sequel, especially one that was nominated for seven Academy Awards. Not only was it made more than 15 years after the previous installment, but it also suffered from Robert Duvall's absence and the casting of Sofia Coppola as Mary Corleone. Although Michael Corleone remains irredeemable at the end of Part III, his attempt to atone for his sins in this movie can also appear to make him more likable than he should be. A good deal of the problems with this movie come from seeing it as the final part of a trilogy, rather than the distant sequel it was intended to be (the film was originally titled The Death of Michael Corleone but was changed by Executive Meddling, and Francis Ford Coppola has referred to the Godfather series as "two films and an epilogue").
  • This shows up a lot in the Alien series:
    • Alienł, is a contested sequel... if anything because it was an attempt to bring the film series back to the claustrophobic monster-in-the-closet tone of the original film after Aliens' thrill ride. Aliens fans dislike it because it undid the ending of the second film, where Ripley ends up with a makeshift family of her own after saving them from the hordes of aliens. By the start of Alien 3, everyone from Aliens is dead but Ripley (bringing her right back to exactly where she was at the end of the first movie)... including the young child that Ripley saved after the girl's entire family was killed. It still has its fans, and fans who prefer the original movie over the first sequel are much more forgiving as well. There is also a fandom belief that the studio made the wrong film due to Executive Meddling. There are a number of alternate scripts and rewrites in existence (including one by William Gibson) which offer completely different scenarios.
    • Alien: Resurrection could be seen as contested as well - there are positive reviews for it on IMDb, and of course hardcore Whedonites won't say anything bad about it as a matter of principle, but overall reaction was decidedly more negative even compared to Alien 3.
    • Similarly, fans are divided in regards to Prometheus. Some admire the film for its efforts to break off the formula established in the previous films by downplaying the Xenomorph attacks and instead bring something new by focusing on different aspect of the same universe, while others are critical of the fact that Xenomoroph attacks are minimal at best and that the connections to Alien are incredibly small plot-wise note .
  • It's often debated whether the second and third Cube movies were worthy additions, or if it would have been best to let the first movie stand on its own. Even people who believe the first film to be far superior can't agree on whether Hypercube or Cube Zero was the better sequel.
    • Cube 2: Hypercube might have retained the mystery of the Cube, was more serious but far less gory, and had a unique look, but still had some silly characters and Narm scenes. (Sean Hood's original proposal script for Hypercube was on par with Natali's original; better characters, consistently darker mood as the plot goes on and actual, constant danger.)
    • Cube Zero visually retained the industrial look of the first film and was far less serious with more humorous scenes than either previous film, and left little to no mystery at all, but heightened the gore in places and at least attempted continuity with the first film.
    • So go see Cube Zero if you want more of the same with some humor. See Hypercube if you want atmosphere and something different. Ignore them and just stick with the original if you want neither.
  • Terminator
    • Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines is a very contested sequel. The main points of contention are T3 contradicting the underlying message of the previous movie - "There is no fate but what we make for ourselves" - but it also had many plot developments that changed the nature of the series (such as Sarah having died of cancer, Brewster being behind Skynet all along, and the titular rise of the machines). In fact, these developments were responsible for Terminator 3 being completely ignored by the TV series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles - however, new Terminator films do follow T3, such as Terminator Salvation, set After the End / During the Robot War.
    • The contested nature of the film is compounded by the fact that The Terminator was very clearly set in a Stable Time Loop. This means that You Can't Fight Fate is true, even if the characters believe it isn't. They say things like "There is no fate but what we make for ourselves," but it's obvious that the time travel event itself is what precipitates everything, paradoxical as it may seem. Indeed, there was a deleted scene from T1 where the remains of the Terminator were unearthed and taken for study, thus ensuring the construction of SkyNet. Terminator 2: Judgment Day violated this by allowing SkyNet to be destroyed and the future irrevocably change. Terminator 3 could be said to be restoring the original message of T1: you can't Screw Destiny, so you may as well make the best of it—whether it's Sarah driving off into the wilderness where she and her son might be able to survive the coming holocaust, or John holed up in a bunker, helplessly watching the majority of the population die yet bringing hope for the future by his very survival. Even The Sarah Connor Chronicles seems to indicate that they can't ever avert the rise of SkyNet, just delay it, and possibly avert the war by making the initial relations between humans and AIs less hostile.
    • Alternately, the characters in the first Terminator believe they are in a Stable Time Loop, but Terminator 2 proves them wrong. Consider that the rules of time travel were created by Skynet as a desperate last resort - in which case, Skynet might either be lying about the nature of time travel, or simply mistaken.
    • The Terminator series is a "pick your own moral." T1, you can't fight fate. T2, screw destiny. T3 on, you can screw destiny, but destiny likes three ways.
    • Terminator Salvation to a great extent. It completely ditched the time-travel plot, and the movie focused on John Connor and his future warfare. Also, it had an original main character named Marcus Wright who died in the same film and a CGI Arnold Schwarzenegger at the end of the movie. It caused a breach between the fans who believed that They Changed It, Now It Sucks and the fans who believed that doing it otherwise would have been It's the Same, Now It Sucks. Following the line, its critical reception was significantly negative, except by some voices that viewed the Genre Shift as necessary.
  • The sequels in the Scary Movie series are very contested. You can hear nearly every type of opinion on the sequels, as well as on the original movie. Some say that the first two installments in the series directed by the Wayans Brothers are leagues better than the third and fourth installments, while others like the Zucker-style sequels better. Though you'll be hard-pressed to find anyone who likes the fifth film.
  • 2010: The Year We Make Contact. Detractors complained that it didn't live up to the brilliant and unusual film making of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Fans argued that it was right not to try, as it never could have succeeded at that, but did work as a more conventional film which actually answered some of the questions in the first movie. Detractors responded by saying they didn't want those answers.
  • Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
    • Is the fact that Indy is now old and Shia LaBeouf's daddy tainting your beloved childhood memories? Does the revelation that the antagonists are actually aliens... sort of go against the spirit of the series? Or do you disagree with all that and think it's fun?
    • It's worth noting that while the original Indiana Jones were based on adventure serials from the 20s and 30s which were liable to feature temples and ancient gods, the 4th movie was intentionally based on 50s serials, which were liable to feature communists and aliens. Given that it was released decades after the first movies, this idea may more sense than you might initially think.
    • A main complaint was that the film broke people's Willing Suspension of Disbelief with a nuclear-powered sledgehammer far too early on, instead of easing people into the Nazi-face-melting like the earlier films did.
    • The abundance of CGI shots (the very first shot is a CGI molehill) didn't go over well either. Things like armies of killer ants and gigantic temples were forgivable, but many other cases just felt out-of-place in an Indy movie.
    • Long before that, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was something of a contested sequel: a successful variation on the Indy concept, or just too dark and squicky to be enjoyable?
  • Batman
  • X-Men:
    • X-Men: The Last Stand is either a bad representation of the Phoenix Saga and a total cop-out as far as the role of Cyclops goes, and being "The Wolverine and Jean Show" and devoid of all other character development... or it is an adequate adaptation of the Phoenix Saga that does away with plot elements that would have been out of place in the established movie canon, and a sweet action movie in which all hell breaks loose and Wolverine owns the show. Take your pick.
    • X-Men Origins: Wolverine is equally contested. For many it is a Narm-fest which flies in the face of the other movies' continuity (particularly rewriting a lot of back story from X2, the franchise's peak), ruins both Gambit and Deadpool, allows a lot of characters to make stupid decisions in the name of advancing the plot, and all for the sake of making another movie centered on Wolverine when the first 3 were essentially his show anyway. For others, the continuity wasn't all that important, Sabretooth was finally given his due with some decent character development, the incorporation of some new mutants was interesting, and the whole thing is a decent but forgettable action film.
  • Spider-Man 3 was a highly-anticipated sequel riding off the wave of critical and commercial acclaim its previous films had garnered, and was the highest-grossing of the three films when it was released. However, critical response was evenly split between general audiences who enjoyed the story and the new characters, and comic book fans (and some long-time fans of the films) who felt that the third film was a betrayal of all the plot threads that had been set up in the prior two films. It didn't help that 3 was subject to Venom, who wound up getting the short shift in terms of screen time. There is very little middle ground when it comes to opinion on the film.
  • The various sequels to the Godzilla franchise fall under this trope. Fans who complained that the American 1998 Godzilla movie was too different are also now complaining that the later Japanese films are too predictable due to Toho "not willing to take any risks." And then came Godzilla Final Wars, which was neither predictable nor unrisky... but is absolutely unlike any other Godzilla film, and thus is a love-it-or-hate it example.
  • Home Alone 3. Some hate it due to the different characters and further straining suspension of disbelief (a young boy defeats four spies with Rube Goldberg-style traps?!), while others (like Roger Ebert) actually like it better than the previous two for reasons like better traps and a more plausible reason for being home alone (being sick from school rather than being mistakenly left behind while his family is on vacation at some point).
  • Final Destination 2 is a very different film from both the original film and Final Destination 3. It has a largely adult cast (rather than the teenaged protagonists of the other two films), has a greater emphasis on comedy and treats the visions rather differently. It also had a different director and writer. Generally fans of the series either dislike it or feel it is their favorite of the lot. Unlike the first film, Final Destination 2's methods of killing off the players were at least plausible, especially compared to the killer shower head in the first movie. This alone reduced the cheesiness of an otherwise interesting concept in some viewer's minds.
  • Fans are pretty divided on whether Blade II's over-the-top visual style, action sequences, and monsters were an improvement over the more realistic first film. Nearly everyone agrees that the third film sucked. Especially one of the endings. You know, the one with a badly-made werewolf.
  • Due to the fickle nature of its respective fanbase, the Star Trek films have had to deal with this. Most fans tend to agree that Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek: First Contact are the best TOS and Next Generation films, respectively, and the even-numbered movies are good, but anything besides that (barring Star Trek V: The Final Frontier) tends to become this:
    • Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. Successfully-executed thematic sequel to The Wrath Of Khan, or massively disappointing follow-up to the same?
    • Star Trek: Generations: A good transitional film between the "old guard" and the Next Gen crew, or a feature-length episode of the television series that dispenses with the franchise's original defining main character in a hamfisted way?
    • Star Trek: First Contact: A great action film that finally allowed the TNG crew to have a good adventure without the lingering baggage of The Original Series, or a poorly written summer action flick that changed the Borg from a mysterious and unstoppable force on nature into a boring Punch Clock Villain?
    • Star Trek: Insurrection: A fun ride with the TNG crew that was thematically consistent with all things Trek, or a two-hour long episode of the series and (another) poor attempt at a summer action flick?
    • Star Trek: Nemesis: A decent (if not exactly amazing) conclusion for the Next Gen crew, a mediocre episode padded to two hours with a tacked-on character death and inoffensive subplot resolution to imbue false significance, or a botched attempt to remake Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan rather than create an original plot?
    • J. J. Abrams' Star Trek film is the highest-grossing in the franchise, and proved to be one of the few rebooted films that received critical and commercial acclaim by using time-travel to change the focus to an alternate-universe version of the original series crew. Yet, there still exists a segment of the fanbase that believes the film destroyed the history of the franchise and irrevocably altered the plot lines of future films by having the crew attend Starfleet Academy together.
    • There's a lot of debate amongst the fandom over Star Trek Into Darkness borrowing elements from the older Star Trek films, Khan being the main villain and now white, and Kirk's 5-minute death.
  • James Bond:
    • The Roger Moore Movies. Either silly romps that embraced the goofy nature of the Bond concept or cartoonishly overblown betrayals of the suave Connery era that ruined the character's credit.
    • The Timothy Dalton Movies. Either solid darker returns to the original Ian Fleming ideal of what Bond should be that were canned too early or cheap 80s crime show knock-offs that were limited to two films for a reason.
    • The Pierce Brosnan Films. With the exception of the generally lauded GoldenEye, Brosnan's final three outings (particularly Die Another Day) have been seen as either fun campy throwbacks to the Moore era or terribly overblown campfests that brought more damage to the Bond name than Moore ever could.
    • The Daniel Craig movies. Either one loves the return to the series' roots, or wants every old cliché back, though there are those who like the older films too.
  • As you might expect from follow-ups to an already Base Breaker first entry, the Transformers Film Series has this big time, particularly with the third and fourth installments. Though the second movie is widely agreed to be a step backward, Dark of the Moon and Age of Extinction really have no popular consensus. Much like The Terminator movies, however, critics preferred the third but fans favored the fourth.
  • Harry Potter:
    • There's considerable disagreement among fans about whether the first two movies' (Philosopher's Stone and Chamber of Secrets) faithfulness to the books is their greatest strength or their greatest weakness. People in the first camp are likely to view Prisoner of Azkaban as a horrific plot hole-filled mess, while people in the second camp are likely to see it as when the movies finally started to get it right.
    • There really is very little common ground at all when it comes to fans' opinions of the Harry Potter films. Ask a group of fans to rate the films in order and it's almost certain every film will end up on the top and bottom of someone's list. Even fans that broadly agree tend to still disagree. Fans that prefer the post-Columbus films will argue about which one is best, and David Yates fans can't agree on if Order of the Phoenix or Half Blood Prince is best, and some will rank one top and one bottom.
  • Saw III. It amps up the gore and the Squick considerably from the first two, to levels that are not seen elsewhere in the series. There is much debate over whether or not this is a good thing. Much debate. It didn't stop there. Even after Saw III, four more sequels were made, all of which contain even more horrific imagery that either drove fans away or gained more Nightmare Fetishists. Some people still love the series from start to finish, while others immediately stopped watching after the third film, for obvious reasons.
  • The Scream trilogy has been quite contested as well. None of the fans seem to agree on which movie was the best or the worst. Some say that the third was the weakest of the series. Others say it was an improvement over the second, but both pale in comparison to the first. Then there are some who say that the second was better than the first, and so on and so forth... and whether the fourth gets the series back into shape or falls flat is also disputed.
  • Firestarter 2: Rekindled is a sequel to the 1984 movie Firestarter. The first movie was a decent portrayal of the Stephen King book it was based on. The sequel was made by people who didn't even pretend to have read the book (or seen the original movie, for that matter). This included having the Big Bad be the same in both movies even though he was killed in the first one. On the other hand, Firestarter 2 has special effects that a movie made in the 80s could not.
  • Some viewers believe that Grease 2 is superior to the original, despite clearly being an attempt to mimic every little detail about the original with a new cast. (Likewise, there is a small group of fans who love Shock Treatment, but dislike The Rocky Horror Picture Show.)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean.
    • First two sequels onto a successful film, but the fourth film, On Stranger Tides, is showing shades of Franchise Zombie, especially with how it killed off regular supporting characters Pintel and Ragetti, Marty, Cotton, and Cotton's parrot with a few lines of dialogue from Barbossa and stuck the Black Pearl in a bottle. Yet, many people still love this film.
    • Although it's not clear if those people were killed off or are on the miniaturized Black Pearl.
  • Life During Wartime is either seen as a worthy sequel to Happiness or a complete disaster of a follow-up with none of the original's actors returning, with no middle ground.
  • Babe is a very well received film from both critics and the general audience and was well liked due to its lighthearted plot and charming farm setting. The sequel, on the other hand, is much darker, including images of a dog being drowned in a lake, and a clown having a heart attack and dying. To some, it's a terrible film that simply doesn't do the original justice because of how dark it is and because it takes Babe off the familiar farm setting. To others, it's a brilliant follow up to an already great film, and some people (including both Siskel & Ebert) thought it was even better than the original.
  • The fourth Die Hard is either another solid installment, or a demonstration that the series has become too outlandish (starting by John McClane being Made of Iron). Especially contentious since they ditched the classic terrorism plots in favour of some good old 21st century Hollywood Hacking. Depending on whether or not you're tired of absurd hacking tropes, this movie could be a fresh new take on the series or an awkward attempt at modernizing the franchise.
    • Taken even further with A Good Day to Die Hard.
  • Highlander has this in spades. Any film after the first is contested, with many recognizing only the first and the TV series.
  • The Thing (2011). A well-written film with surprising attention to detail that does a really good job paying homage to Carpenter's film while being something different? A great prequel that does a good job connecting to the Carpenter film, a cheesy monster film? A cheesy generic monster movie that fails to capture everything of the Carpenter film? A thinly-veiled remake of the Carpenter film?
  • 28 Days Later is widely considered to be one of the greatest zombie horror movies of all time. Its sequel, despite receiving pretty good reviews, was also a much darker film that ended on a miserable note, killing all of the main characters and having the virus spreading to the mainland. Fans of the original movie, which ended hopefully, were not pleased, and a third film has been trapped in Development Hell for years.
  • Escape from L.A., the first and only sequel to Escape from New York, is often seen as this. Some people think the movie's a piece of garbage, others think it's just as good as Escape From New York, and still others actually think it's better (Rumor has it that last camp includes John Carpenter himself).
  • G.I. Joe: Retaliation is either what a real G.I. Joe movie should be, or not taking effort to improve (or match) its predecessor.
  • Iron Man:
  • Bill & Ted fans are split on the second film, Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey. Most say that, at the very least, it isn't as good as Excellent Adventure, there are those who think it is as good or even better.

  • Ringworld
    • Larry Niven had originally intended it to be a one-off novel, but many fans wrote in to point out scientific or practical errors such as the fact that the Ringworld is unstable and the question of why its builders didn't build lots of small rings (a la Iain M. Banks's Culture novels) instead, which would be much easier to defend. Niven decided to write The Ringworld Engineers to address these questions. Whether this addition improved the Ringworld or merely diluted its premise is a matter of debate among fans.
    • Other fans are okay with The Ringworld Engineers, but feel that the last two books in the series were where Sequelitis started setting in.
  • Detractors of Roger Zelazny's second series of The Chronicles of Amber novels point out that it swaps out the hero of the first series, a Magnificent Bastard defined by his determination and ability to pull off The Plan, for his son, a Marty Stu defined by his ability to develop New Powers as the Plot Demands; and that the first series always felt like a fully planned-out puzzle that the reader just couldn't see until all the pieces were in place, while the second series felt like Zelazny was making it up as he went along. Fans of the second series love that it expanded on the mythology of the setting and showed the perspective of the villains of the first series. (Fans of the Amber Role-Playing Game either love or hate the second series for introducing bizarre Chaos-based powers and concepts that players aren't really supposed to have but at least one player in every group will take.)
  • A few reviewers felt this way about The Heroes of Olympus. While the book is generally thought of as good, many believe that Rick Riordan should definitely end Percy Jackson and the Olympians with this series, and not a third Great Prophecy. Thankfully, Rick has stated that he's going to be careful not to go overboard with the sequels.
  • The Dune series has this in two regards:
    • For many, the books stopped being good when they became more about overturning the archetypes established in the first book, culminating in the introspective God-Emperor of Dune. Others feel this was the logical extension of the themes in the original and ultimately made the universe reach its intended conclusion.
    • Many fans detest the sequels and prequels by Frank Herbert's son Brian Herbert and co-writer Kevin J Anderson for bucking the complicated sociological and philosophical themes of the original novels in favor of light action stories, while new fans see them as more exciting and easily understood.
  • Some people think Ender's Shadow is a brilliant switch of viewpoint from the first novel. Others think that its main character is a Canon Sue, that it changes scenes to directly contradict the same scene in the original book and that it weakens Ender's victory from the original.
  • Redwall went on for a very long time, and almost every fan can agree that, at some point, the books started a sharp decline in quality. Getting them to agree exactly which book marks the point of decline is impossible, and every fan has at least one or two books during the Dork Age that they still enjoy.

    Live Action TV 
  • When comparing the Sci Fi Channel remake of Battlestar Galactica to its original counterpart, which is often considered a cheesey yet charming 70's Sci-Fi series. Many have complained bitterly that the creators of the new series scraped a rather good concept, and tried for a rather over the top Darker and Edgier approach.
    • And for fans of the Reboot, there's Caprica for a Contested Prequel. Many fans of the Reboot thought the series was overly melodramatic and slow as molasses with little of actual significance happening until close to the end, while Caprica fans praise the show's character-heavy storytelling as being superior and more meaningful than what the Reboot provided.
  • All the Star Trek series after Star Trek: The Next Generation have some form of this.
    • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. The odd thing about Deep Space Nine was that its Contested Sequel status occurred after Growing the Beard - prior to that nearly everyone agreed it was simply too slow and literally too "stuck" in its stationary premise. Once the Dominion War arc occurred, many proclaimed that it was the best of the Trek series - however, others felt that it was a complete betrayal of Gene Roddenberry's vision of humanity's goals for the future while still others claimed that it didn't just copy but outright plagiarized Babylon 5, with fans of that show still to this day providing "proof" that the writers directly plagiarized from a treatment J. Micheal Strazynski had shown Paramount.
    • Star Trek: Voyager is regarded by many fans as being a bland continuation of The Next Generation in all but name, all the while over-exaggerating the technobabble that people had come to associate with Trek. Others think it was an enjoyable series that, while flawed, still delivered on decent action plots and interesting concepts.
    • Star Trek: Enterprise was done primarily because fans had complained about the stationary nature of Deep Space 9 and the constant technobabble of Voyager. Setting it in an earlier time period allowed the scary nature of space travel to be more constant and the technology wasn't always the savior. There were fans who loved it from the start, fans who hated it from the start, and a third group who felt it had a hard time at first, but found its voice just before it was canceled (with a further subdivision based on whether the beard was grown in season 3 or 4).
  • Stargate Verse:
    • Stargate Atlantis. Many people thought it was just copying the Deep Space Nine model and you'll find frequent comparisons to those two series. On the other hand, others thought it was a decent series that did well to separate itself from the original with a new cast of characters and setting as well as changes in plot formulas that nonetheless stayed true to the spirit of the original.
    • Stargate Universe. In addition to the complaints bout simply ripping off Voyager (after ripping off Deep Space Nine through Atlantis), the other major argument mirrors the Battlestar Galactica remake: was it an honest attempt to breathe new life into a franchise that had been going on for a dozen years or so on largely the same formula uninterrupted or was it a botched attempt at making it Darker and Edgier that went straight into the series' Dork Age and thus became the Franchise Killer, all in an attempt to mine the success of Battlestar Galactica?

    Popular Music 
  • Elton John's 2006 sequel to his 1975 autobiographical, classic Concept Album Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy, titled The Captain And The Kid, did not do as well critically or commercially as the first one, though it did get some favorable reviews.
  • Everything Metallica have done since, depending on your point of view, either Master Of Puppets, ... And Justice For All or the Black Album.
  • The album Liebe Ist Für Alle Da is this for Rammstein. Fans are split over whether it's their best album since Mutter, or it's just as disappointing as Rosenrot.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The fourth edition of Dungeons & Dragons has this in spades. All previous editions built on the same basic structure created back in the 1970s, but 4th Edition rebuilt the game from the ground up. Half the fanbase loves it for its tightly defined rule set, tactical depth, strong support for the DM, ease of play and giving every class, even former Tier-Induced Scrappies like the Monk and Bard a fair shot at being as awesome as Wizards. The other half hates it for its reliance on Gameplay and Story Segregation, its heavy focus on battle mat combat, the shoehorning of all classes into the same mechanical structure, and a lot of gratuitous changes to D&D lore.
    • This actually goes back to previous editions of the game as well. There are still 2nd Edition fans out which feel that 3rd Edition was a travesty and an insult to the game. Some holdout 1st Edition and OD&D fans that feel that 2nd Edition was unnecessary, with a surprising number of them keep playing retroclones based on their preferred edition. It's safe to say that this is a D&D tradition and will likely continue forward with the recently announced D&D 5th Edition/D&D Next.
      • It's already started. Shortly after Monte Cook (A Base Breaker in and of himself for some comments he's made that made clear his preference for Wizards over Fighters and other martial types, and his refusal to admit the design team for 3E ever made any mistakes ever - he said that crappily-designed classes were just a way to separate the noobs who'd go for them from the "smart players" who'd go for his beloved casters.) left, the playtest went public. Some fans love it for being like the old editions, while others hate it for having players roll 36 hit dice, two for each individual rat in a swarm, the abysmal playstyle for Fighters, and - evidence Monte Cook may have just been kicked out by Mike Mearls for making Wizards into his Creator's Pet again - Wizards doing everything better than any class. Even Clerics don't heal as well as Wizards.
  • The developers of Exalted Third Edition are pretty unashamed in their hatred of second edition from a design and storytelling perspective. During the promotion for their Kickstarter, White Wolf's Community Manager asked a /tg/ user to please not play 2E and just wait for Ex3.
  • BattleTech's been feeling this one ever since they introduced the Jihad storyline and the Dark Age, as well as the click-based figure sets. Does the click system streamline the often slow process of play of the original tabletop game while providing fully colored, highly detailed models that represent the units they're supposed to, or does it deviate too far from the Humongous Mecha-dominated setting of the original Succession Wars and introduce a confusing set of inconsistent and easily exploited rules while also removing the unit customization that was central to a player's preparation? While the events of the Jihad and Dark Age are accepted as canon, the acceptance of the click-base game as a sequel to the original wargame is something fans have disagreed on heatedly for some time. A few fans have been shown to Take a Third Option and use the more visually appealing Mechwarrior Dark Age models to play classic Battletech.

  • Love Never Dies, the sequel to Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera. Is it a musically schizoid mess, or just a more modern show? Was the London production better than the Australian one? Does it really give the characters more depth, or just erase all the development they gained by the end of the first installment? Is it canon? Were the changes justified? Any opinion will start a flame war in the phan community, with very few outright defending it but many admitting it has some strengths, while the others hold it as a travesty that should be forgotten about and hated.

    Video Games 
  • The first three Silent Hill games tend to be liked universally among series fans. Every game since has been controversial to some extent, but Silent Hill: Shattered Memories has definitely proven to be the most polarizing entry. Half the fanbase dares to consider it to be one of the best Silent Hill games, and loved how the highly-nuanced story comes together, the other half despises it for abandoning many classic gameplay functions and re-using old characters for no reason. Many saw Shattered Memories (at least in terms of storyline) a return to form for the series' psychological roots. Homecoming received heavier negativity for starting the Replacement Scrappy line of developers. Downpour meanwhile, got hammered before it even released due to the replacement of series composer Akira Yamaoka (who had actually previously offered to score any future SH titles) and gameplay mechanics (sidequests, subways, weapon degradation) that many argue have no place in Silent Hill. Then when Downpour came out, the controversy still hadn't died down. Meanwhile, the next game, Book of Memories, is getting this even worse due to it being a beat 'em up.
  • Kingdom Hearts
  • Sonic Adventure 2. Some liked the level-by-level play as well as the longer levels, and the gameplay variety. Others preferred the overworld hub linking to each level and the shorter levels of the first game, and the other playable characters being optional.
  • Resident Evil
    • Many fans cannot stand the fourth and fifth game because they're not like the original four (and contain horrific Eldritch Abominations). However, some of those who have never played a Resident Evil game before enjoy both of them due to tight controls and an emphasis on action and shooting. Others who have played both think the newer controls are a welcome change to get away from tank controls which were becoming antiquated.
    • In spite of its attempts to cater to both crowds (and then some) via multiple scenarios, Resident Evil 6 has suffered from such a pratfall. Cue one half of the broken base claiming that Capcom has sold out and completely abandoned survival horror for the sake of competing with other titles (such as Call of Duty) and staying fresh, while the other claims it's a well-done next step of the formula introduced in RE4 that simultaneously incorporates the best elements from the classic titles. The fact that Revelations, much closer in tone and style to the pre-RE4 titles, garnered significantly better critical reception is not helping RE6's case.
  • Dino Crisis 2 split the fanbase, with some praising the Actionized Sequel aspects while others criticized the lack of Survival Horror elements from the first game.
  • Depending on whom you ask, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty is either a crowning achievement in gaming or an unspeakable abomination. There is no in-between on this.
  • Fallout 3: Due to being a very different type of game than its predecessors, it is either game of the year by a mile or a lazy rehash of Oblivion with guns, depending on whom you ask.
  • For some fans of Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas. While closer to the original games in atmosphere and story, some fans who preferred the atmosphere and style of Fallout 3 found New Vegas to be lacking. Among the fans of the original games, reception was more positive.
  • Star Fox Command
    • It returned the core game play to pure flying action as opposed to Assault which had way too much on-foot action, but most people didn't like it for a variety of reasons. While the lack of classic rail-stages is a valid complaint, fans also objected to everything else, including the innovative touch-screen controls (or the lack of a classic alternative).
    • Also: that the game is incredibly repetitive. The multiplayer, as well, especially online multiplayer. While it's great on its own, it had one crippling feature: in a three- or four-player battle, if only one player disconnects, the entire match ends, instead of cutting off the quitter and keeping the match going with the remaining players.
    • Furthermore, contested story-wise, with one of the major complaints being the character changes.
  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl:
    • It greatly suffers from this in the communities of the previous games. The nerfing of many characters, the poor character balance, the extremely floaty physics, the slower-paced combat, the removal of many advanced techniques, and the tripping mechanic made many think of this game as a step backward from both Melee and Smash 64. However, many casual players don't care about the above (or even see some as improvements themselves), and enjoy the expanded roster, and the expanded modes.
    • The Adventure mode is contested enough to be considered almost separately. It's either the kind of thing players really, really wanted when they first played the adventure from Melee, making it a favorite mode, or it's overlong, overblown, and just plain subpar.
  • 4X games are very prone to this, especially the Civilization series.
    • Which is probably part of the reason the last two Civilization installments are designed from the start to be easily moddable. That allows fans to do whatever they want, even turn it into a remake of the non-Sid-Meier Civilization: Call to Power.
  • The entire Final Fantasy series. Really, pick a sequel, any sequel.
    • Some, like Final Fantasy VIII, Final Fantasy X-2, and Final Fantasy XIII, get more hate than others, and as the years have worn on, the vitriol has gotten a lot worse. But all three games have large fanbases who will defend them to the death. In truth, all the games get argued over to death. You'd think a series where the sequels are deliberately out of continuity would not have this problem, but it had it even before Square started making direct sequels. And that's not even getting into the broken base that resulted from Square Enix making a Final Fantasy MMORPG.
  • Chrono Cross was destined for this by being the only Chrono Trigger sequel. There are a lot of people who loved the mood of the game, the huge cast of characters, and the fact the plot seemed to delight in tying rather darkly into its predecessor. Needless to say, the other half of the Chrono fandom hates it for those exact reasons. Well, that and the epic Mind Screw Gainax Ending. Most of the fandom agrees that it's a good game in its own right, but the dispute as to whether it's a good sequel to Chrono Trigger is pure Flame Bait. The contested part lies primarily in the fact that the way it ties into the previous game doesn't make it feel like a sequel in the traditional sense due to the whole "multiple realities" thing, and the lack of time travel. The fact that it lacks all of the characterization of the previous game in ORDER to make space for so many characters is why it is despised by so many, when one of the major virtues of the original game was a small, tight-knit, well-characterized cast.
  • Street Fighter
    • The Street Fighter III series is a big hot point among many fans, particularly "old-schoolers" who are more familiar with the Street Fighter II and Alpha games, who claim that parries (the ability to counter an attack without being stuck in block stun) kill the flow of the game, while its fans say that parries are what make the game great.
    • Street Fighter IV tries to find a middle ground; while parries are absent, the Focus mechanic allows something relatively similar in that you can absorb one hit (or, in special cases, two) and exploit the advantage. The original arcade release focused on the 12 original World Warrior and boss characters (plus Akuma) with 4 new characters. The original home release, and then Super and AE editions added more characters from III and Alpha. However, this brings new complaints, in that the hodgepodge of old gameplay elements and characters are accused of being shallow shells of their former incarnations, with little of what made them fun or interesting.
  • In the world of Command & Conquer, C&C Tiberian Dawn is the only game that isn't a sequel, and is consequently the only game that doesn't qualify. Red Alert is contested for being nothing but a Tiberian Dawn remake (Gameplay wise, at least) C&C Tiberian Sun is contested for being too dark and Science Fiction-y, C&C Red Alert 2 is contested for being too damn cheesy (Oh, and the Canon Discontinuity) C+ C Generals is contested for being an In Name Only spin off, C&C Tiberum Wars is contested for its Canon Discontinuity and its striking resemblance to Generals, and C&C Red Alert 3 is contested for cheesy-ness that reaches outright silly, Canon Discontinuity, and lots of other stuff. Lastly, Tiberian Twilight is reviled for its combat system being a significant departure from previous games and being closer to real time tactics than real time strategy. Suffice to say, epic Flamewars have erupted over which games are "good" and which games are "bad." Everyone agrees, however, that Sole Survivor never happened.
  • Ecco the Dolphin: Defender of the Future, mainly due to completely abandoning the older games' storyline for a story written by someone who'd never played them. Fierce wars have been fought, but at this point the fandom seems to have more or less agreed to disagree.
  • Depending on what mood Wikipedia is in on a given week, Vandal Hearts II is either "vastly superior" or "vastly inferior" to the original Vandal Hearts. If you bought the second game after playing through the first expecting more of the same (at least semi-)realistic looking characters, nasty-looking animated monsters, and floating backgrounds, as well as gore, character classes, intriguing narration and CGI cut scenes, you're definitely going to be disappointed to find that all the characters in the second game are now animeish, with tiny bodies, over-sized heads and no mouths, the first monsters you encounter are now just cartoonish snakes, no cut scenes, and character classes are now based on equipment along with enemies that can dodge attacks.
  • Mega Man has entire series that are contested in this manner, particularly Mega Man Battle Network and its followup Mega Man Star Force. RPGs and platformers being such different genres, this is probably to be expected.
  • Hello, Call of Duty: World at War and Modern Warfare 2. It's argued whether the former deserves the merit of being called a sequel despite the change in setting, and it doesn't help that many disliked on the principle it was made by Treyarch instead of Infinity Ward or was a World War II game. The latter's major complaint is that it went too far into the Rule of Cool, hurting the more realistic impression Modern Warfare gave. For PC gamers, the major complaint with Modern Warfare 2 was the lack of Dedicated Servers and mod tools.
  • Deus Ex: Invisible War:
    • Most people don't contest that it was an extremely unworthy attempt at a sequel; the main question is whether it's an irredeemably terrible game in its own right because it was a bad sequel.
    • Averted with precision with Deus Ex: Human Revolution, which was universally liked by the fandom.
    • And then there's a group who would argue it was a fairly solid attempt to hone down an RPG to it's basic elements in the way Mass Effect 2 did and gets unfairly maligned.
  • Regarding Knights of the Old Republic II, most fans agree that the lack of an ending (due to LucasArts wanting the game out for Christmas) sucks. Beyond that? Good luck. Then there's the sequel, Star Warsthe Old Republic, an MMO, with all the usual polarizing aspects about PvP, PvE, "pay to win" with the Cartel market, which class is best, a large portion of the fanbase Rootingforthe Empire, and at least a dozen controversial decisions about the handling of Revan, Exile, and the legacy of their companions.
  • Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World:
  • Banjo-Kazooie:
    • Nuts and Bolts. Some believe that it's a fun resurrection of the franchise, some think it's a good game but not a Banjo-Kazooie game, and some say that it destroyed any chance of a more traditional Banjo-Kazooie game being released.
    • Banjo-Tooie as well. While the game play was virtually unchanged from the original (aside from some new moves for Banjo and Kazooie), the worlds were about triple the size, and each was connected to other worlds in some way, thus necessitating some backtracking in order to get some of the Jiggies. While many fans loved and embraced these changes, other fans of the original preferred the smaller worlds and being able to get all of the Jiggies in one sitting.
  • Tetris The Grand Master 3. Some TGM fans view it as an improvement on TGM2, raising the challenge through faster speeds and at the same time making the game more intuitive to play through a 3-piece preview, hold piece, and a fix for the problem involving trying to rotate an I piece into a hole one cell wide. Others see these features as dumbing down TGM and the increase in speed as Fake Difficulty.
  • Although definitions of sequel may differ here, Xenosaga is often contested when it's remembered that it was meant to be a spiritual successor to Xenogears. Although set to be done under a new company, Xenosaga was originally toted to be the beginning of a massive multi-episode story only hinted to in Xenogears—done the way it was meant to be. Exciting prospects of fleshing out the massive back story of 'gears in such an epic fashion, and a possible remake of Xenogears itself somewhere down the line enticed many fans who were enthralled with the cultish appeal of Xenogears but found it less than completely...complete. However, a variety of problems from internal screw-ups and bitter feelings between the staff—as well as what some would consider awful execution of the first Xenosaga game eventually led to the series almost completely changing direction and staff by the second chapter. By the third and final Xenosaga game, any notion of it being a spiritual prequel to Xenogears had been scrapped (aside from the occasional nod), as the series—originally meant to span generations with each game—concluded in the third as one generation with most of the original story threads tied up in a hurried fashion. As expected, fans are still split to this day. Though most were let down by this lost potential, some accepted Xenosaga as its own entity and defend it as its own entity—while others see it as one of the biggest botch-ups in video game history when comparing what it became to what it could have become. Some say perhaps the original vision in general was just too ambitious to begin with as well, we'll never know for certain.
  • Grand Theft Auto IV. Some love it for its realism, rich characters, production values and gritty nature, while others chastize it for those very things, preferring the zany, cartoony, over the top style of Vice City and San Andreas.
  • Similarly, Saints Row: The Third is a contested sequel to Saints Row 2 which is widely considered to be a great game by fans of the series. The third game went a lot Denser and Wackier than its predecessor, and whether that's a good or a bad thing is a substantial topic for debate amongst fans. Not to mention some other things missing from the second game (less clothing customization in return for what you do have looking better, etc).
  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
    • It may have been adored by critics and the general public, but is a contested sequel for fans of Morrowind. Not only do many claim that it was dumbed down for console users and casual players, but it took on a far more generic art style than the previous game. The expansion pack Shivering Isles fixes the latter, at least.
    • This used to be a problem early on for Morrowind with Daggerfall fans, but it's died down a little since Morrowind's release. In this vein, a lot of old-school Elder Scrolls fans in general have complained about one or the other facet of Oblivion's gameplay. Oblivion did shake things up.
    • Eventually, Morrowind and Oblivion fans made peace with one another. The subsequent contested sequel is Skyrim, which is often praised for its enormous world and content, beautiful environments and more dynamic design, while also frequently being accused of butchering the "true" RPG elements the series held so far and seemingly not having learned anything from previous games as far as writing quality, locational variety/depth and especially pacing goes.
  • Backyard Baseball 2001 and Backyard Soccer: MLS Edition. Some people say that it is better than the original because of the pros and MLB/MLS teams, making a perfect "Dream Team," and others hate it because of those same pros.
  • Mass Effect 1's most frequent complaints centered around the vehicle driving system and the cluttered inventory management system. Mass Effect 2 dropped the systems entirely, replacing inventory with a system of upgrades and vehicle driving with promised DLC. Dropping the inventory management and weapon skill stats, placing more emphasis on player skill then player level, and reducing the need of the pausing to deliver commands system tilted the game much more towards third person action adventure shooter from the RPG.
    • Mass Effect 3 is considered by the majority to be a return to form gameplay wise, with its smoother gunplay, more complicated leveling up system, large variety of weapons, and the return of weapon modding. The story itself, however, has drawn a lot of criticism from some fans, and not just the ending.
  • Maker's breath, Dragon Age II.
    • Take away the tactical RPG elements that made Dragon Age: Origins a callback to the oldies like Baldur's Gate and replace them with an emphasis on hack n' slash combat. Take away the epic storyline of saving the world and replace it with one (wo)man's journey to just... well... survive. Add a simplified item crafting system, and a Suddenly Voiced main character, and you've got all you need for a nice, long discussion about its merits as a game on its own and as a sequel. On the other hand, many fans praise the writing and the unusual storyline (which starts as a struggle for survival and develops into a clash between Well-Intentioned Extremist factions) as a refreshing departure from the usual CRPG "save the world" type of plot.
    • Origins actually got some flack as a Contested Spiritual Successor to BG for similar reasons. It was initially criticized for being a poor tactical RPG due to class imbalances.
  • Freedom Force vs. The Third Reich split the fanbase. The additional powers were nice. The new characters were well developed. The plotline was good (although the disappearing teammates angered people who liked those character and/or had invested a lot of experience in them). But they dumbed down the power consumption mechanic from a wide spectrum to three possible values of one-third, two-thirds, or all of your power bar, which nerfed many of the concepts, and minor changes in the engine meant most of the third-party models no longer worked in-game.
  • Go to a Sierra fan board and ask if King's Quest: Mask of Eternity is a King's Quest game. Then ask them if it's a good game. Make sure to bring chocolate, marshmallows, and graham crackers for the inevitable cookout.
  • Supreme Commander 2 removed the epic scale maps and unit options in return for intimate battles and more detail, making it easy for casual gamers to fight short battles. Combined with changes to the resource system and a graphical downgrade this basically erased everything the fans of the first game liked.
  • The first three Crash Bandicoot games and Crash Team Racing were made by Naughty Dog. Everything after that is hotly contested. Some say Crash Bash was still good, some say more or all of the games were good, and a very small portion only like the new games.
  • Doom 3 is either a scary survival horror interpretation of the classic franchise, or it's a "flashlight simulator" that tosses out everything fun about the first two games, while keeping all the things players grew to loathe about them.
  • Tomb Raider Legend was a reboot of the series by a different developer, with as much changes as that implies. Let's just leave it to the Broken Base whether this is the point where it grew the beard or jumped the shark.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • Any console game that follows Ocarina of Time is immediately Love It or Hate It among fans and gamers. Majora's Mask, for example, was not widely liked at the time of its release for being too different from Ocarina of Time (and darker) but some fans consider it the best game in the series. The subsequent games, The Wind Waker and Twilight Princess, went as far as causing an internal Fandom Rivalry, as they respectively departed from the formula and followed the formula, both to praise and criticism. Even Skyward Sword, which tried to reunite different aspects of each previous Zelda games, including visuals (a paint-like blend of the The Wind Waker and Twilight Princess styles), has backfired significantly reception-wise, with as many fans saying it's the worst game in the series as fans saying it's the best.
    • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link became a contested sequel long before the post-Ocarina trend. There are fans who welcome the RPG and platformer elements of the game, while others prefer the traditional format instead.
    • The Wind Waker itself has spawned contested sequels as well, Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks.
  • Roller Coaster Tycoon 3. While many people enjoy Atari's reboot of the franchise, some "purist" fans believe that Atari ruined it. Most of the complaints are due to the obvious beta nature of the game. The main cause of this was a switch to new developers.
  • Lego Racers 2. It tried to be anything except a sequel to the original. If anything, it tried to be the polar opposite. The game was a lot more open than the original (It had a Diddy Kong Racing-esque Adventure Mode), the power-up system was changed to randomization (in the original, you had four colors for different types and could add three additional levels of power to it), the controls were changed to be more realistic, there was a new car damage system, and every world now has five courses taking a different route through the world. These changes led to a wide variety of opinions, and nowadays it's best not to express an opinion on it.
  • Island Xtreme Stunts, compared to the first LEGO Island (it's considered a Surprisingly Improved Sequel compared to LEGO Island 2). On one hand, it is a welcome return to the free-roaming sandbox approach of the first game, now combined with the increased freedom in movement introduced in the second game, and gives us a much larger island to explore, plus a hefty dose of Awesome Music provided by L.E.G.O. Radio. On the other hand, it has unprofessional voice acting, carries over its predecessor's poor platforming (which becomes apparent, once again, when you must ascend the Brickster's tower), and has numerous Game Breaking Bugs including one particularly infamous one which corrupts your save file. Some fans of the series also feel that the Extreme Sport Excuse Plot felt out-of-place in the LEGO Island setting, while others don't mind it at all.
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Justice For All is quite contested. On the plus side, the addition of the Magatama makes the investigation segments more interesting, while the trials are constrained to two days instead of three. The negatives are the unevenness of the cases, ranging from "Farewell My Turnabout" - generally accepted as one of the best of the Ace Attorney franchise - to "Turnabout Big Top" - featuring several of the most hated one shot characters in the series, as well as almost no relevance to the surrounding cases.
  • Every installment of the Monkey Island series has been contested by some fan or other. Some people don't like Monkey Island 2's darker tone, The Curse of Monkey Island's cartoony style (and lack of Gilbert, Schafer, and Grossman), Escape from Monkey Island's poor graphics/controls/grasp on the series continuity, or Tales of Monkey Island's episodic style.
  • Castlevania II Simons Quest attempted to take the platforming gameplay of its predecessor and build an Action RPG around it. Its reception was mixed enough that Castlevania III kept well away from its RPG Mechanics and continuity.
  • Condemned 2: Bloodshot added a great deal of depth to the melee combat system, sharpened the graphics, and put in much more interesting forensic investigation. You either like it for those, or you dislike it for abandoning the creepy slums and giving the plot a ludicrous twist.
  • There are exactly three camps the fandom has taken to in regards to Metroid: Other M. It is either:
    • The first true Metroid game in 3D rather than some wonky FPS like the Metroid Prime series, and a fun throwback to the old classics like Metroid II and Super Metroid.
    • An average game with fun but flawed gameplay and a lackluster story, which had a lot of potential but didn't live up to the higher points of the series like Super Metroid or Metroid Prime.
    • Easily the worst game in the series, being overly linear with nonsensical additions added to the classic formula, horrible voice acting, and an insulting and sexist plot completely at odds with the rest of The Verse.
  • Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. Is it an interesting game with beautiful scenery, fun new powerups, and old-school difficulty, or is it a glorified Mission Pack Sequel with Fake Difficulty through the roof, unnecessary ammo mechanics, a story worthy of a bad romhack, and key-collecting ripped straight from an early-90s FPS?
  • Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire: Some fans consider it one of the best games in the series thanks to the Scenery Porn and better graphics; others felt it was too much of a Continuity Reboot and consider it one of the worst in the series. This was not helped by how some innovations the last set of games brought were stripped out, such as trading Pokemon with the previous games, morning/day/night, and being able to visit the previous games region. There were obvious technical reasons for this, but it does make the game feel like a smaller and shorter experience compared to Gold & Silver.
    • Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 are also susceptible to this. Some fans also consider it one of the best in the series due to its large Pokémon selection and many new features such as the new legendary Pokémon forms, the Pokémon World Tournament and Black Tower/White Treehollow, and being a continuation of the story from the originals. Others have deemed it for its weaker story elements, and claimed that it introduces nothing original or new to the series. Additionally, while the original Black and White were criticized for being too easy, the sequels have often been criticized to be even worse on that matter.
    • And in the spinoff section, we have Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity. Some people like it for conveniences such as Companion Mode, new items, and the 3D environments for the Pokémon in the dungeons. However, it has been largely panned for some of the gameplay elements that were added, its arguably weaker story, and only having 144 Pokémon, most of them from the fifth generation. To add on to that, the text speed in cutscenes moves very slow and it can't be sped up by pressing A, which is another thing for players to dislike about it.
  • In The Sims 2 fan circles, The Sims 3 is jokingly referred to as "The Dark Side." While the game has its fair share of fans, many Sims 2 players write it off completely. Reasons vary from being too attached to their Sims 2 projects to not liking the way Sims 3 sims look.
  • While Harvest Moon: Back to Nature is a popular game within the series, being the source of the series most popular titles, it is the Mission Pack Sequel to the game often considered the best in the series. Similar to this is Tree of Tranquility and Animal Parade, the latter getting major flak due to the slower pacing.
  • Yoshi's Island:
    • The DS sequel was fairly well received critically bar the music, but fans of the original are divided over whether it's a good game or as good as the original. You can also say the same about Yoshi's Story (and with that one, there are some people who like the former tend to dislike the latter and vice versa).
    • Yoshi's New Island caused controversy among fans because of the complete retcon of the first game's ending. There are also mixed opinions over the quality of the new music featured in it, or the fact it was by Arzest.
  • StarTropics II: Is it an Even Better Sequel or a sequel that lacks the punch its predecessor had? Both games have their fans (and sometimes they like both games). However, some fans of the first don't like how in the sequel, it can be easy for Mike to get killed by monsters due to no Mercy Invincibility. Another common complaint was the addition of time travel to the plot, most of which had nothing to do with the tropics. This angered some of the fans of the first game. It's still by no means a bad game or a bad sequel.
  • Dynasty Warriors 6. While most fans will say it sucks, there are a significant number who actually enjoyed the game. Almost everyone agrees that the others are better, though.
  • All games in the Wario platforming series after Wario Land 4, because each has different gameplay mechanics and game design. Do you prefer Wario World the 3D beat em up/platformer, Wario: Master of Disguise or Wario Land Shake It? Because the fanbase is pretty divided on which was the best direction for the series, and there are even a few who hate all three games as well.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
  • Duke Nukem Forever is considered this for several factors, such as not living up to the previous game, playing like the old game it was based on, Follow the Leader, and several controversial issues that we don't need to go into here.
  • Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc, had half the fanbase think it was the last good Rayman game before Origins hit, while others think this was the game that made the series go downhill for several years, and preferred the large, exploration-based levels of Rayman 2 The Great Escape.
  • Rayman Origins has now taken the crown from Hoodlum Havoc as most contested game in the series. Some think it was a great return to the series' roots, some enjoyed it but not as much as the previous entries, some think it was a disappointment, and then there are the people who haven't even played the game, but claim that it's terrible all because they changed Rayman's character (never mind the fact that he's younger in this one, which is why he's acting so silly) and that if you like it, you haven't played the old games. Seriously.
  • While many fans of the Heroes of Might and Magic series despise the fourth installment due to turning the heroes into regular units (and allowing you to have your entire army composed of 7 uber-powerful heroes) and other gameplay changes, as well as destroying the old world developed in the first three games as well as Heroes Chronicles. Others actually enjoy finally taking their heroes into the thick of battle and like exploring the new world. Then comes the fifth game, developed by a completely different company (in Russia), creates yet another world, this time completely unrelated to the rest of the franchise, changes the game mechanics (the heroes are once again merely generals, but still get their turn, during which they can attack or cast), and adds 3D graphics. But wait, there's more. The sixth game is made by a third developer. The fans are probably confused by this point.
  • By the same token, Disciples III features a significant departure from the previous two games in terms of graphics, storyline, battle mechanics (units can now move Heroes-style), changes in types of leaders, resource management, etc. Once again, the fan base is split.
  • Imperium Galactica II upgrades the series to 3D graphics. However, battle mechanics have changed as well and, in most fans' opinion, were dumbed down. Space Fighters can no longer be directly controlled. Instead, the player can adjust the Attack-Defend behavior scale. However, fighters are also almost useless in this installment. The first game focused the fleet on the flagships, a special class of powerful ships that were the only ones who could carry invasion forces. The sequel removes the flagships and instead allows each capital ship to carry a certain number of tanks.
  • The Donkey Kong Country series:
    • A lot of people fight over whether DKC1 or DKC2 was the best of the series. Or DK64.
    • DKC3 had many enemies as a reskin of enemies from the previous game with the same functions and the rest not being as memorable. The story has Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong going missing and has the player use Dixie Kong (who grew popular in the 2nd game) along with her baby cousin, Kiddy Kong. Kiddy was an overgrown baby that functioned like Donkey Kong (strong but slow) and his character, along with him throwing a tantrum every time he loses a life, didn't win anyone over and he was seen as a cheap replacement of Donkey and/or Diddy. The secret ending seemed to have been thrown in haphazardly as it shows the giant banana bird attacking K. Rool by dropping a huge eggshell on him in a comical fashion. This is compared to secret ending in the 2nd game where K. Rool's crocodile island sinks to the ocean and he sails away in the distance while the Kongs watch from a distance. DKC3 also suffered from item hunting where in order to progress, you had to find certain items and if you wanted to see the hidden ending, you not only have to find even more stuff, but you also had to trade items with other characters all over the world map. The previous two games had their own item quests, but it was more simplified. Donkey Kong 64 expanded upon the item collecting to where players can only get the best ending by finding everything.
    • DK64 is considered by some to be the best DKC game due to its huge levels, emphasis on exploration, and the ability to play as many different members of the Kong family. But at the same time, it's considered by some to be the worst DKC game due to its emphasis on item collecting in order to get the true ending.
  • Drakengard 2 wasn't directed by Yoko Taro, and it shows, such as with the replacement of Caim with the much more generic Nowe and a lighter atmosphere overall. On the other hand, the gameplay is significantly improved, and those who found the first game gave them a bad case of Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy might prefer a less gloomy game.
  • Prototype 2 featured a new protagonist, new writing staff, and a greatly refined gameplay system. Quite a few fans were upset at the new protagonist, especially given that the previous one was now the Big Bad. After the game came out, fans were split over those who felt the new protagonist was a genuine improvement, and those who didn't (many also felt that the villain's motives, given in side materials and never even explained in-game, were out of character). While there is more consensus that the gameplay was improved, whether that made up for the perceived story faults is subject to debate.
  • BioShock 2 contains only a few of the characters and none of the settings from the first game, is only tenuously connected to it, actively retcons a number of aspects of it (such as the introduction of Sofia Lamb, who despite apparently being a prominent feature in Rapture before its downfall isn't heard of until this game) and has some fairly nonsensical elements (as Yahtzee pointed out, the player plays a Big Daddy, but a prototype Big Daddy who can run and shoot guns and use plasmids; so why is the prototype better than the finished product?). Add to this that the first game made absolutely no room for a sequel and you may understand why a number of fans simply pretend it doesn't exist.
    • BioShock Infinite is criticized for leaving the System Shock 2 and BioShock roots, tossing away the ammo scavenging, enemy research, hacking, different ammo types for a lot more combat.
  • While Team Fortress 2 is extremely popular, many of the fans of the original Team Fortress Classic were not happy with the changes Valve decided to make to the formula for the sequel and have not accepted it as a successor to TFC in favor of the mod known as Fortress Forever, which is more faithful to the original Team Fortress mod for Half-Life. However, there are also fans of the original Team Fortress who prefer what Valve did in TF2 instead and take it as the natural progression from TFC (helped slightly by nods from Valve themselves to TFC itself occurring in TF2's murky past).
    • The Fortress Forever vs. TF2 debate was also very contentious because Fortress Forever came out the week before TF2 did, and it felt very much like deliberate counter programming; not only did the mod have quite a few issues when it launched, but some of the decisions made to further distance itself from TF2 post-launch happened at the expense of gameplay balance. Ironically enough, by the time Fortress Forever had become a much more polished experience, it had (begrudgingly?) adopted some of the improvements TF2 made to the core experience (keep in mind this was all before TF2 had basically turned into the totally different beast it is today).
  • Pac-Man Championship Edition DX to the original PMCE. While some players enjoy the massive ghost trains, varied mazes, and intense speeds, various players find that DX is too focused on following a strict and rigid path compared to its predecessor.
  • DoDonPachi DaiFukkatsu, particularly version 1.5. The over-the-topness of the gameplay is either a fun diversion from past games' strictness, or a mockery of its own series.
  • jubeat saucer. Fans like it because it is always being updated with new songs to play, but detractors are turned off by the monthly deletion of songs; not only were non-Konami originals not removed until saucer, but this is the first BEMANI game to delete songs through udpates.
  • Company Of Heroes 2 and Rome Total War 2 were both heavily contested sequels due to the DLC commanders, the single player campaign for COH 2 and the poor optimization for Rome Total War 2.
  • Thunder Force V and VI. VI wasn't well received by some fans due to the game being short and easy.
  • Assassin's Creed III received its fair amount of praise for its unique direction, naval warfare, and for its portrayal of the antagonists. It was also criticised by fans for its glitches, scripted missions, a poorly written story and and unlikable protagonist.
  • Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs is praised for it's story, improved voice-acting, and sound design, and criticized for it's length, lack of horror, and removal of many gameplay elements from the original.

    Western Animation 
  • Ben 10: Alien Force as a series when compared to Ben 10. Despite being said to be the sequel, many consider Alien Force to be a different continuity from the original series. This is due to the characters not simply being older but appearing to be entirely different people (especially Kevin). It also contradicts many things in the past series, some getting explained away, others not.
    • Amazingly, it turned out those sequels had more fans than it appeared, judging how many fans are already outraged by the new sequel Ben 10: Omniverse that attempts to make the show more like the original show...which works for some fans of the original, but ironically hasn't for many others who feel that Omniverse doesn't succeed at it's goal by going too overboard in the Denser and Wackier department.
  • Batman: The Animated Series
    • Its sequel series, The New Batman Adventures. Airing on a new station, the creators and cast returned, for the most part, and the art got revamped for the sake of smoother animation and to match the style used for Superman: The Animated Series. But controversy was afoot; all the characters got a redesign, either minor or major. Batman, Robin and Batgirl looked fairly similar, and the new grisly Scarecrow was loved by pretty much everyone, but Joker, Two-Face, Croc, Baby Doll, Poison Ivy and Riddler weren't received nearly as well. The tone of the series is said to have suffered as well, with the focus widening to include Robin and Batgirl in most episodes. However, the series still produced some very memorable episodes, such as "Over the Edge", "Old Wounds", and "Mad Love".
    • Later, Batman Beyond. On the one hand, it had a distinctive aesthetic, an excellent soundtrack, and a neat "What If" style look at the future of Gotham. On the other hand, it had a real tightrope to walk between leaning too hard on Bruce's past and classic villains and introducing new characters and conflicts that had a bad habit of feeling a little... high school. Of course, it was doomed to be hated by some segment of the fandom from the moment they made the decision to put someone besides Bruce Wayne in the Batsuit.
    • The Batman was tossed into this the moment it was announced. Though the show was unrelated to TNBA and was a reboot, some TNBA fans felt it didn't live up to "the standard." Eventually the show grew into its own path and found its own unique take on the characters.
    • Batman: The Brave and the Bold
    • Beware the Batman
      • Some fans absolutely love it for elevating lesser-known heroes like Katana and Metamorpho, as well as using Batman's lesser known villains and generally avoiding treading the same ground as the previous Batman shows. On the other hand, some people hate the show for this exact reason, stating that the exclusion of characters like Robin, Catwoman, and The Joker takes away some of the most iconic elements of the Batman mythos.
      • The tone itself is subject to this; some people love that the show has the same Darker and Edgier feel as Batman: The Animated Series, while others argue that the cartoon takes itself too seriously.
  • The Legend of Korra is either a great continuation of the original series, or a series filled with unrealistic ways to tie up loose ends, little Character Development outside of forced romances, and having the first season end with a one-hour Series Fauxnale.
  • The second of the My Little Pony TV Specials, Escape from Catrina, gets this. It lacks the dark atmosphere of the previous special, none of the ponies from the previous special appear, Megan got a Girliness Upgrade combined with her becoming the leader, the animation style isn't as realistic, and it has A Very Special Episode feel. It's still considered far above My Little Pony And Friends though.
  • The Ren & Stimpy Show's "Adult Party Cartoon." Many fans of the original show criticized the show's revival for being completely different than the show they grew up with, for being too dirty, and for being poorly written. However, fans of the APC praise it for going back to John K's roots and original ideas, which were snatched away from him when he was fired and Games took Spumco's place. Fans of the APC praise the show for its humor (which they claim wasn't THAT dirtier than the original series,) the noticeably smoother, more dynamic animation, and the writing. While non-fans despise the show for having "ruined" Ren and Stimpy, fans call the APC a "masterpiece."
  • Season 3 of the Total Drama series, World Tour. It has its fans, but there is a rather vocal portion of the series fandom that dislike it. Reasons include belittling some fan favorites (Ezekiel, Bridgette, and Izzy and Noah) and continuing the Courtney/Duncan/Gwen love triangle, a plot which many found tiring even during the season before (it doesn't help that the reason as to why it was continued this season was a result of Executive Meddling).
    • The reaction to Action, the second season, was much worse. Their reasons include major Flanderization of almost every single character, especially Izzy, Trent, and Courtney. Coupled with comparatively lackluster jokes and the side-lining of fan-favorites Cody, Noah, and Ezekiel, a major portion of the fanbase saw World Tour as an improvement, even given that season's base breaking nature.
    • Revenge of the Island was, of course, getting this long before it aired due to replacing the entire cast of contestants with newcomers.
    • Both half's of Season 5 got this too:
      • There's the 1st half All-Stars... Which is the shortest explanation possible started out rather promising by seemingly fixing a few of the problems brought on by World Tour like having Gwen break up with Duncan and fix her friendship with Courtney. But it was all thrown away in "Sundae Muddy Sundae" by having Courtney suddenly revert back to her old competitive and vicious self from Action with plans to backstab Gwen which in turn rendered most of the season completely pointless, before concluding with The Scrappy Spotlight-Stealing Squad characters being the final two.
      • And the 2nd half Pahkitew Island in which they pull a "Sundae Muddy Sundae" from the aforementioned 1st half of the season by making a main ongoing arc throughout pointless which in turn made most of this half of the season completely invalid.
  • Any Transformers series is compared negatively to G1 by purists, but the rest of the fandom often bickers on how good some series are compared to each other.
    • Beast Wars is nigh-universally considered one of the best, if not the best, Transformers series ever made. It's sequel, Beast Machines... Not so much. Even then, BM has some fans who claim that, while it's not as good as BW, it's still a good series.
    • Transformers Prime was initially loathed by fans of Transformers Animated for being a Replacement Scrappy. While a lot of fans of TFA enjoy Prime to some extent, there's still a divide in fans who consider Prime an unworthy successor or an Even Better Sequel to TFA. It mostly comes down to whether you like the Darker and Edgier tone of Prime (which has often been described as being the live-action films if they got rid of the Toilet Humor and put more focus on the robots) or the Rule of Fun and Rule of Cool that Animated contains.
      • The gap just widened with the second season, which generally seems to be a mixed bag. A few fans who were on the fence about the show are expressing their willingness to give up on it, following their disappointment over the pacing problems, tediously slow character development and unsatisfactory payoffs to interesting story ideas. Allegedly, this is partly due to Executive Meddling, as the show's 2nd and 3rd seasons had to be merged together in order to get to the new toys faster.
  • Recess: Taking the Fifth Grade, which acts as both a sequel to Recess: School's Out and Recess in general is either a decent movie or mediocre. General consensus is that the film is pretty good, but not as good as Recess: School's Out, and that's is a good film by Disney's Direct-to-Video standards.
  • Teen Titans Go!, while not technically a sequel to Teen Titans, still gets this treatment frequently leveled at it. The divisive aspects of it are the Hilarity Ensues plot and the simplified, more "cartoony" animation, making it feel even more like a "kids' show" than the earlier series. As the series went on, fans also began to take issue with the fact that the comedy is a lot blacker and more mean-spirited than the original show was, and a lot of the show's humor revolves around the characters being terrible to each other.

  • A strange case pops up with TRON. Disney wasn't all that interested in making a sequel, but Steve Lisberger got permission to shop around the idea of a video game. This became TRON 2.0, a First-Person Shooter that, despite getting released in the same summer as Final Fantasy X and Knights of the Old Republic, was still a modest success. The game spawned a comic book miniseries by Slave Labor Graphics. Between the two, it helped convince Disney there was enough interest in a sequel. Queue TRON: Legacy, the Betrayal comic, the ARG, and TRON: Uprising that put 2.0 into Canon Discontinuity. Some fans prefer 2.0 to Legacy, citing 2.0's attempt to translate modern computer systems, and feeling the look and tone are closer to the original. Some prefer Legacy's Darker and Edgier take. Others will just shrug and say both could be canon by making a few tweaks to both timelines. (It helps that Flynn vanishes in both, and that no one knows Tron's fate in 2.0's continuity)

Changing of the GuardSequelDolled-Up Installment
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