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Initiator Imitators Description Misc. Winner?
Baraduke (1985) Metroid (1986) Spaceman with a full yellow suit and a secret shoots their way against hordes of strange aliens in dark, drab caverns, occasionally meeting friendly alien species. Baraduke was an arcade shmup game released in July 1985, thus being technically the first game revealing at the end that the hero is a girl (later named "Toby Masuyo" by Namco). Metroid was released about a year later on the NES and was an action title but much more based on exploration, so much that a new genre was named to describe it. Baraduke spawned only one sequel on the arcade market three years later and is all but forgotten. Metroid's legacy goes on to this day on Nintendo consoles, and its name describes an entire game genre based on exploration, which it helped to codify. Plus, The Reveal at the end became a trope, even if Kissy/Toby was there before Samus.
Star Fox (1993) Silpheed (1993, Sega CD port) Sci-fi-themed shooting games with state-of-the-art graphics (for the time). Star Fox introduced Nintendo's Super FX graphics chip, while Silpheed was a Japanese PC game remade to demonstrate the Sega CD's video-streaming capability. Star Fox is a rail shooter, Silpheed is a vertical shmup. Star Fox was a smash hit and enjoyed many sequels on other Nintendo consoles, though Sequel Displacement is partly responsible for that. Silpheed, on the other hand, received a lackluster PlayStation 2 sequel followed by an In Name Only reboot on the Xbox 360.
Game Tengoku : The Game Paradise! (1995) Virocop (1995) Arcade coin-op Shoot-em-up vs. Amiga Action Game 1995 games about virtual characters (old arcade game mascots/an antivirus program) shooting their way through several fictitious [arcade/computer] video games in order to save them from [a mad scientist/a virus program] who wants to take control of [an arcade game center/a virtual reality theme park]. Several references to, and parodies of, gaming history ensue. Hard to tell. Virocop is a Cult Classic at best, and remained a standalone title, while Game Tengoku received a sequel, that however remained a Japan exclusive, and it's mostly remembered by hardcore otaku. Let's just say they're popular in their own little niches.
Die Hard Arcade (1996) Die Hard Trilogy (1996) 1996 licensed games based on the Die Hard franchise. Arcade was released in arcades and on the Sega Saturn, being a Dolled-Up Installment reskin of an unrelated game called Dynamite Deka. It's a beat-'em-up similar to Streets of Rage, but with an overhead perspective, similar to the following year's Fighting Force. Trilogy, a PlayStation exclusive, is more-or-less a Minigame Collection, consisting of 3 modes corresponding to the first three Die Hard movies. Arcade is generally viewed as the better game, though Trilogy sold well enough to get a sequel. Arcade got a sequel too, but as Sega couldn't secure the license, it was released stateside as Dynamite Cop 2.
Pokémon (1996) Digimon (1997)

Monster Rancher (1997)
Mon games made into popular anime where you play as a kid and fight other monsters. Digimon started as a digital pets series. Pokémon by a long shot. It's one of the most popular game series ever, with dozens of games and even more adaptations. Digimon is recalled more as a cartoon and Monster Rancher is a Cult Classic.
Kingdom Hearts (2002) Epic Mickey (2010) Applied very broadly, two games featuring a Darker and Edgier Disney than you remember featuring a more adventurous Mickey and some plot elements based around hearts. The first is an Action Adventure Series RPG created by Tetsuya Nomura that blends characters and elements from Square Enix's Final Fantasy with Disney's own Animated Canon (and then some) and stars Sora, an Original Character by Square. The second, on the other hand, is a Genre-Busting platformer, shooter (along with some RPG elements) created by Warren Spector that serves as a rebirth for Mickey Mo use and brings back old and forgotten Disney characters into a new light. This infuriates fans on both ends, particularly the Epic Mickey side. While both games are completely different from one anothernote  the fact that both games have an emphasis on a "heart" is enough for fans to sometimes label Epic Mickey as a "Kingdom Hearts Ripoff". Nonetheless, as it stands, Disney has stated that it was because of Kingdom Hearts that allowed them to decide to rethink and retool their most iconic character. Epic Mickey took a critical drubbing and is a strong paragon of divisiveness, while the Kingdom Hearts game released closest to Epic Mickey, Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, is pretty much a PSP Killer App. Plus the second Epic Mickey game didn't fix crucial flaws out of a misplaced belief that they added charm to the game, leading to Disney white-washing the series, its developer, and game leader Warren Spector.
Imperial Glory (2005) Empire: Total War (2009)

Napoleon: Total War (2010)
Turn-Based Strategy with Real-Time Strategy set during the Napoleonic Era with fully 3D units. Empire Total War was the first of the Total War series to feature guns, cannons and Naval battles which Imperial Glory did it much earlier 3 years before Empire's release in 2009. Imperial Glory was generally received as a fair game but suffer rough edges. Both Empire and Napoleon Total War were universally acclaim by both fans and critics.
Dead Rising (2006) Left 4 Dead (2008) Heroes find themselves in the middle of a massive zombie outbreak, being attacked by hundreds of enemies at once. Dead Rising is an action game, focused on a single character who wields Improvised Weapons, while Left 4 Dead is a first-person shooter focusing on a group of survivors armed to the teeth. In terms of popularity and critics, it's another draw game. L4D 's multiplayer-geared mechanics made it a fan favorite on Steam and Xbox Live, while Dead Rising provides a fun experience from not taking itself entirely seriously by providing an entire shopping mall worth of weapons; however, L4D has an edge in that it does not have Escort Missions, which were the bane of many a player in Rising (especially the original).
Sonic Rush Adventure (2007) The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (2007) DS games about characters sent to a colorful faraway archipelago. They meet a character who can build nautical vehicles and must scrounge for parts to build from. Navigation is done by drawing paths to follow with the touch screen. The fourth stage in both games is a haunted ship with a green tinge. Ship-sailing in Sonic Rush Adventure is simply a means to get to the next Zone, whereas Phantom Hourglass's gameplay is more intimately tied to island life. Marine picked up shipbuilding at the start but left the job to Tails; Linebeck continued to help Link to the end. Phantom Hourglass, being a Zelda game and the first for the ever-popular Nintendo DS, sold like hotcakes. Sonic Rush Adventure had relatively minuscule promotion and marketing, and despite critical acclaim, was the worst-selling Sonic platformer in several years.
Spectrobes (2007) Dinosaur King (2008)

Fossil Fighters (2008)
Late-2000s Nintendo DS Mons games with a fossil excavation mechanic. More specifically, they have the same cycle of search for fossils, excavate fossils, battle. The battling is the main difference between the three: Spectrobes is action, Dinosaur King uses a modified version of Rock-Paper-Scissors, and Fossil Fighters is turn-based with some tactical elements. Both Dinosaur King and Fossil Fighters use dinosaurs as their Mons and have silly anime-style plots with a Terrible Trio, while Spectrobes has the Mons as an alien race and a more serious story. Spectrobes originally took the lead by quickly getting DS and Wii sequels and a series of kids' books. However, it burned out after a few years and hasn't been heard from since. Fossil Fighters never got much hype but it gets a sequel every few years; and so wins on longevity. Dinosaur King is better remembered as an anime and the game is largely forgotten.
Nicktoons: Globs of Doom (2008) Cartoon Network FusionFall (2009) 2008-09 Cartoon Crisis Crossovers where the enemies are slime aliens. Globs of Doom is the fourth and last in the Nicktoons series of action games, while FusionFall is an MMO. They were released within months of each other, with similar "evil slime alien" plots. It should also be noted that Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network are already dueling channels... FusionFall lasted long enough to become completely free after two years, and remained in operation until 2013; meanwhile, THQ quietly let Globs of Doom slip into forgotten history.
Fallout 3 (2008) Metro 2033 (2010) A first-person game where a young character leaves their underground home and explores the post-apocalyptic ruins of their country's capital city, fighting mutants and struggling to save their home and family. Fallout had a pulp-inspired retro-futuristic style while Metro had more realism. Fallout was a Role-Playing Game while Metro was Survival Horror. While Metro is no slouch, with a confirmed sequel, Fallout was the clear winner. With millions upon millions of sales and multiple Game of Year awards, the decades-old Fallout franchise has smashed the Polygon Ceiling and re-emerged as one of the premier Western RPG franchises.
Captain Rainbow (2008) Epic Mickey (2010) Both games star a character (whose name appears in the title) that travel to a world of forgotten characters and helps them to feel better about themselves. Captain Rainbow goes to an island of old Nintendo characters, while Mickey travels to a parallel world full of forgotten Disney characters. Captain Rainbow was only released in Japan Epic Mickey is not greatly known, but it's far more popular than obscure Captain Rainbow (Not being exported probably didn't help). Besides, EM had a very well-known protagonist, while CR had a Captain Ersatz.
Minecraft (Survival Test 2009; release 2011) Everybody Edits (2010) Sandbox Indie Games with no plot. Both games have large blocky environments that can be modified live with other players, and a notable fandom that shares players' creations. Minecraft puts its main focus on Survival Mode and complex, realistic interactions with a 3-D Procedurally Generated world. Everybody Edits is a 2-D Level Editor with simple, unrealistic features as in a traditional Platform Game and empty worlds to be filled by players. Minecraft, no doubt. It is one of the best-selling games of all time, while Everybody Edits has not reached anywhere near that level of size, success, or fame.
Radiant Historia (2010) Tactics Ogre (2011, PSP remake) Eastern RPG with time-travel gameplay mechanics and political intrigue Radiant Historia has a more typical battle system, with the wrinkle that you can manipulate enemy positions on a grid, sort of like Mega Man Battle Network; the ability to time travel to see differing timelines is actually an ability of the main character, rather than just the player. Tactics Ogre is a Turn-Based Strategy RPG that allows the player to rewind up to 50 turns in a battle and go back to key story points and follow up on multiple branching story paths. Tactics Ogre sold better partially because it marks the return of franchise with a lot of cachet, but both games have received strong critical receptions.
Deadly Premonition (2010) Heavy Rain (2010) An FBI agent who tries to apprehend a Serial Killer who only kills in rainy days. While these two may have the setting of investigation, they have different backgrounds. Deadly Premonition is really paranormal, while Heavy Rain is realistic. Deadly Premonition got little press on release and combined with being a budget-priced Xbox 360 title, sold very poorly, but it has ended up attaining Cult Classic status. Meanwhile, Heavy Rain sold 2 million copies and was hailed with critical acclaim.
Heavy Rain (2010) L.A. Noire (2011) Interactive crime dramas with highly cinematic storytelling. Both games have been put forth as evidence in favor of the argument that video games have artistic merit. L.A. Noire was originally planned as a PS3 exclusive, but wound up going multi-platform after a few years as vaporware. Heavy Rain, published by Sony, remained a PS3 exclusive. In addition, while Noire goes for the feel of old 1940s Film Noir, Rain is more inspired by modern crime dramas and psychological thrillers. Critically, it's a draw. Both have been hailed as being among the greatest games of this generation (though both have their detractors), and their Metacritic and GameRankings scores are within a hair of one another. Financially... it's also a draw. While Noire sold three million copies versus Rain 's two (being a multi-platform release as opposed to Rain's PS3 exclusivity helped on that front), its long, drawn-out and highly troubled development cycle meant that it still lost money, causing its developer, Team Bondi, to shut its doors within less than a year. Rain developer Quantic Dream, meanwhile, is still alive and kicking.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (2011) The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2011) Installments of two Long Runner High Fantasy franchises for the 2011 holiday season. And for what it's worth, they both have "sky" in their titles. Skyward Sword is the first Zelda game to feature 1:1 motion controls and fully orchestral music, and was made for the series' 25th Anniversary Milestone Celebration. Skyrim has an updated graphical system, a strong emphasis on dragons, and plenty of Sequel Escalation (over 300 hours of content), which is saying a lot for an Elder Scrolls game. Lastly, Eiji Aonuma, the man currently in charge of The Legend of Zelda, has stated that he is a fan of Skyrim. Skyrim took a slight lead in reviews, though it needed a few patches due to technical issues. Skyrim handily won in sales, despite Skyward Sword being the fastest selling Zelda game to date, possibly because Skyrim was available on three platforms instead of one. Skyrim is sean as one of the defining games of the seventh generation, while Skyward Swords isn't considered a stand-out title in its franchise. Several years later, Skyrim would receive a Nintendo Switch port containing Zelda-related content, with the same system launching with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Skylanders (2011) Disney Infinity (2013) Games where characters are unlocked and used through toy figures (sold separately) Skylanders uses mostly original characters (with a couple from Spyro the Dragon), while Infinity leverages Disney's stable of characters. Disney Infinity also focuses more on Wide Open Sandbox and Level Editor elements (ala LittleBigPlanet), while Skylanders is more of a Hack and Slash. Skylanders edged out Infinity in critical acclaim, but both games performed extremely well at retail. Even so, Infinity lost money for Disney and ended after three years, while Skylanders had been going for five at that point.
Skylanders (2011) LEGO Dimensions (2015) The second round of "toys-to-life" duels, after Disney Infinity bowed out (though all three briefly competed with one another). The gameplay of LEGO Dimensions borrows heavily from the puzzle-platformer Lego Adaptation Games. Where Skylanders and other toys-to-life brands use immobile figures, Dimensions uses actual LEGO sets and involves manipulating the toys themselves, both rebuilding the sets in alternate configurations and moving them around on the "portal" scanner for different effects. Like Infinity, LEGO also has Crossover appeal by involving several licenses that would never meet otherwise, like DC Comics, Lord of the Rings, Doctor Who, and even Midway Arcade. Both series petered out midway through 2017, with Skylanders failing to release a new entry for the first year since its launch and Lego ending new expansions a year short of its three-year plan; overall signaling the end of the toys-to-life fad. Since Skylanders lasted longer altogether (six years vs. Lego's two), it takes the trophy.
Hotline Miami (2012) Retro City Rampage (2012) Top-down Retraux indie games released in October 2012 set in the late 1980s that use the gameplay and aesthetics of 1980s video games to comment on the sociopathy of video game violence. Retro City Rampage is an open-world Grand Theft Auto clone—in fact, it started out as a Demake of Grand Theft Auto III—while Hotline Miami is a stealth/run-and-gun/beat-'em-up hybrid inspired by the 2011 film Drive, based around quick, brutal ambush attacks similar to the sudden bursts of violence in the movie. Hotline Miami was the bigger critical and commercial hit, though both were well-received.
Telltale's The Walking Dead (2012) The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct (2013) Adaptations of Robert Kirkman's comic book and TV show The Walking Dead. The former is a third-person Adventure Game based on the original comic book featuring a largely original cast and story, while the latter is a First-Person Shooter based on the TV show that stars Daryl and Merle. Telltale's game wins this one in a landslide. It was hailed by many as one of the greatest games of 2012, and a landmark for interactive storytelling, episodic gaming, and digital distribution alike. Survival Instinct, on the other hand, received a far colder reception, seen as a rush-job that exemplified The Problem with Licensed Games.
Far Cry 3 (2012) Tomb Raider (2013) Open-world action-adventure games built on survival (the former is in third-person perspective, the latter in first-person). Returning to the island settings, the story of FC 3 focuses on Jason Brody, a survivor who escapes pirates and joins with the villagers to fight back and save his friends. However, as a result of the violence he's inflicting on others, he gradually begins to lose his sanity... Crystal Dynamics decided to take a Darker and Edgier turn for their reboot of Tomb Raider. Featuring a younger Lara Croft, the reboot strands her on Yamatai, a Japanese island that is taken over by members of a malevolent cult. Ubisoft Montreal gave FC 3 a Darker and Edgier treatment as well. Tomb Raider and Far Cry 3 were both critical darlings upon being released to the public. Square Enix originally declared the Tomb Raider reboot to be a financial failure, and it would take a while for the game to reach the company's high expectations. Ubisoft, on the other hand, was overjoyed with Far Cry 3 selling 4.5 million copies, and has since released a stand-alone spinoff/expansion in Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon and a next-gen sequel.
PAYDAY 2 (2013) Grand Theft Auto V / Grand Theft Auto Online (2013) Crime shooters, focusing on multiple protagonists, Bank Robberies, and other heists. Online, GTA V's multiplayer component, allows co-op heists, similar to PAYDAY. In addition, V and Online are open world third person shooters with vehicles, whereas PAYDAY is a linear first person shooter. PAYDAY 2 was released to critical and commercial acclaim, with very little advertising. The game was able to recoup it losses via preorders alone and enjoys a healthy fandom on both Reddit and /v/. GTA V, however, is the winner here, generating over $800 million in day one sales and near universal perfect scores.
Infamous Second Son (2014) Titanfall (2014) Sandbox game vs. a First-Person Shooter A product of the Console Wars, Second Son and Titanfall are the first big exclusives to come out for the PS4 and Xbox One, respectively (That Titanfall is also coming to the PC and Xbox 360 is usually ignored). Thus, despite the difference in genres, each game is regularly compared to the other in almost any Console Wars discussion. King of hard to call, While Titanfall scored somewhat better reviews and sold more across all three consoles it was released in, it in general sold below expectations and ultimately failed in its main objective: To be the Killer App that pushed the Xbox One ahead of the PS4. Second Son, meanwhile, got good reviews and excellent sales despite only being available on the PS4, and unlike Titanfall, did not have a massive amount of hype and marketing behind it.
The Order: 1886 (2015) Bloodborne (2015) Third Person Shooter vs. Action RPG PS4 exclusives (where SCE's studios co-developed both games) that take place a Gothic Victorian setting, praised for their graphics but criticized for limiting themselves to 30 FPS. The former is about a group of immortal knights who fight werewolves, while the latter is a spiritual successor to Dark Souls, and has a silent protagonist explore a corrupted city searching for answers (and also fighting werewolves). Bloodborne, hands down. While both games look amazing, The Order: 1886 didn't live up to its hype; ending up as a bland cover shooter that failed to capitalize on its interesting concept. Bloodborne on the other hand has met with critical success, building upon the formula of Dark Souls while at the same time carving out a distinct identity for itself. This extends to sales; while The Order: 1886 was by no means a commercial failure, Bloodborne exceeded expectations, saw more success, and spawned a DLC.
Galactic Civilizations III (2015) Stellaris (2016) Space-based strategy games that allow the player to lead a civilization from having just discovered FTL travel to building a galactic-spanning empire. Most notably Stellaris is an RTS while GalCiv3 is turn-based. Both have tech trees, democracy, Video Game/Civilization-esque social policy mechanics ("Ascension Path" in Stellaris, "Ideology" in Gal Civ 3), and warfare. GalCiv3 has more in terms of customising the looks of your ship, though both games have a fair amount of weapon loadout tweaking. GalCiv3 also has a United Nations expy similar to Video Game/Civilization. Hard to say. Galactic Civilizations III received slightly more favorable reviews compared to Stellaris at release, however over the following years patches, updates and expansions to Stellaris have brought ratings near-identical. In terms of sales, Stellaris has twice as many owners on Steam as GalCiv3. Consensus comes down to whether a person prefers real-time or turn-based strategy games.
Pokémon GO (2016) Pokémon Sun and Moon (2016) Two games based on the Pokémon franchise, both released in 2016 as part of the franchise's 20th anniversary. Sun and Moon is a main-series Pokémon game that follows similar mechanics to its predecessors, and was developed by Game Freak and distributed by Nintendo, while Go is a spin-off game that is more similar to Video Game/Ingress than any other Pokémon game, and was developed by Niantic. Sun and Moon follow a much more story-oriented route than most other main series games (and definitely much more than Go), was developed for the Nintendo 3DS, and contains all seven generations of Pokémon. Go is focused around catching Pokémon through Virtual Reality, was developed for smartphones, and upon release only contained 145 Pokémon. It is possible that Go's popularity may have directly influenced Sun and Moon's financial success as Nintendo's most pre-ordered game and the top game of November 2016, due to Go bringing Pokémon into the public eye once more. The winner is hard to tell. Go was extremely popular and topped the App Store charts for summer 2016, but brought with it a load of controversy. Sun and Moon, while very popular, did not become the mainstream cultural phenomenon that Go did, but received much better critical reception, had the advantage of being a main Pokémon game rather than just a side game, and (due to not involving real-world exercise or requiring a connection to infamously poor servers) avoided the massive controversy associated with Go. It should also be noted that Sun and Moon have set sales records for Nintendo while Go was dethroned by Super Mario Run in app sales later the same year.
NieR: Automata (2017) Mass Effect: Andromeda (2017) Third-Person Shooter vs. 3rd person Hack and Slash Both were AAA titles released around the same month note  and spin-offs to popular franchises, though the Nier/Drakengard games are very niche compared to Mass Effect, which has a more wide audience, and they were hit with their respective controversies prior to their releases involving artistic choices and PC porting. Based on Metacritic's ratings, Andromeda had a greatly divisive reception for many, many reasons, with even the most positive critics noting while a enjoyable game on its own right, it was a step down to the original trilogy's quality. Automata by contrast was much better received by both the public and critics.
Yooka-Laylee (2017) Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (2018) 3D platformer vs. Metroidvania Both titles were spawned as efforts of the giants of the genres (the original Rare team and Koji Igarashi, respectively) to be spiritual successors to their most acclaimed works (the Banjo-Kazooie and IGA's entries in the Castlevania series), and were funded entirely from crowd-sourcing in effort to remain independent from big name companies. Both titles launched their campaign in early May 2015, leading to a bit of (friendly) friction between their blocs of supporters. Hard to tell at this point; each funding campaign has absolutely demolished their original goal and met many spiffy stretch goals. Bloodstained, however, has more funding and backers due to Iga launching a very aggressive advertisement campaign.
Destiny 2 (2017) Monster Hunter: World (2018) First-person shooter vs. action adventure game Both titles are online enabled games focused on grinding loot drops from quests. Both titles launched within months of each other during the 2017-2017 Holiday season, which caused many to take note of how the audiences for both games could possibly overlap thanks to their somewhat similar, loot-driven gameplay. Destiny 2 has received a lot of flak for its questionable DLC practices tied to loot box mechanics that affect the game's progression. Monster Hunter: World on the other hand has its gear progression not at all tied to any form of DLC. Additionally, it also has free DLC content coming in the future. This has caused quite a number of players from the former to move to the latter. While it may be too early to call this (future updates could still swing the tide), Monster Hunter: World seems to have the edge for now.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (2017) Super Mario Odyssey (2017) Action-adventure and 3D platformer games made by Nintendo that both took more Wide Open Sandbox approaches to their respective franchises and were released for the Nintendo Switch in its first year. Each game takes a Revisiting the Roots approach as well, with Breath of the Wild looking back to earlier non-linear games in The Legend of Zelda series (especially the very first game), while Odyssey looks back to the earlier collectathon 3D Super Mario Bros. games such as Super Mario 64. The games also have varying levels of non-linearity: after completing the tutorial section of Breath of the Wild, players can visit any area and complete any quest in any order they want (up to and including marching straight to the Final Boss after said tutorial), whereas Odyssey requires players to pass a few plot flags before being able to reach new levels and unlock access to all the collectibles in previous levels. Each game also has a different approach to DLC: Breath of the Wild released alongside a Season Pass that gave access to two extensive DLC packs that released later in 2017, whereas Odyssey only got a free DLC update a few months after release and continued minor additions (costumes and hidden object challenges) for a little over a year, until the end of 2018. Both games were critically acclaimed, to the point that they were considered by many not just the best games in their franchises, but two contenders for the best game ever. Odyssey sold better, reaching 9 million units sold between its late-October release and the end of 2017. Breath of the Wild sold very well too, though; it was such a Killer App for the just recently released Switch that it managed to outsell the console itself for the first month or so on the market and became both the fastest-selling and best-selling Zelda game by its 1st year anniversary.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (2017) Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (2017) Action-adventure and JRPG games released for the Nintendo Switch in its first year and worked on to varying extents by Monolith Soft. While Xenoblade Chronicles 2 was entirely a brainchild of Monolith Soft, Nintendo managed to poach scores of Monolith workers to help render the game world of Breath of the Wild. This required Monolith to hire some external artists to finish designing Xenoblade Chronicles 2, which explains why the designs of the Blades have many noticeably different artstyles. Both games use the season pass model of DLC. Breath of the Wild. As mentioned above, it became the best-selling Zelda game by the end of its first year and was one of the most critically-acclaimed games of all time. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 sold a much lower but still respectable 1 million units, making it the best-selling Xenoblade game up to that point. Review-wise, Xenoblade got mostly good reviews but frequently caught flak for unpolished elements and the controversial designs of several female characters.
Bendy and the Ink Machine (2017) Cuphead (2017) 2017 indie video games that pay heavy tribute to the early portion of The Golden Age of Animation. Both games also feature demonic entities as the main antagonists. Despite the similarities above, both games are extremely different in tone and story. Bendy is an episodic survival horror game starring a retired animator returning to his former workplace after decades and uncovering the mysteries of what happened to the place and its workers, with the game's art style largely being computer-generated but with an overall style similar to that of 1930s animation, specifically Walt Disney Studios. Cuphead is a much more lighthearted run-and-gun game that stars two anthropomorphic cups trying to repay their debt to The Devil by collecting contracts from his other debtors, and the game's artstyle is completely hand-drawn and produced in much the same way as 1930's cartoons, specifically Fleischer Studios. Whereas Bendy's sountrack is largely more muted and tense as with most other horror games, Cuphead has a much more bombastic and more period-accurate soundtrack, with saxophones, pianos, and barbershop choirs galore. Both games are very popular, but Cuphead is the likely winner, having a higher Steam rating, at least a million more Steam sales than Bendy, and having received many more awards. However, both games have very Friendly Fandoms, and the creators of Bendy have expressed a desire to somehow do a crossover with Cuphead.
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