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It's the Same, Now It Sucks!

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"The most dramatic difference [is] the addition of a masturbation scene. That's appropriate, since this new Psycho evokes the real thing in an attempt to re-create remembered passion."Roger Ebert, who rated the remake 1.5/4.
"The attitude of Halo 5 seems to be that if you keep chewing the bubblegum maybe the flavour will eventually somehow come back."

Fans have a tendency to want to be surprised. They don't just want another rehash of the same things that they had last year, they want something new and different, yet the same basic characters/story/gameplay/etc. Often they claim that they want a perfect, line by line recreation of their favorite comic book, but there are also the inherent problems with transferring any form of media into another. Obviously the balance between keeping things similar while still making it work is difficult to maintain, which often results in an Unpleasable Fanbase.

More often this is a video game trope, due to the nature of the industry. Sports games in particular are targeted because they are based on a game that already exists with set rules; there are only so many ways to change or improve the gameplay, user interface, and physics. The situation isn't very compatible with the companies' insistence on releasing new versions every year.


With video games, if it warrants a sequel obviously people enjoyed playing it in the first place. So you really do not want to mess around with the general set-up, but you can always tweak it around to give a new experience. But with fans being the way they are, you'll usually get one side praising the changes with another side wanting the old game back. An Updated Re-release is sometimes unfairly judged according to this, but it is also justified.

Video Game Long Runners will be all over the spectrum, with some games remaining faithful to the core design while others will use an entirely different style. Some gaming mainstays get this from fans claiming the formulas are growing stale. Of course, they'll then complain about attempts to change said formula just as vociferously as they complained about stagnation, to the point where it's obvious the games can't win. A game series typically gets this reputation when they release one too many Mission-Pack Sequels.


Just like They Changed It, Now It Sucks!, sometimes the complaints of the fans are legitimate, in that trying to hold onto the past gameplay can become a fundamental flaw. It's also important to note that this will happen to people who are usually not fans of the work in the first place, yet expect it to be radically different sometimes to the point of when they lose the original fans. People who aren't fans of the work will typically pull this argument specifically because they do not notice the differences in between individual works and have a very minimalistic view of genres or series as a whole. It can and often is also a major source of Seasonal Rot, as continually repeating a formula usually leads to diminishing returns that usually culminate in something that is widely disliked.

This trope must be distinguished from They Copied It, So It Sucks!, where different material is considered to be too similar. With It's the Same, Now It Sucks, the problem is that different installments of the SAME THING (such as remakes, adaptations, parodies, sequels etc.) are considered to be too slavishly imitative of their original material.

See also Sequelitis, Status Quo Is God, Capcom Sequel Stagnation. On the opposite end of the spectrum is They Changed It, Now It Sucks!. It is mostly impossible to balance It's the Same, Now It Sucks and They Changed It, Now It Sucks, due to a general trend of Unpleasable Fanbase between the two.

Works with their own pages:


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The Gundam franchise gets criticized because fans feel that certain Homages have been thoroughly beaten to death by over-use. Prime examples include Falling into the Cockpit, the Doomed Psychic Girlfriend, and more recently "UNDERSTANDING"note .
  • Mainly the reason Slayers Revolution/Evolution-R didn't go over too well with the fans. But it's true that they did bring back a series 10+ years later just to retread the first season and bring back a villain who's already been killed twice, and not bother to advance the rating of the series but air it at night during the adult crowd...
  • If you've only seen the 2003 anime adaptation of Fullmetal Alchemist and haven't read the manga, you might feel this way about the remake Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. Sadly, some who feel this way haven't watched past the first 13 episodes, which is when it gets to the part where the 2003 anime started being different from the manga. Those who read the manga, on the other hand, might find adaptations like Brotherhood pointless for this reason - they don't add anything to the manga you've already read. See also the Sailor Moon Crystal example.
  • The Pokémon anime gets hit with this a lot, in the west at least. While it still has its fans, people who grew up with the show initially tend to find the anime to be predictable and bland, citing the lack of a strong central story and the formulaic nature of the episodes.
  • Berserk:
    • A major criticism of Berserk: The Golden Age Arc is that it adapts the Golden Age Arc, the same one covered by Berserk (1997), but in roughly half the running time, meaning that several subplots and minor characters had to be cut or massively condensed. So It's the Same, But Less of It, Now It Sucks, and fans who have been waiting for decades to see post-Eclipse content animated get to keep on waiting. It doesn't help that the animation isn't much better than it was fifteen years ago, just uneven in a different way, with stiff, low-poly CG models replacing Limited Animation and Pastel Chalked Freeze Frames.
    • Berserk (2016) was hit by a combination of They Changed It, Now It Sucks! and It's the Same, Now It Sucks. On one hand it was ridiculed as a particularly ugly-looking example of an All-CGI Cartoon, making the much-maligned CG in the Golden Age movies look good just by comparison, so it was seen as a step down from the visual styles of the previous adaptations and unable to hold a candle to the quality of the manga's artwork. It also skipped most of the Black Swordsman Arc and cut out the Chapter of Lost Children, the latter of which fans were especially hoping to see animated, and was full of Narm moments caused by poor models and sound effects as well as camera movements that were completely bizarre. From about episode four onwards, however, the show stuck painfully close to what was presented in the manga, and the exact sequence of shots was copied panel-by-panel from the pages of the manga. Many panel sequences that worked well as manga pages did not work well when translated directly into 3D anime, and despite the shots corresponding with the manga images, there was a large amount of unecessary camera movement. On the whole, many fans felt like they were watching an inferior imitation of the manga instead of something new and interesting, and since the hurried conclusion of the second season introduced some new plot holes by skipping the rescue of Princess Charlotte and failing to introduce the Moonlight Boy, it did not even succeed as a literal adaptation of the story.
  • Continuity Reboot anime Sailor Moon Crystal is as subject to this as it is They Changed It, So It Sucks.
    • There's a fair number of people who feel that a Shot-for-Shot Remake of a manga they'd already read, covering the same territory as the live-action series and the first season of the old anime, wasn't what they got excited for when they first heard Sailor Moon was coming back.
    • Similarly, several main poses from the old Transformation Sequences and In the Name of the Moon speeches were recycled in Crystal. While many fans feel this is a nice nod to the original, others were expecting more creative, entirely new transformationsnote .
  • This was the reaction of many watchers of Love Live! Sunshine!!. For the first half of its first season, at minimum, the plot was arguably beat-for-beat the same as the original series, with lampshading thrown in. The plot direction in later episodes implies that this was a deliberate writing choice.
  • One of the biggest criticisms of Eromanga Sensei even among fans is that the story is basically a re-hash of the author's previous work Oreimo. Boy finds out his sister is a closeted otaku/Covert Pervert, he bonds over her secret which eventually leads to Brother–Sister Incest, an Elegant Gothic Lolita is involved with the Harem, etc. Just add more controversy by making said sister even younger than Kirino.
  • While "sucks" is a bit too harsh of a word in this case, one common criticism of Mary and The Witch's Flower is that it's fairly by-the-book, following the beats of a stereotypical Studio Ghibli film with little to no deviation from the expected norm.
  • One Piece: In general, most One Piece arcs tend to follow the same formula and, while some argue that each arc manages to have its own identity and different feel, other fans have gotten sick of the formula and the series has gotten too repetitive. It doesn't help that its length means there have been many arcs and therefore it's very easy to find the plot-formula. Many fans compare Dressrosa to Alabasta. In both arcs, the Straw Hats seek to defeat one of the Seven Warlords of the Sea, who is trying to/has taken over a country, although both main villains are completely different aside of their Warlord status, and they gain help of that country's princess and an honorable Marine. Several members of Doflamingo's crew have similar powers to the members of Baroque Works, but are otherwise polar opposite when it comes to the characterization of the crews.
  • In Sword Art Online: Alternative Gun Gale Online, Squad Jam 3 ends up being functionally very similar to the first two. Since there's less at stake, (namely no one's betting their lives this time), and Karen/LLENN was rather apathetic about participating, some readers found little reason to care.

    Asian Animation 
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf:
    • Some people don't like Joys of Seasons, Smart Dodging, and the other seasons that share the plot of season 1 because they would prefer if each season had its own unique plot.
    • Some people think Everyday Pleasant Goat is boring because it's literally just clips from older episodes. They prefer to watch the actual full episodes that the clips originally came from.

    Comic Books 
  • In general, the heavy reliance on Status Quo Is God and Sliding Timescale among DC and Marvel creates a sizable rift in the fanbase between this trope and They Changed It, Now It Sucks!. Those who decry the sameness particularly point to the recycling of plots (see the entry for X-Men below) and the fact that characters are never allowed to grow or change in the long term as indicative that the industry has stagnated. Stories like One More Day have become especially divisive for smashing the reset button with a vengeance, while the static nature of the universe means that it's incredibly difficult for new characters to establish themselves, since they will inevitably be sidelined in favor of the "iconic" characters reclaiming their old prominence.
  • Strikeforce failed mainly because most of the people who might have otherwise read it were already reading Savage Avengers.


    Films — Animated 
  • Disney fans and outside observers share this viewpoint from time to time, particularly about Disney's 1990s Renaissance films. The formulaic princess stories, the wisecracking sidekicks, the musical numbers, and the happy endings embody both what we love about the Disney Animated Canon when they do it right, and what we roll our eyes at when they do it for too long in one stretch (and what rival studios have since attempted to imitate). Expect all fairy tale animated movies to be met with this trope, with certain fans and non-fans agreeing that things have a tendency to get too predictable, and yet Lord help Disney when they try to change things up. The public goes batty every time.
  • The Lion King (2019) was deeply criticized for just being the original animated movie remade with photorealistic graphics (which downright didn't qualify it as Live-Action Adaptation, unlike The Jungle Book (2016), made by the same director, which at least had a human) and padded to two hours with scenes barely expanded on certain side characters.
  • In April of 2016, Ratchet & Clank (2016) came out for the PlayStation 4. Two weeks later, Ratchet & Clank (2016) came out in theaters. A lot of the cutscenes from the game are included wholesale in the film, and a lot of fans just felt there was no point seeing the movie when they already had a superior and playable experience right at home.
  • Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation sticks to mostly the same formula as its two predecessors, though whether or not this does it favors seems to be a point of contention.
    • Also applies In-Universe: Drac, at least initially, thinks the idea of a cruise ship is inherently pointless, telling Mavis (and, later on, Murray and Frank) that it's just "...a hotel on the water!"

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The page image compares the 1960 and 1998 versions of the film Psycho. Gus Van Sant basically made a shot-for-shot remake of Alfred Hitchcock's film, only it was in color and had stereo sound. The film was thrashed by critics and audiences for that reason.
  • James Bond:
    • Complaints had been lodged over older installments of the series for "sticking too much to the James Bond formula" with gadgets and one-liners, especially towards the end of the Brosnan era. In fact, much of the praise for Casino Royale came from dodging this trope like the plague.
    • Quantum of Solace: After the mindblowing awesome of Casino Royale, critics were admittedly disappointed with it by comparison to the first since it was more of the same but with less of the bite that goes with being fresh.
    • One of the major criticisms of Spectre is that thanks to all the Mythology Gags, it sometimes feels more like a "greatest hits" compilation of the past Bond movies rather than its own film.
  • The movie version of Watchmen has been criticized for following the comic too closely. Many professional critics felt that by cramming the structure and pacing of a 12 issue comic into a single film, the adaptation becomes incomprehensible to anyone unfamiliar with the original source material, especially in the theatrical release. It was also criticized for changing too much. Lose-lose situation either way.
  • Guy Ritchie falls victim this trope as well as its inversion. His first film Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels was an indie success and critical darling for its fresh, vibrant style. When Snatch. came out, Ritchie got heat for rehashing his first film. So he did Swept Away, in a completely different genre, and everyone hated it. When he returned to the crime thriller genre with Revolver (2005), he decided to add an Evil Plan and an Anvilicious Aesop, causing everyone to hate it so much that it didn't even see wide release in America. Ritchie then released Rock N Rolla, an obvious attempt to recapture the violent underworld hijinks of his first two films. By this point, people seemed to have lost interest in his original style and the film tanked. While his adaptation of Sherlock Holmes received mixed reviews, one of the points of criticism was that Ritchie's style isn't appropriate for the Great Detective... it seems the guy can't win either way.
  • The Live-Action Adaptation of Speed Racer was lambasted by critics because of this. Since it was directed by The Wachowski siblings, they went into a live-action film based off a well-renowned anime and expected to see The Matrix with cars... and were legitimately surprised that they got a live-action film based off a well-renowned anime that fully captures the campiness of the original.
  • One of the key points of criticism raised about Casino on its release was that it treads a lot of the same ground as Goodfellas, also made by Martin Scorsese. The fact that it was longer and slower-paced didn't do it any favors either.
  • Some of the most ridiculous Hype Backlash for Titanic (1997) will enumerate the characters and scenes that are too similar to previous Titanic movies without realizing that all of them are depicting the same, real event. As if there was not enough Romantic Plot Tumor to bash...
  • The first sequel to The Gods Must Be Crazy is often accused of suffering from this. Same slapstick with a vehicle, same revolutionary villains, same prim and proper lady losing her clothes, etc. The only two things that were really different were more exotic animals and more action.
  • When The Grudge 2 came out, most critics admitted to liking the scenes set in Chicago; similarly, the plot of the three schoolgirls was seen as typical horror fare, but mostly avoiding any true detriment. The plot of Aubrey, however, came under fire for rehashing her sister Karen's investigation into the curse from the first film.
  • The Hangover Part II has been critiqued for falling prey to this. The wedding backdrop, the missing character, even Alan being entirely responsible for the events of the previous night. Some full scenes are taken shot-for-shot from the original.
  • The Home Alone movies follow this formula. The second movie tried to change the setting to New York City, the third had different characters (who still had striking similarities to the previous characters), and the fourth introduced a third robber but otherwise, they were almost identical movies.
  • The remake of Let the Right One In, Let Me In, was criticized for being too similar to the original film. Especially since director Matt Reeves had actually hyped up his film as being an adaptation of the (very different) novel but instead just copied the Swedish adaptation verbatim, right down to concepts and scenes that were exclusive to the first film. It got positive reviews, but the critics' general attitude was "It's good because the original was."
  • Men in Black II was criticized for recycling most of the first movie without much improvement to the original story. Men in Black 3 got much the same. After fifteen years in the MIB, Agent J still somehow plays the part of the newcomer who faces something from the organization's past which he was ignorant of.
  • Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and Terminator 2: Judgment Day (a Tough Act to Follow to boot) are so similar as far as the plot goes that it's easy to identify the similarities of both movies. Some key moments and characters are transplanted almost directly. A thorough analysis can be read here.
  • A common complaint against The Lone Ranger is just that it's simply Pirates of the Caribbean in The Wild West. Tonto is Jack, The Lone Ranger is Will Turner, The Royal Navy replaced by the U.S. Cavalry etc.
  • The most common criticism reviewers have had about Avengers: Age of Ultron, even many of the positive reviews: they've increasingly noted that it's done very little to break any new ground after the first Avengers film. To a lesser extent, this has started applying to the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, with many stating that the movies have begun to feel increasingly formulaic. Ant-Man and Doctor Strange (2016) in particular received criticism that they were too similar to the first Iron Man film.
  • A criticism made by detractors of Cinderella (2015) is that the film is mostly a straight-up remake of the original animated movie. However, some fans prefer this to the film being too different. It's really more a case of personal preference.
  • Star Wars:
  • The 2011 remake of Footloose suffered this criticism for changing little aside from technology updates (iPods for cassette players, etc.) and minor character revisions. Many critics argued that the premise of a small town banning rock music and dancing, which already strained credibility in 1984, was impossible to buy in 2011.
  • The Ghostbusters (2016) movie draws a lot of inspiration from the original Ghostbusters movies. While it does its own thing in different parts of the movie, you can see similar aspects throughout the whole thing. Even the Sequel Hook is connected to the first movie.
    Patty: What's "Zuul"?
    • Though this trope hit harder with Ghostbusters: Afterlife. The movie ran on Pandering to the Base, bringing back just about everything from the original movie, including a Suspiciously Similar Subtitute to Slimer and downright having the ending be the same, with Gozer again being the villain and a reunion of the original team. While fan reaction was overall positive, those unimpressed among reviewers and audiences complained about that overreliance on nostalgia that led to repetitiveness.
  • Bigger Fatter Liar is essentially a rehash of the original Big Fat Liar from 2002, right down to having a hero named "Shepherd" and a villain named "Wolf". The only difference is that it's a video game idea stolen rather than a movie.
  • The first movie in the Transformers Film Series was generally well received by critics and fans alike. With each subsequent sequel however, a common major complaint was that they basically repeat the first film from the plot-points to use of Macguffins to the character types, with critical scores reflecting that. By the fifth film people were able to accurately recap the entire movie without watching it just by assuming it will remain Strictly Formula.
  • DC Extended Universe
    • Although director Zack Snyder intended his Superman movies to be completely distinct, many people are still peeved that he used General Zod and Lex Luthor from the Richard Donner movies as the main villains. Several fans feel that had Snyder used other Superman villains like Parasite, Brainiac, and Mister Mxyzptlk, he would've been able to further distance his films from the Donner movies while also avoiding any unfavorable comparisons to them.
    • Justice League (2017) was criticized for recycling too many concepts and ideas from the previous DCEU movies. The plot of an evil alien terraforming the earth is nearly identical to that of Man of Steel and Steppenwolf's design was too similar to Ares's from Wonder Woman (2017) right down to the horned helmet and basalt armor. Zack Snyder's Justice League actually fixes those issues, by giving Steppenwolf a unique design and with the effect of the Mother Boxes's Unity being a different kind of catastrophe.
  • Neill Blomkamp is being criticized by some on the fact that, after his promising and much-praised film debut District 9, he's essentially recycling the same story and themes but with increasingly worse results. Namely, anvilicious films set in squalid South African suburbs in the near future, having the actors paired with aliens/robots and other special effects, and lots of stylized violence; all things that come from his earlier short films, which were then expanded into his feature films. It's telling that he hasn't done a proper film since 2015's Chappie.
  • This is quite a frustrating issue with the Final Destination films: someone is in the midst of an enjoyable event when they die in a prolonged, horrific massacre... only for that person to be fantasizing it all (and while using the exact same zoom-out-of-the-pupil shot every time), they survive (for now), but then even more people die than they initially thought and things just get worse from there. The only things that alter from sequel to sequel are the elevated number of fatalities and the level of gruesomeness involved in the deaths.
  • Jurassic World was seen as too similar to Jurassic Park by some, because the plots are very similar. The main difference is that only a few guests were previewing the park in the original film whereas the sequel had the park open to the public when the dinosaurs escaped.
    • Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom gets a common gripe that the first act of the film is basically a soft rehash of The Lost World: Jurassic Park: a group of environmentalists make an excursion to a fallen dinosaur theme park to save the dinosaurs from a smug and greedy businessman who takes them to the mainland where they predictably escape and cause havoc. This one is particularly arguable because the scenes on the island make up only a small part of the film's runtime and the film goes in a very different, untrodden path for the climax, becoming something like a Gothic Horror.
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is set in the same universe as Harry Potter, but was billed as simply being about a wizard naturalist going around and finding magical animals. It turns out that along the way he gets caught up in the battle against Grindelwald, HP's Predecessor Villain who, like Voldemort, is also driven by Fantastic Racism against Muggles, has lots of Nazi subtext applied to him and will wind up getting the Elder Wand. Some fans are excited, others would have preferred if it just stuck to cool animals, specially as the sequels focused on the rise of Grindelwald and brought back Dumbledore to further put the spin-off in the same ground thread by the original.
  • Gamera: The sequels of the Showa series following Gamera vs. Gyaos are often criticized for adhering too strongly on repetitive stories, on top of lower production qualities with each installment. From Gamera vs. Gyaos up until Gamera: Super Monster, the story was always about a revolving cast of little boys who befriend Gamera as he fights a new Monster of the Week (often the vanguard of an ineffectual Alien Invasion), where he fails the first time but beats them during the rematch after the clueless adults try to kill the monster but completely fail. Ultimately, this helped to kill the franchise, twice over, until the Heisei series revived it in the 90s.
  • While The Batman (2022) was well-received overall, a number of both critics and fans of the character bemoaned that it was yet another Batman film that leaned hard on the cynical side of the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism after The Dark Knight Trilogy and his appearances in the DC Extended Universe, wishing that he could star in a film that was at least tonally balanced again.

  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (both book and film) have met criticism for following the structure of the first installment rather too closely. The formula did decay rather quickly after that, though. Executive Meddling figured into that with the book. Rowling originally put a lot more into Chamber of Secrets but had to take it out to appease the publisher. She had to play catch-up in Half-Blood Prince because of this.
  • Terry Pratchett's Discworld series features a constantly rotating cast of familiar characters and, after a run of some twenty-plus books, unsurprisingly they started receiving criticism from some fans and critics for trotting out the same jokes, character observations and traits. Whether in response to such criticisms or not, the series picked up again by introducing a new wave of regular characters and gradually retiring some of the older ones.
  • When other playwrights adapted Agatha Christie's murder mysteries for the stage, Christie herself felt that these adaptations were hampered by following the original books too closely. This prompted her to start adapting the stories herself, and she was ruthless in making changes that she felt were necessary.
  • Ernest Cline gained a lot of acclaim and recognition for his first book Ready Player One, about a clever teen who competes in a gigantic easter egg hunt inside a worldwide MMORPG played by everyone to escape the misery of the Crapsack World they live in. The book was packed with references to every facet of The '80s' popular culture, but they were integral to the story since the programmer that created the MMORPG was a young man in the Eighties and this led everyone to become familiar with these cultural artifacts to win the game. Cline tried to repeat himself with his second book Armada, about a teen video gaming champion who uses his ability to lead a battle against real alien invaders. It was a flop, however: the number of references increased even more, this time with no real reason to them other than to hide a plot ripped from The Last Starfighter and the shallowness of the characters. In general Armada was viewed as nerd pandering of the worst kind even by those who generally liked the first one.
  • One of the biggest criticisms of Midnight Sun (2020) is that it heavily overlaps with the plot of Twilight, with the only major difference being that the story is now told from Edward's perspective rather than Bella's. Many readers have found that unlike other examples of Perspective Flips, having Edward as the narrator doesn't really change the story or the way we view the characters significantly, nor does it expand upon the lore much; hence, it largely comes off as the exact same story as Twilight, only about 200 pages longer. It doesn't help that we've already had two other retellings of the first novel: the 2008 movie adaptation (which incorporated some of the draft chapters of this novel into its script) and the gender-flipped Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined.
  • Expeditionary Force: The books have a habit of consisting of "existential threat to humanity, Skippy says stopping it is impossible, Bishop comes up with wild plan, and Skippy says he never would have thought of it because it was so crazy but it works."

    Live-Action TV 
  • One of the biggest complaints directed at later seasons of Heroes is that they either changed the characters or failed to move them forward. Claire and Noah still had the same argument every year; Peter was still aiming for Incorruptible Pure Pureness and getting the Idiot Ball; and Hiro and Ando were still having their Wrong Genre Savvy hijinks.
  • The first few episodes of The Office (US) suffered from this. In an arguable subversion, after they began making the show completely different from the original British version, it actually got a lot better.
  • On the other end, the first season of Parks and Recreation is criticized because it's clear the people who remade The Office were simply applying the same formula and character types to a different setting. And again, the following season the show found its own voice, and the result was a vast improvement.
  • House is often criticised for its formulaic nature, which includes never changing its protagonist's unlikeable personality.
    • Another problem is that the show is quite predictable on most occasions. Patient comes in -> House thinks he's figured it out -> House is wrong -> Patient has another symptom -> House has a crazy theory after an epiphany from an argument with his staff -> Nobody believes him -> House is right -> Everyone is surprised! This happens nearly every episode.
    • Season 5 focused on changing House through a series of harrowing personal experiences before delivering a sadistic "Gotcha!" to both the fans and the doctor.
  • Generally speaking, the more a season of Power Rangers copies from its Super Sentai counterpart, the less popular it will be with the fandom (and vice versa). The most prominent recent example is Power Rangers Samurai, which at times used scripts copied almost word-for-word from Samurai Sentai Shinkenger, with the only appreciable change being the names involved (Jaden instead of Takeru, Zords instead of Origami, etc). A subversion would be Power Rangers Time Force, which does copy quite a lot from Mirai Sentai Timeranger, it has enough to stand on its own and is regarded as one of the best seasons.
    • Even then Power Rangers itself isn't exactly stranger to later entires being incredibly similar to previous ones in certain aspects. Like say a Make My Monster Grow method being yet again a laser shot from a spaceship, an overabundance of Kalishplosions or the theme song being another remix of the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers theme (The Neo-Saban era was guilty of this last one).
    • Speaking of Sentai, Kishiryu Sentai Ryusoulger got hit with this - while it's not the first series to reuse a theme (both the particular theme - dinosaurs - and in general), it does bear a lot of similarities to the previous Dino sentai, Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger (the core 5 in Ryusoulger are the same as the core 5 of Kyoryuger - Red, Blue, Pink, Black, and Green - with only 1 female, the mech configurations are almost the same, both having their Sixth Ranger be a gold who has Shock and Awe powers from their main collectible item, and the Ryusouls acting very similar to the Zyudenchi, only being used in swords instead of guns)note  - even when the trademarks were filed, it got hit with this, since the use of "Ryu" in Ryusoulger led fans to think it would be a Dragon Knight Sentai (which had never been done for a full-team), but then it was later revealed that "Ryu" was short for "Kyoryu". One possible reason is that in the past, there was usually a gap roughly around a decade in between Dino sentainote , so the fact that Kyoryuger is still relatively fresh in the minds of fans likely makes the similarities stand out more than they would if more time had passed.
  • The American version of Top Gear is suffering from this horribly. Fans were expecting a familiar setting with loads of new content. Instead, they got a setting that only pays lip service to the original's style while completely ripping off the challenges almost shot-for-shot. The producers didn't seem to realize that anyone familiar with the original show wasn't going to bother turning in to see the exact same shows with much lower production values.
    • The presenters even seem to try to fit Clarkson, Hammond, and May's positions (one said to be slow, etc.), and it's so forced it's almost painful.
  • MTV's adaptation of the British show Skins, which originally aired on Channel 4. MTV attempts to use the same aesthetic and similar scripting in their adaptation, but much of the show depended upon aspects of British culture that don't translate effectively to the US. The result is a show that's overly conscious of its being "indie".
  • The American version of The Inbetweeners did exactly the same thing, only much worse, changing the word "wankers" to "turds" and essentially working word-for-word from the original - which heavily relied on British humour, experiences, and cultural references, something that can't be recreated IN AMERICA! simply by making the script different.
  • This seems to be the main issue had with The Middle. It's pointed out that its plot and characters are fairly similar to Malcolm in the Middle. To be fair, the former is something of a Spiritual Successor; however, it's a little inaccurate to say that the two are exactly the same.
  • Some TV viewers felt this way about GSN's 2012 revival of Pyramid, which was mostly a back-to-basics version that paid homage to the 1980s $25,000 Pyramid and $100,000 Pyramid franchises. It probably didn't help that GSN airs reruns of said versions.
  • Star Trek
    • You can fairly say that Star Trek: The Original Series is often cheesy and Anvilicious, and the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation was nearly always cheesy and anvilicious.
    • Star Trek: Voyager got a lot of criticism for trying to be "TNG Lite" at the behest of the network execs. Particularly as the series premise seemed like it was designed to not be like TNG and create a lot of character conflict, what with a crew half made up of anti-Federation rebels.
    • Star Trek: Enterprise probably gets the most criticism for this, at least in the first two seasons. Although it was set in an era where a lot of technology staples were supposedly undeveloped (or very new, like the transporter), the crew frequently encountered them from other species, so there didn't seem to be a lot of difference. The plots also seemed like fairly generic Star Trek thing-of-the-week for the first two seasons.
    • Oddly, though most of the complaints about Star Trek: Discovery concerned all the changes it made, a vocal section of the fandom thinks that Discovery being another prequel is another example of the creators being afraid to take risks, and that they will make all the same mistakes regarding canon that Enterprise did. Many cries of "they didn't learn from Enterprise!" flooded the web.
    • In-universe, this was the core of a Logic Bomb that Spock used in "I, Mudd." He tells Alice 27 that he loves her, but hates Alice 210 precisely because 210 is identical to 27.
  • Supernatural: After Eric Kripke left the show after what was supposed to be the series finale, the show rebooted itself. Seasons 6 and 7 unraveled many of the narratives that had driven the previous few seasons and moved the show back to the Walk the Earth format of early seasons, refocusing on just the brothers. Unfortunately, this meant undoing many of the sacrifices from Seasons 4 and 5, killing off popular supporting characters like Castiel and Bobby and having Dean leave his girlfriend and surrogate son. While the show produced many excellent on-off episodes, many fans complained that the brothers were often still behaving like they did when they were twenty-somethings. Eventually, the writers added more myth arcs and fans complained that those weren't as good as the Seasons 4 and 5 arc.
  • It was noted with American Horror Story: Coven that the creators were using many themes, features and character arcs that were used in the the first season, Murder House, which the audience found boring.
  • The pilot of Gracepoint stayed very close to the first episode of Broadchurch; the general critical consensus was "good, but redundant."
  • When Only Fools and Horses was revived, many fans were worried that it would spoil the popular original ending, which saw Del and Rodney finally become millionaires. There was hope among such fans, however, that the revival might offer some amusing insights into the Trotters' fish-out-of-water lifestyle among the global jet-set. Instead, the first thing the revival did was to bankrupt them and put them back in their old Peckham flat. The return to business-as-usual did indeed spoil the original ending, badly.
  • Good Omens stayed extremely close to the book. A lot of fans loved that, but others - not to mention the critics - were more mixed in their response, feeling the series missed an opportunity to make the material come to life in a new way, or update details that lost their resonance outside the book's 1990 context. The most criticised aspect was the inclusion/reliance of a narrator that allowed the show to include chunks of the book's text and could feel quite stifling of the series doing anything interesting of its own.

  • Evanescence fans tend to give this treatment to We Are The Fallen, made up of former Evanescence members Ben Moody, Rocky Gray and John LeCompt and singer Carly Smithson. Carly is often accused of sounding too much like Amy Lee, and the band of being an Evanescence ripoff.
  • Live recordings have a tendency to be subject to this. People who enjoy live recordings generally don't want the live versions to sound too much like the studio versions. On the flip side, though, other people don't like live recordings because they feel that it tends to "ruin" the songs that they love so much.
    • The David Bowie live albums David Live and Stage are particularly egregious cases of this. In the case of David Live, the excessive rearrangements of the songs present combined with David's incredibly strained vocals (thought to be a side effect of his constant cocaine abuse at the time) earned heavy amounts of derision from fans and critics alike, with the album-exclusive cover of "Knock on Wood" generally being agreed upon as the only real highlight (to the point where it was released as a moderately successful single). For Stage, meanwhile, not only are the arrangements of the songs on the album extremely close to the original studio recordings, but the original version of Stage features fade-outs at the end of each song and cuts out audience reactions, leading it to feel more like a Greatest Hits Album with a different coat of paint than an actual live recording.
  • Also expect this reaction whenever an artist covers a song but remains very faithful to the original recording. An example of this is the 1994 Eagles tribute album Common Thread: The Songs of the Eagles, which had various contemporary Country Music artists covering Eagles songs; while the album was instrumental in renewing interest in the Eagles and even in causing their highly-publicized Hell Freezes Over tour that year, most critics felt that the album's cover versions were overly faithful to the originals. Despite this perception, Travis Tritt's cover of "Take It Easy" and Clint Black's cover of "Desperado" became staples of '90s country playlists (even though neither was heavily promoted to radio at the time, leading to some pretty severe Chart Displacement).
  • Franco-British avant-garde post-rock band Stereolab began their career in the early 1990s, performing dangerously modern Krautrock-influenced lounge pop songs with lilting, Marxist-themed lyrics. And that is how they ended their career, nineteen years later, by which time the critics had given up on them.
  • Averted by Australian hard rock legends AC/DC. Reviewers constantly point out that each of their new albums sound exactly like every single one of the band's previous releases of the last thirty years. They also always mention that this is a good thing. Angus Young has declared: "I'm sick to death of people saying we've made 11 albums that sound exactly the same. In fact, we've made 12 albums that sound exactly the same."note 
  • When Michael Jackson released Bad in 1987, many reviewers complained that it was too much like Thriller. The title songs were fairly similar, and other songs just barely avoided being analogues for others from the previous album. The 1991 followup, Dangerous didn't have quite the same problem until after Jackson died, where polls and iTunes charts showed that certain songs from Bad seemed to be making a comeback and Dangerous seemed to signal the beginning of the end. Because Jackson clearly moved in a different direction with Dangerous and it's the first album of his adult solo career not to be produced by Quincy Jones, it could be a retroactive case of They Changed It, Now It Sucks!.
    • The funny thing is, Quincy Jones (and at least two generations of fans, apparently) seem to think that Bad is a superior album to Thriller, since his remastered "Essentials" greatest hits album from several years back contains almost every track from Bad (almost every one of them chart-toppers) but only choice cuts from Thriller (which does contain a fair amount of Album Filler despite its "every song a single" philosophy). And it's hard to say that Bad is just a retread of Thriller, since it's clearly Darker and Edgier and has a more consistent sound throughout.
  • Musicians that don't change their sound tend to get this as well. That's a reason for the huge Hatedom for Nickelback: their songs sound exactly the same.
  • Detractors of Metallica can say this as well. The fact they play almost all of their songs in the same key live doesn't help matters.
  • When Nine Inch Nails released the 2005 album With Teeth, one reviewer complained that making music for angsty teenage girls worked for Trent Reznor back in the 90s, but that there's something sad about a man in his 40s making the same kind of music as if he still doesn't have his shit together. Then we got the political message-filled Year Zero two years later.
  • Lady Antebellum's Own the Night album got mixed critical reviews for overall sounding way too similar to Need You Now (particularly the "epic" production and heavy use of string sections).
  • A similar complaint is given of labelmate Luke Bryan, whose 2013 single "Crash My Party" has been criticized as being a big, melancholy midtempo song just like his last three singles ("I Don't Want This Night to End", "Drunk on You", and "Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye").
  • Psy's Gentleman has been criticized as being the same thing as Gangnam Style.
  • Suffocation's second album Breeding the Spawn got some flak for this. Then they started re-recording the songs on other albums and people realized that it was actually far more technical than Effigy of the Forgotten. That's not to say people love it now - after all, there's a reason people mistook it for an Effigy clone in the first place.
  • Iron Maiden's No Prayer For The Dying is often regarded as writing to a formula without having the catchy tunes to back it up. It's commonly regarded as breaking their string of classic albums.
  • Pearl Jam's 21st century output has been accused of rehashing the sounds that made them cultural icons with Vs., Vitalogy and Yield. That one of said albums is called Backspacer is one helluva coincidence.
  • Linkin Park's Meteora was criticized for being a rehash of Hybrid Theory. However, since Minutes to Midnight, the complaints have been the exact opposite.
  • When Lou Bega released "Mambo Number Five" in 1999, it became a huge smash hit. His follow up single, "I Got A Girl", however, was hugely criticised for sounding almost exactly the same. Several detractors even nicknamed it "Mambo Number Six". A third song, which only got any airplay on the end credits of Stuart Little, sounded suspiciously similar as well.
  • This is part of the reason for Iggy Azalea's fast decline from the spotlight (among other things). She scored a huge megahit in 2014 with "Fancy", and since then she's tried to remake the same song hoping for similar success, only to see diminishing returns. Namely, the two songs that rehash "Fancy" are "Beg for It" and "Pretty Girls" (with Britney Spears). Both songs only barely made the Top 40 before quickly dropping out.
  • Omi became a star overnight when "Cheerleader" became the song of summer 2015. However, when follow-up single "Hula Hoop" arrived, it was criticised for being almost the exact kind of Silly Love Song the earlier song was, and he went straight into One-Hit Wonderland.
  • Critics tended to complain about how much Eagles live shows sounded just like the band's albums.
  • Jason Aldean is commonly met with this criticism, particularly with how most of his material since around 2014 has been rehashes of existing songs: "Gonna Know We Were Here" and "Just Gettin' Started" rehash "Tattoos on This Town", "They Don't Know" rehashes "Fly Over States", etc.
  • This trope is the general British music fan's reaction to Post-Punk Revivalism these days, as it simply tries to emulate the likes of Joy Division and Echo & the Bunnymen rather than actually fulfilling the "progressive punk" ethos of the movement it tries to call back to.
  • Richard Strauss was nervous about this while writing Elektra because he believed it to be very similar to Salomé.
  • This was the main complaint critics had with Coldplay's X&Y: that the songs were too similar to those on the preceding A Rush of Blood to the Head. Of course, when the band decided to change up their style on the following album...
  • Cledus T. Judd's Boogity, Boogity, a 2005 tribute album to Ray Stevens, got this treatment from critics due to Judd's covers of Stevens' songs sounding almost exactly like the originals.
  • One of the more common criticisms among heavy music fans (see: people who have actually listened to them) of Cannibal Corpse is that they are Strictly Formula, with many of their albums sounding very similar to each other. The fans are a lot more charitable, often saying the band frequently getting lobbed as Death Metal's closest counterpart to the above mentioned AC/DC is a testament to how consistent the band is.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • FoxTrot had a strip years ago that played with this trope. Jason was tired of waiting for the sequel to Myst to come out, so he created his own sequel. He showed his brother his game, "Here's the observatory and here's the library..." and Peter said, "Wait, these are all the same levels of the first game. What makes this different?" The computer then beeped and said, "Warning, velociraptor approaching." Jason replied, "You have to solve the puzzles a little faster now."

  • Open GL 3 got this and They Changed It, Now It Sucks!; the original idea was to completely overhaul the API, making it more like what Direct3D 10 ended up being. This made it quite far into the process, before Kronos declared the standard needed a few tweaks, entered a media black out and released a glorified OpenGL 2.2; people following the standard were not amused.
  • The proliferation of 1.5-mile ovals in NASCAR over the last twenty years has brought a lot of this reaction from the fanbase, especially among older fans, due to the perception that they all race the same. Not helping is that their basic design relies heavily on two track types - tri-ovalnote  and quad-ovalnote  (the only exception is Homestead-Miami, a more traditional oval with a completely straight frontstetch). Also not helping is that many of these tracks proliferated at the expense of older, more "interesting" tracks like North Wilkesboro, Rockingham and Darlingtonnote , which also plays into the They Changed It, Now It Sucks! mentality that is prevalent among many NASCAR fans.
  • A number of viewers and critics deride the Filipino television station ABS-CBN (and by extension, rival network GMA-7) for churning out Telenovelas with a similar premise (e.g. extramarital affairs, peasants going after hacienda clans, sibling rivalries involving a snob sister and an Extreme Doormat sibling...) or in the case of their motion picture arm Star Cinema, romcom after romcom after romcom, ad nauseam. Part of the reason for the latter was, according to this article, due to piracy leaving less revenue for the studio to gamble on a higher-budget production (save for Metro Manila Film Festival entries where they can throw wads of money at and have a surefire box office hit regardless of artistic value). Still, it isn't surprising for one to get annoyed at the rather tiring and formulaic cookie-cutter output ABS' film arm is doing.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Professional wrestling fans express this sentiment by chanting "Same Old Shit! Same Old Shit!"
  • A consistent complaint about the "World Entertainment Wrestling" era of Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling. Most obviously the garbage was toned down but in the long run, so was everything else, as FMW ran all kinds of different bouts in different styles and weight classes, as well as having a formidable women's division. "Sports entertainment" came to mean "samey shows" in the minds of fans.
  • This is one of the reasons WCW failed during the second half of the Monday Night Wars. Every week and every pay per view was the same thing: WCW loses to some version of the nWo. An Ass Pull is much less shocking when one side never comes out on top.
  • One of Jerry Jarrett's complaints about pro wrestling when he was starting up TNA was that there used to be a variety of different looks on shows but at the time every wrestler in Ring of Honor looked the samenote . Hilarious in Hindsight since a good deal of ROH's roster ended up being TNA's.
  • In the WWE, in the latter part of 2010, the continual swath of matches featuring Randy Orton vs. John Cena week-in week-out became this trope to some fans. Example? To quote internet reviewer The Spoony One (Noah Antwiler) on the subject of an early September episode of RAW:
    Spoony: Randy Orton versus John Cena in a tables match. Or as I like to call it AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!!!!!
  • The general complaints from those who don't like TNA are that the company is either trying to mimic off of WWE or that it's basically WCW during the former company's later years.
  • Detractors of booker Gabe Sapolsky proclaimed his ego was the reason EVOLVE existed, especially after Dragon Gate USA lost almost the entirety of the Dragon Gate roster, making EVOLVE hardly distinct from it in function. In 2015, Drew Galloway defended both the Evolve and Open The Freedom Gate at once, sort of giving the "fans" who wanted one absorbed into the other what they wanted and a little more than midway into the year, Johnny Gargano proclaimed DGUSA the past and expressed a desire to see EVOLVE replace it completely before abandoning The Open The United Gate he held with Rich Swann.
  • The most consistent complaint about 2015 CMLL was that Atlantis was still in the main event. The previous year CMLL gave into fan demand and put him and Ultimo Guerrero in the main event of Aniversario to the largest at the gate draw in company history and one of the largest in the entire history of the American continents. Turnout turned to be a lot less spectacular afterwards, though there were other factors such as poor marketing and firings in addition to the belief it was time to give the spotlight back to the young guys.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Pathfinder being a reimagining of 3.5 and a completely new 4th Edition. Dungeons & Dragons is one of the Long-Runners out there, going on for about four decades by now. In its time, it has developed considerably and changed hands several times, having once belonged to TSR, then Wizards of the Coast, and finally Hasbro (though they own WotC, not just the D&D property). It also has a Broken Base that goes rabid every time there's a big change: there were players who reacted with They Changed It, Now It Sucks! back when the game transitioned to Advanced D&D. With the advent of 4th Edition, the base-breaking went supernova, with critics claiming the game lost a great deal of flavor because of its MMO-like mechanics while fans claimed the easier playability, clear focus on balance, and streamlined form made the game much more fun.
    • The previous edition, 3.5, had allowed many third-party companies to publish and use much of the intellectual property, including the mechanics, of D&D freely. Paizo released Pathfinder, a re-tooled 3.5 which addressed a lot of the balance issues and improved the mechanics while not resembling 4th Edition. As the product line developed, it began to add many features not seen in 3.5 and develop its own setting into a fully-fledged fantasy world. Some players like it, some don't, and when arguments start expect plenty of flame wars and Fan Dumb. However, this is all Older Than They Think; there are players still playing with books which were printed before the Reagan era.
    • And then in January 2012, they announced the 5th Edition...

  • The uproar over the story material not being "up to par" aside, when LEGO discontinued its BIONICLE setline and launched Hero Factory in its place, some complained that the new toys could easily have passed for BIONICLE sets, as they used the exact same building formulas, only with new parts. The villains especially looked no different than any generic BIONICLE bad guy. Turns out this was just an "introductory" line, and the following wave drastically redesigned the entire construction of the toys, nearly from scratch. When BIONICLE was brought back, it faced double complaints: average fans thought it was too much like a Hero Factory rehash, whereas older fans returning to the franchise hated that it was different from the original line.
  • Due to the state of the economy in The New '10s and rising production costs, an increasingly common cost saving measure for companies like Hasbro and Mattel is to reuse parts from previous figures when creating new ones. This can mean anything from reusing arms and legs to flat out re-releasing old figures with new paint jobs or head sculpts. Naturally, some collectors get rather pissed about this, as they feel they're essentially being asked to pay for figures they already own.
    • What makes this somewhat amusing is that if you look at the first year of Masters of the Universe, G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, or Transformers figures, you'll realize that they've been doing this since The '80s. It's arguably forgivable when a line is brand-new, especially if early success in a toyline brings about a greater variety of original designs in later waves, and many of the adult collectors who care about such minutiae today simply didn't care as much when they were kids.

    Video Games 
  • Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! has been attacked for having gameplay nearly identical to that of Borderlands 2. The narrative and humor has also received similar criticism for relying on the formula of pop-culture references and internet memes. For some fans and reviewers, the Pre-Sequel did not innovate the existing gameplay or at the least fix more broken mechanics despite being the 3rd installment in the series.
  • Dragon Quest has received this complaint at least in the US, which isn't surprising given the conservative nature of the series compared to Final Fantasy. Dragon Quest VII, the first post-Super Nintendo installment, was especially bashed for not really pushing forward with the gameplay or the graphics. Since Enix and Square merged, it seems they've been trying to expand the series with more online multiplayer options and with more immersing gameplay, but given the series' huge popularity in Japan it's unlikely they'll experiment with the fundamentals of the series that much.
  • Gears of War 2 had a list of detractors who would frequently say things like "Everything looks the same. The chainsaw bayonet, the roadie-run, the torque bow... they're just remaking the first game." Apparently it was a big enough concern that X-Play's review deliberately said something to the effect of, "This is not Gears 1.5, it is a real sequel." Upon launch, no one has complained that it is just a rehash of the first game, it was much bigger and better.
    • Instead, everyone cried They Changed It, Now It Sucks! regarding the shotgun nerf.
      • Or, if you're a lancer guy, then you got the problem of a shotgun which seemed to be more overpowered than ever.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker was They Changed It, Now It Sucks! for many... and later, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess was accused of this trope by some. Actually, every single entry of the series ever since Ocarina of Time (if not even earlier than that) has received both of these at the same time. One second you find a comment trashing the game for not changing the Zelda formula at all, demeaning its new features as "gimmicks", and the next second you find another one that trashes it because those "gimmicks" are new features that totally change (and ruin) the Zelda formula.
    • Of course, TP was purposefully designed that way, since Nintendo vowed that it would be "the last Zelda game as you know it" before the gameplay of Ocarina of Time was retired. Similar to Ocarina changing Zelda to fit 3D and analog control or Phantom Hourglass changing Zelda to properly fit the DS' stylus control, the series received a major overhaul for Skyward Sword to become a proper Wii game. Twilight Princess shipping for the Wii at all was something of a fluke, caused by excessive delays during its initially GCN-only development.
    • Some people accused Spirit Tracks of being this to Phantom Hourglass. The trailer and plot summary dispelled this, however, to the point of one article writer at Zelda Informer issuing a public apology to Nintendo for ever doubting them.
    • The two lowest reviews for Skyward Sword use both this trope and the polar opposite.
    • Ironically, the fanbase by and large loves A Link Between Worlds because it is almost literally A Link to the Past using Ocarina-era tropes and gimmicks.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • New Super Mario Bros. was the first Super Mario Bros. game in a while that played similar to the original SMB. Guess what its biggest complaint was.
    • New Super Mario Bros. Wii was described as just New Super Mario Bros. for DS put on Wii, despite the better graphical rendering, new platforming obstacles not possible on DS or previous consoles, or the fact that the game had four player multiplayer in all its levels in addition to a fairly large VS mode.
    • New Super Mario Bros. 2 and New Super Mario Bros. U got a lot of flak for being too similar to Wii, especially music-wise. Both games had a small number of new tracks and most of the soundtrack being re-arrangements and recycled songs. New Super Luigi U doesn't get this as much, most likely because it's Downloadable Content (despite its commercial release), alters the physics to a notable degree, and replaces Mario with Nabbit.
    • Miyamoto himself accused the beta of Paper Mario: Sticker Star of being "too similar to The Thousand Year Door" and convinced the developers to do away with the plot. The result, of course, was greeted poorly by the fans. And even then, it still suffered from this in a different way, in that one of the complaints was how it intentionally lacked new characters (design-wise at least) save for Kersti, while the characters in the series's previous installments became very well-known.
    • Paper Mario: Color Splash got this reaction right out of the gate for being essentially Sticker Star 2, a game that was poorly received on its own to begin with.
    • Ironically, Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels (the Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2) was treated as being too samey in the eyes of Nintendo's American branch. Nintendo of America felt that the game was just Super Mario Bros., but more difficult, so they decided to localize and rebrand Doki Doki Panic as Super Mario Bros. 2 for North America.
    • Super Mario Galaxy 2, while a solid game overall, was criticized for being too similar to the previous game with the level designs, concepts, and power-ups and some people went on to claim that the game was an overpriced expansion pack imitator.
  • Hanging around the GameFAQs message board for it, people complain that Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. Abaddon-Ou is too similar to Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army. Considering how many people complained that the first game was a great idea that needed more improvements, you'd be surprised anyone would make this complaint considering how Atlus did exactly what they asked for (i.e. same engine, better battles, more demons, deeper story, etc.). Then again, these are gamers and know the drill.
    • The issue was that the 3D-over-2D-backgrounds engine of the first game (which was badly-dated even when it was first published) was the main thing that needed improvement. Most of the complaints were that they reused it rather than coming up with something else, not that the gameplay was the same.
  • Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony received criticism for three things: the controversial ending, pulling a Decoy Protagonist with the fan favorite Player Character Kaede and replacing her with a Suspiciously Similar Substitute for previous player characters, but the only one related to the gameplay was its inability to shake up the stagnating and predictable Strictly Formula followed by the previous installments. Several murder cases became predictable based on the fact that they didn't try anything new on the game besides killing a protagonist. While this was not a problem in the previous game, since the parallels between the first and the second killing game were actually a plot point, the re-utilization of the formula was received as poorly-written and unoriginal. Besides that, Franchise Original Sin was very strong on this installment, with several recurring elements, such as the relatively normal male protagonist in comparison to the rest of the cast and the unsympathetic murderer becoming annoying to fans.
  • Pokémon:
    • The series in whole tends to get a lot of this, especially in regards to the core gameplay remaining as the monster count climbs. In general, The Pokémon Company's strategy seems to be to keep the main titles to the formula while releasing periodic spinoffs - if you want a Pokémon action game, there's Ranger or Rumble. If you want an RPG with a deeper plot, there are the Pokémon Colosseum and Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games. Some people just seem to think they don't count because they aren't part of the main series.
    • One complaint of FireRed/LeafGreen is how slavishly it adheres to using only the original 151 Pokémon until the National Dex is acquired by disallowing trading with Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire and tampering with the evolution system - evolutions introduced after Red/Blue like Crobat and Blissey are automatically cancelled when their conditions are met, the Day Care Center only allows one Pokémon at a time, preventing breeding (and access to pre-evolutions like Pichu and Magby) until access to the Sevii Islands' Day Care, and the day/night cycle is gone completely, meaning no Espeon or Umbreon for you. That being said, the remakes of Pokémon Gold and Silver and Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire avert this and allow you to get (pre)evolutions introduced after the original games without needing the National Dex.
    • The Fire/Fighting-type is very unpopular among fans since it's shared among the final forms of three starter families (Blaziken, Inernape and Emboar), all introduced one after the other (and despite being a Fire/Dark Pokémon, the final form of Litten's line is a "cat wrestler"). With seven generations of Pokémon, this means that just under half of the Fire-type starters all become Fire/Fighting, leaving very little in the way for inspiration and variation.
    • Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon are divisive games among fans for being mostly unchanged iterations of Pokémon Sun and Moon, which came out only one year prior. Beyond a few new additions, the story and progression through the world remain unchanged from before, and some hold the opinion that what the games did add could/should have been Downloadable Content for the original pair.
    • Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, similar to FireRed and LeafGreen, got a lot of this as fans derided it for being "too similar" to the original DP. The lack of Platinum content, including the Platinum Dex, only made things worse.
  • Animal Crossing: City Folk received plenty of criticism for being too much like its predecessors. (Specifically, it's an almost to the letter Wii port of Animal Crossing: Wild World, except Kapp'n drives a bus instead of a taxi and can take you to a city where a few shops/characters have been moved to.)
  • The reason why the Dynasty Warriors series is hated by reviewers. Even if they make what most people would consider major changes to the combat scheme, it will still get panned as more of the same. Dynasty Warriors is also unique in that this trope is subverted among its fanbase, or rather, that the fanbase has always held the opposite opinion to the reviewers on this issue. This was shown with the backlash when 6 tried to change things up, mostly because what they tried (Renbu) was not well implemented.
  • Plot has always been a strength of the Avernum series, so when Avernum 4 turned out to have the exact same plot as Avernum 3, many fans of the earlier games were not at all happy.
  • The Castlevania series has been a victim of this trope since the release of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, with purists missing the days when Castlevania titles weren't all Metroidvanias.
  • The second and third Ace Attorney games on the DS got some flak for having the same gameplay but no DS-exclusive features or levels, unlike the first game's remake, which had a bonus case.
  • Armored Core gets this fairly frequently, as well, the biggest complaint being the antiquated control scheme (using the shoulder buttons to look up and down instead of the second analog stick which has that feature in almost every other game ever but wasn't used for anything in Armored Core for far too long).
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog 4 has the special distinction of being this trope and They Changed It, Now It Sucks!. The game received complaints about the gameplay and the artstyle for the characters being too different, meanwhile the game's level themes, special stages, gimmicks, bosses, and enemies were criticized as shallow copies from mostly Sonic 1 and/or Sonic 2.
    • Following Sonic Adventure 2's highly-praised original release on the Dreamcast, the game received the Battle port to the GameCube port that while having some added perks (namely the expanded multiplayer mode) and having some assets changed around, was otherwise largely watertight to the Dreamcast version. Despite coming out only six months after the Dreamcast release, Battle received a more tepid response from reviewers, the main reason (ironically enough) being that reviewers felt the re-release should had done more to improve from the DC version.
  • Resident Evil:
    • The series was infamous for sticking to its formula of pre-rendered, fixed camera zombie hunting, even after it moved from the PlayStation to the GameCube (only the made-for-Dreamcast Resident Evil – Code: Veronica, eschewed the pre-rendered backgrounds in favor of real-time ones). Resident Evil 4 underwent a massive genre shift to more action-oriented gameplay and was widely acclaimed. Then Resident Evil 5 came along and was called a rehashed RE4.
    • Proof that Tropes Are Not Bad, Resident Evil 2 was nearly finished when Capcom executives thought the game was too similar to the first one and didn't expand on the playable areas enough (it would have been confined to a mansion again, basically). The game was redone and the end result was what is generally considered the best game of the "pre-rendered" era of RE.
  • When Persona 4 was announced to be on the PS2, and using the exact same engine and practically the same system as Persona 3, it met with much skepticism from fans that they were just cashing in on P3 (especially with P3:FES, a remake of P3, also being announced), instead of pushing the game forward into the next generation with a PS3 or Xbox 360 title. Of course, then the game came out.
    • While the gameplay was a welcome change from Persona 3, the story and characters of Persona 4 were accused of being too similar to its predecessor.
  • Any Rhythm Game series has been around long enough will get this. The sameness is somewhat justified with games that use peripherals, since there's only so much you can change before making a sequel require new controllers to be playable.
    • The longevity of DanceDanceRevolution makes it a prime target for complaints of staleness. When Dance Dance Revolution X introduced a new difficulty rating system and announcer, this trope once again rubbed shoulders with They Changed It, Now It Sucks!. (It is an annoying announcer, but his disastrousness can get blown all out of proportion.)
  • Fallout:
    • The Fallout 3 hatedom is interestingly split between this trope and They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: The former party accuses the game of being essentially "Oblivion with guns", while the latter considers it too great a deviation from Black Isle's original Fallout games.
    • Fallout: New Vegas seems to be running into this criticism, as well. It has been accused of being little more than a game mod to number three, due largely to sharing the same engine and many art-assets. New Vegas was still largely praised for its open-ended approach to its many unique quests, diverse roleplaying experiences and opportunities, and complex storytelling. note 
  • Tomb Raider:
    • Applies at some point to the first five games. The point at which this happens for someone tends to be entirely based around the point they consider the game quality to drop.
    • Tomb Raider: Underworld. Pretty much the same as Tomb Raider: Legend, only Darker and Edgier, but still with the same problems (and a few new ones to boot). Considering that Tomb Raider: Anniversary fixed some of these flaws (in particular the length), Underworld felt to many like a step backward.
  • Tales Series
    • This is a recurring complaint lobbed against the Tales Series as a whole (mainly because so many games are released in such a small amount of time). Whether it's a genuine complaint or not is up to debate, but fans of the series don't tend to mind the similarly-styled games.
    • Tales of Vesperia is one of the most acclaimed games for the 360 and easily one of the best reviewed JRPGs of this generation. And yet, the biggest complaint? It plays exactly like the other Tales games.
    • Tales of Xillia got complaints over its share of things, but the most noticeable is the complaint that the story basically took plots from previous games of the Tales Of series and rehashed them. The fact that its sequel again took a story aspect of a the same previous game and used it for two characters in that game for Alternate Milla and Elle, both who are originally from fractured dimensions, and hence suffer their share of feelings of inadequacy over not being real and not having a place in this world, very similar to Luke's issues over being a replica did not appease fans for that game, either.
  • JRPGs in general get this for consisting of the same basic gameplay. Not surprisingly, any game that does attempt to break from this trope is usually badged with They Changed It, Now It Sucks!, even if it's a company like, say, Square Enix, that attempts to break the mold with something really gutsy like...their flagship franchise.
  • Before it became a long-loved classic of 64-bit gaming, Banjo-Kazooie was accused of being a Super Mario 64 clone simply because it was a 3D platforming game.
  • Mega Man:
    • Mega Man Battle Network saw its review scores slowly but surely drop across the later games of the series, largely because reviewers didn't feel that the gameplay changed enough to justify a new game every year. This kicked into overdrive with the Sequel Series to Battle Network, Mega Man Star Force: despite Capcom sacrificing much of Battle Network's strategy for pure action and splitting the fandom in half in the process, critics dismissed it as a flimsy rebrand and thus penalized the series from the very first game.
    • The Mega Man (Classic) games grew increasingly less popular with each release, as they all had similar gameplay mechanics and structure. Though 9 was acclaimed as a nostalgic throwback to the NES days, 10 was criticized because it was too similar to 9.
    • Mega Man 6 is criticized because it recycles the Hijacked by Ganon concept of the two immediate previous games.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon is often considered to be a "step backward" for the Fire Emblem series because the latest entries were in 3D, had a rescuing system, skills, and many, many more aspects that made the game more complex. Intelligent Systems said this was a remake and it looks more like a port. To note, this example isn't quite as jarring because not as many people play the original 3 Fire Emblem games anymore (which play very similar to this), and the truly popular FE games were beginning from the fourth one... which was extremely different in terms of mechanics than Shadow Dragon.
    • Fire Emblem: Three Houses has this when it comes to some of its routes.
      • The first half of the game, White Clouds, is mostly the same regardless of which house you pick, and the only story difference are in the scenes that develop your respective house leader.
      • In the second half of the game, all the routes besides Crimson Flower, in which you're fighting for the Empire instead of against it, are almost identical. You fight to reclaim Garreg Mach, defend it against invaders, meet up with reinforcements in Ailell, cross the Great Bridge of Myrddin, and fight in Gronder Field.
      • Verdant Wind (the Golden Deer/Alliance route), and the Silver Snow route (the route in which you join the Black Eagles but refuse to join Edelgard), are almost completely identical except for not going to Gronder Field in the latter, and having different final bosses. Many players believe that Silver Snow is the imitation of Verdant Wind, since its main purpose seems to be to allow Black Eagle players the opportunity to oppose Edelgard if they so desire. Others, however, think Verdant Wind copied Silver Snow, especially after an interview revealed that Silver Snow was made first.
  • Five Nights at Freddy's dealt with this to an extent. Each game was essentially "You are in a room for 6 hours. There are at least two entrances. There are monsters coming to kill you. You have a method of holding them off, but you can't use it forever." Subtle changes happened, but overall each game was quite similar to the last.
  • Wario Land: Shake It! was criticised for being too similar to the previous game, Wario Land 4 despite its core mechanic not even being possible before the Wii.
  • Despite considerable acclaim, Punch-Out!! for Wii was accused of being just a $50 NES remake that has nothing new or different from the original game.
  • The Madden NFL franchise has accused of only making incremental improvements, but there's not much to be done with adapting a real-life sport.
  • In the same vein, FIFA Soccer suffers from the same problem. The reviewers joined in calling FIFA 20 Legacy Edition out on this, with IGN blasting it for being just a reskin of FIFA 19 Legacy Edition with the added features of mainline FIFA 20 nowhere in sight.
  • Left 4 Dead 2 was bashed for this AND They Changed It, Now It Sucks! before the game was even out. People complained that the sequel was just the exact same game as the first with just different maps, weapons, and characters, but they also complain that including daytime and using totally different characters ruined the feel of the game.
  • StarCraft II is getting hit hard by this trope and They Changed It, Now It Sucks! at the same time. It's not uncommon to see a forum thread complaining that the game is more like "Starcraft 1.5" rather than a true sequel, and then see a thread right below it complaining that the game changed too much and doesn't capture the essence of the original.
    • It is basically the same game strategy-wise (the majority of the units structures are the same ones) but on a new engine and all the perks of modern RTS features, shortcuts, hotkeys, options, etc. So that does explain how it could be both "changed" and the "the same" - it depends on if you are looking at the tactics and units, or at the system used to enact them.
    • Some have complained that it's simply Warcraft III IN SPACE.
  • Some people are bashing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Smash Up, because it has the Super Smash Bros. engine, panning it because they think it will be Super Smash Bros. with Turtles, but the gameplay is showing that there are some differences, namely that there are health meters rather then stock damage, the environments change consistently, and guard breaks are different. The people developing the game in question? The team who MADE Super Smash Bros., as well as Team Ninja, so they're really bashing themselves.
    • And now the game is showing there are tag battles lets see how much of the fanbase will like it or hate it.
    • The developers only actually had a very, very small part in the development of Brawl, that's all.
  • While on the subject of Ninja Turtles, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time Reshelled is a rather fascinating case study. We have a game that started as an arcade game, Then got ported to the SNES with some added content, and most recently, has been remade for the X-box. The primary complaint that critics site is that they removed the added content from the SNES port, making it the same as the original arcade game. Thus we have 'it's the same as the original, but that sucks because we wanted it to be the same as the SNES port'. Some critics don't even seem to be aware that there was an original arcade version.
  • Both applied to and averted by Command & Conquer Command & Conquer 3- it was released around the same time as Supreme Commander, leading to something of a rivalry between the two fandoms. The SupCom fans bashed C&C for being nothing more than a shiny graphical overhaul of the early days of the RTS genre, with none of the innovations that have appeared since (like, say, in Supreme Commander). The C&C fans responded by pointing out that there are plenty of innovative RTS games around, and that all they really wanted from Command & Conquer 3 was... well, another Command & Conquer game, only prettier.
  • Similar to the Zelda example above, Final Fantasy fans wanted a classic (1-6) style game with the technology of the PS1 era game. What they got was Final Fantasy IX, which they complained about being too much like the classic games. Then they got Final Fantasy X, which they complained was too much like the modern (7-8) games.
  • People complained about all the WW2 games in the Call of Duty series until Modern Warfare came along. Then they complained when the next game was a WW2 game. Then they complained when MW2 was largely a refinement of the original. See the Casino Royale (2006) example above for something similar.
    • As far as the WW2 complaints go, most of them are due to the sheer umber of WWII shooters there are, while WWI, Vietnam, Korea, etc. get ignored.note 
  • Halo forums surrounding topics such as the inclusion of Sprint, Armor/Spartan Abilities, and Loadouts, usually see this trope as a counter-argument to discount the criticisms towards the newer Halo titles.
  • The arcade Double Dragon II is criticized for being DD1 with new graphics and tweaked levels/backgrounds.
  • The WWE Video Games series has received some criticism in recent years for having too little variation between each release, although considering that it has had annual releases for eighteen years and counting, this is hardly surprising.
  • Even art gets this. They seem to especially be cracking down on Tetsuya Nomura, who can't make any of his characters resemble another of his characters in the least bit or else he's supposedly re-using designs of Sephiroth and Cloud. He also is not allowed to have any characters wear black or have white hair, because then they're a ripoff of Sephiroth, even if the only black are shoes or a black T-shirt.
    • Let's also not forget the people who dislike Yoshitaka Amano also point out that he too has his own trends.
      • Amano's characters rarely make it verbatim to the actual game, while all characters Nomura has designed actually appear in game. Yes, Amano's concept art is similar, but the characters themselves don't look that much alike.
  • Half Life: Source. Valve essentially imported the original meshes and graphics from the first game into their new engine, resulting in the only appreciable changes being the introduction of physics and improved water effects. It's gotten some pretty heavy flak from the fanbase.
  • At E3 2010, when Nintendo showed off several titles, ranging from a several Mario sports game in one, a revival of Donkey Kong Country, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Metroid: Other M, Kirby's Epic Yarn, Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, and a remake of GoldenEye, many people were naturally pleased but just as many others, such as the SpoonyOne, wrote all these games off as just being more of the same as they been playing for the past 15 years, ignoring the fact that most of the games clearly were not.
  • Part of the reason Conker: Live & Reloaded failed to reach the same hype and praise won as its former N64 self was due to this. The other part was Microsoft's, replacement of mini-games featured in Bad Fur Day with copies or expansions of the war-based games and despite the title (which was originally going to be named "Live and Uncut") swear words were beeped out (which butchered the famous Great Mighty Poo scene), with only the one scene where Conker witnesses the execution of three squirrels where 2 died and one hid, that was censored in the N64 version by removing the 2 squirrels that died from the game entirely, getting a full restoration to show its original intent.
  • Crackdown 2 takes place in an identical environment to the original—they literally copy and pasted most of the city, and in many ways it lacks the charm of the original, even with the nightly Zombie Apocalypse that occurs. Many were not pleased at how little was new.
  • One of the in-game problems of Heavy Weapon. After going through the first nine levels and defeating the first nine bosses, you are treated to a Your Princess Is in Another Castle! scene. After that, you have to go through the first nine levels with harder enemies and defeat the first nine bosses again, except that most of them are just rehashes with more health and faster speed.
  • One of The Angry Video Game Nerd's criticisms of Rambo on NES was that the developers followed the plot of the film too closely story-wise, and that the game suffered from this.
  • The Sims 3 suffered from this complaint. Granted, they did reuse a lot of object meshes and animations from the previous game. It also got hit with They Changed It, Now It Sucks! because of WHAT was changed.
    • The Sims 4 received much stronger accusation of this, since the most notable differences from 3 were the omissions.
  • Crash Bandicoot falls here prior to Crash Twinsanity. After Naughty Dog sold their ownership do a different company, the Crash series started to look a lot like the same game over and over again. Then those owners sold their owership, and it started all over again. Crash of the Titans and Crash: Mind Over Mutant fall under They Changed It, Now It Sucks!.
  • Golden Sun: Dark Dawn got some of this, with many people complaining that it felt like Camelot stapled the first two games together, without any of their original charm.
  • Almost any FPS out there can suffer from this because, besides a small range of gameplay variation (corridor shooters vs. fighting humongous hordes of Mooks being the main two), they all boil down to the same few things and use the same skills. While Call of Duty's Metagame is worlds away from Serious Sam and Doom, the similarities you can draw between the two are still vast.
  • A Super Smash Bros. with Playstation characters has been in demand for a very long time now. Yet from the very second it was officially announced, people were already whining about PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale being a "ripoff" of Super Smash Bros..
  • God of War: Ascension and God of War III, though still very well-received, received some criticism for having unchanged, identical gameplay from the previous games.
  • Almost any MMO out there that follows the traditional style of World of Warcraft complete with the tank/healer/dps MMO holy trinity, the level cap, the epic gear grinding, will be dismissed as just another unimaginative WoW clone.
  • This is the primary complaint leveled at Bioshock 2, which uses the same setting and same gameplay elements as the previous game. The only noticeable changes are the hacking minigame and the use of a Big Daddy as the protagonist (which does give a different feel to the mechanics, as well as add some intriguing narrative elements as the game progresses).
  • The most common complaint against Nintendo is the company "always producing the same games with the same plot elements". People tend to ignore the fact that Nintendo always refines their flagship franchises so that it's still familiar with older fans while also bringing something new for them and new fans alike. There's also the point where Nintendo tries to do something different, only for people to complain They Changed It, Now It Sucks!.
  • This is what some have been saying about Saints Row IV and not just in terms of the re-used city of Steelport, but, bizarrely, about gameplay as well. The last game was a wacky, over the top GTA style game, whereas IV is a wacky, over the top superhero game who's gameplay is only similar in that you can still drive a car and shoot guns, ignoring that you really don't have to anymore. There was a Superpower DLC for the 4th game.
  • The Syphon Filter Trilogy for the original Playstation got complaints of having the same graphics and gameplay. The former was probably because when better graphics meant better games.
  • This was one of the complaints IGN had with Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies in terms of gameplay, despite the game being the BIGGEST jump in terms of new gameplay that the series has gone through (excluding the spin-off) since it's début. Considering one of their other complaints was that this visual novel game was "too linear" and "had too much text, that's really not surprising though. Oh, and this caused the fandom to go berserk. Let's just say that the response to their review was not a positive one.
  • Batman: Arkham Series:
    • The biggest complaint about Batman: Arkham Origins is that it felt too similar to Batman: Arkham City, being set in the northern and southern sections of Gotham City with the northern section being the area that eventually becomes Arkham City, but also including many previous gadgets and offering minimal changes to gameplay. While Origins was a good/decent/catastrophic game (depending on who you ask,) in it's own right, its scores were lower than its predecessors' near perfect scores. It doesn't help that the game wasn't made by Rocksteady, who made the first two, but WB Montreal, and replaced veterans Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy with Troy Baker and Roger Craig to voice The Joker and Batman, leading many fans to expect the worst from the start. This is also the reason so many people were angry that The Joker ended up being the main villain, and Black Mask just a red herring. Even those who thought the game's take on the Joker was interesting sometimes can't help but express disappointment that he ended up being the main villain again, instead of letting one of Batman's other foes take the spotlight.
    • Batman: Arkham Knight is also accused of this, as some feel that the gameplay is too similar to the previous games. On the other hand, people have complained about more or less every change by this point (Batmobile, Fear takedowns, throw counters etc.) so it crosses over with They Changed It, Now It Sucks!.
  • Thief (2014) has gotten complaints the gameplay has barely changed over the years.
  • It is quite common for game reviewers to deduct points from a game for not doing anything original. If a game does experiment, a reviewer may still say that it isn't different enough from whatever game it's being compared to. An otherwise excellent game may get a lower score simply because it didn't revolutionize its entire genre.
  • The game versions of Inazuma Eleven had this so much, that the sales for each subsequent release went down, especially when the series changed from the NDS to the 3DS. The major complaint for each title from most critics was that it was the gameplay and structure was exactly the same in each game, and that the gimmicks thrown in such as "fighting spirits" just felt like a cheap way to make it feel fresh without updating anything. This was actually admitted by LEVEL-5 as being the main reason for why the latest game's sales were ridiculously low, and it's been announced on Twitter that they're currently working on a project to completely change how Inazuma Eleven plays in the future.
  • Assassin's Creed: Rogue has been criticized for being substantially similar in terms of gameplay to its immediate predecessor, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, with the most noteworthy changes being more in the nature of tweaks (an air gun instead of a blowpipe, a faster and more maneuverable ship for naval combat, etc.) than innovations. Critical and fan opinion is divided as to whether the result falls under this trope or has distilled the elements that were good about Black Flag while removing those (like the eavesdropping missions) that fans hated.
  • A problem with many of the recent ship releases in Star Trek Online is that the ship's layout are not distinct enough from their previous tier level. The problem ships are the Resolute-class (a T6 Excelsior-class ship), the Yamato-class (a T6 Galaxy-X-class ship) and the Valiant-class (a T6 Defiant-class ship). The Resolute and Valiant are too close to the Excelsior and Defiant that buying the T5 variant is much cheaper in the long run. The Yamato's problem is that it boasts the same layout as the Andromeda-class ships (the T6 Galaxy-class ship). Many fans think that Cryptic is trying to sell these ships under the power of their legacy than anything unique.
  • Yooka-Laylee is the Spiritual Successor to Banjo-Kazooie, made by former Rare staffers. However it hedges very close to its forerunner in terms of things like music design and aesthetic elements (such as the way characters talk to the protagonists, through small boxes that slide in from the left along the bottom of the screen and in a Comic Sans-like typeface that bounces). Even the logo is very similar to Banjo-Kazooie's. As a result of this, despite this game delivering exactly what people were looking for in a throwback to Rare's golden age and collect-a-thon platforming games, there is a sense that they aren't pushing themselves forward so much as aping as much of Banjo-Kazooie as they can get away with. There is a desire to see a game that takes the charm and wit of classic Rare titles but breaks the mold as well with its own unique voice and flavor.
  • One of the reasons Gradius IV is panned by series fans is because while many Gradius games rehash a stage or two, Gradius IV has a lot of rehashes. Stage 1 already gives off this feeling by being what is effectively Stage 1 of Gradius II but with liquid metal instead of mini-suns.
  • A common criticism of Dariusburst Chronicle Saviours DLC is that while they provide new and interesting ways to play the game, they don't add any new stages or bosses, making the DLC feel overpriced ($5 for each ship/character).
  • Monster Hunter 4 and its Updated Re-release Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate have Dah'ren Mohran, a monster criticized for being almost the same as fellow colossal sand whale Jhen Mohran. 4 Ultimate additionally receives some criticism for taking the Old Desert map from earlier games and simply rehashing it to take advantage of 4's vertical movement mechanics.
  • One of the biggest complaints about Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 5's English-language versions is that unlike the Japanese version, the game feels less like a sequel and more like an Updated Re-release of 4: it only adds one new map (Mt. Taikan) rather than three (Sub-center Shibuya/Shinjuku and Sub-center Ikebukuro as well), it doesn't have the Maxi G currency system, and it uses the same "Entry" background music as Maximum Tune 4. Non-Japan Maximum Tune 5 even runs on the same Namco ESA1 hardware as 4, unlike the Japanese version which uses Namco's newer ESA3. These problems would eventually be addressed in Maximum Tune 5 DX, which features roughly the same content in both the Japanese and international versions (thus adding the various features and maps that were excluded from non-Japan MT5).
  • Some fans of the Etrian Odyssey series are disappointed that Etrian Odyssey V: Beyond the Myth is too back-to-its-roots, having ditched the overworld exploration of the previous two non-spinoff games and the Story Modes of the Etrian Odyssey Untold games.
  • Fans of Daytona USA got hyped up when Daytona 3 Championship USA was announced...only for the game to turn out to be a remake of the first game, with not even any references to Daytona USA 2. Fan backlash led the game to lose the '3' part of the title to make it clear that it's just a remake. To add insult to injury, there's already been a previous HD remake for arcades of the first game, SEGA Racing Classic, making this version even more redundant.
  • Splatoon 2 came under fire at its initial release for not really differentiating itself from Splatoon too much, while also not really fixing the flaws imported from the first game, causing several people to label it as an enhanced port of the first game. It didn't help that the game initially had very few stages and only a fraction of the weapons from the first game, making people feel that content was taken away instead of being added. Most of this was a result of fans and critics being unfamiliar with the series' system of regular free content updates: new weapons (including all those from the first game as well as several completely new ones) were added weekly for the first year and a half after the game's release, and the game eventually received four times as many stages as it had at launch.
  • XCOM Terror From The Deep received some not-unjustified flak for this trope, being literally the same game engine and mechanics with a few new assets, in addition to many of the changes it did implement being either annoying, buggy or adding Fake Difficulty. XCOM Apocalypse, which was supposed to be the second game in the series but got held up, was a lot more ambitious in its changes to the established formula.
  • Puyo Puyo Tetris 2:
    • One of the more recurring complaints about the game is that, aside from incorporating the Skill Battle mode from Puyo Puyo Chronicle, it is a textbook example of a Mission-Pack Sequel. While issues such as Puyo Puyo and Tetris having shared online rankings were addressed, other things some Puyo Puyo fans wanted such as the standalone Fever ruleset were not. Not helping matters is the fact that there were alternatives for both Puyo Puyo and Tetris fans on all of Puyo Puyo Tetris 2's platforms when taking backwards compatibility into account, especially on the Nintendo Switch which had five other Puyo Puyo games plus Tetris 99 available upon the game's release.
    • Even for players that were more receptive of Puyo Puyo Tetris's character spells in the English dub, the fact that Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 recycles a significant amount of these spells (and in some cases, such as Schezo and Dark Prince's alternate voices, are exactly the same as in the first game) left a bitter impression, moreso considering that all Japanese character spells were remade for PPT2.
  • The PETA video game parodies that have sequels have been criticized of having little difference from the previous games.
    • The Super Chick Sisters sequel New Super Chick Sisters is once again a parody of Super Mario Bros. that has Nugget and Chickette rescue Pamela Anderson from a slanderous portrayal of a popular fast food franchise while Mario and Luigi are made total fools and attacked for actions that PETA sees as animal cruelty. The only significant difference is that this time, the fast food franchise being attacked is McDonald's rather than Kentucky Fried Chicken.
    • Pokémon Black and Blue had a sequel titled Pokémon: Red, White & Blue. Like the original, the sequel was nothing more than a parody of Pokémon that attacks the game series by accusing it of teaching children that animal abuse is okay. The only significant change to the story is that the game also serves as an attack on McDonald's and accuses the fast food franchise of reinforcing the Pokémon franchise's alleged stance on animal abuse.

  • Ethan claims this in one Shortpacked! strip, which opened by showing the evolution of Bugs Bunny between 1938 and 1957, and then repeated panels of an identical Bugs in the decades since, before ending with this conversation:
    Robin: I just saw they're going to change Bugs Bunny!
    Ethan: When was the last time Bugs Bunny was funny?
    Robin: 1957?
    Ethan: Bingo.

    Web Original 
  • Zero Punctuation is starting to come under fire for making "nothing but" poop and dick jokes.
  • Some people complain this way about Survival of the Fittest V1, V2, and V3, despite the fact that they all have radically different characters and storylines, just because they start from the same basic set up (a bunch of kids get put on an island and forced to kill each other).
  • The DEATH BATTLE! episode "She-Ra VS Wonder Woman" has been criticized for being the third episode to feature Wonder Woman, and for her portion of the analysis being very similar to the one in her previous appearance, "Thor VS Wonder Woman". Even the ending analysis was similar, with both episodes giving the win to Wonder Woman in large part due to her feat of blocking the Shattered God's fragments proving that she's massively faster than her opponents. Some people questioned what the point of the episode was, if it ended up giving Wonder Woman yet another victory with pretty much the same reasoning as her previous showing.
  • This is a major criticism of the "analog horror" genre started by Local58. Almost every "analog horror" video seems to involve "haunted" Emergency Broadcasts, creepy visuals, ARG elements, and implied eldritch abominations.
  • Discussed in Up From The Depths Kaiju film reviews. Reviews note when particular entries of the Godzilla and especially Gamera franchises get too formulaic, derivative, and repetitive of what came before. Special mention to the King Kong franchise here: with the exception of The Son of Kong and King Kong Lives (and possibly King Kong vs. Godzilla and King Kong Escapes, both of which still retread plot points from the original, but add Godzilla, Mechanikong, and other elements that may keep them fresh and not "just a remake"), every Kong film is just a remake of the original, which gets boring fast, no matter how good those remakes themselves are. It wasn't until Kong: Skull Island that Kong got a new film, wholly original, yet paying respect to the life of the franchise. That said, these formulaic and derivative films are not necessarily bad: some take their well-trodden path and run it with charm and enthusiasm. Others just cover the same ground over again because it's expected of them.

    Western Animation 

Alternative Title(s): It Is The Same Now It Sucks, Its The Same So It Sucks