esper Which video game franchise took the greatest number of releases to start getting interesting? (19:01)
OK, I got a weird one and I’m gonna post it because I was thinking it and then Brandon said “maybe a racing game.” So I’m gonna say: the Cruis’n series. (which I just learned is spelled “Cruis’n” and not “Cruisin’” and I hate it)
So the timeline is:
Cruis’n USA (1994)
Cruis’n World (1996)
Cruis’n Exotica (1999)
Cruis’n Velocity (2001)
Cruis’n (Wii) (2007)
Cruis’n Blast (2017) < first interesting game
That took 23 years and five games to get interesting. I think what made Blast interesting is that time changed, but the series didn’t change what it is, in a very earnest way. You could argue that there’s some historical interest to Cruis’n USA with the whole Ultra 64 association blah blah blah, but I think it’s a very 1994 video game for 1994. Through the ’90s, those games were exactly the type of game that would be in the weird little arcade nook past the checkout lines in Walmart – they’re Dave & Buster-assed arcade games to the max. You knew someone who had an N64 version, too. The Wii game is as uninteresting as a Wii game can get; a bad motion-controlled version of a popular game made to appeal to your dad.
The dumb ’90s spirit of these games was unremarkable in the dumb ’90s, but playing a game with that spirit in-tact in 2017 (or in 2021, as most of us did on Switch) is remarkable. It’s a better video game with the same DNA (down to Eugene Jarvis’ involvement) made more special by the passage of time – and, importantly, not in a throwback, YouTuber-suckling-on-the-teat-of-nostalgia “REMEMBER THE 90s BRO???” type of way, but in an un-ironic, know-thyself sort of way.
Or: it kinda just worked for me in 2021.