10 sequels like Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair that changed genres

When Yooka-Laylee was originally announced on Kickstarter it was largely positioned as a rebirth of the 3D platformers of yesteryear. There was clearly a market for it as it smashed its original goal and raised enough money for free DLC to be made and local multiplayer to be added. When it was eventually released, people were largely lukewarm on it because of its dated presentation and collectathon gameplay. So, the decision to make the game’s sequel, Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair, a 2.5D platformer reminiscent of Donkey Kong Country rather than another 3D platformer was a surprising one. However, it’s far from the first sequel to abruptly change genres for better or worse. Check out 10 sequels like Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair that changed genres below.

10 Sequels That Changed Genre | Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts

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Considering Yooka-Laylee is largely based upon the original Banjo-Kazooie, it’s only fitting that it follows in the platformer’s footsteps of changing genres. After creating two by-the-numbers 3D platformers, Rare decided to take their mascots in a different direction for their first Xbox release. Nuts and Bolts saw the series focus on customizable vehicles in order to supplement its platforming gameplay. While divisive, the Xbox 360 exclusive has only become more beloved as time has passed.

ALSO: The Past Decade Has Solidified That Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts is the Series’ Best

10 Sequels That Changed Genre | Dynasty Warriors 2

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It might be hard to believe but the original Dynasty Warriors was actually a one-on-one fighting game featuring historical figures from China. The next game created the hack-and-slash gameplay that had players going through mob after mob of enemies that we all know by now. They’re actually treated as separate series in Japan, which has created a numbering disparity between the Western and Eastern releases that continues to this day.

10 Sequels That Changed Genre | Fallout 3

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The only things that Fallout 3 truly took from its predecessors is the nuclear wasteland theme and its sense of humor as it plays little like the role-playing games it is a sequel to. It has much more in common with Bethesda’s own Elder Scrolls series of fantasy action RPGs. While this change upset some of the fans of the original, it made the series a much bigger hit overall.

10 Sequels That Changed Genre | Kid Icarus Uprising

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Both the original Kid Icarus and its 1991 Game Boy sequel Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters are pretty standard action platformers that have players using Pit’s bow and arrow to take out foes. 2012’s Kid Icarus: Uprising on the other hand is a 3D action game with flying segments that controls like a third-person shooter. The Nintendo 3DS sequel is much more special than the games it is based upon is a great example of a sequel being better than the originals due to the developer making major changes.

10 Sequels That Changed Genre | Metroid Prime

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There was a lot of weariness towards Metroid Prime as the series was known for its 2D platforming. Becoming a 3D adventure game was a huge shift, but one that ultimately worked out and gave the series a second life. It established Retro Studios as a premier studio and proved that Nintendo had a knack for turning its 2D series into great 3D titles.

10 Sequels That Changed Genre | Resident Evil 4

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Resident Evil largely made survival horror into the genre we know it as today, but Resident Evil 4 was the beginning of its shift towards action games. Resident Evil 5 and 6 would take it further into that direction, but RE4 was a revolutionary third-person shooter that is still a classic. It’s certainly different from its predecessors, but that isn’t a bad thing as it has plenty of the same tone and atmosphere.

10 Sequels That Changed Genre | ToeJam and Earl in Panic on Funkotron

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The majority of the games on this list show that change can be a good thing. However, that isn’t always the case as sometimes a sequel can rip out a lot of the charm and originality of its predecessor. Sadly, that is the case with ToeJam and Earl in Panic on Funkotron, which changed the genre-bending gameplay of the original into an ordinary and predictable 2D platformer. It was a rough decision that made it so the series never reached the same highs as the original until its recent reboot.

10 Sequels That Changed Genre | Wolfenstein 3D

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Both Castle Wolfenstein and its sequel, Beyond Castle Wolfenstein, were highly regarded stealth-based action games for the Apple II computer. Id Software took the series in a totally different direction for Wolfenstein 3D as it released one of the earliest first-person shooters. This wound up being a huge success for John Carmack, John Romero, and Tom Hall as it was a huge commercial success and helped the genre explode in popularity. The series’ legacy still lives on today thanks to MachineGames.

10 Sequels That Changed Genre | World of Warcraft

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Before it became the poster child for massively multiplayer online games, Warcraft used to be a strategy series with a fantasy motif. While its core gameplay has continued in the Starcraft series, World of Warcraft took departure from that style. The change wound up being quite the success as WOW is still one of the most successful subscription-based games ever made and continues live on.

10 Sequels That Changed Genre | Yakuza 7

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While Yakuza: Like A Dragon isn’t out yet in Japan or North America, it definitely deserves a mention on this list due to how wild the change in genre is. This is the first Yakuza title not to be a 3D action game and it has morphed into a Dragon Quest-inspired turn-based role-playing game. It’s about as strong as a departure that the series could have possibly taken. While fan response has been mixed both in North America and overseas, it looks to be carrying its trademark humor with it just fine. It’s certainly one of the most interesting changes to an established series to happen in the past decade.