Article: Terminology I Made Up- “The Temple of Doom Effect”

Article: Terminology I Made Up- “The Temple of Doom Effect”


Welcome to yet another sub-series I just made up on the spot! In this sub-series, I will make up terms for various effects I see in various gaming trends, similar to what those guys do over at tvtropes. To start off, for example, how do you feel about Donkey Kong Country 3?

If you answered that it sucks because 1 and 2 are far superior, or that it is the weakest of the SNES trilogy, then congratulations- you just used the “Temple of Doom Effect”!

Let me explain. The name of this term clearly is named after the 2nd Indiana Jones movie, “Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom”. You see, for the longest time, a time before Kingdom of the Crystal Skull came out and became the worst Indiana Jones movie of all time, Temple of Doom was considered the worst Indiana Jones movie. Thanks, David Kehr!

Right now, I know exactly how a lot of people are responding to this. “But wait- Temple of Doom was a pretty good movie- even though Raiders and Last Crusade were better!” This is exactly the point I am trying to make with this term- just because something is the worst in a series, does NOT mean it is automatically trash.

This term is usually used to describe the worst in a trilogy, or “set” of games. For example, Return of the Jedi is considered to be the weakest of the original trilogy, mostly due to Ewoks. Damn Ewoks! A good example of for a “set” would be the 3D Mario games, in which either 3D World and Sunshine would be considered the “Temple of Doom” of the series- good, but their are better games in the series.

What’s worse- the empire being defeated by teddy bears, or the Casino scenes in The Last Jedi? You decide!

Donkey Kong Country 3 is actually a solid platformer- in fact, its one of the better games on the SNES. However, DKC 1 and 2 exist, and are actually even better. So, DKC 3 becomes somewhat of a red-headed step-child…. even though it’s still a pretty good game. Now and days, DKC 3 is considered the weakest link, even though it’s still a solid game- heavily criticized just because the other games in the series exist.

There are many games that fit this description- good, but there are better games in the series, so we have to call this game the “Worst” in the series. I could go on and on, about how the word worst carries a negative cognation, and all that. I guess the point I’m trying to make is that just because a game is not as good as other games in it’s series, does not automatically mean that the game is a bad game- it simply means that are just better games in the series.

Most of the games in the series have to be good in the series as well- this term only really works whens theres little to no garbage. So what do you call worst game in the series that are actually bad, like Megaman X7, or Final Fantasy II? Well, thats a term for another day- a term I like to call “Dead Black Sheep”.

Real Talk: Megaman X7 is a pile of hot garbage

On the opposite end is what I call the “Rough Start”- games like the original Street Fighter or Just Cause, which are considered the worst in their series- mostly because their sequels blow them out of the water.

Game that I think suffer the “Temple of Doom” effect include-

  • Super Mario 3D World and Super Mario Sunshine (As far as 3D Mario is concerned)
  • Kirby’s Dream Land 3 (Dream Land Trilogy)
  • Doom 3 (depending on who you ask. I know some people despise this game)
  • Donkey Kong Country 3
  • Various 3D Zeldas (No one can make up their minds whether Wind Waker, Twilight Princess, or Skyward Sword are the worst in series, it seems)
  • GTA IV or V (Depending on who you ask, really. Some might even say III)
  • Ratchet and Clank: Up Your Arsenal (Thanks, TheGamingBritShow! SEE: “CULT OF PERSONALITY”)
  • Megaman 7 and 8
  • And many many more!

I just made this up to make since of people’s opinions, you know, when they tell me games like DKC 3 and Twilight Princess are hot garbage, except, you know, that there just not as good as other games in their respective series.

But maybe I’m wrong- maybe all the games I put above are all hot garbage and I have terrible opinions- this is the Internet after all, and all our opinions are pretty terrible.

Just one man trying to make since of things, I guess.

I consider my blog to fit this term. Oh, who I am kidding- it’s the “Dead Black Sheep” of video game blogs!

What do you think? Is this the ramblings of a mad man? Is Donkey Kong Country 3 really a bad game, or is it just not as good as the other DKC games? 

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