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Not quite Metroid.

Some media, such as Final Fantasy or Gundam, are known for being long-running series with multiple incarnations. Within these series, there is always at least one game that is considered the Black Sheep of the group.

The reasons for this vary, the most common generally being Genre Shift and Art Shift. Games which acquire this status are different enough that it's hard to coherently compare them to other counterparts in the series. Many a Flame War is likely to ensue over the relative quality of the title compared to its counterparts with the same license branding.

Will often happen specifically with the second incarnation of the series, often because the creators, not having realized the exact blend of their successful formula, will change it in such a way that many of the fans' favorite parts are removed. As a result, later sequels will take more influence from the first title than the second. Early Installment Weirdness can ensue if the first one is the oddball.

Examples of Oddball in the Series include:

Video Games

  • Super Mario Bros. 2 holds this status in the main Mario platformer series, since it eliminated the things that made the first game popular and replaced them with new moves, like throwing vegetables at enemies or picking up enemies and hurling them at others. Of course, this was because SMB2 was a Dolled-Up Installment of another game, while the real sequel fell under the No Export for You status until the remake included as part of Super Mario All-Stars (with the name changed to Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels to avoid confusion with the game released as Super Mario Bros. 2 outside of Japan) came along (Westerners eventually got to play the original version in all its 8-bit Nintendo Hard glory on the Wii's Virtual Console). Then again, the "real" sequel was made by only half of the developers of the original game, making it more like a ROM Hack of Super Mario Bros. that was professionally published. That said however, many of SMB2's features (grabbing enemies, Bob-ombs, etc...) have become indispensable parts of the series.
    • After a fashion, the 'real' Japan-only Mario 2 also fits this trope — while it's almost exactly identical to the first game, that itself is a departure for a series that usually tries to introduce new ideas and mechanics with every installment. This is part of the reason why it wasn't originally released outside of Japan.
    • Another oddball in the Mario series is Super Mario Sunshine. Following up on the near-universally loved Super Mario 64, it introduced a water pack named FLUDD for Mario to spray enemies with. Also, many common enemies in the series were either replaced or redesigned with a unique look for the game. The game was both loved for its great level design, good scenery, and incorporation of old mechanics and new ideas and hated for FLUDD being too gimmicky, being rather difficult, having bad voice acting, as well as replacing the Koopalings with Bowser Jr.
    • Super Mario Land is also another odd one out from the main Mario platformer series. Instead of taking place in the Mushroom Kingdom or some other similar locale, the game takes place in some real world lookalike locations, such as Egypt and China. On top of this, all the enemies are quite new, except the famous Goomba and the Koopa Troopa, (although he had his shell explode when stomped on), the Fire Flower makes Mario throw Superballs (which bounce off surfaces at 90 degree angles) instead of fireballs, the invincibility theme taking a nod to the Can-Can, and two levels experiencing an Unexpected Shmup Level. This is also the first time Princess Daisy makes an appearance and she wasn't seen again until Mario Tennis for the Nintendo 64. Despite the changes, the game still plays as a typical Mario game and it has been well liked by most fans.
  • Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles is considered to be the oddball in the Final Fantasy series. Since it plays more like an action/hack and slash RPG instead of the usual turn based one, many fans either hated it or loved it.
    • Within the main series, there's Final Fantasy II which uses a number of completely different systems (stats and spells leveling with use, for starters) than the rest of the series. Final Fantasy XI also qualifies, by being an MMORPG. Final Fantasy VIII also replaces the entire magic system with drawing and Junctioning. Not surprisingly, all three of these games tend to be heavily Contested Sequels as a result.
    • Then there is Final Fantasy X-2, which was the first direct sequel, the only game to feature an all-female party, and was a significantly Lighter and Softer game compared to the more drama-heavy entries in the main series (especially Final Fantasy X itself).
      • Final Fantasy Tactics also falls under this to some degree. Mainly focused as a strategy game where you raise up to 16 members in the party, have tons of customizations for abilities, reading the layout of the terrain to plan your attacks, etc. Quite different from your standard Final Fantasy. It got popular enough to spawn two more spin offs of the same style and an enhanced remake.
    • Not to even mention games like Final Fantasy Legend and its sequels (actually SaGa games in disguise) and Final Fantasy Mystic Quest, a far simpler and much easier exploration-focused game.
      • Regarding the SaGa games in their own right, the third one is by far the oddest one out. It's the only game in the series to utilize a conventional leveling system, and it does away with many of the unusual game mechanics that made the first two games unique (such as breakable weapons and the ability to carry more of them at the cost of being able to carry less other equipment). It also features a number of rather... weird things that never appeared in any of the other games - even by the standards of Saga's typical medieval/techno settings - the least of which was a sentient time-traveling battleship.
        • The DS remake of SaGa 3 is no longer an oddball; it was changed to use mechanics much more like the first two games.
      • Note that SaGa 3 was developed by the same team as Final Fantasy Mystic Quest.
  • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link is unique among The Legend of Zelda series. The game is a side-scrolling Platformer as opposed to the overhead view used by other 2D games and replaces the items of the previous game with a magic system. The sword-fighting is very different from any other game in the series. It also is the only Zelda to have a limited number of lives.
  • Depending on who you ask in the Harvest Moon fandom, it's either Save The Homeland (with its lack of marriage and emphasis on horse breeding) or A Wonderful Life (with its ramped-up difficulty, episodic format, and overall emphasis on your child's ultimate fate).
    • And then there's Rune Factory and Innocent Life, the former a fantasy game with monsters and an ongoing plot and the latter taking place in the future with the player character a cyborg. The former was significantly more successful, and has been spun off into its own sub-series.
  • Metroid has Metroid Prime: Hunters, which eschewed the exploratory single-player nature of the series for a multiplayer-driven fast-paced First-Person Shooter (with a tacked-on single-player mode). Metroid Prime Pinball, on the other hand, is usually just ignored outright, since, as a Spin-Off, it's expected to be quite different.
    • The fandom still apparently hasn't decided what Metroid: Other M IS. One way to look at it is as the long-awaited third-person/2.5D Super Metroid successor, which is more or less what Yoshio Sakamoto intended. And yet its emphasis on intense melee combat, cut-scenes and exposition make it a different beast compared to the more shooting-focused, non-verbally plotted sidescrollers. It's also considerably more linear than the rest of the series, arguably going against the main attribute the Metroid series is known for.
  • Ultima II: Revenge of the Enchantress is the black sheep of that franchise, being, for reasons poorly explained in the manual, set on several time-shifted versions of Earth instead of in Sosaria/Britannia.
    • Ultima IX is considered an even worse case by many fans, both due to the heavy liberties it took with Ultima canon and for being an Obvious Beta.
  • Heroes of Might and Magic IV. It has several differences between it and other entries, including heroes that participate in combat, 4 levels of units as opposed to the previous 6-7, a distance-based rather than grid-based combat system, the removal of creature upgrades, and an overhaul of both the attack/defense and hero skill systems.
    • Similarly, the ninth installment of the main series falls under this trope, and much for the same reason. Both Heroes 4 and M&M 9 were meant to serve as story reboots by moving the series to a new universe, just as Heroes 3 and M&M 6 had done. Unfortunately, an acute case of Author Existence Failure prevented this from happening. The main series died a sadly unspectacular death, while the Heroes series attempted to hearken back to the glory days of its third installment.
  • Armored Core: Nine Breaker, the ninth entry in the Armored Core series is particularly odd duck even for an Armored Core game. It has no plot to it — at all — and is simply 250~ tests designed to access how well you understand the game play mechanics of Armored Core. Yes, the ninth iteration of the series is an in-depth tutorial for a game engine that hasn't changed one iota from its very first incarnation. Some of the actual tests are Nintendo Hard, the arena is pathetic, you can buy or earn all the parts introduced in Nine Breaker in Last Raven anyway so there's no need to even play it for that and the mission where you actually fight Nine Ball, the selling of the game, is only unlocked after you've beaten every other test in the game. Why was it even released? Maybe From Software needed the money?
  • Ecco the Dolphin is famous for bizarre plotlines and Nintendo Hard gameplay. Perfect series to slot in a strange edutainment title where you can't die, then! Kids love dolphins, right?!
    • Maybe it was their way of apologizing to the kids for making so many of them cry with the Surprise Difficulty of the main series.
  • Shin Megami Tensei is mainly a bunch of turn-based, Nintendo Hard RPGs. Then you have Raidou Kuzunoha vs. the Soulless Army, which has an action-based battle system.
    • There was also a Virtual Boy spinoff titled Jack Bros, which was a top-down action game.
  • Command and Conquer: Sole Survivor. It feels more like a mod than an actual game, but it was an actual stand alone product.
    • There's also Renegade. Because what RTS series doesn't need an overwhelmingly generic FPS?
    • And Command and Conquer: Generals. It didn't play at all like any of the earlier games, did away with the iconic sidebar, removed the pre-mission videos, and was set in an entirely new continuity.
  • Mega Man 8 stuck out in two ways. First, it drastically altered several Mega Man gameplay staples. There are no Energy Tanks, Rush Coil is gone and Jet can't be called by the player, stages come in two parts (with Continue only booting you back to the halfway point), all weapons are refilled whenever you die, and Bolts are finite... it all takes getting used to. Second, this was the game where Capcom famously ditched Nintendo for Sony, whose new Playstation was much more developer-friendly than Nintendo's N64. The X series would find a good home with Sony (and make many of the same gameplay changes as 8), but the original series stalled for years after this game before finally returning to Nintendo with 9.
    • Mega Man X 7 is the only X (or original-series) game in full 3D. As such, it plays very differently, and sadly not very well — camera control in particular is a huge problem. X7 also made the bizarre decision to withhold X himself as a playable character until about halfway in; his place in gameplay is taken by a new character, Axl, who plays about the same. While later games made him more distinct and well-rounded, Axl has yet to be forgiven by the fanbase for his debut.
    • Mega Man Battle Network 4 is completely different in structure from the rest of the series: it's basically one long Tournament Arc consisting of three Inevitable Tournaments, and it requires at least three playthroughs to unlock everything, including the Bonus Dungeon. This isn't quite as tedious as it sounds, given the increasing challenge on each playthrough and the random elements involved, but the main plot is exactly the same each time. BN4 also has a really sloppy English translation, which wouldn't stand out in many game series, but does in this one.
  • Most Legacy of Kain fans chalk up Blood Omen 2 as pure Fanon Discontinuity, thanks to its awkward gameplay and somewhat alarmingly badly written script (how in the hell is Vorador still alive?!), which was a stark contrast to the previous games. This was mostly because the game was originally developed as a sequel to Chakan: The Forever Man, but was later retooled to squeeze it into the LoK franchise.
  • Phantasy Star III is the black sheep of its series, with an unrelated plotline to the rest of the series, decidedly weak mechanics, and visibly less effort put into it overall.
  • Aero Fighters (Know as Sonic Wings in Japan) is a series of wacky arcade Shoot Em Ups... except for Aero Fighters Assault, which is a half-realistic 3D flight simulation.
  • When it comes to the Sonic series it's famous for the fact that the main lead is "the fastest thing alive". So the games where he gets in a kart (Sonic Drift and its sequel), not to mention the game where he's slowed down and forced to go through mazes (Sonic Labyrinth), make perfect sense...
    • Sonic is full of these things. There's Sonic and the Black Knight, which gave Sonic a sword. There's Shadow the Hedgehog, a Darker and Edgier spinoff where gunplay is a major element, and Sonic Heroes, which had a team mechanic and a Lighter and Softer plot compared to Sonic Adventure and its sequel. This is in addition to games like Sonic 3D Flickies Island, ,Sonic Shuffle, Sonic Spinball, Sonic Pinball Party... let's just say the Sonic series has dabbled in different formulas a lot.
    • Out of the 2D Sonic games released in the early 1990s, the least known is Sonic CD, perhaps because it was originally released for the relatively unpopular Sega CD system. While the game added its share of staples to the franchise (namely Metal Sonic and Amy Rose), it also diverges quite a bit from its Genesis counterparts, both in terms of aesthetics (perhaps being more surreal and colorful than almost any other Sonic game to date) and gameplay (in the time-traveling gimmick, slightly altered mechanics, more open and nebulous level design, optional sub-goals within levels, and the implementation of the rarely-seen Super Peel-Out).
  • Ys III: Wanderers from Ys is the only side-scrolling game in the series. It also differs from its two predecessors by having a dedicated "attack" button, rather than attacking by ramming.
  • Castlevania Judgment, the series' first (and, given its limited success, possibly only) Fighting Game.
    • And long before that, there was Castlevania II: Simon's Quest. Back before The Angry Video Game Nerd told everyone they weren't supposed to like it (he was kidding, by the way), there actually were quite a few fans who preferred its open-ended gameplay model over the more linear parts I and III back when Metroidvania was just an itch in Konami's pants. It still stands out for the confusing, misspelled, or just plain lying hints, overabundance of instant-death pools of water and unexpectedly easy Boss Battles. The day/night cycle would return in later games, but much less annoyingly.
    • Vampire Killer on the MSX2 is a similar case, using nonlinear stages that require you to find keys to progress from one stage to the next. And like Simon's Quest, Simon can buy upgrades with hearts.
    • The game is also ridiculously hard.
  • X-COM was reimagined as a corridor shooter for 2001's Enforcer.
    • Don't forget X-Com: Interceptor!
      • Definitely one which causes a broken base since it's a great space game, if not necessarily a good example of an X-Com game.
  • Redguard is the last thing anyone thinks of when someone mentions "The Elder Scrolls" series.
    • Don't forget Battlespire. Truely oddball in its try for multi-player gaming which failed considerably in getting popular.
  • Silent Hill the Arcade is an arcade rail shooter in a series comprised only of Survival Horror entries on non-arcade platforms.
    • In the regular series, Silent Hill 4 sticks out. It features a much heavier emphasis on melee weapons as opposed to guns, first-person segments, almost no boss battles, and unkillable ghost enemies that attacked you through the levels. It wasn't well received.
      • It was originally developed as an unconnected game before the developers decided to work it into the Silent Hill mythos, hence the variation from the norm. Not well received is an overstatement, there was certainly some fan backlash but it reviewed pretty well.
    • Silent Hill: Shattered Memories is different from the other games in the series in that you have pretty much no offense. There's only one type of monster that you can't defeat and can only throw off of yourself and ward off with inexplicable flares. The characters are all different. Michael Kauffman, who you may know from the other games to be a Complete Monster psychiatrist and Dahlia, who is a creepy old woman, are a normal shrink and a slutty young girl respectively.
  • The original Thunder Force is a retroactive example (to the few people who have heard of it and even fewer people who have played it), being entirely an overhead shooter, while Thunder Force II alternates between this format and side-scrolling, and the rest of the series is entirely side-scrolling.
    • Thunder Spirits is the only game in the series to appear on a Nintendo system. However, it's not an original game; it's a port of Thunder Force AC (the only arcade release), which in turn is a port of Thunder Force III on the Sega Genesis / Mega Drive.
  • Tetris the Grand Master ACE pretty much takes the "The Grand Master" out of Tetris: The Grand Master courtesy of Executive Meddling, being more in line with traditional Tetris. To its credit, it does retain a variant of TGM's signature rotation system.
  • The arcade game DJMAX Technika, unlike other DJMAX games that copy follow the Beatmania formula, plays more like a cross between Elite Beat Agents and Lumines. It's very popular in areas where arcades have it, in some cases even being more popular than DJMAX Portable.
  • The Clue Finders: Puzzle of the Pyramid is Lighter and Softer than the rest of the series, is the only game to engage in Breaking the Fourth Wall, is the only game to give Socrates any prominence, puts the characters in different clothes than any other game, is the only game not to have The Reveal or utilize Let's Split Up, Gang!, and parodies everything from God's Hands Are Tied to the Evil Laugh. Even the art style is different!
  • The Zork trilogy was a series of interactive fiction adventures by Infocom. Beyond Zork was an interactive fiction/RPG hybrid that let you roll stats for your character, and allowed you to wield and use weapons in combat.
    • Zork Nemesis was a serious, Darker and Edgier, Myst-style puzzler. And pretty damn creepy. That was follwed by Zork Grand Inquisitor, which went back to the comedy of the earlier games but stuck with the Myst-style gameplay.
  • Backyard Skateboarding, unlike the rest of the Backyard Sports series, is an adventure game with tons of Fetch Quests. It also has bosses, which the main games lack.
  • Halo Wars, a Real Time Strategy game amongst a family of first person shooters. Also made by a different developer. It's oddball nature is ironic, because Halo was originally conceived of as an RTS.
  • Paro Wars, a Turn-Based Strategy Game amongst a family of completely silly shmups. Yes, it is a fairly serious and difficult military strategy game not unlike the Nintendo Wars series, with all the goofy Parodius characters such as Moai heads, penguins, octopi and dogs in business suits! What were they thinking?
  • Oddly enough, the first installment of Touhou, Highly Responsive to Prayers. It's a weird Breakout-like in what would become a Bullet Hell series. Word of God says it was actually a "study product."
    • Also the Phantasmagoria games, which are versus shooters.
  • Most Lemmings games have the same general gameplay, except for two - Lemmings Paintball is an isometric Third-Person Shooter, while The Adventures of Lomax is a platformer.
  • Resident Evil 4 was considered this for quite some time. The transition from a 3D adventure game to your typical action game gave it a much different feel than the past few, but considering the success (and Resident Evil 5) it seems that this new style is here to stay.
    • A better example would be the Gun Survivor spinoffs, which play like 1st-person light gun games yet rarely have light gun support in all territories. Reception to these has been... mixed.
  • Parasol Stars is the oddball in the Bubble Bobble series; it lacks either of the two iconic weapons of the series (bubbles or rainbows) and instead has Bub and Bob beating up enemies with parasols, something that has yet to appear in any other game in the series.
  • King's Quest Mask of Eternity. Ditched the interactive narrative formula, and went for action/adventure instead. Like other entries on this list, some prefer to think it never happened.
  • Quest for Glory V played like an RPG with Adventure elements, rather than vice-versa as the other four games in the series. It also ran smack into the Polygon Ceiling and didn't have as much input from the series' creators. Fans tend to be kinder, mainly because they still tried to make it a Quest for Glory game, retaining the franchise's trademark sense of humor and fantastical elements.
  • Fire Emblem Gaiden holds this distinction. While the others are completely linear games where you go from one chapter to another, this one has a map you move around on, which wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't because of the Forced Level Grinding you need to do every often in a while (On a series that usually has no Level Grinding at all). Furthermore, Unbreakable Weapons is NOT Averted (When the series does) and magic is Cast From Hit Points (Instead of being regular weapons that hit another defense stat). Furthermore, you face off monsters often, instead of just humans aside from some Elite Mooks. And there's a weak "Villager" class that can promote on one of the "normal" base classes. Most of these ideas were recycled for The Sacred Stones, and the villager class made a comeback in Awakening and Fates.
    • While generally much better received than Gaiden and Fire Emblem the Sacred Stones, the Jugdral games both had a number of unique features. The first, Genealogy of the Holy War, had ridiculously large and sprawling levels in which multiple castles had to be captured and there were at least as many bosses in each level as there were castles, the arena was a function in your castle in which there were a given set of enemies for each level (instead of being infinite and random), each character had their own supply of money and items couldn't be traded; also, you paired up your units in the first half of the game and played as their children in the second half. Many of these units also had "Holy Blood".
    • While Holy Blood was naturally still present in Thracia 776 (as it was set in the same world and had some of the same characters), everything else introduced in the previous game was scrapped and never came back. However, a bunch of other new features were added.
      • The Build stat, determining the size of a unit, was introduced, and both Build and Movement had growth rates and could potentially increase when leveling up. Large enough units could rescue smaller allied units and could capture enemy units after defeating them, and a captured enemy could be "traded" with (read: stripped of its items) before being released (at which point they'd die)...or not released, as many recruitable enemies had to be captured and kept in order to get them to join.
      • It also was the first game to have gaiden chapters that could be unlocked by fulfilling certain requirements, and most of these chapters were full of darkness, as was one regular chapter.
      • Also, all units except the main character had a fatigue meter that went up every time they engaged in combat or used a staff, which could only be reset by sitting out a chapter or having a certain item in their inventory, and if their fatigue exceeded their max HP, they'd be forced to sit out a chapter. Rescuing allies, fog of war, and gaiden chapters all became staples of the series. Capturing enemies, growth rates for Build and Move, and fatigue meters did not. Fatigue did return in the Gaiden remake Echoes, but this time all the player had to do was give the unit a food item to restore their stamina.
    • Mystery of the Emblem and Thracia 776 forced mounted units to dismount indoors and use swords, unless their primary weapons were bows or magic. Dismounting only made a comeback in Three Houses, and in that case it was optional and could be done on any map.
    • Genealogy of the Holy War was the only game in the franchise not to feature vulneraries or other healing potions. Instead, the player had to rely on castles, healers, and certain items or skills to regain health. On the plus side, this made it incredibly easy to level up staff users.
  • Pac-Man World 3, which was developed by Blitz Games rather than Namco, is often seen as this by fans compared to the previous two games due to the increased emphasis on combat over platforming.
  • The Star Fox series has Star Fox Adventures, an Action Adventure fantasy game in the Zelda mold.
    • Which also started life as a totally unrelated game from Rare, an N64 game known as Dinosaur Planet which was to star two Funny Animals named Sabre and Krystal. After Shigeru Miyamoto saw footage of the game in action and compared Sabre's appearance to Fox McCloud's, it was taken back to be retooled into a Star Fox title, now with Fox replacing Sabre but retaining Krystal in a less important role.
  • The Monster Rancher series of monster-raising simulation games has Monster Rancher Evo, a traditional RPG with dungeons and a party-based battle style that happens to use the Monster Rancher series monsters. Oh, and stat-raising and money-gaining are now based on your performance in a rhythm mini-game. While not necessarily a bad game, the fact that so little of it is traditionally Monster Rancher makes it very divisive for fans.
  • Devil May Cry 2 - so much of an oddball even the producers generally try to ignore its existence. Namely by making all games made after the second game set chronologically before it. Between a lowered difficulty and the protagonists personality change from Badass Trash-Talker to an unintentionally-and-hilariously-cringe-worthy guy. The fanbase was largely disappointed.
  • Lunar: Dragon Song is, like the rest of the Lunar series, an Eastern RPG...but it adds a bunch of experimental (i.e. scrappy) gameplay mechanics paired with a rudimentary plot and shallow characters. The other games in the series are known for old-school gameplay with well developed stories and characters.
  • The Jak and Daxter series has two, depending on if you look at overall tone or gameplay type. By tone, it's the Lighter and Softer original. But by gameplay, it's the fourth, Jak X: Combat Racing, which turns the emphasis to Vehicular Combat in what is normally a platformer series with a large collection of other elements - it was present in the other games, but to nowhere near the same degree.
  • As mentioned in the article, Mobile Fighter G Gundam, which drastically departs from the Real Robot genre and war themes to delightfully and shamelessly embrace Shonen and Super Robot. Still manages to be popular and loved despite, or perhaps because of, this.
  • Strangely, away from video games completely, the Halloween franchise had Halloween III: Season of the Witch, which had nothing to do with any of the other movies. Where every other movie is a slasher flick about Michael Myers, the third installment is inexplicably about a crazy Halloween mask maker who wanted to use magically bombing masks and Stonehenge to kill children. The original intent was to make different Halloween movies, but Myers was popular enough to take over the franchise.
    • Many Horror Franchises have these. Friday the 13 th has Friday the 13th (film), where instead of a hockey masked killer and/or a Crystal Lake Locale, Jason becomes a shape-shifting demon... thing. A Nightmare on Elm Street has the second one, where Freddy is not quite the horrific figure of the original, or the quipster he would become in 3, and instead attacks people in broad daylight, rather than in dreams, and manipulates the protagonist to do his bidding
  • Tony Hawks Pro Skater 4 is considered to be this because it combines the gameplay of the first three games with the goal system that would later appear in Tony Hawks' Underground, but doesn't allow you to get off your board to talk to people, so you have to slow down and brake, which can often be difficult. Tony Hawks Downhill Jam, Ride and Shred are also considered to be the series oddballs mainly because they are considered terrible (in the case of the latter two, rely on a peripheral that rarely works and makes them nearly impossible to play).
  • Several Pokémon manga come off as this, such as How I Became A Pokemon Card or Magical Pokémon Journey due to the fact they don't focus on the same dynamics as most titles in the series but are a Slice of Life and Shojo set in the Pokemon world. From the games themselves, the Trading Card Games come off as odd due to the fact they apparently take place in a world apart from the Pokeverse; it's not exactly our world, but it's a Pokemon-less place where the series is at least a trading card game.
    • Out of the other spinoffs, Colosseum and XD might qualify. While they play the most like the main games compared to Mystery Dungeon, Ranger, and the various other spinoffs, unlike the main games, all battles are in Double Battle format. Also, while they're Spiritual Successors to the Stadium Games, they actually have a story mode along with tournament modes and lack a few things that Stadium had (the Gym Leader Tower, minigames, etc.).
  • Nihon Falcom's Dragon Slayer games are mostly various types of Action RPGs, with The Legend of Heroes being a more typical Eastern RPG. Then there's Lord Monarch, which is more or less a Real Time Strategy game.
  • R-Type Leo had no Force pod and no charge shot.
  • Monty is Innocent is an isometric 3D adventure game, rather than a platformer like the other Monty Mole games.
  • Fallout and Fallout 2 are turn-based, isometric computer RPGs made by Black Isle. While there is some grumbling about Microforte's Fallout Tactics, it is generally regarded to be a competent game that is hampered by some rather glaring continuity issues, but is still a turned-based tactical RPG using Fallout's signature SPECIAL system (though slightly modified). Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas are fully 3D RPG/FPS games available on PC and consoles, that use a heavily modified version of SPECIAL with significant changes to the system between the two games (armor, for example, works completely differently in each). Despite all of these differences, the obvious Oddball is Fallout Brotherhood of Steel," a top-down, 3D action game with almost noRPG elements, continuity issues that make Tactics look immaculate, and no involvement of any Black Isle or Bethesda staff.
  • Donkey Kong 3 is more or less a Shoot'Em Up. Neither of the previous two Donkey Kong games featured shooting, and scarcely any of the later ones do.
  • Kirby and The Amazing Mirror is the only Kirby game to be a full Metroidvania instead of a straightforward Platform Game the series' main games are known for. It's also the only game in the entire series where King Dedede does not make an appearance.
  • Digimon Tamers is the only sci-fi continuity in what's normally a Science Fantasy multiverse, and the only installment to avoid broad, archetypal character types in favor of more subtle personalities (or boring personalities, depending on what side of the Broken Base you fall on.) It also makes adult characters more prominent than usual, and, most famously, it's much much darker in tone.