Games that gave a bad first impression

Pages

First off, if you read the following and think, there was nothing wrong with the start of those games!! you may well be right. I'm great at finishing games. I must finish 90% of games I buy (not counting Stream *cough*) Ironically the problem I have is starting games. I tend to be lazy and don't read the instructions. I also don't give a game much of a chance to impress me. If it seems too slow, too complex or the controls are too clunky then I'm out. That said, here are my candidates:

Diablo I never played Diablo. I tried the demo, while in the depth of my Myth obsession, and, for me, it had that classic RPG problem of seeming very simple and uninteresting in the early stages. I couldn't believe, after all the good reports, that you just clicked on stuff to kill it and picked up gold. Luckily, I sense that I wouldn't have enjoyed the game even if I'd carried on. Loot games don't last with me.

Batman: Arkham Asylum This is the one where the game was least at fault. The controls seemed unintuitive to me and the first stages of the game are very linear. I stopped playing thinking, sadly, that it just wasn't the game for me. Fortunately, a few weeks later I tried again and found that I'd stopped playing seconds before the game opening up. I continued playing to the end and enjoyed it.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution Waxy faces, weird clothes, extremely dumb npcs and a relentless orange colour scheme turned me off from the start. The fact that, as Giant Bomb had pointed out, you could dart one guy, wait for someone to investigate, dart that guy and repeat until you had a pile of all the guards in the area, killed the notion of stealth for me. I'd play for a bit, put the game away, get it out again, be underwhelmed all over again and put it away. Finally I stopped playing 'for good.' Months later, in a lull between games, I gave the game a fourth/fifth chance and it clicked. I don't think I've ever gone from loathing a game to loving it so completely. I actually stopped myself from using cheap tactics and that may have helped.

Dragon Age: Origins I'm playing this on 360 (I know, I know) and have just gone through the process from horror, to acceptance, to begrudging respect (it's what inspired this thread.) Great character design and animation is a huge part of what I enjoy in games. When I started Dragon Age: Origins and found that all the characters were as stiff as a board, had heads that turned on some kind of a ratchet and kept their fingers splayed, as if they'd been told that something horrible would happen if, for a moment, they should let one finger touch it's neighbour, I was disappointed. I tried a few intro stories and was treated to some ropey old scenery and main characters who looked like their faces were moulded out of a crumpled piece of paper. This time I actually pressed on through the horror of it all and, slowly, the game grew on me. The dialogue, characters and weighty combat mechanics started to win out. The flaws are still there but the good things are out weighing them several times over.

Deadly Premonition The game has a suitable bizarre and charming intro cut scene (finding the first body followed by a strange car ride/wreck into town with York). What follows is a good 20+ minute combat slog from the crash site to the town entrance. The combat is easily the worst part of DP, made only worse by weak weapons at the start of the game. Things get better when you get indestructible/unlimited ammo weapons, but man is it slow and tedious at first.

Things really pick up after you start meeting townsfolk and experiencing the strange world of Greenvale, but I can see where many don't make it past the into, with its poor combat, pacing and production values.

It's strange because after it got its hooks in me, Deadly Premonition went on to tie with RDR for my 2010 GOTY.

The Binding of Isaac The body horror, blood and poop, and general ugliness of the game makes it hard to get into, at least for me. I had to get over the grossness and just play it for a while to realize that the underlying gameplay was really strong.

Now that I've played it so much, I don't really even notice the gross aspects any more.

Mass Effect.
It doesn't really explain any of its systems, it controls quite awkwardly until you get used to it and then there are the side missions + mako stuff. I guess calling it a first impression would be wrong, but I quit the game halfway through the first time and didn't come back to it until ME2 was out. I ended up really liking it the second time I played it, but the first time through I thought it was pretty bad.

The original X-Com. I understand how to do things, but I don't understand what it wants me to do. I spent an hour+ on it and then had to uninstall.

demonbox wrote:

The original X-Com. I understand how to do things, but I don't understand what it wants me to do. I spent an hour+ on it and then had to uninstall.

+1

Carmageddon. Hated. Absolutely hated the demo for the original version the first time I played it (I suspect because I knew very little of it at the time and treated it like a regular racing game).

Then I figured I'd give it one more go and everything suddenly clicked into place and holy hell was that an awesome game!

I agree about Batman AA. I played the demo (I might not have even finished the demo) when it first released and said "bleagh." Stiff movement, uninteresting 'punch-punch' combat, too steroid-y even for a comic book. I didn't buy it until the next summer, after nearly a year of universal praise, and of course I loved it.

The original Deus Ex - I had no idea what a stealth game was and tried to play it like an FPS. I tried again many years later and loved it.

Final Fantasy 7 - I thought the entire game was going to be in a linear Midgar and I desperately missed the world map gameplay. Once I got out in the world I was much happier, but didn't like that you could not return to Midgar until the end.

The original Deus Ex. It was first person, so it was easily confused with shooters at the time. It had a sneak mechanic, but was far inferior to Thief, and it was ugly and ran horribly (for me at least) on a dated engine.

Take some time to explore the huge levels, get familiar with the mechanics, and the depth of the choices and it quickly became one of the greats.

Resident Evil 4. RE 1 & 2 taught you to conserve ammo & avoid zombies whenever possible. When I started RE4 and got to the first town, I could not trigger the bell tower cutscene because I kept running around avoiding zombies and not shooting them. After much frustration, I found that you had to shoot "enough" zombies to trigger the cutscene so the game can continue. It ended up being a game I love, but broke some conventions that the first two games required.

Mass Effect - it ran like crap on an old computer, and I was predisposed to dislike shooters. An upgrade later, I consider the series one of the high points of the last ten years.

cheesycrouton wrote:

Resident Evil 4. RE 1 & 2 taught you to conserve ammo & avoid zombies whenever possible. When I started RE4 and got to the first town, I could not trigger the bell tower cutscene because I kept running around avoiding zombies and not shooting them. After much frustration, I found that you had to shoot "enough" zombies to trigger the cutscene so the game can continue. It ended up being a game I love, but broke some conventions that the first two games required.

Pretty sure it's just on a timer either way. Time just passes faster when you're killing ganados, and much slower when you're avoiding them.

I have never had this experience with any game ever.

Games I loved, I loved from the beginning.

Any game I get turned off from and quit only to give a second chance some time later, I usually get a fair bit further until I remember everything that bored/annoyed me the first time and quit again.

This is a source of frustration for me when I recommend "old" games to people, because younger gamers expect current gen graphics from games. Alot of my favorite games are 10 years old and they can be a tough sell to other people.

After playing Legend of Grimrock I got nostalgic for some old school rpg'ing so I fired up Might & Magic VII: For Blood and Honor (best of the series). The character development system is excellent, good plot & combat, but people can't get past the horrible graphics.

Danjo Olivaw wrote:
cheesycrouton wrote:

Resident Evil 4. RE 1 & 2 taught you to conserve ammo & avoid zombies whenever possible. When I started RE4 and got to the first town, I could not trigger the bell tower cutscene because I kept running around avoiding zombies and not shooting them. After much frustration, I found that you had to shoot "enough" zombies to trigger the cutscene so the game can continue. It ended up being a game I love, but broke some conventions that the first two games required.

Pretty sure it's just on a timer either way. Time just passes faster when you're killing ganados, and much slower when you're avoiding them.

Wow, I never knew that. I remember running around to every possible exit to no avail. Guess I didn't wait long enough.

The Witcher, but with a pretty huge caveat. When the Witcher first released, it had a lot of gnarly stuff going on with it. Flat dialogue and weird translations mostly. But when they released the Director's Cut, they pretty much remastered the game with new dialogue and better cutscene direction. It made a world of difference. It was like watching a badly overdubbed movie and then seeing the original with a complete understanding of the native language.

killer7 - the bad/unusual gameplay mechanics and bat-poop insane story that made zero sense for the longest time had me microseconds away from quitting for a long time. Eventually it clicked, I loved it, and I choked up at the ending.

kazooka wrote:

The Witcher, but with a pretty huge caveat. When the Witcher first released, it had a lot of gnarly stuff going on with it. Flat dialogue and weird translations mostly. But when they released the Director's Cut, they pretty much remastered the game with new dialogue and better cutscene direction. It made a world of difference. It was like watching a badly overdubbed movie and then seeing the original with a complete understanding of the native language.

Really? I started playing the director's cut recently, and the dialogue and cut scene direction were just awful. I can't imagine how bad they were before.

Spec Ops: The Line is a pretty good candidate. It initially presents itself as a completely bog-standard military shooter, and it's not until you slog through the first couple of hours that it reveals itself to have some interesting tricks up its sleeve.

Myth. Most of my previous RTS experience was with Blizzard titles, so the first time I played a demo of Myth my reaction was "No resources? No building? All you do is order units around? This game is crap." Later on, I ended up giving the full version a try at a friend's house, and I finally realized what a great game it was. The Myth series ended up being responsible for many of my fondest gaming memories.

Darksiders

I bought it a few years back and played the first hour or so, but no more. Seemed pretty standard really. The combat felt very repetitive and I wasn't feeling the aesthetic at all. Nothing special. I put it aside and it quickly found the bottom of the pile.

Then, once info about the second one began trickling out, I kept hearing folks heaping praise upon the original and decided to give it another look. Lo and behold, it's quite fun. like a Heavy Metal version of Zelda with portal guns at the end.

Gothic was a game that gave me a bad first and second impression. Even so I gave Gothic 2 a try and it's one of my all time favorite games. Understanding the system better, I then went back and played Gothic and loved it.

Wakim wrote:

Gothic was a game that gave me a bad first and second impression. Even so I gave Gothic 2 a try and it's one of my all time favorite games. Understanding the system better, I then went back and played Gothic and loved it.

Oooh Gothic, nice call. I had a similar experience.

A relatively recent one for me was Alpha Protocol. It looks and plays like a shooter. The first time I played it (as a shooter) it was just aggravating; I couldn't hit a damn thing. Then, I realized it's an RPG and I needed better stats to shoot better. Once that clicked, it became really enjoyable.

Running Man wrote:

After playing Legend of Grimrock I got nostalgic for some old school rpg'ing so I fired up Might & Magic VII: For Blood and Honor (best of the series). The character development system is excellent, good plot & combat, but people can't get past the horrible graphics.

Yeah, I have tried to go back to MM7 as well and play the "evil" quest chain. It just looks horrible, and the relatively small window to explore in is annoying. I wish someone would come out with a mod so at least you could play full screen (or similar to the MM8 exporing window).

I remember KOTOR bothering me with the RPG mechanics where you pause and control people. I had been a pretty big fan of the Jedi Knight games, so the gameplay didn't seem very fun when I tried it. Boy was I wrong. I came back and played 1 and 2 awhile after they were released. The story and mechanics were incredible.

The Witcher 2

It may be just the control scheme, or something about the intro QTE and stealth stuff going on, but I ended up starting that game and then putting it down for a couple months.

Once I got a controller hooked to my PC, I booted up The Witcher 2 and hammed through it. Eventually I named it as my 2011 game of the year.

I'm finding that a lot of games that are infamous for having poor starts are the games I like all the way through. I actual enjoy the first level of Deus ex 1. And I love Alpha Protocol from beginning to end.

The one game that sticks out for me was playing the Demo of Dragon Age 2. After playing the hell out of Dragon Age 1 that first area was an abysmal way to show off a game.

kuddles wrote:

I have never had this experience with any game ever.

Games I loved, I loved from the beginning.

Any game I get turned off from and quit only to give a second chance some time later, I usually get a fair bit further until I remember everything that bored/annoyed me the first time and quit again.

I'm the same. I was going to say Dead Island, but the bad first impression I got when I started that game persisted throughout. Great co-op kept it enjoyable.

I like this thread.
I'm currently sitting on Batman AA, Dragon Age, Deus Ex HR,.... somehow these total hits just didn't grab me.
It may be as much to do with what was going on in my life at the time, or some little hangup like noted above.

Please include how you got over it in your post. These often help me out; like when someone tells you what to taste for in scotch, and which ones to avoid.

Can't help you there Ghostship. I never got over DA2

Pages