Just any game where the first time(s) you played it you didn’t like it but when you went back, you suddenly got really into it.
For me, I had played Halo games for years and I just didn’t like them despite having friends who were super into them. But then one day I really wanted to see the draw of the series and give it a chance and so I started co-oping the campaigns with a friend and I really liked it after that.
I bought Hyper Light Drifter last Christmas and really didn’t like it at first. I actually tried to refund it through Steam but I had waited longer than two weeks to play it and then changed my mind. But because I was stubborn I sat and decided that I paid $10 for the game and should at least try to beat it.
Then I sunk 13 hours into that game and totally fell in love with it.
Best example for me is Dark Souls- though I don’t know if I’d say I disliked it, I just didn’t quite “get” it and bounced off of it. It wasn’t until years later- just a month or two before 2 came out, that I went back to it and it finally clicked- now I love the series and finished all three more than once.
I still haven’t made the time to go back to Bloodborne and Demon’s Souls. Some day…
Dark souls. I bounced off it pretty hard the first few times I tried it. I really latched onto the landscapes and feeling of discovery it provides, more than anything else. Playing a caster let me bulldoze my way through the harder fights, which was nice. I do play it more combat-focused now that I’m comfortable with the system. I still don’t really care about the story outside of the bullet points and enough to understand what I’m looking at, and even reading through the synopses didn’t really engage me.
Battleblock theatre was hard for me to get into because of the style of humor, which is so much of it and didn’t do much for me. Didn’t hate it, just…eh. Playing it co-op though is a great time.
People already picked Dark Souls so going to go with something a little different and a game I’ll probably bring up a few times in various threads…Resident Evil 5. I originally played it solo and it was okay but also nothing I cared about finishing. When my brother and I tackled it the game took on a whole new life. Some of my fondest gaming memories are based around playing it with him.
Nier:Automata! I played the demo and didn’t think much of it, pretty fun but nothing special platinum games action fare. But then people started talking in hushed tones about the other playthroughs and I had to try it out! I’m not even through to ending A and I’m already enjoying it immensely!
I had the opposite experience. I was drawn in immediately by the music and art style, and was eventually repelled by the vagueness of the story and the difficulty. (I didn’t really do myself any favors either because I started off by heading west instead of east, so it seemed ridiculous even after I beat the boss there.)
When I went to the HLD Kickstarter and saw the rich descriptions they gave for the world and lore, I was disappointed that none of that text had been made explicit in the final game.
Also, for Steam refunds, it seems like there’s actually a little leeway. I got a refund on Jotun, which I purchased during a Steam sale, even though I was just past the two week period. It probably helped that I was still under 2 hours of play.
And this will probably be a common game, but the Dark Souls series is one I turned around on entirely. I spent hours stuck in the tutorial dungeon in DS 1, and then gave up after defeating the Taurus Demon. I was stuck in DS 2 for a bit, but after unintentionally grinding, I wound up breezing through much of the game and had a much better time. Then by DS 3, I was familiar enough with the games to appreciate the difficulty (except for those poison areas).
I never hated it per se, but I never really “got” Spelunky when I first played it. It was just really hard and I couldn’t get that far and the overall loop I didn’t find as appealing as stuff like The Binding of Isaac or Risk of Rain. But then after I started listening to Idle Thumbs and hear them sing the games praises I gave it another shot. I’m still really bad at it, but I appreciate the game and all its systems now.
Also I’ll throw in Dota 2 since it was the first of those games in that genre I played, but that particular arc probably goes the same for most people (as in I didn’t start to appreciate it until I “got gud”).
Path of Exile. Started in Perandus league and thought it was just a really bad clone of Diablo so I stopped playing. Then I started to watch some streams and realized how complex the game could be and how fun the various builds are, so I jumped back in during prophecy league and now I love the game.
Most recently, Dishonored is a game that I did a complete 180 on. I bought it during a Steam Sale and I played through the introduction and just found it to be stilted and poorly executed. The hide-and-seek mini-game with Emily is broken and pointless and there’s really nothing done to establish an emotional connection between the player and any of the game’s characters, protagonist Corvo included. The art direction was also grimy and the world and events in general just held no interest for me. I still largely agree with alot of these criticisms.
What I didn’t understand or get to see back then, was that Dishonored is a really well made video game. The levels are all so open, with many optional challenges and goals for each level which provide the player with a definite reward that they can use to enhance their gameplay experience, but also lure the player to encounter side-narratives with NPCs. The stealth mechanics are satisfying and easily understood, but also allowing for deep player experimentation with the cominations of powers and manipulation of AI. It doesn’t quite reach the heights of emergent gameplay achievable in something like Metal Gear Solid V, but the levels feel similarly open and highly replayable.
I’m a big fan of vague stories but I agree that it was just a little too vague. I thought it was neat the way the dialogue was just pictures but I did feel kind of lost, story-wise, along the way. I also went west first and repeatedly got my ass handed to me.
It told me that I could refund it even though it had been two weeks but I don’t think I was willing to admit that I had given up after an hour of playing it.
I was mostly fine with the ambiguous storytelling because I was into the atmosphere. Looking back I think my main problem with the game is that it just didn’t build to enough of a conclusion. The final boss wasn’t supremely difficult or inventive in comparison to the rest of the game, and there were no real revelations to be had. It just kind of ends.
In regards to jank, the very first thing you do in that game is get off a boat and I remember the AI guy that you walk with got stuck on the ramp between the dock and the boat, walking in place for a long while.