Games you loved and praised after finishing them but failed to stand the test of time


#1

That happened a lot lately for me so maybe it’s worth a discussion.

Not necessarily a “it was better in my memories” feeling after playing a game from your childhood (on the NES mini you bought 200 bucks on eBay) but a game played recently and, when you reached the end credits, you jumped on Twitter to say how awesome that EXPERIENCE was and that you’ll never forget it. Then, over time after re-thinking about it or watching a video / reading a paper pointing some things you haven’t think of you… switch your mind and whatevered it (or even dislike it).

Most recent example is Playdead’s INSIDE that was really high on my GOTY list. But over time the lack of “meaning” I could find about the game and its ending (despite reading lot of things about it) really irked while I accepted it at first. From a “mysterious and probably deep story” I know mostly remember really smooth animations and one or two cool puzzles.

Also, I guess it’s more because I played a lot of them in a short period of time, but my love for First Person Adventure games (aka Walking Simulators) as Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, Ethan Carter and Dear Esther (played in that order) really deflated as I was going though them. Maybe too much of them. Probably why I am holding back What Remain of Edin Fitch for now (that and the technical issues on PS4). My love for Gone Home is still intact though <3 (same for Firewatch but the narrative mechanic makes the player more invested in the story than the 4 other games so I don’t fully put it in the same group).

And you?


#2

If I’m to be honest, this is pretty much the case with almost every game and piece of media I consume. I just innately cool down on things once the thrill of the experience wanes, which I’m guessing is a pretty common feeling. Though sometimes, and maybe even more interestingly, the opposite happens and I go from being immediately annoyed by a game to later, once I’m more emotionally distanced from it, looking back on the game fondly.

Weirdly enough, I don’t actually feel that first way about INSIDE though—I’m still pretty smitten with it.


#3

Bioshock Infinite, probably?

I enjoyed it at the time but the more I look back on it the more I feel like (from a pure story and atmosphere standpoint, since I don’t really play Bioshock games for the gameplay) it just doesn’t hold up as well as the first game does. Honestly it was probably inevitable, since Bioshock is the kind of game that works best when you have absolutely zero expectations, and to their credit they did try to mess around with players’ pre conceived notions about the bio shock universe. But there’s some stuff that just doesn’t really work, like how the citizens of Columbia are comically racist and how Daisy Fitzroy is initially compelling and then devolves into a story prop because “both sides are bad, actually.” Ugh, get out of there with that junk.

To be clear, I don’t think Infinite is BAD by any means, and some of the hate towards it is hyperbolic, but it just doesn’t hold up as well as I would’ve hoped.


#4

This happens to me pretty often with open world games.

For example, I loved Batman: Arkham Knight when i first played it, but if you asked me today to remember a single part of the game, I couldn’t. Same goes for Assassin’s Creed Syndicate and (don’t @ me) Metal Gear Solid 5. I think that stems from the fact that most of the things that you do in those games are very fun on their own.


#5

I saw the topic and immediately though INSIDE. Upon beating it I was thinking “shit that was awesome” but slowly that thought changed to “shit that ending was awesome.” There are worse ways to spend 4 hours sure, but the puzzles are kinda lame to be honest. And I have no issue with the ambiguous nature of the story, but there are many games that are much better at it than INSIDE (see avatar).


#6

Dragon Age. I really loved the first one, played a little of the big post-game doc and walked away for a month or few. When I came back… it played like garbage and I didn’t understand anything with the battle system! It was a little unreal. Just that quick!


#7

tales of symphonia was the first jrpg-ass jrpg i played and i thought it was amazing

i later found out that basically everything in it was a tired cliche that i was seeing for the first time


#8

The Phantom Pain, in retrospect, did absolutely nothing for me. I remember enjoying it while I played it, but when I try and remember any of the scenarios I draw a blank. Perhaps I just don’t like systems based gameplay…


#9

Oh, me too. I loved this when I was 12. Praised it as the best JRPG ever, and my dream game (JRPG mixed with 2D fighting game). Going back to it last year was such a bad surprise :frowning:

Another for me is Kingdom Hearts. I love the music and atmosphere, and will always love the first game for how I played it in my childhood. But…the way it plays simply doesn’t hold up. I’m curious to see if the HD remasters made it any better on PS4.


#10

DA: Inquisition was a game that I had a lot of fun with for ~80 hours but looking back at it it was for sure just a ton of checklist openworld stuff interspersed with cool story moments.


#11

Noctropolis. WOOF.


#12

I remember part of the way through Fantasy Life I told one of my friends it was GOTY material. I was in love with the concept of playing a role in an RPG world where you focused on eking out a living through ways that weren’t just fighting the bad guys or whatever (though you could totally do that too).

Now…it’s okay. It’s worth playing if you’re into RPGs, but I couldn’t help feeling disappointed with it on reflection. I think I would’ve liked if the game forced you to be dependent on those in other roles to provide the tasks you can’t do or the materials you can’t do on your own. Instead it’s fairly easy to become self-sufficient. Probably a necessary design direction because it would be hard to implement well in a single-player setting (the game has multiplayer, but I never was able to convince any of my friends to get it). It’s still a fine game if you’re into JRPGs, but I couldn’t help but lament what could have been.


#13

Watching that Giant Bomb series on it has been highly entertaining haha


#14

Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess comes to mind for me. At the time, I thought the game was mind-blowing, and my teenage mind loved the “dark tone”. While the latter half of the game holds up wonderfully, the art style has aged incredibly poorly, and the first half of the game (essentially before you get the ability to transform at will) is an absolute slog.


#15

Yeahhhhhhhhhhhh that’s a bit of a rough one. It’s one of those games that I really like parts of a lot but I’ll probably never want to play again.I know I tried to a few years back and gave up after the third dungeon.


#16

I played so much Mario 64 back in the day, but it’s aged like milk.


#17

Yeah, I played through the remaster recently to get a beefy wolf link for Breath of the Wild, and the first part is still a slog. I made a save that starts after the 3rd dungeon stuff, if I ever get the temptation to play in that world again.


#18

Bioshock Infinite is definitely the easy choice; I liked the barely-comprehensible weird sci-fi story and frankly wasn’t aware enough to see how shitty the game was when it tried to tackle other, real subjects. I’ve tried to replay it in the years since and…oof.

(Caveat: The moments where NPCs are singing anachronistic songs like Fortunate Son were really cool. I still super appreciate those bits.)


#19

Arkham Knight had zero lasting effect for me. If I wasn’t actively gliding around Gotham, I wasn’t really ever thinking about that game.


#20

Batman: Arkham Asylum

It’s still fun, to a degree, and I appreciate a lot of what it did but the overt gamey-ness of it really sticks out. As does the art style, which worked pretty well for environments but characters look increasingly absurd.

The harsh divide between “stealth room” and “fight room” and the mechanics therein really hurts the game when going back.