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What game did you completely bounce off only for it to click massively when you returned later?


Timmo
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This is happening to me big time with Metal Gear Solid 5. I can't have spent more than five hours on it when I bought it and I didn't really enjoy any of it. I reinstalled it last week (picking up from where I left off) and I'm now completely addicted. Building up my huge army, trying out all the weapons, the dog! Oh, the dog. The options available to you are insane in number and also it's very forgiving of mistakes if you aren't going for high ranks.

 

As for why, I think part of it may be my recently playing Hitman 2016. Its mechanics aren't a million miles off only it's much faster paced and much more violent. After being so careful in that game, it feels like being completely unleashed.

 

What game worked better the second time around for you, and why?

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3 minutes ago, Pob said:

I can't believe you didn't get into it immediately. Okay, so the opening is a terrible introduction, but once you get into the 'rescue Miller' mission I would've thought you be in.

 

Who knows, man? I just didn't have the patience first time.

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1 minute ago, Timmo said:

 

Who knows, man? I just didn't have the patience first time.

Well, it's all water under the bridge. I'm just relieved you didn't miss out on the best game of this generation.

 

For me, I never really got into Half Life 2. Took me years to finally finish it. However, I really loved Episode 2. So not sure if that counts, as base HL2 and Ep1 never really clicked.

 

I wasn't very keen on MGS2 when I first played it and ditched it about halfway through I think. After forcing myself back to it, I ended up loving it. MGS as a series seems to take lots of people a while to get. The controls are weird, the storytelling is bizarre, the depth and detail of the actual gameplay isn't apparent from the start.

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Doom 3. When I first played it I got quickly fed up of what I felt were quite tedious traps where you'd pick up some ammo lying around and inevitably three imps would spawn in, or a portion of the wall would slide away to reveal some ugly nasty.  So I left it for a few years and then went back to it with a bit of determination. After getting past that initial revulsion and getting deeper into the game, the atmosphere started to work in its favour and those simple traps would then become moments of anticipatory dread.

 

The flashlight/gun choice, however, never bothered me. It was an interesting mechanic of balancing your ability to attack/defend with your ability to see distant threats that just lacked a sensible narrative justification.

 

It's still the worst game in the series, but that's just because the others are all outstanding rather than simply quite good.

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I've yet to hit this point with Metal Gear Solid 5, I've played a few hours but didn't especially enjoy it. This was really disappointing as I love the previous games. Maybe this will inspire me to try again.

 

I'm also in the same boat with Red Dead Redemption 2, I like it well enough but I just don't feel any urge to go back to it. I'm sure at some point I'll pick it up again and it will stick.

 

The most notable example of the phenomenon for me though is Demon's Souls. I really hated it after importing the American release, and was pretty much resigned to giving up, but for some reason it clicked after I'd defeated Phalanx. I've played through it a few times now, and also all the other games in the series. Very glad I persevered.

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Horizon: Zero Dawn.

 

Played for a few hours and got pretty overwhelmed with it, the collectibles and the size of the world.

 

Left it for a couple of weeks and then thought I'd try again. Hooked pretty much instantly. It just clicked.

 

Loved it to pieces. 

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Bioshock, 

 

I got paid on a Friday and went straight into town with the sole intention of buying a different game. When I got there it had sold out, being lazy and not wanting to go to another shop I said to the fella behind the counter in game "What's that?" and ended up buying the Special Edition Bioshock with the Big Daddy figure. I got home, played it for 2 minutes and thought nah that's not for me. Went out the next day and bought the game I originally wanted, was probably summat shite. 

 

Well over a year later I was having a conversation with a mate saying how I would love the setting of Bioshock, under the sea, sort of arty 50s feel and I thought bloody hell I've got that. Went home and spent the next fortnight bleeding it dry. 

 

In my Top 20 Games of all time now. 

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We had this thread quite recently, and I picked Fable 2 in that one. Next I'm going to say FF12. At first I thought it wasn't 'Final Fantasy' enough, but on my second (and subsequent) playthrough I came to love and appreciate it. The sense of scale and soundtrack are top notch. It's what the franchise needed to move with the times, although they've never since matched that standard that FF12 set.

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Another vote for FFXII: played it for about 20 hours when it originally came out on PS2 before getting bored; completely rinsed the PS4 remaster and now I think it's the best FF since VII.

 

I also got fed up with Skyrim the first time I played it, although I had only recently played through both Fallout 3 and New Vegas back to back at that point, so I was a bit bored of the formula. I came back to it about 3 years later, still on the 360, and spent about 100 hours on it. The brilliance of discovering the subterranean areas was a fantastic moment.

 

One of the benefits (or drawbacks, depending on your point of view) of all the remasters that studios seem to be churning out left, right and centre is that there are a few games that I tried and didn't like when they first came out, but which I really want to play now they've been re-released. I've got Okami sitting on my Switch, for example, which I abandoned on the GameCube. I also really want to play Tales of Vesperia again, despite not seeing it through on the PS2. The portability of the Switch, especially when it comes to longer games, definitely helps me get through them, just like the Vita did, Persona 4 being an example of a game I couldn't see through on PS2 but adored when it was ported to Vita for the portable version.

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1 hour ago, David Kenny said:

The most notable example of the phenomenon for me though is Demon's Souls. I really hated it after importing the American release, and was pretty much resigned to giving up, but for some reason it clicked after I'd defeated Phalanx. I've played through it a few times now, and also all the other games in the series. Very glad I persevered.

 

This is the only one I can really think of, I also imported it and while I appreciated some of what it was doing it didn't quite click so I ended up selling it on. I know I did Phalanx but I can't remember if I did any other bosses.

 

Tried it again when it was on PS Plus and 'got' it straight away. I think it helped that I wasn't working at that point, first time around it just felt like I was wasting my small amount of free time repeating runs to bosses who'd quickly swat me away but having less of a 'I must make my time count and achieve measurable progress at all costs' mentality was crucial. It's only once you get into that mindset that those games really start to make sense, I think. I have a mate who's now played loads of From stuff but his default approach is still to try to YOLO through areas before he has a clue what he's doing, then get frustrated at dying loads or missing things. It doesn't matter how many times I tell him that doing that probably makes the game take twice as long in the end. Tranquilo makes for steady progress.

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Baldurs Gate was like that.   I so wanted to play it; I think installing the 5 or so CDs was one of the first things I did when I got my home PC delivered in 2004.   

 

Unfortunately I then found it was extremely hard.  This was because, as a console gamer hitherto, I had no idea about RPG staples such as kiting, let alone cheesing things through doors (or indeed not following the main quest path when there are other sources of XP).  I probably also ran with the first fighter character the system rolled for me.   Of course, I got ambushed at the FAI and probably had a few fatal encounters with wolves along the way as well, but most vividly remember trying to rescuing Dynaheir at the Gnoll Fortress (still a map best faced in daylight).  I failed a few times, probably rested a bit, and then the game just spawned rank after rank of Gnolls, almost filling the screen.  I subsequently read that that happened after repeated failure, or it may simply be a bug given the game as released was infested with them, but either way it pretty much forced a complete rethink on tactics and approach.  Much the same happened with Ninja Gaidan and Dark Souls.

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Super Street Fighter IV. I bought a disc copy soon after getting my 360, and really couldn't get on with it - mostly because I tried using the 360’s infamous D-Pad. Gave it another go some time later, after getting a new pad, but it was no better. (Partly I was put off because I was thinking of the Trials mode as a tutorial for beginners instead of a challenge for experts, and getting frustrated and discouraged.)

 

Then in 2014 SSFIV Arcade Edition was given away on Games With Gold, and this time I started playing it using the analogue stick, which seemed really counterintuitive but actually worked much better. I spent hundreds of hours on it over the following couple of years, across Arcade Edition, the 360 version of Ultra, and the PC version of Ultra.

 

... I was still crap at it, but at least the second (or third) time round I actually had fun!

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Persona (1996) - what started out as a miserable time with a ridiculous encounter rate and too many negotiation options clicked during my Let's Play of the PSP remake last year. With pacts and skill cards, the negotiation system presents the opportunity not just to create new things in the Velvet Room, but also to massively reduce time in battles. If you interact with a demon and you successfully negotiated with it in the past, they will leave the battle entirely, and sometimes leave behind bonus cash or an item. The more negotiations you figure out, the fewer demons you have to bother with; this in turn makes battles much quicker until they're just a few seconds of grabbing loot before you're back in the dungeon. Also, the story is pretty engaging and most of the characters are quite likeable. I mentioned it in my LP thread but I would love another remake that drives home the benefits of negotiations even more.

 

1 hour ago, Thwomp said:

FF12

 

1 hour ago, Jamie John said:

FFXII

 

Another convert here. I found the ideas of gambits and licences a bit weird... and thinking about it now, maybe the game should have given you more of each earlier on just so that you could experiment more, or something. However, as the gambit effects and conditions became more useful, they opened up more tactical possibilities; as the licence board grew, I found myself with many more options for my party members and it felt awesome.

 

I think personal time had a lot to do with it as well - I became a convert at a time when I was looking for something to play during a fairly uneventful period in the gaming release calendar, and setting time aside to fully understand the systems paid off.

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Spelunky is the only one that really stands out for me. Played a few hours and couldn't see what the fuss was. Just felt like a standard platformer that was too hard and quite annoying. Came back later and played rather a lot of it.

2 hours ago, Jamie John said:

 I've got Okami sitting on my Switch, for example, which I abandoned on the GameCube.

You absolutely did not abandon okami on the gamecube.

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Deus Ex Human Revolution - bought on release. Controls are shit. Framerate's shit. Hacking's shit. Praxis is shit. Battery mechanic is SHIT. Traded in for Gears of War 3.

On paper I should have loved it. Cyberpunk setiing? Amazing synth soundtrack? GOAT title screen? I definetely kept thinking about it so asked for it for Christmas that year. Gave it a proper go, understanding basic Jensen's limitation and completely fell in love with it. Played through it multiple times on 360 and then bought the PS3 directors cut and platinumed it. Desperatly saddened it didn't get a PS4 release with all the performance issues ironed out, would have been a great primer for Mankind Divided. of course Square Enix in their infinite wisdom remastered Sleeping Dogs instead, a game that already ran fine on last gen hardware and one they already announced they had no sequel plans for. Derp.

 

 

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Watch Dogs - played on PC when it came out and it was such a janky mess, before you even looked at the downgrade from what it was meant to be. I swiftly closed it down and it’s sat on my HDD for years. 

 Recently restarted it with the intention of uninstalling and with a few patches and some tweaks it turns out it’s a really fun game. The combat is satisfying, hacking stuff to take out enemies (or even clear an entire level) is really fun too. Yes the main protagonist is a complete asshole and the story is complete bobbins but it’s worth a play through. 

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Red Dead 2. Played it for about 3 hours and hated the dated mission structure and those controls. Sold it to my brother who hated it just as much so got it back from him with the intention of selling it on here. Something made me give it another crack and I got into it more so kept playing. I didn't love it until probably over 20/30 hours in though.

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Hollow Knight - bought it in August and ever since I've played it in half an hour bursts here and there but never got into it. After catching up with the thread here I decided to try again.  I managed to down a few more bosses and gain some more abilities and now I cant get enough of it.  I'm thinking about it in work and remembering places I need to go and things I need to do - it's been a while since a game has hooked me that way.

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Demon's Souls.

 

Bought it back in the day and just hit a wall with it early on. Found it six years later, blew off the cobwebs, and lapped it up. I think I've become a bit more persistent with games in my old age. It remains my greatest gaming achievement. A couple of the bosses required a dedication I look back on with a combination of awe and incredulity.

 

I'm so glad I gave it another chance.

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Does this work for series?

"Modern" Tekken (i.e.; Tekken games post-Tekken 3). The various new mechanics and changes didn't do it for me.

Street Fighter IV got lots of playtime in the last gen, but when SFV came around I was turned off quite quickly (call me superficial - I was put off by the production quality mainly) - as I wanted a fighting game in my gaming rotation though I tried Tekken 7.

Now I can't get enough Tekken - I'm still not that good, but I've progressed a lot and am having a blast with it.

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Super Mario Kart was the hot game in the neighbourhood but I wasn't impressed. It felt slow, slidey and grossly unfair. Kids several years younger than me were destroying me on it - including my younger brother who was merciless in his dominance. This tricky, difficult, frustrating game wasn't for me and I didn't care.

 

Several years later one of my new mates at my Halls of Residence bought his SNES back from home and the Super Mario Kart mania began all over again but this time - not having any other gaming distraction at hand - I gave it a fair shot. And I got good. I learned the kart mechanics and the tracks. I stuck with Toad / Koopa because their stats seemed to complement my play style the best.

 

Today - with a solid twenty years of SMK appreciation under my belt - I maintain without hesitation that pound for pound Super Mario Kart is the finest, most complete and perfect videogame Nintendo have ever produced.

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Mass Effect. A friend lent it to me, I played it for about 30mins and didn’t get along with the controls. 

 

Fast forward a year, I picked it up again and rinsed it in a weekend. Then went straight out and bought Mass Effect 2. 

 

The first game is the best Babylon 5 simulator ever. 

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