Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Top 5 Games I Regret Buying

I've been talking a lot lately about all the games I've bought and that I am currently trying to work my way through, this got me eventually to thinking about a couple of games I've bought throughout my life that I actually regret buying. It happens a lot less frequent than you'd think. In fact, finding 5 entries for this list was difficult and I just barely scraped enough of games together. Obviously, before there was massive Steam sales, each game I bought was most often carefully scouted beforehand, to make sure that the money put down on it was going to be worth it. Not only were the games pricier, I also had less money to spend on games and if I bought a bad one that was what I had to live with until I had saved up enough money for the next one, something that normally took a couple of months. One benefit to this was that I gave each game more time and so an initally boring game could grow on me, something I miss about the fast paced flow of games that is common place now. If a game doesn't amuse me within the first 30 minutes, I have 20 other ones to take its place instantly and sometimes I find it hard to motivate myself to pain through something I'm not enjoying when I could be doing something fun instead. But I digress, and that feels like material for a different post.

My point here however is that the games on this list aren't necessarily games that I simply didn't enjoy but rather a combination of a game I really looked forward to trying, was quite disappointed with and subsequently felt like I had spent a lot more money on than I thought it was worth. If I pay a small sum for a moderately fun to boring game, I probably won't regret that buy much. A good example is Skyrim, which although I ended up not liking very much, I definitely don't regret buying it, and it was still among the most expensive games I bought that year. The difference between Skyrim for instance and the games on this list is that I wasn't expecting too much from Skyrim, although a lot more than I got, and I think I got my moneys worth out of it in the end after all. For the following games however, not so much.

5. Rayman Origin (N3DS)
This game is only fifth on this list because it's actually a really good game and I can appreciate it as such eventhough I ended up not liking it. After having played a lot of Rayman on the GBA, I decided to grab this game on a whim when I was on something of a shopping spree in a Game store. It was on sale already and since it was marked up in pounds, which are worth ten times the swedish krona making the price look ridiculously cheap, I didn't really think much about it. Unfortunately it turns out that A. I really suck at platformers and B. Platformers are just not my thing (these are probably connected somehow).

Impending doom -

Sure, I had had a lot of fun with Rayman on the GBA, but Rayman Origin wasn't enough like it for me to enjoy it in the same way. Because of this I was quite disappointed when the gameplay wasn't exactly like I remembered it and even more so when the game kept kicking my ass way more than Rayman on the GBA ever did. To put it simply, Rayman Origin was way too difficult for me and my tendency to get easily frustrated did not help. I was hoping for some simple platforming fun, but I realize this was just not the game to choose for a newb platformer like me. In the end I don't regret buying Rayman Origin too much since it's not a game I mind owning, but it does make me sad knowing I will most likely never finish it and I really wouldn't have minded never having picked it up either.

4. Suikoden V (PS2)
Two of the games on this list I've bought purely based on someone elses recommendation without much prior knowledge of it - Suikoden V is one of those games. I was up visiting my parents, walked into a game store and found that one of my old childhood friends was now working in that store. I couldn't stand the guy when we were kids, he was an arrogant prick to put it nicely, but he had turned into a really nice guy as an adult. I asked him if he could recommend some game for me and he suggested Suikoden V. Since I quite like JRPGs and was in a bit of a slump not having played any good ones for a while, I was eager to get my hands on something interesting. I had heard of the name Suikoden, but never played any of the games. The case looked interesting enough and the back description was just as vague as you'd expect from a fairly generic RPG of this style.

Nowadays I always check the internet for metascores and/or reviews before I buy anything I don't know much about, if there is a larger sum of money involved, just so I will have a rough idea of what I am looking at basically. But at that point smartphones weren't a thing yet so I had only his recommendation to go of.

I wish I was this happy playing it -

I've tried to play Suikoden V three times, and each time I get tired at about the same place, roughly 2 hours into the game. I'm not entirely sure why I lose interest at this point - I just don't care about the characters, the intro part is too long and too boring and I guess a lot of it is just stuff I've seen before without it being engaging enough to want to do again. I will most likely give Suikoden V yet another try in the future, maybe it's one of those games that gets a bit better if you give it some time.

3. Might & Magic Heroes VI (PC)
I am a massive fan of Heroes of Might and Magic 3, and because of this I've felt compelled to at least check out all the other parts of the series. First up was HoMM 4 and initially I didn't check it out at all, I assumed it would at least be somewhat as fun as HoMM3. Even if it was only half as fun it would pretty damn fun, I decided. Oh how wrong I was. I don't remember much about HoMM4, I only remember that they had massively changed the map and I was completely confused about what anything was when running around. In HoMM3 most things are very clear whereas in HoMM4 I couldn't separate background objects from important ones, and that was just one of the problems I had with the game. It wasn't half as fun as HoMM3, it was maybe a 100th.

Pretty does not a fun game make -

After the mistake I did with HoMM4 I decided to make sure any subsequent games looked decent before I paid for them - I didn't even buy HoMM5 because it seemed like it was too much like HoMM4 and not enough like HoMM3. When what would essentially be HoMM6 was released, although they then felt the need to rename it to MMH6 for some reason, I actually thought that they might've gotten it right this time. I didn't think it would be as fun as HoMM3, I realized that game would be pretty damn hard to beat, but maybe it could at least come pretty close. The combat system looked fun and I liked the better graphics and updated models.

So I bought it and I really, really wanted to like it. It was far from shit like HoMM4 so at first it reeled me in and got me really hopeful about being quite fun. Unfortunately it quickly turned out it wasn't, I guess I just couldn't come to terms with the changed style of town building and other changes they had made to the winning HoMM3 formula. I think my disappointment with this game is the reason it is on this list rather than HoMM4. It really got my hopes up and crushed them pretty badly, and still to this day I wonder why it's so hard to make another decent HoMM game (and do you really need to rename it?). HoMM2 was great though.

2. Bastion (PC)
Another game I bought because someone recommended it to me, and not only that person but pretty much any reviewer on the internet said that this game would be so much fun and worth buying. Obviously you won't always agree with reviewers, for instance my bf thinks The Walking Dead games are shit whereas everyone else in the world seem to think they're ambrosia for the mind. To me it was just about running around shooting stuff, which can be fun - but it wasn't. I didn't get passed the first stage, I think, before I decided that clearly this game was just not for me.

Why was this so fun? -

I guess my problem with Bastion is that not only was I disappointed in how much I didn't enjoy it, but because I didn't listen to my inner self when I actually knew I wasn't going to like it. I bought it simply because it was recommended and I wish I would've given it more thought. It's not about the money, because it wasn't very expensive, it just annoys me to think that I had no reason to buy it and did it anyway because I was stupid at that particular moment. Hopefully I've learned something from that experience.

1. Unlimited Saga (PS2)
This is another game on this list put here mostly because of the emotional attachment I have to it, in a negative sense (just as with Bastion). I was maybe 16 and had seen Unlimited Saga on the store shelves. I don't know if you've seen the case, but at the time I thought it looked amazing. Someone should've stepped in right then and there and told me not to judge a game by its covers, because I was completely awed by the game based on nothing but how the case looked. This was during a time when most of my games would come from my parents during birthdays/christmas, so naturally I wished for it - and got it.

It just screams "buy me!" -

I was thrilled and overjoyed, as you are when you get a game you've really wanted to play and immediately popped it into my ps2 to give it a go. I was expecting something along the lines of Final Fantasy, at least and was completely confused and utterly disappointed when what I got was nothing like it. Not only was it nothing like Final Fantasy, it was nothing like any RPG I had seen before. I played for an hour or two, not understanding what was going on or why the game was so weird. I turned it off and haven't played it since.

That would've been all well and nice if not for the fact that I had known that I had begged my parents to buy it and they had spent a good chunk of money getting it for me in the hopes that it would make me happy. Of course my dad asked me if I liked it and I had to white lie something along the lines of "yeah it seems interesting" or whatever I might've said while silently hating myself for not loving it. If I had bought it myself I would've been the only one to suffer, but now I had fooled my parents into wasting money on that piece of crap for me, and that made me feel so awful.

Even more annoying is the fact that I've lost it since, and now I sit wanting to give it another go, thinking that I might enjoy it at this age. In the end that game will always be a bother for me, for the massive hopes I had for it, the massive let down it turned out to be, how it made me feel like I let my parents down and how it's gone now that I want to give it another chance. That game is one of those things on my mind when my brain feels like it wants to torment me about thinking about things that make me feel bad. I know it's just a game, but damn that damn game.


  1. We all have regrets. Mine are Rails! for PC, which in no way was a worthy successor to Railroad Tycoon, and Legend of Faergail for the Amiga, which had a bug in the first half that made it unwinnable (it was fixed on the PC version, the lucky ducks).

    1. Oh good old Railroad Tycoon, how I loved that game. I haven't played it or even thought about it for years so now I think I need to give it a looksie that you mentioned it.

      Bugged games have a special place in hell tbh, I had that issue with KotoR which I've mentioned in some other posts. After struggling with some bugs, having to find patches and updates and whatnot, I finally got to one that just broke the game for me, meaning I had to basically restart which I really didn't feel like doing (knowing that there would probably just be more damn bugs coming later anyway). It was fun while it lasted though...

  2. Wasn't expecting to have any in common with your list but MMH6 is on mine, too, but for different reasons. The game itself was fine but being stuck with the stupidly defective Origin system (at least 3 times I couldn't even get into the game), combined with getting to a map that took the worst element of the series (the inability to get a good gauge of full enemy strength until too late in the map) and ran with it (I thought I was done, then discovered a new, unexpected faction underground with only 1 city, no resource generation that I could see, that had most of my army strength and wouldn't leave the keep so I had zero chance to survive even 1 turn of combat when having to siege). I uninstalled the game at that point, they apparently don't value my time as much as I do.

    1. Ah yes of course, I had completely repressed my memory and hatred towards Origin... That was definitely a pain in the ass and felt completely unecessary. I didn't have much trouble with it fortunately, but just having to set it up, waiting for it to update each time I wanted to play the game and other crap like that definitely didn't help the game in any way. I heard Ubisoft decided to get rid of it though, I hope they did.

  3. Er... maybe UPlay, not Origin? All the non-Steam ones break my brain so they're all lumped together in badness and unnecessariosity. It's one of them, anyway. All I know is that I had enough issues just playing the game that I actually e-mailed their support folks and was basically told "well, it's working fine for us, fix it at your end." So, I did.


    All fixed. The game is still sitting in my "maybe, eventually, someday" pile so it's not officially a goner but I have 10 year old games in that pile that would be higher on my priority list so... functionally, it's done.

    The only game that I ever had to stop playing due to a bug was either Fallout 1 or Fallout 2, can't remember which but a quest glitched out and I just couldn't get past it and all my savegames were too late to work around it, all were affected... never tainted the series for me in terms of opinion, it was just unfortunate and I didn't want to re-play the game from scratch to try and avoid it. Other games that were buggy but playable, like the Gothic series, don't really suffer in my opinion either. Normally I buy games so late and cheap that there isn't any potential for regret, MMH6 was the one that I bought at or near full price and regretted.

    1. *pokes the response up a level to where it actually belongs*

    2. Yes of course, you're right it is Uplay. Origin belongs to EA. I have the same deal going on with games for the most time, I buy them cheaply 95% of the time and at that point they're nearly always worth what little I paid.
      I had to quit Kotor 2 because of a game breaking bug, that was very annoying.

  4. Suikoden V is tough, because the first like, TEN HOURS of the game is almost no gameplay, and just establishing the story foundation. It's a very fun game after that, but it does follow the formula of the old Suikoden games on PS1, which got to the point much, much faster.

    Unlimited SaGa really is just convoluted and hard, and unforgiving. Seriously don't even do your first quest without a walkthrough. Once you understand how the game works and what you absolutely NEED to do to beat the game, you can probably finish most quests on your own. But, the first prepared to restart if you didn't get some specific advice.

    1. Haha, good to know about those games. Now I might actually not try to finish them because they seem to be just as much of a pain as I initially thought they'd be. I'll just watch Let's Plays of them someday.