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Have you ever played a game you expected to be terrible and it turned out to be good, interesting, or even great?
kai2: Have you ever played a game you expected to be terrible and it turned out to be good, interesting, or even great?
Enclave - hated the demo, loved the game (to be fair, it's possible the demo had some performance issues on modern OS)

Saints Row The Third - I found the first half hour rather off-putting, not knowing anything about SR before playing, linear mission with uncustomizable character and no possibility to save, and not enough background info to know who the hell you're even shooting at and why this is supposed to be funny (which made the scantily clad female opponents and their ragdoll physics even more awkward). Afterwards you finally get to customize your character (great!), but since I changed my mind and wanted to create a new one I had to restart and play through the whole first mission again (not knowing yet that you can also recreate your character in-game with plastic surgery). Everything that is awesome about Saints Row was not really present in this first half hour. But once I grudgingly got over it, I found out that the game is actually tons of fun.

Far Cry: Blood Dragon - starts with an half hour mission that doesn't allow saving as well. Since I didn't know that (I think it was my first Far Cry game) and I needed to quit before the mission end for some reason, I was rather pissed off to find I had to start from scratch again. I think there was some other stuff that annoyed me as well, in the tutorial at the beginning. But like SR, it was just a bad start, and I actually came to love the game afterwards.

Mass Effect 2 - so many changes for the worse, compared to the first game, extremely silly plot premise, annoying pop-up windows that vanish quicker than you can read them, weird change in tone etc. Too many to list. I could have ranted on and on about wrong it all felt. But I got over it and enjoyed the game anyway, the main plot wasn't all that great and didn't always make sense, but the new party members and their side quests were so much fun that I guiltily have to admit I might even have liked the game better than its predecessor in the end.

Subnautica - terrible performance issues, 10 minutes loading screens, until I managed to change the settings enough for all of that to go away, so that the game ran smoothly. I didn't think I would play it for long as I'm usually not into survival and crafting games, but then I got hooked and played through the whole thing, and I absolutely loved it.

Batman: Arkham Asylum - I quit after an hour or so, thinking the game was pretty boring. Gave it a second chance a few years later, played through it and liked it. The story is kind of boring, but the gameplay and areas get more interesting later on.

Crimsonland - I just tried it to cross it off a list, when I was going through the supposedly least interesting games in my game collection, thinking it wouldn't be a game for me, as the screenshots looked pretty terrible. And then I couldn't stop playing. 10tons are very good at making extremely addictive and enjoyable coffee break games.

There were probably more, but that's all I can come up with for now.
Post edited June 05, 2019 by Leroux
-The Long Journey Home.

Most people hate the game for more then one reason, mostly for being too hard, and it is. but I endedup absolutely loving the game. It's really not for everyone, it's what it is. But total, absolute dope of a game!

-Cultist Simulator.

Another game not for everyone. And also is an absolute, total dope of a game! I was quite surprised by how how much I endedup enjoying a card game.
tinyE: Terraria
oh hi there, T. :D
Post edited June 05, 2019 by falloutttt
falloutttt: -The Long Journey Home.

Most people hate the game for more then one reason, mostly for being too hard, and it is. but I endedup absolutely loving the game. It's really not for everyone, it's what it is. But total, absolute dope of a game!

-Cultist Simulator.

Another game not for everyone. And also is an absolute, total dope of a game! I was quite surprised by how how much I endedup enjoying a card game.
tinyE: Terraria
falloutttt: oh hi there, T. :D
Afternoon falloutttt :D
Post edited June 05, 2019 by tinyE
No Man's Sky: I actually bought this one on a whim when it was on sale back in 2017, thinking one of my kids might like it. I'd heard and read terrible things about it and when the NEXT update dropped at the end of July in 2018, that included a third person view, I fired it up to kill a couple hours after finishing another game. I figured I'd probably only play it an hour r two and then shelf it. TO my surprise, it hooked me pretty much right away. 1700+ hours later and I'm still playing it and haven't played any other game since.
kai2: Have you ever played a game you expected to be terrible and it turned out to be good, interesting, or even great?
Yeah, Stardew Valley.

In the early 1990s all video games were heavily pixelated because most games used Mode-X for graphics, which was a common trick developers used by taking a standard VGA graphics mode, and doctoring the video card registers to hack up the mode into something custom which was more useful and suitable for games. This meant most games used 320x240 graphics with 8-bit (256 colour) indexed colour mode. It was the way things were done because reasons.

We loved our games, but we'd be lying if we didn't crave better graphics with higher resolution and more colour. Lying I tell you, big fibbers.

"It's all about the story, the characters, the game play, the immersion blah blah blah"... Yeah, those things are important in any game, and no amount of amazing graphics, sound effects, or music can make up for bad gameplay or a horrible story. That's a given.

But insofar as we say a game does have a great story, good gameplay mechanics, good characters, etc., I'd rather play a game on equal ground on all of those areas - but which has better quality graphics, sound, effects, etc. because I see that as progression at a technological scale. Subjectively I find higher resolution and colour usage to be more appealing to my eye in general also. But I wasn't alone in wishing games had higher resolution and more colours, most people did at the time.

And then technology and software companies stepped up to the plate and started bringing us 640x480 256 colour games, then 15*16 bit colour, then 24bit colour and 800x600, and eventually 1024x768. Along the way more and more games were not hard-coded to a single resolution, but let you choose based on your hardware capabilities and personal preference.

Fast forward to today and the graphical capabilities of our computers and displays are rather incredible. The rich level of detail possible is mind boggling, and most of us aren't even using the latest generation of stuff.

But there is this niche of games coming out for many years now which are trying to go backwards in time with their visual art style. Back to low resolutions and low colour depths, to replicate the art style of these older games from history, and make this a form of "retro" art. I'll be honest, for the most part I think the retro pixel art game art style is greatly overdone these days and I personally find it off putting more because of its overdone nature than due to the art style itself. And as such, whenever I see a retro pixel-art game being released, I have an involuntary knee jerk internal reaction of "ugh... not another one"

But of course, this knee jerk reaction is kind of throwing the baby out with the bathwater so to speak too, because a certain number of these type of games actually end up with extremely high ratings and widespread popularity, and to overlook all of them simply due to personal bias of being sick of seeing an artistic style being overdone is sometimes being a bit short sighted. :)

Stardew Valley was one of these games for me. Initial thoughts I had when I saw it were not something friendly to say. :) There were other elements of what I saw in this game that I really didn't like either, and so I just threw it into the "ugh, nope" mental basket I throw most such games into.

But then GOG gifted us beta testers some games to test during Galaxy beta development, and Stardew was one of them. I installed it and tested it, didn't give it much time and moved on. Months later the game had received a major update and lots of people were playing it and talking about it, a LOT. Eventually all the noise made me grumble and get curious, so I installed it and spent a few hours playing it. I didn't really care for it at first that much, but as the story started to unfurl and the game's larger dynamics and depth showed through, I kind of started enjoying myself and kept at it.

Days later I was addicted to it. *despite* the craptacular graphics. :)
The Witcher 3.

Never played any Witcher game before it and barely kept up with the game industry at the time. I tried it by chance with no hype or expectations at all. I expected crummy open world and eurojank so the game completely floored me.
For me, one of those games is...


I enjoy PB's games, but the more I saw of Elex, the more I disliked it. I wanted a true Gothic 4 and not a crazy quilt of retro-future/fantasy with an open world of what looked like generic asset dumps. Then there was the combat (never good in a PB game) but somehow it was worse than even Risen 3! So, I waited for the game to drop in price... and then waited some more...

I finally bought it and played. The first few hours were "ok," but nothing great. But having come directly off of Arcania, I did recognize that PB had much more skill at action RPG than Spellbound. Then at about 10 hours I was hooked by the exploration, and at 15 hours...

I pulled a pack of beasts into a fort of killers and then drove both groups (fighting one another) into a giant troll. I sat back and watched them all kill each other and thought...

"This game rocks!"
DadJoke007: The Witcher 3.

Never played any Witcher game before it and barely kept up with the game industry at the time. I tried it by chance with no hype or expectations at all. I expected crummy open world and eurojank so the game completely floored me.
May I ask... what was the element that first sold you on the game? I've tried this game so many times (50+ hours) and want to enjoy it but haven't.
SaGa 3. I was going to play Final Fantasy Adventures/Seiken 1, but turns out an action RPG on the Game Boy wasn't such a good idea.

But SaGa 3 GB gets rid of all the issues I had with the first two SaGa games.
Islanders. It looked gimmicky, turned out to be a slice of magic. Cheaper than a Subway sarnie as well, top marks.
See my avatar.

I bought Gothic on a whim in a mall out of one those boxes with all marked down games. Had never heard of it, didn't know anything about, but the box looked cool so I bought it.

I got home, installed it, and quit within 5 minutes. I tried again over the next few years quitting each time. I simply csn not, and WILL not, play any game with WASD control. If I can't use a controller for such a game, then I'm done with it. Will not waste my time.

Then a couple years later I discovered the controller I had included a tool to map keyboard keys to my controller and so I spent an hour going through every single key in the manual and mapping it to something on my controller and restarted Gothic again.

Boy am I glad I did. It was an adventure of a lifetime. It instantly became my all time favorite game of any genre and Gothic 2 was just as good if not better. Gothic 1 and 2 are IMO all time classics, and I was very close to never being able to experience them. But if the cost of experiencing a great game is to play with keyboard and mouse, then I'll bear that cost because I'm not even wasting my time with that bullshit Games should all come with controller support that require WASD type movement.
Definitely the game Nocturne (1999), which IMO is hands-down the best horror game ever made and also one of the best games ever made, period.

Some of the big reviewers like PC Gamer and Computer Gaming World gave it criminally inaccurate reviews, giving it scores like 56% and 30% and saying it was total trash. In the PC Gamer reviewer, the reviewer even put up a screenshot of a female character from the game, and in the caption under that picture, as it was published in the magazine, referred to that female character as a male. This wasn't "misgendering" or anything like that, it was just sheer incompetence on the author's and editors' parts.

Or else it was outright malice against the game and/or its devs. Certainly for some bizarre reason, the PC gamer staff decided to bash the game to an absolutely ludicrous degree, and write a review that was entirely unrepresentative of what playing the game is actually like.

And Computer Gaming World did the exact same thing.

I'm convinced there must have been some behind the scenes shenanigans going on there, like a personal vendetta between the staff at those organizations and some of the developers, or something to that effect. Those publications deliberately outright lied to the public IMO, and absolutely trashed a great game that didn't deserve that treatment at all. Their conduct was simply shameful.

So I bought the game because it looked amazing, but I was expecting it most probably would be trash based on those reviews which - and at the time, this was unbeknownst to me - had illegitimately poisoned my mind against it. Then I played it for myself and it was (and still is) one the most amazing gaming experiences of my life.

After that, I looked up other reviews on the internet, and I found out there are many professional critics who gave it fair & accurate reviews, like Gamespy which gave it a well-deserved 94% score and Eurogamer which gave it 90%. Just Adventure gave it 95%.

So how is it that the same game can get 90+% scores from some outlets, and sub-40% scores from others? That simply wouldn't be possible unless either there was some dirty smear agenda being played out behind the scenes, or else the reviewers and editorial staff at PC Gamer and Computer Gaming World, and others, were/are utterly incompetent.

All these yeas later, I still strongly resent those publications for that. Their totally fake reviews were one of the main reasons why the game flopped. So, they harmed the public by convincing them, by and large, never to play a great game, based on solely on the biased misinformation which they recklessly published. Most people who read that misinformation will never even know that they had been lied to! And they also harmed the devs by helping to ensure that the devs never made any profit on that game (which I could understand that needing to be done in cases where a game is actually bad, but that isn't the case here).

Hopefully one day a real gaming journalist (if there is even such a thing any more) will investigate what happened and publish the full details of the real story behind the shady smear pieces which were written about Nocturne by PC Gamer and Computer Gaming World. But I doubt that will ever happen. The smear campaign was successful, and no one ever bothered to even try to hold those critics to account for their crime (that is, at least ethically, if not legally) of purposely lying to the public.

As I was making this post, I just looked up the game on metacritic, and even its summary blurb there is completely inaccurate and slanderous. It falsely accuses the game of having "movie-like quick camera cuts" which it says wreck the game, even though the camera never changes unless the player chooses to make it change via moving the hero character to a new screen. The player can freely choose to move to a new screen fastly, or slowly, or not at all. In other words, there could never possibly be any "movie-like quick camera cuts" unless the player deliberately & proactively chooses to move the character in such a way which directly caused that to happen.

And despite that slanderous summary, the game still has an 8.8 user score on metacritic. Yet all the professional reviews for that game which used to be on metacritic have mysteriously been deleted.

Now I'm all the more convinced that some reputable gaming journalist, if one exists, needs to thoroughly investigate why, exactly, this game is slandered & lied about so viciously by many of the larger parts of the review industry. It's clear to me like many of the industry members must have had a hidden agenda to ruin game's reputation and convince most people never to even consider playing it.
Post edited June 05, 2019 by Ancient-Red-Dragon
Australian Cricket Captain.

Seriously Cricket is the stupidest sport ever, I hate it. IMHO any sport that doesn't involve smashing people, scoring goals or racing against a clock should killed off. But late 90's I rented this from a local vid store because they had nothing else. Cricket may be a stupid sport, but damn it made for a great management sim!

I took control of my home state team- Victoria who were in a bad way in real life and the game- full of has beens and was really just a bit of a lads club. I went through the roster with a broom, brought in some young chargers, trained up some of the players deficiencies to make a more balanced roster. Told our show boat of a leg spinner (the greatest of all time they say) to stop screwing Liz Hurley (he really was in RL, can't say I blame him) and get back to Cricket. By the end of the first season we were doing well and played in the one day final. Second season we won the one day series and narrowly missed out on the Test series. The third season we dominated. The Australian Cricket board appointed me manager for the Australian team and I set about bringing in my hand trained Vics to set about the start of a dynasty. Amazing how such a crappy sport could be the best management sim I've ever played.
Post edited June 05, 2019 by CMOT70