Games you completely changed your mind about

So, I’ve had a few of these. Sometimes, you just approach a new game at the wrong time - or you’re simply not informed about the features that aren’t immediately apparent, and you make snap judgments. It’s human - it happens.

I write this post, because I’m hoping Guild Wars 2 will be such a game for me - as I’m starting to warm to it.

It just got me thinking about when this has happened before. So, I’ve come up with a few examples and I think it could be interesting to hear if others have had the same kind of experience.

MYST

I started out hating this game, really. I thought it was so incredibly boring - and just a puzzler with pretty graphics. I remember buying it at a time when I had very little money - and it was quite expensive. I also remember 8 MB ram was recommended - and I had only 4 at the time, and it ran like crap.

Anyway, I gave up on it - and forgot it. Then, years later I had a friend who kept talking about it, and how it was his favorite game. I told him he was a freak who had poor taste :)

But he insisted that I try it - and I did. Then… slowly… I “got it”.

The game was about immersion. It was about transporting yourself to another world and just setting aside reality for a while. It worked - and it was fantastic.

Hellgate London

I remember watching some preview videos - thinking the game looked like shit. I felt they’d failed to bring Diablo to 1st person and make it work.

But I got it anyway - and it wasn’t long until everything clicked. One really cool feature - back then - was that the music ramped up when fighting particularly tough enemies and it was just another adrenaline booster. The classes were really cool - and the Blademaster fit my style perfectly. The combat was more visceral than any other ARPG out there.

The loot system also turned out to be fantastic - and every weapon had its own personality.

It was also the first game I can remember that gave each player their own loot - without anyone else seeing it. It seems to be mentioned a lot these days as a new feature, but Hellgate was the first game I remember seeing it in.

Diablo

Yeah, no kidding. When I first played the demo of this game, I saw nothing but a fancy looking Moria (rogue-like). To me, it was just a rip-off with pretty visuals, and I just didn’t get the excitement.

It was my brother who got me to play it, really. He was going on about it being great - and I didn’t see any appeal. But we tried it multiplayer with a mutual friend - and it took a while before I got it. I can clearly remember the moment, though.

It was just after defeating The Butcher for the first time - which was a REALLY tough fight when you’re a bunch of complete n00bs. Not only was it an amazing thing to get him down through cooperative play (very rare feature in those days) - but the fact that he dropped a UNIQUE item was the kicker. I had no idea that the game had unique items, and it just opened up the whole loot carrot mania, for me. I’ve been hooked on that little rush ever since :)


So, do you have some games that you’d completely written off - but turned out to be great?

Final Fantasy Tactics

I didn’t know what to make of this when I first bought it, back on the PSOne. This is back when you could still return games to Gamestop (though back then my Gamestop was an Electronics Boutique) so after giving it all of a day to grab me, I threw my hands up in frustration and returned it.

It wasn’t too much later a buddy of mine was either talking about it or showing it off to me and his explanation made it “click” for me, so I re-purchased it and have considered it one of my favorite games in that genre (until Tactics Ogre recently surpased it, though not on every level) since.

CARMAGEDDON

Tried to play the original demo from a cover disc when it was first released. Played for about 20 minutes and just kept running out of time, as I was trying to play it as a generic racer (i.e. through the checkpoints), so I uninstalled it in frustration. Read a whole load of positive opinions on usenet along with advice to drive aggressively, retried it and LOVED it. To this day, it’s my favourite car game.

Actually it was in Mythos, which was in beta well before Hellgate came out. I’m sure the proximity (such as it was, with them sharing netcode or something) between those two titles factored into some of the Hellgate mechanics.

Boy, did I hate Children of the Nile when I first played it. It looked kinda like crap. Supply chains were unreliable. Bread is money?? The little people didn’t follow roads. I mean, NO WALKERS?! What kind of Impressions City Builder is th-- oh. Oh. It’s not an Impressions City Builder. It’s something totally different. Years later I tried it again and while it’s still no Zeus, it has many charming qualities.

The Witcher

When I first played this game I couldn’t understand what all the hype was about. The controls were wonky, the first couple of areas were confusing and a little boring, and the sexy time stuff seemed laughable. I got maybe 2 hours into it and gave up.

About a year later I went back and really made an effort to understand the interface and the controls. Once I figured it out, I realized it was a lot easier and more fluid than I originally thought. Once I got past the village outside the first town the story picked up quickly and became very interesting, and even the sexy time stuff, while still silly, gained some context so it didn’t seem so totally out of place. Best of all, the real RPG elements started to kick in and I understood why the game was so universally praised as one of the best RPGs available at the time. I’m a huge fan of the series and the developers now, and I highly recommend the games to anyone who enjoys RPGs.

I would suggest that anyone struggling with the controls and the slow first sections of the game find the time and energy to adapt to the control scheme and push through the village content until you reach the town proper. Once that happens you will experience a game that is so much deeper and more enjoyable than it’s rough beginning.

Diablo 3

Played a bit of D1 and D2 at friends, but never really got into it. I didn’t even spend any time looking at D3. Then they released the Starter Edition and I actually enjoyed the way they crafted the story for the different classes. I have finished the starter level in all the classes and now I am just trying to decide if I actually want to purchase the full game, what with at least another 20 titles in my backlog.

Saints Row 3

My impression of the Saints Row games came down to “GTA clones with over the top stupidity thrown in”. I finally picked it up via a recent Steam sale and was amazed at how much fun it is. I was completely wrong.

[B]King’s Bounty, The Legend

[/B]When it came out, I would look at the reviews and magazine ads and really disliked the look of the game. The pieces looked so goofy and so close together on the tactical field that I figured it had no chance to be as fun as the Heroes of Might and Magic games. After finally giving it a chance based on the feedback here at Qt3, it ended up being a fresh new twist on the genre and turned out to have more complex strategy layers than I ever expected. I really enjoyed it.

[B]The Secret World

[/B]After pre-purchasing because my wife wanted to play, I was not looking forward to playing after the first few betas. However, once the full skill trees were unlocked and after progressing further in the main story lines and experiencing the dungeons, it was a very pleasant surprise of a game. Sure, it has some warts and all, but I enjoyed it far more than I expected and can see myself going back to it when new content gets released.

Gothic I

I hated the game when I first tried it. The sword-fighting is deliberately clunky when you start, but I didn’t realize that. I was getting mauled routinely. The biggest problem, though, was that I couldn’t stand any of the NPCs. Picked it back up over a year later and it clicked, becoming one of my favorite games of all time. Unfortunately, none of the other games in the series did it for me the same way. But Gothic was a revelation in regard to European RPGs that led me to try others like The Witcher.

You’ve got your geography wrong. Germany is in Old Europe, not Eastern Europe. ;)

I thought G2 Gold was nearly as good as Gothic.

This has been my experience with The Witcher exactly.
And I do love RPG’s so I will take your word (and others here) on this and re-download the game from Steam for about the fourth time lol, and finally try to get through that village and beyond.

The whole RPG genre.
I use to be a pure FPS / RTS person, but Baldurs Gate made me become a RPG person.

Later, Anarchy Online made me apreciate mmorpgs.

World of Warcraft

I was an Everquest diehard and played EQ2 on release. My wife was playing WoW and bought me a copy about a month after release. I played for a bit, got a druid up to 12th level, and decided to go back to EQ2. It just didn’t grab me at first. About a month later I went back and tried again. Started an undead rogue and never looked back.

Katamari Damacy. I thought it sounded like the stupidest thing in the world until I played it and of course it was awesome.

Freespace 2.

Unlike the first Freespace, which had a plot very similar to Wing Commander Prophecy (aliens invade, and humanity puts aside its differences with the race they were fighting before to help each other fight the new alien menace), Freespace 2 starts off very off-kilter, and I didn’t really know what to make of it. The music, the missions, the cutscenes, they all had a strange melancholy atmosphere. Is this really what I want out of a space sim, I asked myself? Why was there no real sense of urgency? If humanity was so down on itself after being separated from Earth, was it really worth fighting for anything? What were we fighting for exactly?

Sure the game had capital ships, and beam weapons and nebulas that you fly through, and those made for some great features, but why does that matter if the game doesn’t get you excited?

I won’t spoil it, but there’s a twist later in the game that puts the melancholy nature of the game in perfect perspective. And you look back, and you think, wow, that’s fucking genius. I was completely turned around on the game, and in the end I was convinced it’s one of the best pieces of story-telling I’ve ever played in a game. I went from being really disappointed with the game to hailing it as one of the best games ever made.

Amended to simply European. The way Gothic was structured was perfect for me, in that you had a great deal of freedom at almost any point in time, within a fairly small area (if you are following the main quest). Again and again, I found myself where I needed to be in order to advance the story, without really trying, and I never felt lost. It’s like the game was on rails, yet it never felt that way to me. The other Gothics were more open and didn’t have that feel.

I’ll raise my hand about Diablo as well. The original never caught with me. In my case it was diablo 2. It was likely a year after the game came out and I hit a dry spell and loaded the demo just for fun.

Both Dominions and X-Com took a couple of tries to get through the interface and into the game play. In both cases is was worth it.

Hmm…your comment makes me want to go give Children of the Nile another try. I was trying to compare it to Caesar / Zeus and the game just didn’t ‘click’ with me.

I need to try it again with an open mind instead of trying to find an updated version of an old gem.

Yeah, you can’t compare it to those games. Treat it as something unique. Also, be content to not hurry through anything in Children of the Nile. Doing stuff takes a long time, usually, and it’s okay.