Games you love at first, but then come to loathe in the last act


I might be thinking of SNES. I know I played one where everything was little squares and that dude talked to you, and you could get Casinos and a fairground.



It’s sort of 50% SimCity classic and 50% SC2K and it’s just amazing and charming and super addictive.

I replayed it for a few hours when I did it for Game Frame Game last year and just fell in love all over again.


That’s the one!

Yeah, and then we got SimCity 2013… which add visual magic with nothing behind it that was worth a hill of beans.


I burned out on the original Dungeon Keeper. By about level 10 or so I realized all they were doing was throwing in some kind of artificial stumbling block I had to figure out, but otherwise the dungeon-building stuff didn’t really change.


I’d honestly not known about this since I never got the expansion. It sounds kind of nice. Similar to Titan Quest with the warping between areas kind of thing, but not held to a story.


That’s EXACTLY what it is, warp to areas, do bounties, get loot, it’s so fun. NO STORY either, which is great. Just lots of death and destruction.


Sold! Maybe. :) My backlog is long.


Darkest Dungeon also comes to mind. I recently finished it, after 67 hours, and I understand why so many people quit the game after the 2nd tier bosses. Never tried radiant mode (it didn’t exist when I started my campaign), but I sure hope it offers a more balanced progression curve.


I will grant you that D:OS2 implodes under its own weight during the last act.

Here are a couple of my own:

Torment: Tides of Numenera. This game started out with a lot of promise but the story did not develop well and the NPCs turned out to be uninspired. By the time I got to Act 3 and The Bloom I was quite sick of the game.

Lionheart. The first Act was great. The rest of the game was simply unfinished.

Stardrive 2. So many cool ideas. So much unrealized potential. So many systems that break during the mid-to-late game.

Dead State. Another game where the balance just gets worse the longer the game goes.


I still think a Scoobydoo ending would have felt more mature than the whole “Haha, I am as evil as I look, suckers!” troll. So bad it can almost make one dislike the game, but no, KOTOR 2 is too good for that. To be fair, Blacobsdisleware games have all issues in their conclusions: they most often would have required some sort of openending, which they weren’t willing to bless them with because they are… videogames and games are for kids, I guess? Fallout was an early similar disappointment.

But while I can forgive a lame ending, I have troubles with game that jump the gun in an attempt to stick to the antiquated “spike of difficulty” formula (isn’t that an artefact of the coinup games?). The “git gud” gimmick is pretty annoying, as I think it is the game’s job to not aim at the OCD crowd out there, but to make the player willing to care to get better at it.
Recently, such a game was Shovel Knight, which is charming in everything excepting its instadeath traps.

But unlike you @Tman, I don’t hate game I find boring overtime, because that would be pretty much all of them and ruin my mental health ;) I just find them… well, boring, and move on, without any regret.


Oh man, what a mess that was. BOTH of them. And now that dev has moved onto another game that I likely will never buy unless it’s on deep sale because of his record of abandonment. I think he tweeted he’s done with game development. Good.




DS:Reanimated started out so good. Then I bounced off of it when I started hitting bandits who could one-shot me. The balance was pretty terrible.


Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines
I absolutely loved the game, but the last act is just non-stop combat in a game that doesn’t really excel at combat. I won’t say I “loathe” it, though. Generally speaking my characters are pretty adept at combat, so it’s more just grinding through waves of fodder than anything. Just thinking about this game makes me want to install it again.

Thief: The Dark Project
I loved parts of this game, but the last act is a bad joke. I’ve played the first three games and that stuff is easily the low point in the series for me.

STALKER: Shadows of Chernobyl
One of my very favorite games, but the last act is laughably horrible (at least unmodded). It’s the closest I’ve ever come to feeling as if I was being tortured while playing a game. It was buggy, obnoxious, confusing, and just no fun. These days I generally just play up until that point and then start over.

Beyond Good & Evil
The final boss battle is every ounce of the stupid, gamey bullshit you hate about final boss battles.

Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader
Fantastic game, but the final run against the second Death Star is so difficult and poorly designed that it soured me on the experience.

System Shock 1 & 2
Both games are unbelievably good, and both games have shitty SHODAN showdowns.


The only issue I had with that last act is that the story was hurtling to a conclusion, but then the gameplay was still asking you to slowly skulk around like the rest of the game, which felt completely inappropriate. This was especially the case in the level called “escape”, IIRC. I was so impatient, I didn’t hide in the shadows, I just ran for it. I ran around in circles until I found every dead end and died to my pursuers. It felt like a Benny Hill sequence. But using this method, I found the way out. Anyway, I was really happy that in the level after that, I just had to basically follow the story. There was no real complex mission or possible fight. Basically it was all story. That’s how it should have ended, they should have just taken out the “Escape” level.


It was worse than that - they reversed your controls! I can’t believe anyone ever thought that would be a good idea.


I loved System Shock 2 right up until you get into the organic goo levels. I just about immediately decided I had no interest in continuing.


Oh my gosh, this x 1000. The game went from lovingly crafted RPG to mindless shooter in the blink of an eye.

Up until that moment, though, one of the best RPG’s ever made.


In terms of the writing, it might be my favorite ever.


Hand of Fate 1 was like that for me.

Super fun game, then the last encounter makes you literally defeat every boss in one go (three at a time, even), with one set of health.

That fucking sucked. Completely ruined the game for me. Massive wall of difficulty at the end.