PC Games that you refuse to play, even though you spent money on them

This thread got me to thinking about some of the more shameful purchases I’ve made over the years. I will play most any game through to completion, but I have my limits. Usually those limits are awful game play, painful graphics, and the “fuck you” value of the game. I started hoarding my game purchases after I had to repurchase Half-Life, but in that hoarde are a select few that are more entertaining for three seconds in a microwave than in my computer. Even though I get my crappy games on clearance, I sometimes still feel ripped off. I feel like I should have spent more money just to have my time back. I’m limiting this to PC games since the sheer volume of console games would unbalance the playing field.

Daikatana comes to mind first. The graphics made me want to hurt small children and absolutely everything about it felt like I was the butt of some stupid joke. Three foot long metal insects? Fuck you, Daikatana. I got it for $9 and got pissed after the fifth quicksave file that, despite the easy access, was in a location that had no exit. As soon as I came across a level that was nothing but jumping puzzles in yet another environment whose scenery gave me a headache, I uninstalled it as hard as I could.

Urban Chaos. One word best describes this game: Uuuuuuuuuggghhhh. I had heard about how bad this game was, but for $2 at CompUSA, I figured what the hell. Now I want those $2 back. It took me an hour just to get used to the shitty controls. I just got this feeling throughout that no one involved had their heart put into it and it was published because nobody gave a crap otherwise. Most of the game was really easy considering, but the (I assume) last level irritated me so much that finishing it just wasn’t worth it anymore.

Donald Trump’s Real Estate Tycoon. I paid fifty cents for this game for one reason and one reason alone. I keep it in my collection because no matter how bored, crazy, or just plain desperate I get, I will never, ever play Donald Trump’s Real Estate Tycoon. It is my zero point. My calibrator. I know that no game out there is worth less of my time. I keep Donald Trump’s Real Estate Tycoon around for the sole purpose of kissing my lilly white ass.

Anyone else wish to share in the pain of regret?

This screenshot alone has to be worth 50 cents.

Thief: Deadly Shadows.

I’m sure I’ll end up playing it eventually, but with the modding community still alive and kicking for the original games, I just don’t feel particularly rushed to do so.

Now I hate you. Urban Chaos was awesome. The default controls were pretty bad, yes, but just a couple minutes manually reconfiguring the controls for a joystick/gamepad took care of that.

Seriously, what the hell is wrong with you? It looked nice, it featured a pretty in-depth melee combat system, plus gunfighting, plus driving, all within decently sized city levels within which you were free to go anywhere, including many rooftops. It was basically GTA3-lite, only this game came out first.

Special mention must be made of the debris effect. All those leaves and newspapers and such lying on the streets, blown about by wind and whipped up by air currents. Standing on the roof of a building and looking down as a helicopter flies low over the streets below, blowing all manner of trash around the streets and above the helicopter in a little trash cyclone. It remains probably my favorite graphical effect ever.

Not to mention that the team (Mucky Foot) went on to make the brilliant Startopia. Then they got forced into making a couple of crappy movie adapatations, then they dissolved. And you have blasphemed over their corpse. I hope you spend all of eternity playing Daikatana.

I’m with Bob. Urban Chaos was great. Startopia was even better.

In keeping on topic. I bought Perimeter: Emperor’s Testament because I remember liking the original. Played the couple of levels and never picked it up again.


Civ 4. It was very polished and apparently everyone else liked it. But they messed with the build times such that most of the early game is exploring without much building, and most of the later game is just expansionist grinding. As someone who loved the early dynamic in earlier Civs, I hated it. (Researching technologies is boring when the build times are too slow to make use of them.)

I find it odd that someone would mention a game he refuses to play and then note that the last level of the game was the one that really frustrated him. Ummm…you DID play the game, almost to completion. If you mean games you refuse to finish, that’s a different matter. I’d say most of them.

Half-life 2. Absolutely hate the feel of this game and the Brian Boitano slipping around on ice while moving.

Psychonauts. Picked it up from Gogamer for like $10 and just can’t get into it.

Rome: Total War. Tried over 'n over to play this game, but again walked away everytime after each attempt.

Throne of Bhaal. I’m ashamed to admit I didn’t play this one, but I got into a depressed funk in the summer of '01 and for some reason those negative memories are associated with this BG2 expansion and I never got very far into it. Probably the one release I have any real remorse over not finishing since I’ve played every other BioWare/Black Isle title.

The Sims 2- I just can’t get into the dollhouse type gameplay of the sims. Although I do like Sim City.

Rome Total War- Love the concept, but the gameplay started to drag on for me.

Civ4- Mainly because I can never figure out how to play it right.

I’m pretty sure that I have a copy of Soul Reaver 2 sitting around somewhere that I never played.

Black and White.

The Longest Journey (Funcom).

I believe I have stared at the 2 disc case for 2 years now without actually touching it.

Got it for 10 bucks at Target after my wife and I had finished Zork: Nemesis together. She wasn’t into it. Way too much reading involved in the journal thing that updates after every friggin scene.

Unreal 2. I bought it for $10 hoping that it would at least be worth it at that price. About 15 minutes in to the first level I decided to uninstall it. Forevermore.

Good call, man.

Fuck that game. I think I quit on like the second island or something.

X2 and Silent Storm.

I don’t think I even made it through the tutorial. There was one part where you had to rescue some drowning villagers, but I ran into a bug where one of the villagers continued to struggle like he was still drowning, even after being placed back on land.

To add to the list:

Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor. It’s infamous as a horrible game now, but I bought it the day it was released (the special edition, even), and after an hour into it I was so underwhelmed and bored by it that I quit and never played it again.

MotoGP 3. There wasn’t anything wrong with it, but I never even got around to starting the career mode – shortly after buying it I picked up a 360 and got MotoGP '06 for it, so there wasn’t much point in going back to the PC version.

The Bards Tale.

What a horrible, horrible game. I managed to play it for about 2 hours before I gave up on it. Loudly. With expletives.

You’re being way too hard on it. It was fun for what it was. The humor was stupid and those singing guys (“Oh it’s bad luck to be you! A chosen one of many isn’t new!” GRRRRR!) made be want to cut the disk in half but as a silly action combat romp it was fun.

I’d forgotten the Bard’s Tale. I played that about one afternoon before giving up. It didn’t offend me; it was just boring.

Europa Universalis #1 – I wanted to like it, but I just couldn’t figure out how to.