Why do I buy games that I know I probably will not like?

For some unknown reason, I picked up Ages of Empires 3 last weekend. No, this isn’t a “I hate Age of Empires 3 thread mark 2.” I generally hate RTS. I don’t know if its either the interface or the pace that never allows me to step back and enjoy what I built. I can easily count on one hand the number of RTS in the past 20 years that I’ve enjoyed. Yet, I keep buying them. I guess I keep hoping that I’m just wrong and that somehow a game’s production values, or maybe an innovated approce will win me over to the genre. That or I’m a consumer whore with no sense of self control.

Hmmmmm. I’m an RTS whore if anyone is, buit I’ve seen quite a few posts like this and don’t know what to say. What’s an RTS game you did like? Because it really sounds like you would more enjoy civ-builder games like, well, Civ 4, which are turn based. In most RTS’s that I can think of, the whole point is to crush your enemy as quickly as possible, and the buildings are there to help expidite your mission. It really sounds like you’d have more fun with Tropico, H of M&M, or Disciples. What are the RTS games you did like?

I liked Act of War: Direct Action (at least the beginning), Total Annihilation, The Tone Rebellion, and… (I’m drawing a blank) My favorite is a really old school one for the sega Genesis called Herzog Zwei.

You might enjoy the earlier Settlers games. I still haven’t gotten around to IV and V, but the first three, which not without their quirks, weren’t as victory oriented as the games of which you complain.


I partly know how you feel. Well, no. But, I do tend to buy the new Age of game every winter period that it is out, though I do not like any of them apart from the Star Wars one. Perhaps I keep wishing that the new one is better.
I have managed to not buy AOEIII so far!

Have you tried Blitzkrieg 2?

I’m in the same boat. I kind of like Dawn of War, so if you haven’t tried that, give it a little whirl.

I’m waiting for that new one from bighugegames. In fact, I’m waiting with so much anticipation, I forgot the name. Legends something. Or something of legends.


I want an RTS where all I do is control units (I hate building and resource management), but isn’t as slow and unresponsive as the total war games.

I think I’m the opposite. I love nuilding and managing resources. I just wish I could tell the units what general objectives I have and they figure out a way to do it without me holding their hand every step of the way.

I used to do this for a while. It was because I had no self control, and was basically addicted to the whole process of scanning the shelves, buying the game, getting it home and installing it, playing it, pretending to like it. I think it arose from reviewing games, getting them in the mail all the time, and then having that well slowly dry up after not reviewing anymore.

The only reason I’m bothering to respond with such an unhelpful response is because you’re edging toward the same rationalizations about production values, “I should like this one,” etc., that I employed to justufy wasting so much time on mediocre titles.

I buy games I know I won’t like, but more out of a collector’s need than anything else. I pick them up cheap (or on Ebay), tinker with them for a while and then file them away never to be played again.

This explains Trade Empires, Superpower, Powermonger, many of the Cossacks titles, Aaron vs Ruth and other stuff that just sits on my shelf.

I don’t, however, buy genres that aren’t in my usual comfort zone. I don’t have a lot of shooters in my house and those I get are purely ones I feel will reward me and zero racing games.

I understand your desire to have a RTS that lets you pause for a bit and enjoy your civilization. When I have that desire I just drop the difficulty down a bit and confidently fend off enemy attacks. You don’t get much of that in Act of War, though, and you say you enjoy it.

In my darker days, I wonder if I can even verbalize why I like one game and not another. All the RTS you cite are pretty good games, so your taste is not in question. I recommend AoM more than AoE3 - it’s a better game with more interesting things going on and a much better interface.


Why do I buy games that I know I probably will not like?

I used to do that, and eventually traced that urge to garden-variety boredom. Nothing else was engaging me so I tried the next shiny thing, and the next, and the next.

I grew out of it.

Well if it hasn’t happened for me after 32 years of gaming, I imagine it will never happen.

It’s because people you like keep recommending crappy games to you. You hold them in too much respect personally to dismiss their opinions outright, so despite your own misgivings you take their word for it and buy the games, only to discover you should have trusted yourself.

I’ve been there.

You’re thinking of Rise of Legends.

Also, on your latter point, ever tried either of the Ground Controls?


Or Myth 1 & 2?

Rob, have you played Majesty and/or Kohan? both of those require a lot less troop management, which is what you seem to object to.

I am in the same boat. In fact, I started a thread a while back about RTSs for people who don’t like them but want to, because that’s what I am. If you can dig it up, there were lots of helpful suggestions, but it was pre-switch.

Hehe. Not much to add to the discussion, but I did the exact same thing last week. Picked up AOE3 thinking that I would get into an RTS…I should know better.

To make things worse I finally got around to watching Band of Brothers and am now eager to rip into the Call of Duty series (never played it) but I’ve already blown my game budget for the month. Gonna be rough the next couple weeks on the game front.

Every once in a while I’ll pick up a game outside my usual genres or in one I haven’t been all that good at, just to see if either the genre or my tastes or skills have changed enough to match up better.

Sometimes it works; I’d never really liked driving games before, but picking up Gran Turismo 3 on a lark eventually spurred me to get GT4, GTR, Colin McRae, NFS:MW, etc… And sometimes it doesn’t; Soul Calibur 2 remained pretty much barely-started and eventually wound up on semi-permanent loan to a friend.

Yes, this is exactly what I thought of, at least for Charles. What great games. Sigh.

Precisely. Two more great games.

I think I can mail you COD1, I fucking hated it. pm me somewhere to send it and I’ll snail mail it to you if I can dig it out of ‘the pit’

I tried Majesty and didn’t care for it. Kohan has been one of those games I’ve been meaning to pick up for awhile but never have