Tell Us Dammit: Games You Didn't 'Get' At First...

There are games you fall in love with instantly, there are games you hate instantly. Then there are the other kind: the ones where you don't understand the hype, but persist, and then... it all clicks.

In fact, it's weird, but I think those are always the games I end up loving the most. I had that experience with Metroid Prime, with Metal Gear Solid 2, with Dark Souls. Actually I think I remember having a similar experience with Halo when I first played my Xbox.

Part of me thinks it's par for the course with ambitious games, or original games, there's that understanding curve, but once you understand, once you learn how to play, that game launches itself into the stratosphere.

So — what are some of those games for you? Let us know in the comments below.


    Metal Gear Solid on the PS2, and Necromancer on the Atari800.

    Both games frustrated the shit out of me, and I wondered why people raved about them. But slowly they crawled under my skin and became the games I probably loved the most.

    There's a pretty obvious one, that is very polarising round here at the moment: Dark Souls.

    Bought it on release, played it and didn't really like it. Played again 6 months or so later, didn't love it but I got a bit further and hit a wall (Gargoyles). Played it again a year or whatever later, with my brother providing advice. It clicked, I loved it, and last week 100%ed the achievements on it.

    Which is why I keep telling people to persist. If you love games, you *will* love Dark Souls!

      Same here.

      I hit the Taurus Demon when I first bought it and couldn't make it past so I shelved it for a good 18 months. I picked it up again due to peer pressure and something just clicked.

        Dark Souls for me - I didn't mind it, the combat was solid - especially once I discovered the lock on, it took a me a while to even realise how to level up but I shelved for less demanding games.

        The buzz around the second game prompted me to reinstall it (bought it last year on Xbox Live for $10!) and this time watch one if those tips videos - it was the push I needed, suddenly I realised an area I had previously overlooked hid a merchant giving me a ranged weapon, then I realised I should ditch my theif and use a pyromancer instead - it took me two hours as a pyro to surpass my progress after 11 hours with the thief. I started to appreciate how interconnected all the levels are.

        I've started to set goals for myself, I amassed over 14,000 souls going back and forth trying to beat Havel, getting my arse whooped each time (eventually I escaped him withy souls intact) the other day I managed to make it past the hell kite dragon to the sunlight altar (now I have to up my faith so I can 'pray' there cuz I want the lightning spear, see the fact that I spent time researching that is scary - something I haven't done since I was heavily into Team Fortress 2 and desperate to soak up every bit of information about how the game works, the weapon balance etc.

      Yeah Dark Souls for me as well. Didn't want to write about it too much since everyone is totally over me going on about that game over and over!

        *sigh* @markserrels ya couldn't go ONE day without mentioning *that* game could ya... :P

        Last edited 10/04/14 11:50 am

        I like your dark souls stuff, especially your dark souls 2 diaries

        I'm actually missing your Dark Souls coverage. After all, it was you that said sharing your experience is what makes Dark Souls so great :) Bring it back!

    Terraria. I bought it early on so it wasn't as fully fleshed out as it is now. It took me 3-4 hours to actually get the appeal. After that I pumped 40+ hrs into it. Need to find the time to go back and see how it's improved.

    Fallout 3 is a game I distinctly remember hating when I initially rented it back in '08. I thought the animations were clunky and the visuals were underwhelming. I ended up purchasing it for cheap a year later and gave it a few more hours of time and to this day have invested hundreds of hours into it and New Vegas.

      I got really annoyed with Fallout 3 at first because I somehow completely failed to find Megaton after leaving the vault. I actually set up my own base in the nearby school after clearning it of raiders, sleeping on cots whenever there were no nearby radroaches interrupting me. After a few hours I find of appreciated it and thought: "This is a really tough survival game but how the hell do I find my dad?!"

      I facepalmed so hard when I found Megaton and picked up the quest thread.

        This only makes me want to play through it again. I loved that items could be stored and they would remain exactly where you placed them for as long need be. Setting up temporary strongholds as I progressed across the land - so engrossing.

          Fallout 3 was mine too - and I had nearly exactly the same issue.

          Another was Condemned 2 - Bloodshot. Due to not being able to jump I got stuck in some basement for an hour. Didn't pick it up for another six months. Six months later, got out of the basement (immediately) and loved it.

          Bought it again for $6 at JB the other day. Good times.

    Spelunky, that most unfair of bastards. I will never beat the game, but I'll waste a ton of time trying in futility. It got it's hooks in after many frustrating hours asking why I was playing this POS.

    Civilization 2 was one I didn't quite get at first, but it ended up being a game a lost entire nights to in what seemed a blink of an eye.

    Binding of Isaac. I thought the control scheme and lack of controller support was really limiting and short-sighted/lazy by the developer. I didn't get the point of the endless dungeons, I got annoyed by it's difficulty and the seemingly random effects of the powerups.

    Then one day it clicked. I started understanding what the powerups did, how to discover secrets and maximise my efficiency. I had a system. I was processing information. I learned the boss patterns. Navigating and attacking using only the digtal inputs of the keyboard instead of analog sticks became second nature. Steam says I have logged 75 hours and I've only beaten the "full" game 6 times out of the 9 needed to see the true ending. Granted about 35 of those were prior to me beating Mom for the first time and some of those hours belong to my friends and wife, but that's a long time to spend on a game I am yet to master.

    In recent memory DOTA 2. Now it's one of my most played games of all time. I miss video games.

    Monster hunter, had tried the games on PSP and not really enjoyed it (seeing as i had no one to play with) and then got the demo for 3 ultimate when that came out, and also hated it.

    but after some persistence by my friend, i gave it another shot and now its one of my most played games ever!

    Skyrim. I'd dabbled in Morrowind, and considered Oblivion completed, and got to Skyrim, played though the main quests, dabbling in the side-quests now and then, finished the main quest line in about 12 hours, and stopped playing. I didn't get the hype behind it, how people could spend thousands of hours playing this game. I mean, it was a nice world, but I didn't see anything substantial to do. I came back for the DLC, and decided I'd stop following the giant quest marker on my screen and allow myself to be distracted by the side-quests I'd previously dismissed as irrelevant. One side quest led me to another two, to another four, to another sixteen...

    I'm now over 100 hours in, and I still haven't completed the DLC content. :/

    The Witcher 2 for me.. Didn't like the combat & found a bit boring, so put it on the pile of shame for a few months.. then thought to give it a go again, and really got into it. Really got into the lore of it and how consequences played out. Ended up finishing it and playing it again.

    I swear this was asked a couple months ago. :P

    But I guess Skyrim is the latest example that stands out in my mind. The rest is just shitty games that I have to force myself to play.

    Mark of the Ninja - Just couldn't get into it, was frustrated with the controls, I didn't feel very Ninjary despite everyone saying it was a great stealth game. Put it aside for months. Picked it up again, this time with a gamepad and BAM!! Everything clicked :D

    Metroid Prime 2 didn't do it for me after the masterful first one, but the Wii version was excellent.
    The first Tomb Raider. Don't know why I didn't like it at first. I've since gone on to complete most of them.
    The real "what's all this hype about?" game for me was Bastion. The best part of the game is New Game + with the idols.

    Splatterhouse: The remake.
    Its so unpolished and the difficulty spikes insult your efforts to play and the platforming sections are so unintuitive and i just gave up on it, but then i was trying really hard to dig into my pile of shame and started it again from the start and really got into it.

    Maybe not on the same level as the other games mentioned, but I bought Super Hexagon because I loved Cavanagh's VVVVVV, but after dying within 2 seconds on my first 50 attempts I closed it and thought "it's not for me", at least VVVVVV eases you in a bit.

    Bored in bed later I gave it another shot, and suddenly I could make it to 10 seconds, and then 20 - I think my brain must have been working on it subconsciously during that down time. I love that, like Dark Souls, the game required me, the player to level up rather than just my character.

    Off topic: Metal Gear Solid HD collection is deeply discounted on PSN as part of an Easter sale:

      Cheers for that, I'm on a Metal Gear kick of late.

    Dragon Age.

    As a huge fan of Biowares other RPG’s going back to Baldur’s Gate I thought the setting, graphics and combat were really flat the first time I played the game (as a human male character). I played through the prelude and thought it was dull, and the first few missions after that were pretty generic.

    Came back to it about 6 months later, soldiered through the first few hours and eventually fell in love with the game.

    The other one (and I know a few people who’ve had this issue) was Dead Rising. It’s obviously designed to be finished properly on the second or so play though but there were a few ridiculous difficulty spikes and some very annoying bosses which made me rage quit that game the first time I played it. I know at least 1 other mate who got to that part when you’re abducted by the dudes in yellow raincoats and quit.

    Came back to it about a year later and started again with the XP from my earlier game, by the time I got to the raincoat guys I had the wall-kick perk and I smoked them. Once I got past that bit I really loved the game.

    There might be a couple but the only game that I can think of at the moment is Zelda. Only really played the SNES version. I thought it was ok, but not the ultimate SNES game some people claim it to be. Didn't touch Zelda until Twilight Princess. After beating the game I thought, "That was it!?". Was really put off from the franchise. It was so repetitive and cliche, with 99% of all items being useless.

    Some time later someone gave me Windwaker on Gamecube. I thought it was awesome, even went out of my way to play the GBA versions of the first two Zelda games (I think Zelda 2 was pretty good).

    Regardless though, I still believe Alundra (and even Darksiders at points) knocked the formula out of the park.

    Kingdom Hearts. Went in with low expectations.
    Final Fantasy 12. Combat really didn't click initially but after revisiting it recently.
    Guitar Hero. My not getting it part came from watching others playing it, when I eventually picked it up myself I became unstoppable.

    Super Metroid.

    I was only 9 years late with that one.

    I don't know why I've never played it. All I know is that when I get a Wii U, I'm downloading Metroid Fusion!

    Last edited 10/04/14 12:18 pm

    The most recent game that comes to mind is, Tomb Raider. I bought it on PS3 not long after it came out, played it for about an hour, then traded it. I had no interest in it. Then it had a price drop on psn for the PS4 to $40. And due to an absolute lack of games, I figured I'd give it another go. Did my first play through on Saturday and found it to be quite a good game. I loaded it up again yesterday, just to start finishing off the rest of the challenges.

    Dark Souls (I and II) is the obvious one, although it was more about changing my established RPG paradigms. Even now things are still clicking. I've only recently started to understand the reason people do a lot of running without killing things. Of course, I wasn't that great at it before but I'm better at it now. Still bouncing off Demon's Souls though for some reason.

    Tenchu (aka Stealth games in general) was another game I didn't get at first because I was still relatively young and raised on games where the idea is to run in and attack everything openly. It took me a while to realise that games aren't always about having the biggest gun and attacking everything in sight.

    Demon's Souls and The Witcher 1. After a couple of hours of each though I couldn't stop playing!

    For me, its more the type of game not the game. I feel i should love FPS. I did when I was a kid... I keep buying them and never finishing them. Now i just like games with good characters and stories.

    Mainly Rhythm Games... perhaps Frequency was the main major version of this, getting the game via a demo disc to begin with, played it a couple of times and asked myself why was I was playing this. Many hours later and back and forth challenges from my brother we needed to beat our top scores!

    This let to Amplitude, Gitaroo Man, Guitar Hero, Rock Band, etc...

    Recently, I had this same experience all over again with Hatsune Miku : Project Diva f (Vita), played the demo, convinced myself to get a certain rank and the delete the demo... a few days later cracked and bought the full game, now I'm playing through it, awaiting the sequel later this year, considering tracking down the PS3 version to double dip and also looking forward to IA/VT Colorful now (hopefully it sees a Western release)

      If you're into rhythm games, you'd probably really like the first BIT.TRIP RUNNER game, and if so, Runner2 is much the same, really great!

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