When Have You Gotten Mad At A Video Game For Wasting Your Time?

When Have You Gotten Mad At A Video Game For Wasting Your Time?

Have you ever been so pissed off at a video game for wasting your time that you turned off the TV? Threw your controller? Snapped all your disks in half?

Here’s a quick anecdote: Last night, after a gruelling final week of writing and editing, I finished the first draft of my first book. (More news on that to come soon.) Relieved and exhausted, I got in bed and started playing the Dragon Quest 8 remake on 3DS — the first video game I’ve really had time to play in months.

I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with Dragon Quest games. I enjoy almost everything about them — the atmosphere, the humour, the combat — but I’m always frustrated by the sluggish pace and the series’ insistence upon sticking with obsolete features like level-grinding. From what I remembered, though, Dragon Quest 8 was always the best of the bunch. So I expected it to be a nice, relaxing experience. Which is why I nearly broke my 3DS when my main character died to an unlucky critical hit as I was on the third floor of the first dungeon, forcing me to trek all the way back to town because, inexplicably, Dragon Quest 8 doesn’t give you any way to revive dead party members until later in the game. Instead I just turned it off and played Threes.

That’s a relatively tame story, though, and it pales in comparison to all the times when my PS1 memory cards would fail and gobble up all my save files. So I want to hear your stories. Has a game ever really wasted your time? Pissed you off to the point where you couldn’t bring yourself to play it again? Share your stories below.


  • That time I wasted all that uncountable time grinding Aerith’s materia… didnt pick up the controller again for a week whilst I sulked.
    Now that I’m (somewhat) mature I appreciate just how iconic a moment that was in gaming, but back then… wowee.

  • I have played FF8 close to… 12 times and not once have a managed to complete it, between faulty memory cards, broken last disks HDD failures and General not having the time.

    I’ve made it to within a couple hours of finishing something like 5-6 times, but something always ruins it.
    Yet still one of my favourite games ever.

    • That’s like me with FFX. Attempted to pass / really enjoy it at least half a dozen playthroughs. It is still not one of my favourite games ever. Blitzball is though.

  • never broken a controller but one thing that pops in to mind for me is NBA2k losing player saves (which seems to happen every year)

  • Had teeth marks in my PS2’s DS2 controller from the time I raged at FFVIII for dying without having saved in many hours. I was good at spotting signs of rage and resisted throwing my controller when the urge struck, but when the rage had to go somewhere, I suddenly bit down on the controller right across the top where the cable connected.

    Made for a conversation starter when anyone looked at the controller and went ‘Uhhhh…. are those teeth marks?’

    Another mate twisted his Xbox360 controller so hard in a fit of rage it literally exploded. Twisted each half in opposite directions, and bam. He was a scary dude when he got angry.

    • Twisted each half in opposite directions, and bam

      Did this to a game cube controller playing viewtiful joe, man that game so much great so much rage.

  • I feel your pain with dragon quest.
    First tower, ran into a group of 5 imps who all AOE attacked me and wiped my party.. It was really painful 🙁

    But probably Dark Souls 1, lost about 90,000+ souls I had been grinding for ages early in the game because I died.. Again

    My reflex was to just throw my controller backwards – ended up putting a hole in the wall -.-

  • A vast majority of RPGs, until very recently, have forced you to play a significant portion of the first act before you learn that some builds are so underpowered (or overpowered) and give you no method to change (whether through re-spec or quickly levelling other skills). Play hours of a skill monkey until unavoidable combat with “normal” enemies becomes overwhelmingly difficult and you start again as a fighter – I did that far too often.

    • If you are lucky the RPG in question will give you other party members to compensate for your character’s shortcomings. Neverwinter Nights comes to mind. That thing was pretty well balanced, considering all the different classes and prestige classes you could take. Awesome companions too. I liked Tommy the thief best, the cheeky blighter 🙂

  • Goddamn Yoshimo, that traitorous bastard. I spent days levelling the party up, him included. He was my party thief, and he was a good at it.

    That was way back in my youth. More recently I lost probably 200 hours to a lag spike and a Rogue Exile in Hardcore.

    Bonus points for anyone that knows what games I’m talking about… and similar experiences 🙁

    • Sounds like path of exile
      At least you can still play your character as a non hardcore character, unless they have changed that. Was one of the things I liked, it wasn’t a complete loss

      • This is still the case, but already had a number of 70+ characters soft, was my only 60 HC, devastated…

  • Star wars force unleashed 2, 5 levels, 1 was super short, and completed within 2 hours. All for $100 dollars

    • I picked it up slightly cheaper for $69 or $79 from Big W, the Saturday after release. Went home, started playing and all of a sudden I’ve finished the game. I remember thinking, “Is that f*ing it?”.

      The only saving grace was I got at least $40 back for trading it in to EB Games straight away.

        • Correct. However, at the time I had a huge aversion to buying games at day 1 prices from EB Games. If I’d known The Force Unleashed 2 was going to be that crap I would have definitely taken advantage of this.

          These days I’ve mostly been buying digital off the PSN Store. The Christmas sales were surprisingly good.

  • Sometimes you want to put a price on your rage. That price is about $99.95.

    Games don’t do this to me, siblings do. What logic do they use?! Just ask me how to save into an empty slot! Push DOWN on the d-pad before confirming. When it asks you if you’re sure you want to overwrite a 100+ hour save , READ that and then select no.

    FF7 was my thing back in the day, after another save file delete I disconnected my controller, took it outside onto the road and swung it around like Gogo Yubari. At the height of a swing I yanked down hard and it exploded like the death star.

    Good times. Don’t get little sisters… if your parents want to purchase one just ask them who will feed it? Will they take it out for walks? /s

    • Been there except it was my older brother….I even went to the preemptive effort of saving on the bottom slot but then the game defaults to the last save slot used….gg

    • I deleted my daughter’s save file on Pokemon X because I wanted to play it and you couldn’t have multiple save files. She was a bit upset but she hadn’t played it in months and was only about 1/3 of the way through it. Still, I explained that if I didn’t delete it then I couldn’t play the game at all until she finished it. She said Nintendo was stupid for not allowing multiple save files. I agreed.

    • I only vaguely remember it……..

      But was playing FF7 and was on the last disc, got to some point where I had to descend a cave or something. Those friggin bat things……arghghg!!!!! I didn’t have the right stuff to exploit their weakness and kept dying. Couldn’t go back to equip the right gear either. I’d played this game and ground it out like any procrastinating uni student did during those years………so so many hours.

      After trying to get past this bit for literally weeks, I gave up and binned the game.

      • Gargoyles in the Northern Cave? They use L4 death which kills any party member who’s level has a multiple of 4?

        Do a Sir Robin and bravely run away!

    • My brother lost a 90%~ save file of Burnout Paradise because mum let her friends kid play on our Xbox. It takes a really long time to unlock everything…

      • Your brother’s situation is more damaging, I remember some of those crazy Burnout challenges!

        I’ll bet you laughed at him though, being the elder 🙂

        • Well I did help a fair bit with that save. Bummed me out a bit too as I had to get all my fave cars again

  • Bloodborne came close. Many, many times. But my vote goes to:
    Super Jurassic Park. I played the first half in the morning. Paused the game and turned off the TV, go to school and then came home and picked it up again. Over several days until I finally got back to the chopper and then…WTF IS THIS CRAP ENDING OH MY GOD IT WAS NOT WORTH IT.

  • Grinding the special items to upgrade the relic weapon to Atma in Final Fantasy 14. You had to participate in the map events on 12 different maps, 2% drop chance from each event. It took me 3 months averaging 3-4 hours a day. This is why pure RNG gating is arse and actually burnt me out of FF14 for a while. I don’t mind a grind, but pure RNG is not really a grind. A grind should have progress whenever you do it, but with the Atma hunting you can spend hours with nothing to show for it.

    Also to the people who got theirs already and didn’t see a problem with a system, one day you will be stuck on the wrong end of RNG and see why pure RNG like that is detrimental to player experience.

    • Ooooh, grinding Crawmerax for pearlescents in Borderlands was nasty. Still, the candy explosion when he died made up for it somehow. This is a philosophy apparently shared by Overwatch. Make the payoff exciting even if it likely won’t be what you’re looking for.

  • Battletoads anyone?
    That bloody surf-riding level.
    The rage cost $35 (controller) + $95 (a vase) + $50 (no allowance for 3 months)…

    Until today, I still hate that game for that level…

  • When I was pranked in Animal Crossing by Reseti, I threw my Gamecube controller at the ground and it bounced up and hit the TV.

    I stormed up and was about to hit the power button to turn it back on before the screen flickered back to life, close call before further damage.

  • I decided I wanted to get the true ending for bravely default which requires repeating the same sequence of 4 bosses that you’ve just done either 3 or 4 more times (I can’t remember), the worst part is that I managed to pull through all the grinding and got sick of it at the final boss so after all that my party is just sitting there so close to the finish line, I really should go back to it.

  • I still haven’t touched Final Fantasy Tactics since I spent a whole lot of time having fun in the side battles and then had to reset because of that one fight. After that I just lost all interest and motivation to play again even though I now know how to build my units to get past the fight.

    • After having played FF through most of my time, prior to the point where I played FFT, I knew it was a good tactic to keep several saves at different spots. The first time I played, I made Ramza a dedicated Wizard… you can imagine how that fighht went. However, I refused to give up all the time I had invested in the game until then, and fortunately I had a save just before you get into the story path leading to that battle so I could go around and grind levels and JP for the most expensive Wizard spells. It took several attempts, but I finally managed it (you have to OTK Wiegraf with Flare after evading him for as long as you could while building up Ramza’s speed with Yell so you could find the sweet spot where Flare would resolve before Wiegraf moved twice.)

      It was gratifying later reading people in forums and the such saying that Wizard path for Ramza was hopeless because that fight.

  • As much as I love Tomb Raider, it would have to be Angel of Darkness. After playing through several levels, I got to a “boxing ring scene” that would consistently fail to get stuck on the scene exiting camera pan, after several attempts.
    Put it back in its case and have not played it since.

  • Jumpy levels. Freaking jumpy levels in so many games. Which I suck at. I love all my games, yet if they have really irritating jumpy levels with hard to reach ledges or platforms I always fall down at the most un-opportune moments. Makes my blood boil.

  • Most recently it was losing 8 hours of progress in Darksiders 2. Had an golem which was essential to solving the next puzzle and saw a path I hadn’t taken. Jumped of golem, explored area, came back and golem was gone. Spent 20 minutes moving forward and then maybe an hour trying to solve the problem before looking up solution online and realising that I was never progressing
    Took around 3 months before I could bring myself to restart

  • I remember a quest in Morrowind where it directed me to find a cave on an island east of a particular ruin. I searched for probably a good few hours, including exploring almost to the edge of the world map, before I gave up and just went back to Vivec to the west. I found the cave almost immediately on my way back and I just had to laugh.

  • Basically whenever a developer announces “And this game is going to be open world.” Which to me usually means that hours and hours will be spent travelling from point A to point B.

  • The Walking Dead season one. I finished the first two episodes and enjoyed it, booted up the third and was puzzled while the main character was complaining about another disliking his choice, when I picked the one he would like. Then I saw a dead character chatting away. For whatever reason it didn’t read my save data and made it up and saved over it.

    I couldn’t find a save editor and didn’t want to replay it all so just gave up and uninstalled.

  • X-com and X-com 2 of course. Those bullshit criticals they score from across the map to your main guy behind full cover, after you miss an 85% chance shot for the 3rd time….

  • The 3D era GTA games.
    You’d tediously drive across the city to start a mission, drive a whole lot more in said mission, almost complete it then accidentally roll the car and have to do go back and do it all over again, and heaven forbid you die or get arrested and lose all your weapons as well as progress.

  • DayZ.

    Fuck this game, I’m done. They’re never gonna finish it or sort these bugs out. DONE!

    Back again the next weekend.

  • I’m sure that when little Suku was playing C64 games he raged at them because he never knew what to do or how to win, but he knew that if he wrecked anything, his parents would be Not Happy. Joysticks only died because of the likes of Summer Games.

    Apart from that, there’s only two times I’ve truly raged at a game. The first was Dark Souls 2. This was my first Soulsborne game. When I first started playing it, I raged long and hard at how much it actively hated my guts. Eventually I got over it, figured out how to not die, and completed the game twice.

    More recently I started Bloodborne. “I should be ok at it,” I thought, “I’ve played DS2.” Then I got to the sidequest where the little girl asks you to find her parents, who are both missing. When I found her parents and found out how this quest ends, I raged so hard that I’m never going back to that game.

    You’re forced to kill her dad – he’s a non-optional boss. Then you find out he killed his wife. And no matter what you do the girl ends up dead. DAMMIT FROMSOFT. In my younger days perhaps I would have continued. These days, this pushed my ‘concerned parental figure’ button way too hard.

  • Brutal: Legend, I really wanted to like the game, but it was really rubbish from the get go and just got worse. I persisted, and all that happened was when I finally had enough, I was really furious at how much time I wasted on what was a rubbish experience from the start.

  • I like grinding, personally.

    Amusing that so many people chose FF games. Back in the day I thought that 100 hours in FFVII was a long time. Lost save file due to sibling.

    TBH there have been many games which have wasted my time simply because they are shit games which I have mistakenly tried to give a chance.
    I’m wiser now but many many games from 16-bit era fit this bill. Bubsy, Judge Dread, pitfall the Mayan adventure, the original spider man game on mega drive. The list is endless.
    Recently, bloodborne chalice dungeons. I’m a massive souls fan mind you, but that aspect of that game was tedious and pointless even as a fan of grinding.

  • Mine was Dragonlance, War of the Lance. Friend of mine sat took a weekend to play this in our teens and played non stop. Turn based, one playing good and the other playing bad…..about 30 hours in, both sides now fully engaged and the game ends suddenly in a draw. There was a time limit we didn’t know about that the war had to end by. We never tried this multiplayer again.

  • GTA V. Nice city, wonderful setting, questionable characters. However, after building us up over a few missions, there comes a heist. Specifically Trevor’s heist to steal the nuclear weapon, and while losing it makes sense from a story standpoint, the fact you did all that work for literally no reward angered me something fierce.

  • SWOTOR. I played only for like five weeks but I put down a lot of cash and a subscription and everything after the first two weeks when I decided I wanted to play there for a while. Then EA banned me permenantly because of a credit card call back or something. I checked with back, spent two more weeks talking to customer support and banks and trying to get unbanned. Nothing. Turns out there’s a well documented issue with *their* online payment system that causes these $1 credit card checks if you put in the wrong address or something, when your bank asks for that dollar back you get a ban. I couldn’t believe it. So a fifty hours playing and a couple of hundred dollars down the drain because of someone else. As you can see, the rage still hasn’t subsided.

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