The Games We Went From Loving To Hating

Sometimes, a game that I fell in love with takes a wild left turn and breaks my heart with a punishing save system or a never-ending final section. When a game does you wrong, that means it’s time to break up.

For me, this happens often with JRPGs, thanks to roadblocks that aren’t very friendly to newcomers such as unforgiving save points and boss rushes. It sucks to have to walk away from a game that I’ve poured a ton of time into because I got burnt out by the grind or a specific dungeon that has punishing encounters 30 minutes out from the last save point.

I don’t need everything to be some sort of “forever game”, as we’ve discussed before, but I can’t hate-play through something for the sake of completing it.

In order to feel some peace of mind about the games I’ve dumped, I asked Kotaku’s Ethan Gach and Heather Alexandra to join me in a group venting session to find out which games also made them hit their limits.

We discussed our heartbreaks in the video above; here’s an excerpt.

Paul: With Bravely Default, my girlfriend warned me: “At the very end, you’re going to have to do the same dungeon like a million times.” And I was like, “Welp, guess I’m done with this game.”

It hurt and I felt so mad about having to put it down and move on, because it’s a matter of me understanding that point in which I’m comfortable with saying, “OK, I’ve gotten what I needed from this game. I can now move on.” I don’t necessarily need to finish it and get that little badge.

Ethan: I’d struggled with that game all the way through, but when I got to that point and heard everyone say, “You’re going to have to run through all of these dungeons this many times,” I was like, “Ah, no thank you.”

I’ll watch the YouTube clips, see the endings. It was really “the friends we made along the way”, not the conclusion.

Heather: A lot of games make that mistake. Thinking that having a final challenge that you keep on returning to and conquering more and more of is good, and it never is.

Like, repetition in games can be relaxing if it’s doing some races or trying to best your time on a track, but if you have to repeat yourself a ton to go through dungeons that you’ve already fought the monsters on, and maybe fight a different Cerberus monster? Whatever.

Watch the full episode to hear more.


  • You really missed out if you were enjoying Bravely Default but stopped because of the repetition toward the end. The true ending was great. Particularly the music, which is one of the all-time best end boss themes ever.

    • If you have to climb a mountain, just to enjoy the view at the top, sometimes the effort to get there doesn’t make the reward worth it. And sometimes it makes it better.

    • I played it all the way through to the true ending, and I had no love for it at all by the second reboot. I felt it was cheap and sucky, and it turned me off ever playing the second game. It was a shame for me, because I enjoyed the first iteration.

    • I tried a couple of times but I couldn’t finish Bravely Default because of the repetition. I think I only had 2 more cycles to do to get the real ending but I couldn’t do it.

  • Assassin’s Creed 2 is this all over. I was having a grand ol’ time playing through a copy, years after release. Despite some suspect ledge selection and a combat mechanic that made me shudder any time I wasn’t assassinating (you know, like what’s in the title), I was enjoying my time.

    Unfortunately, I bought the game of the year edition, that takes the natural flow of the story, and crams a big, boring and frustrating side quest dlc right before the final mission that felt really superfluous. I finished the game, but it was out of sheer will, not enjoyment. The moment the game was over, I ripped the disc out and out it away. It’s soured me on the entire series since.

  • Oh boi…where to begin

    – Skyrim, I’m up there with you, for similar reasons. Skyrim was the first Elder Scrolls game I was not looking forward to starting again, just because of that stupid intro and first few hours, the land of Skyrim also got old fast, with each village, town and even the dungeons feeling samey.
    Besides a small handful of quests, I don’t recall liking many of them or them standing out, with exception to the murder mystery and maybe the sieges.
    Finally, the game just felt lazy and the streamlining removed what I enjoyed with Elder Scrolls.

    – WoW, loved it….till Cataclysm. Streamlining killed it for me. When you make the fights simple enough for 10 random people who will never speak to each other once to finish, something is wrong.
    I came back to see Warlords and quickly left after I saw they imported game mechanics from Farmville.

    – Payday 2, I have been in an abusive relationship with the heisting game. I love the game for it allowing me to be the bad guy and the reward of pulling the crime off without anyone knowing. There’s things in the game that rub me the wrong way at times, RNG heists, the insane amount of DLC, the lootbox (Safes) disaster, the seemly random metas that would come out of no-where (One month snipers where the top dog, then silenced weapons, then crossbows….etc) and finally having heists have a “Get it right or you get nothing” style…with RNG.

    – Destiny 2…DLC…nuff said

  • I wouldn’t say that I hated it, but the last bit of Alien Isolation was a real let down after the stellar first two-thirds or so.

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