That Game I Should Have Liked

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That Game I Should Have Liked

Shamus hated The Witcher when he should have loved it.

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When I go to the witcher review and try to read the comments they don't load. Why is that?

this is very true and honest. I personally hear reviews and comments about games sometimes and I think "wow, I'm gonna love this game!" and I get to it and I'm either raging about how illogical it is and how bad the game play and characters are or I'm falling asleep to the game, which I'm not a sleepy person so that's damn hard to do that. ever since a couple years ago after playing those said games, I've realized not to take game reviews and comments too seriously, so I can easily see where reviewers are coming once I play a game myself.

I too wasn't fan of the witcher. The main character was plank of wood doing a bad intimation of Clint Eastwood. The dialogue was clunky and sometimes unintentionally funny, one female character shouted for no apparent reason "I'm going down". I have feeling I would have enjoyed the game much more if was 15.

Feel the same way about Bioshock and Fallout.

They're RPGs, they're deep, they have scarily beautiful atmosphere, insane weapons, morality, multiple choice, and yet....

Meh...

Bioshock loses me really quickly because it's underwater. Sorry but the bathyscape alone gets me choking for air, and when that fecking whale goes past I nearly freak out.

After that, I'm walking through a dystopian art gallery looking...oh I stopped caring.

Fallout 3 brings me up and takes me out into...oh, hold on, I missed a bit....let me go back and....well...No, I want to get the critical stuff...Hold on, can I go over here? No? Oh my god, what happened there...Ah hell, I want something I can make progress on.

Two fantastic games, and they bore me into the ground.

The Witcher was to me the most immersive and rewarding experience I've had since Baldur's Gate II, utterly without parallel in anything the american marked has produced in modern years, with a bare exception of KotOR. Geralt wasn't always likeable, nor was he supposed to be, and sometimes the seams showed, but it was never a deal breaker.

And damnit, if I could learn to love Final Fantasy X despite Titeuf (or whatever), because of, well, everything else, then The Witcher should not present a problem.

EDIT: I'd also recommend the books by Sapkowski for people who enjoy thoughtful and intelligent fantasy literature with the same moral shadings that was presented quite nicely in the game.

I felt this way about stalker, it should have been something I would have loved but for the life of me I couldnt get into it and I just didnt like it

I guess you have a point there... I wouldn't doubt that Final Fantasy is a good game, but trying other games in the series, I haven't bothered because sitting through cutscenes like that really gets to me in a game.

Well i think most people can be forgiven for not liking Geralt. He was a bit of a dick and at times had the personality of a beige lump of wood with a womanising complex. Infact i would go as far to say that most people will not like The Witcher even in its super improved editions, the game was dense, turgid and at times a bit of a slog and i only go so much out of it because, as a veteran of much older RPGs, im used to having to put a lot in.

Personally i didn't find Geralt that much of an issue, sure he isn't exactly Mr likebale Mc.Kittens but the plot, world and decisions built arround him are all exceptional and very original. There are many different outcomes to most of his adventures and most of them feel natural and just following your gut can lead to some interesting encounters.

I also felt that despite games like Oblivions pretenses to endless replayability The Witcher whith it's real forks in the road (some on them at the very start in terms of the content you see) has given me some radically different playthoughs unlike Fallout 3/ New Bug-Fest, games i didn't like but for reasons that i could pin down.

I would also like to point out at the time of release how hilerious i found it that all the Oblivion 'Arr Pee Gee' sandbox bandwagon jumpers accused The Witcher of being "Totally linear"

The_root_of_all_evil:
Feel the same way about Bioshock and Fallout.

They're RPGs, they're deep, they have scarily beautiful atmosphere, insane weapons, morality, multiple choice, and yet....

Meh...

Bioshock didn't really have any moral choices. Just the stupid "kill child or save child" system that gives you the same amount of ADAM in the long run regardless of what you choose.

Anyway, my prodding aside, I can understand your sentiment Shamus. Geralt was a prick. I didn't mind him that much, but he annoys the hell out of me.

I liked Geralt as a character. Sure, he's a dick, just like everyone else already said, but he's a dick that I actually had sympathy for.

In every single game, I'm used to play as a goody good guy, maybe a bit jaded with a dark story or whatever, but for me, Geralt was very refreshing and I actually cared for him despite the fact that he didn't gave a shit about everyone else around him. Also, his voice reminded me a lot of JC Denton from Deus Ex.

To me, Geralt was pretty much like JC Denton and Captain Shephard. He's very monotonous and whatnot, but you, as a player, can change the character a little bit to make him even more of a dick or less dickey. He's definitively not Gordon Freeman and he's also not as witty as Duke Nukem, but he's just like Captain Shephard and/or JC Denton.

I even dare to say that, despite it's flaws, I had a blast playing The Witcher. And I've already preordered The Witcher 2.

Maybe... maybe when people have amnesia, they come back as jerks?

I guess it depends a bit on whether you're interacting with the game as a game, or as a movie. Are you watching the characters (and just picking which direction they take)? Or do you inhabit the characters, and therefore feel an extra level of attachment to the courses they take? That might make all the difference.

In other words, Maybe it would be easier for you, Shamus, to watch the game being played than it is for you to play it?

Do people really read reviews to decided what they buy?

Aren't most sales in the first week when nowadays there are either no pre-release review copies send out at all or reviewers are send a non-release copy with a promise that every bug and issue is resolved at release.

First month sales seem to be the result of marketing and hype (Previews) and not of calm collected reflection on the merits of buying the game.

I always thought people mostly read reviews to get affirmed in their taste by way of the reviewer also liking their game.

That's why I think they hate it when a score doesn't match their view. In other words the game is already bought and played and they simply don't like that a reviewer didn't shared their views. In other words the review wasn't part of the buying ritual, but much like post-match talk by sportscommentators the reviews seem to be part of the post-buy affirmation ritual.

Negative comments on the performance of a favorite team annoys the fans of the team. A negative review of a game someone recently bought, played and enjoyed is felt to be jab at the buyers taste. Metacritic is then grabbed by the hairs to show that it is the reviewer that supposedly has a bad taste.

Irridium:

The_root_of_all_evil:
Feel the same way about Bioshock and Fallout.

They're RPGs, they're deep, they have scarily beautiful atmosphere, insane weapons, morality, multiple choice, and yet....

Meh...

Bioshock didn't really have any moral choices. Just the stupid "kill child or save child" system that gives you the same amount of ADAM in the long run regardless of what you choose.

FO3 was even worse in the choice department... You essentially got to roleplay either the gullible cartoon saint, or the edgy psychotic teenager. Usually it would have no consequence either way anyways...

I must also express my extreme disappointment at someone mentioning "fallout" while referring to "fallout 3".

Mezzo.:
I guess you have a point there... I wouldn't doubt that Final Fantasy is a good game, but trying other games in the series, I haven't bothered because sitting through cutscenes like that really gets to me in a game.

I frequently want to hit characters in the FF franchise with the largest shovel I can wield.

Reviews are more fanboy fodder these days, anyway. In a world when you can get video clips of gameplay, detailed information, and so on, it shouldn't be hard to make up your own minds anyway. I appreciate well-written reviews, but I think there's more ways than ever to experience a game before buying it.

I can kind of relate. I was really looking forward to Gears of War after seeing ads and hearing good reviews, but when I finally got it the game bored me to tears. That said, I was able to acknowledge that it was a very well balanced, very well designed third-person shooter.

As far as Geralt, I kinda played him as more introspective Captain Kirk, so all the casual sex worked.
Also it's understandable if the first few chapters put you off. The game is massive, and really only picks up in pace around chapter 3, I think (which can be around 10-20 hours into the game if you're taking your time).

Even with all the conflicting interests reviewers have, Metacritic scores tend to work pretty well for me.

So I guess it all averages out.

H0ncho:

I must also express my extreme disappointment at someone mentioning "fallout" while referring to "fallout 3".

Yeah, sorry about that. I do understand the difference, just slipped.

I liked most of the Witcher too but the combat system is AWFUL. It takes a forgiving, different or endurant person to enjoy it....seriously.

Wait wait wait...

Someone didn't like Deus Ex!?

I didn't get Witcher until much later - my initial impression was a stupid name being marketed to consoles.

So I play it after reading all these stellar reviews - it had some really good aspects. The story was okay (fairly cliche, but that's what I signed up for). The atmospheres are great, especially considering it came out before DAO.

The loading times are insane though, a lot of the quests seemed overly arbitrary and meaningless. The character design, including Geralt (as Shamus mentioned) killed a bit of it though. I could not empathize with Geralt at all, he seemed like this calm lucid fellow in an 80's action star body. None of the supporting cast were really fleshed out either. I can't help but feel that there was a game before that I should've played.

Shamus Young:

Shamus hated The Witcher when he should have loved it.

To all the Geralt haters out there, these sites are your friends;
http://www.fileplanet.com/108719/0/0/0/1/section/Customization
http://www.moddb.com/games/the-witcher/mods

Enought there to maybe change your mind?

Shamus, I'm with you. I really wanted to get into The Witcher. Heck, I even bought it when it first came out, but after the first area I was so out of love with it that I just couldn't bear to go through the four more chapters or however many it is. The clunky timing based combat system, the isometric camera (I know you can go OTS but that just made combat worse), the Geralt. I just couldn't find a thing that I liked even though I'm naturally predisposed to RPG's.

Anyway, pretty recently I reinstalled it off of Steam and went though the convoluted process of upgrading it to the director's cut, patching and all that. A more asinine number of steps I've never seen, and once again I get to the end of the first chapter and I just can't continue...

So yes, Shamus... I know what you're going through with your thoughts on the Witcher 2. I don't want to add another game to my list of games that I haven't/can't/won't finish.

They're also the team behind Good Old Games

And that's reason enough for me to NOT buy their game. Not that I was interested in it anyway, but still, any company who thinks it's cool to say "Hey customers, we are shutting down our services... JUST KIDDING LOLOLOLOL" as marketing can get bent.

Also if I was emperor of gaming, people would be whining that there are no more review scores. Those things are pointless anyway, don't need them. Read the actual reviews, that's where all the important stuff is. Scores really are nothing but troll fodder.

Namewithheld:
Wait wait wait...

Someone didn't like Deus Ex!?

Personally it bores me. So I guess that makes two someones who didn't like Deus Ex.

The_root_of_all_evil:
Feel the same way about Bioshock and Fallout.

They're RPGs, they're deep, they have scarily beautiful atmosphere, insane weapons, morality, multiple choice, and yet....

Meh...

Bioshock loses me really quickly because it's underwater. Sorry but the bathyscape alone gets me choking for air, and when that fecking whale goes past I nearly freak out.

After that, I'm walking through a dystopian art gallery looking...oh I stopped caring.

Fallout 3 brings me up and takes me out into...oh, hold on, I missed a bit....let me go back and....well...No, I want to get the critical stuff...Hold on, can I go over here? No? Oh my god, what happened there...Ah hell, I want something I can make progress on.

Two fantastic games, and they bore me into the ground.

you should try the real fallout games; fallout 1 and 2, now they let you do whatever the hell you want!

mjc0961:

They're also the team behind Good Old Games

And that's reason enough for me to NOT buy their game. Not that I was interested in it anyway, but still, any company who thinks it's cool to say "Hey customers, we are shutting down our services... JUST KIDDING LOLOLOLOL" as marketing can get bent.

Also if I was emperor of gaming, people would be whining that there are no more review scores. Those things are pointless anyway, don't need them. Read the actual reviews, that's where all the important stuff is. Scores really are nothing but troll fodder.

Yes that was a dick move (though they did give an apology and a free game to their old users)but after hearing about it I checked out their site and good sweet gods its awesome ^.^
By far my favorite digital distribution site. I'm actually buying a bunch of older titles I'd pirated now that I've found a legitemate way (short of ebay) to get my hands on them.
Without that stupid stunt i never would have found them so in the end I can't complain one bit.

I think anyone who stopped playing The Witcher but finished Final-oh it gets good 20 hours in-Fantasy, are some seriously hipocritical people. Basically because the studio does not have pedigree they are not whorth the time to see if the game gets good. Thats just stupid considering the game in total.

Unfortunately for the guys who made the game they made some mis-steps in Act 2. I also stopped there at the get 10 barghest skulls, but I eventually came back since people said it was good. I eventually completely the Act and thought, its ok. Then I had the early dungeon crawl and met someone I thought was a douche, little did I know I would come to care more about this NPC and their actions then I did for most of my real-life co-workers. Then I found out a decision I had made nearly 10 hours ago had had an adverse effect on my quest, and eventually I found out that when choosing sides and believing I was taking the lesser of two evils, even though I emphasized with the other guys, I actually allowed for the greater evil to triumph.

To say this game is deep is an understatement. You really do just have to learn by fire, the game doesn't explain a lot, but hey I'm amnesic right? why should I know these things, if you actually Role Play the game, geralt is only a dick if you are a dick, stop making decisions based on whatever imaginary reward you've got thought up and go with you're gut, make YOUR decision, nnot one based on the skinner box your used too (thx Extra Credits).

Basically really role play the role playing game and push on just like you would have to in real life and you'll have the most memorable gaming experience ever, right there if not better than the Looking Glass/Irrantional games and Deus Ex.

I liked Geralt, he was a nice change of pace from your typical heroic twit or your run o the mill angsty brooding sort. Plus having read The Last Wish beforehand, I had an added bit of perspective on Geralts character which helped a fair deal towards making him a more sympathetic character. Especially early in the game where the developers really didn't give players much to work with on who this 'Geralt' fellow is and what he's like. That sort of stuff only starts popping up towards the third chapter, by which point a good number of people, yourself most likely included as well as a few other people in this topic, had already given up on the character and game in general.

Really like The Witcher. Wasn't perfect, but it was one of the most entertaining and unique games I've played in years. Don't really understand the complaints about the combat though, it was more complex than say 'Diablo', which paradoxically is praised for its clicktastic combat. Whatever!

Manoose47:

you should try the real fallout games; fallout 1 and 2, now they let you do whatever the hell you want!

Believe me, as a GURPS fan I was following them before they came out. ;)

Read the Tom Chick review, and I have to say, having played both Deus Ex and Omikron: The Nomad Soul, Chick was out of his ever-loving mind. That he praises Metal Gear Solid and then harps on the unrealistic enemy AI of DX only reinforces the point.

Heh. Heh. Okay, reviewers are entitled to their opinions. Even if those opinions are so bloody off the wall they should put the entire rest of their critical careers in doubt-

Breathe. Breathe.

Okay. Geralt. (shrug) Having to spend an entire game in the shoes of someone you loathe seems a fairly decent reason to dislike a game, particularly in the genre we usually refer to as the Role Playing Game. I've mentioned before how frustrated I was with GTA:Chinatown Wars with the protaganist's continued obedience to people who clearly don't have his best interests in mind and not infrequently threaten to kill him despite said obedience, and that game arguably made less of the notion of "inhabiting" the character than Witcher is said to do.

I also agree that CD Projekt have done so many remarkable things that I almost feel a need to support them whether the game is any good or not.

Hopefully, the game will prove to be so praise-worthy that that support will be an easy decision.

But, sorry- it is still going to have Geralt.

Here's a list of problems with games like The Witcher and Dragon Age:

1. I've been playing games like these for about fifteen years now. I know how they function. I don't need to spend the first 20 hours of the game before I get to any meaty combat.

2. I've been playing games like these for about fifteen years now. I know how they function. I don't need to spend the first 20 hours of the game before I get to any meaty character development (not talking about the story).

3. I've been playing games like these for about fifteen years now. I know how they function. Stop treating me like I'm an idiot. When I choose the option that is "Reserved for 'Hardcore' RPG Fans", I expect to get my ass handed to me instantly.

Despite what people say, a games story only gets you so far in an RPG. If the combat is bland, boring, uninteresting, and uneventful for the first hour of the game, I'm just not interested in the slightest about the characters I'm controlling, the world he's in, or anything like that. Why? Because the vast majority of the game takes place with me running around killing things (unless it's a true-rpg with things more than boring kill and fetch quests).

There's a reason why I still play Final Fantasy Tactics and Baldur's Gate and it's got nothing to do with the story I already know inside and out. I play them because of the rich character development and combat. Dragon Age sucked horribly because of the insanely restrictive character development. I can't multi-class? What? WHAT? The Witcher sucked because it took me longer than I had the patience for to have combat that was engaging in the slightest.

Hook me with interesting combat, keep me with deep character development, win me with a great story. The game doesn't have to be about killing things. I'll play an RPG that I don't have to kill a single thing in. But if there's even a smidgen of combat in the game, it had better be engaging.

I don't care how awesome a story is. If getting from point A to point B in a story is boring, the game is boring. It's like reading a book or watching a movie. If the things in between point A and point B are boring, you're bored plain and simple. It doesn't matter what Rosebud is if you're bored to death half way through the movie.

ETA: Boring does not mean shit blowing up. One of my favorite movies of all time is Where the Wild Things Are. It didn't bore me because the movie was about the characters. I assume that, when I play a video game, the thing I should care about most is the thing I'm doing the most.

If I'm playing fetch like I'm someones dog, that had better be some really fun fetch playing. This is why games like WoW bore me. It's not the fact that I blew something up to get an item that I hand over to some dude who asked for the item. That's BOOOOOOOOORING.

Instead of telling me to gather four boar tusks (zzzzzzzzzzzzz), tell me that the mine down south is having problems with goblins. What will I do when I get to the mine? I DUNNO! That's the point. Send me on epic journeys.

This is why Sacred 2 did the action RPG well. The game was average (and pretty buggy), but the things you did were amazing. Basic quests sent you in to dungeons. Sometimes lengthy dungeons.

The things that make a story interesting is the journey. It's boring if I spend 20 hours doing mundane crap before I kill a bandit leader. That's just not fun. Period.

Now, it would be fun if this were a psuedo-fantasy medieval rpg. But seeing as how the vast majority of games are high fantasy rpg's... yugh.

I found that I had a similar problem with Mass Effect. While I initially had a problem with the shooting aspects, I found that what drove me away was the main character. Sure, some will say that the character was "customizable", but regardless of which choices I made, he still seemed like the same-old asshat to me. I mean, I could hardly "roleplay" a character that was similar to the people my friends and I joke about. : /

mjc0961:

Namewithheld:
Wait wait wait...

Someone didn't like Deus Ex!?

Personally it bores me. So I guess that makes two someones who didn't like Deus Ex.

Shuuuuuuuuuuuuuuunnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

(just kidding :D)

But yeah, i liked the Witcher. I thought that it's plot was good and so on and so forth.

I also should have really liked The Witcher, it seemed designed for me.
RPG with RPG elements? Check.
Douchebag main character? Check.
Third person hack and slash with magic? Check.
Fanservice? Checked so hard I broke the clipboard.

But I hated The Witcher. I literally could not make it past the second adventuring area. I always felt that I wasn't actually progressing and I was just bashing my head against a slope that was so steep I could never actually climb it. However, I got the feeling that at a point the slope would nearly instantly flatten out, but I just didn't have the patience to get there. I finally pinpointed the source of my ire however, the control system.

I wasn't actually controlling Geralt, I was a man in an office miles away from Geralt faxing the man inside Geralt's head driving instructions written in a heavily passive tone with a couple dozen too many thank you and if you pleases. I didn't feel like I was actually controlling Geralt at all. This could probably be because I "twitch" (jump and attack the air) a lot in games and The Witcher didn't let me do that, so I felt like I was constantly being hedged and the concept of combat vs. passive things is all fine and dandy, until it prevents me from running around menacing the xenophobic villagers with gratuitous violence. Also, the fanservice, which I was the exact demographic for (white, male, teen) was, silly in nature. I was just exploring nearly the first conversation tree, feeling out a character and suddenly, SEX. I didn't even realize that that was an option. It just came completely out of left field, and I instead of liking Geralt because he's a douche, I hated him because he's a douche.

TL;DR: The Witcher had an annoying control system that didn't agree with me, and the fanservice seemed tacked on for fanservice sake.

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