That Game I Should Have Liked

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The Witcher was a flawed masterpiece.
The best story-driven RPG to have come out in recent years.
I've got no problems whatsoever at all with its combat, dialog etc, which were heavily criticized by others.

I guess the game I should have liked is Deus Ex... Yet I can never get past the first level without getting bored :/
The witcher, for me at least, seemed to lack direction. I got lost in the first town and never really got back on track.

I don't get it, I found the main character tolerable in The Witcher.

Why was someone calling the sex in the game "fan service"?
One of the main character's defining traits is that he plows women constantly, he's 007 with two swords.
None of the sex seemed gratuitous or pornographic, it just seemed to serve the purpose of trying to make the world a bit more relate-able to reality (we have sex and fight a lot).

Worgen:
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

Oh, same here. I've decided I'm going to try giving the game a second chance at some point, though. As well as continue playing The Witcher.

Well about the whole "Reviewers should play a game through"-thing I have to say I'm kinda on Shamus side there, there was a few games, I could never finish just because they got so damn annoying at some point and wasn't that rewarding before and I think if a game has nothing in store for you for most of it, I don't think that the rest of it can really become a that rewarding that it makes it a truely enjoyable game after all...

Also reviewers haven't done anything real evil that they deserve to have to play through some of these extremely shit games, while the rest of the people also gave up on them.

Karloff:
Shamus, you ought to read Orwell.

http://orwell.ru/library/articles/reviewer/english/e_bkrev

Hey, I've never read that one before, thanks.

Also, for other people who aren't familiar with that article: highly recommended.

I know the feeling.

I really should have loved Fallout 3 and New Vegas, but the setting just doesn't do it for me.

Instead, I finished Fallout 3 out of some false sense of obligation.

Onyx Oblivion:
I know the feeling.

I really should have loved Fallout 3 and New Vegas, but the setting just doesn't do it for me.

Instead, I finished Fallout 3 out of some false sense of obligation.

Sounds like that made it worse for you.

Birthe:

Onyx Oblivion:
I know the feeling.

I really should have loved Fallout 3 and New Vegas, but the setting just doesn't do it for me.

Instead, I finished Fallout 3 out of some false sense of obligation.

Sounds like that made it worse for you.

It's a solid game, well made and crafted. But it's a world that I didn't want to explore.

I never even set foot inside the Nuka Cola Factory or the Vault Tec Headquarters.

The gameplay/combat in the witcher was actually pretty bad. Just click in time when the cursor flashes.

It's still a decent game overal. I think I liked it more because it was wonderfully politically Incorrect and sexist.

It's always interesting to hear other peoples' opinions and reviews of a game, though increasingly I find that I buy new computer games like I buy fantasy books - through word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family. A good friend of mine strongly recommended The Witcher to me the other day, so I'll probably give it a go. To put the conversation in context, I had actually called him to congratulate him and his wife on the birth of their first-born. Granted, we did spend a lot of time discussing the new baby first, but if a game makes enough of an impression that a proud new father remembers to mention it, then I feel it's probably worth a look. ;)

I was never able to get all the way through The Witcher myself and as much as I wanted to love it, I just lost interest in it. I'm not even sure why. I can totally see where this article is coming from.

Worgen:
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 was actually thinking the exact same thing. I really wanted to like it, to the point where I forced myself to play to the end. I was nothing but disappointed with it.

PlasticTree:

Karloff:
Shamus, you ought to read Orwell.

http://orwell.ru/library/articles/reviewer/english/e_bkrev

Hey, I've never read that one before, thanks.

Also, for other people who aren't familiar with that article: highly recommended.

Np. I enjoy Orwell, though it does depress me sometimes to realize how little things have changed.

Mind you, if Shamus is selling his honor for anything, it's probably cheap beer rather than inferior sherry. I'm not sure which is worse . . .

I get this feeling. I didn't like The Witcher either, what with the clunky combat and the moral consequences that felt more like "GOTCHA" moments and the fact that as an asexual female playing as a womanizing jerk in a sexist world and being rewarded periodically with pictures of naked ladies for doing so was something that made me personally very uncomfortable.

(I know, they're optional, etc, but A) I'm a completionist and B) the very fact that they were there made me a little bit uncomfortable anyway.)

I've also had trouble with the old school RPGs - Baldur's Gate, Planescape Torment, Fallout. Fans of these series may feel the urge to riposte me for requiring "hand-holding" or what have you, but as a story-lover who didn't grow up with this sort of game wandering lostly through worlds of difficult combat using a system I didn't understand with often little idea what I'm supposed to be doing didn't exactly hold up to the paragons of brilliance I've heard these games described as.

Or my idea of fun.

With me? I bought it. Loaded it up. Played the first level. Got to a part where I had to raise a portcullis. Couldn't. Spent twenty minutes trying. Still couldn't. Looked online. Found a couple of FAQs where apparently people had the same problem and it was that one of the enemies hadn't been killed yet. After another twenty minutes of searching for him (being an enemy that had no effect whatsoever on whether or not I can raise a gate and let my coimrades in, which would have made the survivor less of a threat than if I didn't raise the gate) I closed it down and never touched it again.

I like The Witcher (maybe helps that I've read the books, I don't know) but I can see why some people don't.

Developers, like any other business, are subject to be judged by their actions. If you have a bad experience somewhere, you are a lot less likely to go back without the expectation of another bad experience. Developers who have business practices that we disagree with or put out inferior products suffer the same stigmas, regardless of whether they decide to change their act or not.
DRM is not really a singular construct that we can pin to any one company. Sure, there are companies that feature pretty harsh examples of this and have suffered in their history because of it, but DRM is understandable within the context of a company wanting a return on an investment of a product. As long as they make their money back and a little extra, I'm sure they will expect some piracy to happen. But to jump the gun and put their product on maximum lockdown the moment it is released in an attempt to stay ahead of the pirates, they just screw over the faithful customers they have/had as well.
Image is important in any facet of business. Balancing customer satisfaction with generating profits is a tricky thing, and some do it better than others. I can't personally say I agree with any one company, as every are prone to mistakes and the occasional bad idea. The severity of said event will easily determine the amount of customers, and with so much competition out there, no one company can expect to be paramount above any other. Being biased away from a company from harsh DRM or lousy products is just part of life, but shouldn't reflect poorly on anyone because of their personal taste.

My game that I should have loved? Left 4 Dead.

I've no aversion to FPS games. I've loved pretty much everything Valve has done. It has an incredible sense of atmosphere and pace. And yet . . . the game just doesn't do anything for me.

Partly it's the multiplayer nature of the game. I prefer single player games, and L4D doesn't give you that. Yes, you can play "alone," but not really.

I think the other part is that I'm just too desperate for story, given the nature of the atmosphere. I'm left feeling, well, unsatisfied by the wall scribblings and the bits of conversation between the characters. So why does this game leave me unhappy due to a lack of story, but Portal gets by? I don't know.

The_root_of_all_evil:

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.

Aaaaand... your post still has "Fallout" in the first line. :P

Badum-tish.

Every game mentioned in this thread as an "I hate but should of loved" game... I actually loved... yep, all of them, even the OP The Witcher. Masterpiece, In fact they're all masterpieces. Yes in places they have have steep learning curves and parts you have to work though, but thats just part of what a great game is.

Its depth in a word.

RedRingRico:

I've also had trouble with the old school RPGs - Baldur's Gate, Planescape Torment, Fallout. Fans of these series may feel the urge to riposte me for requiring "hand-holding" or what have you, but as a story-lover who didn't grow up with this sort of game wandering lostly through worlds of difficult combat using a system I didn't understand with often little idea what I'm supposed to be doing didn't exactly hold up to the paragons of brilliance I've heard these games described as.

Or my idea of fun.

It helps if you've played some actual AD&D beforehand, not necessary but it sure helps.

Once again, deep, and even seemingly impenetrable games really are the BEST that gaming has to offer, you just have to put the effort in to get the (manifold) goodness out. Oh and its not about "fun", "fun" is something trivial like a roller-coaster ride or whatever... what we're after here is entertainment, which is something that has so many more levels than just "fun", something can be supremely entertaining without being in the slightest bit "fun".

Just my opinion of course and many will call me elitist... but I know what I like. (which i'm afraid to say probably makes me an opinionated asshat)

Amazon warrior:
It's always interesting to hear other peoples' opinions and reviews of a game, though increasingly I find that I buy new computer games like I buy fantasy books - through word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family. A good friend of mine strongly recommended The Witcher to me the other day, so I'll probably give it a go. To put the conversation in context, I had actually called him to congratulate him and his wife on the birth of their first-born. Granted, we did spend a lot of time discussing the new baby first, but if a game makes enough of an impression that a proud new father remembers to mention it, then I feel it's probably worth a look. ;)

It is a great game. but you have to give it a proper chance as it doesn't really open up and show its true colours until several hours in (once you get into the city).

Geralt gains a lot of depth when you read the Witcher books before playing the game.

Patton662:
Geralt gains a lot of depth when you read the Witcher books before playing the game.

Give this man a medal!
Geralt is spot on if you read the book. He is not supposed to be nice, likable or be a hero. He kills monsters and that's all he does or knows. And sometimes it's hard to guess who's the monster so he ends up being the bad guy.

So what you're saying is... We should completely ignore the entire business of reviewing games, save for the few whom we follow and get a general feeling that they like the same games we do. Good thing I've been doing that for years then.

In all honesty, as for voices I respect, I look to(can't really call them 'reviewers')Jack Monahan and our own Ben Croshaw. But I'm a minority of people who knows what goes into an informed journalistic opinion on games, and prefer to form my own...

I liked the witcher, but it badly needed a fast travel system. Even in the first town you'll start to get a feel for how distanced all the quests are from eachother, and when travelling in daytime no monsters spawn so there are parts where I'm just holding the W key to walk forward for 3-5 minutes which is just boring.

Continuity:

RedRingRico:

I've also had trouble with the old school RPGs - Baldur's Gate, Planescape Torment, Fallout. Fans of these series may feel the urge to riposte me for requiring "hand-holding" or what have you, but as a story-lover who didn't grow up with this sort of game wandering lostly through worlds of difficult combat using a system I didn't understand with often little idea what I'm supposed to be doing didn't exactly hold up to the paragons of brilliance I've heard these games described as.

Or my idea of fun.

It helps if you've played some actual AD&D beforehand, not necessary but it sure helps.

Once again, deep, and even seemingly impenetrable games really are the BEST that gaming has to offer, you just have to put the effort in to get the (manifold) goodness out. Oh and its not about "fun", "fun" is something trivial like a roller-coaster ride or whatever... what we're after here is entertainment, which is something that has so many more levels than just "fun", something can be supremely entertaining without being in the slightest bit "fun".

Just my opinion of course and many will call me elitist... but I know what I like. (which i'm afraid to say probably makes me an opinionated asshat)

Well, my definition of fun is "something that entertains", so you seem to be splitting hairs over semantics in regards to that particular word.

And don't get me wrong: I didn't just play for five minutes and give up. I'm not some kind of twitch gamer who can't sit through an hour's intro if it doesn't have explosions and ponies and rollercoasters. I'd probably have limped through Planescape like I did Baldur's Gate if it hadn't disagreed with my computer after a few plays.

But impenetrability isn't what made those games good, unless what you really enjoyed was the tactical combat. Though admittedly I haven't played AD&D - when Baldur's Gate came out and AD&D was -the- system I still had milk teeth and hadn't quite mastered my times tables. I just don't have that mechanical foreknowledge that might've made the combat enjoyable. Everything that made it a game I should have liked was all this talk of deep worlds and characters I kept hearing - things that are not made better or somehow deeper by the game being hard to play.

You're entitled to your screw-ball opinion, of course. Geralt was a real character. He might not have had a lot of oh-so-important depth due to complex sexual identity issues (really, is that what constitutes good character development now, Extra Credits?) - but he was a fully fleshed out bad ass with a unique identity and unique skills.

Playing RPGs is NOT necessarily the same as playing yourself. It's also not the same as being allowed to customize a character to death. No. A ROLE playing game is one where you play a role of someone, in this case Geralt. I liked that aspect of the game very much, instead of being just another generic warrior/druid/mage/rogue D&D ripoff, like you end up being in almost every other so-called RPG out there.

THIEF, by that account has more role playing in its left pinkie finger than Oblivion ever did. Baldurs Gate let you customize things, but the game wove a story around your character as it progressed. Mass Effect gave you two choices, a cool female protagonist or a Ham&Cheese male. Still, it was your role to play and it was clearly defined. Just like Geralt.

The combat worked great for me. Perhaps because my dexterity level isn't equal to a Yakuza member who's been screwing up too much. It was refreshing to have more than just the regular click click click game play that's so damned boring in most action "RPG"s.

True, it does happen for reviewers to dislike games for various reasons. It happened to me as well, back when I was forced into reviewing Wii games. I had to rewrite a review once because it had too much of me in. And me no likey shovelware Wii games. But since I then worked for people for whom integrity meant how long I can stand before the whipping cracks my sanity, I was told to make them nicer, so Nintendo would be nice to them.

I tell you, quiting that job was the best thing I did this year.

As for Geralt of Rivia, well he's not really a bad character. Depends mostly on if you played the Enhanced Edition or the normal one, where the translation is a bit off. The game itself also tends to not appeal as much to westerners. It's made by eastern europeans for easter europeans moslty. I guess that's why I liked it so much. It felt like home. Actually, Temeria seems a lot nicer than home sometimes. I wonder what their immigration policy is.

I've never had this problem with games but I still understand what you're talking about. Sometimes things just rub us the wrong way and we can't get past it. BTW why didn't that other guy like Deus Ex?

This is the good thing with buying games way after release for -75% or whatever from the bargain bin: lowered expectations! Having only fairly recently played The Witcher (although I had checked out the demo earlier), I must say I rather enjoyed myself. You can't roleplay anything or anyone, in fact you're just playing as Geralt, a ready-made literary character who already has a personality. For all that, I still thought he was interesting enough. As was the world he inhabited. And the story, although disjointed, was also rather enjoyable when push came to shove. Lowered expectations? Probably! But the fact it had been heavily patched, models had been replaced and the deplorable loading times had been fixed probably helped too!

I guess it's kind of a hit-and-miss. If you don't enjoy the idea of roleplaying as an alchemist-cum-stage magician-cum-swordsman monster-hunter, who's also a bit of a womanizing ass, then you might simply not like this game. I liked it for its unpredictability and eastern european mindset, and forgave it its quirks and minor annoyances, especially towards the end part.

Kind of the same thing as I have with the new AvP ("Aliens versus Predator 3", or whatever). It's in no way a contender for "best FPS ever", it doesn't really even hold a light to AvP classic, and it's quite clearly waaaay too short on the SP side (and I can't imagine MP being any fun at all). BUT, for what it's worth (not very much, a few euros), it's actually a ton of fun! Smack alien - shoot alien with shotgun. Repeat. Lure human to the side. Jump down on top of and rip spine off. Etc. Fun stuff. Story? Not so much. But a fun romp, once. Lowered expectations ftw!

znix:
You're entitled to your screw-ball opinion, of course. Geralt was a real character. He might not have had a lot of oh-so-important depth due to complex sexual identity issues (really, is that what constitutes good character development now, Extra Credits?)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3y3QoFnqZc

Geralt a real character? Real, maybe, but original? Hmmm, lessee, an albino warrior-mage who takes drugs to supplement his strength . . . . . . *cough* ELRIC *cough*. No, he was a ripoff of the original White Wolf. I agree, having the option to play a witcher of your own design (and gender) would be a big improvement here.

The Witcher wasn't bad but it was overrated. I'm hoping the sequel addresses the problems with it, including tedious travel, load times, combat, lack of loot, and stunted ability development. That is, everything not involving the actual RPGing.

Dude, I couldn't possibly agree more. First off I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE GOG! Best thing ever. Second off the more complex a system is, the more of the keyboard it uses, and the more alienating it is to the console crowd, the more i love it.

I never got behind the Witcher and the furthest I ever made it through the game was through the first area. I really want to love it, but I can't.

A game I recently bought because I love the idea and the company, but can't bring myself to play is Amnesia dark decent. I love the fact the game exists and from and Indi company, but I just can't get more than half an hour into it! But they sure as hell got my $20 and it is on my steam list.

This is something that a lot of people don't seem to understand: reviews are personal opinion. There are good and bad reviews, but the difference have nothing to do with the opinions of the reviewer.

I see people complaining about Yahtzee that he's not "unbiased", his "reviews" are not "fair and balanced", and I can only laugh. Although I don't think Yahtzee is really a reviewer (neither is he just a comedian joking about games; he makes valid points), I can only laugh when people seriously think other reviewers are completely fair and unbiased.

RedRingRico:

Well, my definition of fun is "something that entertains", so you seem to be splitting hairs over semantics in regards to that particular word.

This is a fair understanding of the word to be sure, but I think the word "fun" also has connotations beyond that of "entertainment". Though of course I realise you were using the word casually (which is entirely fair) and so yes I was splitting hairs in terms of a argument between us, but to be frank I was more using your post as a soapbox to stand on, I wasn't judging you personally.

RedRingRico:
And don't get me wrong: I didn't just play for five minutes and give up. I'm not some kind of twitch gamer who can't sit through an hour's intro if it doesn't have explosions and ponies and rollercoasters. I'd probably have limped through Planescape like I did Baldur's Gate if it hadn't disagreed with my computer after a few plays.

I apologise if it seemed I was insinuating that you are, my intention was only to express an opinion, I meant nothing personal.

RedRingRico:
But impenetrability isn't what made those games good, unless what you really enjoyed was the tactical combat. Though admittedly I haven't played AD&D - when Baldur's Gate came out and AD&D was -the- system I still had milk teeth and hadn't quite mastered my times tables. I just don't have that mechanical foreknowledge that might've made the combat enjoyable. Everything that made it a game I should have liked was all this talk of deep worlds and characters I kept hearing - things that are not made better or somehow deeper by the game being hard to play.

Of course you're right, impenetrability isn't what made these games good - as an AD&D player I didn't find them impenetrable at all so that proves the point, as I believe they were great games. I think though you might of been expecting something other than what was on offer, which was an RPG - RPG's entail figures, stats, dice, and lots of complexity... at least the good ones do. Worlds and characters are more the realm of adventure games, which isn't to say that many other genre, not least RPG, can't involve adventure, its just not their defining characteristic.

Continuity:

Of course you're right, impenetrability isn't what made these games good - as an AD&D player I didn't find them impenetrable at all so that proves the point, as I believe they were great games. I think though you might of been expecting something other than what was on offer, which was an RPG - RPG's entail figures, stats, dice, and lots of complexity... at least the good ones do. Worlds and characters are more the realm of adventure games, which isn't to say that many other genre, not least RPG, can't involve adventure, its just not their defining characteristic.

To put the section in bold another way, it is the dice, statistics and complexity that are the ultimate point of a role-playing game. The game part of an RPG is its defining point, not the role-playing. The game parts are not means to the end of fully realizing and enacting a role, these are the end. Games where the end is developing and exploring a role--and possibly to do the same in a world within that role--are properly adventure games.

I think what we need is a new term for RPGs, because clearly your conception of an RPG doesn't match up with the meaning of the acronym. Possibly, instead of RPGs, we should call these SDCGMIICWs--Stats, Dice, and Complexity Games which May Incidentally Include Characters and Worlds.

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