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Author Topic: Games that got better after you played them for awhile  (Read 1450 times)
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« on: November 14, 2007, 10:07:35 PM »

I got to thinking about games that have a slow start but got better after awhile. The problem, obviously, is first impressions are important and often I'll bail on a game if it doesn't have a good start to it.

But sometimes I've kept playing a game and been happy to see it improved the longer I played it.  Two examples come to mind and both are RPG's.

Grandia - The original Playstation game.  I really didn't like the opening with the town, the scavenger hunt and the annoying voices.  I felt the story didn't go anywhere for a long time but there was a point about 6-7 hours into it that things started to come together and I was glad I stuck with it.

Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter - Had a boring intro movie, awful Japanese voice over in the beginning and I was initially turned off by yet another cel-shaded game.  I started it twice and gave up within the hour both times.  But the third time I went back because I kept hearing how great it was and I got hooked by the combat system and I finished it then started a new game and finished it for the second time which I almost never do.

Some others for me: Fire Emblem, Final Fantasy VII, The Mark of Kri, Zelda: Wind Waker (but then it fell apart at the end), and Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri.

How about you?
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« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2007, 10:47:22 PM »

Gothic I - I completely failed to get into it at first. I really despised all of the
secondary characters. In a really rare occurrence for me, I went back and started
playing it again months after I had put it down. The second time I was completely
sucked in and loved every minute, all the way to the finish.
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« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2007, 10:55:04 PM »

One for me was Metal Gear Solid for PSX. I bought it, didn't like it early on, and sort of threw it in a corner. I started playing it again maybe a year later, just bored one night. I got really hooked, and played it all the way through the end. I was crazy about it. MGS2: Sons of Liberty (PS2) was far more ambitious, but for some reason I just didn't find it anywhere near as enjoyable (and I wasn't able to ever finish MGS2 either).
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« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2007, 11:23:41 PM »

Final Fantasy 7, it was the birth and the death of my love for the genre.
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« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2007, 11:31:42 PM »

I second Metal Gear Solid on the PSX. I tried to get into it but didn't like it, bought it again a bit later on the PC and loved it.
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« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2007, 11:57:36 PM »

Great thread idea, be back later, I have some ideas floating around but need to narrow it down.
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« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2007, 02:04:37 AM »

One old game immediately pops into mind (hmm, too bad it's PC game... but this is a cool topic). That old Sierra sci-fi game, Rama.

The first time I played it, I thought "What the hell is going on here?" I let it sit for a couple years and finally reinstalled it. Why, I have no idea. I think the interface was the main issue when I first started. But this time I had no problem with it and the game world sucked me in completely. I loved that game and still have very fond memories of it.
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« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2007, 02:12:48 AM »

Yeah, great thread!

Star Ocean 3 is the first that always comes to mind.  Bored silly in the first five hours.  Didn't like story, characters, and combat system.  Had actually decided to permanently shelve it.  Then I watched the Gamespot video review and was intrigued by some of the scenes from much later in the game.  Decided to give it on final chance.  Within fifteen minutes of playing I was completely hooked and ended up putting 75 more hours into finishing it.  Yeah, you can argue that games should grab you from the start and no one should play five hours of a poor game, but the 75 hours of gameplay after that more than made up for the crap beginning. 

Metal Gear Solid 1- I didn't have a PS1 during it's "prime".  When I got a PS2 in September 2001 I was pretty excited about MGS2 despite having never played the first one.  The graphics looked incredible and I loved Metal Gear on the original NES.  Figured I better play the original to catch up.  Well, I was pretty shocked by the 1998, PS1 graphics and I didn't really get the gameplay either.  Was thinking about putting it on the shelf and reading a FAQ or something to get caught up for MGS2.  Gave it a little more time and sometime around the first boss fight I was hooked hard and suddenly I didn't even notice the dated graphics.  One of those great gaming experiences where you can remember everything about the time and place when you were playing. 

Metal Gear Solid 3- I'm a huge Metal Gear fanboy and while I didn't actually dislike the opening portion, I didn't really "get it" either and didn't think it was nearly as good as the previous two games.  Then after the "prologue" ended the game started getting better and I started to learn about all of the awesome stuff under the hood that really isn't apparent when you start.  Game kept getting better and better as it went along and had perhaps the finest final three hours of a game I've ever played and easily became my favorite of the franchise and one of my favorites of all time.

Resident Evil 4- This one was more of a mood thing but I just couldn't get into it the first time I played it.  There was nothing I outright disliiked about it but after ten hours I just sort of put it down and moved onto something else.  Came back to it about six months later, got into it a lot more, and really enjoyed it and finished it but it wasn't the seminal experience for me that it was for so many others.  Then I got the Wii version this year and the control changes made the game *so much better* that it's still at the top of my 2007 GOTY list and I'm absolutely in the boat with those who think it's one of the best games of the past generation. 

God of War- It has a great beginning but, for whatever reason, it didn't really connect with me until a little bit into Athens.  The "click" OMG THIS GAME IS AWESOME moment for me was walking across the sword of the giant statue. 
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« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2007, 02:32:53 AM »

Mine's a PC game as well.

Sword of the Stars.  I tried it at least 4 or 5 times before I even started liking it.  If it wasn't for a good friend, I would have given up on it for sure. 
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« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2007, 02:36:04 AM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on November 15, 2007, 02:12:48 AM

Yeah, great thread!

Star Ocean 3 is the first that always comes to mind.  Bored silly in the first five hours.  Didn't like story, characters, and combat system.  Had actually decided to permanently shelve it.  Then I watched the Gamespot video review and was intrigued by some of the scenes from much later in the game.  Decided to give it on final chance.  Within fifteen minutes of playing I was completely hooked and ended up putting 75 more hours into finishing it.  Yeah, you can argue that games should grab you from the start and no one should play five hours of a poor game, but the 75 hours of gameplay after that more than made up for the crap beginning.

That was actually my feeling on Final Fantasy XII which is fairly boring for the first six hours of the game. Basically, right up to the point where Balthier shows up at which point the game gets a shot of adrenaline and never slows down until the end. But getting to that point was slooooooooooooooooooow.
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« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2007, 04:00:01 AM »

as far as the recent past, dragon quest viii, hands-down. played 4 hours, got bored, quit. weeks later, played another few hours, quit. another month or so later, got to the 10-11 hour point, & bingo!, had a fantastic time with it from there to the end...
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« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2007, 05:13:56 AM »

Metal Gears Solid 3, specifically Snake Eater. This was basically the first MGS game I'd played, and I couldn't get use to the camera, and the hold-all-four-shoulder-buttons-to-shoot-while-prone controls. I rented Subsistence and finished it. Then, knowing the areas better, beat Snake Eater. I now consider MGS3 one of my all-time favourite games.

Saints Row is another. Bought a used copy really cheap without knowing a lot about it. At first it just seemed like such a lame knock-off of GTA, but then all of the features suddenly made so much sense. It's probably the best GTA clone to date, and almost better than the GTA games in a lot of ways.

I played the TimeShift demo and really didn't think it was all the great. Then Tom Chick was going on about how great it was, and he hasn't pushed an FPS  I haven't loved so far, so I gave it a shot. I'm really liking it now. It's still a "choice" FPS in a sea of grade-A's, but it's great fun.
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« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2007, 05:20:44 AM »

Katamari Damacy...I bought it on a whim because I read glowing reviews about it and it was $19 brand new.  When I started playing, I was taken aback by the graphic style and the gameplay, but once I got used to everything, man, was that game fun...
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« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2007, 05:32:38 AM »

Final Fantasy Tactics.  I bought it twice (at full price, no less) within 6 months of release.  Just could never get it to click with me, and the very difficult early game really put me off.  Picked it up about a year later, decided to actually put in the time to figure it out, and it easily became one of my favorites.
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« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2007, 05:42:08 AM »

The one that immediately jumps to mind isn't a console game, but instead a PC and it turned out be my favorite RPG of all time: Baldur's Gate II.  I played it for a bit (even after enjoying the first one) and just didn't get into it for some reason.  I picked it up a month later and became obsessed.
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« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2007, 04:45:35 PM »

Oblivion for me. The beginning was very tedious, it took a while to get into it.

Same thing with MUA, and RSV. Oh, I suppose Amped3 was the same.
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« Reply #16 on: November 15, 2007, 05:02:38 PM »

Quote from: The Grue on November 15, 2007, 05:42:08 AM

The one that immediately jumps to mind isn't a console game, but instead a PC and it turned out be my favorite RPG of all time: Baldur's Gate II.  I played it for a bit (even after enjoying the first one) and just didn't get into it for some reason.  I picked it up a month later and became obsessed.

same here.  it took me about a year to actually get into it, but when it clicked it clicked big time.  the same thing happened with KotOR.
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« Reply #17 on: November 15, 2007, 05:30:46 PM »

Both FarCry and the original Thief made very poor first impressions on me, but after an avalanche of great reviews convinced me to give them another shot, they turned out to be *fantastic* games!

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« Reply #18 on: November 16, 2007, 07:22:37 PM »

Thief and Final Fantasy Tactics are two games I need to go back and revisit.  I'm sure there is awesomeness there, but it didn't click on my first attempt.

Theif, I'll probably play around a bit to get used to it, then jump right back to where I left off: that dumb funhouse level.
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« Reply #19 on: November 16, 2007, 07:44:27 PM »

Lords of the Realm 2.  I played it, and could see that there was something there, but it was way too difficult.  Then a friend of mine showed me the ins and outs, and after then, it went down as one of my all-time favorite games.
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« Reply #20 on: November 16, 2007, 09:01:09 PM »

I'll second KOTOR PC. I didn't get into it initially, and then after getting some tips on developing my character and ideas on teaming up effectively in it, I had a good time with it (though I didn't quite finish it).

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« Reply #21 on: November 16, 2007, 09:20:44 PM »

Guild Wars. First time I got it I played for a few days and really didn't like it much, probably because I had just come from WoW and it was so different. I tried it again some months later when I had stopped playing any sort of MMO and then it finally clicked and I played right through most of the campaign.
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« Reply #22 on: November 16, 2007, 09:59:50 PM »

Quote from: Blackjack on November 16, 2007, 09:01:09 PM

I'll second KOTOR PC. I didn't get into it initially, and then after getting some tips on developing my character and ideas on teaming up effectively in it, I had a good time with it (though I didn't quite finish it).

I really need to go back and play KOTOR 2.  I liked the first a lot but I stalled out on the 2nd after about 3-4 hours.  It just felt too much like the first.
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« Reply #23 on: November 17, 2007, 02:24:24 AM »

Quote from: warning on November 16, 2007, 09:59:50 PM

Quote from: Blackjack on November 16, 2007, 09:01:09 PM

I'll second KOTOR PC. I didn't get into it initially, and then after getting some tips on developing my character and ideas on teaming up effectively in it, I had a good time with it (though I didn't quite finish it).

I really need to go back and play KOTOR 2.  I liked the first a lot but I stalled out on the 2nd after about 3-4 hours.  It just felt too much like the first.

I'm waiting for the restoration project to finish up.
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