The 8 Ball: Top 8 Shame Games
Posted by Marc Morrison on 08.19.2014
From Batman: Arkham Origins and the God of War series to Ni no Kuni and more, 411's Marc Morrison ranks the top 8 games he tried to get into but couldn't!
Top 8 List of Shame Games
Welcome all to another edition of The 8 Ball. This week, the topic is about games I've tried to play, but just couldn't get into. These are all (mostly) good games, save for one, and are under the rubric of "Spent at least a few hours playing, but the game just did not click". The idea here is that I actually wanted to play and beat most of these games, but I just lost interest in doing so, for one reason or another.
Just Missing The Cut
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon
Halo 3: ODST
Forza Motorsport 4
Mega Man 9 and 10
#8: Enslaved: Odyssey to the West
I really tried to like Enslaved, but it just didn't grab me. Maybe it's related to how much time I played it (about 2 hours), and it gets better later, but it just felt odd. The combat seemed relatively ok, the acrobatics were decent (for the most part), I dug the art style and premise of the game, but nothing about it made me want to keep playing it. I only tried to play it once, so maybe it deserves another chance someday.
#7: Final Fantasy 8 & 12
I tried both of these games, for varying lengths and didn't enjoy either of them. To be fair, I almost do want to play Final Fantasy 12, or at least see if it's actually worth something. I literally only played it for about an hour and just stopped, only doing a few hunts during it. However, with Final Fantasy 8, I tried like hell to get into it. I remember hitting the third disk (of the PS1 version), and at some point I had Edea in my party. I also vividly remember still having no idea what the story was. I then shut it off. I may eventually pick up FF 12 at some point, but FF8 is a lost cause.
#6: Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom
God knows I've attempted to breach Majin. I think I've restarted it at least 3 times hoping it would click for me. My problem might be that I keep going through the opening areas of the game, I get outside, and I just lose all interest in continuing to go on. Like with Enslaved, there's a lot I like about this game; it's beautiful, has an interesting hook, and the character of the Majin is quite interesting, but I just can't get over the hump in it.
#5: Shadow Hearts: Covenant/Rogue Galaxy
I so want to like both these games, especially Shadow Hearts! I think the overall problem with these games now is that I just don't personally have the patience for an extremely long JRPG experience (see below for more examples). With Rogue Galaxy, I got to the first planet (where you crash land) and just stopped playing. With Shadow Hearts, I literally bought two copies of the damned game (thinking one was defective, turns out it was my PS2), and tried like hell to get into it. I love the combat system, how each character has different fighting tactics, the idea of a JRPG set in World War 1. But getting through that subway system maze is such a slog early on in the game. Eventually, I will return to both of these games, likely when I have nothing else to do, but until then, they remain in my collection
#4: God of War (series)
To date, I've played almost every God of War game in the series, save for Ascension. I've even played the PSP ones. Also, to date, I've never finished any of the God of War games. It's not that the games are particularly hard (although elements of GoW 3 infuriated me), it's that I just get completely bored by the combat system about two or three hours in, and the story/Kratos offer almost nothing for me. "Ok dude, I get you're pissed." That's about his only definable characteristic to me. I did try to play more of God of War 3 (I even have that stupid collection package), but like with the others, it completely failed to hook me.
#3: Batman: Arkham Origins
Most of the games on this list are "good", hence the shame part in not being able to finish/get into them. Arkham Origins is the exception to this rule. It's just not very good, hence my inability to finish it. I'm at least about halfway (I think) in my save, having sent the Joker packing to jail, but I literally lost all interest in the lackluster story, the rote combat, or the semi-glitchy gameplay experience at large. When I played Arkham Asylum, I devoured that game. Arkham City was the same way, I beat it in about a weekend. I don't think I'll ever "beat" Arkham Origins, because the game just did nothing for me.
#2: Ni no Kuni
Ni no Kuni is arguably the "best" game on this list, that I can't get into. It has amazing visuals, the voice acting is amazing (Drippy is SO good), the combat is interesting, and the anime flavor actually worked for me. My breaking point with the game came when it (essentially) became like Pokemon, and I started trying to collect/power up everyone, to the detriment of actually playing the story. I know I'm still incredibly early on in this game, but I had a strong desire to try and do everything, and it just overwhelmed me. I do want to finish it though, just because it really reminded me of Little Nemo.
#1: Tales of Vesperia
I view Tales of Vesperia as my albatross for packing away my Xbox 360. The game sits on my shelf and mocks me for not being able to finish it. I got incredibly deep into Tales of Vesperia, until the game completely opened up and (like with Ni no Kuni) overwhelmed me. Having to hunt monsters, do side quests, pee on a map (yes, you do this with a character), synthesize items, power up your characters, etc. just completely bombarded me. It's been over a year (at least) since I last played this game, and if I went back to it now, I'd literally have no idea what to do. I further screwed myself when I looked at the achievements and saw that it required a minimum of 3 playthroughs to get all the achievements. I've talked about this game with a friend (who has beaten it), and his suggestion was just to start over and begin fresh. While I could do that, I would be losing all of my progress in it, and it would feel like an utter waste, so I'm stuck between restarting, or trying to play my old file and remembering what to do. Hence, the game just sits on my shelf and casts a judgmental eye whenever I pick up and play anything else.
For comments this week, list your own "Games of Shame", games which you started, but didn't finish. It'll be interesting if any patterns emerge.