Of your favorite games which has had the wildest swing from love to hate and vice versa?

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sometingbanuble

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Embargos got me thinking. Embargos got me drinking. Sometimes games can benefit from a short or limited review cycle. The contrary can be true. Wrong answers include "it depends," and "i know if i like a game right away."

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Nodima

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Sekiro is an easy one. After day one I was sure it’d wind up as one of my favorite games of all time. After day four I was ready to uninstall it. But I’ve told that story on these forums enough.

I guess Final Fantasy VIII would be the closest to the opposite. I always resented VII because it was touted as the best game ever made but I never liked the demo enough to give the whole game a shot. Unfortunately the commercials for VIII looked really cool and it was releasing on my birthday so I felt compelled to rent it that weekend and…it wound up claiming “favorite game of all time” status for years and years.

Ah, youth.

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eccentrix

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When I first played Mass Effect, I was playing it as some kind of squad tactics game, because that's how it was described in marketing. I didn't get very far into it because I found it difficult and wasn't enjoying it much. When I came back to it later, I played it like a regular shooter and it was much easier and I loved it.

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BaneFireLord

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#4  Edited By BaneFireLord

On my first stab (ha) at Dishonored 2 five years back or so, I thought it seemed cheap and ugly and uninspired based on the first few hours and didn't feel compelled to play more. Then I went back to it last summer and pushed past the opening and it's now easily a top ten favorite game, maybe even top five. Shame on my past self for thinking the game with both The Clockwork Mansion and Crack in the Slab was "uninspired."

In the other direction, I was incredibly hyped for The Outer Worlds but after a promising opening area it quickly devolved into uninteresting drudgery. I did wind up finishing it, but it was such a dull, claustrophobic slog in the back 2/3s with next to no interesting ideas and a stringently limited possibility space compared to every other Obsidian RPG in recent memory. It also did itself zero favors by forcing the Fallout New Vegas comparison in most of its marketing. If you come at the king, you best not miss, and Outer Worlds might as well have shot directly at the ground.

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sometingbanuble

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@nodima: I’m a little confused don’t know when you mean seven or eight due to the eyes (I’s) Also are you saying eight was your favorite as a youth for years and years of your youth and now you hate it? Spell out the number for the final fantasy and explain again.

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sometingbanuble

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@banefirelord: I’m in the same boat as you on Outer Wilds. It was late February of 2020 right before the pandemic and a couple of buddy’s of mine were going to Pax East and he got me into fallout 3 in a major way when this game was ignored by me somehow over the last 10 years despite being soaked in games media. Loved fallout 3 and figure outer wilds would be dope. I tried to mainline the game before Pax and liked it for 2 or 3 hours. 25 hours into it I hated it. I hate it to this day. I don’t even think I’d buy it for a $1. The trailer for the new one does nothing for me and nothing anybody says about it will make me care. The music does resonate with me and somewhat makes up for my hate of the game.

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TheRealTurk

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Recently, it's probably Deathloop. I loved the first 4-6 hours of that game and it ended up being a shoo-in for my most disappointing game not just last year, but in the prior several years. So many poor choices got made in the development of that game and I was frankly shocked by how willing a lot of reviews were to just lap it up.

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BaneFireLord

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@therealturk: Yeah, strong agreement. I think it felt great to play and enjoyed the moment to moment experience enough for it to wind up on my end of the year list, but the more time drags on the more angry I get about it and all its shortcomings. That it got so widely praised while Prey got completely ignored makes me very depressed about the future of Arkane and big-budget immersive sim games.

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superslidetail

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The only game of recent memory that I can think of is Kentucky Route Zero. I think I went from love/hate back and forth several times and I'm still not sure what my overall general feeling about that game is. I loved certain aspects and moments of that game but also found large portions a slog to get through.

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mellotronrules

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love/hate are probably too strong to describe my feelings- but i was having a good time with nier automata the first time through...then i 'finished' it however many more times to get that 'true' ending.

wasn't worth it for me. it doesn't have me spewing bile, but i don't think the gimmick justified the experience. or rather the repetition didn't have the intended emotional resonance...so it was just kinda a slog i came to have a distaste for.

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spacemanspiff00

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@banefirelord I bounced off Prey twice, despite it seeming like everything I could want in a game. I replayed the Bioshock trilogy a couple months ago and still felt the need for a similar fix. So decided to give Prey one more shot. I'm so glad I did. Its easily one of my favorite experiences in the past few years. It would be tragic if we never get something like it again from Arkane.

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BaneFireLord

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@spacemanspiff00: With Raf Colantonio and a lot of the other old guard off making Weird West now and Arkane's next game chasing that four player co-op money, I have vanishingly little hope. :(

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MobiusFun

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#13  Edited By MobiusFun

@spacemanspiff00: I had this same experience. I bought the game and refunded it after hearing the janitor lady outside of your apartment and finding that there was no fix for the game's really poor audio. I heard so much praise for the game but no one mentioned how most NPCs are all VERY loud and in mono for some reason and that's just a bug that will never be fixed, even after the game has had a substantial expansion.

Months later it was on sale again so I gave it a second try and found the audio bugs are few and far apart. It's unfortunate the worst one is in the first 5 minutes of the game. Having beat the game, I now think it's pretty great.

My real answer to the OP is Payday 2. I remember one year they had a big community event called crimefest, I think the point of it was to get the community to steal a collective 1 billion or 100 billion dollars? I forget exactly, but there were different milestones with different rewards in the form of new content for the game to be released for free. My friends and I at that point, loved Payday 2, it was our go-to game for killing an afternoon together. With a quick google search, the first crimefest might have been 2014, and I think that one was fine. In 2015, the grand and final reward for crimefest was... a counter-strike style crate and key system where the keys cost 1 or 2 real dollars and the crate would drop random skins or weapon upgrades. To put that in perspective, the final reward to the previous crimefest was putting John Wick in the game as a playable character for free. He kinda sucked because he wasn't voiced by Keanu but still...

We dropped that game SO fast and haven't touched it since, lol.


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spacemanspiff00

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@banefirelord: That's disappointing. I actually mixed up the ex-devs from Arkane, thinking it was Obsidian ex-devs. Oops. Ya that's a real bummer indeed. Hopefully Weird West ends up being something worth giving a shot. I've had it on my Steam wishlist since it was announced. Love the idea, anyway. The quick look wasn't quite enough for me to say one way or the other.

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warpr

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#15  Edited By warpr

XCOM 2.

I loved XCOM: Enemy Unknown, but I'm not particularly good at it. So I play on easy and take my time with a level. XCOM 2 seemed great when I started playing (more XCOM!), but fairly quickly into the game it introduces some kind of time limit or turn limit for some missions, and I just hated it, I was unable to progress -- it seems bonkers to me that they didn't think to make that more lenient on the easiest difficulty.

EDIT: apparently XCOM 2: War of the Chosen has an option to double the timers, I guess should I should try that one.

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wollywoo

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@sometingbanuble: Sounds like you mean Outer Worlds. I also first read @banefirelord's post as being about Outer Wilds and I was really dismayed for a second. I can see not liking Outer Wilds, if it's just not your thing, but "no interesting ideas"...?! I haven't played Outer Worlds, so no opinion on that.

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KillEm_Dafoe

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In recent memory, I'd say Tales of Arise. I'd been looking for a good JRPG to get into, and the praise heaped upon this game got me interested in it. I bought it on sale, and while I started luke warm on it, I got into it pretty fast once all the systems started to reveal themselves. And for a couple weeks, this was MY GAME. I thought about it when not playing it often and lost hours at a time on it. The story is pretty typical anime nonsense, but the combat is a lot of fun and the game is absolutely gorgeous, so I enjoyed being in its world.

As I got farther, the bosses got harder, and harder...and harder...and harder. That, you know, makes sense for pretty much any game. The problem is that the fights are hard because it's almost entirely out of the player's control. The friendly AI is dumb as fuck and simply doesn't listen to many of the commands you set for them and get themselves killed for no reason. I was engaging with every tool the game gives you to get through. Changed strategies frequently. I even turned the difficulty down from normal to the easiest casual setting and didn't see enough of a difference in how straight up unfair the bosses were becoming. A lot of it could be solved simply by giving them less health as the bosses become extremely tanky. Most of the rest of the game is dead easy, but the bosses are huge difficulty spikes and these wild swings in difficulty became a huge liability in my enjoyment of this game.

I kept hitting frustrating road blocks, and by the time I got to the last of the five Lords, I decided I was done. I went from loving it and looking forward to hitting all the endgame content, to putting it down, possibly for good, due to poor boss design. Shame, really. There's a lot to like about this game and it sucks that one aspect drags it down that much.

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BaneFireLord

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@wollywoo: Rest assured, having beaten both, I can confirm that Outer Wilds is exponentially more interesting and inspired than The Outer Worlds.

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theonewhoplays

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#19  Edited By theonewhoplays

I absolutely love Outer Wilds, and the only part I disliked was a certain area which was the only one where monsters could kill you. Adored the DLC for a couple hours but then suddenly it turned into a first person horror game. I haven't played it since and I have no idea why they thought that was a good idea to add. My interest went from 10 to 0.

I loved God of War 1 and 2, then 3 made me really dislike Kratos and the overall writing/tone enough to skip 4. GoW 2016 lured me back in and I ended up enjoying, but not exactly loving, it. Will definitely give Ragnarok a try.

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Nodima

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The only game of recent memory that I can think of is Kentucky Route Zero. I think I went from love/hate back and forth several times and I'm still not sure what my overall general feeling about that game is. I loved certain aspects and moments of that game but also found large portions a slog to get through.

Out of curiosity, did you play that game over the course of the decade or in a relatively condensed bite? I didn't get to it until it came to consoles in one big bundle and I binged through the first four chapters and their interludes pretty voraciously. For whatever reason I decided to hold off on Chapter V for a while, though, to simulate what it might've felt like if I'd not been able to just finish it right away. After completing everything but Pueblo de Nada and Act V in a single 12 hour binge I held off on them for three months and while I still liked how that game wrapped up, it did feel kind of flat when I could only kind of remember what led to the scenario I was in and how it mostly took place in a single setting that wasn't particularly compelling to suss out the mysteries of.

So despite having such an intense relationship with that game at one point, I do feel kinda ambivalent about it overall.

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Cloudleet

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I really loved the intro for Last of us, that entire first scene is amazing, and so engaging that I was sure that this would be the best game I ever played. Fast forward two hours later, and I'm already bored, slowly moving through mushroom zombies and bad humans.

And then, Binding of Isaac. Started playing it (this was the original flash game) and just could not get into it. A friend kept urging me to keep playing, and I hated every minute I gave the game. But then, something clicked and wow, this game was really good. I played it for hours on end, and when the new version came out, I started all over again, to the point that I have about 500 hours in it now.

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superslidetail

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@nodima: I just played through the entire TV edition on PS4 a few weeks ago and then replayed it immediately after to play the parts I liked and finish out the trophies. I thought the story was interesting initially and then it would go on this meandering path that just seemed like a waste of time and then it come back around again. It would just keep doing this throughout the game where it wasn't needed imo. Not to mention the walls of pointless flavor text. Certain scenes were engaging and I thought the music was fantastic, there just wasn't enough of it! I just wanted more and it just left me wanting. Idk I was just very up and down on it in general. I thought about downloading this or night in the woods at the time and I think I made the wrong decision there.

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AV_Gamer

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Dishonored 2 is also one for me. I loved the original and all it's DLC, so I was hyped for Dishonored 2. But the game's level design wasn't as good as the first one, especially when it came to trying to do a stealth playthrough, which once again was needed to get the best ending. Stealth was actually more fun than non-stealth in the original. I uninstalled it not long after starting it. I heard the game was patched a lot overtime and a lot of the jank was removed or fixed. So I might give it another chance one day.

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whitegreyblack

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I bounced hard off of the first Saint's Row, twice. For some reason I kept it around and gave it a third shot... and the series ended up becoming one of my favorite of all time.

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BaneFireLord

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#25  Edited By BaneFireLord

@av_gamer: Per my post, I was also not enthralled with its opening levels, but the back 2/3s has some of the most astounding level design I’ve ever seen. Your mileage may vary of course, but pushing past the opening hours was so, so worth it for me.

Also, I don’t know how far you got so these mechanics might not have popped up yet, but you do not need to be stealthy to get the best ending in D2. You just need to not kill people. They added a lot of loud nonlethal combat options, like chokehold parries and the like, that make getting into open fights a lot more viable for someone looking for a low chaos run.

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prolurker

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I thought the beginning of Borderlands 2 was childish/boring. I didn’t like the respawn mechanic, and I thought for sure I would stop playing after 20-ish minutes. Then I kept picking up new weapons which changed the gameplay loop. The writers clearly had fun with the script, and it doesn’t try to take itself too seriously. Apparently, I’m a 12 year old in a grown man’s body.

Counter-example would be many, many AAA titles that feature heavy, melodramatic stories and a difficulty slider that only adjusts the “sponginess” of enemies.

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daiphyer

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Recently, Nioh 2. I was so hyped for Nioh 2, hoping that they had improved the level design and enemy variety from the first game. Played it for about 10 hours, and was so disappointed to see repeating (and uninspired) levels with the same 10 or so enemies over, and over. I went from being overly excited to play it to being sorely, sorely disappointed.

And a while ago, Sekiro. Again, was super excited to play it. However, after 5 or 6 hours in, realizing that the game wants me to play a certain way that I am not comfortable playing, and does not have the same freedom of gameplay that Souls games do, I made the choice to just let it go, and stopped playing it.

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Ginormous76

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@nodima said:

Sekiro is an easy one. After day one I was sure it’d wind up as one of my favorite games of all time. After day four I was ready to uninstall it. But I’ve told that story on these forums enough.

I guess Final Fantasy VIII would be the closest to the opposite. I always resented VII because it was touted as the best game ever made but I never liked the demo enough to give the whole game a shot. Unfortunately the commercials for VIII looked really cool and it was releasing on my birthday so I felt compelled to rent it that weekend and…it wound up claiming “favorite game of all time” status for years and years.

Ah, youth.

FF8 is still my FGoAT.

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Ginormous76

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Mine is Pokémon Legends Arceus. During all the pre-release stuff, I really lowered my expectations. It came out and people liked it, so I picked it up. After the first 3 hours, it shot up to #3 in my games of the decade (2020-2029) list. After the next 7 hours, it tumbled way down that list and is 4 out of 5 for 2022 games that I've played.

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FacelessVixen

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#30 FacelessVixen  Online

Dark Souls 2 after realizing the importance of adaptability.

The swing went from "What the fuck?" to "Hex builds are pretty cool."

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judaspete

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Vanquish. Started out playing it like a cover shooter and thought it was kinda okay. A level or two in I figured out you shoot while rocket-sliding, then take cover so your suit can recharge, then go rocket-slide some more, it became my favorite 3rd person shoot of all time.

Heavy Metal: Geomatrix way back on the Dreamcast. I was disappointed when I first got it, but then something just clicked when I tried playing it with a group of friends. We ended up sticking with that game the whole evening, left Power Stone and Soul Calibur on the shelf. To this day it is one of my favorite DC games.

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ThatPainting

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Doesn't fit exactly, but I completely dismissed the Phoenix Wright games when I first heard about them because a game where you play as a lawyer sounded like the dumbest premise for my then-teenage mind. Then, one day I was watching a friend play it and saw that it was basically an adventure game, so I gave it a shot and now the Ace Attorney series is one of my favourites, so much that I use a reference from the first game as my name and avatar everywhere.

One that went the other way was Fire Emblem: Awakening. I thought it was great the first time through, but on second playthrough I really soured on it. The characters, the relationship and pair-up mechanics, as well as the map designs just weren't on-par with FE7-10.

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Yasha

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IMO most big budget single-player games have horrible pacing and completely tank my enjoyment of them by always running far longer than they need to. It's always been a problem in games but it's really reared its head in the last few years.

Naughty Dog's last 2 games committed the cardinal sin of having an entire other 50% of a game at the point where they likely should've wrapped up. While TLOU2's gameplay carried it a bit further, I came out the end of both games really frustrated with how self-indulgently long both games were.

God of War 2019's main campaign could've been half the length it was and it would've been a much MUCH tighter experience and we wouldn't have lost anything.

Dying Light 1 holds off showing you a second map where the gameplay really shines 80% into the game and it's mind-boggling, because the map is great! But it's so far into an already bloated game that by the time you get there, you're so fucking done with the game and just want it to end.

Heck, Elden Ring is a big proponent of this issue for me right now - by the time you've decided you'd like to finish the game, you're staring at up to 40 hours of game to finish. I went from adoring this game to finding it seriously flawed because the critical path is so drawn out.

I know these complaints all seem unrelated to the question but I just can't get over how many games I've played which start off as great experiences but go on waaay too long to no real benefit.

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theonewhoplays

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#34  Edited By theonewhoplays

@yasha: When I played the 'epilogue' part of tlou2 and realized it actually wasn't, I had basically the same reaction as Dina haha. I do think it was mostly intentional, that you are SUPPOSED to go "wait are you serious right now", but I really was starting to feel the length. Thankfully the last part is pretty short and they switch up the environments and weaponry a bit.

I've always enjoyed how tlou2 in many ways is the anti-Uncharted 4, but the length was an exception.

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Yasha

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@theonewhoplays:I don't actually mind the epilogue too much, but it comes at the end of such a fucking long game. The first game was already far too long for what you could do with its gameplay, and the second is twice as long. I love the combat in TLOU2 but they just stretched that shit out sooo much.