I started out this year determined to stop playing games that I didn't enjoy, but recently I've fallen back into bad habits. My latest terrible game that I've been putting time into is Torchlight III. That game is the blandest AARPG it is possible to imagine. I got it on Game Pass so at least I didn't spend money on it, but it has almost nothing to offer. The combat is boring and repetitive. The story is more or less non-existent (though weirdly there's some decently written and voice acted stuff in the lore stones you find scattered around.) The loot is awful and extremely repetitive, often dropping multiples of the same legendary item within like 30 minutes, and is a chore to manage. The skills are boring and the bonuses you get for putting skill points into them are even more boring. It's almost impressive how much they've managed to make leveling up bad. The quests are literally all just "go here, kill the next boss." There's a fort building thing that feels literally pointless. There are a couple structures that have uses but you could have just stuck those in towns and skipped having these random forts in between every quest zone. The rest of the fort stuff is just cosmetic, but not even good cosmetic. BORING cosmetic.
So why am I playing it? I don't really know on this one. It's kind of an inoffensive bland time killer? But I have so much better stuff to play and I should stop putting time into it, even if it's time when I'm tired at night and just looking to settle down with something before bedtime. There are much better low key things I could be doing.
I always have a reason for playing bad games but they're almost never worth it. Here are some of the others I've played recently and why.
Werewolf: The Apocalypse - Earthblood: I actually paid a significant amount for this because I liked the license and thought it might be a fun B game and then when I discovered that it was a 75% finished boring linear slog I played through to the end mostly so I could whine about it and because the trophies were easy. Trophies/achievements are a terrible reason to play games you don't enjoy but sometimes they get me.
Ice Age: Scrat's Nutty Adventure: This one was just so weird I was fascinated by it. It's a very strange design for a host of reasons. This is a reasonable reason to play a bad game (because I was engaged and enjoying the weirdness) but it wore off well before the end and I should have bailed. To be fair it's only 4 hours long so I didn't waste a ton of time on it.
Soul Calibur VI: Let me explain. Soul Calibur VI is a very good fighting game overall. I'm specifically talking about the Chronicles story mode here. That mode is dire. It has extremely long static cut scenes with bad voice over and the ratio of talking to fighting is literally like 5 to 1. There are chapters with no fights at all, for some reason. I played through a bunch of this because I like Soul Calibur VI as a fighting game, and I generally like story modes in fighting games (including the SC VI Libra of Souls mode) but I should have bailed after the first couple chapters when I saw what this actually is. Maybe the worst thing in the post, though I highly recommend the game as a whole. I can cut myself some slack here because at least I was TRYING to play something good.
Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One and Full Frontal Assault: I was trying to get through all of the Ratchet & Clank games before the new one comes out, and I bought these years ago on a deep PSN sale. I should have just skipped them. They were both bad. At least Full Frontal Assault was short. All 4 One was like 8 hours long and I thoroughly disliked it. The performance alone was just total garbage. It's not like either of them have 'important' story (if that even exists with R&C.)
Final Fantasy XIII: I know this one is divisive and has its fans, and it certainly looks great for a 2010 game, and has some truly great music, but everything else about it is so bad. This is the quintessential "play 20 hours to get to the good part" game but I don't know if I'm going to be able to make it. I'm through chapter 7 and I've probably enjoyed like 2-3 hours of the over 10 I've put in (off and on over the last 6 months or so), but I want to like it and people say that it does improve so I'm torn on whether to try and continue or just cut my losses.
Coffee Talk: I like everything about this game (graphics, music, aesthetic, vibe coffee minigame) except the characters and dialog, which is very bad because it is a visual novel. This one I have sunk time into over the last 6 months because it was highly reviewed by some people and because there's so much about it that I really do like, but it's horrible to "play" by which I mean read, because I don't want to spend time with any of these people, which the game clearly thinks I should. It's like being lectured to by a well intentioned but not very bright college sophomore who is also kind of drunk. It's the gaming equivalent of Cecily Strong's Girl You Wish You Hadn't Started A Conversation With at a Party character.
As you can see there are a lot of reasons to play bad games. Trophies/Achievements. Vinnyitis (the need to play every game in a series before playing the latest.) Morbid fascination (this is extremely common on these forums, with entire blog series being driven by it.) The Sunk Cost Fallacy (I paid for this/got it for free so I have to play it to "get my money's worth," which is like eating a piece of rotten fruit just because you paid for it.) Attachment to a series. Good reviews/word of mouth. One I haven't mentioned here because it hasn't happened recently but has in a past is A friend/loved one wanted you to play it with them. The desire to write aboutsomething. Inertia/boredom. Good Aesthetics/Other Aspects.
What bad games have you been playing recently and why? I mean games that you kept playing after you knew you didn't enjoy them, not games that you played 15 minutes of before bouncing off.
Also someone please smack me before I play any more Torchlight III.