Praised Games that disappointed me

I don't know how many times I've heard people give a game critical acclaim just for it not ring the same bells for me. Worse of is when these are games in genre's I prefer - usually a result of the mechanics annoying me or the story not sinking in for me.

I think a list is a good way for me to keep track of how many times this happens to me.

List items

  • Since release, this game has been the number one game on my Steam wishlist for years. It came out around when I lost my job, so I couldn't quite afford to spend full price on a game with a lowered income, especially when I already have a bunch of unplayed games and PC performance issues were problematic.

    I expected, as fan hyperbole suggested, a game perfect for me. A best game of all time. The game to combine many of the mechanics, genres, and themes I love most. A weirdish, un-mainstream game to appeal to the nerdy, not-normal kind of gamer I am.

    And then it doesn't.

    Or rather, it kind of does. It's an anime-style Spectacle Fighter open world action game that crosses genres with Shmups, platformers, and even choose your own adventure. Notes of some of my all time favorite games can be found here: Zone of the Enders, Metal Gear Rising, DoDonPachi, Fallout 3, Symphony of the Night and probably more if I dug deep enough. It sounds like the perfect recipe for the "OH MY GOD THIS GAME IS MADE JUST FOR ME!".

    Combat is pretty solid, though, running around killing robots around the wasteland doing the same combos got repetitive after a while. At least the boss fights are great. Shmups segments are like this too, great at first, boss fights are awesome, but gets a bit old and long in the tooth after the 7th time or so. The Choose your own adventure segment had some good lore building, but I'm not sure it's style of gameplay was necessary for the game - it kind of felt like the director just wanted to put as many genres in the game as he could.

    Those are all things I can deal with, but what made Automata quite not work for me is that there is supposed to be a deep and grand story about humanity and how alien robots want to be like humans but doesn't quite explain how rusty, mechanical robots can learn how to be disconnect from their master's network AND interpret human literature and adopt it to their own culture AND somewhow birth two advanced, human-like machines that look nothing like the rest of the machines. For all the neat things this game does, the story is a strange, convoluted, hard to believe mess. Add that to the fact that you have to go through FIVE ENDINGS of the game (which at this point, I don't consider them endings anymore) to get the "true ending"/Full story of the game and I was a bit fatigued by the end. I watched the final ending in videos because the credit shmup sequence drove me nuts and i closed if before realizing I had to make myself go through it, fail, and request help of other players by deleting my save because it somehow allows me to help other see what I'm talking about? None of what I'm saying makes any sense.

  • I'm a huge fan of the Metroidvania genre and I was ready to dig into this beautifully crafted game, but the combat and constant ease of death drove me nuts. One of those games meant to pull at your heartstrings with the death of characters and a beautiful world, but I couldn't appreciate it because of the gameplay. It has some of the best artwork and soundtrack you could possibly get in this kind of game, but I have to enjoy playing a game for me to truly appreciate it all.

    It's a "best of the genre" Metroidvania for many people, but Symphony of the Night still holds that mantle for me.

  • I was curious about this new Walking Simulator genre brewing. I'm always interested in potentially new experiences and taking the action out of a game could be an interesting way to tell a story and immerse you in a world.

    The second part is somewhat true, but not so much the first part when literally all you are doing in the game is holding the W key and occasionally moving your mouse around as some announcer prattles off about some pretentious non-sense.

    I think I got the impression the whole time you're actually dead, but it makes me wonder why you're not floating or flying instead. I suppose that would give away the ending twist. I have ideas in my head about making this genre better with interactivity: such as hopping on stones in a river one foot a time, lifting containers to find objects, ducking, jumping, or shimmying around obstacles. But no, this game is literally all about walking and hearing audio snippets, which at that point, would be better left off to a video as playing the game literally adds nothing to the experience.

  • I was glad to see my "Not Recommended" review got many positive ratings on Steam - usually when a beloved game gets a negative response, fans release their fervor because you're not the biggest fan of their game.

    I think what I said here was important. Fire Pro Wrestling is clearly a deep and incredible game with potentially infinite amounts of value, but just because you're a fan of certain wrestling games doesn't mean you will gravitate to this one, where strikes are kind of ineffective and grapples only work in your favor if you time it properly. Many of my fights when downhill pretty fast. I got destroyed everytime and couldn't enjoy it.

    Maybe, just maybe, one day I will be able to sit down with this game/series and appreciate it.

  • Ah yes, a game to appeal to my nostalgia of AOL Instant Messenger and 90s era references. Actually, it boils down to a choice game where you need to make the right choices out of 3 or 4 choices to fully get the story of whats happening, and it isn't always quite clear what is the "right answer". Oh, and the game is a bit tiresome because you literally have to spam fake typing on you keyboard to make your text responses appear. It's a neat and immersive mechanic at first, but it because "arthristically tiring" after a while and at the end of my third playthrough, the game pulled one of those "we're deleting your other choices" gameplay to give you a false sense of choice when ultimately there is only one path to go down.

    I found Emily a bit of a pain to deal with, so I don't want to chat with her anymore.

  • I"m a big fan of old school shooters. I've been on a classic shooter kick, clearing out games I missed out from the 90s because I didn't have the PC or funds to play them. Duke Nukem 3D, Shadow Warrior, and Ion Fury were excellent Build Engine game. I've heard the same fans of those games praise the Blood games and I've had wanted to play it for a while. The game was rereleased with a modern port...and oh my goodness is it stupid hard. I usually like putting these games on their hardest or next to hardest difficulty settings, but even with the ability to manually change aspects of the difficulty and enemy behavior, the game was still too difficult for me to enjoy. Seems like I'd have to be extremely conservative with ammo and use the crappy melee weapon, but I'm not interested in doing that in this type of game that early into an old school shooter.

    I'm usually able to gravitate to these kind of games pretty easily, and when a shooter breaks my flow and enjoyment early in a run, I know that it just isn't for me.