It doesn’t take me long to determine if I like a game or not. Sometimes it takes less than 10 minutes. And 95% of the time my first feelings towards a game are what I’m going to have all the way through. As a gamer I just know what I’m into and what I don’t like. But I’ll admit that every once in awhile I’m wrong. Here are four games that at first I didn’t like, but gave a second chance.
I played Mass Effect when it first came out and stopped playing before the end of the first mission. I didn’t like the squad based combat and thought that I had to manage my cohort’s every move. It reminded me a lot of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic which is another game I couldn’t get into. So I turned my Xbox off and didn’t play anymore Mass Effect. I didn’t think that the game was going anywhere either, because at the time I hadn’t heard too much about the series.
But as the second and third Mass Effects came out I felt like I was missing out on something. Everybody was so excited to see what the third game had in store for their Shepard. My friends and all of the articles online really pressured me into giving the series a second chance. So I borrowed a copy from my friend this summer and tried it again. I’ll admit the first level made me think I was right all of these years. But after I beat the first mission and got to see the whole universe I realized how wrong I really was. My only regret is not starting sooner. Now when anybody learns that I’m playing the series for the first time feels the need to chime in and tell me what choices to make. I’m not getting the full Mass Effect experience because I started to late. But I still loved Mass Effect, and I can’t wait to start playing the second and third ones.
The first time I played BioShock I lasted much longer than I did with Mass Effect. I think I got to about the half way point before I put the controller down and promised myself never to play again. I didn’t start playing it until about a year after it came out, and at the same time I was playing Fallout 3. To me the games were very similar. Kind of futuristic but with an old 50s style. The difference was BioShock had lots of linear story line and backtracking, while Fallout was the expansive free roaming world we all love from Bethesda.
So I gave up on BioShock and got lost in Fallout 3. And when I was done with Fallout 3 I never really had the urge to put BioShock back into my console. But just yesterday I borrowed the copy from a friend who encouraged me to try again. This time around I’ll admit that I’m enjoying the game a lot more. I’m paying much closer attention to the story line and it’s making my experience more immersible and meaningful. It’s true that I still like Fallout more, and it’s also true that this game will never be my cup of tea. I’m not going to wait anxiously for the new BioShock, in fact I might not even play the second one. But I’m glad I went back and gave this game a second chance, and I’ve really enjoyed my second run through of it so far.
Call of Duty
When I was in Jr. High School my best friend and I would play Call of Duty 3 all night long. We always played online multiplayer and dominated when we weren’t trolling other players. I could honestly say that for a long time Call of Duty 3 was my favorite game. Then Modern Warfare came out and we both lost a lot of love for the game. The multiplayer just wasn’t as fun as it had been in Call of Duty 3. And before we knew it, something terrible happened: Everybody that was anybody started playing Call of Duty.
I didn’t like trying to talk about the game in class with my friends and literally have every single high school boy chiming in about their level and prestiges. It made me lose faith in the franchise, because it was so mainstream that to “really be a fan” you had to grind all day long. You had to worry about your K/D and how many hours you logged during the weekend. And this just wasn’t how I liked to play my games. So Call of Duty came out with World of War (which I liked a lot) and then Modern Warfare 2. I didn’t play much of either of them because still I had lost faith in the franchise.
But when Black Ops came out I was at a friends house who was a casual player. He didn’t ever get enough experience to prestige but he was a great player. That night I picked up the controller and realized that I could dominate the playing field as a level 20. So I might have never really gotten back into Call of Duty, but I’m glad I gave it that second chance. It’s not my favorite game, and I’m defiantly getting Halo 4 instead of Black Ops 2. But now I can appreciate playing a couple of rounds casually which I never could before.
I played the first Portal when it came out and didn’t see what the hype was about. It seemed like a pretty straightforward puzzle game that didn’t have much to offer. In less than five hours I was done with the game and it hadn’t left any impressions on me. I love puzzle platform games (Fez has probably been my favorite release so far this year) so it came as a bit of a shock that I didn’t like it. I picked up Portal and Portal 2 a couple months ago during Steam’s summer sale in hopes of playing through it again, maybe appreciating it this time.
But no. I played Portal again and had to rediscover the solutions to all of the problems. It still wasn’t that fun of a game to me. A couple of weeks later I decided to try Portal 2, thinking that it was going to be a Portal 1 with updated graphics and new levels. And while that’s kind of what it is, I fell in love with Portal 2. It had an awesome story line, a longer play through time, interesting and sometimes really hard puzzles, and much cooler artwork. I really got sucked into Portal 2. The first time I booted it up in Steam I didn’t realize that I sunk four straight hours into it and was late for work. And while I still don’t like the original Portal too much, I’m glad I gave the series a second chance because otherwise I would have missed out on the awesome game that is Portal 2.