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Games You Didn't Expect to Love


Webhead123
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What game(s) did you play that looked completely worthless or uninspired at first glance but changed your tune after giving them a chance?

A perfect example of this for me was Blades of Vengeance on Genesis. Going in, I had never even heard of the game...but the name sounded cool. The graphics and music were serviceable but nothing noteworthy. For whatever reason, I stuck with it through the first stage...and then the second...then third. I suddenly realized this game is kinda groovy! Now, I try to go back and revisit it every so often. I mean, it's no Revenge of Shinobi or Streets of Rage 2...but the game managed to surprise me with a level of enjoyment I certainly didn't expect to get from it at first impression.

Another guilty pleasure for me was Streets of Sim City. Buggy as hell and ugly to boot. The frame rate chugged and the controls were slippery...and yet my brother and I honestly got much more enjoyment out of it than Sim City 2000 proper. Go figure.

Edited by Webhead123
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Burnout 3 for PS2. My bother in law gave me a stack of common PS2 games back in the mid-2000s and I decided to go through and play them and trade or sell the rest. I wasn't really playing video games much back then since I was busy with university so I was not familiar with the franchise. I popped it in thinking it would be a generic racer and I'd play a race or two and move on. Well, it never left my PS2 until I 100% completed it which I think took around 50-60 hrs.

 

007 for GB would be another that I bought for like 50 cents way back in the day thinking it would be complete crap (not really a handheld kinda guy). Turns out it's actually a pretty fun game with RPG/adventure elements like Links Awakening or something. Far from superior but not bad for a GB game.

 

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Most recently for me, I turned completely around on Mr. Driller once I finally made the game able to click for me. Every time I'd played it previously I didn't understand what the game was about. I understood the mechanics, but going from there to figuring out the core challenge is weirdly unintuitive. What a fantastic series of puzzle games though.

Going back much further, the first Etrian Odyssey release was what finally opened me to the idea of those classic first person tile based dungeon crawlers. Before that I thought it was a terribly boring concept, but I've been hooked ever since, even going back and exploring many of the games I've missed out on.

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Super Rampart SNES

Normally not my type of game at all - I tend to eschew games that have too much action - give me a decent  turn based strategy game any time and I am happy .

Not even sure why I picked it up - IIRC I was at a used game store where I saw it and for some reason decided to give it a shot (as it were).  Turned out that I really liked the game.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've said this in a few places already but Super Mario Sunshine

I just never got into Super Mario 64, and the commercials and promotional stuff for Sunshine really just turned me off to it. It really didn't look like a Mario game at all from a precursory glance.

But then in my latter years of HS I finally rented it one weekend because why not? Worst case would be I'd never rent it again (and I'd also rented for the umpteenth time going Wind Waker so I could fall back o that if needed)

Holy Hell. FLUDD mechanics were fun, the world felt fleshed out and entertaining, I had loads of fun just screwing about Delfino Plaza for hours. Even the levels I felt like they had some investment instead of just being set pieces for objectives to complete. It's a shame no game (it seems like to me) has ever went back to this level of detail for each bit and instead seemed like they regressed into more SM64 style.

I own Odyssey and while it's alright, I haven't played it in months since getting my Switch, but am strongly considering picking up 35th Anniversary Collection just for Sunshine. That's how much I love the game.

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Blades of Steel - NES

 

I saw the title, no pics in a Sears (I think) catalog as a kid, and thought it was gonna be something that involves swords.  I was a huge fan of ninjas, sword n' sorcery, medieval stories, etc, so something with swords was right up my alley!  So I asked my grandma for Blades of Steel for my BDay.

Boy, was I surprised when it arrived... I grew up in the Appalachian Mountains.  We had no idea what the heck hockey was about.  But, I gave it a chance and absolutely loved it.   3 decades and some change later, I'm a huge Hockey fan, and that little mistake started it all.

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Aerobiz: Supersonic (Genesis)

I don't remember what made me try this game. I've always been interested in planes, but even still, an airline business sim seemed like a weird concept for a video game to me. But after playing with it for awhile, I was hooked. It's one of my favorite Genesis games, for sure. (The SNES one seemed a bit sluggish navigating the menus, and the graphics are nearly identical, so I prefer the Genesis one)

Final Fantasy II (SNES)

As a kid, I tried lots of RPGs at my cousin's house or the few my friends had, but I didn't really understand them, and thought they were slow and boring. Then one weekend I rented FFII and it finally clicked. Been in love with JRPGs ever since.

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3 hours ago, cj_robot said:

Final Fantasy II (SNES)

As a kid, I tried lots of RPGs at my cousin's house or the few my friends had, but I didn't really understand them, and thought they were slow and boring. Then one weekend I rented FFII and it finally clicked. Been in love with JRPGs ever since.

Same. Final Fantasy II was the game that got me into RPGs.  

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4 minutes ago, themisfit138 said:

Same. Final Fantasy II was the game that got me into RPGs.  

Funny! I just booted up FF2 last night with the intention of playing through it again for the first time in over a decade!

While my first RPG was actually Dragon Warrior (which I LOVED), I didn't really become a fan of the genre until taking a chance by renting FF2. I was immediately impressed. While I think FF3 is technically the better game, even it doesn't hold quite as much nostalgia for me as FF2 does.

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Renting video games during the late 80s early 90s would very often put you in the situation were you were stuck with a disappointing game for a few days, my brother and I rented a lot of NES games just by looking at the cover art, and as you know it was pretty hit or miss, anyways maybe because of Dick Tracy I thought the cover art of Deja Vu for the NES was cool enough so I brought it home hoping it was some sort of cool action game lol 🤦‍♂️

So I got greeted by the noir narrative and first person point and click screen, I was likely 10 or 11 years old, being that I'm not a native English speaker meant that the storyline was difficult to follow, a bit disappointed but that's the game I picked up so I kept playing, the interface was not totally unfamiliar thanks to having played Goonies II before, and things started to get interesting as there were plenty of things to pick up, secret doors, several keys that unlocked different things, an underground casino where I won some money, ride a cab to the address written in that note that was in that drawer only to get taken to an entirely new location to explore, in the end up enjoying it way more than I thought, I even went as far to ask my father (M.D.) what those medicines found in the game were for, he was kind of baffled I was asking about a barbiturate (Sodium Pentothal) among other things and had to explain those were the medicines found in the game.

It ended up being my favorite point and click game of all time, and in a way it kind of pushed me towards RPGs as I was no longer intimidated by big walls of text in English.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I never watched or played golf. To put this in perspective, in a lot of countries outside the US golf isn't a real thing - people know that it exists and that its sort of like billiard but with only one ball and the table is the size of a small country, but nothing more then that.

I tried a couple of games in the past and didn't enjoy them at all. They were far to realistic and always use all this weird terminology. And sure, you can look up all the terminology and rules but it always felt like playing a flight sim in the 90s (except that flying an airplane is something many dream doing, not golf).

But I purchased Mario Golf for the gbc and it's great! To be fair, I knew there was a chance for me liking it. I had Mario Tennis for the gbc when I was a kid and I knew it was a great game, and I understood that Mario Golf is similar (unlike golf, I actually played real tennis so it was more natural, though I think tennis games are  more accessible anyway). Still, it's the first golf game that's playable for me because the rpg style learning of it. It really allows you to learn the mechanics of it and stuff.

I would have enjoyed it more if there was no timing meter involved (if you could just calmly set the shot exactly as you want) but that's part part of any golf game so I guess most people like this mechanic.

I think what Camelot did with the handheld Mario sports titles is wonderful. These could all be set to be shitty games (sports, licensing Nintendo IP for the sake of sale promotion, "porting" n64 titles to handhelds, etc.). But Camelot just made great, original games out of them.

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On 12/12/2020 at 7:59 AM, sg17 said:

To put this in perspective, in a lot of countries outside the US golf isn't a real thing - people know that it exists and that its sort of like billiard but with only one ball and the table is the size of a small country, but nothing more then that.

Curious what country you're in?
Golf is definitely a pretty big thing in most of Europe from my perspective. At least in the northern half. We have golf courses all over the place where I live, which is pretty impressive considering how much space they take up.

Also, you guys sold me. Is Mario Golf for GBC worth tracking down, or do the newer iterations of the series do the job just as well or better?

Edited by Sumez
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6 hours ago, Sumez said:

Curious what country you're in?
Golf is definitely a pretty big thing in most of Europe from my perspective. At least in the northern half. We have golf courses all over the place where I live, which is pretty impressive considering how much space they take up.

Also, you guys sold me. Is Mario Golf for GBC worth tracking down, or do the newer iterations of the series do the job just as well or better?

Israel. I always thought that most of stuff that are popular in Europe are also popular over here (maybe not winter sports). Apparently, that was inaccurate and over-stated. 😅

I haven't played any of sequels, but from what I understand the gba one ("advance tour") should be good. Like more polished version of the original. So maybe decide by whichever system you like more. Both are not expansive (compared to other games having "Mario" in the title). I know nothing about the 3ds one.

Edited by sg17
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Member · Posted

I have a few.

Final Fantasy Adventure - I picked this up with the map and manual at the flea market from a mom that was cleaning house. $10 for the lot. I had know friends who had it and liked it, but I didn't know anything about it. I'd also never played an RPG before and I had only borrowed LoZ for the NES from friends a time or two. The game blew me away and I LOVED the concept of leveling up your player. Though technically not a Final Fantasy, this is the game that got me to pay attention to the series and was why I couldn't wait to play Final Fantasy VII when it came out since I didn't own a SNES to play the other games.

Intelligence Qube - There's a reason why it's pricey for a puzzle game. It's amazing but it must have definitely been a sleeper title. I first played it on the demo disc of my PS1 I got in 1997. I knew right away I wanted the game but... I never found it, anywhere?! It wasn't until I started collecting in 2016 that I finally hunted down and bought this game. After Tetris, this is the best puzzle game, period.

Virtual Pool 64 - I bought this new and, to be honest, I have no clue why I even did. Maybe it got a really positive Nintendo Power review and I enjoyed Lunar Pool as a kid, so maybe I got it scratch that it. Regardless, it was amazing. The N64 was perfect for the physics math and I've heard other claim that by man pool sim fans that to date, this is the best one ever made. I haven't played many but I can agree.

Katamari Damacy - My new wife heard about this one on NPR and said it sounded weird but interesting. At the time she only had a passing interest at gaming so when she took interest in a game, I bought it. (A trend that still occurs today.) Well, we all know this game is a classic. The graphics are horrible but at this point I also think everyone thinks that's part of the charm.

 

 

 

 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

I didn’t expect to love Big Time Rush: Backstage Pass on the DS. I bought it because I liked the show and band when they were around. I expected it to be pretty bad, as a lot of the DS Nickelodeon and Disney Channel games are for me. This game surprised me as I actually enjoyed tapping along to the songs. It was satisfying and hard mode is even more fun.

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^ Same but for game boy Baseball games. Something about sports games which are forced by their platform to be somewhat rudimentary is appealing to me. I find real sports to be too overcomplicated, but I can easily enjoy the simple nature of sports on a few buttons.

The most notable one for me has to be Lost Planet 2. It's one of my all-time favorite games, but when I first saw it was coming out, I knew nothing about it except that it was the sequel to Lost Planet Extreme Condition, which none of my friends had anything really great to say about. I went and downloaded the demo for LP2, having never played the first game, thinking "Hey, how bad can it be? It's just a free demo". I ended up playing that demo numerous times, and have a long long playtime count on the final release across two platforms. It really wowed my friends that played the first game the most however. They were like "wow, this one is such a big improvement!"

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I decided a few days ago to try out Sonic Forces on the Switch after I got the game for Christmas. I’m pleasantly surprised at how fun and addicting it is. I love how you can customize your own character.

Also, I just bought Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams - Owltimate Edition for the Switch today. I got it on clearance at Walmart, so I wasn’t expecting much. I played it a bit and I really enjoy switching between the dream and nightmare worlds.

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