Video games you thought you would hate, but proved to have surprising staying power

The flip side of games you couldn’t like, what games did you try (or watch your friends play) that you thought would be awful, but you have since bought your own copy because you either liked it or couldn’t stop playing?

For me, it was definitely the Dynasty Warriors series. I had played the first gen fighting game, so I expected more of the same when I rented it from Blockbuster. But the simple controls, the in-game overhead map, and the tongue-in-cheek silliness made the game enjoyable despite the terrible dubbing and the occasionally dull gameplay.

And less on the “this is fun” and more on the “oh God I need an intervention” scale are the Nippon Ichi games. There’s just something about the way that game is structured that makes me want to grind for hours on end. Phantom Brave is especially insidious since I can make superweapons very early in the game by clever application of titles and fusion. I’m actually seriously considering fighting the last optional boss in that game, a level 6000 robot prinny with stats so high it’s not even funny.

Ah man, the Dynasty Warriors series is fanstastic.

As for games I thought I would hate. One was Masters of Orion II. I never really enjoyed that sort of game, and didn’t understand it at all when I first played it, but it quickly became fun when I was trying to optimize my race (by making a custom race), my research path, my building order, etc.

Not so much expecting to hate it as bracing to hate it, but Final Fantasy XII.

There was a demo packaged with Dragon Quest VIII (Damn good game, btw).

But the demo, and the instruction pamphlet for it, did a lousy job of demonstrating how the combat system actually worked.

I can’t remember if it let you set gambits, but I do remember being dropped, with only minimal and unclear explanation of the system, in a dungeon full of Bombs and other rather painful enemies. I hated it. Thought it was frustrating and far too twitchy.

I still played the full game, reasoning that the actual game wouldn’t drop you in a high-level dungeon with no instructions, and you’d get used to it through easy areas. Luckily, I was right, and I really enjoyed the game.

See, I got Dynasty Warriors for the 360 expecting something like their spiritual predecessors, the Romance of the Three Kingdoms games. I was extremely disappointed. I want them to come out with a new game of that title in English on the 360 and I want it now.

Wii Sports. It came with the console and I wasn’t expecting much from it, but it is a lot of fun to play with my daughter.

My wife and are are currently playing The Hobbit on the Gamecube. We were worried it would suck, but it’s actually been pretty fun.

Halo 3. As someone that had played all of the major PC FPS games, and neither of the Halos, I came in with a bit of prejudice against the king of the console FPS. It’s far from the best FPS I’ve played, but the one thing it does better than any PC FPS is co-operative play. Between this, and the ability to play split screen and online at the same time, I must have played through the campaign five or six times, beating each difficulty, getting all the skulls, and using the skull multipliers to get the high score achievements.

The AI is amazing, and something I didn’t appreciate until I played it on the harder difficulties. It really is a completely different game on Heroic and Legendary. I didn’t realise until I had read this article that there is no spawning and no triggers. Everything that happens in the level loads with the level. If your ally radios you to say he’s in combat, you can zoom right out in theatre mode and see that he is actually in combat in a far off part of the level you haven’t yet reached.

It’s not without its faults. The guns feel like toys, the story is juvenile even for a video game, and that damned flood level where they discard their good AI and just throw mindless drones at you in boring samey intestinal corridors. Still, I didn’t expect to play it near as much as I did, and I still haven’t played it online competitively. It’s almost enough to make me want to play through the previous versions. Almost.

Command and Conquer Renegade. The single player missions are pretty fun for the first few levels and I play them over and over. I love taking on the whole freighter with a pistol. Apparently I am the only person in the world who loves this game.

Rock Band. The guitars look sort of silly, I wanted it for the drums. But the whole package costs like $160 and I’m a cheap bastard. So I shopped for it peice by peice on eBay. Found the game disc for $15, found the drums for about $40 shipped, brand new. Also ordered a USB mic for vocals. The game and the mic came, drums aren’t arriving until sometime this week.

In the meantime, I tried out the vocals and it’s actually really fun. The Easy level is pretty forgiving, plus the first 2 songs are Ramones “Blitzkreig Bop” and Nirvana “In Bloom”, both of those are fun to sing along with. I’m no singer but so far I’ve done all but the bonus songs on Easy level and nw I’m starting on Medium level.

Gladius I had actually rented the game years ago and played it for about 10 minutes until I got bored with the turned based gladiatorial hack and slash. My roommate rented it two weeks ago and since both of our girlfriends like it (it can be 4 player co-op) its now an absolute hit here. After paying the $15 rental charge plus late fees we went and picked up a used copy for $7.

Lego Star Wars. I bought it for my son, and find myself playing it in between his visits. Or I did until this weekends dreaded red ring of death. :mad:

Guitar Hero was a hundred thousand times more fun than I expected it to be.

I came in here to say the same thing, except mine is Guitar Hero 3.
EVerybody kept saying how addictive it was but it just seemed so… silly.
I have it for 3 weeks now and have been playing it almost daily.
Now I am waiting for my copy of Guitar Hero 2 so I have some more different songs.
I am hoping they will be releasing extension packs shortly.

I was thinking that no such games existed for me, since I buy about four games a year and therefore only buy games that I think I’ll really enjoy. But then I saw the post about Wii Sports, which I played at my brother’s house and loved. And then I remembered Orange Box, which I bought for HL2 and expansions and Portal; I only played Team Fortress2 once I’d finished the others. And I’ve played TF2 almost every night since the first night I started.


I’ll probably be the only one to say this, but Halo. I’m not very big on first person shooters. Half Life didn’t impress me at all, and this one looked to be more of the same. I finally got it about two months ago with some credit I had at Gamestop. That game impressed the hell out of me. Tight controls. An actual story, with characters and everything.