Games that I have been completely wrong about: Part 1: Positive Edition

With a magnitude of resources available to consumers to research products before purchase, it is rare for us to ever go into a new product without knowing a great deal of what we are buying into. This is even more true for someone such as myself who does more research on the topic of figuring out which games I am interested in than my senior thesis paper. With such exposure rarely does a game come that I am completely wrong about. Here is a short list of a few games that I was wrong in having less then stellar expectations for them only to be pleasantly surprised.

Yeah...I know.

Portal 2

Before you go “Really?” and close your browser’s tab let me explain myself. I was a sophomore in college when the original Portal came out as a part of the Orange Box and with only an 8:30 AM class that day I decided to try and tackle all the new games in the collection. I started with a short marathon of Episode Two managing to beat the game before my roommate ever awoke. Before tackling Portal I wanted to sample Team Fortress 2 (which as of yesterday is Free to Play if you have yet to check it out) for an hour or so which turned into about three hours that were only interrupted by my gurgling stomach. I emerged from my room to go to the dining hall with a friend who had also been playing the Orange Box and was on the verge of beating Portal. We shared our initial impressions of TF2 and the other games and returned to our rooms with haste so I could begin Portal, the last game for me to conquer in the Orange Box after a long day. At first I thought Portal was great and thought Glados’s lacerating quips were a refreshing change in video games that I had always wanted to see. It wasn’t until I reached that last third of the game that my suite mate had finished playing and came into my room to watch over my back and yell out solutions to puzzles when I failed to nail them on my first try. Being constantly berated by him along with a desire to just see the end of the game really ruined the entire experience and left me not wanting to play another Portal game ever again. Yet with the amazing critical reception Portal 2 received I decided to give it a try and boy was I glad that I did. With no annoying suite mate over my shoulder I was left alone to witness some of the best writing and one of the most memorable endings in anything ever. Here’s to you Portal 2, I was wrong.

Much better than Oblivion.

Fallout 3

In one of my earlier, poorly written blog posts this was one of my anticipated fall release games. Even though I was anticipating the game I was still extremely skeptical since I had bought all the hype surrounding Oblivion (see: Skyrim) and could not get into the game no matter how hard I tried. Still the universe was intriguing enough for me to try out the game and I don’t know if it was the idea of traversing a wasteland where bottlecaps were the currency that kept me hooked or just the fact that guns are more enthralling than a clunky fantasy-based battle system, but I was obsessed. I would drive back to my house in a trip that took over thirty minutes just so I could play in the two hours that were in-between my next class, that’s how much I loved Fallout 3. I never did get any of the DLC’s but two years later I’m enjoying New Vegas which inherits all of its foundations from this gaming classic. Hopefully I won’t have to include Skyrim in my negative edition of this post as I think it looks absolutely incredible.

Best mech game this gen no doubt.

Armored Core 4

I think I had some birthday money or something because I remember rolling up to Gamestop and buying this along with Tony Hawk Project 9 and Call of Duty 3 (which both turned out to be absolutely awful) even though I had never played an Armored Core title in my life outside of a Playstation demo. When I got home I saw that the game was bombing critically but the guy at the store (Steve) had assured me that game was “sick and the robots were really sweet”, and he wouldn’t lead me wrong right? It turns out Steve was right as once I picked up the game I couldn’t put it down and to this day I listen to the Armored Core soundtrack. You might not believe me but take my word and make a 10$ gamble and pick up Armored Core: For Answer to try it for yourself. The game itself is complex with each of the Mechs being widely customizable and filled with action akin to what you would find in Zone of the Enders 2. If that doesn’t make you want to try it then listen to one of the many excellent songs from the game’s soundtrack:

 

Don’t worry my more cynical readers, my next post will be a bit more negative as I share experiences covering the other side of the coin.

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~ by spruchy on June 25, 2011.

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