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Leviathyn Forum: The Games We’ve Passed By
Have you ever completely passed over a game, thinking it wouldn’t be your type of game, only to play it after it launched and discover it was incredible? It’s happened to me plenty of time, but I thought I’d ask my fellow members of the Leviathyn staff if this has ever happened to them. Here are the responses, and some of them are quite surprising…
(Better start with myself.)
I read up on Catherine a lot during its development. I remember thinking how strange I thought it would be and how it wouldn’t interest me in the least. Block climbing? A love triangle? Huh?
Admittedly the art style was awesome, and this was Persona Team after all, so I decided to give Catherine a shot and see if she was worthy of my affections…
…and if it wasn’t for Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Catherine would have been my persona Game of the Year for 2011.
I couldn’t believe how interesting and challenging it was. The puzzles are tough, resulting in many hours of lost sleep (counting sheep?). The characters are all interesting, and the story is captivating. The soundtrack is diving (classical remixes forever!), and the art style, as I already knew, is simply fantastic. Everything about Catherine destroyed my expectations and blew me away. It’s a hell of a game if you haven’t played it yet.
I originally had no intention of picking up Civilization 5 when it came out. I wasn’t too big on how intense the micro management was in the past games in the series but I was a fan of how simple they were able to get Civilization Revolution on the consoles. That was leaning on the very casual to me but I was happy to see that the team made an accessible game. When I heard from a friend that he was angry that Civ5 turned out to be a mash up of Civ 4 and CivRev, I bought it instantly. Needless to say, I’ve played many hours into Civ5 and continue to do so. The simplistic instruction and outlook to the game really made it easy for more of my friends to get into. Still, it is a Civ game to the core and doesn’t sacrifice so much like CivRev did. My group of friends still whip out a few hours in a multiplayer game as my Japanese civilization strives for world dominance.
Borderlands. When it first came out, I saw it and thought it looked like garbage. Just another mindless shooter where there was seemingly no story or engagement whatsoever. And that art style…ugh.
I finally broke down and purchased a copy when I bought my new 360. I mean, I already had a decent library of games my brother and I shared when we were both on the same system, but when you buy a new console, you gotta buy a new game. At least, that’s what I figured.
So, when I was standing in Wal Mart at 9 pm after I had just gotten off work and the bleary-eyed kid was unlocking the case and getting my 250GB out, I looked at the games to see if there were any bargains. There weren’t. Just a handful of really old games that I had either already played or had no desire to ever open.
Then I saw Borderlands. It was 20 bucks, and I figured it was the only thing on this shelf that looked halfway decent.
And it turned out to be more than that. Borderlands is my easy gaming; sure, it’s not a story-driven game like Uncharted, but it’s still fun. The guns are well varied, the loot is plentiful, the enemy types are interesting, and there’s an overall quirky, yet gritty feel to it that I absolutely adore. I even grew to love the art style, and feel like it only adds to the game’s overall personality. It’s such a weird game experience for me; when I play it, I usually mute the TV and listen to podcasts, just wandering Pandora and shooting whatever moves. I was kind of surprised that I enjoyed it as much as I did, and it’s definitely humbled me as a gamer and taught me to never judge a game until you’ve taken the time to understand it and experience it for yourself.
I think I would have to say Skyrim. When I knew it was coming I was like, “yay another stupid Elder Scrolls game. By the way I HATED Oblivion. Then in this last April I was in my dorm room and I thought what the hell, I’m bored, I’ll go borrow it from a friend. Now I have no idea why I thought that way. I love Skyrim. I haven’t gone back to try Oblivion yet but I have put 70 hours into Skyrim. Now I can’t write anything off before I play it. I have to at least give them a chance. Skyrim totally took me by surprise.
I eventually pre-ordered the limited edition mainly because of the demo from E3 2009. Those six minutes of gameplay made me a believer in Remedy. Two years after its release, I still play, and enjoy, Alan Wake. Ever since I picked up my copy of Alan Wake, I’ve had nothing but fun with it. Everything about it was so fitting: the atmosphere, the soundtrack (oh my GOD, the soundtrack), and the one thing that really sucked me into the experience, the story-telling mechanic. We have a seemingly omniscient narrator in Alan Wake, while what we play seemed to have happened in the past, and the game is broken up into “episodes,” making the game seem like a television show. After all was said and done, Alan Wake impacted me like no other game has; it makes you think about it when you start, while playing, and even after you finish. After you finish playing Alan Wake, it leaves you wanting more of its interactive storytelling ways. Everyone and anyone who owns a 360 or a PC should do themselves a favor and buy Alan Wake. It’s a journey you soon won’t forget.
Surprisingly, the game that I skipped on launch was World of Warcraft. I’d been more interested in the Starcraft Universe and while I’d played and enjoyed the Warcraft RTS Games, for some reason WoW didn’t grab me. Then, towards the end of Vanilla, my friends started playing, and one girl dragged me into it, and I’ve been hooked ever since. Warlocks all the way!!!