5 Games I Gave Up On – A list of shame

I’m not a quitter, I promise.  I’m not a completionist either, though.  It’s very rare for me to finish a game and then go back to find all the hidden collectibles (although there are a few exceptions if I’ve really enjoyed a game, such as Inside).  But pretty much any game I start, I will play through to the bitter end.  In story driven games I like to see the conclusion, no matter how silly the plot it.  In arcade games I like to have completed every level so I’ve seen all there was to see.  But sometimes it’s just not worth it.  Maybe the story is just that bad, or the mechanics too awkward, or perhaps even it’s too difficult (the shame!) for me to finish.  This list is dedicated to those games.

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I’m not including games that are impossible to beat due to terrible programming, like this nonsense!

I can’t remember every game I’ve ever given up on, but these are some that spring to mind.  Who knows, maybe I’ll go back to them someday.  Perhaps you, dear reader, might even convince me that going back is worth it!  See what you think.

Flashback

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I think this was my first PC game I actually owned.  I’d played a lot of games on our BBC over the years, but we eventually got a ‘proper’ computer.  A 486 with 4MB of RAM, which seemed like a lot at the time.  For Christmas, my sister and I were given a game each.  She received X-Wing, which was utterly brilliant.  I was given Flashback, which I enjoyed a great deal…well the first level at least.

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Pretty ugly by today’s standards, but the animation was really something for the time.

 Being as this was the early 90s, gamepads for the PC were not all  that common, or cheap for that matter, and playing this on a keyboard was hard.  I eventually got through the first level, which I enjoyed, but I simply couldn’t get through the second.  There was a jump near the start that needed good timing to make, but playing on a keyboard made it near impossible.  Of course, playing it at the time, I assumed the jump was impossible, and went around looking for another route.  Remember, this was before YouTube and online guides so I had nothing to tell me otherwise.  So I gave up on finishing it, or ever getting past the second stage.  I played the first one quite a lot as it was good fun.  The animation looked really good after coming from a BBC, the shooting was satisfying and the environments were detailed for the time.  I think there’s an iPhone version of this, but I can’t imagine playing on a touch screen is any better.  This is one forever consigned to the pile of shame.

Our Darker Purpose

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So The Binding of Isaac is pretty great.  A tough rogue-lite game with tons of variety and a really dark sense of humour and story.  I enjoyed the original, and I enjoyed the Rebirth re-release a great deal.  Before the re-release though, I was looking around the Steam store for anything that took my fancy and came across Our Darker Purpose.  It seemed similar but with a distinct enough art-style and setting to set it apart.  Being sensible, I waited for a Steam sale and picked it up.  I put 2 hours into it before giving up.

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Different colours to denote more powerful versions of an enemy?!  How novel!

It’s almost the exact same game.  The controls are the same (bar a roll button), the map is laid out in a similar way, enemies are the same but with a different look.  Your “tears” even curve in the same way!  This might as well be a reskin.  Some minor difference include selecting a power up at the start of the game, as well as unlocking selectable “perks”.  You can also choose a modifier for the next floor (stronger enemies, higher speed etc.) which was a nice feature.  But that’s it, everything else is pretty much a carbon copy.  This is one I don’t think I’ll ever go back to finish.  Why bother when Isaac is so much better?

Final Fantasy X-2

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This is not a hugely popular opinion, but I quite liked Final Fantasy X (I recently listened to Simon Miller of VideoGamer.com deride it with the sentence “Your dad is a fish” which made me laugh).  I remember having to wait until after my exams before going out to buy it as I knew I wouldn’t have a hope in them if I let myself play it.  I even enjoyed its bonkers story, silly characters, and to an extent the weird “Sphere Grid” levelling system.  What I did not enjoy was the follow up.

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Final Fantasy meets Charlie’s Angels.

The whole thing was a huge shift from FFX.  The battles, the levelling, even the characters seemed to be completely different people.  Yuna had gone from priestess to pop-star for some reason, Payne was a new character who appeared from nowhere (she may have been explained later, but I never found out), and the outfits seemed even skimpier and sillier than before.  Rather than having a party to work with, you would change the characters outfits mid battle to suit the situation.  This seemed like an interesting idea but I felt as though I was missing out on party and character development.  The thing is, I reckon this was probably a rather good game, but because I was looking for a follow up to FFX I just couldn’t get into it.  I consider this a lesson in not going too far with changes when you create a sequel.  Change is fine, but going too far risks alienating the people who enjoyed your previous creation.  Anyway, this was returned to the store the next day.  With the recent HD re-release of FFX and FFX-2 though, I might consider going back to this one one day.

State of Decay

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Zombie games are ten-a-penny these days.  Whatever type of gamer you are, there’s almost certainly a zombie game in your genre of choice.  Zombie survival games are probably the most common type of these.  Most aren’t great though, really just aping the Minecraft mold of punch a tree to get the wood to build the house to make a crafting station…etc.  State of Decay seemed different.  In fact it is different.  An open world zombie survival game based on helping survivors to build a base and survive through raiding the local area for supplies and equipment.  The idea is great, but I didn’t enjoy it.

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I spent a lot of time running away from zombies.  I’m sure there must be more to the game than this.

I played this on PC, using a controller (I tend to prefer a controller for third person games), but I found the controls to be sluggish and unresponsive.  Aiming was awkward and driving felt more difficult than it really should have been.  I love the idea of running a survivor outpost and scavenging for supplies, but a lot of the games mechanics felt hidden, or poorly explained.  I should say, that when I went back into this to take some screenshots, I did find myself enjoying it and played it for a bit longer than I expected, so it’s possible I might go back to this sometime, even though I’m not sure if there’s an actual ending or not.

Braid

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Don’t hate me for this one!  I know the law states that if you’re a gamer then you must like Braid and sing its praises.  I tried to like it, I really did.  I picked this up many years ago, not long after the craze surrounding it died down.  I’d heard all these wonderful things about how great the game was, how there’s so much depth and that the story is brilliant.  So I put aside my dislike of puzzle platformers and bought the game.

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It’s a gorgeous game, it really is.

How foolish I was.  I still didn’t like puzzle platformers enough to enjoy this one.  It looks beautiful, it controls really well, the story is well told (at least, it was for the first couple of worlds), and the time powers were interesting.  But it wasn’t enough for me to want to faff about with puzzling through the levels.  I’ve since read up on the story and I think I enjoyed reading about it more than playing it.  I don’t like puzzle platformers.  I DON’T!  Except for Limbo and Inside…

A few others of note: Knight of the Old Republic which i played a very very long time after release and found very clunky by today’s standards.  Pineview Drive for just using the same mechanic over and over again.  Dust was utterly beautiful, but I stopped playing for  little while and forgot what I was meant to be doing and never went back.  There are a lot of others too!

What games have you given up on?  Any that you regret?  Do you think I should go back to any of these in the future?  Let me know!

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20 thoughts on “5 Games I Gave Up On – A list of shame”

  1. I’ve given up on some old games back in the SNES and N64 days back when I would sometimes receive games as gifts but not actually want them. Some of these games were Bebe’s Kids and Hexen. Bebe’s Kids is a horrible game, and I wasn’t a fan of first-person shooters like Hexen, so I do not regret giving up on them. Final Fantasy X-2 is a game that I almost gave up on but then replayed for PS3 and ended up thinking it was okay. I love Braid and puzzle platformers (including Limbo), but I can see cause for dislike if you’re not a fan of that genre.

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  2. Other than truly broken games, I have always forced myself to go back and complete games no matter how much they were pissing me off.

    Fallout 2 I completed the other week, after trying 3-4 times over the last 18 years.

    Mega Man 1 took me 24 years to beat….

    Other than that. Far Cry 2 is the only game I have played and turned off because I just didn’t give a shit and hated it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Far Cry 2 was probably my favourite one as it happens!
      It’s rare that I do give up entirely, I’ll normally try to finish at least the main story. I tend to give up if I’m just not enjoying it or find it a chore. Good on you for powering through over that length of time though!

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  3. I have a low tolerance for frustrating levels so my list of games I gave up on would be huge. Don’t feel bad about Robocop. Most games from the C64 era were hard (whether they were impossible to finish or not.) Flashback was challenging. I didn’t even finish the demo lol. I have finished FF X-2 though.

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  4. Does not finishing/leaving them midway for years because you got distracted/procrastinated count? Because if so my list is a mile long xD; I still do want to finish them, I swear!
    Nowadays most of the games I do finish are visual novels, because they don’t tend to have frustrating levels or grinding moments to defeat a boss, so they feel good to experience….when I’m actually not procrastinating :’D
    I’ve never been able to defeat FF8 in my life, and I do want to fix it, but I’ve only ever reached the final disc and got obliterated when I was younger, I think I have a trauma over it really. Just thinking of it makes me remind all the suffering ;-;
    If giving up a game because you get too scared/frightened counts then Resident Evil 1 and 3, and Silent Hill, I’ll never touch horror games of that kind ever again xD;;;;
    RN I’m trying to finish Persona 3 Portable, which I’ve tried for years, but this time thanks to a guide I’m actually close to finishing it, hurray for guides! ヽ(^Д^)ノ

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    1. It’s not giving up if you really do intend to go back to them someday. You always know deep down if that’s really true or not though :-p.

      Visual novels are really good for that finishing, I’m finding that my DS is actually getting used because of that!

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      1. Really? Well…I think so but…maybe not all? I don’t know…IT’S HARD OKAY, I do wanna, so wanting is half the work right??’ :’D
        VN’s soothe the soul ٩(●ᴗ●)۶
        Oh yeah, DS has a lot of good ones! Which ones are you playing? :0

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m on 999 at the moment. I want to go through Virtue’s Last Reward and Zero Time Dilemma too. I recently did Danganronpa on PC too, managed to do a blog about it too. Are you on How Long To Beat? It’s a good site for keeping track of what you’re playing and what you want to go back to!

        Like

      3. Oooh, nice picks! 999 and VLR are real good ones, and I want to play ZTD real bad <33
        Dangaronpa is SO GOOD HNNG, 1 and 2 are so great!
        I'm on most tracking websites, because I love doing it xD;;; So i'm on How long to beat, Grouvee, Gamefaqs, Backloggery…xDDD

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I have a bad habit of starting games and not finishing them for awhile, though I do try to always go back and complete them! One game I definitely gave up on was Trauma Center: Second Opinion for the Wii. I got to the very last level and it was SO ANNOYING and unfair, it just pissed me off and I haven’t touched the game in years. It still nags me every once and awhile and I feel like I should try it again, but I don’t know if it’s worth the frustration haha! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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