I want to like this game, but…

Have you ever played a game that you wanted to like — like you really, really, really wanted to be a fan — but there’s just something about it that you don’t enjoy? This has happened many, many times to me in the past. Sometimes I just build up the hype for a new game in my mind and once I start playing it I realize I was totally wrong about it.

Sure, there are some games that are just bad. Some games are poorly made. There are also games that you hear great things about. You even watch gameplay videos and get hyped, but once you actually pick it up you realize it’s not for you. There are tons of factors that can pull me out of a game. The story, the controls, mechanics, bugs and general brokenness. I may just suck at it and get frustrated (games like Bloodborne and other Soulsborne games come to mind).

I chose four games. Four games of different genres, gameplay and size to include in this argument. I didn’t want to choose some games that are exactly the same and realize, Oh, I guess I just don’t like (genre) of games.

Child of Light (Nintendo Switch)

Child of Light (Nintendo Switch)

I bought this game during an eShop sale. I heard great things and I was really digging the artwork and overall look of the game. I enjoyed the story, writing and the rhyming/poetry of the game. The controls felt good while exploring the world. There was one thing, a big thing, that took me out of the game though — the combat.

While the combat system is very cool and unique. I learned it just wasn’t for me. Maybe I’m just not very good at it? After ignoring RPGs for years I’ve been wanting to give more of them a chance. I’ve recently enjoyed some turn-based strategy RPGs like Mario+Rabbids and Steamworld Heist.

When I first started Child of Light I was excited for this new type of combat system. After a while I found myself trying to fly over enemies to avoid combat altogether (even though combat may be the only way to level up). The battles started off so simple, at first. Maybe I didn’t have the attention span for it? I may give it another try one day, starting from the beginning and paying more attention along the way.

Bayonetta (Nintendo Switch)

Bayonetta (Nintendo Switch)

After enjoying most of Bayonetta, I got bored and ended up turning down the difficulty for the last few missions. I’m normally a huge fan of hack and slash games and have been for some time. I loved God of War III, Diablo III and most recently Hades (although it’s a different type of game the combat is still hack and slash).

Bayonetta 3 was announced over 3 years ago, and that got me excited to try out the first two (that and my co-worker talking about how awesome the Bayonetta games were). I purchased Bayonetta 2 for Switch (which came with a digital version of part 1). I haven’t even downloaded Bayonetta 2 to my Switch yet, but I’m sure I will once they give Bayonetta 3 a firm release date. I hope I enjoy part 2 more.

Although there were some things I enjoyed about Bayonetta (the story, the exaggerated characters, the fighting) there were still many things that turned me off (the dark design, wonky camera controls). It also got a bit repetitive and by the end I just wanted it to be over. It’s a fairly old game, but something just didn’t feel right to me.


Borderlands 3 (PS4)

I played and restarted Borderlands 2 a few times since it was released. I first started on PC. Later, when the handsome collection was released I picked that up on a black friday deal. I gave it another try on PS4 with my buddy. I leveled up pretty far, but he was always way ahead of me. Any time we tried to play together it was embarrassing. I was too low level to be playing with him.

When Borderlands 3 was about to release that same friend was very excited. I was a fan of Borderlands 2 but always thought, this game feels old. I wish they would update it.

I thought Borderlands 3 was going to be that update, but it was a small upgrade at best. They added some new mechanics that many FPS games have today, but it still wasn’t enough. Borderlands 3 was released about 7 years after Borderlands 2, but it doesn’t feel like that. The writing got dumber (maybe it stayed the same, but the world was now a bit smarter?). I really enjoyed the story of Borderlands 2, even the side stories and the characters.

When it came to Borderlands 3 I just didn’t care. I paid for the Super Deluxe Edition, so I felt like I had to continue my journey. I have many other problems with this game. The boss fights are way too long and hard. Why do they have so much HP? There are way too many guns and weapons in this game. I know it’s called a Looter Shooter, but there’s way too much loot everywhere. If there’s going to be that much to pick up in the world, including the same guns but at different levels, I should have a bigger bag of holding.

I will finish the main story one day, and possibly some side missions, but I do not care for it. And if there’s a Borderlands 4 at some point, I will definitely hold off on buying it.


Spelunky (PS4)

I’ve given this game many tries, although I still don’t understand the point? Spelunky is a randomly-generated platformer that makes you start over with each death. It is brutally cute though, because the art itself is cute but the gameplay is insanely hard. I don’t think I’ve ever made it past a second cave.

This game is over 10 years old, and I’ve given it many tries the past few years. I have it on my PS4 and haven’t deleted it because I’ve heard that so many people truly love it, and I feel like I should too. Spelunky reminds me of some of my favorite indie games (Super Meatboy, The Binding of Isaac, Crypt of the Necrodancer). 

When Spelunky 2 came out and I read some reviews I decided to give part one another try. And now every few weeks I try it again, but get frustrated with dying on my first or second run. I really want to like this game. Maybe, I just want to understand the game and what it’s about.


There are plenty of other games I’ve tried out for a little while and given up on for multiple reasons. Luckily, I have a friend who buys every new Nintendo Switch game (physically). I’m able to trade with him for games I’m not sure if I will like. I actually enjoy most of them, but I have given up because I don’t have time for them.

What are some games you want to love but don’t? Games you want to try but don’t think you’ll enjoy them?

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