Weekend Hot Topic, part 1: Video games you were completely wrong about | Gaming
GameCentral readers discuss games that turned out to be very different to what they expected, from Skyrim to Pokémon.
The subject for this week’s Hot Topic was suggested by reader Puro, who asked what game did you have completely the wrong idea about until you played it properly? Is there a game you assumed you wouldn’t like, which on further investigation you found was totally different to what you imagined?
A lot of people seemed to have had that experience, either because they went in blind, were fooled by deceptive marketing, or just got the wrong idea in general. Dark Souls came up a lot but so too did recent games like Resident Evil 7 and God Of War.
Best of both worlds
I think Resident Evil 7 fits the bill for this for me. As a fan of the series I was going to get it anyway, so I didn’t read any reviews and tried to avoid spoilers. But the impression I got was that this was going to be a serious survival horror, with not much action, and none of the familiar tropes. I was a bit worried at this prospect but enjoyed the demos, which only reinforced this opinion, and was determined to give it a proper go.
So imagine my surprise when within a few hours it’d transformed into a proper Resident Evil game, complete with magic inventory boxes, weird locks and puzzles, cheesy dialogue, and mountains of shlock. And I loved it!
I thought it was a great reinvention of the series that managed to get the balance between old and new just perfect. It could’ve done with a few more monsters, and the mine area was the worst bit, but overall I was surprised not only at what it was like but how much I enjoyed it!
Not as described
The obvious answer here is God Of War, and not just because it’s recent. For some reason Sony actively pretended it wasn’t an open world game and not a Metroidvania, and although it’s not a traditional version of either of those things (which is great in itself) that’s definitely what it is.
I was surprised by this when I played it, but this added to the enjoyment because not only was it a great game but it wasn’t what I was expecting. I’d almost thought that impossible in this day of endless leaks but Sony barely ever talking about it before release really did the trick.
Although I’m still curious as to why exactly it was all kept a secret. It seemed to be mostly the director’s idea, as if he was worried that people wouldn’t think it was open world enough. I mean, it’s not a big world but there’s a lot in it and I enjoyed exploring it a lot more than many other bigger games.
These days, with all the previews, trailers, and other videos released before a game is out I often have a good idea of what a game will be like before I play it and my idea is usually accurate. This can be a good thing, in that I know beforehand whether I will like a game or not, but can also be a bad thing as it means there is a lack of surprise. So to think of a game which wasn’t as I expected for this Hot Topic was quite difficult.
I did eventually remember Guacamelee though. The game had reviewed well and I was playing a lot of PS Vita so I picked it up expecting a good platformer game, which it is, but it is also so much more. I didn’t know it was also going to be a Metroidvania style game and was one of the best I have played. It was lots of fun to pick up new abilities and then go back to tackle new enemies and reach new areas. Needless to say I can’t wait for the sequel.
Now playing: Bloodstained: Curse Of The Moon (PC)
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Not just for kids
I think this is a fairly common thing, but Pokémon is not at all the kind of game I thought it was. After playing Pokémon GO and knowing it was a game originally aimed at children I was expecting something simple but charming, in the usual Nintendo style. But it’s actually a pretty hardcore role-playing game, except without much of a story, and level-grinding that you actually want to do.
I’m still not sure it’s really for me, but after buying Pokémon Ultra Sun I came away very impressed by what it was, and began to understand why the franchise has lasted this long.
I remember GC saying in one of the reviews that the games are more complicated than most games aimed at adults and its kind of true. I certainly can’t think of any adult-orientated equivalents, except just general Japanese role-players, and that seems surprising really.
My first role-player
Skyrim was the first role-playing game I played properly and I’ve got to say it was not what I was expecting at all. At that time I just dismissed any role-playing game on principle because I just thought of them as being boring and spoddy with tons of stats. I guess I’d seen a lot of PlayStation 2 role-players and hadn’t liked the look of them.
But Skyrim was basically an action game, with just extra stuff on the side. I’m not surprised it’s still being played by millions of people because it is amazingly addictive and still has one of the best game worlds I’ve ever had the pleasure of exploring.
Since then I’ve played a lot more role-players, including Fallout, obviously, and Mass Effect. I’ve still never really got into a Japanese one but they seem to be very different to a Western style ‘action’ role-playing game. Surprisingly I didn’t really like The Witcher 3 that much though. That was kind of the reverse where I was expecting something like Skyrim and just found it all a bit boring and too spread out. Super hyped for Cyberpunk 2077 though.
I get the impression these are supposed to be mostly positive examples but the one that springs to mind is Destiny. From all the hype build up from before it came out I was expecting some epic open world sci-fi adventure where you could go anywhere and do anything. I knew it wasn’t a role-playing game but I did think there was some exploration in it. So imagine my disappointment when I start playing it and find out it’s just a shooter and that’s all you can do.
Sure there’s an open world, a few of them actually, but there’s noting in them except for the same small number of enemies and endless, endless shooting.
I also assumed (and yes, I realise that means it’s probably my fault) that the game would have some meaty storytelling, considering Bungie were known for their intricate backstories in Halo. So imagine my surprise again when it didn’t have a story! I gave up after a week and have never gone back, and nothing I’ve read or seen about Destiny 2 makes me think that was the wrong decision.
Gotta avoid fast
Before I played Sonic The Hedgehog I thought it would be about dodging cars on the road
What a pleasant surprise!
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I’m gonna guess the Dark Souls games are going to be the most popular for this Hot Topic, just because I think they get so hyped up in terms of difficulty people get the wrong idea about them if they haven’t played one before.
I remember getting the first one on cheap and giving it a try, and the beginning was actually 100% what I was expecting: impossibly hard to the point where the game seemed to be laughing at me because it knew I couldn’t beat it.
I tried it on an off a few times though and eventually I started to understand what it was about and how it expected you to play it. Within a few days I’d kind of got the hang of it and realised it wasn’t trying to punish you it was trying to teach you. It is a hard game but it’s also a fair one (more or less). You’ve just got to change how you play games normally and that’s why it seems to be completely ridiculous when you start.
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