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The greatest games you never played
December 4th 2002, 17:09 CET by m0nty

Various comments in recent PC threads have got me to thinking. How many of the games you bought, full price with your own hard-earned cash, did you play for less than an hour and then discard, never to be picked up again?

I'm not talking here about games that you played for 20 or 30 hours, then got sick of it or found it too hard. I'm thinking about the ones which you played for an hour or two, then just couldn't be bothered trying to continue. I hope that this thread will produce lists of games people didn't get enough out of, so that devotees of some of those games can encourage them to return to their discarded titles to see what they missed.

As an example, I'll tell you my buying failures. I never got into Rainbow 6. Gothic turned me off, mainly because of that annoying guy who kept talking at me all the time. Sim City 3000 didn't interest me as much as I thought it would. I bought Startopia hoping it would be a cooler version of the Impression Games City-Building series I like so much, but I just couldn't get my teeth into it. Madden NFL 2000 was too confusing, although that's probably because NFL itself is confusing. I had hoped Cutthroats would deliver gameplay reminiscent of Pirates!, but I was disappointed. Cydonia left me cold. On the PS1, Syphon Filter 2 didn't hold my interest longer than about an hour before I got sick of it.

All of these titles are gathering dust in my CD rack, while other long-players like Civ3 get taken out again and again. Did I waste US$500 on the above-mentioned crap for nothing, or was there something I was missing that I could find if I revisited them? What games did you buy and not play? If you can't get into a game, do you return the game to your retailer in exchange for another one, or just leave it in the cupboard like I do? How do you get rid of that annoying Gothic guy, anyway?
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#1 by Matthew Gallant
2002-12-04 17:15:29
http://www.truemeaningoflife.com
Morrowind. Though it was more like three hours.

"Is the internet making people less intelligent?"
"You mean like how video cameras cause thrown objects to hit men in the crotch?"
#2 by "mrbloo"
2002-12-04 17:16:06
mrbloo2000@hotmail.com
It happened me with Combat Mission.  It actively annoyed me for an hour before I threw it away swearing.  Then I had to put up with my flatmate raving about it for weeks.
#3 by m0nty
2002-12-04 17:16:18
http://tinfinger.blogspot.com
I haven't finished Morrowind, but I got a good 40-50 hours at least out of that sucker, which I consider money well spent. Did you play Gothic, MattG?
#4 by jjz
2002-12-04 17:16:24
Baldur's Gate.
#5 by Matt Davis
2002-12-04 17:16:28
http://looroll.com
SiN, total of 20 mins, I loved the game but it was so buggy I had to take it back.

"...even going as far as to post that obviously stupid rumor of Microsoft buying out Rare." - LPMiller; 20 March 2002 - 20:07:58
#6 by Caryn
2002-12-04 17:16:57
carynlaw@pacbell.net http://www.hellchick.net
Played maybe an hour of Black & White and then walked away from it. It just couldn't keep my attention.

My deep, dark confession is that I never played Unreal. I own the disk, but it's still in its plastic wrapping. It's just something I've never gotten around to playing, and as more time passes I feel like I might be disappointed by my expectations.

I never finished NOLF, not because I thought the game was bad but just because I'm really scatterbrained about single player games -- I tend to let them sit unplayed after the first few levels because of low attention span. Same story with Deus Ex and Medal of Honor. I HAVE re-installed Deus Ex and have been playing through it in an effort to rectify this appalling behavior I have with good single player games. After Deus Ex I plan to play through NOLF. Then I'll feel a little more caught up.

In the meantime, like m0nty, I tend to play Civ3 over and over and over again. Still playing Q3A and RtCW multiplayer as well.

"It's not stupid! It's advanced!"
#7 by "mrbloo"
2002-12-04 17:17:27
mrbloo2000@hotmail.com
Fuck, that javascript jiggery-pokery logged me out.  Fuckers.  It also removed a 'to' somewhere in my post.  Fuckers.
#8 by m0nty
2002-12-04 17:17:56
http://tinfinger.blogspot.com
Hey Caryn, I need to ask you something, can you come to IRC? Thanks.
#9 by Matt Davis
2002-12-04 17:18:46
http://looroll.com
Liz Hurley, Can you come to IRC please?

"...even going as far as to post that obviously stupid rumor of Microsoft buying out Rare." - LPMiller; 20 March 2002 - 20:07:58
#10 by Matt Davis
2002-12-04 17:19:39
http://looroll.com
Damn, nothing...

"...even going as far as to post that obviously stupid rumor of Microsoft buying out Rare." - LPMiller; 20 March 2002 - 20:07:58
#11 by Greg
2002-12-04 17:22:21
Civ3 seemed to have escaped my grasps not long after I purchased it. My brother borrowed it and I haven't seen it since.

#12 by Chunkstyle
2002-12-04 17:24:25
Supposedly good games I never got into:

Morrowind.  I loved Daggerfall, played it for over a year, but Morrowind just seemed so slow in the first town I never wanted to see what came next;

Falcon 4.0.  I really wanted to like it, but I just got too confused, was afraid of the Bible-sized manual, and played more Red Barron 3D instead.

Resident Evil.  I just don't get why it's fun.

There's lots more, of course, as I used to spend alot on games based on magazine review (or worse, previews).  Now I spend more wisely, and date.
#13 by mrbloo
2002-12-04 17:28:00
mrbloo2000@hotmail.com
SOF2 as well.  I never got past the first mission.  I'll probably play it eventually, but that ugly grease-gun on the first level just didn't make me want to continue.  I played MP on a LAN as well, and was a bit whelmed.  Waste of 60 Euro.
#14 by Hugin
2002-12-04 17:31:31
lmccain@nber.org
Yeah, I have to agree about Resident Evil.  I've never been able to play more than a few hours..the control and some of th eplay conventions drive me crazy.  I've played some somewhat similar games, like Parasite Eve, but RE itself...no.

Civ never grabbed me, despite my love of turn-based strategy and empire buildign games.  I loved Alpha Centauri tremendously, but Civ?  No.  Can't explain it.
#15 by Caryn
2002-12-04 17:36:57
carynlaw@pacbell.net http://www.hellchick.net
Hugin:

I was just the opposite. I couldn't get into Alpha Centauri at all. There was something alien (har har) about it.

"It's not stupid! It's advanced!"
#16 by Matthew Gallant
2002-12-04 17:39:01
http://www.truemeaningoflife.com
m0nty, I haven't played Gothic, but maybe I will.

"Is the internet making people less intelligent?"
"You mean like how video cameras cause thrown objects to hit men in the crotch?"
#17 by Chunkstyle
2002-12-04 17:40:58
You know, I loved Civ II, but haven't been able to get into Civ III, even with all the improvement.  I finally realized that I miss the little FMV clips when I would build a new wonder, and the advisors.  I loved that fat general telling me I need to smite my enemies, and the Elvis impersonator telling me how great I was.
#18 by Funkdrunk
2002-12-04 17:46:14
jflavius@bellatlantic.net
Speaking of Gothic, that falls into this category for me.  I really tried to get past the controls.  But I struggled with them for about an hour, and couldn't get past them.  Which was very saddening to me, because I had heard so many great things about the game.

Funk.

An idealist is one who, on noticing that roses smell better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.  ~Henry L. Mencken
#19 by CheesyPoof
2002-12-04 17:47:58
Wow there are a lot of games that I bought but never played for any length of time.  Some of them I still want to play, others I didn't care for.

On the list of "want to play" is System Shock 2, but it's very scary.  Fallout 1/2, I've just had other games to play at the time and never got into it.  I really want to play them, I just hope I can look past the dated graphics.  I bought Undying on a impulse ($15, EA Classic) and havn't installed that yet.

On the don't miss it list is B&W.  Installed it on a Thursday or Friday, didn't play after the next day, I never even got off the island.  Rainbow 6 is another one, I think I tried the first mission once or twice, that was it.  I could probably add Americas Army to that list, but does it count even though it was free?

There are more, I just can't remember them.  If it is still on-topic I'll go through my games library when I get home.
#20 by "Vers Vlees"
2002-12-04 17:48:02
rolandwijdenbosch@hotmail.com
I must say Conflict zone. I bought that game becos i wanted to try a 3d RTS game.(i only played 2d RTS until then)  i played it only for a week or so
bah i wish i bought Suddenstrike 1
#21 by Post-It
2002-12-04 17:52:03
keithlee@speakeasy.net
Morrowind was SO boring. Never really got into it. I played SoF2 SP for a little while, then stopped and stuck with the MP. I got close to the end of RtCW but never finished, the same with NOLF. Super Marion Sunshine and Starfow Adventure were both also wastes of money. Fun, but nothing about either of them really grabbed and held my attention. So both were traded in for Metroid Prime.

Comment Signature
#22 by Hugin
2002-12-04 17:56:06
lmccain@nber.org
Oh, and duh, GTA3/GTA:VC.  No interest.  Yeah yeah, emergent gameplay, uprecedented freedom, happy lawlessness.  I 've watched others play and it just doesn't grab me.  Very few games involving cars do actually, driving around doesn't do it for me in games 90 percent of the time.
#23 by Duality
2002-12-04 17:58:32
Dualipuff@yahoo.com http://stratoscape.ath.cx/
Both NOLF2 and Hitman 2 are games that I've played maybe 2-3 levels of each.  The ironic part is that I bought both games because I played some of the warez releases and enjoyed them.
#24 by CheesyPoof
2002-12-04 18:00:24
Not irony, but poetic justice.
#25 by Duality
2002-12-04 18:01:09
Dualipuff@yahoo.com http://stratoscape.ath.cx/
Justice for whom?

I'm out $100 and some CDrs, bitch.
#26 by Duality
2002-12-04 18:01:38
Dualipuff@yahoo.com http://stratoscape.ath.cx/
.. nevermind.
#27 by Warren Marshall
2002-12-04 18:05:56
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
Morrowind was the worst for me.  I tried to like it .. I really did ... everyone told me I should, so I believed them.  10 hours or so into it I realized that it just wasn't going to happen for me.

So I'm replaying Fallout2 ... that game is -love-.

"Quit whining you haven't done anything wrong because, frankly, you haven't done much of anything."
#28 by HoseWater
2002-12-04 18:06:06
barneyque@hotmail.com
Hmmm, neat topic.

A quick scan of titles I never really got much past the first hour (or level in some cases) to never come back to.

Homeworld, starlancer, diablo, and swat 3 stand out as titles, I got practically nothing from for whatever reason. I keep them around because I WANT to like them, I hope someday to be able to hit them with a fresh attitude. There are others I don't remember, I've never in my life taken a working CD back to the store, stuff I don't play dies on my shelf, or in some cases, I perma loan them out.

About the only thing these games have in common, is that I bought them because someone else was ranting about how great a time they had with them and that got me excited to experience the same thing they were. Not to say I don't buy on that anymore since I did find gems like Morrowind that way which I would have never bought otherwise. I love it when I take a chance on a game, and it turns out to be something I really love. I know some others don't like it, but since I don't normally like games like that, there is probably some sort of connection, whatever it was that made it fun for me where it normally would not have been, and made it not fun for others when they like that sort.  I think its a bridge of some kind.  Still looking for something else just like it to continue along that line.

Then there are games that I feel I put more into them than they were worth (to me), like Black and White or The Sims trying desperately to figure out what all the rage was, and if I play just a bit more, I'll start to 'get it'.  In those cases, I never managed, the sims found a new loving home, and I keep the B&W CD in clear view, I never want to forget how it is possible for almost all reviewers and early adopters to be so very wrong.

blah blah zzzZZZZ 111111111111111111111111111111111111 zzZZZZZ
Heuh?
#29 by Chunkstyle
2002-12-04 18:11:00
As to the second part of the question, I usually keep the games I didn't play thru, and reinstall them later, assuming that they really are good.

This week, I reinstalled Arcanum.  I also uninstalled Arcanum.  Still funnish, still not fun.
#30 by LesJarvis
2002-12-04 18:21:53
Oh boy, let's see.  Where to begin?

PC:
Black and White, Baldur's Gate, PlaneScape: Torment, Ultima IX, Myth: The Total Codex, Diablo 2, Unreal, Shogo.  And that's just the games sitting in my drawer right now.  There are more, I assure you.

Console:
Silent Hill 2, Okage: Shadow King, Shadow of Destiny, Ring of Red, Stretch Panic, Red Faction, Lunar 2, Time Crisis, Saiyuki: Journey West, Valkyrie Profile, Breath of Fire 3, Front Mission 3, etc.  This list is bigger than I really care to admit.

It's really a bad habit of mine to do that.  To be sure, a few of these games I played more than others.  I must've spent 20 hours on Diablo 2 before realizing it was going precisely nowhere and represented little more than a colossal waste of time, but not finishing games is something of a a specialty of mine.

Oh, and I finished Morrowind.  It was a compulsive kind of thing.

*gag*
#31 by m0nty
2002-12-04 18:23:24
http://tinfinger.blogspot.com
Les, that's a cubic assload of wasted money.
#32 by "Anthony"
2002-12-04 18:27:40
anthony@leveldesigner.com http://www.leveldesigner.com/
please dont laugh

Half-Life.
#33 by LesJarvis
2002-12-04 18:28:48
It is!

Although, consider that that's over a 5+ year period of time.  It all adds up, sure, but I didn't go buy them all at the same time.

Also, Looking over that list, I got a lot of those games either used, in a bargain bin, or on sale.  Planescape was 15 bucks, the Myth games were 15, I think Shogo was 25, and most of the PS2 games were purchased used for around 35.

*gag*
#34 by Squeaky
2002-12-04 18:36:36
Let's see here, off the top of my head:
Morrowind - I played it for about 20 hours, then I forgot to re-install it after a format
Arcanum - I wanted to like it, I really did. But it was just... meh
Etherlords - Nice looking game, shitty UI
Aquanox - Nice looking, shitty game
Startopia - Another game I wanted to like, but I never got around to installing it
Freedom Force - It crashed on me the first time I played it, and again the second (also the last) time (in the exact same spot)
Rebellion - Need I say more?
Galactic Battlegrounds - I've never played AoE so I thought this was a pretty cool game, but I played it for 20 minutes before forgetting about it
Planescape Torment - It's sitting on my desk screaming: "Play me!" I've never gotten around to playing it
Nocturne - I actually kinda liked this game... but there was one part in the first level where my partner got stuck on a stairwell, never bothered to replay it

morn is our weekly special at an incredibly low price of $7
Pitiful DVD Collection
#35 by m0nty
2002-12-04 18:38:07
http://tinfinger.blogspot.com
I never finished Half-Life mainly due to some bug I ran into with the nutsack monster at the end, which I found it impossible to kill. However, I think we've discussed the Xen levels to death, so let's all just say they sucked and move on.
#36 by m0nty
2002-12-04 18:39:11
http://tinfinger.blogspot.com
Squeaky: Listen to The Nameless One, for he speaks the truth.
#37 by _Fury_
2002-12-04 18:42:21
ajhill@wi.rr.com
Let's see:

Myth
Myth II
Die By The Sword
Deux Ex (although I played it again over a year later and at least got 10 hours into it or so)
NOLF
Total Annihilation
Tomb Raider
Vagrant Story
GTA3
Icewind Dale
Asheron's Call
Anarchy Online
Dark Age of Camelot
Final Fantasy 9
Super Smash Brothers:Melee
Super Mario Sunshine
Eternal Darkness
hmm, most games on my GC besides RE/RE0 and MP
Alpha Centauri
Black and White
Giants: Citizen Kabuto
Sacrifice
... to name a few

and those are all ones that I paid cash money for.

Shit talking dickhead sucker fool.
#38 by Squeaky
2002-12-04 18:42:57
Squeaky: Listen to The Nameless One, for he speaks the truth.

There was one occasion where I actually installed the game. But I was pretty busy with school at the time and I never got around to playing it. Unfortunately with the holiday season upon us, I'll be at work pretty much all the time. And in January I'm going back to school full time.

I've got no time to play games anymore.

morn is our weekly special at an incredibly low price of $7
Pitiful DVD Collection
#39 by LesJarvis
2002-12-04 18:42:58
I finished Half-Life out of sheer momentum.  Yeah, the last levels weren't the greatest (nor were they as bad as some people claim, however,) but I just wanted to keep going and see what happened.

And then the ending just completely sucked.  The moral: if something is hard, give up, because the reward clearly isn't worth it.

*gag*
#40 by Squeaky
2002-12-04 18:45:43
Icewind Dale

I forgot about that one. I got BGII and Icewind Dale for Christmas one year. I can only handle one RPG at a time, and BGII took precedence over IWD.

morn is our weekly special at an incredibly low price of $7
Pitiful DVD Collection
#41 by LesJarvis
2002-12-04 18:50:08
Final Fantasy 8 is the only terribly high profile console game that I've bought and never finished.  God, that game just bored me to tears.

*gag*
#42 by "fyrewolf"
2002-12-04 18:54:15
Civ 3.  I bought it.  Set it down next to my computer.  Still haven't installed it.  Perhaps one day I will, I don't know.
#43 by Shadarr
2002-12-04 18:56:07
shadarr@yahoo.com http://digital-luddite.com
Games I played for less than a week:

Myth Total Codex
Heroes 3 Complete
Freedom Force
C&C Tiberian Sun
Zoo Tycoon


I tend to be stubborn, and continue playing for a little while even when I'm not having fun.  Playing a game for a few hours and uninstalling is against my nature.  Heck, I stopped playing Planescape Torment halfway through about two months ago, but it's still installed because on some level I keep thinking I'll get back to it.

Games I have which I think I will eventually try:

Icewind Dale
Baldurs Gate 2
Arcanum
Homeworld
Kohan
Warrior Kings
#44 by Shadarr
2002-12-04 18:57:58
shadarr@yahoo.com http://digital-luddite.com
I understand people who don't like Civ 3.  Even though I've played it several times, and it has all that extra depth, I'm not sure if I've ever finished a game.  It just isn't as much fun as Alpha Centauri.
#45 by CheesyPoof
2002-12-04 18:59:03
M0nty, that was Gonarch's Lair (whom I call gornch).  I remember that too because I could not get around it either.  I used cheat codes to get by.  Later on after a bunch of patchs I tried again to see if I could kill gornch and I did it w/o cheating.
#46 by LesJarvis
2002-12-04 19:00:52
Homeworld took me about 2 years to finally finished.  I finally figured out some effective strategies.  Prior to that I had always gone on to about the fifth level before getting to a point where I literally couldn't proceed.

*gag*
#47 by LPMiller
2002-12-04 19:05:16
lpmiller@gotapex.com http://www.gotapex.com
Giants.

I believe I can fly......urk.
#48 by Ashiran
2002-12-04 19:07:32
Caryn:
I own the disk, but it's still in its plastic wrapping.

You are not alone.

Other then above, only Halflife goes on the "put down after an hour" list.

The little hand that could! *note: that is not a DVD case*
#49 by Hugin
2002-12-04 19:09:58
lmccain@nber.org
Hosewater, Les, I seriously suggest giving Homeworld: Cataclysm a try.  Pretty fun story, pretty fun units, good music, and most importantly a few UI changes/improvements that make the game less tedious to play, like being able to speed up mining.  Homeworld was "meh" for me, a near miss, good ideas with problematic implementation.  But I loved Cataclysm.
#50 by Foodbunny
2002-12-04 19:11:38
foodbunny@attbi.com http://www.foodbunny.com
Matthew made me put down Half Life after an hour, but that's because I was gleefully hitting everything with the crowbar and cheered when I died after hitting the explosives.  I did eventually pick it up again and got to the rocket launching part before I quit for good.

I don't tend to put things down after an hour.  No, I play them for 5-6 hours straight, constantly bitching about how much I hate it, until either someone tells me to stop or I go to sleep.  Then I never play it again.  Morrowind, Dungeon Siege, and the Sims are the most recent examples.

It won't have any impact on DNF.  Nothing really does.
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