I Couldn't Play a Game Like That... - deanofmedia Blog - www.GameInformer.com
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I Couldn't Play a Game Like That...


I don't know about you, but I'm pretty opinionated about game genres. In the past, I've been pretty set on what genres I don't play.


"I don't play RPGs."


"I don't play turn-based strategy games."


"I don't play QTE games."


When I was younger, I played Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest on Super Nintendo, and it had turn-based combat. Overall, I enjoyed the game, but I wasn't itching to play more games like it. At some point, I decided, "I don't like turn-based games." During one of the camping trips I went on with my friends, I recall having a conversation about turn-based games. My friend Jordan is a fan of the Final Fantasy and Star Ocean franchises, and he defended the genre. But several of us (including myself) were very vocal about how dumb turn-based combat is. We made it very clear that we'd much rather play a game with live-action combat.




This past year, I heard a lot of buzz about XCOM. There seemed to be a lot of excitement for the return of this franchise. After the game released, I noticed that it had a metascore of 90 on Metacritic. I listened to the Game Informer editors talk about it on the GI podcast, and it sounded like a lot of fun. I knew the game had turn-based combat, but I was really itching to try something new and the alien invasion setting of XCOM was appealing to me. I'm about 30 hours into that game so far and holy crap, I'm enjoying it. I guess turn-based combat isn't so dumb after all...

XCOM doesn't have the same type of turn-based combat as Final Fantasy, but it's still turn-based and not something I found particularly exciting in the past. XCOM took my opinion of turn-based strategy and completely blew it out of the water. This game is intense!


In 2010, my brother-in-law told me I should try the demo for Heavy Rain. He was impressed with the demo and thought the game was interesting. Personally, I wasn't impressed. I thought, "This game is dumb." Investigating the crime scene was somewhat interesting, but the gameplay seemed really boring to me and the game seemed very slowly paced. Sometime after that, I watched a video where Dan Ryckert's dad played it and after that, the game not only seemed dumb to me, but laughably bad. Dan's dad makes fun of every game he plays, but his banter added to my opinion of the game. 

That same year, Telltale Games released a Back to the Future game. Initially, I was really excited for this until I heard it was an "episodic" game. This was the first I had heard of games being released in episodes. I had my own opinion of this concept. "That's dumb. I don't want to follow a game that's released that way. I don't have enough patience to wait for the next episode! HAHA!"




Telltale Games released the Walking Dead game this past year. Like the Back to the Future game, it was released in episodes. I ignored the game for a few months as it didn't sound like the kind of game I'd want Walking Dead to be anyways (let alone the fact that it was episodic.) I was hoping for something more like the TV show than the comic, and I was wanting it to be a 3rd person shooter. I really enjoyed Red Dead Redemption's Undead Nightmare, and I basically wanted to experience being Rick Grimes in a similar way. To my surprise, the Walking Dead game received a metascore of 94 on Metacritic, and I saw a lot of people talking about the game on Twitter. After all the episodes were released, I finally decided I should play this game (it helped that I got it for 50% off on Xbox Live!) I've played the 1st episode, and I'm really impressed so far. As much as I hate to admit it, the gameplay is a lot like Heavy Rain. I guess QTE games aren't so dumb afterall...

I'm a big fan of the Walking Dead, so I may not have bought a game like this otherwise, but I wasn't guaranteed to like it either. Like I said, I had originally desired something else entirely for a Walking Dead game.


I've been strongly opinionated about RPGs for a long time. I've particularly been a critic of JRPGs like Final Fantasy since the series moved to 3D. I've had several people tell me the stories are great, but they just don't appeal to me. Like Pokemon, 3D Final Fantasy games are something I refuse to try. Even when western RPGs started getting rave reviews, like Bethesda's Fallout 3, I was reluctant to play games in that genre. I tried Fallout 3 at my brother-in-law's house, and I was annoyed with how much stuff there was to collect. There was so much random stuff to pick-up, like silverware. I became over-encumbered and was advised to drop some stuff. This went against my video game instincts, which was to collect everything that was obtainable. I was also not a fan of the "conversations". I hated that part, I just wanted to get to the action! I walked away from the game thinking it was dumb. There was some combat towards the end of the part I played, but I was still set on saying I wasn't interested.




In 2011, I saw a lot of buzz about Skyrim. After the first few trailers for the game, I was curious about this title - it looked awesome. Especially after becoming a fan of fantasy post-Lord of the Rings, I was anxious to play a game in this setting. And the dragons... man, those dragons really appealed to me. I questioned myself for months - "Am I really going to buy this game? It's an RPG. I don't like RPGs." But I told myself to shut-up because the game looked too epic to pass-up. The Elder Scrolls V was basically my first 3D RPG, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm sure this doesn't surprise anyone who's familiar with the Elder Scrolls games, but I've put more hours into Skyrim than any other game I have for Xbox 360. I guess RPGs aren't so dumb afterall...

I was very torn about playing Skyrim. I'm so glad I went for it - it was everything I wanted it to be and more. I'm still not a huge fan of conversation trees, but I've gotten used to them.


There have been plenty of times that I've said, "I couldn't play a game like that." But as the above examples have shown, that's not necessarily true. I've discovered that I actually like more genres than I think I do.

What about you? Have you had any games appeal to you that were different than the types of games you're used to playing? Have you had a game change your opinion about a genre you were previously not a fan of?