Underneath my yellow skin

Games that missed the mark–by a little or by a lot

In this year of our lord, Pandemic, there have been many games that I have tried, but few I have stuck with. I’ll get to those in a separate post, obviously, but for now, I want to remember the games that I picked up and discarded for varied reasons. We’ll go in chronological order just because it’s easier that way.

First up is Iceborne, the DLC for Monster Hunter World. Capcom. I poured hundreds of hours into the original and loved slicing my way through the game with my swax (switch axe). I had dozens of armors, painstakingly crafted to fight each monster. Everything was just so, at least until the Tempered Elder Dragons, when my enthusiasm started flagging. Well, Iceborne is a vault up to Master/G Rank, which means everything is more grueling and anything I’d accomplished up to that point meant jack and shit. I remember the feeling of intense disappointment when my basic swax did more damage than my most upgraded swax from the main game and the basic armor was better in every way than my most elite MHW armor. It was such a bummer and enforced my feeling that I had wasted my time playing the base game.

It didn’t help that any time I joined a group, the other players had clearly been playing since the main game came out. Like, all the time playing. I was the newbie and I did not like not being helpful. Yes, I was the healer, but there’s only so much that can get you. I wasn’t earning my keep and I didn’t like it. Let’s face it. I didn’t like Iceborne. At all. I’m not saying it was bad and I’m sure people who only play Monster Hunter loved it, but I fell off it really quickly. I never took on Fulgur Anjanath, which I talked about at the end of this post about the game. Here is a second post about my feelings on the game and how I would feel guilty if I quit. Obviously, I got over it and I gave up the game for good after realizing I wasn’t having any fun with it. I haven’t looked back since.

Here are a few I tried that I’m not going to write too much about because it was a one and done. Death and Taxes by Placeholder Gameworks. You play a grim reaper who assists people into the afterlife by reading their bios and deciding who should die and who should live. You’re given certain restrictions which means you have to make choices you may not like. I played the demo and really wanted to like it because I adored Papers, Please by Lucas Pope and was hoping it would be like that. It was not. The Story Goes On by Scarecrow Arts. I found it in my library, had no recollection of buying it, and decided to try it because it was a rogue-like-lite. I was looking for my new Binding of Isaac and hoping that this would be the one. Was it? No. It was…fine. But, there was nothing memorable about it except the narrator talked like a pirate, which was annoying as fuck. I played maybe an hour of this before setting it aside and forgetting it. Another on this list is Warhammer 40K: Inquisitor–Martyr by NeocoreGames. First of all, the name irritates the fuck out of me because it has both a colon and a hypen in a four-word title. That’s ridiculous! Second, it’s very janky and blah. There was just nothing there to grab me and I bailed on it pretty quickly.

Next up, Code Vein by BANDAI NAMCO Studios, otherwise known as anime Souls. There was a lot of trial and tribulation leading up to the release of this game that had me worried. It released to general acclaim, but I forgot about it because I don’t buy games upon release (with a few exceptions). When it got to Steam, there was a demo. I downloaded and spent about an hour in character creation. I was thrilled that I could have hair past my knees! I was not so thrilled that every chick was skinny with huge tits and had to wear clothing that showed off said tits. I tried to pick the least-revealing outfit, but that’s not saying much.

I jumped into the game with some trepidation, but not much. I had watched RKG play the intro part so I knew what to expect. To my surprise, I really enjoyed the demo. It had many of the things that made Souls Souls, and when it went on sale, I bought the game eagerly. I was able to import my character from, the demo, which made me insanely happy. Unfortunately, that’s where my happiness ended. The game started stuttering the minute I tried to run it, which did not happen at all in the demo. In addition, large sections of the game refused to load in properly, which was confusing as fuck because they looked like fog walls at first. As this is a Souls-like game, I thought that meant boss. Which was confusing. I really felt like it was a bait-and-switch situation, which did not please me. At all. I knew there was a lot of jank in the game, but I didn’t know it included this.

In addition, there were cutscenes all over the damn place. Again, in a Souls game, this would mean a boss. In this game, it was just a minutely occurrence. It was as annoying as fuck and made me even less inclined to play the game. Also, the level design and enemy design were uninspired. I was only in the first real section of the game and I was already over it. There are a lot of things to love about this game, but in the end, the jank turned me off before I could truly get stuck in.

Let me slip in Torchlight III by Echtra Games. Oh, Torchlight III. It’s hard for me to think about this game without a pang in my heart. The original Torchlight was the first ‘hardcore’ game I played and I loved it so much. I liked the sequel, though not as much as everyone else did. This third game is just a pale shadow of the original, though to be fair, I haven’t played it in quite some time. It had gone from charming, quirky, RPG (TL) into bland, boring RPG (TL III), some of which was its fault and some was not. Let’s not talk about it any longer because it’s making me genuinely sad.

Borderlands III by Gearbox Software. What can I say about it that I haven’t said before? The first two games were juvenile, yes, but they weren’t vile like this one was. I hate what they did to Lilith and I’m still not over it yet. I am pretty sure they killed her (and maybe Maya), and that was the main reason I stopped playing the game. It didn’t help that the sheer volume of mob enemies ruined the enjoyment as well. Also, had some issues with taking pictures, which made me unhappy as well. That was minor, but I was already at BEC stage with the game.

Those are just some of the games I tried and quit this year. There are more, yes, but I’ll save them for another post. Happy Holidays!


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