VGC Day 29: Unexpected Love

Welcome back to our 30 day video game challenge! If you’d like to catch up with the other days, click here.

Wow! Our penultimate “day” of the 30-day Video Game Challenge! Thanks for sticking with me through the last 28 days weeks of video game questions! Today the challenge asks:

Day 29: What is a game you thought you wouldn’t like, but ended up loving?

What an interesting question. I’ve usually played a game with the expectation I would like it, so more often than not, if I was “surprised” by what I thought about it, it was because I expected to like it and wound up being disappointed, or outright hating it (cough War in the North cough).

But then I remembered…

A Short Story

About 15 years ago, my aunt, of all people, told me about this game called Final Fantasy X on the Playstation 2. Ironically, she’s a pretty religious person, but she encouraged me to play the game because it had a wonderful story and lots of religious themes. I politely thanked her for the recommendation and quietly decided to not play it.

My reasoning was fairly shallow (as is most reasoning when you’re a teenager). For some reason, prior to this I had gotten into my head that I would hate Final Fantasy games. All of them. Because… reasons? I really have no idea why Final Fantasy was the target of so much ire, because I had never played any of the games, the one person I knew who played Final Fantasy loved it, and I’m not really one to hate something for no reason. But there you go.


As my brain matured a little more, I realized that was a really silly thing to think, but by the time that happened, Square Enix had released Final Fantasy MMCLXXVII* (this is a joke) and I just felt too overwhelmed to even try jumping in.

So I recently put up a very scholarly poll on Twitter, which resulted in information overload after I asked which Final Fantasy game is the best one for a series newbie to start with.

Image result for phone explosion
Realistic depiction of my phone while that poll was active.

All of this to say that I started playing Final Fantasy IV, which seems pretty cool, Final Fantasy X, which has the most annoying main character I think I’ve ever had the displeasure to control, but a good story, and Final Fantasy XIII, which… I’m actually really enjoying.

Image result for i'm shocked

I guess that means that I never thought I’d play or ever appreciate a Final Fantasy game, but I’m enjoying my foray into the series quite a bit!

So the moral of the story is don’t judge a game by its case, and try something new when you have the chance! You’ll never know where you’ll find your next fun adventure!

What about you? Have you ever expected to hate a game and then loved it? Did you ever avoid a series because of a random reason? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll see you soon!
~ Athena

*Kudos to you if you knew this was a real number in Roman numerals, and bonus kudos if you read what number it was!

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  1. Total War (especially Rome II). It looked so, so boring, but it turned out to be so great I booked a week in Rome. It even made me interested in history for some reason, which is quite the achievement as this guy did not like it one bit

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Funnily enough (*whispers and/or hides in case Lightning Ellen should drop by*) I’ve never tried a Final Fantasy Game either, which I’m pretty sure is an automatic ejection from the Gaming community. Even worse, I’ve also yet to play a Mass Effect, a Dragon Age or a Gears of War (although I’ve got all the GoWs on my To-Play pile) so I think I’ve covered all the “you’re a rubbish Gamer” bases, right there!

    Right….well…I’ll get my own coat on the way out then, yeah!? 😉

    Liked by 2 people

      1. True. I’ve got a copy of Dragon Age: Inquisition and Mass Effect 3, so that’s another step in the right direction, I guess. With long-running series though, I always feel like stepping in somewhere that’s not the beginning might just leave me a bit confused!?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yeah you need to play mass effect from the beginning. You maybe able to get away with playing inquisition now even though they throw out a few references to the privous games. Mass effect however, you will be missing the best part of that series if you skip the story. Mass effect one’s game play is going to seem very rough at first, but stick with it and you will be happy.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. I agree. While any of those games can technically stand on their own, the Mass Effect story really benefits from playing from the beginning. I’d also suggest playing through Dragon Age in chronological order, because I think it does provide a bit of a foundation for Inquisition, but you can definitely jump in there and not miss *too* much.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Super Metroid. I never had a desire to play it when I was younger and would actually leave my friends house when he would play it. I don’t know why I was so turned off by it. After playing Metroid Prime on the GameCube, I decided that given the opportunity, I would try it. I bought it from the virtual store on my 3ds and ended up binge playing it for about a week.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I got super late to the Bioware train, because everyone I knew who played games called them “those games with the weird sex-scenes”. The ads for DA: Origins didn’t help either, they made it look like a completely different game with the hard-rock music and super macho voice over.

    I kind of ignored them until I came across the soundtrack for Origins. It was so beautiful I figured the game couldn’t be as bad as they’d painted it. And thank goodnes I tried it! I mean, the sex-scenes are still weird as hell (to me), but that is only like 0.00005% of the games and not really relevant to the story.

    Something similar happened with the Tomb Raider reboot. It wasn’t even on my radar because I remembered all the Lara Croft BS from the late 90s (turning the character into an airhead, the publisher hiring models to be “the face” of the game, a freaking video game character on the cover of “gentlemen” magazines, etc.). And then it turned out the reboot was the first time a video game felt like a power fantasy made for me instead of me just playing someone else’s power fantasy. I mean, it is not a perfect game, but I am very fond of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. But Dragon Age managed to suck you in anyway… 😉 And yes, the sex scenes are by far not the most important things in the games, in my opinion, and certainly not a reason to *not* play the games.

      You know, I’ve been wavering back and forth about picking up one of the newer Lara Croft games, because it seems like she’s going back to what the original creator wanted her to be – a female Indiana Jones – and moving away from being a gaming “sex symbol.” I’ll have to check it out!


      1. Certainly not the most important thing about a game, but my friends made it sound like Bioware was in the business of making medieval and space-themed R-rated dating sims (no disrespect to actual dating sims!). I have since wondered if they played the same games, because how do you get that from DA? I am sure the same goes for Mass Effect.

        About Tomb Raider, back in the 1990s I only played bits of the first game at a friend’s house, and I didn’t see the sex symbol thing. I just assumed it was due to me being a rather naive kid, because by the time the movies came out everyone knew Lara Croft was “sexy”. As it turns out, the first three games didn’t push that image all that much and it developed as a marketing strategy later on. There is a really interesting article about the mess Eidos made here (it also mentions how the creator lost control of the character):

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Well, Dragon Age had people in underwear (oh the horrors) and Mass Effect had a full 3 seconds of blue butt in it. I mean, we’re practically playing pornography (rolls eyes). The media took it and ran with it, though, let me tell you.

          It’s really a shame how Lara Croft was appropriated like that, but I’m glad she’s being allowed to go back to her roots (“being allowed” – that says something, doesn’t it?)


          1. Truly shocking, I don’t think my eyes will ever recover. 😛 Awkward animation aside, Origins made me read up on historical underwear, so I’d say it was a pretty educational experience. By the way, Alistair’s undies look a lot like ladies’ drawers from the Elizabethan era.

            And yes, it does say a lot. I am glad that the reboot was so well received, and that while there were some people bothered by the changes (insert eye-roll here), they weren’t as loud or as many as I had feared.

            Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post! I can say that I am.on the never wanted to play Final Fantasy for virtual no reason train as well. Although I haven’t played, hearing other gamers talk about I had peaked my interest lol.

    Anyway one game I judged was Minecraft when it first came out for consoles. I didn’t expect a pixel game where in the tutorial you have to punch trees to become one of my favorite games!!! It’s crazy how for weeks on playing with friends I hated it and then one day a switch went off and I was able to see it for the masterpiece it is. Loving Minecraft made me a better gamer because I gave other sandbox games like Roblox a chance.

    Thanks for sharing!
    -Luna 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Minecraft is definitely one of those games I think that you are wary of it until you jump in and wind up loving it. I haven’t tried it, but I’ve seen shots of it online and it looks like such a great deal of fun! That’s awesome that it acted as a bridge to other games in the sandbox genre, too 🙂

      Thanks for dropping in and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I used to hate stealth games when I was younger. Just didn’t have the patience for the slow sneaking or more complex gameplay back then. Tried stuff like Thief and Metal Gear Solid and just couldn’t get into them, but these days they’re some of my favorite kinds of games.

    I used to always play the generic stabby warrior classes in every RPG too for pretty much the same reasons, not realizing until later how much more interesting wizards and rogues were to play.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s so funny, because I’ve always *loved* stealth games, and would put stealth into games that didn’t have it (like Grand Theft Auto). My friend is a very…erm… bombastic sort of player, so I’ll have to show her your comment and see if she’ll give another class a try… 😉 I definitely agree that playing as a rogue or mage requires more nuanced play!

      There’s something to be said for running in and throwing weight around, but I’m glad you gave stealth another chance!


  7. This is a great topic 🙂 My favourite game is FF7 and yet I HATED it when I first got it. I bought due to hype alone. I didn’t know what turn based combat or what random encounters were. I found both to be utterly tedious and downright stupid. Six months later, I gave it a 2nd chance knowing what to expect… and fell in love with the world, story, and characters. To this day, 7 remains my fave game of all time 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! All credit goes to the 30-day gamer challenge 🙂

      That’s hard, playing a game when you know nothing about it! Especially if it’s a game far outside of the type of genre you usually prefer. I’m glad you gave it another chance! FF7 is on my list of games to play (I’ve played a whopping 20 minutes of it), so I’m glad to hear that it grew on you so much as you played it more!!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Great question! I think I would have to go with Overwatch. I usually hate hearing that a game has multiplayer components – I want a solid single player experience, and all the design effort channeled to that and nothing else. Toxic players, frustrating skill ceilings… so many factors have always made online multiplayer an instant turnoff for me. When a friend recommended Overwatch, I asked, “well, how’s the campaign? Worth it?”

    None?! 100% online multiplayer only?! I told him it sounded like my worst nightmare. But, I gave it a shot, and I have to say… I can’t get enough. The lore, the diverse characters, the teamplay, the regularly released (free, to boot!) content, the varied abilities offered so that you don’t have to be a perfectly twitchy sniper to make a difference… I’ve been going at it regularly now for a year and just can’t stop. There’s still toxicity that can spoil a night here and there, but if you’re able to queue up 5 friends, you’re in for some top shelf teamwork gameplay. Still the only online competition I engage in!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve heard that about Undertale. I forget who I was talking to, but I mentioned I don’t play online because I’d rather not open myself up to the kind of vitriol that seems to go along with playing online games. The person I was talking to said Overwatch is not like that at all, so right there that is major points in its favor for me. They are certainly doing a lot right, from design, to representation, to community! Glad you’re having so much fun with it!! 🙂


  9. I have to admit when I was going into Undertale that I was worried that it would end up like Mother 3 – a preachy, misbegotten emotional roller coaster. Luckily, it turned out I wasn’t giving it enough credit, and upon completion, it quickly became one of my all-time favorites. I try to reserve judgements until I’ve experienced a work, but I wasn’t expecting it to be that good. Guess it’s nice to be wrong every know and again, huh?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is definitely nice to be wrong, especially if the surprise is so pleasant! I’d heard that Undertale might be a little, erm, rough and in-your-face. I’m glad I was wrong about that, too! I’ve only seen some let’s plays, but what I’ve seen is fascinating!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I will admit that is one thing Undertale has in common with Mother 3; the message isn’t exactly subtle. It succeeds where Mother 3 fails in that it shows just enough restraint so it’s not grating and nothing in the game itself contradicts that message – indeed, the mechanics end up enhancing it.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Someone is really enjoying Final Fantasy XIII?!?! *faints*

    I saw the Twitter storm your poll created. There is just something about picking a Final Fantasy title that sends people into a frenzy. I think it’s because fans form such strong connections with the stories and characters. I’m a newbie to the series myself (Just beat my beloved XIII trilogy, X, VII, most of VIII, and lost interest in XII). I’m playing through FFIV now! It’s brutally hard but fun at the same time. Oh and I’m all ready to preorder when “Final Fantasy MMCLXXVII: Lightning Strikes Back” gets announced 🙂 I have no idea what the number is (or reads as, haha), but I credit FF with teaching me the simpler roman numerals.

    I don’t think I’ve ever went into a game expecting to hate it. There are a few games on my To Play list that have a bad rap though (Metroid: Other M comes to mind). I’ll save my judgements for when I see them in action.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha yup! It’s a pretty interesting story so far……

      So, that will be Final Fantasy 2177: Lightning Strikes Back? Sounds good!! haha But yes, that poll. As I remember, there were laser guns and pandas hiding behind tables after a while…O_o I think you’re right about people loving their stories!!!!

      I’m with you; I rarely play a game thinking I’m going to *hate* it, even if it’s not a game I’d usually pick up. There’s always a reason I’m playing it, after all! Either something interested me, or someone I know and like recommended it to me, and so I figure I like the person, so I’ll like the game they recommended (hence, FF13 and all).

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Halo. It’s funny when I think about it now but I was such a Sony fanboy during the PS2 era that I felt Halo was completely overrated and wouldn’t hear anything positive about it. Turns out I was wrong and it is now one of my favorite series in gaming.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I understand! I didn’t play Halo until a few years ago, at a friend’s house. It’s actually a pretty cool game, and I was pleasantly surprised! I’m glad you gave it a try, especially since it’s made such an impact on you 🙂


  12. My answer for this is going to post tomorrow, but it was also a Final Fantasy that will shock everyone 😱

    Tidus is hands down the most annoying main character as in the character the study focuses on. I hate Edward from FFIV, and I’m not overly fond of Edge from the same game, but Tidus’s voice makes me want to break something.

    I did I first FF poll, too! I said VI, but X is a good choice for an FF newbie, because it’s more modern.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. *Gasp* Is it Final Fantasy VII???????

      Oh, excellent. So two of the three FF games I’m playing have annoying characters in them haha. But OMG yes, Tidus’s voice…..

      That poll… wow…. *shakes head* That was something. I appreciated your comments, though!!

      Liked by 1 person

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