Question of the Week: First Impressions, Lasting Impressions?

by: Randy -
More On: What we're playing
Instead of interjecting my usual preambled batch of misdirected expository confusion, I'll just ask the question:

What game did you like at first, and then...didn't?

But I will say this:  A majority of our examples stemmed from reviews that we'd each conducted ourselves, which is why the burn of high expectations seemed to take on such a personal sting for each of our writers.

Elliot Bonnie:  When I first sat down with the new Prince of Persia for the Xbox 360 I was smitten. This happens a lot with me and games. I have a bad habit of "binge gaming" which means when a game comes out I get overly excited and play it to death for about a week. If that game is really awesome I will end up playing it a lot longer, but if not, I usually toss said game to curb. One recent game I tossed to curb after a week was Prince of Persia. The graphic style seemed refreshing and creative [Randy certainly agreed in his review - Ed.], but then I got turned off by certain game play elements. The combat didn't feel right to me and the endless gathering grew old fast. When you throw in the fact that you couldn't really fail at any point in the game, I decided the new Prince of Persia just wasn't for me.  (Currently bingeing on Killzone 2 and I love it)

Randy Kalista:  This pill is a tough one for me to swallow.  As reviewers we're given a somewhat respectable platform in which to extol our opinions.  But nowhere in the definition of "opinion" do we find a synonym with "infallible."  And while--to this day--I don't find anything fundamentally wrong or misguided about my A- review of Spore, I'm simultaneously dumbstruck by the fact that I no longer want to ever touch that game or any of its projected expansion packs.  Get them away from me.  Could it be that I've simply burned out after having followed every step of the game's development for its embryonic years prior to launch?  Could it be that I'd already invested two to three times more hours into it than I average for any other game anyway?  Or is the game simply an NPD wet dream with a marketing campaign that brainwashed an entire generation of PC gamers?  Commence navel gazing.  (Now playing: Zen Bound (iPhone), 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand)

Cyril Lachel:  I hate to say it, but I have a list that's almost too long to fit in the limited space we have here.  Each year I review a lot of games, and it always seems like there's at least ten or twenty titles that I start out liking, only to find myself hating them by the end of the game.  A good example of that was last year's Alone in the Dark, which starts out promising enough, but eventually devolves into boring root killing and monotonous side quests.  I also had the same problem with Assassin's Creed, a game that is fun until you realize that you're basically just doing the same thing over and over again.  Hopefully all future installments of these two games will be more consistent, from beginning to end.  (Now playing: Prinny - Can I Really Be the Hero? (PSP), Dragon Quest V (DS), Rock Band 2)

Matt MirkovichKingdon Hearts: Chain of Memories. I was super stoked to play that game [So was Charlie Sinhaseni, back in 'o4 - Ed.] at first since it kept up the story. And then the gameplay turned in to homework and I completely lost interest in the game. It happened on the GBA, and then happened again on the PS2 (review coming soon). It actually killed my desire to play any RPG that has come from Japan lately.  (Now playing:  Fallout 3 (finally), and maybe some Street Fighter IV)

Nathan Murray
:  I feel very ashamed to admit it but Quantum of Solace. The multiplayer just didn't have the staying power it once did and after many months of being snipped by shotgun wielding a-holes I had had enough. I won't say "I don't know what I was thinking" because I knew what I was thinking and so would anyone who read my review. It was the shotguns really. What started as a minor announcement early on turned into a huge problem when during most matches I was the only one not using a shotgun. If Treyarch had fixed it I might still be playing right now but it just got ridiculous.  (Now playing: Far Cry 2 (meh), Army of Two, Rock Band 2, Fable 2...I'm starting to feel like Two-Face)

Sean NackSoul Calibur IV. I was so high off of the initial rush of getting to play a Soul Calibur game again that I just didn't see it for what it was. The character customization that I thought was neat? It ended up being silly and made everyone look ridiculous. The gameplay is fine, plenty deep enough for anyone's tastes, but in the end you just keep doing the same moves over and over to win. Maybe it's the problem with the fighting genre, but SCIV is just not worth holding onto in the long term. The last fighting game I'll ever buy, I'm sorry to say.  (Now playing: Major League Baseball 2K9)

John Yan:  As a Diablo I/II fan I was anxious to get my hands on Hellgate: London. It was touted as Diablo in 3D and it was made by ex-Blizzard folks. Well, after a few days all I saw were bugs and repetitive gameplay that wasn't fun. Yes, Diablo is a click-fest but there was something about that game that made me keep playing. If I wasn't playing with someone I knew, Hellgate was rather bland and borning after a few levels. I had such high hopes for the game and it's a shame that it took so long to actually get it to good state only to have the company go under.  (Now playing:  Rebuilding my computer over the weekend.)
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