Are there any games that you have changed your opinion on over time?
Plenty. Usually it’s either a factor of realizing that I was trying too hard to convince myself a game was good because I wanted to believe it was good (in the cases where my opinion worsens), or getting deeper into a game and realizing there is a lot of value to it that I wasn’t accessing before (when my opinion gets better).
I originally didn’t like fighting games. My thoughts on them from playing them were that you could just mash and win frequently even against fairly good players who had years of experience in the game. I thought that Smash Bros was superior because you actually had to think and move around, and a good fighting game AI just had to use the right move for the right range to always win, where smash AI would be much harder to develop. I believed this all the way up to high school. I didn’t like how attacking in fighting games would lock me in place, I didn’t like how you hit up to jump instead of having a separate jump button. I didn’t know shit about fighters. I had bought a few fighting games like guilty gear, king of fighters, SF2 on the virtual console, and only really liked Guilty Gear of them, because holy shit, I could mash buttons, occasionally use specials semi-strategically and the movement was awesome. Eventually my brother got a PS3, in searching for games to put on it, we got SF4, because it seemed like all that was available from the small selection. A friend challenged me to play it, so we both tried it out. Neither of us really got it, and my friend cheesed me with dhalsim’s long limbs or something. I reasoned that there had to be some reason people liked fighting games, I knew that people held huge tournaments like Evo, and I had seen evo moment #37 before, so I tried to figure out how the fuck that shit worked. I tried to understand how the hell combos were put together, and luckily had and internet friend who was into that stuff. I played netplay and got my ass kicked mercilessly, eventually starting to win, eventually starting to understand the logic behind all these different normal attacks I had. Learning that there actually was something of substance, that it was more than mashing or combo memorization, really flipped my opinion there.
I originally thought Mirror’s Edge was a kind of shallow but pretty looking game where you just follow the one or two paths forwards to get to the next part. Also that the levels were built in a way that makes it really irritating to find the path forwards (if you need a hint button, probably not built right) I never got that sense of flow that I expected from a movement game like this. It’s only chance that a friend challenged me to a speedrun race of it and I got into the game to beat him, because I was sick of losing in games he had an advantage in (and him refusing to play the games I might have an advantage in). Then of course when I stepped it up, he chose to play me in a ruleset where he still had the upper hand.
When I started Remember Me, I thought it was shit. Then as I got further in, it became clear there were a number of abilities, they all did different shit and many of them could be used to lesser or greater effect. So I decided it was a mediocre game instead of a totally shit one, because the abilities still weren’t great, they were the bare minimum of what a game should be doing at all. Better than Batman though.
I was kind of a bitch about darkstalkers and skullgirls at first, but I’ve gotten more into them as I understood their systems better too.
Now for the other side: Mad World I originally liked, but had an argument with someone over whether visual style really makes a game better or not, and they pointed out I liked mad world when it didn’t have much substance, and I reconsidered my opinion on it, because reflecting on what I did in the game, a lot of it was honestly repetitive, and the combat system wasn’t that great. It was more a presentation deal. I wanted to like the game because it came from the guys from Clover, had a unique visual style, nice music, and nice voice acting.
With No More Heroes I had a similar experience, only really realizing how shallow NMH’s gameplay was as I moved onto better action games. I liked the cutscenes and unique presentation more than my actual experience playing it.
Similar deal with Legend of Zelda, and Okami, as I realized that the puzzle shit didn’t really satisfy me, my favorite part was the pit of trials in wind waker/twilight princess. I wanted to buy into the hype since these were supposed to be legendary games. But I can envision ways these games could be done better now, that other games have done similar things better.
Deus Ex I reconsidered as I learned more about the game and thought over its actual systems and refined my perspective more on game design. It’s an amazingly intricate interconnected system, but holy shit is every directed action and skill test in the game boring.
DMC3 I’ve been reconsidering, because most of the enemies honestly suck. It’s not enough to totally dismiss it, but there’s maybe 3-4 good enemy types in the game that are differentiated from one another, not counting bosses. DMC4 is stronger on that front somehow. Needs stronger enemy aggression in both games though.
Probably others. I reconsider when there’s fair cause to do so. I don’t want to be a victim to consistency. “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds”