You Don’t Always Know

I like to think that I know what I like, especially when it comes to video games. I’ve been playing long enough at this point to have tried a bit of everything. I’ve also been playing long enough to have decided which types of games I’ll pay attention to. It’s a mindset that’s served me well over the years, but also one that’s caused me to summarily disregard many popular games without so much as a second thought. I likely would have continued like this, but something unexpected happened: my friends got me to sit down and play Bloodborne. It was a game that I not only didn’t think I’d like, but one that I actually didn’t want to like. Yet, here I am rethinking everything because, crazily enough, I’ve actually warmed up to Bloodborne now.

I was adamantly against playing the game at all, to be honest. I thought I wouldn’t like it, so I figured that spending time with it would be a waste. The only reason I started playing at all was because I’d made a deal with a friend: I’d play Bloodborne if they played Okami. With the deal struck, I had no choice but to play. Still, I was dead set against liking the game even as I started playing. Every little thing that could be considered an annoyance was front and center in my mind. There was an initial grind, it wasn’t very clear what the goal was or where I was supposed to go. Oh, and I died a lot; that didn’t help. Still, the deal was that I had to get half-way through the game, so I was going to be here awhile whether I liked it or not. I held on to my attitude though, convinced that there was nothing this game could do to make me like it. However, that all changed as soon as I took on my first boss.

The Father Gascoigne encounter was one of the most intense fights I’ve had in a long time. It wasn’t nail-bitingly hard like I thought it would be, but it did something that I wasn’t expecting: it demanded my full attention. Any lapse in attention meant defeat. Failure to analyze his attack patterns would mean the same. I couldn’t just sit back in safety and wait for the the damage phase or the chance to trigger a take-down animation. Instead, I had to take the initiative. I had to be the one to guide the flow of the battle, and I had to be the one who decided when I’d go on the offensive. I can’t remember the last time I was given this kind of control over a boss encounter, much less having a game demand it of me. It took a couple of tries to finish the fight, but I eventually emerged as both victor and fan. Now I play with eager anticipation rather than annoyed resignation.

My adventures in Bloodborne are only just beginning, but the surprises just keep on coming. I did my first cooperative boss fight just yesterday, which was a whole other kind of fun! It’s exciting, but I kind of feel like I’m the butt of my own joke somehow. I felt like I would always know if I could like a game before playing it; I was even certain of it. Yet, here I am: a enthusiastic fan of a game that I didn’t even want to like. If that isn’t irony, I don’t know what is!


Have you ever had your expectations flipped by a game? What did it do to win you over?

Image captured by Hatm0nstar

8 Comments Add yours

  1. kienji says:

    Haha. i remember my first time playing the game and man, was I confused! The first part is the hardest but after that, its one hell of a ride. Good luck to your first playthrough and believe me, its worth it.

    Like

  2. duckofindeed says:

    I never thought I’d like the Half-Life series, even though I knew very little about it. All I had was a vague expectation of what the games were like, and I didn’t think it would be my thing. Strangely enough, when I finally tried Half-Life 2 because it came with a collection I owned, I was hooked within minutes. If I remember correctly, I think there was this strange, initial scene before I arrived in the city by train, and for whatever reason, I was instantly intrigued by this game and wanted to see what was going to happen. I guess you never know what games you’ll like or won’t like until you’ve tried them. It’s definitely nice when a game you don’t think you’ll enjoy ends up being good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hatm0nster says:

      It’s definitely a present surprise. “Rise and shine, Dr. Freeman…rise and…shine…”

      Gonna have to play that one again!

      Like

  3. lewispackwood says:

    But did they like Okami?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hatm0nster says:

      Yeah, actually. There’s now one more Okami fan in the world!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. cary says:

    The original Fable turned out to be a real turning point for me. Up until then, my only RPG experience was with a couple Final Fantasy games. And while those were fantastic to play, I still wasn’t convinced that RPGs were for me. But Fable appeared during a time when I had become overwhelmingly frustrated with other games (particularly on the Wii), and I was just looking for something, anything different to play. Fable turned out to be just what I needed. It was super fun being the hero in a grand, open world! The game totally changed my opinion of (Western) RPGs, and I’ve been hooked ever since.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. duckofindeed says:

      Kingdom Hearts was, as far as I remember, probably the game that got me into RPGs. At the time, I was used to games like Zelda and Mario, so when I originally played Final Fantasy X, I couldn’t get into it because I really didn’t enjoy turn-based fights back then. But I had a blast with Kingdom Hearts because it was an RPG with the same level of action as any of the Nintendo games I had grown up with.

      Liked by 2 people

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