Weekend Hot Topic, part 2: The game you most regret playing

Weekend Hot Topic, part 2: The game you most regret playing

Readers discuss the video games they wish they’d never played, from time wasted on Destiny 2 to battle royale hit PUBG.

The subject for this week’s Hot Topic was suggested by reader Hatton, who asked what game do you feel ended up being a waste of your time? Did you still finish the game and if not how often do you end up giving up on a video game before beating it or spending a substantial amount of time on it?

We had a wide variety of answers, including classics ranging from Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night to The Last Of Us. And yet in many cases not only did people end up finishing them, they even played other games in the same franchise/genre.


Bad Dog

Game I most regret playing: The Last Of Us.

Everyone, and I mean everyone, hyped it so much from the PlayStation 3 and so when the PlayStation 4 version was announced I took the plunge. I knew from struggling through the first Uncharted (and part of the second before giving up) that I wasn’t a fan of Naughty Dog’s games. I wasn’t wrong. I still haven’t finished The Last Of Us to this day because, just like all of Naughty Dog’s games, it is borderline unplayable.

This will obviously wreak of hyperbole, but I genuinely struggle to play it due to its gameplay being so very clunky and automoton. The story (what I played of it) was, as everyone pointed out, brilliant, but I need to be able to play a game first in order to appreciate any story being told. If it had been a movie I probably would’ve loved it.

Everyone I tell that I don’t like it looks at me incredulously and I ask them all the same question: How on earth were you able to play it?! I’ve tried a couple of times now and just cannot get on with it.

My main regret is simply not liking it because it is so loved and I consider it to be a massive waste of the £24.99 I spent on it. It forever changed my attitude to what I spend on games and am now very wary of overspending in case it suffers from TLoU-itis.
Phil Spearpoint


Dissonant Symphony

I’m not sure I’d say I regret playing it, so much as being utterly disappointed after all the hype I’d seen for it, but Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night was shockingly overhyped as a good game.
Its balance is broken beyond belief, the menu and item system is thrown together like a toddler’s toybox and most of the weapons you find throughout the course of the game are redundant long before you get them.

The second half of the game, in the inverted castle, would have been a nice step up in challenge if only there was a way to make it somewhat more linear, but as it stands you have all the necessary abilities to navigate anywhere you please at this point; While I understand this might be to encourage non-linear exploration I personally felt it was a directionless, cheap and lazy way to extend the core game and is clearly an unfinished concept which was evidenced by the use of Finale Tocatta background music in almost every area of the second half… clearly a placeholder.

I bought Symphony prior to it being available anywhere as a digital download or included on the PSP port of Rondo Of Blood, at the time eBay was one of the few legitimate ways to get hold of a copy and it wasn’t cheap, which added to my disappointment.

I played and loved Aria Of Sorrow before this and to an extent, Circle Of The Moon which both seemed more polished.

I am however enjoying Bloodstained, despite the also somewhat broken balance.
Sven Kirby


Switching teams

A part of me wants to say Into The Breach, but I’ve loved every minute of that game despite the amount of time I’ve spent (wasted?) on it so I don’t think that really counts. Instead I’ll go to the other end of the mainstream sale and say FIFA in general.

I don’t know if it’s all the microtransaction stuff that has opened my eyes to it more recently but I just found myself feeling like I was being almost coerced into playing it, since it’s really the only football game option if you want realistic teams. But I kind of realised I wasn’t having any fun with it and it wasn’t anywhere near as realistic as it was pretending.

I think this year I’ll give PES a go instead. It’s not right to support something just because it’s popular, and I kind of feel I’ve been playing it on autopilot all these years.


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First regret

This is probably the hardest topic for me to think about to date. I can’t think of many gaming regrets. Partially, I think, it is due to being quite diligent with reading reviews about potential purchases over the years before a purchase. And I have been somewhat adventurous in the past with purchases, but I think I regret my experiences with first person shooters the most.

For me the most regretful gaming experience is TimeSplitters 2 on the PlayStation 2. Every review thought well of this game, so it was an essential purchase. Yet when I played it, it didn’t gel for me. Probably doesn’t help as it is a first person shooter – a genre which I have motion sickness issues with. I rarely trade in games and prefer to keep them, but TimeSplitters 2 was the quickest trade in: a week.

Similarly, the reviews for Halo on the original Xbox convinced me to try it, plus the controller was supposed to be better for the motion sickness. It didn’t do much for me (both game-wise and motion sickness), and at that point I gave up on the first person shooter genre entirely.


American disaster

I’m not sure I’m catching the spirit of the question, there are quite a few bad games I’ve played over the years including some of the classics such as Aliens: Colonial Marines and Resident Evil 6, both lasted barely an hour in my collection before being swiftly returned and traded in. Resident Evil 6 is perhaps the sole game I’ve ever brought at launch when the shops doors opened at 9am and returned by midday, it was terrible. But the game I regret playing? I’ll go a different direction and say Assassin’s Creed III.

The series had been building up a narrative from number two onwards, with an engaging and interesting story through Brotherhood and then Revelations, the location and setting would change to various degrees but the presence of Ezio provided a consistency and it was fun to watch his growth from angst ridden, antagonising Italian teenager to a more matured nuanced character.

And then we met Connor and everything that had been building up and evolving was jettisoned for an insipid and dull exploration of the Colonies with an attitude-ridden, antagonising American. All the best qualities of Revelations felt scrubbed away and left with the disappointing mess of III. Whilst the series recovered with Black Flag, III is the most disappointing game I’ve completed and came away thinking that it was a poor change of direction.
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Oddly addictive

The first game that came to mind is PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. I spent countless hours on what was, and apparently still is, a broken mess of a game. I never really felt especially competent, and any high placed finish seemed to be down to my hiding in bushes for 20 minutess. The addition of the kill cam revealed just how unfair the game could be, with cheaters taking advantage and using a variety of hacks.

It isn’t the worst game I’ve played, and it was oddly addictive, but that’s precisely why I regret pouring so many hours into it.


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Lost investment

Great topic this week, one that really got me thinking. I could have said Mass Effect 3, because of the ending I’d somehow managed to keep spoiler free, but I’d be being disingenuous as I enjoyed the hundreds of hours prior to it. I regret deliberating greatly with regards to the choices over the years though, expecting them to matter at the end and they just didn’t.

If the question was regret buying, I’d say Metal Gear Solid V, as I found it mundane and regretted buying it within two to three hours of playing it. Still do, although I did at least keep battling on for a while hoping it’d get better. I’ve played much, much worse games, I just haven’t paid so much for them.

I thought I’d give my Trophy/Achievements list to spot something I couldn’t immediately think of and the answer was so obvious: The Crew 2.

I don’t regret buying it, it’s a good game for what it is and I platinumed it without paying much attention to the Trophies, which shows more of a time investment than any real skill, so I definitely enjoyed the story part of the game. However, I hugely regret spending so many completely wasted hours grinding for perfect set parts, purely to then go for high scores on the worldwide rankings. I managed to get in the top 100 on quite a few events, and had worked on loads of bikes/boats/different car types to shoot for more; things I’d not have bothered with otherwise as they’d done me well enough to finish the game long before but weren’t high score quick.

For that you needed seven max level parts, all matching to get the set bonus – I guesstimate it took me 12 hours alone just to get a set of street race parts, and they’re one of the easiest of the specific event types. I’d hate to think how long it took me to get a perfect set of the alpha car parts, which I never got round to utilising anyway, as that was the next event set for me to have a crack at.

For those that don’t play the game, they updated it with a big chunk of extra content a while ago (May I think) and wiped all of the leaderboards. I bet a heck of a lot of people were far more annoyed than me, especially the number ones that got there legitimately (a lot of scores were blatantly hacked/glitched/exploited).

I’ve barely played it since, despite all the new content that seems decent, and new beta handling models that drive markedly better than the original cars. At a rough estimate, I think I’ll have wasted a good 50 hours of my life, grinding for parts to go for high scores, that got wiped anyway, long before the game died a natural death when it wouldn’t have seemed such a waste. If I had my time back, I’d have sold it the second I platinumed it.


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