Hello Neighbor is not my kind of game. Every gamer has their personal preferences, whether it be platform, genre or franchise related. I personally don’t enjoy puzzle games. Light puzzle elements are ok, but a game that at every step of the way challenges your reasoning and problem solving skills is not enjoyable. There isn’t a big enough payoff, at least in my opinion. I also for the most part don’t play survival horror games. As I’ve grown older I’ve delved a little deeper into spookier titles. Outlast was good and I thoroughly enjoyed Resident Evil 7, but I wouldn’t exactly call myself a glutton for the genre.
So by all accounts, I would never play Hello Neighbor. Despite its Pixar art style outer shell, it portrays a tone closer to that of a Stephen King novel. You’re a little kid and your next door neighbor seems to be doing something pretty shady. So doesn’t it seem like a good idea to break into his home, while trying to avoid him sneaking up behind you and chloroforming you? Well that’s the premise of the game. When you’re not avoiding your terrifying neighbor, you’ll tirelessly try and solve ever more obtuse puzzles. A scary game with puzzles, yup that definitely sounds like it’s not for me. Yet Hello Neighbor’s unique premise drew me in, and despite the games countless flaws, I actually ended up enjoying myself.
And so it made me wonder. What iconic games have I thought to myself, ‘I’ll never play that,” that I might one day actually end up playing?
I’ve made it quite clear that I don’t enjoy puzzle games already. I personally play video games to explore new worlds, involve myself in narratives and take part in captivating gameplay. So playing a game where all I do is solve puzzle after puzzle by drawing lines doesn’t exactly sound like something I’d be interested in. It’s a remarkable piece of art and probably deserves the universal critical acclaim it received, but slowly becoming insane as I fill notebooks with attempts at solving The Witness’ puzzles is not on my to do list.
DOTA 2 is one of the biggest and most successful online games in the world. The core of a MOBA seems simple in premise. Choose your hero and fight others online in battle arenas. However when attempting to play DOTA 2 or any MOBA for that matter, I’m immediately and consistently left scratching my head. There is so much to consider, so much to be aware of, over 100 characters to choose from. I just don’t know where to start. Each match is lengthy and so is the amount of time it takes to even understand the game, let alone become proficient at it. Maybe one day I’ll understand what makes this game great, but that day isn’t today.
Overwatch was 2016’s darling when it came to Game of the Year. Blizzard had seemingly created another master piece. From what I’ve heard they’ve done an amazing job making each playable character feel unique and balanced. Yet Overwatch just doesn’t interest me. There’s no campaign and the online modes that are available just seem like generic death matches. Maybe if I took the time to learn the nuances of the game I’d see it shine, but I just don’t want to commit the amount of time needed to become good at a game I didn’t enjoy in my first half hour. For now I’ll just stick to Rocket League and Mario Kart 8.
Half Life 2
Half Life 2 seems like my kind of game. A shooter with unique mechanics and a provocative dystopian tale that still haunts gamers to this day. I’ll still never play it, it just looks so dated. That’s a problem in the gaming industry. With graphics evolving at such a rapid pace, visuals can destroy what was an amazing experience 5 years ago. I’d love to see a remaster of this classic. Remasters are commonly frowned upon, but I loved the N’ Sane Trilogy and am keenly awaiting System Shock.
Metal Gear Solid
My first Metal Gear Solid game was The Phantom Pain. I enjoyed the gameplay and admired the cinematic story (despite having no clue what was going on), but when I had to start repeating missions, a stale taste was left in my mouth. It seemed like a half-baked experience. Yet I am in the minority. So many gamers hold Metal Gear in such high regard that they’d put Hideo Kojima on the iron throne if possible. I wish I could go back and play the original trilogy. To find out what made this series the legacy that it is today. For similar reasons to Half Life 2, I won’t however. I think Konami are crazy for making Metal Gear: Survive, instead of remaking the original trilogy in the Fox engine. Not only would fans of the series explode with excitement, but gamers like myself would finally give the series a go.
World of Warcraft
World of Warcraft is too intimidating to jump into in 2019. It is 14 years old and STILL has millions of subscribers dedicated to a single product. I enjoy fantasy games, but hate the company of others, so when it comes to scratching that RPG itch, I turn to Skyrim or Dragon Age. Besides the online aspect, I think the level of commitment needed to truly enjoy World of Warcraft daunting. I love jumping from one experience to the next. A Telltale game here, some NBA 2K there, and some Destiny 2 in the middle. Committing to a single game, for months if not years, just doesn’t appeal to me.
I’ve never been a car guy. Many of my mates spend hours discussing the intricacies of their modifications and would love nothing more than to spend a day speeding down a scenic route. I on the other hand, enjoy getting from point A to point B, and don’t really mind the specifics of how I get there. So Forza Motorsport 4 doesn’t really speak to me. If I want to drive around, I’ll play Grand Theft Auto 5, where the driving is just one aspect in a far broader game. If I want scenic views, I’ll actually drive to them in my own car. The rest of it, the nitty gritty details that car enthusiasts love, that’s just not for me. Video games are my hobby, not cars.
I attempted Demon Souls and was slaughtered. I tried Bloodborne and was eviscerated. So why in the world would I ever try one of the Dark Souls games? I can appreciate what these games offer. The spectacle of the bosses are unmatched in gaming, the visual aesthetic of the world is something miserable yet tempting, and the shear quality of the overall product is unmistakable. I just wish it was a little easier. Yes I understand that is part of the draw. You feel an anxiety when fighting a boss, which is only squashed when you replace it with the sheer joy of victory… after 27 attempts. I can understand all of that. However as a working adult, my free time is limited, and after being challenged all day, the last thing I want is to be challenged while I’m trying to relax.
Madden is an incredibly successful game…in the United States. Yes there are small pockets within other countries that enjoy the game, but not enough to popularize Madden. It’s called American Football for a reason. As a New Zealand based gamer with a British heritage, I have no interest or understanding of the sport. For gamers outside the U.S. it seems unlikely that we’ll ever buy Madden over Fifa or NBA 2K. Besides my obvious lack of interest, even if I did want to play, New Zealand based stores don’t sell it.
I’m sure some of you are agreeing with me, and most of you are furious that someone who writes about video games hasn’t played any of the above. That’s just a testament to how far games have come. They no longer cater to one audience, there are genres and titles that dedicated gamers have never experienced. Games have now been around long enough that there are adults who have never played some of gaming’s most famous products. Let me know in the comments which famous games you’ve never played. I’d love to hear your opinions.