Facebook Files: From Dislike To Like

By Ishaan . September 12, 2010 . 10:23am


Steven wrote:

This is sort of an extension of Ishaan’s discussion about how your taste in games have changed over time. So, what game title or franchise have you once disliked, but has since become a favorite of yours? Why is did you dislike that series then and why do you love it now?


For me, Dragon Quest would nail that question on the coffin. I once strongly disliked Dragon Quest for its strange art style, retro-style RPG gameplay, and menu based everything system. I tried playing the first three titles in the series and the end result was me being immensely annoyed and displeased with the strange monster designs.


Since then, I gave the series another try with the release of Dragon Quest VIII. I’m a huge fan of cel-shaded graphics and I liked the way they were implemented into DQ VIII. I gave it a shot and fell in love with DQ VIII (in my top 5 games of all time). Since the, I’ve played through four older DQ titles and am now playing Dragon Quest IX.


Ishaan wrote:

I’m trying really, really hard to think of a game or series I disliked but actually grew to like later, and I’m coming up blank. I think for me, it’s more coming to appreciate how difficult life is for the creators. Our audience is hard to please and there’s a little too many bitter and cynical people on the Internet that love to complain (loudly) about anything that isn’t in line with their tastes. Something I find infuriating is this notion that every game has to appeal to one’s nostalgia…it’s very hard to innovate when you’ve got so many people thinking this way.


That said, I believe we’re seeing more innovation than ever these days. Perhaps it isn’t a category that you’d like for it to be, but I’m sure we’ll get there at some point. So, I’ve gone from my teenage days of disliking conservative innovation to coming to understand and accept it.



I can’t think up a game series either, although a few anime series come to mind. The problem is mostly that if I don’t really like the game or series, I generally end up shoving it into the back of my mind, so they usually stay on the “dislike” side of the scale… I’m more of a “like games that others hate”-type…

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  • Alrai

    I pretty much have to second what Steven said with Dragon Quest. I played DQ VII and hated it. I gave the series a second try with DQ VIII and loved it, to the extent that it’s on my top five JRPGs of all time, and now I’m playing DQ IX while impatiently waiting for the sixth installment to come overseas.

    • Third what Steven said. I always heard great things, but never got into the series. Then I played the DS games released in the US and fell in love with the series. I just picked up Dragon Quest VIII from a flea market and hope its good too!

      • Alrai

        It seems like it’s a pretty divisive game…you know, you either love it or hate it, though there’s some middle ground here and there. Personally, what I liked was the fact that it seemed like it went, “Oh hey, wait a minute, dude. We can produce a game that doesn’t sacrifice our roots without using the exact same interface as we did back in 1986.”

        Also, it’s got one of the best flight modes of a PS2 era JRPG…though that doesn’t say much.

  • Kris

    Can it be a series? I purchased Virtua Fighter 4 Evolution when I was new to fighting games, since it was one of the best-rated PS2 games on Metacritic. I proceeded to hate every minute I spent on it. A few years later, I stumble upon Virtua Fighter 5 in an arcade… something about the combination of the fluid combat and the high-grade Sanwa hardware clicked with me, and I still play VF5 to this day.

  • I hated all of the pre-FFVI Final Fantasies I’ve played. VI, I loved up until the World of Ruin, and then it just felt like the developers gave up on plot and narrative, and just decided to let you play, “Go find your character and hope you don’t run into anything too high above your level.” Still, though, that first half of the game is awesome.

    The first JRPG I ever played was FFI for about an hour or two on the NES and I was so bored, I returned it to the store I rented it from that same afternoon. I got back in the series when I bought a PS1 and I kept reading magazines gushing over FFVII. I played it, loved it, and then had fairly positive feelings about the rest of the series (love IX, X, X-2, and XIII, which I refer to as XI, since XI should’ve been titled Final Fantasy Online and XII was a sad attempt at an offline MMO, with cardboard cut-outs as all characters not named Balthier). Didn’t like VIII (that orphanage plot twist completely kicked me out of the game. Had to force myself to finish it) and XII for the reasons said above.

    Anyway, when they came onto PS1, since I had never had an SNES, I bought the various Final Fantasy collections (with the exception of the FFI/FFII collection). I found that I absolutely hated IV and found V to be one of the most idiotic games I’ve ever played in my life. In fact, I only ever played V for three hours before I found myself riding a meteor to another planet where, for some odd reason, I was able to use the exact same currency when I made purchases. Couple that with the fact that there was a villain called X-Death and that I didn’t die in the vacuum of space while riding a freakin’ meteor, and I completely lost my suspension of disbelief and returned the collection.

  • Jayred_Potter

    I agree with Laura. I don’t have any game series that I once hated and have over time learned to love. The only games I really dislike are sports based, and everything else is ok with me. And if I learn that I don’t like an individual game, I generally stick away from the series as a whole

  • kupomogli

    Final Fantasy and Dragon Warrior are being listed. It’s the other way around for me. Dragon Warrior was my first RPG and then Final Fantasy was my second, a christmas present from my parents. I loved Dragon Warrior, but Final Fantasy was immediately one of my favorite games(top of the list behind the CV games.) I don’t like the original Dragon Warrior anymore but I do enjoy the rest of the series. I later started to dislike FF from 11 onward and Dragon Quest 8 and 9 while I like them they’re a couple of the worst. I need to still play FF13. I own it but haven’t touched it.Castlevania Lament of Innocence I hated. Bought the game day one and while I did finish it, I didn’t like the castle design. I started playing it half a year later because I wanted to just give it another chance like I usually do. I thought about just looking towards the good qualities of the game and just try and look past the bad. In that respect, even though the game is corridors and very little platforming, the combat itself is what really makes the game. The music, gameplay, story, are all very well done and it’s only castle design which is lacking. I can say that I’ve played it atleast 10 times since then and I’ve enjoyed it from start to finish.Being a Castlevania fan I’ve tried to replay Curse of Darkness and also give it another chance but just can’t. I’ve beaten it the first time I’ve played it, but later on I’ve played maybe a couple hours before I couldn’t take playing anymore.

    • You really should find some way to play the earlier non-3D Castlevanias. If this were about going from Like to Dislike, the Castlevania series would be in there for me.The games were great before they got to the PS2.

      • kupomogli

        I own every game released in the US including rereleases such as CV for the GBA and the CV Double Pack for GBA. Well. Except for the cell phone game Order of Shadows and the other CV cell phone games.

        And yeah. I’ll agree with you the series would also go from likes to dislikes as well. I loved the original games, I don’t like exploration style as much but they’re stlil good. Portrait of Ruin was good but it was just worse than the rest of the previous exploration titles(also Christopher Belmont is left out of the Greatest “should be Six.”) Then Order of Ecclessia was okay, but worse than PoR and dragged at the end. Curse of Darkness is pretty crappy. Castlevania Judgment was garbage.

        The worst thing is that when IGA made other games in the series canon. If Dracula could be revived at any time and just be placed at any year. Just make a good story and who cares if it’s canon or not. But because he was so adamant about making everything fit, there really isn’t much room to put a new Castlevania game anywhere.

        I wonder if we’ll get the 1999 game with Julius as the main character.

  • Raccoon

    I think for me it’s the development time. Some years ago new games couldn’t come out fast enough in my opinion, the earlier the better. Nowadays I appreciate it when they take their time to make a really good game with much love for detail (imho FFXII for example) and hate it when they release a game way too early and obviously incomplete (imho FFXIII for examle). At least, my backlog is so huge that waiting for a new entry in a series I like is not a problem anymore.

    Regarding games, I really did not like the first three titles of Breath of Fire, but absolutely loved the fourth and fifth.

  • I very much agree with Ishaan.. The consumers are very hard to please nowadays.. People like games with allot of visual stimulation… Anyway, for me it will probably be all type of shooting games except one and that will be COD. I did not really like shooting game due to lack of content. Its all about shooting the same type of people or monster that looks almost the same from beginning till end and there are no varieties at all. Well, you do get different type of guns, but I am not really a gun fan so, it is not a very appealing factor to me. The reason why I like COD is probably its clean cut and not messy. Besides, I somehow enjoy playing it more when compared to other shooting games.

  • RupanIII

    Hm, not as many as I thought I’d have. The two that come to mind, though, are Xenogears and Final Fantasy Tactics. The former I rented when it first came out and the reviews were so great, but I just could not get into the perspective/camera system. Many years later I bought it off a friend and really got into it, having a blast up until hyper-story-compression on disc 2 (which I’m sure they couldn’t help due to schedule rushing/etc). It’s a flawed game, yet highly impressive at the same time. The latter, I dunno. It was my first SRPG and I just didn’t take to it at first. I gave it another go later on and couldn’t get enough. Oh yea, La Pucelle. First time I played it I felt like it was Disgaea-lite-lite and too cutesy. I tried it again years later and enjoyed it, though not enough to beat it, I’m still somewhere near the end. At first I loved the whole leveling items, everything-has-stats kind of thing with NIS, but I started to feel like it was arbitrary work after a while. I can see how people dig that though, just not for me. One of my best friends in college was totally obsessed with leveling, he’d even put off advancing the story until he was like 20x stronger than necessary.I have more examples of the opposite, though. Liking a game/series then disliking it. I loved Twisted Metal, but Twisted Metal 2 not so much. Final Fantasy has really jumped the shark for me. Regarding the creators/innovation bit, I think many confuse trend-aping with innovation these days. Change is not necessarily innovation. Also, generally speaking, I don’t think they really care if a niche group of fans aren’t pleased. Except for smaller/niche developers really dependent on fan feedback and such. But I don’t think, say, Wada is crying himself to sleep every night reading meanies on 2chan or Siliconera comment section or whatever else. On the contrary, FF, Kingdom Hearts, etc. all still bring in huge $$$ regardless of what a minority of hardcore gamers think. If he is crying himself to sleep, he can blot his tears with a tissue box of 10,000Yen notes. OK, I’m exaggerating, but point remains, it’s business, it’s about sales more than artistic expression (doesn’t have to be, but by and large it is), and they’re doing fine at selling. The majority of people are pleased with and purchase ‘innovative’ games; I don’t think some grumpy gamers online are making it hard for them or holding companies back from innovation/faux-innovation, not when said innovation/faux-innovation generally sells like hotcakes. Motion controls, sandbox worlds, real is brown, FPS-esque camera/controls, etc etc. All the big trends of this generation mostly pay off for companies because it’s what most people will pay for; they don’t care if they alienate a very small minority of fans in the process of turning a handsome profit. Sometimes they even go out of their way to instigate those fans (for ex, I remem BioWare acting really superior and basically gloating about how much better WRPGs are than JRPGs in some interview a while back – isn’t there room for both?) Anyway, just my two-cents.

  • Kevin_Levin

    On the like part. Only jRPG games that’re somewhat related to the Final Fantasy or has Final Fantasy elements.

    MP etc…

    Like games with Chrono Trigger, Disgaea etc…

  • karasuKumo

    I disliked anything turn based and slow and was an action obsessed child but I like almost anything now, apart from FPS my hatred for them still rages on haha

  • For myself there was a point where I’d gotten so used to 3d graphics what with the N64 and Gamecube (then later the PS2) that going back to play retro games on emulators or even booting up my SNES became a no-no. I had a hard time getting back into the graphics let alone regaining the appreciation for all the hard work that went into making the games. However since then, I’ve gotten around to playing Tales of Phantasia on GBA, playing Pokemon the Trading Card Game for gameboy colour and generally looking forward to games like ClaDun by NIS because of their retro style. It’s still hard for me to like Turn-based RPGs (another staple of retro RPGs), but maybe the appreciation for those isn’t too far off.

  • I pretty much don’t care for the Final Fantasy games. I used to hate Dissidia, and even bought the Dissidia PSP bundle, but sold the game and FF7: Advent Children UMD. At the beginning of August though, I acquired a copy of Dissidia for $20 new and proceeded to play it. The gameplay’s great, but a bunch of the characters have terrible personalities, and the story is bland.I’ve come to realize my hate for Final Fantasy doesn’t come from the games, but the fans, mostly Final Fantasy VII fans. Even then, I don’t necessarily like turn-based battle systems, but I’ve been playing Final Fantasy IX and haven’t started to dislike it. Perhaps the further along with my game design classes I go, the more I’ll open up.Now… I will always hate Call of Duty because of Modern Warfare and Modern Warfare 2. The players… ugh… they’re just so stupid. Otherwise, I’ll play almost any game from any genre (Save for the sports games. Who plays those?).

  • I hope this never happens to me… I have a deep seeded hatred for all things RARE and Sonic. I’d probably kill myself if I ended up liking either of those things.

  • Rollersnake

    PC gaming. The mouse is brilliant for first-person games. I’m still not a fan of the keyboard, but I can deal with it.

  • Rollersnake

    And I’ll say this as someone who was previously very anti-Western RPG. Every fan of the classic Final Fantasies owes it to themselves to play Mass Effect 1 & 2, as they have easily the most likable ensemble cast I’ve seen in an RPG since FF6.

  • puchinri

    Wow Ishaan, you perfectly explained the exact mentality I see so often lately. I have a friend on the internet who is exactly that person, and for whatever unexplained reason, has this weird hate and grudge against Nintendo too, and half of it has to do with the ‘Nostalgia Factor’.

    I think that kind of thing is getting annoying. I have huge, frequent bouts of nostalgia myself, but I can see parts in some games that satisfy that for me, or I’ll just play an older game. I think the thing that bothers me most about people complaining loudly about nostalgia (at least with my friend) is that they’re more forgiving of one company for no reason than they are another, or that they don’t realize or admit to that nostalgia either. My friend went ‘ew’ at Other M for not being 2D Metroid and thinks Zelda needs to go back to its roots.

    For games I disliked, well I guess I hold a bias before I even play it. When I first saw Opoona, I thought it was childish looking and boring, but I finally convinced myself to buy it, and now it’s one of my most favorite games ever (and I’m waiting for something like it again and anticipating Earth Seeker because of it). I guess the irony is that it isn’t really all that childish and it’s far from boring.

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