The cost of a new video-game is pretty tough to justify at times. At the good end of the scale, you have games that have enough replay value to last a lifetime (I must have played Dragon Age: Origins and its respective DLC at least 10 times in full by now) or which may have a great multiplayer that extends the shelf life almost indefinitely (see Call Of Duty, Battlefield and so on…)
However the problem there are also some games that are only ever destined for one attempt, and sometimes even less than a full go. Whether it is through a lack of content, lazy design or frustrating mechanics some games are destined to be returned after a few short and frustrating hours. It doesn’t help that games are marketed with so much bluster that it’s impossible to tell ahead of release whether they’re actually any good (and that’s not to mention the impact of manipulated reviews) and with our continuously tightening wallets this is becoming a major problem.
With trade-ins becoming the most prominent solution to this risk/reward system, I think it’s time to take a look-back at previous games that have only lasted the one sitting before you gave up and attempted to get at least some of your money back.
Honourable Mention: Dark Souls
If you’ve followed video-game journalism in the slightest in the past 3 years you don’t need me to tell you that this game is hard. In honesty, it’s rip out your hair hard, and it rewards patience and observation in a world where the go to game is usually a hyper-speed modern military shooter. Which is admirable, but therein lies the problem.
I’ve only managed to defeat the second boss since I bought the game at launch (way back in November 2o11. Other people I know spent the full £40 on release only to trade it in the next day after discovering the very steep difficulty curve was far too much, and that they were probably better suited to something less complex.
Regardless of that trend, Dark Souls doesn’t deserve to be on the main list, because it’s a hugely rewarding game, and the satisfaction you get from beating a difficult section is hard to beat, even if it is all too rare.
“Prepare To Die” indeed.
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This article was first posted on January 14, 2014