• So how about that Nintendo Direct? WestEgg, Irene, VolcanicDynamo, and Special Guest Aurc give our thoughts on the June Direct, including a deep look at the Metroid Prime 4 reveal! Check it out here!

Discussion Indie darlings that didn't click with you

I guess the closest answer for me is basically everything from Supermassive Games that I've played i.e. Bastion, Transistor and Hades. The art, music and writing of their games are consistently good to great, but their mechanics aren't meaty enough for my tastes. For example, most roguelikes I've played, I still take out for a few runs every now and then, but Hades I was done with after I finished the story.
Hades definitely trades gameplay depth for its more story-heavy focus. It's a good trade-off imo but there's a reason it's kinda branded as "Baby's First Roguelike" as it lacks the depth of item options and synergies that stuff like Binding of Isaac and Enter the Gungeon have.
 
Yet another vote for Hollow Knight. I think I got tricked into thinking it’s a MetroidVania with souls elements when it’s really just 2D Dark Souls. I’ve tried multiple times to get into it and just can’t get past how it handles death. I never want to explore anywhere because the game is very hard and if I die I lose all my stuff and have to backtrack there to get it back. One of the Hollow Knight super fans please explain how this is good game design for a MetroidVania outside of “Dark Souls does it” because I just don’t get it. Why would you want to de-incentivize exploration???
Man, death in Hollow Knight is nowhere near that punishing, the issue is that most gamers are not used to mechanics in which you die and actually lose something, but it's just the game's money, that's not REALLY that Importantly, what you gain from exploring in the game more than makes up for any losses.
 
its easier to just say the ones I liked

Steam World Games, Shovel Knight, star dew valley and Ori

most others, especially Hollow Knight I bounced off of pretty hard.
 
0
This is an older one, but Toki Tori 2. Game was just...boring. It was one of those Indie titles on Wii U that I wanted to give it a go, and while the art style was cool and all, it was just fucking boring as shit.
 
Some old friends got me to play Omori after falling in love with it. Thought it was alright and beat it. There were some weird and uncomfortable parts but I brushed it off at the time. Then about an hour after I finished the game I was like wait a minute, this game's story actually fucking blows. And the resulting epiphany lead my down a Google search rabbit hole where I found out the creator and composer of the game are gross people and it was the catalyst for my friend group imploding. Good times.
 
This is an older one, but Toki Tori 2. Game was just...boring. It was one of those Indie titles on Wii U that I wanted to give it a go, and while the art style was cool and all, it was just fucking boring as shit.
I adore Toki Tori 2, but I do understand if someone finds it boring. I think many people expect a proper metroidvania while the game is a deduction style puzzler.
 
Celeste and any platformer of its ilk (meatboy, vvvvv). I call them die and retry platformers for my skill level, when I want to achieve flow regardless of a minor screwup.
 
0
I still havent had time for a proper post, but to comment on yours:


Although the vast majority of the indie games I've tried justified their reputation I do have some examples of indie gems that didn't do much to me.

Right off the bat Bastion and Transistor.
Bastion looks cool and the narrator gimmick is interesting, but the gameplay is a bit too shallow. The game is so short that the action system barely matters since by the time you've tried all the weapons the game is already over.
Transistor I definitely didn't like. This time I found the narration plain annoying and the game is barely three hours long making it's combat system once again pointless. Not a fan.
Yeah... Both never clicked with me either, that's the reason I still haven't tried hades
Another one is Iconoclasts. Great graphics, but way too much dialogue and story for a metroidvania. The game stops you every 5 minutes for a cutscene and it's not that the story is interesting at all.
I love it. It has more text then most metroidvanias...but a) that's not hard, and b) i found overall it had still a better cutsene/gameplay balance then most other not arcade style games. I also liked the story and characters (but did skip through some cut scenes)

It is the metroidvania with the closest Metroid Fusion Puzzle feel, and some of the best bosses (cause they feel like gunstar heroes /treasure bosses)
I also found Death's Door bland. A basic isometric action game that falsely describes itself as a Zelda like (not really) and souls element (I sleep) with a basic roll and attack battle system that never gets interesting. Not bad, just bland.
Same. It's fine. But also somewhat to clean and bland.
I also suspect that Tunic, which I'm currently playing maybe in the list due to its beyond terrible combat, but it's too soon to tell.
I played it worried after DD, and was pleasantly surprised and find it to be one of my favorite switch games.
But I did NOT found the combat to be bland (it's more Zelda one meets dark souls, Les link between worlds meets DMC)
Some aspect get better, knowing the attack patterns and where your i-frames are is important, and there will be things so hard to dodge or block (pretty much always possible) that managing items or explicitly accepting some damage for better positioning is part of it.

If you hate the combat tho, i don't think that it will click. Heck, there is one kinda boss that imho is an unnatural spike and the only where I have to confess that it's bullshit. In the rest exploring more and finding items/stuff/level up items can mitigate pretty much most of the difficulty.

But again, if you don't like it then I'm not sure if the more positioning dodging and using your resources approach will change that much for you.
 
0
I adore Toki Tori 2, but I do understand if someone finds it boring. I think many people expect a proper metroidvania while the game is a deduction style puzzler.

Yeah, that jives with what I remember from it. Because I think toki tori can only move in so many ways, plus sing a tune I believe. I also remember getting stuck in some area, and could not for the life of me figure out how to get passed it.

Speaking of which, I encountered a similar issue with Trine 2, also on Wii U, and it's another game where it was highly praised, but ultimately did not click with me. Guess you could also add Gianna Sisters, but that I played very little of, also on Wii U, so maybe if I give it another go, maybe it'll be different?

I just realized I bought quite a few different Indie titles back then because I really wanted to support both the system, plus the devs making games for it. Still love my Wii U
 
Yet another vote for Hollow Knight. I think I got tricked into thinking it’s a MetroidVania with souls elements when it’s really just 2D Dark Souls. I’ve tried multiple times to get into it and just can’t get past how it handles death. I never want to explore anywhere because the game is very hard and if I die I lose all my stuff and have to backtrack there to get it back. One of the Hollow Knight super fans please explain how this is good game design for a MetroidVania outside of “Dark Souls does it” because I just don’t get it. Why would you want to de-incentivize exploration???
It is a "want to backtrack to be save or get cocky" mechanic, and like it in most games.
It's an ego check if I'm prepared enough.
And at least in hollow knight it's rarely that much you loose (if you're not hording your money.

In regards to "just 2d dark souls"... I remember when dark souls was fresh and people called it "just 3d igavania/castlevania"... 😅 Make of that what you want. Finding weapons and items, gloomy European setting, bugs that make some mechanics more op and others useless, but you need to find out, unlockable shortcuts, interconnected map...
 
Stardew Valley. Maybe it's because I had been pretty familiar with other farm-life sim games but I could never get into it. It didn't feel like anything new at all to me and I found its selling points (the characters and so on) pretty boring. I was used to much better games (Harvest Moon and Rune Factory classics) so it didn't really stand out much to me. However, I will forever appreciate this game for boosting the popularity of its niche genre that was pretty much on a huge decline popularity wise. Plus the indie games that followed its formula have been one of my favorites.
 
0
Undertale is definitely the biggest one that I just couldn't get into. Like, I did a pacifist run and beat it, and... that was it. It was fine, but I definitely didn't get anything out of it like other people seemed to. As a result, I have no real desire to get into Deltarune, either, because I kind of expect it to end up being a similar experience for me.
 
0
And the resulting epiphany lead my down a Google search rabbit hole where I found out the creator and composer of the game are gross people and it was the catalyst for my friend group imploding. Good times.
(what's up with bo-en?)
 
It is a "want to backtrack to be save or get cocky" mechanic, and like it in most games.
It's an ego check if I'm prepared enough.
And at least in hollow knight it's rarely that much you loose (if you're not hording your money.

In regards to "just 2d dark souls"... I remember when dark souls was fresh and people called it "just 3d igavania/castlevania"... 😅 Make of that what you want. Finding weapons and items, gloomy European setting, bugs that make some mechanics more op and others useless, but you need to find out, unlockable shortcuts, interconnected map...

Hollow Knight is interesting to me because I know several people who typically love Metroidvanias, yet didn't like this. And yet, I don't typically play Metroidvanias, and I absolutely adore and love Hollow Knight. The atmosphere, the handdrawn art style, the lore, the ruthlessness, and I can't stress enough about how freaking good the soundtrack is. I shouldn't love it, but I do.
 
Is this really such a big deal? I'm not trying to be smarmy, but map reading is genuinely a really fun skill to master and HKs maps make that quite entertaining. You can usually figure out where you are on the map by looking at how the exits in the current room are laid out and your overall memory of the general area. Changing it from a minimap with a constant acknowledgement of where you are to a more traditional map was a really fun change and it changed my way of playing the game from staring at the minimap all the time to actually exploring the environment.
Exactly, the badge that points you in the map is pretty useless actually
 
0
Hollow Knight.
The combat is dull to me and the atmosphere/environments do nothing for me.

Hades, I like roguelike games but Hades has too much of a focus on story, and I just don't care about Greek mythology in the slightest. Ironic maybe a little cause I think that's why a lot of people who don't other roguelike games, enjoy Hades.
 
Fast Racing NEO/Fast RMX is a game that people who have never played F-Zero swore was exactly like F-Zero because it's an anti-grav racer with recharge pads and boosting. It's really not. It's quite a stiff game where the gorgeous visuals hinder the experience by making things incredibly hard to see or react to.
This similarly goes for Redout, where it's also more an inbetween of Wipeout and F-Zero, and by that it means it's general design is closer to F-Zero but it also doesn't have hyper responsive controls, which is the most important part of F-Zero, personally.

Also, Freedom Planet. Just didn't feel like the Sonic level design with a focus on combat and really worked.
 
Hollow Knight. It's just...too hard and frustrating. I get lost, I die all the time...I don't feel like it respects my time. Something like Metroid Dread is difficult but if I die I just get to try again, you know? I don't have fun replaying the same sections over and over again anymore.
 
0
Hollow Knight. It just doesn’t work for me. Could be the difficulty maybe, combined with the atmosphere. Also, I dropped Fast RMX pretty quickly early on in the Switch’s life and never touched it again.
 
0
Hollow Knight. People talk about it as one of the best game ever and I simply can't get into it. I don't vibe with how the movement and traversal feel, and the fight seem too hard for my liking.
 
Dead Cells - Just never clicked really. I don't like how it plays or how it looks.
Hades - I love the art and the dialogue but the gameplay got really stale for me quickly.
 
0
Right off the bat Bastion and Transistor.
agree on Bastion, Transistor
Transistor,
, Bastion, Transistor
Bastion and Transistor never clicked for me either. I actually think the combat mechanics in both games are interesting, but the actual challenge isn't there to get me to engage with them. I'm not a very good gamer! So when I feel like the games are too easy, it's saying something.

I know several people here are mentioning that they didn't click with Hades, and @lattjeful singles it out as being less deep than other roguelikes, which is probably fair. But it's far more challenging than Bastion or Transistor, it may help you to engage with it.

Celeste is too hard for me. I so wanted to like all the things it did, but I just noped out of the challenge after several attempts.
 
I don't know about "darling', but Clive n' Wrench was one of the more disappointing games I played last year.
 
0
Uhhhh... Hollow Knight specifically, but separate from that I also dislike most all roguelikes. Infinite content doesn't appeal when it's SO very same-y.
 
Biggest ones for me off the top of my head and a quick dismissive reason of why:

Hollow Knight (too boring + don’t like artstyle)
Sayonara Wild Hearts (too obviously a mobile game/unsatisfying rhythm game controls)
The Stanley Parable (insufferable)
Disco Elysium (too annoying)
Dave the Diver (mean spirited/nasty)
Balder’s Gate 3 (lack of role playing opportunities, sophomoric writing, not close to finished at release)

Spent my hard earned money and put the hours in. Not for me 🫡
 
Hollow Knight. I genuinely thought I would like it, being a fan of the genre. But I didn't realize how much it had in common with Dark Souls, which I'm not a fan of.

Celeste as well. I actually beat this game. It just ended up frustrating me about halfway through. I know, skill issue, but that was my experience.
 
0
Death's Door was dull as dishwater for me. It's by no means a bad game, it just never at any point felt like I was doing anything besides going through the motions.

Binding of Isaac, purely because I really, really dislike the aesthetic and can't get over it.

CrossCode, the dungeons wear out their welcome, the game as a whole feels incredibly glacially paced, and I don't really care for the whole MMO setting, especially where it's used to make MMO-esque mechanics in a single-player game.
 
I adore everything about Transistor except the gameplay, lol. I'll give it another shot.
 
0
Hollow Knight is interesting to me because I know several people who typically love Metroidvanias, yet didn't like this. And yet, I don't typically play Metroidvanias, and I absolutely adore and love Hollow Knight. The atmosphere, the handdrawn art style, the lore, the ruthlessness, and I can't stress enough about how freaking good the soundtrack is. I shouldn't love it, but I do.
Depends on what aspects I guess. Isolation is lacking cause of the characters. Late game feeling like a god also. Fast replays are not part of the equation. On the other hands world building is off the charts.

Boss fights: dodging and pattern recognition is way higher, more like Megaman. Samus can tank some hits and igavanias let you grind it out.
A lot of the halls are from a platforming perspective uninteresting, but then again igavanias have their fare share of hallways
 
0
I deeply respect what Hollow Knight accomplishes, but my preferred emphasis is on platforming rather than combat and a result, the Ori games simply do more for me gameplay wise.

I had never done farming sims prior to Stardew Valley, but the energy meter was a bit of a turn off right away, and my interest never really came back.
 


Back
Top Bottom