Thursday, March 23, 2023

What’s a Game I Don’t Like? Hmm… More like the Worst Game I've Ever Played

 A few years ago I attempted to write a Top 10 list of “Games Everyone Else Likes But I Don’t,” and it ultimately ended in failure. It’s not that I couldn’t come up with 10 games that fell in that category for me, but as I was writing about them I realized some things about them and myself. It’s not that I hated those games, it’s more of I just wasn’t so enthused by them. They were games people passed off as some of the greatest of all time, but playing them myself left me with such an empty feeling. I wasn’t playing them to have fun — I was playing them because I felt like I needed to, and all I wanted to do was get to the end. That’s NOT the way a video game should be, as it completely ruins the experience. So looking at these games, and talking about them made me realize that maybe I didn’t not like them, and more of… It just wasn’t the right timing for me to play them… I was in the wrong mind set, and forcing myself to “like” these games just wasn’t the right thing to do.

So anyway, I didn’t publish that list. I stopped half way in, and just pushed it aside. Since then I did go back and play some of the games I added to the list, but I honestly only changed my mind on a few of them. (And it was other reasons that made me like them.) For example, Borderlands 2 comes to mind. Yes, I’m not a fan of these games in general, but Borderlands 2 in VR made it such a blast to play! I had so much fun running around physically using the guns, and I enjoyed driving the cars (which was originally one of the most annoying parts to me). So in general I don’t think it’s a bad game or anything, but I realize it’s still not a series for me, and it’s only because it was in VR that I came to like it. But I don’t hate it! That’s not what this post is about! (Heck I still plan on playing 3 at some point without VR.) Anyway, putting games like this aside… What game out there is it that I truly don’t like? Is there any? Well… Only a few come to mind honestly. Many of them I just didn’t like because they were “bad” NES or SNES games published by LJN — but I’m not going to count those. Nope, I want to look at something newer. A game called Valhalla Knight’s 3!

Oh man. To put it bluntly, this is the biggest piece of trash I have ever played in my life (that’s at least a complete game). Now, disclaimer: it did get an updated version that apparently fixed a lot of issues, but it never came out in the West. Even then I don’t think it could save it. It’s just…. No…

Valhalla Knights seems like a cool game at first. It’s an action JRPG that takes place within a prison, has a deep character builder and class system, and a large cast of characters to upgrade. This might sound like a good thing, but it makes the game even worse in the long run. While the game does have a cast of “main” characters, your party is actually going to be built up of user created characters instead. Characters that all start at level 1, and must be upgraded if you want to have any hope of getting anywhere — which means a lot of grinding. More than you can even imagine.

The first major issue with the game was its loading times. It being on the Vita meant it was limited on what it could do, and every single map is broken up into many, MANY, small areas. Each small area has its own loading screen, and these loading screens were LONG to say the least. Traveling around the hub, you spent more time in loading screens than you did walking. The massive 7 member party system is cool, but again, areas are small to make up for things like this being too demanding. 

The second major problem is the biggest one of all. This is a grind game, and there’s nothing else to it. Right from the get go you quickly realize that you need to upgrade your skills to even get past the intro… Or any party of the game for that matter. To do so you need to kill enemies, and each kill you get only gives you 1-2 points. When skills require 100 points to level up, that means you have to go kill 50 enemies. When skills require 1000 points… Yeah, that’s 500 enemies. Keep in mind we have 7 party members to upgrade here, with a wide verity of stats and abilities that need to be increased to even survive.

That right there is all this game actually is. You accept missions, you grind, you complete the mission, you accept the next mission (usually just to kill things by the way), grind more, finally beat said mission, and repeat. Moment you die, you are either reloading your save or spending all your money to bring back your dead party members — which requires more grinding for money. It’s obvious the point of this game is a time waster, and for people who enjoy the mindless grind to advance. Eventually they did release DLC that gives you SP points with each step you take, but the fact they had to do this tells you that it wasn’t worth playing without it. Not to mention that the game also doesn’t tell you what you need to do with characters, so it’s completely possible to have the wrong class, on the wrong character due to their personality type, and you could spend countless hours upgrading abilities that’ll never go to use. It’s just poorly done, and the game’s difficulty is ultimately artificial. No skill is involved — it just depends how much time you put into it. (How many dozens of hours you spend grinding.) But this isn’t the only issue with the game. Half the game is also dedicated to perverts.

Being in a prison, the female characters are all pretty much “escorts.” You need to “hire” them to get items from a specific area of the city, and the game makes you “become close” to them to unlock things you need. This comes down to you “going on dates” with them, and using the Vita’s touch screen to kiss them, rub their faces, etc. It’s…. Just no. The end goal here is to flat out sleep with them, and it’s just not needed. It was completely pointless, and clearly aimed at perverted dudes. As someone who watches a heck of a lot of anime, and usually laughs at ecchi content, this… This was just going too far. It was pointless, and just another annoying thing you were forced to grind to advance through the game. Er… Yeah I just said that… Anyway! It slowed things down, and I ignored it completely when I had the option to. But you need those unlockables to keep going, or you just have to go grind enemies even more — it’s a never ending battle.

WHY!?!? JUST WHY!?!?

So why did I put myself through this? I have no idea! It was recommended to me, and I had just started working my real job, so I had the money. Figured $40 was worth it for an RPG I might enjoy, and I bought it without doing my research. Jumped in completely blind, and it came back to bite me. Just… Yeah… I still regret the whole thing. I still want those 40 dollars back! It’s still a stain on my PSN Profile! It’s a game I completely hate. It’s playable, and I didn’t see any glitches, but it’s mechanics, load times, and non stop grinding made it not worth it. Heck, it didn’t even have a good story. As someone who actually enjoys grinding in games and in MMOs you’d think I would’ve been okay with it, but no. It pushed everything way too far. Now I did grab the walking SP DLC, but I never even bothered to go back. Even with that it just wasn’t worth it. It’s a game I truly hate, and never plan on replaying. Nor would I ever recommend it to anyone.

So yeah, stay away. You’ll thank me.