I recently decided that I want to get out of my comfort zone when it comes to video games. Although I have a lot of fun playing classic adventure games, first-person shooters and action RPGs, I’ve noticed there are a lot of games out there I never played because they seem impenetrable. Playing something you know you’re going to like is easy and comfortable, but playing something completely new has its rewards as well.
Most of the games below are niche, independent or hard to get into, so they are definitely not for everybody. But what if I tell you that they can become your new obsession? What if one of the titles mentioned in this article can be one of your all-time favorites? I guess you won’t find out until you try them. There a dozens of games I could have included in this article and I might have missed something, so let me know what you think in the comments below. Also, which is the game you never played because it seemed inaccessible at first, but became obsessed with it once you tried them?
Dark Souls has a bad reputation. Although most people who had the chance to play this game focus on its high difficulty, I’m sure they didn’t give the game enough time. To be fair, Dark Souls it’s not for everybody: this is a game that will try to break your spirit over and over, but once you realize that death is just another mechanic and that you die over and over because you’re too confident, Dark Souls will finally make sense. Try it for a few hours, don’t be afraid to make as many mistakes as you can and learn from them.
Although Monster Hunter is a triple-A title that costs millions of dollars to make, I included it on this list because it’s not popular outside of Japan. Monster Hunter is unlike anything else and while some of the latest entries in the series have been more accessible, the game isn’t nearly as popular here as it’s in Japan. At first, you might have to read some Wikis and walkthroughs that have some general tips, but if you find someone kind enough to play with that has some knowledge about what’s going on in this game, Monster Hunter can be a one way trip.
One of the reasons why Dota 2 is so difficult to get into is because of its community. Also, the game itself does a poor job of explaining its convoluted mechanics, so if you want to get into Dota 2, get ready to make a lot of mistakes and read information online. There’s a lot of information about the game in video form, so if you don’t mind watching long tutorials online, you’ll become better in a matter of hours. Also, playing with people who know what they are doing and have the patience to explain what’s going on can be one of the most productive experiences you can have.
If you visit video game websites on a regular basis, you’ve probably heard about this rogue-like game. In this unique platformer, the environments change every single time you start playing, so there’s definitely a factor of luck involved. But there’s also a matter of memorizing and perfecting the game’s mechanics in order to succeed. That means playing the game over and over, but once you have that solid run, the sense of satisfaction you get is unlike anything else.
People who know anything about EVE Online often call it “spreadsheet the game.” EVE’s universe is really complex, since players can participate in several jobs like mining, manufacturing, trading, combat and so on. The gameplay probably puts a lot of people off and the economy is so complex that people compare it to that of small countries, but you don’t lose anything by just trying the game. Note that this is a subscription-based game, so if you like the game after the trial period, you’ll have to pay a monthly subscription.
I would call Persona niche rather than impenetrable, but I know a lot of people will never try any of those games just because they look like generic JRPGs. The Persona series has been around for a long time and while some of the older entries in the series were harder to get into, titles like Persona 3 and 4 have been much more accessible to newcomers.
Divinity: Original Sin
Creating CRPGs like the ones that came out in the 90s isn’t viable anymore. But then something like Divinity: Original Sin comes along and takes the world by surprise. If you are remotely interested in the genre, but you don’t want to go back to old Bioware games, give this game a chance. Original Sin is the best CRPG in years.
Earth Defense Force
For those unfamiliar, Earth Defense Force is a series of third-person shooters where you kill giant bugs. So what’s wrong with that? The series has been criticized for being repetitive and for having some technical issues, poor graphics and voice acting, but I’m pretty sure those people forget that Earth Defense Force is trying to focus on pure, relentless action and nothing more. This is the equivalent of a B-movie.
Getting into most fighting game series is remarkably daunting, especially as soon as you realize the depth that’s behind those titles. Most fighting games are accessible enough that most people can pick up a controller and beat some random opponents, but as soon as you have the chance to play against someone who clearly knows what they are doing, you realize that you don’t know anything about the game. Guilty Gear is moving towards that, since this is a convoluted fighting game where several mechanics come into play.
Japanese visual novels were never exactly popular in America, but hopefully that can change in the near future. The pace tends to be slow and players usually have to select responses and solve puzzles for the action to continue. This type of gameplay is certainly not for everybody, but there are certainly some good stories to check out in this visual novels.
Bonus Entry: Dynasty Warriors
It’s easy to make fun of something new never played. You may look at something like Dynasty Warriors and laugh at the game for trying something different, but it isn’t until you try it that you can say that you like it or not. To be fair, the series does have its fair share of problems and the story can be so dense and the gameplay repetitive, but you can grab any of the dozens of entries in the series and see for yourself. Who knows? Maybe you’ll like it.