As gamers, we all have those titles lurking within our backlog that we just couldn't bring ourselves to finish whether they were too long, too frustrating, or tedious. Video games can require a hefty amount of time to complete and if they fumble in holding our attention it's more than easy enough to get distracted by the allure of yet another title. Here are just a few games that we are yet to see through to the end for one reason for another:
Dark Souls 3 - The Ringed City - Kieran Harris
Dark Souls 3 was the game that single handedly inspired this entire article. Up until the last stretch of this sequel, I was brimming with confidence, as with some practice I had been able to conquer the original Dark Souls, and it's even more punishing Artorias of the Abyss DLC. The Ringed City, however, was where I reached my breaking point. This final gauntlet tested my patience right out of the gate with ghost-archers insta-killing me with a barrage of arrows and angel-like creatures forcing me to dash for cover to avoid their insanely powerful beams.
After seeing the 'You Died' screen more times than I care to admit, I was able to make my way to the final boss, Slave Knight Gael. This last roadblock in my way to beating the game proved to be a real pain as his HP was bulky and his attacks were extremely unpredictable. I found myself on the verge of taking him down several times just to be caught off guard and steamrolled by one of his combos. What hurts even more about this fight is that Gael assisted me in taking down several other bosses when I was able to use him as a summonable NPC. Come on, Gael. I thought we were friends?
Far Cry 4 - Ben Lyons
When I was asked about the games that pushed me to my breaking point, crushingly difficult titles instantly spring to mind. Soulslikes, Super Meat Boy, Battletoads are all there for sure, but that's because they are designed with brutal challenges at the forefront. One game, however that wasn't hard to beat, but provided me with enough disappointment that I had no interest in finishing it was Far Cry 4. This was the sequel to the absolutely stellar Far Cry 3, and it was released at a time when the whole open-world formula concept was less of a blaring issue.
Yet, when Far Cry 4 released I found it to be severely less gripping to its predecessor and if anything, much more repetitive. The villain Pagan Min also seemed like a massive step down to Far Cry 3's Vaas, and while the map, the flora and the fauna was vastly different, I found it's world to be less enjoyable to explore. Considering Far Cry 4 was Ubisoft's first title on the new at the time PS4/Xbox One consoles, I couldn't help but feel disappointed with what was delivered, and that belief stuck around with me until the release of Far Cry 5, which was equally unintuitive.
Maneater - Kieran Harris
Maneater was a game that I really wanted to love, but in the end I couldn't even drag myself to reach the ending credits. It basically allows you to play as one of nature's deadliest creatures and it has RPG mechanics implemented in hilarious ways with it being touted as a 'shaRkPG.' What's not to love then? Well, I found myself abandoning my time roaming the bayous and bays due to how repetitive and tedious progressing through the story felt.
Up until the final stretch, the story had me invested with it acting like a nature documentary and following the ongoing war between a shark and its hunter. I was keen to see the aftermath of this rivalry, but I wasn't able to do so without completing several objectives. Within each new area of the game you have to repeat the same basic tasks of killing humans, swallowing up aquatic life, and then battling against a giant sea monster. In the end, I did the unthinkable and resorted to YouTube to escape this repetitive loop and seek resolution for the story.
Super Mario Sunshine - Kieran Harris
I feel pretty ashamed admitting this one given that I reviewed Super Mario 3D All-Stars not that long back, but Sunshine still remains as one of the few Mario titles that I've not beaten. The sun drenched setting of Isle Delfino is stunning and I love how the game stands out from the series for having a more focused story, but there was just one major obstacle that prevented me from wanting to continue any further and that was F.L.U.D.D.
Sure, this water pack device gives Mario even more platforming abilities and it does provide more of a combat-focused approach, but it just feels so damn tedious to use. When firing blasts of water during boss fights Mario has to be standing perfectly still, and it feels clunky on the Switch to correctly position your blast. It might make for a divisive opinion too, but I also disliked how the traditional platforming we have come to love from the series has been significantly altered here, as you're often reliant on F.L.U.D.D's abilities to soar higher. With this god awful contraption being such a fundamental part of gameplay, I couldn't help but throw in the towel on this one.
Monster Hunter World - Ben Lyons
There are some games out there that people seem to universally enjoy, but you just can't seem to gel with. For me, Monster Hunter World is one of those games. I picked up the Capcom title on its launch day alongside a friend, and we planned to explore the monster slaying world together for the most part. But, the atrociously designed user interface, and ridiculously steep learning curve that pretty much alienates any new player put us both off the title within a few hours, and despite returning a few months ago to give it another try, we found ourselves facing the same issues.
I'm not saying that Monster Hunter World is a bad game at all. The gameplay is fun and the world is exciting to venture out into, but it is really challenging to pick up and play. The title was clearly designed to suit veterans of the franchise from minute one, and those of us just looking to try something new were pretty much left out in the rain because of it. It's not very often that the UI and learning curve puts me off a game, but considering I don't have immense amounts of time or the effort to rigorously study and learn the intricate meta game details, Monster Hunter World became a pretty big no-no for me very quickly.