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Subject: I REALLY wanted to like this game rss

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A.J. Porfirio
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No, I am not here to discuss a specific game, but the phrase you see in the title. Frankly, I think it is very overused, but that is beside the point I'd like to discuss here.

I am curious if the phrase has the opposite of the intended effect on anyone else... that is, rather than being a soft criticism, it is much worse than simply saying you didn't like, or even hated, the game.

My reasoning is as follows. If you "really wanted to like a game" and the game, upon first glance, is in your 'wheelhouse' per se and it has a theme you love, a mechanic you can't get enough of, or amazing components or whatever. If given that advantage, it does not meet your satisfaction, well than that is far more negative than if you were uninspired by the same things or impartial to them and did not like the game.

I hope I'm making sense here. Or is my assumption that reviewers use this comment as sort of a backhanded compliment off base? Is it really meant to be the absolute slam that I see it as? What do you think?
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Pater Absurdus
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I think that it is occasionally a back handed compliment and sometimes a slam. It ends up depending on the context of the review. I enjoy reading those reviews pretty often though because it generally gives more insight into how the reviewer thinks about games and about his experience. That gives me the context I need to make a better decision.
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TS S. Fulk
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Maybe it's true? The reviewer was excited about a game and really thought they would like it and wanted to like, but it fell flat or didn't live up to the hype. Such things happen a lot around here, at least until people develop hype and hotness filters.
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Mike Jones
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I don't see it as backhanded, but I don't see it in a lot of reviews (because I don't read a lot of reviews).

But, I do read comments where it comes up some and it's used a lot in 'discussion' threads and comments that I'm involved it.

I normally don't 'read into' the phrase as for the most part I take it to mean what it says. For one reason or another the writer wanted to like the game, but it just fell flat for one reason or another.

Maybe it's a favorite designer or really good components, but it didn't come together in the manner you had hoped.

In the long run, the game just isn't for you, but you can see why others might like it or why it might be a good fit for others.

That's how I read it when I do come across or use the phrase.
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Wade Nelson
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When someone says "I really wanted to like this game", I often take their criticisms a little less seriously. I've been in the position where I had hoped and dreamed a game would be awesome, and the only reason it wasn't as fun as it could have been was because of my high expectations.
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p55carroll
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To me, it just means the reviewer was drawn in by the hype and hoped the game would live up to its advertising, but it fell short. Most games do fall short of the hype (that's why they call it hype, I guess), so it's not a strong slam on the game at all; it's just an expression of disappointment. The reviewer is commenting more on the hype (including the early reviews he read or what his friends were saying about the game or whatever) than on the game.

Of course, the comment also clues the reader in that the review is going to be negative. That's kind of a spoiler, but it's probably helpful to those who don't like reading negative reviews.

How would you feel about a review that began, "I REALLY wanted to hate this game"? That'd clue you in that it's going to be a positive review.
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Corey Ellis
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I say this a lot myself. I always feel like I read a lot about games, their reviews, their videos, their components, and especially their unique mechanics...when I am really interested in how all of this will fit together ...I really want to like it...Sometimes I will even try before I buy when I think about games like this. If I think I am going to like it, but I dont...especially if I bought it...then it implies that I wanted to like it but it just fell flat.
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A.J. Porfirio
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Maybe I should clarify that I don't necessarily think that it is the reviewers intent that the comment is meant as a slam. Only that in my opinion, the fact that they want to like a game makes it more often they will and thus when they don't, the game is a great failure. Although as some have mentioned, maybe it is more they are setting too high expectations for a game where it would be almost impossible to meet them...

Thanks for exploring this with me. I appreciate all of your views and opinions.
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Stephen Avery
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I think you go into the game with certain expectations and when they are not met you are disapointed. I was really unhappy initially with Chaos in the the Old World. It is an excellent game but it felt very orderly and calculating for a bunch of Chaos Gods. I wanted sweeping destruction, vice and dessication but what I got was an excellent area control game.

So there may be mechanics or gameplay issues that detract from what you want out of the game.

Steve"I wanted to like this comment but..."Avery
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Ben Friedberg
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I don't know about other people, but yes, I tend to use the phrase as an indication of greater failure since the game PURPORTED to be something that I would like. For instance, I REALLY wanted to like Galaxy Trucker but the bulk of the time was spent in the apparently decisionless 'blow your ship up' phase and took way too long for what the game was. It represents a greater level of disappointment for me, then, say, if I didn't like an incredibly long and complex FFG game with an encyclopedic rulebook and an inability of its adherents to agree on how to even play the darn thing. (Yes, I'm looking at YOU Arkham Horror)
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Matt Riddle
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I thought this was a thread about macao
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Brook Gentlestream
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I really wanted to like this post...


But seriously, I find it useful. Criticism from someone who wanted to like the game and really gave it a chance means more to me, especially if I have a similar reason for really wanting to like the game.

Knowing what kind of games a reviewer prefers and why helps to evaluate the usefulness of a review, and it can be important to note that when someone points out something they didn't like that they took the positives well into account and fully appreciated them.

Further, it can encourage me to see what similar games the reviewer found that didn't disappoint them, since they may likely be on a similar journey, seeking out other games that have those exact same positive qualities.

I really wanted to like Terra Prime, but didn't enjoy the level and type of interaction involved. I really wanted to like Zombies!!! but didn't have enough strategy. Other parts of the game were very spot on, so if these weaknesses don't bother you, you may like these games. If they do, you should note that the weakensses are pretty glaring and overshadow other parts of the game.

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James
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I use this comment very frequently for different reasons. I don't mean it as a slam, just as an expression of disappointment for what could have been. For example, I definitely wanted to like Age of Conan: The Strategy Board Game. I love the theme and am a huge Howard fan. I love the idea of the mechanics of area control and ayssemetric play. It just didn't deliver. Not only did I not get the game I imagined I was getting, likely, with market realities, I likely have missed the chance for a similar themed Conan game to be released that does realize that promise.

I think the comment is providing information that you approached the game in the most receptive way possible; that, likely, if the game merited it, it should have been loved by you, as you would imagine yourself as the target audience for the game. Games aren't math problems; they're traditions, moments, memories and new adventures with good friends. When a game all your friends and you have committed time to disappoints, it's worth mentioning, I think.
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James
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benfriedberg1981 wrote:
(Yes, I'm looking at YOU Arkham Horror)

...and it's staring back at you.

goo

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Mike Pranno
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wadenels wrote:
When someone says "I really wanted to like this game", I often take their criticisms a little less seriously.

"I really wanted to hate this game... and I did." Is that better for you?
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Wade Nelson
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mcpranno wrote:
wadenels wrote:
When someone says "I really wanted to like this game", I often take their criticisms a little less seriously.

"I really wanted to hate this game... and I did." Is that better for you?


No, but it's sillier.
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Paulo Augusto
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It can have both of the meanings:
- the game is so bad that even loving the paralel stuff like theme doesn't cut it;
- the game looks/sounds (and maybe even plays) exactly like something you *think* you would really like but, for some reason, it just doesn't brings you fun when actually playing it.
 
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john m
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It just means the really had high hopes for their enjoyment of the game. It doesn't necessarily mean the game is bad for all people, just them.

I feel this way with lots of things. Had high hopes, got dashed. Other people had good times, good for them. It's not a sin .
 
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Joe V
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Yes. That is something that I say when I feel really let down by a game.
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Jay Lacson
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terminus467 wrote:
Yes. That is something that I say when I feel really let down by a game.
Like Fortune and Glory: The Cliffhanger Game. Man, I really wanted to like that game.
 
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General Norris
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I think it's just a way of saying that you tried to enjoy the good or interesting parts of the game but you couldn't get past it's flaws.

For example, "I wanted to like the Simpsons but the atrocious animation was too much for me to handle"
 
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Ben Friedberg
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TheFlatline wrote:
your enthusiasm wasn't enough to get past the flaws in the game.


this.
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GeekInsight
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To the OP's question, when I use that phrase in my reviews, what I'm saying is that, "This game should have resonated with me, but didn't for some reason." Then I try to explain why. Either the mechanics were convoluted, or the theme wasn't implemented well, or some other reason.

Basically, I see it as a warning. "Whoa, whoa! I know you usually like games like this, but so do I and I didn't like this one. Let me tell you why so that you can determine if this will be an issue for you or not."
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