Games that suprised you with their quality?

SteveTR

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So, one of the games I got for my 3DS was, as I already mentioned, Batman Arkham Origins Blackgate. I'm familiar with the Arkham series of games and since I finished Arkham Asylum, I know what to expect from a game from this series. With that said, I didn't believe Origins Blackgate could be like this, because of the limitations of the 3DS. I expected it to be a simple cash-in that has nothing to do with Arkham Origins. In the end, the game was a pleasant surprise. Almost everything important from the main games is here. The fighting, the Detective Mode, even the grappling hook. I like the 2.5D perspective and I think it suits this game well.

What are the games that surprised YOU?
 

Tragedy's Rebellion

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Feb 21, 2010
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Guild Wars 1. I bought it on a whim without knowing anything about it, because it was only 5 euros. It became one of my favorite games. I don't think this is what you are asking, so I'll add another one - NWN2: Mask of the Betrayer, I expected it to be the same mundane tripe as the vanilla NWN2 (I still enjoyed it, cause I was young, sue me), but it turned out to be excellent, with interesting characters and a meaningful plot.
 

Zhukov

The Laughing Arsehole
Dec 29, 2009
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Bastion

I saw a trailer when it came out and dismissed it with a 'meh'. Then Yahtzee's review convinced me to buy it and I was pleasantly surprised. Fun combat, good storytelling and nifty music.

The Walking Dead

This kinda came out of nowhere. Previously Telltale had only done comedic stuff which never interested me. I got my first look at the game in a let's play and that was enough to get me to buy it. Then it went from strength to strength to eventually enter the pantheon of Games That Made Me Cry.
 

josemlopes

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Jun 9, 2008
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Family Guy Back to the Multiverse: Its overpriced (with re-used assets form other Activision games like MW2) and its just a third person shooter but at least its mechanicly good and manages to be fun. Most games from cartoons are just so poor in quality that having the game work like it was supposed to was enough.
 

Casual Shinji

Should've gone before we left.
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The Last of Us (yes, that game again)

I obviously expected some sort of quality, this being Naughty Dog. But after Uncharted 3 I'd just gotten severely burned out on that whole formula, and I expected TLoU to just be more of the same. But the realistic, grounded approach to the combat, non-regenerating health, and the real-time crafting and healing was a breath of fresh air to a stale genre. And ofcourse the nuanced manner at which it presented its characters and told its story was something I had not seen in any similar game either.

Okami

The only reason I bought this game at launch was because of the unique art style and the novelty of the brush gameplay. I didn't expect a highly engaging action game with lovable and funny characters who had an epic tale to tell.

Metal Gear Solid

Back when it first came out there was a lot of buzz surrounding it. But all I saw from magazine articles was a rather ugly looking game where the characters barely had a face to speak of, and a military setting, which I was allergic to at the time. Then when I rented it on a whim I had the ignorance slapped right out of me by a terrific story, characters, atmosphere, and mind boggling easter eggs.
 

StriderShinryu

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I'm currently playing a game by the name of Valdis Story that I picked up cheap on Steam the other day. It looked like a neat little indie game with an anime art style and an attempt at a more robust combat system than a lot of 2D games. What I ended up getting was a meaty Metroidvania style game with gorgeous 2D art, with very solid combat, nicely designed old school boss battles and an absolutely amazing musical score.
 

ZCAB

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- Batman: Arkham Asylum. Before I played it, I thought it would be alright, but not "top 10 of this generation" alright.
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2007). I didn't mind the idea of the series switching to a modern setting (since I was tired of WW2 even after skipping Call of Duty 3), but I didn't think it would fit the CoD formula. I was very wrong, at least for this installment.
- Assassin's Creed: Black Flag. Finally, an AC game that has enough going for it for me to forgive its many flaws.
- Grand Theft Auto III. While the installments before it were entertaining, they weren't exactly masterpieces. Not only was GTA III among the greatest games ever released at the time, it had little to no hype for it before it was out. It was just there all of a sudden.
- Saints Row IV. I thought The Third was incredibly lazy, and put too much emphasis on being nuts. While this installment is even crazier, at least it has much stronger writing and a lot more fun gameplay. I would still have preferred a proper sequel to SR2, but this is a fun game by itself.
 

BathorysGraveland2

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Skyrim vanilla: Usually, Bethesda games are pretty lackluster on their own and require mods to keep their heads above the water, but Skyrim really impressed me right out of the box. It was very playable in its vanilla state and kept me interested for quite some time before I even started looking at mods. Whether you see this as a good thing for them improving, or a negative thing that they should have already nailed by now, is up to you.
 

alphamalet

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Spec Ops: The Line


I expected another Modern Military Shooter, and that is certainly not what Spec Ops is.
 

Elvis Starburst

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Dust: An Elysian Tale

Was going into this after the YouTuber SomeCallMeJohnny did a review on it, and it looked cool. I was also a bit wary of it, but I got it for $4 on a steam sale. Couldn't hurt, right? Well, little did I know that I'd have found one of my fave games ever in my life. I LOVE the voice acting and characters (Fidget, so freakin adorable!!!), the music is wonderful, art style is beautiful, great length for a game, and just... All of it. I loved it. Doing side quests was actually interesting for me as well. I loved this game a lot. It really surprised me!
 

Ihateregistering1

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Mar 30, 2011
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X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

It was based on a (in my opinion) pretty bad movie, it was a movie tie-in game (usually the kiss of death), and I figured since it was a tie-in to a PG-13 movie, it was going to be a sanitized Wolverine game with him fighting Robots or various other bloodless battles.

Boy was I wrong.

The game only very loosely followed the movie's plot, was probably one of the most brutally violent games I've ever played, was fun (though a little too easy), had great boss battles, did a great job of referencing other X-Men trivia throughout, and was just downright enjoyable. The effects they did for Wolverine healing from his insane wounds was also awesome (you'd get shot to ribbons, and then could watch as his skin and muscle grew back).
 

Vausch

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Dec 7, 2009
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Shadow Warrior 2013.

My friend kept bugging me to play it and I really didn't have any expectations going in, but then I found the sword combat really fun, the monsters varied, the power system intriguing, generally good humour all around, and the story with Hoji was surprisingly sad.

Biggest flaw I'd say is that you only get the badass sword by the last level, lose it, get it 5 minutes later, and the game ends rather depressingly for something that opened with a guy with a thick Chinese accent singing along to "The Touch".
 

Lugbzurg

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Mar 4, 2012
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Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale
Who knew it was possible to make a game about running an item shop this much fun!? And this is coming from the guy who's been replaying the past Serious Sam games over and over again!

Dust: An Elysian Tail
Ok, I was well-aware that this game was good. Really good, in fact. But dang... This story is just incredible! And such terrific voice acting and writing! And that music! Oh, man... I always have to stop for a couple minutes when Dust & Fidget set up camp and pull out the World Map...

Riviera: The Promised Land
I checked this game out on a whim after reading the following quote on the "Winged Humanoid" page of TV Tropes...

Lina: How are your wings attached?
Serene: They just grow on my back.
Lina: They don't come off?
Serene: Do your arms come off?
? Riviera: The Promised Land

Granted, they didn't get the quote exact. I know Cierra said one of those lines... But yes, that quote just got to me so well, I simply had to know what this "Riviera" thing was. And would you know it? This actually turned out to be one of my favorite JRPGs! I also love how the story seems like your usual generic JRPG story flare, only to turn everything on its head and do something entirely different by the first boss! (Well, there are some hints before then, but it's completely unveiled by that point!)
 

Flunk

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Feb 17, 2008
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Tomb Raider (2013), which I got for about $15 on sale on Steam. I never liked the old Tomb Raider games but for some reason the reviews convinced me that this one was different. What surprised me more was that it really was different. The game-play is good, the control is excellent and the graphics are great (if you have a super computer, like me).

There are a few strange plot points and sometimes Lara is portrayed as a scared research assistant who normally doesn't venture into the wilderness and sometimes like a spec ops commando to whom having to kill hundreds of people to stay alive is totally normal and in no way unexpected.

Anyway, I was expecting something akin to "The Angel of Darkness" which was the last Tomb Raider game I'd played, because it came free with a video card which was so terrible and had such worthless controls that I didn't make it through the first level before throwing the disc out the window. So getting a game I thought was good enough to compete for game of the year was a big surprise and I enjoyed it immensely. I expect I'll likely buy the next one.

It is a bit short though so make sure to get it on sale.
 

Stevepinto3

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Jun 4, 2009
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Outlast, oddly enough.

I saw the trailer for it and for whatever reason was not impressed. But then all I heard was praise for it from people I know to be real horror fanatics so I gave it a shot when it went on sale on Steam.

Blew me away. One of the most terrifying experiences I've ever had (in a good way). It proved to me that jump scares aren't bad, it's poorly paced jump scares that are bad.
 

Nimzar

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Nov 30, 2009
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Kingdom Hearts

...remember when the game was first announced? Squaresoft[footnote]Remember when Squaresoft and Enix were two companies?[/footnote] is making a DISNEY[footnote]Those were/are usually poor quality movie tie-in titles[/footnote] game with Final Fantasy characters in it? This sounds like shitty cross-over fan fiction. And well, everyone knows what happened next.
 

Saulkar

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Beyond Good And Evil: I kept hearing all these great things about the game but was wary considering it was 10 years old and the screenshots did not impress me. Shit son, that game was gud, gud, gud! Aesthetically fascinating with a descent story and not too shabby melee combat combined with interesting environments, characters, enemies, flora and fauna, and little twists that ensured I would enjoy myself the entire way through!

The music was not bad either:
 

Tanis

The Last Albino
Aug 30, 2010
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Blade Kitten
Kawaii is fuck, with a neko as can be female lead.
Turns out, beyond some questionable voice acting, it's a damn fine game.

Giana Sisters - Twisted Dreams
I REALLY enjoyed the DS game, and this didn't disappoint as a great sequel.

A Walk In The Dark
A Limbo clone, with a cat?
O...wait...nope something more than that!
 

Spiritmaster

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Dec 4, 2012
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For me it would be Tales of Maj'Eyal (ToME 4). I bought it thinking it was just another indie rpg rogue-like, which have become rather popular lately. The big variety in classes and play styles, the killer soundtrack, and great game-play were not things I was expecting.