Time is precious. When it comes to playing video games, there are too many to waste time on any I am not enjoying. Each month, my backlog has a few casualties – games I consider “dropped” – where I’ve put in enough time or made the realization that I am not having fun.
In December, I dropped three games:
- Disco Elysium (PC, 2019)
- New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe (Switch, 2019)
- Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition (PC, 2013)
Disco Elysium (PC, 2019)
At $31.99 on sale, that was still a splurge for me. Disco Elysium caught my attention because of comparisons to Planescape: Torment, one of my favorites. Like that game, it mostly revolves around dialogue and dialogue choices, rather than any actual combat. All of that is true, but no one told me I would feel gross playing the game.
Almost immediately, Disco Elysium gave me a similar vibe to Hotline: Miami. There’s a certain intangible quality about either that leaves me feeling gross, disgusting, and disturbed. I am not against this kind of subject matter, and I am especially fond of dark humor, but both just felt too wrong for me to keep playing.
That’s not to say whether Disco Elysium is good or bad. It just was not for me.
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe (Switch, 2019)
I picked up New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe back in March of this year. At the time, I was wanting some classic Mario action. I never really bothered much with other games in this particular offshoot of the Mario franchise, so I thought this was a good place to start.
Despite wanting a Mario game, I could never get into this one. The jumping felt all wrong to me. With every character, I felt like I was floating, and platforms felt far more slippery than I am used to. When compared to other platformers I’ve finished recently (Hollow Knight and Celeste) this one felt off. When compared to other Mario games I’ve finished recently (Odyssey, 3D World, 3D Land), it just wasn’t a good representation of the plumber.
Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition (PC, 2013)
When I was younger, before MMOs got their hooks into me, I mostly played WRPGs like Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale, and the previously mentioned Planescape: Torment. I have a fond memory of the genre and its many classics.
Returning to Baldur’s Gate quickly reframed those memories, however. I remember the game being challenging, but upon my return, I realize it’s more dull than anything. If this is a true reflection of the Dungeons & Dragons rules at the time, I am glad I started playing with 5th Edition because combat in Baldur’s Gate is a series of many misses until one or two hits kills something. Its dull.
Worse, I had forgotten how slow it is to move around in games like this. Younger me had infinite more patience than my modern day, coddled self. Everything about Baldur’s Gate is slow, awkward, or designed intentionally to waste time rather than enrich it.
I bought Planescape: Torment Enhanced Edition a while back. I haven’t played it yet, but after Disco Elysium and Baldur’s Gate, I am worried that part of me is lost to time, and that I won’t enjoy it anymore. I really hope not. I am still desperate for a D&D 5E Planescape source book. I loved and still want to love that setting.