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Thread: The Scarily Obsessive Games

  1. #1
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo

    The Scarily Obsessive Games

    Well if Sulph Tomi is going to post about sadly neglected games, it stands to reason we should have a thread on the other side of the coin, games we (for some time at least) obsessed over and played way more than one typically plays a game, e.g., way beyond just "finishing" the game.

    For me that list would include
    - Minecraft, when I was dabbling with mods like Buildcraft and fan maps.
    - Subnautica, when I was building the perfect base
    - Avorion, when I was building the perfect ship (I see a theme developing)
    - Civ 3, for obvious reasons.
    - Victoria 3. I don't know. Alt-history is fun, I guess?
    - Skyrim. I like aimlessly riding horses.
    - GTA3/SA/5, and driving cars.
    - Thief 2, for the FMs.
    - Deadly Rooms of Death, also lots of fan levels.
    - Edit: Also Mirror's Edge and Shattered Pixel (a Roguelike on Android) for just replaying for its own sake.
    - Back in the day, I can recall games I played ritually, 1080, Bard's Tale 2, a game called Rags to Riches.
    Last edited by demagogue; 27th Oct 2019 at 19:37.

  2. #2
    Registered: Jun 2003
    Location: Darmstadt, Germany

    I'd just gotten my first PC back in 1998 and StarCraft was the first full game I played. I was pretty bad (Keyboard shortcuts - what's that? APM over 20 - haha, yeah, no!) but still managed to finish it and Brood War, then all the custom campaigns, then I played all the multiplayer maps vs the AI, first Free for All, then Melee (all vs me), then I played them all again, multiple times, but with cheats. What cheats? "Black sheep wall" for showing the entire map and "Staying alive" for the game to keep playing after I'm eliminated. Then I'd pick Terran, set Free for All, have my SCVs kill the command center and then each other and then I'd watch the AI players duke it out. So yeah, I was spectating games before and before it was cool!

    Also Heroes of Might and Magic 3. Several years ago I'd estimated my total play time since I started playing it in 1999 and it came to at least 3000 hours, maybe more. My first PC was a Pentium 200 MMX with 32MB of RAM and when I played one of the largest maps in melee mode, it would take literally 1-3 minutes per turn to complete the AI turn. Good times, good times.

  3. #3
    Excluding various board games, my top 5 most played games on Steam are:

    Terraria with 1500ish hours. I can just sit down with that game for half an hour, or several hours, and just plug away at exploring a world, building some housing, or fighting bosses. The core gameplay loop in the unmodded game hasn't gotten boring for me yet.

    CiV has some 550 hours, and well it's a Civ game so yea.

    Champions Online has 400 Steam hours (and who knows how many times that from before I started using Steam to log in). The game is now over 10 years old and of the Superhero MMOs, this has the character building mechanics I enjoy the most. Not the best animations or cutscenes, but that's only something that bothers me while those cutscenes are playing.

    Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen has 272 hours according to Steam, and I've gone through the main story of both the base game and the Dark Arisen DLC several times. It just lends itself to repeated playthroughs for me. Also the first game with Monster Hunter-type gameplay I played.

    Warlock - Master of the Arcane modern version of Master of Magic, lacks some stuff compared to MoM but also has some other stuff. A decent game, as is the sequel.

    And while it may be a fair bit down on the Steam Playtime list, Morrowind has been a permanent install on all my PCs since I bought it back in 2002. And I've played more characters than I can remember. But while Dagoth Ur has been vanquished more than 10 times, I've only completed the Tribunal main quest once and the Bloodmoon main quest twice.

  4. #4
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Yeah okay. I've got like a few games I keep revisiting forever. Not on the order of a pilgrimage or obsessively mining for truths, but because they feel a bit like... returning home. And so they're never going off my hard drive: Homeworld, Prince of Persia: SoT, and Okami. They're never going to get old for me, so playing them's essentially a yearly/two-yearly ritual.

    Also, there's N, which has been fantastic (and free) since forever, and its levels are always good for a quick bit of excellence when I need a short, precise platforming fix with unnecessary self-violence.

  5. #5
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    I've been obsessed with QUITE a few games in my life time:

    Alien vs Predator 1 & 2 - These games just have something special about them. Played both of them a fair bit.

    Doom 2 - This one is mostly due to mods which kept the game going strong for decades after it's release.

    Civilization 1 - Back when I still played DOS games a lot, this I played a lot.

    Command and Conquer 1 & Red Alert 1 - Cheesy but awesome FMVs and fantastic gameplay. I was hooked on these games for years. Hell I still love to play them nowadays.

    Fallout - New Vegas - I love the Fallout games. Well everything up to and including New Vegas. After that no. But New Vegas just grabbed me more than the rest, and I love returning to it.

    Half-Life 1 & 2 - Another one that is primarily due to the mod scene. So many great singleplayer mods for it.

    Quake 1 & the Expansions - For me id Software was at their best with John Romero. As soon as he left the quality level dropped and the magic was lost. Sure I was far more into Doom 1 & 2 even back then, but Quake 1 was great in it's own way, and zomg the machinema scene that appeared round then.

    Shadowrun (SNES) - Man I was OBSESSED with this game when I first came across it. Played through it so many times that I've lost count.

    Starcraft & Broodwar - Blizzard was top of their game when they released this. I was OBSESSED with this game for years. Singleplayer and multiplayer.

    Syndicate & Syndicate Plus - This was the first game I ever played, that had you playing as the bad guys. I played this game to death.

    System Shock 2 - Duh. The scene here and nowadays FAR more so over on has kept me playing it often.

    The 7th Guest - This game is just so unique. Haunted mansion, good FMVs, progressively harder puzzles as you proceed. Played this game so many times.

    Wing Commander 3 & 4 - I love FMV games, and these 2 games had Mark "Luke Skywalker" Hamil in them. Flying a ship against bad guys. Enough said. 4 in particular was imo one of the best FMV games of all time.

    Warcraft 2 - Warcraft 1 was good, but 2 is where things got great. 3 went 3D and more RPG-like in nature, so it's 2 that just hooked me. I played this game ALL THE TIME.

    Wolfenstein 3D - This was my first taste of FPS games. I love the style of it, how it doesn't even remotely try to be realistic. It's just an awesome game. Been playing it on my break hours at work. The "Wolfendoom" TCs for Doom 2 extended my love for it also.

    X-COM: Terror From the Deep - I completely get that this game is almost broken. And it is hard as hell. But that's why I love it, and keep coming back to it. This game was my light in the darkness during crap times in high school (of getting bullied). This game was my escape. If I remember right, my first proper play through of it went for 6 months. I kept stubbornly attacking every UFO expecting to proceed, but nope I had to go to an alien base and capture a lobsterman technician.
    Last edited by icemann; 27th Oct 2019 at 14:12.

  6. #6
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Quote Originally Posted by demagogue View Post
    Well if Sulph is going to post about sadly neglected games
    That was Tomi!

    I actually don't have a lot of these, not for the last decade at least. Seems like most gamers have some game in their Steam account they've spent hundreds of hours with, but the only one I have that cracks the 100h mark is Frozen Synapse, at 106h. I usually just finish a game once and then move on to the next thing. FS was one of the rare occasions I got hooked on a game's multiplayer mode.

    I guess the closest thing to an unhealthy obsession I've had for the last few years would be Desert Golfing, on Android. Yeah, the game where you're just golfing through the desert endlessly? I finished it. Only took around 150 hours. It is one of my most cherished gaming achievements.

    Here, let us peer into my madness together...

    Last edited by henke; 27th Oct 2019 at 14:19.

  7. #7
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Ooof, I have a lot of these.
    Half Life 1. I dunno, for a long time it was like comfort shooting.
    Deus Ex 1. Man I've played that game way too much, trying all sorts of paths.
    Dark Messiah. Again, so many valid ways to play, and so many terrible ways to play that I still tried anyway.
    Mirror's Edge. This is sort of different from most of my obsessions. More like HL1, in a sense.
    FTL. Ooof. It took me some 400 hours just to unlock the Crystal Cruiser. And then the Advanced Edition came out.
    Invisible Inc. I wish this were a genre now.
    Into the Breach. I keep thinking I'm done with this.

  8. #8
    Easily Don't Starve for me. Almost 500 hours on Steam. In addition, I've bought it on PS4 and on the Switch. I think I downloaded the GOG version too just for convenience. I don't know what it is about the game, maybe because it's easy to jump back into it at any time. Or maybe the obsession is because it can't actually be finished or solved.

    Others that probably qualify - Far Cry 3/4, Skyrim, and Dying Light. All huge open world games that I have to find every single little nook and cranny that exists.

    Also, Hyperlight Drifter. Played it a couple times through on PC, and then bought it for Switch and did the same. I just love the world and the soundtrack. Now that I think about it, I did pretty much the same with Hollow Knight as well.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by henke View Post
    Desert Golfing ... I finished it.
    So after 150 hours you finally got out of the bunker and landed in the water hazard. I mean, that's a rough time on the links if ever I saw one.

  10. #10
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Quote Originally Posted by henke View Post
    That was Tomi!
    Oops! Mea culpa. I evidently went by the last poster rather than the first, sorry Tomi. I'll fix it.

    HalfLife 2 and Tomb Raider 4 (I think it was 4) had fan levels that I got into to some extent, but they weren't systematized like Thief 2, Minecraft, or Skyrim's mods. I mean different ones installed differently, or (in the case of HL2) they were all over the place theme-wise. So I guess that's why they didn't get on the list for me.

  11. #11
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: Netherlands
    No game will ever be as obsessive/addictive/time-consuming as World Of Warcraft was in 2005-2010. Not just for me, but for a *lot* of people. I wasted 10K+ hours playing that game. And I would estimate that I have spent a few thousands of hours reading about the game as well. That is roughly 7 full man-years worth of time. No regrets. Except for the fact that Blizzard demolished the game. They ruined their goose with the golden eggs. Just for a few extra bucks in the short-term. That plan killed the potential of the game in the long run. I don't feel sorry for them, greedy bastards.

    I'm 4 Years, 10 months and 2 weeks clean. And counting.

  12. #12
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Did you know there's a WoW Classic server now???

  13. #13
    Registered: May 2004
    Besides those that have already been mentioned...

    I've spent a lot of all-nighters on Magic: The Gathering (MicroProse 1997). There's just something so satisfying about it (besides MTG being as addictive as ever) -- not sure if it's the deck building or the opponent deck variety or something else entirely.

    Then there are all those one more turn strategy games... hard to choose here, but Alpha Centauri is probably on top of the list.

    From roguelikes, it's Nethack I keep returning to time and time again. There may be other roguelikes that have more to offer, but it's just like an old glove that fits incredibly well at this point.

    As for roguelites, The Binding of Isaac is ever as fantastic a game as it is dark and disturbing.

    Silent Hill 2
    I keep replaying from time to time just to re-experience the story and the atmosphere. It's like a favourite movie.

    Dark Souls I still play from time to time, but I've mostly moved on by now. Still not yet tired of soulslikes as a genre, though.

  14. #14
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: Netherlands
    Quote Originally Posted by Pyrian View Post
    Did you know there's a WoW Classic server now???
    Of course. And there are many more than just one Classic server. 37 Classic servers in Europe. Classic is a huge success. Some people estimate that Classic is being played more than Retail (the current game) at the moment.

    I resisted !

    I must admit, I did follow the news closely during the weeks before and after launch. A week after launch I even installed the client on my PC. But I did not buy a subscription. I did not log in. I did not contact my old guild-mates. I did not play. (And of course I removed the client again).

    I don't believe the hype that games are addictive and make our youth suck. I think the world sucks, and gaming is a great tool to escape from the world (for a while). I've played a lot of games between November 1998 (release of HL1) and summer of 2015 (when my gaming hours dropped to zero/week some times). But I always felt I was in control. I played when I wanted, and when I didn't want to play, I didn't. When a game was done, I'd move on to the next game. If it is considered normal to spend 25 hours/week watching TV, then playing games 25 hours/week should be fine as well. Or even better. But WoW was different. There have been (many) weeks where I played 70 hours/week. There have been stretches of months where the only thing that was on my mind was WoW. Maybe it was not healthy. It was fun, it was not like I was lying in my own filth with a needle in my arm. But for the first time in my life I thought I could recognize how people get addicted to something. (I like to think I don't do addictive stuff: I hardly drink (less than a dozen glasses per year), I never did drugs, I never smoked a cigarette, I detest gambling). But WoW was something different.

    I don't want to play WoW again, because the (current) game is not fun anymore. And I hate Blizzard and never want to pay another cent to them. But if another game comes along that is very good, and consumes thousands of hours of play time, I might be running to join. Unfortunately I don't think we'll see many such games again, tbh. Maybe RDR2 ? GTAV was fun, but I didn't play that game for 40 hours/week during multiple years. As I wrote in another thread yesterday, I struggled to finish the game. So I don't think RDR2 will take that much time either. Maybe The Elder Scrolls VI ? Skyrim took a few hundred hours, but nothing comparable to WoW.
    Last edited by Gryzemuis; 28th Oct 2019 at 09:46.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Gryzemuis View Post
    I don't believe the hype that games are addictive and make our youth suck.
    Games in general are not addictive, but some games are designed specifically to push every single button that is known to the developers in an attempt at making their players psychologically dependent on the game. Some people have a higher resistance to those tactics than others.

  16. #16
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: Netherlands
    True. But I'm under the impression that that aspect is something that started roughly 10 years ago. Before 2010, games were mostly about "you pay us money once, we'll deliver a fun game once". After ~2010 all that changed. And many publishers have been trying to rack in as much money as possible via all kinds of tricks (unnecessary subscriptions, in-game purchases, pay2win, lootboxes, etc). Maybe that's why I'm less into games nowadays, there's just fewer (AAA) games without all that bullshit.

  17. #17
    Registered: May 2004
    This is because in the olden times you had big companies like... *checks notes* *blinks* ...EA who supported developers and creativity and saw their work as art, rather than a product. These days most of the publishers are after the bottom line and nothing else.

    Last edited by Starker; 28th Oct 2019 at 15:58.

  18. #18
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Qantas
    Besides the usual TTLG favorites, I would say:
    Flight Simulator
    SSX 3
    Project: Space Station on the C64
    Chasing Minesweeper records

    I used to waste a lot of time playing sims, but no single game really stands out besides the aforementioned FS. I dodged a bullet by skipping Civilization and watched my roommate nearly miss graduation because of it. I went through a golf phase for several years too, but the games kept changing.

  19. #19
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    Quote Originally Posted by Brethren View Post
    Hyperlight Drifter.
    Such a great game. I was in an indie playing space and played Fez and The Witness around the same time. Never finished those, HLD was great though.

    For me the games I can play again and again are FTL for single player, an Company of Heroes 2 for MP. They never get old.

  20. #20
    Registered: Sep 2011
    Quote Originally Posted by heywood View Post
    SSX 3
    mmm magic game, my favorite on PS2. It was one of the few games that I tried to play less to make it last longer.

  21. #21
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by Starker View Post
    This is because in the olden times you had big companies like... *checks notes* *blinks* ...EA who supported developers and creativity and saw their work as art, rather than a product. These days most of the publishers are after the bottom line and nothing else.
    Well if you look at the companies original motives, which sprang from their reason for starting the company. Atari was awful to employees. Not allowing them to put their name anywhere in the games they made, treating games dev as like a production line in a factory etc. That eventually caused Trip Hawkin's and others to lead a mass exodus from Atari to go and create EA. For a good while EA was great to employees, but then somewhere in the 90s, EA began to be progressively more like the Atari of old, Trip left EA to head up the 3DO project and everything went to shit both for Atari and the 3DO.

  22. #22
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    That reminds me of my favorite easter egg ever where the author of Adventure on the Atari 2600 put his name into the game because Atari wouldn't. I didn't find the easter egg at the time, but I definitely knew there was something in that room because it blinked even when there weren't AI or other objects around.

    Speaking of obsessive games, I still play that game on my phone on long commutes. Something really pure about it. And I guess while we're on the topic, Bard's Tale 2 (the other old school game I already mentioned really getting into) also defined peak "good EA" for me.

  23. #23
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Maupertuis
    Quote Originally Posted by demagogue View Post
    - Deadly Rooms of Death, also lots of fan levels.
    Whoa! A fellow DRoD fan! I think this is one of the few series that merits long-term commitment. I am particularly impressed by its designers' guiding philosophy of puzzle creation, which centers around the concept of a "lynchpin" -- a puzzle should seem intractable until the player makes one key insight, at which point it becomes easy.

    I still hope to one day finish all the Smitemaster's Selections, but damn do those get hard.

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