“That genre didn’t click with me, until I played…”

We all have ’em: genres that you just don't enjoy playing. But perhaps you also have the experience of never enjoying a genre, until you played a certain game that really hit the spot. It‘s a powerful experience every time! Let’s tell those stories in this thread: those times when you played a game that made you think “oh, so that’s what brawlers are about!” Or, on the flipside, perhaps you only enjoy that one action puzzler, but still feel good that you managed to enjoy a game in a genre that you didn't think could ever click with you.

(“Genre” here is used loosely – feel free to mention games of any category, type, or attribute!)


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The “recommend me something” version of this thread is [The “How to Enjoy” Thread](https://forums.insertcredit.com/d/584-the-how-to-enjoy-thread).

I'll start!

I've never understood brawlers. I grew up with the NES version of *Double Dragon* on the Wii Virtual Console – and sure, I played it, because when you're little, you play the games that you have… but I can't say I was ever particularly excited to. I've always just found brawlers mindless, samey, and unremarkable, and only thought it a crying shame that they took over the arcades in the late ’80s to early ’90s… until yesterday.

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Yesterday, I played ***Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari***. (The Japanese version, and not *River City Ransom*, because I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam, and the “tough juvenile delinquent with a heart of gold” archetype is a guilty pleasure.)

What struck me about this game was the *rich interactions.* Technos went in asking “alright, we have a punch, a kick, and a jump – what can we do with that?” They then proceeded to come up with as many answers to that as they could. In the manual, there’s a section called *Hen na Asobikata* (lit. “How to Play Like a Weirdo”), which is possibly the best section header I've ever seen in a manual, and which details some of these unexpected responses.

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Rock Baseball & Trashcan Football: You can dream up all sorts of games using items! Sports are the essence of youth! Get out there and sweat!!!

  • * If someone's holding a bulky object, you can jump on top of it and make a human tower.
  • * You can kick trashcans to roll ’em at people, and play football with ’em if you're two players.
  • * If someone throws a rock at you, you can hit it with a wooden sword and baseball it.
  • * You can hop on top of benches and railings, making you feel like a pugilistic Tony Hawk…
  • * …and if you run eight steps or more, you can jump unreasonably high, meaning that you can *do a running Rider Kick off a fence and whomp a dude from five meters in the air!*
  • And that's just half of it. Moving around in this world just feels like so much *fun* (especially with the Mother 3-style “running keeps going after you let go of the button”, which I always love), and that translates to feeling like a dancer, or like a nimble jester, when righteously beating up on barfing bozos.

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    Mochizuki: “You’re as strong as they say… Urk… You bet I’m lookin’ forward to our next face-off.”

    Of course, that's not all that this game has going for it. It's charming, has entertaining dialogue, it's open-world, and has RPG elements (and the latter two of these can really tide me over with just about any genre) – and these aren't necessarily true for all (or even most) brawlers. But the fact that I *had fun* with the mechanics gives me hope that, hey, maybe there are more brawlers out there for me to enjoy? I'm excited to find out.

    I was the kid who had no idea how Big's fishing mechanic worked in Sonic Adventure 1. A bit later Legend of the River King kicked me off on a huge fishing games obsession. The way it presents fishing in an rpg package makes it easy to interface with, especially on gameboy. It made fishing IRL make sense to me too.

    @“treefroggy”#p128816 Yesssss! I love the River King series! I've always been tantalized by fishing games, but River King (specifically, Hikyō o Motomete for the PS1) is what really cemented me as a “fishing game fan”.

    It occupies such a fascinating space: It *looks* like a slow life *Harvest Moon*-like, but in practice it's fairly bare-bones, has you fight bears and other wildlife with RPG mechanics entirely unrelated to the fishing, and is otherwise halfway to something aimed at middle-aged men.

    My hot tip to you is the fifth mainline game, *Fushigi no Mori kara*. It's a cross between *River King* and *Soul Blazer*: Sometimes when you fish up a real honker, it transforms into a person, and that person inhabits the town – and you get to see the town grow more and more lively and interactive the more you play.

    Good question! I have two answers for this. I didn‘t understand the appeal of the first-person perspective until I played Metroid Prime. With all the little presentational touches that put you in Samus’s head, exploring a space is that much more immersive. I still haven‘t figured out how to like first-person shooters exactly, but that’s for another day.

    The other game type I had completely written off was run-based, rouge-like/lite games. I assumed bespoke levels were inherently better. But then I gave Moonlighter a shot because the shopkeeping part seemed interesting, and I learned that I was just wrong. Randomized level elements aren‘t better or worse than fixed or prescribed stuff, it’s just another kind of game loop. Between Moonlighter, Hades, and Enter the Gungeon, I learned that I love the loop of go into a dungeon, fight guys, collect stuff, die, upgrade something, go back and get a little bit further.

    that entire series is beautiful, hope to play fan translations of the 16/32bit ones before too long. I own the GBA one and have played it a bit. Didn‘t at all realize it has town building elements, I just enjoyed the squirrel partner and the usual procure-on-sight of bait and stuff. Dang that’s cool. I like the relatable 2001 kid you play as too.

    Wish it was in english. Is there even a guide for it in english? It‘s so unkown in english that it’s hard to even find data on it or import it. Mercari.jp didn‘t yield great results when I was looking and I didn’t see it in any shops when I was in japan. Eventually I found it on yahoo auctions for significantly more than I wanted to pay for it.

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    @“Obskyr”#p128817 It looks like a slow life Harvest Moon-like,

    it's the spiritual predecessor to Bokujou Monogatari, both made by Pak-in-video. since Harvest moon became so successful they kind of became more like sibling series. You can link the GBC harvest moon and river king 2 games, and *HM Wonderful Life* has character cameos from *RK Wonderful Journey*

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    @“Obskyr”#p128817 fight bears and other wildlife with RPG mechanics entirely unrelated to the fishing

    if you're not fighting bears, are you even really fishing though

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    @“Obskyr”#p128817 otherwise halfway to something aimed at middle-aged men.

    while I was on my fishing games journey, I got a kick out of how easily some of the most Japanese-ass games like _Sega Bass Fishing Duel for PS2_ could be found in thrift stores and *uncle's media shelves* across the american southeast. Like I have witnessed first hand the most redneck fellas owning stuff like Reel fishing 3, which I find ironic since the voice samples are really Japanese-sounding, and it just didn't matter.

    The ones I want to play most in english are the ones for the PC Engine, Super Famicom, and N64. If there's a translation guide I may go along with that instead of waiting until I don't care anymore.

    Yeesh. I just checked ebay. I amassed my US river king games when they were like $5-10 dollars each back in 2010. The GB games were like $12, now they‘ve all become over $50-60 apiece in the past couple years. The PS2 game is $25. Someone’s catching on, lol. They were so cheap I bought multiples to hand out as gifts to buddies…

    @“treefroggy”#p128823 I don‘t think there’s much of anything on River King 5 in English, no… I livestreamed it (along with some other untranslated games in the series) a few years back to a fairly savvy audience, and I remember hearing a lot along the lines of “??? Why has no one ever talked about this game?”.

    The N64 games are *wild.* Especially *Nushi Tsuri 64* – you get to throw sea urchins like bowling balls at malevolently encroaching starfish. (I was less impressed with *Shiokaze ni Notte*, but I don't think I spent enough time with it.)


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    One fishing game I didn't quite “get” was *Itoi Shigesato no Bass Tsuri No. 1* – a fishing game for the N64 directed by *that* Shigesato Itoi. It's immensely charming in presentation, but… I was just completely unable to catch a single fish, was my issue.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1em0y0aHbF4

    @“Obskyr”#p128825 if the video still exists I‘d watch you play it for sure. The SFC Itoi bass fishing is grossly undervalued with it’s kirby 3 graphics and Itoi writing. I want to play it in english so bad. It was one of the first games I ever imported. (because it was so darn cheap!)

    @“treefroggy”#p128826 Have at you! I don‘t think I got particularly far, but I believe it’s a good view of the game!

    https://www.twitch.tv/videos/847159540?t=3h4m0s

    @“Obskyr”#1677 peep our fishing game thread. I forgot I pointed out a River King 5 reference in Mineral Town.

    [and my first time popping in Isozuri: Ritou Hen as a random thrift score on my backyard setup at the time was moving](https://forums.insertcredit.com/d/151-amazing-title-screen-songs-with-animations-synced-to-the-music/25)

    I definitely credit Waku Waku 7 for being my gateway into fighting games. I know I played stuff like Mortal Kombat and Killer Instinct and Tekken at arcades but didn't appeal to me at all… but my brother downloaded Waku Waku 7 our computer as a kid and I thought it was neat that you had all these archetypes and it had a fun art style and a big enemy named Fernandez was so random. Then for 15 years or so I never payed much attention to fighting games again, until I got nostalgic for Waku Waku 7 and emulated it, and kinda got into it! So I checked out some other SNK games on the Neo Geo emulator and now I really enjoy Fatal Fury/KOF.

    @“Tradegood”#p128866 Fighting games are a genre I‘ve tried time and time again and never “gotten” (they’ve just felt like a whole heap of rote memorization), so… perhaps I need to try Waku Waku 7.

    I was going to say waku waku 7. but for me it's more of an exception, that I practiced at and got good at, and the next step is still to practice and get good at KoF, haha. But it was also the first time a street fighter style fighting game (i.e., not smash bros) ever clicked for me, after decades of trying and failing to click with SF or KoF

    @“Obskyr”#p128887 You should! It‘s packed full of charm, zany characters and animations, and it’s designed to make you want to pull off special moves. It's a great time!!

    https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/screen_shot_2017_03_24_at_93551_pm.png

    Need For Speed Most Wanted on Vita broke open modern racing games for me. Its a good set of training wheels before Burnout Paradise. Though a equally fun just drive around and vibe game.

    @“robinhoodie”#p128899 On Vita!!! I think I‘d subconsciously decided that handheld racing games that aren’t Mario Kart are iffytown, but perhaps that was unfair? I already like modern racing games well enough – I just don‘t have any current-gen consoles to play ’em on… so I guess I’ve got that one in my not-too-distant future. :star_struck:

    Ah, yeah, racing games. That reminds me of the first time I got absolutely addicted to a racing game.

    Much later on the internet, I‘d only ever hear dismissal or downright hatred of this game. To this day I still haven’t found anything that feels quite like it, maybe because the learning curve was set up just right, and the majority of the track being off-screen didn‘t bother me after just a round or two. I’m talking about a game in Retro Game Challenge, Rally King! Even after all the bonus tracks I was left wanting more!



    I posted about it in the appropriate thread here for finding more games similar to the one you like… and my conclusion was there may be many obscure ones out there in the obvious genre of top-down racers, but so many of them are awkward by comparison, I have yet to find the truest one that compares to this one or directly inspired it.

    I didn’t understand the Monster Hunter genre(what do we call that? Hunters? Not Cabela’s Hunting Games?) until I played Freedom Wars on the Vita! It was the first time I was ever able to sit down and dedicate time and effort to understanding how the genre worked and I finally had it click! It was definitely a perfect combo of an aesthetic I really like, hardware I was obsessed with at the time, and varied shooting/melee gameplay that all lined up into a game I wanted to play.

    @“sabertoothalex”#p128977 Apparently the Vita is the great ambassador. Extending olive branches to everyone up in here. I play most of my retro games on the Vita, so it's no different for me.

    Re: *Freedom Wars* specifically, I do dream of one day getting together with someone and actually playing through that together via ad-hoc…