Sunday Soapbox: Puzzle Quest – The series I hate to love

Well I figure I should probably mention Puzzle Quest 2 at some point since this is Puzzle Quest 2 Week. I did download it on Wednesday and have played a few hours and that’s all it took for me to remember how I feel about that series.

It’s like I can’t find a single thing I like about the games, but I also can’t stop playing them. The music isn’t memorable, the visuals aren’t particularly inspired, the upgrading system is a little convoluted, and the game takes itself way too seriously for a title that uses a souped-up version of Bejeweled for its battle system.

The sequel is much like the original, except (from what I’ve seen) the overworld has been scrapped in favour of a zoomed in world that you can explore with what can only be described as point and click controls. Anyway, that doesn’t make much of a difference to me. The point is that – just like the original – I find myself saying “just one more battle” in my head all the time although I’d never describe my experience as particularly fun.

There is some skill involved in choosing which gems to swap and which abilities to assign to give you the edge, but luck has a more noticeable role in the Puzzle Quest series which dampens the feeling of satisfaction in battle. I suppose it could be my general lust for RPGs and the promise of reward for level-grinding, but I don’t get addicted in the same way to games like Brave Story and Lunar even though I enjoy them quite a bit more than Puzzle Quest. There’s not even quirky or amusing writing to enjoy in between battles; it’s a melodramatic story with unjustified clichés.

Hell, maybe I just like Bejeweled. Perhaps I should download that and forget about Puzzle Quest for the rest of my life, though I somehow doubt that’ll fly.

Anyway, that’s really all I have to say about the game. That’ll teach me to have a Puzzle Quest Week again. Do you guys have any love-hate relationships with a game or series?

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3 Responses to “Sunday Soapbox: Puzzle Quest – The series I hate to love”

  1. SiliconNooB says:

    Puzzle Quest is one of those things that I’ve never been able to fathom why people enjoy them, though to be fair I’ve never felt compelled to play it, and so can only judge it conceptually.

  2. Ethos says:

    And conceptually, it’s terrible!

  3. 7thCircle says:

    I’ve developed a love-hate relationship with the Zelda series. I haven’t really enjoyed a Zelda title since OoT, but that hasn’t kept me from buying about every Zelda title that has released since then. When I buy a Zelda game it usually takes me years to want to start it (I’m playing Phantom Hourglass now… which I purchased in 2007). Once I do start, I never feel like I’m having fun, I’m constantly disappointed, and yet I always finish them.

    I swear, though, that I’m not buying any more Zelda games until someone convinces me that a new one is comparable to OoT.

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