Videogame genres I just can’t play

Obviously, readers of Grinding Down should know that I have a deep, unquenchable love for RPGs. They are my favorite type of videogame, enough so that adding basic RPG elements to other types of games is enough to get me drooling. But, for all my years of gripping a controller, there are still some types of games that don’t interest me and probably never will. Let’s take a look at them to see maybe why…


Set up a bunch of stuff and then sit back, staring at the screen as all the action happens without any more involvement from you, the player. Do this for a lengthy period of time, until waves of enemies stop washing over you. I don’t know. It just always seemed boring, and the majority of tower/defense titles feature top-down perspectives or ones with the camera pulled so far out that nothing can be seen. So there I am, waiting for stuff to happen, and then when it does, I can barely make out my units from the enemy’s. A resounding meh.

That said, I’ve still not yet played Plants VS. Zombies, which is purported to convert any and all haters of this genre.


Ha! If I don’t play them in real life, there’s certainly no enjoyment to gain from experiencing them digitally. Though I do enjoy a round of golf on my 3DS now and then. Very relaxing. Except when I double-bogey a par three. Then I get the rage sweats.

Realistic First-person Shooters

I believe my distaste for war shooters stems from childhood and my father. He’s a hunter, and raised me to respect guns. In fact, I was the only kid on my street not allowed to get a laser tag toy gun the year everyone was jumping off that bridge, and thus missed out on all the late night bonding with neighbors that is vital to a hermit-in-hiding’s upbringing. We used to go target shooting though, and I remember always holding the gun downwards at the ground, in constant fear of it ever discharging by accident. I only ever wanted to point at empty soda cans or paper plates with targets drawn on them, and even then I didn’t like the sensation. Realistic FPS games demand you aim at people and pull the trigger, and with ragdoll animation it’s all a little too life-like when they go down. The infamous “No Russian” level from Modern Warfare 2 is hard to even watch with no controller in hand. I’d rather take down aliens or monsters or robots with brains than shoot a fellow human being, armed or not, which is why some of my favorite shooters are Borderlands and Fallout 3. Surprisingly, not Halo; I don’t really get that series.


Most of my week is spent in my car, driving to, driving from. Granted, it’s not a race car doing 150 mph and taking turns like a pro–it’s a 2007 Chevy Cobalt for heaven’s sake–but it’s still driving, a foot on a pedal, pushing forward unemotionally. With realistic racers, you just drive. You go around a track X number of times and try to break a record. I prefer a little more chaos, which is why the only racing games I’ve ever enjoyed are Jak X: Combat Racing or Mario Kart. I can, however, appreciate how detailed these cars actually are in games like Forza Motorsport 4 or Gran Turismo 5; some of those replay might as well be broadcast on TV, as they are extremely hard to differentiate between real and computerized.

Tactical Role-playing Games

What? Wait, didn’t I just confirm my love for RPGs and anything with RPG elements to it at the beginning of this post? Yes, yes I did. Way to read, reader. But there’s an exception to every rule, and when strategy and grids and isometric camera angles are added to a RPG, the game changes dramatically. It’s more about where your party is placed on the playing field than the magic spell they cast or the armor they choose to don. I remember feeling so duped by Vandal Hearts for the PlayStation back in 1997, and have never really given many of games in this genre a chance. Recently, there’s been Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner Overclocked, which I’ve struggled with.

So, what game types can’t you play? Speak up below in the comments section and/or tell me what I’m missing out on by not giving Battlefield 3 a chance.

12 responses to “Videogame genres I just can’t play

  1. Correction about the sports games, I think you may need to do a post on the super bowl you played with Sean back in January! Sports games are only fairly fun when you can play with another person, but playing against the computer is a snooze-fest. [Unless your playing Tecmo Bowl.]

    • That should now be a yearly thing, us playing the Super Bowl! The only time I have fun with football. Tecmo Bowl is only good for the music, sorry.

  2. You read my mind!! All those genres I’d also say I’m not a fan of. Strangely enough though I’ve played two recent Tower Defense games: Orcs Must Die! and Dungeon Defenders, both for Xbox. They avoid the problem of you just waiting as the action happens by bringing in action RPG elements. I’ve got reviews/videos of them on my page if you’re interested. Also, Plants vs. Zombies is simply one of the best tower defense games ever.
    And to hell with sports games! I’ll go play tennis for real, or drive my car around whenever I want.

  3. In 90% of all action games, there’s going to be a point where I just hit a wall. I’ve soldiered through a few of them because of pure love, but most of the ones I’ve struggled through have been semi-realistic shooters where I could use tactics to offset my crap reflexes. Deus Ex, STALKER, um, Half Life 2 up through the scary robot things in episode 2.

    I’m especially bad at platformers; I don’t think I’ve ever finished one of those.

    Incidentally, tactical RPGs are possibly my favorite type of game.

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