You guys, the cycle is out of control. What cycle am I going on about? The hype cycle. Once a game gets announced, it then gets hyped out the wazoo for months (or even years at times). Then the game comes out and in come a slew of nine out of ten and ten out of ten reviews. But then, we see a slew of videos on the internet about how these games are not as good as we thought they were.
Tiring of The Cycle
Video games are, of course, not the only type of media that does this on a consistent basis. Movies and television fall into the same issues regularly. The difference is, new video games mostly cost sixty dollars a pop. Taking hours to play and complete, the commitment is more intense than that of a two-hour movie.
I acknowledge that this opinion is more about me and the mood that I’m in, than anything. After all, it comes with the territory. Being a fan of a game franchise can get tiring just as one might become restless with every single Marvel movie coming out. But using that as an example, it doesn’t mean that you hate Marvel movies. It just means that you have seen the formula and are looking for something new.
But I see the pattern in gaming. We eagerly await Spider-Man and it’s the best game ever, according to everyone. Then you hear that it’s another collect-athon with towers. And the side quests are repetitive. You eagerly await God of War. It’s the best game ever. But then you hear that enemies get reused too much. Kingdom Hearts 3 is the best game ever, but there’s hardly any Final Fantasy in it. And you hardly get to fight any Disney villains like in the other games.
Being that simplistic, however, ignores what makes these games so great. Spider-Man has a fantastic story with swinging that feels like a dream. God of War has a wonderful story that makes you feel emotions for a former blood-thirsty lunatic. And Kingdom Hearts 3 has divine combat and each world feels fresh and new.
Nothing Wrong with Fandom
It’s also worth remembering that there’s nothing wrong with having a favorite game franchise. After all, I loved all the Castlevania games produced by IGA, so you can bet that on day one, I will be downloading the new Bloodstained game from IGA. Reviews be damned.
It may sound hypocritical after everything I just said, but everyone has their blind spots: their favorite franchises that they will support until the end. It is possible than Shenmue 3 will not live up to fan expectation, but anyone who is a huge fan of the first two games, has been waiting for a long time, no one could ever blame them. The same goes for Kingdom Hearts 3, even though from what most people are saying, it’s fun.
What to Do with All This Hype
So how do we deal with hype? All we can do, is realize that no game is going to be perfect (save for certain games that just hit us at the right times in our lives). Every review should be taken with a grain of salt. The best we can do is find reviewers whose opinion we trust (like here at Culture of Gaming, of course).
There’s nothing wrong with buying into hype occasionally. Just remember to that not all hotly anticipated games are tens.
But what do you think? What are some games you eagerly anticipated only to be let down? How do you decipher hype? Let us know in the comments below!
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I’ve been writing almost as long as I’ve been playing video games. I also do standup and improv. The game that made me realize that video games could be more than just a toy, was Metal Gear Solid 2.