We live in a golden age of gaming. Anything you could possibly want to play you have access to at any time. This is barring whether you have the money or age to play it. (I condone neither pirating games nor parents ignoring what their kids play.) With choices seemingly endless, players are still always eager to get their hands on the newest and hottest game, even when it’s not as good as it could be. They don’t know how much of a disappointment the game will be.
How Disappointment Begins
We spend month and months anticipating what could be our next favorite games. Imagining what it could be like to experience life as “the Spider-Man” or what it would be like to smash Simon Belmont as Joker from Persona 5. When excitement is involved, our minds play tricks on us. We can’t sleep. Maybe we can’t wait to go to the store or have Amazon ship the game to us. We can’t wait to unwrap that Christmas present or download it from the digital marketplaces.
Then we unwrap or download the game and sometimes it lives up to what we have in our minds. Sometimes, it’s what you expected; just enough to meet your expectations. But then there are the other times when, little by little, you realize the game is not all it’s cracked up to be. Then you realize the game is a disappointment, a steaming hot piece of garbage.
I know it happened to me in the past. When I was in high school, I was a gigantic Dragon Ball Z fan. I read online that an open world Dragon Ball Z game was in the works. I couldn’t believe it and my mind raced with anticipation. Then I found out when it was coming out. I called GameStop and went over there, over and over, asking about its status. After all, the release date had passed and they still didn’t have it. I was always told to come back later. That was a little suspicious, but whatever. I still couldn’t wait.
Then the day came. They finally had it. And I played it as soon as I got home: Dragon Ball Z Sagas. For those who know, you are laughing right now. The game was a far cry from being open world. In fact, it was a lame, broken game where every character played in the same way.
Still, I was crushed. I couldn’t even blame marketing. There were no advertisements. No real updates to speak of. I just heard DBZ open world and it made me so excited that I pushed logic aside.
Why Does This Happen?
Sometimes it’s a game franchise’s reputation. Sometimes it’s the marketing. But the marketing department of a video game company has done its job if it can massage that want and desire within you to put everything aside and just want a game. It’s not for me to say that any of this is wrong. After all, it’s the player’s responsibility to temper their own expectations, right? The disappointments were based on something that doesn’t exist, right?
But sometimes we get hurt, and we take the disappointment out on the wrong people. At times, when the game clearly lacks time or polish. We are right to be angry at the developers. But when things are just nit-picks, it’s time to just let the anger go. Spider-Man and Smash Bros may not be EVERYTHING we ever wanted out of a game. But you can’t complain they weren’t made with time and love. (Eh, actually, you can complain about anything on the internet.)
What are your stories of disappointment and denial? What do you do when the game you hoped for isn’t what you get? Is it the consumer’s or developer’s responsibility? 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.