Recently games seem to start their hype-machine earlier and earlier. With this in mind, two of the wordiest TSA writers sat down to discuss if it works, if it’s worth the effort and if we all, ultimately, really care? What follows is an account of that discussion. Well, the first half of it… They really do like to talk, these two…
djhsecondnature: Now we both know how much hype can engulf a game with people expecting it to be the second coming, perhaps trying to find the smallest thing to pick apart which would normally be overlooked and more often than not people just not having a clue what they’re on about; TSA-excluded of course. So let’s begin this gaming hype discussion with a gentle question; surrounding which game has the hype overwhelmed you recently?
colossalblue: Well I think that the most recent game I fell for in a long time was definitely LittleBigPlanet. I’m quite difficult to get excited…
djhsecondnature: That’s not what your wife says…
colossalblue: You’re a comedian… Anyway, I don’t let the massive hype machine churn me up and spit me out, blinking in the bright lights, at the desk of my local GAME with a crisp £40 in my sticky little palm and a copy of what just launched.
djhsecondnature: See, I’m generally quite easy to please, so like a my Jack Russell hearing the noise of the drawer that contains the leads opening, I’m also pretty easy to excite. I would definitely have to agree with being sucked into the LittleBigPlanet hype though, but it didn’t disappoint. Looking down my ever growing PSN friends list I’m always seeing people jumping about with Sackboy and having given it a perfect score in my review, if I re-reviewed it now, it would still be the same (unless I can give it an eleven?).
colossalblue: There’s not a lot I buy on release day, I usually wait at least over the weekend before I purchase, something I was particularly pleased with when Eidos buggered about with the Tomb Raider reviews.
djhsecondnature: Back in the day when I had to count up two months worth of pocket money and make the arduous decision as to which game would be worth my money, it was a great rarity that a game ever entered my console on release day. This has changed somewhat now though as there were probably seven or eight titles I bought on release date last year alone, with several others being purchased within a month of release.
colossalblue: So many games on release day, aren’t you supposed to be a poor student? You don’t know you’re born mate…
djhsecondnature: Well considering my entire budget goes on rent, bills, transport, food and games, I generally don’t buy much else, so yes I am poor. It’s only like six grand a year I’m paying to be a student. *grumbles to self* Sorry, where were we? Oh yeah, hype.
colossalblue: Of course. As we both write for Europe’s best PS3 fansite, we do have to take our portion of the blame for building the hype. Has there been anything that you’ve written about and pushed, only to realise that it was crap after release?
djhsecondnature: Probably not, as I’m still relatively new to the role of responsibility. This may likely change in time though, we shall see.
colossalblue: Perhaps it’s because I’m involved with TSA, but I tend to make much more informed decisions than the charts would suggest most people do.
djhsecondnature: My opinion on the charts is that I just really don’t care. As long as publishers and Sony continue to support the PS3, making quality titles (as this year seem to be bursting with), whether it’s first, second, ninth, last, I just don’t care. Ultimately, I’m satisfied with my purchase and if people continue to buy shovelware, it just shows the naivety of GAME’s average customer.
colossalblue: I think that brings us to the games which should have had the attention but didn’t. I am of course talking about Dead Space, Mirror’s Edge and Valkyria Chronicles. Don’t you wish there had been more marketing, both traditional and viral, in those games? I think it’s a real shame that they haven’t sold as well as they possibly should have.
djhsecondnature: It is an utter travesty that they sold so poorly, but I think sales of Wii Play show the drivel that consumers will buy.
colossalblue: I bought Wii Play, although technically it only cost be two quid as it was shovelled in with the Wii Remote I was buying anyway. It is shit.
djhsecondnature: Oh dear. What a waste of a couple of quid.
colossalblue: I know, you probably could’ve had a night out in the Student Union on that… Steering us swiftly back on track once more, with regards to Killzone 2 and the hype train which is gathering speed; I would say it is probably going to be justified. As least I really hope so.
djhsecondnature: I have a pretty strong inkling that we will have rooms around the world, scattered with cerebral matter as Killzone 2 blows their mind.
colossalblue: I will admit to having a tiny voice in the back of my head though that’s whispering not to get my hopes up.
djhsecondnature: Well just shut him up then. Or I’m sure GR or Andy will for you.
colossalblue: Do you think certain games are hyped beyond their capacity to perform?
djhsecondnature: I think that Grand Theft Auto IV is a perfect example of over-hyping. I love the game and think it is one of the best games this gen, but it was massively over-hyped. So much so, that it’s created this band of gamers that think that slating it is really cool as it obviously didn’t live up to the hype. Killzone though, I don’t think it’s been over-hyped, not yet anyway. Quite possibly because it could actually live up to those expectations.
colossalblue: Okay well then what about specifically Killzone 2? We’re all expecting it to be a new standard in the genre. I mean, it does look amazing, hopefully it will be the best example of its genre but really, it’s still an FPS so it could be considered as hitting your winning formula of “tried and tested with a hint of innovation” but it could just as easily be considered as a more refined version of Wolfenstein 3D (which I played the first time around in 1992 on my Uncle’s work laptop) and damned for it.
djhsecondnature: It sounds like Killzone is going to be much more of a tactical shooter than something like Halo or Gears. I envisage teamwork being the foundation of team multiplayer matches, having the team stick together, picking off targets one by one, luring enemies into traps, etc, which if so, could be something that is very different from the big shooters currently on the market. Whilst I love gimmicky and crazy things sometimes, I’m definitely more drawn towards realism, which may be why I loved GTA IV. The recoil, destructive environments, slow movements, it all seems like stuff that I will relish in, once the 27th rolls around.
colossalblue: I have a feeling this post is going to be epic!
To be continued…