Thursday, February 14, 2013

Why Video Game Previews Bother Me

Yeah, so this is just a little rant, but I felt like sharing.  It's Valentine's Day, and I should be cuddling my wife or baking heart-shaped cookies, but I'm too much of a geek for that.  I'm surfing the net and I've been checking out reviews for some video games I was looking to snag.  Unfortunately, this has reminded me of a troubling trend that I can't seem to wrap my head around.

Let's just start with an example and take it from there: I wanted to pick up the new Aliens game, which looked pretty cool and had received a ton of hype from various magazines and websites that offer up video game previews and reviews.  Now, the game is out, and it is getting killed.  I'm not trying to say that it isn't getting many good reviews, because as far as I can tell it isn't getting ANY good reviews.  This thing is being slaughtered.  This leads me to second-guess my decision to purchase the game, and it reinforces the notion that I'm only wasting my time when I try to scope out the video game landscape unless I rely on demos and word-of-mouth.

See, this isn't news to anyone who follows games, and it's incredibly frustrating.  Why is it that virtually every game is built up (sometimes over the course of a few years) with pieces that marvel over the stellar graphics and the innovative gameplay, only for most of these games to be released only to garner poor reviews by the same media outlet that was just in hype mode a few weeks ago?  Seriously, you'll read about cool visuals and intriguing mechanics, and then the review will come out blasting the poor graphics and the stale gameplay.  It's maddening.  I also scope out previews and reviews for the music I enjoy and the movies I watch, and I seldom see the same kind of behavior.

Does this irk anyone else or is it just me?


  1. You are not alone.
    I'm glad I didn't pre order the game. I did have a sneaking suspicion it wouldn't do that well.
    This isn't the same for all games, look at Halo 3.
    Received great hype and came out better. I blame trailers and fanboys for handing us free tickets on board their overhype train.
    Destination: Mediocrity.

    Some developers know how to get you hype, but only a few will make you stay, see the truth, and believe the hype.

  2. Yeah, sometimes the hype is warranted, and I completely understand the role developers play. I just think the media that is devoted to video games plays along a little more than they should. Some of these turkeys didn't look like eagles during the preview phase. In particular, it really bothers me when an outlet touts aspects of the product as superior during the test phase before slamming those very aspects of the product as woefully inferior upon release. There shouldn't be that much of a gap. I think they dress things up to please the developers in the preview phase and lay all their cards on the table in the review phase.
    I think consumers would prefer that these outlets were more upfront from the get-go.