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What Was the Last Game that Had YOU Extremely Hyped?

View Nelson Schneider's Profile

By Nelson Schneider - 11/23/14 at 06:27 PM CT

Hype has become extremely commonplace as an advertising mechanic in the videogame publishing business. Among the Triumvirate of Evil, the production of Hype outstrips the production of quality games by an incredibly high margin.

Of course, Hype is not actually anything new. The generation of unrealistic expectations via word of mouth and media buzz has been around forever. What fueled the Old West gold rushes? Hype. What fueled the DotCom Bubble? Hype. As a frugal and savvy consumer, I try not to buy into the Hype surrounding most products, though I did find myself falling prey to both the WiiU and OUYA last year, despite the fact that the Hype around both of those consoles was rather muted compared to what we usually see.

I try to save my Hype for things that have a strong chance of meeting expectations. As such, I have found myself relatively sedate in my levels of Hype for over a decade now. Yes, I was mildly Hyped about a handful of 7th Generation games, like “LittleBigPlanet,” “Xenoblade Chronicles,” “The Last Story,” and “Pandora’s Tower,” but at no point was I absolutely beside myself with desire.

The last time I experienced the levels of Hype that modern videogame publishers use as their sole source of fuel was waaaay back in 1992 when I literally couldn’t wait to get my grubby little paws on a copy of “The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.” The release of a true sequel to the NES’ “The Legend of Zelda” (“Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link” being a universally-reviled red-headed stepchild) was exciting enough, but the screenshots that “Nintendo Power” magazine ran made it obvious that everything about this sequel was going to be bigger, brighter, and better than the NES game that had captured my imagination so thoroughly. On release day, I sent my parents (with me being only 13 at the time) around to every department store, toy store, and electronics store within 50 miles… yet none of them had a copy of the game.

The physical pain of the longing for 16-bit ‘Zelda’ goodness had me pining over those same pages of “Nintendo Power” until a copy of the Electronics Boutique catalog arrived in the (snail) mail. They had “The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past” in stock for a mere $50. My Mom consented to order it so I would stop whining about the game. At the time, doing anything via mail order was a matter of waiting 6-8 weeks for delivery, which felt like 6-8 weeks of Chinese water torture to my young self.

Unsurprisingly, sometime in the midst of that 2-month delivery window, the local stores began to receive stock of the game, charging a frugal mid-western price of $40. I saw one of these copies while shopping at Target with my Mom and refused to leave the store without it. On the ride home, I caressed the unopened box like Gollum with his Precious. Upon arriving at home, my Mom called Electronics Boutique to cancel the previous overpriced order, only to discover that it had already been shipped and cancelling was no longer possible. Thus I had to sit and stare at my (no, Target’s) unopened “Link to the Past” box while continuing to wait-out the horribly-slow-and-inefficient early ‘90s U.S. Postal Service.

Obviously I survived what, at the time, felt like an eternal and excruciating ordeal and received my game. “The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past” was truly an amazing experience and still stands as one of my favorite games of all-time (and my favorite ‘Zelda’ game of all-time). In this case, the game actually lived up to the Hype, while it seems that more and more often the current crop of “AAA” productions don’t.

So, how about you, readers? When was the last time you felt psychosomatic pain from your longing for an upcoming or newly-released game?

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Chris

Wrote on11/25/14 at 11:54 PM CT

I'm still a sucker for all those AAA games that come out, but having been burned one too many times (and wasting too much money) now I know better than to pre-order any game - no matter how much hype it gets. That being said, the original Borderlands was probably the last time I was really looking forward to a game. With all the issues games have had recently, going after anything Day 1 just seems like a bad idea.

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Jonzor

Wrote on11/24/14 at 05:24 PM CT

Super Smash Bros. Melee or the first Metroid Prime, probably. I was super-excited for the recent Smash Bros games as well, but at the time of both of those games' release I was living in the dorms with a bunch of other excited fans and it turned into an deafening echo chamber of hype. The good news is I loved both of those games, so the hype didn't blow up in our faces.

The only other contender might be Twilight Princess. That surprise trailer during E3 got watched a LLLOOOTTT on my computer. But without being surrounded by fellow fans it might not have reached the same levels of hype.

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