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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

How Hype Can Ruin a Game For You

Hype is no small thing. When your get bombarded with ads or word of mouth about a game, it can be easy to buy into the hype. But hype is also a double edged sword. Just as it can sway you to buy into a came, too much of it can turn you off from a game. The funny thing about hype is that this applies to games new and old and for my examples below, I'm going to be focusing on the former.

For many a Super Smash Bros. fan, Super Smash Bros. Melee is regarded as the finest game in the franchise. While Smash has always been a fantastic party game, Melee did wonders for the tournament scene and it boasts the fastest speed of any Smash. I never got into competitive Smash but Melee has always been my favorite GameCube game. Even before I was even made aware that Melee had a tournament scene, Melee was one of my most played games for years. When I did find out just how big Melee was, and saw all of the hate Super Smash Bros. Brawl was getting, it struck me as being quite odd. Brawl had new modes, a larger cast of characters and even more stages than Melee. Not that those things guarantee a sequel being better than its predecessor, but all the negativity on Brawl was lost on me. This was due to my lack of knowledge on competitive Smash. Wave dashing and L canceling, two of Melee's more advanced moves were nowhere to be found in Brawl. Brawl was also slower than Melee and felt floaty. I could go on, but these are a few of the reasons that Brawl is seen as a misstep when compared to Melee and hardcore Melee fans are rather quick to jump down anyone's throat for not seeing Melee as the best Smash ever.

Masahiro Sakurai wanted to make Brawl a different game from Melee and I commend him and his team for doing that. Sure, tripping sucked and the game wasn't the hyper speed of Melee, but that didn't stop me from pouring tons of hours into it.

The argument of "Why Brawl  and every other Smash after Melee sucks" can be summed up in a single sentence: These games aren't Melee. It really is that simple. It isn't as if Melee can't still be played, but you've got die-hards getting upset that Melee's thunder is being stolen by the new kid in town, Super Smash Bros. Wii U. Rather than adapt to the way Smash Wii U plays, these people want to throw a hissy fit because the game doesn't play like an HD version of Melee with more characters.

The best Smash, like no Smash ever was! All
other games are inferior! *End Sarcasm*

I may not play Smash on a competitive level, but I do enjoy watching competitive matches and sadly, the bulk of competitive Melee matches come down to a sliver of the cast, usually consisting of Fox, Falco, Marth and Shiek. A cast of 25 fighters and only a handful of them are used by the competitive Melee community at large. If only a small token of the crew is seeing any screen time in what people claim as the best Smash ever in competitive matches, then I must say, that really is pathetic. I've grown so tired of all this talk about how Melee is the greatest game ever made, of how its "the perfect game," of fanatical fan's knee jerk reaction to vehemently defend Melee that I no longer like the game the way I once did.

The constant fawning over Mega Man 2 really makes me roll my eyes sometimes. Yes, the game is a superb sequel and its one of my favorite Mega Man games but it isn't perfect. One particular boss requires a full supply of Crash Bombs and leaves zero room for error. You lose all of your Energy Tanks when you get a game over, which is really problematic since the final boss has no power-ups whatsoever. Speaking of the last boss, if you run out of his weakness, you're pretty much screwed, because once again, the last stage gives you no power-ups. Even the first Mega Man game didn't screw that up but then it had a final boss that could be beaten with Mega Man's default weapon.

"Mega Man 2 has the best set of weapons!" What, you mean the Metal Blade that makes just about everything else pretty much useless? Go ahead and try to make an argument that any other power in the game trumps the Metal Blade. Yeah, it doesn't work on everything but it works on the majority of threats you encounter. The funny thing about the brokeness of the Metal Blade is that while so many MM2 lover's adore it, the Charge Shot introduced in Mega Man 4 is bemoaned for being too powerful. The hypocrisy makes me hang my head.

The only Mega Man game that matters! *End sarcasm mode. Again*

Former Mega Man head honcho Keiji Inafunae has only added fuel to MM2's fire. He's made it no secret that MM2 is his favorite and its the primary reason Mega Man 9 plays the way it does. I was as happy as the next gamer when the news let out that MM9 was in development but when I finally played the game I was a bit disappointed. Don't get me wrong, MM9 is a fine game, but and it felt like it was trying to be another MM2, right down to reusing MM2's jingles. Removing the Slide also rubbed me the wrong way as did the removal of the Charge Shot. But these abilities were passed on to Proto Man, who was DLC, which made me wonder why the abilities were for Mega Man were axed in the first place if they were just going to be given to another character. I actually prefer MM10 to MM9 because it feels like its trying to be its own game rather than Mega Man 2 2.5. It would be nice if the gaming community would stop treating MM2 it like its the only Mega Man game worth your time.

Call of Duty is hated by lots of hardcore games because the game is everywhere and people won't shut up about it. That along with the yearly sequels are why a good chunk of people are opposed to playing the games. I liken it to listening to a song over and over again. Even if the song is really good, overexposure can make you dislike it. While I don't hate Super Smash Bros. Melee and Mega Man 2, I am more than a little tired of the hype they keep getting, especially when better games have been released since then.

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