Trust Your Instincts

Image from Flickr User: AXLiberty
Image from Flickr User:
AXLiberty

There’s a saying that I’ve found to be particularly true when it comes to gaming: “You know what you like.” In this age of information many of us have reached a point where what everyone else says about something informs our own opinions. We have so many people out there telling us what games we should and shouldn’t like  that even the most independent-minded of us, who do indeed know what they like, can’t help but be affected.

It’s so incredibly easy to get caught up in the fervor of launch hype and raving reviews. When a game you’ve been watching suddenly gets all kinds of praise and everybody seems to be head-over-heels for it, suddenly what was once just merely interesting becomes a flawless treasure that you absolutely must have. Your personal taste might object, but it’ll get drowned out in the wave of popular opinion. It’s not that we submit to the common opinion so much as it is that we truly want the game to be what everyone says it is. The crazy thing is that it actually does feel like it’s just that good..for a little while.

The most recent instance of this happening to me was The Last of Us. Now I am by no means saying that The Last of Us was bad, because it wasn’t. I’m saying that for me personally it wasn’t a very good fit. For me, the best parts of the game were the detailed environments and the characters of Joel and Ellie. The rest of elements like gameplay and story were well…forgettable. This was my impression before the hype hit and after I had gotten through about 2/3rds of the game. What was it in between these two points? “This is the greatest game of the generation!” A starstruck impression derived from the media I was reading about it and the infectious excitement of my friends who happened to be awestruck by it too. I don’t buy games for the characters, so if I hadn’t gotten caught up in it all perhaps I might not have bought the game.

After waking up from the hype and realizing that I too am susceptible to hype and rave-reviews, I went and bought another game that my initial impressions said I would like. One that I had passed by because of lukewarm reviews and hearsay, a game called Remember Me. Along with being a blast to play,  I found Remember Me to be a solid game with a lot of potential I hope they tap into if they ever do a sequel (man that would be awesome!). It’s true that “you know what you like”, and it took my experiences with these two games to remember that.

I just really felt like I needed to share this with you all so that you don’t have to be reminded like I was. If you aren’t affected by hype and reviews, I applaud you. It’s getting increasingly hard to be unaffected by such things in these days. However, if you’ve found yourself revising your opinion of a game  shortly after the hype died down, then perhaps you too need to remind yourself that it’s okay to trust your instincts.

After all, you do indeed know what you like.

12 Comments Add yours

  1. gamebloggirl says:

    I think it’s impossible for opinions of others not to affect you in some way. I think the important thing is to really read the reviews and not to pay too much attention to the scores given. That being said, it’s always fun to get caught up in the hype (to some extent, at least).

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    1. Hatm0nster says:

      You have a point. For better or for worse, it really is fun to get swept up in it. Especially when you have group of friends to pour over all the news and rumors with! It’s just annoying when the hype ends up getting the better of you.

      Like

  2. duckofindeed says:

    So true. I can’t help but be affected sometimes, too. I end up nearly forcing myself to buy a game people say is great, when part of me is thinking, “but I don’t really want it…” There were several games I was planning on getting recently because others liked it, then, I realized that I myself am not super excited about them, so I didn’t waste the money on something I’m not thrilled about.

    I was also replaying some Wii games recently to see what I wanted to sell. I didn’t like “Sonic Colors”, but for whatever reason, I looked at reviews for it to see what others thought. Other people loved it, which made me second guess myself. But, what does it matter what they think? I didn’t like the game, so why should I keep it? So I ended up selling it, after all.

    People’s opinions of games can help us find out about great games we may have missed, but we should indeed go with our instincts, as you say. There are lots of games people like that I don’t and lots of games I like that others don’t.

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    1. Hatm0nster says:

      Exactly. Reviews and other gamers aren’t always right, you have to pay attention to your own preferences. However, you’re definitely right when you say that others’ opinions can help us find gems we may have missed. Thank goodness for that too! If it weren’t for one of my friends insisting so vehemently that XCOM:Enemy Unknown was a great game, I’d have never played it. Now I can’t put it down!

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  3. There are times when I let the hype lead me to a game I might have otherwise waited on or skipped. Some games are important, and I want to experience them because I love games and the industry. But I’ll definitely sell the game afterwards, and sometimes I’m not inspired enough to finish them. I try not to feel “bad” about that, just because my taste is different!

    I also try to avoid reviews before I play games I was looking forward to. I really liked Remember Me too! You do have to trust your own judgment.

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    1. Hatm0nster says:

      I hadn’t considered that. Games that get a lot of attention, whether good or bad, are nonetheless important to the industry. I suppose that having first-hand experience with them is important if you want to keep up with the trends and dialogue going on in gaming as a whole.

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  4. themesretro says:

    I got nominated for a Liebster Award and was told to nominate 11 other blogs. I knew your blog was great so I thought of you. Congradulations! http://planetofthegamer.com/2013/09/24/liebster-award/

    Like

    1. duckofindeed says:

      Congrats to you, too, for being nominated. And thank you for thinking of us.

      Like

  5. Vitosal says:

    boy, am i late to this party. As soon as i read the first paragraph i knew you were right. Using Remember Me as an excellent example of a game that I have skipped over due to other reviews. I plan on going to get that game soon.

    I think it’s fun to get lost in the hype. I got caught up in the GTA5 hype quite hectically and I’m not even that big a fan of the series, lol. After GTA5 came out and i saw some gameplay, doesn’t look that fantastic anymore…I love being human 🙂

    Like

    1. Hatm0nster says:

      I’m told that GTAV is practically the best thing ever for GTA fans. So if you liked the previous games, it’s probably worth taking a look sometime. I’m not a GTA fan, so I’m not going to pick that game up despite the praise. Call me stubborn. 😀

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      1. Vitosal says:

        By the way, I picked up remember me. It’s got its flaws but not bad. If I had listened to most of the reviews I would have missed what I think is a worth while adventure:-)

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