The hype train refers to, generally a game, but sometimes a movie, anime or other merchandise, a person whose hype is essentially through the roof. Some people will say “the hype train has been derailed” when whatever the hype train was about fails to meet their expectations. Now that is exactly what I’m here to talk about. Failing to meet hype. Wouldn’t fans want to keep their expectations low so it’s easier for them to be met and blown away? Now don’t think I’m attacking anyone here. I am guilty of falling into the hype train for different things. I was super hyped with The Last of Us and while I still enjoyed it I didn’t think it was as amazing as everyone else or the “game of the generation” I’ve also fallen into it for other things and generally been a little disappointed with the product. Now it would be impossible to tell if not being on the hype train would have made me enjoy those games more as my expectations would have been easier to meet. Grand Theft Auto V for example, I’ve seen many people say it was a little disappointing (mostly around launch, not so much anymore) but I found it quite enjoyable. I really knew nothing about about when going in and really didn’t care about the game until I played it. I found it to be very enjoyable and probably in my top 10, if not 5, games of last year. So why do we let ourselves get on the hype train when I’ve presented examples of myself of finding it to lower my fun with the game? I even got on the Tomodachi Life hype train after GTA V and TLOU and we all know how that turned out. So again I ask? Why do we, including myself, allow ourselves to join hype trains even if we know the effects?
The Developers, Publishers, and Media.
How easy do you find it to not enter hype train mode with articles and videos such as Could Destiny be Bigger than Call of Duty?, or tag lines such as “Believe the Hype!” Or how about games looking better in their reveals than at release? It is this reason we find it so hard to avoid the hype train, or that it crashes so hard when we find out it’s wrong that we hate it (or like it a lot less). Now fans are to blame too. Many add ridiculous theories all on their own about the game or believe in rumors or leaks that don’t have anything backing them up.
Avoiding the hype train doesn’t always work though. Let’s go back to Watch_Dogs for a second. Our own reviewing who was saying this would likely be her game of the year last year, closes her review with “Watch_Dogs didn’t live up to my initial hype the game was still highly enjoyable“. I had lost most my hype for the game once it had the delay last year and honestly, I don’t think it helped. I finally played it and found it to be a somewhat average game. The main campaign wasn’t super well done but I am finding some enjoyment in side missions such as “Human Trafficking” and “Missing Persons” events. Now does this mean avoiding the hype train doesn’t work as I said? Well we really don’t know what I would have thought of it had I stayed on the hype train. Would my opinions gone from average to bad? Really there is no way to tell and what I meant by avoiding the hype train doesn’t always work is it doesn’t make every game perfect by you not getting hyped for it.
The hype train is an interesting thing. Even when we try being aware we are swept into it without noticing sometimes. Now I know my examples could be wrong as we have no idea what I would have thought of these games had my hype train position changed. I’m also not saying getting excited for a game is bad, get excited, talk about it online, write about it if you like writing, make songs, make Youtube videos do whatever you want! But don’t get too hyped that you start not being able to accept people not being hyped for it or that you start thinking you could make the game better than the developer or that they aren’t releasing enough information when they give something new weekly or that they’ll reveal something at an event that has nothing to do with their game. Be excited for games that you think look good, just be smart about it.