Video Game Hype vs. Legacy [ ETERNAL LINKS ]

Before we start the discussion, I want to say thank you. If you’re seeing this post, odds are that you follow Dueling Analogs in one capacity or another. Whether it’s via RSS feed or one of its various social media presence, you’ve probably subscribed to one of them.

Why do I say this? Because if you look on the homepage of Dueling Analogs you will see that this post does not appear nor is there a link in the main navigation to a “discussions” section of the site. You can inevitably find it via search results, but in general people won’t. This is just a little way that I like to open dialog with people who actually want to be on Dueling Analogs (hopefully) and not simply the general populace. So once again, thank you.

Why are we having this discussion?

So why am I having another discussion on Dueling Analogs? I mean, I haven’t had one since July of last year, so why now?

First off, I do enjoy talking to you guys. If you’ve ever met me at a convention, I am very personable. I might be hesitant about sharing specifics about my personal life, but I do love talking to you guys and reading what you have to say in the comment sections.

Second, I’m looking to branch out what kind of content appears on Dueling Analogs this year. One of the ways is by having more original articles added to the site’s mixture. I was thinking about an article about video games that inevitably did not live up to the PR hype, but I wanted to make sure that the overall “top ten” were included in the article. And that’s why I’m reaching out to you.

Let’s begin!

There are a lot of video games that seem poised for epic success, but when they’re finally released they simply fade away. Now I’m not talking about games like Beyond Good and Evil, which never really found their audience during their initial launch, but still have a cult following. I’m talking about games like Heavenly Sword, Legendary: The Box, or Naughty Bear which had tons of publicity before their launch, but afterwards people barely remember they ever even existed in the first place.

Looking to take whatever we discuss here and put together a top ten list of video games that didn’t live up to their hype. Not asking everyone to offer up their own top ten suggestions, but a few they might thing deserve to be on the list and why. If you see that someone already mentioned a title you would have included, let me know. The more people that concur, the more likely it will appear on the list.

And judging by how successful this discussion is, will decide how often they appear in the future. Please comment below, so your opinion can be counted. Thanks again!


  • Klaster_1

    You shouldn’t go that far for hyped up failures, we had Alien: Colonial Marines and huge Battlefield 4 drama last year. The later is still going on.

    • I don’t really feel that BF4 failed to live up to its hype however. I feel that it failed to provide a consistent game play experience but it was able to deliver on all of the features it promised (except performance). laggy or not, evolution is a thing and does indeed work in game to change the map up, causing players to have to adapt. While there are still a lot of kinks to work out to get stability to a good place, I cant really blame them, the maps are pretty massive when you stop to think about it, and on average there is a tons of stuff going on. Up to 4 helicopters, 6 jets, dozens of tanks and boats, and infantry running around all the time, a bit of instability is not completely out of the question.

      I’ve got absolutely no excuses for Alien: Colonial Marines.

  • trustnoone

    Interesting question, personally I live under a rock, so I don’t really hear about the hype too much so I’m probably not exactly qualified to discuss about this. If I had to pick some though I would probably go for Final Fantasy XIII just because it was meant to be a new Final Fantasy game and was meant to be awesome and everything and in the end it turned out people hated it and just stopped playing it. I would also go with Fable 3 due to the whole Peter Molyneux over hyping his own games although honestly I thought they were pretty good. I would probably also go for spore just because from what everyone around me was telling me about how good an awesome it would be, and then when it came out no one really cared lol.

    • trustnoone

      Oh and Brink for me as well, the whole idea of having a parkour FPS sounded awesome, well until it came out.

  • PJ


    Nothing else need be said.

  • Calibanie

    Blink, Sim City, PS Vita (a console yes but the hype vs reality on it hurt every game for it)

    • As mentioned before in regard to BF4, I don’t really feel Sim City failed to live up to its hype. Its not a perfect game and had a really rough launch, but there are a lot of things people do like about it. Its just the Always On DRM that kills it. Beyond that people look to have enjoyed it, it got pretty positive reviews, and people still play it. I’d call that a success all in all.

      As far as the others go, Blink or Brink? Brink yeah I feel that kinda fell flat after a bit.

      On the Vita side, I agree that at launch (and its whole first year) it failed to deliver on what it was marketed as. A lot of gimmicks that developers rarely if ever used (back touch screen anyone? While a handful of games have used it well, very few do), and very little attention by the majority of developers. Things are starting to look a bit brighter for the handheld however, with the crossplay PS4 tie-in, sales have gone up a significant amount, and with any luck we’ll start getting a few more good games!

      My single biggest problem is the lack of quality RPG’s on the Vita. PS1/PS2/PSP had a huge library of awesome RPG’s (A lot of which can actually be played on the Vita so thats cool at least), but thus far the list of quality Vita RPG’s is very lacking.

  • Kaye

    A good low-tier contender for top 10 would be Paper Mario: Sticker Star. While not marketed as much, the internal fan hype was great. In fact, it was the game that initially made me want a 3DS, but it didn’t live up to the expectations of fans. The last day I played it was 12/26/12 and traded it in on my birthday (4/14/13).

  • Omrikon

    My first suggestion is Nier, which I have come to refer to as Square’s red-headed stepchild. My second is Knack, which has ultimately ended up being a fairly forgettable launch title for the PS4.

  • Dexter

    I’m looking at my library and I would have to say Brink (“parkour” shooter that was advertised as having imprtant story decisions, way to let me down Bethesda) , The Bureau: XCOM Declassified (meant to be 3rd person shooter with strategy elements but ultimately was just frustrating to me), Dragon Age 2 (I think we all remember that let down), The Last Remnant (only played for a while before the frustrating combat system made me give up on it, didn’t like not having fine control over characters like I have in previous Square-Enix games), Infinite Undiscovery (annoying main character with annoying supporting characters and bland combat, again a let down from Square), Final Fantasy 13 (confusing story with a combat system that wouldn’t let me take control of combat more like I was just along for the ride), Rage (was hyped as Id’s take on Fallout but was far more linear than any kind of open world game that I have ever played), Resident Evil 6 (Quick Time Events overload with way too much ammo to make the game challenging like previous RE games). This has kind of proven as a reminder that there is no such thing as a perfect game company. Everyone has their flops.

  • Triaxx2

    Duke Nukem Forever is basically this list in a nutshell. It spent so long in development hell that it essentially had to be worse than it’s hype, because no product could live up to hype like that. There was so much nostalgia around the idea of the game, that it would surpass it’s predecessors and be this great revival of the genre…

    And then it fizzled and fell flat. Just like that, no one even remembers that it’s around, much less why we were all so excited for the prospect of it.

    Crackdown 2 is another good example. The first game was a surprise, because it was expected to be a pack-in game thrown in with a more popular title’s beta key, and it turned out to be an awesome game that was good enough to bridge the gap to the ‘popular’ title’s release. And since it was such a success, the company tried to capitalize on it, and push out a second one. It was billed as bigger, better, more…And it was a disaster. It left behind all the charm and fun of the first one to become a clone of itself, rather than a sequel.

  • Kris Browne

    I (sadly?) am not the target for this discussion, as much as the beneficiary… I never buy into systems or games right away, mostly because with kids and work and all I only get so much time to play.

    So I wait until launch buzz and marketing have died away, and pickup the stuff that is left behind when the chaff is all exposed for the hype and hyperbole it often is, and end up with a library that’s mostly made up of the best of the best for my consoles.

    Thanks to all of you for playing the crap games for me :)

  • First off, I like this “discussion off the beaten trail” thing, only for people who actively seek out DA content.

    There are a lot of ways to look at this topic. Sometimes a developer over embellishes their game creating unprecedented hype (Alien: Colonial Marines), while other times the developer under describes their game, causing the fans to fill in the gaps (sometimes creating hype and fan images that turn out to be cooler than the actual content! Look at some of the X/Y fan evos!). Finally, there are the games that are not necessarily bad, but have a lot of missed potential, games that where hyped for a good reason, but turned out to just not quite live up to what they should have been. I think the best example of this last type I can think of is Mass Effect 3.

    I think ME3 is really not THAT bad of a game as a whole, but that ending really killed it for me (as well as a lot of other people). The ending was so bad in fact that the game caught even larger popularity with the media attention from it (hell it even caused a lawsuit if I recall). I’m not sure if this counts towards the purpose of this article since it certainly did not fade away. I do think it at least needs an honorable mention due to this however.

    I think the best example of the requested Hype->History effect, as mentioned by someone above is Duke Nukem Forever. A decade of hype that faded into obscurity in a month.

    Thats all I’ll bring up in this post. There are a few posts I might respond to to contest their mentions, but I’ll leave this one at that.
    I tend to do my best to not hype myself up for games, and take them at face value.
    Sometimes however I fail, and I start to like the look of the game knowing FULL WELL I’m most likely going to be let down. Mainly Final Fantasy 15 and Watchdogs. I truly hope they are good games, but I doubt FF15 will be, there are just so many ways Square could screw it up. But hey we have Bravely Default to make up for that I guess.

  • Tustin2121

    I remember Heavenly Sword simply because Zero Punctuation did a video on it (sort of). It was Yahtzee’s first video officially syndicated via the Escapist too, so a milestone. The other two games you mention and picture above I’ve never even HEARD of. So… what does that tell you? :)

  • Tustin2121

    Also, when writing or discussing an article like this, perhaps you should bring up games like MindJack as well, which had a bunch of hype and, while not forgotten, is remembered with vitriol and on several reviewers’ “Worst Game of the Year” list because is failed MASSIVELY at what it was hyping. In MindJack‘s case, it wasn’t necessarily because the central concept, the concept they were hyping, failed, but because everything around it failed massively and couldn’t hold up the part they were hyping.

  • JP

    I can’t say much about console games because I keep myself to PC, but I can point a few PC disappointments:

    I have mixed feelings to even mention that StarCraft 2 should be on the list. It’s by no means a bad game, and it successfully achieved a huge gamer base. But it was expected to be even better than SC1 (admittedly a really high milestone), spent a long time in the making, and Blizzard still managed to screw it up royally with their DRM and lack of LAN support.
    Based on fans expectations It was supposed to be groundbreaking and change the gaming landscape like SC1 did. Instead it turned out just an “okay” RTS.

    Also: Diablo 3 for pretty much almost the same reasons.
    Sim City 5 should enter as well… is it a coincidence that all these were plagued with DRM? And game companies still think it’s a good idea? It is the almost guaranteed way to turn an awaited sequel into a “meh” title.

    Moving on, I heard that Fallout 3 is regrettable too. People I talked to love all other titles in the series but don’t put it in the same level as all other Fallouts. Admittedly someone will have to back this statement for me because I didn’t play it so far.

    And finally, Duke Nukem Forever is hands down the clear winner. No other game spent so long garnering hype under development to become forgettable so fast.

  • TNK

    Hey Mr. N,

    There’s a lot of games that could qualify as this. I have lost a lot of childhood memories from medical reasons, but games of games for the last few years.

    I agree with posters above that Duke Nukem Forever is likely the King (Hail to the King Baby). But other contendors.

    Halo 4: Another installment starring Master Chief had been eagerly awaited for for years. A year after release and it’s barely touched on, having lost a lot of the following and spoken word the original trilogy had.

    Far Cry 3: This was advertised to hell and still, the most remembered thing about it is likely the writer insulting the audience for “not getting it”.

    The Final Fantasy XIII sub series. They were all advertised, quite heavily, but have mostly been panned and are now normally only cited in regards to Squeenix sucking at RPGs.

    Metroid Other M: This one made me sad on a personal level. This game had been hyped a lot. After the stellar, albeit polarizing reception of the Prime Trilogy, Other M was tooted to take Metroid to the next level. In the end we were left with a bare bones Metroid game with broken fight mechanics (you can literally rock the D-pad and avoid nearly every attack. The areas were generic, uninspiring and oddly small compared to the open world feeling of past Metroid Games, even Fusion. There’s also no real new uses for old power ups, interesting new power ups or creative puzzles.

    Perhaps the only thing remembered about the game was the writing, and how poorly it fit with the character of Samus and the series as a whole.

    That’s just a few, but I know there’s a lot more out there.