How often do we raise our expectations at the expense of our enjoyment? The problem with high expectations is that they can never truly be met. Your idea of perfection is inevitably going to vary from Gene Shalit’s, and vice versa.
For the most part, films and games share the same stigma. On one hand, you’ve got the film/game preview to go by–usually supported by the obligatory review.
“Nothing if not Film of the Year!“
“Five Stars!!!–The Best Gaming Site Ever“
On the other hand, the movie-goer or gamer knows what they like and what they don’t (or at least they think they do). If you’re not mentally fucked-backwards in some way, you can determine from a preview if you’re going to enjoy the movie or not.
The film may be a multi-award winning masterpiece, but if you only like movies where Adam Sandler and Kevin James play a pseudo-homosexual Rent-a-Cops who are thrown into some High-Concept “Comedy” involving magical storybooks and time travel, you aren’t going to be able to sit through P.T. Anderson’s latest three-hour braingasm.
And vice versa, no doubt.
Then, there’s the curious case of masochism that is: sitting through a movie you know you won’t like, just because your friends, associates, and the reviews are jerking it off to death. (A link there certainly would have been interesting…)
**cough cough Lord of the Rings cough cough**
Games are a similar sort of beast. Gamers are somehow roped into playing some games that they know in their black hearts that they won’t enjoy by over-excessive worthlessly positive reviews.
LittleBIGplanet–Greatest game in 2008 or Greatest game EVER?! Truth is, you’re not going to like it if you don’t have a soft spot for cuteness and want something innovative that allows you to explore your creativity. If you only like war games, you’re not going to like LittleBIGplanet at ALL.
The Wrestler–Although I want to save this discussion for Friday’s PODCAST, I will say that my expectations were not met. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; however, when folks like Penn Jillette rave about it being the best movie ever, I tend to listen. If you’re not a middle-aged man, you may not enjoy it quite as much.
The dangerous words I’m talking about here are what some might call “jinxing.” Words such as those used to describe the new cross-platform game Afro Samurai…”The show is awesome, so the game has to be awesome.” Have we learned nothing from our past?
When these “reviews” reach the point of being psychologically damaging, it’s time to take a GINORMOUS step backward. Losing control of one’s senses in favor of blind allegiance is often supervened by crazy cults, monumental elections, and becoming a fan of Penny Arcade.
I kid, of course. But don’t listen to reviews. Think for yourself. Follow your heart, and occasionally your scrotum. If you love Spider-man, then Web of Shadows should be a fun game for you, even though you cried with self-loathing after sitting through Spider-man 3.
If you love going to the gym, but suffer from cripplingly severe social anxiety, like when computers tell you that you’re a fucking fat ass, and enjoy watching faceless Trainers rub cameltoe in your face, you’ll adore Wii Fit!!!
Shit, I should do commercials!
Anyways, if a reviewer says: Check out SuperDPS.com because it’s the best site ever, don’t listen to him…but still, ya know…check it out…because…it is. Join the FORUMS, too!