Hypomania  is a mood state characterized by persistent and pervasive elevated (euphoric) or irritable mood, as well as thoughts and behaviors that are consistent with such a mood state. It is most often associated with the bipolar spectrum. Many who are in a hypomanic state are extremely energetic, talkative, confident, and assertive. They may have a flight of ideas and feel creative. Many people also experience signature hypersexuality. While hypomania often generates productivity and creativity, it can become troublesome if the subject engages in risky behaviors. It is generally less severe than full-blown mania. –Wikipedia

You all are crazy.  I know this because I’ve been watching you.  I’ve been reading your threads.  I’ve been reading your tweets.  I’ve also been joining you in being crazy myself. We are two days away from the launch of the PS4 and 9 days away from the launch of the Xbox One.  This is Christmas for an eight year old times a thousand because we are all lunatics about videogames.  You may think you aren’t, but you can’t fool me.  I read your posts!

This morning reviews started pouring in for the PS4 system and launch games.  They all have been extremely predictable yet everyone is losing their shit over them.  The problem is that we are all in a state of hypomania right now.  We are completely jacked up on launch hype that we are one second euphoric, another second paranoid, and another second aggravated.  Destructoid gave Killzone a 9?  FUCK YES THAT GAME IS GOING TO BE SO GOOD!  Hmm, Eurogamer gave it a 7.  Maybe it was rushed?  Is it going to suck?   Polygon gave it a 5?  HOLY SHIT GIES DOESN’T EVEN TRY TO HIDE HIS BIAS!

The thing that we all seem to forget when all of these reviews come out is that gaming reviews usually don’t tend to line up with our own experiences.  That’s why we usually dismiss them.  The press salivating over Mass Effect 3, throwing perfect scores at it like it was the second coming, and then we played it and…. holy shit what the hell were they thinking?  And remember when The Escapist gave Dragon Age 2 a 10/10?  DRAGON AGE 2!?!?  That game had seven areas total.  Holy shit.

Also, the metacritic for Nier, one of the better RPGs this gen, sits at a 67.  Meanwhile Final Fantasy XIII, a game universally hated by everyone (except for me), is at 83.  And to rub salt in the wounds even to me, FFXIII-2, which is better than XIII in every way, is a 79. Discussions pop up on every forum I’ve ever been to talking about how reviews don’t line up with users own experiences.  Reviews are, of course, opinions, but there also seems to be a bit of pandering that happens in the gaming press.  Whether it’s for clicks or a bias towards a certain company or what… it’s hard to tell sometimes (or in Polygon’s case… very easy to tell).  Most of the time we dismiss it.  I know on GAF and Reddit personally most people see reviews and go “ok, I’m going to wait to hear what you guys think” because you get to know people there, what their tastes are, you know they actually paid money for the game, etc.  You don’t need the bullshit filter that you need for major gaming sites.

There is also the hypocrisy of reviews that will drive you crazy if you pay too much attention.  Dragon’s Crown has women with huge tits?  6!  GTA V has women who nag, who fuck to become famous, and one woman whose entire appearance in the game was to be a receptacle of Trevor’s sperm…  10/10, will play again.  It’s satire, guys!

Basically my point is that we know the gaming press is awful. You know the gaming press is awful.  That’s why you get your info from other gamers at GAF or Reddit or whatever your site of choice is.  Somehow, though, when we reach the hypomania of a huge game release, or worse yet – a console launch…  we start to give credence to what the press has to say again.  PRE-ORDER CANCELED!  OMG SOMEONE GAVE KNACK A 3 I’M RETURNING IT!  Calm down.  A month ago anyone could have predicted that Knack was destined for mixed reviews, it’s a game that is designed for a specific niche.  If you aren’t in that niche you won’t like it.  You knew that, you thought it looked cool and you preordered/bought it.  Don’t go throwing things away or losing your mind because someone who was never going to like the game didn’t like the game.  That’s just silly.

Take a step back, calm down, do some deep breathing.  It’s a console launch.  It’s going to be fucking awesome!  Even terrible games are fun during launches.  By friday night you won’t even be thinking about the Metacritic for Resogun.  This is all just noise.  Try to tune it out the best you can.  And if you’re getting a Xbox One expect to go through the exact same thing next week.  Good luck.

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