Myth of the “Killer” Game

dark-cloudFanboys and the media just love to start trouble. Fanboys we can understand, they just want to see their console succeed and all others fail. Why, I have no idea, but thats their moronic role and I have to live with it. The gaming media, which I am beginning to think is pretty juvenile sometimes, should know better than to manufacture a story. But they do all the time, with their unrelenting hype.

Dark Cloud was widely called a “Zelda-killer”. First, I don’t know what that even means, since it won’t stop Zelda games from being made. Trust me, as good as Dark Cloud could be, Nintendo will still make more Zeldas. I loved Dark Cloud, but I bought a GameCube just to play The Wind Waker. So it didn’t really kill anything, did it? Second, the two games are really nothing alike, apart from the green hat the heroes both wear and that it is an action-rpg. Dark Cloud was a dungeon crawler with a focus on stamina and weapon maintence. You only explored one dungeon at a time and rebuilt a town using items found in the caves. Zelda is much more open and epic, with the focus on exploring and puzzles.

The gaming media decided to label Dark Cloud in this way and when the game came out, it was very good, but it didn’t live up to their ridiculous preconcieved expectations. So it was deemed a disappointment. This is something that I don’t understand. The media are the ones who get hands-on previews of the games and yet they still come up with inane opinions about games. They played the game ahead of time, they knew it had almost nothing in common with Zelda, yet they chose “Zelda Killer” as the best way to cover Dark Cloud. It doesn’t end there.

Metroid Prime 2: Echos had a multiplayer aspect, which opened up as you completed the game. The game’s designers said it was a bonus feature and not meant to be a full-blown MP experience like Halo. So what happened? Well, since it came out the same month as Halo 2, it was compared to it over and over and found lacking. Rightfully so. It was nowhere near as good as Halo 2 in the MP department. But it wasn’t trying to be and no one in their right mind ever expected it to be. Not every game needs to have multiplayer. EGM even bitched about Bioshock not having a multiplayer mode, which is just nit-picking. I am smart enough to recognize that, so why couldn’t the game media?

Killzone 2 is the latest to bear the title. This time, “Halo-killer” is the chosen mantra spoken. The original Killzone also was labeled thus and it failed to live up to that. This time, it stands more firm, a great game, I can’t stop playing it. But it is not a Halo-killer. Know what was? Call of Duty 4. But since that was a multi-console game, it didn’t get such a burden placed on it. Only exclusives do. You never heard Call of Duty being called a “Medal of Honor-killer” and that is for two reasons: It’s a multi-console game and Medal of Honor declined on its own.

thugThe exact same thing happened with Skate. People seem to think it killed Tony Hawk, but honestly, was anyone still playing Tony Hawk after THUG and THUG 2? I know I didn’t.

They released a new Tony Hawk game every year from 1999-2007. Yeah, is it any wonder why people got sick of that game? Do you remember Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland? How about Project 8 or Proving Ground?

No, you don’t and its not because of Skate, it’s because interest had diminished to the point where even the gaming media didn’t feel the need to talk about Tony Hawk anymore. Until Skate came out and it was hailed as a “Tony Hawk-killer”. Which as we have just seen, is not the case at all.

Want more examples?

Blue Dragon? “Final Fantasy-killer”.

Killer Instinct? “Virtua Fighter-killer”.

It goes on and on.

No game is going to kill another. No game ever has so crushed its rival as to render them helpless. Never happened. Never will. What kills a game? Diminishing quality, like Tomb Raider. Excessive sequels, like Tony Hawk. Saints Row was not a “GTA-killer”. If anything after playing it, you might want to go back and play GTA, just to compare the two and admire the differences, as both are fine games.

One more thing: This article is a hype-killer. No hype will ever exist after reading this.

See if that ever comes true.

Written by

Age: 34 PSN ID: Starkiller81. I've played games since before I can remember, starting with my dad's Atari and I haven't stopped yet. Keep them coming and I will keep playing them.

9 thoughts on “Myth of the “Killer” Game”

  1. Great article, Anthony! Yeah, I’ve never understood the whole “x killer”, because it doesn’t stop people from playing the games. I mean, get that each console wants their own version of a particular exclusive, but no copy-cat is going to do that. Killzone 2 is not a replacement for Halo, it’s just a good game on its own.

  2. Well I have to say COD4 did kill off Halo 3 for me. I just couldnt put the game down. Now its LFD, with its fresh take on MP its very addicting. And Killzone 2 is the only reason, besides Little Big Planet, that I would get PS3, but I wouldnt call that a Halo killer,the Halo universe keeps getting bigger and bigger. Some of theses so called “killers” are just ridiculous. But hype-killer, i like that.

  3. Hype-killer: O RLY?!!?

    I do get a bit irritated when people start raving that some new game is going to kill-off some old legendary series. Now, I will have to say that if a new game replaces the old game/series and has a level of awesome equal to or greater than the former series, it deserves the title of game-killer (ie CoD replacing MoH). But still, that’s just replacing it after the series has withered and pretty much died; it’s not kicking the old series from its pedistal at the height of the series’ power and epic winning, it’s replacing, adding a new freshness to the genre or setting or what have you.
    What DOES make me roll my eyes is when a game is hyped up and called the omgftwbbq game-killer and then PHALEZ. Actually, I laugh hysterically at the person claiming the title is a game-killer, bitch-slap them, and then deliver a speech rivaling Hitler’s aptitude about how much they suck at life. Take Killzone and Halo. I had heard bits and pieces of Killzone, and barely knew what it was. How can something that small be labeled a Halo-killer? If you’re going to kill Halo, you’re going to fill our minds with hype until we explode, and then deliver a game that makes us omgasm every time we turn on the game.
    What’s better is that the so-called game-killers are usually pathetic compared to the game they’re trying to kill in some way – gameplay, hype, etc. So there’s never truly been a game-killer in the way the media defines it, and there probably never will be.
    Btw, I was on LIVE about a month ago and some kid called Fallout 3 a Mass Effect-killer. My response was, “Fallout 3 takes place in a nuclear wasteland. Mass Effect takes place in space. You, good sir, phale.”

    * * *

    Every since Call of Duty 4, I’ve been making an on-going list of games that tracks the succession of games, each one replacing their predecessor as my game-of-choice, keeping me play all the time until the next one comes out. Here’s the list for any who care:

    Halo: CE (PC)
    Halo 2
    Halo 3
    Battlefield: Bad Company
    CoD WaW
    Fallout 3
    CoD4 reclaimed its position, officially making it my favorite game of all time.
    We shall see… It’ll probably be CoD: MW2.

    By now, you’re snoozing, so I’ll conclude by saying: fanboys suck.

  4. Great great article dude. I love gaming psych! The only game killer I can think of is CS:S killing CS =(. So many people converted and the community of the old CS has shrunk considerably. i know, But thats normal; and i know, its basically the same game, i know, so it doesnt count, i know, but it still makes me sad =(

    so very sad. i know.

  5. I think I’ll play my WoW killer while texting on my iphone killer. Then later I’ll play my halo killer on my 360 killer. On a slightly related note, we can safely assume that any game that is hyped up as much as is the norm these days will likely disappoint us. This is why demos are so great – you can use them to decide whether to buy a game or not by judging the game, not the hype. Take hawx, for example – the game never even showed up on my radar, but after playing the demo I’m probably going to end up getting the game, despite the fact that it isn’t a killer.

  6. [quote comment=”5119″] This is why demos are so great – you can use them to decide whether to buy a game or not by judging the game, not the hype. [/quote]

    Exactly my point on an earlier thread about hype and fanboys.

    I know its an extra pain for developers to release demos; but seriously, its the only thing that stops me from downloading a game illegaly to test before purchase.

    games with no demos: stolen!
    games with demos: a good test to see if its worth it. If I like the demo, I’ll buy it. If not, I choose to take the whole game as my “demo”

  7. sigh i was reading all of this thinking of a way to respond in agreence until i saw killer instinct… ๐Ÿ˜€ my mind hust went back to Cinder and my 36 moe combo, Spinal and my slide tackling, Riptor and his well…. crapness, WareWulf(?) and his howls and B. Orchid and her…. Tixil Pitties

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