About a year ago, I was browsing youtube in search of time to kill between classes. I came across a trailer for Neverdead
that made me a bit excited. I'm a big fan of urban fantasy, 80's action movies and anything that is "B" rated, so I got "mad hype" for this game. Neverdead is a game about an immortal demon hunter named Bryce that has actually been cursed with...well, never dying. The fun thing about this game is that it keeps to the whole "immortality" schtick by having your character actually never die
. You can rip his arms off and toss them about the level, throw his head into air ducts or hop around looking for your leg in the middle of combat.
The more I read about this game, the more hype I got. The character was a mix of Harry Dresden and Deadpool, a deadpan snarker type that usually hates himself for one reason or another but does his job a little too well. The setting of a demonic invasion wasn't too original but I let that slide for the amazing soundtrack done by one of my favorite bands, Megadeth. This game had a good formula that could have made Bryce a rival for Dante of Devil May Cry
But as time went on, I heard less and less about the game. The same story would run on different websites, even as the release date got closer. I thought this as curious, but I felt that the game would have been all right anyway and would be one of those "sleeper hits" that people always hear about. My confidence was high that this game would be amazeballs and would melt my face...and then it came out.
I sat there, controller in hand, looking at one of the most broken, boring, useless games I have ever played. I'm not trying to oversell my disappointment, that's how I felt at the time. This was a game that looked like it could be an amazing franchise due to it's unique concept and style.I then learned on Podtoid that Konami not only has a terrible PR system, but also that the less a company has faith in a game, the less amount of daylight it will see. That explained everything.
While you can Read the reviews
for all the things wrong with it, I only have three points to make about the game itself:
1) Deadpan Snarker doesn't mean "annoying douchebag that can't keep his mouth shut"
2) The right analog stick must never
be used for combat anything
3) I wouldn't be surprised if Megadeth forgets they helped on this game at all.
See, my disappointment for the game lies not only with the creators, but with myself. I've always been a cautious gamer, not wanting to get sucked into hype unless it's from a company that I can trust. Bethesda, Blizzard, Team Ninja, and Capcom are names that I've learned to trust over the years. With anything else, I take things with a grain of salt and wait a month before buying or renting. But this game hit some inner parts of me that reminded me of the awesome summers I had with my dad, watching Lethal Weapon
, Tango and Cash
, and Hard Boiled
. I hyped myself into thinking that the game was going to be more than it was ever going to amount to.
I ended up returning the game back to Gamefly before I could finish it. It was too broken and bland for me to move on and, to be honest, it kinda hurt to do that. This was a game that really had some great potential of being a breakout hit in a sea of sequels. As I went online, I noticed people saying that they had similar experiences to mine in their disappointment. It just looked like a game that seemed it would do well, but somewhere along the way, it misplaced its legs and was crawling around aimlessly.
It would be easy for me to blame myself for wanting this game to be good. It would also be easy for me to blame Konami for allowing the game to seemingly atrophy in it's own development. But the reality is that there is a mix of both. Hype is a two person dance the required both sides to constantly participate in. There have been games that have been shoved into our collective faces for the past two years now that seemingly require you to become excited about their release. L.A Noir
, Call of Duty: Black Ops II
, and even the recently released Diablo III
are just some of the many that I've seen being plastered about in magazines and online. Even if these companies invade our eyeballs with these ad campaigns, the choice to be hyped up or not still lies within the consumer to pay attention or not.
With life comes experience and this game did teach me that nostalgia can be a powerful thing. Looking back, the game did seem not too great, but for a moment in time, it was going to rock my pants off. And to be honest, I'm perfectly okay with that.