Something become blaringly obvious to me a few years ago, notably with the release of Bioware’s Mass Effect: Andromeda but also at times long before this, and that is the concept of the ‘hate train’.
For those unfamiliar with the term, it is typically used to describe am abundance of critics of a chosen entertainment media who end up, either deliberately or accidentally, gaining a large amount of backing through the audience opinions of said media, so they join the ‘hate train’ as the saying goes.
Looking back at Mass Effect: Andromeda, hereafter referred to as ME:A, a title that had a huge expectation to live up to with an equally huge playerbase, each with their own desires for a perfect game, it would be no surprise to anybody that it picked up some criticisms with its originally awful animations and hilarious story moments and while it undobtedly sufferred from these problems, it should be asked, was it as a whole a terrible game? Or, just perhaps, did it not live up to the expectations of an ever gorowing demand for perfection that is rarely met in the video games industry today?
Now before we go off saying “Oh so its the gamers faults!” let me stop us right there, this is absolutely not what I am saying, I only ask if perhaps our expectations have grown to such a level over the years of gaming we have had, that only truly exceptional games meet these requirements?
There is no doubt that ME:A missed the mark on many levels but, does the hate train fuel the fire into making players not even try it? I would wager that, at least on some level, this is the case and yet, even in this game with fundamental problems there still exists pitentially 50-60 hours of good fun to be had.
Let us move now to a more recent event, that of Star Wars: The rise of Skywalker. I watched this film on its day of releasse here in the UK and found it to be quite good, sure there were a couple plot holes but overall I considered it a pretty good ending to the saga.
Sure there was PC lesbo stuff etc. But I can live with this so long as it is not forced into the film as political propaganda, as can be seen in so many examples within the industry to date, but as someone who intently looks out for thi stuff, the lesbo kiss in the film did not seem to indicate anything other than a bond between two characters.
The film seemed to get trashed by the critics at Rotten Tomatoes on it’s day of rleease in the US and I have to say, as per usual, the critics, in my humble opinion, are wrong. The funny thing is though, that this time it seems many on the right of the political spectrum are suddenly agreeing with said critics, an irony that is almost humourous when you consider a little while back, Dave Chapelle’s Special received the oh so comical crit reviews that people rightly called out as nonsense.
This brings me back to the center of my point, that of the ‘hate train’. it woild seem that people are willing to jump on the said train, regardless of political persuasion, when and if something does not live up to their standards, which would be fine and well if all such people had actually endulged in the media they are critiquing but you only need look at comments such as “Oh I won’t bother with it then” to know that many people do not.
The hate train it seems, picks up people regardless of where they are going and drops them off outside of the city they think they do not like but have never experienced. I wonder if they didn’t board that train, if they might actually find they enjoyed it more than the critics would have them believe?
Just some food for thought.