You Had Me at the Trailer

Sometimes there are game trailers that are so good and so well done that you know that it is a guaranteed purchase after watching it. In this post, I wanted to share some of the games that I’ve purchased in recent years just off of the trailers alone. It is very rare that a trailer by itself can generate that much of a desire to purchase a game with expedience but it has happened to me. The first game I will discuss is Super Mario Odyssey for the Nintendo Switch.

The video above is the greatest video game trailer I have ever seen. It is the only time in my whole life that I was ready to buy an entire new video game system based on one game. Having played just about every Super Mario platformer that has ever existed, the series could have easily grown stale by now. But to Nintendo’s credit, Super Mario games continue to evolve and introduce new things as time passes. When I watched the above trailer for the first time, I knew I needed Super Mario Odyssey in my life.

Four years after this trailer was made and having the opportunity to play through the game myself, I have no problems declaring that Super Mario Odyssey is one of the top five Mario games I’ve ever played. It really is that good and if you’ve never played it, you owe it to yourself to do so if you’re a Mario fan. But in regards to the trailer, I must have watched it four or five times in a row when I first viewed it. What a fantastic way to introduce a new game.

Before watching the above trailer just a few months ago, I had never played any game in the Shadow Warrior series. What drew me in was the 80s feel along with the sheer ridiculous and ludicrous nature of this trailer. What it is promoting more than anything is silly, over-the-top fun and I felt that I wanted to be a part of it. Within hours of watching this trailer, I found a good deal on a bundle that included both Shadow Warrior and Shadow Warrior II. If you do choose to invest in these games, just be mindful that they are very gory.

Shadow Warrior originally launched in 1997 on PC. The trailer above features the 2013 remake developed by Flying Wild Hog and published by Devolver Digital. Shadow Warrior 2 was released in 2016 with a sequel slated for later this year. The series revolves around Lo Wang, a modern ninja who uses his abilities to fight against demons. The game plays in first person with the ability to use swords, guns, and many other abilities.

There are times that I’m just drawn to something wacky and humorous when it comes to gaming. I had no intention of playing Yakuza: Like a Dragon even as I was reading and hearing about all of the glowing praise the game was receiving upon its initial launch. My experience with the Yakuza series is mainly with Yakuza 0 and a little bit of Yakuza 6: Slice of Life. I can see why the Yakuza games are popular as it combines a story with some intuitive battles and a host of activities and mini-games to do. It is brilliantly SEGA at its finest. 

I had seen that the battle system in Yakuza: Like a Dragon was different from other Yakuza games in that it was now turn-based. That seemed to be a pretty cool change because I had never pictured a Yakuza game having a Japanese RPG feel. But what sold the game for me was when I watched the trailer and saw the special abilities the characters were using. It just looked like a grand good time. Already knowing that the Yakuza games have solid story and gameplay, the special abilities from the trailer are what sold me. I bought the game soon after and have had a blast with it. Ichiban is a great underdog main character to root for and his friends that he meets along the way somehow find a way to become endearing even when they shouldn’t be. By the way, the turn-based battle system rocks.

We Happy Few is a game with a premise that literally could be made into a gripping Netflix horror movie. The dystopian-theme title takes place in an alternate 1960s where the citizens are hooked on a hallucinogenic drug called “Joy” and are to have to memory of history. When I first watched the trailer, I found it highly intriguing as I wondered if this was kind of like a video game version of something resembling bits of 1984 and Brave New World. Why in the world were all of the citizens wearing these creepy masks?

I already knew that I was going to buy We Happy Few just after watching the trailer. It would actually be more than a year before I finally did pull the trigger, but that was only because I had so many other games distracting me during that time. But now that I own it, I’m looking forward to playing through it. The first few hours were already interesting enough for me to continue playing. The horror element is there, just not in a Resident Evil or The Dark Pictures Anthology sort of way. It’s more about the disturbing, dark world itself that is presented in the game, which no human being in their right mind would ever want to experience.

As a person who could be classified as an “80s kid” and spent a significant amount of time in arcades, the Huntdown trailer felt like an action game love letter. The game was presented in an unmistakenly 80s action-flick style that reminded me of my childhood. How the trailer begins with a Huntdown arcade cabinet and then shows off two minutes of gameplay was the perfect way to showcase this game. It would easily appeal to retro gamers and it certainly hooked me in very quickly.

Like the other three games in this post, I’m thrilled with my purchase of Huntdown. There’s even a boss character who talks like the late “Macho Man” Randy Savage, who was a major wrestling star in the 80s and 90s. The action is fantastic, responsive, and smooth. I really enjoy the art design of the game and how there are three different main characters you can play as. Huntdown celebrates old school gaming.

As I close out this post, one last game I wanted to mention was Hitman 3. I had never played one Hitman game throughout my three decades of gaming, but this trailer led to me buying the entire trilogy. I didn’t embed the trailer like the others because the violence in it requires that you watch it on YouTube. Hitman 3 is an amazingly beautiful game with fantastic level designs and a wealth of options for diverse gameplay experiences. It is definitely one of the best games of 2021.

What are some game trailers that led to purchases for you?


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