From underhyped, to the right amount, to overhyped, here are the games I feel have relevence to the whole hype thing. Questions, comments, or just think my opinion stinks? Let me know!
Demon's Souls - A strong Japanese release, followed by a lackluster US opening. I'd actually read that Atlas had intentionally not said much about the release of Demon's Souls in western markets, just to see how it'd do by word of mouth - a criminal act if there ever was one. By the time the "hype" had grown for it, it had already been out for months and plummeted in price. Plus, the frustrating yet inspired co-op should have rung bells for anyone looking to delve into Boletaria.
The correct amount of hype
Bioshock - The spiritual successor to System Shock lived up to its roots and its anticipation - think the opposite of Peter Molyneux and you'll get the idea. Reading spoiler-free previews that were dripping with "wait until the third act" assertions left me excited, but also a bit wary - how many times have we been burned before by a poor twist ending? Would you kindly agree with me?
Red Dead Redemption - I'll admit, I was an RDR naysayer before I got it. "Nothing can live up to these reviews," I said to myself. Hell, the New York Times reviewer called it a tour de force - what the hell does the NYT know about video games? But amazingly updated visuals, compelling story, interesting characters, brilliant music, and a terrific secret final ending make me agree with nearly every hyperbolic statement I can think of. The fact that Rockstar has kept up with updates helps as well - I hated online until Friendly Free Roam, and Undead Nightmare is fan service at its finest. Yo soy John Marsten indeed.
Bad Day LA - Y'all remember American McGee? He put out "American McGee's Alice" a bunch of years ago - a visually and psychotically thrilling 3D platformer that helped to kick off the whole "dark re-imagining" thing. After that came Scrapland, a well-written but boring robot adventure. And then this putrid excuse for a game, Bad Day LA. I felt outright lied to leading up to buying this. Topical satire from the master of visual imagery! Hilarious jokes, funnier then old Liesure Suit Larry and Monkey Island 2 combined! Fart jokes that are tasteful relative to the setting! PLUS DID YOU HEAR IT WAS MADE BY AMERICAN MCGEE YOU GUYS LOVED ALICE RIGHT?! The game's audio was broken, the visuals looked like art day in an elementary school, the jokes were awful, and the fart sketches were definitely not tasteful. I'm actually embarrassed admitting I bought into the hype of this game and gave American McGee my money.
Daikatana - Kiddos, let me tell you a story of a young man and his Voodoo2 video card. Once, this young man played DOOM, and fell in love with id software and First Person shooters. He researched them, and learned that the game was spearheaded by Mr. John Romero, He thought this Romero was a brilliant designer, and when he heard about Daikatana, he started saving. Now, this young man only had a minimum wage job and a crappy computer, so he had to work hard, saving every paycheck for RAM upgrades, a new monitor, and a very expensive Voodoo2 video card. He didn't even mind when Daikatana was delayed - it gave him more time to save up! And when Mr. Romero put out an ad that said we were all going to be bitches, and to suck something down - the young man FRAMED THE AD ON HIS WALL. Years came and went as they do, until Daikatana was finally released. After purchasing a new monitor, 256MB of RAM, and the very expensive video card, the young man waited outside of an Electronics Boutique (see, this was a time before preorders - also Gamestop didn't exist yet) on a windy day to buy the game... for it to wreck his every aspiration of gaming ever. Kids, I'm sad to admit that the young man in the story was me. And I pray for forgiveness every day.
tl;dr - Daikatana. Ugh.