Monday, March 18, 2013

Two Cents - Scoring a Game

I've been approached by several people now asking about how I determine the score of the games I review and whether or not I should even use one in the first place. Let me explain a little bit:

     Truthfully, I subscribe to the same type of scoring philosophy that Polygon's review system uses, and, although have some slight nuances with it, have found that Adam Sessler gives an excellent argument in favor of the number based review system. I will say that I have considered and am still actively considering switch to a 5-point system, but for the time being I will remain using the traditional ten point system. There may come a time in the future when I test the waters with it, but we will have to wait and see. Since my game reviewing is still in its infancy, it is something that will be actively changing as it continues to develop and grow.

     Now the reason I am bringing this up is because I recently had one person tell me that the problem with scoring a game is that you are objectively comparing it to everything else and every other game you have reviewed, but this isn't the case. While you may have noticed that I gave To the Moon a 9/10, this does not mean that I am comparing To the Moon to, say, the Ocarina of Time. In most cases, the game in question deserves to be rated on its own without outside influences affecting it. In the uncommon cases, for me, that this is not the case, the game is usually being compared to other entries in its franchise, assuming that it has one.

     Questions that need to be asked when reviewing a game range from "How is the music?" to "How is the writing?" to "Is the game well rounded?". Each game is obviously its own unique experience, so it is almost impossible to consider comparing a game like Pokemon Black to Batman: Arkham City. For all I know, both of these games might be 9/10s, but why would you compare them? They are completely different in nearly every aspect, and thus should not be judged in comparison to the other.

     You may have noticed that I've also included the "VERDICT" aspect of the review; while I personally have some issues with Kotaku, you have to hand it to them in their review system: sometimes, a simple "Should you play this? Yes / No" suffices. It's not quite the same with the system I've crafted, "Skip / Rent / Buy", each which can be expounded upon, eg. "BUY* / *but not at a $60 price point, wait for a sale", but I find that this helps the reader determine whether or not the product in question is worthy of a purchase or not, or if they should even play it. While obviously most high scored games are most likely going to be grouped in the "Rent / Buy" category, it is important to leave options open and give you, the reader, more than one way to take in a review.

     Obviously these are all my own opinions, but if you have any of your own, I'd be most happy to hear them. Drop by the comments and leave your opinion, we'll discuss it over a nice cup of coffee.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Better Late Than Never Review - To the Moon

To the Moon is a brilliantly told and emotionally charged story that deserves attention. But does its lack of gameplay make it any less of a game? And can the story alone make up for it?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Review - DmC: Devil May Cry


Players need to dispel the belief that they are playing yet another entry in the Devil May Cry series. This is not Devil May Cry 5. Whether you wanted it or not, it's a complete reboot, top to bottom, and as such should be looked at as an entirely new series. So, from here on out, this review will need to treat the previous entries in the series are a completely separate IP, because aside from a few aspects, they essentially are. In order to form the best opinion as to what this new game is and how it plays, we need to put previous "Devil May Cry" titles out of our mind completely.