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  1. #17021
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    Quote Originally Posted by Serenegoose View Post
    I'd hate to play games you like, if enjoyment isn't considered a primary factor.
    Continuing your strawman building I see - and adding the 'I assume everyone is like me' fallacy for good measure - well done.

    In the concept of 'reviewing a game' you must remain objective - you have to take a step back from subjective concepts like 'enjoyment' and 'fun' and, especially, any emotional attachment you may have formed. It's not about 'you'.

    You cannot assume that other people will share your "enjoyment" so you need to say why you found the game enjoyable - explain the mechanics and narrative which you enjoyed (rather than just saying "I enjoyed it 7/10") - you must inform people of WHY and not just WHAT.

    p.s. plenty of people play 'games' for reasons which are probably nothing to do with enjoyment. Games offer challenge, achievement, progression, socialisation, one-upmanship - plenty of people play just to 'make an integer larger'.
    Last edited by trjp; 05-09-2013 at 04:38 PM.

  2. #17022
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesus_Phish View Post
    Does that make Stephen King the CoD or Fifa or the book world?
    What it means is that people continue to be stupid and use analogies which make no sense - the more you try to compare something as nebulous as 'games' against other forms of media - the dafter the argument will get.

  3. #17023
    Lesser Hivemind Node Velko's Avatar
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    Euh.... right... ahem *looks around* So, I've been playing CK2, and finally got a good start on the Iberian peninsula. Started as Barcelona, played very carefully for the first few decades. Eventually got the Kingdom of Aragon. Now the Moors have pretty much collapsed fighting each other, and most of the peninsula is now divided between Kingdom of Léon and me. Gotta find some way to get them to collapse, too.

  4. #17024
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    In the concept of 'reviewing a game' you must remain objective - you have to take a step back from subjective concepts like 'enjoyment' and 'fun' and, especially, any emotional attachment you may have formed. It's not about 'you'.
    Nope. I absolutely disagree with this. Reviewers need to give their opinions on things like "enjoyment" and "fun" and put important emphasis on them, otherwise all we would get would be "the passing mechanics in madden are very good". Reviewers of games and movies need to make it clear they have personal tastes, ones that the reader can then say "I identify with this person" or "I don't think I like the games you like, but I'll read your review on it".

    Nobody should ever take a single review as their source of information and if all reviewers left out things like enjoyment and fun as concepts, all reviews would end up reading like technical specifications.

    A level of "objectiveness" is good, but a level of bias is also good and a good reviewer makes it clear that they have a bias (all reviewers do). It's up to the reader to not be an idiot and decide "he said it's good so it's good!".

    P.S: Many people who would play games for challenge, achievement etc, are still (I would hope) enjoying them. Stealth:A Clone in the Dark can be a very challenging game, but it's still enjoyable. I play it because I enjoy the challenge it presents. I also enjoy jumping into Borderlands 2 and shooting my shotgun that fires 9 rockets at once.

    Also, I've mostly been playing Stealth: A Clone in the Dark and Borderlands 2 through again from level 1 with some mates.
    "Halo is designed to make the player think "I look like that, I am macho sitting in my undies with my xbox""

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  5. #17025
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    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post

    In the concept of 'reviewing a game' you must remain objective - you have to take a step back from subjective concepts like 'enjoyment' and 'fun' and, especially, any emotional attachment you may have formed. It's not about 'you'.
    I've typed a couple of text walls on this topic on the past, and this isn't the thread for one, but I think this is not just the wrong approach, but so impossible as to be useless. The only reviews I ever find of worth are based heavily on the reviewers objective experience.

    Something to consider: if you can usefully, objectively review a game, why do you hate games that lots of people love? Why do you love games that a lot of people don't?

    For the sake of the topic: Saints Row 3. How can I catch up when there are so many games and so little time? I don't usually like my games all that amoral, but this one is gleefully refreshing. The missions are still mostly introducing the various activites, but I've been spending most of the time stealing cars, doing hits and buying businesses.

    More generally, I have no problem with DLC as a concept. You want to buy more stuff for that game you're still playing? Sounds like a sound investment to me. However, when I buy the goatee edition, and you've blown your careful unlocking and earning of new guns and cars and other content by including all this overpowered DLC junk clogging up my inventories right from the start, well, that sucks. You've compromised the basic experience of the game for new players in a way that surely could have been avoided.
    Last edited by arathain; 05-09-2013 at 05:05 PM.

  6. #17026
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    Note that I didn't say couldn't say how much you enjoyed something (or didn't) but that you have to give substance and subjectivity to that

    e.g.

    "I enjoyed playing XXX because of the intricate use of the word 'fuck' in the cutscenes"
    or
    "I didn't enjoy playing YYY because it was cunting impossible to progress without physical discomfort to my genitals"

    If you're gonna invoke emotional things - and you can and probably should - they must have substance and meaning and you have to articulate WHY and not just WHAT

    The worse reviews in the world boil down to "Enjoyable 8/10" - the best will tell you WHY they enjoyed it and, if they must resort to a number, why they didn't give it more or less or what they number means(*)

    (*) gaming review classic is Edge's explanation of their scoring - which made sense in a way almost no-one else's ever has.

  7. #17027
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    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    Note that I didn't say couldn't say how much you enjoyed something (or didn't) but that you have to give substance and subjectivity to that

    e.g.

    "I enjoyed playing XXX because of the intricate use of the word 'fuck' in the cutscenes"
    or
    "I didn't enjoy playing YYY because it was cunting impossible to progress without physical discomfort to my genitals"

    If you're gonna invoke emotional things - and you can and probably should - they must have substance and meaning and you have to articulate WHY and not just WHAT

    The worse reviews in the world boil down to "Enjoyable 8/10" - the best will tell you WHY they enjoyed it and, if they must resort to a number, why they didn't give it more or less or what they number means(*)

    (*) gaming review classic is Edge's explanation of their scoring - which made sense in a way almost no-one else's ever has.
    This sounds much more reasonable. I feel that reviews should embrace subjectivity for such an experiential product as a video game. A good writer will always qualify that subjective impression in the context of the game.

  8. #17028
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Fuck scores in reviews though. There are 6/10's that are 'essential reading' and 9/10's that are completely redundant.
    I'm failing to writing a blog, specifically about playing games the wrong way
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  9. #17029
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    Note also that there's a difference between a formal review and a 'quick look' or 'first play' or 'wot I think' - the latter all being pretty much anything you like, a bit like watching you mate play the game.

    Review tho - I think you plant the flag of impartiality and subjectivity when you use that word.

    Not really wanted to re-awake the book analogy but most serious book reviews will happily harp about poor writing and, indeed, seem more interested in the quality of the words than the story (indeed a great deal of modern 'novels' seem to have stopped HAVING a story entirely!!)

  10. #17030
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliocentric View Post
    Fuck scores in reviews though. There are 6/10's that are 'essential reading' and 9/10's that are completely redundant.
    I'm OK with scores so long as they have meaning. Edge's concept of 5/10 being "a game with no highs or lows" - everything below that having some obvious flaw (and nothing to balance it) - everything above that being better than average and as it climbs, more likely to interest people who perhaps don't like other games of that type (10/10 being a game no-one should hate).

    I believe anyone NOT using a score won't ever be taken seriously as a reviewer either - simply because 'scores' are really more for publishers and developers than players these days - and if you want to be paid, they're the people to please.

  11. #17031
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rauten's Avatar
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    Rather than a score, I'd like a TL;DR.
    Too many reviews, not that many games I'm interested in, a TL;DR section would help get an overall grasp without having to spend ages reading all the reviews.

    Just my 2cents.

  12. #17032
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    I'm OK with scores so long as they have meaning.
    7-10: We want the publisher to keep sending us free copies of games.
    0-6: We don't.
    I'm failing to writing a blog, specifically about playing games the wrong way
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  13. #17033
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    During my last days of "game writing" I wanted to do a "recommendation part" which was about describing in a few lines who could be interested in the game and why.
    Never got to use is as far as I remember.

  14. #17034
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    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    Continuing your strawman building I see - and adding the 'I assume everyone is like me' fallacy for good measure - well done.

    In the concept of 'reviewing a game' you must remain objective - you have to take a step back from subjective concepts like 'enjoyment' and 'fun' and, especially, any emotional attachment you may have formed. It's not about 'you'.

    You cannot assume that other people will share your "enjoyment" so you need to say why you found the game enjoyable - explain the mechanics and narrative which you enjoyed (rather than just saying "I enjoyed it 7/10") - you must inform people of WHY and not just WHAT.

    p.s. plenty of people play 'games' for reasons which are probably nothing to do with enjoyment. Games offer challenge, achievement, progression, socialisation, one-upmanship - plenty of people play just to 'make an integer larger'.
    Ok, first, wow that's a condescending tone to take. It's not a strawman, you actually said enjoyment isn't anything to do with a game. It's right there. In your post. A strawman is when I make up an argument you didn't say in the post, that's more amenable to what I want you to say, and then attack that.

    I'll quote you, just a minute.

    Quote Originally Posted by you, just there
    Enjoyment has NOTHING to do with games
    Right? So I mean, if that wasn't what you meant to say, it wasn't me that was strawmanning you. It was you, strawmanning you.

    But, in the spirit of Holy Fucking Shit, This Isn't A Prestigious University Debating Society, Wow...

    We aren't even disagreeing? Because this other quote,

    Quote Originally Posted by you, again
    You cannot assume that other people will share your "enjoyment" so you need to say why you found the game enjoyable - explain the mechanics and narrative which you enjoyed (rather than just saying "I enjoyed it 7/10") - you must inform people of WHY and not just WHAT.
    Is perfectly correct in my opinion. But it doesn't involve you taking a step back and detaching yourself from enjoying something as you write a review, it only requires that the critic... write a good review, and talk about what they liked and why, and what they didn't and why. Explaining your enjoyment, or lack thereof, isn't in any way distancing yourself from it. In fact, it's vital the audience knows whether or not you enjoy something to know whether you enjoy the same things.

    Say, for example, I review football manager 40k, and I say 'this game is entirely spreadsheets, and is interminably dull'. If someone doesn't know I hate spreadsheet games, they might assume I mean it's particularly tedious even for the genre rather than simply being informed I don't like the genre to begin with, and so can safely disregard my opinion. My telling them what isn't necessarily helpful if they don't know my preferences and what I enjoy to measure the review against.

  15. #17035
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    Quote Originally Posted by Serenegoose View Post
    Say, for example, I review football manager 40k, and I say 'this game is entirely spreadsheets, and is interminably dull'. If someone doesn't know I hate spreadsheet games, they might assume I mean it's particularly tedious even for the genre rather than simply being informed I don't like the genre to begin with, and so can safely disregard my opinion. My telling them what isn't necessarily helpful if they don't know my preferences and what I enjoy to measure the review against.
    Well, if you've got a game that you know you don't like to begin with, there's essentially no point in your writing a review for it unless you are capable of understanding the elements of the game that people who like that sort of thing appeciate, and base your review around your opinion of how the game succeeds or fails at including them. Otherwise there's no point in writing a review, you may as well just not bother. This is actually a situation in which you are really going to have to try to take as "objective" a stance as possible, or just not review the game at all.


    On topic: France is an absolute bastard to invade.
    Last edited by NathanH; 05-09-2013 at 06:45 PM.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  16. #17036
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    Quote Originally Posted by NathanH View Post
    Well, if you've got a game that you know you don't like to begin with, there's essentially no point in your writing a review for it unless you are capable of understanding the elements of the game that people who like that sort of thing appeciate, and base your review around your opinion of how the game succeeds or fails at including them. Otherwise there's no point in writing a review, you may as well just not bother.
    More than familiar with reading reviews in ye olde printe mages where a review would begin 'I don't know why I keep being given these games to review, I don't like sports games, but everyone else was busy reviewing good games, so muggins here has to do what I can'.

    there'd be no point in me writing a review of a game I don't like, it's true. It's not my job. But if it was, hypothetically, my job, I wouldn't, hypothetically, get to pick what I reviewed.

  17. #17037
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    Quote Originally Posted by Serenegoose View Post
    More than familiar with reading reviews in ye olde printe mages where a review would begin 'I don't know why I keep being given these games to review, I don't like sports games, but everyone else was busy reviewing good games, so muggins here has to do what I can'.

    there'd be no point in me writing a review of a game I don't like, it's true. It's not my job. But if it was, hypothetically, my job, I wouldn't, hypothetically, get to pick what I reviewed.
    Well, of course if it's your job then it's perfectly reasonable to do a bad job when you have to do a job and you lack the skills and motivation to do it well. But let's not pretend it wouldn't be a bad job.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  18. #17038
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Serenegoose View Post
    More than familiar with reading reviews in ye olde printe mages where a review would begin 'I don't know why I keep being given these games to review, I don't like sports games, but everyone else was busy reviewing good games, so muggins here has to do what I can'.

    there'd be no point in me writing a review of a game I don't like, it's true. It's not my job. But if it was, hypothetically, my job, I wouldn't, hypothetically, get to pick what I reviewed.
    I read many a PC Gamer article that was exactly that, and they were some of the most entertaining of all to read because of the sheer force of snark brought upon such an unwanted stab at professionalism. They are also the likeliest to be insightful because you don't always want a fan of the genre or franchise to be the one who reviews it.

    Quote Originally Posted by NathanH View Post
    Well, of course if it's your job then it's perfectly reasonable to do a bad job when you have to do a job and you lack the skills and motivation to do it well. But let's not pretend it wouldn't be a bad job.
    I repeat: Such reviews are also the likeliest to be insightful because you don't always want a fan of the genre or franchise to be the one who reviews it.
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  19. #17039
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Serenegoose View Post
    Say, for example, I review football manager 40k
    In the dark future of the 41'st millennium there is only foot to ball.
    I'm failing to writing a blog, specifically about playing games the wrong way
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  20. #17040
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    I read many a PC Gamer article that was exactly that, and they were some of the most entertaining of all to read because of the sheer force of snark brought upon such an unwanted stab at professionalism. They are also the likeliest to be insightful because you don't always want a fan of the genre or franchise to be the one who reviews it.
    We might well be talking about the same reviews, because that's exactly what I had in mind :)

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