All of these negative comments about games below I just gotta say that I played Ratchet and Clank A Crack in Time and it froze near the end so I got mad and didn't start it over. I just got done playing it yesterday and it is a fantastic game for anyone who hasn't played it and is a fan of any series that are like Ratchet and Clank, now it's time for the Ratchet and Clank Collection and the Jak and Daxter Collection YES!!!
As many of you who read this blog might know, I have a bit of an issue, buying older games, not getting to newer games, having a gaming queue that is far larger than it should be. This isn't unusual for most gamers, but when I was a kid, I always envied one friend in particular who had tons and tons of games, enough to fill an entire shelf, much like I have now. I realise that being materialistic isn't a good thing, and as I get older, I am more interested in attending things than playing games, like, going to see a hockey game over playing a new release, which I'll be doing next week. When I do find free time, I play some of my older games. This year, my goal is to actually play game from 2013 and finish them. Sounds stupid, I know, but that's a legitimate goal for me, and probably some of you.
What struck me this past week, as I slogged through a few games that are several years old is, as I wrote the reviews, I realised that newer games were colouring my thinking, making me short-change a game because someone years later improved upon something that had been previously done. It isn't the gaming companies' fault that there are just too many games out there and not enough time to play them. Really, it is a blessing to have so many stellar titles out there. I know some of us dreaded long stretches of last year just for the lack of amazing titles, but this year will not have the same weight upon it.
My question, however belaboured it may be is this: do you rate a game on its own merit, or in comparison to all the others that you've played up to that point? I find myself doing the latter, comparing a game to all the others, sometimes even clones of games I've not yet played. For example, I recently played Uncharted and was astounded by how much it played like Castlevania (in the climbing aspects!! not the fighting mechanis!). When I looked at the dates of release, Uncharted came out in 2007, Castlevanie in 2010. Is that a fair comparison to make? Uncharted did these things before Castlevania came out, but in my mind, as I played the games in the chronological order of purchase, it didn't play, perhaps, as well as it should have. Should there be a moratorium on old games? I mean, how many blogs do you read about people playing older games and loving them?
I find myself conflicted as I score games, wondering if I'm being fair, wondering what fair really is. I give the game time to convince me, for good or for ill, to wow me, if it does, it does, if not, then the score will reflect that. At what point can I distance myself from previous games and play a game, enjoying it for its own merits? I read other reviews on this site and see the comparisons in force everywhere. It isn't just me, I'm certain of that. But the question remains, how do you fairly assess a game, truthfully?
some games can stand on their own regardless of time, just recently beat Earthbound and I can honestly say it is the best RPG I played in the recent years (even more than Skyrim) regardless of the new more advanced games. Also I prefer a lot of older games over their modern counterpart,older games had some simulation aspects to them rather than today's realistic games that feels too gamey. here is an example of X-com:ufo defense and Xcom: enemy unkown.
@Halloll there is something to be said about games that can stand the test of time, but I find those are only really older games, not something from the last few years, like my experience with Uncharted and Castlevania, which I had mixed results with. I totally get what you're saying though!
There is nothing wrong with comparing games. That's how this industry works. That's how a lot of things work.
One's worth is a measure of what it does better than the rest.
I'm more inclined to compare a game like inFamous and Prototype. Just because they felt so identical ...
I remember I also compare the first Uncharted with the first Gears Of War ... I played GoW before Uncharted so Uncharted shooting/ocver mecanics felt very badly made to me. Ultimatly it is something else that killed Uncharted for me.
For a game like Final Fantasy , they are all so different yet there is some similarities. I also play Final Fantasy 1 for the first time and it is fun but Oh so unforgivable ... that game is hard and not very magic friendly. Is it better than newer FF or any other JRPG ? Not really to me, it is just different.
I'm currently playing Ni No Kuni and loveeeeeeeee the game but I didn't compare it to any other JRPG, I just like it for what it is but sure the Familiars remind me of Pokémon and I see similarities with other games developped/piublished by Namco Bandai because they use a lot Cell Shading in their game this gen, kind of a graphic signature.
i don't really feel like a game coming out in 2010 has better control or fix an issue over a game in the same genre that was release in 2007. Sometime they are worst or just feel like a re-heated t**d because it is always the same thing.
@Coco_pierrot that is a fair comparison, more so because they came out around the same time and allowed some similar components. I did like inFamous better :) I just felt like Uncharted was better than Castlevania, even if they aren't really all that alike.
Wow that is a really good point! I guess it is hard to assess an older game to the standards that it would have been assessed when it first came out. I had a similar experience when I purchased the arcade release of Beyond Good and Evil. I enjoyed the game, but I couldn't see why it was such a beloved title because I was finding it hard to remember what games were like back when it was first released. It was interesting playing it though to see how it had laid some of the foundations for later games such as Assassin's Creed in the stealth aspects.
I guess at the end of the day you need to look at a game and compare it to something that you have experience with, but I guess it is worth bearing in mind that if you are playing an older game and then comparing it to more recent ones, then that might not be an accurate reflection on the quality of the older game. In terms of reviewing, I would always make that clear so that the reader can at least understand your subjectivity in that matter.
@wavey_gravey thanks! I have my moments, plus, lately, the blogs on the front page have been sort of blah and not good enough...I know, I judge, but I can't help it sometimes...
hmm, excellent point! I'll throw that out there in future reviews!
Good question. Personally I think you have to assess something by comparison or you wouldn?t be able to create a fair framework for praise or criticism. This becomes tricky when a unique game is released like Journey but then uniqueness and innovation is in itself criteria with which to rate by.
For me immersion and enjoyment factor HEAVILY into my ratings; hence my adoration of many lesser known but entirely enjoyable games. Perhaps the quality a pro reviewer can have that infuriates me the most is rating a game on technical merit alone and constantly comparing every game to the best in its genre. Honestly saying one game is definitively better than another is ludicrous; gamers all have their own opinions. That's the exact reason why I factor in Immersion as the single most important quality: "Can this game transport me to its world and hold me there?" That's always a prime concern; followed shortly by: "Did I enjoy it?"
@Uesugi-dono yes...and if there is frustrating play, then I'm already out of sync with the game. Enjoy it is a big one for me, but I don't always enjoy games...gah, scoring is tough...
I think the answer is that the only wrong review is one that is factually inaccurate. With games there are somethings you can definitely say like these textures are low resolution and muddy or the framerate sucks but after that it's largely a matter of opinion. Is it fair to compare a game that was made in 2007 to one that's in 2010? Probably not but is the game still fun or compelling to play is something that you can largely compare directly. I also think that if you're reviewing things you need to be able to step back and see what you're doing. There are games that are good that you aren't going to like and there are probably games that you like that aren't the greatest game ever.
Yeah things progress in time and for a professional site their reviews need to reflect how the industry moves forward and standards change. But as an individual it's kind of up to you to figure out what you want to say when you write a review.
@lim_ak fair point! if I don't like a game, does that mean I have to give it some sort of concession? I mean, with AC2, I didn't like it, but I still gave it an 8 for being technically proficient...fair, right?
@pokecharm Not sure, it's one of the many reasons I tend to not review games and also it's where assigning numbers becomes problematic. 8 on the Gamespot scale is Great, and calling something you didn't really like, great, just feels off sometimes.
@lim_ak it does, but just because I don't like something doesn't mean it's bad, maybe it wasn't 'meant' for me, you know?
It's sad, the popular games nowadays are usually about giant setpieces and a lot of action to sell well. look at the NES you had to be creative because you didn't have but so many tools to work with to make a game, but the world seemed to be much easier to please back then. Now with how much technology is out there, there are so many high expectations and everyone tries to go bigger and better but end up screwing up in some way. The Internet wasn't that big back then pretty much non-existent to bash every game you just see a game that has awesome box art, get it and love it then buy the next in the series. As time goes on, standards get higher and higher and then you have the blown up Internet with so many different reviewers and opinions swaying people's thoughts different ways that some people are missing out on games that they would absolutely love for sure.
@timdogg42069 yes, I see RE6 in my mind when you say that first bit. I wish the game developers looked at the whole experience and not just one small piece of it...RE6 had such potential!
@pokecharm @timdogg42069 Defenitely, I couldn't imagine how great the game could have been. I've seen that a lot of people hate it, I actually enjoyed the game a lot with about 70 hours put into it. One of the things I wish they did different was upgrading your guns like in RE5 plus the skills. I like the skills but I like the gun upgrades much more.
IMO The kids that grew up in the days of NES should be developing games... Freak they have all the experience of what good games are like. Or better off they some how can become the director.. If I have the skills to do something like that shit then man my game would be 10 of 10!!
|That is right my friend.. This is coming from a guy that play shit loads of games..
Yea growing up in the late 80s and early 90s brother. I feel ya man. F*** people look at me weird when I pick up a used copy of old school games.
Hell I play older games and love them if I can I'll make love to it. Kids that's born in this generation dun give a **** about games that kids like us growing up did. They are into graphics and if something like retro game being upped on wii channel, PSN, XBL then that's when probably the kids would try it out or hearing good reviews of previous generation games.
Like f***ing hell like what you said. You got jealous of a friend having a stash of games and you don't. Back then same goes for me brother I feel you. And that friend was being a really chinzy @$$ and wouldn't lend you a freaking game they have already beaten.. Yea back then I couldn't play all the games I wanted because of reasons like, I couldn't buy it, borrow it or I had some kind of lame toys to buy and play with.
Now!?! F*** I couldn't do that either even if I have the money to because I'm just so Freaking busy with life that I can't sit down and enjoy games.. That's right I've grown old and life isn't so free..
@ZexionLuv life is never free, it is just a matter of what you want to do with that time...makes me almost sad I spend so much time daydreaming in games, and in life...very sobering commentary!
I myself prefer playing newer games to older games. The older games I have played or replayed have generally left me disappointed and sometimes totally ruined what was till then a beloved childhood memory so I have decided to skip the old stuff and bypass your problem.
@Imperiusmax I just keep buying older games based on hype, or buying more games than I can play in a given time, you know?
No i'd never do that and it;s not a fair comparison to make, i rate games for its own merit, i felt really sad when i saw one of my friends at Gmaespot giving out unfair scores for the older (PSone) RPG's same time overrating some mediocre over hyped popular titles released in this Gen, it's not fair saying that FFVIII's graphics were bad because you haven't gotten the chance to play and catch up with the 5th or even the 6th Gen.
we should consider games on their own merits, it's ok to compare it to what we believe to be the current standards of quality at that time. tho it's not an easy task. for each time a graet game is released, it becomes more difficult for another game to be as good, because our expectations as gamers are constantly increasing, we ask for more , we expect more! so that's why i guess.
oh and stop ruining your gaming experience! stop worrying about your backlog , just play what you heart desires at that moments, try to enjoy gaming itself, it doesn't matter what game you should play next, like right now i'm playing FF XIII even tho i have alot of unfinished new titles to attend, i just don;t wanna force myself to play these games and kill my gaming mood in the process , it's not my fault this Gen of video games lacks inspiration, Dev's back then used to be gamers care more about the game itself, Capcom forgot all about Onimusha because milking RE well get them more money, Activsion forgot about Crash because of CoD and so on .
@matastig you never, ever, compare games? come on now - how can you not! I mean, how can yuo assess a game without looking at what came before and what came after, if you can see the latter.
the queue must be respected :p
I do compare games, but it doesn't affect the way i judge and rate that game, i rate Graphics , sound effects, story, gameplay etc separately and then i can give the overall score, Art/Sound/Graphics/designers/Director/Programmers has their own separate views, skills, and perspectives, take the overrated Borderlands for example, has a neat visuals and art-style, a good gameplay , poorly written story , a "one-way" boring atmosphere, huge map with a marker for a very repetitive/useless/unrewarding quests,.
i can give a high score for the Graphics/sound designers because they did well, but what about those mediocre programmers? glitches, bugs, overused copy/pasted data even a bunch of new programers (hackers ) made their own tools to change and alter a few details (characters, costumes, weapons, skills parameters and values etc ) to make the game a little bit more enjoyable.
Borderlands 2 , used over 80% of Borderlands 1's data, added a few minor changes here and there , the game felt more like a huge (little bit improved) add on to the first one, so if i wanted to compare BL2 to the first one, i'd have given it a score of 3/10 to 4/10 at best! but it wouldn't be fair right? so that's how i rate games, i keep an eye on every little detail while playing through the game, maybe the graphics/sound wasn't superior nothing new added compared to the first one, but they're still as good.
i do compare games, but it would not affect the quality of that game, as i said before our expectations as gamers are constantly increasing, we ask for more , expect more.
@matastig I miss cookies...I'm on a perpetual no-sweets diet ;)
@pokecharm I just woke up, what's going on lol so hungry cookie? ^^
@matastig touche ;)
@matastig I think this argument holds more sway for me just because each FF game is so different and yet alike to the others. Dead Space, or even Gears, it's all in the same vein, so I think the comparisons are a little more fair, you know?
@matastig so many responses :)
I get what you're saying, but think of Dead Space, if you're playing it - by itself, the game is decent, though frustrating at times. Compared to the two games before it...it isn't great, hardly at all, really. I'm seeing a 6 or 6.5 right now...
Also if i wanted to compare the first Mario game to Mario Galaxy for example,(graphics/sound/gameplay complexity etc ) i'd have given the first Mario a score of 1/10 =P but it wouldn't be fair right?^^
Gamers hated FF XIII for different reasons such as annoying characters, linearity etc compared the game to FF X or FF VII and gave it the lowest score possible ignoring all the hard work and efforts for one of the most creative Artists/designers/programmers in the industry, it's not fair to compare FF XIII to any of the other FF games,because for each has its won Sorties, Universe and Gameplay.
I find older games to be far better than the newer games. It's strange really. Instead of each installment being better than the older one, I find that the older entries are much better. I'm playing Dead Space 3 and what a load of crap it is compared to Dead Space 1.
Maybe I've been playing games for too long and all that gaming is finally taking a toll on me? I don't know.
There will always be a certain degree of bias in anyone's assessment. One man's 1.0 will be the next man's 10.
If I review a game, I usually try not to compare it to any other games which were made before or after the game. But usually, I find that it does affect my perception of an older game, if I have played a newer game before it which improved upon it's mechanics. Which is why I usually prefer to play the older games before playing any of the newre games.
I think it's unfair to judge a game negatively because it has aged, or other games have long since changed and improved upon ideas it presented. Everyone has an opinion, and it's possible that some might even like the way it was before. I'm sure we've all been there before.
Recently I found a situation where newer iterations of games were better than older ones.
I tried a demo of Super Stardust HD and Tales From Space: About a Blob the other day, a few months after getting into the newer sequels, Super Stardust Delta and Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack. I like the newer games a lot, and I think they're very good. But the demos of the original PS3 games weren't as impressive to me. The ship in stardust didn't have the tight controls it did in the newer one, and wasn't as fun for me to play. The blob in about a blob doesn't automatically absorb other blobs and food it comes into contact with like it does in the Vita one - you have to press a button to make it do that.
Super Stardust HD and About a Blob were both very popular, good games that presented some fun and original game play. But in my opinion, they've improved on the formulas for both games in the sequels. It's just a shame, because I'm not so sure I could go back and enjoy the original games now. But not all games are like this.
I also have had many situations where the original game in a series, or at the very least the first game that I played within a series, struck a chord with me... But then the subsequent games weren't as good, or I didn't like them nearly as much.
An example I often use here is Golden Sun. I thought the first two games were really good, but I didn't care for the sequel as much. It wasn't completely awful, I enjoyed it for a bit, but a while into the game I became bored with it and I really didn't care about it.
Another example would be most games that have had a remake, or a 'modified' version of sorts. They made ports of Kirby's Adventure and Kirby Super-Star on the GBA and DS - neither was as good as the original imo. They remade Final Fantasy IV countless times, and I think the DS and PSP ones kind of suck compared to the previous versions. Halo CE got remade as Anniversary, and while it wasn't bad, it still didn't capture the unique visuals of the original game - and completely did away with the original multiplayer component of that game that a lot of its fans loved it for.
I think for every game that makes you think you can never go back and enjoy the games of yesteryear, there is a game that withstands the test of time and impresses you - whether its with its story, graphics, music, game play, or some other feature it had.
I believe just ignoring all of the great games out there now is kind of foolish. Cutting-edge is temporary, new stuff will always be replaced by more new stuff, but everything else will be around.
@Ovirew well said! I don't usually get drawn in by cool mechanics, really, but great story or delivery - something that makes me stop and think, you know?
I got no issues when reviewing old games. Heck I recently reviewed Missile Command and gave it a 9 / 10 (that game was released back in 1981). Also I reviewed Bounty Bob Strikes Back (1985 - 8.5 / 10) and Fallout 3 (8.5 / 10). I guess I'm lucky to witness the 'birth' of computer gaming.
What I have issues with is reviewing episodic games - like should I review all of them one at a time or as a collective group (as realistically one episode is way too short to be regarded as a game and each episode don't really change much technically). I think just review the first episode and then the next as a collective whole.
@Azghouls I only review those sorts of games in one go, not piecemeal. I wish I had your view with older games ;)
@Azghouls Since you're into retro games you should try "Bank Panic" from 1984 It's one of the most brilliant games ever made imo.
It doesn't seem that special at first but the further you get the more the game surprises you.