Not just from professional reviewers, but it seems like ANYONE who is into video games can’t seem to write a decent review that doesn’t seem to have the same old college-like categorical review format. Bonus points if said game is a part of a franchise.

Here’s how this shit flows.

1. Intro

This comes in 3 flavors. Personal, Historical, and Relative.

Personal Intros explain the reviewer’s past history playing said games in a series. Something to establish his/her credibility in that they know what they’re talking about when reviewing the game. Afterall, how do you establish credibility when all you’re doing is giving an opinion on a piece of software? “I know my *game name*!” is. These indicate whole heartedly that the review is simply his/her standards being or not being met by said game. And the series it belongs to is his childhood, so you can’t fault him on faulty intel (har har)

Historical intros actually talk about the franchise history, it’s beginnings, it’s ups, it’s downs, and how it influenced games (if ever). This is supposed to indicate the standards that this game is supposed to live up to, which is ok unless you personally have no idea what in fresh hell a “Borderlands” is, so all it does is pile over from the Personal intro slant as to what standards the series should live up to.

Relative Intros are about the same as the above except it talks about the genre the game belongs to as a whole. Mostly used for new franchises or games with no prequels or sequels. Basically, the intro asks whether or not this game will do anything for the genre as a whole in terms of improvements or innovations. You know, all the shit no one cares about.

All these intros do is establish standards. Personal standards of sticking to nostalgia, historical standards of maintaining series staples and quality, and relative standards of doing something for the “genre”.

2. Categories

Then you get into the categorical review where they dissect the game into different sectors of quality.

Story (will sometimes talk about characters being “memorable”, as if recalling characters from memory could ever be considered a quality)

Graphics (Because I really care about how real the shit looks)

Gameplay (always required, prepare for rants against a camera)

Music (never mentioning how it enhances the experience, just talks about how this one composer whose name you’ll never be able to recall creates this “masterpiece” of a soundtrack. )

Replay Value (which can’t be defined at all, but they just list a bunch of unlockable features/DLC and claim “there’s lots to do in this game” like fetch quests and 100% completion bullshit that no one likes).

3. Closure

And then the conclusion ends off with some lame paragraph, usually titled “overall” or “in conclusion”, that again goes back to the “Personal, Historical, or Relative intro standards” and judges the game based off that… and then has the gall to suggest whether you rent it or buy.

Take this shit from a Sly 2 review.

Controlling Sly is fun, because he can traipse around the world easily unseen, using the environment to his advantage to take him to hard to reach places. He can steal, he can sneak, and he can hide better than anybody—perhaps a game with a shadow of Sly as a villain would be fun, where you sneak around and try to find him as he tries find you. Controlling Sly is fun, but it’s nowhere near as satisfying as controlling Murray.

What’s wrong here? He doesn’t really describe WHY IT’S FUN! He just says it is and goes on describing what Sly can do. This is despite the fact that throughout the review, he implies it’s fucking boring! Not to mention that lie.

That’s why people play games, so their minds and skills are challenged.

In the words of Clank: “What a load of bull-

This causes problems, why? Because in many ways, it disconnects people from the actual material at hand. How? The person who is doing the evaluation is leaving out one important aspect. How it makes the player “feel”.

Sure, it’s a difficult to describe how a game makes the player feel because “everyone is different”, but it’s much more helpful in the long run because a good majority of categorical reviews describe the game mechanically. The games are judged based on performance and standards with personal slants, but many of these reviews fail to describe how it entertains the reviewer. If you were to read a review about a movie, you might get complaints about plot holes. You won’t initially take note of plot holes and inconsistencies in movies until after a second viewing so it’s unhelpful information as it doesn’t describe how it entertains you.

For instance, if you were to read a review on like Anarchy Reigns or something and the reviewer were to describe the music, you might get something along these lines.

Platinum Games injects a strong soundtrack of hip hop music which is much better than today’s mainstream rap music with many different talented artists yadda yadda…

That kind of shit. Who cares how it compares to mainstream rap!? Who cares who made the fucking songs? How does it enhance the experience for you? If the reviewer instead used something along these lines…

The feeling of being able to kick butt with a soundtrack that gets you pumped up is oh so satisfying! You got lyrics talking about wrecking your shit, and then I just cracked a bat upside his head!

Or some shit like that, THAT WOULD BE MUCH MORE HELPFUL! It’s describing how it entertains the player.

I think people would get a kick out of beating up loads of enemies, but it gets kinda boring after a while. All I’m doing is running around beating up enemies so after about 2 areas, I really wanted a change in gameplay.

This is also helpful in describing how the game could be less entertaining for extended periods. Or for something like MGR…

Sometimes I can’t even keep up with this game, the camera spazzes out all the time, so if I’m trying to look for an enemy while fighting like… several hoardes at once, if I go behind a wall or an object, the camera will start screwing up on me and then I gotta retreat and readjust it sometimes. It just gets really disorientating after a while, especially if you get into like tight and small spaces like an office or something, it gets really difficult to fight, and then they have the nuts to send out those big metal gear T-Rexes in an office all at once.

…..You know? Shit like that. Not this.

The audio is top-notch. The voice acting is great, especially for Murray and Bentley this time around. Their characters come through so much stronger. The combat sounds, Sly’s tip-toe music, the trumpet blast when Sly hits an enemy with a finishing move, even the little noises that come up when you go into the game’s menus are all very cool. The music matches the tone of the game perfectly.

Where no entertainment value is stated, just performance. If there was like “the music makes the game feel like a cool spy movie!”, that would be much more helpful

These kinds of… review portions are much more helpful because it describes feelings as well as uses personal experiences from portions of the game to describe positives or negatives. These describe entertainment value much better than actually dissecting the entire game, stripping everything down to it’s inner workings and judges the game based on performance and standards. You know, the shit that the hardcore nerds think makes a good game. Like if you talk about Garou, Mark of the Wolves, you’d think by describing how good the fighting system is would be enough, but that creates disconnect because you’re not describing entertainment value, you’re just describing how well the game performs based on it’s fighting system, and I swear that’s how a good majority of fighting game reviews are done.

I suppose video reviews are much better in this regard because you can see/hear these reactions in real time. There’s this one reviewer called Armake21 who probably does the best video reviews as… most of it is natural. Oh look, he did Sonic 06.

Yeah, this blurry ass mess right here is much more helpful than most other video reviews. Yeah, you’re probably gonna make a comment about him saying “it’s a kids series”, I know what you’re thinking, but pay attention to the overall videos, he’s constantly saying “you” as in “you yourself are going to feel empathetic toward this guy for playing this shit”. Instead of cutting a pasting different sequences from several segments in the game like most video reviews do (Gametrailers and IGN especially), this guy shows one whole segment, no real skits or silly antics like that AVGN cunt, though he also does a job of relating to his audience (I guess).

Here, he actually describes that because of how sloppy the controls and camera are, he’s AFRAID of even moving the game character even slightly because it’s far too easy to die in this game. You could say “if he doesn’t feel comfortable even trying to progress, then why would I want to get into this game?”. And that’s easier to relate to cause recently (never happened 6 years ago when I first played), I tried a homing attack on the Egg Wolf or w/e, I hit it and then I just fly into space. I have no idea how that happened, but I’m laughing my ass off, but the next time, because the boss fight is pretty long, I lose my patience with it, but I gotta be all precise and shit because now there’s a bug that will kill me if I just attack him randomly.

I also believe changing our style of reviewing games is paramount in helping people (especially on the internet) understand how and why certain games are much more successful than others. If you wanted to understand the success of games like NSMBW in comparison to SMG2, describing entertainment value would work fucking wonders. I could see how people would be entertained by NSMB rather than SMG. NSMB, I’m using power ups to kick enemy ass. SMG, I’m using power ups to “explore and find stars!” I constantly fail to see the entertainment value of the most praised Nintendo games because reviewers choose to bullshit you with performance quality and standards instead. If you wanted to see why people praise the fuck out of the Last of Us, you can’t rely on reviews. 9 out of 10, you’d have to buy or rent the game instead, or watch youtube videos. There was this one video walkthrough series on the Last of Us where this white boy was making all kinds of obnoxious commentary, but it’s funny cause when he kicks a guy’s face in, he goes “whoooooooAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!” and starts sounding like one of those frat fucks from a Fast and Furious movie. Hey, it helps more than an actual review.

K, Done.

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