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True The Whispers Of Beginning Decay

Title: Why I'll Never Cut It In This Business
Posted: April 09, 2011 (02:10 AM)
Japanaman's topic inspired this and got me thinking on why I like games other people hate.

I'm emotional.

Sorry, let me explain: I tend to latch on and like sub-par games simply for random, strange reasons. Was Resistance 2 a great game? No, probably not. Was it a good game? Possibly. I loved it because I was in kind of a rut with games and needed something different than your prototypical action/RPG game I had been playing for months on end. It was the first FPS that my girl was actually good at because of the Auger and its relaxed nature. We would sit and play that for hours, talking shit to each other making bets on who would get the most kills and blasting stuff.

I liked Doom the original because I'd never played something like that, and it was my Dad who introduced me to it. He didn't know what he was doing, I didn't know what I was doing but we got by (with God Mode mind you). He and I had not been interested in the same things typically, but Doom was always something we did together.

Should I have given Enslaved a 10? Shit no. It had control issues, camera quirks and the ending was thrown together at the last minute. But I had been playing it in the midst of editing a very touching scene in Darkness where main character A expresses his feelings to main character B (it will make sense once you read it. I don't want to give you any spoilers). And that scene with Monkey and Trip where he tells her to turn the helmet back on just...reiterated all those things I was feeling. It was powerful, maybe due to timing, perhaps because of culmination. Not sure. All I know was at that moment, that scene, Enslaved could do no wrong. Just like when I was playing Resistance 2 and me and my girl bonded or Doom and me and my Dad had something in common.

I write reviews based on how a game makes me feel, not on how good it is or how well it's put together. It's a curse, I know that. Marc is not going to have the same experiences with Resistance 2 I had. Gary is not going to have a bad week, ditch school and come home to play Shining Force II in an effort to dismiss everything, and love the game because it let him do so.

Everyone is unique, and they love games for entirely different reasons. The talented, professional fellow like Suskie can cast that off and depict a game in a logical, scientific fashion. That's not and won't ever be me. Every now and then in a blazing moment of focus I can clarify the heartbeat of a game, and sell it to the masses as I did with EXA. Most times, though, I only rate a game with a high or perfect score in hopes you'll understand. You rarely do.

But, in a moment of vulnerability here, I don't review and rate games with technicality in mind. That's not something a critic should ever admit or aspire to, however it's true. I give them scores based on how they make me feel. In a perfect world that's why we should love or hate games, but that won't ever appeal to the masses, as it should be information we're selling; not emotion.

I don't think I'll ever get passed that or dismiss that in myself. Does that matter to me? No. I wrote what I wanted to write and it's not anything that's on my list of reviews. I've written great reviews and I've written shit. 6 years of doing this and it's the same. A gamble. My score based entirely on whether or not the judge "gets me".

And that won't fly in the real world, or the world of reviewing games. Can I write a wicked good fucking novel that will make you laugh, angry, cry and twist your emotions? Yeah. If I write a review based on that same principle, will you get it? 9 times out of 10, hell no.

Point is, games will always be scored on how they make me feel and the emotions they inspire in me. People will always see them differently, no matter how perfect said game is. I may love it, others hate it. Despise it while others cherish.

Just a random, inebriated blurb on scores and reviews in general. Why I think I'm the greatest and the worst on this whole miserable site.

Heh. Just kidding about the miserable part...kind of. Ha ha.

True Baby Out.



[reply]

jerecUser: jerec
Title: Re: Why I'll Never Cut It In This Business
Posted: April 09, 2011 (04:27 AM)
Finding emotional connections to a game isn't a bad thing. It just means you're not being very objective. But if you didn't have emotions you might as well go write for IGN or GameSpot.
[reply]

fleinnUser: fleinn
Title: Re: Why I'll Never Cut It In This Business
Posted: April 11, 2011 (12:17 AM)
Um. Yeah. That's kind of why it's worth reading what you write.

See a lot of generic and canned writing that is constructed to be "engaging". Or reviews that supposedly are technical, but instead is a string of presumptions we can't see. And it's about as interesting and weird as children's programs on bbc4. It's just creepy. It screams internal short-circuit in the editorial board. But it's still assumed to be great, because it sounds conceptually right. It has the right language, it has the right vocabulary. It talks about the right things, etc..

Still.. I mean, for writing -- it's useful to have some tropes and recognisable paragraphs to go on. But if you end up deciding on beforehand what is going to be interesting about such and such game, and who it's going to appeal to, etc. Then you're getting into the defanged and canned text that may very well be as false as the worst EA advertisement campaign anyway. It sounds measured and targeted. But it's just false, period.

...and as long as you don't end up like the guy on shacknews who insisted that whatever he said it was always true and his reputation should be unchanged - because at the time he was simply stating his opinion (and so what if he wrote down the advertisement blurb in his own language and called it his own thoughts, etc) - then.. being able to become genuinely carried away by something is not even negative, is it..
[reply]

JoeTheDestroyerUser: JoeTheDestroyer
Title: Re: Why I'll Never Cut It In This Business
Posted: April 11, 2011 (12:36 AM)
To be honest, True, I think subjective writing is what this industry needs. Not ever AAA title needs to have its ass powdered simply because it will be popular and well liked. If you feel the next Zelda/Final Fantasy/Metal Gear/Call of Duty game needs to be taken down a peg or six, damn well do it. God knows most of the other publications won't, and that's why I usually read reviews here as opposed to just skimming them in magazines and professional sites.
[reply]

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