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Forums > Submission Feedback > Suskie's Fahrenheit review

This thread is in response to a review for Fahrenheit on the Sega CD. You are encouraged to view the review in a new window before reading this thread.

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Author: pickhut
Posted: March 24, 2009 (10:27 AM)
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Okay... wasn't expecting that.

Made me laugh, though.


I head spaceshit noises


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Author: wolfqueen001
Posted: March 24, 2009 (11:27 AM)
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Bahaha. Awesome. I am amused.


What espiga does in his free time
[Eating EmP's brain] probably isn't a good idea. I mean... He's British, which means his brain's wired for PAL and your eyes are NTSC. - Will


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Author: Suskie
Posted: March 24, 2009 (11:46 AM)
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I fully accept whatever verdict the judges deliver.


You exist because we allow it. And you will end because we demand it.


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: March 24, 2009 (11:54 AM)
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I knew what you were up to about halfway through the chess game, but I loved it nonetheless. I didn't think you could actually pull that off in a review, but this is brilliant. Your version of the game sounds amazing.


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: March 24, 2009 (12:25 PM)
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Though I remain unsure how you'll take negativity from me, I'll voice my opinion, anyway. I honestly hated this one.

The theme that you're being forced to review a game you'd rather not play isn't a new angle, but it's one taken to such heights here that it becomes petulant. By the end of the review, I don't know if the game really does take surreal twist if you're simply making stuff up in some kind of dream state. As such, it's worthless as a review as I walk away knowing nothing at all.


For us. For them. For you.


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Author: Suskie
Posted: March 24, 2009 (12:35 PM)
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And that's exactly the kind of reaction I'd anticipated. I'll say more about this review when I get the judges' verdicts, but for now I'll keep quiet.


You exist because we allow it. And you will end because we demand it.


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: March 24, 2009 (12:44 PM)
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A part of me wants to agree with EMP... you know how much I stand by a review being a review and not useless commentary, but in this case I side with Suskie.

Why?

Not because he paid me a lot of money, no. But because Suskie takes pains at the beginning of the review to tell us that the game is shit. He explains the gameplay. He explains the scenario. He shows how boring and dull they are. The review is over.

And then he has 750 words left to spend.

I applaud Suskie for taking those 750 words and doing something interesting with them. I didn't feel slighted. It's made very clear that he doesn't like the game, and why. Had he just launched into a dream sequence, I would've complained, but he made sure that his shit was backed up first.

Congrats, Suskie, this may not get first place, but you would get a high score from me.


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: March 25, 2009 (12:13 PM)
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I agree with everyone (but not about everything, as that'd be kinda contradictory, even by my standards).

I like the utter disdain for the game. I'm not the biggest fan of putting much of the review in "fantasy-dream land", but I agree with Zipp that the nuts-and-bolts of the game were brought up. Besides, after I read that the game was about firefighting.....let's face it, if you hadn't almost immediately spiced it up (ala Mr. Dino), I'd have clicked out of your review pretty quickly. And as a fan of the completely off-the-wall rantings you get on places like seanbaby and somethingawful, I did find that aspect of your review to be kinda neat.

I'd actually say the part I most had a qualm about was the repeated references to site contests and how this review's existence factored into them. To me, that's the sort of thing that would have next-to-no meaning to any reader who isn't a site regular who's familiar with our contests and, if anything, kinda comes off as an inside joke that we'll get.....but no one else will.


I'm not afraid to die because I am invincible
Viva la muerte, that's my goddamn principle


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: March 25, 2009 (12:34 PM)
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Good Point, Overdrive (AKA: GP OD)!

The whole site contest thing got to me a bit, too. I was like "ooookay, so.... on to the review?" You could actually stand to edit those out, Suskie. But maybe that's not your style.


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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Author: Suskie
Posted: March 25, 2009 (01:55 PM)
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Once again I'll say that I'll be happy to respond to everyone once the judges' verdicts are in. All I'm going to say for now is that I was 100% aware of all of the issues you guys point out before I even wrote the review, and that everything I did, I did for a reason :)


You exist because we allow it. And you will end because we demand it.


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: March 25, 2009 (03:48 PM)
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You arrogant bastard, you ^_^


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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Author: zigfried (Mod)
Posted: March 25, 2009 (08:05 PM)
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* Burning Rangers is a great firefighting game.
* Road Avenger is a great FMV game that uses the "press arrows" mechanics.
* Snatcher and Shadowgate are great story-based graphic adventures that pre-date the supposedly primitive age of Fahrenheit.

I'm fine with the gimmicks. The "contest" one explains why he was playing a game that looked crappy when it came out and looks even crappier now. The "dream" one actually paints an image of a game that would have been surreal and possibly even deep in that Twin Peaks way. It's a clever variant on the "wouldn't it have been nice if the game did X instead of Y".

I just have no idea whether or not I'd actually enjoy Fahrenheit since its primary flaws (as presented in the review) are its theme and genre, both of which have bred great games in the past.

//Zig


Unlimited Zig Works!


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Author: Suskie
Posted: March 27, 2009 (01:25 PM)
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Okay, I didn't want to go into great detail explaining this review before the results of True's comp came in, as I didn't want to sway the judging at all. Now that it's over with, I can finally address some of the things that have been said in this topic.

First of all, I want to clarify what's going on in the second half of this review, for those still confused: I'm describing a dream I'm having after I fall asleep trying to play Fahrenheit. My original idea was to get intentionally sidetracked and talk about something completely unrelated for most of the review, with the eventual thesis narrowing down to something like, "This game is so uninteresting, I can't even talk about it when I have to." My revised thesis, expressed in the last two sentences of the review, is pretty similar.

Basically, when I received my assignment, I decided I could approach it from one of two angles: I could make an honest attempt to provide a fair, unbiased analysis of a game belonging to a genre I hate, or I could accept the fact that any such attempt would come off as forced and completely half-assed, and thus approach the review with complete self-awareness instead. Guess which route I took?

The point? This is not, by any stretch of imagination, a review. It's a contest entry, a response to the judges' request that I write about a game I don't want to write about. As Zig said, a fan of FMV games could read this and still have no idea whether or not he'd enjoy the game, and that's the point: I acknowledge that I have no business trying to convey an authoritative or resourceful tone in reviewing a game for which I demonstrate a natural bias. That's what the opening paragraphs of the review were meant to convey: It wasn't my choice to play this game in the first place, let alone write about it.

EmP is absolutely right -- this doesn't function as a review at all. It's not supposed to. I freely admit that I don't have more than 5-10 minutes of experience playing Fahrenheit; no one could build a fair in-depth analysis of a game based on so little playing time. And again, that's the point. I wouldn't have reviewed this game willingly, so I had no obligation to be fair.

Something I want to point out was that I actually tried as best as I could to make the review accessible to non-regulars. Some of you were wondering why I spent so much time explaining my situation with the two contests. I didn't want to just make passing references to them, hoping my target audience would pick up on it. I didn't want to leave anyone in the dust. I'd say I explained the contest thoroughly enough that someone who's unfamiliar with HG could at least read this and get the gist of what I was saying.

As for what led me to write the second half the way I did, well, there are multiple reasons. It was fictionalized -- I've never actually fallen asleep playing any game and Fahrenheit is not an exception. But I liked the conclusion that it hinted at, which is that I'm so uninterested in the game, I'm going to fall asleep playing and spend the length of my review describing the dream I had instead. And as OD pointed out, I needed something to keep people interested, since this is a fucking firefighting game we're talking about here.

But it's also perfectly accurate to say that I approached this project with a negative attitude, and the dream sequence I described was my way of making the process of writing this review as enjoyable for me as possible. And really, the best way to interpret this review is that it was written for me and no one else. No one who's interested in this game will come to any conclusions about it based on my review. And as I keep saying, that wasn't the point. This was my one chance to demonstrate to HG why I don't review these kinds of games, and why it's a bad idea to make me review these games. It's not a review; it's a statement.

I'm happy with the way the review turned out, and I'm pleasantly surprised that it inspired such mixed reactions. Zipp said it was brilliant; EmP hated it. Even the judges, who all liked it to some degree, came to very different conclusions: Janus warned me never to review another FMV game again (of course, the ideal course of action would have been to review none in the first place), while True saw this as a successful first stab at reviewing the genre and wants to see it again. Now I can understand why Lewis loves experimentation so much. Watching one review divide so many people is entertaining, and in some ways even more rewarding than being showered with praise.

I doubt my explanation here will actually change anyone's opinion on it, but I hope you all know where I'm coming from with this. Thanks for your feedback, everyone.


You exist because we allow it. And you will end because we demand it.


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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: March 27, 2009 (02:19 PM)
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I am confused by the (absurd, in my mind) suggestion that a game about firefighters is inherently going to be boring. There's really no reason it should be. After all, plenty of kids--adults, even--dream of being firefighters. As a fantasy, it's one of the most popular... up there with things like police officer, astronaut, movie star, dinosaur wrangler and President. Saying that it's going to be awful and treating that as a generally safe assumption loses me immediately.

When it comes to the rest of the criticisms, I agree with them. As has been admitted, this was not a review. Because of that fact, I'm afraid I really didn't care for it at all. This shouldn't come as a surprise, since I've demonstrated frequently that what I really want from reviews... is reviewing and in the process at least an attempt to describe the actual game. The scenarios described fictitiously would make a great game and wouldn't be particularly unexpected from the genre--that oddness is one of the very things that attracts many fans to it--so it wasn't until right at the end where the reference to the drool on the keyboard came into play that I was sure Suskie wasn't describing the actual game! And yeah, it sounded pretty cool, like the start of a potentially great novel.

As for Fahrenheit itself, I don't know enough about it to even be sure how the real thing stacks up against the fiction presented. The result is a rather lengthy bit of writing that scored higher across the board in the competition than I would've ever dreamed of rating it. Of course, me dreaming of rating a review wouldn't make for interesting reading, not compared to the idea of playing chess in an alternate dimension with a blind boy. Forget I said anything.


"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy on reality

"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things." - Shigeru Miyamoto


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Author: zigfried (Mod)
Posted: March 27, 2009 (02:48 PM)
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I've fallen asleep playing games before, but usually they're games I liked so much that I said "I'm going to just rest my eyes for 5 minutes before I pick the controller back up."

//Zig


Unlimited Zig Works!


This message was administratively deleted because it did not adhere to site guidelines, or because a user other than wextExill requested its removal.

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Author: zippdementia
Posted: March 27, 2009 (04:17 PM)
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I think Wextexill said it best.


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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Author: Suskie
Posted: March 28, 2009 (06:54 PM)
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I am confused by the (absurd, in my mind) suggestion that a game about firefighters is inherently going to be boring. There's really no reason it should be. After all, plenty of kids--adults, even--dream of being firefighters. As a fantasy, it's one of the most popular... up there with things like police officer, astronaut, movie star, dinosaur wrangler and President. Saying that it's going to be awful and treating that as a generally safe assumption loses me immediately.

Well, if you were to make a video game about firefighting, where would you start? What would you base it around? That Fahrenheit narrows down to little more than "running around aimlessly in a burning building" doesn't come as a surprise to me, and it isn't compelling game design.


You exist because we allow it. And you will end because we demand it.


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Author: Felix_Arabia
Posted: March 28, 2009 (07:11 PM)
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I didn't like the review. I just gave it a lot of points because I felt you had gotten shafted with the color you chose and tried to make the best of your situation.


I don't have to boost my review resume because I have a real resume.


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Author: zigfried (Mod)
Posted: March 28, 2009 (08:55 PM)
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Well, if you were to make a video game about firefighting, where would you start? What would you base it around? That Fahrenheit narrows down to little more than "running around aimlessly in a burning building" doesn't come as a surprise to me, and it isn't compelling game design.

Games like GTA3 and Yakuza are little more than criminals running around aimlessly killing or assaulting people. Banjo Kazooie is little more than an animal running around aimlessly picking stuff up. Goldeneye is little more than some guy running around aimlessly shooting people. The film Terminator 2 is little more than a robot running around aimlessly killing humans.

Any concept can be summarized in a pithy phrase, and while it may (or may not) be true for the game in question, that doesn't make it true for the concept. Firefighting games could involve running around, yes, but I doubt it would be aimless. You'd have to locate the survivors before the heat and smoke overtook them. You'd have to choose your path carefully but quickly -- put out the fires you can, and avoid the ones you can't. And always, always watch out for hazards because in a fire, where the environment itself is under attack, anything can -- and will -- happen.

It's a rich concept.

//Zig


Unlimited Zig Works!


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Author: pickhut
Posted: March 28, 2009 (09:25 PM)
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What the... a topic about people talking about firefighter video games, and still not one mention of The Firemen 1 & 2 has been brought up yet?

Madness.


I head spaceshit noises


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Author: Suskie
Posted: March 28, 2009 (10:30 PM)
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But the key phrase is "little more than." There is so much more to the games you mentioned, to the point that a simple one-line summation does them a terrible injustice. That's what I'm saying: There really ISN'T more to Fahrenheit than that.

I think my skepticism comes from the double whammy of Fahrenheit also being an FMV game, which means most of your suggestions probably couldn't be incorporated well into the design without sacrificing the urgency of the setting (which is really all Fahrenheit has going for it). It could be done, of course, and in fact I don't deny that a really great firefighting game could be made. All I'm saying is that I didn't expect much out of Fahrenheit, which was a good decision because it meant I wasn't disappointed.

Hey, if you disagree, you're welcome to play Fahrenheit expecting it to be the best thing ever. I'd love to hear your reaction.


You exist because we allow it. And you will end because we demand it.


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Author: zigfried (Mod)
Posted: March 28, 2009 (10:41 PM)
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I thought you said you played the game for 5 or 10 minutes. If I played GTA4 for 5 to 10 minutes, then I could say "you don't even move, you just watch people talk". Some FMV games and digital comics actually incorporated exploration and item collection, so your position is pretty weak here. You don't know if there is or isn't more to the game... unless you've put more time into it than you're letting on.

Even if someone else plays Fahrenheit and totally agrees with everything you've said, it doesn't mean you were right to make those dismissive judgements. It just means you happened to get lucky ;)

//Zig


Unlimited Zig Works!


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Author: Suskie
Posted: March 28, 2009 (11:01 PM)
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That is correct: I am being completely dismissive, unfair and totally biased. I've already acknowledged that. There's really no point in arguing because it's not getting us anywhere.


You exist because we allow it. And you will end because we demand it.


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Author: wolfqueen001
Posted: March 28, 2009 (11:10 PM)
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Wow. Those firefighting games Pickhut linked looked awesome.


What espiga does in his free time
[Eating EmP's brain] probably isn't a good idea. I mean... He's British, which means his brain's wired for PAL and your eyes are NTSC. - Will


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