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Forums > Submission Feedback > Felix_Arabia's Metroid review

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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: June 02, 2008 (02:46 PM)
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34 (or at least 20 years younger than EmP would tell you)


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


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Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: June 02, 2008 (02:53 PM)
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Using that last clause, you're still far too low a number.


For us. For them. For you.


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Author: Masters (Mod)
Posted: June 02, 2008 (02:54 PM)
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I had a feeling you were an old fart like me -- unless you just baited me into revealing how ancient I am. :\


I don't have to prove I'm refined - that's what makes me refined!


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Author: Suskie
Posted: June 02, 2008 (03:04 PM)
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It's not that I'm unhappy with HG. I think my thoughts are much like Jason's: I'm tired of all this negativity, and I feel outnumbered in the sense that I'm generally far more forgiving towards certain games than many of the other regulars here. (How do you think all these mainstream jokes started?)

I agree that giving an old game a few extra points just because it's important or influential isn't the best way to establish credibility. But judging a ten- or twenty-year-old game by today's standards doesn't exactly make you a very credible reviewer either in my eyes. So how do you review such games, then? It's tricky. I see a lot of 10/10 reviews for games like Super Mario 64 and Final Fantasy VII -- major games to be sure, and they hold their respective places in gaming history. But you cannot honestly tell me that either of those games deserves a 10/10 by today's standards, because so many other games in each genre have come along since then and eclipsed them. Anyone who gives them a 10/10 is remembering how much they liked these games when they first came out. If someone played Super Mario 64 for the first time today, he would probably think it's nothing special.

The reason is because gameplay grows as steadily as the technology that runs it. Five years from now, a new generation of consoles will have come along, and they'll be doing things we could never dream of today. And at the same time, concepts and mechanics that have yet to be revealed to us now will likely be commonplace. Hell, a decade from now, RE4 will be so out of date that we'll probably be laughing at ourselves for ever having enjoyed it. Sound crazy? Why? That's what we're doing now.

By the way, I will repeat what I said before: Metroid is exempt from this. Metroid isn't merely a dated game -- it's a flawed one, a game that has problems it never should have had.

Edit: Sorry about these overlong posts, by the way. I tend to get pretty talky whenever I'm trying to make a point, as you all know.


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


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Author: Felix_Arabia
Posted: June 02, 2008 (03:29 PM)
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The jump in technology from the last generation to the current generation hasn't been as big as in past generations. The best PS2/Xbox games could stand in for PS3/360 games graphics-wise. Not even the Wii's motion sensory gimmick has changed how we play games in general. You still play the majority of games with a pad. You will shoot things in shooters. You still take turns in turn-based RPGs. The gap from this current generation to the next generation will likely be the same as the past gap. We'll see new innovations, but most changes won't be colossal.

As for the Super Mario 64 and Final Fantasy VII comment, that's not true in my case. I have plenty of fun with both of those games now. FF7, along with FFX, is the apogee of the series for me. SM64 is the best 3D Mario game for me. Simple as that.


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


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Author: Suskie
Posted: June 02, 2008 (03:36 PM)
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When was the first time you played either of those games, Felix? Be honest.


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


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Author: Felix_Arabia
Posted: June 02, 2008 (03:38 PM)
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SM64, Christmas day 1996. Final Fantasy VII . . . sometime in 2003 I guess. I played both last year and would be happy to play them now (assuming I had them in front of me to play rather than being on my shelf back home). Why? What's your point?


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


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Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: June 02, 2008 (03:39 PM)
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To be fair, when's the last time you saw a recent FFVII or SM64 10/10 review?


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Author: Masters (Mod)
Posted: June 02, 2008 (03:32 PM)
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It's a tough balance Suskie. I don't know that I've figured it out. For example, I gave Super Metroid a 10 cuz at the time I thought it was a 10. I don't think it is now, having subsequently played Symphony of the Night. So if I had played them in the reverse order, what then? Super Metroid would get a 7, and would get a paltry few lines about how it did the genre well before SOTN came along and bettered it in every way. I don't know that this can be helped.

The surprisingly happy fact is that some games actually do stand the test of time. I played and reviewed Gate of Thunder maybe a few years back. The game came out in 93 or 94 -- it still earned a 10 from me. It's still that good. These cases do occur.

My rule is simple: I try my best not to review old games I'm only now playing for the first time. I think Bionic Commando is a 2/10, at this precise moment in time, having never enjoyed it the 80's. But I wonder how fair my 2 would be, how helpful.

I try to only review oldies when my score isn't so far removed from the game's original merit. For example, I'm going to review Yoshi's Island, a 10/10 game by most estimations in its day. I'll only give it an 8, I think, but will mention how it used to thrill gamers when it first came out.

I think the practice of showing how oldies have devalued with time is less offensive when the scores are close like that, and the text of the review can explain away the disparity.


I don't have to prove I'm refined - that's what makes me refined!


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Author: Suskie
Posted: June 02, 2008 (03:45 PM)
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My point, Felix, was stated in my other post: Anyone who would play Super Mario 64 for the first time today probably wouldn't like it so much because so many other 3D platformers have come along and improved upon it. You don't have that perspective: You played it in 1996, when it was new, exciting and fresh. That's how you remember it, and that's what you still think of it today.

(Keep in mind, I'm a huge admirer of Super Mario 64. But I'm also aware that, like most games, it hasn't aged too well.)

As for Final Fantasy VII, well, maybe that was just a bad example on my part (since people are so divided on that game anyway), or maybe you're just a unique case. Either way, it's hard to argue that the game has a number of flaws that have shown through age.

EmP: Look on GameFAQs and you'll see them all over the place. I wouldn't give either of those games a 10/10, personally (I never would have), so let's use a better example, at least for me: Ocarina of Time. I'd give that a 10/10 if I reviewed it, despite it not being a 10/10 by today's expectations.

And Masters, yeah, I think you get what I'm saying. For as much as I'm saying about this, I really can't offer a good solution. It just doesn't seem fair to play a twenty-year-old classic and expect it to hold up. Very few do.


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


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Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: June 02, 2008 (04:02 PM)
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Are you really going to use the GFAQs review base as a creditable example?

Here's a summary of your thoughts as I see them: "I would give a game a 10/10 even though it doesn't deserve a 10/10". Yeah, I can't get behind that.


For us. For them. For you.


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Author: Suskie
Posted: June 02, 2008 (05:07 PM)
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I think I've made my point pretty clear, and that's obviously not what I'm saying. You're just arguing for the sake of arguing at this point.


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


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Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: June 02, 2008 (05:10 PM)
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That doesn't sound like something I would do at all.

As clear as your point may or may not have been made, I still disagree with it. Which is kind of what I was getting at.

Did I mention that I liked this review, by the by?


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Author: Felix_Arabia
Posted: June 02, 2008 (05:20 PM)
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I'm glad you like it, EmP. I'm finally ready to call you Gary.

I think you made a good point, Suskie, in the Super Mario 64 example. With that said, and boy has a lot been said, I think the entirety of this debate has perhaps complicated the very thought process involved in deciding how to score a game. No matter how sentimentality, legacy, era, etc. affect your opinion, it all boils down to whether or not you like the game.

If you like a game, then you should score it well. If you dislike a game, then you should score it poorly. If you are indifferent, provide the appropriate reasoning. I think that's how we all do it anyway. All that extra stuff is just food for thought. It's been interesting.


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


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Author: dagoss
Posted: June 02, 2008 (05:28 PM)
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I'm not sure that it really matters what score one gives a non-current generation game (or that anyone really cares what I think).

(I apologize in advance for the length of this post)

The score given to an older game is arbitrary. It's also pointless. Reviews that judge a game in a "buy or don't buy" way only make sense if the game is still in production. With an older game this is non-issue, so that mentality really isn't appropriate. Thanks to emulation, a game can be "rented" by a perspective buyer in a matter of seconds, and they can form their own opinion as to its over all quality. To use the game that spawned this topic as an example, is it even conceivable that that someone would read Felix's review without already knowing about (and likely having played) Metroid already?

I can't imagine someone saying "I want to know if I should buy Metroid, I will visit HonestGamers and find out". Generally one reads a review of an older game to learn about it, rather than to find out if it is "good" or "bad" in a quantitative way. I would assume that this applies to most of our visitors, who are likely long-time game consumers. Individuals who just want a quick numerical value are more likely to visit GameFaqs or IGN or something. The role of the reviewer here (as I see it) is to share their experiences, describe as best as they can the conditions of its release (see below), and what particular features are of interest. It's more like a brief essay than a traditional numerical score sheet.

I'm thinking of "reviews" like those found at Hardcore Gaming 101 or GameTrailer's retrospectives. Of course quality is a subject in such a review, but the goal is to discuss the game and its merits rather than sell or dissuade it.

If I wrote a paper arguing that Shakespeare's plays aren't "good" today because their subject matter is historically distant and (in their original forms) half the words violate modern spelling and punctuation usage, then I'm missing the point of writing about Shakespeare entirely.

Further, any older game wasn't released for me; it was meant to exist at a different time, with different expectations of what the game was supposed to do and what its genre is supposed to be like. The word "shooter" doesn't even mean the same thing today that it did 20 years ago. That said, it is impossible to capture the game as it was, and equally impossible to erase all that has come after it. No one can review Goldeneye without Perfect Dark and Halo lurking in the margins, but that doesn't give one license to ignore what Goldeneye meant in 1997. Both perspectives need to be accounted for.

Now, whether or not a reviewer wishes to situate a game in its initial time or in our own is a matter of taste, and neither is more valid than the other. However, I think it would be intellectually irresponsible in both cases to just ignore things like a game's publication history, its popularity, the expectations for games of that genre at that time, etc.

To adapt a passage from Stephen Greenblatt for far nerdier purposes: Metroid is a good game; a good game, but not for us.


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Author: Genj
Posted: June 02, 2008 (05:32 PM)
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WHAT IS THIS I DON'T EVEN


_


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Author: Suskie
Posted: June 02, 2008 (05:40 PM)
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It's weird how we all love arguing so much, and yet it's become so clear that we'll never wind up changing each other's minds on anything. I wonder why we even bother, but hey, that's us.

I realize you disagree, EmP, and that's fine. I just wanted to make sure you understood what I was saying. I was worried I'd written all that crap for nothing.

I will conclude by saying this, using Zelda because it's been mentioned a couple of times: Twilight Princess is a bigger, longer, deeper, better-looking, better-sounding, better-playing, more challenging, more cinematic game than Ocarina of Time. Yet I still think Ocarina is better. Seems weird, I know, but that's how I see it.

The real point is that Felix has written a damn fine review here. It's good to see no one's arguing about that.


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


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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: June 02, 2008 (06:35 PM)
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I think what Masters said was perhaps the most accurate (well, except for the 2/10 Bionic Commando part....while I read that, I pretended he accidentally left out the extra "1" to make it 12/10).

One thing many of us have agreed on is that Metroid is flawed. I think it gets a lot of its reputation based on being one of the first console adventure games, which causes people to overlook definite flaws like starting you out (after death/password use) with next to no life, while making it impossible to regain it quickly. Sure, restarting Zelda only left you with 3/16 hearts, but there were places to go where you could have a fairy completely regenerate you, which makes a huge difference (as well as does the fact that 3/16 is a far better fraction to overcome than Metroid's 30/800 or whatever that monster was).

But to get back on point, Metroid is flawed to many of us. Maybe back in the 80s, because it was so new, we didn't realize those flaws because we really didn't have much to compare it with. But playing it now, those flaws are very noticeable, which explains why this site gives it a sub-5 average.

Now, take a game like Super Mario Brothers. While it's definitely primitive now, it doesn't have those nagging flaws. If I were to review it now, due to how its formula has been done better, I wouldn't be giving it a 10, but it would get an above-average rating because it's a fun game that, because of its age, doesn't get bogged down with collection quests, like many platformers from the SNES on do. The sole purpose is to get from the beginning to the end and it's fun to do so.

In these cases, it's the reviewer's job to provide the perspective and reasoning behind saying a game's past its prime or still fun and addictive. We're all good enough writers to do that — I think most of the arguments come when someone else has a differing opinion, especially when it comes to a game they have fondness for.


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


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Author: bluberry
Posted: June 02, 2008 (07:15 PM)
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in the interest of contributing nothing to this discussion, I'm curious what 3D platformers you think improved on Mario 64, Suskie. I don't think I've played one that's as good, but maybe I'm missing out. I think a lot of these games get bogged down in fetch quests, like OD mentioned, and I thought Mario 64 avoided them better than any other platformer from the last decade or so.

that's all I have, I don't want to get into yet another argument over Venter about old Nintendo games or something. but I will mention that I agree with EmP that a good game is still a good game, and that a revolutionary game isn't necessarily a good game. see: Doom and Doom II.


Oh no, it's a Goomba!


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Author: Suskie
Posted: June 02, 2008 (07:26 PM)
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Well, I suppose we could argue all we want about which 3D platformers have the best design and we wouldn't go anywhere, but in terms of mechanics, games like Banjo-Kazooie, Rayman 2, Conker, and Super Mario Galaxy (we'll leave Sunshine out of this, that's just asking for trouble) were all better-playing games than SM64, which only makes sense since SM64 was the first of its genre, and all the others were based on the same idea. If you were broad enough, you could even include games like Jak and Ratchet, since they qualify as platformers. Hell, even Donkey Kong 64 (which a lot of people hated) was smoother, and handled its 3D camera system better.

Don't get me wrong here, SM64 is a brilliant game that deserves any and all praise it gets, but it was the first of its kind and it's only natural that its successors build upon it.

By the way, Jason, I plan to review one of my favorite Genesis games in the near future. It starts with "R" and ends with "istar".


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


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Author: bluberry
Posted: June 02, 2008 (07:32 PM)
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ew, DK64. Mario 64 way better level design, some of the best... Rayman 2 was a great game though, you're right on that one. though I liked the original even more, even if it was almost too hard.


Oh no, it's a Goomba!


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Author: Felix_Arabia
Posted: June 02, 2008 (07:33 PM)
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Ristar's a cool game. Masters' review for it is awesome.

Out of the games you mentioned, only Banjo Kazooie approaches the quality found in SM64 from my own personal preferences. I could give that game a ten (assuming it's still as good as it was when I last played it years ago), but that ten would be different than the 10/10 I gave to SM64. SM64 holds more sentimental value despite still being awesome. Banjo Kazooie never bothered me with its collecting, and it exceeds in the aural categories. I should play that game over the summer.

Edit: What do you mean by saying DK64 is smoother?


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


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Author: Suskie
Posted: June 02, 2008 (07:35 PM)
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Worry not, I spoke only of DK64's play control and mentioned nothing of design. I seem to be among the minority of people who enjoyed DK64, but SM64 is definitely better.

And that's what I mean, Felix. I'm not talking about design here, only control and mechanics.

Edit: Smoother movement. Mario moves a bit like he's running on ice, whereas I felt the characters in DK64 were easier to manipulate. I'm sure you guys get what I'm saying anyway so let's not make another big debate over this.


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


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Author: Halon
Posted: June 02, 2008 (07:36 PM)
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No one is allowed to review Ristar and give it lower than 10/10.

EDIT: I need to replay Mario 64.


IF YOU WANT MORE BEATS FOR YOUR BUCK THERE'S NO LUCK.


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Author: Halon
Posted: June 02, 2008 (07:41 PM)
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And about the topic... I'm not going to contribute to it because it comes up every six months or so and pretty much everyone here knows when I stand on the issue.


IF YOU WANT MORE BEATS FOR YOUR BUCK THERE'S NO LUCK.


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