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Thread: Big rant about game reviews!!

  1. #17
    Senior Member kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: Big rant about game reviews!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Cazzie View Post
    There's no doubt the quality of reviews varies but that doesn't make my point any less valid. You only need to use metacritic to see what I'm talking about. One of the games I enjoyed recently for example, PC Format gave it 51%, and PC Review gave it 92%
    Newsflash: This also happens for big budget games!

    It's obvious that not only does the reviewer unfairly compare the game with modern big budget standards
    Hang on - what's unfair about doing that? It's being sold in the same shops as a competitor to big budget standards right?
    but he just doesn't even seem to like fantasy RPG's in the first place. I bet should he review a classic like Baldurs Gate or Ultima Online and I'm sure he would rip them to pieces as being cheap and nasty looking and having annoying fantasy characters.
    Right - reviews vary and you should read the text rather than look at the score.. but I'm not sure what your point is - why is that any more the case with low budget games?

    That's not really the point though is it? These games I'm talking about to not suck. They just don't have the production values of the big budget games.
    If production values are important to the genre then without them they will suck. And frankly production value doesn't really have much to do with budget - games like Puzzlequest, Peggle, Bookworm adventures etc. all have fantastic production values.

  2. #18
    Jay
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    Re: Big rant about game reviews!!

    I understand your point, when I play double dragon, Zelda etc they are still fantastic even though they look like crap! If a game gets a bad review based on graphics only I would back what you are saying but what you are trying to say is that games are given bad reviews because they are developed on a low budget and play like a low budget game.... well if I put a reliant robin in a formula 1 race guess what? It would come last. Why? Because it’s not as well designed as the other cars, cost a fraction of the cost to build and in reality was never really supposed to take on the big competitors at all. So with that in mind should they get additional points or moved up 10 places on the grid just because thier product was inferior to all the others?

    People can’t expect to spent 20K on developing a game and think its going to take on the big guns, its just not and if they thought it would they where either mislead or delusional.

    I think its fantastic they have managed to get a game out to the market at all and I take my hat off to them, I really do, but if its crap, its crap and that’s all there is to it.

    As a gamer my advice is this... screw the graphics. Iron out as close to all the bugs as possible, make the game new (not just a clone) make it fun to play with a decent learning curve, make sure the tutoruial / documentation is good quality and listen to the players who post on the forum! (I hope people from Valve read this part)

    Here is a game I love and would give a really top review....

    http://www.dailyhaha.com/_flash/towe...nce_castle.htm

    I bet that cost less than any of the games you are talking about!
    Last edited by Jay; 03-05-2009 at 11:17 PM. Reason: sounded a bit harsh
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    Re: Big rant about game reviews!!

    I’m afraid nothing can penetrate cazzies thick skull, we can’t really explain this any better can we?
    It looks more and more like a plug tbh.

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    Salazaar Clone! mediaboy's Avatar
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    Re: Big rant about game reviews!!

    I can't think of the latest time I read a review. I ignore them.

    Occasionally read them for compat issues and scan through checking for things like the Hellgate:london server down problems, but the scores just get ignored.

    My attitude is that if it's good enough to be in gamestation/game/my local games store then it's good enough to consider buying.

    After that it's just a matter of having ID with me and buying the game.

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    Jay
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    Re: Big rant about game reviews!!

    Quote Originally Posted by DeludedGuy View Post
    I’m afraid nothing can penetrate cazzies thick skull, we can’t really explain this any better can we?
    It looks more and more like a plug tbh.
    To be fair has some good points. Some reviews do go on first impressions and don't really look deep enough into a game to review it.

    Quote Originally Posted by mediaboy View Post
    After that it's just a matter of having ID with me and buying the game.
    awwww...bless.
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    Re: Big rant about game reviews!!

    Well, being the ignorant person I am. This is the way as to how I come to buy a game.

    1. Hear about it:

    This is in my opinion one of the most crucial factors. Marketing, frankly, this is where the low budget games cant compete against the likes of EA, etc. When a new game comes out, all the techy sites I visit will have adverts for it, there will be trailers of the game on TV and in the cinema and Game stores will have big glossy posters, cardboard cut outs, demos on show. So well done EA, I now know you game exists.

    So for low budgets games the only really way is by word of mouth, e.g. like how I heard about World of Goo, My Brute, etc. So I dont know that a game exists, how would I consider buying it.

    2. Reviews:

    I use the google machine: "[insert game name] wiki". Read the intro at the top, scroll down to reviews, look at scores. If score is average score is >90 it will be an almost definite buy. >80 then would be considered if I like that sort of game/ like the look of it. Also see if there are any bugs mentioned etc.

    3. Buying:

    Price. Simple as. If a game comes out costing like 40 quid, screw that, I will wait until it drops to around 20. If it is a bargain. I will buy it straight away.

    I will only ever read a review of a game if I am borderline as to whether I buy it or not. Most of the time the final score reviewers give is good enough for me and 95% they are right. Saying that though I will always have a look at what the average score from the community is. Remember a good game is good.

    Example World of Goo, made by 2 people, got scores of >90 from almost every website.

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    Re: Big rant about game reviews!!

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    Newsflash: This also happens for big budget games!
    Two wrongs don't make a right. But more importantly, big budget games have all the opportunities to compete with other big budget games. Smaller games don't, so it's doubly wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    Hang on - what's unfair about doing that? It's being sold in the same shops as a competitor to big budget standards right?
    I really have to explain this again???? When you read a review of a Ford Fiesta, they compare it with other cars in it's class. They would never criticise it for not having the performance of a Porsche.

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    Right - reviews vary and you should read the text rather than look at the score.. but I'm not sure what your point is - why is that any more the case with low budget games?
    see previous point

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    If production values are important to the genre then without them they will suck. And frankly production value doesn't really have much to do with budget - games like Puzzlequest, Peggle, Bookworm adventures etc. all have fantastic production values.
    It has everything to do with it. Peggle is a tiny little 2d game. When you have a limited budget and are making a massive TBS or RPG or something, you are stretching the limits of what you can do within that budget, so you have to prioritise. A sensible company bumps some things down the list, like a flashy interface or the kind of voice talent Rockstar Games has. If that's what is important to ALL gamers, then fine, but do you really think that is the case? The game experience on the whole is more important, so when that gets glossed over by a reviewer and yet they find the time to criticise these games for not having the big budget eye candy, then they deserve my criticism.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jay View Post
    well if I put a reliant robin in a formula 1 race guess what? It would come last. Why? Because it’s not as well designed as the other cars, cost a fraction of the cost to build and in reality was never really supposed to take on the big competitors at all.
    But that is exactly proving my point, these games are not intending to be in the Formula 1. They exist to serve their niche audiences which is hopefully enough to allow them to grow. So when some idiot compares them to a Formula 1 car they are putting them in a negative light with unnecessary and unfair comparisons.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay View Post
    People can’t expect to spent 20K on developing a game and think its going to take on the big guns, its just not and if they thought it would they where either mislead or delusional.
    They never did expect that. Again, you are going back to your assumptions which are consistently piss poor ones I have to say. The company you are talking about were successful and have at least doubled their money. That is in spite of a few reviewers treated them unfairly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay View Post
    I think its fantastic they have managed to get a game out to the market at all and I take my hat off to them, I really do, but if its crap, its crap and that’s all there is to it.
    It's not crap at all. They doubled their money in no time and it was all thanks to word of mouth. You don't get that if your game is crap. I don't know what kind of state it's in today but I'm sure they have made enough to think about making a sequel, which is great news for gamers.

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    Jay
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    Re: Big rant about game reviews!!

    I like how you just cut the bits out you want to talk about and ignor the rest.
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    Re: Big rant about game reviews!!

    I summarise it down to what I think the point is and I reply to it. If you think I missed something important please go ahead and point it out to me.

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    Jay
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    Re: Big rant about game reviews!!

    no, its ok mate. I'm just having a joke with you.
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    Master Of The Universe CaseyV9's Avatar
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    Re: Big rant about game reviews!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Cazzie View Post
    Two wrongs don't make a right. But more importantly, big budget games have all the opportunities to compete with other big budget games. Smaller games don't, so it's doubly wrong.

    I really have to explain this again???? When you read a review of a Ford Fiesta, they compare it with other cars in it's class. They would never criticise it for not having the performance of a Porsche.

    see previous point

    It has everything to do with it. Peggle is a tiny little 2d game. When you have a limited budget and are making a massive TBS or RPG or something, you are stretching the limits of what you can do within that budget, so you have to prioritise. A sensible company bumps some things down the list, like a flashy interface or the kind of voice talent Rockstar Games has. If that's what is important to ALL gamers, then fine, but do you really think that is the case? The game experience on the whole is more important, so when that gets glossed over by a reviewer and yet they find the time to criticise these games for not having the big budget eye candy, then they deserve my criticism.


    But that is exactly proving my point, these games are not intending to be in the Formula 1. They exist to serve their niche audiences which is hopefully enough to allow them to grow. So when some idiot compares them to a Formula 1 car they are putting them in a negative light with unnecessary and unfair comparisons.

    They never did expect that. Again, you are going back to your assumptions which are consistently piss poor ones I have to say. The company you are talking about were successful and have at least doubled their money. That is in spite of a few reviewers treated them unfairly.

    It's not crap at all. They doubled their money in no time and it was all thanks to word of mouth. You don't get that if your game is crap. I don't know what kind of state it's in today but I'm sure they have made enough to think about making a sequel, which is great news for gamers.
    So I guess what you are saying is that they should not be penalized for being on a lower budget and being less polished. They should just meritted on the overall game itself. That the fact that is on a lower budget should be ignored and they should be reviewed the same as all games are. But when the review points out that it is less polished than a big budget game you should take into account that it is a low budget game made only by 5 people?

    I fail to see your argument. Games like world of goo got top marks in PC Gamer. So obviously there are reviews who are fair on budget games. Merited when a merit is due. EEEuuuuiiiieeekkkk
    Last edited by CaseyV9; 04-05-2009 at 01:00 AM.

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    Re: Big rant about game reviews!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Cazzie View Post
    You can arrogantly look down your nose at me all you want, but don't feel too secure in your smugness.[...]
    Actually, I think you are being arrogant and smug. Reminds me of people who enjoys independent films and complain when they perceive a lack of interest in their favourite flick. And I will unapologetically state that you do conveniently cut bits you want to talk about and ignore the rest. Take this for instance:

    Quote Originally Posted by Cazzie View Post
    But the best game is not necessarily the game with the most polish is it...?

    Unless of course you are the kind of gamer who goes for style over substance.
    Read my post again and rethink what I consider most important in a game. Because right now, you are giving me the impression that you've already decided that the world is against the little developers and anyone who disagrees with you are below you.

    The car analogies are flawed. For a start, I do not think that price is the most important thing for a gamer by a long shot. Sure some of us probably would not want to pay full retail price, and would rather wait for price to tumble (*raise hands*), but there are games I would not play even if they were free. I am not saying that's the case with all games by small developers, but if you are making a PC games that is of the same genre as other PC games by major developers and placed on the same shelves as those games at game retailers, them expect to be compared. Small developers who want to avoid that fate are the ones who really need to think outside the box by coming out with an idea that is mostly original (difficult to compare) and fun. It can be done, it has been done.

    Your typical retail PC game vs an iPhone game. That's a different class. Retail PC game vs Internet flash game, that's a different class. But a £20 vs a £40? Sure the difference should be taken into account, but if they are the same genre then I would sure want to see a comparison. You could say that one is half the price of the other, but I am sure many are willing to pay £20 extra if the end product is overall better. It's not just the money but the enjoyment you get out of it.

    And if a product is both cheap and outstanding? Words will spread, if not through reviews (though I note that it often is), then certain via word of mouth.
    Last edited by TooNice; 04-05-2009 at 03:35 AM.

  13. #29
    Senior Member kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: Big rant about game reviews!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Cazzie View Post
    Two wrongs don't make a right. But more importantly, big budget games have all the opportunities to compete with other big budget games. Smaller games don't, so it's doubly wrong.
    I completely disagree. Look at the success of low budget games like Peggle and PuzzleQuest and then tell me they don't compete with big budget games.

    I really have to explain this again???? When you read a review of a Ford Fiesta, they compare it with other cars in it's class. They would never criticise it for not having the performance of a Porsche.
    Yet if it falls apart after 10 miles and doesn't give a satisfactory experience then it would be rightly panned in reviews, regardless of the fact it's cheaper than a porsche.

    It has everything to do with it. Peggle is a tiny little 2d game. When you have a limited budget and are making a massive TBS or RPG or something, you are stretching the limits of what you can do within that budget, so you have to prioritise. A sensible company bumps some things down the list, like a flashy interface or the kind of voice talent Rockstar Games has. If that's what is important to ALL gamers, then fine, but do you really think that is the case? The game experience on the whole is more important, so when that gets glossed over by a reviewer and yet they find the time to criticise these games for not having the big budget eye candy, then they deserve my criticism.
    I don't see that happening though. Mostly games get panned for lack of innovation and lack of polish. Polish does not equal eye candy, otherwise how would these 2d games get such good marks for both gameplay and polish? It seems that on one hand you're saying small budget games can't get good reviews because they don't have expensive eye candy, and then on the next saying that good reviews for games like Peggle don't count because they're only little 2d games. Make up your mind!

    Have you played PuzzleQuest? It's anything but little - the gameplay in PQ lasts many many times longer than AAA games such as Bioshock, Crysis, C&C3 etc. So I don't buy your argument that only small games can be polished or get good reviews if they're not big budget.

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    Re: Big rant about game reviews!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Cazzie View Post
    It has everything to do with it. Peggle is a tiny little 2d game. When you have a limited budget and are making a massive TBS or RPG or something, you are stretching the limits of what you can do within that budget, so you have to prioritise. A sensible company bumps some things down the list, like a flashy interface or the kind of voice talent Rockstar Games has. If that's what is important to ALL gamers, then fine, but do you really think that is the case? The game experience on the whole is more important, so when that gets glossed over by a reviewer and yet they find the time to criticise these games for not having the big budget eye candy, then they deserve my criticism.
    I think of GTA IV when reading this. The dialouge and voice acting was amazing. It was like a propper movie. Some of the best one liners I have seen in a long time. And fallout 3 had an amazing atmosphere. And that was down to all the polish. And it's these things that have everything to do with the game expierience. Just imagine games Like Half life 2, Left for Dead, GTA IV or all the top games out there now.

    Take away the flashy voice acting and graphics and all the polish from them. I think then you are left with a less immersive expierience in a less believeable world with hardly any atmosphere.
    You are trying to say that all the little things that add atmosphere and immersion to a game have nothing to do with the overall game expierience. You are wrong.

    Another thing to mention, most developers are not making huge anmmounts of money on the games they make. Some struggle to break even.

    Going back to the days when dumb games like Mario was all about jumping around in limbo land and required little thought or depth. Good riddence to them.

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    Re: Big rant about game reviews!!

    I don't see why they should judge it on different criteria. There's no point saying "This game isn't as good as the top three contenders in its genre, but since it was made by a bloke in a shed it deserves 100%".

    The only approach that makes sense is if the publishers for the game give a low price to reflect its lack of development, and then the reviewers *should* be saying in their reviews "Great game, fun to play etc - graphics and animations aren't the best, but for £15 this is well worth a punt."

    Game reviewers have always had a habit of being a bit narrow-minded though, focussing in on one or two issues that they really want to drive home, and ignoring others that they determine irrelevant - when the point of the review should be to let people know the facts so they can make their own judgment.

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    Re: Big rant about game reviews!!

    Quote Originally Posted by snootyjim View Post
    I don't see why they should judge it on different criteria. There's no point saying "This game isn't as good as the top three contenders in its genre, but since it was made by a bloke in a shed it deserves 100%".
    Nobody is suggesting that though.

    Quote Originally Posted by snootyjim View Post
    The only approach that makes sense is if the publishers for the game give a low price to reflect its lack of development, and then the reviewers *should* be saying in their reviews "Great game, fun to play etc - graphics and animations aren't the best, but for £15 this is well worth a punt."

    Game reviewers have always had a habit of being a bit narrow-minded though, focussing in on one or two issues that they really want to drive home, and ignoring others that they determine irrelevant - when the point of the review should be to let people know the facts so they can make their own judgment.
    That's exactly my point. Nice one.

    Quote Originally Posted by CaseyV9 View Post
    So I guess what you are saying is that they should not be penalized for being on a lower budget and being less polished. They should just meritted on the overall game itself.
    Yes exactly.

    Quote Originally Posted by CaseyV9 View Post
    the fact that is on a lower budget should be ignored
    No.. The fact that it is on a lower budget is absolutely crucial - that's my whole point.

    If you bully these games because they are such easy targets, they WILL die. I know most jackasses find it really difficult to resist picking on the weak, but really it's in their best interest. Just like a little brat kid who steps on a caterpillar because it's ugly and puny, they are destroying what will ultimately blossom in to a butterfly.

    Quote Originally Posted by CaseyV9 View Post
    But when the review points out that it is less polished than a big budget game you should take into account that it is a low budget game made only by 5 people?
    If they said it was less polished than a big budget game, that's perfectly fine, because they are highlighting that it's two different things. They don't always do that though, instead they just criticise and say ugly graphics or dated graphics or terrible graphics and make it sound like the developers made a terrible mistake or are somehow incompetent. In some cases the person reading the review won't even know that it's a budget game and they'll assume it's just a 'normal' game that is getting a terrible review. That's just not the case. In reality, lower budget games can still look decent. They might not be as technically advanced as Crysis or whatever, but they can still look decent and what they lack in high tech graphics, they make up for elsewhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by CaseyV9 View Post
    I fail to see your argument. Games like world of goo got top marks in PC Gamer. So obviously there are reviews who are fair on budget games. Merited when a merit is due. EEEuuuuiiiieeekkkk
    I have already explained this exact point once before. World of Goo is a very simple 2d game, so it's far easier to make it extremely polished and refined. When you have a limited budget but are making a bigger and more complex TBS or RPG or something, you are stretching the limits of what you can do within that budget, so you have to prioritise. You bump some things down the list, like a flashy interface or the kind of voice talent Rockstar Games has. If that's what is important to ALL gamers, then fine, but do you really think that is the case? The game experience on the whole is more important, so when that gets glossed over by a reviewer and yet they find the time to criticise these games for not having the big budget eye candy, then they deserve my criticism.

    You could argue that smaller developers should just make simple 2d games and not even try to push the envelope, but this pushing is what creates progress and they often manage to come up with real gems.

    Quote Originally Posted by TooNice View Post
    Actually, I think you are being arrogant and smug.
    No I'm not, I just have a point of view, I haven't looked down my nose at anyone. You are now just trolling.

    Quote Originally Posted by TooNice View Post
    And I will unapologetically state that you do conveniently cut bits you want to talk about and ignore the rest.
    Of course I do, I'm not going to reply to every single sentence in the entire thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by TooNice View Post
    Take this for instance:


    Read my post again and rethink what I consider most important in a game. Because right now, you are giving me the impression that you've already decided that the world is against the little developers and anyone who disagrees with you are below you.

    The car analogies are flawed. For a start, I do not think that price is the most important thing for a gamer by a long shot. Sure some of us probably would not want to pay full retail price, and would rather wait for price to tumble (*raise hands*), but there are games I would not play even if they were free. I am not saying that's the case with all games by small developers, but if you are making a PC games that is of the same genre as other PC games by major developers and placed on the same shelves as those games at game retailers, them expect to be compared.
    That's exactly what they all do. Look at the list of games in my first post and you'll see that. They all deserve their place in the industry which is my whole point. There is no reason that just because they on the shelf with other games, that they should all achieve the exact same things. Just as if a VW Golf and a Ferrari were both in the same second hand car show room, the Golf wouldn't be ridiculed for not being able to reach 200mph.


    Quote Originally Posted by TooNice View Post
    Small developers who want to avoid that fate are the ones who really need to think outside the box by coming out with an idea that is mostly original (difficult to compare) and fun. It can be done, it has been done.
    You keep talking about it like you know the secret and these companies don't have a clue. That's just not the case. These companies are more than capable of making great games, that is not a problem and it's not the point of this thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by TooNice View Post
    Your typical retail PC game vs an iPhone game. That's a different class. Retail PC game vs Internet flash game, that's a different class. But a £20 vs a £40? Sure the difference should be taken into account, but if they are the same genre then I would sure want to see a comparison.
    But the budget and price is NOT always taken in to account which is the whole point of this thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by TooNice View Post
    You could say that one is half the price of the other, but I am sure many are willing to pay £20 extra if the end product is overall better. It's not just the money but the enjoyment you get out of it.
    But it may only be better in terms of graphics and sound. The other game may actually be better in terms of gameplay. It may not of course... but my point is when it is, it doesn't always get a fair treatment.

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    I completely disagree. Look at the success of low budget games like Peggle and PuzzleQuest and then tell me they don't compete with big budget games.
    They might, but I never said they don't. I said they don't always have the same opportunities.

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    Yet if it falls apart after 10 miles and doesn't give a satisfactory experience then it would be rightly panned in reviews, regardless of the fact it's cheaper than a porsche.
    No a lower class town car won't fall apart after 10 miles, it just won't do 200mph. Are you purposely missing my point?

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    I don't see that happening though. Mostly games get panned for lack of innovation and lack of polish.
    You don't see it happening so it doesn't exist? Have you seen every review of every game?

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    Polish does not equal eye candy, otherwise how would these 2d games get such good marks for both gameplay and polish?
    Why are you ignoring my replies? I already explained why it's easier to polish and refine a simple 2d game.

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    It seems that on one hand you're saying small budget games can't get good reviews because they don't have expensive eye candy,
    I have never said that. I have already shown you where one of them got 92%.

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    Have you played PuzzleQuest? It's anything but little - the gameplay in PQ lasts many many times longer than AAA games such as Bioshock, Crysis, C&C3 etc. So I don't buy your argument that only small games can be polished or get good reviews if they're not big budget.
    You don't need to tell me how good games like PuzzleQuest can be, that's the entire point of my topic. I've already said they can get good reviews. The only thing you seem to disagree with is my argument that it's harder to polish a bigger game, which I think is absolutely valid. There are countless examples of this, even in big budget games, where they do so much, they had to cut back in some places.

    Quote Originally Posted by CaseyV9 View Post
    I think of GTA IV when reading this. The dialouge and voice acting was amazing. It was like a propper movie. Some of the best one liners I have seen in a long time. And fallout 3 had an amazing atmosphere. And that was down to all the polish. And it's these things that have everything to do with the game expierience. Just imagine games Like Half life 2, Left for Dead, GTA IV or all the top games out there now.

    Take away the flashy voice acting and graphics and all the polish from them. I think then you are left with a less immersive expierience in a less believeable world with hardly any atmosphere.
    You are trying to say that all the little things that add atmosphere and immersion to a game have nothing to do with the overall game expierience. You are wrong.
    Immersion is very important in some games, but there is far more to a game than immersion. If the only important thing in gaming was killer graphics and voice acting and high immersion, then gaming wouldn't even exist today. The games industry exists because of games like Pacman, Space Invaders, and Tetris, and they have no immersion at all. Some people are only interested in the kind of immersion you talk about, but some people are more interested in the gameplay itself.


    Quote Originally Posted by CaseyV9 View Post
    Going back to the days when dumb games like Mario was all about jumping around in limbo land and required little thought or depth. Good riddence to them.
    That's an unbelievable comment.

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