2018/5/14: Playstation 3: Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

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Re: 2018/5/14: Playstation 3: Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

Postby VideoGameCritic » May 25th, 2018, 7:18 pm

I don't think you can compare watching a movie or listening to an album to completing a lengthy video game. I mean, that could be 2 hours versus 50 hours.

A better analogy might be watching a television series. I have friends who recommend a series based on just a few episodes they've seen. Why should I respect their opinion if they haven't seen the entire season? Well obviously they've seen enough to get a flavor for the series and that's good enough.

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Re: 2018/5/14: Playstation 3: Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

Postby Kajicat » May 25th, 2018, 7:32 pm

DaHeckIzDat wrote:
Kajicat wrote:Regardless of whether a review is ten pages or two paragraphs, I think the reviewer should finish the game they're reviewing.

Is it okay for a film critic to still write a review for a film they didn't finish? I'd say not. Same goes for a music album review.

Just my opinion.

If a movie had a terrible beginning and I was writing reviews according to my own model and not a bigger company's, I would totally turn it off after a half hour and write a one paragraph review that pointed out everything I hated about that first half hour that convinced me that the rest wasn't worth watching.

And I'm pretty sure that review would be taken with a truckload of salt by anyone who would read it. Seriously, writing reviews for a movies where the critic only watches a half hour of each film... what's the point? I'd tell that critic to find something else to do as they're obviously not very invested in reviewing movies. I sure as hell wouldn't want to go through a database of movie reviews that are only based on 30 minutes of actual view time. Talk about missing the point of actually reviewing something.

If we're talking about a TV series (26 episodes or so) then it would definitely be best to see the entire series before writing a review on the series. What occurs in the first 2 episodes that hooked the viewer could easily lose steam in the next 24. In the review, simply state that the first half of the series was excellent but the later half could not keep up with the lofty expectations created in the beginning, it eventually went off the tracks, and the writers seemed to be having trouble bringing everything to a conclusion. Basically, if you only viewed the first 2 episodes, then that's all you should be reviewing, not the entire series as a whole. I sure as heck wouldn't trust a book review where the reviewer only read the first 5 chapters out of 20.

As I said, the same goes for music album reviews. Why listen to the remaining 6 songs when the first 7 were hard rock? I know the remaining 6 songs will be hard rock too! Guess it's time to write my review of this album where I let it be known that I'm not interested in hard rock enough to make it through the entire album. Again, it's pointless to review things using this model unless you're on a time constraint and your sole goal is to churn out as many subpar unfinished reviews as possible. Heck, maybe track 8 on that hard rock album had what would have been your favorite song on the album ("Big Empty" on Stone Temple Pilots' Purple album...?), but you stopped at track 7! Doh!

In the same vein, you could stop playing a Zelda game before you reach a later dungeon that featured exemplary design, the best song in the game, the most creative and fun boss in the game, and the most interesting puzzle in the entire game. Point is, a game reviewer should not stop early before the task is complete. When you do an examination and analysis of something, you should do it to completion.

If, for example, the Video Game Critic mentioned in 90% of his reviews that he didn't actually finish the game, I think a lot of his readers would be up in arms about it through the years.

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Re: 2018/5/14: Playstation 3: Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

Postby Kajicat » May 25th, 2018, 7:36 pm

The term "review" shouldn't exactly be used if the game wasn't fully reviewed. Maybe call it a "Quick Take" or "At a Glance" or something...

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Re: 2018/5/14: Playstation 3: Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

Postby DaHeckIzDat » May 25th, 2018, 8:18 pm

Kajicat wrote:And I'm pretty sure that review would be taken with a truckload of salt by anyone who would read it. Seriously, writing reviews for a movies where the critic only watches a half hour of each film... what's the point?


If I played a fifty hour game to completion, and only the last three or so hours were any good, what do you think that would change in my review? I would still give it the same score as if I stopped playing at the twenty hour mark because three hours of enjoyment doesn't justify forty seven hours of my life wasted. I would never recommend a game like that to anyone.

I'm legit surprised by how adamantly you're defending game developers' right to make and sell crappy products because we all, apparently, can't judge them to be a crappy product until we witness every single second of its crappiness. You might have enough free time to waste playing terrible games from start to finish, but the rest of us would like to skip the bad stuff and move onto the good stuff.

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Re: 2018/5/14: Playstation 3: Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

Postby Stalvern » May 25th, 2018, 11:39 pm

Kajicat wrote:Is it okay for a film critic to still write a review for a film they didn't finish? I'd say not. Same goes for a music album review.

These aren't comparable. A film's quality is in large part dependent on the construction of its plot, which can only be assessed as a whole. An album's quality is dependent on its individual songs, which exist independently from each other. Both films and albums are also very, very short compared to RPGs (or even the average action game these days).

With a game, the attribute that most defines its quality is gameplay, and the gameplay mechanics established at the outset almost invariably persist to the end - a sample is far more representative of the whole than with other media. If I make it halfway through a movie or album, I have no idea what the rest is going to be like (for example, meaningful review of David Bowie's "Heroes" based on the first half alone is unthinkable). But if I make it halfway through a game, I have a pretty good idea of what's in store for the remainder. In cases like adventure games, where the individual puzzles demand independent evaluation like the songs on an album, a review absolutely should assess the entire game, but once someone comes to grips with the combat mechanics and level progression of an RPG, there's much less that the endgame can change about a reviewer's impression.

Is it better to play the entire game? That's inarguably true. And a reviewer who's played less than half of the game is a quitter, plain and simple. But there's plenty of leeway for a review to still be useful - to give the reader a sense of whether they will likely enjoy the game or not - when someone has played through the majority of a game, ascertained the qualities of the systems that underlie the whole, and comes to reasoned conclusions about them. This site is about being useful more than it is about being exhaustive; it's always been a set of informal opinions offered from one player to anyone interested. I take them for what they are - not "true", as I can think of a few occasions when a review has been completely out of line (I'm still waiting for that worthless Flink review to be replaced), and not "objective", as the Critic has always worn his tastes/biases on his sleeve, but representing the experiences of a real person who's played a ton of games and has honed his critical eye over nearly two decades. Just like I would take a friend's word into account if they told me their thoughts on a game after playing a few hours of it, I take Dave's word into account after he's (typically) played several hours more than that and spent days thinking his opinions over.

If you don't believe that there's a place for the kind of informal reviews that this site hosts, focusing on general impressions at the expense of thoroughness, you're welcome to ignore it. But this doesn't change that countless people do have a use for them, and it doesn't change that the nature of the medium contributes heavily to that.

DaHeckIzDat wrote:If a movie had a terrible beginning and I was writing reviews according to my own model and not a bigger company's, I would totally turn it off after a half hour and write a one paragraph review that pointed out everything I hated about that first half hour that convinced me that the rest wasn't worth watching.

This would be inexcusable. I would not read further reviews from a film critic who did this.

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Re: 2018/5/14: Playstation 3: Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

Postby BlasteroidAli » May 26th, 2018, 9:38 am

I like the site for the short sharp review. Esp the VCS stuff. I am broadly with the critic in most games. I find myself agreeing with the C64 critic most of the time as well. Da H I am in agreement with him most of the time.

I never seem to be in agreement with PT but he just like FF a lot more that I do.

Reviews are like the barometer in the hall. They steer me one way. If the critic says something is terrible such as Kiss Pinball on the ps1. I would be inclined not to get it. Though as a big kiss fan i have a soft spot for the band. I played it before i read the review and agree with everything he said.

So if a reviewer has put 5 hours into the game I get a flavour of what it is like. That is all I want. The reason I come back here ever now and then. Where as I mostly disagree with ign, gow J is a 9.1 so roughly a critic a. I would give it a 5 out of ten roughly a C.
And so it goes.
Plus the critic has been right on the money about the online only games which have been a total pain in the rear.

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Re: 2018/5/14: Playstation 3: Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

Postby Kajicat » May 27th, 2018, 5:55 pm

DaHeckIzDat wrote:
Kajicat wrote:And I'm pretty sure that review would be taken with a truckload of salt by anyone who would read it. Seriously, writing reviews for a movies where the critic only watches a half hour of each film... what's the point?


If I played a fifty hour game to completion, and only the last three or so hours were any good, what do you think that would change in my review? I would still give it the same score as if I stopped playing at the twenty hour mark because three hours of enjoyment doesn't justify forty seven hours of my life wasted. I would never recommend a game like that to anyone.

I'm legit surprised by how adamantly you're defending game developers' right to make and sell crappy products because we all, apparently, can't judge them to be a crappy product until we witness every single second of its crappiness. You might have enough free time to waste playing terrible games from start to finish, but the rest of us would like to skip the bad stuff and move onto the good stuff.

I simply think reviewers need to hold themselves accountable. If they're not going to do a full review, then maybe call it a "Blurb" or something. If you choose to review a game, you're choosing to put time into it. If you're concerned about "wasting your life" reviewing a game then you probably shouldn't be reviewing games since there's a possibility the game could be bad. I think reviews should be thorough and the reviewer owes it to his/her readers to make every attempt possible to finish the game before writing a review.

As for defending a game developer for creating a poor product - I'm not. They could put out the worst product possible on purpose but it's ultimately the consumer's choice to take the chance in buying it blindly, or choosing to still purchase it even after reading full reviews of the game. Anyone can release a substandard product but the consumer has nobody to blame but themselves if they still choose to purchase it even after doing research beforehand.

By the way, I decided to go check out the Aquaman review for Xbox. As far as I can tell, The Video Game Critic is the one who reviewed it (I'm not seeing it say anybody else did, but please point it out if I'm wrong). You alluded that you were the one who reviewed it. I'm a tad confused. Also, the line about seeing an enemy put a hold on Aquaman looking "totally gay" is ridiculously immature. Was this written by a 15 year old? Seems like such an outdated remark. I'm all for free speech, but that line raised a red flag to me... as in, maybe this review shouldn't be trusted. I know this site isn't about being professional or held to high standards, but... yikes.

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Re: 2018/5/14: Playstation 3: Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

Postby jon » May 28th, 2018, 3:21 pm

This is ridiculous. Come on, let's stop ignoring the giant elephant in the room, which is that there's fanboys that want every RPG to get an A+. I think DaHeck's review is one of the most I learnt reviews on the site and by far the most important for the RPG crew. I wasn't looking forward to the newly formed RPG crew reviewing every RPG that they love and give out A+ after A+. The FF8 review mentions that FF7 is "widely regarded as one of the greatest games of all time". I mean, cmon lets be real here.

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Re: 2018/5/14: Playstation 3: Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

Postby Stalvern » May 28th, 2018, 6:33 pm

Kajicat wrote:By the way, I decided to go check out the Aquaman review for Xbox. As far as I can tell, The Video Game Critic is the one who reviewed it (I'm not seeing it say anybody else did, but please point it out if I'm wrong). You alluded that you were the one who reviewed it. I'm a tad confused.

Uh, he said that the Critic reviewed it. Not sure how you managed to pull this bizarre idea out of his post.

DaHeckIzDat wrote:Do you expect the Critic to play all the way through Aquaman on XBox on the off chance that it stops being crap on the last level?


Kajicat wrote:Also, the line about seeing an enemy put a hold on Aquaman looking "totally gay" is ridiculously immature. Was this written by a 15 year old? Seems like such an outdated remark. I'm all for free speech, but that line raised a red flag to me... as in, maybe this review shouldn't be trusted. I know this site isn't about being professional or held to high standards, but... yikes.

You're right, it is an outdated remark. The review was posted while Bush was in the White House. A fair amount of the older reviews (or "blurbs" if you'd rather call them that) have issues like this, but you won't find them in newer ones. People grow and change over the years, which is why many older reviews get updated with rewrites. And regardless of the quip's taste, what about it would mark the review as untrustworthy? Is anyone with prejudices also a liar automatically?

I'm not sure why you're here when you clearly don't have a lot of appreciation or respect for the site and its owner. That's fine, but then what are you trying to accomplish by posting? To expose the dark side of this place you know hardly anything about to the people who have been coming here for years and years? Just let the rest of us blindly read our useless, half-informed reviews of games we'll never play ourselves in peace.

jon wrote:This is ridiculous. Come on, let's stop ignoring the giant elephant in the room, which is that there's fanboys that want every RPG to get an A+. I think DaHeck's review is one of the most I learnt reviews on the site and by far the most important for the RPG crew. I wasn't looking forward to the newly formed RPG crew reviewing every RPG that they love and give out A+ after A+. The FF8 review mentions that FF7 is "widely regarded as one of the greatest games of all time". I mean, cmon lets be real here.

Why don't you review it yourself and give it the grade it deserves, then?

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Re: 2018/5/14: Playstation 3: Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

Postby Retro STrife » May 28th, 2018, 7:11 pm

VideoGameCritic wrote:I think it also depends on the review site. If you're a professional working for IGN or Forbes, yeah I'd expect you to finish the game and write a full five page report and include at least a half dozen screenshots along with a video clip.

This site however has established itself as a "quick and dirty" review site run by me and a few volunteers in our spare time. I don't run this site for money and it's a good thing! It's a free service by people passionate about games for people passionate about games.

These reviews are only a paragraph but people like how I post them at a steady clip.


I 100% agree and think that the vast majority of visitors feel the same. You can't please everyone. There are nearly 5000 reviews on this site as we speak, which is completely absurd to even comprehend when you think that around 99% of those reviews were written by one guy.

But Kajicat- let's take a moment to reimagine this website as one where the VGC plays every game to completion. Here's how it would look:
1. The VGC probably would be completely burnt out from playing games like Aquaman to conclusion, and this site might have shut down years ago.
2. Sure, he could steer clear of bad games, but who trusts a critic who only posts reviews for A and B grade games?
3. And if he did manage to keep the site going for almost 20 years (like he has under his current method), there would be closer to 500 reviews, rather than 5000...far less appealing to visitors. And we would wait weeks for new reviews; also far less appealing to visitors. The Critic might have to enlist more volunteers, for all genres, which means far more inconsistency in the reviews. Under that terrible system, far less of us would be here right now, including Kajicat.

If you want to get an in-depth review of the latest Call of Duty game -- played 100% to completion -- you can find over 100 websites that do that. If you want to read over 100 quick-hit reviews for Turbografx-16 games so that you can buy the perfect games for your collection, there are few other places in the world to get that information than here. I'm a fan of keeping it that way, rather than expecting the Critic to quit his day job to finish Aquaman.


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