2019/10/25: Saturn: Frankenstein: Through the Eyes of the Monster

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VideoGameCritic
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Re: 2019/10/25: Saturn: Frankenstein: Through the Eyes of the Monster

Postby VideoGameCritic » October 26th, 2019, 9:54 am

My Hell review is coming along and hopefully will be ready soon. Currently not an F.

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Re: 2019/10/25: Saturn: Frankenstein: Through the Eyes of the Monster

Postby goldenband » October 26th, 2019, 11:11 am

Sonicx9 wrote:It just the PAL region gets a bad rep thanks to companies like Phoenix Games which is sad but true.

Sonicx9 wrote:Ok I admitted I should have researched better my bad, and yes I do like PAL region developed games like the Rayman series so I do know that the region can produce high quality software just like the Americas and Japan the two other main regions of gaming.

As a general rule, I try to avoid repeating other people's opinions about games -- or, in general, any kind of received wisdom about what "everyone knows" (which is usually bogus anyway) -- and only stick to what I myself have experienced.

You offer the world much more when you post enthusiastic comments about a game you discovered and think others might enjoy, vs. reposting links to negative YouTube reviews whose main agenda is trying to garner clicks and attention. I can find a review of anybody trashing anything; harder to find insightful commentary that derives from hands-on experience.

Also, don't confuse clickbait-y online stuff with what significant numbers of people actually think. The number of people actually talking about stuff like Phoenix Games (not just memeing "yee") is a tiny niche within a niche, and is absolutely dwarfed by the number of Europeans who actually played, and grew up with, PAL games on systems like Master System, Genesis, Amiga, C64, ZX Spectrum, etc. and have a very different opinion.

To them the PAL region certainly doesn't have a "bad rep". Yes, it's true that occasionally companies would relegate their weakest offerings there, or that European developers like Infogrames would churn out shoddy platformers.

But there are also some extraordinary games that never made it outside Europe -- and a whole lot of utter crap that never left Japan, but gets a free pass from YouTube reviewers who are in love with (their own fetishized, misunderstood version of) Japanese culture.

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Re: 2019/10/25: Saturn: Frankenstein: Through the Eyes of the Monster

Postby Sonicx9 » October 26th, 2019, 12:16 pm

goldenband wrote:As a general rule, I try to avoid repeating other people's opinions about games -- or, in general, any kind of received wisdom about what "everyone knows" (which is usually bogus anyway) -- and only stick to what I myself have experienced.

You offer the world much more when you post enthusiastic comments about a game you discovered and think others might enjoy, vs. reposting links to negative YouTube reviews whose main agenda is trying to garner clicks and attention. I can find a review of anybody trashing anything; harder to find insightful commentary that derives from hands-on experience.

Also, don't confuse clickbait-y online stuff with what significant numbers of people actually think. The number of people actually talking about stuff like Phoenix Games (not just memeing "yee") is a tiny niche within a niche, and is absolutely dwarfed by the number of Europeans who actually played, and grew up with, PAL games on systems like Master System, Genesis, Amiga, C64, ZX Spectrum, etc. and have a very different opinion.

To them the PAL region certainly doesn't have a "bad rep". Yes, it's true that occasionally companies would relegate their weakest offerings there, or that European developers like Infogrames would churn out shoddy platformers.

But there are also some extraordinary games that never made it outside Europe -- and a whole lot of utter crap that never left Japan, but gets a free pass from YouTube reviewers who are in love with (their own fetishized, misunderstood version of) Japanese culture.


Ok, I admitted I did do a bad generalization Phoenix Games as the PAL region does have gems, and true the US and Japan market both get trash as well, it nothing new.

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Re: 2019/10/25: Saturn: Frankenstein: Through the Eyes of the Monster

Postby Matchstick » October 26th, 2019, 7:58 pm

VideoGameCritic wrote:My Hell review is coming along and hopefully will be ready soon. Currently not an F.


All right! Glad to hear it. I remember it being a pretty unique game when I played it years ago. Almost overwhelming at first. I can honestly say it's not like many other games I've played before or since.

The closest approximation I can think of is Omikron: The Nomad Soul on the Dreamcast, and hey, that game had a celebrity tie-in too, with David Bowie on the boxart as well as contributing to the soundtrack and playing an in-game character. You mentioned this in your review of the game, and while Omikron didn't get the highest marks, it was pretty unique in its own right. Both games are definite slow-burners, but it's nice to play something completely out of the ordinary from time to time.

Like I said in a post on another topic, Critic, I sincerely wish that every game you play would wind up with an A, because that would mean that you enjoyed your time with it. Nobody wants to waste their time playing a bad game, unless you happen to be one of those endless talking heads on YouTube that just wants to post a video saying, "This game suxxxx, LOLZ!!" I honestly feel for you whenever a game gets a poor grade because, like most of the rest of us, I can imagine that you would have rather spent your time playing something that you honestly enjoyed.

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Re: 2019/10/25: Saturn: Frankenstein: Through the Eyes of the Monster

Postby Matchstick » October 26th, 2019, 8:05 pm

goldenband wrote:To them the PAL region certainly doesn't have a "bad rep".


Off the top of my head, a little company called Rare comes to mind. Some of the best games I've ever played, along with some of the best videogame soundtracks I've ever heard, brought to you by a studio based in the UK. I feel like every other European developer should get a pass due to the volume of smash hits Rare was pumping out in the mid-90s.

Now Tiertex, on the other hand...

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Re: 2019/10/25: Saturn: Frankenstein: Through the Eyes of the Monster

Postby goldenband » October 27th, 2019, 10:01 am

Matchstick wrote:Nobody wants to waste their time playing a bad game


*raises hand* I do, actually. Or more accurately, I often tend to enjoy "bad" games more. Why?

Partly it's the thrill of discovery: "bad" games are often poorly documented, so you can feel like you're the first person to figure something out in a game -- and once in a while, I actually have been the first.

"Good" games sometimes feel like they're written with the strategy guide already in mind, or were meant to be played by groups of kids exchanging secrets. But it's 2019, and we're not all playing those games.

Partly it's that the mechanics in "good" games often bore me to tears, in the same way that the conventions in mainstream films bore me to tears. The whole experience feels like it's on rails and predictable, and "bad" movies are nothing if not unpredictable.

Partly it's that, for some reason, I seem to be really good at "bad" games. Sword of Sodan, Dark Castle, Last Action Hero, No Escape -- I've beaten 'em all. (Some of those games aren't actually bad, BTW.)

And partly it's that "bad" games are often limited in their scope, which makes them much easier to deal with and beat. Oftentimes, I'd rather play a hard-as-balls game that's 15 minutes long than a smooth ride that takes 20 hours: that's why I enjoyed Shadow of the Beast, for instance. OTOH knocking out PlayStation shovelware in just a couple of hours is kind of gratifying.

Plus I'm not so interested in replayability, not in 2019 -- and frankly not even in 1994: I wanted to beat games and move on, not replay the same game 5x to see every bit of its content.

Now, all that doesn't mean that I don't enjoy a game like Super Metroid, Chrono Trigger -- or the Critic's biggest misjudgment, the wonderful Gain Ground -- from time to time. If I'm loving what a game has to offer, of course I want it to go on. Pilotwings 64 sticks out in my mind as an experience like that.

But sometime around the mid-1990s, I started losing interest in the aesthetics and priorities of AAA titles. Too much collecting, too much 100%-ing, among other things -- I've been playing GameCube games lately and the emphasis on that kind of stuff is just way over the top. And their aesthetics started to overlap more and more with mainstream movies.

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Re: 2019/10/25: Saturn: Frankenstein: Through the Eyes of the Monster

Postby VideoGameCritic » October 27th, 2019, 11:30 am

Just to echo goldenband's sentiments, I do enjoy playing "bad" games despite the frustration factor.
And I definitely enjoy reviewing bad games more.
So it's never a waste of time.

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Re: 2019/10/25: Saturn: Frankenstein: Through the Eyes of the Monster

Postby Matchstick » October 27th, 2019, 4:28 pm

VideoGameCritic wrote:So it's never a waste of time.


Great! I'm glad you can look at it that way, Critic. I wish I could say the same about many of my own gaming experiences.

To clarify my comments from above, when I say "bad game," I don't mean a game that is generally understood to be bad. Like goldenband, I throughly enjoy Shadow of the Beast on the Genesis. Some of my most played NES games are the movie games based on Temple of Doom, Jaws, and Godzilla, and I absolutely adore Castlevania II, and have played it more than any game in the series save for Symphony of the Night. Those games are generally considered to be bad, but to me, they're all-time favorites.

What I mean by a "bad game" is one that you, as an individual, consider to be awful. The kind of game that makes you question why you're even bothering playing it, or the kind of game where you have to force yourself to press on even though all you really want to do is turn it off and never touch it again. If an experience like this doesn't count as a waste of time, I don't know what does, though I suppose even the most disappointing gameplay sessions could still be seen as a learning experience.

By "bad," I didn't mean a bad game, per se, more of something along the lines of a bad experience. It's always important to differentiate between the quality of the product and the quality of the experience. They are related, yet separate.

Yes, we all have differing opinions on what we enjoy as well as what we can't stand. My wife loves Harry Potter. I think it's stupid as s***. I've never been able to make it more than twenty minutes or so through one of the movies. Does that make them bad? Heck, no! But they're just not for me. As an individual, we all have likes and dislikes, and it's not a stretch to say that something you absolutely hate is likewise wholeheartedly loved by someone else.

A great example from this site is Mutant Football League. Yes, I'm beating that same ol' dead horse again! That is, by far, my most played game of this generation, and I have logged many hours on both the Xbox One and Switch. I love it! I don't consider it to be a great game by any stretch, but it "checks all the boxes" for me, so to speak. I have an absolute blast every time I play it and always find myself going back for one more game.

Here on this site, it got an F. To quote the last line from the review, "...I found Mutant Football League extremely hard to stomach." Different strokes for different folks, you know? We had a great debate on the forum page for the game's review feedback, where The Critic's initial post read, "I had so much hope for this one, but I think I hate it." I can definitely see how it's not a game for everyone, but I still hope it was a fun game for The Critic to review despite the poor grade and experience. Same goes for the Frankenstein game that is the topic of this forum.

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Re: 2019/10/25: Saturn: Frankenstein: Through the Eyes of the Monster

Postby Stalvern » October 27th, 2019, 4:55 pm

Matchstick wrote:My wife loves Harry Potter. I think it's stupid as s***. I've never been able to make it more than twenty minutes or so through one of the movies. Does that make them bad? Heck, no!

Harry Potter isn't bad because you don't like it; it's bad because people still can't shut up about it a decade later. With how much it gets shoved into political bickering alone, you'd think that Voldemort had somehow literally ended up in the White House.

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Re: 2019/10/25: Saturn: Frankenstein: Through the Eyes of the Monster

Postby goldenband » October 27th, 2019, 7:54 pm

Matchstick wrote:By "bad," I didn't mean a bad game, per se, more of something along the lines of a bad experience.

Understood, and agreed. It's interesting for me to think about what games exemplify that for me, especially games where real effort clearly went into the product and yet the results were not just devoid of fun, but actively unpleasant to experience.

A few that come to mind are Dragon's Lair and Orb-3D on the NES, and Jurassic Park Interactive on the 3DO. All three have very decent production values and real ambition, and all three left me feeling disgusted with video gaming. I beat them, but got nothing out of the experience (though Dragon's Lair is sort of an odd one -- bad reputation aside, it wouldn't be beyond redemption if it weren't for the horrendously unfair last level).


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