Tag Archives: Television

Gamer’s Thoughts: Gaming Style & Reviewing

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The question I’m asking today is: “Does the gaming style influences the reviews of the games a reviewer played?” and more importantly, should that influence the review? How subjective or objective do you have to be to write a good review? Let’s have a chat about this topic. While I won’t be able to cover everything, I invite you to a discussion down in the comment section and who knows, a part 2 of this article might be written. So, let’s try and answer these questions. 

Gaming style & reviewing

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I recently finished Super Mario Odyssey. While it’s on my “write about” list, I haven’t written a review about it yet. Because I do have a big problem with it and that is the jumping controls.  Don’t get me wrong, they work amazingly, but I can’t for the life of me do those jumps using Cappy to go over further distances.

I have always been terrible at platforming. For my birthday, my best friend gifted me a copy of the game Celeste on Steam. A sort of Super Meat Boy inspired game where you climb a mountain while doing tricky jumping.

I didn’t get too far into the game before I got too frustrated with the game. I did enjoy myself and had a great time, but I haven’t played it too much since I closed it.

Now, how would I describe my gaming style? Well, I’m a jack of all trades. Since I’m a retro game collector, I play puzzle, racing, fighting, adventure, action, shooter… But, I don’t have a lot of genres I excel at. The genres I struggle the least with are puzzle & adventure games.

I also rarely to never play a game on hard mode. I can’t explain why, but I like to play games on normal mode and if I want more challenge, I play the game on hard mode. I think this is because I don’t want to get stuck in the game. I’m always afraid that when I play on hard, I get stuck on a part that I have to do over and over again. I know that’s the point I’ll get frustrated and stop playing the game.

These are things that influence my review. Now, before we break open the whole Cuphead Demo thing again, where a reviewer was so bad at controlling the game; he was unable to get past the tutorial, I’ll always do research. For example, I wouldn’t criticize the Super Mario Odyssey controls too harshly because I wasn’t able to do the Cappy jump while almost every other reviewer was able to do it without an issue.

The gaming style influences the review for sure. That’s why I dislike reviewing games of the genres I rarely play. I only review games in genres I know I enjoy playing. Now, do I think that you need to be good at the game to review it? Well, that’s a tricky question. A very tricky question. More on that later in this article.

Objective vs subjective

maxresdefault.jpgShould you be objective or subjective in a game review? To be honest, I think you should be both. At least, that’s what I do in my reviews.

If I would be writing the Super Mario Odyssey review now, I would say something along the lines of: “While the jumping controls are excellent and work well, I wasn’t able to figure out how you do the dive and/or double jump with Cappy. Maybe I should look through the excellent list of tutorials again. Since I feel like I’m the only one who is unable to do that jump.”

If you stay 100% objective in a review, I dislike reading it. These reviews are playing it safe and don’t have any personality. I love reading and watching reviews because I want to know how somebody felt about a game.

Now, when does a review become a bad review? Well, I think I can explain my point with this example. What if I wrote this about the Cappy jump in Super Mario Odyssey: “The Cappy jump is too difficult to execute if you aren’t a master with the controls of the game. So, if you want to get these moons, you will have to make some frustrating jumps or grind for coins and buy them in the shops.” This is something nearing the edge of being a bad review.

I always recommend that you look up other reviews when you are creating your own. You can agree or disagree with what the masses are saying, but don’t assume things like: “you need to have mastered the controls of game X to execute Y.”

Now, does a reviewer need to be good at a game in order to be able to review it? Here are my two cents: sort of. I have seen various reviewers make the mistake of saying: “A game is easy or you can do X and Y to make things happen.” if they are very skilled with the game. This is a mistake because of one simple reason, not everyone has the same skill set as you.

256px-Indiana_Jones_and_the_Infernal_MachineToday I have been comforted by a perfect example. I showed my godchild how 3D adventure games work like Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine. An amazing game that I know inside and out. A game I even dare speedrun here and there. Something that comes extremely naturally to me is running around in a 3D space and using Aa running start to jump over big pits. My godchild wasn’t able to make that jumps and had to try several times. Yet, she still enjoyed playing the game and wanted to see more of the adventure. And before you ask, I was 11 (or something like that) when I had beaten this game for the first time and my godchild is 15 at the moment of writing.

Now, would my godchild write a bad review of this game? Well, yes and no. She would complain about how strange the controls feel and how the enemies scare her in a 3D-space. I think those kinds of reviews aren’t bad reviews per se, to be honest. I don’t think that a reviewer needs to be able to be one of the best players to review the game but they shouldn’t be one of the worst players. I have actually declined a few review requests because I wasn’t able to even beat the first levels. I didn’t want to review those games since I felt I couldn’t do the game justice.

You should at least be able to perform all basic mechanics of the game before you should review it. Otherwise, I think you shouldn’t review the game. Even when you write the review based on the input of other people who are good at the game or know more about the genre, you can have a malformed article, since the soul of the review isn’t there.

You can still enjoy a game even when you aren’t good at playing the game. Another perfect example is Pokémon. I just catch the Pokémon I like and use the same six throughout the whole adventure. I rarely swap my Pokémon for another one. When I have a water type in my party to beat the ground and fire, I’m happy. Even when it’s the weakest water type. This isn’t the best strategy and I always have a lot of trouble defeating the elite 4 or my friends in battle. Yet, I still enjoy Pokémon quite a lot. That much, that I still play it to this day. Pokémon Ruby & Sapphire and Gold & Silver are my favorite Pokémon games ever.

There is one huge thing that I haven’t mentioned throughout this whole thought exercise and that’s the goal of the review. In my opinion, you have two main types of reviews. One is the review to entertain and the other is the review to inform. Some people read reviews of games because they want to know if a game is good or not and/or if it’s something they want to play. Others read reviews because they enjoy reading them. I mostly fall in the latter category and I try to write for both categories.

Does the goal change the fact you need to be subjective and objective? No, not at all. The balance of the two changes. If you write a review to entertain, I feel like you can be more subjective. If you write a review to inform, you should be more objective.

Now, what’s a review to entertain and what’s a review to inform? That depends on the reader and which audience the writer is aiming at. I like people reading my content and coming back for other articles, so I try to make it as entertaining as possible. While I have seen reviews in the newspaper which are written to inform parents if the game is too violent or something of that nature. And the reader’s taste plays an important role here as well. I think that is self-explanatory.

Now, this was an interesting thought exercise. Should reviewers be good at a game? Well, the shouldn’t be the best player in the game but they shouldn’t be the worst. Should you stay 100% objective? No, some subjectivity in the article is good. So, what do you think? Let me know down in the comments. I’m rather curious what you think and what you think about my opinion.

Thank you for reading my article and I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. I hope to be able to welcome you in another article but until then, have a great rest of your day and take care.

 

 

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NekoJonez got an award!

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So, a few days ago, I downloaded Ace Attorney 5 from the eShop… Nah, let’s wait with that article. Okay, new start. Hello Neko’s, today is a big day, here is my review of Pokemon X & Y. No, wait. I still need to call my classmate since he hasn’t replied yet. Darn it. And I want to write an article so rendering a new video of Evoland is for later in the upcoming week. Let’s see, about what can I write? Another game diary? Well, maybe. I could take my preparation of that and write it on ButtonSmashers. But not now, I want to write an article on this blog. And it should be a review or something since it has been some time since I wrote a review. Okay, which games have I recently finished? Or shall I look online for idea’s? Nah, that’s too cheap. I’m not like that! I use my creativity. Sometimes to google, but that are details… Wait, hold your tails. What is this? My blog got an award?! FOR REAL? Somebody pinch me! Is this really happening? Okay, time for an article that is blog exclusive for this blog! No reblogging this time! 

versatile-blogger-award-imageName award: The Versatile Blogger 2013

Won on: 22nd October 2013

Won for: Arpegi

Type of award: Community

Given by: Allahweh

Official website: http://versatilebloggeraward.wordpress.com/

Post about the award: http://gaminggoddess.net/2013/10/22/the-versatile-blogger-award-2013/

This is such a honor! This means a lot to me. I barely restarted blogging and creating my articles and I get awards like this. This is my first award for this very blog. Apart from the “awards” I get from WordPress like having 50+ likes and such on my blog.

Allahweh, thank you so much for this award. Go click on that post Neko’s and check her blog out. I met her actually not that long ago and she already gave me an award. And being the 2nd in her list, is mind blowing. I now look even more forward to creating content with her!

I think the worth of this award is bigger then some might think. This might be a sort of “pass around” mail clone for blogs, yet this feels extremely different. Bloggers could choose to ignore it, but I see this is a “thank you” for all the hours and creativity I have put in this blog. I even printed out the article and it’s now happily on my notice board. Hanging with one of my favorite magnets. (Because it has a beautiful Dutch saying about a cat.)

There are rules to follow about this award. And so I’ll. Let’s copy-pasta this.

  1. Display the award on your blog

  2. Announce your win with a post and thank the blogger that nominated you

  3. Present 15 deserving bloggers with this award

  4. Link your nominees in your post and let them know they were nominated

  5. Post 7 interesting things about yourself

Rule 1, taken care of. Rule 2, done as well. Rule 3 & 4, soon. But first of all, rule 5. Alright, 7 special things about myself.

  1. Before this blog, I actually had a Dutch blog. That blog became popular after some exposure on TV. It’s rather long story where I wrote an article about an E3 presentation that went all wrong. I got invited to explain my story on TV, yet it was in the middle of my exams and I didn’t had time to do it.
  2. My choose of music is actually extremely wide. My favorite style is Hardstyle and nearly any electronic style. With that I mean, things like Techno, Dance, Electro and others. I dislike any variant of Dubstep, with one exception. Some Glitch Hop tracks I can listen too and enjoy. I also listen to rock, pop, jazz, movie OST, game OST and others. Metal is something I rarely listen too. I’m more of a melodic music fan.
  3. My favorite soda is Ice Tea. I remember one day that when I was at the final day of a education to be allowed to work as a animator for the children, like those people that guide youth movements like the Scouts, there was a big party. Since I didn’t like to become drunk, I drunk my favorite soda. As it turned out, I drunk 10+ bottles of it. Of each +/- 30cl. So, over 5 liters. Man, I was shacking of the sugar when I was waiting in front of my room for the door to be opened.
  4. I didn’t prepare a lot for this blog. So, that’s why I took up more time then I was hoping. This is a perfect example to show that I’m a big mess when it comes to planning. Sometimes I rush too much and when I look on a later date to the final product, I always want to improve it.
  5. My love for writing has been with me for years. After nearly winning a short story contest, it became my main hobby. Nearly all my hobbies have something to do with being creative.
  6. One of the creative things I wish I could do is drawing. I’m extremely bad in drawing. Even when I try with an open mind. I made some music tracks in the past but those got lost due to hard drive crash.
  7. I love to learn actually. To a certain degree. I’m not a guy that goes reading book after book about history or other subjects. I like to watch shows that cover the history of the gaming industry or a game studio. Also, when I can choose what to watch on TV, I watch to shows on Discovery Channel and National Geographic. But I also watch to my fair share of (mindless) entertainment, those that aren’t meant to educate you.
  8. BONUS ONE: As it’s rather obvious, I like and love to tell stories.  I’m rather addicted to that. As clear to the length of the “Seven facts about yourself.”

So, now that I have taken care of that, let’s list 15 bloggers that earn this award as well! So, these are the bloggers I think are worthy of this award. And these are also the bloggers I personally enjoy.

  1. Allahweh – I know this is cheating in a way. But hey, who can blame me? I like her content. And there is a saying in Dutch. When I literally translate it, it’s: “You deserved it double and fat.” Yeah, sounds weird. But the mean is that you deserve to have praise or an award for the full 200%. So yeah, now it’s literally!
  2. ButtonSmashers – For all the chances and free games, in order to review (and/or enjoy) I receive. Q, thanks a lot and I’m really looking forward to be in another podcast with you.
  3. Beer And Joysticks – There is no doubt in my mind that these guys earn this award. For liking nearly every piece of content I publish and talking to me as if I’m a partner of them for years, I think they earned this award. Also, they are my 100th Twitter follower.
  4. After Dark Gaming – This guy already gave ButtonSmashers an award. It would feel wrong if I talked about this “Family Award” on my blog since it has been given to the ButtonSmashers. And I might be a part of it… Maybe it’s just a bit of a modest feeling. Yeah, that explains it. Yet, check out this great blogger!
  5. What’s Your Tag? – The fact that they present some of their articles in nicely drawing comics is enough for my to give them this award. It’s one of the first people I clicked the “Follow” button for.
  6. John Heatz – Clicking the like button on various articles of mine and enjoying my content, I really think he is worthy of getting this award. Also, his blog is really great to keep yourself up-to-date with various gaming news thing-a-bobs.
  7. Ryu’s Dreams – I would feel ashamed if I forgot him. The discussion I started with him about RPG’s got so interesting, that he suggested to continue to talk about it in a podcast. And we shall! (And thanks for making my to watch list grow.)
  8. Bucket List – One of the first people that liked my content. And this is a rather interesting blog. When I want to go on a holiday, I’ll be sure to check this one out!
  9. Icesabel – Just a blog I love to check out when I have time to spare and when I want to read about something different then games. Just the way she writes is excellent!
  10. TapThisApp! – I always thought of creating a blog about mobile games, yet this blog covers it perfectly. And from here I should get a lot of idea’s to maybe write a new article of Android game suggestions.

And I’m terribly sorry to break a rule but I am going to leave it with these 10. Simply because I can’t come up with more blogs that really deserve this award. Because when I found my blogs to follow, I rarely look for other ones to read. And since I started blogging again at the end of May, I don’t know a lot of good blogs. So, forgive me for that!

Anyways, I think it’s time for me to watch some video’s and finish some games. So, I can work hard for college tomorrow and write some new articles for you Neko’s. Thanks for reading and thanks for all the support. Go check out the guys I gave the award too myself. They earn it!

Signed

NekoJonez

Review #014: Escape From Monkey Island (PS2) ~ Great, in both ways.

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Wikipedia entry

Alright, alright. I know my rule is that I need to finish the game before I review it. But really, screw it! I make an exception here. I’m stuck on this godforsaken island and I need to review this game to get off. And this last bit is really pissing me off. Writing this review was a whole lot of fun. It’s a long story to tell how I got here. Yeah, it wasn’t totally a second hand game I bought because the name Monkey Island was on it and I heard a lot about it and I totally wanted to play it once. Nah, that isn’t the case at all. I got this game shoved in my hands… I suppose. Anyways, I heard of various sources that this is one of the worst entries in the series. But are they correct with that? Is this game as horrible as people say? Or is this game just a great game but not for the Monkey Island series? Well, I have played it and I can tell. It might be my first Monkey Island game but I wouldn’t mind playing more before I get off this island. Yeah, this game is actually rather good. But, it has some serious flaws I’ll address in this review. Also, I tried to keep spoilers to an absolute low. So, don’t worry about that. I avoid to spoil the ending too. Since that wouldn’t be fun right? Anyways, enough joking around. I’m not on an island. I’m sitting at my chair ready to review this game that really irritated me and really brought me hours of joy. That’s why I choose the title that it’s “good” in both ways. It’s actually pretty good but it has some flaws. Hold on, this isn’t the conclusion yet. I haven’t told anything yet about the game. Man, this adventure really did something to me. Anyways, let’s take a look at this gem of the past. Here we banana… ehrm… Ignore that please. I meant, here we go.

Let’s escape!

mi4_019To avoid spoilers like I told you in the introduction, I’ll talk about the story. It’s great. I really enjoy games that sometimes don’t take themselves serious. And this game even breaks the 4th wall here and there. There are many funny moments and various genius moments that make this games it’s writing stand out.

The story’s characters are fleshed out and you really get to know them. Although some names feel not so creative, it gets the job done. But the voice acting in this game really makes this game. The whole game is voiced and I don’t often play games like that. I truly like the work the actors have done for the characters and it adds a whole bunch of greatness to the package.

And that package is also filled with something extremely pretty. This game looks amazing for a PS2 title. Even though this game is several years old. The graphics aged pretty well and the bright and colorful playground you get to explore really makes this game a ton of fun. But that doesn’t go for one thing. The sprite of your character is too small on the overworld map. Since you are playing a PS2 game you sit a bit away from the TV. So, you really need to pay attention that you don’t loose him.

 Did I really pull out my hair?

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This game is an adventure game. It really makes you think outside the box. And the replay value is there as well. Since various things are randomized. Like names of bad guys or moves. No two puzzles are the same and no one is too hard. Since you get vague clues everywhere. Not that they hold your hand or anything since this game has no tutorial. You need to find out the controls for yourself. The inventory is a bit tricky to get used to.

But there is one part of the adventure that really breaks this game. Thanks to that I also disagree with the quote on the cover. “We need more games like this.” Well, not if there is more stuff like the monkey combat. Sigh, did that bring this game down to an all time low. Without pen, paper, trial & error, a lot of patience and a lot of time you won’t be able to beat this. Compare it to you playing a game where you don’t get the rules explained.

While writing this review, I haven’t beaten this part of the adventure yet. It really pains me to tell it since this game really is great and worth finishing. But thanks to this monkey combat… And the worst part is that when you haven’t wrote it down, you are screwed since there is nowhere in the game to bring up a list of which moves you have and which ones you have not.

Okay, let’s calm down.

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Thankfully this game has many other things to offer. The length of this game is extremely good. It’s pretty lengthy and stops on the right moment. It’s a really good fill for at least several weeks without using a walkthrough.

The music is one of the highlights of this game. Exotic and melodic, but pay careful attention! It might get stuck in your head. The sound work is also really great. The feel of the game is set and the mood just works.

Something this game really misses, is a map of the area sometimes. Not only a map of the island you are on. A map of the city. It would make finding buildings a lot easier.

The final thing we can talk about is how the game has various places to save your game. The saving is done right. And the fact that you can have four playthroughs at the same time really makes this game worth playing. Anyways, let’s get on to the conclusion.

Conclusion

The good:

+ Great story.

+ Great adventure gameplay.

+ Amazing voice acting.

+ Great sound & music.

+ Amazing length.

+ Random parts in the story to have some replay value.

The bad:

– The Monkey Kombat.

– The controls aren’t easy to get used to.

– A log would have been really handy.

Final thoughts:

How much is this game worth? This is hard to say. Since the monkey kombat really breaks the game. It’s such a great idea yet, it doesn’t work. It makes me want to destroy the disc rather then finish it. Well, I might have gone quickly over this game in this review but that’s just because the monkey kombat annoyed me so much. And if they would cut out that part of the game, it would have been awesome. So that’s why I can give this game only in between score. But thanks for reading and hopefully until the next time. 

Score: 70 / 100.

First Impression: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation – 3 Dimensions of Murder (PS2) ~ Part of the wrong era.

Thanks Sprong to upload the best PS2 box-art

Thanks Sprong to upload the best PS2 box-art

Wikipedia entry

But officer! I didn’t commit such a terrible crime! I didn’t make a fun to play game with old graphics. UbiSoft did. So, why am I being questioned? Oh, it’s because I have to answer questions what my first impression was of this game? Okay, I’ll work along. And this doesn’t come on my rap sheet. Sweet! Thanks. So, why did I start playing this game you ask? Well, I played 2 CSI games before on my PC. When I saw this game sitting on the 2nd-hand shelf of my local gaming store I couldn’t hold myself to pick it up and try it. Back in that store I didn’t know that I was in for such a unique experience. This game is truly a mixed bag. …. Oh no, no, no. Not a body bag. … Jeez, you have a strange sense of humor officer. At first I thought this was actually a port of one of the PC games I played but I’m glad to see that it isn’t. I hadn’t played this PC title actually and I didn’t knew about it. So, new cases to play. Man, I was really glad to be able to play them. At least this game didn’t make some major flaws. The tutorial for example is really good. Yes, at the start menu you have a selection to go through a training and experienced gamers can go directly to solve their first case. Instead of the first PC game where you go through a tutorial in your first case. And thanks to a design flaw you were unable to get 100% completion on the first case! Oh, you have a question? Did I talk too long? I hope my answer wasn’t too long. Now I’m not trying to linger my answer to make sure it stops around the end of the box-art for the report of this interrogation. Nah, I wouldn’t do such a thing. I’m all open for questions. To inform the readers of this okay game and to invite them to write a comment about this article in the comment section or their feels with this game. But enough of that, what’s the question officer? 

What makes you keep playing this game?

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So, this game has actually pretty decent controls. Yes, image a game being ported that uses a lot of the mouse movement gets to a console where the is no mouse at all. You move around with one joystick and you move around the camera with the other one. While it’s uneasy at first, after a while you actually get used to it. You really got to hand it to the developers. They did their best with what they had. While it’s a bit clumsy to work with, it does work and after a while it goes from a nuisance to an acceptable flaw.

Also, the stories are pretty fun. But I’ll have to talk more about them later. Various great jokes are present in the writing and made me laugh several times. I always think credit is due where credit is due. And making jokes in serious situations as this is actually pretty awesome since most of them usually fall flat on their face in other games like this.

Also, the gameplay is what draws me into this game. It’s the biggest plus! I extremely enjoy exploring the crime scenes for clues and asking the suspects questions. The fact that you are able to walk around in the game is such a great addition. In the other versions of the game I couldn’t walk around at all and I could just turn my view around 180 degrees. Messing around in the lab, comparing the evidence is such a great thing. Also, the replay value is there. You can try to finish a case with less helping options or find all evidence.

What also is a great addition is that you get a notification when everything is searched in a certain location. You also gear it from your colleague when you can’t do anything more with the evidence. That is a great thing.

Why did you want to kill this game?

Sorry for the blurry screen. PS2 screens are hard to get of this game.

Sorry for the blurry screen. PS2 screens are hard to get of this game.

Oh, that. Well, I actually think that this game made some serious flaws. Like the story. It’s a bit of a letdown too. I finished my first case and it was a tad bit too predictable. You can smell the killer from around the middle of the story.

Also, there is a flaw with the questioning. I got a new location from a suspect but when I decided to ask the remaining questions after looking into this location, I found out that the option to ask him questions wasn’t there anymore.

But the thing that mostly got on my nerves is the fact that the presentation is one of the worst I have playing in my opinion. First of all, graphically this game looks dated. For a PS2 game, it could have used a lot of work on the visuals. The ears of some characters look pointy, the guns look blurry, and the cut scenes look fuzzy.

But the animation also has some serious flaws. Some characters shake their arms for no reason and that really annoys me while I’m asking questions to certain suspects.

Also, what’s up with the visuals? I really had to put up my brightness of my TV to see in certain places. The game is too dark. While it’s a nice touch since it’s dark in the cut scenes, it doesn’t help the game one bit. It makes it just more difficult to play.

What disappoints me also is the fact that I can’t find all pieces of evidence. While I turn each and everything upside down, I still had places that had evidence left.

Also, the game had some flaws with the examining of the evidence. To make sure I have checked a piece 100% I sometimes had to place it in the wrong machine. Otherwise it would just give me a bell sound.

So you ask what my final opinion of this game is? Well, I’m going to finish it one day and I might write a full review. But that’s everything I can say to you people. Thanks for reading and hopefully that clears up my name.