Emphasis and Reviews

When aggregating, weighting can be idiosyncratic.

When assessing games or anything else, you and I can agree on every point but disagree on our total assessment. You and I care about different things, so your trivial detail is my game-breaking problem.

Depending on your playstyle, there are bugs you will hit more often. Crippling PvP bugs will not bother carebears, nor will PvPers care about your raid issues. Line of sight bugs will cripple archers while meleers chuckle. Some things are not bugs but design decisions that support or undermine particular playstyles. Imagine the poor wizard in one of Robert Howard’s stories, where long casting times and loud chants mean that barbarians can almost always gut them before they finish their best spells. Games can be rough on snipers because of enemy spawning conditions and distances, not anything about sniping per se.

What is an acceptable break from reality or continuity depends on who you ask. I can be visibly jolted by some movies’ violations of physics, but they do not really undermine my enjoyment unless they are plot-related or break the rules established within the fictional world. Other people will never forgive the Wolverine movie for Deadpool In Name Only. We can recognize the break but evaluate its importance differently.

You will frequently see posts about how X is broken so the game is Ruined Forever. Sometimes you agree. Sometimes you wonder what fool thinks that X matters at all while Y is ruining the game forever. It is always, always, always worth taking the time to comment that a post was not worth writing.

: Zubon

3 thoughts on “Emphasis and Reviews

  1. Alfonso Deegan, Private Eye

    A point to keep in mind when it comes to reviews is that they’re essentially a snapshot of one person’s feelings on a game at one particular point in time. Your thoughts on the game may change over time; for instance, I was enthusiastic about Guild Wars 2 upon release, but it hasn’t had the lasting power I prefer to see in games. It can be difficult to use reviews to determine how much you’ll enjoy a game because of factors like this, and I generally find myself using them more to find out basic information about a game like interesting features and highlights before I make a decision.

  2. Curuniel

    I like to read people’s opinions about games I enjoy or am interested in, but I think it’s important to know your reviewers. I have a few writers who I like, and I come to know what they like and where our opinions differ. If you’re upfront about what you like and why, the review is more useful.

    The “this has ruined the game forever” posts always annoy me because it discounts any enjoyment that anyone else might be getting. It’s like saying “if you’re still enjoying this game, you’re either too stupid to realise how bad this is, or you’re such a noob that you won’t even notice the changes because you can’t play.” The idea that there’s more than one play style barely occurs.

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