Review Guide

Review Ethics

I have not made any games, though I have attempted and failed. So I feel I have no place to critic a game. Many developers already know what’s wrong with their games before they ship. Many other companies have professionals to critic game, so how is one inexperienced dyslexic supposed to compete them? So my reviews aren’t going to be traditional to in the sense that you’ll be used to. Not to be different, but because I once read that reviews are supposed to recommend products based on my experience. I think that many reviews have gotten away from this or tackle reviews in a different approach.

 

What Are Games?

Like I said, games are just another means to deliver an experience. In the most basic sense it’s how enjoyable a time I had with it.This might not always be the case though, as not all games are focused on fun. A few episodes of The Walking Dead left me hung-up for hours after playing them which wasn’t “fun” but I would recommend it to all. A typical critic might give a game a good score or a bad one based off it’s amazing graphics or bad bugs. To me this isn’t the essential part of a game. Sure bugs, bad acting, dodgy controls can all take you out of the experience, and ruin it. Have you ever watched a really bad movie, something that should have never been made, and still had a good time with it? Then you’ll understand what I mean when I say the worst bits can sometimes be the best bits. Whilst I’m here I would also like to mention that the term review has become outdated thanks to patches and ever evolving free-to-play games . The term has become ingrained into the industry and isn’t going to be changed anytime soon. At the same time I’m going to go half hipster and avoid using the term as much as possible until I find a better solution.

 

Recommending

When talking to a friend about a movie they haven’t seen then a simple question like “Did you like Despicable Me?” is enough to gauge whether or not they will enjoy Despicable Me 2. The same thing can work with many other games. This is why my “reviews” will feature a section that compares other games, old and new, to help you anticipate if you will like the game in question or not. Why stop at games more and more games are evolving and diversifying and are making more parallels with other forms of media. Movies, comics, TV shows can make good comparisons, but better analogs would be previous games in the series. Providing I have experienced the media before, there is no point in putting up false pretences that I’ve played all games and watched all movies ever made.

 

Scoring

Scores are something that I’m indifferent about. They are a staple across the industry. Though the use of it is disliked among many critics, and I see scores causing issues among the public. I am going to make sure that the content in the review is what controls the game’s score. No deducting points for bad points and adding more for positive reactions. The score will be based off a twenty point scale with 10 being the most highly recomended games and 0.5 being avoid at all costs. With each section getting it’s own score and an overall score.

 

Church and state

I’m going to separate my review into different sections, and this is for two reasons. Firstly many modern players don’t play all of every games. I personally don’t like the horde/survival modes. I gave it a shot in Halo 3: ODST but that hasn’t stopped me from ranking it as one of my favorite games I’ve played. Similarly many people have never seen the single player in the Call of Duty series and concentrate on the multiplayer. This is so common that the developers have put in the option to completely bypass the main menu and move straight into a chosen menu, Why should a subpar campaign affect your opinion of the game if you have no intention of touching it? At that point it’s no more than trivia. Secondly I think having separate sections will help me improve my reviews by generating a more focused section.

 

Mostly separations may be between multiplayer and singleplayer but not necessarily. Other modes like the previously mentioned survival modes would also be separated. If reviewing a game like Minecraft there is only one mode, or at least there was years ago. To me all of the systems all work together as one whole system seamlessly. As a result I wouldn’t needless split the review. Instead I might give a nod towards the multiplayer shenanigans, or maybe mention of the differences between other versions. Each game may be split differently or not at all depending on what I feel are the primary aspects to the game.

Overview

  • Reviews separated into major game aspects

    • Increase focus

    • Better for readers

  • Scores based off the text

    • Recommendation scale

    • 20 point scale

    • Separate and overall score

  • “If you liked, then you might also like…” section

    • Other forms of media can be used

    • Best compared to other games in series

What I Want: PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royal

For the ones that don’t know PlayStation All-Starts Battle Royal, original code named Title Fight, was announced this week along with some details. As thought the game is unapologetically a Super Smash Bros clone with the Nintendo characters replaced with PlayStation models. The newly branded rooster will also been given a HD overall and PlayStation themed backdrops. SuperBot Entertainment has the lead development role and Santa Monica Studios is lending yet another helping hand. Some known details are it does support four players, the stages are going to be a combination of two different PlayStation titles, and we know the first few playable characters. Each character will also have a three-tiered super meter which is used to instantly send opposing players off-screen.

Sly, Tooth, Fat, Kratos, PaRapper, and Killzone guy

The current rooster is as followed. Sly Cooper, Kratos, Fat Princess, Sweet Tooth, PaRappa the Rapper, and Radec from Killzone.  These six fighters are all pretty big in their own regard. I am sure that there are going to more additions both smaller and larger, like Nathan Drake and Snake. Below is a list of the men, women, and creatures that I wish to make it into the retail release.

Cole McGarth (Infamous)

The protagonist from the Infamous series is one of the most iconic faces allowed to roam the PlayStation, closely rivalling the previously mentioned Nathan Drake. Cole would make a great mid to close quarter’s combat fighter. Manipulating electricity to create quick ranged attack could put him at a disadvantage when faced up against PaRapper who is more than comfortable in CQB. Fortunately he could pull out The Amp and try to hold his own. Even I can already see two for his three super moves, I would honestly be shocked not to see this pretty face make the box art.

Castle (The Tester)

Castle by Cameron Sewell

As Cole feels like it’s just a matter of time before he is announced let’s go way outside the box. There is a competition that can be found on the PlayStation Network called the Tester. Currently season three has concluded and the winner has been selected. One of the prices for winning the lengthy job interview was the opportunity to work in Santa Monica Studios. In one of the episodes the contestants had to dress up as fighting game characters and perform little play with their mind children. In this episode AkilleezMight’s character, Castle, proved to be one of the better creations. Without spoiling too much Akilleez might just have the pushing power to get Castle into All-Stars, and that would be fantastic.

Wander and Agro (Shadow of the Colossus)

...AGRO...

Slowly moving back into the box, or maybe teetering on the edge. Agro is undoubtedly the star of this title, but I can’t really see how he’ll hold his own against Kratos. Like all good super heroes he will need his sidekick, in this case its Wander. Thinking about how Wander will be controlled I can’t stop comparing him to Link. Just like Nintendo’s favourite green mascot Wander is the master of his wardrobe, sword, and bow. The only thing he is lacking is an endless pit of bombs which isn’t a problem as this isn’t a re-textured version  of link.

Cecil (Final Fantasy)

Despite the Final Fantasy series not originating on the PlayStation and the recent expansion to the DS, 360, and iOS the franchise is very closely associated to Sony. Obviously if SuperBot Entertainment wants to put a Final Fantasy model into their game then they have a massive list to choose from. From the famous Cloud to the iconic Lightning everyone has their favourite which is why I wouldn’t be surprised if no Final Fantasy characters make it into the retail release and instead released in a DLC package down the line.  If they do sneak in one in though, I would want it to be Cecil. Oddly enough I would like to compare this little guy to a Smash Bros long time employee, Zelda. Purely for the fact that Zelda was able to transform mid-fight, an ability that I can see Cecil also capitalizing on.

Crash Bandicoot (Crash Bandicoot)

Crash Bandicoot is one of the granddads of the PlayStation. Naughty Dog’s first game released on the PlayStation and it also received a good response. Not many people could have expect the success of this little guy. The first major series to run along side with the PlayStation just to make way for Jak when the PlayStation 2 was released. Which, in turn, moved out-of-the-way for Naughty Dog’s third hit series Uncharted, again tied to PlayStation’s retrospective console. We need to be able to see the roots of the PlayStation in All-Stars, and I think that Crash is cheeky enough to hold that flag. Though I expect that Crash will be set aside to make room for Jak.

Kazuma Kiryu (Yakuza)

Count the shits being given.

So far this list has been mostly based on the western market. I think it’s time to take things back to the birth place of the PlayStation with Kazuma. The star of the Yakuza series would make a great addition to the rooster. A more obscure character admittedly but still one I hope to see. The best thing about Kazuma is the fact, like Kratos, he already knows how to fight. Being another realistic looking model might be a hindrance to the feel of the game when we already expect to see a good handful of these brawlers. To counter this I expect to see Kazuma dusting off his shoulders then whipping a bicycle from thin air and ramming it into an unsuspecting princess, generating hilarious results.

If you can’t tell I am very excited to get some hands on with this game. I love the Smash Bros collection and Brawl was the only thing that even made me think twice about buying a Wii. PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royal has finally made me come to a decision though. So, which of your favourite PlayStation figure heads do you want to see getting battered by a chubby princess?