Seems too expensive (haven't played it yet)

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#51 Edited by Humanity (9025 posts) -

@truthtellah: Sure I can read other reviewers. That is not an issue, I know how to use the internet. My problem lies in everything that both Patrick and Alex outline and I'm kind of shocked that they'd advocate this shift away from objective writing to a more stylized and specific subjective review. Why would I read a review to find out something I already know? A good reviewer will challenge your own opinions, a good reviewer will make you think. A good reviewer isn't going to forgo shortcomings in favor of other elements when it does the review a disservice. Most importantly a good reviewer won't be predictable in their scoring.

#52 Posted by TruthTellah (8725 posts) -

@humanity said:

@truthtellah: Sure I can read other reviewers. That is not an issue, I know how to use the internet. My problem lies in everything that both Patrick and Alex outline and I'm kind of shocked that they'd advocate this shift away from objective writing to a more stylized and specific subjective review. Why would I read a review to find out something I already know? A good reviewer will challenge your own opinions, a good reviewer will make you think. A good reviewer isn't going to forgo shortcomings in favor of other elements when it does the review a disservice. Most importantly a good reviewer won't be predictable in their scoring.

I think you're advocating the exact opposite of what Giant Bomb has stood for when it comes to reviews. Their entire point has been that people should get to know the people reviewing the games, understand what they seem to be into, and look at their reviews through an informed prism. Complete objectivity, outside of maybe some puzzle games(and even then, whether the mechanics click with someone is subjective), is a mistaken perception. Reviewers can attempt to be open-minded, but they would be lying to you to suggest that they are objective. There are reviews that are more like laundry lists of features, and as Alex said, you can go to those if you like. But Giant Bomb has consistently advocated for acknowledging the reality that reviews do involve the individual reviewing them regardless of any suggestion otherwise.

The way you get more out of reviews is through better understanding the reviewer, thus giving you a good idea of how to respond to what they say about a game. People are who they are, and to expect randomness or impartiality from them is simply not realistic when judging an artistic medium like this. Anyone can run down features or whether a game technically works, but reviewers give their impressions of how they feel about those features and whether a game works well. That's subjective, and no matter how objective someone can make it seem, that's just a formal facade. Giant Bomb supports being open and honest so that people are informed and can get more out of what they say in reviews and videos.

#53 Posted by Milkman (16619 posts) -

Okay, I just finished it and while I still totally get the unwillingness of some to shell out the $20, for me personally, it was worth it. A great experience that I'm really glad exists.

#54 Posted by mindgarden418 (56 posts) -

Just finished it. Worth every penny for me. It costs the same as a pack of cigarettes here and I enjoyed this far more!

#55 Edited by hollitz (1496 posts) -

Game seems up my alley, but yeah, not willing to drop 20 bucks on what I know is a short experience, especially if there's a chance the story isn't going to do for me what it's doing for others.

I'll definitely grab it on a steam sale though. Still have Halloween and Winter ones this year.

#56 Edited by Sergio (2080 posts) -

I can afford it, but I think they priced it wrong. I'll wait for a sale.

#57 Posted by djou (872 posts) -

For everyone complaining that $20 is too much to pay for a game this short, I would say its totally worth it. This is a unique experience. I'm sure it will go on sale eventually both on Steam and in bundles but your risking spoilers and over-hype.

The value analogy I would point to is that I paid $21.50 to see that piece of shit Man of Steel in theaters and $20 for a ticket to get into MOMA. Neither of those experiences were as affecting. The $18 I paid for Gone Home went to support an indie developer, bought me a game I own permanently (both through Steam and non-DRM) and gave me one of the most moving gaming experiences I ever had. That's not to say I didn't have sticker shock when I saw the price, imo this should be a $15 game, but I don't know the expenses behind the development. In the end this is $20 worth of value, maybe not $20 worth of content.

#58 Posted by Humanity (9025 posts) -

@truthtellah:
I sincerely believe that a good review should stand on it's own, without having to rely on the name printed above it as a hallmark of quality. I'm advocating quality in the review process, talking about a game in it's entirety and not bypassing one element in favor of another. If wanting a well written, concise and informative review that explores all the pros and cons of a title is going against everything that Giantbomb stands for then I guess thats where the site and I stand apart. Other than that I love everything about GiantBomb and the crew. Also as a side note: for a heavily personality driven site, the GiantBomb written reviews are pretty much by-the-numbers type of reivews - it's not like Jeff or brad write in some really unique way that is clearly associated with Giantbomb.

We just see things differently and that is fine. There seems to be a big misunderstanding about what people like myself and others have against this game costing $20. Jeff mentions in this weeks Bombcast that if you're the kind of person that calculates how much value in game time you're getting for your dollar then this isn't a game for you in the first place and that is completely missing the point. It's honestly not about a direct dollar to hour ratio of quality, but some people get it and apparently some don't and there doesn't appear to be a way for the two sides to come to some sort of understanding so I'll just leave it at that.

#59 Posted by mindgarden418 (56 posts) -

@djou:

I completely agree with everything you have said. It is expensive given the longevity of the game, but when playing it you can see how much time and effort went into creating every tiny detail in the game. And the writing or premise itself, the way "understanding" or "getting to know" each member of the family unfolds through the game is really something special in my opinion. And I am someone who generally hates games that are sold as an "experience." Gone Home really exceeded my expectations and meant a lot to me.

The purchase was worth it to me absolutely and I think given the depth of the game and the attention to detail $20 is absolutely justified. It sorta makes me feel sick to even try to justify the price to be honest.

#60 Posted by laserguy (443 posts) -

i think they did it right. High price the game make money early, drop the price later grab the late players, like me, i can wait till it drops to 5. Im avoiding talk to play it later. It's not worth twenty to me, I'll play it once.

#61 Posted by TruthTellah (8725 posts) -

@humanity said:

@truthtellah

:

I sincerely believe that a good review should stand on it's own, without having to rely on the name printed above it as a hallmark of quality. I'm advocating quality in the review process, talking about a game in it's entirety and not bypassing one element in favor of another. If wanting a well written, concise and informative review that explores all the pros and cons of a title is going against everything that Giantbomb stands for then I guess thats where the site and I stand apart. Other than that I love everything about GiantBomb and the crew. Also as a side note: for a heavily personality driven site, the GiantBomb written reviews are pretty much by-the-numbers type of reivews - it's not like Jeff or brad write in some really unique way that is clearly associated with Giantbomb.

We just see things differently and that is fine. There seems to be a big misunderstanding about what people like myself and others have against this game costing $20. Jeff mentions in this weeks Bombcast that if you're the kind of person that calculates how much value in game time you're getting for your dollar then this isn't a game for you in the first place and that is completely missing the point. It's honestly not about a direct dollar to hour ratio of quality, but some people get it and apparently some don't and there doesn't appear to be a way for the two sides to come to some sort of understanding so I'll just leave it at that.

I'm advocating quality in the review process, as well, and I think well written and informative reviews that explore the pros and cons of a title fit with both what Giant Bomb and most gamers want to see. As you said, Giant Bomb's reviews are often rather straight forward. There isn't a suggestion that straight forward is bad or wrong. It's mistakenly considering any review purely objective which is wrong, and for many, that's how reviews have been presented for a long time. We're talking about a difference in presentation, not substance. We all want -good- reviews; ones that you can consider quality even if you might perhaps disagree with their conclusions. Because that will happen, as a big part of game reviews is subjective.

I don't think this is something we have to stop discussing unless it makes you uncomfortable. Neither of us was born with an innate understanding of the ideal videogame review. ha. We're discussing how game reviews are presented and whether it's right to suggest that someone like Patrick or Jeff recommending this game is doing some kind of disservice to gamers. You began this with insulting those who might recommend it despite the price tag, and you talked about consumer rights and some kind of irony here. My point has been that even if you disagree with their conclusion about whether the game is worth playing at the current price, that doesn't mean their opinion is inherently inferior to your own, and it's okay if you disagree with a positive review of the game, as reviews are a good bit subjective. A review isn't bad just because someone disagrees with its conclusions. They can be well written and informative even with different feelings on a game's merits. And understanding the reviewer better gives you a greater perspective for getting the most of their reviews even if you happen to disagree sometimes. I think that's a fair thing to suggest, and it's that honest, subjective nature of videogame reviews that I am talking about.

#62 Edited by lebkin (330 posts) -

@humanity said:

@truthtellah: Sure I can read other reviewers. That is not an issue, I know how to use the internet. My problem lies in everything that both Patrick and Alex outline and I'm kind of shocked that they'd advocate this shift away from objective writing to a more stylized and specific subjective review. Why would I read a review to find out something I already know? A good reviewer will challenge your own opinions, a good reviewer will make you think. A good reviewer isn't going to forgo shortcomings in favor of other elements when it does the review a disservice. Most importantly a good reviewer won't be predictable in their scoring.

There is a lot here to unpack and examine. I am going to pull out a few and try to understand your positions. Feel free to further clarify or correct anything I say here.

"Objective writing"

Are you looking for a review is objective, for one that removes all of the personal subjectivity of the reviewer? In practice, totally objectivity would mean sterile reviews. "The math checks out: Halo 3 is objectively a 7.2395". In fact, it would mean there is ONE right review - any deviance from the objective truth is proof of a subjective bias on the part of the reviewer. If one feels that the game is worth more/less than that, one is objectively wrong and should give up one's subjective opinion. If this ISN'T what you are looking for, please explain better.

Why would I read a review to find out something I already know?

In an ideal world, there would never be any surprises with reviews. The games that look good would turn out to be good, the ones that look bad would turn out to be bad. And for the most part, this is true. Thus most reviews are not surprising. The value in reviews is to find the things in the middle, where it is less clear, and to find the ones that defy expectations, for good or for bad.

A good reviewer isn't going to forgo shortcomings in favor of other elements when it does the review a disservice.

A reviewer should tell me how their experience with the game is. If it doesn't matter to their experience that the music is overly quiet, then it shouldn't affect the review. Same goes for difficulty, price, etc. I think it is far less important to ask "does the game have shortcomings" and far more important to ask "does the shortcomings matter?"

"Most importantly a good reviewer won't be predictable in their scoring."

By not-predictable, I am assuming you mean "most review scores should be surprises." I feel not only is this not a goal to strive for, I think it is the sign of a BAD reviewer. To be valuable, a reviewer should have relatively consistent and known tastes. This helps the reader distinguish between "this is a bad game because it's bad" and "this is a bad game because the reviewer doesn't like this type of game." Jeff has a deep love of competitive first-person-shooters. If he said the new CoD multiplayer is terrible and broken, it has more weight than if Patrick said it. If a person's opinions are constantly changing and are scattered all over the map, it is far harder to understand the complaints/praise a game gets from them. A certain level of predictability is valuable to the reader, not a hindrance.

#63 Edited by Winsord (1201 posts) -

@lebkin said:

@humanity said:

@truthtellah: Sure I can read other reviewers. That is not an issue, I know how to use the internet. My problem lies in everything that both Patrick and Alex outline and I'm kind of shocked that they'd advocate this shift away from objective writing to a more stylized and specific subjective review. Why would I read a review to find out something I already know? A good reviewer will challenge your own opinions, a good reviewer will make you think. A good reviewer isn't going to forgo shortcomings in favor of other elements when it does the review a disservice. Most importantly a good reviewer won't be predictable in their scoring.

"Most importantly a good reviewer won't be predictable in their scoring."

By not-predictable, I am assuming you mean "most review scores should be surprises." I feel not only is this not a goal to strive for, I think it is the sign of a BAD reviewer. To be valuable, a reviewer should have relatively consistent and known tastes. This helps the reader distinguish between "this is a bad game because it's bad" and "this is a bad game because the reviewer doesn't like this type of game." Jeff has a deep love of competitive first-person-shooters. If he said the new CoD multiplayer is terrible and broken, it has more weight than if Patrick said it. If a person's opinions are constantly changing and are scattered all over the map, it is far harder to understand the complaints/praise a game gets from them. A certain level of predictability is valuable to the reader, not a hindrance.

Couldn't agree more with this. I want the reviewer to be as predictable as possible, so that way when they give something the complete opposite score as to what I would have expected, it says more about the quality of the game than the reviewer. The only reason you wouldn't want a reviewer to be predictable is if you're coming to reviews more for entertainment than consumer advice, which at that point you're probably looking more for critical analysis pieces than the broad scope that comes with an actual review. A strong critical analysis will challenge your opinions and make you think, but I don't think that's the purpose or the most useful way to write reviews. When I see a 5 star review for Gone Home from Patrick, I then know the game sets out to do exactly what it intended to and nails the execution. If Gone Home were to have gotten 2 stars instead, then I know it really probably isn't very good since it should be right up his alley. Basically what @humanity wants in reviews is entirely antithetical to what I'd consider to be qualities of a good reviewer.

#64 Posted by CornBREDX (5051 posts) -

I agree completely. The game is over priced. It does have a great story and is worth checking out but I do recommend waiting for a more decent sale. Its not really worth 20$.

It's not that I don't like these kinds of games, I do. I also get that making games is expensive. The thing is, that doesn't detract from the fact that this game is fairly short, and while the story is fantastic you can go see a fantastic movie for much less. Granted that would lose the interactive side of it all... but that's all you lose and I don't think that adds another 9$ of value.

#65 Posted by Humanity (9025 posts) -

@winsord: See you and I are talking about something similar but you misconstrued what I meant. I agree with what you say in regard to the Jeff example and that is what I meant. My point was that you shouldn't be able to tell right away that Jeff will give every FPS game 5/5 because he loves FPS games. I am simply advocating a "Spock" mindset if you will, where a hypothetical low score for an FPS game from Jeff would come from a place of logic.

This brings me around once again to the whole idea of what a review is for each person. To me a review should be a tool to help you make a purchasing decision. Reviewers don't pay for the games, they play them in order to help others make the decision if they should or shouldn't buy the game - in my opinion. I also believe that reviews should not by steered by the idea that someone might read them in 2 years and price won't be relevant at that point. To me saying that the price doesn't affect the score because the game will go on sale eventually is like saying that a game shouldn't be scored lower for having game-breaking-bugs at launch because they'll probably get patched later. The review should take under consideration the condition of the game at the time of writing the review, price, gamelength and all.

Which brings me to my main point about this Gone Home review and the fact that it omitted the price and length of the game. Should the game get knocked a whole star down because it is too expensive for what it offers? I honestly don't know, maybe? I do know that it is an important thing to mention, because while I am an adult with a steady job and $20 isn't a huge issue for me, there are tons of teenagers or people on a low budget that are making a hard choice between Gone Home and some other title for $20 and it's the only game they can get for the entire month. Furthermore, even though $20 is not a huge deal to me, I also have like many other people an inherent sense of value. There is no point in comparing this to a fine bottle of wine that you pay extra money for - that is completely useless. These are games. We KNOW how much games should cost. People worked really hard on this? Well Phil Fish worked really hard on Fez, and he only had one other person to help him, and I don't remember exactly but I'm pretty sure that Fez launched at $15. The point is that we know how much this game should be, because we buy games and see game prices.

But at this point I've written probably about 5000 words total in this thread that all boil down to "I think this game is too expensive" and that is way too much time and effort for such a simple thought. So I humbly bow out, if you think it's totally worth it, that is great, I don't agree and thankfully that doesn't make either of us bad people.

#66 Posted by theguy (796 posts) -

I bought it and I agree it's a bit expensive for what it is. I really enjoyed it but I only bought it because I got some unexpected money.

#67 Edited by Vrikk (893 posts) -

Other non-games-that-are-a-couple-hours-long-where-the-writing-is-the-focus-and-there-is-little-gameplay have rarely been that much.

To The Moon? 10 bucks.

Hey, there was combat in To The Moon.

#68 Posted by Gregalor (56 posts) -

@vrikk said:

@bisonhero said:

Other non-games-that-are-a-couple-hours-long-where-the-writing-is-the-focus-and-there-is-little-gameplay have rarely been that much.

To The Moon? 10 bucks.

Hey, there was combat in To The Moon.

Yes there was, and it was incredibly annoying and out of place.

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