Why Im done reading game reviews

I think Im through reading game reviews.  They lead to way too many expectations of a game, and I never fully enjoy the game as a result.  The final straw: Red Dead Redemption.  I read a few reviews of the game before buying it (Game Informer, IGN, etc.), and was stoked.  This sounded like the western game that Call of Juarez was not; open, alive, and with all the spaghetti flair of old movies I watched with my dad.   The game was great; in fact it was the first GTA-style game by Rockstar I played from start to finish.  The problem, though, as it always is when I read reviews before playing a game, is that it all felt too familiar.  Why?  Because some people had already told me what to expect!!  Every major plot branch had been mentioned in the reviews, and even though no direct spoiler were given, I had a pretty good idea of what to expect at the end.  Playing the game was like going through a checklist of everything the reviews said it would be.  Duels?  Check.  Headed South?  Check?  Back up north?  check.  Ending that "defies storytelling convention"?  check.  If I wouldve just played the game with no prompting from the reviews, I might just have been blown away by the breadth and scope of the game.  Instead, it fit neatly in my expectations, while managing to disappoint ever so slightly as I new it was all coming.  
 
When I think about it, most of my favorite games were games I just picked up without researching first.  Well, I knew that they were considered good by the number scores reviewers had given them, I just never read the reviews themselves.  Jak II, RE4, Shadow of the Colossus, FFX, Portal, Bioshock, the story part of MW1; these are among my favorite games, and I think part of that is I didnt really know what to expect from each one (well, with FFX I expected a FF story, but that was it).  I did know they were hyped, and that quite a few people loved them, but nothing more.  Each one therefore had moments I truly did not expect, and that adds a ton of thrill to any good game.  If I was well-prepped on the feel and gameplay of the games, they might not stand out so much.....So now I wonder; what would Dead Space, FFXIII, MW2, Demons Souls, Red Dead or GOW 3 have been like coming into them completely blind?  Certainly more jaw-dropping, to say the least.
 
I never really read reviews for games before a couple of years ago, and looking back, I enjoyed what I played more because some dude hadnt told me what to expect in the game beforehand.  Really, how can a game be fresh and exciting if youve already been told what the experience is going to be like?

23 Comments

Just when I though I got out....

..They sucked me back in.

Im talking about Metal Gear Solid. Until yesterday, I had played half of 1 and 4, and about a half hour each of 2 and 3. I honestly could not beleive the hype surrounding this series, and was baffled by the devotion of gamers to what I saw as Hideo Kojima's masturbatory opus.

Sorry, y'all. I was wrong.

Yesterday, I decided to give the game one last try. I figured that with such a convoluted story, Id have to start right at the beginning. Up until yesterday, Id only played MGS1 to the torture scene (a couple of times) and quit. Man, I was missing out. I ripped through the whole game, Im already halfway through 2 now, and I get it. I have a feeling I wont be playing anything else until Ive finished 2,3,4 and portable ops.....This is the epic story Ive been looking for in a game, and it was right under my nose.

I may still think the story gets a little self-serving and heavy-handed, but **** its good.....

6 Comments

My thoughts on other sites...

A couple of times since joining here yesterday, people have seemed to take things ive said as meaning Im on the outs with or am ditching Gamespot/other sites for Giantbomb.  Well, yes and no.  Im on good standing with GS and will continue to hang out there too; theres some good people there, for sure.  But I do like the more relaxed vibe over here, so Ill be doing most of my posting here now...

Just wanted to make sure that The things I post arent miscontrued as hating Gamespot.  I like the site, and respect that they do things the way they think things should be done.  I just like to say fuck now and then.  That, and I dont like having to self-edit words like "class" and "style".  Im sure some of you know what Im talking about...

10 Comments

A game idea...

I have to start this by saying I love Moderators, and really appreciate what they do.  These sites would get ugly fast if there weren't these diligent souls to keep hate and chaos off the boards.  What follows is merely a satirical idea poking fun at censorship (which I understand is necessary to a degree to make these sites friendly); it is in no way meant to troll, offend, or slight any of our Mods for doing their good work......

I just have a sometimes sarcastic sense of humor.

Without further ado, my game idea....

Im not sure what it should be called, but the villain would be a shadowy, behind-the scenes figure known as simply, "The Moderator". This Wizard of Oz type manipulates the whole of the world to better match his (or her) vision for a perfect future, as dictated by the ancient prophecy of the "Terms of Use". The gameplay would revolve around restoring chaos in an increasingly linear, politically correct universe, striving to bring life back to the individuals of the land who, in an almost zombielike state follow the code of the Moderator (whom theyve never seen in person, but whom all fear). It would start out very linear, then progress to a more open game format, with players free to customize their character to match their own personality quirks, and it would have an RPG-like system for levelling up skills like practical joking, foul language, and general establishment upheaval. Previously restored areas could be revisited to see just what zany nonsense the population have gotten into since you left....

There was a thread going recently about non-violent games, and I dont think this game would have to be violent, per se. The goal could be a reawakening of the sleeping populace through mischeif making. Of course, this would have to be an adults-only game, as every aspect would be sure to offend someone. However, care would have to be taken to make it equally offensive to everyone, following the credo of Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

The game could take all sorts of surreal twists and turns as the world's mischeif is restored, told through the hilarious stories of those who have been sleeping but are reawakened.

Chameo appearances in the game could include Marilyn Manson, Lenny Bruce, Paul Mooney and Ron Jeremy, among others both real and fictional....

In the end of course, The Moderator would end up being just a normal Joe behind a desk. Seeing the error of his/her ways, and remembering the mischeif tucked away in his own guarded heart, the Moderator calls for the whole society to put on the most un-pc offensive show ever seen!!

The game could end with a gut-busting movie breaking down cultural and societal stereotypes, taboos, and stigmas, with a message that individual expression should not be guided by anyone else's Terms of Use.....

What do you think

2 Comments

Giant Bomb?? Hmmmmm.......

You guys totally phished me out of Gamespot, and I like what I see.   This community seems laid back in just the right way: without unnecessary censorship.  Cheers to you guys, and Im probably headed over for good.

Hope its okay, but Im dragging my old reviews along with me.  Theres only five of them, and I didnt see anything about reposting our own reviews, but Im not writing them again, unless you absolutely freakin insist. 

Cheers, yall and thanks for the invite!

29 Comments