By LackLuster 2 Comments
There are a few things that I have always found strange in gaming reviews, mainly how many sites come up with their score. In some cases the confusion stems from a review that either notes several flaws then receives a "9.5" or something to that effect. Other times reviewers will barely or not at all critique the game; they'll basically just describe what it is, much like a high school english essay that lacks an argument except the conclusion is a sudden 5/5.
It has come to be something I expect whenever I check out metacritic just out of curiosity. It has forced me to rely on a few certain sites that I feel give me a real look at what the game is offering.
I and many others don't see metacritic scores as a good evaluation of a game, but I do often check it just to see what the scoring consensus seems to be. I could be completely off base here in noticing a huge decline in scoring this year. Which has me asking, have reviewers started realizing that a game doesn't have to be a 9/10 or 5/5 in order to be considered good or even great? Or has it simply been that this year is a weaker year for game releases, perhaps a more disappointing one for games that were hyped?
I'd like to think it's the former, when I see games like Shadows of Mordor, which seems to be widely considered a top game of the year candidate receive reviews mostly in the 80% spectrum (once again according to the ever unreliable source of Metacritic). I'm seeing this as maybe a movement toward a more realistic grading scheme where 5/10 is something completely average or derivative and adds nothing new to gaming or the genre it's in, while a 6/10 or 7/10 would be something that certain people may enjoy quite a bit, but reading the review can show just who it would appeal to. Most importantly a 10/10 would be near impossible to achieve as this would actually mean a game is without any flaws in any way. That's a spectrum I'd love to see game reviews head towards in the future and hope that's the current direction.
Exclusives and Nintendo
As the year has almost come to a close and many of the big games have been released or are about to be, it also means a chance for Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo to display their exclusives from this year in hopes to bolster system sales.
Sony has been the big seller so far and they really came out of the gates this year with InFamous: Second Son (as well as First Light), LittleBigPlanet 3 and uh... The Last of us Remastered... Killzone, I guess?
Microsoft wanted to show everyone that the Xbox One had the best games out there with Sunset Overdrive, Halo: Master Chief Collection (is that working properly yet?), Project Spark (that came out, right?), Forza Horizon 2, Titanfall (available on PC), the other Forza, and Dead Rising 3 (available on PC).
Okay, I'm getting at something with all this snark... Let's take a look at the Wii U:
Super Smash Bros, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, Mario Kart 8, Bayonetta 2, Hyrule Warriors, NES remix 2 and Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze
Now let's take a look at the Wii U exclusives from last year:
Super Mario 3D World, NES Remix, Wind Waker HD, The Wonderful 101, New Super Mario U (with the superior Luigi standalone), Lego City: Undercover, Pikmin 3, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, ZombiU, and Nintendoland.
Do you see my point at all? The Wii U came out a year ahead of time with many complaining that the lineup was weak. In my opinion, that's a pretty good lookin year especially in comparison to what the Xbox One and PS4 have offered us early adopters so far. A lot of people aren't looking for Nintendo style games anymore they want their realistic and gritty atmosphere that you can only get with LittleBigPlanet 3 and... Project Spark... Let's be real, they want the blood and they want to shoot things, primarily.
So what really hurt Nintendo? Releasing a year early, those poor first year sales hindered any hope of third party support. I mean Watch Dogs is just getting released now for fucks sakes. Besides Platinum every non-Nintendo affiliated studio has put them on the back burner which we saw quite quickly with Rayman Legends. There's certainly a possibility that this still may have happened because of the lower graphic capabilities, but there seemed to be a lot more promise from 3rd parties before release that evaporated after the shaky launch sales. I feel Nintendo certainly has the greatest lineup of exclusives, but it seems it's too late for them to hang with heavyweights after that early launch.