Matt from Gamers Sphere poses a simple question that he can't quite figure out the answer to.
Of course not. What is the point of finishing a game that you do dislike?
If you had read the article, you would know it's about finishing a game you dislike for a review, which is a COMPLETELY different situation.
I got it. And that makes the question more dumb then before, because if you're gonna review a game, you must finish it without questioning. Imagine if sites' reviews start coming from people that didn't finish the games. That is what metacritic is for.
"Imagine if sites' reviews start coming from people that didn't finish the games. That is what metacritic is for." Whats to imagine? Most sites / reviewers don't finish them as it is. While that is a serious problem*, I think this recent increase in the "here is why I don't have to do my job properly articles" are a bigger problem. Not only because they're usually half-***ed excuses, such as the game doesn't play different after an hour, but because they seem somewhat insulting. Not only because readers are suppose to accept these reasons, but because they have the time to write articles like this instead of simply doing their job correctly. * I would love for every reviewer to finish every game, though I don't think it is an absolute must. I think it's something that every reviewer should strive for (these articles tend to show that reviewers aren't even doing this), but it isn't always practical for a business / company to do. I do understand that it isn't always possible with RPGs and sometimes deadlines get in the way, but these articles are less about the demands of the job and more about the writers laziness (like not finishing a game you don't like or the mechanics not changing after an hour or two).
I think that under most circumstances, a reviewer must/should finish a game to be able to review it. Unless we're talking huge MMOs or RPGs where there is either no end, or it would take hundreds of hours to get there, I think just about every game should be played all the way through for a review. I wouldn't think about doing it any other way. And to rodiabloalmeida... I wouldn't review the game without finishing it. I was asking if it would be worth finishing so that I could being a review to the table. Should I suit myself and just quit, or should I struggle through to write a review and help the rest of you out? THAT's the real question.
"So, I think that if I dislike a game or if a game is just terribly made, I don’t have to finish it, even if it might be my duty to do so as a gamer journalist and reviewer." What a shock, an article ultimately devoted to the concept of "even though it's my job to review games, I don't think I should have to finish things I dislike because reasons". The thing is, this is a job and because it's a job, you're expected to shut the **** up and do it. I don't see why so many people feel the need to whine about this, since name another job where you're not in charge where you can get out of doing work simply because you don't want to? I mean, come on! It isn't like you don't get benefits (occasional press items, the game for free, depending on the site size a paycheck, access to events, early access to things and more), so why should this be any different*? Anyway, lets look at Mercenary Kings, since that game was highlighted as a game the author disliked. On a fundamental level, it's clear as day that Matt has no ****ing clue how to play this game and that shows in his first impression article. The first complaint is difficulty, which probably stems from this person being part of the "new age" of gamers. The thing is, Mercenary Kings is actually pretty easy, especially once rank up once or a few times. Going into a mission you can bring two (you can have multiples of each item) items, which include up to 3 med kits (heal 100% of your life), 5 rations (like 30% heal) or a shot (revives you or a partner when you die and gives you like 30% life) and on top of this each level has a number of rations / med kits and you can even summon two more med kits. This is an astronomical buffer that the writer is probably completely unaware of, which I will get more into later. The next point is about losing money from death, but the writer seems unaware you retain supplies you pick up, so that could be sold for easy cash, as can repeating easy missions (like forest clean up). The next complaint is about missions ending too soon, though Matt seems unaware you can both replay missions or simply delay finishing the mission as you farm for materials. This really isn't rocket science, it's basic reasoning and certainly skills I would expect from a critic, as it brings into question their ability to review games in the first place... The final problem mentioned is actually pretty ironic. Matt complains about not knowing where to go (giving him time to explore and get the materials he was complaining about in the previous point) and the map not showing him where the coins are (most objectives are actually marked on the map and doing this would just make the missions go faster and cause his previous point to happen more often). Get what I am saying Matt? You can't have it both ways. By this I mean you can't complain about not getting supplies and complain that you have to explore the map.
Earlier I mentioned things get easier, which is totally true. You start getting bullets that can shoot through walls, there is a bionic mod that adds HP regeneration, you can build guns that can facilitate almost every style, elemental effects that vastly change the game (freeze people to prevent attacks, corrosive attacks to break shields / damage robots), plus many many many more options that makes your complaints look silly to say the least. This is all stuff you would learn if you had given the game more of a chance, plus you would have probably learned that it suffers from serious level design problems (a lot of objectives are in the same place), various common building materials are only found in 1 or 2 missions out of 112 total and a number of other things. Thats the thing about games and reviewing. Sometimes games open up / change (XIII has a huge nonlinear area in chapter 11 I believe), you need time to learn how to play the game (like all the stuff I mentioned about Mercenary Kings), stories can have an amazing twist that vastly changes things (the ending of inFAMOUS) and much more that comes with finishing a game. This is again why people expect reviewers to finish games and why it's called a job, not a hobby. If you don't want to serve people because you don't think you need to beat games you dislike (in the case of Mercenary Kings it just sounds like you didn't get it and might have liked it if you actually put in the time...), then do everyone a favor and don't review games. * I do believe if the game is broken or extremely hard for the person to continue it's fair to not finish it, since this can be considered a flaw and more understandable than I simply don't like it, so I won't finish it. "Do I need to steel myself and work through bad games for your sake?
See, the thing that really bugged me about Mercenary Kings the most (in a nutshell) is that most of the issues boil back to backtracking. To get the supplies to sell, I need to backtrack. To level up, I have to play levels over again and backtrack (unless you can't re-do levels, which I didn't stick around long enough to find out about). I can't stand backtracking; in most cases, I see it as a sign of laziness on the developer's part. Why can't you create a way to avoid backtracking? You can't develop more levels, items, XP grabs, or whatever the case may be to prevent that? It's not about the game being so hard that I quit, it's because it became a slog. Redundant. I don't want to have to go through a level, die a bunch, sell my supplies, then go back to the level, do it again, and hope I have enough cash to upgrade something, then finally beat the level, or something else along those lines. If the game was difficult but inventive or invigorating, or enthralling, or dare I say simply FUN, I would have seen the merit and gone through it. I just couldn't see any redeeming point. And, this all circles back to the main question of this article. Was MK something I should have fought and grumbled my way through even after I found I had absolutely no desire to advance past the first few levels?
@ Boyscout299 The more you talk about Mercenary Kings, the more obvious it becomes you simply suck at the game and didn't "get it" or understand it, since a lot of your complaints are simply untrue. "To get the supplies to sell, I need to backtrack." One of the starting bionic mods is an item that gives you a 100% drop rate (makes rare items less common), which makes it really easy to farm a level for 20 minutes to have ample supplies for weapons / sell. "To level up, I have to play levels over again and backtrack" Generally speaking and with the exception of 5 star general, you'll have the opportunity to rank up simply going down the mission list. I never HAD to redo a mission until I hit general, since you don't get new missions and 5 star requires roughly 2x the RP needed to go from recruit to general. "Why can't you create a way to avoid backtracking?" Its called skill. If you didn't suck at Mercenary Kings, then you wouldn't have had to backtrack. Especially since every rank has something of a fixed difficulty, so you don't need to constantly get better guns either. "You can't develop more levels, items, XP grabs, or whatever the case may be to prevent that? "
Lets see... there are 112 or so total levels, so I think they developed enough (considering how many times you redo roughly the same thing). The game gives you XP (called RP) for completing a mission and also gives you additional points for doing side missions (several missions have 1 or 2 side tasks) and even more for doing the "secret" objective, so it does that too. You can summon two first aid kits (100% heals), several maps have additional supplies hidden in the same location for you to stock up on, you can bring additional supplies into a level and after you rank up once I believe you can make a bionic mod that adds HP regen... so it seems like they did a lot to prevent this. "It's not about the game being so hard that I quit, it's because it became a slog. Redundant. " It became redundant because you kept losing. It isn't the games fault you can't beat levels and found it boring to keep redoing them. Now, I won't lie the game recycles a lot of things as you progress, but this complaint is a lot different than yours, since mine is about an actual flaw and yours is about your lack of skill. "If the game was difficult but inventive or invigorating, or enthralling, or dare I say simply FUN, I would have seen the merit and gone through it. I just couldn't see any redeeming point. " You're playing the first 1 - 2 hours of a game with 112 missions and a huge focus on customization, so of course it's going to look boring at the start. A lot of games are like that, such as Monster Hunter (fighting peons is boring when you know you can fight huge creatures), Borderlands (post game guns are so much cooler than basic low tier stuff), Phantasy Star (you go from a lot of colored light weapons to guitars and Sega references) and much more. "And, this all circles back to the main question of this article. Was MK something I should have fought and grumbled my way through even after I found I had absolutely no desire to advance past the first few levels?" Considering how little you know / knew about the game, I would argue you didn't give it a fair shake in the first place. I mean, you even noted in your comment you weren't sure if you could re-do levels, which strongly implies you didn't try to do a lot and simply didn't like losing. Your first paragraph implies you're somewhat bias against the game, since you needed to do a lot of backtracking. Now, having played a lot of games, sometimes you will be under leveled / powered for whatever reason and need to replay some parts to level up. Again, you don't know if this holds true for the other 102+ missions and could just be a problem at the very start of the game. Heres some food for thought though. If you changed a few words in your comment, you could totally say the same about Demon / Dark Souls. Now, would you say the Souls series (holds about a 90 average on MC) isn't worth finishing? Maybe, but if you were to review a Souls game the way you commented about MC in your first impression, you probably would have had many people tell you off like I did.
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