DragonKnight (User)

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Fun Can't Be Scored: A Look At Jaded Gamers And Their Expectations

DragonKnight | 367d ago
User blog

Whilst perusing the internets for gaming content; I came across and absorbed one review video for Forza 5 from Adam Sessler, and one written review for Resogun. Both reviews gave these games a 5 out of 5 score, and the biggest reason for this (for both games) was due to how much fun the reviewer had with the game.

In the case of Forza 5 in particular, Adam Sessler never reviewed a racing title before due to the nature of needing to constantly replay the game in order to get the most out of the experience. You could clearly see however that his score for the game was reflected purely on how much he enjoyed the game, moreso than any other factor.

Adam's review of Forza 5, or more accurately his score of it, was met by gamers challenging it. The typical reason for disagreeing and challenging his score was due to the fact that Forza 5, in terms of overall content, has the least amount of content in the entire Forza series. It has the least amount of cars, tracks, visual effects such as day/night driving or weather changes are gone, the game releases incomplete and even has a mode where it can effectively play itself. None of these issues were touched upon in the review in the way these people wanted them to be touched upon.

We then look at Resogun, which has been receiving its own share of 5/5, or 10/10 scores and widespread praise. The general opinion is that it's oldschool shootemup fun and the fact that it's highly addictive means you'll play it over and over and just lose yourself in it, whilst reveling in its beautiful colours and effects. This is something I can personally attest to, as it is the game I've played the most on my PS4 thus far.

Resogun reviews have been met with their own challenges however, such as "this game is only 2 hours long?" or "there's only 5 levels" and some claiming that the scores are reflective of the fact that it's free with PS+ rather than being a good game.

Taking this even further, but in the opposite direction, we look at Knack. A game that's been tanking in professional reviews, but spoken fondly of by many in the general public and on Youtube. Reviews say Knack's story is lacking, the voice overs are poor, and the game is "too hard" for being a game marketed towards "children." When we look at how average people are talking about Knack, you have people saying "this takes me back to the good ol' platformer days of Crash Bandicoot" or "I don't understand how this game is scoring so low, I'm having a blast with it."

From all of these reviews and testimonies, we can clearly see 3 things. The first is that the professional game review scene is completely disconnected from the larger gaming audience. This is actually puzzling since reviewers are supposed to be gamers but they often don't sound like they play games for enjoyment at all. I suppose that that's just a by-product of having a job that looks like so much fun, but in actuality is nothing like you imagined it would be.

The second is that gamers have been spoiled by in-depth analyses of games, and lofty expectations that were fed to us by larger gaming studios and the business of gaming in general. These days having mindless fun with a short game is practically not allowed. You're supposed to expect games with a minimum length of 20 hours with the best possible graphics, a perfect story, flawless characters, and emotional voice overs. This is exacerbated by the gaming media as well with their inconsistent expectations for what makes or breaks a game. I'm sure we all have stories about one game being marked down for X reason while another game gets a pass for the exact same problem.

The final thing we can see is that fun can't be measured or scored. Fun is the most subjective aspect in gaming. A million people could absolutely hate a game, and you love it. The reverse is also true. Just because fun can't be measured, is no reason to make sarcastic quips about scoring a game the highest you can because you had so much fun with it. A two hour game with 5 levels may not be fun to you, but you are not the ruler by which fun is measured for everyone.

The problem with gaming today is expectations. From all sides, expectations are what will destroy gaming. We've lost that childlike ability to just pick up any game and have fun with it, not caring about the graphics or the story, or whatever. This is why the indie scene is so desperately needed. It takes us back to that moment when we were kids and were first introduced to video games. All we cared about was that we were controlling something on the screen. 1080p didn't matter, a spot on voice over didn't matter. Hell, Tetris is one of the most successful games in the world and all it is is placing blocks in order to make lines. If Tetris were released today, it would have to be a free game or else it would be blasted to hell and back.

It's fine to love seeing how far games can go, to see how epic they can get, but we have to manage our expectations or that very thing will be the end of gaming. We need to reclaim fun, and be able to be ok with games that are mindlessly addictive fun without dissecting them down to the last pixel and complaining that the story isn't Shakespearean, the graphics aren't photo-realistic, the music isn't a symphony orchestra, and the voice acting isn't Morgan Freeman.

Fun can't be measured, but fun should be the main aspect of any review.

Roccetarius  +   367d ago
The reviewer can have fun with a game, sure, but it shouldn't be the main aspect of any review. That's up to the player him/herself.

Reviewers should be looking at every piece of content, sum up the good or bad things which relates to story, gameplay mechanics and maybe game breaking bugs.

If the main aspect is fun, then we'll never get proper reviews.

Edit - In this case, you could even mention how barebones the new Forza game is.
#1 (Edited 367d ago ) | Agree(3) | Disagree(2) | Report | Reply
DragonKnight  +   367d ago
I have to disagree with you. Most people aren't going out to buy games thinking about texture pop-in, screen tearing, or whether the story of a game can be studied in a college literature class. So much about a game and whether or not it's "good" is subjective that it's kind of a contradiction to say that reviews shouldn't be about fun, but should focus on these highly subjective aspects of the game.

Reviews are opinions afterall, if they weren't then they wouldn't be reviews they'd be critiques and an entirely different format.

If people are looking to know about what one person thinks about the technology in a game more than if the game is fun, then they are in the wrong hobby in my opinion.
SilentNegotiator  +   365d ago
You might not be able to measure fun, but I personally believe that you can fairly objectively measure how game mechanics and design work and that better game mechanics/design are much more likely to lead to lasting fun.
Moncole  +   367d ago
Maybe people who say they like games that gets bad scores should explain why they like it because reviewers play yhe game and explain what they think about it. If you like Knack than explain why you like it.
#2 (Edited 367d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
DragonKnight  +   367d ago
If you, or I, explain why we have a different opinion about a game than a reviewer, it won't matter because we don't have the luxury of our opinion be sought after and supported by corporate money. I can say "Knack is great because it reminds me of old school games" but no one will hear it. Or if they DO hear it, then they'll look at some other site like IGN or whatever and see "4/10" and think the game is not only below average, but broken and nearly unplayable.

The problem is that game reviews have changed so much and are responsible for the attitudes of gamers changing so much, that every single pixel of a game has to be analyzed to the point that fun doesn't even matter because the story isn't MacBeth, or the voice actor has a nasaly voice, or in some instances the textures pop in and, even though you won't notice because you'll be busy playing the game, it's important that you know it's there and are upset about it.
s45gr32  +   367d ago
aI am hoping what you are saying and that gamers should just play the game and enjoy it regardless if it has issues correct. I agree nor disagree I strongly believe that games should be fun and innovative but most of all creative. Now not all games should be fun due to it limits games as just plain mindless fodder which is fine and all ;however, a game that makes you cry, be sad, etc is equally important meaning games should be engaging. Take for example "the walking dead" is not a fun game but is an engaging game just like "to the moon" is also an engaging game. If the game manages to engage the gamer in its world regardless of the score that game has done it's job. The so called professional video game reviews are nothing more than the opinions of game journalists based on whether the reviewer like the game or not. Instead, it should be about a careful examination of the pros and cons of the game in question regardless if the reviewer likes it or not. About the technical side of say game and just rated as buy, rent, or try before you buy no silly score or letter grade this is not school or the food industry. I just wish like you that gamers should let games engaged them in the gaming world regardless if it's fun or not even if you electrocute a cross dresser. I wish the media should stop treating games are for kids mentality that is the major issue...
darthv72  +   367d ago
i have long been an advocate on playing games for the fun of it. Fun is subjective but we all can agree that fun is....well...FUN.

its understandable that we cant all agree on what is fun but fun in the overall sense of the word is absolute. Game reviewers do their thing to try and be objective (key word: try) but you just cant help it if there are biases in the way things are perceived. Its human nature.

so many are focused on the things that make up a game (resolution, textures, length) that they more often than not...forget about why we play games in the first place. We play them to escape the reality around us. to either be drawn in to a compelling story of action/adventure or survival horror or just plain old mindless fun.

what really is quite telling of society (gaming society) is how easily the mob mentality can turn on people because an individual enjoys something as simple as angry birds or candy crush and have that person be chastised because the game is what it is. We should just let people be themselves. if we agree to like the same game we can agree to not like the same game and there should be no harm...no foul.

i play games because they are fun. always have...always will.
#3 (Edited 367d ago ) | Agree(6) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
DragonKnight  +   367d ago
This.

The only thing I'd add is that the problem is moving beyond resolution, textures, and length to now include social justice issues that people want to bring up. A game can't be fun unless it passes the Bechdel Test and is comprised of every race on the planet holding hands together in harmony with an acknowledgement of every sexual orientation and gender identity on the planet.

Why can't I just pick up a controller and electrocute some random NPC with my lightning powers anymore without someone telling me that it's sexist if it's a woman, racist if it's not caucasian, and homophobic because he/she may have been gay?
#3.1 (Edited 367d ago ) | Agree(4) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
s45gr32  +   367d ago
Games should be engaging and gamers should let games to be engaged in the gaming world of say game regardless of the score. As you so eloquently put it games allows us to escape the reality we live in. I just wish the media should stop treating games are for kids mentality that is the major issue. It's because of the media that pretty much controls the opinions and mentality of gamers from sexist, violence, even to silly stuff like Japanese games are dying when in reality is expanding onto PC and mobile gaming. Like backwards compatibility is not needed, etc........
DestinyHeroDoomlord  +   366d ago
Your comments always make me smile, you just get it :)
The_KELRaTH  +   364d ago
I'm not sure if Angry birds is in or out so not sure if you should be chastised or not :)
s45gr32  +   367d ago
According to these dictionaries reviews are not opinions but reports favorable or unfavorable or both in regards to the pros and cons of say product/service carefully examined.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wik...
http://www.thefreedictionar...
http://www.oxforddictionari...

What game journalism offers is the opinions not reviews of the journalist playing the game and give out whether they (journalist) like the game or not. It's time to change opinions into actual reviews of say games, to end the ludicrous score system in exchange for try, buy, or rent. To stop giving high scores to mega franchises just because these franchises are famous, etc.
memots  +   367d ago
I have noticed that as well.

was watching Angry Joe play Killzone on twitch and he was definitely tired and not having fun since he had to play to put out his review of the game. But how much fun can that be when you are playing games after games after games, At some point this can becomes a task more than something to do for entertainment.

Did we really expect 30 years old gamers that lives in their mother basement writing review to enjoy Knack ? Nope but i sure expect my 6 years old niece to enjoy it.
Roccetarius  +   366d ago
That's what you have to think about, before you become a reviewer. It's inevitable that you'll get tired of it, so you either quit or keep on going.

Like it has been said before, reviewing games in a more or less professional manner, means that you have to provide Pros and Cons for the consumer.

That's not how it works today, so instead we have political opinions and free passes for popular franchises.
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Moncole  +   366d ago
Mario 3D World is a kiddy game and gets great scores so stop with that it only gets bad reviews because its a kiddy game. Wanna know why the game got bad scores? Because its a bad game. If you like it than explain why you like it. Dont use that it feels old school.
#5.2 (Edited 366d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
memots  +   366d ago
I'm 38 years old and I love mario , knack leaves me indifferent , so there you have it
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madpuppy  +   362d ago
I'm 44 years old and ALL Mario games after the N64 are about as fun as drinking flat, out of date cheap beer.

Knack, on the other hand is a pretty fun game in my opinion, It's different, unique, and nice to look at.
LoveOfTheGame  +   366d ago
Hey, Dragon I actually agree, weird isn't it lol.

But, I feel we are missing something good that is actually happening to game journalism, mainly the reviews.

This gen, so far, they have decided to go back to giving REAL critiques to games and lowering there scores accordingly. People always would say that 7 is an average game; that may have been true at the beginning of last gen, but throughout the second half they have given just about every game a higher score than it deserved, making a 7/10 basically a no buy. Hell, I remember when seeing a 10/10 was amazing, but last gen games with glaring flaws would still pull out these scores, looking at you TLOU, GTAIV/V, and Skyrim.

Hopefully reviews continue to go the harsh way bringing the average scores down. That way when a game gets a 9+ score, it truly deserves it as a masterpiece, at least until the cycle continues and 9's for AAA titles becomes obligatory.

Edit: This is not going against the fun in reviews argument, as I believe that is the most important thing about a game. Just find a reviewer with similar tastes as you and trust their word of fun.
#6 (Edited 366d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
DestinyHeroDoomlord  +   366d ago
Even though Skyrim has plenty flaws, I wouldn't see how it deserves anything less than a 10/10. But yeah reviewers are way too fond to give out high numbers
XboxFun  +   366d ago
YES! I knew you would write a blog about the reviews for the PS4.

http://n4g.com/user/blogpos...

Even though you said you wouldn't (because you mis-read the comment and thought I was talking about the PS4 issues in a blind fury).

I love it that your so critical of Forza 5 and don't think it deserves a perfect score, a game you HAVE NOT played because of *lol*, no day and night cycle and lack of content, like any of those would not make a game fun.

Then you go on to be excited and accept Resogun, a game you HAVE played.

Your just mad as usual that a game you never played and you personally think has flaws scored a 5/5.

I thought John Carpenter's The Thing was a good movie, it was slammed by critics. Point: "who cares", I could have saved you the trouble of this blog in those two words.
DragonKnight  +   366d ago
Umm, actually I didn't. This isn't about reviews for the PS4, this is about factoring in fun into any review.

And you seem to have some serious reading comprehension problems because I stated absolutely NOTHING of my own opinion on Forza 5 in this blog. Mentioning that it's lacking content (which I wasn't personally doing, I was mentioning the reasons why Sessler was attacked, which you can see in his video) is a legitimate issue. Forza 5, when compared to every other game in the series (including the first one) is seriously lacking in content which will be sold to you at a later date. I didn't talk about that in this blog, I talked about how Adam Sessler was attacked for his score when you can see that his score was largely based on the fun he had with the game, and that's NOT a bad thing. Learn to read.

As for Resogun, reviewers and plenty of people think it's a fun game and that's why it's scored well, but you still see jaded gamers ragging on it due to its length, completely ignoring the kind of game it is and that it's addictive and has replayability.

It's like you didn't read a single word of the blog and decided to turn on Xbox Defense Force Attack Mode because Forza 5 was mentioned in the blog. You're like the SEO algorithm. You only look for keywords and then pounce.
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XboxFun  +   366d ago
"You're like the SEO algorithm."

LOL, sure Dragon, sure.

Why would gamers be critical of Adam's review of Forza when the game itself has been getting good reviews everywhere else. It seems the only people who keep bringing up these issues are sony fan trolls like yourself.

Jaded gamers ragging on Resogun?? I have seen nothing but praise for the game. Now who's being overly critical when ever something has to do with Sony. I've seen you in the comments Dragon accusing websites of bias or being paid off by MS. So it's hard to take this blog and you for that matter serious.

Edit:
I also enjoyed Monster Squad, which I think was a box office failure too.
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DragonKnight  +   366d ago
Go the damn video and see for yourself. The comment section is littered with "How the f*** did he give this game a 5/5 when it has less content than EVERY OTHER FORZA game."

I even saw a comment where someone suggested that since this was the first racing game he reviewed it meant it was the first racing game he played. Don't take my word for it, go to the review yourself right here.

http://www.youtube.com/watc...

Read the comments for yourself.

As for Resogun, you didn't even know about the Forza criticisms, so I'm not surprised you don't know about the Resogun criticisms. Again, you're like SEO, you search for keywords that are what you perceive to be attacks on your precious Xbox One or its games, and without bothering to read and apply context, you pounce on the person saying what you think is an attack.

I want you to copy and paste anywhere in this blog where I stated my personal opinion about Forza 5 and that it doesn't deserve the score it was given. I'll be waiting.
memots  +   366d ago
How does he still have 2 bubbles ?
Evil_Abed  +   363d ago
Wait, those that criticize Resogun are jaded but Forza critics are justified? You lost me.

Also, Forza Motorsport never had day/night driving or weather so how can they be "gone"?
matgrowcott  +   365d ago
There's one major flaw in saying that games should be reviewed on how fun they are.

All games are fun. They're a form of entertainment.

You might not enjoy them - that comes down to your enjoyment of specific features - but then that doesn't mean that others aren't going to have fun with them.

So here's the question: if your enjoyment is based upon the inclusion and success of certain features, why is it more useful to read how much fun a person has had with a game, than it is to read about the inclusion and success of certain features?

I could say "I loved Grand Theft Auto V's plot from start to finish," but that's a useless piece of information.

Or I could say "The plot for Grand Theft Auto V occasionally slows down thanks to a huge focus on side missions, and if you dislike any of the three main characters (at least two of whom are arguably unlikeable by design) the whole thing will fall apart."

Regardless of score, regardless of what I thought about the game, there're two pieces of information there that will make certain people rethink their purchase.

Those statements aren't subjective - GTA V's plot DOES get lost in its own open world, and not everybody will like each of the characters - but from there it's up to you to decide how bothered you'd be by it.

And this is where the problem people have with reviews comes in. The people that aren't bothered by those issues decide that NOBODY will have those issues, or that they're not a big deal, and that anything less than a 10/10 is sacrilege because THEY enjoyed their game. They had fun.

So obviously, those issues are just your opinion, and it's a stupid opinion and you're an unprofessional hack and you deserve to die.

See any "negative" (below a 9) review of The Last of Us, or Bioshock Infinite when it had first come out.
#8 (Edited 365d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
ifritAlkhemyst  +   364d ago
I agree with you, but I just have to ask one question.

How does one absorb a video?
Lukejrl  +   362d ago
The problem I see with today's reviews, er... the more likely case the reviewer, is that we as the gamers are spoiled. Which is mirroring Dragon's thought. But the other half lies in insecurity and doubt.

The phrase "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it at all" cannot completely apply: a bad game is a bad game. As readers we need to be weigh our value of the reviewer as much as the reviewer weighs the value of the game. Our individuality needs to be secure enough to enjoy what we like without having to be validated by the those whom opinions, remember this is about video games not world economy etc.., we shouldn't care about as Xboxfun pointed said.

Problems lie when there are so many reviewers with so many different tastes, and either they are stuck reviewing a game they would have never have played/completed. Another possibility is they play the game knowing they wouldn't like it simply looking for its faults.

We as readers need to look at is community. Do you enjoy a variety of RPGs? Then your reviews for a new game needs to come from a trusted source that may not be IGN or KOTAKU or whoever you are using. Finding a reviewer who looks for the fun in a game and is able to see what could be negative, is what the reader should be doing. The balance that can be lost is when true faults will be ignored, not noted, trust is lost. Balance that everyone needs to find is being able to open to ideas and change or adjust personal opinions and try new experiences.

The internet's broad spectrum and the adoption of Metacritic can mean a game can be artificially bloated or deflated. Developers and maybe publishers can actually face consequences and then the fans will face effects of disingenuous reviewers. So sometimes outcry can be justified.

I think, note this is my opinion, N4g user XboxFun is an example of someone completely insecure with their gaming decision,(judging by his complete misreading of the blog, and his subsequent attack on dragon's thought) and playstation users have people like it too. A genuine critique of a system or game which may not matter to them, or they have chosen to ignore, needs to be defended then counter attacked. This gives the impression of 2 unhappily married people bickering. A "who cares" attitude is only valid when you don't take the time to express your inflammatory contrary opinion on a voluntary comment section.

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