Some Random Hillbilly Reviewing Video Games - My Method For Reviewing Video Games
When I bought my first XBOX 360 the middle aged friendly lady cashier asked me, “Are you gonna play Guitar Hero!?!”
I chuckled to myself, returned her friendly smile, and stated simply, “No.”
She looked at me with great bewilderment and said, “Then what are you going to do with this thing!?!”
I smiled again as she handed me my receipt and loading my box under one arm strolled out of the store without another word. How could I explain the vast collection of games available with a variety of different experiences to offer? How could I find the time or verbiage to explain that she was part of a new video game 'baby boom' generation (So to speak) where massive advertising schemes were turning people of all ages in to gamers? That despite today's gaming world having the family face where grandparents could play WII bowling with their grandkids or angry Jr. high students could simulate killing each other from across the globe that there still existed a haven of sorts for those of us that had been here all along.
The Video Game World Has Changed Over The Years
As a child during the first Nintendo era games were something primarily children played. Sure there were some adults that played, but not like today. We were raised with controllers in our hands. Our parents hated the cost but loved knowing we were safely sitting in our room keeping to ourselves instead of outside blowing something up. Sure there were the concerns over game content destroying our minds and the fear we would become fat and lazy. OK... so maybe some of us did become fat and lazy but we were gonna do that anyway, and you would be hard pressed to convince me that Grand Theft Auto warped my mind into something evil rather than increased my ability to think quickly and solve problems.
As my age group ascended into adulthood things changed.
While children through teenagers still ruled the market, many from my age group refused to put down the controller. It doesn't matter to us that we have full time jobs, two and half kids, a mortgage, a car payment, a 401 k and a pending divorce... We are still playing.
Its not just us old nerds and kids anymore though. The whole face of the industry has changed. Technological advances have allowed game developers to pull a market out of their pockets for adults of all ages. Things like Guitar Hero and the Wii created a family fun market that has spread like wildfire across the globe.
Things have certainly changed. As with the rest of life advertising depicts what is consider cool or not. The kids that used to look at you funny for mentioning a game that wasn't named Madden are now the adults that look at you funny if you tell them you didn't pick up the new Call of Duty. Poor cashiers now understand that video games can be fun but their knowledge is limited to Guitar Hero, and your grandma won't quit texting you about her score on Wii bowling.
Now, I'm not trying to say theres anything wrong with any of this and I'm certainly not trying to display myself as being in some special superior gaming nerd group. I'm just sharing my perception on how the world has changed. I have nothing against people's strange obsession with mindless shooter games or with grandmas rocking out to Purple Haze on a plastic guitar.
I think its great that video games have changed from being a childish phase to a household acceptance. I think its fantastic that people of all ages are playing video games. Some people that don't play many games and are part of this baby boom of gamers have started opening their eyes to the vast opportunities. I've noticed a trend now that is leading people to start playing games they might never have given a chance in the past. Some people have begun to see that there is a world of gaming beyond the mass advertising's depiction of what is cool. People that would only the most popular first person shooters and/or sports games are starting to branch out.
There is an underbelly to the gaming world that the masses haven't always been able to see. There are nearly limitless possibilities that many won't ever know to get a chance to experience. Some people have started seeking these other options, and I want to help them find them.
This is the beginning of my series for reviewing games. Hopefully I can present some options people aren't familiar with and help them determine if the game is right for them. I will almost surely review some popular games as well, usually when there is something about the game on my mind or because I feel like giving my stupid opinion.
I don't want to just throw out a generic review. I don't like how a lot of reviews out there seem to be money and/or cool crowd oriented. I don't care that they give good reviews to bad games, but I hate when great games get really poor reviews. I can assure you that these will be my honest opinion I'm going to try to get detailed and try to present a total picture of the game. Of course this will be completely based off of my opinion so that doesn't mean that you will feel the same way. I would love to hear how people feel about my review whether they agree or not, and everyone is welcome to leave their opinions in the comment section of the review.
My System For Reviewing Games
My rating system
My system works like this. 10 sections worth 10 points apiece equaling a total of 100 points.
The sections are...
1 Fun – Maybe the most important; put simply... How fun did I think this game was?
2 Storyline – How good is the storyline?
3 Storyline depth - A storyline can be good without being really involved, and sometimes they are too involved
4 length – not only pure length; but does the storyline and mechanics match the length to hold up for overall decent time period or does it end abruptly or drag on too long?
5 Controls – Are the controls smooth, do they take time to get used too?
6 Graphics/Sound – Not only are they adequate but are they appropriate for the game?
7 Mechanics – Does the game run smoothly, and does the combination of graphics, sound, and storyline make for a good game?
8 Replay Value – Is this game worth playing through more than once?
9 Ingenuity – The originality of this concept vs same old same old?
10 Dollar vs time – This is the system I use personally to decided if a game was worth it. And its simply how many hours of my life have I spent playing this game vs how much money I spent. If I spent $60 and put 120 hours on a game thats .50 cents an hour for my entertainment. Or if I spend $20 and play for two hours makes it $10 an hour. Might have been cheaper but still wasn't worth the value
I've also created 4 bonus sections worth up to 25 points.
These sections are...
1 Downloadable Content- worth 10, Does this game offer good download content that is worth the price?
2 Co-op – worth 5, Does this game not only offer co-op but is it good?
3 Multiplayer – worth 5, Does this game not only offer multiplayer but is it good?
4 Other – worth 5, Does this game have something special I felt deserved some extra points?
That part is little more complicated but the total numbers work out about like this...
0 – 25 – A game I don't like at all
25 – 50 – Not a good game but at least has few decent qualities
50 – 75 – about average, probably worth playing once
75 – 100 – Means I really liked the game
100+ - Means I really really loved the game
After each section I will add up the points and do a summary of my opinions on the game.
Anyone reading one of my reviews is completely welcome to add their opinion in the comment section at the bottom of the review. Even if your opinion is different from mine I welcome and appreciate all feedback, just don't put anything vulgar or inappropriate because Hubpages won't allow it and it will be removed.