The Hoppy Gamer and the Rules of the Review
The Hoppy Gamer - A Mixture of PC Gaming Reviews and Worthy Beer Pairings
About me: The Hoppy Gamer (Dan Beers)
I’ve been playing PC video games since the 80’s. I witnessed trends, highs, lows, golden ages, etc. in the industry. I remember fondly when Sierra adventure games were all the rage, when X-Wing and Wing Commander were the real simulators, when the VGA monitor came out, and when a gigantic hard drive was 100 MB. I'll never forget when I got my first Sound Blaster, my first CD-ROM, when I downloaded my first game over a modem. But after all that, I can safely say that now is the best time to be a gamer. Not only has it become much more socially acceptable, it has come into its own to be an art form comparable to literature, cinema, and theater. I prefer the PC over other means because it’s what I’m used to. I take gaming very seriously, as it is what I love to do whenever I have free time.
I am also a husband and father, so when I have time to play, I have very high expectations of being entertained. Aside from gaming, I write novels. I currently have four published, including the one in the picture below. Please take this opportunity to check out my website, Facebook page, and Twitter to support a starving artist!
I am not a Fanboy to any one game or genre. I tend to steer more towards RPG's lately, as I've found that they tend to take longer to play the whole way through than others. That being said, there isn't a style of game that I don't like. If it can keep my interest, it's a success no matter what kind of game it is.
I also love beer. Being a resident of the Pacific Northwest, I am fortunate to be a part of a beer loving region. I shall do my best to pair every game with a beer that is most fitting to it. I am not being paid to recommend anything, so if I say it's a worthy brew, I've tasted it thoroughly and think it's delightful.
CyberPowerPC Fangbook III HX7-100
16 GB RAM
GeForce GTX 870M 6GB VRAM
Xbox 360 controller (which I use from time to time if the mouse/keyboard set up is wonky)
Logitech G602 Gaming Mouse
I have created a method for which I review every video game. I have done this in order to treat each game fairly and equally. Each category listed below will be on a scale of 1-10 where 10 would be the best thing in the whole world, and 1 would be heaping pile of donkey-doo.
For the most part, I will be reviewing new or relatively new games. There will also be articles regarding some old/nostalgic games. The framework behind those is still up in the air. Finally, from time to time I'll visit (or in most cases revisit) an MMO. These will also be handled differently than other games due to their constant ebb and flow of changes/rules/etc.
Graphics – This should be fairly self-explanatory. Is it pretty? Are there texture issues? Do any graphic related issue distract from my immersion? Obviously, you cannot compare the graphics from the latest Civilization to the latest Battlefield. Some relativity will be required here. If the game is not brand new, how is it holding up? How did it look when it first came out?
Sound/Music – I actually take this category pretty seriously. While it is certainly a challenge to write hours of music for a game, it needs to be done with a certain amount of care. If the music is annoying, unfitting for the genre, or otherwise taking me out of the immersion, I will have issue with it. Sound effects will also be graded here as well. Do the explosions sound like explosion? Is the voice acting working?
Price/Value – I’m merely a poor writer and gamer. The cost to make games, and the cost of games are only going up. Is the game worth the price of admission? The game might be fantastic, but only a few hours long. Is it worth the money? Older games may tend to fare better in this category since they are usually cheaper. But still, is it worth it?
Replayability – OK great. I beat the game. Do I want to play it again? Are there options to? Will it be a different game?
The “Skew” factor – This is to adjust a score in any way I see fit. If I find that the numbers don’t make a whole lot of sense in the end of it all, I’ll use this to adjust how I really feel about it. If the graphics are terrible, the sound not any better, but the game plays perfectly and I can’t stop playing it, I will score this high. Likewise, if the game is beautiful and sounds terrific, but I’m bored a few hours in, I will score it low.
Bottom line – Overall score. Pretty basic.
The Beverage Pairing – Typically, I enjoy a nice cold beer when I game. I try to find a beer that matches the game, as well as find one that is worth drinking more than one of. It also has to make sense. For example, I would never pair a summer ale with a Game of Thrones game. After all, winter would be coming… Seems like a Oktoberfest would be appropriate, or even a winter warmer.
Anyway, it is my hope that you find my reviews/articles both informative and fair. Please feel free to comment on anything and everything. Keep in mind that I not only review new games, but ones that have been around for a while too. A true gamer is a frugal gamer. In this world of day one patches and various DDoS invasions to new games, it sometimes makes sense to wait a while before picking up the one you feel like playing.
If you have any requests for a game to review, please let me know and I shall do my best to review it.