What Do You Look For In a Gaming Review?

This is something I am rather curious about, for it is amazing how diverse and critical game reviews are…that is…game reviews written by the players, not the critics and what not.

I personally don’t care about others opinions on games, but I browse through reviews to get a general gist of what the game is like, and most importantly, in terms of PC games, if there are frequent crashes and other errors on certain OS’ and such.

The reviews vary from short and sweet to big drawn out, extremely detailed stories.

The short ones essentially say… “Fun game” or “Do not buy” where as the long ones just tell you everything you will experience from beginning to end with no spoilers.

I find it best not to take any review seriously, for they are that person’s opinion, and therefore one must be aware that yours will likely differ on more than a few matters. It is because of this that I quite often buy games with bad reviews, and I usually wind up enjoying them in the same way I sometimes hate highly praised games…it’s all up to what you think, so I never look at reviews for movies or pretty much anything in the entertainment biz.

But gamers are so critical on games. Many expect every game to be AAA masterpieces and if it isn’t then they tear it to shreds. This even goes for obvious, low budgeted games that couldn’t possibly stand a chance against Call of Duty, Mario or Halo and the likes.

The first thing most gamers mention is graphics. I stop reading a review at this point and try another one. To me, graphics should not even be mentioned. I get that it is the most obvious thing to start with because it is really what you see first, but a game is meant to be played, so shouldn’t the review focus on how the game plays? I want to know if it is fun, not how pretty it is. And I’ve seen plenty of great games get murdered online by gamers due to poor graphics. This makes no sense to me.

Length is another one people gripe about. I understand if you spend 50-60 bucks on a game, you want a good investment of time to justify the purchase, but again, these low budget developers who make games for under 10 bucks that give you 3-5 hours of gameplay are always ripped to shreds. Gamers need to understand that not everything is going to live up to your favorite, high budget AAA title, and given the huge diversity in development teams and funds, reviews should really only answer one thing…is the game fun?

That is all we need to know. Does it work, is it playable, is it fun. That’s that. It’s okay if they briefly mention some other things, but the meat should be all about how fun it is, and no, bad graphics, a poorly written story and bad voice acting don’t take away from the fun of a game, just the overall quality…though speaking of bad voice acting, I’m not sure what people consider good voice acting, because literally every game I have ever seen has been criticized for bad voice acting. There is just no pleasing people…

If gamers adjust their expectations, I feel they would enjoy games a lot more frequently and thus avoid steering other gamers away from potentially good games. After all, I am usually pleasantly surprised by games that have terrible reviews.

But anyway, this is all just my opinion, just like game reviews. Other people may want different things out of reviews, and if graphics are really what makes games fun for someone, than who am I to tell them differently?

The point of a review is to state your opinion and experience of the game, so naturally all of them should be taken with a grain of salt as they say.

Lastly, while we are on the subject of opinions, I must say how I am constantly under attack because my opinions differ from that which the majority of people feel. This goes for things outside of video games as well. I have been told many times that I am stupid or this or that because I wrote a review or voiced my opinion and then I’m told something along the lines of “The rest of the world likes this, so why would you even consider it being bad?”

This gets me every time. So because the rest of the world likes it, I have no choice but to fall in line? And the sad part is, there are countless people that do. It’s baffling how afraid people are of stepping outside of the “in” circle. It makes me wonder how many people actually like something or are just trying to fit in with everyone else.

But I think I’m getting a bit too deep into this. These are my thoughts, and I’m just curious what other people look for in reviews or what they put into their own.

 

 

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Dragon Ball Xenoverse: One of the Most Overrated Games Ever

There are always a few games a year that everyone absolutely raves about, swearing they are the best games ever made and all that.

I never pay attention to reviews or fan feedback, because a lot of it is nitpicking or unworthy praise or something, so it is very rare that I will buy a game based off of just global praise alone. I like to be the judge of a game, simply by seeing if it looks fun. On those rare occasions when I do buy a game (on sale, of course) that the world united on praising, I have found that 99% of these games are quite mediocre, which makes me feel that I am looking for something much more different than the regular gaming community. But don’t get me wrong, some games can be overrated and still be amazing, The Last of Us, for example. I would give this game a 10/10, but for years I heard it was easily the best game ever made, which to me, it is far, far from that.

nappa getting punched

So where does Dragon Ball Xenoverse fit in to all this; as a great, yet overrated game, or a pile of mediocrity? For starters, know that I did not buy this game because the world was calling it “the best Dragon Ball game ever made!” I bought it because I absolutely love the Dragon Ball franchise and this was a new and exciting twist for the game.

And after playing it, here is my conclusion…

It is one of the worst Dragon Ball games I have ever played. It is not the worst, but probably in the top 5 worst ones. Like, I can’t see why anyone even likes this game. It is so boring and seems to go on forever. I was miserable practically the entire time I played it.

So why do I hate it so much? Where do I begin?

For starters, when I bought it, I got the game and season pass on sale for $20 on the PlayStation Store. So when I went to access the DLC, it wouldn’t work, or rather, it didn’t show up, claiming I never bought it. After literally 45 minutes of research on the internet, I found that the DLC was a major glitch, and then I had to look up how to install it, which involved a whole lot of messing around with settings and such on my PS4 and then re-downloading it.  I am not very tech savvy, so I would never have figured that out on my own, and I am willing to bet 95% of everyone else would not have either. So that’s a huge strike for me right there. But since it has nothing to do with the gameplay itself, then it’s sort of forgivable.

That is until we get to the actual game. For starters, it takes like 30 seconds to connect to the server to be able to even play the game. This is really great, since I only want to play single player.

connecting to server
Get used to looking at this…

You start out in some hub town place, which is far too big and your characters walk too slow. All the places you would want to visit regularly are all spaced out as far as possible from each other, so that it takes like 3 minutes of walking just to reach a destination. You are a super powered being! Why can’t you just have the option of quickly flying around!?

hub area
Ugh…Why can’t I fly?

When you finally are able to start a mission, it brings you to the character select screen. Aside from having a very tiny selection of characters compared to previous Dragon Ball games, I have another annoying observation. There needs to be a confirm button after selecting your characters! Typically, you get to pick your character and then 2 others to fight along side you. But so many times I end up choosing the wrong character and then it goes into the match immediately. There should be a “Use These Characters?” box that allows you to pick yes or no. And I usually end up picking the wrong character because the selection thing moves so stinking slow that I always end up pressing the select button before the right character is lit up.

Now that we finally get in the game with the right characters, it turns out to not be worth the trouble at all.

The gameplay is so boring. All you do is throw punches, which send your opponents flying, then you have to chase after them, and repeat over and over again, until you discover a combo that doesn’t send them flying away. So you just do this combo over and over until your energy is charged up, then unleash your special attack to do a decent bit of damage. This is okay in the early parts of the game, but eventually the opponents have so much health that it becomes a very dull chore. I’d rather dust every house on my street then sit through this game again!

dbx gp

But the fights aren’t that easy! So there’s a lot of frustration mixed up in that dull wearing down of health!

For starters, let’s talk about blocking. It’s atrocious. Your character has to come to a complete stop for like 2 whole seconds before you can block. That might not seem like much, but when you’re in a high speed match against 2 or 3 opponents, it’s a friggin’ eternity. But the computer players, they can block whenever they desire. It’s so lovely to watch them do things you can’t.

And speaking of doing things you can’t, some enemies just use their ultimate attacks like 5 times in a row, over and over again. SS Trunks and SS Vegeta seem to do this the most often, though I’ve since learned that this is a special Saiyan ability or something, that for a limited time they can spam the hell out of attacks that will kill you if hit by two of them. Saiyan ability or not, this should not be in the game. That gives them an enormous advantage and messes up the balance of the game.

Another thing the computers seem quite adept at doing is hitting you with beam attacks. Unless you add the beam attack in the middle of a combo, you will most likely miss 8 out of 10 attempts. But the computers will hit 7 out of 10 and this is because they can somehow change direction mid attack. They can bullseye you with a Kamehameha Wave like it’s their business, because they change direction right as they fire it. But as the player, that is the worst, most useless attack in the game, for you will always miss. And no, you can’t change any direction while shooting it.

Dragon-Ball-Xenoverse-07

And on top of that, they do not flinch when you punch them while they are charging up to do an energy attack, but one punch of a small ki blast will knock you out if you are doing the same.

And speaking of ki blasts, you have the ability to shoot many quick ki blasts at a time, and oh my God, this is the most annoying thing in the world! You can shoot these all day at the computers, and if they hit them, which seems to be a 50/50 chance, it won’t have much effect usually, but man if you get hit, they will stop you dead in your tracks. And the computers use this constantly. I mean CONSTANTLY!!! It would be easier to push through a speeding train in real life than get through these ki blasts.

And you know what else they use constantly? There are abilities that, if you have enough energy, will blow away all nearby opponents in one way or another. So if you manage to make it past the barrage of ki blasts, it’s only so you can then get blown away by these special attacks. And then you start all over with the ki blasts. So annoying. They overuse this ability like crazy!

But chances are you will never even get to this point, because you will never be facing your opponent. You can lock on to someone, and you would think that they would automatically direct their punches at that person. Nope. You always have to manually turn your character to face your opponent, which is really awkward, especially when you are getting attacked by multiple enemies and can’t see anything. It’s annoying and stupid. Countless times I found myself punching at air because my opponent was behind me.

This is the last complaint, though I probably have more that I can’t think of right now, and it is simply that the difficulty increases way too fast. The first few missions are simple. You could win with your eyes closed, but then all of a sudden, it’s like you are playing against pros, and you haven’t even fully learned the controls yet. And it just gets harder and harder from there.

Bottom line, the game is boring and frustrating and is definitely not the best DB game ever made! It is not even a good game! I’ll stick with the Budakai and Tenkaichi trilogies. They are much, much, much better.

It warms my soul however, to hear that nobody really likes the sequel, for it is EXACTLY THE SAME GAME! What A-hole developers! God dang it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Announcements From E3 2016

Well, another e3 has came and went. Overall I thought this one, like last years was disappointing, though there were a few new games that caught my interest, though definitely a record low for e3. There was also some nice gameplay shown for a few previously announced games, like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Friday the 13th, the Game.

But this post will be focused on all the new games announced this year, so here goes.

death strandingFirst off is Kojima’s first game since leaving Konami, called Death Stranding. There is a lot of buzz about this game on the internet, and frankly I don’t know why. The reveal trailer is highly uninformative of anything and looks stupid. Though they could have revealed more about the game other than the trailer by now, but I have no interest in looking into it.

Crash-Bandicoot-Activision-700x389.jpg.optimalCrash Bandicoot 1-3 are getting remasters.I’m kind of annoyed by this, as I just played through these games via PlayStation Store like 2 weeks ago, after purchasing them about a year ago. This is great for fans of the series who have been wanting to revisit these old classics, but I for one have no interest in looking into this remaster further. Plus, I’m just so sick of every game being remastered these days.

spidermanSpider-Man Ps4 is next, and though only a short gameplay trailer was shown, it looks fantastic. This is one of the few games announced this year that have caught my interest. I love the Amazing Spider-Man games that have come out in the last few years, and this looks like it builds upon that system. I can not wait, especially since it is not tied to a movie counterpart, thus free to do anything it wants within the Spider-Man universe. Really can’t wait for this one.

days goneDays Gone is another game revealed that I thought looked really good. Sony showcased a short demo, and it was just some poor guy relentlessly getting chased by hordes of zombies while doing his best to kill them and/or escape them. Looks like a lot of fun..

resident-evil-7-1-343x389.jpg.optimalAnother one I am interested in is Resident Evil 7, but not by the trailer which was shown, but simply because I am a huge fan of the franchise. The trailer itself depicts the game as being your run of the mill, first person survival horror that developers seem to constantly be pushing out these days. So far it seems like all you have is a flashlight and your wits to sneak around a mansion presumably filled with zombies. It’s a change for the series yet again, so it welcome to me, though it is not the direction I would have liked the series to go in. It will also be available for PS VR, the first game that I found myself actually wanting to use a headset for.

A new Batman Arkham game was announced for PS VR too, nothing exciting looking about it.

Final Fantasy XV will also be available in VR. Why?

Another VR game, Star Wars X-Wing Missions was announced. This could be good…

And to top off the VR sections, the steam VR HTC Vive will be getting Fallout 4 and the recently released Doom, two games that might be interesting .

God-of-War-PS4-2-1280x720A reboot of God Of War was presented with an almost 10 minute gameplay trailer. This takes place within Norse mythology and his son is still alive, though he will probably die at some point, sending Kratos on his quest to kill a bunch of gods, or his son will become the god of war he must destroy. Who knows? The game looks very different from every other game in the franchise, as it probably should, having a completely different setting and story, but it looks worse. The boos fight shown was underwhelming at best, and the combat took a few steps backwards, reminding me more of your typical slow combat like Dark Souls or Elder Scrolls, instead of the fast paced, brutal action that has kept fans of GoW keep coming back for more. Overall, I was disappointed by this game, but I will be getting it only because I love the franchise, just like RE7.

Trials-of-The-Blood-DragonTrials of the Blood Dragon, a combination of Trials Fusion and Blood Dragon was announced. I don’t know anything about either of those games, so I couldn’t tell you much about what this game has to offer. It didn’t catch my interest though. Looked like some dirt bike stunt game.

Grow Up, sequel to Grow Home was announced. If you like the first one, you’ll like this.

Just Dance 2017 for all platforms, no surprises there.

Steep. This game looks kind of dumb. You ski or snowboard or hang glide and the like while doing crazy tricks to show off to your friends. Big social focus point on this game. Not my cup of tea.

State of Decay 2 will be coming out next year. If you liked the first one, then I recommend this. I thought the first one was just okay, so I’m still on the fence about this one.

dead-rising-4-new-details-e3-2016.jpg.optimalDead Rising 4 looks like a hoot. It’s what you would expect from a game in this series. But man, it feels like the third one just came out. How time flies!

Forza Horizon 3 is coming out for all you car lovers.

A card game from the Witcher 3 is getting a separate release. People love their virtual cards these days.

fe-gameIndie game Fe revealed. Little monster runs around and kills other monsters.

FIFA 17 for all you soccer folks. Oddly enough, this has a story mode, which makes it stand out from the other 30 games in the series.

Following that is Madden 17. Do people still buy these games?

Prey, a strange, first person shooter/ psycho-thriller announced. Looks pretty good. This is added to my wish list, the last that I found interesting among all of these new games.

Oh boy, yet another online shooter…Quake Champions. It looks pretty good, but you know…it’s an online shooter.

Skyrim: Special Edition. Woohoo, another barely aged game getting a remaster. Nothing much changes at all from the original.

And that’s all the new games announced.

I’m looking forward to only four of them, a record low since I have been following e3.

 

 

Virtual Reality Gaming

With the release of the first two virtual reality gaming headsets, the HTC Vive for Steam and the Oculus Rift, and with the Playstation VR fast approaching, gaming has finally reached the technology and abilities we always talked and dreamed about as kids. But from what I can tell, this dream is more of a nightmare than anything.

Now, I am a firm believer in the whole “don’t knock it until you try it” saying, so I am saying straight away that these are just the views of someone who has not seen or tried any form of these virtual reality headsets, so I really have no basis or intention to say if they are actually good products or not.

Instead, I am speaking to you as someone who loves video games, especially companies not afraid to innovate and try something new, which is exactly why Nintendo is my favorite game company, always seemingly focused on the gameplay and experience, rather than pretty graphics, which is why we all play video games…to play them…not to look at them (or so I hope). So when I heard about virtual reality becoming a reality, I was pumped. Something new for gamers to sink their teeth into! I eagerly awaited any type of footage for some games and when the day came that footage started being shown, with more and more revealed all the time, I found myself extremely disappointed.

The games, again I have not played any of these, look terribly boring. Many of them are just walking and looking around. I realize this is the advantage of virtual reality, to make you feel like you are in the game, but there should really be a game involved in the looking around. Something immersive and amazing at the same time. I imagine like some amazing Call of Duty or God of War in first person action game, not looking around a forest and fighting some creature. Plus many of the games have the option of using regular controllers, which looks like it takes away from the experience completely, though the option is nice I suppose. There are new controllers as well, for example the Oculus Rift uses two circular controllers with buttons to allow for a much more immersive time while in the headset, though any footage I have seen from them just looks boring as well. New and innovative for sure, but completely uninteresting.

They also look like they would be more fun playing with other people, but as far as I can tell, you can only play solo, no one else can see what you see, and you can’t see them. But if you were to both have headsets, then it would be cool to look over at your friend and see his virtual self standing next to you in some game, where you can frolic through wastelands killing all sorts of bad guys and the like.

But here’s the biggest turn off to the virtual reality headsets. I just mentioned buying two of them to play with other people. If some siblings wanted to buy 2-4 of them so they can all play together, their parents might as well sell their house to pay for it.

The Playstation VR is $400, just as expensive as the PS4, the Vive is doubled that at $800. and the Occulus is $1500!

Many people would struggle to buy one of these things, so multiplayer in one household is out of the question. Even if the games looked super fun, these prices would not justify the purchase.

The only awesome game I saw was the player wielding a lightsaber and blocking lasers, though that too seemed like it would get boring rather quickly and admittedly, I probably only took interest in it because I love Star Wars so much. And this turned out to just be a tech demo and not an actual game, so there you go.

If the headsets were cheaper and the quality of games increased, I would definitely check out this new innovation in the gaming industry, but right now, I want to stay far, far away from it. Heck, even Nintendo said they have no interest in VR because it is not fun, though they might just be bitter about it because of the Virtual Boy. I wouldn’t be surprised if VR takes off that they would come out with the “New Virtual Boy.”

But I don’t really see this taking off, so I don’t think we will have to worry about that. I mean, people complained about the inability to sit on the couch and not move when they had to use motion controls for the Wii, and even about some of the motion and looking around using the gamepad on Wii U, so how in the world will people be okay with turning there head all around, moving their arms (for certain VR systems) and actually standing up!? Another thing I have heard many complaints about the Wii is those more self conscious worrying that they looked stupid while playing with motion controls. Well then how will they ever handle these new headsets and controllers?

To me, I feel like the first few times playing it will be a wonderful marvel, but once people get used to it and it no longer feels new, it will be abandoned in the corner of a closet somewhere. But odds are, it will be the most expensive thing buried in said closet.

Also, I feel like many things will get broken, household objects and bones from people banging into stuff or tripping and the what not. People were breaking stuff with the Wii Remotes, and they could fully see! Imagine that chaos while being blinded by a headset that transports your vision into a different world! Lawsuits ho!