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Reviewing games and how I'll be doing it
08 April 2017
Posted in Reviews

I've been reading reviews about (Playstation) games a lot lately, and I found them lacking on serveral fronts. My main complaint is that most of these reviews feel like paid reviews, where every game gets at least 9/10 while at times games feel like utter crap and totally don't live up the promises or expectation (yes I'm looking at you Mass Effect:Andromeda ). This also might be because a lot of gaming reviewers get a free copy and don't care about playing through a game within a couple of hours, while the game itself costs 65 or even more!
The other problem I have with gaming reviews is that only the 'major titles' are reviewed. When you're playing an indie game or a less known AAA-game, you have to search the internet for a (decent) review, or even turn to YouTube for some gameplay videos to see what the game is like.

With the revival of the Pages from Sages site, and me now playing a lot on the Playstation 4, I figured to start reviewing the games I play without adding a number to it. The ratings given to g ames are all personal and what I think is an awesome game, you might think sucks balls (and vice versa). Instead, I'll just write my opinion on the game (I might make vlogs later on) with a couple of points you might take into account when buying the game.

What I think is important to a game is totally different from (professional) game reviewers on some points. Here's how I'll be reviewing games:
  - Price per hour
  - Graphics
  - Music & sound effects
  - General gaming atmosphere
  - Promises / expectations (hype) vs delivery
  - Boxed vs Digital

I realize that 3 out of 6 are pretty regular, while 'Price per hour' and 'General gaming atmosphere' are the odd ones. Let me try to explain the other trhee though...

Price per hour
My brother and I have been playing computer games for over 30 years by now. We started out with the Atari 2600 system and have seen the whole gaming (r)evolution through home computers, PCs and consoles. And we both think that over time the main focus has been shifted the wrong way. Where in the past you'd have (by our current standards) ugly graphics and sounds with kick-ass gameplay that you could play for 100s of hours (Baldur's Gate and The Elder Scrolls Morrowind), now you'd have the opposite. Games tend to become more and more polished (Horizon: Zero Dawn) with almost all dialogues being voiced-over, but lacking deep gameplay, lenght of play and even re-play value (Horizon: Zero Dawn again - you can finish it in 25 hours !!).
For this reason both my brother and I feel that a 1 per hour played is a decent price. I realize that new games with this rating might not end up well though. With an average 65 for a new console game and the current trend of games becoming shorter and shorter, that 1/hour standard is hard to hit.
*I will review this feature on both retail price and what I've paid for it*

Promises / expectations (hype) vs delivery
Oh yes, HYPE. One of the biggest killer of games (No Man's Sky). Developers say that their games will be the 'next coming of Jesus' and gamers make up stuff from alpha gameplay footages that's not even there (once again No Man's Sky). While I'm no longer jumping hype trains for upcoming games, I do keep an eye out for the hype people put on games, while promises are easy to search back after the game has been released. I realize that by the time I play games (I don't have the money to grab every new game so I will go for either 2nd hand or discounts) the hype is mostly gone, but it's always easy to look back on it afterward and thus give a verdict on that as well.

Boxed vs Digital
I admit, I'm a DRM freak and I loathe the fact that most games cost the same digitally as they cost boxed. I mean, WHY? Digital content should be cheaper because it lacs the price of the physical box and distribution of it, while ditigal content only exists as one copy on a server that can be downloaded to your console (or PC). And it still baffles me that people are still so dumb to buy digital games for 65 and when they switch to the next gen console or are done playing, they can't sell th game anymore. And I'm not even talking about those 'digital deluxe editions' that come with an extra soundtrack and PDF booklet, while I can get those on CD and paper when I buy the boxed deluxe edition for the same price. I personally think that digital content should be at least 10% cheaper and that the 'digital deluxe editions' should just be ditched alltogether. But well, people are dumb enough to buy it, and where there is a demand, there's always some one to supply...
So how will I review this? Once again, I dont't have the money to buy every deluxe edition out there (though I really wish I'd have in some cases!), but I can make a comparison of what you get for the same money when you buy boxed or digital.

Last but not least, I will only review games that I play. Which would mean that there will be little to no shooters, horror & survival games and sport games will be found here. I mainly like open world and (j)RPG games and I can write about that with a passion.

Also worth to note that from time to time I will review hardware. But with consoles being quite limited in hardware, don't expect a lot of that here though. When reviewing hardware, you have to think more in the line of add-on items like streaming cards, new controllers and such stuff...


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