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Cyber_Goddess's Game Reviews

   
~Review Rules and Number Explanation~

This essay is an attempt to shine a light on the process by which I'm doing these reviews and analysis papers. It is also an attempt to explain my number scale and why some numbers might change over time and not necessarily represent the consensus within the gaming community. These systems might be refined a bit over time.

~The Number System~

My number system is a four point scale. For those of you who don't know what it is, it's basically an industry term for why you don't tend to see a lot of video games get a 5/10 even if they're described as 'average' instead getting 7.5/10 and such. It's also why giving a video something like the infamous '8.8' can be seen as an insult.

My number system was designed with a friend in an attempt to make as objective as review system as we could. It's designed around the idea that it's supposed to be a four point scale, similar to a school or college, where it's insanely hard unless you have literally no clue what you're doing, to get something like 52% on an essay, assuming you actually bothered to try and submit a legit essay.

Here's the explanation for the scale from 1 to 10. First off, numbers 1 to 4 don't exist. At all. If your game can be described as 'functional' (insert Bethesda's bug joke here) it gets a 5. Unless your game is something brutally offensive or simply won't run on my PC due to being too buggy, it gets a 5 at bare minimum. Otherwise it just gets an F.

Even if I don't like your game, and didn't bother to complete it. Most games probably won't get below a 5 on the basis that I don't tend to buy early access and I buy games on sale long after patches have been released. Unless people start randomly gifting me early access games as a joke to review you'll probably never see a game reviewed here get below a 5.

Now 6 and up is where things get interesting. You see, this system is designed to measure a more....monetary worth to a game rather than objective quality. If you want my view on the quality of a product that's what the in-depth reviews are for, and this system is HEAVILY biased towards replay-ability, which me as a poor person, highly value.

Generally speaking to get a 6, I have to have played your game enough to have 'got my money's worth'. For me, this is around 50 cents to the hour of play. With games I get as gifts measured by what the price of the game is next time it goes on sale for terms of 'price to hour measurement'. This 50 cents is not truly objective though, it was created because both me and my friend are pretty poor, and 50 cents per hour is a good measure of the rate of money we have to spend money to break even during a month.

If you're making $5000 a month with 720 hours in a month (30 days * 24 hours) I can totally understand why you might measure a game by a standard that put an hour of your time worth more money. However, it's still pretty hard for a game to only get a six unless it's very short or I don't like it, and since I'm not being handed games I didn't want to play or ask for to review, you're probably not going to see many 6s being handed out.

Getting a 7 requires that the game qualify for a 6 and I have to beat the game's main story. If you sell me a game for $60, and I can beat the main story in 3 hours, I don't care if I beat the main story, it's not worthy of a 7 if I paid $60 for an experience that by my standard is worth $1.50.

Getting an 8 is what a lot of games will get. To get an 8, it has to qualify for a 6, and I have to basically 100% the game. This is usually measured by achievements with a few exceptions.

Multiplayer achievements are not needed. I shouldn't have to measure a game by whether or not I can nag someone on the discord to play it with me.

Achievements that are 'negative', 'joke', or stuff you can only basically get by random chance are also not counted. I do not need to purposely have one of my heroes killed by a maggot in Darkest Dungeon to judge the game's quality. Nor do I need to actually not play the game for 5 years to judge the Stanley Parable.

Achievements that are simply beyond my doing are also out. “Beat the game on the highest level with the declawed kitten character” is not something I need to do to judge the game. Otherwise a fair amount of games I might actually like would be marked down simply for me not being skilled enough to do it. The game shouldn't be punished because I suck too much to pull off the hardest stunts Masters of the game can do. (Also because it would push these reviews onto a time table that would be even more Valvian than it already is.)

Getting a 9 is interesting. It has to qualify for an 8, and then what I do often after it qualifies for an 8 is boot the game up again and run through it again just playing around. The challenge of the 9 is basically “do I still enjoy this game even though I've done basically everything in it”. Is it a game I can keep playing, when what I'm basically doing is just going over old ground and such and seeing nothing new.

Getting a 10 basically requires the game to pass into the realm of 'art'. It has to touch me in a way that basically changes the way I think, or bring to light a new perspective on my views and such. Generally if I ever give a game a 10, it's probably going to get an in-depth review fast.

~Achievement Reviews and Non-Achievement Reviews~

Achievement reviews are the first reviews written for a game. Generally speaking the purpose of the achievement review is “go for an 8”, and attempt to get the game to the point where I would give it an 8 by seeing as much as the game as I can. Failing to get an 8, generally gets the game thrown into the 5 or 6 pile and would get a negative non-achievement review afterwards.

Non-achievement reviews fall into two categories. “In-depth” reviews, of games that I consider 9 or 10s, or plan to bump up to 9 or 10s, and “Negative Reviews” which are games that got a 5, 6, or 7 with in-depth reasoning as to why I couldn't get them up to an 8.

Generally speaking a “Negative Review” is done in place of an Achievement review, while an “In-depth” review is done after the Achievement review and I'm looking through the game a second time.

An in-depth review will be focusing less on the achievements and more on the game play, story, and other factors of the game that determine what a traditional reviewer would look for when judging quality. Generally speaking an in-depth review is only done to games I generally enjoy.

An interesting system. Also, love the paragraph splits. I got through that post in one reading with absolutely no issue.

Now if only you were to ever bump into a game that I am actually interested in getting. But odds are it'll happen eventually and I am in no rush.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PPQ_Purple View Post
An interesting system. Also, love the paragraph splits. I got through that post in one reading with absolutely no issue.

Now if only you were to ever bump into a game that I am actually interested in getting. But odds are it'll happen eventually and I am in no rush.
The main problem with waiting for me, is that I tend to buy stuff months if not years after they come out. So chances are if you're 'interested in getting' a game, you'll have bought it yourself long before I actually bought it and reviewed it myself.

Unless people start gifting me stuff the day it comes out, which considering this isn't a professional review source, is probably not going to happen like, at all. The only possible exception to this, being stuff that I want personally the day it comes out like Evil Genius 2.

Evil Genius 1 will probably be on the review block eventually, even though it doesn't have an achievement system. It's a game I do want to cover, because it's a game I rather enjoy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyber_Goddess View Post
The main problem with waiting for me, is that I tend to buy stuff months if not years after they come out. So chances are if you're 'interested in getting' a game, you'll have bought it yourself long before I actually bought it and reviewed it myself.
Actually that's not a problem at all because I too wait ages to buy a game. Basically my rule is that in general I wait until all the bugs are fixed, the patches are out, all the DLC and expansion packs are done and dusted and the community has had time to write up a comprehensive wiki and make some good mods. I also gauge what I buy very heavily and won't ever pick something up until I am satisfied that I've seen several reviews and a letsplay or two and found it worth my money. And that too takes years.


The issue is that you are in general a fan of sandbox games where as I find that aspect of gaming to not be entertaining.
Differing tastes and all that. I like your style though so maybe you'll change my mind on something. Who knows.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PPQ_Purple View Post
The issue is that you are in general a fan of sandbox games where as I find that aspect of gaming to not be entertaining.
Differing tastes and all that. I like your style though so maybe you'll change my mind on something. Who knows.
I do want to branch away from Sandbox, which is why I'm working on the Darkest Dungeon playthrough. My favorite videogame genre is actually simulation. City and Empire builders. I have a taste for strategy too, but those tend to be the type of games where "Achievement runs" tends to boil down to hundreds of hours of gameplay for virtually nothing new learned. Do I really need to sink hundreds of ships as Britain in Civ V to get some brilliant new insight into the game? Not to mention that Civ V is pretty obviously multiplayer focused for the 'true experience' so to speak?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyber_Goddess View Post
I do want to branch away from Sandbox, which is why I'm working on the Darkest Dungeon playthrough. My favorite videogame genre is actually simulation. City and Empire builders. I have a taste for strategy too, but those tend to be the type of games where "Achievement runs" tends to boil down to hundreds of hours of gameplay for virtually nothing new learned. Do I really need to sink hundreds of ships as Britain in Civ V to get some brilliant new insight into the game? Not to mention that Civ V is pretty obviously multiplayer focused for the 'true experience' so to speak?
Yea... designing achievements for a strategy game is something rarely done right. Not that I can speak for CIV 5 as I have not touched the thing. The whole switch in tone and design direction, not to mention the hex system completely turned me off the series. So I stuck with CIV 4 BTS.

This said, if you are a fan of strategy games and have a copy of CIV4 BTS though you should definitively check out and review some of the more famous mods for it like FFH and its submods. Although you should probably hold off until the new year because there is a killer art pack coming out for one of them and I have it on good grounds that the author intends to release his work at the end of the year.

I'd be very interested to hear what you have to say about these mods and how they compare to the base game and indeed CIV5.

Just out of curiosity, what kind of games do you want to see me cover? I'm sure I have something you'd like to see me cover in my library somewhere.

Darkest Dungeon research has been put on hold due to the following.

Monetization Permission

Red Hook Studios Inc. allows for the contents of Darkest Dungeon to be published through video broadcasting services for any commercial or non-commercial purposes. Monetization of videos created containing assets from Darkest Dungeon is legally & explicitly allowed by Red Hook Studios Inc.. This permission can be found in writing at http://www.darkestdungeon.com/press/...arkest_dungeon.

My Darkest Dungeon research has been put on hold until I register my youtube channel's name as a small business and update my internet for better streaming. I plan to stream my 'research' sessions for anyone who wants to watch to watch me suffer. I've only done two missions so far, so you haven't missed much.

For now, Skyrim and Fallout 4 (Sorry PPQ) will be my focus since I'm yet to get permission to stream them in a response from Bethesda.

Poker face achievement has been achieved in Project Highrise.

Please enjoy the following stream.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgTkFgpQ7EI

Next stream will likely be Friday. Please join the discord or search "Tarot Gaming" on youtube. In order to enjoy the next stream.

Stardew Valley Stream #1 is up.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjbV4oiwBWQ

Criticism so far? The controls take some getting used to, but I'm enjoying it so far. 3 hours in and not a single achievement. Quite frankly this is going to be easily worth a 7, not so sure about an 8 or 9, but we'll see.

Tarot the Institute Courser turned Farm Girl will save the community center!

Anyway, tomorrow is the Viewer's Choice stream of the 4 games that I have listed to stream.








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