How should game collections be reviewed?

If every game ever made were on a single disc, would that compilation deserve a “10” just based on volume? Would it make more sense to average the reviews of all the games and use that as the compilations official review score? Should points be deducted from the score for every game the reviewer already owns? And if this every-game game came out again in five years, should its past availability negate any value it would otherwise offer the consumer?

These are the questions I have been pondering as I look through the reviews for Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection. Many bring up the fact that much of the collection has been released multiple times in multiple formats. Something seems faulty about criticizing the quality of a game on the basis of its distribution. →  Contains 10% more consonants than comparable articles.

Review – Chrono Trigger

Chrono Trigger is an embarrassment for the gaming industry. Straight up embarrassment. It’s embarrassing that a game that is over ten years old can be so well made as to put many current games to shame. It’s like the Roman Empire, without all of the strange pedophiliac tendencies but all of the impressive works of art.

Chrono Trigger is the latest in a series of Square-Enix remakes designed to milk old titles for every last dollar and yen. Like Dragon Quest, Chrono Trigger is a game that I somehow missed (though I did play the under appreciated Chrono Cross at some point).

Chrono Trigger is, simply put, a pleasure to play. The casual gaming experience (by which I mean, the fights, going from A to B, etc) completely trumps a game like Dragon Quest. →  The Read Star

“Handheld games suck” say reviewers

The best reviewed PSP game on Metacritic is God of War at a 91, on the DS Chrono Trigger just edged out Mario Kart, the game’s scores are 94 and 91 respectively. The GBA’s highest rated game is Link to the Past at 95.

On the console side the top reviewed games are the Grand Theft Autos, Halos, Marios and Zeldas, spanning from 95 to 99. Console game scores for the top games seem to be significantly higher and the high ranking handheld games are either console franchises or direct ports of console games.

So what is going on here?

There are two possible explanations I can think of. Handheld games could actually be worse than console games. This may be true to someone subjectively, but it seems an absurd position for professional reviewers to adopt. →  Read it your way.

RPGs are bad “games”

The JRPG genre is filled to the brim with games that are so ridiculously easy they are bad “games” – in the sense that a game is something you should have to play optimally to achieve success. The Suikoden series, my favorite of the past two generations, has gone from being “somewhat tricky in one or two battles” to “a breeze at its hardest, with pretty much no thought involved.”

Part of this is a plague of the genre – the phenomenon of grinding. For those who don’t want to think about what they’re doing, grinding is an easy way out. There’s no need to play perfectly when you can spend a few hours killing baddies and come back able to beat the tar out of the bigger baddies. It takes time, but then JRPGs are filled with fluff already (mostly grinding, actually), so spending a bit of time leveling up doesn’t sound too bad. →  Article Hominid

Short RPGs for fun and profit

Almost a month ago, Persona 3: FES was released. It not only contains the definitive version of my favorite RPG, but it has an extra “epilogue” chapter as well.

This is a cause for much rejoicing. I started playing it immediately, and so far I’d say I would pay the $30 just for the improved first game. But herein lies the problem, and the crux of this article: It has been a month and I am still playing it. Not only that, I’m still in the first section; the remake.

I love RPGs. I love playing lots of RPGs. But I also like having time for other, trivial things, like working, sleeping, eating, and the occasional shower. Most games in the genre are long; sometimes the length necessary for fleshing out the story, but more often it is just padding. →  Fire Post Wrestling Returns

Playing catch up: Chrono Trigger

I finally finished Chrono Trigger, and only 12 years late. Not too bad. Much like Super Mario World, this is another classic that deserves the accolades it has received. I only hope Link to the Past and Final Fantasy 4 are Chrono Trigger good. Though because of the game’s quality characterization, I am now slightly depressed.

It has been pretty uncommon in my life, but now and then a game comes along that affects me like a great movie or novel does. Now that there is no more to see, what happens to the characters? Crono, whose name is a typo because of the apparent five character limit in the game, was the standard silent protagonist and I don’t give a damn about him. But Frog, Magus, Lucca and Robo I do care about. →  A reader is you.