Portal 2 Review Part 2/2: The Negative Review

Any motion picture–such as 2001:A Space Odyssey; Demon Seed; Silent Running or Forbidden Planet–or Star Wars–in which the most identifiable, likeable characters are robots, is a film without people. And that is a film that’s shallow, that cannot uplift or enrich in any genuine sense, because it is a film without soul, without a core. It is merely a diversion, a cheap entertainment, a quick fix with sugar-water, intended to distract, divert and keep an audience from coming to grips with itself.” — Harlan Ellison

It is probably safe to say at this point that everyone loves Portal 2. Just look at Metacritic, just look at the sales charts, just look at what anyone, anywhere is saying about it.… Read the rest

Portal 2 Review Part 1/2: The Positive Review

The first Portal seemed so undeserving of its success. It was essentially a Half-Life 2 mod similar to Research And Development only with a new gameplay gimmick. The story was only added later in the playtesting phase because players were getting bored with room after room of puzzles. Since the developers didn’t have time to model and animate characters a disembodied voice was created from the same disembodied voice that appears in both Half-Life 2 and Team Fortress 2. The end result was barely marketed at all and distributed merely as a small bonus bundled with other “real” games. By all rights, Portal should have been enjoyed for what it was and forgotten afterwards, along with every other short puzzle game.… Read the rest

Armored Princess Review: Part I

I’ve been playing King’s Bounty: Armored Princess for almost sixteen hours now. For lots of games that would mean I’m approaching the ending, or perhaps I even surpassed the ending and cycled back to the beginning for another playthrough. Such is not the case with this game, I’ve only traveled to two and a half islands out of… I’m not sure. But judging by my incomplete map I’ve only covered a small percentage of the world. This is my primary motivation for taking a break and writing a partial review. It makes no sense to me if I wait another week or month to complete the entire game and then write a review summarizing all of the dozens of hours, at least those that I can recollect.… Read the rest

Most reviews aren’t worth reading

It’s not very often that I actually read a game review. Over the years I’ve realized it saves a lot of time to just check Metacritic’s aggregated score, or maybe read the excerpts that it lists.

Why don’t I actually read what the reviewers have to say? Because their score is all they have to say. It was a while ago when I first realized that all their words are only there to validate that number. I don’t think anyone cares if the reviewer has something to say about a game, it’s the final percentage that matters.

Reviewers get their fair share of criticism though, and a lot of resounding complaints.… Read the rest

“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.… Read the rest