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What Is Everyone Smoking?

So, here's the thing. I'm not necessarily going to agree with all of these other users. And that's okay, because I have my own standards. Every now and then, I have a craving to download a massive amount of games for playtesting. Of course, after wasting hours getting about 60 or so games, typically after only 5 minutes, I toss most of these into the trash. Yes, literally, 5 minutes. No, I'm not gonna put in screenshots because I figure any game that's good, I am still playing even after the review, and will not waste time scouting pictures, and if it didn't make the cut, I am not bothering adding pictures.
The most common reason? It's generic. I could compare hunting for games like picking flowers, there are a ton of ordinary flowers, but somewhere in the field there is one that stands out, either because it is good or very very bad.
Now, as I say, I have my own standards. What are these standards, you might ask? They are:
  • Visual interest (does it look like every single other game out there or does it catch my eye)
  • Mechanics (more than just pretty pictures, if the battles are using the default system, if it is in every way a typical top-down with no HUD, I'm already getting bored)
  • Original Story (Does the story seem derivative or not?)
  • Character Development (Regardless of whether I like the character in question, are they well developed?)
  • Repeatability (This one is hard to define, think of it as "Could I make this game myself?")


I will give examples of these. Some of the games I actually have played more than 5 minutes are Love And War (fairly original story and the character development is well flushed out, plus it's funny), Pocket Quest! (Pretty much all categories, and I don't even speak Italian/Portuguese), Touhou Wandering Souls (Visual Interest, Mechanics, and Repeatability thought to a Touhou outsider, the characters were weak), Sunset over Imdahl (visual interest & original story), Forever's End (original story, character development, and the mechanics).

Could I do this myself? No. I cannot paint like this. (Check)
Character Development? Yes. The first five minutes, we get a sense of what our main character is like just from the dad talking. The two supports are at odds with the traditional expectations of angels and demons.
Original Story? Well, not completely. It is vaguely reminiscent of Okami, but definitely not YET ANOTHER FREAKING demon attack or kingdom and castle adventure.
Mechanics? Well, I guess it has its own battle mechanics. I suppose this counts, as does the whole painting the world thing.
Visual Interest? Holy crap. It looks like they hand painted the opening credits. Oh, and I like the music.

If I had to critique anything to bring it short of a perfect five, here it is. The arrow in the battle diagram would be slightly less confusing if it said Weak, and pointed the other way.

It's been over 5 minutes. I'm still playing.

Update: I got to the point where there were a bunch of statues (the hero, the fat priest, the one based on your pet angel, the fountain, and a few others). I couldn't figure out how to continue, but I enjoyed it up to that point. The rock-paper-scissors nature of the battles was fun, and it not that difficult to figure out, the lever puzzles were fun and not terribly hard, and I found item drops just enough to be challenging. I liked the fact that your painter could be damaged with some mass spells, making you need to heal, but the challenge was also not insane (well, I chose the easier challenge rating). It was a good game, I'm marking it down only because it wasn't clear at the point I got what I was supposed to paint.


Posts

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Marrend
Guardian of the Description Thread
20053
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unity
You're magical to me.
12203
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author=Liberty
So... you couldn't finish the game but decided to give it almost full stars even though it was impossible for you to complete? Definitely computes. :/

Also, you don't really say much more than "This is good, this is good, yeah this is good. I've been playing for longer than 5 minutes... 4.5 stars."

You don't even talk about the game much at all. You talk, instead, about lots of other games and how you don't like x or y in games than you do about this game. I dunno, this seems like you just made a review to counter the scores of previous reviews without actually bothering to write a proper review.

For faults you don't mention the parts where you can see the tilesets behind the graphics pasted on top or about how disingenous some of the puzzles are or how battles are highly unbalanced, which are all issues in the game. Then again, that seems to be the core issue in your review. You don't really say anything about the game.

You don't talk about the battle system at all or anything outside of the battle system like the puzzles or the story or the like. Anything you do touch on is a one-liner that boils down to "It's just good just cos" and "yeah, i like this" or "I can't do this so it's good".

This is a pretty meh review, sorry. Perhaps go back and add some extra information about what you liked about the game giving examples and why they work. I mean, I get that you like the game but you haven't really told us what you liked about it really.

As it stands, it reads as more of a reactionary review to pump the score up after arguing against the lower stars it got from other reviewers. Overall I give this review 2/5 stars.

Yeah, guess what. Not everyone has your "standards." I see this every single day on this board. A person puts their heart and soul into a project. They waste weeks or months on it. They come up with their own engine, their own battle mechanics, their own system. They bother to explain it. "You spent too long on tutorial!" Wtf? It needed tutorial. "It seems disconnected from the rules of RPGs." Yeah, stuff your rules. They just made their own. Do you have any idea how many for-profit games I have seen in the last year that I wouldn't even pay one red cent for? This game, I honestly just can't solve a puzzle. If I could, I would keep playing. In fact, if I could pay money for this game, I would. Not only is the art unique vs YET ANOTHER borrowed chipset, not only were the puzzles fun to do, and the plot interesting, but I enjoyed the battles all of them. I don't know what your criticism is about, but he doesn't need it, and neither does he need to follow your rules. Nor do I. They don't exist.

Having seen alot of the same people make these standards on what constitutes a 4.5 star game, I have found very few of the 5 stars engaging (one of them was downright ugly to my eyes), and many many of them formulaic and annoying to look at. Of the 5 stars that have a download, telling it to exclude commercial games, Umbral Soul might be okay. Phantom Legacy was good, and mostly challenging to play, but I don't know about 5 stars. I played Blank Dream and Lavender, couldn't become engaged. Super Mario RPG was something I should have liked, but for a reason I can't remember, I couldn't. Possibly because I preferred the SNES Mario RPG graphics to the rather washed out GB graphics. No One Has To Die looks vaguely interesting, but not 5 star in concept or graphics. Quest Twilight Prince Prophecy Chronicles, haven't played it, but oh yes definitely yes, I want to assign this one a 5 star. Any of the Yume Nikki knockoffs? No. Valthirian Arc II, yes. Because this is MY taste.

These reviews? They're opinions. Potentially quality games like the 10th Line get trash unrated (that's a ZERO star, btw) reviews. Assigning fake standards to games just makes all games identical. And that is exact the problem, such games are the very antithesis of quality, effectively enforcing mediocrity. Game has problems? Maybe. Do I like it? Yes. 4.5, and that's final.

Let's criticize the "critics" here. What about your games? I won't play them. That's right. I will not even get to the download stage. They are well-drawn, by-the-book, all-the-art-in-the-right-place, and you failed on the most basic part of game design. Rule #1: Show us your heart and soul. I only see design here. Sorry. Your notes menu on Where End Times Saddest (etc) is the least pretty thing of the images shown. It's also the most real because I can tell it is homemade.

Why did I give this game 4.5 stars? Because it is everything your games are not, and I stand by this decision. The rest of you losers can go home, I'm muting all other comments. Largely because it turns out to be fun. That's why we play games. This game is different, that game is fun, the other teaches us something about ourselves. Formula games don't do this, only original concepts do.
Dragnfly
Beta testers!? No, this game needs a goddamn exorcist!
1809
So...the answer is to throw a hissy fit and hide posts?
OldPat
OrudoPatto, kisama!
4948
I thought I was reading a review. Then, for a moment, it looked like some kind of random post to me, like a status update of some sort. Then I realized it really was a review. Well, uh... a strange review that is but it's fine, I suppose? Although I really don't know anything about the game, yet. Except the fact I could get stuck after 5 minutes in. That's...
That's all I know about the game after reading your review really. I don't feel like downloading the game after reading this. You gave an almost perfect 5 star without explaining why. Since you liked the game that much, the least you could do is explain WHY you liked it in order to convince whoever reads your review to play it.
Also what's up with the hidden posts? What am I missing? WHERE ARE THY POP CORNS?
What you're missing, OldPat, was that (1) it took alot longer than 5 mins to get stuck, (2) I value design and creativity over being technically correct.

Why was the Elder Scrolls series so successful? Was it because it used the tried-and-true leveling system? Or was it because it developed its OWN leveling system? Was it because it was perfectly designed? Heck no, I have played Daggerfall (bug ridden) and Oblivion (actually sent my video card to oblivion, turning my display black). But it was a satisfying concept which played to its strengths (open-sandbox, NPCs, and quests).

So, people who disagree with this view are of course entitled to their opinions. But their opinions apparently are garbage, as they don't understand things like art or culture. You are welcome to call it a "hissy fit" but honestly I don't care enough about them to get more than marginally upset.

Art/Culture is to innovate, to edify, to teach. If you play "follow the leader" and "you must do it this way", better to never create anything. You are then not creating, you are streamlining. Such a thing should not be awarded 5/5 anything. That's... like giving 100 on a paper for spelling or agreeing with the teacher. No. The point of the paper is to assert fully developed thoughts and/or to persuade. Past about 5th grade, if your teacher is grading on being grammatically perfect rather than original thought or such, your teacher is a hack.

If you make a game, for chrissake do something different. Whether it's trying to cobble together turn-based combat on a system that doesn't know how to do it, or making your own graphic system, or making a compelling story that is so weird or edgy that it changes the way we think, this is 5/5 material. Not a knockoff of zelda or mario or yume nikki (God, I hate yume nikki knockoffs).

I forcibly hid every post by Liberty's, yours, and Dargnfly's. Which oddly enough was extremely satisfying. I even did an evil laugh while doing it.

Your nacho popcorn, milord. Much better than boring butter or caramel.

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