I’ve made a few changes today. First of all, I’ve added some more links to the side bar, including The MagicBox, which is where I get almost all of my news lately. I’ve also enabled comments in the news archive (they were broken before). Finally, I’ve noticed that some people were using the new rating system to rate games that have yet to be released, a practice that I must take issue with:
Games must be judged on how fun they are, not the license they represent or the graphic engine they employ. Judging a game based on screenshots and movies is not a useful practice: you haven’t the slightest idea if a game will be fun or not until you’ve played it. In fact, I think that part of the reason we get so many crappy games is that people often decide how high quality a game is based on external factors (such as license and graphics style/quality) alone.
Case in point: everyone pretty much agrees that Enter The Matrix is a horrible game, yet it has sold over a million copies. Why? Because people hear the word “Matrix” and suddenly decide that they must own the game. Remember The Bouncer? This game received an extraordinary amount of hype, and featured an incredibly high quality graphics engine. But when the game came out, it was universally panned. It turns out that even having wonderful graphics can’t save a bad game.
When you judge a game based on marketing and hype, you are encouraging developers and publishers to make games that are easy to hype. That is, you are telling them “I want the prettiest graphics, or the best license, even at the expense of fun factor.” Fun factor should be number one here: if a game isn’t fun, then it is a failure, right? By judging games without playing them, you are telling the marketing guys that you don’t care about gameplay; you’ve already made up your mind. This trend only encourages game publishers and developers to make awful games.
Don’t judge a game until you’ve played it. Don’t buy into hype… graphics, license, etc do not matter if the core gameplay isn’t fun.
So, the net result is that you may no longer rate games that have not yet been released. Please only use the rating system to rate games you have actually played, otherwise it is useless.