Wednesday, October 7, 2009

TTH: Reviewing Responsibly

I just published a new editorial on Ten Ton Hammer called "Reviewing Responsibly". Basically, I question whether or not it's a good idea for critics to be publishing final verdicts on MMOGs so close to the day of launch. The practice is done solely for pageviews and advertising dollars, which could be just as easily grabbed with a "Launch Day Impressions" article, minus the final score.

The argument could be posited that if you're going to review a game, you should review it as it is sold to the public, but I can't help but make the case that an MMOG is not your ordinary piece of software entertainment and shouldn't be treated like just another offline game. MMOGs are living and changing worlds (for the most part) that undergo a lot of changes and fluctuations, and are far too large and meandering to spend five hours in and then just assign a score based on the tutorial levels.

The review system in general for videogames, this 7-10 score bullcrap we see dominating the magazines and internet media outlets, is garbage as it is. But it's even more nonsensical when applied to an MMOG. Impressions first, review later, and subsequent re-reviews down the line as the game changes. That's how reviews for online worlds should be handled in my book.

In fact, I think it might be time for me to revisit a few old haunts for my own re-reviewing. Too bad Auto Assault is still dead... I'm in the mood for four-wheeled carnage.


Genda Silverspike said...

I totally agree that there is no way to effectively review an MMO at launch, or after a short time of playing the game.

I believe it IS legitimate to review the newbie experience and what your observations, likes, dislikes, and experience around that is. A lot of times, that is a foreshadowing of the experience to come.

Oh, and welcome back to blogging. Great to see you posting here again.

Genda Silverspike said...

Since you are using Blogger again, have you considered using a commenting system like Disqus? Makes it way easier to comment than Blogger and it's fancy. :P

Bildo said...

I've been looking into that. :) I'm probably gonna play around with the design and stuff some more as I settle in.

Sad to see you stopped with Champions for now, by the way, but I understand. I like the game, but simply don't feel the urge to log in lately.

I am much more into Fantasy right now, and itching for Dragon Age... but also for a good solid fantasy MMOG. WoW and WAR are tempting me again.