Recently, a friend who had read my blog for the first time just the day before commented upon my reviewing style. The GOTM articles, in particular. Even more specifically, the most recent GOTM, where I deem Gears of War 2 to be my Game Of The Month.

Now, before I divulge too much, here's a little background on this person:
* He is a huge fan of both Gears of War and Halo, actually falling under the category of fanboy.
* He is not an idiot. He just has a huge ego.

The article to which he refers can be found here.

"I think in all honesty that you generalise when you should specify and specify when you should generalise."

This is a nice opening statement, and I don't even have to ask for an example.

"Like saying fable 2 is fable 1 with guns and a dog."

I replied that by the time I'd finished playing Fable 2, that is how I generally felt about it. This is the point where things started to get a little less than lovely.

"Well, I guess it depends what you're aiming for in a blog: a place to rant or a a place for actual assessment."

My GOTM are almost always written impromptu and are short little reviews that let me explain my opinions on recent titles that I've played, and people can take or ignore that advice. They are not intended to be rants. This post, however, can definitely be considered a rant. Because it's not a review, as such.

"[in] that statement against fable 2, you pretty much ignore that the game is open world as opposed to fable 1 in which you run along fenced off roads most of the time... and fable 2 is definitely less centralised around the story and more centralised in doing a whole lot of things within the world."

I'm sorry, I must've been playing a different game. Fallout 3 is open world. Far Cry 2 is open world. Fable 2 just has slightly wider "fenced off roads" than Fable 1.
Fable 2 IS definitely less centralised around the story, with focus put more towards other activities within the world. It's true. But as Ben Croshaw said here, the game is called FABLE. It should have to do with the story, especially given that Fable's story was of a decent standard. We don't hear stories about those medieval heroes who chopped wood for forty years to marry and live in a big house, do we?

"but then they can't differ too much from Fable 1, otherwise they'd pull a Far Cry 2 and only be using the name for the marketability."

Maybe so, but Far Cry 2 built upon the developing open world nature of Far Cry. But yes, Far Cry 2 was very different from the original. The big difference from Fable 2 is that it was (and to this point, still is) fun for me to play.

At this point, I'd decided I'd had enough of his fanboyesque talk of Fable 2, and mentioned,

"whatever works. It's my opinion on Fable 2, and there's no need to agree with it."

And this is where the bombshell drops, and brings me to my point (sort of).

"hmmm... sometimes, I think your opinion of things is influenced too much by your experience."

What I and all who I have mentioned it to take this to mean is that my opinion on a game is influenced "too much" by my experience with it.
I'm curious - does that mean I should rely on other people's experiences? I can tell you right now that I'm certainly not going to go asking any Halo fanboys for advice.
Or should I just act without bias, which means I can't experience the game in any way, shape or form, which means that I can't even know about it.

"Morgan's GOTM: *********

This game contains graphics and sound and is playable."

This person also mentioned that I couldn't have Gears 2 as my GOTM because I hadn't played the online matchmaking component of the game.
Sorry, I personally prefer to play with friends, rather than being matched with a random assortment of less-than-desirables.
Plus, if my experience with the other components of the game is enough to make me rate so well, why is he complaining?

And so, finally, we come to my question for you, the readers:

What is a reviewers obligation when reviewing a game, and where does that obligation end?


Caitlin said...

Your obligation is to ignore him!
A review is simply meant to be like an argumentative essay: what your reaction was, with supporting examples and explanations. A review has to include opinion, or it's just a description.

SPLastic said...

Thank you :)