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Googleshng - October 29 '02- 2:00 Eastern Standard Time

A pretty highly anticipated game came out yesterday, to the degree of taking down the server of an online game store or two. Why is this game being purchased en mass? Because it's the sequel to a game that mainstream media has been giving a truckload of free advertising to for like the last half a year. Said game was pretty darn good sure, but so are a lot of others! Spread the free ads equally if you're going to run'em at all people! Incidentally, I think that all started with someone casually mentioning how much they liked the game on The Daily Show a while back. That really shouldn't be where the mainstream folks get their info from.

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Griping about reviews

Most game review systems basically work on a one to ten scale, GameSpy, for example, uses one to one hundred, but it's basically the same. One is a waste of materials, five is average, 10 is perfection, add a zero to each of those and you have GameSpy's system. At least, that's how it's supposed to work in theory, but the game reviewers have a problem, a problem I like to call High Review Syndrome, or HRS. Unless a game is truly terrible it is almost guaranteed to get a score of seven, or seventy as the case may be. That's become average, good games get an eight, or an 8.5, great games get nines and 9.5's and still only a few games get tens. People complain about a game getting a bad review if it gets anything lower than a seven, even though in reality, that's an above average score, at least it should be.

Here's my theory about why this happens. Part of it is that most people don't like giving bad reviews, it's just part of human nature. Another part of it has to do, I think, with the evolution of the gaming industry. A game that would have gotten an excellent review ten years ago may be considered old a stale by today's standards, so as the games become more inovative, and "better" than those older games the reviewers tend to feel like they should give these newer games a higher score than the hypothetical older game, and gradually the review scores go up and up until average games are getting sevens. For example, lets say when Doom was first released it was given sevens (I know it wasn't, just go with it), then a few years later Duke3D comes out, and it's obviously a deeper, more inovative game, so it gets eights and resets the standard, then Quake comes out, but there's a problem, the single-player gameplay is not as deep, but it's a technological leap. They have to give it a score at least as high as Duke3D, because it has real 3d graphics, and the first TCP/IP play in an FPS. So they give it a nine, does it deserve a nine? Probably not, but Duke set the standard at eight, and if they gave it a lower score due to it's limited single-player people would assume it wasn't a good game.

I have no idea how to solve this problem, if it even is a problem, since everyone seems to expect it, but it seems to me that the reviewers, be they magazine or internet, are boxing themselves into a corner and eventually something will have to be done to reset the system, with five as average again.

-Bal

Googleshng:
Yeah, there's a widespread habit of people scoring reviews on a scale of 6-10. A lot of that is not wanting to step on toes, and I'm sure a lot is also intentionally overscoring to butter publishers up for exclusives in the future. Here at RPGamer, we keep a specially trained evil ogre locked in the basement who reads every review a staffer here writes, and then makes them readjust things to an actual 1-10 scale.

 
Old Rumors Die Hard

Hi Goog ( oh great answerer of questions )

Everyone is talking about how FFX-2 is the first direct sequel to a Final Fantasy game. However, i seem to rememeber, and i may just be crazy here, but in an old EGM i read they mentioned something about a sequel to FF6. This game was called Final Fantasy 6: The shadow of darkness. It was supposed to be some kinda game about Shadow, but i don't remember too much about it other than the name. Also it doesn't help that i can't find the article anymore. So am i crazy? Have you ever heard of this? Oh well, Im going to go play with my gargoyles now! I have to feed them at least three tax lawyers a day.
-Tommy

Googleshng:
Some Final Fantasy fan site once wrote up an article about Square making a sequel to FF6 as an April Fools prank a few years ago, I'm guessing that's what you're thinking of.

I said ALONG WITH questions tanjit.
 
Idea #1

Heya Google!

This is a suggestion letter (not a publishable one, of course!) ... At my place of work, we always are being looked to in getting positions within the company; perhaps, you could do some 'switcharoo', ie. maybe bring a trustworthy person on from, say, the review/news department, and have them be tested and given trials (none including fire, of course! ...unless you had a really big fire extinguisher. ...and a bucket of water, but that's neither here nor there, not that I'd know about fire, hehe!)

In bringing that person into the new 'permanent' weekend slot, perhaps you could get their place filled by a new person... With Thor's lack of gaming experience, I know not many would care, but for an occasional stint, it's not too painful.. :)

Ack, I've think I've gone on too long. Just know that you are doing great, and I, as most others who have been on from the start, appreciate your humor, anticdotes and info.................

Thanks for 4 and many more years,

Eric

Googleshng:
How shall I put this? If there were currently someone here at RPGamer with the time and ability to run weekend Q&A, there wouldn't have been dead air on Sunday. So, moving along...

 
Gonna go back in time!

First off, send my thanks to CC for the good work he did on the column. He'll be missed.

Next, as for the replacement, how about me? I did pretty well when I did the second-to-last games-for-guest-host thing; I have been playing current RPGs; I'm not living a nomadic existence in the wilds of the California frontier; and gosh darn it, people like me.

I understand you're probably getting a lot of these, and I really don't expect you to take me seriously... But anyway, it would be cool to reunite all the game guest hosts for a column or two. Either that or Brad. Brad was cool. He posted my long haiku.

Anyway, whatever you decide, we'll live with it. Good luck finding the replacement.

John Z.

Googleshng:
A few people suggested Brad today actually, but last I checked he's way too busy these days.

Plus then there's the fact that I got this job by taking over for Brad, so there'd be this weird marrying one's stepchild sort of vibe there, you know?

Oh, and looking into old guest hosts IS on my list of things to do oddly enough..

 
Here's one out of left field...

Heya, Google-sama!

Please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please bring back Gin'Irochi!

Please?

BL Alien

Googleshng:
Hmm... one of the few hosts of old who didn't burn out before quitting eh? I'll have to look into that if I run into him...



Quickies

What is Gaiden?

A Japanese word which as I understand it translates roughly to "side story"

Hey, I'll do it. I play RPGs constantly, and, most importantly, I have nothing better to do, ever. C'mon, you know you want to take a chance on a complete unknown like some kind of 80's, inspirational teen movie. I have a stuck up rival and a training montage all ready for you.

-Bal

Ah, but do you have the requisite atomic purple headband?

The Last Laugh:

Pop Quiz time! Highlight below the question for the answer! Oh yeah, and have a rant too!

Googleshng "What was the first ever Survival Horror game?" @rpgamer.com

Ecco the Dolphin

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