Firstly, if you’re one of the two people who’s read this blog a) thank you and b) I’d like to apologise for my absence over the last week or so. Rest assured, I haven’t gotten bored already, it’s just that I was in the US for a week, and the repeated shock of paying a bajillionty-twelve dollars for a soda at Disney and Universal left me with little time to actually, you know, write stuff.
I’m back now, though, and just in time for ‘Gaming’s Silly Season’, which brings me, quite nicely, to my next point. If you’re interested in gaming you’ll know that between now and Christmas (and beyond) there’s a whole shedload of games being released, at something like the rate of one every 6.75 minutes (I haven’t done the *actual* maths, admittedly, but you get my point!). Whilst this is great, generally speaking, it does mean us Gaming Bloggers are going to have to give up on such things as, say, sleep, showering, real-life etc, if we’re to even stand a chance of covering a small fraction of these games. Given I’m just one dude, this presents even more of a challenge – and given I’m actually quite a slow, lazy dude, it’s a challenge up there with parting large bodies of water – or getting that crappy layer of plastic off the top of microwave meals in one piece!
Anyways, here’s how I plan/hope to proceed with reviewing/writing/coverage type shenanigans. For most games – particularly the bigger, ‘open world’ ones – I intend to do a ‘First Impressions’ piece initially, acting as a kind of pre-review, and allowing me to pass on what I’m liking, not liking etc, and to cover some of the more general aspects of the game. This won’t be a full review, but it should hopefully provide some relevant information for anybody thinking about buying a game, and/or considering if it’s something they’d like or not.
I mean, I could rush through campaigns and such in order to get a Full Review up, but I’m a big believer in fully playing a game before judging it, and I think that a quick playthrough does me, the game-makers, and you (dear reader) something of a disservice, particularly with games that you need to fully immerse yourself in to really experience properly. I also happen to think that this approach has a tendency to punish the better, more thought-out games.
Why? Well, let’s take, for example, collectibles/side-quests etc. Most games have these as optional (to varying degrees), but the well-thought-out ones tend to integrate them into the overall experience much, much more, and pursuing them fleshes out the story, or enhances the gameplay, or characters, or your arsenal/inventory. As a consequence, skipping this stuff can negatively impact on the overall experience (as it was intended to be) waaaaay more than in games where it’s just a collect x, y or z in each level, or area, or whatnot.
Therefore, in most cases, I shall hold off on doing a Full Review until I feel I’m in a position to really cover a game, and to do it some semblance of justice with my messy brain-thoughts – depending on the game, this might be up to several weeks after the First Impressions piece, but should allow me to go into much greater detail and provide a fair and decent analysis.
Finally, after that (and again, depending on the game) I hope to cover the ‘Any Other Business’ stuff a bit later still, should it be necessary or useful to do so. This might be focused on a particular aspect of the game, or the ongoing experience of playing it, or just some random thoughts inspired by it.
With some games, this’ll most likely be when I cover the Multiplayer aspects – again, because I feel that, especially nowadays, this is something worthy of coverage in its own right, and is an experience separate and distinct from the campaign/single-player stuff. I could play a few maps and tack on a couple of paragraphs to the main review, but increasingly multiplayer aspects of games require at least as much investment of time to fully appreciate as campaigns and such do. In fact, in my experience, it takes quite a while for all the intricacies and nuances of Multiplayer to become apparent, so it’s necessary to hold off judgement – at least initially.
Or, to put it another way (and if I’m being honest) I’ma be so shit at first that my multiplayer “review” would solely consist of my listing all the many and various ways I got my ass handed to me which, whilst perhaps being amusing, wouldn’t really provide a true and accurate depiction of the game. After a few weeks I imagine I’ll still be shit, but hopefully less so, and more importantly, I should be able to relate more information than just that which is contained within the Kill Cam.
So, that’s about it. The next couple of months are shaping up to be genuinely great for gaming, and there’s plenty of stuff dropping for gamers of all tastes, niches and genres, and I’m extremely excited about it. Sleep’s overrated anyway, and I’ve never been overly fastidious about personal hygiene, so there really aren’t that many drawbacks as far as I’m concerned. I hope you enjoy every second of it, and I hope I can contribute to that enjoyment in some way.
Finally, if you’re so inclined, jump in and add your own thoughts – and if you feel I’ve missed something, or got some stuff wrong, feel free to give me a differing opinion (if at all possible though, constructively – I like yo’ momma jokes as much as the next guy, but there’s a time and a place!). Likewise, if I’ve yet to get to a game you’ve already played, and you want to write about it, I’d be more than willing to hear your thoughts.
And, of course, HAPPY SILLY SEASON, and may the gaming Gods bless us all, each and every one!