Tag Archives: opinion

Why I Don’t “Review” Games

I have a few things lined up to write about, but I saw an interesting discussion online earlier today, so I thought it would be something worth talking about.

It’s a discussion that seems to have continued in perpetuity ever since the earliest days of gaming media, so regardless of whether you’re reading this at the time of writing or a few years down the line, I suspect it will remain relevant.

I’d like to talk about why I don’t consider myself to “review” games in the traditional manner — and why, from the very beginning here at MoeGamer, I have not made use of any sort of summative system such as percentage scores or star ratings. Let’s talk about that!

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Editorial: Supporting the Little Guys

Good morning folks! There’s a MoeGamer 2019 Awards post coming later today, along with Warriors Wednesday, but a few things have been on my mind of late, so I wanted to think them through “out loud” and share those thoughts with you.

What I’m going to talk about today was primarily sparked by the recent plagiarism accusations levelled towards Niche Gamer by Sal Romano of Gematsu, but it also ties in with other surrounding matters such as the horrendous attitude towards a wide variety of marginalised groups displayed by One Angry Gamer and the hostile and abusive point of view expressed by the mainstream press towards fans of particular types of entertainment.

Let’s talk!

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Around the Network

Goodness me, the last couple of weeks have been some of MoeGamer’s best for a long time in terms of visitors. So a hearty “welcome” if you’re new around here!

I’m delighted that so many new people have come along to see what I’m up to; I’m perhaps less delighted about the circumstances which prompted such an influx of readers — as you’ll find out more about shortly — but at the very least, I hope those new readers have found a place where they can enjoy their favourite things without judgement or censure.

As you’ll know if you’ve been following for a while, I don’t have any great grand plans for MoeGamer to be a one-stop daily gaming resource — I don’t really do “news”, for example — but I do make a point of, at the very least, taking titles the mainstream press have treated like crap and giving them the respect they deserve. So stick around if you want to see more… and check out what you might have missed this week in this article!

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A Personal Post: Depression and Ambition

Hello, dear reader. I feel like I’m stepping “out of character” a bit for this post, as it’s not the usual sort of thing I’d tend to post here. But I feel like I want… maybe even need to get a few things out of my head and onto the page.

Don’t worry, we’ll be back to something directly game-related later today, so if you’re just here for the games, feel free to skip this post and stop by this evening. But for those who are here as much for Pete the writer… no, Pete the person… as you are for MoeGamer the site about games, thank you in advance for indulging me and reading what I have to say.

Today I want to talk a bit about mental health, ambition, career and how, sometimes, it can feel like a struggle just existing in the modern world.

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On the Age-Old Question of Video Game Violence

Over at The Well-Red Mage, which you should really be reading if you enjoy thoughtful and well-considered writing about games without sociopolitical showboating, the Mage posed an interesting question.

It’s one we’ve been over many times since the medium’s inception, and yet at the time of writing, it’s once again a hot topic thanks to recent gun-related atrocities and the surrounding discussions.

So let’s talk about it a bit. I am, of course, no expert on psychology, so I’m not going to speak for anyone else; instead, I’m primarily going to focus on my own experiences here, and contemplate how they perhaps came to be. Feel free to weigh in with your own thoughts in the comments, and be sure to drop by the Mage’s site to see some other takes on the matter.

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You Can Keep Your “Games as a Service”, I’m Fine with Single-Player, Thanks

EA’s recent announcement that it was shuttering Visceral and “pivoting” (ugh) the Amy Hennig-fronted narrative-centric single-player Star Wars project it had been working on probably didn’t come as a surprise to anyone.

It did, however, rekindle a discussion that last cropped up back in 2010 — once again involving Visceral, interestingly enough, this time with regard to the addition of multiplayer to Dead Space — when EA Games’ Frank Gibeau commented that he believed “fire-and-forget, packaged goods only, single-player, 25-hours-and you’re out” experiences were “finished” and that “online is where the innovation, and the action, is at”.

The “pivoting” of the new Star Wars project is based on many of the same principles as Gibeau’s arguments from 2010: indeed, EA’s executive vice-president Patrick Söderlund claimed that the decision was due to a perceived need to “deliver an experience that players will want to come back to and enjoy for a long time to come” — or, to put it another way, the oft-mooted idea of “games as a service”.

I don’t want that. And I’m certain I’m not the only one.

Continue reading You Can Keep Your “Games as a Service”, I’m Fine with Single-Player, Thanks

Japanese Games Didn’t Just Suddenly “Get Good”

MoeGamer’s mission statement, which you’ll find over on the right, is “to provide comprehensive, interesting, positive and well-researched coverage of niche-interest and overlooked, underappreciated titles that tend to get a raw deal from the mainstream press”.

This has been my stated goal with the site from its inception in April 2014 — yes, we’re coming up on MoeGamer’s third birthday! — but my strong feelings towards it actually extend further back than that: to my JPgamer column and regular JRPG reviews at USgamer, to the visual novel and JRPG columns I hosted on the now-defunct Games Are Evil… in fact, my love of Japanese games can be traced all the way back to the 16- and 32-bit console eras in particular. (In the 8-bit era I was largely gaming on Atari computers!)

I’m not alone in my love of Japanese games and the feeling that they tend to get rough treatment at the hands of both the mainstream press and an ill-informed public — though to be fair to the latter, one tends to lead to another. Over the last few years in particular, there’s been great growth in “alternative” gaming sites aiming to specifically cater to niches underserved by the mainstream press. Friends of MoeGamer like Operation RainfallDigitally Downloaded and the recently launched j-ga.me/s/ all carry the desire to celebrate underappreciated titles — titles that, in many cases, have strong followings and communities surrounding them that are at best ignored and at worst ostracised and ridiculed by the mainstream press — and all go about this task slightly differently.

One thing that brings us all together, though, is the sense of exasperation when a Japanese game that, for some reason, it is “acceptable” to enjoy comes along and even mainstream critics are forced to admit the things that sites like us have been arguing for literally years. And with 2017 being such a strong year for such games already, that has been happening quite a bit lately.

Continue reading Japanese Games Didn’t Just Suddenly “Get Good”