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  • Avatar for dnard410 dnard410 3 days ago

    @matthewcooley77 yeah I paused when I read that too. You'd think people would have heard about a manned mission to Mars, right?

    Posted in Mass Effect: Andromeda Review

  • Avatar for dnard410 dnard410 6 days ago

    Unfortunately, this seems like the natural culmination of the trend in making open-world games big, BIG, bigger than any other game before, etc. Bioware kept bragging about how this game was so large, had so many voice actors, etc. Unfortunately, there's often a tradeoff between quality and quantity (exception: Witcher 3). By focusing so much on quantity, I'm worried Bioware didn't put as much care into the little things that make the ME games great. I'm seeing this problem not only with the animations and the opening storytelling, but also the music (really bland) and the dialogue choices (not much better than ME3). I think gaming needs to rebalance and put more emphasis on quality than quantity.

    Posted in Are Mass Effect Andromeda's Opening Hours Really That Bad? (Yeah, Kind Of)

  • Avatar for dnard410 dnard410 7 days ago

    One thing you didn't mention was how some crew members will die if you don't do their loyalty missions. Also, if you're a male Shepard and Miranda and Jack get into a fight, whichever one you side against will not be as loyal to you (even if you do their loyalty mission). So on my playthrough it was impossible to save Jack.

    Posted in Mass Effect 2's Final Mission Was the Apex of the Series

  • Avatar for dnard410 dnard410 9 days ago

    @brionfoulke91, I mostly agree about review scores, but find them helpful for two reasons. First, I sometimes use them to gauge if I should buy a game that I'm interested in without getting into too many spoilers. For example, I am tempted to buy Mass Effect: Andromeda and like the ME series. I'm not going to read reviews that might spoil the game. However, if the game consistently gets 5/10s from reviewers I trust, I might not buy the game on Day One.

    Numerical scores also make it a bit easier to compare reviewers across games. A review about Dark Souls is probably going to be very different from a review about Portal because they're different games, but a number score can at least be compared as a measure of how much the person playing enjoyed the game.

    Now, of course, the content of the review is more important than the number, and numbers can't replace well written reviews, but I don't think we should get rid of numbers completely. Rather, I'd like to see reviewers actually use the full spectrum of the numerical scale so the numbers actually mean something.

    Posted in Stop Taking Review Scores Personally

  • Avatar for dnard410 dnard410 9 days ago

    Completely agree with this. The first ME game had an innovative approach to RPGs. This is one of the reasons why I really hope Bioware releases an HD remaster of the ME trilogy. So many of the problems with ME1, including the Mako, combat, and graphics, could easily be improved in a rerelease. The original Mass Effect deserve to be played for years to come, but I'm afraid it will become a forgotten gem. It is sad though that Bioware went from a company that poked fun at traditional RPG fetch quests in ME1 to one that went overboard with them in Dragon Age: Inquisition.

    Posted in The First Mass Effect is a Great Game Not Just for its Time, But for All Time

  • Avatar for dnard410 dnard410 9 days ago

    @NiceGuyNeon, I've only read the reviews on the website, not watched the videos, so maybe there's something about Jim's tone that doesn't come through in his written reviews. I agree that he's certainly no Jeremy Parish, but he also seems eminently, if brutally, fair in his reviews.
    @SargeSmash, I'm sure some people do like Skyward Sword, but they seem to be in the minority nowadays. I personally felt burned by all the positive Skyward Sword reviews. I bought the game for Wii and was excited by all the 10/10 reviews, but it turned out to be one of my worst gaming experiences ever. Nowadays it seems like most gaming sites - including USG - consider SS to be one of the worst of the 3D Zelda games. That quick turn in popular perception of a game certainly isn't what you'd expect for a game that upon release got a 93 on metacritic at the time of release. I'm waiting at least another 6 months to see how critics really feel about BotW once the hype dies down.

    Posted in Stop Taking Review Scores Personally

  • Avatar for dnard410 dnard410 9 days ago

    @Modern-Clix, funny you say that. I hadn't read or watched any of Jim's stuff before reading this article, but I'm actually finding him to be surprisingly fair in his reviews. When he likes something, he positively gushes. Even when he gives a game a poor review, like BotW or Last Guardian, he seems to go out of his way to emphasize positives.

    Totally agree with @ brionfoulke91. Jim's use of the rating scale also seems more appropriate than what most reviewers use. Jim seems perfectly willing to score a "good" game an 7 because he acknowledges that it isn't perfect (and he does find plenty of things to like about BotW). I appreciate that not everybody jumps on board the hype train. In fact, before BotW came out, I remarked to a friend that Zelda games always get ridiculous high scores from reviewers, so it's best to wait for the hype to die down before evaluating the game. I read a lot of comments basically implying that the game was entitled to at least a 9 because it was a Zelda or Nintendo game. Remember how many reviewers claimed Skyward Sword was a masterpiece? Nowadays, the consensus seems to be that it was a serious misstep.Edited 2 weeks ago by Unknown

    Posted in Stop Taking Review Scores Personally

  • Avatar for dnard410 dnard410 14 days ago

    @Vonlenska, funny you say that. I've always found the rankings to be fairly consistent. OoT, WW, and Http are almost always the top three, TP and MM tend to be next, then SS and the handheld Zeldas lower. I've seen several fan sites conduct online polls and that's almost always the outcome. Although even within that there's quite a room for different people to have their favorites. The amount of variety within the franchise is pretty impressive. Certainly more so than Metroid, which basically has 2D and 3D shooters.

    Posted in Which Legend of Zelda Should You Play First?

  • Avatar for dnard410 dnard410 15 days ago

    @Kat.Bailey, I think@TheWildCard means that Shadow of Mordor didn't need a sequel because the original had already exhausted the central mechanic. The story wasn't particularly compelling and I doubt many people care what happens to Talion. I enjoyed Shadow of Mordor for what it was, but like most people here got tired of it about halfway through. I feel like I need to see a lot more before I'm sold on Shadow of War. I'd love to see a more nuanced character or story. Instead of Talion being a random badass, maybe have him question his power a bit more.

    Posted in Take it From a Shadow of Mordor Critic -- Middle-earth: Shadow of War Looks Pretty Cool

  • Avatar for dnard410 dnard410 21 days ago

    @Pacario, That's pretty much my concern too. I have played open-world games like Witcher 3, but more for the story, despite the fact that they're open-world. The other thing that worries me is that I'm more a fan of discrete, memorable experiences in games. For me, a lot of open-world games are too sprawling and just too big to have really memorable moments (Witcher 3 is a bit of an exception because of its writing). As Mike said in the review, dungeons can be really memorable experiences because they're such streamlined and focused experiences. For me, I'll always remember the Sky dungeon in Twilight Princess, especially the epic dragon boss, but I've already forgotten most of Dragon Age: Inquisition.

    Posted in Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Review