The Weekly FourDown – Nov 22nd

This is a blog! People write on blogs. But I don’t write on blogs because I’m bad at things.

So, to get a little activity going, here’s my new thing.

Remember when I said I was right about four-star rating systems? I’m still right. Mine’s better than yours. Sorry.

If you don’t remember, here’s a reminder.

So many rating systems are incredibly inflated, and gamers look at scores to tell them, flat-out, whether they’re worth playing or not.

Oh, a 79 average on metacritic? Not worth my time. 80? Let’s check it out.

Worse, anything less than an exceptional score is indication that the game is bad. Go on, be honest. Are you still interested in a game if it averages a 7/10 in reviews?

You should be. That’s damn good. That’s way above average. If the concept of the subject material interest you, you’ll probably like it and get over its issues. Because all games have issues. Even the heavyweights sitting at mid-90 averages have glaring problems.

It’s stupid to assume a great review means everything works well, that there are never bad moments. And it’s just as stupid to assume a mediocre review means the game doesn’t do anything right. That’s what a 0/10 is for.

And it’s even worse to assume that a “good” score actually means bad. If I rate something 3/4 stars, that’s technically 75/100 according to Metacritic. It puts it right smack in “not worth your time” territory for many. And that’s not right. 3 stars is me saying yes, I recommend this. Just not ravenously.

The alternative is a binary yes/no system. I like the decisiveness this forces, but sometimes, two games are worth a recommendation, but one stands out just so much more. And sometimes, a game deserves a hard NO, rather than just nah.

So anyway. New feature. Every week, I’ll be dredging my Steam backlog and putting together four short reviews as follows:

-One “highly recommended” (4/4) game.

-One “recommended” (3/4) game.

-One “not recommended” (2/4) game.

-One terrible awful 1/4 game.

They could be new, they could be old. They could be AAA, they could be tiny indie stuff. All that’s required is I played them, and a general theme to tie them together.

And I have a clever new way of titling my reviews too. I call them Double Yes, Yes, No, and Double No. Trending! Hashtags! Memes! #####!

So yeah. This week: horror. Little late. But I’m still all up in the creepy Fall-weather headspace.

Double Yes: Among The Sleep

Though short at 3-4 hours, it takes a good concept and uses it well instead of it just being a gimmick. Looks nice, basically plays like Amnesia, and has that effective use of symbolism that I so treasure in horror games.

http://store.steampowered.com/app/250620

Yes: The Last Door: Collector’s Edition

Enjoyably creepy point-and-click. Has jumpscares and general spooky atmosphere all around. Puzzles generally aren’t *too* adventure-gamey. Points off for not fully concluding by the end of the last episode.

http://steamcommunity.com/app/284390/

No: Home

I’m all for minimalist horror, but it’s one thing to get more from less and another to just have less going on in general. Home feels empty and dull, failing to create any decent tension.

Double No: State of Decay

Another zombie survival sandbox thing. Has a few cool ideas, but it all feels awkward and has trouble actually being fun. Has a stupid gimmick in that in-game time still passes even when you’re not playing. It’s also full of unfixed bugs. Oh, but you can buy the updated, bugfixed version for full price if you like! Haha no.

-OV

 

 

 

 

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