Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Quiz: The Year in Swooning

Match each of these games with the breathless quotation from its review.

1. Bayonetta
2. Mass Effect 2
3. Heavy Rain
4. Battlefield: Bad Company 2
5. Red Dead Redemption
6. Super Mario Galaxy 2
7. Halo: Reach
8. Rock Band 3
9. Call of Duty: Black Ops
10. Donkey Kong Country Returns

A. "A knockout in just about every way it can be... you owe it to yourself to rush out and buy this."

B. "There are so many aspects... that make it an experience above and beyond all other open world sandbox experiences that we can't even begin to list them all. Some of the reasons that stand out are a wealth of content, a beautifully rendered and detailed world, an interesting and engaging storyline, a fantastic roster of characters with their own personalities, great and believable dialogue, the ability to experience the game world online with or against others; the list can go on forever. Rest assured that this is one of the greatest game we've played in 2010 so far, and possibly ever."

C. "There is simply not a better, more complete shooter on the market, and with all this content, there isn't any way you can find something that you cannot sink your teeth into."

D. "I have never played anything so momentous or revolutionary... In the coming years I expect the game's influence to be felt throughout the industry in terms of gameplay, storytelling and interactivity. This is a game that deserves all the plaudits it can get. So please go out and buy [this game] and reward those that have made such a groundbreaking videogame event."

E. "Far exceeded our expectations and is without question one of the best games we've played. Use whatever positive description you'd like. System seller, potential game of the year, landmark achievement; just make sure you buy it immediately."

F. "With a ton of incredible levels to conquer; gorgeous, perfectly designed graphics (wait until you see the first sunset level!); retro-inspired music; and smooth, flawless gameplay, videogames don't get much better... I can't recommend this game enough."

G. "Easily the best FPS I've played in a long time. Dialogue that makes me want to watch a feature film starring these guys. A virtually flawless single and multiplayer experience."

H. "One of the best first person shooters this year, and is obviously a must have for any action fan. Intense, gory and quite brilliant, maybe it's not refreshing but at the same time it's a stunning game."

I. "Across-the-boards perfection [that] can't be measured by any scale. It's simply in a class by itself. This is where games need to go for my money... A modern-day masterpiece."

J. "This is a rare occasion when the hype can actually be justified; ...quite simply, a masterpiece."


1. I (Play Magazine)
2. E (GameDaily)
3. D (Boomtown)
4. G (GamePlanet)
5. B (Level7.nu)
6. J (Gamestyle)
7. C (ZTGameDomain)
8. A (Atomic Gamer)
9. H (3dJuegos)
10. F (Destructoid)


Which game is Destructoid calling close to perfect?

1. The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom
2. Rock Band 3
3. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit
4. Deadly Premonition
5. Limbo

A. "Judged as a piece of entertainment, as a game that consistently surprises and amazes and leaves jaws hanging... It's pretty close to perfect."

B. "About as close to perfect as you're going to get."

C. "It's warm and satisfying with a near-perfect consistency throughout."

D. "It delivers a near-perfect competitive experience, in a way that few games... can."

E. "...as close to perfect at what it does as a game can get."

1. C (link)
2. B (link)
3. D (link)
4. A (link)
5. E (link)

Compiled with thanks, and apologies, to Metacritic.


Mitch Krpata said...

And, to be fair, this is how I concluded my review of Heavy Rain:

"But the player who engages it in earnest will find an interactive experience of uncommon power. No, it's not quite a game, and it's not quite a movie. It's a dividing line. There was before Heavy Rain, and now there's after."

stasis said...

In defense of a lot of these places, I think it ends up being as much the result of having a group of writers rather than a single critical voice. What ends up qualifying as near perfect (both the scope of near and the definition of perfect) is constantly changing. I'm not claiming that a lot of this isn't the result of overenthusiastic journalism, something that's obviously a bit too commonplace in the world of games journalism (and perhaps doing harm where it's intended - perhaps unconsciously - to do good), but I do think the fact that those last five links are written by three different authors and about radically different games is quite relevant.

Kirk Hamilton said...

Heh, these are pretty great. Sure, taking them out of their context makes them seem more ridiculous than they do in their respective reviews, but what does that fact say? I guess it says that in this case "context" is a type of critical writing that has come to accept a ridiculous amount of hyperbole.

For my part, I really try to avoid the "buy it" thing. It always turns me off in a game review when, at the end, the reviewer says "This game is great and you should totally buy it."

Occasionally the question of value comes up when talking about a game in a looser format like a blog, and that sort of purchasing advice can seem totally normal. But it just seems like that kind of advice feels tacky in a professional review, like it lays bare the product-reviewy nature of so many game reviews... or sounds like the writer is commanding his audience to consume.

If my review makes the game sound good, I try to trust readers to make up their own minds on whether or not to buy it!

(Okay, now I have to go back through the year's writing and see if—or more likely when—I've broken that rule. :)

Unknown said...

Never apologize to Metacritic.

J.P. Grant said...

Nothing from IGN? I'm disappointed.

On Pac-Man CE DX, for example: "It's hard to imagine a more perfect Xbox Live Arcade game. This is a master class in game design: you will understand it instantly, enjoy it instantly, and want to play again and again."

Etelmik said...

Nice try, but your Heavy Rain quote is actually clever. Sorry to disappoint!

Anonymous said...

RE: stasis
You call that journalism? If it is, then Harry Knowles must be Ted Koppel.

Mr Durand Pierre said...

Hey, I got 6 of 'em right (I missed 2,4,6, and 9)! Better than I expected, anyway.

The Destructoid thing in particular is hilarious.

Thanks for compiling this, Mitch.

stasis said...

Re: anonymous
I call it journalism because it IS journalism whether it's good or not. I'm not going to get into an argument as to whether something can be what it claims to be only if its good.

Jacob Clark said...

Ah quizzes how i love them so! Except i totally failed this one except for 2 of them.

Ben Abraham said...

Someone clever once told me in a tweet (paraphrased) "Game writing needs to be less vague."

Kent Sutherland said...

This is as close to perfect as a game review quiz will ever get. It is quite simply the greatest rebuke of hyperbole ever composed in the English language, and a bitter monument to all that is good in snark.