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Objective Game Reviews
January 3, 2014 10:08 PM   Subscribe

Objectivegamereviews.com is a website. Visitors to the site can read objective reviews of video games.

Each review is an objective assessment of a video game. The top of the review contains an image from the game. The review lists the genre, developer, and platform the game is available for. Reviews describe how the game is played. Reviews contain descriptions of the story, graphics, and sound. At the end of the review the game is objectively scored on a scale of 1 to 10.
(description via SecretAsianMan)
posted by juv3nal (36 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'm calling bullshit: I searched, and I didn't find any mention of Ayn Rand!
posted by b1tr0t at 10:16 PM on January 3 [8 favorites]


This is one of those things that's a joke but so many people won't get it that it kind of terrifies me.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 10:17 PM on January 3 [2 favorites]


The only objective measure of a game is the time from when you start the game to the time you find the first in-game crate.
posted by hellojed at 10:41 PM on January 3 [31 favorites]


The objective game review of Hotline Miami is featured on the Steam page.
posted by squinty at 12:03 AM on January 4 [11 favorites]


squinty, that is excellent.
posted by EmGeeJay at 12:27 AM on January 4


I'm calling bullshit: I searched, and I didn't find any mention of Ayn Rand!

Here is waiting for a Bioshock review!

But honestly I'd love to read a Dota one, the game with the steepest learning curve and one of the most toxic community
posted by bdz at 12:42 AM on January 4


But honestly I'd love to read a Dota one, the game with the steepest learning curve and one of the most toxic community

DOTA 2 is based off of DOTA, which also inspired LOL. It is one of the most popular games in the world. Most people have never heard of it. Its adherents claim it is an entirely new kind of game, alternatively calling it a MOBA, or Multiplayer Online Battle Arena, or ARTS, Action Real-Time Strategy. It plays like tower defense with different hero characters.

In it you can be one of 110 heroes that are different from each other. Each has 25 experience levels and four skills, one of which is an "Ultimate" skill. It is a game with many varied strategies. There is one map that's always the same.
posted by JHarris at 12:57 AM on January 4 [1 favorite]


alternatively calling it a MOBA, or Multiplayer Online Battle Arena, or ARTS, Action Real-Time Strategy

*ahem* but its correct appellation is Lords Management or LoMa ;P
posted by juv3nal at 1:29 AM on January 4 [3 favorites]


"The player and the enemies are both vulnerable to weapons and die quickly when attacked." [Emphasis mine.]

This game has an appeal to me, and with some potential, to others.
posted by massless at 1:44 AM on January 4 [1 favorite]


In it you can be one of 110 heroes that are different from each other Pokémon.
posted by Smart Dalek at 4:09 AM on January 4 [2 favorites]


This game has an appeal to me, and with some potential to others

Foul ball! Subjectivity!
posted by running order squabble fest at 4:52 AM on January 4


The only objective measure of a game is the time from when you start the game to the time you find the first in-game crate.

For those not getting the reference, this is the Start to Crate rating developed by Erik of Old Man Murray, a foul mouthed, deliberately offensive "game review" site from the 90's. Games are rated on how long it takes them to hit the game cliche of crates.

Erik went on to become the lead writer of Portal, a game in which you literally romance a crate.
posted by justkevin at 5:47 AM on January 4 [14 favorites]


justkevin, not to mention Half-Life 2 (I think) deliberately put a useless crate in the first two minutes of the game just to mock "Start to Crate".
posted by sixohsix at 6:21 AM on January 4


Subjectively, I love this! There are so many people On The Internet who don't understand that opinions are inherently subjective. "This game, objectively, sucks!" is actually a thing that I have, objectively, read. This is a lovely take-off on that.
posted by sonic meat machine at 6:51 AM on January 4


The story follows an arc with various twists and turns. If the player beats the final level, they win.

Can't argue with that.
posted by ook at 7:20 AM on January 4


Objective review of Cry$tal Warrior Ke$ha neglected to note a gameplay feature by which you can create a tulpa of spirit glitter.
posted by postcommunism at 7:30 AM on January 4 [2 favorites]


But there are games which, objectively, sucked in that they were virtually unplayable. Steel Battalion's terribly implemented connect interface. Sim City's forcing bogus "multiplayer" on people while having woefully inadequate servers for the demand. Any number of mystery games where progress involves doing things which defy logic so that progress is reduced to an exercise of trying every object in your inventory with every object you come across so that you can use scotch tape on a hole in the fence so that you can get some cat fur to make a fake mustache so you can disguise yourself as a man who doesn't actually have a mustache.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 7:33 AM on January 4 [5 favorites]


Kid Charlemagne: "...progress is reduced to an exercise of trying every object in your inventory with every object you come across...." Amen, Kid. You've nailed why I don't like most so-called adventure games, which are usually stories on rails, where the rails take bizarre twists and turns. Usually the "solutions" to these improbable twists are funny, but it's no fun having to explore the search-space finding them. Exception granted to those based on books, where the funny twists are a play on what happened in the book (thinking specifically of the Babel Fish sequence in HHGttG).
posted by dylanjames at 8:20 AM on January 4 [1 favorite]


I can't tell if this is satirical. Is it a satire? If it is not a satire, why does it make no sense?
posted by ardgedee at 8:44 AM on January 4


This is genius. Don't miss the FAQ, which reads more or less as if the Less Wrong community decided to open a game review site.
posted by moss at 8:56 AM on January 4 [1 favorite]


What's the joke here? I mean, I get it: these are game reviews that only deal in the factual and empirical. But is that supposed to be satirizing something?
posted by escape from the potato planet at 9:27 AM on January 4


They're satirizing the whole notion of ranking videogames with anything like 'objective' numbers. Every halfway decent big-name game basically gets 9/10 everywhere anyway.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:29 AM on January 4 [1 favorite]


Basically it is a frequent and non-ironic complaint on video game review sites that the complainer doesn't want a stupid OPINION, he wants an OBJECTIVE review of the game!
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 10:02 AM on January 4


Specifically, the ire about 'subjectivity' in videogames tends to be from a few camps:

1) This is clearly the best videogame 5eva and you only gave it an 8/10 (or 9/10)? Or this game is crap (because it ruins the series!!11!) and you gave it an 8/10? Gaarrr, clearly you aren't objective! (This critique is often found side-by-side with accusations of bribery from either the company that made the game, or their competitor).
2) It's a codeword for 'feminism' or for people getting annoyed at mentioning racism, sexism in videogames. See also: the roaring chorus of rage Carolyn Petit got (including a petition that she be fired) for giving GTAV a 9/10 but also commenting that she found it "[p]olitically muddled and profoundly misogynistic", or the regular crap that Patrick Klepek, Leigh Alexander, Cara Ellison, the RockPaperShotgun guys, etc. get for trying to be conscious of the meaning of a game and its narrative.

So in the past year-or-two, there have been a lot of calls for 'objective' game reviews from people who have no idea what 'objectivity' means.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 10:30 AM on January 4 [5 favorites]


Okay—thanks. I play a lot of games, but I keep a wide berth from "gamer" culture (precisely because of attitudes like that). So this is news to me :)
posted by escape from the potato planet at 10:47 AM on January 4


It reminded me of nothing so much as those old Christian movie review sites that focused on how much sex and violence and naughty language they contained. The same sort of literal mindness and missing the point.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:05 AM on January 4 [1 favorite]


Every halfway decent big-name game basically gets 9/10 everywhere anyway.

It's like the reviews of the Zelda games, they mark on a scale from 9.0 to 10. It's just a tradition.
posted by bdz at 12:07 PM on January 4 [1 favorite]


But there are games which, objectively, sucked in that they were virtually unplayable

This is the rationale commonly used to dismiss text based games, Dwarf Fortress, and games that are too old.
posted by LogicalDash at 12:13 PM on January 4


But in the original comment Kid Charlemagne actually does pick games that are unplayable, like SimCity was when its servers were down. The word "virtually" is kind of unnecessary. Meanwhile Dwarf Fortress isn't unplayable at all, people just say "virtually" to allow themselves to better dismiss it, so they can feel better about not being able to scale its formidable learning curve.
posted by JHarris at 12:47 PM on January 4


Any number of mystery games where progress involves doing things which defy logic so that progress is reduced to an exercise of trying every object in your inventory with every object you come across so that you can use scotch tape on a hole in the fence so that you can get some cat fur to make a fake mustache so you can disguise yourself as a man who doesn't actually have a mustache.

Sorry, not objectively bad. I am nostalgic as hell for that stuff. Phantasmagoria is nearly unplayable and consistently ridiculous, and I love it. I loved the Atari E.T. game when I was a kid and am still fond of it, and that's widely considered the worst game ever made. Face it, when you factor in kitsch, nostalgia, "bad" game design that paradoxically makes a game better (DayZ is a recent example, from what I've heard), and games that shouldn't and don't work but nonetheless have a weird subjective magical appeal (Deadly Premonition), etc. - hell, look at the following Desert Bus has - there really is no objective good or bad that you can point to, for any single game. You can have meaningful discussions on ludic principles and stuff like that, in the way you'd give a talk on graphic design principles and what is likely to make a piece of visual design garner more of a positive response - but none of that stuff is objective. It's art, not science.
posted by naju at 1:09 PM on January 4 [1 favorite]


Subjectively, I love this! There are so many people On The Internet who don't understand that opinions are inherently subjective. "This game, objectively, sucks!" is actually a thing that I have, objectively, read. This is a lovely take-off on that.

The inverse of that is the people who read the implicitly subjective "This thing sucks!" And respond with a defensive "You should say 'It sucks in my opinion!'"

I always assume they are either a teenager or The Dude.
posted by brundlefly at 1:57 PM on January 4


Specifically, the ire about 'subjectivity' in videogames tends to be from a few camps

See also the Errant Signal piece on Keep Your Politics Out of my Video Games (alt link w/transcript), which makes the point that insisting that game reviews be "neutral" assumes politics/subjectivity aren't already omnipresent in the games themselves. Foucault and discourse and all that.
posted by Panjandrum at 2:52 PM on January 4 [1 favorite]


Turning this idea on its head, I can think of two ways to measure a games quality objectively. One is very limited, the other is hilariously expensive.

The very limited one is you measure how buggy a game is on a variety of hardware. For example, there are a number of games that are unplayable as they are so buggy you can't get past certain areas reliably, will crash on a regular basis (either to desktop or taking the machine down in flames with it). You can measure these things empirically, and thus they wouldn't be objective. That said, this doesn't say if a game is good, just technically sound. By this measure Skyrim, a game that still has people making art, fanworks, and playing heavily years after its release, rates far, far worse then Desert Bus, a game so bad that a number of people consider it to be the worst game ever made.

The expensive one is that you get a large sample of people, gamers and non-gamers, of mixed genders, races, sexual orientations and anything else you can do statistical analysis on. Then you have them play the game while wired to a bunch of EGGs and whatnot and measure the endorphin and adrenalin and whatnot levels as they play. Then you take your 1000 person sample and compare it to other games, and you can quantify how much fun it is compared to other games (provided good calibration measures), and what people find it fun. Also, you can then measure how it is fun: Is it consistently fun the whole time, or is it full of spikes nad lulls, does it actually get better 20 hours in, etc.
posted by Canageek at 3:38 PM on January 4 [2 favorites]


The beautiful part is that, if you read the Idle Thumbs thread (the SecretAsianMan link), you see that this is simultaneously a parody and dead serious.

He's seriously trying to create an "objective" review both to show how ridiculous it is but also as an actual thing to give people who claim to want that. The actual thing is a parody of itself.
posted by straight at 4:05 PM on January 4


justkevin, not to mention Half-Life 2 (I think) deliberately put a useless crate in the first two minutes of the game just to mock "Start to Crate".

The team decided to make a crate one of the first things you see in the game -- a decision that [Gabe] Newell opined "was the Old Man Murray equivalent of throwing yourself to the mercy of the court."
posted by straight at 4:12 PM on January 4


But there are games which, objectively, sucked in that they were virtually unplayable

This is the rationale commonly used to dismiss text based games...


And if you had to play a text based game that allowed input from only the Alt key and the number pad, I'd be inclined to agree. And you'd still have a more dependable control system than Steel Battalion had.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 8:48 PM on January 4


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