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Friday, May 13, 2005

How Some Reviews Suck

I said before that I agreed with the notion that above anything else, reviews should try to be factual. I want to know the details about the game far and above someone's witty banter about how much they loved or hated something in the game. Let's take Shining Tears as an example. Here is a quote from IGN's review:

To be fair, though, the two-player mode can actually be pretty fun if you treat it as a competition. Who can kill the witless enemy bastards the quickest, who can grab the most loot, and who can rack up the highest chains can turn into an entertaining exchange between friends. If you approach it like that, then Shining Tears does have some addictive qualities to it.

Sounds great right? If you were interested in the game for it's coop feature, then this sounds like a big plus. In fact, from the sounds of that it makes it seem like the coop mode might compensate for other shortcomings. But wait. Here is RPGamer's take:

If the player chooses they may take a trip to a "mirrored" world to gain additional levels; this allows characters other than Xion to be chosen and levelled up. A second mirrored world is also accessible providing that two different save files from two different memory cards are available.

Yeah. That's right. In order to play this coveted 2 player mode you have to A) advance far enough in the single player game to unlock a mirror and B) grab a second memory card, start a whole new game and then use that to trigger the second player.

No, it's not the worst thing in the world ... but it is one of the worst coop setups I've ever seen implemented. Compared to X-Men Legends which allows people to jump in and out of the game during a mission, Shining Tears is obnoxiously complicated. I assume this will also mean that if The Girl and I want to upgrade characters, we will have to play off our seperate cards. Annoying.

More annoying though is that I researched this game. But the IGN, Gamespot and Gamespy reviews all left this detail out and completely whitewash the two player as superior to the single player. RPGamer describes it perfectly, and AllRPG and GAF cover it fairly well.

Details people. Wit is nice, but give me the damn goods.

1 comment:

Hieronymus @ The Game Chair said...

You're lucky if co-op mode gets mentioned at all, never mind accurately. As a diehard co-op player, I'm always dying for a morsel of information when I see the magical "1-2 Players" on the back of the box. Is it co-op or is it deathmatch? Is it a real live co-op experience, or is it just playing some levels together? At least the Gamespot Tech Info link usually tells you more, but I'm still waiting to read the first Halo review that tells you there are no saves in the much discussed but apparently never played co-op mode.