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Author Topic: Halo 2 Reviews - IGN/Gamespot/Gamespy (Poss. Spoilers)  (Read 4544 times)
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Pharaoh
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« on: November 07, 2004, 08:09:23 PM »

Comments?
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« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2004, 08:16:05 PM »

http://xbox.ign.com/articles/557/557509p1.html
Links are your friend!!

reading it now.
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rrmorton
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« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2004, 08:17:57 PM »

I always avoid IGN because I find their reviews so annoying but I thought I'd give their Halo 2 review a glance.

I almost made it to the review before I found something too annoying to deal with:

Halo 2
Get ready for the ride of your life, the greatest Xbox game of all time has arrived.


Oh, really? The greatest Xbox game of "all time"? What's the average life cycle of a console, about 5 years? How long has the Xbox been out? About 3? Shove it up your asses.

Sorry. I just hate IGN.
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Andrew Mallon
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« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2004, 08:19:25 PM »

Gamespot's review is up too. 9.4. They really trash the single-player campaign:

Quote
There's a good chance you'll feel emotionally betrayed by the story, and it certainly doesn't help that the campaign, at the default difficulty, is going to take an average player less than 10 hours from start to finish. Many excited Halo fans will quickly blow through it in a day, or even a single sitting. Yes, the actual gameplay of Halo's single-player campaign is a blast. But the campaign also winds up being the most disappointing part of the game--probably the only disappointing part.
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2004, 08:28:25 PM »

Yeah that bit that Andrew posted sent some warning bells off in my head.  We'll see- I thought the first game was actually too long with way too much repetition so a tighter single player campaign isn't necessarilly a bad thing.  Plus, I'm going out of town for several days next weekend and I've been hoping to finish Halo 2 prior to leaving so I can devote myself to Half-Life 2 and MGS 3 when I get back.

The ending comment is very worrisome though.  One of my big petpeeves is that most developers seem completely clueless how to provide a satisfying ending.  Cliffhangers are fine when the rest of the ending is satisfying but just stopping without a big finale or sense of closure is pretty ridiculous.
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« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2004, 08:31:43 PM »

Im almost done with the IGN review, and he indicates teh game is roughly as long as the original on Normal...something like 12-15 hours. That sounds like the PERFECT amount of time for single player goodness, and the review indicates that just about all the repetition and other bad stuff from the first game has gone the way of the past.

I'm sorry, for Gamespot to say the single player campaign is weak because its only 10 hours for a very experienced gamer is just downright silly. The Chronicles of Riddick was an excellent game that took me about 7 hours to beat and had zippy replay value.

Thats just nitpickng for the sake of this being Halo 2.
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« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2004, 08:32:55 PM »

Quote from: "Kevin Grey"
Yeah that bit that Andrew posted sent some warning bells off in my head.  We'll see- I thought the first game was actually too long with way too much repetition so a tighter single player campaign isn't necessarilly a bad thing.  Plus, I'm going out of town for several days next weekend and I've been hoping to finish Halo 2 prior to leaving so I can devote myself to Half-Life 2 and MGS 3 when I get back.

The ending comment is very worrisome though.  One of my big petpeeves is that most developers seem completely clueless how to provide a satisfying ending.  Cliffhangers are fine when the rest of the ending is satisfying but just stopping without a big finale or sense of closure is pretty ridiculous.


OMFG Kevin, dont tell me someone of your impeccable taste in games is a MGS fan? Say it aint so ninja!
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« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2004, 08:36:40 PM »

Yes, I'm a huge MGS fanboy.  I make no apologies about it.  I've played them all multiple times, read and understand all of the criticisms, and am still unfazed.  I replayed MGS2 a few montsh ago wondering if all of the backlash would change my initial, highly favorable opinion.  Nope- I loved it just as much if not more than I did the first time.


The long cutscenes, codec conversations, and melodrama are actually plusses in my book but understand why the series turns so many people off.
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Calvin
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« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2004, 08:37:53 PM »

Ok then, I will continue to respect your tastes in games, and pretend this conversation never existed.

Carry on, nothing to see here.
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2004, 08:45:03 PM »

:wink:
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Pharaoh
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« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2004, 08:46:29 PM »

Its a vicious cycle for these sites. They are forced to hype these games for so long to get the vital advertising budget, that if they don't make the game "Greatest of all time" (GTA:SA and Halo 2 according to IGN :roll: ), then they look stupid, and Microsoft gets angry.

Gamespot, while I find overly critical, is usually more honest, which I love.
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« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2004, 08:48:39 PM »

Gamespy's review: http://xbox.gamespy.com/xbox/halo-2/564301p1.html
5/5 stars, closing summary:

After three years of wishing, hoping, and waiting, it's hard to believe that everyone will finally get a chance to play a true masterpiece of a game on the Xbox. The campaign mode introduces a ton of new elements, not only to the game itself, but also to the Halo universe as a whole. As for the multiplayer, you won't find a better Xbox Live experience anywhere, and you can be sure that Halo 2 will be topping the Live charts for years to come. If you want to see a perfect mix of everything that makes games great, from storytelling to graphics and audio, look no further than Halo 2.
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« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2004, 09:03:59 PM »

Quote
Sorry. I just hate IGN.

No need to be sorry...release the hate. smile  I hate IGN too!

I'll have my Halo 2 review up as soon as possible.  It'll be up before you can buy it.  You'll note that I do not have any ads for Halo 2 on the site, so maybe my review will be a little more objective...heheh
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« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2004, 09:08:24 PM »

No shit Ron...I know you guys are fighting an uphill against the giants, but seriously....I know people at IGN must hate the fact they post these kinda reviews.....they know full well they majority bullshit, and have a fiscal responsibility to give it 100/100.  The reviewers must know it as well.

I love it how IGN and Gamespy, both gloss over the horrible Campaign, while Gamespot does. Funny how they'd miss something that obvious. LoL
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Thin_J
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« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2004, 09:26:41 PM »

The total review listing for Halo 2 thus far:

Electronic Gaming Monthly: 10, 10, 10
GMR: 10
Game Informer: 10
Official Xbox Magazine: 9.7
IGN.com: 9.8
OXMUK: 10
XBN: 10
TeamXbox: 9.9
Gamespy.com: 5/5
Gamepro: 5/5
1up.com: 10
Extended Play (TechTV): 5/5
Gamespot.com: 9.4

Pretty impressive if you ask me.

Also, the complaints about the singleplayer game being short don't bother me. I actually prefer 10 to 15 hour games. When they're that "short" it means I'll be able to run through them again in the future without devoting a week to the damned game. It also usually prevents me from dropping the game and moving on to some other new title that just released before I've even finished. Granted, I don't think either of those would have ever been a problem with Halo 2, but I still don't see the complaint about the length of the singleplayer.

Besides, who plays Halo on the default setting more than one time? After that you grab a friend and you spend the next two weeks of your life trying to run through the game on Legendary. At least that's how it'll go for me.
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« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2004, 09:29:09 PM »

And Pharoah:

"horrible campaign"

When did you play the game all the way through? Hm? Also given that there's only ONE review that says anything bad about the campaign, I'd have to say at this point that particular opinion is the exception and not the rule.
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« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2004, 09:36:26 PM »

*edit: I dont care enough about your comment to reply the way I want. Those reviews are all impressive together I must admit*

The multiplayer rocks, thats all that matters.
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« Reply #17 on: November 07, 2004, 11:22:55 PM »

Quote from: "Thin_J"
When did you play the game all the way through? Hm? Also given that there's only ONE review that says anything bad about the campaign, I'd have to say at this point that particular opinion is the exception and not the rule.

Remember, as I've said before as I've talked to somebody who got the game early - Gamespot's review is spot on as far as the single player story goes. It does end badly and it is short.

I think it's more about the ads, as others have said. They have to call this game of the year on the Xbox, and they can't say anything negative about it.

GTA4 anyone (and IGN's 9.9 score)? smile
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« Reply #18 on: November 07, 2004, 11:30:59 PM »

Quote
After three years of wishing, hoping, and waiting, it's hard to believe that everyone will finally get a chance to play a true masterpiece of a game on the Xbox.


Hahahahahahahahaha... the XBox sucks.
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« Reply #19 on: November 07, 2004, 11:32:56 PM »

Quote from: "-Lord Ebonstone-"
Hahahahahahahahaha... the XBox sucks.


Now there is a convincing argument. slywink
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« Reply #20 on: November 07, 2004, 11:37:32 PM »

I don't think ads have anything to do with it.  I seriously doubt MS is going to avoid advertising and providing review/preview copies to sites with the readership level of IGN.  

What I will believe is that some level of perceived site integrity is at stake with major titles.  After having gotten their readers into a fervor with years of previews sites will effectively force a self-fulfilling prophecy onto themselves by giving reviews that justify the level of hype.

Then there is the issue of readership- IGN was hatemail bombed for their mediocre review of Killzone.  There are already people crying online about GS's outstanding score of 9.4.  These readers are completely irrational but they are customers of the site and a negative review could cause a loss in readership.

I'm not saying any of these are the case here but I find them more likely for any perceived overrating of games than any type of graft accusations.  

I am a little troubled that more sites aren't picking up on length of gameplay and the weak ending.  That's been an issue in a few of the reviews but not mentioned in most.  As Rage said, sometimes shorter games can be a blessing but I admit to be being surprised that 3 years of development has resulted in a game significantly shorter than the first Halo whose single-player was reportedly thrown together in six months to a year.
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« Reply #21 on: November 08, 2004, 12:43:29 AM »

Quote from: "Thin_J"
Quote from: "-Lord Ebonstone-"
Hahahahahahahahaha... the XBox sucks.


Now there is a convincing argument. slywink
Hehe.  I was just being a jackass.

You have to admit, that line is pretty pathetic, though.   Cool
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« Reply #22 on: November 08, 2004, 12:44:12 AM »

Quote from: "rrmorton"

Sorry. I just hate IGN.


IGN. We give 110%.... to everything!
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« Reply #23 on: November 08, 2004, 12:56:38 AM »

I don't think a single review has said that the single player is "horrible." I'm buying Halo 2 specifically for the single player campaign because I enjoy the story and mythos that surrounds the Halo universe. I've read all the books, played the I Love Bee's ARG (listen to the radio drama if you haven't! It is long and builds up to Halo 2! The voice acting is incredible.) I was expecting a game that was around the same length as the first game (I beat Halo in under 9 hours) and I also expected an ending that was probably going to be short and sweet. THe first Halo DID end very quickly and left you hanging as well; and no there was no sense of conclusion to the first games ending either.

Even the Gamespot review (I hate Gamespot and IGN both. Note: rrmorton: By greatest game of all time for the Xbox I think they meant to date, and would change their opinion if something came along to trump it) said that the missions, action, audio, and fun factor are excellent in the single player. Let's not forget that they did give the game a 9.4 and not a 4.4. THe game isn't a disapointment by no stretch in their eyes.  I think some people just like to find minor little things to bitch about and cling to those critiques like a rabid dog. I'm guilty of doing the same thing.

Just because one guy doesn't like the story doesn't mean others won't. I stand by my opinion that the majority of Halo fans, especially those who really are involved in the story and know what is going on, will love the single player campaign.



Now no one go and spoil this for me, I want to experience the game I've been looking forward to with virgin eyes.

DARTH VADER IS LUKE'S FATHER!!!!





*SPOILERS!!!!*

 Tongue  biggrin  :lol:
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« Reply #24 on: November 08, 2004, 01:50:22 AM »

Quote from: "Kevin Grey"
What I will believe is that some level of perceived site integrity is at stake with major titles.  After having gotten their readers into a fervor with years of previews sites will effectively force a self-fulfilling prophecy onto themselves by giving reviews that justify the level of hype.

Then there is the issue of readership- IGN was hatemail bombed for their mediocre review of Killzone.  There are already people crying online about GS's outstanding score of 9.4.  These readers are completely irrational but they are customers of the site and a negative review could cause a loss in readership.

You sir are an extremly rare breed of gamer - you actually look beyond the reviews and all important numbers to not only the game itself, but the percieved perception of how a site's readership will react to a score that doesn't fit along with their expectations.

From my reading, Gamespot is a very harsh site when it comes to handing out scores. That's why I also trust them more than IGN and Gamespy. Maybe it's because they're now the underdog, if you will (as incase you've forgotten, IGN and Gamespy are the same company now), but their scores look at the game as a whole, comparing it to what a console should be able to do (which is why they tend to knock a game for being a simple port).

They also don't seem to let hype get in the way with their reviewing.

That's what I, as a reviewer, try to do as well.

Think on the reviews and keep them in mind when you play Halo 2 starting late tomorrow night. Come back once you've beaten the game and discuss what your feelings are then.
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« Reply #25 on: November 08, 2004, 01:56:12 AM »

Dare I say it, but has Bungie noted yet about what type of future Live Downloadable Content is to be available for this game.  I think you know the next question that is coming...could they have more levels in the single-player that continue the story from however it ends (I have not played Halo 2 yet, so this is pure theory on my part)?

Let's not go down spoiler road here, but am I way off-base at thinking about this?  I could understand that there wouldn't be cutscenes probably, but they could further the game I would think.  I'm probably off my rocker though slywink.

And Kevin, you're not alone...I love MGS too (but you already know that), although at this point Halo 2 is a bit higher on my level of interest.
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« Reply #26 on: November 08, 2004, 02:22:15 AM »

I only scanned the Gamespot review as to avoid spoilers but according to Gaming-Age there are at least two major spoilers in the print/and or video reviews at GS so folks might want to beware.
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« Reply #27 on: November 08, 2004, 02:35:57 AM »

Heh, Fox, considering the let down that was MGS2, I think a lot of things are higher priority to MGS fans.

I doubt they'll pull such a scheme, everyone would cry bloody murder if they did that.  It's one thing to add in additional content, it's another to make them get live for single player content that should have been there in the first place.  I suspect maybe a new weapon, new gameplay modes, and new maps will be downloadable.  If there are new SP missions, they'll be side stories.
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« Reply #28 on: November 08, 2004, 02:45:18 AM »

Quote from: "Kevin Grey"


Then there is the issue of readership- IGN was hatemail bombed for their mediocre review of Killzone.  There are already people crying online about GS's outstanding score of 9.4.  These readers are completely irrational but they are customers of the site and a negative review could cause a loss in readership.



Gamespot is the same place where recently their readership announced that Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault had flopped based on the Gamespot score of ..... 8.3  :roll:
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« Reply #29 on: November 08, 2004, 02:53:33 AM »

Quote from: "Turtle"
Heh, Fox, considering the let down that was MGS2, I think a lot of things are higher priority to MGS fans.

I doubt they'll pull such a scheme, everyone would cry bloody murder if they did that.  It's one thing to add in additional content, it's another to make them get live for single player content that should have been there in the first place.  I suspect maybe a new weapon, new gameplay modes, and new maps will be downloadable.  If there are new SP missions, they'll be side stories.


Actually the first Splinter Cell game did this- the downloadable levels via Live as well as the "bonus" level in the PS2 version were all originally intended to be in the game and could be seen in pre-release screenshots.  They were either pulled due to time constraints or a cynical move to make money via Xbox live later.  It was pretty obvious too- the middle game was pretty choppy with references to events that occured during those levels.  

BTW- early reviews on MGS 3 say that it addresses most of the concerns with MGS 2- plot twists aren't nearly as wacky, gameplay is more than twice as long, etc.  If you were a fan of MGS1 but didn't like Part 2 then I would give Part 3 a try.
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« Reply #30 on: November 08, 2004, 12:39:33 PM »

Quote from: "Sparhawk"
I'm buying Halo 2 specifically for the single player campaign because I enjoy the story and mythos that surrounds the Halo universe. THe first Halo DID end very quickly and left you hanging as well; and no there was no sense of conclusion to the first games ending either.


Sparhawk is absolutely right and sums up my sentiments perfectly.  I buy ALL games for these same reasons:  the story and mythos.  The first Halo ending cutscene was about a minute long, but left a lasting impression on me that till this day remains.
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« Reply #31 on: November 08, 2004, 12:56:12 PM »

I agree with morton that IGN is a little silly with its reviews. I do go to the IGN site for the strat guides and crap like that... but I take Gamespots reviews FAR more seriously
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« Reply #32 on: November 08, 2004, 02:38:55 PM »

Just noticed my stellar writing:

Quote from: "Stardrifter"
left a lasting impression on me that till this day remains


From the Department of Redundancy Department!  :lol:
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« Reply #33 on: November 08, 2004, 02:44:24 PM »

Yeah, I don't understand why they couldn't come up with a better flowing review in the month they've had since they sat down to play Halo 2 at MS/Bungie HQ.  I agree that Kasavin's review is the best of them so far.  He does in 4 pages what IGN (8 pages - 9.8 score) and Team Xbox (9 pages - 9.9 score) are unable to do, which is make an easy to read review that points out both the spectacular and the disappointing parts of Halo 2 from his perspective.

What I find most funny is that IGN talks about how the cutscenes are top notch and the graphics are awesome while Gamespot says the cutscenes are a little off-putting and you'll see low to high texture pop-in as you move around.

Oh well, I don't have the game yet and I'm sitting here as a reviewer criticizing another reviewer...heh.  I find Gamespot to be the best major source for reviews (outside of us of course slywink), although I do have a problem with at least one of their reviewers...although he is getting better.  Anyway, enough from me for now.

P.S.: I wonder when the Half-Life 2 reviews will start popping up.  A lot of the magazine people that went to MS/Bungie also stopped by Valve to get ready for a final review of that game as well.
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« Reply #34 on: November 08, 2004, 03:11:18 PM »

I know that both CGW and CGM opted out of the playing through the game at Valve so their reviews probably won't hit until after the game streets.  I'm sure the online sites didn't pass up a chance for an early playthrough though.  

Of the places that did stop at Valve that I know of:

PC Gamer US: 98%
PC Gamer UK: 98%
Edge (UK):  10/10
Game Informer: 9.5

Edge is typically very, very hard on games (much harder than even Gamespot) so 10/10 is very impressive coming from them.
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« Reply #35 on: November 08, 2004, 03:33:02 PM »

Um...Kevin?  I think you've got Halo 2 and Halflife 2 mixed up a bit there... slywink
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« Reply #36 on: November 08, 2004, 03:34:52 PM »

Quote from: "Kevin Grey"

PC Gamer US: 98%
PC Gamer UK: 98%
Edge (UK):  10/10
Game Informer: 9.5

Edge is typically very, very hard on games (much harder than even Gamespot) so 10/10 is very impressive coming from them.


I'm really getting an 'old school' excitement level for HL2, unlike anything I've had for any game in a long time. I've been jazzed ever since that 500 mb E3 video came out last year. And now, hearing about these review scores makes me think they actually put this last year (since 9/30/03) to good use, and perfected the game. It looks like it could be my gaming Utopia, a fantastic single player experience, 30+ hours (for a shooter!), great story, world class physics... gah. ONE MORE WEEK! woohoo!  biggrin
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« Reply #37 on: November 08, 2004, 03:45:17 PM »

I'm not bashing the game at all.   I just can't believe seeing these near perfect scores for a game that has  a single player campaign of 10-15 hours long!   Some of these review sites need to re-evaluate themselves.
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« Reply #38 on: November 08, 2004, 04:20:00 PM »

So, should movie reviewers dock a film because it's only 90 minutes long as opposed to two hours long?  Should a book reviewer take points off if a novel is less than 250 pages?  If the single player is long enough to give a complete experience, then it's long enough.  Video games are the only artistic medium that has people consistently complaining about the size of a work.  A game should be as long as it needs to be, and not be held up to some arbitrary judgement of how long it "should" be.
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« Reply #39 on: November 08, 2004, 04:20:03 PM »

There is absolutely nothing wrong with a 10-15 hour single-player campaign, as long as it's good. There is absolutely no reason to dock a game's score because it doesn't reach some arbitrary length.

EDIT: Chaz beat me to it...  frown  smile
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