To assist in considering how much weight to give my reviews, here are my personal preferences:
- I consider anything that forces you to replay sections of a game to be an unforgivable sin. A game has to be Gabriel Knight quality to include dead ends and still have me recommend it. Technical stability (or a very good autosave) are also important to me for that reason.
- I mostly enjoy a challenge. I am an experienced player. Thus, I tend to rate highly games others might find difficult or frustrating. I actually enjoy getting stuck if I appreciate the solution is “fair” (i.e. what’s stumping me is my own limited ability to figure things out)
- I don’t enjoy “real world” difficulty. Mechanics that force the player to scan screens with the cursor (pixel hunting), click/tap quickly or just react quickly (QTEs or just timed section) generally rate poorly IMO. Some timed sections are excusable to heighten tension, but not as a prevailing game mechanic.
- I’m not jaded. By which I mean, innovation is only important to me if it brings something good to the table. I still fully enjoy completely traditional games, I don’t need twists to pique my interest. The other side of the coin is that games that are forcibly different just for the sake of it (think the new art style in season 3 of Sam & Max) often piss me off.
- I prefer Point and Click or free roaming to node-based movement.