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A Question of Value

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I just read Becky’s excellent review of the new Carol Reed clone game Silent Footsteps.

This will arouse some ire, I’m sure. But I’m not sure why this is reviewed as an adventure game rather than a casual game without hidden objects. It costs $12US, and at five hours of play time, is ridiculously short compared to casual games that cost far less, and last quite a bit longer.

Whether you like them or not, I have to say there is more value in playing an eight-plus-hour $6.99 Enigmatis 3 - The Shadow of Karkhala.

     

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rtrooney - 19 January 2018 09:34 PM

.....I’m not sure why this is reviewed as an adventure game rather than a casual game without hidden objects. It costs $12US, and at five hours of play time, is ridiculously short compared to casual games that cost far less, and last quite a bit longer.

Tim, Silent Footsteps is reviewed as an adventure game as that is exactly what it is. You’re surely not suggesting that just because a game is short that puts it in the category of being casual?
I’ve played at least a couple of freeware games that each took at the most an hour to play but neither I would in the least bit describe as a casual game as they were most definitely adventures!

I think the difference in cost between a short adventure game & a longer casual game is a different issue. Casual games must be far easier to produce as they are churned out & there is a larger market for them.

As for value, playing a casual game offers a different experience to that of playing an adventure game that (for me) can’t be compared - it depends on what I’m in the mood to play.    Smile

     
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Reviews are a question of quality, not a question of value.

     

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The question was posed as a question of value. Specifically, is $12US a fair price to pay for five hours of gaming entertainment. I was wrong to compare it to a casual game regarding quality. But the comparison is valid if you only consider the cost of the game v. the length of time you spend playing it.

I also know that the question does not cross media boundaries. It is possible to spend less than $10US for an electronic book on Amazon that will give you twenty-plus hours of reading pleasure. And it is possible to spend many hundreds of dollars for a ticket to a Broadway musical or a concert that will be over in less than three hours.

     

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I think to me, value is in quality and not quantity. We all have a certain amount of hours on this earth, so I would rather spend $10 on something that is 5 hours long and amazing than $5 on a 20 hours thing that is not fun.

Also like you said, people are willing to pay 100’s of dollars for a broadway musical that is done in a couple of hours, so why when it comes to video games, the question of game length comes up?

     

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Price should play no part in a review, because prices change all the time. Some game may cost $30 on release day, and go on sale for $10 within a year. Should the review be updated then?

What I want a review to tell me is what the game is like, what it tries to do, and whether it does it well. Whether it’s worth my time and money is not something I can expect a reviewer to figure out for me.

     

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Maybe in extreme cases price should come up in a review to tell the story of a release.. whether that be because it was botched or unusually low priced. But even then it should stay out of a score. And this obviously doesnt sound like an extreme case.

     
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rtrooney - 20 January 2018 12:13 PM

The question was posed as a question of value.

Then why did you bring up the review at all? As I said, reviews are a question of quality, not value. Price has ZERO bearing on a review, for all the reasons mentioned above. Plus the fact that we all have different amounts of disposable income, which completely changes the equation for everyone.

As a simple courtesy, we sometimes mention if a game is budget-priced, and perhaps in some of those extreme cases zane mentioned a reviewer might suggest that a costly new game is worth waiting for a price drop, but the latter is extremely rare and most definitely not factored into the overall evaluation even then.

We DO mention how long a game is (with the obvious understanding that mileage will vary between players), precisely to help people decide for themselves if that’s good enough value. Apparently the Silent Footsteps review did its job for you.

     

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Jackal - 20 January 2018 02:35 PM

Price has ZERO bearing on a review

Does that mean freeware titles will finally get star reviews rather than a “consolation” monthly column simply because they are free?

     

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Headycakesofdoom - 20 January 2018 04:46 PM
Jackal - 20 January 2018 02:35 PM

Price has ZERO bearing on a review

Does that mean freeware titles will finally get star reviews rather than a “consolation” monthly column simply because they are free?

if you rated freeware titles on the same scale as other games you’d have many many 1-2 star reviews.. because most of them do not have the production values since they were not made with $. Or else youre scoring them based on the idea of theyd be better if they had $.. its better to just acknowledge them as something separate, knowing full well they have the potential to be just as good or better than a big production.. but those are the exceptional cases.

     
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zane - 20 January 2018 04:58 PM
Headycakesofdoom - 20 January 2018 04:46 PM
Jackal - 20 January 2018 02:35 PM

Price has ZERO bearing on a review

Does that mean freeware titles will finally get star reviews rather than a “consolation” monthly column simply because they are free?

if you rated freeware titles on the same scale as other games you’d have many many 1-2 star reviews.. because most of them do not have the production values since they were not made with $. Or else youre scoring them based on the idea of theyd be better if they had $.. its better to just acknowledge them as something separate, knowing full well they have the potential to be just as good or better than a big production.. but those are the exceptional cases.

So what? Give those 1-2 star reviews! This is not a charity,

     
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We don’t score freeware reviews, of course, for obvious reasons.

In fact, really we never review freeware games anymore (with the odd super-rare exception).

     

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SoccerDude28 - 20 January 2018 12:29 PM

Also like you said, people are willing to pay 100’s of dollars for a broadway musical that is done in a couple of hours, so why when it comes to video games, the question of game length comes up?

And I also said that my comment didn’t cross media boundaries.

     

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I.once paid $69.99 for an adventure game with a 2 hour play time and LOVED that game. Was one of my favorites ever published. At the time it was simply a joy to play. I am talking about “D” for the 3DO published in 1995.

Length - if you want length try JRPGs - some of them are over 100 hours in length and can cost as low as 9.95 as they age.

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Mikekelly’s post gets to the root of the matter. Value is subjective and really is in the eye of the beholder. A friend of mine just got her 2016 stats for her PS4. She played Elder Scrolls for 278 hours last year and loved every minute of it. For her, that’s a lot of bang for the buck. I’m not an RPG player and can’t imagine playing any one game for that long.

I rarely ever pay full price for a game. I wishlist and wait for sales so cost is not a major factor for me. Years ago, when adventure games were scarce, I would, without hesitation, pay full price. I think I paid $40 for the Longest Journey and still feel like it was worth every nickle. Now with the plethora of indie games and sales at Steam, I’ve got a bunch of $.50 games some of which have turned out to be a waste of time and money regardless of length. Longer doesn’t always mean better. Sometimes the game can be summed up with this Woody Allen quote, “The food here is terrible, and the portions are too small.” I decide the value of every game I play regardless of anyone’s opinion. So the formula of price+length=value just doesn’t apply for me.

rtrooney, I think you may be looking for validation for playing casual HOPA games. That shouldn’t be necessary. I’ve played Enigmatis 3:The Shadow of Karkhala and it’s quite a good game. I am tired of the elitist attitude in the gaming world and the idea that hard core gamers are somehow most worthy of the title of gamer. This elitist merde rolls downhill through all the genres. Play what you love and screw the rest. Although I don’t agree with your equation, you don’t have to justify your favorite games under any criterion to anyone.

     
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Jofog - 21 January 2018 10:19 AM

rtrooney, I think you may be looking for validation for playing casual HOPA games. That shouldn’t be necessary. I’ve played Enigmatis 3:The Shadow of Karkhala and it’s quite a good game.

I can assure you that rtrooney’s concerns about monetary value are not limited to one adventure game. Over the years he has voiced similar opinions about both adventures and specific casual games.

I am tired of the elitist attitude in the gaming world and the idea that hard core gamers are somehow most worthy of the title of gamer. This elitist merde rolls downhill through all the genres. Play what you love and screw the rest. Although I don’t agree with your equation, you don’t have to justify your favorite games under any criterion to anyone.

Interesting that you feel compelled to attack other people and their supposedly “elitist” attitude out of the blue. By all means, play what you love. Without screwing the rest.

     

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