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how would any game be given the highest rating of a masterpiece?

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..and what is the standard does any one follows?

i guess this is a very confusing matter for anyone reviewing a game (maybe movies or books too), for example, yesterday i experienced something that didn’t think of before; I always add the rating to my games next to its (file) title/name after finishing them, i have around 400 AGs on my harddisk and while i was looking back at them and what games i ve got, i was stunned by my strict standards that only three games i had given the privilege of full score 5/5!!.. tho i always criticize the underrating of good games that maybe could’ve been given a star, or a half more.

but it is not about me, its a much bigger notion that hasn’t an objective standard that anyone can determine upon how to scale an adventure.
.. And what makes it more confusing and difficult is time, bc by time however any game was a success, there comes the aspect of ‘how is it holding up’ today, like (i.e) that main difference or issue between LucasArts and Sierra games, that LucasArts’s are somehow still holding up today, (it was never about the quality) tho many will not admit it, but maybe this aspect should be considered while reviewing any adventure.


i don’t wanna complicate things, but i think there is always something missing or messed up at any GOOD adventure, whether it was a silly puzzle, voice acting maintenance/abidance, the midway bad-writing or the forced endings OR any kinda endless intermittent features that did not sustain its ceaselessness quality.

does anyone really know how deliberate between good AGs and masterpieces? and how constant can any rating stand and holdup thru time? and what/how do you consider (is) the masterpiece of all AGs you’ve played?

     

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Advie - 05 September 2020 07:42 PM

yesterday i experienced something that didn’t think of before; I always add the rating to my games next to its (file) title/name after finishing them, i have around 400 AGs on my harddisk and while i was looking back at them and what games i ve got, i was stunned by my strict standards that only three games i had given the privilege of full score 5/5!!
i don’t wanna complicate things but think there is always something missing or messed up at any GOOD adventure, whether it was a silly puzzle, voice acting maintenance/abidance, the midway bad-writing or the forced endings OR any kinda endless intermittent features that did not sustain its ceaselessness quality.

does anyone really know how deliberate between a good AGs and masterpieces? and how constant can any rating stand and holdup thru time? and what/how do you consider the masterpieces of the AGs you played?

What is the purpose of your “rating?”
Since your “rating” is restricted to your hard drive, if the purpose of the “rating” is to provide you with a clue about whether you think you’d enjoy replaying the game at some point in the future, that’s the only criteria that matter.
Instead of 5/5 you could say “Yes, definitely” or “Run away, far and fast.” If you want to leave your future self more info, write yourself a mini-review to remind yourself about what you liked or didn’t like about the game. Maybe you were in a good mood when you thought the game was a 5/5 game. Maybe a game you left a 0/5 score wasn’t really all that bad.

There have been lots of games (not just adventure games) that people considered “masterpieces” and I didn’t care for them at all. Often they were praised for their “story” and I didn’t enjoy the gameplay.

How high you’d rate a game depends on what you want out of the game. A score you keep on your hard drive for your own personal use should be something that will be useful to you when You’re thinking about whether to replay the game or not. Don’t bother worrying about whether anyone else thinks it’s a “masterpiece” or not.

Sometimes games get bad grades because of problems that no longer exist. For example, technical problems that have been fixed with patches. It doesn’t matter if the game crashed every 2 minutes when it was first released if that problem has been fixed.

     
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What comes to mind with the word “masterpiece” is less to do with perfection and more to do with artistic value. A 5/5 game isn’t necessarily a masterpiece, but it could very well be perfect.

When I think about a masterpiece in the context of adventure games, the game will:
-Be of high artistic value, be it aesthetically, narratively, or intellectually
-Display a deep understanding of how the gameplay translates into the player’s experience. This means each design element is thoroughly thought through with regard to what experience it is intended to give the player, and does it extremely effectively.
-Add something new to the artform that hasn’t been seen before
-Achieve a purpose which is more than mere distraction or entertainment, reshaping the player’s perception of things in some way
-Be complete, and engrossing and thrilling as a gaming experience, and not just on a theoretical or intellectual level.

This means that very, VERY few adventures will be masterpieces. I would say 3/400 is about accurate.

     
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What defines a masterpiece?

- How good the puzzles are
- How great the story is
- How good the graphical style is (not the same thing as trying to be the latest technology)
- How entertaining the game is
- How unique the overall game, its concept and execution is.

Of the relatively recent games, for instance The Darkside Detective matches every point there. Sure, there are those who don’t like that graphical style, but just one look at those screenshots will immediately associate with that game, so it’s very unique. There’s no other game that matches the concept, and the puzzles are mostly very good and entertaining, just think about the whole ViewMaster thing!

Compare that to, let’s say, some German 2.5D point-and-click game, it can be fun to play, but there’s absolutely nothing unique about most of them. Trüberbrook was a great innovation in graphics, but when everything else in the game didn’t quite work as intended, it can’t be a masterpiece either.


I also want to make a comment here about not liking game ratings, but since you aren’t talking about reviews as such, but rather labelling personal collection, it’s a bit different then, I suppose.

Regarding your collection, I think you have already made some pre-rating by choosing those 400 games of yours. 400 adventure games is about 399 more than a random gamer would have, but for an adventure nerd that’s not a lot really.

Just downloading all AGS freeware, you would have about 3000 games more. Including some masterpieces. So how have you chosen those 400 games? And when you think about why you have chosen game A but not game B, that also tells what criteria matters most to you in adventure games.

     
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the only rating I give to a game is if I like it or not. When I started writing my blog I contemplated if I should give the games I review a star rating, but I came into a conclusion that I’d rather not. If I like a game, I mention it, if I like even more, I even recommend it to people. But I don’t do numerical or star ratings.

     
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GateKeeper - 06 September 2020 01:56 AM

Regarding your collection, I think you have already made some pre-rating by choosing those 400 games of yours. 400 adventure games is about 399 more than a random gamer would have, but for an adventure nerd that’s not a lot really.

 

i couldn’t be able to apply this to all game i had or played before; i had lost a similar hard-drive with the same amount of content 3-4 years ago, not mention the games on steam or the hardcopies i have, and above all the pre 2000 AGs i run on Dos, ScummVM or any of the AGS games bc right now they are on some collective folders without them going thru the similar process of rating.

but to answer you q on of 2nd part which i really missed, sorry, those 400 were random, really, they are not of any specific criteria they are just games that I have, with a number titles that i haven’t finished as well.

so from what I’ve read so far, i get the impression that even 5/5 AGs couldnt be called Masterpieces, well, it is a good argument that sounds great as well, but it is more philosophical than needed.

     
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Advie - 06 September 2020 11:46 AM

so from what I’ve read so far, i get the impression that even 5/5 AGs couldnt be called Masterpieces, well, it is a good argument that sounds great as well, but it is more philosophical than needed.

I think you will need to let it go, it’s no longer your thread and however philosophically people want to discuss it is out of your hands.

GateKeeper - 06 September 2020 01:56 AM

What defines a masterpiece?

- How good the puzzles are
- How great the story is
- How good the graphical style is (not the same thing as trying to be the latest technology)
- How entertaining the game is
- How unique the overall game, its concept and execution is.

Of the relatively recent games, for instance The Darkside Detective matches every point there. Sure, there are those who don’t like that graphical style, but just one look at those screenshots will immediately associate with that game, so it’s very unique. There’s no other game that matches the concept, and the puzzles are mostly very good and entertaining, just think about the whole ViewMaster thing!

I don’t agree. I could accept Darkside Detective as a highly rated game, as a great game, but it is no work of art.

On the other hand something like Myst, a game many people have hated, and said is a terrible game, could still be called a masterpiece. Its impacts were huge and are still felt today. We still hear people today citing its influence on their life and work.

 

     

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