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Disappointed with the Silence review

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The reviews continue to almost completely ignore gameplay.  The good/bad don’t even reference the actual GAME part of it!

The review itself spends very little time actually addressing gameplay and then it dismisses a completely boneheaded design decision.  It groups highlighting hotspots with hints.  The reviewer actually excuses and justifies this!?  Seriously?  Pixelhunting takes no skill and is a time waster.  It does not mean that I would want hints!  Ridiculous.

This site continues the trend of almost exclusively talking about graphics, sound, and story, and glossing over the actual game.  If you look at reviews done years ago, this was absolutely not the case.  I am disappointed.  I was hoping maybe the change in ownership would bring the focus back to the game.

     

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Uhhh well first of all the reviewers are a variety of people, that didnt change, i dont know why you thought an ownership change would do that.
Forgiving lite mechanics is par for the course here.. so i dont know what to tell you. The story atmosphere and visuals are all strong. So make of the review what you will.

     
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First of all, did the review actually tell you what you needed to know about the game? If so, it’s done its job. Everything else is white noise.

Secondly, a reviewer is describing their own experience with the game, and what they feel is important to that experience. If you believe every writer should cater to your personal preferences, you don’t seem to understand the purpose of a review.

And thirdly, in a game where puzzles are clearly not the intended focus (a fact plainly pointed out in the review), why would you expect a reviewer to devote more time talking about that? A review talks about the things most relevant to that particular game. If reviews years ago devoted more time to puzzles, that’s because the games themselves did. It’s like you’re blaming your frustration with current games on the reviewers writing about them.

I couldn’t help but notice that you didn’t leave a user review, or even a rating. Why do you think those options exist? It’s for people with other opinions, preferences, and points of view to share.

EDIT:

zane - 22 November 2016 09:22 PM

Forgiving lite mechanics is par for the course here..

That’s a misleading assumption, so let’s be clear. A willingness to forgive puzzle-lite gameplay is par for the course if, and only if, the rest of the game warrants such forgiveness. Same way we’re willing to forgive a lack of substantial story when appropriate. We critique games based on what they’re trying to be (and how well they succeed at it), not on some one-size-fits-all formula where every game must have X number of puzzles or Y amount of story or Z kinds of mechanics.

     

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Are you suggesting that Whispered World 2 is much less focused on puzzles than the original?

Here are the top notes for the original- “” puzzles are generally quite clever”“A couple of puzzles make no sense until after you’ve figured them out by accident;”

A focus on the actual GAME in the good and the bad notes at the beginning of the review.  2 lengthy paragraphs on the puzzles.

The reviews here are becoming more and more focus on PRETTY GRAPHICS and STORY!  Oh, and a gentle commentary of the actual game snuck in.

The whole part where the reviewer excuses the preposterous combination of hotspot locator and spoilers just shows how desperately the author wanted to dismiss any negatives.  Why in the world would anyone want spoilers to pop up when a hotspot locator pops up?  Pixelhunting requires no skill whatsoever.  Hotspot locators should be mandatory.  It has absolutely zero to do with hints about the actual puzzle solving.

     
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Yes, of course WW2 is far less focused on puzzles than the original. It’s also half as long as the first. And there are still two full paragraphs devoted to describing them, plus another two for gameplay mechanics (and two on graphics—there goes that baseless complaint).

So what if the puzzles aren’t referenced in the bullet lists? Given how often 90% of adventure games recycle all the same old puzzle types, they’re rarely a particular strength or weakness for most games. Clearly the reviewer of Silence didn’t think they stood out as remarkable either way. I haven’t played the game, but I don’t blame him. I often feel that way about a game’s puzzles. The lists aren’t a replacement for actually reading the review, just a snapshot of the standout elements.

Your highlight/hint complaint is just silly. If you don’t like the default setup or share the reviewer’s opinion, then adjust them in the settings, exactly as the review describes. If anything, you should be happy the reviewer was thorough enough to mention the option, rather than moaning that his preferences are different than yours.

Really, I’m seeing nothing of any validity here. It’s foolish enough to compare what reviews of two entirely different games focus on, let alone two different games by two different writers, let alone ALL reviews of ALL different games by 20-odd people. But hey, if it makes you feel better to generalize everything with faulty logic, knock yourself out.

     

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“Given how often 90% of adventure games recycle all the same old puzzle types, they’re rarely a particular strength or weakness for most games. “

I think this covers it pretty much.  If that is how you feel, then I can’t, for the life of me, understand why you play adventure games at all. 

And “of course”?  What?  Why of course?

The highlight/hint complaint was spot on.  It was gross to see the reviewer so casually dismiss it as no problem.  They used an absolutely asinine excuse that makes absolutely no sense.  Bringing it up was good.  That wasn’t the problem.

Two entirely different games?  WHAT!?  It is a sequel.  I chose to compare the only 2 games in a series.  That makes complete sense. 

I guess that explains though why the site has steered away from the gameplay and focused so much on graphics, sound, story, and other fluff.  If the administrator thinks so little of the actual games, it is no wonder that reviews follow in suit.  It is likely the same reason non games like the pumped out telltale episodes get covered as adventure games.  Why even bother with puzzles?  Like you said, they are all the same anyway.

     
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I’m not going to comment on the review, which I personally didn’t have any particular problems with, but one sentence here jumped right out of my screen and hit me right between the eyes:

Jackal - 25 November 2016 04:25 PM

... Given how often 90% of adventure games recycle all the same old puzzle types, they’re rarely a particular strength or weakness for most games.

WHAT?!? Seriously?

That is like saying that the shooting part has no or little importance for the quality of a FPS, or that the role playing parts has no importance for a role-playing-game, or in general that the mechanics of a game has no importance for that game.

I also couldn’t disagree more.

It is these mechanics that separate the different genres from each other, and nowadays it is also the only thing that separate one genre from another. This also means that it is to a very large degree the quality of those mechanics that determine how good a shooter, RPG or adventure game a game is. It doesn’t mean that story or graphics etc. also aren’t important, but that is the same for all genres and nothing specific for each genre - At least that is my opinion.

     

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darthmaul - 25 November 2016 05:17 PM

I think this covers it pretty much.  If that is how you feel, then I can’t, for the life of me, understand why you play adventure games at all.

Of course you can’t. There seems to be a lot of things you can’t (or won’t try to) understand. But that’s okay. It’s not important that you do.

And “of course”?  What?  Why of course?

If you can’t tell that by reading the reviews, you’re not reading very carefully. How else do you interpret (for example) removing the inventory and adding a feature that actually shows where to use items? It’s obvious that they’ve intentionally scaled back the puzzle challenge and focus for Silence.

Two entirely different games?  WHAT!?  It is a sequel.  I chose to compare the only 2 games in a series.  That makes complete sense/

A very different sort of sequel than its predecessor, yes. Daedalic even removed the “Whispered World 2” from the title. Maybe there’s a reason for that? And two different writers, regardless.

I guess that explains though why the site has steered away from the gameplay and focused so much on graphics, sound, story, and other fluff.  If the administrator thinks so little of the actual games, it is no wonder that reviews follow in suit.  It is likely the same reason non games like the pumped out telltale episodes get covered as adventure games.  Why even bother with puzzles?  Like you said, they are all the same anyway.

That’s not even close to what I said, but your reading comprehension is clearly so poor that I’m not going to waste any more time explaining to you. Try harder, or this isn’t worth my time. (Actually, too late. I’ve already lost too much time that I’ll never get back.)

I imagine our writers would be amused at your assumption that my views dictate how they think about games, in any case. I KNOW they’d be amused to think that things like world-building, richness of exploration, characters, and interface should be considered “fluff”.

Oh, and we don’t cover current Telltale games “like adventures”, so chalk up yet another thing you’re wrong about. The difference should be obvious, so I’m not going to spell it out.

Iznogood - 25 November 2016 08:07 PM

WHAT?!? Seriously?

That is like saying that the shooting part has no or little importance for the quality of a FPS, or that the role playing parts has no importance for a role-playing-game, or in general that the mechanics of a game has no importance for that game.

And yet more twisting of what I said into something I didn’t. If I wanted to say “puzzles don’t matter”, I’d have said that.

You disagree that most adventure games recycle the same types of puzzles, as I stated? I doubt you do.

Obviously the quality of puzzle execution is important. Duh. Does that really need to be said? But precisely because so many of them follow a decades-old tried and true formula, recycled puzzle types rarely stand out as either exceptionally bad or exceptionally good in their own right (the requirement for highlighting them in the good/bad bullet lists, which is the specific context for my claim.) The games that excel with their clever puzzle implementation—or better yet, actually include some original ones—obviously do get such recognition, and deservedly so. (As do those who fail to even do them justice, on the negative end.) But if you look dispassionately at any year’s long list of run-of-the-mill games, such games are actually quite rare. Hence, my statement. Context matters.

And yes, while your comparisons are weak, this IS true to an extent of shooters and RPGs as well. Most of them get the genre basics right, and don’t deserved to be specially acknowledged for doing so. Would you honestly expect to see “lots of guns and things to shoot” listed as a pro in a shooter review, or “lame stat-building” a con in an RPG? It happens occasionally, but such basics are so well-established by now that they alone are generally NOT what tends to make such games stand out from the rest.

     

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