Step Up Your Games!

I began this letter wanting to pick apart every desultory word Denver Jones has ever committed to ink. Unfortunately, it seems that task is outside the scope of a 300-word letter. However, just to satisfy that urge, here are two sentences he has actually published in this newspaper:

“The same thing happens in the “Halo” series, but only worse which you will pay twenty dollars

for a few more maps.” (Gamer’s Paradise ‘Don’t lose cash on DLC’ 6-15-14)

“…the level dynamic is so straight forward, I have more choice of where I can go in Super Mario

World for the Super Nintendo than I do this game, and that game was 2D.” (Gamer’s Paradise CoD: Ghosts review 11-15-13)

Suffice it to say, the Halo DLC pricing is inaccurate and poorly-phrased, and the number of dimensions do not equate to choices. Now, allow me to focus more on constructive criticisms and on video games as a medium.

For a long time now, video games journalism has focused solely on surface details to build a numerical score indicating how “good” a game is. Compare a review from Gamespot or Kotaku to a movie review or album review: the game reviews read like a feature list, check off the boxes for online multiplayer and leveling system, slap a 7/10 on there and call it a day. In other media, reviews tend to reference other artists or works in the medium that bear similarities to the reviewed material, giving readers an opportunity to put their working knowledge of the medium to use, providing a point of reference for how it reads, looks, or sounds. Reviews should be useful for finding games you may enjoy, not just a summary of the games functionality.

It would make me, and countless others, elated to see game reviews that mean something.


Spencer Clark