None of us want to tread the minefield that is the comments section of a gaming review site.
I need say little about the plethora of clashing opinions nor the vigour some gamers will put into defending their favourite franchise.
There is one game I occasionally play (and stream) that comes to mind as being fairly divisive in people’s views.
The graphics and animations are up-to-scratch. The objectives and tasks are laid out and introduced in an easy to understand, well-paced manner. There is a large amount of content. The art style is pretty and well executed.
This game is Style Savvy: Fashion Forward.
What makes this game divisive, then?
We can generalise and say that on the whole, some look down Nintendo games as being ‘kids games’. From the off Nintendo can be a hard sell to some people.
On top of this, Style Savvy is, unabashedly, a game with a feminine style. Automatically, this seems to make some people write it off. I have had viewers ask whether the game is a mobile app, make fun of the entire premise and others ask me to play a ‘proper’ game. You need only take a look at some of the low-scoring reviews for Style Savvy to see the kind of attitude I mean.
I want to point out there are plenty of good reviews for Style Savvy that take a fairly objective approach. However, these two in particular give pause for thought. What’s wrong if someone wants to be girly? What is wrong with ‘just’ playing with dolls? Neither of these reviewers expand in a thoughtful way on why these aspects might make the game bad, it’s simply accepted that these things are inherently bad from the writers perspective.
It’s a matter of perspective.
The fact is, we can all only see from our own perspective. It doesn’t make something objectively bad if you don’t like it; there can be no unanimous good or bad, because what’s good and what’s bad differs from person to person, from culture to culture. I like dressing girly. I like dolls. I like Style Savvy.
Similarly, I gave Deus Ex: Mankind Divided a good go, I really did. But a world shrouded in shades of black, chrome and misery is a hard sell to me. Does that make it a bad game? Not by a long shot. It’s just not my sort of thing.
I have a similar view of Final Fantasy XV. I love Final Fantasy, but beyond the title it just doesn’t look like the sort of game I would play. It lacks many of the hallmark reasons I’m attracted to Final Fantasy. Will it be a bad game? Probably not, but from my personal perspective it doesn’t look good.
We’re all looking for something different.
Some games are fun, some are meaningful, some are tense, and some are relaxing. It’s one of the things I love about games, the variety of experiences I can have. One day I’m talking about fire hydrants to my bipedal cat neighbour in Animal Crossing, the next I’m fighting to survive against the odds in The Last of Us. Comments are so divisive because gaming is just a medium, and within that medium there is a whole spectrum of outputs.
How can we ever decide and agree what is ‘good’, then? Clearly, we’re not going to. And that’s OK. We can still be friends. Let’s not get vitriolic with each other because we have different ideas of what makes a game enjoyable.
Now excuse me, my boutique isn’t going to run itself!