So I'm thinking of trying my hand at reviewing

Hi, I feel a bit weird about posting this but for a while I've been wondering if I could be a good critic, so yesterday I wrote a review of Captain America: Super Soldier. (it was the most recent game I played through) and was wondering if anyone with a moment could look at it and give me some feedback and maybe some pointers, I chose to review that game in particular because I haven't seen a review of it, I haven't looked very hard but my point is it's not a game everyone will have already read a review of.

I was going to post this on a blog or on Facebook but since I hardly ever go on either of those things chances are I wouldn't see any potential feedback, besides I think more people whose opinions would help me would see it here anyway, I'm just gonna copy/paste it from a word document so here it is...

It seems a little odd that I'm starting with a movie tie-in game of all things, I've long said that video games and movies are different mediums and should be kept as such.
I generally don't bother with film-license games as more often than not they tend to be barely playable hastily thrown-together attempts to cash-in on the success of the film.

This doesn't mean however that none of them are worth playing, I remember a couple of them being really fun. The "Lord Of The Rings" games kept me entertained for many an hour and I remember enjoying the hell out of "Revenge Of The Sith" on the PS2.

I haven't really bought a film license game since then so it is with cautious optimism that I return to them with "Captain America: Super Soldier." A game I picked up on the cheap while waiting for the copy of "God of War: Ascension" I ordered on eBay.

The game itself is not a direct adaptation of the movie, but rather an interquel.
Set part-way through the film, probably during that montage of military operations shown after the Cap' rescues Bucky.
I thought it was cool that the game actually had Chris Evans voicing Rogers (to any uninitiated English readers I refer to Chris Evans the actor who played Captain America and not, the radio personality of the same name, that would be awful.)

I don't know if the game had any other actors from the movie doing voices but if not, Peggy and Stark's voices sounded very close. Though admittedly you only heard their voices through a radio throughout the game so it would probably be easy to imitate.

But enough about the voiceovers, surely that's not important, it's the gameplay that matters right? Well the combat is the same sort of multi person combat that puts me in mind of the recent "Batman" games on consoles or more recently in "Sleeping Dogs." Frankly though, both of the aforementioned games did it better.

The controls are overly simplistic to the point of outright laziness. You have one attack button, a stun-grapple button that is only useful for one type of enemy, a dodge button and a counter button to be pressed when the enemies flash to telegraph their attacks. Just in case you thought the design team hadn't played "Batman: Arkham Asylum."
The only ranged attack in your arsenal is the ability to throw the captain's shield. Which left me questioning why a U.S army captain was not equipped with a gun,
which before you think it, yes he did use in the movie.
Obviously the answer is because that would render the combat too easy, but all they needed to do was have Peggy or someone specify that this was a "procure on-site" mission. Not that it would make a difference as the closest you get to using a weapon is either mounted turrets or forcing your enemies to shoot each other.

The entire game has about 6 different enemy types, most of which can be easily dispatched by simply mashing the attack button until they fall down and then using
A ground-grapple move to knock them out, and with such a limited moveset combat gets repetitive pretty fast.

There are also brief platforming sections where you jump from one wooden beam to another or swing from horizontal poles, but those just amount to tapping the dodge button when it appears on screen.

The story is nothing to write home about and feels quite padded, which isn't great because the game is still a little on the short side, I am not one of those people who tends to power through games, the average game takes me at least 3 days to finish if I play it intently, usually more. I finished this game in two sittings, and within 24 hours of starting it, probably about 6 or 7 hours of gameplay. So could easily be finished over a weekend.

For me the most glaring problem with the game is that there's almost no challenge to it, (for the sake of context I was playing on the normal difficulty.) There's the odd tough boss fight but even those are more tedious than challenging.

Overall the game is basically inoffensive, not really good enough to recommend, but if you've already played everything I compared it to and there's nothing you'd rather be doing then go for it

Oly J:
Hi, I feel a bit weird about posting this but for a while I've been wondering if I could be a good critic...

There is a User Reviews section around here where you can post such and similar things and get some decent feedback. I'll ask a mod to move it in the hopes that you get a little bit more feedback.

That said, your review seems okay as far as I can see it but (not unsurprising given the time I imagine you spend for it) it decidedly lacks polish and a more thorough explanation of some points: there is the general lack of structure since you copy/pasted it directly from a word-file - if you want someone to read it, make your message clear by properly structuring it both from an aesthetic as well as a topical point of view.

If it's not pleasing to look at or to read, nobody is going to bother reading in the first place, so aesthetically you should provide a clear format without the random line-breaks, larger than one-line paragraphs, a proper title and a properly marked bottom line. I also felt it featured some hiccups in terms of language ("I thought it was cool...") where you put more emphasize on a more colloquial tone instead of featuring something a little bit more professional that would have enhanced the review.

In terms of the topic I can see sort of a red-line going through it, but it only broaches upon some of the more interesting aspects and seems a little bit too erratic. For instance, I would have liked it a lot if you'd actually went on to put a bit more emphasize on the comparison with the Batman games, which I'm sure many people who would be interested in the game have already played. Same goes for the movie aspects - if it's a licensed game, does it not only work from a gameplay mechanical point (which you explored) but also does it work in regards to the movie, extending it's lore and staying true to the tone the movie was going for? Apart from that I enjoy it personally, I like to think that reviews that explore games under a certain theme are not only more accessible and informative but also much more enjoyable - think for instance of the Zero Punctuation review of Just Cause 2: that's not only funny because Yahtzee was incredibly witty once more but also because every joke used played on to drive the point home that the game is a giant satire by virtue of being completely bananas with Rico Rodriguez the most ridiculously badass person in the whole universe.

Another thing: if you write about something factual it needs to be properly checked. The part "I don't know if the game had any other actors from the movie doing voices but if not, Peggy and Stark's voices sounded very close. Though admittedly you only heard their voices through a radio throughout the game so it would probably be easy to imitate." is not only redundant but shows a lack of commitment in discerning the value of the game. Either you check that and then write it down, or you leave it out completely.

Well, those were my two cents....

I'd advise first, to let people know you want to do it (Twitter, Facebook, Job sections of gaming websites) and second that you set up your own blog or something so you have an example of your writing to show them.

This is a solid review man but as Chromatic Aberration said your paragraphs should be longer than one sentence. The only other thing I would say is definitely look up things like who actually voiced Peggy Carter and such, it adds an element of professionalism. But overall I think this is pretty decent, especially for a first review. Oh one more thing that helps, if you want to know how it reads then read it out loud to yourself, hearing things makes it easier to pick up any changes you might want to make.

Anyways, best of luck mate!

 

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