Context, Challenge and Gratification

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A very good column this week Yahtzee. I can't see any immediate flaws in your Triangle.

weirdguy:
I think you're taking it out of context here. He was disappointed with Saints Row 3 cause it couldn't be better than Saints Row 2, and if it were instead presented as Saints Row: Wacky Gameshow Spinoff, it would probably be more representative of what they would be trying to do with the series. He's not applying this standard to ALL GAMES.

Of course, a different criticism would be that these numbers in themselves don't really mean anything other than if not having particularly high marks in any of the fields would make the game pretty much pointless.

Yeah I don't buy that. He's verbally slaughtered games based on that standard before and usually based on some stupid trivial crap too. Either he's being a hypocrite by saying this or completely unaware of the fact.

I'm not saying he doesn't have a good point but I'm having a hard time taking it seriously coming from Yahtzee given his recent attitude.

I would say that what you've come up with is a really solid and concise version of a classic trichotomy (that I forget the name of) that has long been used to define why people play games, being simulation/mechanics(challenge), presentation/games-as-art(context), and gratification/awesomeness(gratification). If I had one critique, it would be that Challenge would be better described as Flow, because challenge is only appreciated in the context of being able to meet that challenge.

Of course, each of these elements themselves have a delicate balance unto themselves. Context=[familiarity±novelty]; Flow(Challenge)=[Difficulty±Ability]; Gratification=[feedback±effort]. Of course, bear in mind that all of these are purely qualitative in nature.

This hypothetical style of scoring intrigues me. It eliminates the ambiguity of a single score by rating multiple aspects of the title separately instead of just averaging them. It makes score inflation across the board of games harder to accomplish because the reviewers would have to actually think about how effective the games are in multiple, unrelated ways. And the fanboys would have less (legitimate) cause to bitch and moan because even if a game gets a low value in one catagory they can be content with a higher one in another.

I of course qualify that last statement with "legitimate" because no matter what, fanboys will find something to complain about. Even if it's just them swearing and making impotent and immature accusations about the critic's sexual habits and those of their progenitors. All while poorly spelled.

Dear Mr. Yahtzee, what you would thus be rewarding is not quality but balance. That is to say, a very shitty game would sit dead centre as would a stellar one. Furthermore, if you for example, opted to make the dot translucent based on quality each individual element would still be evaluated together, resulting in your hated overall score. I'm not sure this one has legs, but a sterling effort at something new, if a tad mathematical for my taste. Toodles.

This is actually really useful. I can easily put this to many games I like to see why I like them, as well as why I don't like a few.
For example, RAGE. There's no reason I should have anything wrong with the authority. In fact, they never even gave a crap about me until someone ordered me to storm one of their outposts and murder everyone inside. What is my reward, my Gratification for doing these things for these ridiculously dressed people? Nothing. You get a bit of money I suppose, but it really just says "Hey, thanks for risking your life, here's 3 dollars and a pack of chewing gum." There isn't a whole lot of challenge in RAGE either. Maybe it's because I pre-ordered the game, so I got some ridiculously overpowered armor and a ridiculously overpowered weapon, but I only remember dying about 7 times in RAGE, and 4 of those times were because I didn't know my car would explode for driving where I was apparently not supposed to go.

While I see the usefulness of the scheme, I think it's better suited to classifying games than rating them - like Scott McCloud's similar symbolic/realistic/abstract classification triangle for comic art styles.

Balancing the three categories doesn't necessarily make for a good game, and in many cases, will just result in a generic solid blockbuster-type experience. And some amazing games could be way off-center. Tetris is one of the most successful, well-designed, and widely-played games in the history of the medium - it would be stupid to dock it points on some value system for not having "context" it obviously doesn't need. It would be like criticizing a Rothko painting for not having realistic trees.

But placing Tetris at the appropriate place on the triangle, so you can map its relationship to other games, and people can use that to judge whether they might like it, could be a useful visual tool for assessing/caterogrizing without arbitrary numerical ranking.

Fenris Frost:
Dear Mr. Yahtzee, what you would thus be rewarding is not quality but balance. That is to say, a very shitty game would sit dead centre as would a stellar one. Furthermore, if you for example, opted to make the dot translucent based on quality each individual element would still be evaluated together, resulting in your hated overall score. I'm not sure this one has legs, but a sterling effort at something new, if a tad mathematical for my taste. Toodles.

There is a way around this problem that won't break the model. Instead of placing a dot within the triangle, make the side length of the triangle proportional to its score. Obviously then, bad games will end up with a very small triangle, and games like Tetris would end up with a large, skewed triangle. Great games would end up with a large equilateral triangle. Make a minimum side length of one to prevent just drawing a line.

Well the triangle graph is a pretty shitty illustration because it assumes that the three values are mutually exclusive and you can't have great context and great gratification and great challenge which is totally possible. I know that because I've played that game: it's called The Void and I recommend it.

Also gratification is much too subjective to work as an in any way accurate measure of a game's quality. A lot of people roll their eyes at smacking people in the face with a giant dildo. To them Saints Row the Third has very little gratification. You have said before that you have no love of strategy games because the distance from the action removes any visceral thrill. Some people stand in stark opposition to you and draw amazing gratification from the proper execution of one of their grand strategies.

I guess columns like this one are the inevitable result of being forced to turn out a new column every bloody week despite often having nothing of worth to say.

You know, it occurs to me that Yahtzee could have saved himself the time of writing a big article about reviewing games if he'd just drawn an XKCD-style triangle with "context, challange and gratification" at each point of the shape, and then throw in a few games to prove the point. I think most people here would get the idea pretty quickly.

Random berk:
This is an interesting idea- its quite similar to the petrochemographic diagrams we've been looking at in Metamorphic petrology. Problem is, if a game with the perfect blend of context, gameplay and gratification sits in the centre of the chart, how do you differentiate between a game that is scores a fantastic level in all three areas, or a terrible one? For example, Saints Row 2 sits in the middle, but where do you put a game like the Transformers official movie game? That one was equally execrable in every possible area? You can't give it three seperate points, and you can't give it, lets say, a position near the context because it sucked a bit less in that area than it did in the others, and have it sitting somewhere near Mass Effect or a similarly story-based game.

Why do you need to differentiate them? In order to rank them? Ranking games is just as pointless as normal review scores because we can't compare every game to each other. I can't compare Professor Layton, Need For Speed or Saints Row because they are very different. It would be like comparing a great steak with a great mousse.

Any scoring system, even this one would be pointless because the joy in videogames is largely subjective.

Challenge - Depends too much on the gamer and the challenge they like. My son gets frustrated with basic iphone games (he's 4). How do you score "challenge" across age and experience? Sometimes as an individual gamer I like different challenges. So getting the "challenge" right is pretty hard to score

Context - This might be a bit easier but it's like judging a movie's theme. Does it get Noir right? Do I understand the character motivation? Do I need to. What if I'm an idiot and can't follow what's going on? Also one person's Star Wars is another person's Transformers. For example I like fantasy games but I'm sick to death of Elves being fey woodland thin creatures, Orcs, and wizards with white beards. You can't predict what experiences people have had, so you can't predict what they'll find generic, or unbelievable.

Gratification - Another term might be Cartharsis. What soothes your soul? Shooting people in the face or wandering the snowy hills of Skyrim. It's one thing to say "Reward the player with gratifying gameplay" but again, gratification is subjective. One person may find slapping people with giant dildos very gratifying, another may find it tedious and purile and would rather organise their inventory bag.

The only way to review games is Yahztee's way. He pulls out the main points of a game, details the highs and the lows. Watch/ Read enough of a reviewers work and you get an idea of what a reviewer likes and dislikes. And more importantly you get an idea of how your tastes differ from theirs. Then you filter that information to form your impression.

Perfect example. MW3 multiplayer. Yahztee doesn't do multiplayer. I sit on the fence most of the time, but this time I actually like it. Not sure I could even explain why but it does meet all 3 criteria for ME. But I imagine it wouldn't for Yahztee even if he tried it. Having that past knowledge of my tastes, and Yahtzees' view I made a decision that wouldn't correlate with any score he gave it.

My pick for the perfect game in the triangle would be Half-Life 2. Brilliant Context, perfectly paced Challenge, and extremely gratifying. The runner-up would be Dark Souls, it loses a point on Context because it's just a little too vague on context (I know it's intentional but throwing me a frikkin' bone sometimes).

Yopaz:

Random berk:
This is an interesting idea- its quite similar to the petrochemographic diagrams we've been looking at in Metamorphic petrology. Problem is, if a game with the perfect blend of context, gameplay and gratification sits in the centre of the chart, how do you differentiate between a game that is scores a fantastic level in all three areas, or a terrible one? For example, Saints Row 2 sits in the middle, but where do you put a game like the Transformers official movie game? That one was equally execrable in every possible area? You can't give it three seperate points, and you can't give it, lets say, a position near the context because it sucked a bit less in that area than it did in the others, and have it sitting somewhere near Mass Effect or a similarly story-based game.

Why do you need to differentiate them? In order to rank them? Ranking games is just as pointless as normal review scores because we can't compare every game to each other. I can't compare Professor Layton, Need For Speed or Saints Row because they are very different. It would be like comparing a great steak with a great mousse.

Of course you can compare them. You can compare two games of the same basic type, where the difference is that one did what it was supposed to do very well, and the other was just a poorly made cash grab, for example Spider man 2 and my first example, Transformers. Both were movie based games, both were loosely based on the story from the movie, both were heavily focused on melee combat with some ranged attacks, both had their own unique (or sort of unique in Transformers case)travel mecanic. The difference is that Spider man did all of these things reasonably well, and was a pleasure to play, while Transformers was one of the very,very few games that I discarded because it was just a steaming pile of shit that did nothing at all right. Its like comparing a great steak with one thats been chewed up, spat out and left on the table for a month.

Painkiller has context because of the environments? Come off it! That game had zero context of any kind. On your triangle it sits squarely on the line between challenge and gratification. The plot was almost non-existent and the environments were (like the enemies) so random, so completely and utterly unrelated to both each other and the excuse for a plot, that whatever context they might have given to the game was lost. Painkiller was a good game, but I really can't see it as anything other than totally senseless carnage devoid of any context whatsoever.

Random berk:
Problem is, if a game with the perfect blend of context, gameplay and gratification sits in the centre of the chart, how do you differentiate between a game that is scores a fantastic level in all three areas, or a terrible one?

You let it fade the more terrible it is. A 95% title's name is a fat black in the middle, a terrible title can hardly be read any longer, esp next to other games of the some genre with higher scores.

Like the tag overview (biggest tags > used the most) on websites.

Lordofthesuplex:

weirdguy:
I think you're taking it out of context here. He was disappointed with Saints Row 3 cause it couldn't be better than Saints Row 2, and if it were instead presented as Saints Row: Wacky Gameshow Spinoff, it would probably be more representative of what they would be trying to do with the series. He's not applying this standard to ALL GAMES.

Of course, a different criticism would be that these numbers in themselves don't really mean anything other than if not having particularly high marks in any of the fields would make the game pretty much pointless.

Yeah I don't buy that. He's verbally slaughtered games based on that standard before and usually based on some stupid trivial crap too. Either he's being a hypocrite by saying this or completely unaware of the fact.

I'm not saying he doesn't have a good point but I'm having a hard time taking it seriously coming from Yahtzee given his recent attitude.

Or maybe he's judging a game based on what he likes about it and what he dislikes about it and points out exactly those points. Though that's probably just me and one of my crazy conspiracy theories.

])rStrangelove:

Random berk:
Problem is, if a game with the perfect blend of context, gameplay and gratification sits in the centre of the chart, how do you differentiate between a game that is scores a fantastic level in all three areas, or a terrible one?

You let it fade the more terrible it is. A 95% title's name is a fat black in the middle, a terrible title can hardly be read any longer, esp next to other games of the some genre with higher scores.

Like the tag overview (biggest tags > used the most) on websites.

That'd be quite difficult to read though. With graphs like this, one of the things you have to do is make sure that its easily read. NoPants2win had a good system, where each game is represented by the outline of a triangle, a well balanced, high scored game will be a large outline that comes close to matching the outline of the graph, while a game that scores very poorly in all areas only has a tiny triangle in the centre. A game that scores well in one or more areas but falls down in another one will have a distorted outline, with some parts reaching the edge of the graph, while other edges would be nearer the centre. Colour code the triangles and have a key to show which one is which, and you have an easilyy readable graph that conveys all the information you want on both balance and general quality.

Version Four of my Post:
As long as you make the scores total to 100, and use the scores as more of a percent than independent scores. Every game will not be noticeably different than any other until you compare two of them and see which is more balanced, or if you are looking for a specific type of game. Let's say you only want to play something quick and entertaining with your friends. Then you would go for something with High Gratification (60-80) and Low Context (0-15) and Medium Challenge (15-25). Examples include: Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Rock Band.

View my Facebook Page for Other Versions of this (Much Longer):
http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=199160860172834&id=100003227869731
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003227869731&sk=wall&v=wall

Random berk:

Yopaz:

Random berk:
This is an interesting idea- its quite similar to the petrochemographic diagrams we've been looking at in Metamorphic petrology. Problem is, if a game with the perfect blend of context, gameplay and gratification sits in the centre of the chart, how do you differentiate between a game that is scores a fantastic level in all three areas, or a terrible one? For example, Saints Row 2 sits in the middle, but where do you put a game like the Transformers official movie game? That one was equally execrable in every possible area? You can't give it three seperate points, and you can't give it, lets say, a position near the context because it sucked a bit less in that area than it did in the others, and have it sitting somewhere near Mass Effect or a similarly story-based game.

Why do you need to differentiate them? In order to rank them? Ranking games is just as pointless as normal review scores because we can't compare every game to each other. I can't compare Professor Layton, Need For Speed or Saints Row because they are very different. It would be like comparing a great steak with a great mousse.

Of course you can compare them. You can compare two games of the same basic type, where the difference is that one did what it was supposed to do very well, and the other was just a poorly made cash grab, for example Spider man 2 and my first example, Transformers. Both were movie based games, both were loosely based on the story from the movie, both were heavily focused on melee combat with some ranged attacks, both had their own unique (or sort of unique in Transformers case)travel mecanic. The difference is that Spider man did all of these things reasonably well, and was a pleasure to play, while Transformers was one of the very,very few games that I discarded because it was just a steaming pile of shit that did nothing at all right. Its like comparing a great steak with one thats been chewed up, spat out and left on the table for a month.

Yeah, of course you can compare two games with the same background and of course you can say that a crappy game is worse than a good game.
However take Professor Layton and Pandora's Box and compare that to Saints Row 2.
Both offers context, challenge and gratification. Simply put both are good games that can in no way be compared. They are fundamentally different and not meant to be enjoyed in the same way nor for the same reasons.

I'd love to see future Zero Punctuation videos feature these types of evaluation. :)

Yahtzee I do believe you are on to something, lets hope it catches on.

So here's a question for people, I haven't played SR2 and am thinking about getting 3. Should I just get 2 instead?

Perhaps, in going with the triangle graph (where each side is represented as a length based on score) it would be more fitting, rather than just giving a 1-10 Sucks/Awesome rating, that you give it a balance rating instead... ie, on Challenge, a good score is 5(representing an excellent balance of complexity and facilitation). If you go lower than that, then the game lacks challenge either by design (children's games, Lego Starwars/Batman type games, etc) or through flaws (shoddy enemy AI, poor reward balance, etc). Going higher means a greater degree of overall challenge and difficulty, such as old-school arcade games, or through poorly implemented user interface or controls. The same could be used on Context and gratification:

With Context lower values mean minimal context presented primarily during gameplay, like many classic arcade/NES era games, or puzzle games, while higher ones mean indepth stories evolved through cutscenes, and ingame character interactions, possibly to the detriment of actual gameplay, as in some JRPGs or Visual Novels.

In Gratification you would have higher values based on exacting developer based goals (100% completionists, high score modes, Shine Get, etc) while lower scores would be based off of personal, player set goals (floppy dildo bashing time, collecting ugly cars in GTA, etc).

As always, actually understanding each of these values, and how it relates to the final game as a whole, would require you to read/watch the full review, and understand the natural foibles, biases, and overall subjective viewpoints of the reviewer in question...

Meh its still Gameplay and story in my book, tho mostly gameplay, If the gameplay is bad or off enough(coughFO3cough) the game is not worth my time. And I hate wasting my time on subpar games unless they are really fun to play.

Gratification is a bit of a misnomer it assumes one can be gratified playing with shat.... its far to vague a thing to define, however gameplay makes up for so much its hard to dismiss.

Yopaz:

Random berk:

Yopaz:

Why do you need to differentiate them? In order to rank them? Ranking games is just as pointless as normal review scores because we can't compare every game to each other. I can't compare Professor Layton, Need For Speed or Saints Row because they are very different. It would be like comparing a great steak with a great mousse.

Of course you can compare them. You can compare two games of the same basic type, where the difference is that one did what it was supposed to do very well, and the other was just a poorly made cash grab, for example Spider man 2 and my first example, Transformers. Both were movie based games, both were loosely based on the story from the movie, both were heavily focused on melee combat with some ranged attacks, both had their own unique (or sort of unique in Transformers case)travel mecanic. The difference is that Spider man did all of these things reasonably well, and was a pleasure to play, while Transformers was one of the very,very few games that I discarded because it was just a steaming pile of shit that did nothing at all right. Its like comparing a great steak with one thats been chewed up, spat out and left on the table for a month.

Yeah, of course you can compare two games with the same background and of course you can say that a crappy game is worse than a good game.
However take Professor Layton and Pandora's Box and compare that to Saints Row 2.
Both offers context, challenge and gratification. Simply put both are good games that can in no way be compared. They are fundamentally different and not meant to be enjoyed in the same way nor for the same reasons.

And I never once said that Professor Layton had to be compared to Saints Row in terms of quality. Nor did I hint at it in any way. However, both games will look different on the graph-using the idea of games represented by triangular outlines, they will both be skewed in different ways depending on their strengths, and similarly they will both look different to a lesser game in either style, as they will generally have much wider outines.

Random berk:

Yopaz:

Random berk:

Of course you can compare them. You can compare two games of the same basic type, where the difference is that one did what it was supposed to do very well, and the other was just a poorly made cash grab, for example Spider man 2 and my first example, Transformers. Both were movie based games, both were loosely based on the story from the movie, both were heavily focused on melee combat with some ranged attacks, both had their own unique (or sort of unique in Transformers case)travel mecanic. The difference is that Spider man did all of these things reasonably well, and was a pleasure to play, while Transformers was one of the very,very few games that I discarded because it was just a steaming pile of shit that did nothing at all right. Its like comparing a great steak with one thats been chewed up, spat out and left on the table for a month.

Yeah, of course you can compare two games with the same background and of course you can say that a crappy game is worse than a good game.
However take Professor Layton and Pandora's Box and compare that to Saints Row 2.
Both offers context, challenge and gratification. Simply put both are good games that can in no way be compared. They are fundamentally different and not meant to be enjoyed in the same way nor for the same reasons.

And I never once said that Professor Layton had to be compared to Saints Row in terms of quality. Nor did I hint at it in any way. However, both games will look different on the graph-using the idea of games represented by triangular outlines, they will both be skewed in different ways depending on their strengths, and similarly they will both look different to a lesser game in either style, as they will generally have much wider outines.

If you read the first post I wrote I said it was impossible to compare Saints Row, Need For Speed and Professor Layton. To which you replied "Of course you can compare them". So you said, without a doubt exactly that. Don't believe me? My post:

I can't compare Professor Layton, Need For Speed or Saints Row because they are very different.

A different point that I tried to get across in my most recent post is that both Saints Row 2 and Professor Layton And Pandora's Box share strengths. The challenge of solving a puzzle to the challenge of surviving gunfire and killing the enemy gang members.
The gratification of getting the answer right without hints or guessing the wrong answer once to the gratification of driving on the sidewalk looking at people being tossed around.
The context that comes from a story that's put together well that keeps you playing just so you get to see the ending that you get in both games. Both games got moments in the story with tension where you don't want to put down the controller just so you can see how it goes.

Both games have their strong points sure, but I am unable to rank them based on their merits. Also how can I say one is better? They can't be compared because they got as good as nothing in common. I can't compare the combat because one of the games don't have any. The gameplay doesn't even have any overlapping qualities.

Fat_Hippo:
Hmm, this actually sounds like it would be an interesting experiment. So how about you really DO IT in your next review, and see how people react? You can talk the talk but can you walk the walk?

No, but seriously, this is a cool idea, so try it.

Also agreeing with this, provided it's just like the final frame of his review credits or something. Not like there isn't room in the upper left corner above his neglected webpage's plug either.

I'm going to have to be the one to disagree here. Not that I think that this way of judging a game is wrong in any way, just that the conclusion you've come to seems a little flawed and confused.

It seems like your saying that Challenge, Context and Gratification are the primary colours by which to judge a game, but what I believe you have here is really red, blue and purple. Gratification is derived from the latter concepts. You even go as far as to say so yourself to an extent.

"The story's top notch, and I get both challenge and gratification from executing a perfect sequence of acrobatics in an unbroken flow". (Yhatzee)

I believe this quote would make more sense if worded "The story's top notch, and I get gratification from the challenge of executing a perfect sequence of acrobatics in an unbroken flow".

"What I definatle would not do then is combine the three scores into some kind of "overall" value". (Yhatzee)

But you already are combining the first two into the third. Gratification is bases upon the overall experience: from the plot, to the context, the interface and the challenge.

http://imgur.com/tzPcv

Bam, there's a graph

NinjaDeathSlap:

trollpwner:
Most illuminating indeed. This encapsulates the gaming experience very well. I've been puzzling about such categories for a while now, and this seems to do it beautifully.

ALSO: In before people taking his one Halo Reach compliment out of context and using it as "proof" that he was wrong to ever dare bash their beloved game!

Interesting, I was about to say in before people not letting a compliment towards a popular game slide without having one last chance to be prematurely judgmental about anyone who liked it just because they didn't (assuming they weren't too judgmental to not even give the game a chance either), like it's the only way they can feel important or something.

What other people like and don't like in their games is of no concern to me (one wonders why it should be to anyone), but if I recall back in Yahtzee's review of Reach he didn't exactly 'bash' it. Granted, he found and laboured on its faults (he is Yahtzee after all), but the overall consensus seemed to be 'Not great, but a lot better than I was expecting'.

Mind you, I am speaking to someone with an avatar depicting Gordon Freeman decapitating Master Chief, so maybe I'm just as much of a fool for even trying to initiate a reasoned debate...

OT: I very much like the idea of three categories, and scoring each of them independently. That way, you'll be able to tell not just what the reviewer's opinion of the game was with more clarity, but also how that opinion might tally with yours based on what you tend to care about most in games.

Ehh....I think you've got me wrong on this one. True, halo isn't my favourite game (as you might have guessed) but I'm not here to bash it. I just wanted to do something to ward off the hordes of butthurt fans who appear in every halfway controversial ZP or XP, pick 2 random quotes out of context, bash them together and yell "HURR HURR you contradicted your opinion Yahtzee, everyone ignore him and listen to me now that my opinion has been 'proved' right!!!"

Yopaz:

If you read the first post I wrote I said it was impossible to compare Saints Row, Need For Speed and Professor Layton. To which you replied "Of course you can compare them". So you said, without a doubt exactly that. Don't believe me? My post:

I can't compare Professor Layton, Need For Speed or Saints Row because they are very different.

A different point that I tried to get across in my most recent post is that both Saints Row 2 and Professor Layton And Pandora's Box share strengths. The challenge of solving a puzzle to the challenge of surviving gunfire and killing the enemy gang members.
The gratification of getting the answer right without hints or guessing the wrong answer once to the gratification of driving on the sidewalk looking at people being tossed around.
The context that comes from a story that's put together well that keeps you playing just so you get to see the ending that you get in both games. Both games got moments in the story with tension where you don't want to put down the controller just so you can see how it goes.

Both games have their strong points sure, but I am unable to rank them based on their merits. Also how can I say one is better? They can't be compared because they got as good as nothing in common. I can't compare the combat because one of the games don't have any. The gameplay doesn't even have any overlapping qualities.

Ranking games is just as pointless as normal review scores because we can't compare every game to each other.

You also said this in your first post, and it was to this that I replied 'of course you can compare them'. You can compare games of equal merit that have different aims, or games that tried to do the same thing, and enjoyed different levels of success.

As to the rest of your post as quoted here, the different ways that each game approaches each area of context, gratification and gameplay is why the written part of the review still needs to exist. You can't condense an entire review down to one graph, but the triangular diagram would make a lot more sense than the system used by Metacritic or Rotten Tomatoes, where they just give the game an overall percentage meaning 'good' or 'bad'.

Random berk:

Yopaz:

If you read the first post I wrote I said it was impossible to compare Saints Row, Need For Speed and Professor Layton. To which you replied "Of course you can compare them". So you said, without a doubt exactly that. Don't believe me? My post:

I can't compare Professor Layton, Need For Speed or Saints Row because they are very different.

A different point that I tried to get across in my most recent post is that both Saints Row 2 and Professor Layton And Pandora's Box share strengths. The challenge of solving a puzzle to the challenge of surviving gunfire and killing the enemy gang members.
The gratification of getting the answer right without hints or guessing the wrong answer once to the gratification of driving on the sidewalk looking at people being tossed around.
The context that comes from a story that's put together well that keeps you playing just so you get to see the ending that you get in both games. Both games got moments in the story with tension where you don't want to put down the controller just so you can see how it goes.

Both games have their strong points sure, but I am unable to rank them based on their merits. Also how can I say one is better? They can't be compared because they got as good as nothing in common. I can't compare the combat because one of the games don't have any. The gameplay doesn't even have any overlapping qualities.

Ranking games is just as pointless as normal review scores because we can't compare every game to each other.

You also said this in your first post, and it was to this that I replied 'of course you can compare them'. You can compare games of equal merit that have different aims, or games that tried to do the same thing, and enjoyed different levels of success.

As to the rest of your post as quoted here, the different ways that each game approaches each area of context, gratification and gameplay is why the written part of the review still needs to exist. You can't condense an entire review down to one graph, but the triangular diagram would make a lot more sense than the system used by Metacritic or Rotten Tomatoes, where they just give the game an overall percentage meaning 'good' or 'bad'.

I repeated what I said in my first post because you clearly had either problems understanding it or you didn't actually read it. You replied to that post with comparing two briefly similar games and pointing out the similarities and mentioned that one was bad. Then in your next post where you replied to the fact that I pointed out that Professor Layton and Saints Row 2 were too different to be compared you said the following:

And I never once said that Professor Layton had to be compared to Saints Row in terms of quality. Nor did I hint at it in any way.

Make up your mind soon. Every time you post you say the opposite of what your last post said. Note that my quote says that you can't compare every to each other. I don't say you can't compare any game to each other.

trollpwner:

NinjaDeathSlap:

trollpwner:
Most illuminating indeed. This encapsulates the gaming experience very well. I've been puzzling about such categories for a while now, and this seems to do it beautifully.

ALSO: In before people taking his one Halo Reach compliment out of context and using it as "proof" that he was wrong to ever dare bash their beloved game!

Interesting, I was about to say in before people not letting a compliment towards a popular game slide without having one last chance to be prematurely judgmental about anyone who liked it just because they didn't (assuming they weren't too judgmental to not even give the game a chance either), like it's the only way they can feel important or something.

What other people like and don't like in their games is of no concern to me (one wonders why it should be to anyone), but if I recall back in Yahtzee's review of Reach he didn't exactly 'bash' it. Granted, he found and laboured on its faults (he is Yahtzee after all), but the overall consensus seemed to be 'Not great, but a lot better than I was expecting'.

Mind you, I am speaking to someone with an avatar depicting Gordon Freeman decapitating Master Chief, so maybe I'm just as much of a fool for even trying to initiate a reasoned debate...

OT: I very much like the idea of three categories, and scoring each of them independently. That way, you'll be able to tell not just what the reviewer's opinion of the game was with more clarity, but also how that opinion might tally with yours based on what you tend to care about most in games.

Ehh....I think you've got me wrong on this one. True, halo isn't my favourite game (as you might have guessed) but I'm not here to bash it. I just wanted to do something to ward off the hordes of butthurt fans who appear in every halfway controversial ZP or XP, pick 2 random quotes out of context, bash them together and yell "HURR HURR you contradicted your opinion Yahtzee, everyone ignore him and listen to me now that my opinion has been 'proved' right!!!"

In that case, I'm sorry I jumped to conclusions. It was an honest mistake.

NinjaDeathSlap:

In that case, I'm sorry I jumped to conclusions. It was an honest mistake.

Nah, that's cool, we all mistakes. The fact that you apologized had brought you very high in my estimation. We need more escapists like you.

Yopaz:

Random berk:

Yopaz:

If you read the first post I wrote I said it was impossible to compare Saints Row, Need For Speed and Professor Layton. To which you replied "Of course you can compare them". So you said, without a doubt exactly that. Don't believe me? My post:

A different point that I tried to get across in my most recent post is that both Saints Row 2 and Professor Layton And Pandora's Box share strengths. The challenge of solving a puzzle to the challenge of surviving gunfire and killing the enemy gang members.
The gratification of getting the answer right without hints or guessing the wrong answer once to the gratification of driving on the sidewalk looking at people being tossed around.
The context that comes from a story that's put together well that keeps you playing just so you get to see the ending that you get in both games. Both games got moments in the story with tension where you don't want to put down the controller just so you can see how it goes.

Both games have their strong points sure, but I am unable to rank them based on their merits. Also how can I say one is better? They can't be compared because they got as good as nothing in common. I can't compare the combat because one of the games don't have any. The gameplay doesn't even have any overlapping qualities.

Ranking games is just as pointless as normal review scores because we can't compare every game to each other.

You also said this in your first post, and it was to this that I replied 'of course you can compare them'. You can compare games of equal merit that have different aims, or games that tried to do the same thing, and enjoyed different levels of success.

As to the rest of your post as quoted here, the different ways that each game approaches each area of context, gratification and gameplay is why the written part of the review still needs to exist. You can't condense an entire review down to one graph, but the triangular diagram would make a lot more sense than the system used by Metacritic or Rotten Tomatoes, where they just give the game an overall percentage meaning 'good' or 'bad'.

I repeated what I said in my first post because you clearly had either problems understanding it or you didn't actually read it. You replied to that post with comparing two briefly similar games and pointing out the similarities and mentioned that one was bad. Then in your next post where you replied to the fact that I pointed out that Professor Layton and Saints Row 2 were too different to be compared you said the following:

And I never once said that Professor Layton had to be compared to Saints Row in terms of quality. Nor did I hint at it in any way.

Make up your mind soon. Every time you post you say the opposite of what your last post said. Note that my quote says that you can't compare every to each other. I don't say you can't compare any game to each other.

You're starting to sound quite confrontational over this matter. Its hardly worth spending time arguing over anyway, and certainly not worth getting annoyed about it, so you'll understand if I make this my last response here.

I thoroughly enjoyed this Extra Punctuation. Reviewers do tend to get into too much detail about graphics or sound when they are applying their math to the reviews. So I wouldn't mind seeing you do something like this. Or at least read a review that was inspired with this system in mind.

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