Reviewing a genre or sub-genre

This entry is responding to “that a game INTENTIONALLY uses the D&D rules shouldn’t be used to score it.”

If using the D&D rules is an inherent negative or inherent positive then it should.

An an example: Will Wright’s Spore. This game has 6 phases, with different gameplay in each. If you like variety of gameplay, this design element becomes an inherent positive.

Games are judged based on what they try to do, not just on how well they execute what they try to do. You see this in reviews all the time… the reviewer says something like “despite the problems, I’m giving the game a 80 because of its ambitious and innovative design”.

Reviewers would give a zero score to Pong if it was re-released today. Copied, boring gameplay.

Genres *themselves* are elements of gameplay and design that can be reviewed just like the other aspects.

As Adventure games faded for example, players enjoyed them less and less relative to other games. If reviewers wanted to be accurate, they would have given Adventure games lower and lower scores, as they enjoyed them less.

Genres don’t get points just for existing. If something’s not fun, not worthwhile, it doesn’t really matter what its trying to do. It failed.

There’s still differentiation within sub-genres. A crappy sub-genre can still have a great game that gets a 7 and a bad game that gets a 2.

Unless the game is horribly plagued by bugs, Spore is *guaranteed* a solid score, because of design innovation. That is to say, its design is highly favored. Its not treated like every other game, nor should it be. Even if it wildly doesn’t do what it sets out to do it will get a decent score.


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