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									Reviewing Computer Games
By Dr. S. Sudirman Liverpool John Moores University

Prelude
Before we go straight into the discussion on how computer games are reviewed, we should first consider the two main components.

Computer Games Review
Computer Games Review

Computer Games
What do you know about Computer Games?
Interactive Exciting to play Beautiful graphics, sound and music Requires skill to complete May require puzzle solving / strategy and may require good hand-eye coordination or both Expensive etc

Computer Games
We can group together the previous properties of computer games into four main groups.
Interactive Exciting to play Requires skill to play May require puzzle solving / strategy and may require good hand-eye coordination or both Beautiful graphics, sound and music

Expensive

Computer Games
We can group together the previous properties of computer games into four main groups.
PRESENTATION GAMEPLAY VALUE FOR MONEY

Review of Computer Games
When we review a computer game we typically look at the game from three perspective:
Does it play well? Does it look and sound well? Is it worth the cost?

Does a game play well?
Depend on game genre. Things to look for:
Is the difficulty level about right? Are there any serious bugs in the game? How long does it take to complete? Control system.
Is it responsive? Is it intuitive? Is it easy to learn but difficult to master?

Story.
Is it immersive? How good is the quest line?

Artificial Intelligence Physics etc

Does it look and sound well?
Depends on era:
Modern Retro

Modern Graphics (3D)
Is the 3D models are high resolution? Is the texture crisp? Is it jaggy or too blurry? Is High Dynamic Range supported? Does it run well on an ‘average’ system or does it need high-end PC?

Modern Sound and music
Is 3D surround sound supported? Is the sound effect spectacular? Is the music immersive and does not distract?

Does it look and sound well?
Retro Graphics (2D)
Are the sprites/images crisp? Do the sprites/images look good? Does it support high number of colours? Does it run on an old PC system?

Retro Sound and Music
Is the sound effect believable? Is the music immersive and does not distract?

Is it worth the cost?
Depends on price and competition (genre) Is there any game around that offers similar content? If it is, how much are their price relative to this game? Does the game offer a good number of playtime to justify the cost?
Typical action/adventure/RPG games play time is 2030 hours. Typical price for modern games is £25-£45

Computer Games Genre
The way computer games are played, hence reviewed, depends on the type of game or genre. There are many genre of games, and a computer game can also belong to any one, or a combination of these many genres.

Fighting Games

Racing Games

Strategy Games

First Person Shooter

Role Playing Games (RPG)

Massively Multiplayer Online Games

Game Review
An independent analysis of computer and video games. Carried out mostly by game journalists and critics To help gamers decide whether the game worth its cost.

Game Review Websites

Gametrailers

ign

Eurogamer

Problems
In many occasions game reviews are very subjective Depends on the preference of the reviewer Depends on the workload of the reviewer In some cases, they are “not independent”

Game Review Comparison Site
To help gamers see the overall critics for a game. Contains all the ‘trusted’ reviews for a game under one page Do scaling or even ‘interpretation’ of review scores Summarise the overall review score

Game Review Comparison Site

Zelda: The Twilight Princess

Review from GameTrailers

Review from ign

Zelda Reviews

Laboratory Session
In the lab session you will have a chance to play and review a game. The game is called “Revenge: Kingdom of Azaili”. It is a remake of a 1989 hack-and-slash game “Golden Axe” by SEGA. The game is made by a group LJMU student last year as part of their course work.

Golden Axe

Golden Axe

Revenge: Kingdom of Azaili

Revenge: Kingdom of Azaili


								
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