I wasn’t going to write this up because it felt like a waste of time, but I’ve heard people talk about a certain website before, mainly in praise. I decided to really take a look around there and see what all the hub-bub was about. Supposedly it is a place full of gaming reviews, magic and unicorns! Okay, maybe not the latter two things, but who knows what people may have uploaded in hidden directories. Anywhat, man, what a let down! What site am I referring to? The Video Game Critic.
Firstly, I’d like to say that I understand that everyone has their own opinions on games. I’d also like to point out that I understand when those opinions are wrong. This critic person is wrong A LOT.
I noticed that in these reviews he (or she? it?) seems to love this arbitrary ranking system that is used. They seem to be F-, F, D-, D, D+, C-, C, C+, B-, B, B+, A-, A, and A+. You might be sitting here wondering, “Where is the ‘F+’ at, Rob? You forgot to type it!” No, I didn’t. There isn’t a single F+ rated game on that site. Don’t ask me why, because there isn’t a basis for these rankings in the first place! Sure, these are like the ones found in schools all around, but those are based on a number system. The more problems you get incorrect out of the whole of the assignment, the more your percentage of correct answers go down. Depending on how the school matches letters up with percentage points, a 93% and above is an A, or there are some that use 90% and above as an A. At any rate, there is a reasoning behind what letter grade you receive. The author of said website doesn’t ever explain what these letters mean, or how they decide what game gets what letter. Is F- actually equal to a 1? That would mean that an A+ would be a 14. What a weird number to have as the highest! I wouldn’t think it would be that. Still, there would be no solid basis behind ranking like that, either. OH! There is also a rating of ‘NA’, which I am going to assume means not-applicable, but what do I know? It could just mean NOT A and the reader would never know any better. Now, on the front page of the site it says, “The Video Game Critic rates games in comparison to other games for the same system. The overriding criteria is how fun the game is to play, although control, graphics, and sound are also taken into account.” But how does this apply to the letters?! Sheesh. This site would be 100 times better if they just dropped the letters off altogether, because they give a representation of being like schools, so if you see anything with a C or below, you would automatically think, “ewwwwwww”. I guess D or below for you under-achievers.
I didn’t really check out the message board on the site for very long, but I ran across a hilarity that is SURE to ensue! There were people stating that it seemed as if ol’ critic gave Contra: Hard Corps a lower ranking (C-) because of the difficulty of the game. Critic tried defending against that in saying, “I had a few Contra die-hards help me review this,” which I find very amusing in itself. If you have to have assistance from people to make a one-paragraph review, with what looks to be less than 20 sentences, then I think you have problems.
Now, I want to show how absolutely crazy this site is in terms of what they say is good and what isn’t. If we are going to assume that each game that receives the same grade is equal to each other (by system, as stated on the site), then we find out that Ninja Gaiden 2 is just as good of a game as Soccer on the NES, both netting a score of B-. I’ve got to say, that’s a bit weird. Soccer is a pretty good game, but look at everything that went into the second Ninja Gaiden game. I don’t see how they could be presented as equals. There are other examples of this kind of equality amongst games on systems that makes me wonder what the hell they’re smoking. On the Master System, they seem to think that the flop known as Rocky is on par with the awesomeness of Kenseiden. D+ for both… I just don’t know.
But, if I know any system, it’s the NES. I have always given games their fair shake, even if I don’t particularly like them to start off with. With that said, I’m trying to figure out how a game like Rescue Rangers can get a D due in part because the “two-player mode is annoying and frustrating,” and the game is “unremarkable,” but at the same time give Ikari Warriors a B. It’s mentioned that Ikari has “responsive controls,” but doesn’t mention that even your character is slow as hell, just the bullets. By the way, ranked among the F’s in the NES section are such games as Metal Storm, Target: Renegade, Rambo, Godzilla, Star Wars, and Platoon.
Did you also know that Contra: Shattered Soldier’s “stage design is atrocious,” and the graphics are “all just window dressing for a bad game”? That gets a D-. As far as Contra games go, I’m a fan of Neo Contra because of the wackiness of the cinemas. The action is pretty fun too, but I think the whole thing is just silly, to be honest. Much to my surprise, he gave that game an A-! Lo’ and behold though, “the cut scenes are not even worth watching,” which is highly subjective, but I’d say they are some of the funniest cut scenes I’ve ever seen in a game! So whatever.
I could go on and on with all the complaints I have about the reviews over there, but I hope this much shows you why I find it to be an annoying place on the web. I’ve already spent entirely too much time just getting this info together, so maybe I will now be able to avoid it altogether. If there were no stupid letter grading that only makes things look like a jumbled mess, it might be a better site. Though the “reviews” should be a bit more in-depth, I think.
videogamecritic.net … Grade: F-