So, this is a little side project that I’m deciding to undertake. And so close to Thanksgiving at the time of posting, too, so THAT’s nice. Not putting pressure on me to put content out the door before the buzzer at all. Yes, this was a good idea, self!
This post will act as a proto-FAQ of sorts about what this blog will be, what I expect to happen, what games I plan to cover, that sorta thing.
TL;DR: I’m an amateur games reviewer with a specialization in mecha/sci-fi themed games. Love me.
So, who are you?
Hi. My name’s Bud Callahan. I want to entertain you by throwing words about games with robots on your screen. Hopefully you’ll be informed enough to make a decision on whether or not to buy said games.
What games are you covering, again?
Anything related to mecha anime or is sci-fi in nature, so games like Stellaris, Galactic Civilizations, Sid Meyer’s Beyond Earth, Front Mission, Gihren’s Greed, Gundam Versus, Gundam Breaker, SD Gundam Generations, Gundam Battle Operations; y’know, those sorts of games (yes, half of these games can only be bought in Japan, how could you tell?). Niche as all hell, yes, but it’s something I’m interested in and hopefully you will be as well.
Oh! Oh! You should cover Star Wars Battlefront II (EA)!
No. A thousand times no. That game’s been roasted to hell and gone by people far more attractive and knowledgeable than I. Nothing I’d say would add anything substantive to that conversation.
Keep in mind that this does not implement on blanket ban on any Star Wars game, however; just that particular one. Same goes for any game you’ll suggest.
Why written reviews though?
Because I’m an ugly sonuvabitch and my mug would terrify small children, people with delicate constitutions, and various household pets. My voice also sounds like sandpaper being dragged across a monkey’s ass. No one wants to listen to that. And because managing pictures is easier on my HDD.
What systems will you be focusing on?
Primarily PS4 and PC, maybe adding some PS3 stuff for funsies. Mobile, if there’s demand for it. Handhelds, too, again if there’s demand for it.
What will you be looking at when you’re reviewing?
A whole whack of things: how the controls feel, how the gameplay looks, what the sound design is like, whether or not a part of the game is enjoyable, how predatory the microtransactions are (if they’re present)…
And most of all, should you, Joe Schmoe Average-Consumer, buy this game? That’s what I plan on answering in my reviews.
Wait, hold on. How predatory the microtransactions are? What the hell?
Welcome to the era of the lootbox, baby. Spin that wheel and watch your money get snatched right outta your pocket.
Certain Triple A companies (EA, Activision-Blizzard, Take Two, and others) just love shoving those little shits and things like them in every place they can, especially if it’s in either a popular property like Star Wars or a “niche-enough” property that has a profitable cult following (like Gundam). If I can at least call one company out on their bullshit and bring it into the light of day to inform fellow consumers, you better bet that bottom dollar that I’m gonna do it. It is my duty and my vow as an amateur reviewer. Whether or not you, the consumer, choose to engage with those sorts of practices isn’t my call to make nor should it be. All I can do is warn you of the pitfalls and the possible traps.
Should I take your word as gospel?
No. Be informed. Compare my reviews to other reviews made by more experienced folk. Make your own decisions in regards to what games you want to buy.
Will you be using a rating system?
Sort of. I’ll be following the “Jeremy Jahns’s Scale” of ratings (explained here) on how good a game is and whether you should buy it.
Here’s a quick rundown on what the ratings mean (some of these are self-explanatory):
- Utter Dogshit (so bad that I actively try to get you to not buy this game during my review; this will be reserved for games that are either very predatory in their monetization model, how poorly made the game is, or some combination thereof)
- T Minus (time till you realize you’ve made a HUGE mistake and want a refund)
- Award Bait (this game was not made with you in mind; it was made to win awards you’ve probably never heard of and/or don’t care about)
- Forgettable (you’ll have forgotten that you played it until you’re uninstalling games to get back HDD space)
- Alcohol Required (drinking heavily is advised during your play session to either enhance or numb certain parts of the game)
- No Booze Needed (you don’t need to guzzle that whiskey while you play, the game’s good enough as it is; you can if you wanna, though)
- Play it with Friends (good enough that you wanna share it with your buds via a gift or some other means)
- Buy It Digitally (get the digital edition if you can so you can play ASAP to see what I’m on about)
- Buy It Period (this is very much worth your time; your efforts will be well rewarded if you decide to undertake a hunt for a copy, be it physical or digital)
- Certified Awesome (you will be sorry if you don’t play this game at least once; it very much deserves a place in your collection)
How will you be getting screencaps for your games?
I’ll be using a program called ShareX for my PC game reviews, mostly because it’s free and available on Steam, also because Fraps is expensive as hell and not geared towards taking photos. (I’m aware that Fraps has a “free” option, but again, the program isn’t geared towards taking photos)
For my PS4 reviews, I’ll be abusing the “Share This Image” function to hell and back by sharing it on Twitter so I can then grab it on my computer (there probably is a better way of doing it, but damn if I’ve found it), as well as Google Image Searching for more “professional” looking photos.
You mind if people send you games?
Email me and we’ll talk. Otherwise, maybe.
If you’re a PR firm working for a development company and wanna send me keys to a game or an indie dev looking to get the word out, be advised that I will pull no punches, nor will I be unnecessarily cruel to your product. I will lampoon what needs to be lampooned, I will praise what I think is deserving of praise.
I am interested in supporting you financially via tips (through PayPal or something similar) or some other method (eg Patreon).
Well, first off, thank you for thinking of me like that! It really means a lot to me. I’m honored to be worthy of your monetary support.
Second, at the time of writing I don’t feel comfortable taking money from folks right now because I’m kinda just starting out and that would probably create a conflict of interest. Gimme…about four and a half months (from the time of writing this) and lemme get some reviews under my belt and I’ll get back to you on that.
Will this be a job for you?
I don’t really see this panning out and becoming a full-time gig, but I’m open to that happening if things line up just right. Until those things happen, this will be nothing more than a simple hobby.
What’s your update schedule gonna be like?
Whenever I sit my fat ass down and get to typing, for the most part. I’d like to stick to a schedule, but we’ll see what happens. (Which is why I’m happy to say that my first review (at the time of writing) will be Stellaris, which is getting a major update Soon(tm) in the form of Patch 2.2 Le Guin/the MegaCorps expansion, so I feel like that will probably be a good idea to strike before that iron cools.)
Are you good at video games?
Well, not really. I don’t particularly fancy myself as the “perfect” video game player, nor do I want to be. In fact, I don’t believe that it should color your perception of how you interpret my review, but if it does, I’m sorry.
CONTACT ME VIA:
Email: NotAZaku@protonmail.com (yes it’s an encrypted email address; no I don’t trust you enough to give you my actual email)
Twitter: @hereticraidaa (this is my personal Twitter account; be aware that I post a lot about tokusatsu and mecha, as well as various shitposts and whatever else strikes my fancy)
Steam: hauptmannfrost (if you wanna gift me games, this is my username)