Where's the Gamespy Review Discussion!?! (3.5/5)

Everything Hinterland that doesn't fit elsewhere
tyjenks
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Where's the Gamespy Review Discussion!?! (3.5/5)

Postby tyjenks » Fri Oct 03, 2008 2:54 pm

So Gamespy has given Hinterland a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Delsyn does a good job of describing the gameplay elements and much of the experience. The problem is the need for comparisons and pigeon-holing that reviewers are trapped into doing to give the readers a frame of reference. I love me some city-builders. This game is not that, and comparing them as such is a tad unfair. Reviewers have to compare it to something and therein lies the problem with games that try to bridge multiple genres, they are held to the highest standards of each specific genre that is being blended together rather than looking at the game for what it is. Yes it is similar to Diablo and is not as deep. Then it is, of course, compared to city builders, which will happen to any Tilted Mill game. Hinterland is not specifically a city builder. Comparisons to kingdom management games is appropriate, but that is not really the purpose of the game either, in my opinion.

I am certainly not saying it deserved a perfect score or even a higher scor from Delsyn. The game is not perfect and TM continues to work on things many of which are brought to their attention by gamers. This is eveidenced by the recent patch which helped tweak and balance things. My only issue with the review is the comparison to expectations of what Hinterland should have been.

If you come in looking for gameplay of a specific genre RPG/CB/RTS/et.al., you probably will be dissapointed. Tilted Mill's intent was to create a game which shared elements of multiple genres, streamline them and allow the player to just sit down and have fun. It is the simplicity and balance between all the interacting facets that makes Hinterland both seem familiar and a joy to play.

Just my opinion. (Well, it is the correct one, though.)

KnuckleHead
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Postby KnuckleHead » Fri Oct 03, 2008 3:07 pm

"Where's the Gamespy Review Discussion!?! "

Right below this post lol :D

Septa
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Postby Septa » Fri Oct 03, 2008 3:19 pm

It's a good review.

The game really need a bit more depth and polish to be a really good game.

3.5/5 seems quite fair.

It's better than average but not really good.

crossmr
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Postby crossmr » Fri Oct 03, 2008 3:19 pm

Sorry but "you didn't come with the right expectation" is an apologists statement. If a game is truly good, its going to stand on its own regardless of what the reviewer expected. If a game is mediocre its going to get a mediocre score. People need to stop thinking that anything lower than an 8 means a game is garbage.

tyjenks
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Postby tyjenks » Fri Oct 03, 2008 3:39 pm

I don't think the score is unfair at all. I just think some of the comparisons to other games are unfair. I would give it a 4 out of 5 or so, but then the issues he had quickly fade when I am playing as I am having such a good time, they do not bother me. His expectation seemed to fault the game for not being what he desired. Don't think that makes me an apologist at all.

For a $20 independently made game on a short development cycle, I think the game is fabulous. If we have to have comparisons, how 'bout some comparisons to the depth of the rash of indie games that are out. Many of which are superb and worth every bit of 20 bucks. In that comparison, I would say Hinterland easily rises to the top.

KnuckleHead
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Postby KnuckleHead » Fri Oct 03, 2008 3:50 pm

Well....let's just compare to other $20 indie games that just came out...

Mount & Blade - Much more depth, extremely deep combat, and has more tactical options. It also has much better graphics. It did have a longer development cycle, but the price is the same.

Puzzle Quest - Seemingly just a puzzle game, yet the gameplay is actually deep and varied. Aside from the "puzzle combat" portion, the game has town building, mounts, world exploration, a nice story, item crafting, and many other features. It's also extremely polished and looks/plays very well.

Darwinia - Very polished indie game with great concepts that are executed very well.

I like Hinterland, but even when put against it's peers (other cheap indie games) it still doesn't hold up in terms of depth and quality.

tyjenks
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Postby tyjenks » Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:05 pm

"KnuckleHead" wrote:Well....let's just compare to other $20 indie games that just came out...

Mount & Blade - Much more depth, extremely deep combat, and has more tactical options. It also has much better graphics. It did have a longer development cycle, but the price is the same.

Puzzle Quest - Seemingly just a puzzle game, yet the gameplay is actually deep and varied. Aside from the "puzzle combat" portion, the game has town building, mounts, world exploration, a nice story, item crafting, and many other features. It's also extremely polished and looks/plays very well.

Darwinia - Very polished indie game with great concepts that are executed very well.

I like Hinterland, but even when put against it's peers (other cheap indie games) it still doesn't hold up in terms of depth and quality.



Excellent points. However, I don't think any more depth would necessarily help the gameplay. It might bog down the ability to pick it up and play it. AS for the polish, I agree. I think with time that will improve. I am guessing that was a development choice. Release it based on the gameplay and then further develop the polish post-release. Whether that was the right choice, only time will tell.

Of the three you mentioned, I have all installed, but have only purchased Puzzle Quest. For whatever reason, and in this I am diametrically opposed to 95% of the people I know, I got bored after about two weeks. Even with all the depth, it boils down to a matching game which I have played to death over the last several years. The options within the matching are wide and varied, but it does not make the game that much more appealing.

I mean,, I do not disagree with anyone's knocks against the game. If there is a feature that is missing or is lacking that would make it more fun, then I can see where it not being there hampers your enjoyment of the game (Plus, who is to say that by noting the issue, TM will not implement it in a future patch). I just think the combination of the more 'shallow' on the surface features more than makes up for it when taking a look at the game as a whole.

LordFu
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Postby LordFu » Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:26 pm

3.5 out of 5 is a very respectable score, IMO. It's 70%.

The review itself is well written, covering nearly every positive and negative on the game. Hinterland is good, but it has not yet fufilled its potential to be great.

SharedProphet
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Postby SharedProphet » Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:37 pm

Mount & Blade: $29.99
Puzzle Quest: $19.99
Darwinia: $19.99
Hinterland: $19.99
Overstating the features of some games while belittling those of another: Priceless

Mount & Blade--this game is about the combat.¹ There isn't much else to the game.² Hinterland is about being a little, casual-friendly, boardgame-like taste of town management and action-RPG fun. I haven't played Mount & Blade but I've read about it and seen the screenshots and I'm sure it is fun.

Puzzle Quest--I love it, but you make it sound like it has everything. "Town building?" Come on, it's really just upgrades you can purchase (they're even listed as a menu and can be purchased from any city). Mounts, item crafting, etc. are all variants of the puzzle game, and the world exploration doesn't extend beyond clicking new locations that show up because you got a quest. Also, not very balanced and has various bugs. Again, I love the game (I have it on both the PSP and the Xbox 360), but let's describe it realistically for people who haven't played it.

Darwinia--been out a while (maybe you mean the more recent Multiwinia, which is said to be simple but polished and fun?), and I'm sure has had updates in that time. Haven't played this one either, though I'm a fan of Introversion. But I don't think the comparison is as unfavorable as you're making it out to be.

Complexity is not always the same as depth, and I'm looking forward to Hinterland (waiting for it to release on Impulse) for the design choices they've made. I'm not saying it's perfect. But after reading about everyone's opinions on it here in the forum, many of which are talking about what it lacks, I'm actually more eager to get my hands on it.

¹ source: The Horse's Mouth: Mount & Blade Interview; Rock, Paper, Shotgun, 10/1/2008
Initially we wanted to make a game where sword fighting felt like you were actually involved by using your reflexes; parrying, feigning, etc. Then, while we were working on that bit, we wanted to add more aspects of medieval combat such as horseback fighting, and interesting and realistic archery.

² source: Mount & Blade (pc: 2008): Reviews, Metacritic, 10/3/2008
The game doesn't have a storyline, which is why it becomes a bit boring and pointless after a while, but it does have many good mods and they will keep the game fresh.

Also every other review talks primarily about the combat because it is the centerpiece of the game... hence comparing its combat to a game where combat is not the focus doesn't seem fair.
Last edited by SharedProphet on Fri Oct 03, 2008 5:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: apparently must cite sources for secondhand info

KnuckleHead
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Postby KnuckleHead » Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:40 pm

Arguing with someone when you haven't even played the game...priceless!

*edit*

Wow...didn't notice at first, but not only haven't you played Hinterland, you haven't played M&B or Darwinia either lol. I'm sure your opinions on the subject are extremely valuable haha.
Last edited by KnuckleHead on Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

SharedProphet
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Postby SharedProphet » Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:46 pm

<shrug> Mostly just pointing out how your comparisons of price (for Mount & Blade) and features (Puzzle Quest) were inaccurate--both things I do have the "authority" to mention. I'm not saying anything about what you think of Hinterland, nor am I trying to belittle the other games, which is why I was the first to mention which I have and haven't played...
Last edited by SharedProphet on Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

KnuckleHead
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Postby KnuckleHead » Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:48 pm

"SharedProphet" wrote:<shrug> Mostly just pointing out how your comparisons of price (for Mount & Blade) and features (Puzzle Quest) were inaccurate. I'm not saying anything about what you think of Hinterland.


The price thing yes I was mistaken (though it still is an indie game developed for the most part by 2 people, though later they got more help), and my description for Puzzle Quest is comming from a view point of small/indie games. Not trying to give the impression that it's building is deep like Empires or a RTS or something.

Anyways, actually play the game(s) first before giving your "two cents" out. Chances are you will see exactly what a great deal of people on these forums (and reviewers) are saying. Just about every "my impressions" thread has people talking about lack of general polish or it being a bit "lighter" then they were expecting...even for a fun little indie game.

I still like the game though, and I hope they improve it as time goes by.

SharedProphet
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Postby SharedProphet » Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:53 pm

I haven't given my "two cents" yet on the things I haven't played. : )

KnuckleHead
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Postby KnuckleHead » Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:56 pm

Right... :rolleyes:

"Mount & Blade - this game is about the combat. There isn't much else to the game"

Quite a claim from someone who hasn't even played it.

*mouth insert foot*

King Faticus
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Postby King Faticus » Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:59 pm

"LordFu" wrote:3.5 out of 5 is a very respectable score, IMO. It's 70%.

The review itself is well written, covering nearly every positive and negative on the game. Hinterland is good, but it has not yet fufilled its potential to be great.



I agree with this comment that the rewiew was well written and 70% is s still a good score

apparently a game needs a 95% to be worthwhile ...



one side comment is I really woiuld like the big reviewers to wait a week before doing a review because I think TM might be adding more content and fixing performance issues

heck they might even add more content to the game because it is very basey.. ripe for expansion.....

Kuplo
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Postby Kuplo » Fri Oct 03, 2008 5:34 pm

I think they are pretty much right on with the review. I don't go by "scores" so I won't comment on that, but the actual review seems right on and hopefully TM can take some of the ideas that they have put forth in the review to heart and add in to the game through patching.

Livonya
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Postby Livonya » Fri Oct 03, 2008 5:59 pm

I like the game, but if I had to review it I would give it a lower score.

I have a lot of money and I can afford to drop $20 on a game that I might only play for 1 week. No big deal. Cheaper than a movie.

So I wasn't expecting too much from the game, and am not disapointed.

But I can acknowledge that the game is far from an A rated game.

I would give it a C+

The game is extremely simple.

I mean, EXTREMELY SIMPLE. Extremely!!

I will be shocked if any reviwer gives it more than a 50% to 70% score.

If you think this review is bad then just wait. There will be far, far, far worse reviews.

It has a great foundation, but needs a lot more features to get a better review.

Right now Hinterland is just a solid framework for a much better game that has yet to be finished.

- Livonya

tyjenks
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Postby tyjenks » Fri Oct 03, 2008 6:03 pm

Again, all my points above, which I also posted in response to the review over at Gamespy, are based on my view of the game just as his are, obviously, based on his experience with it. I think some comparisons paint the game in an unfair light at times in the review, but that is how the game appears to him; cool with me. I just do not want people to dismiss the game when a reviewer says it is not this or that. Or maybe I just need to accept the fact that that is the nature of the gaming/reviewing business and quit posting. ;)

I do hope that there is eventually a time limited trial demo or other form of demo, so folks can give it a try, as I really think describing it does not do the gameplay justice in some cases.

LordFu
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Postby LordFu » Fri Oct 03, 2008 6:12 pm

"King Faticus" wrote:one side comment is I really woiuld like the big reviewers to wait a week before doing a review because I think TM might be adding more content and fixing performance issues

heck they might even add more content to the game because it is very basey.. ripe for expansion.....


I believe you're right about future content. We've already received the first patch. :)

Many review sites will only review the unpatched version of a PC games. The arguement goes that the developer should release the game in a its best or final state or something. Basically, it allows them to hammer buggy/incomplete releases, even if there was a 0-day patch.

I'm not sure if Gamespy has that policy, but it was (is?) gamespot's. Not that I read gamespot, anymore, after "Gerstmanngate."

tyjenks
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Postby tyjenks » Fri Oct 03, 2008 7:21 pm

Jeez, someone called me out for flaming the reviewer over at Gamespy. I really attempted to just respond to his negatives he saw in the game.

Hehe, I certainly do not like internet debates. I will happily stand up for what I think is a really fun if imperfect game. Debating with random, illogical, drive-by posters drives me insane, however. :)


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