I received my last issue of the Official Playstation Magazine with a notice saying that this would be the last issue unless I renewed my subscription. I haven't been terribly fond of the magaizine so far, but then I saw this... as if an already mediocre magazine couldn't get any worse or any more biased...
They did a review on Trails in the Sky and had mostly terrible things to say about it. It's definitely one of the biggest loads of editorial garbage I've ever read.
And I figured I'd share it for you all to cringe as well. : )
I think it's horrible. I think the reviewer has no idea what they are talking about and cannot speak for the average RPG fan looking for something new to sink their teeth into. I think it is written from the standpoint of someone who either just doesn't get the genre or is just an unhappy person in general. Then he can't get over the fact that there is a sidequest to "change a lightbulb" forgetting the very fact that in the game it makes sense why you are doing a task like this, as your characters are "Jr" Bracers and are having to make their way up the ranks before they can be trusted with harder and more difficult missions. And the thing that gets me the most is that this very quest he keeps referring to is completely optional out of so many optional quests. It's like taking a single quest from a MMO like World of Warcraft for example and saying that "Heh, WoW is all about killing tons of lions and collecting their pelts, Way to go poaching!!" It's the very same type of idiotic comment in my book. "The RPG version of Paper Boy?" You've got to be kidding me.
And check out that first screenshot, could they honestly grab a worse looking screen capture to show what the game is about? The comment about it being in Japanese due to how the dialogue is written is pretty embarrassing too. "Why yes, it DOES happen to be a Japanese game.... Do you not understand the concept of how RPGs until recently used to mostly come from Japan? DUH?" And the conversation and dialog flows a hell of a lot better here than it does in most RPGs in my opinion. I would like for them to pick out something to compare it to at least.
Am I wrong here? Or am I just venting about this since my week at work has been nightmarishly long (7:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. Thurs, 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. Fri) stretching on into the weekend...
Last Edit: May 14, 2011 21:02:57 GMT -5 by SkyeWelse
I agree with Tom that the things being said aren't particularly critical, and I think a 7/10 is fair enough in that it's not the sort of RPG that'll appeal to everyone. I also can't comment on the quality of the English script being that I haven't even opened my copy of the English version yet. :'D That being said, I'd take issue with a few of the comments being, as far as I'm concerned, just flat out wrong.
"This is not a game that revolves around a central narrative."
It most certainly is. The game rarely lets up with dialogue and story scenes. In fact, I think the massively skewed balance of story to gameplay is probably only equalled among the games I've played by Xenosaga Episode 1. The first few chapters aren't laced with conspiracy and world-shaking events like the last few are, but the game's central narrative is the story of Estelle and Joshua's journey, and barring the optional sidequesting, there's not a single point in the game where that isn't at the forefront. It's perhaps not the typical JRPG story in that it often chooses to focus on small, intimate events over the thick intrigue and melodrama more common in the genre, but suggesting that something is not story-driven simply because it's not always high tempo, emotionally turbulent action is a tad unfair.
"It expects us to spend a lot of time indulging in random side-quests..."
No it doesn't. I played the whole game without doing a single one of the optional missions because I just wanted to push ahead with the story. The sidequests are about as unintrusive as RPG sidequests come. Yes you do a little bit of compulsary fetch questing too, but that's true of just about any RPG ever, and in SnK it's always woven very naturally into the story of Joshua and Estelle's journey as Bracers.
"Gamers who want an RPG they can dig into and play, however, probably won't have a problem."
I'd say precisely the opposite. The game is fifty or sixty hours long, but the dungeons are all really short barring the last one, and it's pretty light on actual gameplay. I wouldn't be surprised if anyone who bought the game for its gameplay was sorely disappointed. Not because it's bad, but just because you're looking at hours and hours of text for short spells of fighting and exploring.
Last Edit: May 14, 2011 20:22:49 GMT -5 by Nalacakes
Post by Raison D'etritus on May 15, 2011 15:26:50 GMT -5
That's actually very benign, even generous, as far as bad reviews go. Usually when a reviewer dislikes a game (or movie, play, restaurant, or anything) the norm is to make it "scathing" (read: amusing). After all, the goal of a reviewer is to make or deter sales, hence the fact games they like tend to get lavish over-praise.
While none of us at ALoY would agree with the score, you can hardly fault a reviewer simply for having different tastes. Especially since, sadly, he seems to speak for social tastes on a whole. Considering the largescale decline of JRPGs in the west, and the fact that those of us who enjoy anime sprites telling epic text-delivered stories are a minority, it's actually, undoubtedly, an accurate review for the target demographic.
He who gets screwed by tentacle monsters should see to it he does not become one.
I dunno I don't think this was a bad review really. Although I do think his point to single out the optional lightbulb quest was slightly misleading. Often times the sidequests have a narrative point as well, leading to more interaction between the characters and learning things about them you otherwise wouldn't have. That said, there is a point to be made as even I feel that the length of the game was padded somewhat especially in the early moments as the plot takes a very long while to get going.