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Review: Mark of the Ninja (XBLA)

by on September 19, 2012
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If you like stealth games, ninjas,  or awesomeness; buy Mark of the Ninja.

 Typically I might open a review making you wonder what the score will be. There is no need for that here, as Mark of the Ninja is an undoubtedly splendid game and one I can’t recommend enough, and doubly so if you are a fan of the stealth genre. Klei Entertainment simply nailed every aspect that I look for in games and did so with a high level of graphical fidelity and an astonishing amount of polish.

Within the game you play as, well, a ninja. As if ninjas weren’t already awesome enough, this particular ninja has been chosen by his clan to be a champion; a chosen assassin who is tattooed with the ink made from a plant with mystical properties that grants it’s wearer strange powers. The ink has a downside though as it slowly drives the bearer insane, which eventually drives the ninja to suicide to keep from turning on his clan. The setup was more than I was expecting and the ninja vs the futuristic world, though done before, is more than enough to carry us through the fun bloody stuff. Voicework is mostly clean and well done and gives strength to the story as does the cut-scenes that are expertly animated.

No witty caption: Just look at that art.

Anyone who has played Shank or it’s follow up, Shank 2, know that one of the things Klei Entertainment brings to games is a fantastic art direction. The levels themselves are bathed in shadow with accents on your character and the enemies unless you are in the light. Colors within the light are bold and bright with a tone similar to a Saturday morning cartoon. Individual stills of characters will literally having you wish you could save the screenshot to your 360 as a wallpaper and the characters look as good in motion as they do standing still.

You won’t just be standing around looking sexy though, instead you’ll become a predator making his way through the level toward your goal. One of my favorite things about the genre is the tension of not wanting to be caught while playing a fine tuned predator who chooses who dies and how; Mark of the Ninja does not disappoint in this regard. Your character feels not only agile and stealthy as he makes his way through vents, over and under buildings and crawls up the walls like a black garbed Spider Man; he also feels like an extremely dangerous and deadly opponent with a strong sense of tactical ability. Some areas filled with enemies play like puzzles, the best kind that have numerous ways to solve. For instance, I may grapple to a light fixture and once one of the guards back is turned lower myself down, slice the guard’s throat, and string him up by the grapple point before the other guard turns around. If an enemy sees something this gruesome he’ll become terrified and fire his weapon off randomly, forgetting to sound the usual alarm one would. If another guard happens to be in his crosshairs when he does freak out that guard will be gunned down by his own ally. The ninja hides the bodies and advances to the next room.

This scenario could easily play out quicker and with a more aggressive and faster slant. Upon entering the room the ninja slows time and tosses two bamboo darts into the light shattering them and plunging the room into darkness. Guards are alerted and turn toward the noise as the ninja, never stopping running, slides into him and launches the guard into the air, tosses down a poison smoke bomb, does an instant kill on one guard and throws out a vial of bugs onto the next guard, bugs that love to eat flesh. All of these actions can be queued up in the slow motion I mentioned, and all will play out in the order you selected them. Not only does it lend an impressive tactical side to your assassin, but it also makes for some very tactical play that will leave you feeling like a bad ass.

Ninja + Rooftop + Guard with back turned = Really bad day for workman’s comp

Most games brag on the ability to approach each level as you wish, and Mark of the Ninja really sticks with that to a degree. No, you won’t be going full out slash fest at first on the gun toting guards, as that is the way to an early and shameful defeat. However, depending on how well you do in the level by doing optional challenges: finding all three hidden scrolls in the level, and how well you score; you’ll unlock honor which can be spent on abilities. As you progress you’ll have three separate trees available to you: ninja, distraction and attack items. Ninja tends to be geared toward playing a level with a high amount of stealth. This is my preferred play style as to me there is simply nothing like going through a level making sure every kill is perfect, waiting for that right moment to strike.

Distraction can meld with the ninja style or become a play style completely on its own. You’ll need a healthy dose of distraction if you want to be the kind of ninja who only kills his target and disappears without leaving any other trace he was there. It’s impressive and a credit to Klei Entertainment that you can play through every level without killing anyone, but your target. There are multiple paths and ways around pretty much everything and everyone in the game. For instance some tripwires may be set up in the room you are in. Below a vent lies a guard who can be easily killed and behind him is a switch to turn off the lasers. Of course you could do that, or you could toss a smoke bomb into the path of the lasers which lets you pass through unscathed.

Attack items can be used with stealth, but mostly they are a little louder and meant to bring the pain. With upgraded armor and some of these weapons you can blast through a level destroying most in your path, even if you might not get more points for it. This is still very much a stealth game and playing as such will be ultimately more rewarding, but that being said the fact that you CAN play through anyway you want is a boon to gamers.

Besides choosing what items and skills to bring with you into the game you can change the overall specialization your ninja has. Once unlocked each is completed with a costume change and a set of special attributes to compliment your chosen style of play. One suit may give you extra health and armor along with the ability to gain health back from stealth kills, but takes away your distraction items. This gives you a more aggressive all out style of play. Another may let you choose to sacrifice the use of your sword completely, but make running cause no noise, which typically will have a circle of noise that radiates out from you alerting guards. This lets you fly through levels with ease if disappearing without a trace is your goal. It’s just one more way that Mark of the Ninja sets itself apart from the pack and elevates it’s gameplay.

See Ninja Run. RUN NINJA RUN!

Its art is extremely appealing, sound is solid and satisfying, gameplay is varied and fun and the game has an impressive hour count for its fifteen dollars. On my play through I logged 7 hours, and that’s with missing a few things. That ISN’T even counting the times I reloaded a checkpoint searching for that perfect sequence of kills (the reload itself happens nearly instantly with no significant load time). Throw on a new game plus mode and you are looking at a significant amount of content for your money.

Every once in a while a game comes around that you feel that perhaps, developers had made just for you. A game that comes together in simply every aspect of your favorite genre and clicks with you as a gamer. Mark of the Ninja is that game for me. Hands down, it is one of the best games I’ve played this year and Mark of the Ninja is an instant buy.

A copy of this title was provided to The Paranoid Gamer for reviewing purposes. To purchase the game, or queue to your Xbox for trial, please visit this page.

[signoff1]

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  • Sean
    September 20, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    Interesting. You found nothing worth criticizing? No major or minor flaws? It’s a perfect game?


    • Daniel Flatt
      September 20, 2012 at 10:08 pm

      I’m actually pretty glad you asked this question, as I know others may think, but indeed not ask the same.

      Here is the thing, really and truly, there is no such thing as a perfect game. So no, Mark of the NInja is not a perfect game. Nor is any game that has ever got a 10/10, 5/5, or 100%, or whatever other arbitrary number system anyone uses. Not Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time, not Red Dead Redemption, and not Metal Gear Solid 4. However, a perfect score should not be avoided or something we never score. If we don’t use the score for the games that truly deserve it, out of some fear that people will disagree, what is the point of having it? Indeed, if that is the case, since there is no perfect game, why not use a 9 point scale?

      In my opinion, and I”m not alone, the perfect score indicates a game that while not perfect, is one of the pinnacles of gaming, or at the very least is the pinnacle of gaming to the individual reviewer. Point is, and we have an article on the site recently written about that, reviews are opinions. What I give a 10 you might not, but to me it truly deserves the score.

      Look at Mark of the Ninja. It takes a genre I love, adds significantly to that genre, has a lengthy campaign (at least as long as retail games), a new game plus challenge, multiple abilities and challenges within the game itself, and an insanely beautiful art direction. On top of everything you absolutely cannot ignore the fact that it’s a game that costs $15 that I would easily have paid full retail price for, and indeed makes some retail games look downright amateur.

      So while there may be some minor flaws, I didn’t like one characters tilted asian voice, I don’t feel we should grasp at straws when reviewing, whether it means forcing good things or nitpicking till we find something bad.

      At the end of the day, this is my opinion. Really ignore the score, read through the review, and if it sounds like something you’d enjoy; buy it. If not than don’t. But as far as I’m concerned game experiences like this don’t come around often and is everything I look for when playing a game. Thus the best review score I can give.

      Nobody is scared of giving bad scores around here, why should we be scared of giving great ones? Especially when Klei Entertainment earned every point.


      • Sean
        September 21, 2012 at 6:46 pm

        I suppose I’m just old fashioned. When I think of a 100% I think of an A+. When I think of an A+ I think of a scantron with all correct answers, I think of a math test with all correct answers.

        When I see a perfect score for a video game all I can think of is the “Move the goal posts” fallacy. If this game’s perfect, if it’s the pinnacle of its genre at the moment of review, then shouldn’t all other reviews for all other games in the genre be measured based on this game’s standard? Isn’t that what that means when you define perfect? Or is this not a competitive industry?

        Because essentially every time a game gets a perfect score, the reviewer is attempting to move the goal post. Each time they do it, they are redefining perfect. Problem is none of the other reviewers gets the message and so they give other games in the same genre a perfect score.

        Of course, that’s assuming the game deserved a perfect score. Frankly I don’t believe many games do. For instance, I believe Uncharted 2 is about an 8/10 but its got tons of Perfect scores.

        I believe Mass Effect 3 is a 7/10 and it has even MORE perfect scores. At least 75 if that bullsh*t advert EA sent out has any truth to it.

        At this point, when I see a perfect score, I don’t think “oh that game must be amazing! I should play it!” I think “well, that reviewer didn’t try very hard to find fault” or “look, an EA ad.” This is Paranoid Gamer after all; don’t you encourage that line of thought?

        I read the review. I didn’t see statements of interpretation (statements in which you point out it is your own personal interpretation), I didn’t see that many flaws listed and those that were only received brief explanations, and I did see a heck of a lot of glowing without significant substantiation.

        For instance: “(1) Its art is extremely appealing, (2) sound is solid and satisfying, (3) gameplay is varied and fun and the game has an impressive hour count for its fifteen dollars.”

        Mark one: You’ve stated without clarification that an intangible’s appeal is fact.

        Mark two: You’ve stated an opinion without substantiation. This is something you do A LOT in this review.

        Mark 3: You’ve summarized your article too strongly; the article itself barely touched upon the actual gameplay other than to describe it as stealth based. We know that there is combat but not whether it is combo-counter or hack-n-slash or something funky that’s neither. We know there are takedowns but very little about them and how they function in general. We know there are swords but not about the general weapon selection.

        You’ve said it’s varied but based on the information you provided we the readers can’t know that.

        The problem with scores in general but especially perfect scores is that it makes people lazy. “Slap a score on there and let it stand for itself. Wait, we aren’t allowed to do that? Oh, in that case let me just write for a few minutes to fix that.”

        Written reviews are important; they’re where the information about the game is. The score should be a summary of the written review NOT the game. If the review doesn’t reflect the score and vice versa you’ve got a BIG problem.

        However if a review doesn’t JUSTIFY the score, it’s even worse. If you give a game a perfect score, you’re making a bold statement. You’re saying that this game’s flaws (of which you’ve just asserted exist in all cases) do not detract significantly enough from it’s strengths to justify a lower score.

        By the simple act of giving a game a perfect score (any score really but perfect and zero especially) you are MAKING A STATEMENT. By doing so, you NEED to substantiate it. You need to explain it specifically to your audience. You need to tell them the flaws, you need to explain why they aren’t significant enough to score the game lower, and THEN you need to explain the strengths.

        That’s the problem with perfect scores; they take more work and I’ve yet to see a reviewer do it all.


        • September 21, 2012 at 7:42 pm

          Thanks for the lengthy comment, we try to be as transparent as possible when it comes to reviewing products, however like you’ve pointed out it’s not exactly a perfect formula. This is something we want to tackle with our readers in a podcast that will be releasing soon.

          You can view some of our thoughts based on reviews in our podcasts below:

          http://theparanoidgamer.com/from-behind-the-desk-1-dissecting-ign/

          We welcome your comments and hope that as a result we can improve how we provide reviews.


        • Daniel Flatt
          September 21, 2012 at 7:54 pm

          I suppose I disagree. There are two things that are apparent here from your lengthy and well thought out comment.

          A: You don’t like the way I review games. I get that and I accept the constructive criticism. The thing is this review alone took almost two hours to write and a lot of thought went into it. I didn’t just slap a score on the game and call it a day.

          As far as justification goes I think I gave plenty. I didn’t cover swords because there is only one, this is not a loot game. The way stealth kills play out is pretty redundant to go over as well, I’m pretty sure the majority of the audience knows how a sword penetrates another person. I did state the variety of the kills, such as hanging someone from a grapple point, and covered them in length.

          B: You put wayyyyy too much thought into a “perfect” score. There is nothing, in any medium, that is perfect. No unflawed movie, album, or book that can be defined as such. So you have to have some kind of scale. Would it be better if we as reviewers used a */11 scale and never used the 11 or a 9/10 scale and never used the 10?

          Really the points you are making for not giving a game a perfect score is almost the exact same thing you accuse other reviewers on when you say that they are doing an EA advertisement. Essentially you are saying don’t give a perfect review score because people will disagree and you don’t want to make readers upset. I disagree with this line of thinking. By not giving outstanding games outstanding scores, we are doing the same thing on the opposite side of the scale.

          The idea that we are all some fashion of dirty cops out there on the take is frankly ridiculous. Honestly and transparently, I don’t receive compensation for this job currently. I do it because I love writing and I love playing games. Hopefully someday it turns into a career, perhaps not. But the idea that I’m handing out perfect scores to a game simply to get more games is absurd.

          The real defining thing here is if I played it safe and gave the game a 9, if I was doing so for the reasons you stated, that is still a fantastic score and the developer would be just as likely to give games to me in the future as if I gave them a perfect score.


          • Sean
            September 22, 2012 at 2:09 am

            Interesting. I’m learning more and more about you as we go along. I did not, in fact, say giving a perfect score was out of the question. Just as a math test can be 100% correct while obtaining those answers after making some mistakes or through a method not covered by the teacher, so can a game be good enough to warrant the score.

            What I said was that IF you give a game a perfect score, you need to substantiate that score to the best of your abilities. An opinion without substantiation is an invalid opinion, regardless of how correct it may be.

            I would probably have given Dear Esther a perfect score. It achieved almost flawlessly everything it set out to do. I would have a caveat that the game itself is definitely not for everyone (for a variety of reasons) and that much of its delivered content is based on personal assessment individual to each player, but I’d give it a perfect score because it achieved almost its full potential.

            Games can be so good that they deserve a perfect score. But it needs to BE that good and the author of the article needs to PROVE it is that good BECAUSE it’s a perfect score.

            That was my underlying point.

            Also, I just had to chuckle at the two hours thing. My STALKER review took me at least 8 hours and is 6000+ words long with about a dozen contextual screenshots and photographs.

            It’s not perfect by any means (the end sort of tapers off in quality and length) but I had been up for over 24 hours by the time I finished it so I think I’m excused.

            I tend to favor my own reviews and how they’re structured. Not to say other methods don’t work, but considering the purpose of a review is to present the pros and cons of something to help other people spend money wisely, I like structuring a review that way.

            http://guardianangel42.wordpress.com/2011/09/30/stalker-series-review-and-apology/


          • Daniel Flatt
            September 22, 2012 at 7:28 am

            It’s a very well written review, if a little long. A lot of readers simply refuse to read 6000 plus words and so we have to pair it down to a little more simplicity. There is such a thing as explaining or going into too much detail on a game and I think you certainly do.

            Like I stated, I’m by no means the best writer. I need work, always will I take constructive criticism, and I will strive to improve next time I review a game.

            However I gave plenty justification I feel for why the game got a perfect score. Most of all it’s the variety of the ways you can play the game, the fact that as a representative of the stealth genre (which at this point I don’t need to explain to people so I didn’t in the review), the fantastic art direction that looks like a mature old school Disney cartoon meets anime, and the amount of content that would fill a 60 dollar game as easily as a 15 dollar one.

            All of that was in my review, and if you don’t agree with the fact that those things make for such a great score, WONDERFUL. It’s ok to have different opinions, especially since that is what essentially what reviews are. I shouldn’t have to spend 6000 words explaining every facet of the game and what I thought of it just to put a score on it.

            Finally the one comment that bothered me the most is the one you made about slapping a score on it and doing some writing to cover it up. Really, that’s completely opposite of how I think. I wish that we didn’t even have numerical scores and our reviews could stand on their own. However, it’s just the way things are and I’ll have to make do with a completely inadequate scoring system that the majority of serious sites use.

            Again thanks for your feedback, I’ll certainly use it to get better and I also appreciate your well thought out responses.


  • Brad Lida
    September 20, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    This is the second review where you gave the game a 100% in all category’s, Dan.


    • Daniel Flatt
      September 20, 2012 at 10:10 pm

      Well if we didn’t have an arbitrary scoring system it wouldn’t matter. Actually it’s the third 100 I’ve given on the site and every single game earned it.

      Have you played Bastion, Fez or Mark of the Ninja? Yeah, plain badass development at work here. No reason not to ignore it.

      Maybe I just need to be assigned some really crappy games.


  • synopsis
    September 21, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    There hasn’t been a bad or even neutral review on a game thats been provided free of charge for review purposes on here. Thats not a jump point for an argument, just stating it due to the 2 other replies.

    This game has a lot of hype for an arcade game, along with fire pro wrestling, its the only two games i see people talking about in the arcade. i haven’t played it yet, but it looks an awful lot like a few other games, with a changed plot. I think a demo is out, i will check it out later tonight.


    • September 21, 2012 at 1:26 pm

      We have to be very selective about titles we request since we don’t have a large staff like several other sites. If you look back through the archive of reviews I’m sure you’ll see some rather harsh ones. For instance, Daniel gave Crysis a 4/10 I believe (on the old review system). I think this is just a product of him playing some excellent games, and wanting to relay that experience to our readers. A lot of the time we go out and spend our cash towards reviewing some of these titles, and still get good scores. I don’t think there’s any pressure to inflate review scores.

      That being said, this is a subject I would love to cover in our next podcast so you get an idea of how we individually review games in conjunction with the site guidelines.


      • September 21, 2012 at 1:27 pm

        Just on a note, Crysis was provided as a review code.


        • synopsis
          September 22, 2012 at 12:23 pm

          I could have missed that one, but overall, what i said seems to be true. And obviously i wasn’t the only one to notice it. Thats what waters down sites like this and makes them like every other one on the internet..


          • September 22, 2012 at 12:39 pm

            We did cover this subject in our podcast which will be going live later today, however in this case I will defend Daniel’s score. If he truly believes it warrants this score than it does. We only provide our opinion. I certainly would not attach TPG to “every other” site on the internet.


          • synopsis
            September 22, 2012 at 2:58 pm

            I don’t entirely agree. Your supposed to state your opinion.. in an unbiased manner. That seems to be the issue. Or it could just be horrid timing on his part to have reviewed x games in a row that are perfect or near perfect. I understand your position though..


          • September 22, 2012 at 3:41 pm

            Yes, I think it’s a product of a lot of awesome games coming out rather than any biases. I think it would be extremely hypocritical of us to criticize other sites, which we have a reputation for doing both with IGN and even with the Mass Effect 3 controversy, and then turn around and hand out perfect scores, because of some outside influence. To be honest there is none, and the moment that we try to let that effect us whether it’s from our readers or publishers, is the day we pull the plug.


          • synopsis
            September 22, 2012 at 4:00 pm

            Thats all fine, but this sort of thing is what makes the people who visit the site pull the plug. You can have your level of standards and such all you want, which is a good thing, but at the end of the day its totally dependent on the reader, and has to be viewed as such. Not saying purposely try to please them, but when multiple people start seeing “funny” stuff start happening, it would be more wise to quickly analyze it. As for all the great games… i was a beta on hybrid, and got the early release and played it extensively… The score was so far off on it, it wasn’t funny, and then i noticed it was supplied, AND you couldn’t comment on it. Thats when i started to notice the funny stuff, i think the very next review was the same way, supplied and no comment. You take a silent poll on it, and i bet your get a lot of neg feedback. give people some points for doing it so your get a big group of replies. I have no issues with Daniel, but i think he is being excessive, and he shouldn’t be doing all the reviews. I offered to review, and you said someone else just asked to review as well and if you asked around, i’m sure there would be plenty others, Its not like he is the last line on doing it. Bottom line though, i don’t think its entirely legit, and the few others who replied seem to think the same, that should carry weight. Its your site though, and if you see no problem, you don’t need to reply to everyone who doesn’t like something, law of averages.


          • September 22, 2012 at 4:17 pm

            It kinda cracks me up at the level of irony that is currently happening right now in terms of our reviews. We encourage everyone to be very skeptical hence “The Paranoid Gamer”. I think that the particular comments about Hybrid are a little over the top though. There was no attempt to cover anything up. Daniel, recently had a baby so that played heavily in being unable to comment on everything he did, however like in this thread he attempts to comment on everything as much as possible as do we. There’s a level of interaction here, that you frankly don’t get on a lot of sites.

            We are very transparent in regards to what reviews are supplied, because it’s a requirement for posting any review on any site. So if there wasn’t some sort of disclaimer than I apologize.

            Honestly there really hasn’t been any negative feedback other than what has been provided in this thread, and even in this case I don’t think it’s negative so much as wanting a little bit more clarity on how we operate, which we are always more than willing to provide.

            I think our track record in regards to reviews, and news speaks for itself, and I encourage you to look back on those reviews. We are extremely passionate about the industry, but I would never tolerate any sort of biases from anyone on the site when it comes to reviews.

            In regards to your comment about reviewing I think you might of misunderstood what I said to you about that through email. We definitely want to add reader-based reviews and news tips, it’s just something I haven’t been able to implement with such little time I have currently.

            Daniel isn’t doing all the reviews. We currently have one pending that is from Kyle below, and I’ll be reviewing LBP Vita very soon.

            I acknowledge the review system is far from perfect, which I’ve had a discussion about with Daniel for several hours, and looking to improve upon in coming months.


          • synopsis
            September 22, 2012 at 4:29 pm

            Well if i wanted to be paranoid… I’d say that the “one pending” you have, just happens to be from the only positive, for lack of better words, feedback regarding the review…. but whatever, i’ll just ignore the reviews on here for now on, and try to enjoy the rest of the site.


          • synopsis
            September 22, 2012 at 4:34 pm

            Geez, i worded that weird. Meant that the pending review you have, just happens to be from the only person who didn’t find these recent reviews strange.


          • September 22, 2012 at 4:38 pm

            Haha, yeah he just wrote it up. Going over it right now :).

            I wasn’t in any way trying to offend your POV, just trying to clarify ours.


          • Daniel Flatt
            September 22, 2012 at 5:17 pm

            Yeah to be completely transparent, I actually personally know the person who wrote that review, not just in the internet sense. Have to tell you that you would be very far off base. The reason his review hadn’t been posted till just now is he delayed in writing it and has actually been waiting to post if for weeks because he had some problems with knowing how to rate the game.

            I just thought maybe it would be better to be clearer here.


          • synopsis
            September 22, 2012 at 6:15 pm

            That doesn’t really help your argument, not even sure why you mentioned it(knowing the other guy in real life) however i do appreciate the honesty.


          • Daniel Flatt
            September 22, 2012 at 5:29 pm

            Really, it’s been kind of hard to disconnect myself from these comments and tell myself that individuals are bashing on my stuff, not so much myself, but it’s been really hard. Honestly, and this may seem a bit paranoid in and of itself, it kind of feels like you just follow my stuff and bash on it ever since we’ve disagreed on something.

            You are completely wrong about the scores I’ve given games though. Those games deserved high scores and I wasn’t going to give them less to please other people, especially people who seem to be bitter and jaded about gaming in general. Games got good reviews rapid fire because I covered the Summer of XBLA and most of those games were, across the general reviewing journalist board, high quality games. In fact, that’s why Microsoft choose to spotlight them in this fashion.

            Also I’m really confused on the whole Hybrid thing. What are you talking about it couldn’t be complemented on? What was wrong with the issue with that one? I’ve always responded to you and others on posts, even when I was being openly insulted. Honestly I even lowered a review score before after taking some commenters to heart and re-evaluating my position on something. No other review site listens to their readers that much.

            As far as me doing all the reviews I disagree. I do a lot of XBLA stuff, it’s the console I have, and honestly I’ve earned the right to those reviews. In fact, in all of them, I’m the one who engaged the developer, and received the review code. If I hadn’t, honestly, I wouldn’t have done half of what I have.

            What “weight” would you like Robert to take from these sorts of things? Axing me?

            I guess what I’ve learned from all this is that I should arbitrarily knock a point or so off all my reviews to make people happy and to appear more tough.


          • synopsis
            September 22, 2012 at 6:17 pm

            You’ve put your argument to a point where its more or less solely based on opinion, but i am completely wrong… because my opinion? I really don’t know where to go from there…

            For the weight question, to be honest, i don’t really care what he does, this has turned me off from the site, which is more or less a point for you, congrats on that.


          • September 22, 2012 at 6:23 pm

            I think the issue is that your trying to paint us as some biased site, which couldn’t be farther from the truth.

            It’s unfortunate that our opinions on the matter have turned you off from the site, however we are not trying to devalue your comments merely trying to explain our stance on the issue.


          • September 22, 2012 at 6:30 pm

            On another note, holy crap, at this point I think we need to agree to disagree haha. Awesome comments.


          • synopsis
            September 22, 2012 at 6:31 pm

            Not sure why i can’t reply to it, but this is a reply to roberts reply as copy and pasted below

            “I think the issue is that your trying to paint us as some biased site, which couldn’t be farther from the truth.”

            I’m not saying your anything, I’m just trying to insure that it never comes to that, its unfortunate that people always feel the need to defend, instead of observe and take in some things. One of my first comments ever on here was about situations like this… who would have thunk it..


          • synopsis
            September 22, 2012 at 6:34 pm

            Im not going to agree to disagree on something I’m not technically disagreeing on. As i said above, its the defensive thing.. I’m not attacking anyone, but at this point, if thats how you feel, then thats how you feel, I’m not going to attempt to change that.


          • September 22, 2012 at 6:37 pm

            @Synopsis,

            You want to click reply on the original commenter you commented on, if that makes sense.

            I apologize if I misinterpreted your comments as an attack but I can assure you that the issues you are talking about haven’t been a part of TPG and never will be.

            We’ve discussed some alternatives to reviewing in the podcast so we are taking your guys feedback very seriously, with humor of course: http://theparanoidgamer.com/theparanoidgamer-podcast-episode-8-us-against-the-world/


          • synopsis
            September 22, 2012 at 6:44 pm

            I’m downloading it because it doesn’t stream so well for me on this site, will reply to it later.


          • September 22, 2012 at 6:45 pm

            Great. You can also download it for free on iTunes as well.


    • Daniel Flatt
      September 21, 2012 at 7:45 pm

      I also gave a review score of 2/10 for Dragon’s Lair, a game I also received for free.

      I have absolutely no problem rating a game lower and don’t worry at all about a review copy. Heck I haven’t received a physical copy of a game for a review yet, and the games that I am getting for free are ten to fifteen dollar games that I would have purchased anyway.


      • synopsis
        September 22, 2012 at 3:01 pm

        Not entirely on topic. but what did you give dragons lair… when it came out? Its a port, with absolutely nothing changed in it. I personally never liked it even back then, but most people did, and its purely a nostalgic release. Would you give joust or frogger a 2 if they were exact ports too? Just curious, not trying to be argumentative.


        • Daniel Flatt
          September 22, 2012 at 5:09 pm

          Not at all. Actually, I was a pretty big fan of Dragon’s Lair when it did come out originally and is heavily laden with nostalgia for me. You are perfectly right when you say the release, just like the other games you mentioned (which is really funny that I actually own those both on XBLA) are exactly what you say they are.

          So how exactly do you review those games? Do you take and apply modern ideas and fault a game that old for not living up to them or do you fault the package of the game itself? I choose to go with a little of both, I took points off for a concept that has aged considerably, but mostly points off for the fact that there are vastly better priced alternatives to this version of Dragon’s Lair on market, even as we speak.


    • Daniel Flatt
      September 21, 2012 at 8:24 pm

      BTW I didn’t mention that the trail for the game is out. I’m not sure what games it might be like, I’m huge into stealth genre and as far as I know nothing like it is anywhere on the service.

      Also I have no idea what Fire Pro Wrestling is, but shall be googling it shortly.


      • synopsis
        September 22, 2012 at 12:21 pm

        I checked the demo out. not a bad game but i would have probably given 10 less points per category in most, and more in some, such as value. This is not a 15 dollar game, it should be 10. The gameplay while not bad, is repetitive and simplistic(I’m sure it gets more indepth later) To be honest, it didn’t feel much like a stealth game. It felt more like wait until they turn around then hit x and a direction once, over and over… then don’t hide the body because you can’t even put it in a grate, or in a doorway you can hide in.. I’m not going to go in depths, thats your job, but this is a high 70’s-mid 80’s score game, which is still good.


        • September 22, 2012 at 12:42 pm

          Thanks for the comment. You are relaying an issue with reviews in general which has to do with them being opinions. In this case, Daniel believed it was a 100/100. If you would like to learn more about the game in addition to what we covered in the review we would love to cover it in additional podcast.


        • Daniel Flatt
          September 22, 2012 at 5:14 pm

          I’m kind of flabbergasted you didn’t like it honestly, and don’t know what you might expect from a stealth game. We shouldn’t go into a stealth game going, shucks, why isn’t this an FPS? Of course you are watching for patterns and exploiting those patterns, which is kind of the point of a stealth game. You are literally playing the first level and a large amount of new gameplay devices are constantly introduced throughout the entire game along with a ratcheted difficulty level. By the end you are employing much more to remain unseen.

          Also I’m confused about the doorway…..you can hide bodies within them if they have a door you can close them up in. You can’t hid bodies in gaping open holes in the wall and rooms that have no doors. If you were to try and stuff a body into something like that you may perhaps hide them, but that would be far easier to hide yourself within.

          And I, and a lot others, would disagree that once you go past 80 that a lot of people would ascribe any level of quality to a game. Not that this thinking is correct, but it’s just the way it is.


          • synopsis
            September 22, 2012 at 6:18 pm

            Where did i say i didn’t like it? From what i recall i said its a pretty good score, hence, its a decent game…


  • Kyle Robison
    September 22, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    I often struggle with giving any a perfect score. However, this purely personal, as I almost ALWAYS find some flaw in the game that makes me cringe. I’m a hard person to please, and my reviews reflect that in as unbiased a manner as I can manage. If Daniel happens to receive a game that he believes warrants a 100 score, that’s his choice. It’s up to the reader to take what is written into their own context and decided for themselves what constitutes a good game or not.

    Remember, reviewers are not there to do your thinking for you, but to simply offer a point of view that may sway opinion one way or another.


  • Daniel Flatt
    September 22, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    Oh and so everyone is clear on what people are complaining about here are the scores I’ve given the last 5 games I’ve reviewed, 3 of them of which were done in quick succession. Below is the review scores I’ve given and the review scores that other sites did. You can hit up gamerankings.com or metacritic.com to get these totals. I used Gamerankings. Gamespot in particular is tougher on games.

    Mark of the NInja
    Daniel: 100%
    3 others sites gave it a perfect score
    17 other sites gave it above a 9.0 (not including 100% scores)
    Gamespot: 8.5/10
    IGN: 9.0/10
    Overall Ranking: 90.96

    Dust An Elysian Tail
    Daniel: 98%
    3 sites gave it a perfect score
    9 sites gave it over a 9.0 (not counting the 100% scores)
    IGN: 8.5/10
    Gamespot: 7/10
    Overall Ranking: 83.88

    Hybrid
    Daniel: 88%
    0 sites gave 100%
    2 sites over 90%
    14 within the 80% range
    IGN: 8/10
    Gamespot: 8/10
    Overall: 74.41

    Deadlight (Just a little history I lowered this score after re-evaluating the game after comments on length, this was not recently changed)
    Daniel: 84%
    0 perfect scores given
    1 above 90%
    10 above 80%
    IGN: 8.5/10
    Gamespot: 6.5/10
    Overall: 67.37

    Diablo 3 (Interesting enough the biggest game I reviewed, most hype, most to lose from not “pandering to the developer”. Very big publisher of games. If any I would rate this highest so we didn’t lose review titles if indeed that is what I was doing. Let’s see the numbers)
    Daniel: 87%
    4 perfect scores given
    29 scores above 90%
    21 scores in 80% range
    IGN: 9.5/10
    Gamespot: 8.5/10
    Overall: 87.64

    I feel like the numbers speak for themselves here. Either I’m part of a massive conspiracy (this is TPG after all) or a lot of people agree with me in a lot of instances. On a few games I certainly am rated higher by a point usually, but those are where my opinions on the matter come in. The one game I would be under the most pressure to rate high I rated lower.


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