U.N. Owen Was Him?
- Dec 20, 2005
Well, like he says in the beginning--nobody likes him when he's being overly positive So he opted to focus on the negative qualities for the sake of humor.Gus_Smedstad said:I know the point of the Zero Punctuation video reviews is absurdist humor, so there's not a lot of point in taking them seriously as reviews. Yet I can't help but see the contradictions between this and his column on Psychonauts.
In the Psychonauts review, he complains that gamers gave Psychonauts the shaft by not buying it, and that in doing so they struck a blow against unusual games with great writing and creative backgrounds. Games as art, he even says. The review even starts with a bit where he instructs you to hurt yourself with a pencil in punishment for not buying Psychonauts.
Then along comes Bioshock, an unusual game with great writing and a creative background. A game that is arguable "art." And he complains about it being popular and too easy.
It's quite true that if you strip away all the writing and the background and the art direction and look at the bare gameplay elements, Bioshock isn't a first tier game. It's a somewhat easy shooter with a few novelty bits like telekinesis. Though "somewhat easy" is a relative term, I found it challenging enough on Normal that I was never bored, and I did the usual nervous creeping about thing that's common to any first time playing through a shooter.
Both games are memorable for all the things about the setting, and it would be nice they were wrapped around an extraordinary game as well, like Deus Ex was. Yet between the two, it's much better to wrap such a setting around an average-to-good game that's not too difficult to play, rather than a tedious below-average game that's hideously frustrating in parts. Croshaw complains that Bioshock kicks you in the crotch, but in fact that is exactly what Bioshock does not do. And for that I am grateful.