GamerSushi Asks: Reviewing Free Games?

Alien SwarmAs you’re all probably aware, most of the GamerSushi staff are in the throes of Alien Swarm addiction. The game is really engaging, and it manages to wedge itself nicely into the niche left in my gaming life by Diablo 2. Valve was even kind enough to give it to us for free, and judging by how their servers got the crap beat out of them on its release day, they’re probably kicking themselves for not charging at least five dollars for the thing.

Even though we all love Alien Swarm, it’s not a perfect game. There are a few issues I’ve had with it, but my mind keeps glossing them over because of the price tag (or lack thereof). So I pose this question to you guys: can you even review free games? Price is definitely something that has affected the perception of past titles (ODST comes to mind), so will something that only costs us hard drive space be given an automatic pass in the grading department?

Something else I’d like you to consider is DLC. I’ve played all of the Mass Effect 2 content packs, and, when stacked against ME2 proper, they come up very poorly. Even Overlord, the most recent and best of the DLC, is kind of lack-luster compared to the main game and its selling price. Can DLC be rated on its own merits, or does it have to take the larger picture into account?

5 Things Hurting the Video Game Industry

One look at my entertainment center or my favorites in Firefox reveals that I am in love with video games. It’s really not that hard to hide. On top of being in love with the games themselves, though, I am also madly in love with the culture of gaming and the history behind it.

Looking forward to the future, I continually fall in love with this lifestyle even more. However, there are a few trends that are starting to emerge that I am simply not a fan of. While these ultimately won’t break gaming, they are definitely detrimental to the overall community. Here are 5 things that are currently wrong with the video game industry.
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GamerSushi Asks: Game Reviews

There’s an ongoing discussion around gaming media and the industry these days about the nature of gaming reviews, and whether or not they’re broken in their current state. We here at GamerSushi have been in a lengthy (pages of Facebook threads) discussion about what exactly makes a good game review.

Is it a percentage, a score out of 10, a letter grade, a thumbs up, or some other way of attributing a tangible rating to a product, like gold stars or smiley face stickers? Poop?

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