Methodology: Tutorial Go!

Is the name of this blog a hook enough? Great. Welcome 🙂

Mission Statement

To act as a resource to a new generation of gamers.

Oh god. The MBA in me is out.

Alright, let’s move past the buzzwords real quick and get into it. This is a gaming blog and, as such, it’s main purpose will be to review games I’ve had the pleasure to sink buckets of time in. There will be a robust, quantitative process (how else can I cover up my JRPG bias?) which you can delve into, but to summarize, this blog will also touch upon a few key things that are maybe a little different than the normal review landscape:

  1. Time Value
  2. Art
  3. Modified Bechdel Test
  4. You

“What? Nicole, what does this numbered list even mean?” Great question imaginary, nonexistent reader. That means there are certain characteristics of games I’ve started to appreciate more and more as I’ve grown as a professional and a woman. And I want those things to get the attention and awareness they rightly deserve.

Time Value

I’m sorry. I truly am, but let me flex the finance degree for a second since it was so mind-numbing to get in the first place. Despite my love for my PS4, time is the ultimate asset. It’s annoyingly elusive, and though quarantine has given me more flexible time for gaming, I miss when I had the stamina and lack of responsibilities for all night sessions when I was 16.

When reading reviews, I get approximate gaming hours. And that’s, um, basically it. This is especially meaningless to me as a JRPG nerd and completionist where the prospect of playing a 100+ hour game is the uncommon combination of expected and looming. My reviews will ask the very poetic question of: was that worth it? And because I predict more than half the time my answer will be hell yes, as this blog accumulates more reviews, I’ll rank the games appropriately so you, the reader, can best manage your limited time. Want to avoid 200+ hours in ACNH just to find out no one’s coming to your island? Yeah…me too…

And then there’s the important point of actual physical dollars.

I get it. This isn’t new. But it’s important and needs to be described with the right context. Is a $60 updated version of Persona 5 worth it? Is your money better spent elsewhere? Maybe. I don’t know your life. And though my day job is literally investment advice, I don’t want to bring too much of that here. But how else can I make this a respectable, adult gaming blog? To not bore anyone too much to tears, I plan to discuss the following:

  • $/hour
  • Replay value
  • Price Trends

Price Trends, to me, are especially important, but will make up a small part of the scoring as this bullet is meant to be more informative than judgmental. Is pre-ordering Cyberpunk 2077 really worth it (spoiler: nah) and if not, when can I expect this game to be discounted? Should I invest in a PS5 or only play games released on Steam? My dream is to create a model for you to make that decision yourself, but let me get used to this blogging thing first.

Art

Yeah, that’s um, that’s a little unclear. Do I mean UI? Do I mean graphics? Do I mean something else?

The answer is yes. I mean all of that and then some.

UI and graphics are not my wheelhouse and I won’t pretend they are. But as a user, I have some say on the user experience. Like, is this game buggy as hell? Are the models terrible? Do I have to go through 9 different menus to reassign battalions? For when I discuss a series, I will, of course take into consideration where the series started and what quality of life improvements have been made. Bonus points if it’s a direct correction from fan feedback.

The other, completely different side of the umbrella term art is story. Inherently, I’m drawn to games with stories, and it would be quite a miss to not judge them for both plot and characters. But the stories, besides making sense, also have to be appropriate for the type of game. If I have to read about light and dark and clones and whatever just to play some rhythm game… that’s a non-starter. Sorry, Kingdom Hearts.

Modified Bechdel Test

Okay, first things first: What’s a Bechdel Test and why is it modified? Wikipedia can describe it better than me: “a measure of the representation of women in fiction.” Read to your wiki-heart’s content here.

I’ll breeze past the need for greater female representation in general and focus more on the evolution of this as a whole in gaming. There have been STRIDES, but like the world, some are doing better than others. Some (looking at you Among Us) may not even have this as a factor. Others (looking at you my JRPG lovelies) can…be better in representation as a whole. And because the actual Bechdel test is literally just women talking to each other, I’ve created a bit of a higher bar.

Now, you may be asking, “Why should I care about this at all?” and I gotta say, I can’t force you to care about other people and their general representation in media. But I can ask that you give it a skim as you read the reviews. New perspectives, if not educational, are always interesting.

You

Yes! I want YOU! Yes, I selfishly want you to suggest awesome games for me to play and write about, but also the most helpful part of any review is differing opinions. I encourage–no–implore you to contradict me. Please. Begging. And because my normal life is a dearth of gaming nerds (darn you, business), I’d love just to chat as well.

Look at the lineup of games I plan to review and see if you have any additions. I pretty much have every modern gaming system besides the PS5 and Xbox Series X (still mad at scalpers). So if you used a bot to buy a closet full of PS5s, maybe go somewhere else. Otherwise, I look forward to hearing from you ❤

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