Reviews

Well, I checked out the fanfiction.net stats page after a couple of days, now that the new Corners chapter has been released and it seems to be getting a lot of hits, so if any of my readers are actually reading the story as well, I sincerely thank you.  Please look forward to the next chapter.

I don’t really have anything to talk about for today, but I was just thinking about the reviews I’ve done for this blog and the reviews I’ve seen on other sites.  People on other sites seem to be able to craft very informed and reasoned opinions about the products they are talking about, often comparing them to other works and styles with a breadth of knowledge that I don’t think I could hope to reach in this lifetime.  I just got into this whole reviewing thing as a way to vent my own thoughts on the subject so that if anyone asked me what I truly thought about a particular game, book, anime, etc, I would be able to talk to them at length.  Basically, I needed to start forming opinions.

I’ve never been good at forming my own opinions.  I used to have such a high capacity for enjoying things that you could probably have handed me Daikatana and I would have liked it at the time.  But as I get older and start to read more stuff I find that there’s more stuff I like and more stuff I don’t.  On top of that, I’m a law student and as lawyers we will be paid to give our opinions to clients so really I need to start forming my own opinions on subjects now.  The thing is, I try to let go of my personal biases as much as possible and find things that are enjoyable in everything first before I start adding my own thoughts, but what can be said to be objectively good?  After I reviewed Princess Waltz I went on several other blogs that had given the game much higher ratings than I have (and I in turn have given the game higher ratings than other people) and pointed out many things that I didn’t notice before.

I thought all of the princesses were pretty well-developed characters.  Other people saw run-of-the-mill characters that they didn’t think were that likeable and found others to be much better-written.  I found myself confused and, worse still, I found myself agreeing with them.  Does that mean my opinions were wrong?  Is there such a thing as a wrong opinion?  By what standard do you decide that something is well-written or well-designed beyond whether you found the experience enjoyable or not?

In the UK there is case law defining “objective” subjective terms like “good” or “bad” as things that fit the adjective regardless of the individual’s personal biases or prejudices.  In other words, an objectively good visual novel could be looked at by someone who hates visual novels with a passion and they would grudgingly admit that it’s pretty well-written, even if their opinion of visual novels as a whole doesn’t change.  If we go by that standard then Princess Waltz isn’t an amazing game.  It’s not even a very good game.  A lot of the enjoyment factor comes from whether or not you enjoy the pace at which the story advanced or the art style or the erotic scenes, or whether you liked reverse-trap Saber Chris (did anyone?).  So, how much of a review is based on personal enjoyment and how much is based on objective good?  What do you think?

Now that I’ve got that particular woe off my chest I have to pick a new project to work on.  There are several new animes coming down the pipe and have, in fact, already started.  Both White Album and Viper’s Creed look promising and I’m going to be watching Minami-ke Okaeri regardless because it’s Minami-ke.  The english translation of Saya no Uta is complete so now I’ve got another visual novel to read, potentially, and if all else fails I could review the Chronicles of the Necromancer series that I finished reading over Christmas in preparation for the next installment coming out in February.  Or would you like to see more wargaming and roleplaying stories?  If you care, do let me know.

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~ by Teabee on January 8, 2009.

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