I thought this would fit nicely here.
Is there any game reviews that you don’t agree with?
Starting from the premise that I love SUSD reviews because even if Quinns or Matt don’t like the game particularly, they still review it in such a way that the watcher can clearly make up their mind with the amount of information provided.
I thought this would fit nicely here.
That’s the key to any reviewer one follows, I think, and something I try to do myself - “I liked/didn’t like X about it”, and then you can decide whether X is a thing you care about.
I bought Hive unplayed on the basis of the review and it left me cold. Too formalised and chesslike for my taste.
This is exactly why SUSD is my favorite. I feel they are unique in their ability to critically review a game rather than just talk about it. My tastes differ from the SUSD crew by quite a bit but I am still able to judge from their reviews how a certain game may land for me.
I think that’s why I really value their reviews, along with NPI. Unfortunately, they simply don’t review a huge number of games I’m interested in.
Truth be told, So Very Wrong About Games are probably the only “critical reviewers” that do anymore, at least frequently. Joel Eddy of Drive Thru Games does as well, at least semi-often.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, but the way they dealt with Through the Ages made little sense to me. The core complaint, that it takes too long, is perfectly valid, but a lot of the rest of it didn’t strike me as being on point.
That said, it’s been ages since I saw the review, or listened to Paul’s comments on the podcasts, so I can’t be any more specific in my criticism of their criticism.
I enjoy the SUSD reviews because they’re funny, regardless of game.
I really don’t agree with their assessment of Terraforming Mars, it’s the most played game in our house. Having said that we did get the laser cut player boards by kickstarting Turmoil.
I like listening to SVWAG, but their tastes are different to mine. I really enjoy Board Game Barrage as well. I think of all reviewers my taste is closest to Neilan, with a bit of Matt and a bit of Mark thrown in.
Although I’ve only played Terraforming Mars solo and am enjoying it greatly, I think I’d enjoy it as much with others, treating it more as a cooperative puzzle than being overly competitive.
I thought they’d like Fortune and Glory more - my most fun “Ameritrash” games - but do agree it would be a better game if it had a more reliable movement mechanic than roll-and-move. Must get it out soon to try out the Crimson Hand organization.
Ooohhh I still have some (friendly) beef with Quinns (and Paul) about Twilight Struggle and Dominant Species.
I do respect Quinn’s lack of enthusiasm about area majorities (unless that’s El Grande). But, boy, Dominant Species is pretty straight forward game except for calculating dominance - and the difference between area control bit and dominance bit.
NPI got to be the reviewers I highly disagree with. Not that I have anything against them. No. I just dont fancy mid to heavy Euro games any more.
I still dont get Mark Bigney’s “dont see the point of playing Cube Rails when I have Stephensons Rocket” thing.
Board Game Barrage is also great, but Neilan is the only one I align with a decent amount. Kellen looks for very different things out of games (he likes to be an ass!), and Mark generally prefers dryer/heavier games.
Where I really connect with Neilan is his appreciation of theme. More than once he’s commented that he has trouble getting excited to play older dry games, because they look boring, even though they may play well, a feeling I 100% share.
A good example is Concordia, which he mentioned playing, and that while the gameplay was solid and he enjoyed it, the theme was so lackluster that he felt no excitement or real desire to play again.
I’m tempted to move on Trajan after 1 play because I don’t like the art or pieces. I really like Bora Bora and might be able to really get in to the play of Trajan, but even by dry euro standards it’s lacklustre. I like this type of game but Teotihuacan has cool wooden pyramid bits and Pulsar 2849 has a sci-fi theme and translucent plastic space bits. Oooohhhh!
Oddly enough if a game steps in to the world of heavy games then this no longer matters to me. Euros need to look nice to me because there are enough that do and play well or they have to be better than Keyflower(there aren’t that many) because there are enough out there that are as good and look nice. Yet Roads and Boats is so bonkers it looking shonky I’ll forgive and the 18xx games I’ve plumped for have enough by way of game play I don’t mind. Container 10th having awful art, well it has big boat toys and a bonkers economy.
That aside I am aware taste is subjective. What to me looks nice is personal. I also still hate the play experience of Concordia and will never play again. So back on topic, I disagree with the review of Concordia. Where Quin’s lauds it as the apex of Euros yet it simultaneously bores and annoys me. Likewise Gugong, meh. The ladder game I find to be arbitrary rather than interesting and the rest doesn’t do much for me. Contrastingly I fully agree with their less than recommending of Terraforming Mars and Marco Polo.
I think that’s kind of my take; there are so many good games, why would I play a boring or bland looking one? As you say, that’s all very subjective.
I actually have little interest in heavy games, unless they have a theme and presentation that I find appealing enough to give it a go; Anachrony is a great example. Sure, the core game is basically a straightforward worker placement with a loan system, but I love the theme and the production is incredible. I know Mindclash games are not for everyone, but they do have a style I can respect (really interested in seeing what they do with Perseverance).
On the other hand, Splotter and 18xx hold zero appeal to me. They are heavy in a way I’m not interested in, and the production and theme are entirely lacking for my tastes. Clearly they both have their fans, and what they do they do very well. It’s just not for me (in a similar way Caylus isn’t for me).
I can’t say I disagree with SU&SD’s thoughts on them, because I’ve not played, but their reviews/discussions confirmed I don’t need too.
I loved playing Fortune and Glory. Great game, loads of replay-abklity. One of their main criticisms was that the way the cards matched up to create scenarios and locations could be very incongruous - my mates and I felt that it was part of the fun creating the story from the cards. As an example, drawing angry natives (who look like jungle tribesmen in the artwork) in a frozen valley whilst we were in Scandinavia, gave us the hilarious task of coming up with a lost valley full of Vikings who were trapped in the past who attacked us and the Nazis following us! Was great fun.
Bit of a pricey game true, but for the amount of stuff in it, wasn’t unreasonable
I love Pulp theme the most, and that was one of the first to really go for it. I did see the reviews say “You might get a Nightclub mission while in a Cave” but frankly if you’re also punching Nazis on a zeppelin, I don’t care.
I’d love to play it some time, but I don’t see it at conventions, and it’s a bit big for the 2’6" tables in the boardgame café. Hmm, there do seem to be Tabletop Simulator mods…
Each to their own but for me their Terraforming Mars review summed up exactly what I don’t like about it while every other board game reviewer showered praise on the game. It’s not “bad” but it’s wildly overrated in my opinion.
I completely agree that they manage to review a game in such a way that you can make up your own mind. Their review of. Taverns of Tiefenthal was lukewarm but it showed me everything I needed for me to me know I was going to love the game. So while I disagree with the review, it was still helpful. The only review I can think of where that’s not the case is 7 Wonders Duel, I couldn’t really see what they were getting at with that one.
Not exactly a review, but a few weeks back Quinn’s discussed his play of Cthulhu Death May Die and I couldn’t have disagreed with his opinion more.
Now, I fully accept it’s not a game for everyone. It’s big, dumb, random, etc, and a theme many people (not me) are tired of. What I disagreed with, was his thoughts on the idea of it feeling…pointless? I can’t recall his exact wording, but the gist was that because there was no campaign, etc, he didn’t feel anything about the the finale. Ava had similar feelings about not feeling connected to the character.
I don’t think these are ideas I really get, as I’m not much of a campaign person. I generally don’t care if I’m “connected to my character”. Gloomhaven is an exception really. I much prefer one-off scenarios (Too Many Bones, Street Masters, etc), and the idea of a big boss fight every game?? That’s exactly what I want!
As far as the theme, I couldn’t care less about anything Lovecraft had to say. The only thing about his work I enjoy is the idea of shooting tentacle monsters in the face (or fighting with them if I ever get to play Cthulhu Wars), so this game themed it exactly how I want it. To echo SVWAG, it’s big dumb fun, and while it’s not perfect, I love it!!!
The actual review I disagree with, is Marvel Champions, and it’s for similar reasons. When Quinn’s reviewed it, he compared it to Arkham Horror LCG. Everything he said about Arkham Horror that was a positive for him, is a hit against it for me, and why it never got to the table;
- campaign play
- narrative focus
- the deeper deck construction
All of these are either eliminated from Marvel Champions, or reduced, which is why we actually play that one, and AH LCG sits unplayed for over 1.5 years, lol.
Yeah, I posted that I disagreed with the Marvel Champions review on the old SUSD forums just before they went down.
So much that Quinns said was wrong - specifically that there’s no conversation between players and nothing to do on the other person’s turn. If you look at the Team Covenant videos for example, you’ll see it’s constant talking. You can give everyone cards on your turn (Maria Hill), choose which of you gets an extra card (Avengers Mansion), you can “call for an action” at any time, you can jump in to defend the other player on their turn, you need to co-ordinate which of you is staying Hero and Alter-Ego to decide if the villain will scheme or fight a lot, etc.
But the bigger point was what you said, that Marvel Champions is deliberately an entry game. It’s playable straight out of the box. It’s supposed to be easier and less narrative than Arkham, and it’s better for it. (Even though as more decks come out, it’s heading to more deckbuilding and campaign play anyway, but that’s still optional). It’s clearly meant to be a gateway to LCGs, not Arkham (arguably the most advanced and difficult one on the market).
I was really surprised that my disagreement wasn’t just that they scored a game higher or lower than I would have liked, but that the their primary problem with it was just nonsense and what actually happens in the game is specifically the opposite.
I’m going to nominate their review of Sentinels of the Multiverse. The tidal wave of feedback dissent really starts to get into gear in the comments by the time they start to refer to “the ‘we love sentinels’ wagon that has clearly started here”.
Do Not Anger The Sentinels Massive clearly seems to be the message here…
A bit more reading around the game before filming probably would have resulted In a much more enjoyable experience for them I think. I can see how they ended up with the impression they did, but it could have been avoided.
And don’t forget. Don’t Anger The Sentinels Massive.