Responding to My Real Neat Blogger Award Nomination

Well, I find myself tagged once more – this time by Gary, who runs a blog called Art of Redress. It’s a great blog with a lot of interesting articles about gaming in its formative years. I learned several interesting facts from reading them. Anyway, here are the questions I was made to answer.

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Gamer Confessions Tag

After skimming through multiple blogs on WordPress, I happened to stumble upon a tag for gaming enthusiasts, and the topics seemed interesting enough. I’m always looking for good subjects with which I could write a midweek post in between reviews, so I thought this could be an interesting change of pace. Now that the introduction is out of the way, let’s get started.

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100th Review Special, Part 10: The Best of the Best

If it’s one thing I’ve observed over the years, it’s that every critic or outlet seems to have a different attitude concerning the highest grade on their scale. Some hand them out like penny candy while others outright refuse to ever assign a 10/10 on the basis that there is no perfect work. Personally, I feel the former approach devalues the grading scale to the point of inanity. After all, if you hand out too many top grades, it doesn’t leave much in the way of middle ground; you either award a perfect score or you don’t. Though I can see where the people bearing the opposite mentality come from, I feel refusing to assign the highest grade on your scale denotes a lack of respect for the medium, and perfection is such nebulous concept to begin with. Naturally, my own approach is between the two extremes. I can and will award a 10/10, but I don’t award it to just any game. Indeed, one of my rules is that I can only award the grade once per franchise – this includes spinoffs. Therefore, I tend to think very carefully whenever I’m confronted with a masterful game whether or not it deserves such an accolade. Going the extra mile isn’t enough; I have to be convinced that these are once-in-a-lifetime achievements that will hold up in the coming years. So without further ado, let’s bring the list to a close with five games I feel managed to truly earn that top honor.

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Undertale

Undertale

Introduction

Undertale – the game promoted as the friendly RPG where nobody has to die. It was developed over the course of roughly two-and-a-half years almost entirely by a single person: one Toby Fox. Mr. Fox already had an internet presence orchestrating music for Homestuck, a webcomic known for its complex plot and large following, but this was to be his first original creation.

The project saw its release in 2015 whereupon it received universal, widespread acclaim from numerous publications. This sentiment wasn’t limited to critics either; so profound was its resonance with the community surrounding the medium that, mere months later, its members voted it the best of all time on a certain site famous for providing walkthroughs on almost every game imaginable. A coalition of video game fans banding together to deem such a new title a superior effort to all that came before is an extraordinary display. It begs the question: what is it about this game that caused those who played it to declare it the best of the best?

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