Monday, October 13, 2014

Azure Striker Gunvolt, and the Gaming Media: A Prime Example of Guised Criticism

Originally I'd intended to write a review of Azure Striker Gunvolt that was to be glowing. I've recently finished up my 20th hour with this downloadable title and, while at first I found myself a bit disappointed, eventually came to understand and learn what it is that Gunvolt offers uniquely, and how exciting the title is once understood.

But I ran into an issue, and the issue was that every time I tried to write about Gunvolt I felt myself repeatedly drawn to recognizing the assumed position of the Megaman series in regards to Gunvolt. The two games look very much alike, and with Gunvolt there's quite a lot that takes both openly and admiringly from Megaman, which includes not only gameplay but art-direction, storytelling, some secondary functions, and last but not least Keiji Inafune (the creator of Megaman) himself serving as Executive Producer.

The largest issue with this is that I kept feeling the need to spend this great amount of time discussing Megaman, and the reason why is because of how much not alike Gunvolt is to Megaman. In truth, Gunvolt is an utter bore if it's played as though it were Megaman, and what is essential to experiencing Gunvolt, particularly for gamers alike me that are very familiar with not only Megaman but most 2D Platformers since, is being able to dissect our expectations and familiarities and objectively witness the individual product that is before us. To be open toward what is truly an almost entirely original game design.

But I didn't give up writing my review immediately. Instead, I jacked in to the Net and researched reviews for Gunvolt by other gaming media. What I discovered was rushed gaming journalism that once again proves a sizable inferiority to other established mediums, this time in the form of the "review" that is actually a biased criticism. And there's something sincerely wrong about this, because Gunvolt is certainly not the first title this has happened to, and definitely not the last.