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Let's discuss the criteria I use for judging the various forms of media, shall we?
While everyone has different tastes, when it comes to my site, mine is the only one that matters. Your tastes have nothing to do with mine, and in my head, you are wrong if you disagree with me (as is the case with every single individual on this earth. It's what makes us unique!).
So, with that said, let me explain a little about my tastes, where they come from, and why I think the way I think.
First off, let's get one thing straight: I don't like reality shows. When a movie depicts reality (like a war movie, documentary style, or a show based on history) then it has to knock my socks off to make me love it. I go to a movie to get AWAY from reality and want to be taken to some distant realm of existence far away from where I came from before entering the doors of the theater.
Some of my favorite movies (and TV shows) include: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, the original Star Wars movies, all of the Star Trek movies and shows with the exception of Voyager, Twilight Zone, many of the super hero movies that have been made recently (X-Men, Spiderman, etc...).
As you can see from my list, I love Sci-Fi, and fantasy. It's what takes me away from the reality I see out my window every day. There are some "reality" shows that I have really enjoyed, but those are rare.
Also, I love comedy. Most of Jim Carrey's stuff is hilarious, and I love shows like 3rd Rock From the Sun (which is actually my 2nd favorite television show behind the Star Treks). I also really like the stupid comedies. Stuff like The Naked Gun series, Airplane, Wayne's World, and Kung Pow. Yes, they are dumb, but they make me laugh, and that's the whole point.
So, when I review a movie, I have very high expectations to be entertained. I don't go into a show looking for a reason to justify my money, I go into a show looking to be entertained and taken a way from reality. If a show sucks, I have no problems saying that I wasted my money. Let's just say that if I have to really search my brain for something good to say about a show, I will blast it.
In every form of media, you have your standard-setters. For me, I have many favorites who have set the standard by which all new music I listen to is judged. My favorite genre is Metal, but I love rock, pop, classical, soft vocal, and pretty much every style with the exception of Rap and Country: no matter how hard I have tried, I just can't get into them!
Being the youngest of five, I was subjected to a very diverse list of music while growing up. Everything from the late 60's on was always all around me. I feel very fortunate in this because it gave me a wide variety to choose from every single day of my life. It has also given me an appreciation of so many artists that get scoffed at because they aren't "in". Examples of this would be Barbary Streisand, Olivia Newton John, Neil Diamond, and so many of the "old" artists that today take up way too much space in Vegas.
When I was 15 I received my first introduction to Metal and never really looked back. My cousin introduced me to Savatage and they quickly became my favorite Metal group. Metallica, Ozzy, Megadeth, Metal Church, Fates Warning, and many others were soon to follow. While I kept my appreciation of all the other genres I listened to, I was certainly drawn to Metal and still to this day prefer it over all other genres.
A few years ago, I found Symphony X and they took the place of Savatage as my favorite metal band as well as taking ELO's spot as my all-time-favorite group. ELO's "Time" album is still my favorite album of all time, but Symphony X is by far the best group I have ever heard.
So, when judging music, I have a very high standard. For female singers, they are instantly compared to Sarah Brightman, for soft rock, ELO, for Metal, Symphony X, and a few others that set the standard for me.
Some will say you can't compare like that, as each group is individual and has their own strengths. While this is true, it is unavoidable to not compare anything to something you feel is the best in whatever category you find it. Do we say "Those new KIAs are great when we don't compare them to the new Hondas!" or "The latest Star Trek movie was so awesome if we ignore the fact that every movie before it was better!" No, whenever we watch, listen, play, or compare, it's always to something we previously held in high-esteem. When the item being compared holds its own against your favorite in any category, then we appreciate it. When it doesn't, we go back to what we love. Simple as that.
I've been a gamer since I was five and it's been a huge part of my life nearly every day since I first played Pong! I have seen the evolution of this great pastime and enjoyed every step of it along the way. Simply put, judging a video game is the same process as judging movies or music. You have your standard setters and you look for games that achieve or exceed that level of enjoyment.
The way games differ is that you really are looking for something new along with something that is the same. It's a tougher road to travel because you want more of what you like in certain games while yearning for innovation to advance the genre.
Take Shooters for instance. Since the early shooters such as Wolfenstein 3D and Doom, we've seen so many improvements that would blow your mind, yet we're also in a rut because the innovative shooters are few and far between. When a company goes out on a limb to make an innovative shooter, it could be met with financial disaster for their company (Timeshift) or make them the most successful shooter in history (Halo).
While it is sad that companies come and go with the success of their titles (and many people are put out of work), it is irrelevant to the consumer. What we want is for our gaming dollars to entertain us. We are a ruthless batch of consumers and we have an appetite that must be fed!
As any other genre in the entertainment business, there are standards by which all other games are judged. Again, I have favorites that set the standard and I compare every game I play to my favorite of that type. If it holds its own, I can appreciate it, but if not, it's toast!
So, that's just my opening statement so you know where I am coming from. Everything expressed herein is my opinion, and my opinion is right! If your opinion differs or is close to mine, please feel free to email me and let me know. I love hearing thoughts on my thoughts, and I'll certainly give you my thoughts on your thoughts on my thoughts!
email me at: John@rustyarmor.com
If you want to contact me, please email me at John@rustyarmor.com