My profile is now quite lengthy so I'm including this just in case you want to skip something.Myself
Hi! That's me.Avatars
Collection of avatars I've used.Custom Star Rating System
I rate games on a scale of 5, here's why.Board Games
What I value in board games.Video games
What I value in video games.Tabletop RPGs
Why I don't rate nor comment RPGs.Myself
Hi, thanks for stopping by! My name is Luis and I'm from Spain. I love playing games (duh), but also watching films, listening to music and hiking. I like reading random internet articles from reputable sources too, in the search of random trivia knowledge about the life, the universe and everything.
Professionally, I graduated in computer engineering, and I work at a small private enterprise, which provides internet services related mostly with document integrity and operation traceability.
I was Video Game Geek of the Week #14
, check it out if you want to know a bit more about me. As you can surely imagine, what you'll find there is mostly video game centred.
I love tagging with users from the site for online multiplayer games, so don't hesitate to add me on Steam (SgtBriareos
). You can occasionally find me at the *GG Minecraft Server
too.Powered by Steam SignatureAvatarsCustom Star Rating System
I don't like giving numerical ratings to things, as ratings are very linear. A game with a higher rating is supposed to be better, which I don't agree, as comparisons usually work at many different levels. To avoid becoming frustrated with my own ratings, I've simplified my rating system. I use it both on BGG and VGG. (10)
: Excellent. (8)
: Very good. (6)
: Good. (4)
: Not my thing. (2)
: Bad.I consider fun, good and worth playing every game that I give at least a three star rating, higher scores only mean that the game has very little flaws or it's more appealing to me for a particular reason.
Two stars are reserved for games I personally didn't liked, but I still see some sort of appeal in it. A single star means that I feel the game has severe flaws in its design, and isn't worth playing in general.Board Games
Leaving aside a gap in my teenage years, I've played board games since I was young. When I was a kid it was easy: if it looked cool, it was cool. Now, fortunately, I've grown past that, though I'm not quite certain if my taste has fully matured. In any case, there are two major categories in which I group games: social and strategical. I enjoy games from both, depending on the mood.Social:
Every game I find to be a good catalyst for either laughs or conversation falls inside this category. This includes party games, but also light and humorous games like Munchkin. Games like these don't need to be complex, they simply need to create room for jokes and small talk.Strategical:
Games I play for the challenge. In general, games where either there is very little luck or can be heavily mitigated through in-game mechanisms. Love games of varying levels of complexity, of both strategical and tactical focus. What I actively seek is great degrees of interaction, either direct or indirect. In general, if there's a possibility of kingmaking, I'll like the game. I don't see kingmaking as an issue, as I trust the players involved will not intentionally give games away. Direct conflict is far from being a requirement, though. But if a game at least doesn't force players to keep their opponent's moves in mind, or players don't benefit greatly from paying attention to what others do, well, I'd rather play a social board game or a video game.
Regarding theme, either it's fully implemented, with all the elements of the design crafted to be atmospheric, such as in War of the Ring or Fury of Dracula, or I don't really care. I've come to realize most games are abstracts in disguise. Most people around me aren't so theme-agnostic though, so I still seek for games with apparently cool themes to lure people to play them. In any case, I greatly value games which are easy to teach, for which themes help a lot. If a game is intuitive, I'll favour it heavily. The less time it takes to explain, the better. If a game has a lot of chrome and fiddly rules, well, better be worth it.Video Games
When rating video games I consider my current opinion of the game, not how good was at its time, though I do consider the limitations of the system. When rating them I keep in mind these aspects:Gameplay.
Most important factor as if I don't like how it plays I won't get any close to it, no matter how cool looking it is or if it has an incredible story. Responsive controls as well as a fun, balanced and engaging system is what will usually set how I rank a game, with the rest of factors slightly modifying the rating with few exceptions.Presentation.
I honestly couldn't care less about high definition graphics: I value, first and foremost, a good and solid graphic engine that doesn't get in the way of gameplay and, secondly, that it's visually appealing, but this can be achieved both with the latest 3D technology and pixel graphics. Sounds and music also fall in this category and follow the exact same premise.Story.
Story will rarely modify the rating up or down drastically unless it's a core part of the experience, such as in RPGs or in point & click adventures. In any other case a bad story is ignorable and a good story won't fix a bad gameplay, as I feel it's better to read a book or watch a film than enduring a boring gaming session just to get to the bits where the story progresses. Mainly because a book doesn't close itself if you grow frustrated with it
A game manages to be immersive for me when gameplay, presentation and story fit together. It's a quality I like but rare, though when it's present it can largely influence my rating, both positively and negatively, depending on how well it's executed. I may forgive gameplay flaws if the experience the game provides is absorbing and unique enough.Replayability.
This is some sort of mix where I chunk in a few things. First of all, the game must stand the test of time. Regarding older titles it's easy: I only comment games I've played recently. With newer titles I try to predict if I see if it's worth playing in the future.Multiplayer.
I enjoy both local and online multiplayer. Regarding local I tend to value accessibility above everything else, as not everyone I play with plays video games regularly so it's crucial for them to understand how the game works as soon as possible. For online multiplayer I love team-based games where the mechanisms reward creative thinking and co-operation, as if that's not the case someone could replace all humans with bots and I wouldn't even notice. When playing with voice chat I'm much less picky though, as would definitely notice the lack of friendly banter and small talk.Gaming systems.
I have the following gaming systems: PC, Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, Super Nintendo, Playstation 2, iPod Touch 2nd Gen and Android phone; also had a Playstation but it broke. While I tend to like chewy games in general, I do value time wasters for portable gaming systems, as I'm quite fond of pulling them out when I'm commuting, waiting in a queue and such, where not always I'll have time for a decent gaming session.Tabletop RPGs
In case you are wondering why I have several RPGs microbadges yet not a single rating or comment, this is due to the fact that I really don't see the point of them. Why? There are two main things you can rate on an RPG: the system and the setting.
Considering the first, to actually be able to rate a system you need to game master it. Playing any system can be fun regarding of how horrible it is if the master is comfortable with it or has modified it to its tastes. To this we add the fact that while playing you only need a very basic notion of the rules unless you revolve the entire experience around combat, which I find quite pointless considering the staggering amount of board games that do this in simpler and more practical ways.
On the other hand, a game master will soon notice the system flaws, which he can patch up or entirely ignore and jump to another system. So, basically, if I'm playing an RPG this means that the master is familiar with the rules and guides the rest of us when necessary, highlighting the good points of the system while hiding the ugly bits. Due to this, I haven't played a single RPG with a system I've disliked. I have directed several short campaigns in three or four systems, but I don't consider that sufficient experience to rate them.
Regarding the settings, I've never directed a game on a predefined setting. Never. I always like to give my sessions a personal touch, which means that I develop setting and non-playing characters from scratch. I've read a few predefined settings but, when I've done it, I've limited myself to skim them through to get a general idea. I do have played predefined settings, but I see no point in rating those: if the system is influenced by the game master, the impact he has on the setting is dramatical. No matter how good or bad a setting is, the impression you will receive of it will almost solely depend of the game master's skills.
All in all, the quality of an RPG session depends on how a game master employs the system and setting. As I'm not going to rate the game masters I've played with, much less rate myself, I don't comment nor rate RPGs.