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Subject: No more Mister Nice Guy :-) rss

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Richard Ham
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cmpunk74 wrote:
The only problem with all of rahdo's runthrough is that he always says that the games are fantastic so it become's a bit of a problem. Not all games are fantastic and maybe he is doing too many runthrough's so it is impairing is judgement a bit....just saying...

or, maybe all games are fantastic because he is getting those game in advance from publishers hoping that he will sell the game for them !!

I just hope i'm wrong....


So this is a quick thread to have at the ready for when folks post questions like the above (from my Last Will runthrough here) asking whether my "game reviews" can be trusted because I'm too positive and never give "bad reviews". Here's a few points in response devil

1) I don't do reviews, I do runthroughs. What I say in the final thoughts doesn't matter at all. I'm all about letting the games speak for themselves, and hopefully I do a decent job at that.

2) I've said it 1000 times now... PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE ignore my opinions about the games. Draw your own conclusions from watching the game being played

3) Again, PLEASE ignore my opinion!

4) Yes I do get lots of of games from publishers for running through. If you'd like to know more about how that works, check out this thread: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1023680/full-disclosure

(I talk quite openly in that thread about what I do when I get a copy from a publisher for a game it turns out we don't like, btw.)

4) *sigh* Okay, if you're not going to ignore my opinion, well then check out this thread where I talk about how I rate games so you know where I'm coming from: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1078521/rahdos-ratings

In that thread, I include a LINK to a list of a few HUNDRED games that we've played and traded away because we didn't enjoy them for whatever reason. Hopefully that list will help confirm that there are plenty of games out there than Jen and I don't enjoy, and explain why in each case.

5) If that's still not enough, here's a list of every runthrough I've done where, in the final thoughts, I explained why the game wasn't for me and Jen:

Infiltration
Farmerama
Robinson Crusoe: Adventure on the Cursed Island
Android: Netrunner
Ruhrschifffahrt 1769-1890
Archipelago
Guildhall
Do Your Job
Kaispeicher
Alliances
Kolejka
Terra Mystica
Seasons
Caylus
Dungeon Lords
Star Trek: Attack Wing
Via Appia
Mage Knight Board Game
City of Iron
Fury of Dracula
Love Letter
Relic Runners
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Deck-Building Game
Caverna: The Cave Farmers
Concordia
Archon: Glory & Machination
Castaways
Francis Drake
High Frontier
Mice and Mystics
Might & Magic Heroes
A Study in Emerald
Rockwell
Il Vecchio
It Happens..
Darkest Night
Hull Breach: Corporate Wars
Going, Going, GONE!
Space Sheep!
Core Worlds
Warlock
Ghost Stories
Homesteaders
Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition)
Pasha
Dogs
S-Evolution
Craftsmen
Yunnan
Paradise Fallen: The Card Game
Florenza
Eldritch Horror
Myth
12 Realms
Steam Park
Helios
Essen
The Doge Ship
Race Formula 90
Power Grid
Drum Roll
Splendor
Carnival Zombie
Nautilus Industries
Kemet
Libertalia
Super Fantasy Ugly Snouts Adventure
Five Tribes
Colosseum
The Outcast Heroes
Asgard
Quilt Show
Eclipse
Pentos
Walled City
Ninjato
Dreaming Spires
L'Aeropostale
Flash Point Fire Rescue
Quantum
Fields of Arle
The Ancient World
Panamax
Lap Dance
Le Havre Inland Port
Kill Shakespeare
Strasbourg
Antike Duellum
Patchistory
King of Clubs
DRCongo
Dungeon Bazar
Pocket Imperium
Run Fight or Die
Mr House
Saint Petersburg 2nd Edition
Grog Island
New Dawn
Scoville
Tesla vs Edison
Project Dreamscape
The Name of the Rose
Conquest of Planet Earth
Dominant Species
Vault Wars
Discworld: Ankh-Morpork
Best Treehouse Ever
Posthuman
Wildcatters
Raiders of the North Sea
Hard Day's Knight
Periorbis
Evolution
The Dwarves
Wombat Rescue
The Witcher Adventure Game
Penny Press
Exoplanets
Cypher
Musee
Loop Inc
Discoveries
Five Seals of Magic
Hostage negotiator
Fresco Expansions 8,9 & 10
Flip City
Prime Time
Meteor
Uchronia
chibiMob
Brew Crafters
Letter Tycoon
Dungeon of Fortune
Dice City
Rome: Rise to Power
Dragonflame
Fallen
Specter Ops
Yggdrasil
Eight Epics
Morocco
My Village
The Bloody Inn
Centauri Saga
Neaderthal
Steam Works
Mombasa
Nippon
Champions of Midgard
Warhammer Quest Adventure Card Game
Dilluvia Project
Tiny Epic Western
Food Chain Magnate
The Opulent
Explorers of the North Sea
504
Space Pioneers
Corrupted Kingdom
Ships
Mi Tierra: New Era
Space Pioneers
Istanbul: Mocha & Baksheesh
Retreat to Darkmoor
Drako
7 Wonders Duel
Watchmen of Destiny
Daxu
Snowblind
Imperial Settlers
Stronghold 2nd Edition
CVLizations
Council of Four
Space Race the Card Game
Virus
Vikings Gone Wild
Dice Heist
Days of Ire
Guilds of London
Snow Tails
Airlines
HOPE
Slush Fund 2
West of Africa
Battleline
City of Spies
Celestia
Innovation
Runebound 3rd Ed
Crisis
Rocky Road a la Mode
Arkwright
Mageling
Pirates of the 7 Seas
Portal of Morth
Ibyron
Vikings the Board Game
Time Stories: Under the mask
Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu
Gadgeteer
Loony Quest
Mask of Anubis
Mansions of Madness 2nd edition
Asgard's Chosen
Dribbel Fieber
Covert
Kune v Lakia
Victoriana
Cacao
Commissioner Victor
Squirrel Rush
Heir to the Pharaoh
Problem Picnic
Histrio
Capital Lux
Expo 1906
Pillars of the Earth Builders Duel
Great Dinosaur Rush
Hellas
The Perfumer
Mythe
Tides of Madness
Ars Alchemia
Yikes!
Carson City Horses & Heroes
Black Orchestra
Oracle of Delphi
Lotus
Cottage Garden
Key to the City - London
Pillars of the Earth
Saloon Tycoon
Rum & Pirates
Jorvik
Star Trek Frontiers
Terraforming Mars
Solarius Mission
Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle
Papa Paolo
Golden Sails
Bastion
Delve
Coal Barons: The Great Card Game
Not Alone
Dungeon Alliance
Flamme Rouge
Long Live the Queen
Martians: A Story of Civilization
Kepler 3042
Dream Home
Key Harvest
Cytosis
Meduris
Fabled Fruit
Skyways
Flow of History
Pocket Mars
Hangtown
Yamatai
Roll Player: Monsters & Minions
Hangtown
Groves
Java

If you watch these videos, I articulate (and demonstrate) why the game wasn't for us, and also go into detail about why the game may or may not be for you so you can decide for yourself whether they might be worth pursuing. But you shouldn't rely on my opinion, and instead draw your own conclusions based on the runthrough itself.

So anyway, as of Oct 11th, 2014, that's 79 runthroughs out of 303, or 26% "negative". Sorry if that's not enough for some folks, but it seems that's all you're gonna get from me. This is because as a general rule, I don't want to spend my time doing runthroughs for games I don't like. I'm incredibly picky and careful in selecting games that I'm relatively confident Jen and I will enjoy. I do a LOT of research, and turn down games all the time (around 9 out of every 10) that I suspect we're not going to enjoy. This is a large part of why I do so few runthroughs of games we don't like.

Also, as a general rule, I don't do runthroughs of genuinely bad games. I simply have no interest in spending lots of my time and Jen's time on a game that's terrible, so you'll *never* see me covering an absolute stinker of a game. Life's too short for such things!

And again, there was the link up above to the thread that shows all the games we have gotten rid of, for those who want more blood on my hands devil

Also, in closing, for each and every one of those runthroughs I just listed, I'd again STRONGLY recommend you ignore my opinion, and let the games speak for themselves... otherwise, why am I bothering to do the runthrough in the first place?
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Marcus Boyce
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Re: No more Mister Nice Guy
Exactly, I watch the gameplay (whilst enjoying your enthusiasm) and make a judgement on that - I know that Theseus - Dark Portal is nit for me. Sometimes your final thoughts help sway me, for example Francis Drake - wanted this but it just doesn't work as a two player and mostly I play games with the wife, like you. Somebody at one of my game groups would probably get Francis Drake and I can see how good it is as a multiplayer game.

The lack of negativity is the same complaint levelled against Tom Vasel of The Dice Tower. However I think you both say what you think.

Oh but you are wrong about Caverna though but that's OK it is acceptable to be wrong occasionally.
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David Villa
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Re: No more Mister Nice Guy
Games, like movies or books, provide a subjective experience to each individual. From theme, mechanics, components and artwork, a game can connect or miss with a player before the true elements of gameplay mechanics even enter the picture. Even two games that are similar in theme or similar in mechanics can provide polar opposite experiences for the same individual. There is no guarantee that if you liked "this", you will also like "that".

I am a very visual learner. I have always absorbed more information through lectures and vidoes than I have reading text. When I read a rulebook, I just cannot "see" all the mechanics coming together from linear text on a page. That is why Rahdo's run-throughs are invaluable for me. There is no substitue for watching a game being played, observing the operation of the rules and components to be able to experience the gameplay vicariously through the Rahdo's run-through to decide if it is something I would enjoy or not.

I certainly do not consider him a "critic", but more of a "guide", such as a host of a movie or book club who helps guide the experience for all involved to get the most they can from an observed game-play experience.

Thanks, Rahdo!
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Dundy O
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Re: No more Mister Nice Guy
The negative trappings of a video uploader…

Your post really isn't needed, especially with your style of video. Viewers all have their particularities though, and with them, demands, even if they don't see it that way.

Most people understand you aren't a reviewer. You know this because you can see it by reading comments and the personality of your audience is very apparent. We enjoy you because we see you as a player.

I enjoy your final thoughts because I am aware of your likes and dislikes, therefore take any positive and negative comments and filter it through that knowledge.

I am going to finally receive my copy of Robinson Crusoe (yayy!!) and part of my decision was based on your run-through. It didn't appeal to you but it grabbed me.

I didn't buy Pret-a-Porter because of the same reason. You loved that game, I found it dull after watching your video.

We--your audience--know you're a gamer, not a reviewer. You do a great service to our community in many ways. You have personally taught me how to play about a half-dozen games in my collection that I had trouble grasping.

Thank you.

Merry Christmas, old retired man. Love ya.
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Chris Smith
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Re: No more Mister Nice Guy
I prefer reviewers that are mostly positive to be honest. Sure it sometimes means that a game that's not ideal for me gets called out as being very fun, but at least the negative outlooks are meaningful. When someone is saying 50% of games suck, they're either reviewing a terrible selection, or to be frank, don't really like playing games - Plus they'll probably put me off games that I would actually love.

The only exception is if there's so little said about the game that I'm relying entirely on their subjective opinion, so I'd have to find a reviewer who's likes and dislikes align with mine perfectly.

Game run throughs are a great approach, as I get to see how the game is played, what elements might/might not be flawed, how well it works with various player counts (Even seeing 2 player helps to see how more players might go, Archon being a good example). There's only a couple of games so far that I've got based on them, but I feel like I've got exactly what I expected - when I've listened to a review my response tends to be 'Wait...the game plays like this?...' regardless of whether I did or didn't like it.

---

So anyway, keep up the great quality of video's Richard, thanks
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蓝魔
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Re: No more Mister Nice Guy
Apart from using the phrase "This is Jen & I's favourite ( insert genre here ) game" a bit too frequently (they can't all be your favourites surely ) please retain your positive attitude/spin and enthusiasm, as best you can and on camera at least, at all times.

As even when running through plainly awful games your videos are still entertaining & thought provoking.
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Stasia Doster
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Re: No more Mister Nice Guy
You do exactly what I want you to do in your play throughs, Richard - you play the game so that I can see how the mechanics work, the level of player interaction, etc. - and allow me to make my own judgment. Although I always listen to your final thoughts, most of the time my mind is made up about a game by that point. Please do not change a thing!
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Re: No more Mister Nice Guy
I watch playthroughs, reviews and how to play videos to get an idea if a game is for me.

The key thing for me when I watch your videos is that I know exactly what perspective you're coming from. Your opinion is usually based on playing the game 2 player. So when I listen to the pros and cons of the game, I keep this in mind.

When I listen to your final thoughts, you rarely have only positive things to say about the game so it's very helpful. Some of your negatives aren't a problem for me. Some of the positives are things that I don't care for so that also helps me decide.

So as far as I'm concerned, keep up the great work doing what you're doing. It's both entertaining and useful.
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Richard Ham
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moocifer wrote:
Apart from using the phrase "This is Jen & I's favourite ( insert genre here ) game" a bit too frequently (they can't all be your favourites surely )


I'm pretty sure I generally say "one of Jens & my favourites"... I know what are favourites are in most categories (have had to figure it out for future top 10's) and I'm generally careful not to "spoil" those future top 10s by giving it all away
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蓝魔
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rahdo wrote:
I'm pretty sure I generally say "one of Jens & my favourites"... I know what are favourites are in most categories (have had to figure it out for future top 10's) and I'm generally careful not to "spoil" those future top 10s by giving it all away


Ok, but they're all "favourites" of a kind then if you've kept them (even with 5+ packed shelves full of a million other titles .. )
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Geert Celerier
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You need to start throwing boxes of your roof.
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Neil Blaiberg
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gcelerier wrote:
You need to start throwing boxes of your roof.


That's so 2011....

Richard should get his own thing.

I know, set fire to stuff that you don't like - you can use Jen's glass melting thingy (that's the techical term I believe)
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Geert Celerier
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Seriously though, I really don't think there's a problem here. The fact is that while the amount of videos you put up is tremendous, your videos are of a very different format than something like The Dice Tower. Their videos barely pass the 15-20 minute mark, they have a bunch of reviewers and as a consequence they can review almost every new game that comes out.

When looking at the list of the videos you've done, all of the released games you have covered are objectively good in a sense that there will be an audience for them. There aren't any games in there that are obviously trash. Then it's up to the viewer to look at your runthroughs and decide if it's a game for them. I can imagine some people just skip to the Final Thoughts. Obviously, that's a problem.

For me, The Dice Tower and Rahdo Runs Through are very complimentary in a way. I use The Dice Tower to filter out the good games from the trash. And then Rahdo can help me to get a more in-depth look at the game, when I saw something on The Dice Tower that caught my interest.
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Joao Henrique
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I'm a super fanboy of Rahdo and his gameplays BUT i rarely watches his final thoughts, mainly because what really matters to me is the game flow, and not his opinion about it. That's why i HATE Tom Vasels preview, because it's all about a quick components/rules overview and his OPINION all over the place.
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Marcus Boyce
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tormentin wrote:
I'm a super fanboy of Rahdo and his gameplays BUT i rarely watches his final thoughts, mainly because what really matters to me is the game flow, and not his opinion about it. That's why i HATE Tom Vasels preview, because it's all about a quick components/rules overview and his OPINION all over the place.


Diametrically opposed they are. Tom gives mostly opinion, Richard gives gameplay (and thus flow)

I often only watch part of Richards "Final Thoughts"* because I've decided if the game is for me before then.


* Except Caverna, watched that twice, still getting over the shock.
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Matt Thiel
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I could see how Richard's passionate (love it!) explanations about how much he respects a game for having mechanism XYZ or making something that could be challenging into something elegant in a very smart design decision, might be misinterpreted as him liking the game. Just because he finds something to be smart or clever or innovative does not mean that he and Jenn enjoy it, they just appreciate and respect what it is. Loving a decision made by a designer/publisher/artist/etc. does not equate to loving a game.



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Joao Henrique
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lordsplodge wrote:

* Except Caverna, watched that twice, still getting over the shock.


As funny as it sounds, Caverna was one of the few ones i watched.

And i STRONGLY disagree with Richard on that one
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I don't watch Tom Vasel's reviews because we have pretty opposite tastes enough of the time as to make them useless for me.

As far as Rahdo's video: I almost always have my mind made up before the end of the game play video. I always watch the Final Thoughts though as we do have similar tastes and much of my gaming is 2-player. As such, I tend to favor buying games with strong 2-player support and rarely buy games that require three players.

(Edited for typos)
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Marcus Boyce
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tormentin wrote:


As funny as it sounds, Caverna was one of the few ones i watched.

And i STRONGLY disagree with Richard on that one


Same, mostly mine and Richards views align but not here. Agricola is good, damn good, but not quite as good as Caverna.
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Andy Andersen
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Richard, don't overthink or overworry about this. In a world of billions there are always some to complain - about everything.

Look at the positive comments regarding your run throughs, they certainly outweigh the negatives by a huge margin. Suggest to your naysayers that they make an effort to do a run through.

Whiners gonna whine.
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Richard Ham
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Orangemoose wrote:
Richard, don't overthink or overworry about this


Oh I'm not. I just made this thread because it's something that comes up every couple of weeks, and I just wanted to have a convenient thread to point to, rather than retyping the same response every time (because I do respond to every question I get asked - it'd be rude not to )
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Mark Powell
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My observation is people tend to say "You're too negative" or "You're too positive" only when that negativity or positivity does not align with their particular opinion. As you mentioned, you have negative feelings on 1/5th of the run throughs you've done, but the person who complained probably saw you be positive about a game they don't like.

Tom Vasel mentioned this on the podcast not too long ago. He'll get emails in the same day, one complaining about him being too nice in his reviews and another complaining about his negativity.
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It saddens me that you even feel the need to respond to statements such as the above -

I love your enthusiasm AND how you let your opinions shine through.

I am not nearly the game scholar that you are - also I am fairly new to the hobby. I have yet to play a game I didn't like MAINLY BECAUSE I TRY NOT TO BUY THEM AND GO IN INFORMED THROUGH WATCHING VIDEOS LIKE YOURS, ETC

Yes - you may not come out and say a game is not very good - but through the use of your videos you have prevented me from purchasing those I would most likely not enjoy.

Thank you for helping me maximize my gaming enjoyment.

arrrh
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Mike B
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I bought Terra Mystica in part due to your run-through despite you saying that it wasn't for you. On the flip side, you run through (and enjoy) a LOT of games that I have absolutely no intention of ever buying.

I also have my eye on Archipelago, even though you didn't like that one either.

I always take game reviews with a huge dose of salt because I often have different tastes than the reviewer. I also don't have as big of a budget for games as most reviewers so if someone says that 'this is the best worker placement game around,' I still probably won't buy it because I have enough worker placement games in my collection already. That may change in the future, but I don't need any more right now.
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Richard,

Anyone who thinks you are overly positive in your reviews is, to put it succinctly, way off-base. Because I don't have very much time to actually PLAY games, I experience the hobby in different ways, and this manifests in that I watch a LOT of video "reviews".

You are my favorite "reviewer". This situation has evolved over many many months of watching your reviews. There are several reasons for this. First, I enjoy your run-through style. As you have said, it's about showing the game for what it really is. However, just as important to me, is your "review" in the end. Your final thoughts are *leaps and bounds* above other reviewers in quality. You are excited when you are excited about a game. You show real pathos when you see problems with a game. You give a true REVIEW. You tell us why it works or doesn't work for you. You explain who you feel it may or may not work for.

In contrast to other reviewers, you are at the top. I have recently completely stopped watching a certain reviewer who shall remain unnamed. This person has sold out completely in my mind (I'm not talking about Tom Vasel who I believe is authentic, though not nearly as good a reviewer as you). For someone to accuse you of being overly positive is just so far off-base, it actually makes me kind of grumpy. I feel you are, at heart, a sensitive soul, and it's unfortunate that you feel you have to defend yourself against baseless accusations.

While I'm seeing an unfortunate trend of board game reviewers follow the video game review model, where reviews are overly biased or bought, you stand apart. Keep doing EXACTLY what you're doing. You are the single best video source of information on games right now. I greatly appreciate your time and effort in producing your videos.

-Dan

(sorry, this was a bit of a rant!)
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