Talk:UFO: Enemy Unknown/GA1

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GA Review[edit]

Article (edit | visual edit | history) · Article talk (edit | history) · Watch

Reviewer: Bridies (talk · contribs) 06:27, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

Commencing review, comments shall follow within the next day or two. bridies (talk) 06:27, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

Preliminary comments

Article appears to need a bit of copy editing. I'm happy to take care of this and might get it done later today, or it may be a few days; meanwhile, some other preliminary thoughts:

  • The main issue with the article is the skimpy reception section. The critical reception in fact does not seem to be covered at all - other than the dubious aggregators - as the few reviews mentioned are at least a year or two after the fact. There needs to be more reviews, at least some of them contemporary and more detail (that is, some critical commentary other than just scores). I'm certain that numerous contemporary reviews can be quite easily acquired for this game; however, if the nominator can't manage, ping me and I can take care of it.
  • The article is weighted towards the game play section. As a complex RTS, the game may require a sizeable game play explanation, but strongly suggest expanding the reception and legacy info (see above). As an influential classic, this game's reception and legacy info should be most significant.
  • I'll likely have more comments once I've copy edited or at least gone over the article more thoroughly. bridies (talk) 10:53, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

It's not an RTS. --Niemti (talk) 11:10, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

Strategy game then. bridies (talk) 11:18, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

Its legacy is discussed in the series article. English PC reviews from 1994 are extremely hard to obtain; Amiga reviews are plenty and easy to access (AMR) but not representative. --Niemti (talk) 11:22, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

By legacy I just meant the top-100 lists, influence and such. I'm not saying it's lacking any legacy info specifically but that the overall critical commentary needs to be greater. I'll look into PC vs. Amiga reviews. Also note non-English language sources are fine if English ones are lacking. bridies (talk) 11:53, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

My magazines (Top Secret, Secret Service, Gambler) will be absolutely nothing for anyone not from Poland at that time (like, Secret Service is not even in the disambiguation page, and it was the country's best-selling magazine in the 1990s, and supposedly even in all of Europe[1]). Amiga conversion reviews (including for re-releases): [2] --Niemti (talk) 13:19, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

I'm aware of AMR. The game got at least a couple of 90%+ reviews in Amiga mags so suggest including those if short on PC reviews; the sentiments shouldn't be too dissimilar. Also note that if the game got weaker reviews on other systems (as it would appear to have done on the Amiga and PS), then that needs to at least be mentioned. I have at least one original PC review, give me a day or so to look for others. bridies (talk) 17:02, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
I did include Amiga reviews already, and it has always been mentioned. --Niemti (talk) 17:18, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
I'm sceptical about that database's validity as a source, tbh: have posted about it here. But the main issue is again the lack of any critical commentary beside scores. A GA can keep it brief, but there needs to some indication of what was said about the Amiga version and why it got poorer reviews.
  • Regarding reviews, the Aug '94 review in Computer Gaming World is pretty easy. Google CGW Museum.
  • Short Game Informer review of the PS version is here. I think I can get the Electronic Gaming Monthly review also.
  • Regarding non-English reviews, suggest including the Secret Service review. Best-selling games magazine in Europe sounds pretty good; it doesn't need to be popular in English-speaking countries to be a valid source. I can probably get a bunch of French and German stuff also. bridies (talk) 11:26, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

Review

  • Fails 1a and b. 1a. Prose appears to be better than when I initially looked at it, but still needs copy editing for basic stuff: there's an in-universe style in the plot section, and instances of clunky prose and POV editorialising. The lead is not an adequate summary. Aside from from the point exhaustively detailed on the talk page, there's no summary of the critical commentary on the game (probably because there's very little in the article at all). References lack authors, issue and page numbers for the print sources. There is a swathe of inappropriate links in the EL section, to fan sites, projects and Wikis.
  • Fails 2 Not by a huge margin but: there's at least 1 error in the article. The Computer Gaming World review is stated as having given 10/10 when in fact it was a 5-star review. This is of course minor and easily fixed in itself, but the lack of a page number here and in other print refs makes one question whether they've been properly verified or if the the info hasn't come second or third-hand from a fan site or some such. The article cites an unreliable source (for our purposes) for the aggregated Amiga reviews. There's also a borderline WP:SYNTH issue detailed on the talk page.
  • Fails 3 This is the big problem alongside neutrality. The article is good on plot, gameplay and reception but lacks any real information on the game's reception, which should be the crux of a video game article. There is ostensibly a sizeable reception section but it in fact contains long-term "legacy"-type criticism. In terms of contemporary criticism there are only aggregated scores (one of which is redundant as it should be removed for failing WP:RS) and now a couple of cherry-picked quotes.
  • The nominator correctly states that English-language print reviews are hard to find - while strictly speaking not an excuse in itself - but if one expands to non-English reviews (perfectly acceptable, especially for a European game) there are quite a number of readily accessible reviews. The nominator seemed to imply he already has some. Otherwise, it shouldn't be hard to get some translations of summaries and include some decent info. Confusingly, the (English language) Computer Gaming World review is referenced in the article (for its score), but none of its commentary.
  • One also has to at least question the nominator's assertion that Amiga reviews are "not representative". Sure, the Amiga range died out while the "PC" lived on, so one would expect to see greater long term plaudits and influence for the PC version. But the system was popular in Europe at the time and the nominator said there was "plenty" of coverage (and not just "easy to access" coverage) coverage, which would seem to indicate weighty coverage. In any case, given that Amiga reviews are easy to come by, the redundant aggregator and cherry-picked quotes (more on this below) are sorely inadequate. Ditto nothing at all on the PS version.
  • Fails 4 The other big problem is the article's bias. It's remarkably thorough in detailing 35th- and 78th-best ever plaudits, or luminaries citing it as their favourite game, but nothing of any detractive commentary. The very limited contemporary commentary is clearly cherry-picked. I stated in my preliminary comments that positive Amiga reviews could be grouped with positive PC reviews to convey the necessary sentiments, but what makes it in are two quotes calling it the "easily the most original and innovative game in the history of the Amiga" and saying that "everyone loves" it, to counter the (in any case redundant; see above) lower aggregators. I've also accessed some PC reviews and while certainly there are very positive ones, there are also more modestly approving 80-something% reviews, same as the Amiga version. 74% in Germany's PC Player, 88% in the UK's respected PC Gamer (can't fully access these, sadly) and 85% and 86% in Germany's Power Play (I have seen this one). Yes, this game is and was highly acclaimed, but it's not true that there was nothing but raving applause, which is what the article implies.
  • Stability and ownership issues which I'm obviously involved in, but still: the nominator has reverting changes because - and I quote - "I don't want" it a certain way. If this is the case over minor copy editing and citing, I hate to think what fixing the bias or external link issues will be like.
  • Fails images Two images in the game play section, one of which is a map of the world.

So that's significant issues against every criteria, including two serious problems; as a result of which I'm failing the nomination. As I said in my initial at-first-glance comments, I'm still happy to help out with copy editing and sourcing content. But having gone through the article more thoroughly, these issues are far too extensive to be done as part of GAN polish up. bridies (talk) 09:52, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

Thanks[edit]

I don't have access to most of paper sources added by other editors which made adding names and pages impossible. So I just one standard used one for all of them (an issue).

I thought the reception was actually the strongest part of it. It's a 1994 (or even 1993, according to many so-called reliable sources) game so it's pretty natural the reception will be more recent than that. And I myself added these "lower aggregators" to precisely show how the scores were (relatively) pretty low on the Amiga (as compared to the PC/PSX scores at GameRankings). I don't have this access to many old PC magazines in English and I don't want to add any Polish ones, because they don't even have Wikipedia articles (I think it would just looks non-notable, possibly imaginary).

The two images are to represent the both Geoscape and the Battlescape, something that so many sources emphasize of being so different (you've got "the world" indeed, and then you've got this extreme closup on a Laser Squad type tactical mission with all-different gameplay too).

I'll look into the other stuff. --Niemti (talk) 10:16, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

And there are PlayStation reviews. --Niemti (talk) 10:47, 15 August 2012 (UTC)