Yes, I know. I haven’t posted on here in a while. Rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated, but I have been rather busy with this, that, and the other thing. I should be getting back to normal from next month though, which is super.

Today’s post relates to a video review I published a few weeks ago for Dreamfall Chapters – Book Three: Realms (embedded above for your eyes / ears to feast upon.) If you’ve visited DO in the past you’ll know I’m a big fan of The Longest Journey saga, and have been absolutely blown away by the first two instalments of Dreamfall Chapters. Book Two in particular was colossal in size, and contained some of the most morally-challenging decisions I’ve had to make in a game. It has been nothing short of a triumph in adventure gaming.

So when I played through Book Three: Realms, I of course enjoyed spending more time with Zoe & Kian (as well as being reunited with an old, feathered friend) but something wasn’t quite right overall. I go into much more detail in the video review, but the general gist is that while Book Three was good, it wasn’t up to the par previously set by Books One and Two, and so when it came to putting my thoughts down in words a sense of sadness overcame me. I am, after all, a huge fan of Ragnar Tornquist’s work (even if I am forever known to him as the “Wang guy.” *sigh*)

However, not long after I published it I ended up chatting to my former Dealspwn comrade Matt Gardner (who is now rocking it over at Green Man Gaming) about constructive criticism in reviews, and the Dreamfall Chapters one in particular. It was at the end of the discussion that he reminded me of one very important point; When we love something so very much we are often more critical of it, all because we care about it so much. It’s something I’m sure plenty of my peers would agree with, and I’m in no doubt that at some point they have been accused someone in their audience for being too harsh in their feedback for reviews and articles.

It’s funny and sad, because the truth is that their intentions are anything but malicious.

The way I see it, as long as the criticism is constructive and given context – explaining why the point has been reached – then everything is, as the kids used to say, “good in the ‘hood.” This leads me to a comment I discovered on the discussed video review that absolutely put a smile on my face.

DCB3-VidReview-Comment

While the view count for my Book Three video review isn’t anywhere as high as the one I did for Book Two, comments like that absolutely make the whole thing worthwhile.