I want to review Magicka. I will review Magicka. The difficulty around that issue right now is that the game has been full of bugs, so that in order to not frustrate myself too much (stressful times and all that--don't want to add to it), whenever I come across something in the game that is frustrating, I step back and tell myself to give it a day.
Giving it a day has been an interesting method thus far. The fine folk at Arrowhead Game Studios have been patching the game non-stop, each day bringing more bug fixes. I mean, the first day, even looking at the list of multiplayer games was a difficult experience--not to mention features that should have been present (making games private) simply weren't. Those have changed for the better by now, and it's pleasant to see the studio so ardently casting their own code-code-code-code-pizza spell at the game.
Magicka certainly seems to be faring well in terms of sales, Paradox giving sales numbers after the first few days that were indicative of a good amount of buzz having been generated. Yet, I can't review it because I haven't fully played the game.
Last year certainly had its fair share of buggy titles, whether it be from Obsidian with both Alpha Protocol and Fallout: New Vegas to buggy expansions and DLC with titles like Dragon Age: Awakening--probably many others I have yet to try. These things happen when you're building a game--I can understand that.
Which is where I wonder where we, the people who write about the games come in to the picture. Both the developers an us, the writers, ultimately are responsible to you. Right now I'm essentially giving Magicka press, and raising awareness of the title itself. From what I've played that hasn't made me step way due to a bug, it's absolutely quirky, amusing, and the mechanics are like the joy that comes from every little scientist who could out there mixing chemicals and seeing what results. Yet, without the full picture, I don't feel comfortable giving that product review in its entirety. Who knows if it will suffer from game-end fatigue, where all the good stuff is packed up front so that by the end I'm tired and nothing is particularly grabbing me? Not yet, I don't.
Here's the thing, however. While a review is theoretically to provide you, the readers, with a guide to whether or not a game would interest you, a game that is bugged, and yet actively being patched, presents one of those strange riddles. Any review I give now would not encompass the entire experience of the game--or the experience of someone who might purchase the title when it is relatively bug free in however long that takes.
Which leads me to ask, should my policy be to point toward a game and say, "There might be something good here! Maybe... But proceed at your own risk--it's bugged."? After all, I'm not the type who actively despises any game company out there, even if I may be critical of some. I want to see the industry thrive, and particularly those with ideas I believe might be beneficial (Magicka's magic system really is amusing me with trying various things).
Either way, I do hope to have a review for you next week after giving it a few more ol' GayGamer tries.