I’ve already finished the first game of the second season of Late to the Party, but at the time that I’m writing this post I still haven’t fully figured out how I want this new season of Late to the Party to differ from the old one. The approximate format of Season 1 was something like this for most of the entries:
My background with the game
Overview of the game’s story
Thoughts on the story
Thoughts on gameplay, game world
Thoughts on graphics, performance, and audio
This format worked well in that it allowed me to neatly organize my opinions into separate paragraphs, but it also made for a rigid and inflexible way of writing about games. Much like the Greek phalanx, it was strong in some ways but weak in others. If possible I’d like to try to modify this format in Season 2 and find a way to more freely flow between the various aspects of the game that I want to talk about, and maybe incorporate some of the more personal elements I introduced in Replaying the Classics. I’d also like to add another segment or two to the discussion. Right now the addition I have in mind is some sort of brief overview of where the game came from.
Should I also add some type of score at the end of these writing pieces? That debate has been raging in my head for weeks now. I intentionally avoided putting any scores in Season 1 because I didn’t think of those writing pieces as game reviews, even though they had just about all the trappings of a review. Now that I’m at the cusp of Season 2 I’m split between the part of me that wants to give it a try and the part of me that thinks game scores are a gross oversimplification of a reviewer’s thoughts on a game. Maybe I should write up the score of a game and just see how it looks with the rest of the writing piece.
One thing that will absolutely remain the same from Season 1 to Season 2, however, is the variability of the length of the writing pieces. This was a good choice back then and I’m sticking with it now. With some games I need a few thousand words to state everything I want to say, while with others I only need a few hundred.