Site FAQ

September 1st, 2006 by Tommy Gun

Rabbit Runs:

What’s a Rabbit Run?
Short answer: It’s sort of a hybrid speed run / gameplay video.

Long answer: A Rabbit Run is not a speed run. It’s a video of a level or section of a game done quickly, with emphasis on showing all the cool stuff (vehicles, weapons, moves, etc.). Shortcuts are allowed (e.g. secret passages), but no glitches (e.g. jumping through a wall). The intent is to show actual gameplay, but to keep it interesting and do it quickly to keep it from being an hour long video. In a pure speed run you try to skip everything you can (including using glitches), kill as few people as you can, never stop running, etc. That’s really not fun to watch if you just want to see the game (especially since they’re usually headache-inducing).

Watching a raw video of someone playing a game normally also isn’t fun. Who wants to wait while they figure out what to do, or die a bunch of times? These runs are practiced ahead of time, and there is thought put into these to try to show all the cool stuff and keep them short and entertaining.

What are the guidelines for a Rabbit Run?
Here’s the basic list of goals, although they’re not all required:

  • Pick a good level that shows off a lot of elements, preferably from around the middle of the game (or earlier) so there aren’t as many spoilers.
  • Keep it entertaining.
  • Show as many cool things as you can (weapons, tricks, moves).
  • Do it as quickly as possible, but don’t do things like bunny-hop (ironic, isn’t it?) the whole thing because that’s annoying to watch. Same with running diagonally just because it’s faster, and so on.
  • Do it as flawlessly as you can. However, sometimes a mistake is worth showing. For instance, in the Getting Up Rabbit Run there is a part where Tommy tried to jump over a wall, but the auto-grab made him land on it. Clearly a mistake, but it really shows how that can get annoying, which is something you’ll experience playing the game.
  • Don’t use any glitches.
  • Try to keep the video under 15 min. Ten minutes is a good average.
  • Attempt a single-segment (uncut video) run if you’re up to the challenge.
Why are they called Rabbit Runs?
We’ve named them rabbit runs because of the obvious connection to our site name, but also because they’re quick and stay within the normal boundries. If you haven’t played the game and want to see some “real” gameplay, or if you just want to revisit the game, these are for you. Plus, we may do some tricks you haven’t seen before. We didn’t want to call them “quick runs” or something similar so as not to mislead people.
If these runs are practiced, doesn’t that automatically contradict the “normal gameplay” idea?
In some cases, maybe. In the Getting Up Rabbit Run there is a whole lot of combat towards the end. By the time the run was filmed, Tommy was much better at the combat than he was the first time he was there, and it actually looks much more exciting and easier. Instances like these will be mentioned in the run notes.

Trust us though, we’re not that good, and we’re lazy, so these are no expert runs. They should still give you a pretty good idea of what you’ll experience.

Rants and Articles:

You seem to bitch about games a lot. Why are you doing this if you hate them so much?
If you think about it, it’s the games you like that get the most criticism. If the game is terrible you throw it in the corner and never look at it again, because it’s not even worth talking about. We like discussing what works in a game and what doesn’t, and how it could be made better.

Reviews:

Do you beat the whole game before you write a review?
Typically, yes. We think it’s unfair to developers (and readers) to review a game if we’ve only played part of it. Some games take a while to get going, or change drastically throughout the levels (e.g. Psychonauts). Since we have no deadlines, we write reviews when we feel like it, and if we’re playing a game, we’re probably going to beat it.

There may be some cases where we just have to rant about some aspect of a game we didn’t finish (a game we just absolutely couldn’t stand to keep playing), but in those cases we’ll tell you how far we got. If it doesn’t say, you can safely assume we beat the whole game.

Why are you reviewing a game that came out X years ago?
Probably because we finally got around to playing it. If you think only new games are worth playing, this probably isn’t the site for you. We know other people have stacks of games to play as well, or just never bought a certain game. Now that they’re on sale or used, you might want to pick them up. It’s also sometimes worth seeing how a game ages — in some cases games score higher with reviewers simply because of the new technology. Now that it’s no longer new, we can have a less biased opinion.
I can’t find the scores you gave the games in your reviews!
There aren’t any. We purposely don’t rate games by a number. If you really need a number, then just assume we rated it an 8 out of 10, with 6 being the highest.
Then how do I know how good the game is?
Read the review? We don’t like numbers because that assumes every gamer is the same. Some people like stealth, some people like music games, some people like FPS games, some people hate all of those things. While a rating probably compares the game to others in the same genre (not necessarily a good thing either), there are different things people want out of games, so we’d rather just address those directly. If you want numbers go read metacritic (we do). Scores are definitely a necessary evil in this business, but since so many other people are doing it, we feel we can go indepth with our reviews and do it our own way. We almost expect you to have already read other reviews.