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A necessary change to video game reviews and criticism?

2

Posts

  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray the swamp, always the swampRegistered User regular
    Are you guys taking your reviews from internet sites? I never placed much trust in them, mostly because I can't seem to get an idea of where the writer is coming from. There's some famous reviewers out there who you can rely on to have certain silly opinions. Like Yathzee hates MMOs, just wait for his SWTOR review where he will describe how he got lost during the first mission and saw someone say something stupid in a chat channel. He's at his most interesting when he's describing games in genres he genuinely holds dear.

    I am subscribed to a Belgian monthly magazine called Gameplay, all articles are written by specific people who keep to the same style of writing, pay attention to the same aspects of games and who all have their favourite genres. They're from Belgium, so it's wise to take their reviews of Belgian games with a grain of salt (Divine Divinity series score ~80/100s, they keep referring to Outcast as a fantastic game). They haven't had many other failures during the time I have been subscribed to them. They paid too much attention to Black & White for example, with monthly dev journals about all these amazing features. They seem to have learned from that, though. They also keep their reviews and other articles apart, if they feel like something is worth a more elaborate column they won't try to ram it in a review and instead write a proper column.

    So you know, because they are a small magazine on a monthly basis they have a reputation to uphold, they have a reliable name and people would unsubscribe if that would be tarnished. I have the feeling that internet sites don't think enough about their reputation but rely too much on their ability to write about news as it occurs. Their reviews are only part of why people visit their website, after all.

    /$.02

    Elendil wrote: »
    said Aldo hazily, before clop-clop-clopping out of the room
  • flamebroiledchickenflamebroiledchicken Registered User regular
    The only places for games journalism that I find even remotely respectable are Rock, Paper, Shotgun and Kill Screen. Suprise surprise, neither of them give numerical scores in their reviews.

  • SlicerSlicer Registered User regular
    The only places for games journalism that I find even remotely respectable are Rock, Paper, Shotgun and Kill Screen. Suprise surprise, neither of them give numerical scores in their reviews.

    Much as I wish this was the norm because really, giving out a score means many people will just ignore what you say in your review and just skip to the score, I've heard that places like Metacritic won't list your reviews if you don't use some sort of grading scale and unfortunately plenty of sites need those page hits so they go with it whether they want to or not.

  • TheCanManTheCanMan Registered User regular
    Yar wrote:
    I didn't know that P-A was getting into reviews. The funny thing is that a lot of Tycho's posts, partcularly in ye oldenne dayes, were reviews that weren't called reviews. I like to read what Gabe or Tycho have to say on games, but not necessarily as a final determination.

    Ben Kuchera from Ars Technica will be doing game reviews for PA.

  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    is he going to be writing primarily reviews? I had the sense it'd be mostly industry news and commentary, which is a lot more interesting than simple reviews

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  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote:
    I wonder if the new hire at Penny Arcade is reading this thread, and what his thoughts are as PA moves into the game review space now?

    If it's Ben Kuchera we're talking about, I was always a fan of him on Ars. Especially the lack of any discernible number scale (which even kept them off metacritic, which is the devil).

    He broke it down to buy, rent, or pass and expected you to read the review if you wanted more. And his verbiage was usually pretty useful to me. I still think my best resource is the g&t forum, but his reviews seemed more worthwhile than most to me.

  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    Like Yathzee hates MMOs, just wait for his SWTOR review where he will describe how he got lost during the first mission and saw someone say something stupid in a chat channel. He's at his most interesting when he's describing games in genres he genuinely holds dear.

    The thing I like about Yahtzee at least is he's quite up front about his prejudices. And it's not like a lot of the things complains about in MMOs aren't perfectly true, either.

    Generally I watch all of Yahtzee's videos (mostly for the humor), but if the flaws he's attacking don't actually sound that bad to me, I can guess it's probably actually a good game. Or if he's complaining about something that makes me go, "Oh god, I HATE that kind of thing" then it's a good tip that it's not for me. He's actually a pretty good reviewer, it just takes a bit of adjustment to interpret the reviews to be useful.

    History is an account, mostly false, of events, mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers, mostly knaves, and soldiers, mostly fools.
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Kana wrote:
    Like Yathzee hates MMOs, just wait for his SWTOR review where he will describe how he got lost during the first mission and saw someone say something stupid in a chat channel. He's at his most interesting when he's describing games in genres he genuinely holds dear.

    The thing I like about Yahtzee at least is he's quite up front about his prejudices. And it's not like a lot of the things complains about in MMOs aren't perfectly true, either.

    Generally I watch all of Yahtzee's videos (mostly for the humor), but if the flaws he's attacking don't actually sound that bad to me, I can guess it's probably actually a good game. Or if he's complaining about something that makes me go, "Oh god, I HATE that kind of thing" then it's a good tip that it's not for me. He's actually a pretty good reviewer, it just takes a bit of adjustment to interpret the reviews to be useful.

    Yahtzee hates the MMO grind. The whole "go here, kill 200 bears, collect 10 bears asses" thing. Especially when it's not even jazzed up. Which, you know, is not exactly an uncommon complaint even from MMO players. Or all that silly either. He seemed to rather enjoy Cataclysm's revamped questing stuff. He'll probably like SWTOR for the same and then rag on it for still just being a grindy MMO in the end, underneath the prattle.

    Oh, and he also somewhat dislikes the soul-destroying addictive qualities of them.

    Neither of these are exactly unfair or fringe opinions.


    Yahtzee's really useful because he's absolutely honest about what he thinks, why he thinks it and what the things he likes are. You may not agree with him, but you get a good sense of the type of game it is.

  • tehjestertehjester Tampa, FlRegistered User regular
    i think if you're going to give a review of a game then you shouldn't base it on a numerical score or even a letter grade. write a full review of the game citing things that were done well and things that weren't and give your overall impression of the game in a few lines or so. and if the score or grade is absolutely necessary then have a "bottom line" that's just a few words or less. something like "meh", "only for fans of the series", "i'd rather bbq than play this game" or the ever popular "just one more level and i'll stop", just something that sums up the experience quickly and mercilessly.

    and while i'm on this soapbox, stop talking about the game's graphics. seriously, why is that still part of the review? most games these days look great and that really shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. start being critical of something that actually will enhance/ruin the game and gameplay itself like story or camera, respectively. i've played a lot of great games where the camera was just frustrating at some of the most critical times. and we've all played games that were great but the story was lacking, non-existent or just laughable (i'm looking at you Gears of War).

    just one man's opinion

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  • EggyToastEggyToast Registered User regular
    Some people are explicitly interested in features, though. When I play NSMBWii, I want to know -- does it play like a normal sidescrolling Mario game, and what are the different features? What's more, it can be difficult to explain how a game is better or worse than other, similar games, especially for games that are relatively new, and as a good writer, you need to assume that your audience hasn't played every single game in the genre. But you also need to assume that people who have played every game in the genre will read your review.

    I think there is value in having a score, and most games are relatively bug-free, and if a game is playable and at least competent, then it warrants that it should have a review score that expresses that. A game that ranks a 6.0 implies that it's boring and has some annoying things, but that it works and you can play it. When you get into the 5's and below, that implies that the game is actually broken, which is why we see few games that rank a 1-5. But, more importantly, a score gives people some way to relate games to one another -- similar to other forms of media. If you don't play every sandbox game, but you find yourself interested in one, how do you pick one that's good? If Uncharted 3 comes out and I think "I wonder how it compares to the previous game," it's very quick to check the average score. And look:

    Uncharted 1: 88
    Uncharted 2: 96
    Uncharted 3: 92

    If you read the reviews, you'll see that most people believed Uncharted 2 was a big improvement on Uncharted 1, but that Uncharted 1 was still a fun, enjoyable game. Uncharted 3, on the other hand, is a step down from Uncharted 2. Still very fun, still a good game, but not as good as Uncharted 2. And, again, that comes through in the actual written parts of the review. So, the scores, especially when aggregated, do tell a story and are useful. If a game in a genre I don't like gets great reviews, I won't really care, but if it's in a genre I love, I may buy it even with mediocre reviews because I love the genre. That's no different from movies, and like movies, you do need to read the review to see what it is that the reviewer actually likes or dislikes.

    I think the biggest difference in games is that we actually play and interact with them, and as such, a person's skill level comes into play. Most of us appreciate a good story, but we're primarily there to play, not watch, and many people play games very differently. That's a difficult element of a game to gauge, and even games deal with it differently. And, unlike movies and other forms of media, games often have a strong element of frustration in them, and how someone reacts to that frustration is unique.

    That's also why there seem to be so many channels for game reviews, too, and why people trust different sources. There's tons of game review sites, and many have been around for quite a while which implies that there's still something worthwhile to being in the game review business. Even for those of us who primarily use forums, knowing that "formal" reviews and scores are available are a backup system for checking what you're told -- if a forum seems positive about a game but you don't know much about it, checking the reviews and score can be a good gut check for whether you'd like it yourself. Just because a forum likes a game doesn't mean everyone's going to like it (Disgaea), and similarly there's plenty of games that people enjoy quite a bit (sports games) that many forums dislike.

    Still, even aggregate sites like Metacritic understand that the scoring system is tilted, as visible in how they describe the rating between movies and games. An "88" in movies is "universal acclaim," while an "88" in games is "generally favorable." And these reviews are used by more than just people who are gamers and visit forums all day, as well.

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  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    Alternately, you could infer that Uncharted 2 got a bigger marketing budget, or that it was released against weaker games with less advertising, but that Uncharted 3 was released against more widely anticipated games with a larger buzz and more marketing money.

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  • TheCanManTheCanMan Registered User regular
    is he going to be writing primarily reviews? I had the sense it'd be mostly industry news and commentary, which is a lot more interesting than simple reviews

    I'm not sure that have that completely fleshed out yet. But I'm assuming it'll be a bit of both.

  • spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Yahtzee can't be relief on for reviews of RPGs, because he hates the genre and all it's conventions.

  • JuliusJulius Registered User regular
    EggyToast wrote:

    Still, even aggregate sites like Metacritic understand that the scoring system is tilted, as visible in how they describe the rating between movies and games. An "88" in movies is "universal acclaim," while an "88" in games is "generally favorable." And these reviews are used by more than just people who are gamers and visit forums all day, as well.

    This is honestly the only problem that I think is really a problem. Games have gotten so much better so fast and the industry is so different that the scoring system just looks out of wack compared to any other thing you might rate.

  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    and while i'm on this soapbox, stop talking about the game's graphics. seriously, why is that still part of the review? most games these days look great and that really shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. start being critical of something that actually will enhance/ruin the game and gameplay itself like story or camera, respectively. i've played a lot of great games where the camera was just frustrating at some of the most critical times. and we've all played games that were great but the story was lacking, non-existent or just laughable (i'm looking at you Gears of War).

    I REALLY hate that. I remember Disgaea getting tons of shitty review scores because it had 'bad graphics', which was just so painfully obviously missing the point of the game that I pretty much gave up on official reviews after that.

    History is an account, mostly false, of events, mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers, mostly knaves, and soldiers, mostly fools.
  • JuliusJulius Registered User regular
    tehjester wrote:
    and while i'm on this soapbox, stop talking about the game's graphics. seriously, why is that still part of the review? most games these days look great and that really shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. start being critical of something that actually will enhance/ruin the game and gameplay itself like story or camera, respectively. i've played a lot of great games where the camera was just frustrating at some of the most critical times. and we've all played games that were great but the story was lacking, non-existent or just laughable (i'm looking at you Gears of War).

    I love Gears of War's story because it is so ridiculous.

    Anyway, if it weren't for people giving a shit about graphics we wouldn't have the amazing graphics we have today. Graphics are an important part of games.

    But there are two ways of talking about graphics, the wrong one is the silly obsession with pixels and rendering 500 hairs as if it is important, the right one is talking about the actual art of it. Current graphics have made it possible to make games with such style and art that it would be dumb to not talk about it.

  • Linespider5Linespider5 I'll see you in 24 hours. Registered User regular
    edited January 2012
    There was a fair period of time where Caltrops really hit the mark. It's drastic, but when you see a review that says either Positive! or Negative! as the header link, well, I found it pretty refreshing. I'm willing to read why a game succeeds or fails, and, yes, you can say the gameplay is excellent but grouse on the story, or, maybe it's not innovative, or, maybe you prefer it how it's done in Japan, or you find the art style offensive and you can't get past it, or there's some kind of online component that's repulsive, or there's too much/not enough of a certain element that's not for everybody anyway, or...

    There's just a ton of ways you can slice a game up these days. A lot of it's just clogging up the machinery.

    Just tell me if I wanna play it, then tell me why.

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  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Yahtzee can't be relief on for reviews of RPGs, because he hates the genre and all it's conventions.

    ????

    He seems to enjoy many of them. Theirs nothing wrong with hating the conventions of a genre when those conventions suck.

    Alot of games have elements in them solely because other games of that type did and not because those elements are actually any good.

  • EggyToastEggyToast Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote:
    Alternately, you could infer that Uncharted 2 got a bigger marketing budget, or that it was released against weaker games with less advertising, but that Uncharted 3 was released against more widely anticipated games with a larger buzz and more marketing money.

    It's true, although I think hype is overrated (ahem). Uncharted 3 was hyped because Uncharted 2 was a very good game, but I don't think most reviewers compare a game to other games that are coming out at the same time. I wasn't paying attention to any of the marketing buzz -- I just saw "Oh cool, new Uncharted game" -- but put it on the backburner when I read a couple reviews saying it was good, but not as good, as 2. I'll buy it eventually.

    Still, if you aggregate a game's scores, that should counteract the "paid reviews" slant. Perhaps if a game's marketing budget is enough to pay off everyone, but I don't think *everyone* is corrupt in the review industry. Not to mention that aggregate sites are happy to highlight positive, mediocre, and negative reviews, to give an idea of what's good and bad.

    I regularly find more information that's relevant in the "bad" reviews, since they highlight problems with the game. If the
    Kana wrote:
    and while i'm on this soapbox, stop talking about the game's graphics. seriously, why is that still part of the review? most games these days look great and that really shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. start being critical of something that actually will enhance/ruin the game and gameplay itself like story or camera, respectively. i've played a lot of great games where the camera was just frustrating at some of the most critical times. and we've all played games that were great but the story was lacking, non-existent or just laughable (i'm looking at you Gears of War).

    I REALLY hate that. I remember Disgaea getting tons of shitty review scores because it had 'bad graphics', which was just so painfully obviously missing the point of the game that I pretty much gave up on official reviews after that.

    Disgaea was a very unique game, though. Yes, it had shitty graphics, but it was also a weird mix of SRPG and pseudo-grinding with extreme min-maxing. That's not for everyone, and it's fair to knock it for having shitty graphics. I enjoyed Disgaea, but it's a hard game to recommend because it's dense. The forums here loved it, but just because PA liked it doesn't mean it's something you should buy -- it's still a unique taste.

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  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote:
    spool32 wrote:
    I wonder if the new hire at Penny Arcade is reading this thread, and what his thoughts are as PA moves into the game review space now?

    If it's Ben Kuchera we're talking about, I was always a fan of him on Ars. Especially the lack of any discernible number scale (which even kept them off metacritic, which is the devil).

    He broke it down to buy, rent, or pass and expected you to read the review if you wanted more. And his verbiage was usually pretty useful to me. I still think my best resource is the g&t forum, but his reviews seemed more worthwhile than most to me.

    He still needs to be beaten with the ol' board of education for his article pushing for E3 to move to Vegas (A. K. A. Ben fails to grasp the point of E3).

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  • SlicerSlicer Registered User regular
    shryke wrote:
    Yahtzee can't be relief on for reviews of RPGs, because he hates the genre and all it's conventions.

    ????

    He seems to enjoy many of them. Theirs nothing wrong with hating the conventions of a genre when those conventions suck.

    Alot of games have elements in them solely because other games of that type did and not because those elements are actually any good.

    Yahtzee definitely gives them a fair chance. He just hates some problems that are present in a lot of games in the genre, like tedious amounts of grinding in JRPGS and what not.

    It's okay to be biased anyways, because a review is an opinion. I'd rather someone like Yahtzee state how he feels about a game instead of saying something that's disingenuous.

  • JuliusJulius Registered User regular
    Slicer wrote:
    shryke wrote:
    Yahtzee can't be relief on for reviews of RPGs, because he hates the genre and all it's conventions.

    ????

    He seems to enjoy many of them. Theirs nothing wrong with hating the conventions of a genre when those conventions suck.

    Alot of games have elements in them solely because other games of that type did and not because those elements are actually any good.

    Yahtzee definitely gives them a fair chance. He just hates some problems that are present in a lot of games in the genre, like tedious amounts of grinding in JRPGS and what not.

    It's okay to be biased anyways, because a review is an opinion. I'd rather someone like Yahtzee state how he feels about a game instead of saying something that's disingenuous.

    Some people think his criticisms are unfair because "he is missing the point". Which makes it sound like tedious grinding is the point instead of something that we don't need to put in games.

  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Julius wrote:
    Slicer wrote:
    shryke wrote:
    Yahtzee can't be relief on for reviews of RPGs, because he hates the genre and all it's conventions.

    ????

    He seems to enjoy many of them. Theirs nothing wrong with hating the conventions of a genre when those conventions suck.

    Alot of games have elements in them solely because other games of that type did and not because those elements are actually any good.

    Yahtzee definitely gives them a fair chance. He just hates some problems that are present in a lot of games in the genre, like tedious amounts of grinding in JRPGS and what not.

    It's okay to be biased anyways, because a review is an opinion. I'd rather someone like Yahtzee state how he feels about a game instead of saying something that's disingenuous.

    Some people think his criticisms are unfair because "he is missing the point". Which makes it sound like tedious grinding is the point instead of something that we don't need to put in games.

    You'd be amazed what people think are "the point" of many genres. Especially RPGs in my experience.

  • override367override367 Registered User regular
    edited January 2012
    Well I think dialogue is "The point" as an example of something he hates in RPGs, Yahtzee enjoys games that are about shooting swarms of enemies with shurikans and lightning and that's fine - but it doesn't mean mass effect is a bad game

    I'd play Mass Effect over Painkiller any day of the week

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  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Well I think dialogue is "The point" as an example of something he hates in RPGs, Yahtzee enjoys games that are about shooting swarms of enemies with shurikans and lightning and that's fine - but it doesn't mean mass effect is a bad game

    I'd play Mass Effect over Painkiller any day of the week

    He doesn't hate dialogue, he hates rambly endless dialogue.

    Many people in RPGs talk too fucking much.

  • override367override367 Registered User regular
    edited January 2012
    He isn't a fan of any RPG, western or Japanese, because they all contain too much dialogue and he doesn't like dialogue - unless its an RPG shooter like Bioshock or System Shock 2

    If a game's story is more complex than "president has been kidnapped by ninjas" as far as what the player is required to understand, it's not really Yahtzee's bag

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  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    He isn't a fan of any RPG, western or Japanese, because they all contain too much dialogue and he doesn't like dialogue - unless its an RPG shooter like Bioshock or System Shock 2

    If a game's story is more complex than "president has been kidnapped by ninjas" as far as what the player is required to understand, it's not really Yahtzee's bag

    ??? He's liked a bunch of RPGs. He even liked Mass Effect 2 as I remember. He just thought people talked too fucking much.

    Funnily, Extra Credits makes this point too fairly often, where they point out that a video game should tell it's story through gameplay not endless yabbering. Keep the dialogue short and punchy and don't let it distract from the gameplay.


    He does hate JRPGs though. Which is the best opinion to have.

  • HenroidHenroid Nobody Nowhere fastRegistered User regular
    ElJeffe wrote:
    The biggest problem is not that game reviews are unreliable or rigged. It's that they're unnecessary. There are about twenty better ways to gauge whether or not you will like a game than reading the opienions of some random guy. Demos, word of mouth, blogs, forums. And given the prevalence of sequels and franchises, I'd wager that most people know exactly what a gae will be like well before they buy it, and base tehir purchasing decisions accordingly.

    Reviews exist for other sources of entertainment as well. I don't understand why video games should be some sort of exception.

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  • JuliusJulius Registered User regular
    shryke wrote:
    He isn't a fan of any RPG, western or Japanese, because they all contain too much dialogue and he doesn't like dialogue - unless its an RPG shooter like Bioshock or System Shock 2

    If a game's story is more complex than "president has been kidnapped by ninjas" as far as what the player is required to understand, it's not really Yahtzee's bag

    ??? He's liked a bunch of RPGs. He even liked Mass Effect 2 as I remember. He just thought people talked too fucking much.

    Funnily, Extra Credits makes this point too fairly often, where they point out that a video game should tell it's story through gameplay not endless yabbering. Keep the dialogue short and punchy and don't let it distract from the gameplay.

    Yeah it's the "show don't tell" thing. The basic thing is that some RPGs are a book and a game. Your actions are not linked to the story except in specific locations, it's "go there and fight that to get to read the next chapter" and it could be "go there and then your actions will be the story".

    And there are a lot of games that actually do it right. Shit, even Gears of War has a story that is silly but at least you're doing the things that are the story all the time instead of just sometimes.

  • LilnoobsLilnoobs Alpha Queue Registered User regular
    I wonder if the state of videogame reviews is a symptom or a cause of the state of videogame stagnation (sequels, all shooter all the time, dumbing down)

  • ComahawkComahawk Registered User regular
    shryke wrote:
    Julius wrote:
    Slicer wrote:
    shryke wrote:
    Yahtzee can't be relief on for reviews of RPGs, because he hates the genre and all it's conventions.

    ????

    He seems to enjoy many of them. Theirs nothing wrong with hating the conventions of a genre when those conventions suck.

    Alot of games have elements in them solely because other games of that type did and not because those elements are actually any good.

    Yahtzee definitely gives them a fair chance. He just hates some problems that are present in a lot of games in the genre, like tedious amounts of grinding in JRPGS and what not.

    It's okay to be biased anyways, because a review is an opinion. I'd rather someone like Yahtzee state how he feels about a game instead of saying something that's disingenuous.

    Some people think his criticisms are unfair because "he is missing the point". Which makes it sound like tedious grinding is the point instead of something that we don't need to put in games.

    You'd be amazed what people think are "the point" of many genres. Especially RPGs in my experience.

    Yahtzee can miss the point, as I think is exemplified with his Eve Online review. In it he directly states that he has no interest in interacting with others or doing anything really beyond mission running. With that in mind, his review is spot on for the most part.

    However, refusing to play an MMORPG with other people is completely missing the point of an MMO. Basically, he chose to play the game in a way it was not really designed to be enjoyed, and then said the game was crap because of it.

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  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    On the other hand, his "a game should not be work" argument against EVE holds a lot of water for me.

    Uh I was going to write more about how annoyed I got at EVE, but that's not really the point of the thread.

    Anyway, at least if Yahtzee doesn't like something, you know it, and he tells you why. And he admits he's not playing the game the "right way" in his review, so you're free to take what you want from it. I like a lot of Roger Ebert or Mark Kermode reviews, and there's also times when I feel like they just don't get it. That's just going to be part of any review, if all we want is a review that always agrees with our taste it's not a review, it's affirmation.

    History is an account, mostly false, of events, mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers, mostly knaves, and soldiers, mostly fools.
  • ArchsorcererArchsorcerer Registered User regular
    edited January 2012
    Lilnoobs wrote:
    I wonder if the state of videogame reviews is a symptom or a cause of the state of videogame stagnation (sequels, all shooter all the time, dumbing down)

    Not really. I think critique of videogames should be developed.

    Problem is that critique is subjective. Also we would need people that would do critique know how to make videogames, how they work in and out.

    Critique and game reviewing should help us, not to embrace superb game masterpieces and shun works with less than 4 stars, but to develop our own criteria and, let's say, our own sense of critique and share it with others.

    I don't watch many movies. The last 3 movies I went to a movie theater to watch were the Lord of the Rings trilogy, after that I've only rented a number of movies I can count with the fingers in my hands. But I like reading Armond White's film reviews. I agree and disagree with his opinions and I know he is not always gonna get every little thing a film maker puts in a movie.

    He cannot understand Gomorra like a Napolitan.

    I enjoyed a recent appearance of him on the /film podcast. http://www.slashfilm.com/filmcast-dark-ep-164-state-film-criticism-toy-story-3-guest-armond-white-cityarts/

    Also, I think what Sony Movies tried to do with the embargo to the New Yorker critics after the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo screening reflects some of the issues of game journalism. That PR and marketing departments want to exert control on the media, and therefore, the market.

    Check this if you got the chance: http://cityarts.info/2011/12/14/embargo-blues-reflections-on-the-film-critic-business/

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  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Comahawk wrote:
    shryke wrote:
    Julius wrote:
    Slicer wrote:
    shryke wrote:
    Yahtzee can't be relief on for reviews of RPGs, because he hates the genre and all it's conventions.

    ????

    He seems to enjoy many of them. Theirs nothing wrong with hating the conventions of a genre when those conventions suck.

    Alot of games have elements in them solely because other games of that type did and not because those elements are actually any good.

    Yahtzee definitely gives them a fair chance. He just hates some problems that are present in a lot of games in the genre, like tedious amounts of grinding in JRPGS and what not.

    It's okay to be biased anyways, because a review is an opinion. I'd rather someone like Yahtzee state how he feels about a game instead of saying something that's disingenuous.

    Some people think his criticisms are unfair because "he is missing the point". Which makes it sound like tedious grinding is the point instead of something that we don't need to put in games.

    You'd be amazed what people think are "the point" of many genres. Especially RPGs in my experience.

    Yahtzee can miss the point, as I think is exemplified with his Eve Online review. In it he directly states that he has no interest in interacting with others or doing anything really beyond mission running. With that in mind, his review is spot on for the most part.

    However, refusing to play an MMORPG with other people is completely missing the point of an MMO. Basically, he chose to play the game in a way it was not really designed to be enjoyed, and then said the game was crap because of it.

    Except most MMOs these days you can basically play solo. Shit, it's emphasized in most these days.

  • CaptainNemoCaptainNemo Ascension. Ascension. Hallelujah. Registered User regular
    Am I alone in taking Yahtzee as a humorist first and a reviewer second? Because he flat out says as much.

    Raoul Duke wrote:
    There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. Some kind of high powered mutant never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.

    I have a tumblr.
    Check it out.
  • reVersereVerse Never odd or even Registered User regular
    Am I alone in taking Yahtzee as a humorist first and a reviewer second? Because he flat out says as much.

    Whenever I've seen the question "do you consider yourself a real reviewer" come up, he always answers "yes".

    Just because he aims to amuse doesn't invalidate his opinions and views.

  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    I think yahtzee's a perfectly good reviewer, but he definitely focuses on the negative whenever possible for humor, and that's mainly why I watch it, since most games he reviews I already know I have no interest in seeing anyway.

    History is an account, mostly false, of events, mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers, mostly knaves, and soldiers, mostly fools.
  • LilnoobsLilnoobs Alpha Queue Registered User regular
    He's as real as any IGN, Gametrailers, or Gamespot reviewer.

  • never dienever die Registered User regular
    Lilnoobs wrote:
    I wonder if the state of videogame reviews is a symptom or a cause of the state of videogame stagnation (sequels, all shooter all the time, dumbing down)

    I feel like this is a very subjective feeling right here, as I have heard no real consensus about whether or not video games are stagnating. Hell, shooters today are on average a lot deeper than the shooters of 10-15 years ago, with more involved, engaging stories. On top of that, a lot of the largest video game series were not even series a couple of years ago (Assassins Creed, Dragon Age, Mass Effect, the Arkham series, Dead Space, Uncharted, Left 4 Dead, Bioshock, F.E.A.R.) and instead became popular on their own merits. Then there are games like L.A. Noire or Heavy Rain that just burst onto the scene. The video game business, like other entertainment businesses, focuses on sequels because they print money and have established fan bases. In the era of the PS2 and before how many fucking Dynasty Warrior games were there? How many Ratchet and Clank? Jak and Daxter? Syphon Filter? Halo? Mario games? Zelda games? Final Fantasy? Dragon Quest? Pokemon?

    On the topic of reviewers, I feel that it is more of finding reviewers you agree with. For quite awhile I felt that Gamespot nailed perfectly my feelings about video games, and X-Play did a decent job as well.

    Spoiler:
  • StollsStolls Registered User regular
    I always wonder how many common complaints of games journalism stem from deeper issues, the same ones that keep regular news from asking too many questions. I figure they split the difference, with half related to broader media problems, and half unique to where games sit as entertainment. The industry usually doesn't need investigative journalism, and on the rare cases when it does the resulting mess tends to draw regular media attention, who are at least better equipped for it. There's certainly plenty to talk about, but it more boils down to opinions and analysis.

    There was some journalist survey in a G&T industry thread a while back, and if I recall right a lot of them were raising the same complaints: problems with review scores, too-cozy relationships with publishers, lousy pay, having to write the five-millionth preview of MW3, and so on. That's part of what makes me think the root of the problem goes further, that the state of journalism reflects the industry itself. I suspect any significant improvement in one requires the same of the other.

    Mild tangent: Oddly enough, it's not often that I seriously disagree with the scoring averages. I'm fairly lenient myself as long as I found the game entertaining, but I can usually see where the consensus is coming from; e.g. "I realize such-and-such did X and Y badly, but I thought it did Z pretty well. Not great, but I've played a lot worse." For related reasons I've been trying to cut back on hyperbole*, because if I think Big Budget Game X is everything that is wrong with modern gaming, then I need something a lot stronger to describe a game where the installer doesn't work.

    But I digress. Where one would even begin 'fixing' journalism or the industry, I could only guess.


    *this is a work in progress

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