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A Change in the Way Gaming Magazines Preview Games?

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    LachLach Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Spacehog85 wrote: »
    How about a change in the way gaming magazines review games Game Informer in particular. Due to the fact that on their staff of crack writers, one of them had an issue with Team Fortress 2 not having a deathmatch mode.

    WTF?

    I mean, really, dosent the title of the game do a pretty good job of conveying the point of the game?
    Lets go to Mr. Webster for his advice, shall we?

    Main Entry: team
    Pronunciation: \ˈtēm\
    Function: noun
    Etymology: Middle English teme, from Old English tēam offspring, lineage, group of draft animals; akin to Old High German zoum rein, Old English tēon to draw, pull — more at tow
    Date: before 12th century
    1 a: two or more draft animals harnessed to the same vehicle or implement; also : these with their harness and attached vehicle b: a draft animal often with harness and vehicle
    2: obsolete : lineage, race
    3: a group of animals: as a: a brood especially of young pigs or ducks b: a matched group of animals for exhibition
    4: a number of persons associated together in work or activity: as a: a group on one side (as in football or a debate) b: crew, gang

    Main Entry: for·tress
    Pronunciation: \ˈfȯr-trəs\
    Function: noun
    Etymology: Middle English forteresse, from Anglo-French fortelesce, forteresse, from Medieval Latin fortalitia, from Latin fortis strong
    Date: 14th century
    : a fortified place : stronghold; especially : a large and permanent fortification sometimes including a town

    So, if a someone, who knew nothing about Team Fortress before they purchased it should be able to gather two things;

    First: You play on a team

    Second: there may be a fortress of somekind involved.

    Sorry for the rant, just that everytime I read that review it pisses me off more.

    Along similar lines, it really puts a bean in my shoe when reviewers mark a game down for not including multiplayer. To how many games is multiplayer an indisputable necessity? Is it ok to strive for a triumphant one-player experience anymore or should games become glutted by obligatory multiplayer features? Team Fortress 2, obviously, is a game whose existence is completely entwined with multiplayer, but what about Metroid Prime?

    Wait, how do support classes work in deathmatch? Idiots.

    They're just trying their best to be "objective". Facts are easy to write about. I can say that a game has this feature or it's missing that feature. It's absolutely ridiculous. They should be telling me why it is fun or why it isn't fun.

    Lach on
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    EvilBadmanEvilBadman DO NOT TRUST THIS MAN Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    I know I'm preaching to the chorus here (and it's reviewers), but goddamn I hate numbered rating systems. Give me a BUY RENT PASS any day of the week.

    EvilBadman on
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    bruinbruin Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    EvilBadman wrote: »
    I know I'm preaching to the chorus here (and it's reviewers), but goddamn I hate numbered rating systems. Give me a BUY RENT PASS any day of the week.

    Yeah, something that actually has meaning outside of you know, "review scores" is so much better than a 9 or a 68 or an 8.3. At Saving Progress we use letter grades, A is great, B is good, C is average, D is bad, F is terrible. People understand what it means from school. Nobody really knows what it means when a reviewer gives a game a 7.9.

    bruin on
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    korodullinkorodullin What. SCRegistered User regular
    edited October 2007
    The_Scarab wrote: »
    Now the flipside is, say, GFW magazine. the previews they do are completely unbiased, and the way you can tell this is when they flat out call high profile games shit beyond belief, even in a preview.

    Hell, I think one of GFW's earlier podcasts discussed almost exclusively the kind of pickle they always find themselves in when trying to write previews, and Jeff has given examples in the past of shit writing that some of their writers have come up with.

    korodullin on
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    CronusCronus Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    The main problem with previews is the same problem in any area of the press. If you don't do a glowing preview of a game then you will not see that game, or at least you will not get it early and you will get it without all the press extras. Reviews tend to be a lot fairer, but you will still see this. I take any major review with a grain of salt as I know how the system works and that the system is a set up to be a continuous feedback loop producing high previews/reviews.

    The only magazine in recent memory to be pretty good when it came to this stuff was CGW. Of course they are now GFW, but I haven't been turned away by them yet and will probably keep my subscription when the time of renewal comes.

    Cronus on
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    ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Arbitrary scores FTW!

    The icing on the cake is always the explanations for each rating. "8 means good, 9 means excellent, 10 means perfect." So why bother with your damn numbers!? They don't mean anything. "Oh hey, this got an 8...I have no idea what that means." State the facts, tell me it's positives and negatives, give me a bottom line (the aforementioned BUY/RENT/PASS would work really well). The number is useless without reading the review anyway.

    Zombiemambo on
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    Disco BanditDisco Bandit Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    God, some reviews are dog shit. The IGN review that said Harry Potter: Order of the Phoneix was awesome for people who love the books? Fuck you man, I've read every book at least twice. That game is just plain dog shit.

    I don't like the current system, because although they say the games are rated 0-10, they are actually only rated 7-10. This artificially inflates scores.

    Don't bite the hands that feed you, etc.

    Disco Bandit on
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    UncleSporkyUncleSporky Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    The way IGN handles negatives in their previews is to point them out in one or two sentences at the end and then say "hopefully these issues will be ironed out before release," despite the fact that most of their previews are just about ready to be shipped and the stuff they point out is kind of a big deal.

    UncleSporky on
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    mausmalonemausmalone Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    The way IGN handles negatives in their previews is to point them out in one or two sentences at the end and then say "hopefully these issues will be ironed out before release," despite the fact that most of their previews are just about ready to be shipped and the stuff they point out is kind of a big deal.

    Perhaps they need to be more complete in their disclosure, but I think this is a relatively decent way to diplomatically solve the problem. It allows a preview writer to be critical while not burning bridges. They can still get exclusives, and we still get (somewhat) balanced previews.

    Now if only I didn't hate the site itself. The biggest detractor from IGN is the sheer bulk of that carnival freakshow they call a homepage. When most go for bells and whistles, they're going for sirens and air-horns*.

    EDIT: *hopefully they'll be able to fix this before launch :P

    mausmalone on
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    MHYoshimitzuMHYoshimitzu Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Cronus wrote: »
    The main problem with previews is the same problem in any area of the press. If you don't do a glowing preview of a game then you will not see that game, or at least you will not get it early and you will get it without all the press extras. Reviews tend to be a lot fairer, but you will still see this. I take any major review with a grain of salt as I know how the system works and that the system is a set up to be a continuous feedback loop producing high previews/reviews.

    The only magazine in recent memory to be pretty good when it came to this stuff was CGW. Of course they are now GFW, but I haven't been turned away by them yet and will probably keep my subscription when the time of renewal comes.

    I don't remember exactly, but I remember one particular company that blamed a magazine or a website's reviews of their game on their overall sales of that game, simply because their game got a shitty review that the developers didn't believe was warranted.

    Does anyone remember what I'm talking about?

    MHYoshimitzu on
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    LachLach Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Game previews are an extension of the publisher's marketing department. They're used to build up hype for a game. We don't see any authors sending their first drafts to writer's digest or Spielberg sending rough cuts of his latest film to a reviewer.

    Maybe the industry is just that different, but my opinion is that previews only help the magazine and the developers/publishers (Unless of course they write a negative preview).

    Lach on
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    CronusCronus Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Cronus wrote: »
    The main problem with previews is the same problem in any area of the press. If you don't do a glowing preview of a game then you will not see that game, or at least you will not get it early and you will get it without all the press extras. Reviews tend to be a lot fairer, but you will still see this. I take any major review with a grain of salt as I know how the system works and that the system is a set up to be a continuous feedback loop producing high previews/reviews.

    The only magazine in recent memory to be pretty good when it came to this stuff was CGW. Of course they are now GFW, but I haven't been turned away by them yet and will probably keep my subscription when the time of renewal comes.

    I don't remember exactly, but I remember one particular company that blamed a magazine or a website's reviews of their game on their overall sales of that game, simply because their game got a shitty review that the developers didn't believe was warranted.

    Does anyone remember what I'm talking about?

    I can't think of one for a shipped game, but weren't there complaints about a preview for Too Human, saying that it was unfair as much of what was in the preview wasn't complete.

    Some of this comes back around to the PA comic about previews. Can you imagine movies or books if you constantly saw it for the second half of it's dev cycle. If publishers and developers would stay quiet about their game much longer it would probably do better. Cevat Yerli said that Crytek was revealed way too early and that it was very difficult to maintain the hype for the game and that people appreciated the engine less and less as it has been longer and longer since they had first seen what it could do.

    Cronus on
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