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(Interesing) Video Game reviewers

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Posts

  • SlagmireSlagmire Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    I'd like the AVGN more if every gripe he had (whether legitimate or just for comedy's sake) not sound the same every time. I mean, it doesn't take long to have shit and cock jokes sound the same. Still, he's enjoyable to watch.

    Slagmire on
  • minigunwielderminigunwielder __BANNED USERS
    edited June 2008
    I heard:whistleinnocently: Yahtzee has been getting an ungodly amount of mail asking why he doesn't have a Disgaea/Dwarf Fortress review.

    minigunwielder on
    Your sig was too tall. -Thanatos
    delroland wrote: »
    Gumpy wrote: »
    Gumpy and Friends versus The Interesting 8

    The first post of the thread.

    That was an edited in. It originally read "Gumpy & Friends vs the Generic Bad People"
  • BinaryBinary Registered User
    edited June 2008
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    I like Kieron Gillen, because he's one of the very few who treats "game reviewing" as criticism - which is to say, he doesn't just write "should I buy this stereo"-style consumer reporting, but works as part of an established tradition that includes Lester Bangs in music, Pauline Kael in film, and Harold Bloom in literature, asking questions like "what is this trying to say and how well does it say it?" and "what does this do to move the medium forward?"

    I had never heard of this man before this post. Being American, it seems that most of his writing has been for UK magazines, but having a journalism degree and being pretty unhappy with what game writing these days has become, I was interested.

    After reading this post, I googled his name and found his essay "The New Games Journalism."

    Please, everyone, take a second out of the Yahtzee vs. AVGN debate to read it.

    This is probably the key paragraph for me:
    No matter what the precise form this tradition takes, it works of a single assumption; that the worth of a videogame lies in the videogame, and by examining it like a twitching insect fixed on a slide, we can understand it.

    New Games Journalism rejects this, and argues that the worth of a videogame lies not in the game, but in the gamer. What a gamer feels and thinks as this alien construct takes over all their sensory inputs is what’s interesting here, not just the mechanics of how it got there. Games have always been digital hallucinogens – but games journalism has been like chemistry, discussing the binding reactions to brain sites. What I’m suggesting says what it feels like as the chemical kicks in and reality is remixed around you.

    Binary on
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  • Dr SnofeldDr Snofeld Registered User
    edited June 2008
    Binary wrote: »
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    I like Kieron Gillen, because he's one of the very few who treats "game reviewing" as criticism - which is to say, he doesn't just write "should I buy this stereo"-style consumer reporting, but works as part of an established tradition that includes Lester Bangs in music, Pauline Kael in film, and Harold Bloom in literature, asking questions like "what is this trying to say and how well does it say it?" and "what does this do to move the medium forward?"

    I had never heard of this man before this post. Being American, it seems that most of his writing has been for UK magazines, but having a journalism degree and being pretty unhappy with what game writing these days has become, I was interested.

    After reading this post, I googled his name and found his essay "The New Games Journalism."

    Please, everyone, take a second out of the Yahtzee vs. AVGN debate to read it.

    This is probably the key paragraph for me:
    No matter what the precise form this tradition takes, it works of a single assumption; that the worth of a videogame lies in the videogame, and by examining it like a twitching insect fixed on a slide, we can understand it.

    New Games Journalism rejects this, and argues that the worth of a videogame lies not in the game, but in the gamer. What a gamer feels and thinks as this alien construct takes over all their sensory inputs is what’s interesting here, not just the mechanics of how it got there. Games have always been digital hallucinogens – but games journalism has been like chemistry, discussing the binding reactions to brain sites. What I’m suggesting says what it feels like as the chemical kicks in and reality is remixed around you.

    Peter Molyneux allegedly once said "You can't leave the industry, Kieron, you ARE the industry!". According to Kieron at least.

    Kieron Gillen is one quarter of Rock Paper Shotgun (www.rockpapershotgun.com), occasional writer for PC Gamer UK (which is basically Rock Paper Shotgun: The Magazine, since the RPS guys all write for it)

    I like him. I like all the PC Gamer UK writers in fact. I tried to describe what I liked about it in another thread and made it sound like the gaming equivelent of Vogue, but RPS the Magazine is the best I can do.

    Kieron also wrote the comic strip in the Official PS2 Magazine UK, which went downhill fast and really isn't worth reading anymore.

    Dr Snofeld on
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  • ZenitramZenitram Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    I'm not a big fan of Yahtzee simply because I don't find it entertaining enough. I agree with some things he says and disagree with others, but I just don't find it funny enough to laugh. Many people do.

    Also it's not nearly as funny when he splices his reviews together poorly and you can tell that he has to do the review in takes. If your schtick is to talk really fast at least do it right!

    Zenitram on
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  • AkatsukiAkatsuki Registered User
    edited June 2008
    I don't think I ever saw a complete video review, but I might give it a go, who knows, maybe I'll end up liking it.

    Akatsuki on
    Preacher wrote:
    ...my inner weaboo can kawaii all over this desu.

    Pokémon HGSS: 1205 1613 4041
  • KimFidlerKimFidler Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    I'm looking forward to what Giantbomb has in store for video reviews. They have a green screen! That just screams fun.

    KimFidler on
  • darkmayodarkmayo Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    I heard:whistleinnocently: Yahtzee has been getting an ungodly amount of mail asking why he doesn't have a Disgaea/Dwarf Fortress review.

    I dont think Disgaea would get a good review from him being the fact that it is a JRPG. Dwarf Fortress.. I dont think he has the patience for it, or Disagea even if he looked past the JRPG.

    darkmayo on
  • Fatty McBeardoFatty McBeardo Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    I don't pay close attention to names of reviewers, but via podcast listening I've come to respect the opinions of Sean Elliott from 1UP as well as some of the other 1UP staff. The glaring exception to this would be Shane Bettenhausen, who is way too much of a fanboy to be a reviewer (for example, he said that people who don't like MGS4 are "peasants", among other things).

    I also have to say I respect Gerstmann for sticking to his guns not only to the point of becoming the object of much fanboy-hatred, but also to the point of being fired for being forthright. I may not agree with his opinions, but at least I know with 100% certainty that he's being honest.

    Fatty McBeardo on
  • BinaryBinary Registered User
    edited June 2008
    Dr Snofeld wrote: »

    Kieron Gillen is one quarter of Rock Paper Shotgun (www.rockpapershotgun.com), occasional writer for PC Gamer UK (which is basically Rock Paper Shotgun: The Magazine, since the RPS guys all write for it)

    I just finished spending about 30 minutes reading various things on that site.

    It has now become my second-favorite video gaming site on the Internets (after here, of course).

    Binary on
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  • unknownsome1unknownsome1 Registered User
    edited June 2008
    Shoegaze99 wrote: »
    I am not familiar with Angry Video Game Nerd. I guess I have some YouTubing to do when I get home.

    The more recent Angry Video Game Nerd videos are on Gametrailers. If you look at his channel on Youtube, you'll find trailers for them along with links to the actual videos.

    unknownsome1 on
  • BubbaTBubbaT Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    William Trotter for wargames. Scorpia for adventure and RPG.

    Sure, they were specialized and didn't cover every genre under the sun, but with that specialization came depth and authority on what they were talking about. I have yet to find any reviewers in the industry as compelling since, though a glace at that RPS site looks promising. It seems like most everything today is aimed at the 15 year old with ADD.

    Don't get me wrong, Yahtzee & Co. are entertaining as heck, but to use a basketball analogy: I don't only or always want to hear from Charles Barkley, sometimes I want to hear from John Wooden.

    BubbaT on
  • JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    edited July 2008
    Trotter is an excellent critic; he was the best part of PCG-US for years and years, and while he and Gillen couldn’t be more different as far as their tastes and interests, they share the ability to bring an intelligent cultural context to their writing that comes from someplace outside of videogames – in Gillen’s case, literature and music, in Trotter’s case history and politics. When I read a Trotter review, I often as not learn about a lot more than just the game.

    Jacobkosh on
  • JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    edited July 2008
    Drez wrote: »
    Yes but I believe the media is largely to blame for many ills in modern society, and I include this whole frakked up review/critique system as a subsystem of the media.

    I don't think it's the "media", necessarily; I just think that writing about an expressive medium - any medium - tends to naturally break down into two camps, the functional and the aesthetic. You need the guy who can tell you if a particular stereo sounds good (the "reviewer"), and you need the guy who can speak intelligently about the history of music (the "critic"). Sometimes they're the same guy, sometimes they're not.

    The problem with videogames is that the industry - and,in my opinion, gamers themselves - encourage an unbalanced amount of reviewing and not enough criticism. What's the problem with that? Well, a critic is a medium's memory bank. You become a music or film buff by finding something you like and reading about it to try and find more stuff in a similar vein - like when "Lock, Stock" came out and a bunch of reviewers compared it to the classic British crime movies like "Get Carter", "Mona Lisa" and "The Long Good Friday", which led me to watch (and love) all of those. What we have with games is an almost total lack of memory, where every minor graphics advance gets hailed a huge milestone, while the fact that a gameplay element is an inferior copy of something that was done fifteen years ago goes almost completely unremarked.

    Jacobkosh on
  • VulpineVulpine Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    I've always been fond of AMIGA POWER because of how brutally honest they were: 50% was average, not 70%, and they refused to kowtow to publishers when they reviewed games more harshly than their peers. International Rugby Challenge, for example, earned a meagre 2% for being an unplayably bug-ridden mess. Stuart Campbell remains one of the industy's best reviewers, because it's obvious he actually cares about the games - wants them desperately to be fun, enjoyable, and to actually work.

    Vulpine on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    edited July 2008
    There used to be a huge online archive of all the old AMIGA POWER back issues. I wonder if it's still around, I used to have a ball reading it even though I recognized (at best) maybe a third of the games they talked about.

    And yeah, I like their philosophy. I mean I can sort of understand why games reviewers tend to set a lower bar - because of how fast even great classic games become obsolescent or difficult to find/play, sometimes you do just have to choose to settle with what you get, and it's still useful to point out that even a mediocre entry might be the best thing available in that genre at that moment.

    But still. We need a voice of history to remind us that games like Syndicate and X-Com routinely broke down genre walls back in the day. We need someone to point out that today's Madden might not be as good as yesteryear's Tecmo Bowl. Otherwise people might not realize what they're missing, and gaming will get stuck in a cycle of people reinventing the wheel over and over, instead of improving on what came before.

    Jacobkosh on
  • Shoegaze99Shoegaze99 Registered User
    edited July 2008
    Checked out some AVGN last night, specifically Bible Adventures and Top Gun.

    Not bad. The Bible Adventures video had some very funny moments. His videos could use some tightening up for sure, but overall, not bad.

    Shoegaze99 on
  • urahonkyurahonky Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    After Top Gun is the Powerglove.

    You'll see why.

    Also: "I'm punching the fucking ground!"

    urahonky on
  • MongerMonger I got the ham stink. Dallas, TXRegistered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    There used to be a huge online archive of all the old AMIGA POWER back issues. I wonder if it's still around, I used to have a ball reading it even though I recognized (at best) maybe a third of the games they talked about.

    And yeah, I like their philosophy. I mean I can sort of understand why games reviewers tend to set a lower bar - because of how fast even great classic games become obsolescent or difficult to find/play, sometimes you do just have to choose to settle with what you get, and it's still useful to point out that even a mediocre entry might be the best thing available in that genre at that moment.

    But still. We need a voice of history to remind us that games like Syndicate and X-Com routinely broke down genre walls back in the day. We need someone to point out that today's Madden might not be as good as yesteryear's Tecmo Bowl. Otherwise people might not realize what they're missing, and gaming will get stuck in a cycle of people reinventing the wheel over and over, instead of improving on what came before.
    I think this whole game industry has no memory thing needs to be repeated. Preferably louder and with billboards. I've always been in favor of companies like Square-Enix and Nintendo updating and re-releasing old games precisely because classic games need to be available to those new to the medium and kept in the consciousness of modern developers. It's certainly all about refinement. Every game has flaws, successes, and ambitions to learn from. There's a long list of games that anyone interested in the medium as a whole needs to be intimately familiar with. In fact, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Trespasser is one of the most important experiences for a developer. It's dense with lessons about AI, world design, atmosphere, and interaction.

    Not being aware of that history has been doing a damn good job of stagnating the industry over the past few years, and it's only recently that it seems to have started changing. I'm noticing more developers being open about their inspirations (Ken Levine springs to mind), more progressive gameplay amalgamations (like Puzzle Quest), and more twists on common gameplay types (Everyday Shooter). I think a lot of the problem has to do with the fact that a lot of gamers are distractable with things that are new and shiny, and publishers make funding decisions based on being profitable. Most large budget games are making design decisions based on keeping that new and shiny feel by distancing themselves from competition, and that's very much to the detriment of incremental refinement or artistic cohesion. Gamers themselves aren't taking the time to analyze and compare games in any sense deeper than the nominal because it takes an amount of time and effort, and of course the next new and shiny thing is out next Thursday. The gaming media panders to this since... well, internet fuckwad theory. You're just not going to get a decent response to any perceived pretension. Then, of course, if no one hears about the depth or history that's been treaded, it's going to fade away. It's a cycle that can be broken at any point. Luckily, I think developers are taking the initiative. I'd just be happier if the most outspoken of them wasn't Denis Dyack. Not that the guy doesn't have good ideas, but I'd prefer someone that was more consistent with delivering on them.

    Monger on
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