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Bad games or bad reviewers: what's wrong with the gaming press?
March 6th 2002, 21:44 CET by Martin

Please note! I did not write this topic. It was written by Chris Morrison, author of the IMHO great comic Polymer City Chronicles as a rant over at the aforementioned site. I just felt that it would be a great topic and since he's too modest to submit it himself, I took it upon me to do so. 8) Feel free to flame me anyhow though. 8P

---

I've been following a disturbing trend for some time now in a lot of the gaming media, both in print and online. Here are a few examples:

- Electronic Gaming Monthly reviews the game 'Blood Wake'. One of the reviewers takes points off his review due to the button/stick assignment of the controls... which he very easily could have changed in the control options.
- Game Informer and EGM both review the soon to be released game 'Gunvalkyrie' based on an unfinished beta version of the game (approximately 70% complete). Both magazines give an incomplete game a rating between 5.25-5.5 (out of 10).
- IGN.com reviews the chariot racer 'Circus Maximus', the review containing factual errors that the reviewer will not admit to: no music during races (false), and a control issue involving removing your thumb from the right stick to constantly press the accelerate button (also false).

Bear in mind these are the only instances I've caught recently... I'm sure there are plenty I've missed regarding game reviews I wasn't interested in reading. What's going on in the gaming media today? Since when do unfinished games that might actually be great titles garner poor reviews simply because they're incomplete? Or what about control issues that could've been rectified by taking five seconds to reconfigure the buttons? And what about flat-out untruths regarding a game's features because maybe the reviewer wasn't paying close enough attention to the game they were reviewing because they were too anxious to get back to Grand Theft Auto 3?

This brings to light the biggest issue I have with the gaming press in general: why are games being reviewed before the reviewer finishes the game? Movie critics would be in the unemployment line in a flash if they did film reviews based on the first ten minutes, yet this is exactly what the game media is doing with their game reviews. Objective? Hardly. Misleading? Definitely. When your readers can spot things in a final, retail-ready version of a game that are clearly different than what a given review stated, the journalistic integrity of both the author and the periodical come into question.

So, what's wrong with the gaming press? Fair, objective journalism is all but gone, bias is rampant, and reviewers can't be bothered to do the jobs they're getting paid to do oftentimes because the game they're reviewing hasn't been hyped to Hell and back. It's easy to give heavily publicized games a good review; that's what people expect even if the game isn't particularly worthy. It takes a skilled, impartial reviewer to take a little known game and spend the amount of time with it that it deserves in order to make a fair assessment of it, but this is something that I feel is no longer being done. This is why any reviewer that is given a game to review should be required to finish it at least once before writing up any sort of impressions or opinions; the amount of sensationalist trash being passed off as game reviews nowadays are laughable attempts at competent journalism.

Another possibility is that the gaming media is full of caffeine-addled twenty-somethings that wouldn't know a good game if it snuck up on them in the shower. It's becoming clear to me that there are definitely age lines being drawn in gaming preferences, so to that end, there needs to be more diversity in the age range of the reviewers these periodicals hire. Video games aren't just for kids anymore, so kids shouldn't be the only ones reviewing them.

"But game reviews are just opinions," you might say. This is very true, but when those opinions are based on unfinished betas or even worse, are rooted in 'facts' that simply are untrue, it invalidates the opinion or at the very least makes it questionable. The problem is that when these 'opinions' get put into print, they're a misrepresentation of the final product, and an otherwise good game may get overlooked by the public because the reviewer didn't care enough to research the title simply because it didn't have Capcom, Square, or Konami stamped on the box.

I guess what I'm leading up to with all this is this: we all have to make our own judgements as far as games are concerned. Game reviews today are often inaccurate, biased, and flat out half-assed efforts by disinterested individuals forced to play titles they'd rather not grade. Just because someone gets paid to review games doesn't mean they're right or wrong, and it certainly doesn't make them any more competent or credible. Do yourself a favor: never, ever take a game review at face value, whether good or bad. Rent games you think you might like, or buy them from stores that allow you a return if the title isn't to your liking. Don't let these reviewers do your thinking for you... based on what they've been writing recently, it's become apparent they have a hard time thinking for themselves.
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#1 by Bailey
2002-03-06 21:45:00
Boo, Polymen.

Sir, you are seriously hunting my wumpus.
#2 by Bailey
2002-03-06 21:45:08
Polymer, dammit.

Sir, you are seriously hunting my wumpus.
#3 by Bailey
2002-03-06 21:45:16
Just take me out back and shoot me.

Sir, you are seriously hunting my wumpus.
#4 by crash
2002-03-06 21:48:50

What's going on in the gaming media today?... Why are games being reviewed before the reviewer finishes the game?... So, what's wrong with the gaming press?

the answer to all these questions is the same. i'll bold and quote it for you:

The barrier to entry is far, far too low. In some cases, it's non-existent.

that pretty much sums it up.

Do yourself a favor: never, ever take a game review at face value, whether good or bad.

not a problem. most times, they're nearly unintelligible anyway.

- if you can laugh at it, you can live with it.
- "Hey, how 'bout this: fuck you." -LPMiller
#5 by Charles
2002-03-06 21:51:45
www.bluh.org
EGM is worthless.  I quit reading EGM when they ended up with far more ad pages than content pages.

IGN is totally worthless.  I think they rate their games based on how much ad money they get from the game's publisher.  I've seen them rate horrible games as 9, *after* having to stare at an ad for the game before being pushed on to the review itself.  Coincidence?  Dunno.

I used to stick only to the print media (PC Gamer, CGW, you know, the 'good' ones), but however nowadays their reviews are so radically different, that I quit reading them altogether.  I've also seen them unfairly rate games due to things that shouldn't really matter.

I think it's just game media catching up with any other popular media.  They are all worthless and full of shit.

The only game reviews I accept anymore are friends opinions of games.

#6 by Charles
2002-03-06 21:53:54
www.bluh.org
Also, I really like user submitted rankings, like what gamespot has.  Gamespot still seems to be somewhat reliable, however, I still tend to take anything they say with a grain of salt.

#7 by Hugin
2002-03-06 22:05:07
lmccain@nber.org
I liked Next Generation for a while.  They would do reviews that seemed halfway thoughtful, they wold write about the industry in general in a way that seemed halfway thoughtful, there was almost no doodspeak, and every once in a while they'd do a preview where they (gasp!) were pessimistic about the game they currently saw, improving acceptably by it's release date.

Then they changed formats a little. started caaling themselves NextGen, got slicker, and kind of disappeared from my local newsstands, I don't even know if they exist anymore.
#8 by LPMiller
2002-03-06 22:07:14
lpmiller@gotapex.com http://www.gotapex.com
They died about 2 months back.  They weren't as good as they were in the begining, but they still had better reviews then most anything out there.

What's the point of wearing your favorite rocketship underpants if nobody ever asks to see 'em?
#9 by Post-It
2002-03-06 22:07:22
keithlee@speakeasy.net
I read Gamespot review's, parouse over gamerankings.com, but mostly I just listen to you guys and gals. I figure if most of the people here like a game, it's worth owning. :)

I do agree that most print mags reviews sucks ass. '2Lions', the guy who runs actiontrip.com wrote a piece for voodooextreme a couple days ago blasting the entire review process. It was a pretty good read. Check it out.

The part I most agree with is a standardized review system across the board for all mags/sites. Movies have the 4 star system, which allows 8 rankings (1/2 stars) and is used by like 90% of movie reviewers. I agree with him that there should be a 1-10 scale, which can only be broken down to .5
#10 by Gunp01nt
2002-03-06 22:07:58
supersimon33@hotmail.com
In Holland you can either be stuck with the Dutch magazines, or pay double the price for imported (and probably overdue) British/American magazines.

I used to read Dutch magazines (in my early teens I read the Power Unlimited, later I moved on to PC Zone Benelux and PC Gameplay (Belgian magazine).

All of these magazines have had the symptoms of untrustworthy reviews for years. Power Unlimited amazed me by awarding a preview version of Carmageddon with a 6.9 (IIRC) while the screenshots on the 'review' page were clearly ripped from the press preview (those were the exact same screenshots that appeared everywhere else). I bought the game and it turned out to look nothing like the game PU had apparently reviewed.

This was only the beginning of false previewing (in Holland that is) and it has been going on all over the world for years now and no doubt anyone but the n00bs knows this. And therefore likely consults not only mags but also gaming sites and forums before purchasing a game. and peers of course. I know I do.

Why this then comes as a surprise to the writer is beyond me.


as for bad reviewers.. that might have everything to do with people like [url=http://www.gamesen.nl] who are a bunch of friends without any journalism experience whatsoever, that get together and decide it would be cool to make a games news site and then pronounce themselves 'gaming journalists' on the grounds that they're PROFESSIONALLY involved with games.
(I know one guy who I first met as a 15 year old trolly boy in the PC Zone Benelux forums, who now writes editorials on 3D Action Planet)

"I'm not sleeping with a junior high-schooler, I have a life sized doll that looks just like one."
#11 by Bailey
2002-03-06 22:08:03
Nova Z

(PC Gamer, CGW, you know, the 'good' ones)

PC Gamer established itself as the last bastion of truth and honesty when they gave AO the MMOG of the Year award.

Sir, you are seriously hunting my wumpus.
#12 by LPMiller
2002-03-06 22:10:03
lpmiller@gotapex.com http://www.gotapex.com
In the spirit, quickie review: Star Trek, Bridgecommander.

Pretty game, combat is fun once you get the hang of it; actually, Combat is a bit more realistic then it is in the shows, lipsyncing is awful, no in game saves doesn't bother too much, but no way to kill the cutscenes does.  Call it a 7 of 10 so far -  multiplay should be fun but haven't tried it.  Co

What's the point of wearing your favorite rocketship underpants if nobody ever asks to see 'em?
#13 by jafd
2002-03-06 22:10:25
The trouble is, these fucktards don't understand the PURPOSE of a REVIEW.

All too often, they say, more or less, "such-and-such thingy sucks." RARELY do they express WHY it sucks. That's key. So, so key.

It's a common failing amongst common people. Best discussed in the classic Beavis & Butthead sketch about what "cool" and "suck" mean. God save us all.

I don't have any problem with someone calling "suck" on something. If they can't back it up with well-reasoned discussion, however... screw.

I can count on the fingers of one hand, the review sites I go to, and pay attention to their opinions. Try this one, folks, it's snazzy: www.dansdata.com

Incidentally, I'm very excited to see the Wizardry 8 review that Quarter To Three has been promising for weeks now. It should be an excellent skewering of the few, but significant, problems with the game. Albeit with toothpicks.

choose any two: Cheap, Fast, Good.
#14 by LPMiller
2002-03-06 22:12:33
lpmiller@gotapex.com http://www.gotapex.com
However, just so Morn doesn't get into trouble, did you ok posting this topic with the author of the piece? Otherwise, it really should have just been linked to.

What's the point of wearing your favorite rocketship underpants if nobody ever asks to see 'em?
#15 by deadlock
2002-03-06 22:17:53
http://www.deadlocked.org/
The controller thing that Polymer referred to is bollocks; most people have their own quirks when it comes to controllers. I know that my preferred FPS mappings would have most people running in fear of repetitive strain injury. Docking a game ppoints because the developer failed to deliver a game adjusted to your exact preferred button arrangement is taking the piss a bit.

Matt(ish):
why are games being reviewed before the reviewer finishes the game? Movie critics would be in the unemployment line in a flash if they did film reviews based on the first ten minutes, yet this is exactly what the game media is doing with their game reviews.

This is something that interests me. I know that critics are generally expected to attend every movie that's released in a given week/or to watch every video/dvd. Which is straightforward enough, since most films are three hours long at the most and don't require much effort on the part of the (re)viewer.

But what about game reviewers ? Presumably they have a deadline for a review, but what if the game takes them longer to review than the time allocated ? Is the number of games that a particular reviewer is expected to review in a given week/month proportional to the size of the publication's review staff ? I mean, if you've got a shitload of games to review, you're not necessarily going to be able to complete every single one of them. I would imagine that this is one of the caveats implicit in game reviews - the reviewer may not necessarily have had time to complete the entire game and his review should therefore be read with that in mind. At the end of the day, game reviews are the same as any other branch of the media and should never be taken at face value; just as with newspapers, CNN or Sky, it's up to the reader, viewer or listener to make up their own minds about what they have read, watched or listened to.

But that said, there is an onus on the reviewer to give an accurate account of his/her experiences with the game and probably to mention that he didn't finish it, for whatever reason. Particularly if it's too hard or obtuse, since they would be pertinent issues with any game.

it's alright to say things can only get better - you haven't lost yer brand new sweater...
#16 by Terata
2002-03-06 22:21:44
I've been going to ShackReviews lately.
#17 by Caryn
2002-03-06 22:22:06
carynlaw@pacbell.net http://www.hellchick.net
When I used to write reviews, I had a few tenets I always stuck by. First, I did what jafd said: if you're going to say something sucks, explain why. There's nothing more infuriating to me than when a review slams a game and never explains why s/he didn't like it, just that they didn't like it.

Another tenet was to make a list (for myself) of all the things I liked about the game and all the things I didn't like about the game. No matter how bad the game I was reviewing was, I always listed off and explained its good points, if it had any. There are some things that will appeal to me that won't appeal to someone else and vice versa -- listing off the good points of the game will show some balance to the review, as in a "I didn't like this, but you might" kind of way.

A review IS an opinion, but it's supposed to be a balanced opinion. You're helping the reader decide if they're going to like the title -- in doing so, then, you need to make sure you go into detail about all the good points as well as the bad points because you and your reader are different people. I think my review writing style worked because even for games for which I gave it a bleak score, I almost always got an email from the publishers or developers saying, "well, I wish you'd given it a higher score, but I can't find any fault in the review -- you were fair and accurate."

- Caryn
Everyone has a signature but me.
#18 by Gunp01nt
2002-03-06 22:23:39
supersimon33@hotmail.com
I don't think a reviewer should actually play through the entire game, he just should at least make sure he plays a sizeable part of the game so that he still gets quite a good impression of the game.

He can't give away the ending in the review anyway because it would spoil the fun for people who haven't played it yet, so he doesn't necessarily need to play the whole game.

sometimes that is even impossible. Imagine someone reviewing AO would have to advance all the way to level #idunnowhat and get all the weapons and stuff and kill ALL the monsters...

I think he would already have a pretty complete image of the game if he plays it to level 20 or so and engages in combat a lot and tries out all the functions in the game (at least those available to him at that level)

"I'm not sleeping with a junior high-schooler, I have a life sized doll that looks just like one."
#19 by "Anonymous"
2002-03-06 22:24:56
Game reviews suck because:
* You have to be pretty smart to write a good review. Very few people are smart.

* Having content by the deadline is king. Everything else is way, way less important. What editor is going to leave a big hole in his magazine because he kicked a shitty article (that was most likely turned in at the last minute, btw) back to the writer to fix? And that's assuming that said editor is even able to recognize that the article is flawed.

* Game magazines hire freelancers off the internet to write reviews for 75$. Does that sound like the kind of situation that's going to get you really great material? Does 75$ sound like the kind of motivation that will get a writer to really dig in and do a great job? Pfft.

* The standard time to play a game and turn in a freelance review is a week. Ok, so in that week you're going to put in 40 hours of game playing to finish the single player, spend at least five or ten testing out the multiplayer, a couple hours to write the piece, all the while attending to your full-time job/family/full load of schoolwork? No. You're going to play the game for three nights, at about 2 hours a session, fuck off playing other games for a couple nights, and then crunch like hell to pinch off an article three hours before the absolute last second you are allowed to turn it in.

* And then there are the burnt-out fulltimers. I dont care HOW big of a nerd you are, you can't play games 24-7 for years on end and at some point not get totally fried. You stop caring about games, you stop caring about the development process... It just becomes a deadline and paycheck treadmill where you fill up half your review talking about whatever soap opera stuff you've heard about the developer. I mean, I've seen reviews by some of these fucking guys where they NEVER EVEN GET TO THE GRAPHICS. I mean, even the biggest retard reviewer that can't understand sublte things like oh I dunno gameplay will cover graphics. Instead we get the same old tired gossip about extended development times, publisher trauma, blah blah blah.


No SHIT "we all have to make our own judgements as far as games are concerned." Game Reviews SUCK.
#20 by Morn
2002-03-06 22:28:10
morn@planetcrap.com http://hmans.net
Ok

Hendrik "Morn" Mans • morn@planetcrap.com • admin/coder/lover/kraut
#21 by "Pants McDoogal"
2002-03-06 22:28:10
#19, way to post without first logging in *grumble*
#22 by deadlock
2002-03-06 22:28:36
http://www.deadlocked.org/
I agree with you up to a point, Gunpoint. But what if the reviewer plays up the halfway mark, is entirely satisfied with what he has played so far and then has to pack it in for some reason. He doesn't realise that the game goes downhill abysmally after that and this isn't reflected in his (glowing) review. The impression that readers get from the review is not accurate - or is only partially accurate.

it's alright to say things can only get better - you haven't lost yer brand new sweater...
#23 by jafd
2002-03-06 22:29:54
I don't mind if a reviewer never got past the first map/level/cutscene whatever. As long as their experience, and the circumstances of it, are clearly delineated, it's all good.

choose any two: Cheap, Fast, Good.
#24 by Caryn
2002-03-06 22:34:31
carynlaw@pacbell.net http://www.hellchick.net
Nova Z:

The only game reviews I accept anymore are friends opinions of games.


And from what I understand, that's a far more powerful motivating force in the decision to buy a game.

- Caryn
Everyone has a signature but me.
#25 by Gunp01nt
2002-03-06 22:35:25
supersimon33@hotmail.com
deadlock:
He doesn't realise that the game goes downhill abysmally after that and this isn't reflected in his (glowing) review. The impression that readers get from the review is not accurate - or is only partially accurate.

agreed, that is a possibility. that's why he at least has to try to finish the game, IF possible.

though take for instance MoH: the ending is really worthless: finish the last mission, scroll credits, bye bye.
that sucked, but it doesn't make the rest of the game bad.


did you see the movie The One with Jet Li in it? nice movie, only near the end it gets really lame. Would you miss out on the great first half because the 2nd half sucks? choices.... :/

"I'm not sleeping with a junior high-schooler, I have a life sized doll that looks just like one."
#26 by jafd
2002-03-06 22:42:05
I liked the second half just fine.

So, you're saying that, there shouldn't be any reviews of, say, Baldur's Gate III, until someone finishes it? Ooohkay, pack a lunch and pull up a good book for a week. At least. Unless you're willing to accept some review of a press demo, in which case... bwhahahaha no. Insufficient comparison to the reality.

That doesn't even consider the quasi-fact that a game rushed through is a game not savored and not appreciated. I could give a fart in a whirlwind for an opinion like that, really. I can't be the only one.

choose any two: Cheap, Fast, Good.
#27 by Gunp01nt
2002-03-06 22:43:35
supersimon33@hotmail.com
So, you're saying that, there shouldn't be any reviews of, say, Baldur's Gate III, until someone finishes it?

if you always read my posts THIS bad then I can see why you might find me underintelligent.

that is NOT what I said.

"I'm not sleeping with a junior high-schooler, I have a life sized doll that looks just like one."
#28 by chris
2002-03-06 22:45:13
cwb@shaithis.com http://www.cerebraldebris.com
My friends all have shit taste in games. That leaves me with no one to trust...

-chris
#29 by Gunp01nt
2002-03-06 22:45:33
supersimon33@hotmail.com
what I DID say was:

#18:
I don't think a reviewer should actually play through the entire game, he just should at least make sure he plays a sizeable part of the game so that he still gets quite a good impression of the game.


and:

#25:
that's why he at least has to try to finish the game, IF possible.


...

"I'm not sleeping with a junior high-schooler, I have a life sized doll that looks just like one."
#30 by "Anonymous"
2002-03-06 22:45:40
Utterly unrelated question, except that someone mentioned Carmaggedon:

What happened to Stainless software, makers of Carmaggedon and Carmaggedon 2?

I ask because I used to know someone who worked for them, that I'd like to get in touch with, but they seem to have disappeared from the map.

-- Bob
#31 by jafd
2002-03-06 22:46:35
No, I was just trolling you.

Zing!

choose any two: Cheap, Fast, Good.
#32 by "Anonymous"
2002-03-06 22:47:41
"The controller thing that Polymer referred to is bollocks; most people have their own quirks when it comes to controllers."

---Thanks for commenting on this. I wasn't referring to control preference here, but flat out false information. The reviewer of Circus Maximus stated that you have to remove your thumb from from the right thumbstick to constantly press the accelerate button, which is false. Not only does your horse team keep pace for a short time before beginning to tire (negating the 'constant pressing' statement), but pushing in the right stick (the horsewhip command) will give you the same function as the accelerate button. You do NOT have to remeove your thumb from the stick to accelerate, period.
---When confronted with the factual errors in the IGN forums, the reviewer stood by her review that the game was 'ass', stating that she 'told no lies'; if this is the case, then she was tripped out on hallucinogens because her reality is vastly different from the rest of ours. Fact is that she didn't even spend enough time with the game to even understand the control setup (which simply reading the manual would have revealed). She also defended her review by saying she had passed the game around to other IGN editors who 'instantly agreed' that the game was bad; therein lies the problem I was referring to. 'Instantly agreed' indicates that maybe 10-15 minutes were spent with the game by these editors; hardly the many hours required of a reviewer to fairly and objectively review a game.
---My particular feeling is that if a game isn't on the PS2, most reviewers aren't interested in looking at it. It's a shame that the game media employs middle school English students (many of which I have seen write better reviews).

CM
The Polymer City Chronicles
"Because nobody needs another damn gaming comic."
www.polymer-city.com
#33 by "CM[PolymerCity]"
2002-03-06 22:48:43
andrah@hotmail.com http://www.polymer-city.com
Thinking...
#34 by Duality
2002-03-06 22:50:02
Dualipuff@yahoo.com http://stratoscape.ath.cx/
Or maybe its you, chris.
Mr Multiplayer sucks now and I'd rather curl up in the corner by myself playing a single player game. :)

*smooches*
#35 by Duality
2002-03-06 22:53:30
Dualipuff@yahoo.com http://stratoscape.ath.cx/
Now if IGN would umbrella reviews like that one under their pay model, nobody would ever have to worry about it being read!

*smooches*
#36 by crash
2002-03-06 23:04:28
jafd:

The trouble is, these fucktards don't understand the PURPOSE of a REVIEW.

one of the barriers to entry used to be the ability to think critically. guess it isn't any more.

Gunp01nt:

I don't think a reviewer should actually play through the entire game, he just should at least make sure he plays a sizeable part of the game so that he still gets quite a good impression of the game.

and in that same vein, just watch the first hour of any movie, read the first 3/4 of every book, and test-drive any car for 5 minutes at 20mph. that'll give you more than enough data to not only make an informed decision, but to advise others with your "expertise".

question: if you don't play through to the end, how do you know you've played "a sizeable part of the game"? spend 20 hours with half-life, you won't see Xen. spend 20 hours with daikatana, you won't hit the game-breaking bug in the last level. fail to play the game all the way through, you're doing a disservice to your readers, to the devs, and to yourself.

then again, settling for less has kind of created the reason for this topic. ironic, no? or poetically just?

Anon/Pants:

Game magazines hire freelancers off the internet to write reviews for 75$.

which?

The standard time to play a game and turn in a freelance review is a week.

four days. maybe five. a week if you're really lucky. and how much writing have you done for magazines and websites? am curious where your experience is coming from.

No. You're going to play the game for three nights, at about 2 hours a session, fuck off playing other games for a couple nights, and then crunch like hell to pinch off an article three hours before the absolute last second you are allowed to turn it in.

if you know what you're doing, however, it works just a wee bit differently. i might be able to see amateurs pulling this type of grind, but... well. let's just say, "uh, no," and leave it at that.

I mean, I've seen reviews by some of these fucking guys where they NEVER EVEN GET TO THE GRAPHICS.

yeah, because all those screenshots are totally non-informative. when you see a review for a car, does the reviewer bother to tell you it has four tires and two headlights? or can you see that for yourself? when word count is at a premium, talking about something you can already see is lunacy.

but cute "rant". i'm curious how much of it is based in fact, or is just pure speculation. who do you write for?

shaithis:

My friends all have shit taste in games. That leaves me with no one to trust...

just pick stuff they hate. easy enough.

- if you can laugh at it, you can live with it.
- "Hey, how 'bout this: fuck you." -LPMiller
#37 by Bezzy
2002-03-06 23:06:19
painberry@hotmail.com http://www.antifactory.org
EDGE (UK) is about the only magazine I'll trust now. They seem to have a similar taste to mine, and that's when reviews work best. So as far as EGM being sucky goes... yes, sure, it is sucky if you don't agree with it. If you don't agree with it, you have a differing taste. If you're a mindless fanboy, though, they're the bset revewars evur. Find and stick to the outlet that you agree with consistantly, but even then, buyer beware. Trust no-one. As a comprimize to trying to figure out whose opinion is right and whose is wrong, assume that only you are right, because only you can satisfy your own personal reasons for playing games. Use your new-found mistrust of other people's opinions as your justification for pre-pay-piracy ;)

Even PCGamer (UK) has become to soft and star struck with hopes for "realistic movie games" for my personal tastes (either they used to have it, or my tastes have matured). As Ernest Adams will tell you, we need critics, not reviewers. But critics deign what is to be considered art in the medium, and if they haven't a clue, but have a silver spoon in their mouth to lead the children along like the Pied Piper, they could be leading us down the wrong track (or, if I may be so selfish, leading us in so-called artistic directions that I personally don't agree with, or want to tread).

It's late. I'm rambling again. Disregard this post because I will not defend it if you take issue. Yes, I am a coward. A coward who needs some sleep.

There is no just cause that a fool will not follow. HALLO MISTAH!
#38 by Pants McDoogal
2002-03-06 23:15:48
pantsmcdoogal@hotmail.com
crash,

Gameproworld.com
GameSpy.com
PCXL mag
GamePro mag
#39 by crash
2002-03-06 23:25:33
and who pays untested freelancers 75 bucks? you dodged that one.

- if you can laugh at it, you can live with it.
- "Hey, how 'bout this: fuck you." -LPMiller
#40 by crash
2002-03-06 23:25:58
oh, yeah, and i have a hard time taking anyone's word for anything. what have you written for gamespy? link?

- if you can laugh at it, you can live with it.
- "Hey, how 'bout this: fuck you." -LPMiller
#41 by "Pants McDoogal"
2002-03-06 23:36:53
pantsmcdoogal@hotmail.com
I have no intention of pointing fingers at people who were nice enough to give me work. Feel free to not take my word for anything.
#42 by Bezzy
2002-03-06 23:39:25
painberry@hotmail.com http://www.antifactory.org
and who pays untested freelancers 75 bucks? you dodged that one.


Don't they get the money when the job gets done? I know that's not how it always works, but... sometimes. My sister's had a few articles published, and has been paid, but many of them, she wasn't under any obligation to make. Although I can see that not being the case for many commercial game sites

Blah. I'll shut up.

I wrote for gamespy (well.. PlanetQuake) several times and was never paid ;_;

I'M MEANT TO BE ASLEEP. THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT, CRASH.

/me honks crash, Carmack style.

There is no just cause that a fool will not follow. HALLO MISTAH!
#43 by deadlock
2002-03-06 23:43:09
http://www.deadlocked.org/
CM-Polymer:
Thanks for commenting on this. I wasn't referring to control preference here, but flat out false information. The reviewer of Circus Maximus stated...

No problem, but I was mostly referring to the point about 'Blood Wake' - where the reviewer took marks off because of the way the controls were mapped. Like I say, everyone has their own quirks when it comes to keyboard/mouse bindings that it's not really fair to complain about the default bindings. Unless, of course, they're completely off the wall - A for right and Z for left, for example, bearing in mind that there are people who are to lazy/uninformed to change the defaults.

it's alright to say things can only get better - you haven't lost yer brand new sweater...
#44 by deadlock
2002-03-06 23:47:19
http://www.deadlocked.org/
As for the rest - it comes down to economics. Staff and time are both commodities and the aim, I would imagine, is to feature as many games as possible, or as many of the 'quality' (read: hyped) games as possible at the very least. If you've five games for every reviewer, there's a strain on both time and staff and the reviews will inevitably suffer. 'Course, even if the reviewer has finished the game, he's not really going to want to give away any spoilers so it will be hard to tell whether or not he's finished it. Unless the ending is so abysmal that it negates anything good about the rest of the game (or features a show-stopping bug).

it's alright to say things can only get better - you haven't lost yer brand new sweater...
#45 by "Pants McDoogal"
2002-03-06 23:47:50
pantsmcdoogal@hotmail.com
Don't they get the money when the job gets done?


It usually took a while, sometimes weeks, to get paid after anything I'd turned in anything I'd written.

she wasn't under any obligation


I don't know what you're meaning by 'obligation'... Like, I doubt anyone would have sent lawyers after me if I'd just decided never to turn in something I promised, but I'm sure I would have gotten a ton of shit for it and definitely no more work.
#46 by deadlock
2002-03-06 23:48:22
http://www.deadlocked.org/
For he, read he/she. This disclaimer brought to you by The Friends of Caryn Law society.

it's alright to say things can only get better - you haven't lost yer brand new sweater...
#47 by chris
2002-03-06 23:52:43
cwb@shaithis.com http://www.cerebraldebris.com
multiplayer doesn't suck now, it has always sucked.

A few games have transcended this inherent sucking long enough to retain my interest for a few months, but only two I can think of off the top of my head: Team Fortress and Asherons' Call.

-chris
#48 by Caryn
2002-03-07 00:01:48
carynlaw@pacbell.net http://www.hellchick.net
This disclaimer brought to you by The Friends of Caryn Law society.


Wow, I have a society? More imporantly: I have friends?

- Caryn
Everyone has a signature but me.
#49 by crash
2002-03-07 00:04:20
Pants:

I have no intention of pointing fingers at people who were nice enough to give me work.

if they were nice enough to give you work, it sure is mighty nice of you to slam the entire industry on their behalf. anonymously, of course. now that's gratitude for you, eh?

Feel free to not take my word for anything.

don't mind if i do. or don't, depending on how you'd like to parse it.

Bezzy:

Don't they get the money when the job gets done?

don't know how they all work--it differs from place to place. some pay on delivery, some pay immediately on publication, most pay at set intervals post-publication.

THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT, CRASH.

okay.

- if you can laugh at it, you can live with it.
- "Hey, how 'bout this: fuck you." -LPMiller
#50 by LPMiller
2002-03-07 00:15:25
lpmiller@gotapex.com http://www.gotapex.com
#45 Pants
It usually took a while, sometimes weeks, to get paid after anything I'd turned in anything I'd written.


Well,  I can certainly believe you wrote for GamePro.

What's the point of wearing your favorite rocketship underpants if nobody ever asks to see 'em?
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