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Views On Reviews
May 28th 2000, 20:41 CEST by andy

Sundays are a mixed blessing. They're good because I get a whole day to sit around doing nothing without feeling guilty, but they're bad because I invariably end up so bored that I type www.evilavatar.com into a web browser and feast my eyes on the depth of humanity...



Actually, this topic is nothing to do with Evil Avatar, I'm just using it as a lead-in because I don't like the guy and I enjoy making fun of him.

Commenting on Daikatana in a recent news item, our beloved Mr Avatar explains how he has nearly finished the game, but will "hold back on making any comments about the product until my official review". Then, in the same paragraph, he comments that "it really is as bad as people thought it might be".

Ignoring the untamed stupidity of one web journo (something that 'Crap readers might learn to do one day) this got me thinking: How often are game reviews influenced by something other than the game itself?

This is how l'Avatar d'Evil expressed his thoughts about Daikatana reviews on other web sites:

[They] range from outright bashing to saying it is just plain "average". I have seen a couple of scores in the 70% range, but I really think that most of those sites were just being kind and if a game of this quality came out without all the hype and back-story, most reviewers would have lambasted it good without a second thought.

Does he have a point?

The way I see it, if I spend the next six weeks writing a fun little game, and a hundred-strong team spends four years locked in a giant greenhouse with more money than sense and somehow they manage to create a game too, the two games should be judged equally. Shouldn't they?

I've not played Daikatana and I haven't read any of the reviews, so I'm going to use Quake 2 as an example. PC Gamer gave that game 96% and splashed "The Best Game Ever" across the cover of the issue it was reviewed in. Did it deserve that sort of praise?

It was a huge game with loads of content, some impressive technology, made of course by Id Software, was perhaps the most eagerly anticipated game of the year and had been screaming at us for months that it was going to rock in a major way.

But ultimately, it was a mediocre game with, shall we say, more than it's fair share of bugs.

I wonder, what exactly was that 96% score based on? Was it the bugs and the mediocrity, or was it simply that people were expecting a good review?

I'm sure there are lots of other examples but I very rarely read reviews, so that's why I'm starting a thread about this to see what you guys think. Are reviews affected by reader expectations, game backgrounds, and of course the fact that a lot of reviewers are on friendly terms with the developers?

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#1 by "Vengeance[CoD]"
2000-05-28 20:50:13
rhiggi@home.com
first, sorry i feel guility, but im still first

v<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#2 by "Vengeance[CoD]"
2000-05-28 21:10:45
rhiggi@home.com
<quote>
I wonder, what exactly was that 96% score based on? Was it the bugs and the mediocrity, or was it simply that people were expecting a good review?

I'm sure there are lots of other examples but I very rarely read reviews, so that's why I'm starting a thread about this to see what you guys think. Are reviews affected by reader expectations, game backgrounds, and of course the fact that a lot of reviewers are on friendly terms with the developers?
</quote>

Since I'm guilty of wasting a post (I'm first by the way), I'll give an opinion I'm not qualified to give.
yes, yes, yes, yes.  It could even just be mood of the day.  Sometimes if I'm pissed off anyway any little flaws in a game really grate on my nerves (the opposite is also true).  Can you give a unbiased review for the most part, sure.  But a review for a game isn't like a math test.  Most of it is the <i>feeling</i> you get while playing.  How can you give a <i>completely</i> impartial review on something that by definition is all about emotions.
As for the 96%, I saw that reward on the box(which I didn't buy) when I was browsing for a new game.  I couldn't believe it considering everything else I had heard.  I haven't played the game, probably shouldn't comment, but I'm feeling pious today.....

I'd be inclined they were either on crack, drunk as a fish, or just hoping John would give them "a reach around" (if you haven't seen <b>Full Metal Jacket</b> you need to, that was on of the funniest movies ever made thats not a comedy).
The politics involved are probably endless and obvious so I won't comment on those.
....
Along this line:
I just bought Theif II, and don't like it.  At all.  Its just not my style.  I like RPG, and FPS, but I'm not a fan of this particular "in between" (preference not necessarily content).  

V<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#3 by "loonyboi"
2000-05-28 21:22:46
jason@loonygames.com http://www.bluesnews.com
I'm glad this was a topic, since I've had this one example brewing in my head for a few days now, and I'm curious what the rest of the 'crap gang thinks of this:

<a href="http://www.speedy3d.com/reviews/daikatana/">http://www.speedy3d.com/reviews/daikatana/</a>

That review ran on TUESDAY, the day the game hit store shelves. We were e-mailed that review just around the same time we started getting the mails that it was available.

Now here's the interesting part:

<QUOTE>On any ordinary morning, if the postman were to arrive with a package at 6am and ring the bell...A somewhat thin and rather neurotic postman presented me with a parcel before departing back the way he came. In typical Speedy3D style the packaging was immediately ravished to reveal our review copy of 'Daikatana' from Eidos, upon which I immediately fainted...</QUOTE>

Problem #1. As anyone here who reviews games will tell you, Eidos hasn't sent out review copies yet. And unless Speedy3D gets a higher priority at Eidos than Gamecenter, GameSpot or Blue's News, they didn't get a review copy.

Okay, so there's problem number one.

Problem number two: they got the game at 6:00 AM, and had a review up by noon? That seems a little fishy.

Here's the other eye-catching quote:

<QUOTE>In fact we played through DK twice, once in single player and the other in Co-Op multiplayer, such is the level of fun to be had.</QUOTE>

Um...what the heck? They've had the game since 6:00 AM, and they've managed to play through the game TWICE?

There's no way this is legit.

They either A) Warezed a copy, and waited for confirmation that it was available before running their review, or B) made the whole thing up.

I haven't quite decided myself yet, but you gotta admit, it's one interesting read.

-jason
<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#4 by "Apache"
2000-05-28 21:28:07
when writing a game review, it's important not to let other people's opinions (peer pressure is bad, mmmkay?) affect your writing. most writers have a system to score games or some even just go with a 'gut' feeling. anyhoo-- if you'd like to read my review of daikatana,  <A HREF="http://www.gamefan.com/repre.asp?g=1994&t=r">clickity-click</a>.
#5 by "Mike"
2000-05-28 21:37:11
mike@pcgn.com http://pcgn.com
That has to be one of the most conflicting articles I've ever read. It certainly is fishy as to how they were able to do such a large amount of playing in such a short amount of time, AND had the time to write up and edit an entire review. I'm not exactly the fastest writer in the gaming news community but it has to at least take an hour to even put down the foundation for a decent review, not to mention the editing and small-fact finding. This means they could have played the game through twice, from 6:00am to roughly 10:30 then hastily slapped up a review to be one of the first listed on other news sites. Either way, if they had warezed it, it's a negative, and if they rushed it just to get first dibs on links its a negative, and probably doesn't give the game as fair of a review as it deserves.

Oh well, that's enough of a rant about one single article. I personally don't get the chance to review many games since I don't run the biggest site in the galaxy or anywhere close to it, but when one comes I take my time playing through it. I'm sure these game companies realize that the review isn't going to be completed instantly, and probably want you to take your time in reviewing it so that it doesn't give the game an injust review.

Of all the reviews around the internet I personally like GameSpot's and IGN's the best, even in comparison with my own. They manage to get across a thorough review of the game without boring the reader to death. They also get around to hitting on every point they wanted to make without dragging the article out to 30 pages, each page having 3 ads and a link to the next one which is impossible to find.

*yawn* Now I'm tired all of a sudden..
#6 by "Frac"
2000-05-28 22:30:51
kkwyu@yahoo.com
<quote>I wonder, what exactly was that 96% score based on? Was it the bugs and the mediocrity, or was it simply that people       were expecting a good review?</quote>

Of course it was based on expectations of the game.  Like-wise, a lot of negative reviews of Daikatana came from the fact that they wasted a good chunk of the three years of development time on managerial and business problems, and reviewers are already casting a negative light on the game the moment they start reviewing it.

<quote>The way I see it, if I spend the next six weeks writing a fun little game, and a hundred-strong team spends four years      locked in a giant greenhouse with more money than sense and somehow they manage to create a game too, the two       games should be judged equally. Shouldn't they?</quote>

If I give you two toothbrushes, then tell you that toothbrush B has been used to scrub someone's ass during QA phase, but disinfected and cleansed to be identical to toothbrush A in every aspect you can observe, would you still review the two toothbrushes equally? Would you even put toothbrush B in your mouth?

On a similar note (I don't know if it has been mentioned here yet), I thought GameSpot's <a href="http://www.gamespot.com/features/btg-daikatana/p9_01.html">"Knee Deep in a Dream"</a> article that chronicles Daikatana was an excellent read.  Granted that I am sympathetic towards the many unintentional mishaps that plagued the game, but my wallet isn't.  I'm wary of buying a game that the designer of the game calls "a learning experience".
#7 by "Naked Exposition"
2000-05-28 22:36:39
samuelbass3000@hotmail.com
I too found the Speedy3D review a little strange, not just due to the speedy posting and self-contradictory errors throughout, but, following that, the fact that they didn't say anything unexpected. They could have easily written the whole review based on the demo and first impressions gleaned from other websites or playing the thing at MPlayer's E3 booth. As a semi-pro game critic myself, I know how tempting it is to knock out a review based on a quickie preview or assumptions from a demo, but, of course, I wouldn't do that, simply because it would be a disservice to the poor folks who spent eighteen months putting the damn thing to silicon, not to mention the readers expecting a real review. As is, I have my doubts about Speedy3D.

As for the game itself, I picked up a copy and have found myself enjoying it - since I won SOF on hard and Vampire doesn't come out for a week or two, it's an effective time killer - a little dated, but fun, especially once you get past the first set of levels, which are more than a little garish. So, thereviews I have seen (at least the ones in the 70% range) seem to hit the nail on the head pretty accurately - it's the hardcore bashing ones that get my eyebrows raised...
#8 by "enyak"
2000-05-28 22:41:13
enyak@numonium.de
loonyboi:

I am almost positive they did review the Warez one. I remember when Quake 1 came out a lot of the german (paper) magazines here reviewed the Warez version too. (I knew because they described missing features/bugs that were fixed in the final.) I considered that pretty embarassing.

-enyak
#9 by "PiRaMidA"
2000-05-28 23:36:19
piramida@usa.net http://www.agsm.net
<b>#3</b> "loonyboi" wrote...
<QUOTE>They either A) Warezed a copy, and waited for confirmation that it was available before running their review, or B) made the whole thing up.
</QUOTE>

Doing a review of a warezed copy is just... so lame. Reviewing a game based on a ripped version, which has no movies and probably no speech, with compressed textures and sound effects, plus all the bugs added by the ripping "group" - it does not look professional to me. In fact, it might be considered illegal by the company making the game - unless the review specifically states that it's been based on a warezed copy and is intended for users of a warezed version, which of course no one would ever admit. If I would be a gaming company and my game would be reviewed based on a scaled-down warez version I'd get really, really pissed off.

As for the theory that they could play through Daikatana in 2 hours... it's even more offensive to the company, because gamers won't ever buy a game which has a playing value of 2 hours, considering that the reviewer had to not only run through the game in god mode but carefully test all of it's features.

Won't even go look at that piece of art review... <I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#10 by "Deviant"
2000-05-28 23:50:16
damien.white@chch.ox.ac.uk
Before we all start flaming speedy3d, is there any possibility they could have got a gold cd from Eidos early?  Not being sarcastic, just being cautious.  
You could mail them and ask before potentially slandering them, of course.  
Still not a great review though, I have to say:)

And it's sad to see reviewers at mags like PCG (UK) admit that their reviews of Tomb Raider 2 and 3 were much too generous, when they came to reviewing TR 4.  PC Zone's infamous 95% score for Klingon Honour Guard was later "justified" by saying "well, I thought it was much better than Unreal, and we gave that 91%, so I had to show that in the score."  But every now and then a mag blasts a game that was expected to be great(PCG's 65% or so score for Descent 3 comes to mind); and if reviews are based on expectations, what are the expectations based on?  Screenshots?  But we all know that many games are great fun and get great reviews even though they make lousy screenshots (SS2 comes to mind).  

I do wonder, though, how much of a score is based on the initial "WOW" factor of a game.  Often a sequel will be better in all respects than its predecessor, but will be scored lower because the amazement the first game produced isn't there.  Quake 2 had a great graphical look and ambience, so compared to other FPSs it really got reviewers impressed.  The reviewer often goes through the game quickly, with little time for reflection, before writing the review without really getting a full feel for the depth of the game.  So the whole review is impressed with this "WOW" factor, and often deficiencies and bugs are ignored.  But I must say, SPQ2 wasn't that buggy OOTB was it?  No real showstopper bugs; and as many know from SiN, those can really kill a good feeling which a reviewer has about a game.  Take Shogo; it's not actually that classy a game, the animations and levels especially, but because it wasn't super-buggy in SP it didn't shatter the good feeling the player has from the general playing experience and unique Anime setting.  So a lot can be forgiven in a review, and a lot overlooked; it depends on the feel the player has of the game.  Just establishing and maintaining a consistently decent feel, style and ambience through an FPS almost guarantees it a high score; IMHO it's when the player gets annoyed by the game or a jarring error spoils the effect that the points start to drop off the score.  Hell, I'm not even sure FPSs always have to be consistently fun; often it's frustration with a problem that immerses a player deeper into a game (within reason, of course).    

I must admit Daikatana does sound appealing somewhat, as the mad action fantasy gameplay is somewhat missing in most games these days:)  Still, Episode 1 sounds a bit, erm, crap.  I must agree with a post on Shugashack; the game would be far better with a first episode by  Romero, EP2 of Quake was class.  Shame he had to spend four years learning how to manage people instead, eh?
#11 by "flamethrower"
2000-05-28 23:53:24
flamey_at_evil@hotmail.com http://flamethrower.evilavatar.com
PCG gave Descent 3 65%? Two words spring to mind, "idiots" and "incompetent", and not in that order.

<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#12 by "Andy"
2000-05-28 23:58:22
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#10</b>, Deviant:
<QUOTE>
the game would be far better with a first episode by Romero, EP2 of Quake was class. Shame he had to spend four years learning how to manage people instead, eh?
</QUOTE>
That's the reason I'll likely not buy Daikatana. I was looking forward to it, but when I found out a few months ago that Romero hadn't done *any* levels I just lost interest in it.

And the screenshots look *awful*. They look like shots from an 8-bit game. Now 8-bit games are great, but I don't want a PC game that looks like one.
#13 by "Lowtax"
2000-05-29 00:00:10
lowtax@somethingawful.com http://www.somethingawful.com
Their review was posted so quickly undoubtedly due to the competition in the game reporting "biz".  There's hundreds of sites out there, a gigantic cesspit of gaming sites.  So, to stand out from the others, they chose to emphasize having the *first* review out, hoping that would make them stand out among the rest.  Same thing goes with this board; will you ever find any real, original, thought-provoking content in the first post?  No, you'll find some idiot invariably shouting "first".

-Lowtax
#14 by "RedHeadedStepChild"
2000-05-29 00:30:14
i feel that tha best reviews come from the "angry people"  tha people that are happy to point out
everything that is wrong with a game and base its score on that   not on pure grafics or popularity
or even how revilutionary a game is  
i mean if a game has perfect grafics and has been hyped 4 years  but it takes a day to master and beat
And doesnt contain MP  then its crap
#15 by "Dethstryk"
2000-05-29 00:50:18
dethstryk@damagegaming.com http://www.damagegaming.com/
<b>#3</b> "loonyboi" wrote...
<QUOTE>As anyone here who reviews games will tell you, Eidos hasn't sent out review copies yet. And unless Speedy3D gets a higher priority at Eidos than Gamecenter, GameSpot or Blue's News, they didn't get a review copy.</QUOTE>
Do any other game press guys know how long it normally takes Eidos to send stuff out? I'm waiting on my copy of Daikatana like everyone else (but I went and bought it anyway because of the delay.)


--
Dethstryk
Damage Gaming
#16 by "Dethstryk"
2000-05-29 00:50:18
dethstryk@damagegaming.com http://www.damagegaming.com/
<b>#14</b> "RedHeadedStepChild" wrote...
<QUOTE>i feel that tha best reviews come from the "angry people" tha people that are happy to point out
everything that is wrong with a game and base its score on that not on pure grafics or popularity</QUOTE>
I always think that the best reviews are the ones that aren't afraid to point out the bad parts in a game and to talk in a very light-hearted sense, but still in a serious way. It's very hard to explain, but if everyone wants to read Lowtax's review of that Christian first-person shooter he did (great piece of writing), it takes a very humorous look at the bad parts in the game. A review that takes this viewpoint while also talking about the good points just as much as the bad (if there is that much) is a good review to me.

I'm not sure if I'm making much sense, but I hate cookie cutter reviews, which say what you expect them to say if you've read another review of the same game. I know I've been guilty of writing this kind of boring reviews, but I'm still aspiring to be a gaming journalist, so I can admit that.


--
Dethstryk
Damage Gaming
#17 by "Steve Bauman"
2000-05-29 01:09:33
sbauman@adelphia.net http://homepages.together.net/~sbauman/
<quote>But ultimately, it was a mediocre game with, shall we say, more than it's fair share of bugs.</quote>
In your opinion it's mediocre, and in theirs it wasn't. End of discussion.

By the way, I played through the entire Quake II single-player game, pre-patch, and never saw a single bug. It wasn't particularly good, but it wasn't buggy.

But your mileage may vary.
#18 by "Steve Bauman"
2000-05-29 01:12:45
sbauman@adelphia.net http://homepages.together.net/~sbauman/
<quote>Before we all start flaming speedy3d, is there any possibility they could have got a gold cd from Eidos early? </quote>
Being with one of the only print magazines, we usually get gold CDs due in large part to lead-time issues (and since they can produce, say, three gold master CDs instead of 300 for all of the websites.

But we didn't get a Daikatana gold; I bought the game when it came out. As far as I know, they did not create any. With these new copy protection systems, they have to create special gold CDs. It's not just a matter of burning a couple dozen.
#19 by "Steve Bauman"
2000-05-29 01:13:27
sbauman@adelphia.net http://homepages.together.net/~sbauman/
<quote>Do any other game press guys know how long it normally takes Eidos to send stuff out? </quote>
As with most companies, it varies. Some games you get immediately, some you get golds, others you never get.
#20 by "Steve Bauman"
2000-05-29 01:23:31
sbauman@adelphia.net http://homepages.together.net/~sbauman/
<quote>Are reviews affected by reader expectations, game backgrounds, and of course the fact that a lot of reviewers are on friendly terms with the developers?</quote>
Since reviews are written by human beings, it's possible they're affected by any and all of those things. The best, however, are not. And there are only a handful of good reviewers out there; the rest are probably still learning.

Most of the time, people think there's all of these influences going on when the simple truth is some people have different opinions. Look at Shogo: a few people were defending it here, while others think it's the worst game in existence. Are the fans of the game, which could have included reviewers, affected by all of the above things? Or is it entirely possible they just like the game, and you do not?

It's really arrogance that causes this line of thinking. You're SO confident your opinion is right that you look for ANYTHING to discredit the reviewer. Or maybe it's that you lack confidence in your opinion, that you can't stand to see someone poke holes in something you hold to be true.

So in either case you lash out, with the most common argument being "you clearly didn't spend enough time with the game" followed closely by "you've been paid off by the company" (I really wish this was true; my 13 year old car needs a tune-up). Then there's the "you're an idiot," or worse...
#21 by "MoodyAllen"
2000-05-29 01:31:26
moodyallen@subdimension.com
<b>#3</b> "loonyboi" wrote...
<QUOTE>I'm glad this was a topic, since I've had this one example brewing in my head for a few days now, and I'm curious what the rest of the 'crap gang thinks of this:

http://www.speedy3d.com/reviews/daikatana/

That review ran on TUESDAY, the day the game hit store shelves. We were e-mailed that review just around the same time we started getting the mails that it was available.

Now here's the interesting part:


On any ordinary morning, if the postman were to arrive with a package at 6am and ring the bell...A somewhat thin and rather neurotic postman presented me with a parcel before departing back the way he came. In typical Speedy3D style the packaging was immediately ravished to reveal our review copy of 'Daikatana' from Eidos, upon which I immediately fainted...


Problem #1. As anyone here who reviews games will tell you, Eidos hasn't sent out review copies yet. And unless Speedy3D gets a higher priority at Eidos than Gamecenter, GameSpot or Blue's News, they didn't get a review copy.

Okay, so there's problem number one.

Problem number two: they got the game at 6:00 AM, and had a review up by noon? That seems a little fishy.

Here's the other eye-catching quote:


In fact we played through DK twice, once in single player and the other in Co-Op multiplayer, such is the level of fun to be had.


Um...what the heck? They've had the game since 6:00 AM, and they've managed to play through the game TWICE?

There's no way this is legit.

They either A) Warezed a copy, and waited for confirmation that it was available before running their review, or B) made the whole thing up.

I haven't quite decided myself yet, but you gotta admit, it's one interesting read.

-jason </QUOTE>

I think that Speedy reviewed a warez copy, then waited for a "review" copy to come in, confirmed that they were basically the same while changing a few things, and threw a review up just to get a jump on everyone else.  But then again, how can they get a review copy when other gaming sites reported they hadn't recieved it... something sounds off to me.

<quote>"After having been cooped up in tiny dark corridors for several hours, the wide open sandy shores that inhabit this lost world are a welcome relief to any time traveller."</quote>

<quote>"In fact we played through DK twice, once in single player and the other in Co-Op multiplayer, such is the level of fun to be had."</quote>

Loony said that this review went up the same day the game was released.  Does this sound feasible to you?

I've heard that Daikatana is a fairly long game, one where not all of that stuff they did is possible.  If what I described above happened, then that's the most lame piece of journalism I've seen in a while, an attempt to have the "first" glowing review of DK.

The review is bad, either way it goes.  Purely cookie-cutter, even without the controversy.  Are seemingly-positive reviews like this done for an ulterior(sp?) motive, or did they really feel as if the game was really good?

I used to read a lot of reviews.  Only a few have stood out as being good, or gave me an overall idea of what the game was like and if it would be a good/bad buy for me.  The rest gloss over the important things, or completely miss the point for the sake of being funny or seemingly unbiased.

I think that some reviews are also written because they want recognition... the "positive" review of Daikatana, the "mean-spirited" review of Daikatana... all done to get ratings, or recognition.  Heck, published reviews are meant to get recognition, but they serve a purpose;  to educate the readers in what the game in question is about, how it plays, the general feel of the product, and if it's worth the cash.  Most reviews set for ulterior motives don't do that great a job of describing the reviewer's experience with the game.

I expect a certain level of honesty in reviews.

Certain reviewers are going to rate games higher than others simply because the idea appeals to them more.  Take Dance Dance Revolution, for instance... it's a dance/rhythm game where you follow on-screen instructions by stepping on a mat-like controller.  Surely this game won't appeal to a lot of people (those who prefer not to get sweaty while playing games), but it'd appeal to a niche market.  So who do you review the game for;  the niche gamers or the other mass who don't like the game?

When you stop delivering on what your readers expect, or when the readers themselves put a negative emphasis on a game (Daikatana), what are you gonna do?  Are you gonna piss readers off by posting a positive review, or are you gonna simply get a reviewer who won't like the game to write what the people wanted to make themselves feel better?  Take Old Man Murray, for instance... what if Chet or Erik wanted to write a positive review about Daikatana?  Would their entire fanbase leave?  Could they even do it without being called "gay" or "unfunny?"

Readers expect a lot out of everything, including consistency.

Of course, when you're afraid to pan a game because you're friends with the developers or something, then your reviews and opinions are going to suffer.  If you write a harsh, flaming review of a popular game and your boss says, "Hey, tone that review down", what can you do?  You want to pan the game for the shit it is because you HATED it, but because it's a popular game from a big company that your mag/site happens to be buddy-buddy with, you might soften it up a bit.  It may be a damned good review, but still, it's gotta be "softened up."

What to do, what to do...<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#22 by "Apache"
2000-05-29 01:37:08
eidos didn't send us a gold master, either. a good indicator of how far a reviewer got into the game are the screen shots. if they're from the first few levels only, chances are they did not get very far. really, the only offensive review of DK I've read was the <A HREF="http://www.maximumpc.com/articles/2000/05/25/">Maximum PC review</a>.

btw- I just went to see "Mission Impossible II"... I think I know why the guys from 3DR did not like it :)
#23 by "MoodyAllen"
2000-05-29 01:45:47
moodyallen@subdimension.com
<b>#22</b> "Apache" wrote...
<QUOTE>really, the only offensive review of DK I've read was the Maximum PC review.

btw- I just went to see "Mission Impossible II"... I think I know why the guys from 3DR did not like it :) </QUOTE>

Wow... it's quite possible to write that review, but it seemed extremely biased.  They didn't go into how damn cool the Shocksphere is, or any of the game's other weapons (something I'm actually interested in knowing).

Did 3-d positional sound make it into the game, or was it pulled at the last minute?  That's pretty sad... I love great sound in my games, and modern games that won't take advantage of my Live! card are... pretty strange.

Anyhow, I didn't like the review simply because it's not in-depth enough about every aspect of the game.  Is this unrealistic of me to want?  It wasn't offensive at all to me... it takes a lot to get me pissed off, and a review's not gonna do it.

By the by, why did the 3DR guys not like MI2?<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#24 by "Apache"
2000-05-29 01:56:58
<quote>Wow... it's quite possible to write that review, but it seemed extremely biased. They didn't go into how damn cool the Shocksphere is, or any of the game's other weapons (something I'm actually interested in knowing).

Did 3-d positional sound make it into the game, or was it pulled at the last minute? That's pretty sad... I love great sound in my games, and modern games that won't take advantage of my Live! card are... pretty strange.

Anyhow, I didn't like the review simply because it's not in-depth enough about every aspect of the game. Is this unrealistic of me to want? It wasn't offensive at all to me... it takes a lot to get me pissed off, and a review's not gonna do it.

By the by, why did the 3DR guys not like MI2? </quote>

I like a colorful writing style, but that review was pretty nasty, even for me. I did not like the review because they were reviewing John Romero, and not the game. Plus, since the claimed that Eidos send them a copy (which they did not send to many other much larger publications) I doubt they even played the game other than the shareware to begin with.

Really the best weapon in the game was the katana itself, esp. after you leveled it up a few times.  The only problem when you wield the katana, is that the experience from the kills goes to the sword, you Hiro can't improve his abilities (acro, attack, power, speed, vit.) but it's a good trade off.

The 3DR might not like MI-2 because I "think" it gives away a huge chunk of DNF's story, just from comparing one of the released screen shots to a certain scene where Ethan was donning a "special item". I don't want to spoil anything for Duke, (in case I'm correct) so I'll just leave it at that.
#25 by "Apache"
2000-05-29 01:58:44
please ignore my horrible grammer in the above post :)
#26 by "MoodyAllen"
2000-05-29 02:09:13
moodyallen@subdimension.com
<b>#24</b> "Apache" wrote...
<QUOTE>I like a colorful writing style, but that review was pretty nasty, even for me. I did not like the review because they were reviewing John Romero, and not the game. Plus, since the claimed that Eidos send them a copy (which they did not send to many other much larger publications) I doubt they even played the game other than the shareware to begin with.

Really the best weapon in the game was the katana itself, esp. after you leveled it up a few times. The only problem when you wield the katana, is that the experience from the kills goes to the sword, you Hiro can't improve his abilities (acro, attack, power, speed, vit.) but it's a good trade off.</QUOTE>

The problem with the sword is that it's a melee weapon, in that it doesn't fire projectiles or anything.  I played around with it in the newest demo, and the level up effect was pretty cool, as in you swing the sword faster and do damage, but the lack of powerups for the characters themselves turned me away from it.  Plus, try cutting someone up on a 36k modem connection... (grumble) I stuck to the other weapons, such as the sidewinder and the shocksphere (one of the most damaging and painful-looking weapons I've ever seen).  The sword does nice damage, but for a hpb like me, it's not happenin'.

Plus, increasing your own abilities is too important in the game to have it go to some sword I can barely use.  I'd rather increase power or acro instead of having a sword that glows blue.

I bet DK's gonna be a war of who can write the trashiest reviews... I think I might want the game now, despite the demo monsters having piss-poor AI from those DooM days (even those DooM monsters did more).  Maybe when it's... cheaper.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#27 by "Apache"
2000-05-29 02:15:16
one of the cool things about the sidekicks is that they help (at least try to) in combat, so they can use ranged weapons while you hack and slash with the katana. I suppose if you spent your early skill points (from episode 1) in the speed attribute, it would really help you close the gap with your opponents before they fire.

you're correct about the multi-player, the katana isn't all that hot online.
#28 by "MoodyAllen"
2000-05-29 02:26:53
moodyallen@subdimension.com
<b>#27</b> "Apache" wrote...
<QUOTE>one of the cool things about the sidekicks is that they help (at least try to) in combat, so they can use ranged weapons while you hack and slash with the katana. I suppose if you spent your early skill points (from episode 1) in the speed attribute, it would really help you close the gap with your opponents before they fire.

you're correct about the multi-player, the katana isn't all that hot online. </QUOTE>

What *would* be cool is if it could be used to block bullets or absorb damage.  Too bad there's no mission pack planned for the game.

I saw the sidekicks at work in the demo.  I didn't like their accuracy... they absolutely never missed.  Superfly was extremely helpful, mentioning that jumping in the water was probably a bad idea, even though I had done it and froze to death before without him saying a word (a "Hey you, sucka!  Get outta the water!" would have helped).  Too bad he only said something 'cause I paused for a minute in one spot; on-the-fly advice would have been helpful.

Can you tell them what weapons you want them to carry in the full version?  Do they ever get melee weapons in the full, or are they stuck with crossbows?

I'd have more fun if they could do hand-to-hand combat.  With my play style, I don't really require sidekicks to do distance weaponry.

I'd rather stick to the power attribute in multiplayer, 'cause shocksphering and sidewindering with full power is... just evil... pure, unadulterated evil.

What pissed me off the most was the Eye of Zeus weapon.  I won't play the Greek levels if that damn staff is there.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#29 by "Apache"
2000-05-29 02:32:34
You can kind of control what weapons they use by telling them what items to pick up. I think they (ION) might add more commands for the sidekicks in the patch; one of ION's programmers updated his .plan about some new features for the AI a few days ago.

just from playing online a few hours I've noticed that a lot of the DK players are totally f*cking campers who just camp the spawn points and frag away...
#30 by "Vengeance[CoD]"
2000-05-29 02:36:01
rhiggi@home.com
<b>#13</b> "Lowtax" wrote...
<QUOTE>....
Same thing goes with this board; will you ever find any real, original, thought-provoking content in the first post? No, you'll find some idiot invariably shouting "first".

-Lowtax </QUOTE>

Actually you will, assuming you are capable of recognizing it, just not from me :p

V
<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#31 by "Jafd"
2000-05-29 02:39:16
jafd@whatthefuck.com
<b>#29</b> "Apache" wrote...
<QUOTE>just from playing online a few hours I've noticed that a lot of the DK players are totally f*cking campers who just camp the spawn points and frag away... </QUOTE>

I suspect this is a result of the weapons being so unbalanced. That Eye of Zeus weapon is so fucking stupid... you just point it at someone and they die. Big whoop.

It would only take a relatively minor bit of tweak and polish to make mulitplayer fun though.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#32 by "MoodyAllen"
2000-05-29 02:39:54
moodyallen@subdimension.com
<b>#29</b> "Apache" wrote...
<QUOTE>You can kind of control what weapons they use by telling them what items to pick up. I think they (ION) might add more commands for the sidekicks in the patch; one of ION's programmers updated his .plan about some new features for the AI a few days ago.

just from playing online a few hours I've noticed that a lot of the DK players are totally f*cking campers who just camp the spawn points and frag away... </QUOTE>

I noticed the camping, too.  My fave tactic was to get about 10 chakrams on the Greek level and continually toss them in every direction, preferably from a high spot above some armor.  Increasing the speed helped a ton for this.  For players just joining a server, it's helluva hard to gain leeway on higher-powered players.

I haven't found a camping problem in other game's demos (Quake 3, UT), so I wonder what went wrong with DK's MP.  The kind of camping (shocksphere camping in the swamp, for instance) is hard to deal with.  Is it the maps?  The way camping is handled?  The fact that shocksphering a respawn point will get you lots and lots of kills?<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#33 by "MoodyAllen"
2000-05-29 02:55:39
moodyallen@subdimension.com
<b>#29</b> "Apache" wrote...
<QUOTE>You can kind of control what weapons they use by telling them what items to pick up. I think they (ION) might add more commands for the sidekicks in the patch; one of ION's programmers updated his .plan about some new features for the AI a few days ago.</QUOTE>

What programmer had the .plan?  Might be an interesting read.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#34 by "Apache"
2000-05-29 03:09:18
<A HREF="http://finger.planetquake.com/plan.asp?userid=noel&id=14395">here you go</a>

<quote>Daikatana has hit the shelves!  Along with this comes the inevitable... the dreaded patch.  However, never fear too much regarding this.  ChalreZ, Shawn, and of course myself have been working on fixes for things that we have come to discover since the demo release on the code side, and I know the mappers have been adding some fixes and a few extra goodies to make the patch that much more welcome when it is released.

As far as Shawn and Charles are concerned, I know they have both been working in their 'areas' as I have been working on AI, World, and of course Sidekick related issues.  Some of the windows 2000 issues that have been solved are relating to level transitions and I know Shawn is working on one particular load game issue under Win2k.  So, if you are running 2000 and have had some crashes when transitioning from one level to the next, don't freak too much... the fix is coming soon.  As for things relating to the Sidekicks, well one of the additions that I have added is the ability for them to use those nifty health trees, medical kits (episode 4), and of course the various forms of the hosportal (in episode 2 it is the fountain of life). </quote>
#35 by "OldUncleTed (used to be RedHeadedStepChild)"
2000-05-29 03:33:43
in my oppinion ive seen tha best reviews in PSXL magizine
#36 by "loonyboi"
2000-05-29 04:47:57
jason@loonygames.com http://www.bluesnews.com
<b>#18</b> "Steve Bauman" wrote...
<QUOTE>Being with one of the only print magazines, we usually get gold CDs due in large part to lead-time issues (and since they can produce, say, three gold master CDs instead of 300 for all of the websites.

But we didn't get a Daikatana gold; I bought the game when it came out. As far as I know, they did not create any. With these new copy protection systems, they have to create special gold CDs. It's not just a matter of burning a couple dozen. </QUOTE>

Eidos didn't create any gold copies for review. In fact, at E3, I spoke with someone from Eidos who assured me that we'd be getting a Deus Ex gold, and a full Daikatana copy "soon" he qualified this by saying, "be nice."

-jason<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#37 by "OldUncleTed"
2000-05-29 05:22:05
I know this has notin to do wit reviews  but
WHEN IS CS 6.5 COMING OUT !!!
IIIIEEEEEEEE!
#38 by "Jowr"
2000-05-29 06:20:05
Jowr@sdf.lonestar.org http://n/a
Oh you mean you know the release date of an overhyped mod with smoke grenades? Whoppity-doo.

BTW, if you HAVE to review a fucking warez version, dont do a rip. Rips are for poor 56k people who are too fucking lazy to spend the day downloading the ISO. Review the ISO for fucks sake, at least you dont have to extract 4000 wav files from 1 exe. Its amazing, haha...
#39 by "OldUncleTed"
2000-05-29 06:29:47
Jowr   how stupid r  u?   6.5 kiks ass
#40 by "Revolver"
2000-05-29 08:18:52
brian@angelhill.net
Yea, obviously you're stupid for not sharing his fanboy zest. ;)
#41 by "None-1a"
2000-05-29 09:08:36
none1a@home.com http://www.geocities.com/none-1a/
since the topic of reivews just not liking a game came up, anyone know of any review sites that have multible people do the review?
#42 by ""
2000-05-29 09:19:04
CS 6.5 shouldn't be far away... they said they were waiting for the new Half-Life patch, and seeing this: http://www.fileplanet.com/index.asp?search=tfc+1.5&file=44173 means the new HL patch isn't very far away.
#43 by "Frac"
2000-05-29 09:45:23
kkwyu@yahoo.com
Offtopic, but curiosity kills...

Apache - what "special item" you were referring to? I saw MI2, but I can't recall any special item Ethan was carrying, even from looking at duke4's screenshots.
#44 by "Prodigy"
2000-05-29 11:03:47
prodigy@gamedata.com http://www.gamedata.com
<b>[11]</B> "flamethrower" wrote
<quote>  
 PCG gave Descent 3 65%? Two words spring to mind, "idiots" and "incompetent", and not in that order.
</quote>
Yeah, a french magazine gave it 53%, and you could tell by the review they event didn't play it at all (generalities and such, "it sucks, I don't like it" but not a single example of why it sucked). That pisses me off more than anything.

It is ok to trash a game if you don't like it, based on arguments and true facts -- readers don't give a damn if you don't like F1 simulations or CRPGs, you're here to do a decent job and tell them whether the game is good or not in its area. And you sould also know that a development team spend 1/2 year(s) making the game, so you may consider their work and explain (if you think the game is bad) WHY it is bad, and not just make fun of it for the pleasure of beeing "cool" (funny how in the reader's mind it is often cooler to trash a bad game than to praise a good one).

But when I read such a review, that really makes me mad. He (the reviewer) did not play the game, he did not play it ENTIRELY (when I review a game I finish it, because there's so much more cool stuff you could see in the game -- hey, I mean, the first missions of Descent 3 were not that great, but the last ones kicked much ass) and he makes "humorous" comments on how it sucked, etc. Those guys are a shame to our "profession".

Regarding Daikatana, I'll play it, I'll finish it, if it's boring I'll say so, and if it's fun I'll say so. Sure, the game and its development has a weird history worth mentioning, but as long as it doesn't influence the game itself, it nothing more than a funny anecdote. When the "potential buyer" is in the store, he wants to know if the game is good or not, the fact that Romero spend 4 years making it does not matter when it comes to the $30 Player1 wants to put in the game.

My 2 cents opition (TM)
#45 by "Steve Bauman"
2000-05-29 11:12:30
sbauman@adelphia.net http://homepages.together.net/~sbauman/
<quote>readers don't give a damn if you don't like F1 simulations or CRPGs, you're here to do a decent job and tell them whether the game is good or not in its area. </quote>
Well, they should. If you're going to have a bias like that, you should state it. It's better than trashing an F1 game while secretly hating 'em.

Of course if someone prefaces their review with "I don't like F1 simulations..." my first thought is, "Um, why are you reviewing it?" But that person's perspective is entirely valid, moreso than if they try to tell you whether it's good in its area when, in fact, they know little ABOUT its area...
#46 by "Happy cow"
2000-05-29 11:14:08
happycow30@hotmail.com http://happycow.home.icq.com
I have never bought a game because of a review. Never once. I don't get upset when reviews don't like a game I like. Or heap praise on a game I don't care for. But I guess since people seem to like to write about games. Reviews are going to happen. Frankly a demo does more to cause me to purchase a game then any review.

Do I read reviews? Yes. Dose what they say influence me? No.

Happy Cow (I don't know art but I know what I hate..... and I don't hate this)<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#47 by "Prodigy"
2000-05-29 11:18:53
prodigy@gamedata.com http://www.gamedata.com
<b>#45</b> "Steve Bauman" wrote...
<QUOTE>Well, they should. If you're going to have a bias like that, you should state it. It's better than trashing an F1 game while secretly hating 'em.

Of course if someone prefaces their review with "I don't like F1 simulations..." my first thought is, "Um, why are you reviewing it?" But that person's perspective is entirely valid, moreso than if they try to tell you whether it's good in its area when, in fact, they know little ABOUT its area... </QUOTE>

Yes, what I meant was that the fact that you dislike F1 simulations should not be a factor in the review. You must tell if the game is good or not in the crowd of F1 simulations (how does it compare to other F1 sims, how does the game stands for itself), but not base your review on the fact that you don't like it. Otherwise all F1 games are bad, since you hate all of them... And whenever it is possible I'd rather see a F1 game reviewed by a F1 fan, he'd probably be more enclined to tell what works and what does not...<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#48 by "Apache"
2000-05-29 11:20:34
Steve: Not all sites have the luxury of having genre specific reviewers like CGO. I have to review all the games, even the ones I don't personally like. Just have to grade them on their merits, not how much fun you're having :)
#49 by "Prodigy"
2000-05-29 11:20:41
prodigy@gamedata.com http://www.gamedata.com
<b>#46</b> "Happy cow" wrote...
<QUOTE>I have never bought a game because of a review. Never once. I don't get upset when reviews don't like a game I like. Or heap praise on a game I don't care for. But I guess since people seem to like to write about games. Reviews are going to happen. Frankly a demo does more to cause me to purchase a game then any review.

Do I read reviews? Yes. Dose what they say influence me? No.

Happy Cow (I don't know art but I know what I hate..... and I don't hate this)</QUOTE>

That's too bad. If reviews & reviewers were trustworthy you should be able to buy a game based on their article.

I bought 3 games after reading a review : Hexen (great game), Duke Nukem 3D (GREAT game) and Z (oops). Nothing since...<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#50 by "Mugwum"
2000-05-29 13:04:17
tom@eurogamer.net http://www.eurogamer.net
Heya Andy,

<quote>But ultimately, it was a mediocre game with, shall we say, more than it's fair share of bugs.</quote>

*Seething* Yes, but as was proven by Shogo (to an extent) and Unreal, buggy games that get patched up can indeed be enjoyable.

Heya Apache,

<quote>btw- I just went to see "Mission Impossible II"... I think I know why the guys from 3DR did not like it :)</quote>

I don't know why, but I respond really enthusiastically to the theme song Limp Bizkit did. Kind of sets the scene for a truly elite film in my mind's eye. Of course, since I live in Engerland, we won't see it until later this year.

Heya Flamey,

<quote>PCG gave Descent 3 65%? Two words spring to mind, "idiots" and "incompetent", and not in that order.</quote>

See post #17 from Steve.
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