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Lots Of Nothing
June 17th 2000, 03:43 CEST by andy

There are a couple of interesting stories that should be arriving any day now, but in the meantime here's a good example of "dodgy reviewing" from a usually respectable source...



Shoot your chuff over to the imaginatively titled Games Reviews page on The Guardian's web site. The Guardian is one of the more respectable UK papers, and its web site has won numerous awards.

Scroll down a bit and you'll find a review of Daikatana. It starts with a joke -- an immediate warning that the reviewer is struggling -- and then it goes on to say Lots Of Nothing. LON is a technical term, referring to that all-too-common occurrence of a journalist putting words on a page when they really don't want to be there.

Here are a few choice quotes. Bear with me, there's a point to this...

You have to keep [your two sidekicks] alive for the duration of the game, and sharing out the game's limited resources between three adds unwanted complexity to an already demanding experience.

Hiro and friends travel through four different time periods, each subdivided into six levels. In a pleasing touch, each era features not just its own enemies but also its own unique weapons. However, since gameplay is so linear, the time aspect is superficial.

The most refreshing thing about Daikatana is its unfolding story; rather than just endless levels of increasingly hard combat, cut scenes and in-game developments add a sense of progress.

The characters are blocky and blotchy, movement is jerky, and the colours, particularly on the opening level, tend to blend into a murky mess.

This often makes it hard to see where enemies are coming from until they're right on top of you. Which leads us neatly on to the general difficulty level. Take the first level: 80+ bad guys, several nasty gun turrets, about seven health packs. And two saves allowed.

Now, those quotes refer -- in vague terms -- to the whole game. The reviewer talks about the different eras, the "superficial" time travel, the unfolding story and the sense of progress. So he must have played through the game, right?

Apparently not...

Normally, game reviewers aim to complete as much of a game as they can, in order to give it the most comprehensive review possible.

And here I must hold up my hands: I have failed. Mainly because, after several dozen attempts, I simply could not finish the first level. Limited saves, tough enemies, problematic aiming, little health... stuff that for a game of soldiers.

The idea that reviewers should play all the way through a game before commenting on it is something that many people feel strongly about, but personally I don't think that is necessary. If a game is so bad that the reviewer doesn't want to play more than a few levels, simply saying that is in itself an acceptable review: "I couldn't stand this game." Fair enough.

But what the guy at The Guardian has done -- play only the first level and then (impossibly) pass his opinion on the whole game -- is laughable. And considering the number of careers and amount of money riding on Daikatana's success or failure, very irresponsible.

One also has to question the reviewer's knowledge of games in general, as he makes this baffling statement:

Daikatana is the brainchild of John Romero, he of Wolfenstein, Doom, Heretic, Hexen and Quake fame. Romero's specific contribution to those games is unclear.

He was a level designer, game designer, and on the early games he was one of the programmers. Admittedly, I knew this anyway, but how hard would it have been to find out?

What I'm guessing has happened here, is that the Guardian reviewer has played the first level of the game, maybe gone through the rest of it on god-mode, and then read some other reviews to see what he should be saying. After all, he must have got those other opinions from somewhere.

If he'd said Daikatana was really good or really bad, that might have raised a few eyebrows, but by summarising what everyone else has been saying and padding it out with Lots Of Nothing, he gets to look like he knows what he's talking about. And if that costs the game another few thousand sales, who cares?

C O M M E N T S
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#1 by "RahvinTaka"
2000-06-17 03:46:13
donaldp@mad.scientist.com
This innane first post is brought to you by RT<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#2 by "Andy"
2000-06-17 03:46:32
andy@planetcrap.com
As usual, do please follow the link before forming an opinion. I hack quotes up pretty bad so read the whole review to make sure you see it the same way I do.
#3 by "Serpwidgets"
2000-06-17 03:55:48
serpwidgets@hotmail.com http://people.ce.mediaone.net/serpwidgets/index.ht
<QUOTE>Daikatana is the brainchild of John Romero, he of Wolfenstein, Doom, Heretic, Hexen and Quake fame. Romero's specific contribution to those games is unclear.</QUOTE>

I think this is taken out of context. Look at the complete paragraph:

<QUOTE>Romero's specific contribution to those games is unclear; after seeing this, I think he made the tea because very little of this first-person shooter is worth the three-year wait.</QUOTE>

It seems obvious that he's not asking, "did John Romero program or do art or what?" It's more like, "If this is what he contributed, then why didn't the other previous games suck?"<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#4 by "flamethrower"
2000-06-17 04:01:10
flamey_at_evil@hotmail.com http://flamethrower.evilavatar.com
<QUOTE>Daikatana is the brainchild of John Romero, he of Wolfenstein, Doom, Heretic, Hexen and Quake fame. Romero's specific contribution to those games is unclear.

He was a level designer, game designer, and on the early games he was one of the programmers. Admittedly, I knew this anyway, but how hard would it have been to find out?</QUOTE>

How much of the story, overall design, etc., did he have on those games? As Raven about how much he did as Executive PRODUCER. He lent those games an id-name but not much else tangible.

<QUOTE>And if that costs the game another few thousand sales, who cares?</QUOTE>

Excuse me, <b>what the fuck</b>? You're Andy, remember, you don't like Evil Publishers ripping off yer atypical Angus McDougal of 30 (~ 2 DVDs/3 CDs) with a game that is lukewarm, unenjoyable, palpable, crap.
<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#5 by "Serpwidgets"
2000-06-17 04:01:14
serpwidgets@hotmail.com http://people.ce.mediaone.net/serpwidgets/index.ht
BTW it's not like I really care for 'reviewers' of <b>any</b> ilk. In general, I think you're right about the fact that some (but not all) of what he is saying about the game would require playing through at least more than the first level in order to get a real feel for what it really is.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#6 by "Talion"
2000-06-17 04:03:29
talion6@hotmail.com
At least he was honest, I guess.  To me the real question
is what other games this guy has played.  I'm pretty sure
the necessity of reviews being at least to a certain extent
fans of the genre of game they are reviewing has come up
recently, and this is a good example.

Most Daikatana reviews talk about how its single player
gameplay doesn't cut it in the post-Half Life FPS market.
This guy doesn't mention Half-Life...or any other FPS besides
the list of Romero's games he probably got off Ion Storm's web
site.  Unless SWAT was a FPS, but I don't think it was, and
even if it was it was a tactical game rather than an action
game.  "Teamplay (as seen in SWAT)" Well, SWAT isn't exactly
what comes to most FPS fan's minds.  "Time travel (as seen in
Day of the Tentacle)"  I suppose he's trying to make some
point about it being derivative, but Tentacle?  That's in a
whole other universe.

Then there's the proof: he can't finish the first level on
easy.  Now I admit that I myself haven't played Daikatana
retail, nor more than a few minutes of the demo, so correct
me if I'm wrong.  However, I'm sure it's safe to say that
anyone who's played FPS games for any length of time could
beat the *first level*.

To me it looks like a case of an Adventure game enthusiast
being assigned a fast-paced FPS and being totally out of
his depth.  Probably his boss's (hmm, I should have paid
more attention to that apostrophe lecture a thread or two
back) fault.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#7 by "Andy"
2000-06-17 04:04:02
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#3</b>, Serpwidgets:

Weeell... okay, I guess so, but if the guy really does know what Romero did, it's weird that he would say his contribution was 'unclear'. I mean, why claim you don't know something when you do?

If he knew what Romero did, I think he'd have said something like: "<i>Judging by Daikatana, it's surprising that those other games turned out so well.</i>"
#8 by "Tikki God"
2000-06-17 04:05:55
tikgod@hotmail.com
Wow, didn't even beat the first level before passing judgement on an entire game.  I don't know what standards there typically are for a game review, but I do know the standards for other types of reviews.  Such as movie reviews.  Most movie critics sit through the entire movie, even if it is a god-awful piece of trash.  Simply writing, well this movie started off slowly and boring, so I walked out after 15 minutes, after saying that the movie sucks just isn't a very good review now is it?  This reviewer who did the Daikatana review made a number of statements from the first level, such as level design, character modeling and skins, and other various things such as plot that he had no right to judge as he had not fully experienced those aspects of the game.  And in actuallity, he never even finished the first level, so his impressions are not from the first level but a portion of it, pretty poor writing in my opinion.
#9 by "Serpwidgets"
2000-06-17 04:09:04
serpwidgets@hotmail.com http://people.ce.mediaone.net/serpwidgets/index.ht
<b>#7</b> "Andy" wrote...
<QUOTE>If he knew what Romero did, I think he'd have said something like: "Judging by Daikatana, it's surprising that those other games turned out so well." </QUOTE>

I think it's called sarcasm. He was being a smartass and saying, "I dunno what he did in previous games, but it must've been insignificant because those games didn't suck." It doesn't mean to take it literally... were you born yesterday? ;-)<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#10 by "Andy"
2000-06-17 04:10:21
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#4</b>, flamethrower:
<QUOTE>
Excuse me, what the fuck? You're Andy, remember, you don't like Evil Publishers ripping off yer atypical Angus McDougal of 30 (~ 2 DVDs/3 CDs) with a game that is lukewarm, unenjoyable, palpable, crap.
</QUOTE>
Publishing a crap game isn't ripping people off. It's possible that someone might read a review that says it's crap and decide to buy it anyway -- more fool them, but they're not being ripped off.

Crap games and buggy games are two different things, though.


<b>#6</b>, Talion:
<QUOTE>
Probably his boss's (hmm, I should have paid more attention to that apostrophe lecture a thread or two back) fault.
</QUOTE>
Bosses's' :)
#11 by "Andy"
2000-06-17 04:14:49
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#9</b>, Serpwidgets:
<QUOTE>
I think it's called sarcasm. He was being a smartass and saying, "I dunno what he did in previous games, but it must've been insignificant because those games didn't suck." It doesn't mean to take it literally... were you born yesterday? ;-)
</QUOTE>
I know what you mean, but it doesn't read as sarcasm to me. I think he just didn't have any idea what Romero did, or why's he's well-known, so he fell back on the nice vague term "unclear". It's one of those misleading words that says one thing, but can be argued to mean something different.

But enough of this. We sort of agree, sort of disagree. :)
#12 by "Bob Aboey"
2000-06-17 05:45:20
<QUOTE>Most movie critics sit through the entire movie, even if it is a god-awful piece of trash. Simply writing, well this movie started off slowly and boring, so I walked out after 15 minutes, after saying that the movie sucks just isn't a very good review now is it? This reviewer who did the Daikatana review made a number of statements from the first level, such as level design, character modeling and skins, and other various things such as plot that he had no right to judge as he had not fully experienced those aspects of the game. And in actuallity, he never even finished the first level, so his impressions are not from the first level but a portion of it, pretty poor writing in my opinion. </QUOTE>

Movies are different from games. The customer has to actually move their way through a game, you have to fight, solve riddles, find a key, etc. I movie moves itself along, it is going to finish whether you are there or not. Since a game is interactive and requires a player to move the plot forward, it is very understandable (in my opinion) that someone would give a bad review without getting past the first level. Developers know that games are different from movies, if your first level is so bad that the player can't stand to advance, I would say that you haven't done a very good job.
#13 by "Tikki God"
2000-06-17 06:01:35
Tikgod@hotmail.com
<b>#12</b> "Bob Aboey" wrote...

<QUOTE>Movies are different from games. The customer has to actually move their way through a game, you have to fight, solve riddles, find a key, etc. I movie moves itself along, it is going to finish whether you are there or not.</QUOTE>

Yes, a movie certainly will move along without you, but is it fair to make a judgement on that movie? No, if you could only stand to watch the first 15 minutes then you should say, "The first 15 minutes of the movie were terrible, so I left."  You can't say, "The entire movie sucked, so I left after 15 minutes." That just wouldn't be an honest, well-written review. Sort-of like the one this guy did.

<QUOTE>if your first level is so bad that the player can't stand to advance, I would say that you haven't done a very good job. </QUOTE>

It's not that the reviewer couldn't stand to advance, that I could understand, he simply didn't have the ability to get past the first level and so he drew conclusions about the rest of the game from a very, very small portion of the game.

Instead of saying, "I suck too badly at FPS shooters and I couldn't get past what I believe to be a poorly designed first level, so the rest of the game must be a poorly designed piece of shit also."  He should have said, "I'm not very good at FPS shooters, and I couldn't get past the first level, but the first level had bad colors, enemy models were jagged and badly skinned.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#14 by "Andy"
2000-06-17 06:16:22
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#13</b>, Tikki God:
<QUOTE>
It's not that the reviewer couldn't stand to advance, that I could understand, he simply didn't have the ability to get past the first level and so he drew conclusions about the rest of the game from a very, very small portion of the game.
</QUOTE>
It's not just that. He doesn't just draw conclusions, he talks about how "the time aspect is superficial" and how "cut scenes and in-game developments add a sense of progress". If he didn't play through the game, or he played through it on god-mode, how does he know about that stuff?

To continue with the movie comparisons, it would be like saying "the first bit of the film was boring, so I walked out, but a good love story developed in the second half". He's clearly talking about elements of the game that he has no first-hand experience of.

This is the sort of article/story/review that has lead to my current obsession with irresponsibility in the media. This review wasn't meant to be read by the likes of us -- it's targeted at the average guy in the street, not regular gamers. The target reader is meant to skim through the review, decide against buying the game, and think no more about it. But on this occasion, the reviewer got sprung, because we're hyper-sensitive to this sort of thing.

That's one good thing about the amount of crap on the 'net - we see so much of it that when some spills into the mainstream, we spot it.
#15 by "Bob Aboey"
2000-06-17 06:54:05
I think you missed my point TK. Of course it's not fair to review a movie you only saw the first 15 minutes of, but that's because movies are much easier to complete than a game. You only have to sit and watch, I would question the crudentials of any reviewer who couldn't sit through a movie, unless that movie was so disturbed it induced vomiting.

And when I said giving a game a bad review after only playing the first level is understandable, I wasn't referring to this person's review in particular. I was referring to your generalization that not getting past the first level before writing up a review is unfair. If you were playing a game that was sufficiently horrible and unplayable in the very first level, I would understand it if you just quit and gave it a bad review. I don't know if that's the case here, I should've clarified that.
#16 by "Tikki God"
2000-06-17 07:06:00
Tikgod@hotmail.com
Absolutly, the fact is, if reviews like this were commonplace, gaming industry guy would lose jobs because reviewers passed judgement on their game in advance, then hardly even played the game in fear that it might actually be good.  The reviewer then writes a review that could very well get many people not to buy the game.  And unfortunatly for Daikatana, it seems as though a whole lot of people (not just reveiwers) deemed it utter shit long ago, and now won't even take a 15 minute look at it to see if it is any good or if it really is shit.  Because most people's opinions were shaped by screen shots, a shitty M-Player demo, and the missed dead-lines.  Give the game a chance people

Bob:I understood exactly what you meant, but the fact remains that not even an entire level is not enough to judge a game by. No matter how terrible or unplayable it may be, nothing short of a fatal crash that occurs every time you play the game should prevent a reviewer from at least finishing half of the game, and then, if halfway through the game he still feels the same way, then so be it, write a review flaminng the game, but for god's sake reviewers, play at least half the game.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#17 by "None-1a"
2000-06-17 07:06:27
none1a@home.com http://www.geocities.com/none-1a/
First off no real gamer would never take the word of a reivew from a newpaper, not really a source you'd think to look to for gaming info (the the rather short article proves that).

Second the SWAT reference was valid since SWAT 4 has one of the best FPS in game control functions on the market (considering the teammate where supposted to play a major role in Dank, as I've desided to start calling it, a more feature rich control setup for them would have been nice).

As for the reviewer not getting past the first level, some one at Guardian should fire this guy or send to to another department because he's defelitly not qualified to be a game reviewer (first be a gamer second be able to write). Also he couldn't have read many review do to the comment about sharing resoures (most reviews I've read give the tip of commanding the sidekicks to stay put while you clear the level then go back and get them, had this tips been used there would have been no need to share resources)
#18 by "Steve Bauman"
2000-06-17 07:55:53
sbauman@adelphia.net http://homepages.together.net/~sbauman/
The first level of Daikatana is dreadful, and considerably harder than all of the others. That's a sign of poor design, but truthfully the second and third episodes are considerably better, before the game falls apart (again) in the final episode.

I think it's valid for a reviewer to say, "I only played 1/4 of the game", but as others have said, it's unfair to judge the entire game. It's OK to say, "Look, the opening sucks SO bad I never wanted to play anymore... end of story." Fine. But you really have to leave it at that and let the reader decide if they find that acceptible.

I refused to continue playing exactly one game: Meat Puppet. It was so horrible I gave up after a few levels. It was virtually unplayable because the controls were dreadful.
#19 by "G-Man"
2000-06-17 08:28:48
jonmars@shiftlock.org http://www.shiftlock.org
<b>#18</b> "Steve Bauman" wrote...
<QUOTE>I refused to continue playing exactly one game: Meat Puppet. It was so horrible I gave up after a few levels. It was virtually unplayable because the controls were dreadful. </QUOTE>
Ugh.. flashback to Prince of Persia 3D

 - [g.man]<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#20 by "51|RandoM"
2000-06-17 08:43:43
random1@speakeasy.org http://www.clan51.com
Hmmm, is this the best you can come up with?

"Welcome to www.planetnitpick.com"
#21 by "Apache"
2000-06-17 08:45:36
reviewing movies is much easier than games. I mean, sit in a theatre for two hours, watch the film, get out and go write about what you saw. games on the other hand are much more difficult; playing a mere 2 hours might be long enough to snap off some shots and preview the sucker, writing an honest review on the other hand takes several days to a week. this could be why so many big sites use freelance writers for reviews.

using freelancers is disturbing to me however, as if someone posts a feature on gamecenter one day, daily radar the next, computer games online the day after (for example) etc. etc. the sites in question lose its identity, and the reader can't identify w/ the editors, and a bond will not be formed with the readers.

I was chatting with a freelancer the other day (I made an offbeat comment on VE about how I noticed this guy's work all over the place that night, he took exception) then he showed me his resume and what he charged, and I was like #&%^@! this guy makes more money per article that the freakin Pope! (if he should ever pick up writing games reviews ;) It blows me away these sites would pay so much for features, and yet underpay their in-house editors so badly.

that's why we don't use them :-)
#22 by "Andy"
2000-06-17 09:00:01
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#21</b>, Apache:

How much did he charge for each feature?

I've only accepted payment twice for computer-related articles, and I was shocked by how much I got. I would have expected maybe a third, or even less.

One single article got me as much as an average author would receive in royalties for a thousand sales in hardback. It was a big research piece and it took a long time, but still... there's something backwards about that.

(And for those with long memories and grudges -- yes, I did. Those who don't know what I'm on about, it doesn't matter!)
#23 by "Morn"
2000-06-17 12:12:39
morn@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcrap.com
Apache:

<quote>
I was chatting with a freelancer the other day (I made an offbeat comment on VE about how I noticed this guy's work all over the place that night, he took exception) then he showed me his resume and what he charged, and I was like #&%^@! this guy makes more money per article that the freakin Pope! (if he should ever pick up writing games reviews ;) It blows me away these sites would pay so much for features, and yet underpay their in-house editors so badly.
</quote>

Maybe he's just good? :)

- Morn
#24 by "Podfish"
2000-06-17 12:34:13
llama@verbalchilli.com http://www.verbalchilli.com
Well this is a good example of why not to trust the UK press. Especially not the Grauniad (as it has been dubbed because of its reputation for poor spelling). If you look through the technology supplement of this particular newspaper, the sheer inaccuracy of the articles is enough to illicit laughter. Sometimes I read an article about something of which I previously had no knowledge and discover something new and interesting. Then I read another article about a subject with which I am familiar and discover it's a huge pile of steaming fetid shit. It makes me wonder whether I should believe anything the first article said either.
#25 by "Desiato"
2000-06-17 14:40:46
desiato_hotblack@hotmail.com http://www.spew2.com
I have Daikatana poisoning, never mind me..

*argh*.. too .. many .. mosquitoes ...

I'll need to detox before I even *think* about this game again.


Desiato
#26 by "flamethrower"
2000-06-17 15:52:30
flamey_at_evil@hotmail.com http://flamethrower.evilavatar.com
<b>#10</b> "Andy" wrote...
<QUOTE>Publishing a crap game isn't ripping people off. It's possible that someone might read a review that says it's crap and decide to buy it anyway -- more fool them, but they're not being ripped off.

Crap games and buggy games are two different things, though. </QUOTE>

Hmmm, but does P1MP1NG a crap game constitute ripping people off? Damn, poor old KillCreek was made to get her paps out on an Internet porn site with pictures of Dai in the background. In the space of time and the money to make two desperately pisspoor games we could have had at least SS2 quality games.

Besides, not buggy? Try playing Dai on one of the most popular video cards around: the Voodoo 3.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#27 by "Darkseid-[D!]"
2000-06-17 17:32:44
Darkseid-d@planetcrap.com http://www.captured.com/boomstick
Deus Ex demo

140mbs .. downloaded it overnight


just played it ..



First Impressions .... Now we know where System Shock _really_ came from.  The leaning around corners, enhancing abilities, ammo types ...


imagine if you will, a game that takes Thief, System Shock and Final Fantasy. Soaks them in The Termintor, Blade Runner and Logans Run. Then executes the whole thing with a flair and panache not commonly seen in games today.  Then you have Deux Ex.

World interaction, DN4ever is going to have to REALLY pump it to compete :)  (especially the commentary when you barge in on the ladies toilets.. hem hem)

Graphics, runs smoother than UT and believe me the level its showing is _immense_.  Character anims that are fluid, with facial expressions ...  Stereotyping is a bit obvious (see the Arnie a like Hermann).

AI is reasonable, youll get obliterated if you try 'charging the front', some nice touches.  Weapons aiming tracks in the longer you hold it on your target, move, and your chance to hit is changed.  A headshot is instantly fatal, but shot corpses bleed profusely.  The other ais on patrol can see corpses and bloodstains and WILL re act.  Stunning is quite fun, with either the stun gun or tranq darts.. and the darts take a few seconds to work...

Comparison

Deus Ex to Daikatana
24 Carat Gold bar to The Toilet in Trainspotting

Download it... enjoy it

then go buy the full game .. Im counting the days til it hits the UK shores... GIMME GIMME GIMME....


Ds
#28 by "Sgt Hulka"
2000-06-17 17:36:59
sgt_hulka@yahoo.com http://www.hulka.com
I'm at 98% on the Dues Ex demo.  150 meg, this sucka better be good!  I'll probably post a review at Hulka.com later, if it sucks, I probably won't say anything.

From what I'm reading around da net, it's getting mixed reviews. Some people like it, some say it's another Daikatana.  I find that hard to believe, but ya never know.
#29 by "Sgt Hulka"
2000-06-17 17:57:28
sgt_hulka@yahoo.com http://www.hulka.com
Damn!  Zip file corrupt.  I'm NOT redownloading this demo.  I'll wait for PC Gamer to send it to me on CD.  Oh well, I'm off to watch Sleepy Hollow again...  Great film!
#30 by "Fortyseven[BTEG]"
2000-06-17 18:36:48
47@spacemoose.com http://www.bteg.com
Ouch. :(  130 megs is the largest I ever went for on a 33.6...thankfully I haven't had a download conclude like that -- yet. (Jinxed it...oof...)
#31 by "Nathan McKenzie"
2000-06-17 18:41:05
Little off topic - but not much:

I just saw this quote (from Evil Avatar's, from LittleWhiteDog(?), from a Diablo 2 stress-test review)

"Any moron could build some new maps, expand the world, make some new classes, make some new magic items and tweak the net code a bit because that's all that seems to have been done so far."

It's funny that he should say this, because half way through Soldier of Fortune's development, we brought in these 3 homeless guys, and we were like "Hey, we'll give you some cheese (this is Wisconsin after all) if you'll improve our net code for us."  So they did.

---

How can there possibly be this much contempt from (some, a surprising number of) reviewers and the gaming press towards developers at this point?

And I have to wonder just what this reviewer would do if he were given these tasks he said any moron could do ;)

---

Good reviewers are so vitally important.  That is all I have to say.  Sigh.
#32 by "Vengeance[CoD]"
2000-06-17 18:44:41
rhiggi@home.com
<b>#31</b> "Nathan McKenzie" wrote...
<QUOTE>
It's funny that he should say this, because half way through Soldier of Fortune's development, we brought in these 3 homeless guys, and we were like "Hey, we'll give you some cheese (this is Wisconsin after all) if you'll improve our net code for us." So they did.
</QUOTE>

Hehn, I wouldn't say stuff like that.  You're liable to get quoted :-)


V<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#33 by "Sgt Hulka"
2000-06-17 19:03:34
sgt_hulka@yahoo.com http://www.hulka.com
Damn!  Write net code for free cheese!  Why didn't you say something earlier!???  Damn, I love my cheese!

Give me a brick of Velvetta and I'll code a fucking Egyptian world complete with evil little nasty bastages you can kill.
================================================

I would have to agree, for some reason when I read a EA review, there seems to be a lot of animosity towards the developers.  That's not needed, that's not right...

Rock the Kasbah!  Or however it's spelled.  It's by the Clash.  It's poetry in motion, the way she turned her eyes to me..... SCIENCE!
#34 by "Podfish"
2000-06-17 19:12:49
llama@verbalchilli.com http://www.verbalchilli.com
Casbah

Spooky: Winamp chose to play that track at the very moment I read that sentance.
#35 by "Tom Cleghorn"
2000-06-17 19:19:17
tc10@spammeandfeelpainlikenootherpain.st-andrews.a http://www.fisty.com/~tom
And in an intastella burst, I return to the 'crap with a grammatical nitpick :)
Not quite sure what you were getting at with "bosses's'", Andy, but I imagine that the singular (belonging to the boss) would be "boss's" - since the apostrophe is taking the place of an 'e', left over from Old and Middle English genitive endings - and the plural would then be "bosses'", the same as any other genitive of a noun ending in 's'. :)
On topic, I'd imagine that the writer in question is probably not a 'hardcore' gamer (he works for the Guardian, not a computer magazine), and was probably cowering under some deadlines. If he really wants to make the review up, it's his prerogative - it's not a terribly nice thing to do to the gaming readership of the Guardian (all 4 of 'em ;), but it's his choice. That said, I do think it was pretty stupid of him to admit it - I'd put money on it that he got a roasting from his superiors for it. <i>That</i> said, it does give anyone reading the review the chance to realise that he's talked crap for most of it - provided they're <i>thinking</i> - and that, o best beloved, is where people go wrong with almost all journalism these days. Taking as definitive fact anything that you read is just plain silly - were I thinking of buying Daikatana, I'd be reading as many reviews of it as I could lay my hands on before shelling out for it. Likewise, I've been looking forward to Vampire: The Masquerade for some time - I've been following development quite closely, for various reasons, and I'm aching to rush out and buy the first copy I can find. But I won't do that, because I haven't had the opportunity to read reviews yet.
And that, as they say, was the end of that plane flight.
#36 by "Darkseid-[D!]"
2000-06-17 19:41:09
Darkseid-d@planetcrap.com http://www.captured.com/boomstick
Oi, Cleghorn. NO!

get back to fixing your dvd rom so I can mock you!


Ds
#37 by "Tom Cleghorn"
2000-06-17 19:51:40
tc10@spammeandfeelpainlikenootherpain.st-andrews.a http://www.fisty.com/~tom
*draws Sword of Mighty Imperviousness to Mockery and tests successfully against Major Skill 'Hague-like Piss-take Ignoring'
'Sticks and stones may break my bones...'


(That's your cue, Boal... ;)
#38 by "Serpwidgets"
2000-06-17 20:24:11
serpwidgets@hotmail.com http://people.ce.mediaone.net/serpwidgets/index.ht
<b>#27</b> "Darkseid-[D!]" wrote...
<QUOTE>Deus Ex demo

140mbs .. downloaded it overnight


just played it .. </QUOTE>
Where can you d/l it? So far I've only found it at the Adrenaline Vault and it's getting a shitty 10k/sec. Ugh.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#39 by "Vengeance[CoD]"
2000-06-17 20:29:10
rhiggi@home.com
<b>#38</b> "Serpwidgets" wrote...
<QUOTE>#27 "Darkseid-[D!]" wrote...

Deus Ex demo

140mbs .. downloaded it overnight


just played it ..

Where can you d/l it? So far I've only found it at the Adrenaline Vault and it's getting a shitty 10k/sec. Ugh.</QUOTE>

I'm having the same problem, but i use GetRight, it divides it up into several seqments.  So i may only get 7k per connection, but have an effective download speed of 21k, for instance.

Theres like 3 or 4 sites, I just don't know the location of the files on those sites.  I searched for Deus Ex, found the home page, and dl from there.  GetRight will grab a list of alternates for you.  Its not as helpful with my cable modem (except for servers with high traffic), but I think its a must for regular modem users.

V<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#40 by "Tikki God"
2000-06-17 21:35:19
Tikgod@hotmail.com
Getright is my savior!  I would have to sacrifice my shitty dial-up connection and my 56k Winmodem to the internet Gods if it werent for Getright.  

Btw go and see Shaft, its suprisingly good, although I don't feel like Sam L. Jackson is as a good a Shaft as the original, he does do a pretty good job.  My only complaint would be that the action scenes are kinda cheesy.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#41 by "Darkseid-[D!]"
2000-06-17 21:37:35
Darkseid-d@planetcrap.com http://www.captured.com/boomstick
Snagged it over night from

ftp://ftp.download.com/pub/win95/games/DeusExDemo.exe

was pulling about 7ksec (near max for isdn)


well recommended demo


*draws a hexagram and summon Greater Lord of Hell Dale Winton to eat TomC*


Ds
#42 by "PiRaMidA"
2000-06-17 21:37:51
piramida@usa.net http://www.agsm.net
Reviews of games done by non-gamers always suprised me with their ignorance, while the reviewer always sounds like he's some local god of sorts... I read some preview of Diablo2 on Infoceptor a while back and through all of the review the reviewer was pointing out a magical combination he found that would supposedly highlight all items on the ground... Alt-Tab... Which, on any given Windows machine, would simply switch to Windows. I had to wonder did he ever tried that or was he talking out of his ass without getting a chance to actually play the game?

Anyway, I'll go see what is that next topic about...<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#43 by "PiRaMidA"
2000-06-17 21:42:39
piramida@usa.net http://www.agsm.net
<b>#29</b> "Sgt Hulka" wrote...
<QUOTE>Damn! Zip file corrupt. I'm NOT redownloading this demo. I'll wait for PC Gamer to send it to me on CD. Oh well, I'm off to watch Sleepy Hollow again... Great film! </QUOTE>

You are kidding, right?

As for the demo, try to use some decent download manager... Which does a smart rollback - no more broken downloads for me since I started using NetVampire (was happening all the time with GetRight/ReGet).<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#44 by "Tom Cleghorn"
2000-06-17 21:50:31
tc10@spammeandfeelpainlikenootherpain.st-andrews.a http://www.fisty.com/~tom
*summons Greater Gorilla of Sekh'uriTei:
*speaks with Voice of Command level 7: 'Gorilla, put ye the smack down upon the Dark One!'

*Gorilla puts smack down on Darkseid for loss of D12+8 wounds.
#45 by "Andy"
2000-06-17 22:05:14
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#29</b>, Sgt Hulka:
<QUOTE>
Damn! Zip file corrupt.
</QUOTE>
I'd be spitting hellfire if that had happened to me. Sue the bastards!
#46 by "Twitch"
2000-06-17 22:42:19
twitch@gamepig.com http://www.gamepig.com
Deus Ex demo was fun. Worth all the 15 minutes of download time :)

I don't care for the contempt shown to my GeForce by the Unreal engine under D3D, but the way the gameplay goes, lower framerates aren't an annoyance.

Back on topic: The more informed a review is, the more helpful it tends to be. On the other hand, a review isnt' automatically useless because the author didn't play the whole thing from start to finish witout cheats. A game that stinks for the first half or 2/3 is still not a good game, even if it gets better. Bear in mind this is just my standard as a reader. The few reviews I post on my generic gaming site #4,253 are all based on complete play-throughs.... although honestly, that's more because of obsessive-compulsive gaming habits, not journalistic integrity :)
#47 by "Darkseid-[D!]"
2000-06-17 23:09:52
Darkseid-d@planetcrap.com http://www.captured.com/boomstick
*counters Cleghorn with a Glyph of Laurence llewyln bown*

attacks with Jug of chinny insulting +4



Ds
#48 by "flamethrower"
2000-06-17 23:49:19
flamey_at_evil@hotmail.com http://flamethrower.evilavatar.com
<b>#31</b> "Nathan McKenzie" wrote...
<QUOTE>How can there possibly be this much contempt from (some, a surprising number of) reviewers and the gaming press towards developers at this point? </QUOTE>

The Internet jades.

Once upon a time you'd read of a game in a magazine and maybe (but not always) a while later you'd get the game based (usually) on a magazine review. You had almost NO information about the developer and you just got on with playing the game. If you didn't keep your magazines you never kept up on a "history". Now we have the internet, links to five year old stories, the behind the scenes fights and squeals.

Throw into the mix: complexity. Games used to be fucking easy to make, and by that I don't mean crap games. GREAT games were reasonably easy, compared to today. Ask Jeff Minter.

The mystique of making levels, coding, adding and creating a REAL game went with Doom and Quake. People, punters, saw just how damned easy it was, at least for them. They called each other moron, sometimes, but they weren't (they were, very nearly exclusively, affluent, educated, white males).

For years and years, games TRUMPED each other. WOW! Have you seen THIS?! Would give way to even better games, often with original(ish) gamplay AND innovative tech.

Where's the innovation in SOF? Anywere? Or Diablo 2? Enjoyable games with large amounts of hard work behind, but what do they TRUMP?

As I say, add in the Internet exists to piss people off (honestly, I'm a happy, laughing person in Real Life, I read the net and THAT'S ME RANTING), high expectations, and the necessity to write your dozen words before the next news item/review/whatever and there you go.

<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#49 by "Apache"
2000-06-18 00:43:02
Andy: upwards of $400-600 a review/preview and $1,000-2,000 a feature.
#50 by "Andy"
2000-06-18 01:23:19
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#49</b>, Apache:
<QUOTE>
Andy: upwards of $400-600 a review/preview and $1,000-2,000 a feature.
</QUOTE>
Ah, right. I got a bit less than that, but it's still silly money, innit? When you think that a coal miner or steel worker has to do a fortnight of hard grind to make that sort of cash, and the likes of us can make it in a few hours/days, things are really screwed up.
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