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Posts posted by MisterG

  1. First, you are mistaken that publishers care what reviews say. Publishers care what makes them money. It is not at all uncommon for games with good reviews to fail to make money, or for games with poor reviews to do quite well. The critical buzz around the first Assassins Creed was not great! 17 Assassins Creed games later, they are only now rethinking their approach because sales began to falter (even though AC Syndicate was probably the best received AC game in years). Metal Gear Solid 5 got pretty outstanding reviews and plenty of GOTY awards, but Konami decided that making games like that and employing Kojima wasn't worth the investment. So they're not doing that anymore. You point to positive review scores for Rainbow Six Siege as dooming future games to have anti-player features. Everything I've read suggests that Siege has been a sales disappointment. I wouldn't be too worried about them making a significantly similar sequel just because reviews didn't call out the things you disliked about it.


    Second, you say it's okay if reviewers "become critics instead" and doesn't use a review score. Why does that make a difference? Because Metacritic doesn't count unscored reviews? What if Metacritic decided to start assigning a value to text reviews (similar to how Rotten Tomatoes does for movies, inferring a positive/negative)? Would it no longer be acceptable to be a critic? And do your criticisms not apply to reviewers whose sites aren't on Metacritic? Can I give WoW a 2/10 if Metacritic doesn't care what I think? And what if Metacritic changes the way it translates a site's scores, as they did with 1Up years ago--does that mean old reviews that used to be objective are no longer objective? Or what if Metacritic just goes away? This seems like an incredibly arbitrary metric to focus on.


    Firstly, of course they do. Some companies even give bonus' based on scores, and how else will they know WHY the game flopped. Most huge corporations say "look it did great critically, poor sales must be due to piracy". In the absence of true feedback, people are free to use ego defense.


    Secondly my point is about what a score represents. For a major site/magazine a game score is a professional stake in the sand about how good a game is.


    To use rhawick's food metaphor, if a Cheesecake is baked perfectly, but you don't like Lemon for you to score it as a 2/10 Cheesecake. Again as a professional Journalist - or food reviewer - you should know what makes a great Cheesecake so even if you personally don't like it, you can recognise a good one from a bad one as score it on how well it's made and how balanced the flavour is.


  2. Rather than being hilariously condescending for a new poster, why not answer the question? So far something like half of your posts have accused other forum members of 'trolling' for disagreeing with you. If you can't carry on an actual discussion, I suggest you go find a forum that welcomes that kind of behavior.


    The quote was:

    A car is supposed to drive you places. What is a game supposed to do?


    so either they are baiting because they know what a game is, and are trolling OR are honestly asking "what is a game supposed to do?"


    I didn't want to insult anyone's intelligence thinking it was the latter, so assumed you were baiting and I'm not interested in biting.


    Also if you actually want an answer, you should at least have listened to what was said - I'm talking about judging a game on what it is supposed to be, so my example it that I don't think you should score a game down for being a real world RPG game when that's what it's trying to be and there isn't a better way to do it.


    I totally accept they might not like the idea, or think it it doesn't work, but that is very definitely an opinion and shouldn't be reflected in the score (again IMO).


    Also, the passive aggressive response is pretty crappy, when you accuse me of not being able to "Carry on an actual discussion", and suggest I go elsewhere when you are the one being both dismissive and rude. Really impressive for an Admin

  3. rharwick, on 11th April 2016 -- 17:00, said:

    "I find this accusation, that people are marking down The Division "because it doesn't have Orcs," a bit of a strawman, but perhaps I've simply missed something. Could you please provide a link or quotation from a review that does this? "


    It's pretty much word for word the editor of PC Gamer defending his teams review:


    (at the end in the questions section) - in response to my letter from their previous pod cast.


    Again it's not about the Division, it's that reviews are getting far more "about the reviewer" and not about what they are reviewing (IMO obviously).


    Great Metaphor BTW ;)

  4. It's literally all made up. There's no objective truth to be found here. Video games are made up! Genres are made up! Reviews are made up things that are about things that are also made up!

    Of course there is. A game is a sum of its parts, the same as a car is.


    A game can have great mechanics or crap mechanics.


    When reviewing a minecraft clone for instance, how good is the block creation and removal --> all but the very best games fail in this area.


    unless you want to go to the very logical conclusion, and it's all atoms, but it's all silly at that point.

  5. Why? Since when? Look at five different game review sites, and you will find five different scoring rubrics. Some say a 5/10 is average, some put that at more like a 6/10 or 7/10. Some only score out of 5 stars. Some score out of 100 points. Some frequently give games "perfect" scores, some only do so once every few years. And every single reviewer surely implements their site's score system in a slightly different way. No one review can "break" this universality of score that you feel reviews ought to aspire to, because that has never existed in the first place.


    And what is a "game type"? Is The Division a third-person shooter, or an RPG, or a loot game, or an MMO, or an online shooter? It sure seems to take its own story seriously, even if I don't, so should we grade it as a narrative game? It feels incredibly subjective of you to ask reviewers to ignore the game's terrible story when the developers themselves sure seemed to place a lot of importance on it. Why is what you value in this game objective, but evaluating it based on a part of the game the developers appear to have put a lot of effort into is being "subjective"? I don't see how you can justify thinking of your own values as objective and assume that anyone who cares about different aspects of the game is missing the point.



    As long as a writer clearly expresses where they're coming from, what's wrong with a writer giving WoW a 2/10 and writing about how they don't like MMOs? I can see how that might not be a useful review for an MMO fan. But what happens if there are reviews out there that aren't useful? The internet is quite full of wrong opinions I don't care about, so I don't understand why adding a score to it matters. If you personally worked on The Division and you're upset that people have given it poor reviews, I can understand why you might feel hurt by that. I wouldn't think anyone should care about your feelings, but I can understand why you'd be upset. But if The Division is just a game that you like and some reviewers don't like it for reasons you don't care about, I do not understand why your reaction is anything other than to decide that you're not interested in those reviewers' thoughts.


    I'm talking about something specific, Review Scores from profesional Journalists - you're talking about "everyone on the internet".


    When you look at this all sites have their scores to be compared to each other (of course other sites have different criteria), but on one site an MMO getting 8/10 and an FSP getting 8/10 gives you the idea that they are of a similar quality for their gametypes.


    So scoring WOW 2/10 because you don't like it is something I would expect a child to do, but not someone who is supposed to "know their subject", and I find it frightening you cant tell the difference.


    My point is there are two parts to a review:

    1) The subjective - what the reviewer thinks of the game

    2) The objective - How is the game technically


    Now when reviewing I would expect someone to be professional enough to know when they are being subjective and when they are being objective.


    Why scoring fairly is important

    It's important because like it or not this is how publishers gague what things to include and what they can get away with


    So when games like Rainbow 6 get high scores, wrapped in so much anti-gamer crap (No hosted servers, crap monitisation, no private games until you play for hours) - it hurts future games

    When games like the Division get scored down for being a modern world RPG and no-one mentions that it's the first Ubisoft game for years to have no monitisation, no mass of bugs and it doesn't feel striped of content that will be sold as DLC - the message to Ubisoft is it's not worth it.


    Most importantly this isn't about the division getting bad scores

    The way review scores are going, we will end up with half finished games like StarWars Battlefront and games that force you to do what the company want like Rainbow 6. Neither of which feel worth the $60 price tag, especially as you are blackmailed into the season pass.


    So in my book reviewers need to man/woman up and let companies know whats important and score fairly or stop scoring and become critics instead.

    NB though if people only critique a game, then the only way a company will know how well they are doing is by what sells, so get ready for more CoD rehash and SW Battlefront.

  6. While I appreciate the Trolling , I'm still amazed at those of you who think me saying review scores should be objective seem to think it means the whole review is full of facts and just the facts.


    The point I'm making is that a SCORE is something that is supposed to be universal across game types. a 10/10 game should be just that, a really well made game with no major failings.


    If you score on "criticism" and "personal preference" scores are at best meaningless, and at worst seriously damaging to gaming.


    If a professional journalist scores say World of Warcraft, would it be fair to say 2/10 because they hate fantasy settings and MMO's?


    Would it be fair to mark it down for having no twitch based shooting?


    Would it be fair to say "If this was Lord of the Rings" it would get 10/10, but as it's not 5/10?


    because that's what I'm talking about.

  7. You talk as if there is some underlying objective truth to this, but what a game "says it is" or what makes something the "best example" of a type of game is a fundamentally subjective call.


    Lock a bunch of games journalists in a room and I'd bet you can't even get them to agree on the two best first person shooters (purely from a mechanical standpoint, leaving aside issues of theme) much less on one.


    And as for the former (what a game "says it is") we had reviewers treating The Beginner's Guide as if it were non-fiction ferchrissakes.


    You are taking my point out of context, so maybe I'm not being clear.


    Using the Division as an example: When reviewing, you shouldn't be marking the game down because it's an RPG set in the mostly present day because you don't think it's right. Especially commenting things like If it was orcs the game would score better.


    This is the sort of subjectivity that needs to be avoided. If a game is sound, but it would score higher if it was a theme you prefer then you are not being objective enough.


    There is an underlying truth of how a game works, and what it is. How does the mechanics work, is it playable. Is the game fair, consistent. Does the art all match or are some textures bad in comparison to others.


    This is where a review score needs to focus on when reviewing a game, so when I say "a game is what it says it is "I'm not talking about marketing BS, I'm saying if CoD is set in the future, saying it's not realistic isn't fair IF it looses score for it. Though Saying you prefer modern day or WW2 is fine.


    Listen to how Danielle and Rob talk about games, it's full of "This may not be a great game but it speaks to me" or "This game works well but I'm not interested in that setting".


    This is what I think we need more of, Professionals who know what is personal preference and what is a fault in the game - this is the objectivity I'm talking about.

  8. So what you're saying is that Paint Drying game is a 10/10, because it perfectly does exactly what it means to?  :P


    What I'm saying is if a game is the best example of a first person shooter it should be regardless of what the theme is.


    If a paint drying game was some amazing puzzle game then yes.


    Conversely Starwars Battlefront should be judged as a game (rather than a StarWars OMG). The Graphics would still be marked high, because they are stunning, but as a game, should the fact that it's Star Wars matter much in how you score it.


    Again,it's not about passing comment, you could say "If you're a star wars fan, add an extra 20 points", but the review score should be about how good is it compared with shooters of the time (ie against games like Battlefield4 should it really get the 80% IGN gave it?).


    Most importantly it's not about any one game, its about what a review score should be. Personally I think it should be consistent, with a professional level of objectivity where the reviewer knows their subject matter and really looks at the game regardless of their personal preferences (positive or negative). A review can and should include their thoughts and feelings, biases and preferences but the score shouldn't in my opinion.

  9. You don't have to be objective to be fair. For example, I don't think it's "unfair" to judge Dragon's Crown on its creepy art, it's subjectively really gross, but these "Objectivity in vidgamz!" people decried that daring to talk about an art form's artistic content was being unobjective and thus unethical as a reviewer.


    There's definitely ways to fairly or unfairly review a game, but I don't think objectivity comes into it as a factor. Like, the Stardew Valley experience in Idle Thumbs a couple weeks ago, where he played it like a depression sim and refused to leave the house, that was hilarious but I don't think if he wrote that up as an official review it would be a fair one. :P

    Maybe I'm misunderstanding objectivity, but I would say when scoring a game it should be fact based. You can talk about artistic merit, ethics etc in a review, but what I'm talking about is being aware of what is your "feelings" about the game, and what is actually there.


    Reviews these days seem to be far more about how much the reviewer "likes" the game, and not about "how the game lives up to what it says it is". If they don't like a particular genre they should either avoid reviewing, or be objective and review it for what it is (putting there personal preference aside).


    If you review with no score, no problem - it becomes a conversational piece - but when you put a score at the end you are saying this how good the game is with a level of authority - especially from places like PC Gamer, IGN etc.


    You see Rainbow6 and Battlefront getting good scores, but missing the fact that they are killing multiplayer games, with the lack of server browsers, private servers with either ranks or the ability to unlock everything. They also have little or no content and it's difficult to even get to it (And I love R6 as a game, but don't play it because you can't just crack on and play it how you want).

  10. For TDC i think the problem is saying Let's Play is loosing them money and is ultimately bad for business and cheating the developers out of something that is theirs.


    THis always reminds me of the piracy argument. Now I am in no way advocating piracy, but I would always get sick of companies saying either "their game would have sold better if it wasn't for those pesky pirates" or worse still a recent game where the devs complained of selling 660,000 copies, but 1.3mil people pirated it.


    THeir figures, like the ones that will inevitably come out of let's plays soon enough will be equally as flawed. For piracy it's 1.3mil torrent downloads=1.3 million missed sales and "lost revenue". I'm still waiting for the "6mil people watched my game being played but only 2mil bought it".


    The fact is that in the most part the figures are hugely distorted. When you look into piracy figures, a huge percentage comes from countries where games cost more than a months food, these people will never buy the game.


    Similarly for Let's play watchers it's more about the person playing the game, or watching something that you just don't want to play, but are interested in seeing. My kids used to love watching 5 nights videos, but never once played the games themselves. This isn't a lost sale, and if anything it's a great advert - I doubt 5 nights would have anywhere near the following if no one played it on youtube etc


    Good games sell, and as long as the marketing is "good enough" will usually make the money they deserve. Like has been said TDC is a very very emotive subject, I've had my father and father-in-law both die from cancer, and as a father myself I have no desire to ever put myself through that game. You *may* loose some sales from Let's play, but I would imagine you gain far more from the increased popularity.


    Blaming poor sales on Let's play, piracy or "journalists not giving it enough press" is always a poor excuse and sadly one that has damaging consequesnces to gaming as a whole, with things like blocking Let's plays, scary DRM (just cause 3 etc) and copy right claims for bad reviews (as one developer did to someone who reviewed his game badly).

  11. I think objectivity is important when reviewing, but that doesn't have to mean it's exclusive to having an oppinion, or even being subjective during the review. If you take anything to it's logical conclusion it becomes useless.


    Journalism is a trade and as such comes with the same responsibility that all other jobs come with - the Spiderman clause - with great power comes great responsibility.


    When Reviewing a game and scoring it, rather than critique or commenting, you are putting a line in the sand and giving it a place in the world. As a professional journalist, you will often be asked to review things that you wouldn't normally play, and while a lay person will give oppinion, I would expect a trained journalist to review and score a game on it's merits irrespective of their personal preference. They really should know the difference.


    I wouldn't want it to be souless and without oppinion, but I would want it to be fair when it comes to scoring.


    If you hate StarWars would it be fair to mark the graphics on the new battlefield down because you are sick of X-wings?

    Similarly if you are obsessed with starwars is it fair to score Battlefield High on Value when it feels like its the absolute minimum they could get away with putting out and is totally lacking in that area.


    I think IF you are scoring a game, as a journalist, it should be based on your knowledge of the medium and you should know what is "your feelings" and what is "the game".


    If you can't give a fair score on what the game is, then you stick to commentary and critisism without score.


    I've noticed both Rob and Danielle manage to do this even when they are just talking about a game, they both recognise when they love something because it appeals to them personally vs what is a good game in general. This is the sort of thing I think we need to see more of.