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Analyzing Game Journalism

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the wicked-awesome-is-not-an-impartial-phrase dept.

The Media 98

SSDNINJA writes "Joseph Jackmovich of gamrFeed analyzes 161 articles from Kotaku, Joystiq, and Destructoid to discover how well they report gaming news. He looks to find out if the stereotypes of game journalism being poorly sourced and sexist are anecdotal or based in fact."

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98 comments

Worth a read (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34428692)

a few quotes from near the end:

Is it foolish to compare game journalism to the likes of these storied journalists? Maybe.

Is it foolish to not aspire to give the best and most complete coverage available to readers, despite the field? Definitely.

We can do better.

And this is news? (3, Informative)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 3 years ago | (#34428700)

And this is news? No, really. When you even have guys from those review sites occasionally joking things like "we wanted to move to a zero to five star rating system, but EA demanded 95% or more rating for their latest game, so we moved to a 95% to 100% system and gave them 95%", or when you occasionally see a review totally hating everything about a game (e.g., see the old Black And White review on Firing Squad which even went the extra mile to say that you might like it if it's your first game and can't compare it to a good game, but otherwise stay off) and then give it a 87% score... tell me anyone actually is gullible to base their buying decisions on that.

Even the relatively 2000's trend of some site to pick on some 20 year old freeware game to trash and valiantly give a 5% rating, or make a list of "top 10 worst games ever" that nobody ever heard of, isn't really enough to make anyone with half a brain notice that you still don't see them giving less than 90% to anything new from a major publisher, or that they fail to mention major problems for major publishers.

Well, I suppose it's good to have it officially. Maybe it'll sink in this time. Nah, who am I kidding.

Re:And this is news? (2)

Skrapion (955066) | more than 3 years ago | (#34429398)

The article doesn't really focus on the issue of game reviews, although I think we can all agree that there's a problem there.

Actually, the article is kind of hypocritical and self-fellating. It discusses the importance of having multiple sources (but really, how much gaming news actually merits multiple sources?), the unprofessionalism of editorializing news stories (welcome to blogging) and of running stories that aren't game news (because it's unreasonable to assume that gamers would be interested in Pac Man lawn ornaments), and how offensive and sexist the industry is.

Now, calling somebody sexist is a pretty serious charge, but unfortunately, he didn't make his data public (hows that for journalistic integrity?) but rather gave a very, very small sample of the articles chosen. Here's one of his examples [joystiq.com] . Can you spot the sexism? I can't!

He also posts a quote from his boss, but leaves his own website out of this harsh "study", which seems pretty self-serving.

Finally, he goes into a speech about how important it is to stick to the codes of journalistic integrity, and how game journalism can be so much more than just "enthusiast press" (as though that's a four-letter word). If he was attacking Gamasutra or gamesindustry.biz, that's one thing, but blogs? He's very guilty himself of posting stories which only include the official source, so maybe he should get off his high horse and set an example before he belittles everybody else.

Re:And this is news? (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 3 years ago | (#34429702)

I'm still trying to figure out how

Killzone 3 Beta Open to PS Plus Subscribers Only – Destructoid

Is aggressive or offensive.

Re:And this is news? (3, Informative)

Skrapion (955066) | more than 3 years ago | (#34430218)

Probably because the article refers to "blasting some red eyed space Nazis".

Is it offensive? Well, I think we as a society have long since stopped caring about offending Nazis, especially when it comes to the space-faring variety. But maybe some people are offended by the mere use of the word.

Is it aggressive? Well, yeah. But it's an aggressive game. That just raises more questions: is it impossible to discuss the gameplay of an aggressive game without failing Jackmovich's litmus test?

Oh, I also just noticed that this article was actually submitted by Jackmovich himself, although he submitted it under his Twitter alias and referred to himself in the third person. Normally I wouldn't care, but when you're making such a huge deal about journalistic integrity, it's a little sketchy.

Re:And this is news? (3, Informative)

Worldcrafter (796660) | more than 3 years ago | (#34431176)

A couple things about this bug me:

As you pointed out, the /. story was submitted by the article's author, but that was obfuscated in the summary. Alarm bells are ringing Willie.

He goes out of his way to conduct this article like a scientific review, but at the heart of it, it's just an opinion piece.

Take this article he deemed sexist: http://www.joystiq.com/2010/10/05/heres-where-cammie-dunaway-literally-went/ [joystiq.com] It's a short post with nothing but facts and a Lord of the Flies reference. It's not sexist in any way, but when confronted by the post's author, Jackmovich/SSDNINJA said it had "Implied or condescending remarks about women". If Cammie Dunaway had been a man, I highly doubt Jackmovich would have deemed that article sexist, which, in itself, is sexist. If that's the way he's collecting his data, this whole thing is just a farce designed to pull page views. Looks like it worked.

I'm not saying gaming journalism isn't without faults, but this feels like a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

Re:And this is news? (1)

pnuema (523776) | more than 3 years ago | (#34430736)

You are reading the wrong sources then. PCGamer gave Call of Duty: Black Ops a 67% - a "do not buy even if you are a fan of the genre" review. (Personally, I think that score is too low - but the reviewer pointed out several of the games serious flaws that I missed in all of the shiny.) Every other reviewer out there tried to go down on the box. Out of all of games journalism, I've found them to be pretty reliable.

Re:And this is news? (1)

Stevecrox (962208) | more than 3 years ago | (#34431462)

I'd say that's too high, my friends are huge fans of CoD and so I have played all of the call of duty's and it doesn't look like the game designer is playing the game because of the the massive problems for the game on the PS3.

My biggest issue has to do with player profiles, on modern warfare 2 importing them from anouther PS3 meant you lost the ability to earn trophies. On Black Ops you can't have multiple profiles, it simply spawns an identical version of the main account. Me and my friends like to get together and play games this aspect of CoD games sucks horribly even resistance 2 did better.

Every iteration of CoD has this problem, and Black Ops has just added the need to sit through 10 loading screens to do anything and everytime you go back to the main menu you have to run the system calibration tests. Let not forget most offline co-op games are now limited to two people for no reason. The only good thing about that game is Zombies.

Re:And this is news? (1)

pnuema (523776) | more than 3 years ago | (#34432752)

Perhaps you missed the "PC" part of PC Gamer. Reviews on the PS3 do not apply to the PC; they are different games. None of the issues you describe exist on the PC version.

Re:And this is news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34432272)

67% is way too high for "do not buy even if you're a fan of the genre". Actually, for percentages to make any sense, the average score should be 40%-60% (which would mean "buy if you're a fan of the genre"); 67% would mean that most games are worse than this one.

Re:And this is news? (1)

pnuema (523776) | more than 3 years ago | (#34432728)

PC Gamer has their own scale, analogous to letter grades: less than 60% = complete failure. 60-70% = has serious issues. 70-80% = fans of the genre may enjoy it, but has issues. 80-90% = solid game. > 90% editors choice, great game, you should love it.

the real problem with game journalism.. (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 3 years ago | (#34428716)

..is that they never do proper critique of products that are shit. instead they hype up something that's safe to hype up.

the best game review I saw for a game was published around two decades ago(+couple of years), it was in finnish and said "p*sk* commando klooni", which translates to shit commando clone. the game was a shitty commando clone so that was just the right amount of information about it.

for example, mass effect 1&2 were praised a lot on these journos - but none of them critiqued the blatant flaws in the game, so I'm pretty sure the next iteration will just expand more on those flaws(it's just a tunnel shooter disquised as a kotor clone).

Re:the real problem with game journalism.. (1)

someone1234 (830754) | more than 3 years ago | (#34428964)

Actually, mass effect 2 is a good game. Compared to ME1 and Dragon Age, i liked it.

But they are nowhere near the old Bioware games.

Re:the real problem with game journalism.. (1)

MareLooke (1003332) | more than 3 years ago | (#34428978)

Not to mention that Dragon Age 2 is turning into a ME clone as well. Don't get me wrong, I liked ME, it has a nice story. But it IS just a shooter disguised as an RPG. The worst is journalists trying to "alleviate people's fears about DAO2 turning into a ME clone" and then going on to confirm everything people have been fearing like they are good things, and people buy it...

But I guess the worst are the brainless consumers that just put up with all of it and actually defend(!) companies releasing flawed products (everything Obsidian ever made classifies, KotOR2 and FNV are the most obivous ones though I suppose) or just plain ripping you off by selling the chairs to your car at a premium (most recent DLCs, Mafia 2 being a prime example)

Re:the real problem with game journalism.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34429026)

(everything Obsidian ever made classifies, KotOR2 and FNV are the most obivous ones though I suppose)

I don't think either were as bad as Neverwinter Nights 2. Even the 'Gold Edition' with the expansions had bugs that prevented being able to complete the game without patching. (In fact, the problem was that they forget to include the patches for the original game on that disc.)

Re:the real problem with game journalism.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34429066)

And the Platinum Edition of Neverwinter Nights was the second most boring game I ever played, following Dungeon Siege. Yet NWN1 is considered one of the best RPGs of all time. Maybe because NWN1 actually was fun, after you spent 10 hours modding it and downloading/joining community worlds and servers?

Doesn't NWN2 have any redeeming qualities? I didn't play it so I have no idea.

Re:the real problem with game journalism.. (1)

GNious (953874) | more than 3 years ago | (#34429556)

I think everyone agrees that NWN1 had a weak story, and that it was the downloadable modules, the ability to create and share your own stories, that made it what it is.

NWN2 on the other hand.... I have a dual-core 2GHz machine, NVidia 9500 thingy and a couple of gigabytes of ram, and the game runs at ca 3 frames per second on the lowest settings....

Re:the real problem with game journalism.. (1)

Rizz (33500) | more than 3 years ago | (#34430278)

They must have fixed whatever was wrong with NWN2, then. It ran like a champ on my single core laptop with integrated graphics when I gave it a whirl.

Re:the real problem with game journalism.. (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#34430674)

But it IS just a shooter disguised as an RPG.

Doing a poor job of each.

Sometimes, the smallest thing can make a game succeed or fail. For ME, it was some rather big things: it looked awful, the movements were clumsy and misleading, and the voice acting was community theater-awful. It was the game that made me realize what horrid effect consoles were having on the state of gaming.

ME was one of the first games that made me realize just how easy to please the "gaming community" had become.

Re:the real problem with game journalism.. (2)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#34429094)

Sadly the only time I see "this game sucks!" is when it is either A)- A game by an unknown publisher, or B)- A game by a publisher that hasn't got the money to bribe them anymore with swag. The last really sucky review I remember seeing was for Blacksite: Area 51 which I actually own (hey it was $2, and was worth maybe $3) which was put out by Midway right before they went tits up. But if it is a triple AAA title you may as well give it up, as they will ALL trip over themselves to tell you how wonderful it is. I don''t think I saw a single reviewer even point out how they dumbed down things like hacking in Bioshock II to make it more of a console game.

But I don't know how much of this we can blame on game reviewers, when the whole idea of "journalism" seems to be but a distant memory anymore. Hell just look at how many news groups (I'm looking at you CNN) basically were ALL FOR the government hiding as much as possible and were all calling for Assange's head? Pretty much ALL media anymore is "Here take this press release and tell us how wonderful we are bitch" and that is what you get. At least the game reviewers are honest whores and don't pretend (for the most part) to be anything more than entertainment. I don't see the MSM bragging in articles "Hey look at how much cool swag we got for sucking up!!!" which I have seen quite a few times on game sites.

Re:the real problem with game journalism.. (2)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 3 years ago | (#34429196)

It says something that the closest thing to an "honest" review is butting right up against being a new application of Poe's Law.

I also think there's room for concern when you see things like the metacritic page for Farcry2 where the "critic" rating is overwhelmingly positive with 26 positive reviews, 8 mixed, and none negative... while the user reviews are 275 positive to 271 negative with 105 mixed.

It's the most blatantly lopsided set of reviews I've seen so far.

Re:the real problem with game journalism.. (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#34430762)

It says something that the closest thing to an "honest" review is butting right up against being a new application of Poe's Law.

Of course you can't count on sites that take advertising from game companies to be honest. I get better game reviews from reading RogueyWon's journals here on Slashdot than I find on some of the top game sites.

I also think there's room for concern when you see things like the metacritic page for Farcry2 where the "critic" rating is overwhelmingly positive with 26 positive reviews, 8 mixed, and none negative... while the user reviews are 275 positive to 271 negative with 105 mixed.

Don't make the obvious mistake of assuming, a) that the critics are wrong (I believe they were right in many instances about Far Cry 2) or that b) there is any less payola going on among the user reviews.

Sites like metacritic are further confused by the fact that so many of the users are kids who just don't necessarily get what's going on in a game like Far Cry 2, any more than a fan of Farmville is going to necessarily enjoy MW2 Black Ops.

By the way, my own "review" of Far Cry 2 would be "mixed" with some very good art direction, storytelling, and gameplay but the AI was terrible, and it had the same "console disease" where the controls are dumbed down to accommodate the antiquated handheld controllers that consoles have made standard.

Re:the real problem with game journalism.. (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#34432760)

I never got around to picking up Far Cry II, so I got a couple of questions if you don't mind, since as we know the game reviewers all wet themselves telling you how wonderful every triple A title is even if it sucks: Is the AI better or worse than Far Cry I? As I thought the AI in the first was one of the better examples, especially compared to some of the horrible "rubber band" AI (I'm looking at YOU EA!) out there. Can you still do the whole "sneaking death" thing like in the first one, where you could snipe and disappear into the jungle? Do you still have the wide jungle spaces? Does it feel like an actual PC game, or a bad console port? As I've had some games where literally without an X360 controller they simply weren't playable.

To me what is sad is all this kissing up seems to have made gamers willing to put up with more garbage, like bad controls, shitty AI, and lame console ports. I've been firing up No One Lives Forever I and II just to breath a little fresh gaming compared to all the lameness we have been drowning in. I swear if I see one more damned military themed shooter, I mean WTF?!?!?! How many times are they gonna rehash WWII? We just don't see new ideas like the humor in NOLF, the GHOUL system in Soldier of fortune I&II ( I also have III, but it is only worth playing if you find it in the $3 bin like I did and want a good laugh. You can shoot a guy in the toe and fountains of blood erupt) or the atmosphere of the original Bioshock. Hell I would be happy to take NOLF 2 level graphics for just some new ideas!!!

Re:the real problem with game journalism.. (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434196)

The AI in Far Cry 2 had some definite issues. You could be right in their face and they'd ignore you and you could be a quarter mile away and they'd see you. Sometimes it seemed better and sometimes it seemed worse. It was definitely the weakest point of Far Cry 2.

As far as wide jungle spaces, there's none of that in FC2 because it takes place in SubSaharan Africa where there's little water and just a little scrub vegetation. There are lots of rocks, though.

The "atmosphere" of FC2 is one of the strong points. It can be a downer for less mature audiences, though, because that part of the world is not really a fun place to be.

The thing I liked best about the original Far Cry was the sense of scale and space. When you were working your way down the river, it really felt like Apocalypse Now with its descent into darkness. There was a feeling of movement, of unexpected situations. It felt like it was anything BUT a disneyland ride where you had to stick to the specific path.

It really surprises me that they gave up the Cry engine so quickly for PCs. Far Cry 2 used a completely different engine than Far Cry and I don't understand why. The few times you find a game that has a really excellent engine and hope that there will be many more games to follow, they end up dropping it and starting from scratch.

Re:the real problem with game journalism.. (2)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34429456)

..is that they never do proper critique of products that are shit. instead they hype up something that's safe to hype up.

This boils down to one, major problem: most game reviewers review games like they're critics, rather than gamers. That's one big reason why I love Ben Kuchera's reviews on Ars Technica [arstechnica.com] . He's had some public confrontations before in the comments and on his twitter, but his reviews almost always read like they were written by a gamer, not a journalist.

Re:the real problem with game journalism.. (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34429680)

Same goes for movies and TV. Which is why there's often times really good movies that manage half a star. My favorite sketch comedy show of all time The State actually managed to get -1 star from one of the critics early on.

The key is when reading a review to realize who is doing the review. If it's a movie critic and you're not wanting high concept art in a film you watch, then you can discount the comments about that. Also in terms of gaming, I tend to focus more on the comments they make about controls and performance issues as well as the screenshots. I'm not generally looking for the things the critics are reviewing.

Re:the real problem with game journalism.. (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34429950)

That's sort of how I try to approach my own game reviews on my site...I usually give a paragraph to the story or whatever, but most of my reviews focus on the experience of playing the game.

I don't care what things look like on paper...I care what it's like to actually interact with them.

Re:the real problem with game journalism.. (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#34431034)

for example, mass effect 1&2 were praised a lot on these journos - but none of them critiqued the blatant flaws in the game, so I'm pretty sure the next iteration will just expand more on those flaws(it's just a tunnel shooter disquised as a kotor clone).

That's not a flaw, that's by design. If you expected anything but a KOTOR clone from ME, you are just foolish. KOTOR was an awesome game based on an awesome formula. I will play anything built on that formula and be delighted with it.

Analyzing *WHAT*? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34428748)

How could you analyze that which does not exist?..

Missed opportunity (5, Interesting)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 3 years ago | (#34428770)

TFA strikes me as a bit of a missed opportunity. It makes some extremely valid points about the dependancy of gaming news sits on the good-will of developers and the impact that this has upon review scores (hello Kane & Lynch). Unfortunately, it drowns this in a morass of po-faced moralising about what "proper" journalism could be. Having a pop at Kotaku for mixing in silly or immature stories among the rest of the headlines is kind of missing the point; these are ultimately entertainment sites, talking about an entertainment medium while seeking to entertain their readers at the same time. A bit of sillyness is going to be par for the course.

For the most part, gaming news is not real news. That's not to say there isn't a place for it. But it isn't in the same category as the kind of news coverage we expect of politics, wars or crime and it doesn't need to be held to the same standards. Occasionally, the gaming world produces a genuine news story (anybody remember Infinium Labs?), but I've generally found that the gaming press isn't too bad at covering these when they do occur. For the rest of the time, think of it as belonging to the same category as sports or showbiz news.

The area where there is cause for concern is that surrounding developer/publisher pressure over review scores. Reviews, unlike gaming "news", fall more into the category of consumer advice than journalism and I think it's reasonable to expect appropriate standards. It really is quite obvious these days that games which come with a big name attached often seem to get review scores they don't deserve. Final Fantasy XIII is a dreadful game. You spend the first twenty five or so hours running down a straight path, fighting endless waves of identical enemies with an almost-uninteractive combat system. No matter how much the game may improve after that point (and the improvement is only mild), there's no way that 25 hours of boring on-rails gameplay shouldn't have a profound negative impact on review scores; and yet the game carried off a slew of 8/10 and 9/10 scores. Mario Galaxy 2 is not a bad game (it has some clever level design), but it has a good number of flaws, including a lack of innovation compared to its predecessor, an imprecise control system (in a game that requires a high degree of precision on many occasions) and outdated game-mechanics such as a lives-system. And yet it had ecstatic reviews, including a frankly incomprehensible 10/10 from IGN.

The thing is that it's by no means clear that publisher pressure was responsible for the scores in the two cases listed above. Square and Nintendo both tend to have a pool of rabid fans (albeit a shrinking pool in both cases) and it's quite possible that the games were just handed to fanboys for review, who were never going to hold the game to objective standards. But the fact is that there are enough incidences of genuine publisher pressure (yes, Kane and Lynch, I'm still talking about you) that gamers' suspicions are inevitably going to be aroused. I think review sites need to do more to enhance their credibility.

Some obvious steps might be:

- Removing advertising on the actual review pages (advertising elsewhere on the site - ok - but it sends the wrong message when you plaster advertising over the review itself and people will see corruption even where it doesn't necessarily exist).

- When a game review comes back with a score of 9/10 or higher (or whatever the equivalent in the site's scoring system), get a second opinion in there as part of the review.

- Greater acknowledgement of bugs and stability issues in reviews and scores. If you look at the reviews of Medal of Honour and Fallout: New Vegas, two recent games that launched in a highly buggy state (on consoles as well as PC), it's clear that some sites acknoweldge the bugs in their review while others don't, but that it's very rare to see bugs actually taken into account in scoring.

Re:Missed opportunity (1)

The_mad_linguist (1019680) | more than 3 years ago | (#34428938)

It depends how you consider a numerical rating scale to work. The difference in quality between, say, Final Fantasy VI and XIII is much smaller than the difference between Final Fantasy VI and Big Rigs Off the Road Racing or ET for Atari. Rating FFXIII with a four or a five wouldn't accurately reflect this distinction.

Re:Missed opportunity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34428956)

If the scoring system isn't calibrated against contemporaneous releases then giving ET on the atari 2600 a 0/10 would still result in any and all modern games getting a 10/10.

Re:Missed opportunity (2)

N1AK (864906) | more than 3 years ago | (#34428986)

Mario Galaxy 2 is not a bad game (it has some clever level design), but it has a good number of flaws, including a lack of innovation compared to its predecessor, an imprecise control system (in a game that requires a high degree of precision on many occasions) and outdated game-mechanics such as a lives-system.

Your saying the review is wrong because they've not given it the score you would. You're opinion is fine, but perhaps most people disagree with you and more closely align with IGNs opinion. I know I personal tend to use meta-review sites if I want a 'rating'. I use games websites to read about what they like/dislike. To take the example of Fallout. I know Fallout: New Vegas has a lot of glitch/bug issues. Personally this tends not to frustrate me, so I'm much more interested in the quality of the story and game world. If the features a review highlights aren't of interest to me, or the flaws are the types of flaws that I really dislike then it informs my decision far better than a numerical rating.

Re:Missed opportunity (1)

BenoitRen (998927) | more than 3 years ago | (#34429096)

Your saying the review is wrong because they've not given it the score you would. You're opinion is fine, but perhaps most people disagree with you and more closely align with IGNs opinion.

I'm glad you're not in journalism.

Re:Missed opportunity (1)

BenoitRen (998927) | more than 3 years ago | (#34429106)

Because of the horrible grammatical errors, that is. For some reason Slashdot isn't showing the style on my em elements.

Re:Missed opportunity (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34429712)

Actually, normally an editor would handle that. They do expect you to learn grammar, but it's mainly because the editor doesn't have time to have to correct every use of the wrong homophone in the article every article.

Re:Missed opportunity (2)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 3 years ago | (#34429098)

No, I think you can fairly easily say a 10/10 (or A+ or whatever a site's maximum-possible score is) if the game is not, in an objective sense, absolutely as good as it could possibly have been given the limitations as present hardware. If a game has even a single flaw within said limitations (and I don't think there has been a game during this hardware generation that hasn't) then it isn't a 10/10. 9.9/10 - sure. But when you give out a maximum possible score, you are saying "there is absolutely nothing about this game that could be improved without substantially better hardware than is currently available". It's not the case for Mario Galaxy 2 (the control system alone guarantees that). It's not the case for any other games currently released, either.

Re:Missed opportunity (1)

Tridus (79566) | more than 3 years ago | (#34429170)

Where do people get this idea from? Movies get 4/4 ratings all the time, and it doesn't mean that we need to re-invent the entire medium before we can make another movie that good.

Perfection is impossible. Get over it.

Re:Missed opportunity (1)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 3 years ago | (#34429232)

Ok, I should have been more specific. If you have a 4 or 5 star rating, then fine, give out the maximum score to a very, very good, but still flawed product (be it a movie, a game, a restaurant or whatever). The average consumer will know that a 5 point scale is a bit of a fudge. A lot of review sites, however, use 100 point scales. It may be a rating out of 10, but IGN, for example, are happy to give out decimal scores. And a score out of 100 implies a more nuanced rating. Under those circumstances, it's reasonable to expect a 10.0/10.0 to equal something very close to perfection. Great but with a few flaws? Use a 9.6 or whatever.

Re:Missed opportunity (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34429736)

That's bullshit. It doesn't matter how many points you use, whether it's a 1 star or a billion stars. All that does is reduce the amount of rounding that goes on. Making it a 100 point scale just makes the misleading suggestion that there's more precision than there really is. I wouldn't personally trust a reviewer to get more than 10% worth of precision out of their review, and even that's being generous to them.

Re:Missed opportunity (1)

Rizz (33500) | more than 3 years ago | (#34430448)

Bingo. 1-5, that's all we need. Bad, poor, average, good, great. Let the number be the guide, let the text make the decision.

Re:Missed opportunity (2)

Drantin (569921) | more than 3 years ago | (#34436426)

If only it were used that way... It's more like horrendous, horrible, horrid, average, great.

Or, if I'm being slightly more cynical, horrendous, horrible, horrid, wretched, average.

Re:Missed opportunity (4, Insightful)

pizzach (1011925) | more than 3 years ago | (#34429064)

"Dated design" is one of my most hated 2 words nowadays. I flip the bird to anyone who uses them. It basically means you are too old to deal with software that varies too much. All modern software must universally be the same.

Some of the things that will force this phrase to pop up are:

  • Being forced to lose in the game.
  • Lack of horrifically long cut scenes
  • A FPS not having regenerating health
  • Not being forced through horrific long animations for spells and summons in RPGs.
  • Lack of voice acting.
  • 'unplayable' rough graphics. (snob much?)
  • Tank controls

I want to destroy you people who are turning gaming into a monoculture. Auto healing in GoldenEye was one of the most rediculous features I have ever seen and takes a lot of the excitement out of it. Resident Evil used to actually be unique and not a matrix wanna be. (Seriously. The characters turn from something believably normal to super heros.) I want to be able to read my RPGs like a book sometimes. I sometimes actually like non-standard control schemes.

You can take your generic interactive movies and shove it. Especially you game reviewers who push this all like crazy. I like a bit more variety in what I get.

Re:Missed opportunity (1)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 3 years ago | (#34429156)

I'm not arguing for homogenisation. I am arguing for getting rid of design elements that have not stood the test of time. Japanaese gaming in general (not just Nintendo) are struggling hugely with this in the current gaming generation.

The lives system is a relic of the days when the best games were coin operated arcade machines and a substantial number of "home" games were arcade ports. In that context, it made sense. It's evolved its way out of most "major" games these days (leaving aside the likes of XBLA titles) because developers have realised that most gamers hate it.

It's not just Nintendo. Look at the addiction of Japanese RPG developers to the concept of "grind" in their games. A decade ago, both Japanese and Western RPGs were grind heavy. These days, the likes of Bioware and Obsidian have worked out that there are ways of delivering the 30+ hours that an RPG allegedly requires (I'm not convinced on that personally) without including anything that feels like a grind to the player (certainly no running around in circles doing random encounters).

I love Japanese games (not Nintendo, I admit). However, there's no denying that Japanese developers are, through clinging to old certainties, currently in danger of pushing themselves into the same kind of box of Korean developers (where overwhelmingly the games never make it beyond the domestic audience due to lack of wider appeal).

To use one of the ever-(un)popular slashdot car analogies, developers like Nintendo and Square are trying to sell cars that need to be hand-cranked to start, despite the fact that everybody else is using modern ignition systems. Variety of design choices is one thing; sticking with something that is outdated and noticably worse is quite another.

Re:Missed opportunity (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34429770)

These days, the likes of Bioware and Obsidian have worked out that there are ways of delivering the 30+ hours that an RPG allegedly requires (I'm not convinced on that personally) without including anything that feels like a grind to the player (certainly no running around in circles doing random encounters).

For sixty bucks I expect at least twenty hours of engaging gameplay. A good game that long will always have you wanting more (e.g. Panzer Dragoon Saga). Leaving you wanting more without feeling like your ending was stolen should be the goal of every game.

Re:Missed opportunity (1)

va.va_va.va (973230) | more than 3 years ago | (#34512816)

Heh, while I played Mass Effect I had the feeling Bioware took some clues from Team Andromeda's finest.

Re:Missed opportunity (0)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34429778)

To use one of the ever-(un)popular slashdot car analogies, developers like Nintendo and Square are trying to sell cars that need to be hand-cranked to start, despite the fact that everybody else is using modern ignition systems. Variety of design choices is one thing; sticking with something that is outdated and noticably worse is quite another.

I'm sorry but your bias is showing. Nintendo right now is the biggest seller of current generation consoles. And they did it via innovation, a more apt analogy would be to have a hand crank start on a car that drives you to work without your intervention. It stands to reason that they're doing something right if they're outselling the competition. I've got a Wii and the games are a lot of fun.

The only bit of the Wii which is arguably outdated is the graphics, and let's face it, at least the graphics have a sort of retro quality to them as opposed to the PS3 and Xbox 360 which don't even have that going for them, they're lagging behind the PC and not by design.

I've got a Wii, a PS3 and onLive and quite frankly, the PS3 doesn't fair quite as well as onLive does when my connection is able to support the whole thing. Give it a few years and the PS4 is probably not going to have it so easy.

Re:Missed opportunity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34432126)

The lives system is a relic of the days when the best games were coin operated arcade machines

Not really, no. The lives system is a gaming mechanic like any other, and whether it's appropriate to include it in a game or not depends on the game and it's up to the developer. Generally speaking I'd agree with you that it's not a nice mechanic, but it's fully justified in some instances. I wouldn't have my Touhou [wikipedia.org] games with unlimited lives, for instance; the thrill of finally beating a tough enemy that used to stop you in your tracks is totally worth it.

Re:Missed opportunity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34429470)

"Dated design" is one of my most hated 2 words nowadays. I flip the bird to anyone who uses them. It basically means you are too old to deal with software that varies too much. All modern software must universally be the same.

Some of the things that will force this phrase to pop up are:

  • Being forced to lose in the game.
  • Lack of horrifically long cut scenes
  • A FPS not having regenerating health
  • Not being forced through horrific long animations for spells and summons in RPGs.
  • Lack of voice acting.
  • 'unplayable' rough graphics. (snob much?)
  • Tank controls

I want to destroy you people who are turning gaming into a monoculture.

I agree with you that these elements are not necessarily good or bad, but I think you're off base when you assume that "dated design" refers to these mechanics. When I hear the phrase "dated design" I think of such cliches as lives, checkpoint save systems, limited pausing in single player titles, and other "wow that's annoying" mechanics that I can't imagine were ever considered to be a good idea.

There's a difference between "hard" and "stupid" design. A boss that adapts to your strategy and forces you to adapt your own in order to win is hard. A boss with 100000000000 hp and the ability to one shot you if you stand still for 0.1 seconds is stupid.

Auto healing in GoldenEye was one of the most rediculous features I have ever seen and takes a lot of the excitement out of it.

It's ridiculous how many people can't spell ridiculous. Please do a quick spell check in the future, or it's really hard to take you seriously. I wouldn't begrudge someone for not being 100% sure of the spelling of Brobdingnagian, or epicaricacy, but for basic, often used words, please learn their proper form. That's meant as a tip to remember for life. It's not merely me being pedantic.

Re:Missed opportunity (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34429806)

It's ridiculous how many people can't spell ridiculous. Please do a quick spell check in the future, or it's really hard to take you seriously. I wouldn't begrudge someone for not being 100% sure of the spelling of Brobdingnagian, or epicaricacy, but for basic, often used words, please learn their proper form. That's meant as a tip to remember for life. It's not merely me being pedantic.

I think it's rediculous how you think that anybody actually cares about your views on grammar and spelling. You knew what he meant by that word so get over yourself. The only reason why we have a formal spelling system in English is so that grammar and spelling snobs can feel superior to other people.

Ultimately it's just bullying. Nothing particularly noble or useful about it.

Re:Missed opportunity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34461384)

Clearly you didn't read what I said. You assumed it was merely me being pedantic. To suggest it was bullying on top of that is almost comical. You'll notice I did not use the misspelling as an excuse to discount his argument, and I did respond to the rest of the OP without much prejudice as a result of the misspelling.

But I'd like to see how far you get in life with the attitude that spelling and grammar are totally unimportant. I'm sure you're thinking of the guys that say "Hey you ended that sentence with a preposition!", which, while technically correct, is not a particularly useful thing to know, as its really just a rule that isn't immediately apparent to anyone but an English major. However, misspelling a common word that is encountered daily in a solid amount of reading tends to lend itself to the idea that you aren't very well read or aren't interested in your message enough to do the most basic check for accuracy. Neither of which reflects very well on the person making the error. I understand pointing the error out makes people like you angry, but the proper response is to correct said error and avoid making it in the future. Otherwise, you'll have this conversation an awful lot, as you'll find basic spelling actually is pretty important to the majority of the world.

Re:Missed opportunity (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#34431346)

When I hear the phrase "dated design" I think of such cliches as lives, checkpoint save systems, limited pausing in single player titles, and other "wow that's annoying" mechanics that I can't imagine were ever considered to be a good idea.

That's not dated design, that's classic design. Games should be difficult so that there's a feeling of accomplishment when completing them. Giving the player infinite lives or requiring save scumming is just broken design.

A boss that adapts to your strategy and forces you to adapt your own in order to win is hard. A boss with 100000000000 hp and the ability to one shot you if you stand still for 0.1 seconds is stupid.

Consider that it's not the game that's bad, but you. I'm pretty sure I'll never beat DoDonPachi Dai Ou Jou, that doesn't mean it's a bad game. I'm just not hardcore enough. For those who are, it rocks their world. And even if I never beat it, it's still great fun to play.

Re:Missed opportunity (1)

Rayonic (462789) | more than 3 years ago | (#34434160)

A lack of long cutscenes and spell animations is dated?? I'd say that those two things are dated. Most modern games aren't like Final Fantasy or Metal Gear Solid. Well I guess the newest Call of Duty has a lot of cutscenes, though I didn't hear about them being long.

What really dates some older games for me is the interface. Some of the best loved classics of yesteryear have horribly clunky interfaces.

  • First person games with no freelook.
  • Layers upon laters of nested menus.
  • No key or button remapping.
  • Cluttered, unintuitive information screens.
  • Other bad decisions that are obvious in retrospect.

Re:Missed opportunity (1)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | more than 3 years ago | (#34435920)

> Lack of horrifically long unskippable cut scenes

FTFY.

The second (or nth) time playing a game, I DON'T want to see your (shitty) cutscenes. This is one thing Sniper: Ghost Warrior got right on PC, ESC lets you *gasp* skip the mission / level cutscenes !

Yes, I understand that game devs don't want to spend the time making sure their game works when the cutscenes are skipped, but seriously, that's what GOOD game design, implementation, and testing are for.

Re:Missed opportunity (1)

dominion (3153) | more than 3 years ago | (#34439270)

I want to be able to read my RPGs like a book sometimes.

All I've ever wanted was the option to keep the voice acting in Japanese, with English subtitles. It would go a long way to making modern RPG's more enjoyable, since I don't speak Japanese, and can't accurately gauge whether Japanese voice actors are as terrible as I'm sure they are.

Re:Missed opportunity (1)

Inda (580031) | more than 3 years ago | (#34429316)

And I liked to take this opportunity to talk about Sims 3 on the Xbox 360, published by EA.

The game's been out a month and the saving and loading bugs are well documented, even though EA will not publically admit they exist. The game is unplayable after, what looks to me like a memory overflow. You can 'invest' 40 hours on one game save, which always loads, but cannot be saved. Proper programming is not my forte, but a clean save of all the games variables sounds like an easy task to programme.

The support from EA is disgusting. I've heard their reputation in the past but dismissed it, as you only ever hear the bad stuff on the internet. In my vast gaming years, I have never needed to contact the support channels and I don't think I'll bother again. Advice ranging from deleting everything to restore factory fresh settings, replacing dirty disks (EA are happy to send me a new disk when they feel like it), and jumping up and down three times have all been suggested.

They will not answer my questions about a patch or a full refund.

If you have bought this game for a children's Christmas present, as I'm sure many of have, return it before the day. I have never witnessed such a rushed and buggy game.

Re:Missed opportunity (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34429836)

It depends on the game and how they do it. Some games are easier to create saves for than others are. It all depends upon how much information you're planning to save. Fallout: New Vegas, saves the location of bodies and the loot on them, but not the actual body itself. Which leads to the strange bug at times where you see the bodies show up. They seem to fall out of the sky sometimes and plop down where they were.

Saving games for a game like that is more of a challenge than it is for a typical platformer where you're mostly interested in points, lives, level state and possibly objectives completed.

Re:Missed opportunity (1)

Skrapion (955066) | more than 3 years ago | (#34430484)

Saved games definitely aren't as trivial as they sound. When the game is running, it stores a whole lot of data that isn't needed in the saved games, so the programmer has to sift through all the data that's actually necessary to save -- transforming it into a different representation sometimes -- and then regenerate the extra data when loading the saved game. It's easy for something to slip through the cracks; usually all the bugs are worked out before release, but when the bug doesn't manifest itself until 40 hours into the game (and probably not reliably at that) then it's very easy to imagine how the testers never ran into it.

However, the exact situation you're describing -- a saved game that loads and won't save -- would almost certainly be trivial for a programmer to fix if they had your saved game. Easily repeatable cases like that are the kind of bug reports programmers love. However, after the big publishers launch a game (optionally with a little bit of time dedicated to post-launch bug fixes if it's a PC title) they completely abandon it. The team is gone and they're all working on new games, which are probably already behind schedule.

When it comes to stuff like this, you usually get much better support from small indie developers. Support indie devs! [showmethegames.com]

Re:Missed opportunity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34429724)

When a game review comes back with a score of 9/10 or higher (or whatever the equivalent in the site's scoring system), get a second opinion in there as part of the review.

Second-guessing high reviews, but not low reviews, is curmudgeonly.

Re:Missed opportunity (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433312)

Mario Galaxy 2 is not a bad game (it has some clever level design), but it has a good number of flaws, including a lack of innovation compared to its predecessor, an imprecise control system (in a game that requires a high degree of precision on many occasions) and outdated game-mechanics such as a lives-system. And yet it had ecstatic reviews, including a frankly incomprehensible 10/10 from IGN.

Because it was a good game that outweighed its supposed flaws. In fact, your comment about outdated mechanics is weird. What's outdated about a lives system? Games still use it and probably always will.

Bad Math? (1)

Reilaos (1544173) | more than 3 years ago | (#34428852)

The inputs taken from each source are unven, and yet he's comparing them by percentages of the whole. If I were to make a study of 4 men and 2 women taking a test, and then complain that 66% of errors made by all of them were by men, then that would be misleading.

Anyone remember Sega Megazone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34428888)

I haven't had an interest in video games since the great console war between the Sega Megadrive and Super Nintendo. And Sega Megazone is the one magazine I have ever truly loved. They weren't afraid to get stuck into anything. I remember* once seeing a full-page ad for the ultra-hyped "Rise of the Robots" that was just pages away from a review that gave the game less than 30% and concluded with a statement along the lines of "Once you finish this game (during an ad break on the Simpsons) you will almost certainly never play it again". That sort of thing was par for the course. Sounds like the modern-day gaming media could do with a little of that.**

*It was 15 years ago. Details may vary.
**Megazone was a horribly, horribly sexist publication. Which is something the modern gaming media could definitely do without.

Re:Anyone remember Sega Megazone? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34429870)

Admittedly it's somewhat less than scientific, but I can't recall hearing a single girl talking about video games at that point in history. All the people I knew that were playing games were male. Not sure to what extent that's confirmation bias and limited by my dataset, but I suspect that might be related to the tone in those articles.

Also, ever noticed how you don't generally hear a lot of bitching about sexism when it's directed by women at men?

Re:Anyone remember Sega Megazone? (1)

Skrapion (955066) | more than 3 years ago | (#34430640)

I haven't had an interest in video games since the great console war between the Sega Megadrive and Super Nintendo. ... a review that gave the game less than 30% ... Sounds like the modern-day gaming media could do with a little of that.

But those shitty Sega games deserved it. Heyo!

Sorry, I was on the Nintendo side during that war :)

Seriously though, the trend was already starting back then. Ignore the fact that we use a 6-10 rating scale nowadays. 30% equals 1.5/5 stars. Do you think a movie that is as bad as the game you just described would ever get 1.5/5 stars?

Size and value of the (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#34428902)

press "gift pack", well written magazine/website filling with stats/data and print friendly colorful images.
http://www.qj.net/qjnet/xbox-360/dean-takahashi-halo-3-press-kit-nothing-less-than-a-bribe.html [qj.net]
Follow the press kits, gifts.
Watch the "transcribe often, anything positive goes, remove prior art comments" cult at work to ensure the material wealth keeps falling from the postal van.

Re:Size and value of the (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34429774)

Follow the press kits, gifts.

That's a lot of work. Perhaps we should be rejecting out of hand any review which does not include a SECTION on the press kit?

Nothing new (4, Informative)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 3 years ago | (#34428926)

As someone who writes reviews (of games, hardware, apps etc) I have certainly come across the issues cited here although it does seem to be more of a problem with American writers/publishers Even back in the 80s/early 90's fellow writers moaned about US publications where the editors and writers were pressured by the advertising department to up ratings as said product's developer wanted to place ads. Other countries were less prone to this and in the UK where I have most experience, the editors used to delight in telling the ad department to 'go away' if they tried that stunt. Sure, some magazines did fall for that sort of pressure and most writers knew who they were and stayed well clear for reputational reasons.
The bottom line is that 80-90% of anything you get sent to review is a 6 or 8 out of 10. Really crap stuff just doesn't get to market unless something's gone horribly wrong. In the main, stuff works well enough to fullfill its requirement in a reasonably well implemented way. Every now and then something truly bad would come along and that was wonderful, a chance to give a lower rating and hopefully some inciteful reasons as to why the product sucked. I've got a book here on the 'to be reviewed' pile right now that's going to get marked down because frankly, the title is a total lie. The content is OK but it's not what the title says it is. There is also the occassional item that is truly exception and will earn a 9 or very rarely a 10 but these are once or twice a year things.
The web doesn't seem to have changed the overall dynamic much with writers producing copy that will attract clicks rather than do the job. Many publishers have dropped the per-word basis for paying writers and moved to a per-click basis. If your article gets lots of clicks, you earn more.

Re:Nothing new (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34429788)

The bottom line is that 80-90% of anything you get sent to review is a 6 or 8 out of 10. Really crap stuff just doesn't get to market unless something's gone horribly wrong.

And something goes horribly wrong on a regular basis now, I can't remember the last time I got a PC game that doesn't need a patch for example, and even some high-profile console games have shipped in an uncompleteable state, and had to be patched as well. So really, there should be reviews of released games less than six.

Re:Nothing new (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 3 years ago | (#34430066)

Fair point but I don't for a moment imagine any games reviewers play the game to the end. At best they'll use cheats supplied by the developer to jump to key points. If you're being paid say $100 to write a review, you're not going to spend 20 hours playing the games first as the $/hour rate would be ludicrous.

What might be an idea is to do game reviews in two waves, the first lot in advance or just after release based on the above and a second after much more gameplay if the writer happens to like the game and be happy playing it in their own time.

Re:Nothing new (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34430226)

My take is that a magazine review not based on a complete playthrough (which does happen, sometimes the whole issue is sold based on a big review) is basically only going to tell me if a game is something I'd be interested in playing if it doesn't suck. Then I need to wait for a more in-depth review. Since I don't care about being an early adopter I just wait. Often I wait for the first or even second price break, which makes me the kind of customer the industry hates I'm sure, but fuck 'em, they're there to serve me and not the other way around.

Re:Nothing new (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#34431568)

Fair point but I don't for a moment imagine any games reviewers play the game to the end.

The AVGN at least makes a serious effort to play through the games he reviews, and he's not even a real reviewer. And those games are much harder than current games too. If a parody reviewer is putting in more work than published journalists, that really speaks to the poor state of games journalism.

Re:Nothing new (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 3 years ago | (#34431710)

>poor state of games journalism.
Or more accurately, the poor pay these days. 15 years ago I got paid £300 to review a package. Now it's about £30-£50. Before I spent a day+ on it. Now it gets a couple of hours.

Journalism? (1)

chitokutai (758566) | more than 3 years ago | (#34428932)

Since when do blogs count as journalism?

The source material is linked as a matter of course because it's being covered on a blog. That's how Slashdot does it, and that's that the entire Internet does it...except for real news sites, at least.

I visit these sites to get an entertaining take on the game industry, nothing more.

Re:Journalism? (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 3 years ago | (#34429804)

I think this is VGChartz trying to validate their existence. I remember heading to that site sometime around the current Gen console releases and being inundated by people (both "editors" and "members") who would blatantly lean one way (their way.) Anyone that didn't agree with their methodology or their "editorials" would be berated. Heck, I don't know if the same people still post there, but there was something about their information posting that seemed, "bought." They came off pretentious and arrogant in pretty much every post.

Re:Journalism? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34429886)

Since the TV News, magazines and newspapers stopped doing anything that could reasonably be confused with journalism. Or at least cut it down to the point where it was the least amount possible and still be considered a news organization.

Re:Journalism? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#34431504)

When it comes to games, you'll find better journalism on blogs than in printed media. No periodical I'm aware of comes close to HG101 or Armchair Arcade for instance.

He gives "regular" journalists too much credit (3, Interesting)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 3 years ago | (#34428940)

One of the main(if not the main) problem with games journalism is the fact that now everyone is rushing to be first. How many times have you seen reporters rush to break some "big story" only to have them sheepishly, if at all, admit a couple of days later that the story wasn't real or at the very least was greatly exaggerated? Games journalists are no different, everyone wants to be the first one to break a story, review a game etc to the point that they barely spend any time with the product that they are reviewing. How long does it take to complete a single player game nowadays? Usually 40 hours at least, and then if you consider online and how long it takes to really evaluate a game(balance issues, matching algorithms, stability etc) then you are looking at least a week, probably more for anyone just to slog through the thing, let alone arrange their thoughts into a coherent review.

So either a) the reviews are rushed to get something out the door as soon as possible after release or b) the journalists are given review copies but basically told that they better not give the game a bad review or else the gravy train is going to be derailed.

It's obviously a very difficult place most game journalists are in and the internet isn't making it any easier. Maybe someone should start a "slow cooked game review" site where they spend at least a week reviewing each game. Even if it means that you won't get the reviews until a week after launch.....

Re:He gives "regular" journalists too much credit (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#34431632)

This is why I stick to retro games. Sure, sometimes the reviews are colored with nostalgia, but it's also easier to see in hindsight which games have stood the test of time. There's no longer any time pressure to get a review out the door, and the reviewers are doing it for the love of gaming, not to get paid. The result is a much higher quality level of material coming out of the retro gaming community than modern gaming.

Re:He gives "regular" journalists too much credit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34447040)

There is Blistered Thumbs, but it's an amalgamation of some different nonprofessional reviewers. I really only mostly know it for Angry Joe who is so angry whenever a publisher releases a short, overpriced, and buggy game.

I dunno about the journalists themselves... (1)

Grapplebeam (1892878) | more than 3 years ago | (#34428966)

But if anyone has read any of the responses to anything Leigh Alexander has written recently, it's patently obvious sexism is (unfortunately) alive and well. She gets attacked for expressing her opinion. Now if it was Alex Leighander, then this would likely not be the case.

Re:I dunno about the journalists themselves... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34429008)

"Sexy Apes on Rocket Bongos, What Could Possibly Go Wrong?" - you're right, that does sound kind of sexist.

No, wait, that's what she wrote [destructoid.com] . And all the comments appear to be sycophants sucking up to her.

I don't suppose you have any actual, I don't know, examples to show WTF you're talking about?

Note that calling her out as the attention whore she is isn't sexist, it's just honest.

Sites choice - "blogs" vs. sites (2)

NeverNow (611234) | more than 3 years ago | (#34429000)

Disclaimer: I'm a reader of Kotaku, Destructoid and, occasionally, Joystiq. This said, I think the study should have been performed on proper gaming sites like IGN, Gamestop and GamesRadar, not those sellout ex-blogs whose main concern is now selling ads, forwarding marketing and PR emails and "going big".

Re:Sites choice - "blogs" vs. sites (2)

nschubach (922175) | more than 3 years ago | (#34429866)

...not those sellout ex-blogs whose main concern is now selling ads, forwarding marketing and PR emails and "going big".

...just like VGChartz.

Obvious omission (5, Interesting)

NotFamousYet (937650) | more than 3 years ago | (#34429030)

This article attempts to make a assessment of the quality of game journalism, without mentioning Edge, which is one of the most well received papers by the games industry. Indeed, Kotaku (which is banned from even mainstream forums such as Neogaf due to its poor quality) and Destructoid are not aiming for quality but general coverage. To my knowledge, Edge is the only gaming publication that attempts to write reviews and games theory articles on par with what movie and music critics do.

Re:Obvious omission (1)

MeesterCat (926256) | more than 3 years ago | (#34429460)

I was about to raise exactly the same point. I know Edge is something of a 'Marmite' publication; some people hate it with a real passion, labelling it pretentious or that most White Van Man title of "wanky art-bollocks". But it does remain to my mind one of the few places that treats games with any kind of reverence or actual critical appreciation, and try to at least transcend their seeming perception as an opiate for numbskull, gadget-addled teenagers.

Re:Obvious omission (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34437834)

Games TM also does this.

Claim of sexism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34429116)

According to the author this article on Joystiq by Justin McElroy is sexist because it contains "implied or condescending remarks about women": www.joystiq.com/2010/10/05/heres-where-cammie-dunaway-literally-went

I am not informed what passes for sexism in contemporary US higher-education circles but at least my own radar seems to be off.

Reviews are usually advertising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34429130)

Unless the intent is not to review, so much as to bitch about it. Zero punctuation does this well and anyone who hasn't experienced the wonderful bitch-moan-complain-fest that is the Zero Punctuation video review then I would highly recommend it.

It is now a cornerstone of my pre-game purchase evaluation plan:

1. Hear about game.
2. Watch Zero Punctuation.
3. If ZP gave it a bad review, but mentions that 1 small part of the game is enjoyable, GO OUT AND BUY IT BECAUSE IT WILL BE SO MUCH FUN.

Re:Reviews are usually advertising (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#34431716)

I would watch Zero Punctuation, if he used some punctuation. Yeah, I know that's his shtick, but it's annoying as all hell. That dude needs to calm down and take a breath. Watching Zero Punctuation is a lot like having a damn little yippie dog humping your ankle for four minutes.

Subject (2)

Legion303 (97901) | more than 3 years ago | (#34429202)

Many online news sites are driven by marketing considerations. This is not news. Marketers need to be dragged into the street and shot.

Ultimately I had to stop reading the article because even though the points he makes are valid overall, his methods were shit. You don't do into something like this with a hypothesis of game journalists in bed with companies and use metrics like "is this headline misleading?" You take your hypothesis, keep it to yourself, and give the metrics to a large group of people, and aggregate their answers. And you don't compare three different sites on the same graph with wildly different totals, as he did with the graph of how many sources each site used. Putting 9/46/8 for Kotaku next to 4/44/3 for Joystiq next to 11/36 for Destructoid only tells me the author can't count, and doesn't understand graphs.

Why Kotaku? (1)

Eraesr (1629799) | more than 3 years ago | (#34429554)

Kotaku clearly is not a site that limits itself to gaming. So their graph of off-topic articles is a bit odd if you include Kotaku in the equation.

Re:Why Kotaku? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34432672)

I can swear that Kotaku was supposed to be a blog type news outlet and never claimed to have any kind of journalistic integrity or standards. Part of the reason why they can post rumors two seconds after they get them.

Nobody took them seriously as a credible outlet anymore than any other blog. I thought everyone knew that... I thought Joystiq was similar, but I haven't really paid attention to the games industry for a couple of years now.

Strange that TFA decided to choose 3 sites that never tried to be credible journalistic outlets.

Gaming news... (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 3 years ago | (#34429698)

... is a joke. The only reviews to trust are the cream of the crop user reviews.

The whole "gaming news industry" is filled with morons and kickbacks. And the pretentiousness of the game industry that it is no par with movies is ridiculous. Games and movies are fundamentally different mediums even if they do have some amount of cross over. We've seen how crappy many games have turned out when they put too much emphasis on the movie part in their games and not enough game. Final fantasy 13 I'm looking at you!

sigh PHP (1)

sproketboy (608031) | more than 3 years ago | (#34429814)

Warning: require_once(/data/r1/ioi/non_web/gf_config.php) [function.require-once]: failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /data/r1/ioi/gamrfeed.vgchartz.com/setup.php on line 2

Fatal error: require_once() [function.require]: Failed opening required '/data/r1/ioi/non_web/gf_config.php' (include_path='.:/usr/local/CustApache22T/lib/php') in /data/r1/ioi/gamrfeed.vgchartz.com/setup.php on line 2

Game reviews are absolute (1)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 3 years ago | (#34430322)

The main issue seems to be in the ratings systems. Game reviews rate games on an absolute scale, not a relative scale. If reviewers honestly rated EA's crap games relative to EA's gems, then there would be a whole lot of sub-5 ratings. However, even a relatively crap EA game, assuming you had never played a game before in your life, is still an impressive piece of work. Consumers would have to start demanding relative scales on ratings before they would help out in selecting a game for anyone but someone who had perhaps never played a game before, in which case any major release correctly would be really impressive to that person... until they play one that really is a 10/10 on the relative scale.

Yeah..... (1)

XiY47 (1815860) | more than 3 years ago | (#34430694)

So I'm supposed to believe that a website replacing S's with Z's in their name is more of a "respectable gaming publication" than the ones they are criticizing?

lol Game Journalism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34432480)

These people aren't journalists FFS.

Scorpia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34439296)

There hasn't been any really great game journalism and reviews since Scorpia's column in CGW. Since then its been adequate at best.

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