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 Post subject: Re: The laziest professional video game review I've ever rea
PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2020 4:26 pm 


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BareKnuckleRoo wrote:
I knew someone who didn't enjoy/get into MGS3 because Raiden wasn't the main character and "the jungle setting was weird".


What'd they think of his MGS3 lookalike "Raiden の Bitch?" :lol:

(I thought that was a bit OTT, however, that's some funny shit when you wear the Raidenovitch mask early on, and the ordinarily chummy Zero will be audibly irritated with you Image and SIGINT wondering why nobody likes it, after he worked so hard on it :oops:)

What a perfect study in neat idea/hamfisted execution/rampant subsequent strawmanning. U H8 HIM CUS HE NEW ;[

"Raiden, huh. Interesting codename."
"Beats the boring one my parents gave me!"
Nobody talks like this. Image If they do, and shit is on the line, here is what happens:
Spoiler: show
Image

"Otacon, I've put the heavily-armed twink in traction before the weird fuck could Columbine me, and have set the pussy-ass bomb disposal guy to work at gunpoint. This gig is full of assclowns. Trouser Snake out."


"Oh BTW we last-minute assigned your dumbass fiancee to mission control on this apocalyptic counter-terror op."
"K whatever. Hey wait, u betray me! Audience, can u believe they betray me? :[ :[ :["
My man needed a script advisor like JFK needed a new dome. Image

"You want eternal rest? I've got it right here."
^ Now that's a great line! "Ayksually its not fair to compare Snake to Raiden, the former is a synthesis of Hollywood action stars while the latter is a deliberate postmodern deconstructivist boipucci gestalt for" Yes anyway.
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 Post subject: Re: The laziest professional video game review I've ever rea
PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2020 5:42 pm 


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I think they wanted Raiden and were frankly annoyed rather than amused by the bait and switch. They definitely didn't get far enough to encounter the area later on when you actually us the mask for realsies. :lol:

MGS3's wonderful brand of humour is definitely something you either get, or don't. The people who don't appreciate it simply don't appreciate the surreal humour mixed with serious drama the game blends together. It's not a game that takes itself too seriously (less so than MGS2) and it's so much better off for it.
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 Post subject: Re: The laziest professional video game review I've ever rea
PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2020 6:01 pm 


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Holy fuck, I just remembered the scene revolving around the mask. :o That shit got disturbing. Yeah there was the usual MGS goofballery (is someone impersonating your lover? grab their junk to find out!), but then poor Sokolov gets kneecapped and beaten to death, and Snake gets crushed by The Boss (again), then tortured until he pisses all over himself, before having an eye shot out. I almost wonder if it was deliberate, indelibly tying the Raiden razz with the series' harshest teardown of "Snake" to that point.

And then, after all this woe, The Boss slaps the shit out of Snake's young BFF Ocelot. ;[

There's even the implication that Raiden's dong puts Snake's to shame, with Volgin recoiling in hurt dismay after giving him the ol' Bad Touch Larry. :lol:

Always loved Kojima's irreverence, for his own work above all else - back when Snatcher had Metal Gear informing an unimpressed Gillian that "the famous Castlevania series was responsible for a spike in youth suicides" due to their not letting you jump off stairs. :mrgreen: Distinctly recall telling disbelieving friends a few years later that the (insanely hyped, ostensibly SUPER SRS) MGS1 featured an invincible boss who spluttered in fury when your CO radioed in his fatal weakness, the 2P controller port.

That willingness to acknowledge the medium, rather than treat it something shameful to be hidden at all costs, was reassuring at a time when AAA was (even by its usual standard) fairly up its own ass WRT filmic pretensions. IIRC that absolute joyless pillock Tom Zito had only just shuffled off, and it wasn't that long since the whole Jaguar/3DO/CDI debacle, either. I still like knowing Kojima's around today, even if I've not followed his games (MGS or otherwise) since MGS4.
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 Post subject: Re: The laziest professional video game review I've ever rea
PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2020 9:15 pm 


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BIL wrote:
"Oh BTW we last-minute assigned your dumbass fiancee to mission control on this apocalyptic counter-terror op."


Oh my god, remembering Jack and rose gives me conniptions.

One of my best mates and hardcore gayming bros refused to even look at MGS2 for even a second " I'm not playing as gayden"
-Spoken by a man in the latter half of his 20s i might add.
Always followed up by " MGS1 is the best. "

Eventually I sat his ass down and we played through 1 together :oops: :oops:
It destroyed his childhood, he remembered none of the cheese from the story lmao.

To rub salt in the wound I had us play 2 and he did enjoy parts of it before just returning to his original view that the game is trash and 1 is the best, with all of this recent playthrough wiped from his mind. It's fascinating, honestly.

BIL wrote:
That willingness to acknowledge the medium, rather than treat it something shameful to be hidden at all costs, was reassuring at a time when AAA was (even by its usual standard) fairly up its own ass WRT filmic pretensions.


That era sadly never ended eh?
It's why Souls was such a breath of fresh air..
.. god that's hilarious no matter how you slice it.
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 Post subject: Re: The laziest professional video game review I've ever rea
PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2020 9:54 pm 


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Blinge wrote:
[before just returning to his original view that the game is trash and 1 is the best, with all of this recent playthrough wiped from his mind.

:lol: love that
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 Post subject: Re: The laziest professional video game review I've ever rea
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2020 8:46 am 


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One series I've NEVER managed to get into whatsoever. Might throw the original on the PSP, give it another go.
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 Post subject: Re: The laziest professional video game review I've ever rea
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2020 1:24 pm 


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MGS1 controls in 2020?
on a PSP?
Don't do it to yourself..
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 Post subject: Re: The laziest professional video game review I've ever rea
PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2021 1:32 pm 


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 Post subject: Re: The laziest professional video game review I've ever rea
PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2021 6:19 pm 


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I still genuinely don't know why anyone bothers with professional reviewers at this point, lol.

You have someone who isn't particularly good at writing, is often trying to push an agenda [eg, the absurd push to kill 2D games], isn't particularly good at games [and in many cases, is actively terrible at them, rather than merely unskilled], and even if those priors weren't true, they sure as hell don't have the time to spend with the game to really do more than gloss over it, so why on earth should I possibly care?
It's even worse nowadays, since I can look up gameplay videos and get opinions from people who actually are good at the game and have spent time with it. Random forum posts are more trustworthy than paid "professionals".

At least before like the mid 2000s, getting info on a game was a decent bit harder than now, so you had to just either get the game yourself, know a guy, or otherwise trust in a review that you weren't about to waste your [or your parents'] money, so I can at least see how they came to prominence.

It still took until like 2010 or so to stop trusting professional reviewers, when I'd first played God Hand ever, and realized that the review that had stopped me from buying it was fucking bullshit.
That experience had me looking over a decent few games I'd dismissed because of reviews. Hell, it had me looking over movies I'd dismissed because of reviews -- turns out that film reviewers hate fun, who knew? :lol:
The final nail in the coffin was realizing that shit like that guy getting stuck on the Cuphead tutorial wasn't some kind of extreme outlier among professional reviewers. A ton of these people weren't into games at all and thus couldn't be expected to do the most basic things in a game with any level of competency. These are the sort of people who would repeatedly die to the first enemy in Mario 1, and they only make it anywhere in more modern games because you often don't have much that can kill you early on in them. They'll take a bunch of damage, get healed, then take a bunch more damage, repeat, and manage to cheese their way through everything on the lowest difficulty setting.

Kinda weird how I didn't notice how just bad they were before the whole God Hand thing though.
In the late 90s or so, I'd shrugged past all those complaints about 2D games, but that was the only topic it seemed blatantly obvious that I simply couldn't trust reviewers on at the time.
It really helped that everyone I knew was absolutely gushing over how fucking cool Metal Slug was [it totally helped that Metal Slug is gorgeous though :lol: ] and the fact that most people I knew still played their SNES, Genesis, and NES even into the PS2/GC/Xbox release, there was obviously nothing wrong with "oldschool" 2D games. 8)
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 Post subject: Re: The laziest professional video game review I've ever rea
PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2021 10:06 pm 


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Steamflogger Boss wrote:


The second one is gold - let players save when they want. How about they just let you toggle god mode on/off in the options.

When did gamers become such pussies?
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 Post subject: Re: The laziest professional video game review I've ever rea
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2021 9:35 am 


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null1024 wrote:
Kinda weird how I didn't notice how just bad they were before the whole God Hand thing though.

Yeah, professional game reviewers are the last people you should trust about gaming. It's extremely obvious if you ever take a close look, but a lot of people never do because it's pretty counterintuitive that people who play games and write about them for a living would be unbelievably horrible at both playing games and writing about them.


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 Post subject: Re: The laziest professional video game review I've ever rea
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2021 10:11 am 



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Game reviewers just want every game to be a walking sim because walking sims are easier to review. It's a way for people who don't really enjoy gaming to "complete" a lot of games quickly to meet quota.

I'm telling you guys, once you realize this fact, it's like you've been given a skeleton key that unlocks the hidden meaning behind every professional review.

"The game was too hard" = not enough walking sim elements, had too much gameplay
"Too repetitive" = too much core gameplay, not enough watching a movie or walking while being talked to by an NPC
"Bland, nothing new" = it wasn't emulating the walking sims that are popular this year
"Archaic" = punishes you for dying, rather than autosaving every 4 seconds like a walking sim would
"too short" = this criticism is never used for 8 hour, one-and-done walking sims, but primarily for replay-heavy genres like beat em ups and shmups

And then there's the presence of excessive purple prose. I google'd shmup review and got this one from destructoid that fits the bill:

https://www.destructoid.com/reviews/rev ... e-stadium/

Very little actual information in here. A lot of poetic bullshit. States a COUPLE of the games in the pack. Mentions input delay on some game but gives NO numbers at all, so he clearly didn't lag test it. I came away from this review with as many questions as when I entered. Imagine I wanted to buy this. He tells me the games are sold in packs but doesn't tell me what games or which packs. He says I should just buy all of them for $40. Ok. So what "all of them" am I buying? He says I get 1943 for free. Doesn't say if the game is any good. Actually WHINES about games that aren't in the fucking collection, that he wishes were! Bro. He could have used that sentence whining about Alien vs Predator to tell me, prospective consumer, about Dynasty Wars and Warriors of Fate.

The games he does mention are the ones everyone already knows about, minus Progear. At least he mentions Progear amirite? No mention of Giga Wing, 19XX or 1944 Loop Master. He only mentions shmups at all in the context that the game allows tate mode. Thanks. So Varth supports tate, does it? How about taking one sentence to tell me if Varth is any good?

Quote:
While the games themselves are authentically depicted, CAS is missing the same celebratory love and attention afforded releases such as Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection or Final Fight: Double Impact.


Bruh. Bruuuuuuuh. 30th Anniversary Collection notoriously runs like shit.

Quote:
You know exactly what you’re in for with Capcom Arcade Stadium, which ultimately makes reviewing it a tad redundant.


Do I know? Do I really? A lot of the games in the collection are rather obscure for a north american customer. But sure, just assume we all already know every one of these games and don't need to hear about them.

And then the kiss of death is a 7/10. Arbitrary score. I don't even understand how he could have reached that score. What negatives did he give? What positives did he give?!? What did he even say??? The only negatives I heard were that he thinks the controls suck ass for Ghosts and Ghobbos because they're not precise enough, he's mad that cadillacs and dinos wasn't included (lol, okay then) and... Something something blurry arcades when he was a kid?

The bare minimum I expect for a compilation review is a list at the beginning that displays every game included in each pack. A basic rundown of each pack's contents and quality. And a short review for each game in the pack. Then review the features of the collection itself, like save states and shit, which he did mention, to be fair. But games are the reason why we buy collections and he said almost nothing about the games.

You can look at Shmups on Switch or Shmup Junkie for some actually good reviews of this compilation btw.

Edit: I don't mean to imply this is the worst review I ever read. I grabbed a random shmup/compilation review off google to show how worthless 99% of them are. They're all like this. They give you some anecdotal bullshit about when the reviewer was a kid, barely mention the games and then award a 7/10. Almost always it's a 7/10, too.


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 Post subject: Re: The laziest professional video game review I've ever rea
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2021 6:59 pm 


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Sima Tuna wrote:
Edit: I don't mean to imply this is the worst review I ever read. I grabbed a random shmup/compilation review off google to show how worthless 99% of them are. They're all like this. They give you some anecdotal bullshit about when the reviewer was a kid, barely mention the games and then award a 7/10. Almost always it's a 7/10, too.

Ah, 7/10. Low enough that if you get the game and you don't like it, they can at least say "yeah, it's a bit on the lower end of our scoring and won't appeal to everyone", but high enough that they can also say "we didn't rate it that badly, 7/10 is where games that are decent go, we'd give it a 6/10 if it sucked".
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 Post subject: Re: The laziest professional video game review I've ever rea
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2021 8:26 pm 


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There is a joke in MTG circles that the power level of every EDH deck is 7/10. It would take too long to fully explain but the gist is that it's a very generic middle of the road score.
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 Post subject: Re: The laziest professional video game review I've ever rea
PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2021 12:16 am 


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Sima Tuna wrote:
Game reviewers just want every game to be a walking sim because walking sims are easier to review. It's a way for people who don't really enjoy gaming to "complete" a lot of games quickly to meet quota.

I'm telling you guys, once you realize this fact, it's like you've been given a skeleton key that unlocks the hidden meaning behind every professional review.

While that certainly plays a part, I think the more influential factor is that professional reviewers are forced to play and review games on a deadline.

That means you have a handful of days to beat this (buggy pre-release version of the) game and scribble your thoughts in a semi-readable format on paper, with the deadline being one or two days before release date so your editor has enough time to mess/patch up your manuscript. And it's gotta be ready before the launch day specifically, because nobody will care about your week-late review after the game has already been discussed to death online. When playing on a deadline and dealing with workplace expectations, the frustration you feel over a death or game over or any kind of barrier blocking you from seeing the ending will naturally multiply exponentially. Under such a deadline, replaying a game more than necessary is simply out of the question, thereby putting games or even entire genres that are reliant on repeat playthroughs or slow mastery at a disadvantage.

You can imagine then that under such circumstances, a short and easy game will evoke more positive feelings simply because it lets you finish your job faster. And that over time, such preferences eventually solidify into a culture which in turn attracts a specific kind of person with specific kind of tastes, who are in turn forced to review games of genres that they don't even remotely jive with. The environment and circumstances under which consumers and professional reviewers is so fundamentally different, yet I never see any professional video game publications even acknowledge this difference in experiences.

Certainly professional game reviewers in the 90's had more enthusiasm for the medium as a whole, but that didn't change the fact that most of their reviews were just as analytically bankrupt and bereft of insight as those written by professionals today (the audience then just didn't notice because their tastes happened to largely align with that of professional reviewers), who would also dock or award points for the most inane things. While a lot of that can be put down to game design theory not being as developed at the time/non-existent standards, the reality is that making a good review takes time.

It takes time to play and understand the game, collect your thoughts on it, and make something readable out of it. Put me, you, or anyone else under such time constraints, and the resulting review simply isn't going to be as good as it could have been. You don't have the benefit of being able to see how other (more skilled) people play it, you don't have the benefit of discussing your thoughts with other people who also played the game to see if you overlooked something or if some of your observations are simply shower thoughts, you don't really have the time to replay the game or thoroughly test out some of its specifics, and you don't have the benefit of letting your thoughts simmer for a while and wait for the honeymoon period to wear off.

There exists no (vocal) push for a higher standard of professional game reviews. The audience at large looks towards professional reviews largely to validate their own existing opinions--not to learn new insights. And if it doesn't align, you're going to get shit, which is practically always the case. So even if you did put in serious effort in your review, it's not like many people would care--including your editors. Which brings me to my next point: effort doesn't generate clicks, making polarizing clickbait articles does. There exists a financial incentive to make controversial pieces about how games should be like this or like that, or what is really killing/saving videogames. FWIW, I think the modern generation of professional reviewers wasn't (always) cynically doing so for the money; years of grueling online gorilla warfare between The Gamers and professional reviewers has made things personal--a conflict which the higher-ups at online publications are more than happy to encourage for their own wallets. It's worth wondering that if it hadn't been for the commodification of game reviews, that there would have been no meaningless conflict between gamers and writers, and that narrative-focused indie games could have lived peacefully alongside shooty bang bang games without getting heaps of undue shit.

Professional reviews get a lot of shit for good reason, but it's always done with the implicit idea that if the right people were in charge, that they could be good again. But nobody is asking themselves: should professional reviews even exist?. I'm sure having different folks in charge would improve things somewhat, but whatever improvement and goodwill would always be constrained by a fundamentally broken institution that's optimized for monetary gain at the cost of review time and a higher likelihood of frustration. The most talented professionals know this and often go solo--services like Patreon allow people to make a decent living creating content like that. I mean, why would you willingly accept a full-time job consisting of stringent deadlines and editors/gamers breathing down your neck?

As far as I can tell, there's a very low barrier of entry when it comes to working as a professional video game reviewer person, which is likely why it has become the writer's equivalent of the universal McDonalds wageslave job for people who are (starving) writers first and gamers second. Which is kind of an issue when their opinions are then given special attention by the public and even game companies, purely because they get paid to do it. It's not even like most of them are pretending to be experts or enlightened: their opinions are artificially given value purely because they're considered a commodity by game publishers. And that commodification in turn leads to miserable working conditions for a thankless bullshit job.

I don't think that raising the barrier of entry will improve anything, because I don't think anyone should be able to elevate themselves to a position of authority. One being "good at video games" or being a more adept writer shouldn't give their opinion any extra weight, and in practice it rarely does anyways. Self-proclaimed/appointed authorities who get preoccupied about how games should be slowly start to calcify and lose the ability to engage with a game on its own merits, which especially hurts when a game is doing something new or unorthodox (cue Gamespot's quote on Alien: Resurrection's controls). Moreover this vying for dominance also pushes away equally valid alternative perspectives on games that are also interesting to read.

Professional reviews had their use in 90's gaming magazines back when they were the only available avenue of learning about new games, but nowadays you can read far more varied and insightful opinions on the internet (if you know where to look). One can argue that professional reviews are good for having a baseline idea on launch day whether the game isn't technically broken or whether its gameplay is beyond screwed, but that's just being unable to see the forest for the trees: publishers/developers should be putting out more public demos and let us see what the game's like for ourselves. Down with the elites, put the power back in the hands of the people!

Professional reviewers are already being slowly phased out by individual YouTube influencers and Twitch streamers, who many people are already turning towards to copy their opinions from. The age of rage reviewers/skeptics has passed, and there's a new boom of video essayists trying to analyze games on a deeper level. Are the opinions of these YouTubers more valuable and insightful than that of professional reviewers? Kinda, but not by much. Are they immune to being bought off by publishers? Not really. Are they less likely to proclaim themselves or be considered an authority on video games and influence large portions of video game discourse and what decisions game devs take? Absolutely not. Do they finally appreciate arcade/retro games on their own merits instead of the horrible lens of them being outdated or a nostalgia trip? Ye- no. Is the most popular content also the highest-quality content? lolno.

But, on a open platform there at least exists the opportunity to put forth your own opinion and be heard by many, without having to subject yourself to the soul-crushing work conditions of being a professional reviewer. There exists at least an 1% chance to find a golden nugget in a sea of shit, as opposed to no chance at all. There, we're all equals. Except for Painkiller fans.
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 Post subject: Re: The laziest professional video game review I've ever rea
PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 12:40 am 


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An even bigger problem is that getting early access to games and advertising income and things like that depend on keeping game publishers happy. Giving the right reviews to the right people is a higher priority than providing information to the readers from a profit-focused perspective. The problem isn't just limited to reviews for games either. Anyone who writes reviews for a living has a big advantage if they can get access to the product early and for free, and the way to get that is to turn your reviews into thinly disguised ads.


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 Post subject: Re: The laziest professional video game review I've ever rea
PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 1:30 am 



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I think Hellblasters addressed this well by calling the super easy mode "Journalist" :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: The laziest professional video game review I've ever rea
PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 1:48 pm 


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Durandal wrote:
It takes time to play and understand the game, collect your thoughts on it, and make something readable out of it. Put me, you, or anyone else under such time constraints, and the resulting review simply isn't going to be as good as it could have been. You don't have the benefit of being able to see how other (more skilled) people play it, you don't have the benefit of discussing your thoughts with other people who also played the game to see if you overlooked something or if some of your observations are simply shower thoughts, you don't really have the time to replay the game or thoroughly test out some of its specifics, and you don't have the benefit of letting your thoughts simmer for a while and wait for the honeymoon period to wear off.

But nobody is asking themselves: should professional reviews even exist?.


I agree with all this. The best reviews I've read have come years after the game's been released. However, with so many games on the market, people do want something close to release to give them an idea if it's worth their money or not... but it seems like the most helpful reviews come from early adopter players who've taken a gamble in buying the game and write about it afterwards. The community reviews on Steam for instance.
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 Post subject: Re: The laziest professional video game review I've ever rea
PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 4:00 pm 


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I've always enjoyed reading Tom Chick's reviews at Quarter to Three, even though I don't play a lot of the types of games he reviews. His reviews always seem based on his personal perspective and taste. I think it's important talk about your own experience rather than think about making the safest recommendations for the most people. IIRC he got a lot of flack for giving Last of Us a less than stellar review. Accused of click bait even though his review was totally reasonable.

https://www.quartertothree.com/fp/review-list/

Check out his review of the new Ratchet and Clank game. OUCH!

Reviewers do really seem biased against hard games. Sometimes they also seem biased towards games that are artistic or move the genre into lass gamey territory. I guess if you're a writer writing about things that could be considered toys you could develop a desire to want to write about Art with a capital A.

You're sitting around the Thanskgiving dinner table feeling a little embarrassed as your uncle asks what you're doing for a living. Video games!? Well. They're not just games these days you know. I get to use phrases like ludonarrative dissonance.


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