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Khelric's blog

9:41 AM on 03.03.2010

Whatever Happened To Standards?

I find myself becoming increasingly irritated these days by the plethora of gaming magazines that spawn reviews. It's not on a standard scale of what these games bring to the table, but more what the editor thought of the game. I'm sure some of you are scratching your heads saying, "but isn't that what a review is? Someone examining something and giving their objective opinion?". If you're nodding your head in agreement with that, then you're completely right and the keyword here is OBJECTIVE.

A review is an inspection or examination of something in question. Saying what you personally felt about something isn't a fair report for a general audience. If one is trying to hawk their magazine which is primarily sneak peeks and new game reviews, then they ought to put more time into objective analysis. This kind of cursory examination doesn't help people determine if they want a game or not. If I have a world chef make me a meal and I think it tastes like diarrhea, I can still appreciate the effort that went into it, while acknowledging that it's not MY preference. That's something I feel a lot of magazines don't do recently. A main perpetrator being a certain magazine that (for legal reasons), I'll only say rhymes with "Game Informer".

To subtly reinforce this idea, I'd like to recite a short quote from GI's issue 201 stating:

"The PSP Go is for people with a surplus of money and a deficit of common sense."

While I myself never hopped on the PSP bandwagon, I find comments like these completely senseless and entirely useless in what is essentially a review magazine.

In the latest edition (#203), they practically scold someone that wrote in wanting a longer campaign in Modern Warfare 2.

My main point, is that if I'm spending hundreds of dollars for not just a console (or PC upgrades etc), but almost a hundred dollars for a game as well, then I definitely want to know I'm getting what I'm paying for. Sure, you can say, "What's a price-tag of $300 today, when the 3DO came out for $700 back in the Jurassic period of gaming?". A fair point, but when you look at games today, not only are you making the initial investment of a console, then the game, then additional accessories for said console if you want full functionality with multiplayer. Now you're also paying for flaccid downloadable content which is crapped out every few days (Dragon Age anyone?) and console online networks that make you pay just to play the game, which you bought, on the system that you also bought. It gets ridiculous after awhile.

I remember when you bought the system, you'd rent a game and play the crap out of it until it went back. That's how you knew if it was good or not, but today unless you're ready to bend over and eat the fiscal pain with a crapshoot, you're forced to get your information from sources which insult you for not agreeing with them and relate every FPS to Halo.   read

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