...the completely pointless argument that should just die.
I was going to give my opinion about the debate, after reading this continued defense
of something that should never have been said but realized something while typing.
Everything that can be said in defense of both sides (those for critical review and those for sugar-coated niceties) has already been said and probably more gracefully than I could do here. The truth of the matter is that the video game industry needs to realize that the very nature of a critical
review is to be hard on a game, otherwise what is the point?
Yes, critics like Destructoid's Jim Sterling or The Escapist's Ben Croshaw (better known to the internet as Yahtzee of Zero Punctuation fame), can be harsh and sometimes mean but that is the point. I have mentioned before that I do not have a very vast and deep purse, filled with many dollars to throw away on games, so when I read reviews I expect the reviewer to be brutally honest because that honesty can prevent me from blowing money on something I may only need to rent, or not waste time on at all.
I get that not everyone likes the whole brutal honesty thing, and that maybe it hurts feelings, but there is a solution to that: for the readers, ignore the review (or stop reading that reviewer's articles) and for game developers and publishers, make better games. If a critic is not, by definition of the word, critical, then I may waste money on a game I don't like, and developers and publishers might continue to churn out mediocre games.
I am not saying I always agree with what critics say, sometimes I completely disagree, but I have been following most of them long enough to know where our tastes are similar and where they are different and make my judgements based on that. But when developers, publishers or anyone else gets all butt-hurt about a critical review, well I said I wouldn't go into that.
My point is that no matter how much I agree or disagree with a game critic, I will continue to stand by them, so long as they continue to present me with their honest opinions and views on the games that I most want to play.