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12:35 PM on 02.17.2013

Anti-criticism is the bane of the gaming community

[left]I am known for being a harsh and critical person, while some of it may stem from an snobbish personality, I mostly believe myself and other human beings are able to grow stronger from criticism and create incredible things all the time. After all, if mankind is able to create the pyramids, build the Eiffel Tower, and a single man is capable of creating the Mona Lisa, why can't Bioware, a AAA developer, having a huge group of talented staff, create a game that doesn't make me cringe?

Well a human being did create this... but my point still stands

Lately I've noticed a trend in gaming sites were criticism is hated, reviled and attacked, and why should it be? After all, criticism is the only manner in which better products are created. If people hadn't criticized the lack of a FOV setting (important for many people) in PC Version of the Darkness 2, it wouldn't have been implemented. The fun Far Cry 3 would be a worse game if criticism of Far Cry 2 wasn't addressed in this new game. Criticism in itself is not negative, I've seen harsh criticism that praises a game, yet people get angry when anyone points a game's flaw. Devil May Cry 3, perhaps the finest action game ever made wouldn't have been created if Capcom didn't listen to criticisms of the awful Devil May Cry 2.

Would Vaas exist if people hadn't complained about the villain in Far cry 2?

The new 'entitled' gamer is a label created to destroy any attempts at criticism. The label is applied so broadly and may actually apply in some cases, but I think using it seriously means you're lazy and simply don't want to address an opinion. Sure some Fallout fans want to have a experience that caters to their every whim, but that is a valid opinion that needs to be addressed properly, why is it wrong to want something? I mean if the Fallout fan starts trying to sue someone for the game not satisfying him, then that's entitlement for sure. But 99% of the time words like entitled, psychopathic, or whiny they are just insults that don't address why or how the Fallout fan is wrong.

I'm pretty sure this Fallout fan has some interesting opinions about the franchise

I disagree with harsh critics most of the time because I think they are wrong, but I wouldn't call them entitled or psychopathic for daring to have a opinion that differs from mine, or worse, trying to censor their voice. As a recent example of how stupid the whole 'entitled' label has become, when members of the Rayman Legends wanted the game they slaved about for years to come out instead of it being delayed for 7 months, someone as a joke posted on how entitled they were. It's a hilarious joke, but one that's deeply sad, hell as I was reading the article I was thinking: "Someone's going to call them entitled as a joke", this just shows how pathetic and idiotic the situation is. Something has gone FUCKING wrong in the community if the immediate reaction to someone having a valid opinion, and in this case a valid reason to protest, is to think of a joke demeaning their opinion.

What an entitled bastard, wanting his hard work to be released

The situation all started with Mass Effect 3, and that was after the debacle with Dragon Age 2 a year before that. Comparing the situations is like Night and Day. The most negative thing said about Dragon Age fans was a fan posting homophobic remarks that David Gaider responded to, hell even some of the people involved in the game called it rushed. Mass Effect fans were treated as pathetic children who were balls of hate for the perfection that was Mass Effect 3 (hint: The game is not perfect, for starters it's buggy as hell) and were blamed for everything, while Bioware covered their asses with 'artistic integrity'.

Comparing this to how people reacted when Fallout 3 created a new ending due to fan feedback is completely different, I'm sure plenty of people tried to force Bethesda to change the ending of the game. Bethesda changed it and nobody insulted people who wanted the ending to change. Hell, maybe the fans weren't being forceful and Bethesda sincerely rushed the ending and wanted it to change. I think Mass Effect 3's ending would've changed with the feedback from the players, but Bioware didn't want it to frame it as: "For the new DLC we wanted of our own will to change the ending since that received a lot of negative feedback." Nobody would've complained about that.
Bioware just called themselves perfect artists and the media latched to point mass effect fans as insane man children. They still changed the ending, but instead of feeling like throwing a dog a bone, it felt more like shoving a bone down a dog's throat to choke it. We should criticize Bioware if we want them to return to them making games like the original Mass Effect, not defending their short Dev Cycles and retcons.

"Oh man, fighting the reapers in Mass Effect 2 is gonna be so cool." - Me in 2008, when I had hope and hair

The situation repeated this year with DmC were people who didn't enjoy how the game was shaping up were attacked with the idiotic argument that they didn't like the hair color of the protagonist. Hell, people were attacked for not buying the game and sticking to their decisions. I'm sure 2014 will have a similar game, were anyone criticizing it will be patronized and condescended.
Even worse were people who barely knew about the old games and were calling them pieces of trash, were the supporters of the new game that starved for arguments? It's kind of hypocritical since if those 'garbage' games didn't exist, your precious DmC wouldn't have been made. But let's not talk about that right now.

Buy DmC you little sheep, Capcom wants your money, even if you don't want to give it to them

We need to know defend your criticism. The best defense is not to create any attacks against you censorship this can be done in a variety of ways:
Avoid using phrases like: "I hate X" or "objectively Y is awful". This just fuels the anger of the apologist.
For games that haven't been released always include one of these things at the end of your criticism: "X looks bad, but I hope it isn't as bad in the final game", "I'm wary about Y being too prominent" or "I don't really like the design on Z, maybe they should tweak it". This helps your argument as you're talking about something that doesn't have a final version and may actually change, people hate those who make blanket statements, especially against things that haven't fully materialized.
If your target for criticism has a stupid you-don't-like-it-because-white-hair defense (now an official term!) try to spam criticism that doesn't include this point and if you see anyone using the I-hate-it-because-I-love-white-hair argument tell them to stop because they're fueling the apologists.
If someone tries to tell you that you are against change tell them you aren't against change, tell them you are worried against change that may break a game. Explain how change made a game like Paper Mario: Sticker Star worse because of how clumsy it was.
If someone tells you that your old games haven't changed because of the new game tell them they're wrong, because your perception of the series has changed. Because once you associate the old with the new it's pretty hard to keep them apart. If I started playing Mass Effect 2 I would be immediately be reminded that Mass Effect 3 had a terrible ending and hell, I might not want to replay Mass Effect 2 because of that. I'm sure everyone has had happen with any brand name.

In the end, the gaming community is getting more and more fractured, between people defending the bad business practices that certain companies practice, and people constantly advocating for their customer rights and other divisions in the industry. The community is becoming more toxic, people have set themselves up in a Us Vs. Them paradigm were everyone is either a developer apologist or a whiny baby who can't enjoy anything. People tell me I'm harsh, but that's because I believe the gaming community can stop taking actions that harm us as customers, that people can stop corrupt journalism, that we can say our opinion without fear of reprisal and that the gaming community will be a proud community were the members are proud of who their are in it.   read

11:58 PM on 11.05.2012

Gaming Backwards

As I wander through my game collection, I remember the good old days. For most avid video game players born before me, the good old days are represented by Super Mario Bros., Megaman, Sonic the Hedgehog and Doom. I had the fortune of my family owning a NES with Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros 2., those were the only games my parents liked. Even better I obtained an old SNES from an uncle which had around 15 games like Killer Instinct, Super Mario World and later I obtained what I consider the gem of all my collection, Battletoads in Battlemaniacs. Still I moved on to the new era without really experiencing the old ones.

I also acquired a Nintendo 64 in 1998, with 12 games, classics like Majora's Mask, Ocarina of Time, and Banjo-Tooie are my favorites games of that small collection. I really didn't start gaming seriously until 2001, when I was 9, that's when Gamecube and the Game Boy Advance came out. With my parents more willing to give me money and me and my brother being obsessed with gaming. Our Gamecube library is bigger than our SNES,N64 and Playstation library combined.
This meant that I started playing certain franchises way after their inception. I had a vague idea of what Metal Gear Solid, Megaman, Castlevania, Sonic, and Metroid were, when I first started playing them, it wasn't the classic first installment. My first Metal Gear Game was the Twin Snakes, which many would call inferior due to the X-TREME cutscenes and redone voice acting, I found the game mind-blowing when I was 13. My first Megaman experience would be with the fun Battle Network series (which I still proudly own), which would earn some derision in the Megaman community. My first Castlevania would be Circle of the Moon, which was way too hard for my 9 year old brain.

Making fans of the Megaman franchise since 2001

Sonic also started with Sonic Adventure 2, which had the Chao Garden, the best part of any Sonic game. Metroid was also a victim since I started with Fusion and Prime, and I only liked Prime years later. Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest were both started at their 8th installment. Recently after everyone raved about the Shin Megami Tensei series I finally got around to playing it with Strange Journey, which was the latest installment at the time. I also played Banjo-Tooie before it's prequel and my first taste of Grand Theft Auto was Vice City.

My first thoughts about this game were, what's this got to do with fantasy?

The advent of Steam,, remakes, and emulation, I could finally see where the birth of my favorite games and why retro gamers swear them over the games we have today. In my idle times (during class) I have started to grind my way into the older installments of various franchises. Sonic's "good" games can't still hold a candle to the plumber. Classic Megaman is fun but I prefer the 9th installment and the X series. The old, Japanese exclusive Fire Emblem games are as good as the newer ones. Old Zelda, and Castlevania are very different to the Ocarina-styled games and the Metroidvanias, and I still prefer. My Final Fantasy Grind started with the Gameboy Advance versions of IV and VI, which are the best in the franchise along Tactics. I started collecting old Dragon Quest and Shin Megami Tensei titles, and like Fire Emblem, the old games stand with the new ones.

I may not be impressed by the Sonic games now, but they are masterpieces compared to this

In the end, I have a question for the community, have you ever gone backwards in a series? has that changed your opinion of the series? and has that series really gone down or up? Have you never played a classic title, and which is it?   read

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