"We constantly have to revisit 'Why would Donkey Kong do this?' or 'Why would this environment be like this?' And then we start thinking: 'We're making a game about a gorilla wearing a tie.'"
-Michael Kelbaugh of Retro Studios on Donkey Kong Country Returns
"I have to say it's kinda scary how much you know about this game."
-Nicolau Chaud creator of Marvel Brothel
I am writing all of this, because I'm tired of seeing Jim get ragged on. Not because I personally have any issue with him being ragged on, I really don't mind that. I mind when people seem to demean me as a reader because they have some issue with Jim Sterling's persona on Destructoid.
First and foremost, I personally don't like Jim Sterling's in your face persona and informal review style. This opinion doesn't affect a single thing I do on this website as a member. I respect him as a journalist and a gamer, even if he doesn't actually think the first title should be placed on him.
Sidenote just because I have to get this out. Jim types about news, which is journalism. Even though he tiptoes around it, he's a journalist. Just because somebody entertains you while giving you news doesn't change the journalism of it all.
Now to the fact that somebody in this industry had the balls to ask another person to remove articles from Metacritic. This is BULLSHIT. I could care less if it was Jim Sterling's review or Jeremy Parish's. To even suggest such censorship as a writer is simply rude.
Let me explain something. If Jim Sterling gives Duke Nukem Forever a 2/10, there must be something in this game that potentially could offend somebody. After reading about the rape joke, who am I to disagree that somebody might find this to be terrible. If the man puts that much effort in to making the review readable, there has to be content behind the words. To not have a review that scores this game properly on those grounds is criminal.
That's what Metacritic does well. It makes sure that the good and the bad offset each other. I'm sure a PR personality would love for a 9.4 and above for every game they make. That is a critics job to see if they should deserve this. Do I disagree with Sterling's review scores? Constantly. However, everybody who can write intelligently deserves to have their story told about a game.
At the end of the day, there will be something gained from his tale.
Do I agree that there is any issue with Metacritic? Absolutely not. Metacritic takes a group of professionals opinions and posts short snippets and scores from each review to weave a story of what this game may be. In effect, it helps consumers decide if a game is good or not. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think a lot of people in the games industry click the link to open the game's page up.
You'd be surprised, but there are words on Metacritic. I rarely hear people say this in conversations about the website, but it isn't just a listing of numbers. These words are then paired with links to where the words come from that let you see what else they had to say. In effect, it creates a system of finding out for yourself where you will attach your opinion to. This might seem like common sense to you or I, but for many that talk about Metacritic it seems foreign.
That is what I don't think anybody inside the PR departments (and I guess review industry) seems to understand. I as a consumer form my opinion on games based on reviews. However, I base them on the reviews I trust. I'll admit, if I see a 2.0, I'm more curious to know why. If the reviewer fails in his case to persuade me, then I don't rely on that review for my purchase.
Sorry, maybe there are those among us that are too lazy to research our purchases. That we scroll down the page, see 2.0 and think "clearly that means it sucks and I can't be assed to find out why." Actually, I'm sure there are people like that. However, as a reviewer, it isn't your job to cater to the lazy. Your job is of consumer advocacy.
For that I think Jim has done a decent job in his career at Destructoid. Much like Adam Sessler, I don't agree with many of his opinions, his preferences, or his comedy. However he has the right to present it in the manner he sees fit.
It can't just be me seeing things or is Dtoid just becoming a magnet for people to attack? First, HG101 attacks Darren Nakamura's review of Y's 1 and 2 in the most childish way I've seen from people in the industry. I still can't believe they had the nerve to call him a charlatan and a boy and then attempt to back it up with a second post (both links have subsequently been taken down). Then Leigh runs off and types an article to her followers stating that Jim should remove his reviews from a review aggregate? Really? Because he's a bit of a wanker at times?
I just hate having what I read on a daily basis be questioned by people who call themselves professionals without a lick of support behind them. While there are a lot of words between these three articles, of which only one can unfortunately be seen, they have no content to back it up. I'll agree that Darren's Y's review was pretty bad and I called out Brad Nicholson on his shoddy Street Fighter AE review. I did that all on this site to them.
The fact that Leigh Alexander who most likely does have a Destructoid account still, trolled for hits on her own blog by calling out Jim Sterling is completely unprofessional. Don't tell him he needs to reign in his review just because it's harsh. Explain why his reviews shouldn't be considered professional. Something more than people like Jim and Jim is controversial.
If anybody has an issue with a review, counter the argument. Don't sit back and break down a person, the company that hires them and the community that reads their articles. Use those balls you've grown and showcase why these reviews need to be stricken from the record. I fucking hate having to call out "professional" game journalists and writers on fucking writing quality posts.
If you think Metacritic is stacking the cards wrong, counter the point by actually countering the reviews in the way you feel is needed. It might be amoral, but it's change. Otherwise Metacritic is doing its job pretty well by getting a large number of people's opinions on games.
Darren as a person picking up Y's 1 and 2 for the first time wrote a review of a game that came out in 2011. You can't fault him for that. He wrote a review that should reflect anybody fresh to the series.
Jim as a controversial guy writes lines in a review that are controversial and he has to back that shit up. If you read the Duke review, you can form your own opinion of if he does that. For something that long, with that many different points outlined, and with an opinion that's not even outrageous in the aggregate, how can you fault him.
If they write piss poor reviews call them on it. Explain why. Don't call them entertainers or swindlers. Really explain why they are often wrong.
I'm tired of lazy writers calling themselves professionals and then posting bullshit articles like these. There isn't one thing wrong about any review on this website that deserves to be taken down from Metacritic. Including that god awful Fire Emblem review by Leigh Alexander.