Hi, I'm Vance. I play video games. I've been gaming for pretty much my entire life, and I will most likely be buried with Metroid Prime in my cold, dead hands. Other stuff is awesome, too; I love writing, music, movies, sleeping, and other normal things. I'm always on Xbox Live/Steam, so if you ever want to add me and play, go for it. :)
I can remember years ago, long before I found the awesome site I'm now using to write this, I used to go to other sites for my gaming information. One of them was Gamespot, which I thought at the time was the absolute best the web could offer on everything I wanted to know about video games. That was until November of 2007, when they terminated their Editorial Director, Jeff Gerstmann, because he awarded a title he reviewed, the particularly dreadful Kane & Lynch: Dead Men, a 6.0 score. Why the termination? Did he give the admittedly shitty game a WAY higher score than he deserved?
No. He gave a shitty game a score that Eidos Interactive didn't want. See, when the same company that's publishing the game that's adorning your ENTIRE WEBPAGE is the same game that just got a negative score, and they're paying you for said service, they want to see much, much better than a 6.0. So, he was fired. That was the last time I ever read a review from the site.
Obviously, this has been news for a long, long time. Why am I bringing it up? Because something else happened that year that is actually, at least to me, kinda worse. Gamespot was a case of the line that separates church and state being blurred to the point of no return. This other thing? Awful journalism.
Some of you may be familiar with Game Revolution. It was, at the time, a little known game site that was visited by your typical hardcore gaming crowd. Word of mouth, good reviews, whatever it was that kept people coming back to this place, it worked. My friend showed it to me a couple years prior, and I loved it. The reviews were definitely the best thing about it. They were great reads. Well written, and sometimes, unabashedly harsh. If a game sucked, they told it like it was. It was a site that PRIDED itself in showing off the fact that while many of its competitors had given an A+ here, a perfect 10.0 score there, they had never, ever given a perfect score. And they probably never would.
In it, reviewer Nick Tan talks about why, unbelievably, Uncharted was completely forgotten amongst their staff for their 2007 Game of the Year awards:
"Well, I can't speak for the other editors, but I believe I unconsciously lapsed on Uncharted because I don't remember any "wow factor" from that game, a quality that separates it from the rest of all the best titles of 2007, something undeniably awe-inspiring. Nothing came to mind then and nothing comes to mind now, I'm afraid."
While the site did give the game an A-, apparently Nick Tan didn't like it enough to even consider it as one of the year's best. Apparently, it didn't lack any real innovation. And you know what? That's fine. He's allowed to voice his opinion, and not just because he WORKS as a video game journalist. But what isn't fine is what he later posted in a comment, further down the page.
Obviously, this article didn't fare very well to some of the people that commented. In fact, the first comment posted very eloquently summed up my first reaction to it:
"You probably don't remember any "wow factor" because you haven't actually played the game."
The other usual fare of comments followed. Finally, Nick himself commented, to clarify to everyone if he did, in fact, play the game he was so hell bent on writing about. Surely he played the game, and was just being overtly critical... right?
"Assuming that any person - even a video game editor - has played every title on a list to completion is expecting too much. That's why this list is an aggregate from not just me but from several editors on the staff. Unlike movie critics, we can't play through every game that's released, even it's just the best titles and especially those outside of the ones we need to review so we can eat. This isn't a list of what I liked from everything I played, but what we all felt deserved our highest honor that year - whether we've played it or not. And it happens that Uncharted, as well as Crysis, Heavenly Sword, God of War II, Resident Evil 4 for the Wii, Warioware: Smooth Moves, Ninja Gaiden Sigma, Winning Eleven 2007, Revenant Wings, and Metroid 3: Corruption, didn't make the list. Furthermore, Uncharted did not appear in many "game of the year" lists across numerous game media and its gameplay stems much from Gears of War and Tomb Raider. But to answer your question directly - no, I have not played Uncharted, because I'm not into the shooting genre. But I'm objective and critical enough to appreciate Bioshock, Halo 3, Call of Duty 4, Mas (sic) Effect, and The Orange Box - and Uncharted, even if it didn't make the list. At the end of the day, we just have different opinions on the level of greatness of the game and that's perfectly fine."
Is it just me, or is there something completely wrong and dishonest about what he said? He wrote a FUCKING ARTICLE about why Uncharted, in his opinion, was not innovative enough, not awe-inspiring enough to be considered for any award that year, and he didn't even play the game himself? Not to mention the fact that he lumped Uncharted in with the "shooting genre," which is absurd. Yes, you DO shoot guns, but that's just one part of the game... even the other games he apparently didn't play have more shooting! My question? How did that even get through the editing process? How could a site that prided itself in being different, being awesome let something like that happen?
They didn't care, apparently. Nothing more, at least from what I saw, was ever said of it again, and it's been long forgotten about. But I never forgot about it. I was outraged, and still am. I stopped visiting the site, and have never returned.
I guess the question I want to ask anyone who cares to read this blog, is this: Was this worth being outraged about? Does this kind of bullshit just get a pass because it's labeled as an "opinion?"