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LONG BLOG

Criticizing the critics

   0
Reviewing the reviewer and reviewing the score is a rather controversial topic. People seem to never be satisfied with a score a game they admire received; itís either too high or too low. The comments posted on any review from any site invariably seem to be infested with an abundance of insults and misunderstandings. Complaints about the words or numbers are commonplace, but are they justified? Do any of the critics criticizing the critics have a point? Do any of these points deserve to be explored?



A popular comment I read posted on reviews is the ďnon-subjectiveĒ comment. Certain individuals hold the belief that a reviewer should never place his or her opinions on a review. In other words, a review should only be done from a technical stand point: gameplay, music, graphics, etc. Any comparison to any other games is immediately shut down as trying to live up to certain expectations; a game should be reviewed as it stands: a single entity. I completely disagree with this thought process and find it hard to believe that some individuals actually mean it. T.S Elliot wrote: ďNo poet, no artist of any art, has his complete meaning alone. His significance, his appreciation is the appreciation of his relation to the dead poets and artist. You cannot value him alone; you must set him, for contrast and comparison, among the dead. Poetry should never be judge as is.Ē A review should always have comparisons ďto the deadĒ (past games) of whichever genre it occupies. It is impossible, and wrong, to not compare games to each other. This is how the medium will grow, not by limiting our review process, but by looking at past games (in its genre) for inspiration and improvements.

Another common critique is the number system. A scale from 1-10 is commonly used in many game sites, but is it fair? Does it have any place in a review? The answer is yes and no. Yes, because the number gives the reader a quick and unambiguous answer as to the quality of the game and, no, because a review should stand on its own -- the words in a review should be enough; it doesnít need to hide behind a number. People seem to take the number scale literally. For instance, if a game is scored a 10, then it gives the impression that itís perfect, but we all know no game is perfect. The number scale is pretty simple to understand; a 10 doesnít mean a game is perfect, but that the reviewer highly recommends the game. In a perfect world, everyone would look at the number and read the review, but unfortunately we donít live in a perfect world and many people only look to the number. This begs the question: Should the number scale be abolished? Should such a accommodation be done for the handicap? This is something thatís been debated for awhile, but it seems that the complaints are from overzealous fans. This brings me to another point I want to make: Genre.



Another typical comment used is the ďhow can you give game X the same score as game YĒ comment. Genre should always be considered when a reader is reading a review. If game X is a shooter and game Y is an RPG and game X is scored slightly higher than game Y, itís not because the game is better, but because itís better in its particular genre. Comparing apples and oranges will get you nowhere. This absurd sensitivity has been widespread because of the internet. This quick reaction to games the consumer has yet experience is demented and show nothing but loyalty to the absurd. But it is useful to examine this absurd behavior that always lies in the realm of pretentiousness, which takes me to my next point: Preference.

Reviews always have the opinion of its writer, but what if the reviewer reviews a game in a genre he or she knows nothing about or even hates. Letís take Catherine, for example. Jim Sterling stated many times that the game is not for him and if he was reviewing it, it would have gotten a low score. I tend to agree with comments that say, ďWhy did you review this game if you hate the genre?Ē But thereís always a little voice in my head who thinks itís positive to have a fresh voice to speak about a game -- A different t perspective might highlight some blemishes a reviewer comfortable in the genre would overlook. This question is more complicated than the others and I have no solid answer, but I do have a suggestion: a mini review. Let me explain, you have the main review and also have a mini (a small paragraph) review of someone not accustom to the genre giving his or her thoughts. Comparisons between two different gamers are always welcome and can help the way we look at games.



Reviews are always criticized for its content and suppose ďbias,Ē but we must all take a step back, take a deep breath, and think before we judge. There are always some legitimate complaints. Take a look at any controversial review and tell me the comments arenít always out of line. Is there a perfect way to review a game? I really donít know, but I think the first step is respecting each other in the comments and being accepted of others opinions, and take what they say seriously. They may have a point.
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About VenusInFursone of us since 4:39 PM on 02.11.2011

Wow, I have a twitter now. Hmmm, would you like to follow me? Here, take this link. If you follow me; I will make all your dreams come true: Twitter

Here's my Tumblr; it's where I write all my miscellaneous stuff: Tumblr

Do you like films? Do you like my writing? If so, then have a look at my movie blog: Flixist

I'm a student. I'm currently working on my second degree. My past jobs were working at a gym and Urban Outfitters. I love to play guitar, read, listen to music, and watch films. I'm funny and enjoy the arts. I sometimes can ramble on about literature and films. I'm born and breed in New York. I'm easy going and I love fashion. My favorite system is the DS. I constantly shop at Urban Outfitters and Topshop. I really don't know what else to say. Oh yeah, I'm a cool guy!

Movies:
I Stand Alone, Magnolia, There Will Be Blood, Fight Club, Antichrist, Enter The Void, Dogtooth

Music:
Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Lhasa De Sela, MC5, Neil Young, Velvet Underground, Radiohead, Manu Chao, The Smiths, Nine Inch Nails

Books:
The Trial, Notes From Underground, Paris Spleen, Crime And Punishment, Junky, Hunger, Nausea, The Stranger

Games:
Super Mario Bros., Lost in Shadow, Braid

Favorite Articles I've written:

Demon's Souls: An Allegory for Life

Fuite

Diary of a Breton: Journey to Solitude

Are You Afraid of the Dark?

Explain Yourself!

Venus, Put on some Fur and let's Talk

Front Page Articles

The Emasculation of a Father

A Small Thank You

I started a blog at this very site to let some of my feelings out. In some way Destructoid was therapy for me. I write about everything from my mother, past relationships, financial situations, friends, hipsters, school, etc. This is done not for sympathy, but as a way to expresses myself. My financial situation is a mess and I have no idea how Iím going to make a living, but writing and reading some of the response from great users have bought a wealth of positiveness to my life; It really doesnít have to be anything big, but a simple comment of appreciation is enough to fill my heart with joy. Itís strange writing this, but joining this community has been the best thing I've ever done, well, second best thing; getting laid is pretty cool. What Iím trying to say here is thank you. Thank you for this awesome community. Thank you for reading. Thank you for commenting. Thank you for being awesome.

A big thanks goes to falsenipple for the header!

Venus In Furs - Don't know what it is? Well, my freind, click on the link and listen to the song.

The Velvet Underground - Venus In Furs (Original)

DeVotchKa - Venus In Furs (Cover)

 



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