George Bush doesn't care about Eternity's Child.
When big debates like this over game design and game reviews occur, what it usually all comes down to is that gamers truly don't understand what is all incorporated in making a game, and game designers often don't understand what is all incorporated in playing games. The difference, however, is that you can't expect gamers to know how hard it is to make a game, but gamers CAN expect your game to be good if they pay any amount of money for it. In other words, whether it's fair or not, the responsibility all falls on the game designers.
In my opinion, the only time the gamers are ever at fault is when a game is really good (gets nothing but really good review scores), yet doesn't sell well. Games like Psychonauts and Beyond Good and Evil are the first two that usually come to the mind of most our readers. We all have that game we know was good, yet no one bought, and felt terrible for the game designers who either didn't make a lot of money, or even never got to make another game ever again.
tl;dr -- Aquaria looks way better than Eternity's Child, yet you will probably make more money than those game designers did, Luc. So please STFUAJPG. I'd rather listen to Destiny's Child than hear any more of what you have to say (which was a lot. of shit.)
Hamza CTZ Aziz
That's hilarious! Btw, how many comments did that review get?
[Note: The review has been posted by now. At the beginning of the discussion it hadn't, but from here out, its been live for a day or so.]
Hamza CTZ Aziz
Over 350 at this point.
Nearly 400, which is mind-boggling.
I think the manner in which a designer responds to a review can have a serious effect, too. People don't tend to forget those sorts of things and, in the age of the internet, getting information on a name you vaguely recognize is only a click away. The next time Dyack or the Lair team has something that they're hyping, people are likely to think back on the stunts and name-calling that transpired. A bad review can be forgotten but, if you fight it, you're only drawing more attention to the negative aspects and will generally come off looking like a douchebag.
And there's nothing people like to look at more than a falling star.
I read them when they were up to 250. I can't believe that he was responding drunk -- probably not the wisest choice. I'm glad that it was a two person review, too. Rev has a rep for hating on everything, so he could just have said that as a defense. With Conrad's same score, there's no doubt about its suckage.
Rev may have a rep for hating on things, but I've never found his criticism to be unfounded or illogical.
I think Luc must've been expecting a good review because it's an indie game and he's had a blog on Destructoid. So, why wouldn't we love him and look through the game's flaws to see it's true inner beauty?
The Jim Sterling
I've written an entire essay on this to the point where it'd make its own article, which is something I've been planning for a while, so I'm going to hold back my elaborated points for its own feature. Suffice it to say though, that I have a big problem with the way reviews are run these days. Chief among my issues are such abhorrent practices as review embargoes and this pathetic rush to be "first" with the work.
Brokering deals with publishers for exclusive previews, news and assets is a practice I can understand. However, when it comes to reviews, which are where honesty in games media actually counts for something, signing clandestine agreements for exclusive benefits creates a world of stigma which you can't rub off. Maybe IGN, for example, was being honest with itself and its readers when it gave GTA IV a 10/10. After all, plenty of other Web sites did that. However, in the rush to be first, and proudly boasting the world exclusive deal it brokered with Rockstar, one has to wonder exactly what was agreed, and it creates questions of bias that may not even be entirely fair, but are impossible to shake off.
I know of sponsorship deals gone sour over review scores. I also know that certain publishers in certain sour deals have, in the past, been a party to exclusive reviews. That stinks of bad medicine to me, and I don't like it.
As I think about the original argument, I think "lazy" is the wrong term to use when talking about reviewers. In truth, they work very hard -- but I think they put their effort into some very questionable practices. Time that should be spent purely focusing on the gaming and striving to be as honest as can be is spent instead inking deals and rushing work out of the gate to beat the rest of the press. As the guys in charge of review content around here, it's Nick and I's job to make sure that kind of shit doesn't fly on Destructoid.
Hamza XYZ Aziz
I finally saw videos of Braid for the first time today while working on the new release post for Monday. Does it remind anyone else of EC, expect, you know, good?
I'm really looking forward to Braid. Rev, Chad and myself will be reviewing it for the site. I am somewhat positive it will receive more than a 1 out of 10.
Visually, it's slightly similar to EC (i.e. it doesn't look typical). But the game couldn't be more different. I can almost guarantee it will not get a 1 out of 10. It's very puzzle intensive, requiring a lot of bizarre and complicated time manipulation that had me stuck in a few areas. Also, what does this have to do with the Dtoid discusses?
Hamza CTZ Aziz
Nothing at all, actually, haha.
I <3 Braid
A quick word on Eternity's Child and it's now infamous review. Luc Bernard couldn't have paid for a review that beneficial to his game. The amount of controversy that now surrounds Eternity's Child has generated curiosity about the title that never would have come from a positive review. I'm sure that the game will sell buckets, and that some people will actually love it.
But back to the point. it's interesting that Dyson states he knows which reviewers he feels he can trust, while Jim says you never know who is taking money under the table for a good review. If we, certified gaming journalists, have this this much trouble keeping track of who's reviews are legit and who's are not, what chance does a new gamer have of sorting it all out? Its the people who need game reviews the most that are the most likely to be duped by them.
I was in Target the other day and there was a gaggle of non-gamers staring at the 360 and Wii games. They owned both consoles, but knew nothing of gaming, and didn't know what game to buy. This is the kind of person that could greatly benefit from a good game review.
What did they get instead? A Target employee pouncing on them and saying "Buy Endless Ocean! It's the bomb-diggity!" (real quote). The gaggle of new gamers were on to him though. They asked "Does the game have a point? It seems pointless." His response "Oh yeah, it totally has a point. There is this lady on a boat, and you totally get to know her. It's got an amazing story." Clearly, the Target guy was more concerned with convincing the customers to buy Endless Ocean than he was with actually helping them find a game that they could enjoy.
Thanks to Target guy, the gaggle bought the game, although they clearly stated to him that they want their games to have a "point". The "reviewer" put his own agenda above that of his customers, and that resulted in them buying a product that they will likely find no use for. That's the definition of a "bad review", and it's something we see far too much of in the world of gaming journalism.
So, there we go. Not exactly the hotbed of action that EC review caused, but the topic itself certainly lent to some interesting points of view (and this time without hentai!). As always, these discussions are unedited and tend to lead where they may. This week's destination seemed to be that everyone has a woody for Braid.
See you next week!
(Special thanks to Dale for taking care of last week's <3)