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a_the_est
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Mon Jan 30, 2006 9:46 am

I read this and kinda thought "meh." Gaming reviews are like anything else: 90% of them are crap. It's no different if you look at most movie or music reviews.

To address specific points: Ya, it only takes a couple of hours to watch a movie or listen to a CD, where an RPG may take 100 hours to play through, but you don't need to complete a game to know whether it's well-coded or a buggy POS; whether it's well- or poorly written or what it's graphics and gameplay are like. If a product is entertaining enough to make you *want* to spend 100 hours with it, that should be enough.

As to complaints about workload and time: again, how is this any different from movies or music? Roger Ebert writes four or five reviews a week, and does a syndicated show doing the same, and answers letters, and writes an essay about filmmaking each and every week, and he's widely regarded as one of the strongest critics out there. And the "Ebert" of gaming journalism, IMO, is Eurogamer, where they offer amusing and thoughtful reviews which free of bias and are consistently fun to read. Good gaming journalism is out there, for those who care to look.

The scourge of gaming journalism (which was not mentioned on Firing Squad), is dishonesty. Sites which sell good reviews for ad revenue are far and away worse for the industry in general.
 
paulWTAMU
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Mon Jan 30, 2006 3:51 pm

Any critics have the same tendency. I agree about the innovation bias and some others, but it's silly to pretend that that's an aboslute disaster, or that it isn't part and parcel of critiquing any art/media form for a living. You get sick of the same thing, and it shines through in your reviews.

My biggest problem is that reviews seem soft, at least in print media. I may start trying some online review sites to see if there is something better. I don't know how many mags/online sits actually sell reviews, but it just seems that no one comes out and says "this game is crap", at least not when it's a big name title. I can remember PC Gaming doing it, back in the 90s, but the last time I picked up an issue, it was just...wow, bad.
 
VTNC
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Tue Jan 31, 2006 9:48 am

A problem (#5 in the article) arises from the fact that reviewers rely on the pubs/devs to give them games to be reviewed. If they consistently rated games how they should b rated, the pubs stop giving them free games. That's a conflict of interest right there.

This is a case where piracy could help, but it would also make the reviewers less formal and more underground. Although their reviews could be more sincere.


Anyway, reviews usually suck balls, and the only site which rates games that I consistently agree with has a neo-nazi gimmick or something :-?

PS > WTF is with the author's obsession with NFS: MW?
PS2 > Here's an awesome, sincere, no bullsh1t quick review of NFS: U2:
Sh1t rubberbanding AI, pandering to morons, Brooke Burke, obligatory wallowing in sh1t to make the game progress and so many ingame ads you'd think the total development costs where 0. This is NFS: U2.
EA can go eat a d1ck. 1 / 10

See what I did there? I was honest about NFS: U2. That game sucks, but if I wrote that, EA would never gives my review site any more free games, even if I removed the part about EA eating a d1ck.
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derFunkenstein
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Tue Jan 31, 2006 10:34 am

Games freely given to a reviewer by a publisher are nothing. It's the advertising space that's where they have to give a poor game a decently-high rating...they still have to be careful not to step on a publisher's toes if they want them to buy ad space
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.
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