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Do you take video game journalism and reviews seriously anymore? [roundtable]
Generally, I've given up on game reviews. A lot of them seem biased, pushing a specific angle. And who knows how many are bought off forthe reviews of "AAA" games. I'm much more interested in fellow gamer impressions than some PR-esque review babble.

Journalism has lost its integrity as well. It's hard to find a preview or a decent article that is unbiased or discusses an original premise with well thought-out arguments. Journalists are on the payroll of a lot of game companies, I think it's pretty clear.

With recent review quotes like these:

IGN review of Halo 4 said:
"Halo 4 is a masterstroke everyone can and should celebrate, and its two guaranteed sequels instantly make the next-generation Xbox a must-own system, with Halo 5 its most anticipated title."

Hardcore Gamer review of Assassin's Creed III said:
"Assassinís Creed III is one of those rare games conceived to be revolutionary from the beginning. Games like this only come around once in a generation. One of the most, if not the most, ambitious titles ever created. An inspiring testament to what can be accomplished with unbridled devotion, itís possible that nothing of this magnitude will ever be attempted again. Itís a truly definitive event that will be looked-back as a crucial step in gaming evolution."

and this:

...do you still take video game journalism seriously?

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Posted: 11/01/12, 17:12:41
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I hate coming in late to threads but I haven't taken video game "journalism" seriously in a long long time.

One recent example is the MOH:WF debacle. I played the beta, and while it DID seem pretty safe and generic, I would never ever say it was worth the ridiculously low scores its getting, especially with all the other similar games out there that don't get scores like that.

I always thought Halo was an overrated as fuck series, and I think it should have been getting 7's and 8's tops, but noooooooo it was getting 9's and 10's all along. And now finally, a Halo game that truly looks good, not by that overrated 1 trick pony studio comes along, and it barely receives higher scores even though it seems everyone knows it's better than all the other games before it. So my point is, since those fucking morons have been blowing their high score loads on the earlier Halo games, it appears that this new one isn't much better (based on scores), even though it is. Know what I'm saying?

Back to MOH:WF, I played it and it seemed okay. Then I saw the scores and they were in the 4's and 5's, and I instantly called bullshit on that. The game is not that bad, not many are. It seems like a perfectly competent game, and it's getting totally trashed, and I don't even know why.

I've been following this guy on Youtube lately called Hip Hop Gamer. He's not the BEST source in the world, and he himself is known for out of whack opinions and hyperbole, but his heart is in the right place. Now this video itself he kinda makes himself look like a fool, but his core point is still right. He calls out IGN and other reviews with bullshit standards, hypocrisy, etc. It's a good watch. He does this series called "Shots Fired" where he critiques the industry for excessive negativity and other such things. This video focuses on MOH and how reviewers trash it, yet give high scores to other similar games.

Edit: And if you don't like the way he talks just ignore it, but listen to his actual points.
Posted: 11/04/12, 02:43:26  - Edited by 
 on: 11/04/12, 02:53:01
carlosrox said:

Back to MOH:WF, I played it and it seemed okay. Then I saw the scores and they were in the 4's and 5's, and I instantly called bullshit on that. The game is not that bad, not many are. It seems like a perfectly competent game, and it's getting totally trashed, and I don't even know why.

It's getting trashed because it's garbage. It's a "me-too" CoD clone, it's using Frostbite but not taking advantage of it for anything but visuals. So it's less polished and "exciting" than Call of Duty, and it's on a much smaller scale than Battlefield. It's a worthless, unfun bastard child of a game. The single player is an absolute joke of hand-holding trash and the multiplayer's sole novel idea (fireteams) gets old after a couple hours of gameplay and the rest of the multiplayer plays it as safe as they get. There's no innovation, imagination, NOTHING in the game. It's exactly the kind of game we DON'T NEED ANY MORE OF.

I'm GLAD it's getting panned universally, maybe it'll signal CoD clones to stop and die already, because it's an overfull genre that's big on spectacle but no ideas.

No one I know who bought the game is still playing multiplayer, and the game's not even 3 weeks old! The single player is so lame and hand-holdy that it's practically nothing but triggers. If it asks you to shoot two different targets, you have to shoot the one it SAYS, if you try to shoot the other one first, that target is magically INVINCIBLE. That's how the ENTIRE campaign goes.

So where does the value come from? Should it get points because you can play it?

The game is worse than bad; it's BORING, which in video games is a far bigger crime than bugs or bad voice acting or any of that.

Also, not taking games journalism seriously because you personally disagree with review scores is not only the most idiotic and childish thing I've read all day, but the most nonsensical.
Posted: 11/04/12, 03:38:28  - Edited by 
 on: 11/04/12, 03:58:11
Yes and no. And that is a bit of a problem, really. Many times I feel like what was shown and said during the reviews just wasn't everything that was needed to be mentioned and analysed. That making me watch/read 3+ reviews so I can pick up the missing pieces, balance the circumstances and context that the elements analysed were in and finally make up my own thoughts about the game, leading me to whether think it's worthy of my money or not.

Though I do give some reviewers more trust than others, the small and independent are the ones I rely on the most. Those being either obscure youtubers or nice people from online gaming communities, that including Negative World.

As said above, I tend to watch more than one review of a specific game, but the matters are not only for knowledge. I really like to sit and watch/read reviews, for some reason. Specially for games that I know and have already played, that way being 100% sure of it's pros and cons and already having a formed opinion about it. I find taking my time to evaluate a review and seeing a worthy one to be a very satisfying experience. Also, it's a nice way to kill 5-10 minutes.
Posted: 11/04/12, 04:35:56
Just because it's linear doesn't mean it's bad. I loved Black Ops even though it was about as hand holdy as a game can get. And that goes for everyone else saying MOH:WF is a piece of shit when they've given great reviews to every COD that's released.

And are you saying this based on your own experiences? Did you play the beta? Whole thing? Or are you taking the word of what others have said?

I only played the beta, and funny enough, I admit the game BROKE on me (when I started controlling the bot in the first real mission, I couldn't progress, I was stuck in a void), even then I wouldn't expect the game to be worthy of a 4 and a 5. And again, I'm not disagreeing it might not be uninspired, but I personally doubt it's 4 bad. C'mon. 4 bad is what I'd give for half assed Wii efforts and shovelware. This game obviously isn't that.

So are they rating this game harsher just cuz "it's time to move on"? Cuz I got news for you, it was time to move on years ago. And HHG makes some good points how IGN claimed something about this game that EA chose to advertise, and they turn around and give the game a 4. Ironic though, maybe EA deserves it cuz they did the same thing to Nintendo, but the point still stands.

This whole bullshit only makes me want to try the game more, cuz I don't trust gaming journalists a lot of the time. These are probably the same people who say Other M is shit yet champion Halo and Bungie as "world class".

"Also, not taking games journalism seriously because you personally disagree with review scores is not only the most idiotic and childish thing I've read all day, but the most nonsensical."

Not sure I said that was the only reason, or if I even said that, but if I don't take their word seriously, why would I pay attention to them? What's wrong with that? I don't need to take them seriously. I trust my opinon above all others. I read reviews and watch videos as a mere guideline.
I can usually trust my instinct, I don't need to fap to IGN or Giantbomb or whoever the fuck's opinion of Other M or Halo 4 or HL2. So because a games journalist says Halo 1 is the best FPS game of all time I need to take that opinion seriously? Fuck no, that opinion is a joke to me.
Posted: 11/04/12, 05:13:05  - Edited by 
 on: 11/04/12, 05:16:12
I haven't played the new Medal of Honor however I played the last one and honestly I thought it was a better game than MW3.

I'm with Carlos. It's ridiculous to score a game like MW3 through the roof and then pan these games when they are nearly identical. Either the formula is good or it isn't. I don't care what your opinion is however it needs some consistency.
Posted: 11/04/12, 07:21:30

I dunno, those games all look the same to me, but the stories I've heard on podcasts sounded hilarious. Important buildings that failed to load (American flags just floating in mid-air, your guy just starts spazzing out and a timer tells you to get back to the play area, the timer runs out, the level reloads... and crashes), the fact that you unlock different ways to break down a door, but they all amount to the same thing: kicking down the door. Etc.

There are really good stories out there. And you don't generally hear that kind of thing about Call of Duty.
Posted: 11/04/12, 07:29:28

This may very well be true. Like I said I haven't played it, I was more talking about the last game which also got bad reviews and I remember playing it and having the same reaction Carlos is describing with this new one. It was baffling to me because honestly I thought the single player was as good if not better than any of the recent CoD games (which is to say it's almost on rails and over the top but with excellent gunplay), the multiplayer was good... I dunno, it obviously was a complete CoD rip off however I did not see anything in my fifteen or so hours with the game that would explain the gap in review scores between it and MW3. It made no sense.
Posted: 11/04/12, 07:47:59
I'm not going to argue about how bad Medal of Honor is here. The old games were great. I played it to completion and played several hours of multiplayer for my videos, but by the end I decided against putting out any videos on it since I tend to like to cover things I like, and I felt nothing but malice for this trash. It was actually offensive with how dumb it thought the player was. The gunplay was good, but... so what? Any decent title has good gunplay these days. That means nothing.

Posted: 11/04/12, 08:06:51
I'm not arguing that the formula isn't both old and incredibly generic. It is. I'm saying that for all intents and purposes the last Medal of Honor game and MW3 were pretty much the same game. It doesn't explain the 3-4 point gap (out of ten) that the reviews showed.

I actually enjoyed MoH's single player more than MW3s.
Posted: 11/04/12, 08:11:56

Thanks for the vid, tons of podcasts mentioned the "being forced to watch the explosion" thing. It's pretty damn bad and transparent, killing you if you don't blow it up, and forcing you to walk so you don't miss anything. I think some people mentioned not even being able to look away from the explosion: the game takes control of the camera at that point.
Posted: 11/04/12, 08:29:24
@Oldmanwinter Novelty wearing off more and more and just straight up copycat games mean lower and lower scores.

Let me put it into another perspective: Madden typically (not always) improves very slightly over last year's game. Does that mean Madden should get continually higher scores? No, standards are moving bars. A game is measured for its time. Some games transcend their time and are always amazingly good. Most don't and aren't.

There's lots of CoD clones. MoH does nothing, nothing special to justify its existence. It is the most blatant "me too" game I have seen in my entire life, barring that borderline parody "Modern Combat" series of iOS games made by what I assume are Chinese cloners. You liking the campaign more than MW3 is personal preference. Most would say MW3 was the weakest in the "post-MW" series of Call of Duty, but it did what they always do: Brought over-the-top (WAY over-the-top, not kind of Hollywood action over-the-top, just completely stupid shit) action with a short campaign, 60FPS and a multiplayer that addicts people, which is the main draw.

I'm not defending MW, mind you, I think the entire "genre" of Modern Military Shooters is a bunch of hoo-rah macho bullshit borderline parodying what it set out to do in the first place. It's no longer fun, interesting or subtle to me. It has become as last several gen's World War 2 shooters. Nauseating. Had MOH: Warfighter been released 5 years ago, it would've been met with fairly critical success. I doubt it'd be a blockbuster, but its nice visuals would have set it apart from CoD, and Battlefield wouldn't have been out. That it gets low scores now is not a sign of bias or "unfairness," times simply changed. It no longer holds any sway.

I could go around in circles talking to myself here for hours, so I'll shut up now.
Posted: 11/04/12, 08:44:22  - Edited by 
 on: 11/04/12, 11:31:37
There is so much more to a game than simply settings and aesthetics. I am sick of CoD as well but if we are being totally fair it is a well made game. It controls well, the technical performance is rock solid, the campaigns are fun to run through, and multiplayer is varied and completely functional.

I haven't played MoH so I can't really judge there but let's not pretend like CoD is some average game. It became the mega success that it is today by being built upon a rock solid framework. To that end, it is not inconceivable that game that is coming out in a really tired genre that is not as solid as Call of Duty would receive such a low score.
Posted: 11/05/12, 11:32:21
Oh, CoD is absolutely a solid, well-made series. I'm just sick of playing them. And if I'm sick of the standard-setter, why would I want to play some game trying feebly to emulate the experience without understanding what makes it special to those who enjoy it?
Posted: 11/05/12, 11:53:48
Xbob42 said:
why would I want to play some game trying feebly to emulate the experience without understanding what makes it special to those who enjoy it?

(I agree, I barely want to play the real thing, can't imagine playing a shoddy knock-off)
Posted: 11/05/12, 16:25:12
Just saw this DVD cover today while walking around Best Buy and thought I should share.

(FYI, this got 9% on RottenTomatoes and was on DVD a month after its release )

I know Munn and G4 are no longer the tech/gaming sources they used to be. However, this is what essentially passes as a popular, mainstream journalist in the world of gaming.

Olivia Munn interviews David Jaffe

Messed. Up.
Posted: 11/13/12, 10:59:28  - Edited by 
 on: 11/13/12, 11:02:58

Nice melons.
Posted: 11/13/12, 11:18:54

Another example of overhyping a game that has stayed the same for how many installments?
I am seriously getting sick of the same crap getting attention, when some fantastic and amazing titles consistently go unnoticed.
Posted: 11/13/12, 11:24:54

Yeah! Like Pokemon! There is a series dripping with innovation.

People like what they like. Stuff like this is what people are interested in. If you want to blame anyone, blame them.
Posted: 11/13/12, 11:48:26

Yea, but the appeals of a series like Pokemon and the appeals of, well, much of the shooter genre, are really apples and oranges.
Posted: 11/13/12, 12:13:49
Pokemon games are very different every generation however.
Posted: 11/13/12, 12:22:14
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