Your Favorite Game Sucks

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Baseline goes as this:
You can have an opinion, you cannot always voice it.
Because if you do voice certain opinions, you damage yourself, and your validity...
For example, if you blurt out in public how you "like to "play" with little girls!", you probably get a visit by the police at some point or another.

I have been accused of Fanboyism of a bad game recently...

I dared to say that I had fun with Kane&Lynch 2, because it featured a coop so I could play with my Brother.
I also made a point about "repetitive games" being seen as so repetetive because most gamers (like myself), play them as much as they can in a row...and I just said that I guess that a Game was not really meant to be played through without short breaks at least.
Que some random dude who tells me Iīm a "bad-games Fanboy", trying to advertise a game that is CLEARLY so bad itīs horrible, and I just cannot see how bad and evil and full of un-fun it is.

I dunno, I did not percieve K&L2 to be so god-awful (exept the ending...which blowed), probably because I played it with my brother...that catapults a mediocre or bad game into the higher ranks for me, because it is a rare occurance, and itīs always funner to play with someone you can shout at when you died XD (We shout alot when playing the K&L games, because we blame each other on certain stuff, itīs really funny.)

So hereīs an example of how voicing your opinion can be a bad idea.
Altho some people hide behind the face of "free speech", it is entirely a farce.
You CAN be a total dickhead, that does not mean you should...
Politeness is still important.
Also, in some countrys, Free Speech is not really "say anything you want"...
As I said above, you can have your own opinion, but if you voice it out, be aware of possible concequences.

Shamus Young:
Experienced Points: Your Favorite Game Sucks

Despite popular opinion, you don't need to have played a game to hate it.

Read Full Article

reading through this thread has shown to me again that fanboys are a metaphorical version of the emprahs spacemarines.

they try to silence all oppoisition.
they wage a constant war against the heretics, mutants and aliens.
they have an eternal icon they follow
there are alot of them, though outnumbered by the xeno, the heretic and the mutant
they are all clones from the same(or simliar) genetic template, most of them are alike.

THERE CAN BE NO PEACE(not in 100% agreement in opinion) WHILST THE ENIMIES OF THE EMPRAH(franchise/product) STILL DRAW BREATH(still criticise).

much like warhammer 40k, the game(the internet/opinions)is just good fun and should never be taken seriously. if you took this analogy 100% seriously, then i was being 100% srs business.

i completely disagree.

formulating an opinion without playing a game is a sign of ignorance.
yes, even those who hated on farmVille and twilight without playing/reading it are ignorant.

you are ignorant for justifying their ignorant claims. if you don't like it, don't play it, but don't go around and shout in everyone's ears how you hate it, cause unless you've played it, your argument is invalid. someone defending something from someone elses ignorant claim is not fanboyism, hating on something without reason is.
once you've played and still don't like the game, then you may rant on how the game is not to your taste based on legitimate reasons.

example:

FUCK HALO ITS JUST AN ALIEN SHOOTER BUT KILLZONE ROCKS >> double standards. not played it. ignorant dick.

i dont like shooters, i wont judge halo nor killzone. >> ok, your taste is different. you don't have to play it.

i didn't enjoy halo because of its theme and scrambled story. but killzones mechanics were more to my taste >> played and didn't enjoy. legit reasons.

/rant

Lordofthesuplex:
He acts like there isn't such a thing as GameFly out there. And even then if you don't want to spend money on that, there's always asking your friends if they have the game in question and if you could borrow it. That's how I got ahold of the first Halo game.

That doesn't work for PC games.

It is reasonable to conclude you probably won't like a game based on what you know about it. It is unreasonable to declare a game terrible and refuse to look at it without playing it first.

I generally don't like sports games but that doesn't mean I go around saying "sports games suck" and complaining about the people who play them. That would be rude. I haven't played Farmville and everything I hear about it tells me I won't like it. But if other people enjoy it then more power to them.

In both cases I have incomplete second hand information but in the first case I'm only making a judgment about myself and in the second case I'm arrogantly declaring an absolute truth that applies to everyone.

One reason I really like Yahtzee's reviews is because he actually plays the games as much as he can, unlike most of the other reviews by "professionals".

Athinira:
Actually, I'm talking about the validity of opinions. Claiming one opinion is more "valid" than the other is a paradoxic argument.

Ultimately, the only opinion that is valid is your own, because it is unique and applies only to YOU. Lets take two people: One likes strategy games, one doesn't. The one who does like them has played them a lot, while the one who doesn't like them has either never played them or played one. So is the opinion of the guy who likes them more valid because he has actually played them? Of course not. His opinion is only valid for himself, and the same goes for the other guy, as his opinion is just as valid to himself.

I don't think anyone's talking about opinions like "I like this game" or "I don't like this game." Those are obviously equal opinions, unique to the people who hold them. I think the issue of validity or the strength of an opinion comes into play when people start making statements about a game that go beyond that. Gamer A says, "I haven't played this game, but it probably sucks because it's a brown, cover-based shooter." This is an opinion, but a perfectly valid reason not to buy a game. Clearly it's not their cup of tea. However, Gamer B says that they thought the same thing, but after playing it found that the story was deep and engaging and the multiplayer was fast-paced and fun. If I was trying to decide to buy the game, Gamer B's experience would be more meaningful to me.

It's not that experience with something makes your opinion "better." It's that experience can give your opinion weight for those who would listen. Especially in the case of reviewing a video game, experience with the game is essential. People are allowed to hate things without experiencing them, but they shouldn't expect others to take them seriously, especially if others with first-hand knowledge have something else to say.

rsvp42:
I don't think anyone's talking about opinions like "I like this game" or "I don't like this game." Those are obviously equal opinions, unique to the people who hold them. I think the issue of validity or the strength of an opinion comes into play when people start making statements about a game that go beyond that. Gamer A says, "I haven't played this game, but it probably sucks because it's a brown, cover-based shooter." This is an opinion, but a perfectly valid reason not to buy a game. Clearly it's not their cup of tea. However, Gamer B says that they thought the same thing, but after playing it found that the story was deep and engaging and the multiplayer was fast-paced and fun. If I was trying to decide to buy the game, Gamer B's experience would be more meaningful to me.

Is it?

What if Gamer B doesn't have the same taste in games as you do?
What if you just happen to hate brown cover-based FPS games almost no matter what?

There is plenty of people out there for whom Player A's argument will still carry the most weight, even though B is the one who has experienced it. Experience doesn't give an opinion as much weight as a shared mindset (aka. if someone is of the same mindset about games as Gamer A and not Gamer B, Gamer A's opinion will generally always be thought the stronger by that person because they think alike), because the latter aligns preferences and is more likely to give you an opinion you can recognize as your own.

In fact, for most people, experience is not really that strong an argument, especially on the internet. The only way experience is worth anything to an opinion is if you know (or at least have an idea) of a persons mindset. Therefore you may value the opinion of a friend of yours very highly if he has experienced something, but a stranger on the internet? Not so much, unless he heavily qualifies his opinion. Saying "I have experience, and this game is good" doesn't hold as much weight as explaining WHY it is good. Thats why game reviews spend time talking about and describing the game for you to give you an idea, and even there you might still disagree with them.

Hmm, never ever at any payed 60 bucks for a game, max 50. Then again... I don't buy console games, ever.

Also, agree'd on that people are entitled to their own opinions although I do think that saying "It sucks" isn't good enough, "It sucks because..." and the an okay reason and not some stupid, like "her boobs are too small" or "ther's too few pixels in this texture!"

reachforthesky:

PunkRex:

I think were getting off topic, the disscussion is not about weather or not you should or should not buy a game but weather someone who has played the game has a more valid opinion then someone who has not. In my opinion they do because the person who has not experienced it cannot be 100% sure. They are guessing, maybe a well fomulated and reserched guess but a guess non the less.

PS: Sorry for the reposts, bloody quotes messing me around.

There is a difference between a "guess" and an "inference". If a game is part of a genre I can't stand, by a developer who has made games I despise, is being torn apart by reviewers I trust, and has throughout it's development cycle has been touting features that make the flash-bangs in CS look like a good idea, I can infer I won't like it. Joe Bloggs opinion is not more valid than my inference because he has played the game, for one my inference may be based on the opinions of those who have also. Joe doesn't know me, he doesn't know the games I like or what I think is important of a game. His assumption that I will like the game just because he does is a guess, and infinitely less valid than my inference. Especially if he's a fanboi.

Surely you don't find it odd to have positive opinions about a game before you play it, why would it be any different for cynicism?

That is true but is it not also true that some games you have been looking forward to have sucked or may still suck. As I have already said I really enjoyed Fallout 3 (its now in my top 10 games) but I went into it thinking it was just some retro PC fanboy game that I was only playing by chance due to my brother having bought it for my birthday (there were no games I wanted that I did not have). However, although I THINK Fallout New Vegas will rock the shizzey, for all I know about it, when I actually play it, it may suck arse or just be Fallout 3 reskinned which would be fun but would also be abit boring. As I have not played it their is to much guessing involved.

As to weather this makes my oppinion more valid then someone who has played it and decided it sucks... I suppose you guys are right (at least on some points) due to the fact as they may have a biasist veiw or be a completly different kind of gamer to me (I understand this sentance does make me sound like a Fallout fanboy making excuses but I still believe it holds some weight).

I suppose if the laws of the free world are true no ones oppion is more valid then anoth-GAAAAAAH, NO CANT SAY IT!!! THIS SENTANCE SPITS ON THE IDEAS OF CHARACTERS LIKE ANDREW RYAN WHICH I HOLD TRUE TO (Yes I am abit of a Bioshock fanboy). You dont ask medical advice from a Bus Driver when theres a Docter on board... but then again Science is fact, Media is oppinion. I hate most mordern art but I still defend it as a small portion of it is good... OK so my oppinion may be biasist but I suppose it does not make it less valid as it concerns Art (media) which is entirerly oppinion.

No, YOUR RIGHT, your oppinion is not less valid but letting it get in the way of finding something new and wounderful is really, REALLY sad. If I had let my oppinion of Fallout 3, Pans Laberinth or Mass Effect stop me from experiencing them... makes me sad to think about it.

I still think first hand experience is the greatest strength behind an argument or oppinion though as it is the final line to cross, YOU are judging the WHOLE TOPIC, not smaller parts of it.

Nice going guys you made me change my mind (mostly). I suppose the whole world would be better if Fanboys and Haters did not exsist but then im fairly sure we would all be robots.
Beep Boop.

The_root_of_all_evil:
If you can't hate something until you've tried it: How many people hate crystal meth?

But it is so very yummy! I can't possibly see how anyone could hate it! They must be retarded! I mean, if they don't like it, they're clearly not seeing the way the world is all in slow motion, and blurry, or that wonderful feeling when the wind blows through the holes in your teeth!

Pfft. Losers. On the bright side, there's still plenty of meth labs that we can shoot tear gas into, hahahaha...

But, in reference to Shamus' well crafted thought--Fair enough. "Don't judge a book by it's cover" can apply as much as it wants, but if the cover mentions something about genital diseases, spiritual possession, erotic vampires, or "field", "guide", and "stalking" in the same sentence, then I reserve the right to judge a little. Mostly, that I'll be steering clear of them, and heading for the much more exciting Tax Law section. I'll apply the same for videogames.

Jedi Sasquatch:

Lordofthesuplex:
He acts like there isn't such a thing as GameFly out there. And even then if you don't want to spend money on that, there's always asking your friends if they have the game in question and if you could borrow it. That's how I got ahold of the first Halo game.

That doesn't work for PC games.

Well it's not like I or anyone else can please EVERYONE y'know. I'm not a PC gamer so I don't know what to tell you or other PC gamers.

Headbiter:

The Random One:

(Also for the sake of this argument let's pretent we can reliably know he's saying the truth.)

Careful there, you're mixing things up. If you put up a limit like "He knows the truth." that derives far from the territory of opinion-based arguments. Claiming that there's something like a truth implies that the discussion that was going on was less about opinions but more about suspicions.

Sorry about that. What I meant to say was, 'We can reliably know he is, in fact, a Chinese man who was persecuted by the government'. I added this because if a guy showed up claiming that on such a thread there'd be a good chance he'd be bullshitting, so, the meaning of that phrase was to clarify that, in this hypothetical scenario, we all instantly believe he is in fact who he claims.

Headbiter:
To elaborate, two examples (I'll translate directly to game-examples to save time and brain-space):

[Example A is OK, snipping...]

b) We discuss if Capcom's decision to change Dante's look in the new DMC-game is a good or horrible decision. Again, we make our arguments for why we think our opinion is right or wrong.
Then a Chinese...player steps up and says "I played the new DMC and I think Dante's new look is great." Assuming I claimed until then that Dante's new look is a giant turd-pile, am I now suddenly wrong?
Correct me if I misunderstood your explanation there but as far as I can tell, the chinese player's opinion, following your thesis, is "more valid" than mine and I can't compete with him on the topic. So while the Chinese guy playing the game did change NOTHING about the topic at hand (be it Dante's look, the graphics of Shooter x, the Quests in Adventure y, or the Dialogues in Another M) suddenly I have to consider my opinion about said topic wrong until I too played the game?

I dare to say that you agree with me that example b) doesn't make much sense, now does it?
And that's exactly what Shamus' article says. "Discussing games without playing them" doesn't mean that you discuss things that have yet to be proven. It's talking about things that are known for a fact and arguing why those facts influence the game in a good or bad way.

Well, example b doesn't make much sense as written, but allow me to make a small change. Our mythical chinese gamer, whom I've decided to name Long, instead of saying "I played the new DMC and I think Dante's new look is great" says "I played the new DMC and I have to say that the gameplay is so frantic you barely notice Dante's new look." Or, "I played the new DMC and the game's changed a lot. Dante's new appearance really matches the feeling they were going for." Now would you say it might be wise to reconsider your opinions?

The reason example b doesn't make much sense, as you wrote it, is that, if we are discussing Dante's appearance, then we all have firsthand experience, because we've all seen a picture of what it looks like. It doesn't get much better than that. But there might be other factors that weight in. In my example, Long might be trolling or bullshitting or just have a different opinion than you, and when you get around to play the new DMC you might end up saying, 'yeah the new Dante sucks'. But there is a chance that you might agree to Long after playing. Am I saying you need to buy the new DMC? No, I'm saying you can't discuss it with people who have played, especially if such a small error in judgement can be such an obvious possibility.

Headbiter:
And that is very well possible. We can try it right here. Did you play "Vampire: The Masquerade: Redemption"? No? Well I did. Now I claim that it has a very dramatic and well-made graphic that is top-notch even compared to current games. And I challenge you now to proove me wrong.
Given the internet as a source-pool would you consider yourself unable to discuss with me about this unless you played the game?

Yes I would. There are games that look beautiful on a screenshot but everyone looks like a wooden dummy when they start moving. And there are games that look beautiful on trailers but all that beauty gets in the way of the gameplay. I could watch some trailers and then I'd say, 'Oh this part of the game is kind of blurry (I dunno, pretend this is an actually relevant complaint)'. But then you could say, 'Well it's meant to be blurry, because it's under a heat wave/it's under a shimmering spell/you are drunk/it's the cleft of dimensions/etc. How could I carry this conversation any further? You didn't even need to say the truth; you could bullshit me all the way and I wouldn't have a leg to stand on, since I wouldn't be able to tell what information I could rely on. And if you called a bluff, or even an error, I made in my arguments, I'd lose a lot of face and couldn't reliably continue. And that's talking about graphics, which are the most visible part of a game! If I had to convince you its gameplay was bad, how would I even begin?

I, too, know nothing firsthand of those topics, but I can discuss them... with people who also know nothing firsthand of those topics. Could you discuss rape with a rape victim? Drugs with a drug addict? I mean on this forum, as I am doing right now with you?

Actually, I could.
What, did you never lead the discussion about if smoking is good or bad? I can talk with smokers about their "hobby". I might not be able to discuss the difference in flavor between Lucky Strike and Camel, but I sure as hell can talk about the drug, Nicotine, without ever having smoked a single cig. Why? Because the effects of cigars and cigarets are pretty well-known and easily researchable.

Also because smoking doesn't give you firsthand knowledge of the effects of smoking unless you happen to be dying of lung cancer. A smoker that has researched these facts has as much information as you, unless you include the personal effects of addition. Again, it's all about being on the same information level.

Having firsthand experience with a game is just a matter of playing it.

Not that easy, sorry. I only posess a PC (and a Sega Master System II *cough*). Now I want to talk about Super Street Fighter IV. So the matter would be more "earning the money for an XBox, a TV, a working TV-connection and the game just to play it. Mmmmeh.
But that just as a cliff-note about that playing a game isn't *that* easy for everyone.

I'll grant you that - in fact, I personally haven't been able to play pretty much any 360 game that came out this year (the 360 being my console of choice). But I'm honestly mystified about what you'd want to talk about Street Fighter IV with someone who owns and plays it. You couldn't even compare strategies with older games in the series since for a comparison you need to know how different they play!

My point is that, while your point is valid, usually if you feel the need to talk about how much you hate (or love) a certain game I'm assuming you have the needed hardware to play it.

Doesn't it sound silly to compare games to rape? Yeah, you started it.

Actually I didn't. ^^

Yeah I was just pulling your leg. Can we still be friends? ;-)

Athinira:

The Random One:
My whole point is this. There are different degrees of opinion. And the opinions of those who have had firsthand experience of something are, by definition, more valid. Not to say you need to like something, but 'I haven't played this game because it looks like something I'll not enjoy', as valid as it is, is worse than 'I don't like this game because I played it and I didn't like it'. If you can explain why, your analysis is better.

Except that you're wrong. Just because you have more knowledge of a subject, it doesn't mean your opinion is more valid.

To give you an example of why, you mentioned discussing rape with a rape victim. What if i went out and discussed rape with a rapist instead? I would still be talking to someone who has first-hand experience with the subject, but his opinion would probably be totally different.

Knowledge and opinion has nothing to do with each other, because opinions are subjective no matter how much knowledge you have of a subject. Knowledge can help you evaluate, but even evaluations is subject to personal interpretation.

Not sure what you're trying to point out here. Yeah, if you asked a rape victim and a rapist what their opinions on rape were you'd get wildly different replies. But if you were, say, writing a book about rape, it'd do you better to ask either of them than to stop a guy on the street and say, 'Hey good sir, what are your thoughts on rape?'[1] You'd ask first people who have firsthand knowledge of the subject, then people who have secondhand knowledge of the subject (such as police officers and psychologist who work with rapist and rape victims). And my whole point, subverted as it may have been into this Lovecraftian nightmare of an analogy, is that you cannot discuss a game you haven't played with someone who has, just like you can't discuss rape with someone who has been through it if you haven't. Seeing it written down like that makes me die a little bit inside, but that's logically sound.

You appear to be confusing 'informed' opinions with 'correct' opinions. There is no such thing as a 'correct' opinion. Sure you could say that 'rape is awesome!' is an 'incorrect' opinion, but it's just an 'unaccepted' opinion. Law says it's wrong. For something such as rape, which has the kind of effect on the world it has, the 'unaccepted' opinion is a de facto equivalent of an 'incorrect' opinion, but even horrible things might become acceptable.

It doesn't scale down to smaller things, such as games. If I ask two people who have played Halo, and one of them says he loves it and one of them says he hates it, does it mean those people's opinions of Halo are wrong because they are contraditory? No. Likewise, if I ask ten people who have played Halo and all of them love it, and then I ask a guy who never played it and he says it's probably very awesome, is his opinion right because it matches the informed opinion? No - he might play it and find it horrible. Only through firsthand knowledge can you figure out a complete personal idea.

Bottom line: don't try to chat up rapists or rape victims, make sure you play Halo, and don't trust Chinamen named Long. See you next week.

[1] 'I'm for it, I don't know what people have against it!
'Excuse me?'
'Wait, rape? I thought you said ice cream. People have been against it lately, I don't know what's the matter with them.'

Athinira:

rsvp42:
I don't think anyone's talking about opinions like "I like this game" or "I don't like this game." Those are obviously equal opinions, unique to the people who hold them. I think the issue of validity or the strength of an opinion comes into play when people start making statements about a game that go beyond that. Gamer A says, "I haven't played this game, but it probably sucks because it's a brown, cover-based shooter." This is an opinion, but a perfectly valid reason not to buy a game. Clearly it's not their cup of tea. However, Gamer B says that they thought the same thing, but after playing it found that the story was deep and engaging and the multiplayer was fast-paced and fun. If I was trying to decide to buy the game, Gamer B's experience would be more meaningful to me.

Is it?

Of course it is. I just said "If I was trying to decide to buy the game, Gamer B's experience would be more meaningful to me." I made a statement about what's meaningful to me, why is there a question? If your questioning whether it applies to everyone, I suppose it wouldn't, but it would probably apply to anyone looking to buy a game.

Athinira:

What if Gamer B doesn't have the same taste in games as you do?
What if you just happen to hate brown cover-based FPS games almost no matter what?

This is silly. I said, "Gamer B says that they thought the same thing" after describing Gamer A's opinion. But I went on to describe Gamer B's changed reaction after actually playing it. I was creating a situation wherein two gamers' opinions of a game could diverge on the basis of experience. My hypothetical taste in games hasn't come into play yet.

Athinira:

There is plenty of people out there for whom Player A's argument will still carry the most weight, even though B is the one who has experienced it. Experience doesn't give an opinion as much weight as a shared mindset (aka. if someone is of the same mindset about games as Gamer A and not Gamer B, Gamer A's opinion will generally always be thought the stronger by that person because they think alike), because the latter aligns preferences and is more likely to give you an opinion you can recognize as your own.

I established that both gamers had similar mindsets from the get-go, but that B changed his mind after experiencing the game. For someone interested in buying a game or wondering if it's worth it, Gamer B's experience with the game will be more meaningful. This is the majority of cases. If people are discussing a game and a person says "Well I played level 7 and it was great because x, y, z," and another one says "well it would probably suck because I heard it was a water level and water levels always suck," the person with experience has a more meaningful take on it. In a way their opinion is better because they're not making wild assumptions.

Another example: Alex thinks a new FPS game was terrible because he played it and he has specific reasons why he thinks it sucks. Ben just hates FPSs. If Chris enjoys the occasional FPS and was thinking of getting it, who should he talk to to get more info, Alex or Ben?

Obviously Alex. He has experienced the game and has specific anecdotes concerning the game. If Chris asked Alex about the game, he would get specific information. If he talked to Ben, all he would get is, "I hate FPSs, they all suck." How is that useful or meaningful? It's fluff. Ben would have no business trying to discuss the game because he would have nothing salient to say.

Experienced Points:
Reviews are an important part of that data-gathering process

I have to disagree with this.

Most reviews are completely useless when trying to decide whether or not a game is good.
In so many reviews that I've read on the Escapist website the phrase "You use a controller to manipulate on screen action." would fit in perfectly.

Most reviews on other websites or magazines leave out all the bad things and praise (broadest possible definition of the word) "good" things. I only read reviews for entertainment's sake ever since I payed $60 for Gears of War. How can a game be "non stop action" when you spend the whole game parked on your ass behind a chest high wall?

I've read reviews for Modern Warfare 2 that don't even mention you can beat it in less than 6 hours.
I've read reviews for Mirror's Edge that don't say the load times take longer than most of the levels.
I've read reviews for Final Fantasy 13 that don't say anything about the hold forward tap "A" repeat gameplay
I've read reviews for Dead Rising and Mass Effect 2 that don't mention that an SD TV make the games unplayable.

and none of those things are opinion.

Yahtzee is the only Reviewer I've ever read (Listened to) who will call out a game for being bad.
but you can't only listen to him or else you'd own Half life 2, Prince of Persia, Fantasy World Dizzy, and 4 copies of Silent Hill 2.

I disagree.
Sure we all know what kind of games we like, and what we find appealing before we buy, but ultimately we can't know everything about a game before we've played it.
How can one justify slamming a game's story or graphics if they haven't played it and therefore don't actually KNOW the story?
It may be a point overused by irritating people, but it is still a very valid point.

It always annoys me when Yahtzee for instance decides before playing a game that he will hate it and therefore makes no effort to enjoy it.
2 examples are:
His Halo 3 review (of the campaign). I haven't played the Halo 3 campaign, but saying he stopped playing it halfway through because the story was stupid and didn't make any sense was just pretentious seeing as he never played Halo 1 or 2. This is just a case of judging a game before you play, making no effort (by not playing the first 2 first and doing it properly) and sticking to your guns till the bitter end.
Though for some reason this seems to be what you are endorsing.

My other Yahtzee example was his FF13 review (a game that cops way too much flak).
He openly hates JRPG's as a general rule, so why he decided to make a review is beyond me. Nevertheless, because he formed such a strong opinion in advance he only played 4 hours. That is four hours of a 100 hour game. That is still the very basic stages of the tutorial in a game that large.
He played 4% of the game before he ditched it with the justification of not liking JRPG's.
If he gets payed to do these reviews he should bloody well bother to do them properly.

But I digress, naturally people can form opinions on how they EXPECT games to be, but ultimately, if you haven't played a game, and therefore know nothing about how inclusive/atmospheric/immersive a game is, not to mention anything about the story, then how can you argue a game is bad to someone who has played it?
But it's the same either way. It is just as bad when people say games they haven't played are good!

IMO people who hate on final fantasy VII or Halo, seemingly because they're popular (and therefore must be bad) and they want to maintain a facade that is mysterious and alternative without having actually played the games are posers.
And on the flip-side, people who love(?) Halo and FFVII because they're popular (and they've seen advent children) without playing the game are also posers.

You cannot know whether you like a game or not until you have experienced it (unless it's a ninja theory take on DMC :P), so people shouldn't go judging books by their covers.

Holy Karp thas long. Sorry about that.

GooBeyond:
i completely disagree.

formulating an opinion without playing a game is a sign of ignorance.
yes, even those who hated on farmVille and twilight without playing/reading it are ignorant.

you are ignorant for justifying their ignorant claims. if you don't like it, don't play it... SNIP

THIS.
This is very true.

Not buying a game because you believe it won't interest you = Great
Going onto forums for that game/its developer and saying it is a bad game without trying it = Not Great.

Really any forum discussion on said game. If someone asks your personal opinion feel free to say that it doesn't interest you and move on.

rsvp42:

Athinira:

What if Gamer B doesn't have the same taste in games as you do?
What if you just happen to hate brown cover-based FPS games almost no matter what?

This is silly. I said, "Gamer B says that they thought the same thing" after describing Gamer A's opinion. But I went on to describe Gamer B's changed reaction after actually playing it. I was creating a situation wherein two gamers' opinions of a game could diverge on the basis of experience. My hypothetical taste in games hasn't come into play yet.

You should have stated so more clearly then. Stating that two gamers both thought a game would be sh*t doesn't imply that they are of the same mindset, it could just be coincidental that they had the same opinion of the game.

rsvp42:

Athinira:

There is plenty of people out there for whom Player A's argument will still carry the most weight, even though B is the one who has experienced it. Experience doesn't give an opinion as much weight as a shared mindset (aka. if someone is of the same mindset about games as Gamer A and not Gamer B, Gamer A's opinion will generally always be thought the stronger by that person because they think alike), because the latter aligns preferences and is more likely to give you an opinion you can recognize as your own.

I established that both gamers had similar mindsets from the get-go, but that B changed his mind after experiencing the game. For someone interested in buying a game or wondering if it's worth it, Gamer B's experience with the game will be more meaningful. This is the majority of cases.

I disagree. While i obviously can't speak of how you feel, human tend to be skeptical of recommendations from people they don't know, so claiming that the majority would put more weight on Gamer B's words is incorrect if you ask me. There is still plenty of people who will have doubts when the recommendation comes from someone they don't know, most likely because we've gotten used to distrust commercials when growing up.

If you know Gamer B personally then it's a different story obviously.

Okay now let me butt in into another discussion.

Athinira:

rsvp42:
I don't think anyone's talking about opinions like "I like this game" or "I don't like this game." Those are obviously equal opinions, unique to the people who hold them. I think the issue of validity or the strength of an opinion comes into play when people start making statements about a game that go beyond that. Gamer A says, "I haven't played this game, but it probably sucks because it's a brown, cover-based shooter." This is an opinion, but a perfectly valid reason not to buy a game. Clearly it's not their cup of tea. However, Gamer B says that they thought the same thing, but after playing it found that the story was deep and engaging and the multiplayer was fast-paced and fun. If I was trying to decide to buy the game, Gamer B's experience would be more meaningful to me.

Is it?

What if Gamer B doesn't have the same taste in games as you do?
What if you just happen to hate brown cover-based FPS games almost no matter what?

There is plenty of people out there for whom Player A's argument will still carry the most weight, even though B is the one who has experienced it. Experience doesn't give an opinion as much weight as a shared mindset (aka. if someone is of the same mindset about games as Gamer A and not Gamer B, Gamer A's opinion will generally always be thought the stronger by that person because they think alike), because the latter aligns preferences and is more likely to give you an opinion you can recognize as your own.

I can't think of any reason to hold Gamer A's opinion over Gamer B's. You know that it's a brown and grey cover-based shooter. You have no experience. Therefore, Gamer A has the exactly same knowledge that you have. How are you going to expect to meet a different viewpoint than the one you already have by following his opinions? You are just going to reinforce your own.

Maybe Gamer A happens to have a taste in games that are just like yours, while Game B has a completely different taste. Even then, you'd do better to ask Gamer B. You could ask him 'Are the levels well designed?' or 'Do different weapons actually feel different?' or 'Is the game frustrating?' Even if his personal opinion is different from yours he will be able to answer these questions far more effectively. Gamer A can only guess and things like level design are something that are hard to glimpse from second hand accounts.

This may well have been said already, but the one issue that I would like to make is that "hate" is a very strong word for something that you don't need to experience and for something frivolous, like music or games.

I'll take Justin Beiber as an example, someone who on this forum, receives a high degree of hatred.

If perhaps, there was a law that meant I had to listen to Justin Beiber at least once per day, I would quite quickly grow to hate Justin Beiber. In fact, even in this situation, I don't think Justin Beiber would deserve HATE. The law could have had any number of mediocre musicians and I would still be pissed off. I would hate the person that made the stupid law. In fact, only if Justin Beiber lived next door to me and I had to listen to his music all the time, do I think that Justin Beiber would deserve hatred.
I have never understood the ire that Beiber gets. In fact, if this forum didn't rant about him so much, its possible that I would not have heard of him. I don't see how you can hate something which you can very easily avoid. It's like someone sticking their hand in a fire, discovering that it hurts, then sticks their hand in the fire again so that they can write angry forum posts about how shitty fire is. Just don't stick your hand in the fire!

My other point is that when it comes down to it, its just a game/film/musician. If I just made the first argument, I would anticipate some people thinking "You don't get subjected to racism/Stalinist Russia, but you still hate it". Well, that is true. However, Justin Beiber brings a certain amount of happiness to some people, and the people that he brings unhappiness to should see my first point.
When you strip all the whining out of the rants, you are essentially left with "a mediocre musician is making a lot of money"(ie. something that has probably happened since people first discovered how to sell music). While there are perhaps some negative effects to come from this, they pale in significance to pretty much any serious issue around the world.

So, to summarise, while I agree with Shamus that it is perfectly reasonable to say "I've heard that game isn't very good, I probably won't like it", I don't think it's reasonable to so say "I've heard that game isn't very good... LET THE INTERNET FEEL MY RAGE".

Athinira:
I can't think of any reason to hold Gamer A's opinion over Gamer B's. You know that it's a brown and grey cover-based shooter. You have no experience. Therefore, Gamer A has the exactly same knowledge that you have. How are you going to expect to meet a different viewpoint than the one you already have by following his opinions? You are just going to reinforce your own.

Maybe Gamer A happens to have a taste in games that are just like yours, while Game B has a completely different taste. Even then, you'd do better to ask Gamer B. You could ask him 'Are the levels well designed?' or 'Do different weapons actually feel different?' or 'Is the game frustrating?' Even if his personal opinion is different from yours he will be able to answer these questions far more effectively. Gamer A can only guess and things like level design are something that are hard to glimpse from second hand accounts.

All Gamer B's arguments like level design, of weapons feeling different, assumes that the person asking actually cares about the level or weapon design to begin with. What Gamer B is essentially doing is telling us about his mindset. He is practically saying "I like good level design and i like that each weapon feels different". But if neither weapon nor level design means anything to you (or only means very little) in regards to the game, then we once again face the problem that you and Gamer B's mindsets doesn't align, and therefore his advice is useless in trying to convince you to like the game.

As for Gamer A, it is actually quite possible to get an idea from second hand accounts about a game: Reviews, review videos, gameplay videos, screenshots. All of these actually tell a great deal about a game (especially gameplay videos). The things you mention (level design etc.) is actually things you can pretty easily glimpse from second hand accounts.

And that is exactly why there is plenty of people out there who would rather cling to Gamer A's opinion if they are of the same mindset. It's true that if Gamer A practically didn't know anything at all about the game, his opinion wouldn't be worth much to anyone, but even i could find useful advice from him if he said "I've watched some gameplay videos, and the level design look awful", if i knew his mindset was similar to mine.

If you happen to share the mindset of Gamer A, then typically the only way you would weight more on Gamer B's opinion is if the thing he found awesome about the game are things you can't get from second hand accounts and still somewhat agree with. For example, if Gamer B said "The game really challenges you" or "The game is quite intense", the those are things you truly have to play the game to get an idea about, and therefore Gamer A can't comment on it.

But even if Gamer A can't comment on those things because he hasn't played the game, that still doesn't mean that Gamer B's advice is going to be useful to you, because they once again rely on the assumption that you share SOME of Gamer B's mindset, in this case assuming that you like challenging or intensive games. But if neither challenge, intensity, level design or weapon design matters much to you, then Gamer B's advice is still useless. And even if they do matter to you, Gamer B's idea of what makes good level/challenge/weapon/intensity design might be totally different from your own. In fact, it might be totally opposite, meaning that Gamer B's opinion is actually misleading you, in which case Gamer A's "silence" (because he can't comment on those things) might be more useful to you, because you would rather not hear about a game and not buy it than you would want to hear good things about a game and buy it, only to find out that you think it s*cks.

I guess the bottom line is that you simply can't rely on advice from people that don't share your mindset. No amount of praise of graphics, intensity, map/level design, weapon design, challenge design or whatever is going to convince you that this new RTS game is good if you don't like RTS games to begin with. In your example, for some people, the fact that it's a cover based shooter is enough to turn them off, no matter the praise it gets, because they simply don't like cover based shooters at all, and then it doesn't matter how good the game is otherwise designed.

Athinira:
I disagree. While i obviously can't speak of how you feel, human tend to be skeptical of recommendations from people they don't know, so claiming that the majority would put more weight on Gamer B's words is incorrect if you ask me. There is still plenty of people who will have doubts when the recommendation comes from someone they don't know, most likely because we've gotten used to distrust commercials when growing up.

If you know Gamer B personally then it's a different story obviously.

How well you know them? That's another variable. We're not talking about that. Pretend you know them both the same. This is a discussion of the benefits (or lack therof) of experience playing a game. Played it vs. not played it. I haven't really seen a good reason to take the word of someone who hasn't played it over the word of someone who has. You just keep making up hypothetical situations that throw the comparison off balance.

Athinira:
snip.

Furthermore, whether or not you are of the same mindset is another issue entirely, one that doesn't really need to be brought up. Yes, ultimately we would prefer to get information about a game from those we would normally agree with. But whether you agree with a person or not, you can't argue that it would be worse if that person had played the game. You get a better opinion that way.

Imagine this. You're talking with your two best friends about games. Let's say you all have the same taste in games (for argument's sake). The conversation moves on to a new game that just came out and you want to know what your friends think. One has played it, the other hasn't. Whose opinion will be more informed? Whose opinion will have the experience to back it up? Sure the one who hasn't played it could say how cool it looks or how fun the previews have been, but the one who played it will have first-hand knowledge. It may not be a huge difference in your eyes, but it is an improvement.

This is doubly so on an internet forum. If people are coming together to discuss a game and you have know way of knowing if you have the same tastes (like on a forum), then experience with the game is the only way to know how much faith to put into anything that's said. Sure, you may not agree, but you'll at least know that the opinion was informed and not based on commercials or trailers alone.

Wow, I have rarely read an article I disagreed with more.

Has Shamus ever heard you can rent or borrow games BEFORE you buy them?

No. 1, Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but if they are a reviewer, they have to come clean that it is not their "professional opinion" or that they have not "reviewed the game".

Now, most gamers by now, have SOME idea of what they like/don't like, and they must have SOME idea of how hype affects you.

Have some common sense, and read around and you will get the low-down on what "said-game" is like.

But for instance- if someone said "Oh sex is a horrific and pointless activity" -that is an OPINION, you ask" Have you done it then?"
He says "Heck no! but I just know! you know!"
Honestly I would say "Yeah right *roll eyes"

rsvp42:
How well you know them? That's another variable. We're not talking about that. Pretend you know them both the same. This is a discussion of the benefits (or lack therof) of experience playing a game. Played it vs. not played it. I haven't really seen a good reason to take the word of someone who hasn't played it over the word of someone who has. You just keep making up hypothetical situations that throw the comparison off balance.

Then you have entirely missed my point. My point is that mindset is everything and experience with the game is nothing. Period. No matter how intimate knowledge someone has of a game, you aren't going to be able to use his opinion if you aren't of the same mindset of him and like those kinds of games.

A person who has knowledge of a game still can't tell you whether or not the game is good, because your opinion of what makes a good game might be different than his. Sure, he can describe the game for you, but if his descriptions is subjective (which it is most likely going to be) and he is using terms like "The level design is _great_", then it is still going to be useless to you because you have no idea of his standards for level design.

Also, I'm not creating imbalanced situations that throws the comparison off. You ask me to assume that i know both Gamer A and B the same, but thats what I'm already assuming. That still doesn't change that Gamer A and B have a different mindset, and that the general person is still going to trust the one they identify the most with.

Just to give you another example, lets take the recent Final Fantasy game. On one hand you have Yahtzee who has played the first 5 hours and hated the game. On the other hand you have the people who played through the game (without necessarily being fanboys) and who is telling him that the game gets good 20 hours in. In this situation, most viewers still trust Yahtzee the most rather than the bloke who sat through the game, because after having watched his reviews for 3 years, they know his mindset (even if they sometimes disagree with it).

If you are asking about a 100% equal situation with 2 people you know equally well, is of EXACTLY equal mindset, and one has played the game and the other hasn't, then yes, i might agree with you that you would trust the person who has played the game (although not necessarily enough to buy it yourself). That situation is pretty much going to happen to anyone though, and even then there will be more factors involved, like how well they describe the game to you. "I haven't played the game, but from the gameplay videos it looks like a generic FPS with ugly graphics" is still more useful than "I've played the game and it's awesome, you simply have to try it".

Athinira:

rsvp42:
How well you know them? That's another variable. We're not talking about that. Pretend you know them both the same. This is a discussion of the benefits (or lack therof) of experience playing a game. Played it vs. not played it. I haven't really seen a good reason to take the word of someone who hasn't played it over the word of someone who has. You just keep making up hypothetical situations that throw the comparison off balance.

Then you have entirely missed my point. My point is that mindset is everything and experience with the game is nothing. Period. No matter how intimate knowledge someone has of a game, you aren't going to be able to use his opinion if you aren't of the same mindset of him and like those kinds of games.

A person who has knowledge of a game still can't tell you whether or not the game is good, because your opinion of what makes a good game might be different than his. Sure, he can describe the game for you, but if his descriptions is subjective (which it is most likely going to be) and he is using terms like "The level design is _great_", then it is still going to be useless to you because you have no idea of his standards for level design.

Also, I'm not creating imbalanced situations that throws the comparison off. You ask me to assume that i know both Gamer A and B the same, but thats what I'm already assuming. That still doesn't change that Gamer A and B have a different mindset, and that the general person is still going to trust the one they identify the most with.

Just to give you another example, lets take the recent Final Fantasy game. On one hand you have Yahtzee who has played the first 5 hours and hated the game. On the other hand you have the people who played through the game (without necessarily being fanboys) and who is telling him that the game gets good 20 hours in. In this situation, most viewers still trust Yahtzee the most rather than the bloke who sat through the game, because after having watched his reviews for 3 years, they know his mindset (even if they sometimes disagree with it).

If you are asking about a 100% equal situation with 2 people you know equally well, is of EXACTLY equal mindset, and one has played the game and the other hasn't, then yes, i might agree with you that you would trust the person who has played the game (although not necessarily enough to buy it yourself). That situation is pretty much going to happen to anyone though, and even then there will be more factors involved, like how well they describe the game to you. "I haven't played the game, but from the gameplay videos it looks like a generic FPS with ugly graphics" is still more useful than "I've played the game and it's awesome, you simply have to try it".

Well in your Final Fantasy example, all the people you mentioned (Yahtzee and the other people) had played it. Sure Yahtzee had played less, but but he had still played. If you compared any of those testimonies to that of someone who hadn't even touched the game, you could see their relative strength. I definitely agree that mindset plays a big part in how much stock you put into someone's opinion and I didn't mean to suggest that it didn't. I was worried you were suggesting that experience had no beneficial effects on a person's opinion or recommendation. Clearly it does. That being said, whether or not you have the same taste in games is the next level.

The strength of an opinion is in how informed it is. It's relevance to any given person is based on mindset. I guess that's why I see them as separate, but connected issues.

I honestly just plain disagree, I'm not even going to argue it because I can only vaguely see how you could be right. The idea is to save yourself time and money by evaluating other opinions, not to form an opinion of your own, which you then spread. That's how we get the "games kill people" debacles.

I'm aware that this is an old article but I came across it through the "related news" list of the more recent How to read movie criticism and I just felt a strong need to comment on this.

Forming your own, personal, private opinion on a game you haven't bought as part of determining weather you should buy it, is entirely valid.

Publishing (even on the internet) a semi-professional review that claims that your opinion of a game you have never played is just as valid as the opinion of someone who has played through every nook and cranny of the game, is absurd.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that people are right for flaming people who say "Oh, I don't think I'd like that game" on a message board.

But if you're talking about a published review (even something as minor as a user review on Gamefaqs), there's an expectation that the person writing the review actually has at least some experience with the game. If this person admits that they never actually played the game they're reviewing (especially in systems where every review is given equal weight on a rating scale), they might as well have personally asked for every flame he/she gets as a result.

Edit: Holy crap this is an old article. How did I get here :)

If I want to gain an opinion of a game, I read multiple reviews & opinions of a game, and then account for the potential bias of what I've read (for example I know from past experience that particular reviewers like the same sort of things I do). If it has a demo, I don't need any of that, but that's extremely rare, and even then you get caveats like 'oh this will be better in the release' and it turns out it isn't.

It's always a gamble. It always requires me to form and hold an opinion before playing the game. Renting doesn't count - money has still been put down by that point.

Advertising that opinion as 'this game sucks' is not particularly appropriate, but that wasn't Shamus' point. You can form an opinion of a game, try it anyway, be entirely informed, still like/dislike the game, and say so, and apparently you are just plain wrong. Yet in classic Internetz fashion, this thread is already busily debating completely the wrong points. It's entirely feasible to come away from reading others' reviews (real ones not three lines on Metacritic) and feel that game X is not for you for the following reasons etc. etc. Polite people will be open minded enough to ask the question 'so I've heard this, is this true? will I find I have trouble with the game if...?'

The deeper issue is that people refuse to listen to others, and debate in a polite manner. No no, it's much easier to be rude & fanatical (both liking & disliking), and people will latch onto any strawman they can to say 'aha clearly you are wrong!' - not having experienced a given part or any of a given game is just one example.

The idea that somehow you must have tried an activity to know it's good or bad completely misses whole swathes of human evolution & experience. You don't need to go out and eat glass to realise it's a bad idea. Why not? Millions of years of evolution of people telling you it's a bloody stupid idea has already informed you. In short, you listen to your peers and elders as you grow up. Reading others' opinions on a game is no different; it's just a smaller sample size over a shorter time period, and thus more likely to be variable in reliability.

Reviews do need to be informed. That's why they're called reviews (the word itself means 'seen again'!). Opinion can be held without direct experience.

jebussaves88:
But it begs the question; if you don't like a game, and you haven't tried it, why are you getting involved in an argument over something you clearly have no interest in in the first place? If you'd played the game, or even demoed it, and had genuine criticism for it, then I think its something to discuss, but wading into the troll pit blindfolded is not bringing anything to the table except bad feeling.

Four key takeaways I had from this would be:

'argument' - it shouldn't need to be an argument in the first place

'clearly no interest' - beyond the occasional genuine troll, I doubt many are there for kicks, though I empathise when dealing with those that just are there to cause trouble

'troll pit' - well that pretty much sets the scene doesn't it - why would anyone knowingly go to such an environment in the first place, informed or otherwise?

'only bringing bad feeling' - quite the contrary, they are bringing a viewpoint - I can explain rationally why I hate golf games despite only having played one in the 1980s, and someone else is welcome to try and convince me how today's golf game is just so much better & different, but I remain entitled to that viewpoint formed over years about a given genre of game. If the context of a given debate starts out with the diametrically opposing viewpoint of 'how can any idiot hate golf games!?!' (as it usually does on the Internet) then clearly my opinion is not only valid but informative of 'actually this idiot does hate golf games and here's why'. Presented well, that's useful feedback.

The real problem is huge numbers of people posting on forums fail totally at presenting their opinion, politely in the right context, as opinion.

Well, nobody ever said the human race had to be rational, I guess.

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