Jimquisition: Dragon's Frown

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kazriko:
It comes from lining up the text descriptions of various sites that explain their grading systems. Escapist doesn't have a page describing their ratings, so you have to go with a stand-in somewhere else. RPGamer's one such site with a 1-5, here's their page. On theirs, a 6-6.9 rating matches up closest to a 2.0, but there's variations with different sites. http://www.rpgamer.com/pointsofview/info/reviewratings.html Other sites are less specific on what their star ratings mean, like Joystiq. http://www.joystiq.com/2010/06/11/welcome-to-the-latest-joystiq-we-call-it-futurestiq/#4

I think you need to reread that rpgamer page because they have a chart at the bottom, and it explicitly says that their previous system's 5-6/10 is equivalent to their current system's 3/5. The same for Joystiq (though without numbers obviously), where a 3/5 is a maybe (average) while everything below that is a no unless you're starved for a certain genre.

But the general gist is still that a 5 or 50 in the 10/100 point scale is somewhere around a 1 in the 1-5 scale, and that generally matches the US grading scale in schools... Anything below a 60 is considered a "failing" grade, and it goes up from there, whereas 5 star systems a 1 is a failing, and it goes up from there.

Lets just put it this way.
In US grading, A - 90-100, B - 80-89, C - 70-79 D - 60-69 F < 60
If you line that up to stars, A - 4.5-5, B - 3.5-4, C - 2.5-3, D - 1.5-2, F - 1.

Even if the websites you linked didn't explain that what you consider their rating system to be isn't the case, you can't just say that, because they do it this way, the Escapist does it that way too. A 1.5/5 is not a 6.5/10 and a 3/5 is not an 8/10; if it was, the game would be considered good, great even, instead of average.

OtherSideofSky:
I didn't even read any of the scores (I never do), but I'm very mad at every reviewer who looked at Dragon's Crown, including the one at Polygon. I'm mad at them because they write like shit and spend all their time talking about the art, but don't know enough about art or art criticism to notice, let alone comment on all the amazing things going on in that game's art design (hint: not much to do with breasts, more to do with elaborate homages to classic works of art).

Funny that you mention that. The review on the Escapist did talk a lot about the art, and mentioned a few of the cool things they do with it in the game.

"The outside world is revealed to you as series of sequential two-dimensional levels, each one its own hyperbolic variation of a magical trope like the mad scientist's laboratory or the castle of the dead. Sometimes it'll feel cliché, but the scenery is absolutely stunning anyway. It's particularly striking watching the picturesque landscape rotate around the mage's tower as you run up it. Even the mounts look legendary. Like the best kind of 80's power metal song, this game will have you riding velociraptors around and spitting a hail of fireballs into the faces of your foes."

That said, a lot of people focused more on this;(or rather, some of this quote)
"If the game's questionable portrayal of women and lackluster storyline aren't enough to put you off, though, there's still plenty left to enjoy about it."

Even though Lashani did say this first;

"Where the notable exaggeration remains appropriate to the subject it does really work. The genie's muscular arms and the old beggar's wrinkled skin bring out their essential qualities of strength and weakness respectively. It even makes sense for the Sorceress, a class that's traditionally charismatic, to have sexually suggestive garb. However, in the case of the nun with her legs spread it feels at best lazy and at worst downright regressive."

The review overall was very positive, but still admitted that the game has some flaws. Seems fair to me.

mike1921:
I should have clarified that I think 6.5 is a very borderline score between 'mediocre' and 'good'.

Lets look at what Polygon considers a 6.5. Here's the text of their review policy page for 6 and 7.

http://www.polygon.com/pages/about-reviews

Sevens are good games that may even have some great parts, but they also have some big "buts." They often don't do much with their concepts, or they have interesting concepts but don't do much with their mechanics. They can be recommended with several caveats.

Games with a score of six have good parts, but uneven overall execution. Prospective players should know what they're getting into before they dedicate time and commitment.

wulf3n:

Roman Monaghan:

Lord_Gremlin:
I think it all boils down to the overall quality of review. See, first and foremost it's a 2D RPG/beat-em-up. In case of that review reviewer but a lot of stock into particular art style quirks which are highly, highly subjective. See, all reviews are subjective but what differentiates a good reviewer is ability to determine which parts are most important. That depiction of women ties very neatly into medieval fantasy theme. A good reviewer would evaluate gameplay, RPG elements, story and such first and stuff like huge boobs second. That review reads like a whiny blog and that's the issue.
It would be all fine and good if they scored the game low based on core elements like leveling system. But on basis on some highly subjective and arguably stupid elements of art?
See Jim, the point being it's not a professional review. It's a whiny blog. If we don't stomp such "reviewers" now next thing will be Dynasty Warriors getting 1 and 2 scores because of lack of proper beard on certain characters.

This got tweeted on Jims twitter, and will/was probably showed around in the comments here already, but fuck it, because you more then anyone needs to see it: http://i.imgur.com/6GXBC96.jpg

Am I the only one who see's the irony of forcing the opinion of not forcing your opinion?

:/ Asking someone nicely to do something is forcing them?

0_0 Crap! I've been quite the abusive a-hole all my life.

I don't see what the big deal is. Dragon's Crown never really interested me, even before I was put off by the character models it was just a side scrolling 2D beat em up and I already have Scott Pilgrim. I respect that a lot of people like it but this never did seem like a game that was going to get universal acclaim.

Imp Emissary:

:/ Asking someone nicely to do something is forcing them?

0_0 Crap! I've been quite the abusive a-hole all my life.

I don't really see any form of argument to be forcing, however AtlusPRime seemed to be under the impression that the vocal opposition were trying to do just that.

Now there are over 1300 comments to the original review, and I make no claim to have read all of them, but I haven't seen anything that would constitute forcing an opinion.

So I can only assume that AtlusPRime consider expressing an opinion, however [in]eloquently, with the goal of changing someone opinion to be considered "force"

major_chaos:

RaikuFA:
Which explains their TLoU review.

Or maybe they just didn't like it? I know I didn't. But nah, better to assume the game was perfect any anyone who doesn't think so is taking teh bribes.

OT: People freaking out over review scores is nothing new, whether its "whhhaaa score to high, must be paid for" or "whhhaaaaa score to low, reviewer is scum/biased/has no taste"
As for Dragon's Crown, I never cared about the overblown controversy, in part because it jumped to front page news after the Kotaku article, and (IMO) Kotaku can not go away fast enough.

They actually are funded by Microsoft. Dunno if it really did affect both reviews but that's what I hear when this arises. Could be true, could not be true.

The problem with the review is the fact that the reviewer insults the reader calling them juvenile. That should have never passed the editors desk.

wulf3n:

Imp Emissary:

:/ Asking someone nicely to do something is forcing them?

0_0 Crap! I've been quite the abusive a-hole all my life.

I don't really see any form of argument to be forcing, however AtlusPRime seemed to be under the impression that the vocal opposition were trying to do just that.

Now there are over 1300 comments to the original review, and I make no claim to have read all of them, but I haven't seen anything that would constitute forcing an opinion.

So I can only assume that AtlusPRime consider expressing an opinion, however [in]eloquently, with the goal of changing someone opinion to be considered "force"

Hmmm.... I can agree with the idea that talking about your opinion is NOT trying to force your opinion on someone. Even if you share your opinion with another to try and change theirs.

However, I'm am still confused as to what you meant with the first thing you said.
It was about the tweet right? Because it seemed to be just asking people to relax, listen to someone's opinion, and then form/change/keep their own. And, ya know, try not to force yours on others(by which I assume they mean don't yell at anyone to change their opinion, just because they don't share yours).

Even if there aren't people saying the review should be changed, I don't see how what AtlusPRime said is saying that we should force people, to not force their opinions on others.

I'm going to focus on the most important part of this video.

I love Dynasty Warriors too Jim.

We and the gaming community we live in would be better if we destroyed Number Scores for good and for all.

You know the phrase 'actions speak louder than words?' Well, so do Numbers. Digits and percentages and */10 scales and statistics are more readily digested and used in the human consciousness than explanations and descriptions and thoughts. Or, in the case of reviews, at least.

Because of this, we have the first problem with Number Scores: the number in a review takes up so much more importance than the content of the review itself. Yahtzee dressed-down Numbers very well: how can you shrink and crush a complex and dynamic opinion into a lifeless calculated digit? And even if and when you CAN do this, why would you want to?

What, really, is the point of a review? I mean originally it was so a person could get an idea of whether or not they'd like a Thing before they spent the time or money to consume it, so what good does a number do for that cause? A number can't tell you anything, and that's the second problem with number scores: they're essentially pointless.
'This game is a nine'. So what? Does that really mean you'll like it? Most websites have a description of each number; say '9 = an incredibly thrilling experience'. Well, why not just CALL the game an incredibly thrilling experience, then? If you play that game and end up agreeing with the review, will you think, "wow, this game is incredibly thrilling!", or "wow! Nine! The number nine! Four plus five! N-I-N-E!!"

Now obviously, ever since Siskel and Ebert, a second mainstream function of reviews has formed: to exchange interesting commentary and thought-provoking theses on the product/art in question. To analyze, not just to review. To make observations, not just to say your opinion. 'Analysis' as its own separate entity is becoming more popular on Youtube; I really like the stuff made by people like Digibrony, or this obscure 'Sonic Dissected' series that seriously needs to be more popular. The latter of those two particularly emphasizes how LITTLE they want to emphasize their opinions, and maximize their focus on observations and analysis; though still while having an emotional tint to it based on their opinion; to still give the commentary just enough character and humanity.

That's personally one thing I like about Yahtzee's reviews more than Bob's; Ben focuses more on talking about the things that are in the game and explaining why he has the opinions that he has--so much so that it used to be hard to tell what his opinion even was. While Bob almost always puts his opinion at the forefront of every review; he still gives commentary and it's always interesting, but I still feel that it makes his show a little bit more dry. (I should emphasize that this doesn't say anything bad about him as a person; just the way in which he chooses to go about his videos.)

So with all that in mind, take a look at Number Scores again, and you'll see the third problem with number scores: they're pure opinion. And Problem #3 next to Problem #1 creates an acidic combo that causes reviews to be much more opinion focused. If Yahtzee had always handed out Numbers, his review of Luigi's Mansion Dark Moon would have left me more-or-less thinking, "Wow, Dark Moon got an 8, which is almost the highest score he's ever given to a 1st Party Nintendo game. He gave an 8.5 to Super Mario Galaxy, so that must still be his favorite in the past few years. He have a 6 to Zelda Spirit Tracks, and a 4.4 to Other M, so clearly, he likes Dark Moon a surprising amount. Even more than Bowser's Inside Story, which he gave a 7.5."

But instead, in the actual dimension where Yahtzee doesn't give out numbers, I left that review thinking, "Wow! Yahtzee really liked a 1st party Nintendo Game for the first time since Super Mario Galaxy I think. Hmm, it is uncommon for Nintendo to not focus its gameplay on a hardware gimmick... is it? I wonder what it is about this game that Ben liked so much. Well, the visuals and the atmosphere certainly were a big factor. Hey, Galaxy also had a fun atmosphere to it! And..." and so on and so on. In other words, I was completely engrossed in the actual CONTENT of the games; not the opinions of the games.

Now obviously, reviews still work adequately despite all that I've mentioned. Normally, what any person can do is make their guesses as to whether-or-not they'll like a Thing based on who it was that made the review. I mean as long as I've watched Bob's show, I have gotten pretty good at telling whether or not I'll agree with him. When Doug Walker does regular reviews, he is always mentioning 'what kind of people will or won't like such and such movie'.

So ultimately, I wouldn't call Number Scores as being THAT worth doing away with, if it weren't for, well, the exact problem that Jim talks about in this video.

While I liked this video as much as any episode, I wish he had put some effort into actually understanding why this 'number hawking' phenomenon takes place. Yeah, people are 'getting brought down by one low number', but WHY are they doing that?

Well first of all, we need to explain Number Score problem #4--which is actually a mutation of the first three problems: that everyone has their own ideas of what the numbers mean. This means that two critics could both enjoy a Thing just as much as the other, yet give the Thing a different score! This could lead to confusion and frustration, because Problem #1 is distracting us from the generally-similar opinions.

So to remedy this problem, reviewers (mostly for games) basically started to Coalesce their rank theories together, and what has resulted is this 'generally agreed upon' standard for reviews in Gaming goes about like this:

10 = Perfect
9 = Excellent
8 = Great
7 = Good
6 = Okay
5 = Medicore
4 = Bad
3/0 = Different synonyms for 'terrible'

But in your attempt to fix Problem #4, you just made it worse; for now, if ANY review goes outside of these boundaries, it gets special attention and scorn. Jim says exactly this in the video: that Number Scores are slowly chaining reviewers into the same methods of opinions as everyone else. Jim has ALSO said that Number Scores are 'ultimately still a good thing', because problems like #4 (and the other problems that I will get to) are just the result of 'people not using them correctly', but I highly question that reasoning. From my perspective, the issue of Reviewers melting down into a collective ball of unanimity is a natural and predictable effect caused by the nature of Number Scores.

So as I said, the more we try to fix the problem of the Subjectivity of numbers, the more destructive the Subjectivity of numbers becomes.

But there's more to it than that: another result of this homogenization has caused the values of these numbers to climb to the ceiling. I'm not quite sure how this happens, but it so clearly does; that the more games get 9's and 10's, the more reviewers feel obligated to give more games 9's and 10's. This problem, then--if combined with Problem #1 again--mutates into [b]the fifth problem with Number Scores: Hate out of Ten[/b]. We know roughly how that scale explains itself, but given the way in which numbers are handed out, how does that scale feel to the human heart?

10/9 = This game is very thoroughly enjoyable and has very few flaws; you could just spend your time playing only these games
8 = This game is pretty enjoyable, but you won't be missing out if you don't play it
7 = This game is average and almost certainly not worth buying
6 = A completely pointless game that might have some slim chance of appealing to you if you're in a very specific niche
5/4 = A completely worthless game
3/0 = It might be fun to watch an angry Let's Play of

We've created a gaming scene where soaring praise is expected; where the highest numbers are the average. Again the Jimquisition acknowledges this problem, and I'm glad he's aware of it, and while slapping the face of those who get consumed by it definitely helps, I don't think it's the cure to the problem.

And now, here we are at last: the conclusion of the dissection of this frustrating phenomenon; we can comprehend what the heart of the issue is; we can put the pieces together to fully understand why people flooded hatred over that 6.5 review of Dragon's Crown.

The fact that numbers speak louder than words mixed with the subjectivity of numbers along with the homogenization of opinions, with the power of Hate out of Ten amplifying it all, we get...

The 6th problem with Number Scores: the number becomes reality.

No one will say that opinions aren't objective, when asked. They won't say it, or think it out loud, that is. But on a deeper emotional level, an opinion can become an important part of their own enjoyment of the Thing. If someone gives a 9 to a game, because of all the problems I've mentioned before, it essentially becomes much more like an objective statement about a game's quality, and the more people agree on that number, the more 'objective' the number becomes, and the more infuriating any differing number can become.

Like, say if you spent your life supporting Such and Such political policy, because of allll the statistics you know of stating that Such and Such policy has a 95% benefit to Whatever. How are you inclined to react when someone tells you that, actually, only 10% of benefit to Whatever is caused by Such and Such, and is 90% damaging? If you're like me, you might be frustrated with that person.

Indeed, frustrated or annoyed by conflicting information, but ultimately okay if that guy ends up being factually wrong: your potential anger is defused by the alleviation of clear, true facts. Number Scores have the same element of frustratability, but because they are ultimately all subjective and opinion-based, you can't get behind objective fact to calm yourself, and may get pissed off as a result. There are many people who make angry comments about a 'low' 7.5 score, but I bet there are many times more people who've wanted to make an angry comment, but withheld their fingers knowing that their anger was stupid and pointless.

In general, I don't like what Number Scores do to the gaming community. It brings people to wallow in this bitter, emotionally-taxing Data Entry-esque sport of comparing and contrasting numbers. 'Ooh this got a 9.2 but the last one got a 9.3, this one is worse, huh? Sega Racing got a 7.75 but MAG just a 7?? This got a 10, but THAT did NOT get a 10! The PS3 version got half a point less than the 360 version!'

If Number Scores had some useful function in spite of all this, I would understand the desire to keep them. But, because of Problem #2: the problem that scores ultimately are pretty much pointless, I don't see any reason why we can't just throw these wasteful distractions into the dustbin of history, never to be seen again.

Now before anyone asks, I'm not trying to get Congress to ban numbers, or saying that we should flog every game site to purge its score policy, or saying that we need to start an anti-number Revolution Uprising; all I'm saying is--and in fact, the ultimate conclusion I've written this post to make--I want everyone to do the same thing I did: start ignoring Number Scores.

My internet-browsing life has been a solid 9.25 without them.

Imp Emissary:

However, I'm am still confused as to what you meant with the first thing you said.
It was about the tweet right?

More so the comment by AtlusPRime on the actual review [note: it's the same quote]

Imp Emissary:

Because it seemed to be just asking people to relax, listen to someone's opinion, and then form/change/keep their own.

Which is what people seem to be doing, they listen to the reviewers opinion and then post their differing opinion in the comment section.

Imp Emissary:

And, ya know, try not to force yours on others(by which I assume they mean don't yell at anyone to change their opinion, just because they don't share yours)
Even if there aren't people saying the review should be changed, I don't see how what AtlusPRime said is saying that we should force people, to not force their opinions on others..

Which is why it's confusing as no one is really yelling at anyone to change their opinion, so why the call to not forcing an opinion? unless they see expressing a counter opinion to be "force"

Ultimately this seems like one of those situations that's being blown out of proportion by it's propagation within the media.

Looking at the epicenter of the issue, it doesn't look like it should be an issue. Some discussing the issues of sexism within the game, others about the credibility of a review that places such weight on a single aspect of the game.

edit: Maybe things are worse on Twitter or Facebook, I don't know.

DirkDeadeye:

OtherSideofSky:
I didn't even read any of the scores (I never do), but I'm very mad at every reviewer who looked at Dragon's Crown, including the one at Polygon. I'm mad at them because they write like shit and spend all their time talking about the art, but don't know enough about art or art criticism to notice, let alone comment on all the amazing things going on in that game's art design (hint: not much to do with breasts, more to do with elaborate homages to classic works of art).

Actually, I am mad at the entire gaming press literally all the time because they are all complete failures as critics of any kind despite constantly going on about how much better qualified they are because they read a bastardization of theory decades out of date on a blog somewhere. I would not be at all put out if the entire lot of them were sacked tomorrow and we started over with a new batch who can actually fucking write.

Yeah, I settle in to read a review about a game..

I come out confused, and angry.

I didn't learn anything about the game..

I read some fuckin' editorial about objectification of women.

I then make the mistake of rolling my mouse further into the comments.

I just got in an argument with someone.

I STILL DONT KNOW WHAT THE FUCK THIS GAME IS ABOUT!!

What pisses me off the most is that they clearly don't even know about what they do write about. These people would get thrown out of real gender studies faster than they would art history. Honestly, I don't think any of them actually even know what objectification is. If they were real feminist critics, they'd be talking about subjectivity and wouldn't make the assumption that objectification is sexual in nature. As it is, they come off as Tumblr third-wavers who are more fanboys/girls than they are experts or even activists.

wulf3n:

Imp Emissary:

However, I'm am still confused as to what you meant with the first thing you said.
It was about the tweet right?

More so the comment by AtlusPRime on the actual review [note: it's the same quote]

Imp Emissary:

Because it seemed to be just asking people to relax, listen to someone's opinion, and then form/change/keep their own.

Which is what people seem to be doing, they listen to the reviewers opinion and then post their differing opinion in the comment section.

Imp Emissary:

And, ya know, try not to force yours on others(by which I assume they mean don't yell at anyone to change their opinion, just because they don't share yours)
Even if there aren't people saying the review should be changed, I don't see how what AtlusPRime said is saying that we should force people, to not force their opinions on others..

Which is why it's confusing as no one is really yelling at anyone to change their opinion, so why the call to not forcing an opinion? unless they see expressing a counter opinion to be "force"

Ultimately this seems like one of those situations that's being blown out of proportion by it's propagation within the media.

Looking at the epicenter of the issue, it's really not an issue. Some discussing the issues of sexism within the game, others about the credibility of a review that places such weight on a single aspect of the game.

Eh, I have seen people claim that reviews should be changed before. In a thread with a post count of over 1300, filled with some angry people, I think it would be a safe bet that some such people would pop up. Heck, I've even seen some people do that on the Escapist sometimes.

However, I can completely agree that the issue of one "bad" review, has indeed gone a bit overboard. Not so much because of the media, but rather the people who consume it.
:/ Which I guess technically includes us now......Huh...

I love me some huge titties and highly stylized art but it doesn't bug my that some reviewer on Polygon didn't. Not one bit. Heck, if you guys who can't stand fair to middling reviews of games you don't like want to get REALLY angry saunter over to:
http://www.quartertothree.com/fp/review-list/

and peruse until you have that heart attack you've been waiting for.

I wonder, if there wasn't that big brouhaha around Sorceress leading up to the game's release, would Polygon have score it differently? Like, subconsciously, the reviewer was harsh-ish on it because he figured that everyone hated the game and if he wrote a review agreeing with their criticisms ("yes! the characters in the final game really are disgustingly sexualized!") that the review would get a lot of praise and attention?

Imp Emissary:

OtherSideofSky:
I didn't even read any of the scores (I never do), but I'm very mad at every reviewer who looked at Dragon's Crown, including the one at Polygon. I'm mad at them because they write like shit and spend all their time talking about the art, but don't know enough about art or art criticism to notice, let alone comment on all the amazing things going on in that game's art design (hint: not much to do with breasts, more to do with elaborate homages to classic works of art).

Funny that you mention that. The review on the Escapist did talk a lot about the art, and mentioned a few of the cool things they do with it in the game.

"The outside world is revealed to you as series of sequential two-dimensional levels, each one its own hyperbolic variation of a magical trope like the mad scientist's laboratory or the castle of the dead. Sometimes it'll feel cliché, but the scenery is absolutely stunning anyway. It's particularly striking watching the picturesque landscape rotate around the mage's tower as you run up it. Even the mounts look legendary. Like the best kind of 80's power metal song, this game will have you riding velociraptors around and spitting a hail of fireballs into the faces of your foes."

That said, a lot of people focused more on this;(or rather, some of this quote)
"If the game's questionable portrayal of women and lackluster storyline aren't enough to put you off, though, there's still plenty left to enjoy about it."

Even though Lashani did say this first;

"Where the notable exaggeration remains appropriate to the subject it does really work. The genie's muscular arms and the old beggar's wrinkled skin bring out their essential qualities of strength and weakness respectively. It even makes sense for the Sorceress, a class that's traditionally charismatic, to have sexually suggestive garb. However, in the case of the nun with her legs spread it feels at best lazy and at worst downright regressive."

The review overall was very positive, but still admitted that the game has some flaws. Seems fair to me.

That review was better than most, but still didn't touch on what I'm talking about. Dragon's Crown is littered with specific homages to everything from renaissance tapestries and paintings to Ray Harryhausen and Walt Disney, and I have yet to see a single critic pick up on any of that in their discussion of the art design. It's one of the things that first got me interested in the game, and I would expect paid professionals to be capable of at least recognizing that those elements are present.

I have absolutely no problem with discussing gender issues and representation in a game review. What I take issue with is the sheer incompetence of self-appointed experts in dealing with these issues. Remember when Jim's best effort at real discourse was comparing a picture of the men from Gears of War to one of the women from Dead or Alive Beach Volleyball, and then mocking everyone who disagreed with him in a funny voice for 4 minutes? Remember when Bob Chipman brought up a really interesting racial question, and then ruined his whole point by not knowing the difference between 'lost civilization' and 'lost white tribe,' completely failing to do basic research into the history of anthropology, and wasting half the video belittling anyone who might disagree? Real critics would laugh at these people. They talk about objectification without ever once mentioning subjectivity and almost invariably define it in purely sexual terms. I don't believe these people have even read the type of feminist criticism they endeavor to emulate. Game critics should be bringing all of these points to the table, but time and again they show themselves incapable of doing so.

Imp Emissary:
However, I can completely agree that the issue of one "bad" review, has indeed gone a bit overboard. Not so much because of the media, but rather the people who consume it.
:/ Which I guess technically includes us now......Huh...

Haha true, the joys of infotainment.

mike1921:

Spot1990:

mike1921:
Because you have high tolerance for mediocrity? I see little distinction between mediocre and bad, neither is worth playing or watching if you have alternatives.

That doesn't necessarily imply "mediocre". Take Deadpool for example. The combat is a bit repetitive and the dialogue in combat even more so. But it's not entirely boring action-wise, the writing is fun it's pretty creative so I'd give it no more than 7/10. It's still enjoyable. Hell I loved The Last of Us but the puzzles are repetitive, one hit kills by clickers sucks, the stealth isn't the best and the AI is silly. A game can do a particular thing well enough to make it worth checking out without needing a 9 or a 10.

I should have clarified that I think 6.5 is a very borderline score between 'mediocre' and 'good'.

Deadpool always looked like a 7 to me too, which is why I am unlikely to buy it unless it's on a ridiculous sale. It's not beyond the realm of reason that a game I'd rate a 6.5 is one I wouldn't want to play even if it were free.

It's mostly a problem with industry pricing. I borrowed deadpool. It was definitely not worth 60 bucks. To me there's nothing necessarily wrong with a game that's between 5 and 7, it's the gaming equivalent of a popcorn flick. The problem is that a 5 or a 7 definitely isn't worth full retail price. I'd play more JRPGs just for the visuals and soundtracks, even though a find a lot of them quite narrow in scope and I don't like the combat usually, if I could do it on a budget.

How naive to think the sole reason people are voicing their frustration is a result of one low score. This was never about the score itself. It's the way the game was judged by these so called 'journalists', who glossed over all the mechanical elements (you know, the game play, the thing that identifies it as a video game) with a simple 'it's okay but repetitive', as well as the artistic genius that is influenced by centuries of work by artists from all over the world, then proceed to write five paragraphs on how fictional characters are offending their own sexuality, physical appearance and an entire gender.

The state of the media surrounding video games is the focus here. How it's filled with people who are (for some reason) being paid to not even be critical like contributors on the film and music scene are. Instead they sit at their desk, find something that they don't like and use that as an excuse to fuel unwarranted, illogical and out right stupid opinions that consumers like you and I have to take seriously. It is insulting, belittling and a major reason why video games will forever be a joke to anyone who doesn't buy a Portal bag or play their 3DS in public (It's cringing to see the stereotypical 'gamer' at university, with their trench coats, fedoras and 'The Cake Is A Lie' stickers on their bags).

So congratulations, Jim, on wasting an entire week missing point.

Roman Monaghan:
I skimmed through 5 pages just to make sure no one else has made this point.
Anyone complaining about the rediculous chest sizes of two out of three women in Dragon's Crown is oversexualising, must remember that an equal proportion of male characters has chests bigger than their heads.

No one else mentioned it because Jim already did an episode about why it's a stupid thing to say http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/jimquisition/7290-Objectification-And-Men?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=videos

You can say the oversexualising issue is equal for both genders when this http://fucknovideogames.tumblr.com/post/57454571665/coelasquid-hokuto-ju-no-ken is in the game as well.[/quote]
I tend not to read comment sections of the escapist videos because they often air at 2 am in the middle of the night, leaving large comment pools that I can't help to dive in. So I give up without reading or posting in them.
I haven't played Dragons Crown, and I am only making my judgements from concept art of the playable characters. People tended to only object to ONE ASPECT of the female character designs (the chest sizes) that an equal proportion of the male characters shared apon.
Besides which, you seemed to have completely ignored my objections/light analasys of the faces. And that makes me very );

Ooh, here's another point:

This is to everyone trying to make the claim that the sexualization the male characters is the same as the female characters because they have "big muscles."

Does the design of the male characters make you uncomfortable? Does it make you uncomfortable enough to ruin the enjoyment of the game? I'm gonna guess the answer for most of you is "no," considering how many are professed fans of the game. Many female reviewers, on the other hand, have said that the female character designs make them uncomfortable and ruin the game for them. Does this not make you think even for a second that there might be a difference?

wulf3n:

Imp Emissary:
However, I can completely agree that the issue of one "bad" review, has indeed gone a bit overboard. Not so much because of the media, but rather the people who consume it.
:/ Which I guess technically includes us now......Huh...

Haha true, the joys of infotainment.

Well, at least I first got to hear about it from Jim, :) so I at least got a few laughs.

OtherSideofSky:

Imp Emissary:

OtherSideofSky:
I didn't even read any of the scores (I never do), but I'm very mad at every reviewer who looked at Dragon's Crown, including the one at Polygon. I'm mad at them because they write like shit and spend all their time talking about the art, but don't know enough about art or art criticism to notice, let alone comment on all the amazing things going on in that game's art design (hint: not much to do with breasts, more to do with elaborate homages to classic works of art).

Funny that you mention that. The review on the Escapist did talk a lot about the art, and mentioned a few of the cool things they do with it in the game.

"The outside world is revealed to you as series of sequential two-dimensional levels, each one its own hyperbolic variation of a magical trope like the mad scientist's laboratory or the castle of the dead. Sometimes it'll feel cliché, but the scenery is absolutely stunning anyway. It's particularly striking watching the picturesque landscape rotate around the mage's tower as you run up it. Even the mounts look legendary. Like the best kind of 80's power metal song, this game will have you riding velociraptors around and spitting a hail of fireballs into the faces of your foes."

That said, a lot of people focused more on this;(or rather, some of this quote)
"If the game's questionable portrayal of women and lackluster storyline aren't enough to put you off, though, there's still plenty left to enjoy about it."

Even though Lashani did say this first;

"Where the notable exaggeration remains appropriate to the subject it does really work. The genie's muscular arms and the old beggar's wrinkled skin bring out their essential qualities of strength and weakness respectively. It even makes sense for the Sorceress, a class that's traditionally charismatic, to have sexually suggestive garb. However, in the case of the nun with her legs spread it feels at best lazy and at worst downright regressive."

The review overall was very positive, but still admitted that the game has some flaws. Seems fair to me.

That review was better than most, but still didn't touch on what I'm talking about. Dragon's Crown is littered with specific homages to everything from renaissance tapestries and paintings to Ray Harryhausen and Walt Disney, and I have yet to see a single critic pick up on any of that in their discussion of the art design. It's one of the things that first got me interested in the game, and I would expect paid professionals to be capable of at least recognizing that those elements are present.

I have absolutely no problem with discussing gender issues and representation in a game review. What I take issue with is the sheer incompetence of self-appointed experts in dealing with these issues. Remember when Jim's best effort at real discourse was comparing a picture of the men from Gears of War to one of the women from Dead or Alive Beach Volleyball, and then mocking everyone who disagreed with him in a funny voice for 4 minutes? Remember when Bob Chipman brought up a really interesting racial question, and then ruined his whole point by not knowing the difference between 'lost civilization' and 'lost white tribe,' completely failing to do basic research into the history of anthropology, and wasting half the video belittling anyone who might disagree? Real critics would laugh at these people. They talk about objectification without ever once mentioning subjectivity and almost invariably define it in purely sexual terms. I don't believe these people have even read the type of feminist criticism they endeavor to emulate. Game critics should be bringing all of these points to the table, but time and again they show themselves incapable of doing so.

Understandable. No issues with wanting things to be of higher quality.
That said, aren't you perhaps asking a bit much of a 5-10 video? One that has a limited time to be made and released after one has done "research"(played the game). That and to pick up on all the things you would yourself first have to be familiar with them, and of course you would have to know that there are things to look for. I'm not saying that it can't be done, but perhaps not in the time that these reviews have to be made.

Plus, that isn't the main goal of the review. The goal is to find out if they can tell you if you should buy the game. As for the things Jim, Bob, and others have made, yes they aren't perfect as intellectual pieces, but that's because they also have to be entertainment too. So they will have some flaws. That said, while they aren't the best, I think there is something to having someone take a serious issue, keep it still mostly serious, but still have it be entertaining to watch.

However, I have seen more analytical works in other places(and here on the escapist even) that look deeper into gaming.
Errant Signal, EmceeProphIt, and Rob Rath of Critical Intel to name just a few.

Also, while other content may not be as in-depth, or detailed. I still think interesting ideas can come from such things, and that they do have value.

Jimothy Sterling:
Dragon's Frown

Oh yes, it's another video about reviews and things. Not quite the usual flavor, but certainly something that cannot be repeated enough.

Watch Video

I've gotta ask, what's the music you used in this video when showing pics of the review and the whole facehugger bit?

It reminds me a hell of a lot of FFVII, but I can't find the exact song and it's driving me crazy.

OtherSideofSky:
That review was better than most, but still didn't touch on what I'm talking about. Dragon's Crown is littered with specific homages to everything from renaissance tapestries and paintings to Ray Harryhausen and Walt Disney, and I have yet to see a single critic pick up on any of that in their discussion of the art design. It's one of the things that first got me interested in the game, and I would expect paid professionals to be capable of at least recognizing that those elements are present.

They're video game critics; there is no expectation that they're experts in art history from anyone being reasonable. You just seem to think that, because Dragon's Crown contained specific homages, everyone who reviews the game has to understand every little reference and piece of art in the game, which would require them to retroactively study every piece of art since the inception of art.

And, even if they were, that is a completely pointless thing to bring up in a review of a game. If the art looks good, that's what's important to the people watching the review; going through every piece of art that this game pays a homage to does absolutely nothing other than acknowledge that the artists have studied art. And what does that tell you about the actual game or its art? That it has homages to previous artwork, as if that makes it any better?

It doesn't really matter in the long run if one game gets a higher score than another. Why? Could it be because one reviewer does not know all that there is to know about one subject, the way the reviewer perceived the game, worked on the review, submitted it, but left plenty of holes in their logic to review the game, or is it the game's fault for providing such a "throw the bone" spiel to intentionally or unintentionally make the gamer(s) do more quests? Most likely both reasons are the reasons why one game is "better" relatively than another.

LifeCharacter:

Mr_Terrific:
Video kinda ignores 2 of the main reasons why people took issue with the Polygon review. And I feel like it's a much larger issue that the usual fans being mad at a random low score.

The two low scores are both from women offended by the art style and depiction of woman.

One of the scores is from a site funded by MS.

Both issues are worthy of a mention but instead we rag on fans of the game who want to see talented developers get the credit they deserve, and not lowballed for hits or politics...

So your first "reason" for taking issue with the review is that it was from a woman's perspective, and that her perspective happened to be offended by the game that has every female character being reduced to hypersexualized fanservice. So, if it was a man who was offended by the art style and hypersexualized depiction of every women in the game, would it be more valid to you, or is it just that being offended by sexist depictions of women shouldn't count?

As for the other one, really? You think they're going to give it a low score because they're funded by MS? Since I'm not familiar with the site, do they make a habit of giving PS exclusives noticeably lower scores than what's to be expected? Because a fictitious conspiracy against Sony isn't a valid reason if the only evidence you have is that one PS game got a low score.

And we "rag on fans" because we have differing views on what the developers deserves for their game and because they are constantly whining about even the slightest criticism or mention of sexism.

I don't dislike Dragon's Crown because I'm a woman, or because I've been paid off by someone, or because I want extra attention; I dislike it because it's depictions of women make me feel uncomfortable that someone out there thinks that this is what I want to look at, and it makes me irritated to see an entire gender reduced to being tits, asses, and sexy poses.

These are not "my" reasons, only observations. It does stand out that the only to people to give the game a low score happen to be woman. I think it's worth discussing why these depictions of woman bothered these two critics enough to hand out a lower score. If it were a man handing out a lower score due to some perceived slight against women, I would be just as interested in finding out why 3 optional characters ruined the entire game.

So you say you don't want to play a game that makes you uncomfortable...so would you review Dragon's Crown knowing you already have an opinion before you've played the game. If you don't like the art style, no amount of amazing gameplay in the world would change your mind about it, so the question remains...why would you review something when you're already predisposed to not liking? Don't you think that that personal bias would interfere with the review process? That is what I'd like Jim to discuss. Not fan reactions. Of course, he's guilty of doing the same thing with David Cage games so of course he won't bring it up.

As for Polygon. A simple google search of the keywords "polygon", "funded", "Microsoft" should fill you in. Now, I don't think they have some agenda but people have been making that claim, so again, it might be worth a look. I don't know if there is some conspiracy but I do know that their critics write horrible reviews and they've succeeded in getting the name "polygon" out there with their TLoU review...

Mr_Terrific:
These are not "my" reasons, only observations. It does stand out that the only to people to give the game a low score happen to be woman. I think it's worth discussing why these depictions of woman bothered these two critics enough to hand out a lower score. If it were a man handing out a lower score due to some perceived slight against women, I would be just as interested in finding out why 3 optional characters ruined the entire game.

Well it's not just the design of the female half of the playable character, it's every female character in the game, with the ones who are not playable not even having the benefit of kicking monster ass to claim, as they're all passive, there to be rescued, and there to look sexy for the player. And it didn't ruin the game, it made it less than perfect, great, or good; it made the experience less enjoyable.

So you say you don't want to play a game that makes you uncomfortable...so would you review Dragon's Crown knowing you already have an opinion before you've played the game. If you don't like the art style, no amount of amazing gameplay in the world would change your mind about it, so the question remains...why would you review something when you're already predisposed to not liking? Don't you think that that personal bias would interfere with the review process?

I'm not a game critic/reviewer, but if I was and was asked to or wanted to review it I would. Going into the game disliking the way they turned every female character into walking (or chained), barely clothed fanservice doesn't mean that I couldn't review it. That's a perspective, and differing perspectives are valuable when reviewing a game. If twenty other people barely acknowledged that the female designs might be off putting for a sizable number of people, one or two people who outright say that that was the case and their enjoyment was lessened by it is good for the people who feel the same way.

There's also the fact that, prior to these reviews, I was only aware of the designs of the Sorceress and the Amazon as being kind of offensive, whereas the game is filled with female characters with similar or even worse (that is, more offensive). So, reviews that point this out certainly have a purpose, as otherwise I would still be talking about the Sorceress' stripper pose and the Amazon's chainmail bikini.

As for Polygon. A simple google search of the keywords "polygon", "funded", "Microsoft" should fill you in. Now, I don't think they have some agenda but people have been making that claim, so again, it might be worth a look. I don't know if there is some conspiracy but I do know that their critics write horrible reviews and they've succeeded in getting the name "polygon" out there with their TLoU review...

Oh, I don't doubt that Polygon is funded by Microsoft, it's just that that doesn't really have any relevance unless you're pushing some conspiracy theory where some agent of Microsoft has actually told Polygon to rate PS exclusives lower than what they should be. As for their reviews, "horrible" seems a bit subjective and harsh, and giving TLoU a less than perfect score doesn't make it so.

I believe this issue is dated, nonetheless the presentation was humorous and pointed. I liked the syncing of the Shinra theme with the score display.

Imp Emissary:

OtherSideofSky:
snip.

Understandable. No issues with wanting things to be of higher quality.
That said, aren't you perhaps asking a bit much of a 5-10 video? One that has a limited time to be made and released after one has done "research"(played the game). That and to pick up on all the things you would yourself first have to be familiar with them, and of course you would have to know that there are things to look for. I'm not saying that it can't be done, but perhaps not in the time that these reviews have to be made.

Plus, that isn't the main goal of the review. The goal is to find out if they can tell you if you should buy the game. As for the things Jim, Bob, and others have made, yes they aren't perfect as intellectual pieces, but that's because they also have to be entertainment too. So they will have some flaws. That said, while they aren't the best, I think there is something to having someone take a serious issue, keep it still mostly serious, but still have it be entertaining to watch.

However, I have seen more analytical works in other places(and here on the escapist even) that look deeper into gaming.
Errant Signal, EmceeProphIt, and Rob Rath of Critical Intel to name just a few.

Also, while other content may not be as in-depth, or detailed. I still think interesting ideas can come from such things, and that they do have value.

I get that they're trying to be entertaining, but I think that the way they do so, often taking pot shots at a perceived opposition, frequently does more to undermine than to stimulate reasoned, productive debate. I know it isn't possible to exhaust these topics in a five minute video, but it is possible to present a more nuanced and accurate take on the issues involved and provide a better starting point for discussion than are currently being given, and it is certainly possible to inject an element of humor into one's work without being needlessly aggressive, which causes others to stop listening and lash out, rather than engage and consider.

Its obvious why forum posts like this'll and other discussions of VG themes will rage about the conflict of male fantasy needing to be transcended for equality and further art to take place in the digital realm. A lot of guys have a hard time dealing with women in reality or 80 hrs plus coding a character, itd better be something you like making. The vixen is an easy motivator, while some have more serious heartfelt overall msg they want to get out.

But look at this way. The standard of real representation and real character depiction in books and film never put the porn or smut market into obscurity. They just got narrowly defined outside of the realm of respectable media, and explicit tantalization just has to become more so a niche, just like military fantasy FPS's will have to after CoD's success. That's not to say that devs and writers and artists can't blend mediums but the best way forward is to either establish acceptable levels of context and dimensionality to smart players and viewers when making super sexualized characters i.e. (you could be just as fearful of the character as attracted to, or perphaps an in game gold digger that will take 3/4ths of your exp because she has children to feed...etc), or file things off into the niche bin if the intent of the game is simple attraction.

Now maybe a hypothetical future where there's a sudden booming 'porn' or 'pulp' game genre. while premiere praised titles are more emotional, utilitarian and reflective of modern values could present a whole new line of controversies but at least there won't be this fighting over homogenous reviews.

After all, there are creative folks who don't give a rats ass about getting a pulitzer or an Oscar either. They make what pleases em. But its largely up to the indies to define narrative in gaming now, because we see how cynical the big heads are. With this self publish biz, they're just waiting for the artists to fill in the blanks so they can make money.

I can't count how many games I played and enjoyed that didn't get good scores, nevermind didn't get 9s and 10s.

I gotta say I still want Dragon's Crown despite the controvercy. I'm willing to spend money to see if it offends me. It might considering some of the women that aren't playable from what I saw. Others don't have to want the game, or be willing to do the same as me.

Also, it felt like G4 was trolling the hell out of me when they spoke ill of Dynasty Warriors fairly often. I love Koei games a lot.

OtherSideofSky:

Imp Emissary:

OtherSideofSky:
snip.

Understandable. No issues with wanting things to be of higher quality.
That said, aren't you perhaps asking a bit much of a 5-10 video? One that has a limited time to be made and released after one has done "research"(played the game). That and to pick up on all the things you would yourself first have to be familiar with them, and of course you would have to know that there are things to look for. I'm not saying that it can't be done, but perhaps not in the time that these reviews have to be made.

Plus, that isn't the main goal of the review. The goal is to find out if they can tell you if you should buy the game. As for the things Jim, Bob, and others have made, yes they aren't perfect as intellectual pieces, but that's because they also have to be entertainment too. So they will have some flaws. That said, while they aren't the best, I think there is something to having someone take a serious issue, keep it still mostly serious, but still have it be entertaining to watch.

However, I have seen more analytical works in other places(and here on the escapist even) that look deeper into gaming.
Errant Signal, EmceeProphIt, and Rob Rath of Critical Intel to name just a few.

Also, while other content may not be as in-depth, or detailed. I still think interesting ideas can come from such things, and that they do have value.

I get that they're trying to be entertaining, but I think that the way they do so, often taking pot shots at a perceived opposition, frequently does more to undermine than to stimulate reasoned, productive debate. I know it isn't possible to exhaust these topics in a five minute video, but it is possible to present a more nuanced and accurate take on the issues involved and provide a better starting point for discussion than are currently being given, and it is certainly possible to inject an element of humor into one's work without being needlessly aggressive, which causes others to stop listening and lash out, rather than engage and consider.

I can understand not wanting such aggression in the content. Bob and Jim do sometimes get a bit antagonistic.
Granted, can ya really fault people for giving sexist/racist/bigots/trolls a few pokes? Not that those are the only targets ever, but I don't really recall them going after fans of a game(who were not behaving a bit "inappropriately").

Even if ya can find a work that hasn't got the emotional elements, that doesn't guaranty you won't have dramatic and even a bit violent verbal feedback. Take for example the Tropes vs. Women series. Even those who like them(me included) have said that Anita's show is quite dry in the presentation at times, and inoffensive to the point you question if she's being a bit to basic. Until you see SOME people talking about the show.

Heck even before it was being released or even assured for production there were death threats, rape threats, and even someone who took time to make a flash game where you beat her up.

Lets cut through some bullcrap. Two major reasons this review is getting such(negative) attention, is because like Jim has said a few times in his career, people have gotten to use to just using scores to give reviews value, and have gotten to the point where people say "8/10? More like Hate/10" but actually mean it.

The other reason involves one of the reasons why the game got it's score. One of the reasons. And that is that it mentions that the way the game displays women is kind of sexist. I've read the read and seen the review. Waited a bit because everyone was talking it up as this "big doom fest of crazy feminism!"
x( As an example of that, I have to say I'm not impressed. Heck, it actually sounds a lot like the review here on the escapist, really.

And in the end it actually sounds about as positive, too. I'm still happy to play the game soon, and still dreading all the needless titillation.

As for wanting a more in-depth analysis of games? I still wholeheartedly recommend the ones in the list I gave ya, and I can tell ya that there are even more out there. Likely some that I haven't even seen yet.

Got to sleep. Goodnight, and may the rest of your week be even better!

Mr_Terrific:
I dislike it because it's depictions of women make me feel uncomfortable that someone out there thinks that this is what I want to look at, and it makes me irritated to see an entire gender reduced to being tits, asses, and sexy poses.

Wow...the internet really is an amazing place.

RapeisGenocide:

Mr_Terrific:
I dislike it because it's depictions of women make me feel uncomfortable that someone out there thinks that this is what I want to look at, and it makes me irritated to see an entire gender reduced to being tits, asses, and sexy poses.

Wow...the internet really is an amazing place.

You messed the quoting up a bit on that, but thanks, maybe?

I don't know if someone else mentioned this but my problem with the review was that it didn't critique just the game but it flat out insulted anyone who might enjoy the game. In other words the reviewer attacked gamers themselves. I wouldn't have cared if the gamer had kept her opinion relegated to the game but nothing in Dragon's crown justifies attacking the players who enjoy it.

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