Jimquisition: Dragon's Frown

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When he said "derailing of good press", I thought he said "derailing of good breasts". Am I the only one?

Jarimir:

*snip*

This is honestly sounds like long-winded irrelevant assumption argument bait to me sir.
Never mind, I imply I would give anyone who uses that type of wording, which Kotaku and many others, including those in this very board, the same flak.

Lugun:
You know what Jim, all these discussions and controversy on just one game has made me realize how absolutely nightmarishly appalling the entire industry of gaming would become if Fox News had its own video game news/review/opinionated department.

That's something I never understood! I mean, I'm no professional anything, and I can dig up info that's made believers out of skeptics. Stuff that people can't argue, can't give evidence against, or at least generally concede to me that there is bloody sexism in the gaming industry.
We all know the news -hates- videogames.

I guess all they want to do is link it to violence?

I don't understand. Uncovering sexism in the industry could litterally gore the game industry because, by definition it exists. It'd create a massive storm of chaos, ratings, and viewings, IMO.

It can't be a matter of taking games seriously enough to do that. They don't really take games serious now, and love linking it to violence.

I'm not saying the news should, or shouldn't do this, but still.

If there's a single review that should be commented on, it's Kotaku's review. You know how Kotaku was criticizing the game for the art style before the game came out, turning it into a multi-article click-fest and creating a controversy?

Well, in their review, the reviewer is like: "Well, the art style is weird at first, but it quickly fades from your mind and you get to enjoy the game for what it is."

Gee, thanks Kotaku. Good to know you made a mountain out of a molehill.

I would hope by now someone would have touched on this. While there is some merit to this issue for its other applications (albeit rarely enough one must wonder why it is even brought up as an issue) the reason for this and the outrage is because of the dragons crown review issue, which brings it to the actual point. It is not so much that the community is unable to cope with conflicting opinions. It is not that the community demands homogenized scoring, and that there cannot be opinions expressing dissent or diverting from the norm. The problem and much of the backlash here has so little if anything to do with score equilibrium, even if it cannot be directly and outwardly expressed that this IS the reason it has everything to do with being resentful and tired of seeing this sort of outrage not against the game, but because of gender biased resentment at the artistic depictions in the game and not failing to call bullshit when a review is trying to pass off personal prejudice and bias as legitimate and thoughtful critique.

Despite this whole sexism issue related to DC long before its actual release amounting to uncut deceased equine pummeling, you have a review by Danielle Riendeau (blurry video, not sure if spelling correct) that focuses on the issue of sexism and using this review to not so much to actually review the game but as yet another soapbox to express ones personal offense. The failing of it is if you read the entire review you encounter a review that is virtually all praise and expresses its one negative take as "alienating and gross". Then to be bestowed a rating that guts 1/3rd of its potential score, with essentially no other reason justifying such an incredible reduction of its score, the only thing one can attribute the poor score to is the single negative focus being the artistic depictions the reviewer cites as negative. So it becomes clear that because no other evidence is supplied by the reviewer, the reviewer chose to gut the score of this game for personal offense at the artistic depictions.

Now for all the clamor of gamers being unreasonable, histories of Meta-bombing reviews and reviewers, Generally bad and unkempt behavior that has helped earn the loathsome rep gamers have often generated, this is in fact an instance where the community is actually being reasonable and logical. Its not wrong to take off points because of things you do not like or express dissent and unpopular opinions. But it is in fact very much wrong to take such action too far and grossly critique something due to not only a personal opinion, but one of an opinion that is rooted in subjective tastes, of which while many may in fact be put off by, others will have no problem with at all.

To put it in other words, this is like one reviewer writes a glowing review for Halo 4, but kills the score of the review because they are personally offended by both green and blue which the game makes entirely too much use of.

So the review itself smacks of cramming more PC anti sexism down the throats of an already emasculated "male guilt" public. Defending it is even worse because it smacks of pandering PC "tolerance" just for the sake of projecting a view of being "tolerant" Bad form.

@viranimus: The problem with that line of thinking is you are expecting game critics to be fair and unbiased. That simply is not the case. A review is meant to be a subjective, personal response to the technical, emotional, and underlying aspects of whatever is being reviewed. It sums up how the critic feels about something and whether they would recommend it or not. Several small problems or one significant factor can weigh the whole experience down. As long as the critic stays on topic with the subject itself, it's fair game.

I did not see anything in Riendeau's review that was not relevant to Dragon's Crown. She praised the game's art style, and while she did find the Amazon and Sorceress explicitly sexualized, she praised them as powerful characters. Her problem was with the majority of female NPCs encountered in the game, how most of them were portrayed as barely clothed damsels in distress the likes of which you would find in Conan. I bet she would not consider that a factor if there just happened to be three or four, but the high number of imprisoned women in the game and the lack of females in supporting roles dragged the experience down for her.

That wasn't her only problem. Repetitive game-play, combat, and backtracking through the same environments also got on her nerves. I don't have an opinion on the game itself, but considering her complaints, I can see why she would give a 6.5/10. Heck, I expected lower from her.

The problem I have with the current format is that no one reads reviews. Viewers only see the number and call it pandering or close minded. Many of these negative responders are in denial. They want most games to be great. They want to see new IPs succeed. But they don't want to see some franchises repackaging the same game-play mechanics again and again. The same happens with every game, Dragon's Crown happens to be this week's topic.

viranimus:
I would hope by now someone would have touched on this. While there is some merit to this issue for its other applications (albeit rarely enough one must wonder why it is even brought up as an issue) the reason for this and the outrage is because of the dragons crown review issue, which brings it to the actual point. It is not so much that the community is unable to cope with conflicting opinions. It is not that the community demands homogenized scoring, and that there cannot be opinions expressing dissent or diverting from the norm. The problem and much of the backlash here has so little if anything to do with score equilibrium, even if it cannot be directly and outwardly expressed that this IS the reason it has everything to do with being resentful and tired of seeing this sort of outrage not against the game, but because of gender biased resentment at the artistic depictions in the game and not failing to call bullshit when a review is trying to pass off personal prejudice and bias as legitimate and thoughtful critique.

So many people have already said this but, since you obviously have either ignored them or just don't care, I guess it needs to be said again: every reviewer has personal bias and a bit of prejudice. Sure, you should go into a game knowing absolutely nothing about them to avoid having any prejudice, but that's pretty much impossible to fully accomplish, especially when the aspect everyone takes issue with is the fucking art style. With that said, having personal bias and prejudice, since it is inherent in all people (and all reviews that aren't that objective one of FF13 mentioned a few times in this thread), is not bad; it's good and it's the reason why so many people review games. Bias doesn't suddenly become a horrible sin against a review or professionalism just because it leads to a negative--if you call average negative--review.

The way people deal with bias is that they argue in favor of their bias-supported view to the best of their ability. If their argument is reasonable, makes some valid points, and explains why the reviewer feels a certain way, they've done their job and provided thoughtful and legitimate criticism. If they make shit up or have a crappy argument supporting their view, then they're a bad reviewer and their criticism could be called bad or something.

Despite this whole sexism issue related to DC long before its actual release amounting to uncut deceased equine pummeling, you have a review by Danielle Riendeau (blurry video, not sure if spelling correct) that focuses on the issue of sexism and using this review to not so much to actually review the game but as yet another soapbox to express ones personal offense. The failing of it is if you read the entire review you encounter a review that is virtually all praise and expresses its one negative take as "alienating and gross". Then to be bestowed a rating that guts 1/3rd of its potential score, with essentially no other reason justifying such an incredible reduction of its score, the only thing one can attribute the poor score to is the single negative focus being the artistic depictions the reviewer cites as negative. So it becomes clear that because no other evidence is supplied by the reviewer, the reviewer chose to gut the score of this game for personal offense at the artistic depictions.

The thing is, I've read the review and watched that video, and the whole part about character designs being childish and gross amounted to about 128 words... out of 1044 words (not counting the wrap up that mentions it).


Now, maybe you and me just have different standards on what is considered "focusing," but a little over 10% (12.2) doesn't really seem like it's the main focus of the entire review. You know what the rest of the review is about? The game, it's mechanics, that she found that it could feel a bit repetitive and grindy, that she loved the boss fights, that the art is beautiful (characters excluded, obviously), and so on. So she didn't "gut" the score solely because of the artwork, but also because of the repetition that dulled her excitement.

And, even if she did only do it because of the art, so? Art's a pretty damn important aspect of a video game. If you can't play the game without rolling your eyes or feeling uncomfortable, then the art served as a detriment to the game and, if that detriment was enough to lessen your enjoyment of what might have been a really fun game, then that's a perfectly valid reason to give it a lower score. If she feels that Dragon's Crown gave her the enjoyment of a 6.5/10 game, then there is no reason to give it anything else other than a 6.5/10.

Now for all the clamor of gamers being unreasonable, histories of Meta-bombing reviews and reviewers, Generally bad and unkempt behavior that has helped earn the loathsome rep gamers have often generated, this is in fact an instance where the community is actually being reasonable and logical. Its not wrong to take off points because of things you do not like or express dissent and unpopular opinions. But it is in fact very much wrong to take such action too far and grossly critique something due to not only a personal opinion, but one of an opinion that is rooted in subjective tastes, of which while many may in fact be put off by, others will have no problem with at all.

an opinion that is rooted in subjective tastes

I'm going to be honest, I laughed a bit when I read that. An opinion rooted in subjective tastes? As opposed to an opinion rooted in objective tastes?

To put it in other words, this is like one reviewer writes a glowing review for Halo 4, but kills the score of the review because they are personally offended by both green and blue which the game makes entirely too much use of.

Except it's not as minor as "they used too much blue for me," it's, again, ignoring the fact that it wasn't just the character designs, that every female character seemingly exists to look sexy and shove their sexiness in your face while you poke some of them. If that's not a big problem for you, congratulations(!), you have a goddamned opinion just like everyone else.

So the review itself smacks of cramming more PC anti sexism down the throats of an already emasculated "male guilt" public. Defending it is even worse because it smacks of pandering PC "tolerance" just for the sake of projecting a view of being "tolerant" Bad form.

And your entire post smacks of you being willfully ignorant of the review you're criticizing, along with attempts to make everyone who agrees with it feel guilty for trying to be "PC." Though I have to say that I don't feel guilty, nor am I trying to be politically correct since I see nothing wrong with Polygon's or the Escapist's reviews of Dragon's Crown. To feel guilty I'd have to believe that I did something wrong. If someone tells me that I should feel guilty for something and says why I should be so, and I agree with them, then I'll feel guilty, but otherwise, no one can really force guilt upon me, you, or anyone else whining about how they're being made to feel guilty.

LifeCharacter:

And your entire post smacks of you being willfully ignorant of the review you're criticizing

Except like you. I too read the article and watched the video. You take some serious liberties with what I said to draw your conclusion. Quipps like

So many people have already said this but, since you obviously have either ignored them or just don't care, I guess it needs to be said again

shows you did not get the first line of my post

I'm going to be honest, I laughed a bit when I read that. An opinion rooted in subjective tastes? As opposed to an opinion rooted in objective tastes?

Showing that you are either splitting hairs over an optional comma (or you could replace "an opinion rooted in subjective tastes" with "Something as subjective as taste" or were simply oblivious to the fact that I WAS saying that all opinions are subjective.

Then to even go so far as to suggest a failing in my reasoning by not respecting bias.... by completely ignoring the part where I absolutely DID acknowledge bias and where I illustrated how this specific article does in fact demonstrate a disparity between simple bias and belligerence.

Me:

Its not wrong to take off points because of things you do not like or express dissent and unpopular opinions. But it is in fact very much wrong to take such action too far and grossly critique something due to not only a personal opinion, but one of an opinion that is rooted in subjective tastes...

And while you might want to point to numbers like

amounted to about 128 words... out of 1044 words

to which I see a completely different summation in that out of the "negatives" expressed. Out of an article with technical descriptions and mostly well received the only negatives that were expressed was the offense taken, and as others have cited the "repetitive game play".

Now when someone uses phrasing and terminology like "dulled my excitement." and " as frustrating as the grind became" at its worst that clearly specifies that the authors issue taken with the repetitiveness is a trivial concern as was further reinforced by continuing on to say "Vanillaware's aesthetic decisions were much more alienating." and reinforced further still by using phrases like "presented as helpless objects" awa "alienating and gross" by virtue of using phrases expressing a greater level of severity. Dull and repetitive convey infinitely less dissatisfaction than phrases turned for condescension and disgust.

So to find the repetitiveness how she portrays it as not pleasant but not so much as to kill the enjoyment, how much would get knocked off for tolerable repetitiveness? On a 10 point scale. half a point? Whole point? Two points? Three? But we see the game loose 3.5 total points summarizing all its negatives. And there is where we see this for what it is. Expressing an opinion and bias is one thing. It is quite another to base the bulk of your opinion on how you are personally biased that will potentially have no impact on the player while the negative that likely will is presented as comparatively insignificant.

So I suggest we might want to hold off on concern for who read what and save the gratuitous and glib attitude for times when we dont have to resort to adding non existent context and ignoring other points to base a position. To make such jumps it does call in question if it is done out of truly believing partial comprehension or just participating in knee jerk reactionary behavior of going along with the crowd.

@ If it is not important enough to call my attention then I cannot be compelled to acknowledge Twit-speak, though by virtue of simply repeating the same mantra, the points have been amply addressed.

viranimus:
Except like you. I too read the article and watched the video.

Reading your latest post I must agree that you have indeed read the review, and I apologize for calling you ignorant on the matter. Unfortunately, that means that you intentionally misrepresented the review as something that only had sexism as a negative, which is far worse than simply being ignorant.

You take some serious liberties with what I said to draw your conclusion. Quipps like

So many people have already said this but, since you obviously have either ignored them or just don't care, I guess it needs to be said again

shows you did not get the first line of my post

Hmm, I did read the first line of your post, but I also read the last few lines of that paragraph where you start bemoaning her for having personal bias and prejudice when determining how much she enjoyed a game. Apparently, having personal bias and prejudice is bad, or maybe it's only bad when it disagrees with you, or maybe just when it pertains to sexist depictions of women?

I'm going to be honest, I laughed a bit when I read that. An opinion rooted in subjective tastes? As opposed to an opinion rooted in objective tastes?

Showing that you are either splitting hairs over an optional comma (or you could replace "an opinion rooted in subjective tastes" with "Something as subjective as taste" or were simply oblivious to the fact that I WAS saying that all opinions are subjective.

So, it's wrong to critique something on something as subjective as personal taste? I see people critiquing that a game looks ugly, or that the music is annoying, or that they don't like the tone, or so many other things based solely on something as subjective as taste that many may not agree with, but this is the opinion and the review that gets the backlash. Is it because it was "grossly critiqued" in that it was mentioned and played a part in the determining of the score (which is disingenuous because, as has been said, repetitiveness also played a negative role), or is it people's knee jerk reaction to anyone who dares accuse a game of sexism?

And while you might want to point to numbers like

amounted to about 128 words... out of 1044 words

to which I see a completely different summation in that out of the "negatives" expressed. Out of an article with technical descriptions and mostly well received the only negatives that were expressed was the offense taken, and as others have cited the "repetitive game play".

Now when someone uses phrasing and terminology like "dulled my excitement." and " as frustrating as the grind became" at its worst that clearly specifies that the authors issue taken with the repetitiveness is a trivial concern as was further reinforced by continuing on to say "Vanillaware's aesthetic decisions were much more alienating." and reinforced further still by using phrases like "presented as helpless objects" awa "alienating and gross" by virtue of using phrases expressing a greater level of severity. Dull and repetitive convey infinitely less dissatisfaction than phrases turned for condescension and disgust.

So, what would you like her to say about the repetitiveness other than it dulled her enjoyment and frustrated her? Does she have to swear and use exclamation points, or refer to the repetitive grind as gross and alienating before it's acknowledged as a part of the review that people (like you) casually forget to mention until someone brings it up for them? Having your enjoyment dulled and becoming frustrated are both pretty damning statements for a video game; just because it didn't offend her in the same way that seeing her gender reduced to being fanservice did, doesn't mean it didn't negatively affect the score.

So to find the repetitiveness how she portrays it as not pleasant but not so much as to kill the enjoyment, how much would get knocked off for tolerable repetitiveness? On a 10 point scale. half a point? Whole point? Two points? Three? But we see the game loose 3.5 total points summarizing all its negatives. And there is where we see this for what it is. Expressing an opinion and bias is one thing. It is quite another to base the bulk of your opinion on how you are personally biased that will potentially have no impact on the player while the negative that likely will is presented as comparatively insignificant.

Where does it say that the bulk of her decision is based on the depiction of women? I mean it takes up more words in the wrap up, but that's probably because it required more words to say than calling it a forced grind that dulled her excitement.

And that's ignoring the big issue of repetitiveness and the feeling that you're being forced to grind through samey environments and enemies are huge fucking issues for a game, especially one like Dragon's Crown. While she doesn't get into specifics about exactly how much she played it, I doubt that she'd replay the same game or log dozens of extra hours into it for the sake of the review. The video also seems to imply that she played the Amazon, one of six characters and playstyles. So, if she felt it was repetitive and dulling enough to mention with one single playthrough, that's pretty bad. I'm not sure how bad, but I wouldn't have any reason to doubt anyone who claimed it amounted to 1.5 or even 2 points off the score with the rest being due to the sexism thing, as that seems perfectly reasonable both from the perspective of the reviewer, and from someone judging what led to the lower score.

Of course, it can theoretically amount to just .5 or even less, but anyone claiming that that's the case has to provide more evidence than pointing out that the repetition didn't offend her on a personal level. Otherwise, it's safe to assume that, while it might not take up the majority, it certainly wasn't relegated to the side so sexism could become the cause of the entire game's woes. Considering that this is a game, having your enjoyment dulled, as was pointed out above, is a major problem for a video game, something that's there for you to enjoy, so I don't see how something that caused her to enjoy it less enough to mention was utterly ignored when deciding upon the score.

So I suggest we might want to hold off on concern for who read what and save the gratuitous and glib attitude for times when we dont have to resort to adding non existent context and ignoring other points to base a position. To make such jumps it does call in question if it is done out of truly believing partial comprehension or just participating in knee jerk reactionary behavior of going along with the crowd.

I agree that we shouldn't be ignoring points for the sake of our own position, which is why it's a little odd that you completely ignored the criticism of the game's repetitiveness for the sake of portraying the score as based solely upon the art style and "an opinion rooted in subjective tastes." As for my attitude, I plan on keeping it, because I haven't found a reason, at least in this thread, to act any differently.

LifeCharacter:
/snip more of the same

And I see

Is being pushed up the hill again.

You are still cherry picking what I have written, Focusing in on what you are trying to spin and shying away, ignoring or outright falsifying things I did say.

Im not going to go into complete dissection quotes but to simply give a couple quick examples,

I will not continue to give further fodder to be misinterpreted and spin doctored into a perception of sexism when the sexism involved here is treating this reviewer as this damsel in distress that needs defending and cannot endure the review being called out on its flaws. Yanno...

"If they ... have a crappy argument supporting their view, then they're a bad reviewer and their criticism could be called bad or something."

So seeings as we are communicating on two different planes anyway, there really is no justification to try continue reasoning that will just end up misinterpreted anyway. If you are determined to beat such misinterpretation and woefully malformed assumptions into the ground, it is not my place to try and stop you. I wish you the best of luck with that.

Have to say after beating the game, I didn't even bother looking at the reviews, knew i was gonna get it, Atlus and Vanillaware damn it. But had to be like "Who says bad about my damn dragon crown! Wargarble." but ya I get it. Sucks the game is getting dragged through the mud for artwork and not the game is pretty crappy but screw'em. The games good, really good and thats all that matters ;p.

A weak video, I thought. It's a pretty self evident point and doesn't require this amount of time spent on it.

I don't mind someone not rating a game highly. I don't mind someone not liking a game I like. But that isn't the issue, Jim. The issue is the reviewer writing a bad review. That's really all. This reviewer chose to view this game through the 'everything is sexist against women" lens, and people did not like it. Not one bit.

Mulberry:
So... the game scored 6.5/10, or 65%, in one review. It scored more than half marks. And this is a *bad* thing?

This is why numerical quantification of a subjective opinion is useless.

When few games get scored below 8 anymore a 6.5 stands out.

1-5 hardly get's used at all even for the worst games.

I apologize if this has been asked before, because it probably has, but; what's the deal with the shrimp? And other crustaceans? A whole lot of Jimquisition videos seem to have them.

Why be disingenious in this entire episode? You know exactly that the problem was never with the score. It was with the reason behind the score.

I remember the ratings boxes in the old review magazines, that would looking something like this:
Graphics: 8
Gameplay: 9
Sound: 8
Feminism: 2 <-- this has no place in a game review, it doesn't say anything about the game or its qualities, is not a criteria for reviewing anything and is purely/arbitrarily based on the political/moral bias of the reviewer, it might as well be a person reviewing a football game interjecting that they actually hate football or setting one of the "violent games taint our children" types to review an FPS. In either of those circumstances it makes the opinion and subsequently the review rather worthless.
Total: 6.5

The same is true to an infinitely higher amount with this: http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013-07-22-leisure-suit-larry-reloaded-review

I'll tell you why... its because people have been conditioned by the mainstream media, to be all excited about bad news. Thats all you here from tv, newspapers and media bloggers. People like controversy and bad news because it puts a bit of excitment into their dreary lives. I couldn't give a fuck what the review scores are, just if the reviewer that I personally trust gave their say. The one review site that I know that gives games a fair go and gives their honest opinion. Thats the only review that I care about, so I can't understand why other people get pissed off that some stranger, some reviewer they don't care about, says something bad...

and even if only the people who "trust in" polygon reviews are the ones complaining.. that doesn't make sense either. Because if you trust in your reviewer, you would respect their opinion, even if they disagree with your opinion.

Jim is absolutely right, this is so disrespectful to the creators of Dragons Crown.

Oban:
Why be disingenious in this entire episode? You know exactly that the problem was never with the score. It was with the reason behind the score.

I remember the ratings boxes in the old review magazines, that would looking something like this:
Graphics: 8
Gameplay: 9
Sound: 8
Feminism: 2 <-- this has no place in a game review, it doesn't say anything about the game or its qualities, is not a criteria for reviewing anything and is purely/arbitrarily based on the political/moral bias of the reviewer, it might as well be a person reviewing a football game interjecting that they actually hate football or setting one of the "violent games taint our children" types to review an FPS. In either of those circumstances it makes the opinion and subsequently the review rather worthless.
Total: 6.5

The same is true to an infinitely higher amount with this: http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013-07-22-leisure-suit-larry-reloaded-review

I can honestly see an "Overal enjoyment" type score in the old magazines too and that technically could be a 2 if the person really disliked it for that reason. Though were that the case, her editor should have instantly kicked the review off until it was turned into a form which the average consumer would actually have some use for.

Feminists aren't a big portion of gamers so to aim an entire review from their perspective would be like reviewing from the perspective of world war 2 reenactors or something. Just...wholly irrelevant and a needless taint on the game's record.

So many ways to attack this one.

For starters, there's a chance she might be predisposed (if unknowingly) towards giving the game a bad review because Dragon Crown is a Sony exclusive and she works for a website that is in bed with Microsoft. Wouldn't be the first time Polygon flew well outside the norm with seemingly specific regard to a Sony exclusive.

Secondably: she doesn't like the aesthetic, fine, we get that. So why is she reviewing the game when it's clearly not aimed at her? She's more than welcome to register her disapproval in any number of alternate formats (editorial, blog, review sidebar, "second take", etc.), but the official review of a product from a purportedly unbiased website should have some respect for context. You don't penalize an indie game for having minimalist graphics. You don't penalize a war simulation for having violence. Why would you penalize this game for doing what it sets out to do? You can certainly argue that the art is in bad taste, but it isn't of poor quality.

Finally: it's really just click-baiting. The "sexism in video games" bit is the latest non-controversy to be spit out by the internet's all powerful echo chamber, so of course a gaming "journalist" is going to capitalize as best she can. Because that's how she fucking eats. I'm not going to begrudge her the harsh reality of the situation, but I'm not going to respect her output either. It's an artistic/entertainment medium. There are going to be things you don't like about it, but you don't get to just shout them down and wipe them out. Games with this level of overt sexism are complete outliers at this point, but we're pretending they're the norm just to push click-through. It's insultingly manipulative.

There are legitimate criticisms to be made regarding Dragon's Crown. If her review had delved into more of those, people would have taken her stance more seriously. Instead, with her mostly harping on the game's very intentional aesthetic, she looks like someone from Florida giving a disparaging review of a snow shovel. Then we've got people mining the comments sections of all these websites as if that's some indicator of ANYTHING. Newsflash: the comments section of anything on the internet is nothing but trolling and/or racism/homophobia/misogyny/cruelty/sociopathy/psychopathy. When you reference a comments section in any serious discussion, you've already lost.

At the same time, maybe this is a good example of how difficult it is to review video games. Can you review it like a movie? Should an action film fan be reviewing The Notebook? Should a game like Silent Hill 2 get a pass on a lot of its wonky gameplay and play mechanics because the story is especially good? What about a game like Dragon's Crown with crap story and solid gameplay? There are so many ways to peel this particular onion, which almost sounds like a good reason to have these sorts of outlier reviews with new and interesting takes on the subject.

But her review didn't talk about any of that. Probably because she (and her boss) are comfortable becoming the story.

RaNDM G:
@viranimus: The problem with that line of thinking is you are expecting game critics to be fair and unbiased. That simply is not the case. A review is meant to be a subjective, personal response to the technical, emotional, and underlying aspects of whatever is being reviewed. It sums up how the critic feels about something and whether they would recommend it or not. Several small problems or one significant factor can weigh the whole experience down. As long as the critic stays on topic with the subject itself, it's fair game.

I noticed that you failed to provide any reasons why the review can't be objective. Perhaps if reviewers stopped concentrating on their own needs and actually tried to help people decide whether a game was objectively good or not game reviewer wouldn't be subject to so much criticism. Only a poor reviewer confuses "I don't like it" with "it's a bad game".

I did not see anything in Riendeau's review that was not relevant to Dragon's Crown. She praised the game's art style, and while she did find the Amazon and Sorceress explicitly sexualized, she praised them as powerful characters. Her problem was with the majority of female NPCs encountered in the game, how most of them were portrayed as barely clothed damsels in distress the likes of which you would find in Conan. I bet she would not consider that a factor if there just happened to be three or four, but the high number of imprisoned women in the game and the lack of females in supporting roles dragged the experience down for her.

That wasn't her only problem. Repetitive game-play, combat, and backtracking through the same environments also got on her nerves. I don't have an opinion on the game itself, but considering her complaints, I can see why she would give a 6.5/10. Heck, I expected lower from her.

All the other reviewers played the same game which included the same repetitive game-play, combat, and backtracking but they on average gave Dragon Crown a 8.3/10. As Riendeau gave Dragon Crown a score of 6.5 gamers are going to look at her review to see which additional issues she had that are likely to lead to her score being nearly 2 points lower than average. Since the only problems she mentioned that other reviewers didn't mention was how the female characters looked this makes it seem like she's giving Dragon Crown a bad review solely because of how the female characters look. Perhaps if she'd scored each individual element (art, music, game play, etc) it won't have looked like she gave Dragon Crown a low score solely because of how women were depicted.

LifeCharacter:
So many people have already said this but, since you obviously have either ignored them or just don't care, I guess it needs to be said again: every reviewer has personal bias and a bit of prejudice. Sure, you should go into a game knowing absolutely nothing about them to avoid having any prejudice, but that's pretty much impossible to fully accomplish, especially when the aspect everyone takes issue with is the fucking art style. With that said, having personal bias and prejudice, since it is inherent in all people (and all reviews that aren't that objective one of FF13 mentioned a few times in this thread), is not bad; it's good and it's the reason why so many people review games. Bias doesn't suddenly become a horrible sin against a review or professionalism just because it leads to a negative--if you call average negative--review.

Bias is bad because it means your review is useless unless the gamers have the same bias as you. Reviewing things without prejudice is only difficult if you're a bigot, for professional reviewers it's a pretty easy thing to do.

And, even if she did only do it because of the art, so? Art's a pretty damn important aspect of a video game. If you can't play the game without rolling your eyes or feeling uncomfortable, then the art served as a detriment to the game and, if that detriment was enough to lessen your enjoyment of what might have been a really fun game, then that's a perfectly valid reason to give it a lower score. If she feels that Dragon's Crown gave her the enjoyment of a 6.5/10 game, then there is no reason to give it anything else other than a 6.5/10.

Not liking characters than are only on screen for a short amount of time in a game where you spend most of your time fighting isn't a valid reason to give a game a 6.5/10.

Except it's not as minor as "they used too much blue for me," it's, again, ignoring the fact that it wasn't just the character designs, that every female character seemingly exists to look sexy and shove their sexiness in your face while you poke some of them. If that's not a big problem for you, congratulations(!), you have a goddamned opinion just like everyone else.

Give a game a bad review because of your personal biases, rather than an objective reason isn't a good thing and never will be. It's also the hallmark of a poor reviewer to give a poor rating to a game for containing something that will appeal to their target audience.

Monxeroth:
In this case however most of the justification behind the low score of dragons crown has little to do with what the actual game offers in its mechanics and any type of objective aspect, but rather:
"How dare a game developer design a character that uses an artstyle that i dont find visually appealing. I wil now use this highly biased and subjective perspective as an objective justification to bash on this game hurr durr"

I don't get it.
How is there anything "hurr durr" about taking a few points off a game's score because there's a big element of it that you don't like? There is nothing less subjective about judging the mechanics, content or sound than there is about judging the art. There is no "objective justification" and nobody is pretending there is. The reviewer was left with an overall unimpressive experience of the game and she reflected that in her score. That is literally her only job.

Personal like or disgust of subject matters in a product is definitely a factor that can affect someone's like for the game. It affects player engagement, and if the game doesn't engage the player, it fails to deliver a good quality product.

Reading the review, I see several things that sabotages the reviewers engagement of the game. Grind and bore related to shallow mechanics, and story elements that bury the experience for her. (I bet there are some people who play the game to see the next sex toy in distress picture... and speaking of target audience, perhaps the target audience excludes women...) It is clear why the reviewer would be put off by such things.

Not to mention that, as a reviewer she is obligated to play through the whole game, which quite likely exacerbates a reviewer's negativity from being unengaged by the game.

I think the review is honest. And you don't even have to be a fe(naughty word in this place) to be turned off by this game. If there is any bias, it is because, least I say it, the reviewer is female (and I will say the next part unapologetically). She just isn't into getting boners from those pictures NPC women.

Perhaps the reviewer finding the game getting more boring as it forces you do fight the same thing over again is another abhorrent bias (in seriousness. Longer ain't always better and padding can be detrimental to the experience, and overuse of padding is another legitimate detractor for a game).

Perhaps, the score is low based on the descriptions. But, perhaps the game really does get that boring if you grind it out for the duration of the narrative. Or perhaps the score is slightly negatively affected by bias. (Oh no, now the review is completely horrible and unwarranted...). I'd wouldn't blink an eye if I read the review and saw a score of 7. (thats a one point difference on the 20 gradation scale polygon uses).

ya i would have a hard time too if i really cared about bad reviews of games i like... i LOOOOOOVE Ninja Blade (68% on gamerankings), i love Tenchu Z (57% on gamerankings) and i love Dynasty Warriors 8 (66% on Gamerankings).

and there are games like the Uncharted series which i find to be the most overrated series of this generation...
i would give Uncharted 2 a ~65% rating... should you care if you like it? No...
and i watched many gameplay videos of The Last of Us... and it looks like shit to me because its gameplay looks dull and uninspired to me just like Uncharted.

Polygon was totally accurate with the female design in the review damn it. I mean, women were finally forcing every dev to slowly reduce the breast size used in every important main character and us perverts who prefer petite breasts were finally going to get our day and Dragon's Crown is pushing against that!

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