Jimquisition: Joy Begets Anger

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loa:
Are you serious?
Are you seriously oblivious about all the sleazy business going on behind the scenes of game reviews?
Do you really not understand why people who bought DA2 based on the perfect score, opened the box and out fell a turd would be mad at the reviewer?
Would you as a consumer trust a single fucking review on IGN?
Do you really think game journalists don't have an obligation to consumers?
Oh wait, do you actually believe this is just about "random people on the internet liking something"?
Are you this naive or are you just balls deep in the swamp yourself?

Weak jim.
Very weak.

That is literally all it is.

Reviews are subjective. Games journalists have no "Duty to the consumer" in terms of opinions. Too bad if IGN liked something. get over it.

Amaror:
While i generally aggree with that statement and think that raging idiots should be shut down at every turn, one has to look out while doing that to not shut down legetimate criticism.
For example i clearly didn't like greg tito's review of dragon age 2.
Not just because i personally don't like dragon age 2, but because it was not particularly well done in my opinion.
It left out a lot of aspects of the game and glossed over others.
And just to get a bit unreasonable at the end of this.
If he likes the button-mashing combat, blander characters and unfocused story good for him.
But, while visuals are a matter of opinion, i just can't see how anyone can call DA 2 the best - looking game of the year were Crysis 3 and the Witcher 2 were released.

Everything just gets mixed up in the sea of rage.
I completely agree with you. Tito's review is mediocre at best.
Also, the rage does not come because the reviewer liked the game, but in most cases because the reviewer failed to address the features of the game properly.

I understand that a review is not just an opinion (although it has a lot on it), but a tool to orient consumers. When reviewers fail to point flaws, quirks and lack of features it just feels unprofessional.

Not a reason to hate, but reason enough to be disappointed I would say.

I can honestly say that although Tito seems a real nice guy, I lost my respect for him as a reviewers and simply did not read his articles anymore.

Desert Punk:
Calling Dragon Age 2 the pinnacle of RPGs, and what games should be, was pure advertising, I dont care that he enjoyed it, I bought it because before that point I trusted escapist reviews. But no Greg fucked me over there by not mentioning the inherent flaws in the game of which there are many.

That's the point I think I was reaching towards but wasn't coherent enough to make. For reviewers, trust is a currency that gets built up with honest reviewing. Greg basically blew his wad in one spot for a lot of people and his reviews will never be fully trusted again. I can't think of any similar setup for Mass Effect 3 or Metroid: Other M, offhand, but I'm sure they existed. Greg just makes such a good example. :)

- kinda like how I think twice before clicking on any dramatic-sounding headline with Andy Chalk's name under it.

I feel like the issue isn't jealousy over liking a game, but rather disappointment and fear of future disappointment. From the viewpoint of a consumer, games are only made when they're assumed to be highly profitable. For all we know, companies won't invest in a project they're not guaranteed to make bank on. And this is what they tell us they do, so what else should we believe? Thus, if a game is successful, companies will want to make similar games to continue making money off of that successful idea behind the game.

Take DMC. I can't go into a lot of gory details, because I didn't catch the whole controversy when it was happening, but from what I know: due to character differences and gameplay differences, the DMC reboot is vastly different from the old DMC. People who played the old DMC, and enjoyed it to the point of being fans of the series, found the reboot to be disappointing. To compare it to similar events: how many TV shows were affected by the writer's strike? If any of them became severely disappointing afterwards, because they were now being written by different people (who may not have any clue what the original writers were building up to or had designed), it should be understandable why fans of DMC might see the new series as taking the game in a completely unwanted direction.

Add to this: if a game is popular, that is what the company will sell, regardless of "objective" (see: this is not a thing) merit. To fans, this easily means "You are a minority, thus we do not care about your love of the series. Until the very second we stop making more money than we spend on these, we will run this ship into the ground." If the only way you could see to get your beloved series back was to rage against those who seem to be causing the problem (spending money on something they like, which has been touted as the guaranteed way to get more of something you like), wouldn't you be able to understand why others would do this? What else can fans of a series do when developers won't listen?

tl;dr: People who feel trapped often lash out at things that may not be their captors, especially if their captors are unreachable.

TheDefenestrator:
I know that Jim is making a larger point about a certain section of chronically miserable people who aren't me but I thought I'd throw in my two cents because I think the two big examples he used are problematic to a certain degree.

I didn't buy or play DmC because it's not really my bag. But I know people who are big fans of the series who refused to buy it, and not because Dante got a different haircut. Ninja Theory, right out of the gate, went out of their way to alienate existing fans by trying to cultivate a "rock & roll" attitude for themselves. They dismissed the earlier DMC games that many people loved and, in a presentation, even photoshopped old Dante into a frame of Brokeback Mountain to illustrate how "gay" the original Dante was. Which is kind of homophobic, pretty damn petty and not exactly professional. (Seeing that is what took me from a "maybe" to a "definite no" in buying the game.) In trying so hard to go for the "this ain't yo Daddy's Devil May Cry" they willfully pushed away the people who were most likely to buy the game. Resulting in a giant flop, regardless of the actual quality of the product.

As for Mass Effect 3, my sympathies are limited. If you liked or loved Mass Effect 3, or even felt that the ending didn't ruin the overall experience... you're the majority. I'm sorry but the persecution complex that people have about this game (on both sides) is amazing. If you liked it, great. If you enjoyed the endings of Lost or the Battlestar Galactica remake, fantastic. No one is trying to take that away from you. But in all three of those cases, there is a rational, reasonable argument for why those endings didn't work. They may work for you, but they don't hold up to serious criticism. I like plenty of bad movies. I have watched probably every Dolph Lundgren movie ever made and genuinely, unironically enjoy most of them... but I'd never make the argument that they're good. Because my enjoyment of something doesn't supersede it's objective quality.

I had an argument last year with a guy who loved Aliens: Colonial Marines. (On an internet message board because of course.) He would not hear of any criticism of it. Any time I brought up a valid point, not in an accusatory manner or even dickishly, he would get wildly pissed off at me and accuse me of trying ruin the game for him. He was such a huge fan of the franchise that he literally could not tolerate any criticism of it. When I tried to have conversations with people in the wake of the ME3 controversy, I was called all manner of names. Professional game journalists, and please go back and read some of the posts from the major websites in that period, were wildly condescending and didn't help in any way to bring a level-headed response to the controversy.

Bottom line: the irrational responses people have are never just on one side of the argument.

BTW, this is my first post. Hi!

And a great post. Agreed.
ME3 ending WAS bad.
Tito's review WAS lacking.
DMC new thing WAS weird (and maybe unnecessary).

There were disproportional responses to those things and the gaming media likes to hide behind the more extreme arguments avoiding any discussion whatsoever, which is sad.

Even worse than the weird anger of people who didn't like a thing being angry because I do like a thing, the really horrible bit is it makes me actually feel bad for enjoying something.

It's not a new thing, although it is certainly more out of control and vehement than it used to be. But for as long as I can remember people have had 'guilty pleasures' - a game or TV show or kind of music that they enjoy but hate to admit. Because other people will think worse of them for it. That's so terrible, feeling guilt just because you smiled at something your peers don't like.

For example I remember being home alone one day when I was a kid, just idly going through TV channels. I came across an episode of Desperate Housewives. Kept it on to see how bad it was, ended up kinda liking it. And then I thought: "I will get picked on so much if anybody finds out I liked this."

On the plus side, for those of us who finally get over our fears of other people's opinions, we have so much more to enjoy. Now I'm off to watch the last episode of a tacky ecchi anime before bed.

Stop liking what I don't like!

and

Stop disliking what I like!

are equally petty. When someone likes something you hate they are encouraging the industry to produce more of what you hate, and it's made even worse if they can't articulate why the liked it and fail to acknowledge any flaws with it.

Xdeser2:
That is literally all it is.

Reviews are subjective. Games journalists have no "Duty to the consumer" in terms of opinions. Too bad if IGN liked something. get over it.

They're professionals. They're expected to be professional in they're critique of a game. No amount of hype, buzzwords, or "emotions" will a review any less professional. Reviews need to tackle games objectively (not exclusively so, but it's still a very important part).

I cannot clap hard enough. You have expressed something I've been trying to put to words for a while now. Thank God For Jim!

I think this is a kind of "damned if you do, damned if you don't" Jim. No matter what your opinion, someone out there is going to bash or criticize it. You liked CoD? Oooooh, be prepared for a verbal hoedown for liking a game whose core fanbase is not well liked. You hated or otherwise didn't praise Smash Bros Brawl as some sort of video game Second Coming like Yahtzee did that one time? Be prepared for a verbal brawl over the "injustice".

See, this is why I avoid general opinions on games and play what I damn well please. I am one of those weird mutants that can even enjoy a game like Cross Edge, broken, sometimes nonfunctional mess that it is. I even enjoy FFXIII, even though the current popular trend is to loathe it and stigmatize the game as "having killed Final Fantasy for good".

As weird as it is for people to be legitimately angry over positive opinions on games, I've been a gamer for a pretty long time now. I've seen more than my fair share of BS gamers do to other gamers and other members of their community that I just accept this as some new thing that'll die down eventually...I hope.

uanime5:
People tend to question positive reviews of bad triple A games. After all the reviewer may simply giving it a good review to a major company to ensure that the they continue to get games from this company. It would be interesting to see if people are generally more angry at bad triple A games that get good reviews or bad games made by smaller studios that get good reviews.

Also given that Jim made videos encouraging people to get angry at companies they don't like he shouldn't be surprised when people take this advise and apply it to other things.

erttheking:
I'm sorry, the Witcher 2 is better than Dragon Age 2? Please explain to me how that is anything more than your personal opinion.

It's reflected in the average scores received by these games. On Metacritic Dragon Age 2 got a reviewer's score of 7.9 and a user score of 4.4.
http://www.metacritic.com/game/xbox-360/dragon-age-ii

By contrast Witcher 2 got a reviewer's score of 88 and a user score of 8.4.
http://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/the-witcher-2-assassins-of-kings

So according to most people Witcher 2 was better than Dragon Age 2.

All that proves is that more people liked the Witcher 2 than Dragon Age 2. That doesn't prove that one game is better than the other.

Bors Mistral:

erttheking:
I'm sorry, the Witcher 2 is better than Dragon Age 2? Please explain to me how that is anything more than your personal opinion.

This might get a bit off topic but OK, I'll bite. It's been a while since I played them, so just a few basic things:

- TW2 has some of the most impressive visuals on release, and it still holds excellent over two years later. In comparison DA2 looks like a drab mix of brown and grey. (objective)

- TW2 has beautiful, interesting, varied and well designed environments. After a few hours in DA2, most locations look like I've already visited them. Let's not even start on recycled dungeons. Same about characters, and the way they move and visually interact. (objective)

- TW2 also gets an edge in musical score, sound effects and, I dare say, voice work. (some question of taste, but mostly objective)

- Combat in DA2 is almost MMO-like. Mim-maxing your characters often plays a greater role than tactics. Combat in TW2 rewards good reflexes and planning. You can't gulp down potions during combat. On higher difficulties (end even on "normal"), you talk to characters, read books, follow clues and prepare accordingly for major encounters. (subjective, I guess - some people like MMO-style combat better, after all)

- Some of the menu design and interface (items and character equipment icons, I'm looking at you!) in DA2 is a freaking disgrace. Some usability aspects of TW2's interface also leave a bit to be desired, but at least the UI works better and looks like a work of art. (objective)

- Both games set to depict a dark, mature setting. TW2 does it much better, with a world that is so lovingly crafted it could come to life (subjective, I agree, personal preference and all that)

- Both games tout player choice as a major theme. In TW2 the illusion never fails. DA2 offers you "choice" and seems to like to go in your face for a "fate is cruel, what you did didn't matter in the end". However, it often comes off as "we didn't bother to make the story reflect your choices, you'll take it as is". (subjective, I guess, some could end up liking DA2's storytelling and never question it)

I'll stop here and just put it simply: the world of TW2 felt much more engaging and engrossing. That the game is much more memorable and played better (ok, subjective) is what I'm personally interested in.

How about you? You have played through both games, right? Tell us objectively why Dragon Age 2 is a better game than the The Witcher 2. I'm not even going to suggest someone to explain how DA2 could get a perfect score if the score system is actually meant to compare games in any equitable manner.

Oh no, I haven't even played Dragon Age 2 and I've only beaten the Kracken in the Witcher. And I wasn't claiming that Dragon Age was better than the Witcher, I was trying to say that if someone was to claim that one was better than the other, it'd be their opinion and nothing more.

I disagreed with a Jimquisition once, and then I watched it and learned how I was wrong. I disagreed with a review by Jim Sterling once, and that's OK; I can decide for myself what games I like and what games I don't. Thank god for Jim.

On a more serious note, how are there no TGFJ armband/wristbands in the Escapist store?

Sorry to break up the circle jerk, but it's time for the cold tyranny of economics to step in. Each year/dev cycle there's only so much money that will go into game development. How this limited resource is divvied up, ultimately controls the content available to us, the consumers. How publishers choose where to put their money is based on what sold well previously, and then looking at all the current project pitches and picking the most similar ones. So every time someone buys a crappy game, they are encouraging the publisher to make another crappy game. They are condoning it's flaws. Likewise, every time a reviewer gives a high rating to a terrible game, they are encouraging people to buy it, as well as concealing it's flaws.

Absolute religious faith in the most cynical of conclusions leapt toward from the weakest premises (gave high/perfect score to an obvious cash-in sequel, ergo reviewer must be a shill) has become a substitute for healthy skepticism, especially on /v/.

xNicolex:

ex275w:
Rushed games like Dragon Age 2 and Mass Effect 3.

What exactly was rushed about ME3? There was nothing rubbished about ME3 at all, people were just upset that they didn't like the ending, which was pathetic really.

Lazy sidequests; there are a very small handful of side missions that aren't eavesdrop, scan, return, repeat, and the ones that aren't are recycled multiplayer maps. of which there are about six or seven. Compared to the reams of side stuff you could do in the other games.

Auto dialogue; the amount of dialogue spoken by Shepard, compared to the amount of input displayed in the last games, is unacceptable. It makes subsequent play throughs boring.

Linearity; ME3 is linear as shit. There's very little deviation from the critical path, you will complete the levels in the order the developers intended, there is no saving one mission for later, or doing one before the others. Compare this to ME's 1&2, where you could take missions in any order you chose (remember that, choice? What the series was based around?). Not to mention how all your choices mean very little at the end; Spare the rachni queen? Doesn't matter. Keep or sell Legion? Doesn't matter. Tali exiled? Doesn't matter. Collector Base? Take a fuckin' guess. If you track the choice progression over the course of the series, it resembles two forks who've been welded together at the tips of the tines. People are quite justifiable angry that the series ultimately became a Morton's Fork.

The Ending; seeing as how the game's hype was based around "seeing how it all ends", the fact it ended on a travesty of writing is deplorable. It's rushed in the sense that it was hacked together in about a week or so before the end of crunch time, by two people who locked out the rest of the team (at least according to various sources), and ended up being about the same in all permutations, save for color. This ending was in direct contradiction to what Bioware said before hand after the game had gone gold.

So no, I don't think fans being angry over being lied to and spat on is pathetic.

Deadcyde:
.... I honestly don't believe you that the people responsible for this joy-hating are anything but a vocal minority. There's always been elitist twats but making it out like every second gamer is a rage machine?

newp.

And frankly i'm getting a bit over these sweeping generalizations about us Jim.

Sweeping generalizations are the bread and butter of games journalism.

And I'm frikkin' sick of it. I mean, god forbid games journalists come off their ivory towers and engage the masses without lording over them.

I have the sneaking suspicion that the real problem lies with the journos themselves.

What an enlightening episode Jim. Thank you for shining the light on the subject which had to be addressed in some manner.

During the Escapist Reader's Choice, so much hatred fueled like a wildfire. Actually, saying a wildfire is putting it lightly. It was more of a blazing inferno, consuming all whom disagreed with said user... even saying 'I loved Last of Us because it has zombies' caused outrage because ... some people felt offended that said user used the term zombie. Then arguments sprouted about whether or not they were zombies ... *sigh*.

Luckily, there was much to gain from the event. New members eventually did make their stay, got to see optimism through the dark corners of those posts, and best of all made connections with users whom became my friends. Still, I try to overlook what happened which isn't easy at all since the whole 14 pages and onward was pretty bad.

.. It's also quite funny, when I think about it. I've heard people saying 'I may not agree with you, but I will fight for your freedom of speech even if it means death' yet... as soon as someone says something that said user does disagree with- then they bash or throw the other user into the void, hoping he/she will never come around to say anything at all. Classy~

Either way, people forget that we're all gamers here. I may not be into Sim City or Papers, Please but I am more then happy to learn about the games and hear why they're good towards particular users. Heck, I used to dislike Dark Souls for the difficulty until I gave it another chance due to how users loved it. After learning how to survive, I instantly became in love with the game. Now, I am not saying all games deserve as many chances but do give them at least a try. If you dislike it... oh well! Don't hold it against your brothers and sisters of gaming because it turns out they love it.

That would be like someone who loves playing Dark Souls telling a Skyrim player that he/she shouldn't be called a gamer because there's no 'challenge' involved. That alone is awful, rude, and not tolerable in the least. They're two different games and I happen to love both. So comparing and bashing the opposite game doesn't benefit anyone, do remember that please.

Two elements:

1) There can be a lot of hate with that positivity. I've seen more that my fair share of "If you don't like [game] then you're a [childish insult]" topics in my time, and they're just as hateful, and full of arrogance and pretentiousness. AT worst, it comes from people that can't justify why we should share their like, if they can justify their like at all, but still expect us to share it. ME3 leads the examples as for all the people hating on the haters, I saw very few actauly explain why they liked the ending, and no one explain to me why I should share the viewpoint. Call me childish and walk away because you're a better person just by being more positive and not angry at trivial things.

2) Some of this is a backlash to this attempt to try and have review content limited to "did you like it" rather than "how good is it". These are mutually exclusive concepts. I can like something and still acknowledge that it has flaws. I liked Dragon Age 2, but you'd have to be blind not to see where the corners were cut. When this filters into reviews and awards you get problems as in your fanboyism, you've played favorites and ignored flaws or stagnation due to your more positive buttons being pushed. For example: one commentator I watch said that shouldn't Bioshock Infinite lose at least a half point for not being able to save at will. Others have commented on it being at best a clone of the last two ina new seeting, and at worst, as rather poor shooter. But people love the narative hook, so 10/10, and forget the rest of the package. Gone home has the same problem. Love the story all you want, but it didn't seem to be groundbreaking in terms of gameplay. Zelda ALBW: I love the thing, but aside being way too easy I see some nostalgia blinders on. Hell, the new Pokemon game is winning RPG of the year by people. I know it's been a slow RPG year, but I really want some qualfication behind that.

We're all free to love what we love, but when you're a reviewer, you have to justify your love (or hate) to the audience. Or at least admit that your praise may be coming from it doing one or two things right in a sea of potential flaws or stagnations. People still look to reviews and awards to decide what to buy, and we aren't wlays privy to enough knowledge of a reviewer''s tastes to know if that 10/10 is based on the whole package, you just it hitting that one sweet spot just right.

Thanatos2k:

One addendum though: Hating a review/review score is not quite the same as hating someone else because they like something. That perfect Dragon Age 2 score IS a travesty, not because the reviewer liked the game, but because professional reviews are supposed to be more than just whether the reviewer liked it or not, they're supposed to be a rational objective analysis of the components at play, and any objective analysis of the quality of Dragon Age 2 will find it wanting.

Ding ding ding. AAAAAAAaaaaand Jim is shown to be wrong on page one. Good show sir. (ma'am?)

I found Mass Effect 3 to be very poorly written, it focused way to much on masculine romantic notions of death and war, they threw in horrible Jesus Christ symbolism, they broke the RP element of Commander Shepard, and it was arguably one of the most sexist games I've ever played. I can't help but notice many of the people who really love Mass Effect 3, tend to be of the white, straight male demographic.

It really gets on my nerves when I follow game critics I generally respect, who will jump on the band wagon to point out feminist issues, then turn around and are completely oblivious to bullshit going on in games they love and praise. Such as in Mass Effect 3.

Sorry. It's a little hard for me to get over people liking Mass Effect 3 when I see all these offensive problems, all these typical video game things stuffed in there to target the straight, white male demographic. The game that ended a series that invited me in by pretending for a while it cared for a wider audience.

That's 2 videos in 30 days where you've royally fucked up, Jim.

Allow me to enlighten you on this one - People hate you for liking that new DmC "thing" because it is such an unmitigated pleased-with-itself fuck-you to the fans of the Devil May Cry series. It is effectively a prequel or a side-prequel (or some shit like that, it seems the writers couldn't fucking decide) that literally destroyed the foundations of the series. We already GOT a prequel, it's DMC3, where everything was laid out adequately, and no more prequels would be and never will be necessary. The equivalent to this would be making another prequel to Metal Gear Solid 3 (see a pattern?) where Big Boss turns out to be an alcoholic drug abuser and The Boss is a complete wimp who didn't earn her medals during the Normandy Landings.

For its possibly interesting level designs, that "new" Dante literally looks like the executive producer behind the game. Said wanker also had the nerve - the fucking nerve - to tell us haters the following fabrication. You do NOT tell your detractors "they aren't being honest with themselves" when you're blatantly self-inserting into a series loved by many. That is grade-A dick-waving and selfishness beyond everything else imaginable. There is no way in Hell you can love something that literally exists only to destroy its parent franchise. To re-use your analogy from your old video here, DmC is the down-syndrome baby amidst what is respectively an aged but still respectable (and for me a very nostalgic) asskicker, a big old piece of shit, a young and hip asskicker that matured later, and then a Metal Gear Solid 2 retread without the mindscrew and retarded fan demand.

Next, I thought you were done with Mass Effect 3's ending, but it seems you still don't get why everyone hates it so much, so I'm forced to spell it out for you - Bioware PROMISED us kickass conclusions based on our playthroughs, as was always the case in 1 and 2, and they FUCKED UP so bad that they ended up committing textbook false advertisement that frankly borders on outright fraud. The major reason being that the ending (singular, that's not a typo) was not peer reviewed. So we gave Bioware shit for it, and guess what we got? ANOTHER fuck-you in the form of the "extended cut" DLC that fixed fuck-all. All it did was DRAG OUT the long turd that was already a shit ending. Bioware and Ninja Theory deserve every last bit of hate they get until they publicly apologize for eviscerating these two series and either go bankrupt (in Ninja Theory's case) or remake the game completely (in Bioware's case).

I don't want to hate on you, Jim, you bring a lot of good points to the table with your furious ranting, but like so many before and after you, you too have your weak points and they just so happen to be on the very topics you like to discuss. I dearly hope you'll stop being a hypocrite now on gender issues and the current anti-love/anti-hate bullshit issues.

I don't have a problem with someone liking a game I didn't or disliking something I did, but I have a huge problem when professional reviewers give something top marks JUST because they liked it. I'm sorry but Tito had no right to give DA2 5/5. Objectively there were bugs, lazy level design, poor character modeling, and massive amounts of cannon inconsistencies. If he had acknowledged these flaws in the review score and then added that he still really liked the game this would be a non-issue. Also, nothing ever deserves 100% because nothing is perfect.

Closer to the point I only become agitated when the person speaking seems to have not played the game. Please people, if you don't know what the hell you are talking about please stop trying to talk about it. The number of times I've seen, "I haven't played it, but I hear that..." is too damn high.

last moment of the vid reminded me of a CreepyPasta I once read... be careful.... "figures" are usually spiritual in a bad way... good vid by the way!~ (don't know if I'm going to get backlashes for saying that)

Dragon Age 2 really was a top tier game. And mass Effect 3 was perfect until the last 20 minutes. 20 minutes which were later salvaged and fixed in a free update a short time later. Haters hate, nothing more to be said.

Imp Emissary:

canadamus_prime:
I cannot believe that this is actually a thing. I think "idiot" is being far too kind to people like that.

I don't know if this thing is really all that new, but it does pop up quite a lot. Especially recently with all the lists being made.

What surprised me though was that Jim has people being bigger jerks to him over positive reviews than negative ones.
Didn't see that coming.
Shame it was not just from "fans", but also Jim's peers.
:/ Kind of a bummer.

The fact that it's also coming from Jim's peers is the worst part of it.

Vaccine:
People can like DmC all they want, the problem was by attempting to sell this rebooted title was, if it was successful, probably would have killed the original series in favor of putting funding into making "DmC2", which is why I think if DmC was a standalone game under a new.....everything, I would've given it more favor.

DmC as a new IP? would've been good.
DmC as an actual Devil May Cry title? it was trash to me.

But even then, I don't direct hate at people for liking it, I hate Capcom for letting it happen in the first place, because once again, Capcom prove they don't know how to deal with the West.

You don't get around the net much, do you? I don't really visit any gaming sites other than the Escapist, but even I can tell you that yes this is indeed a thing.
EDIT: OOPS Quoted wrong person. Ignore this Vaccine.

I honestly don't think people don't like certain picks for GOTY or reviews giving positive reviews because it feels like a a coop out. For example, they pick the game that is either the most popular (ie claiming AC3 was the best narrative of the year because their were no other choices), or they pick the game that a company paid they to pick. It's not always justified, and probably it's rarely justified, but at times it feels like the reviews and the best games awards are paid ad space for certain games that may or may not over shadow genuinely great titles that had little marketing to begin with.

Now kids, we're going to explain the difference between subjective and objective.

Bors Mistral:

erttheking:
I'm sorry, the Witcher 2 is better than Dragon Age 2? Please explain to me how that is anything more than your personal opinion.

This might get a bit off topic but OK, I'll bite. It's been a while since I played them, so just a few basic things:

- TW2 has some of the most impressive visuals on release, and it still holds excellent over two years later. In comparison DA2 looks like a drab mix of brown and grey. (objective)

See kids, phrases such as "most impressive", "still holds excellent", and "looks like" are subjective in nature. That's because things that are objective in nature are verifiable and measurable. For instance, "TW2 had among the highest polygon count when it was released" is a measurable statement and therefore is objective. Can you measure impressiveness? I think not.

- TW2 has beautiful, interesting, varied and well designed environments. After a few hours in DA2, most locations look like I've already visited them. Let's not even start on recycled dungeons. Same about characters, and the way they move and visually interact. (objective)

Uh oh. There's those phrases again. Just how do we measure "beautiful" and "interesting"? And how are we determining "well designed environments"? Is Pac Man a "well designed environment"? We talked about Mr. "Look like" before too. But hope's not lost kids. "Recycled dungeons" IS something that can be measured. Are all of the dungeons the exact same layout and style? Do the characters exhibit duplicate behavior? Two objective sentences out of four is on the right track, kids!

- TW2 also gets an edge in musical score, sound effects and, I dare say, voice work. (some question of taste, but mostly objective)

Only some? Haha, nice try, poster. And you were doing so well in the last one, but it looks like we've regressed again back to subjective territory. What gives the musical score and effects the edge? What measurable system are we using?

- Combat in DA2 is almost MMO-like. Mim-maxing your characters often plays a greater role than tactics. Combat in TW2 rewards good reflexes and planning. You can't gulp down potions during combat. On higher difficulties (end even on "normal"), you talk to characters, read books, follow clues and prepare accordingly for major encounters. (subjective, I guess - some people like MMO-style combat better, after all)

Well the poster is certainly becoming more self aware now, kids. He's recognized objective differences that can be observed (can you just "mim-max" your character, whatever that means, and win consistently without planning?), and he's recognized that ranking these differences is a matter of opinion. Good job poster!

- Some of the menu design and interface (items and character equipment icons, I'm looking at you!) in DA2 is a freaking disgrace. Some usability aspects of TW2's interface also leave a bit to be desired, but at least the UI works better and looks like a work of art. (objective)

Looks like the poster let us down again kids. Why is it a disgrace by measurable means? How does the UI work better through measurable means? And for that matter, what work of art are we talking about here? Some people have created works of art using human feces. I sure hope that's not what the Witcher 2 UI looks like.

- Both games set to depict a dark, mature setting. TW2 does it much better, with a world that is so lovingly crafted it could come to life (subjective, I agree, personal preference and all that)

Hooray! We've recognized a subjective sentence again. After all, there's not many avenues that TW2 could depict a "dark, mature setting" in an objectively better manner than Dragon Age 2.

- Both games tout player choice as a major theme. In TW2 the illusion never fails. DA2 offers you "choice" and seems to like to go in your face for a "fate is cruel, what you did didn't matter in the end". However, it often comes off as "we didn't bother to make the story reflect your choices, you'll take it as is". (subjective, I guess, some could end up liking DA2's storytelling and never question it)

I'll stop here and just put it simply: the world of TW2 felt much more engaging and engrossing. That the game is much more memorable and played better (ok, subjective) is what I'm personally interested in.

Well, kids, looks like the lessons are finally starting to take. That's 3 correctly labeled subjective statements in a row! Just remember, objective needs a unified way of measuring, not just side by side comparison. Turns out this reviewing stuff isn't as objective as people think it should be! So long, boys and girls!

tl;dr: Reviews of every media are subjective, because the objectively measurable parts are the boring as shit parts no one cares about in a game/book/movie/TV show.

I'm allowed to be pissed with people who say the Star Trek reboot is a good way to go, when there's been decades of material that had far more heart and soul in it.

I'm allowed to be pissed with fans of Fallout 3, when Bethesda turned one of the greatest CRPG experiences, into a brown and grey walking simulator and people ate it up, because they don't know any better or aren't willing to give the old games a shot.

I'm allowed to have an emotional response when I see something dear to me getting mauled to a pulp and then praised by not only gamers, but reviewers who focus on the trite shit that every current game already has and presents it as the next gift from god.

I do not appreciate being called an idiot because of that.

Now that I've gotten that out of the way, there's something I feel is missing from these debates.
(The following is my opinion and theory, not empirical fact.)
Games suck. They haven't always sucked, but they do now.

Ever wondered why current indie games are so massively popular?
Because they're not soulless, masspleasing, investments designed skinnerboxes. Nor are they limited in design or approach by advisors or consultants. They're wonderful games made by people who put themselves into it, giving us a piece of themselves and if we're lucky, they show us something about ourselves.

Games used to challenge us in all sorts of ways. They forced you to think, to do things that were genuinly displeasing in order to progress, to question your morals and ethics and had mechanics that you had to adapt to.

When I say that games suck, I don't mean they horrible or unplayable messes or that they don't have any justifiable content. Games have gone stale, much like movies have, where creators take the content that evokes the biggest response and then oversaturate us with it, neglecting the context, the flavour and the setting.
In games, you save the world, or the galaxy, again and again and again, because that's when the stakes are the highest, that's when you become the ultimate hero. In that process, there's only the big picture and everything that supports and creates the story is neglected in tropes, unrelatable situations and overused storyarcs, which brings me back to indie games.
They're down to earth. They might not challenge you ethically or morally, but they often bring a simple point that makes you think and widen your perspective, like Thomas Was Alone,

Jim likes Bioshock and likes it in part due to its violence. I found most of the violence to be far too much, it ripped me out of the meager immersion there was and compounded the lazy design of implementing tons of action because "that's what works" and that's what people expects. Playing a depressive alcoholic who is able to take on hundreds of fanatics by himself along with a woman he's supposed to keep safe at the same time is ridiculous.
In other words, I think it's an otherwise beautiful game that is too scared to stand apart and relies on repetative and frankly trite gameplay that we've seen in dozens of other shooters. It's two predecessors were, in my opinion, vastly superior in atmosphere and characters.
Was it one of the better games of 2013? Sure, whatever, but it did not deserve the global praise that it received.

I'm not going to bash you because you like a game, but I am dissapointed that you don't expect a higher quality or at least don't show it.

Smilomaniac:
I'm allowed to be pissed with people who say the Star Trek reboot is a good way to go, when there's been decades of material that had far more heart and soul in it.

I'm allowed to be pissed with fans of Fallout 3, when Bethesda turned one of the greatest CRPG experiences, into a brown and grey walking simulator and people ate it up, because they don't know any better or aren't willing to give the old games a shot.

I'm allowed to have an emotional response when I see something dear to me getting mauled to a pulp and then praised by not only gamers, but reviewers who focus on the trite shit that every current game already has and presents it as the next gift from god.

I do not appreciate being called an idiot because of that.

Now that I've gotten that out of the way, there's something I feel is missing from these debates.
(The following is my opinion and theory, not empirical fact.)
Games suck. They haven't always sucked, but they do now.

Ever wondered why current indie games are so massively popular?
Because they're not soulless, masspleasing, investments designed skinnerboxes. Nor are they limited in design or approach by advisors or consultants. They're wonderful games made by people who put themselves into it, giving us a piece of themselves and if we're lucky, they show us something about ourselves.

Games used to challenge us in all sorts of ways. They forced you to think, to do things that were genuinly displeasing in order to progress, to question your morals and ethics and had mechanics that you had to adapt to.

When I say that games suck, I don't mean they horrible or unplayable messes or that they don't have any justifiable content. Games have gone stale, much like movies have, where creators take the content that evokes the biggest response and then oversaturate us with it, neglecting the context, the flavour and the setting.
In games, you save the world, or the galaxy, again and again and again, because that's when the stakes are the highest, that's when you become the ultimate hero. In that process, there's only the big picture and everything that supports and creates the story is neglected in tropes, unrelatable situations and overused storyarcs, which brings me back to indie games.
They're down to earth. They might not challenge you ethically or morally, but they often bring a simple point that makes you think and widen your perspective, like Thomas Was Alone,

Jim likes Bioshock and likes it in part due to its violence. I found most of the violence to be far too much, it ripped me out of the meager immersion there was and compounded the lazy design of implementing tons of action because "that's what works" and that's what people expects. Playing a depressive alcoholic who is able to take on hundreds of fanatics by himself along with a woman he's supposed to keep safe at the same time is ridiculous.
In other words, I think it's an otherwise beautiful game that is too scared to stand apart and relies on repetative and frankly trite gameplay that we've seen in dozens of other shooters. It's two predecessors were, in my opinion, vastly superior in atmosphere and characters.
Was it one of the better games of 2013? Sure, whatever, but it did not deserve the global praise that it received.

I'm not going to bash you because you like a game, but I am dissapointed that you don't expect a higher quality or at least don't show it.

Uh oh, kids. Sounds like yet another poster who missed out on the difference between objective and subjective! Well, we can't win 'em all.

Eerrrr no the more people mindlessly enjoy crap the more crap we get. So I am with the haters on this. And it's not just games all media is made less by the unwashed masses enjoying poor quality crap. If the average of media was not BS and chips I would have little to complain about.
DMC Dante is stupid BUT half of the theme and the gameplay shine threw, tho it feels like the shortest one yet. Dragon Age 2 is unplayable on the PC(they never should have gotten rid of party control and dumbing everything down to a button masher did not help...shit they could have at least left the full Gdamn mod tools in it so it could be fixed.....) and it's not that well written but then neither was the first one. Mass Effect was a fun ride but it's a huge let down to boot. The Witcher 2 was not all that hell the Witcher itself has issues.

Opinions aside no not everything sucks even though I complain that everything sucks, in my tiny world I view things based on what could be done rather than whatever sperm and poo ridden BS we get.
I hope things come out good I try hard to hope most things come out good but most of the time they come out average or worse. It's getting to the point if it cannot be altered with a mod, code breaker/action replay or trainer it's not worth my time to fool with the unbalanced train wreck before me. Games these days are so easy or annoyingly stupid in mechanic design I've had it with throwing my money away. The real crime is not allowing people to use a code breaker or action replay to customize games anymore. I don't care about trophies or online stats, I want to have fun not be forced to sit through someone's bad theatrical play or annoyingly dumb mechanics.

What we really need is more fine tuning options that lets us rebalance a game to our tastes(set XP/Gold drop rate, set location damage amount or make it so it's easier to kill the player but harder to kill enemies only location damage is amped and headshots kill a target instantly, least if they are human, or turn off certain annoying mechanic stuff and such ). Give us more options to tweak a game with, who cares if tis unbalanced or "cheating" if you are such a stickler for playing the real thing then don't use the menu options. LOL

On a side note I had some fun playing with the scripts to Wolfenstine I up'd the hit points to the weak points on the big armored guys to 100 and you have to destroy 2 or 3 of them, those were epic fights! I've not done much to Fallout 3 and NV other than making comical weapons I don't really use(tho I made a slew of ammo types for all the base ammo) I up'd the potency on the drugs and tripled their addiction rates and attribute reductions. Other than that there's no easy way to redo Damage threshold in NV as so melee is not so over powered I got tired of single hits from death claws killing me so I up'd the DT on the armor I am wearing(old world blues stealth suit with power armor stats for the heck of it) still had to raise the DT as so now it takes 3 hits from a death claw to kill me LOL.

More rambling, your still here? Dear god! Aherm...... Anyway they could implement an action reply system for today's consoles only it works based off codes that are gathered from the server, new codes go through the server all online stat taking and trophies and such is disabled. So all the codes have to be cleared first hell they can even sell code packs to games. I would not mind spending 50$ for the disc and 10$ a month for such a service as long as I get access to all the codes they have but alas there I go thinking on what can be done rather than being satisfied with what we have........

Yes, you tie yourself somewhat to games that you like. I think it's because they do things that you like, implement good mechanics, have good characters, whatever. If that's the case, why is it strange that you are also tied to things you dislike because your values are not fulfilled by that thing. Someone liking a game you dislike is essentially committing the same 'crime' someone disliking a game you like is, if they like it for reasons that correspond to the reasons you dislike it. I think in the end it comes down to self-interest. You don't want to see people praising things you don't like because you don't want to see more of that thing as opposed to things you do like. For example, I don't want to see people praising linear shooters and trashing sandbox RPGs because that contributes to getting more linear shooters and less sandbox RPGs. I think that's fine, and that's why I have a reaction when someone likes something I don't like. Another example, ME3's ending. It's fine that some people liked the ending. I hated the ending because it contradicted everything I thought I had invested in the series. If people are praising the ending and that's all Bioware hears, they're going to get the impression that it was well-received. It was only because a lot of people who hated the ending spoke up that anything, however inconsequential, was done about it.

Although I will say that in situations where you have no investment in the thing someone else likes, that's less justifiable. For example I'm at the point where when I hate music from a certain person or group, I realise it's because I'm not the target audience, and since their target audience does not overlap with the target audience of music I do like, it's fine that it exists and that other people like it.

tl;dr: I see openly criticising or praising things as a way of showing your preferences in the hopes that will be considered by content creators as part of the larger market.

irishda:
tl;dr: Reviews of every media are subjective, because the objectively measurable parts are the boring as shit parts no one cares about in a game/book/movie/TV show.

I'll take this sentence on it's own, as I don't think the post you quoted did a particularly good job at pointing out the differences of the two games either.

I care about how well the game will run on my machine. I care about how the game's interface and the controls work on my machine of choice. Is the font unreadable at some resolutions? Is it tiresome to navigate through the menues because the items are sorted alphabetically? The interface was almost a game breaker to me in TW2 - untill I found a way to replace the font, I couldn't read anything in it.
I care about wether or not a game reuses it's assets. I can listen to a song/look at the same scenery a couple of times in succession but eventually it will bore and annoy me.
I also care about wether the characters, the plot and the story make cohesive, believable sense. If the game doesn't take itself too seriously this doesn't matter to me but if the game is marketed to me as a fantastic, mature story, full of choices with real consequences, I expect something different than choosing what necklace a character will wear for the rest of the game.

I had my fun with Bioshock Infinite, Mass Effect 2/3 and even Dragon Age 2. I just can't take people (more importantly, critics) seriously, that describe them as "near perfect" or "a masterpiece".

irishda:

Uh oh, kids. Sounds like yet another poster who missed out on the difference between objective and subjective! Well, we can't win 'em all.

I like my journalists to be objective, to present facts and abstain from putting in commentary.
I like my game reviewers to be subjective and present a game as a whole, as it is a work of fiction and an experience, coupled with facts.

Until we have an academic institution dedicated to debate qualities of games, narrative cohesion, character analysis and all that other good stuff that we can draw reasonable arguments from, we're stuck with reviewers and the community.
I firmly believe that reviews need subjective content in order for us to identify with the person writing them, giving us an indication of whether or not we might like the same things they do or learn new ways of enjoying a game that we hadn't previously considered.

In other words, I know the difference, but I don't see how objective reviews are applicable or relevant when games are greater than the sum of their parts.

I don't even know what your problem is, apart from accusing me in a belittling manner.

Smilomaniac:
*snip*

I'm not going to bash you because you like a game, but I am disappointed that you don't expect a higher quality or at least don't show it.

"I'm not going to bash you because you like a game. But I am going to bash you because you don't like the *right* games."

For the record, I loved the original Fallout games AND Fallout 3. So there you go, I'm not some ignorant modern gamer not demanding enough from my games. I played and liked the old stuff, I played and liked the new stuff. You gonna get pissed at me for that?

I'm sorry you didn't enjoy Fallout 3. It's a shame, it would have been nice if you didn't feel let down by it. But the fact that I didn't happen to feel let down by it is not something for you to get angry at me about. Am I supposed to just ignore the fact that I enjoy a game and hate on the developer as some sort of show of camaraderie to the section of the fanbase that didn't experience the same level of enjoyment as me? Is that the only thing I can do to stop you being mad?

If so, then you need to have a good long look at yourself in the mirror. If you didn't like Fallout 3? Fine. You wanna resent someone for that? Fine. But, and this is Jim's point, resent the guys that chose to make it that way, not the guys who happened to like what came out.

MeChaNiZ3D:
snip

How do you have an investment in something you dislike? Do people come over to your house and beat you up unless you play ME3's ending over and over again? are you really complaining about how there's too much of something you don't like, don't buy and that has no influence on you? Do you somehow expect IW, Treyarch or DICE to say 'you know what? everyone's doing MMS, we'll just make a fantasy rpg instead. that's not going to happen. and you know what? If DICE hadn't been so successful with BF, they wouldn't be making Battlefront. I've been dreaming of a new Battlefront ever since my ps2 died! So yes, I'm glad BF exists, I'm glad people enjoy it and even though I dislike the games themselves, I'm glad that because of them I'm getting something I DO want.

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