Jim Sterling Quits Traditional Reviewing

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"You shouldn't write a review of a game unless you've finished it and have a complete understanding of it."

I'm curious- on a scale from Gone Home to No Man's Sky, where is the cutoff point for that?

inu-kun:

And he was in the minority in getting it. If it was a bug that affected everyone then I'd agree that it's a fair warning (even if he himself repaired the score afterwards to something better, meaning he knows he overreacted) but he could have easily resolved the problem in about 2 hours.

This action shows a person as entitled and patientless as well as a reviewer rushing in to put reviews for clicks rather than actually taking the a fucking day to relax and realize ("hey it's a short game, let's just rush through it again")

Your point? How many people would have to get it before he was allowed to complain about it? As I said before Inu-Kun, a reviewer doesn't give the most ideal experience that is possible for the game to have And yes, he stated that he overreacted, that was his decision to make, but you seem to be criticizing him for marking the game down for the glitch at all, which he still ended up doing in his final review. And he could have solved the problem in two hours? No, he couldn't have. Just because someone was able to speed run the game in two hours.

"Entitled and...patientless?" God you're desperate to hate him. You do this every time. You dig yourself in, refuse to concede even the most minor of points, and just fling insult after insult. I would know, you've done it to me. He's entitled? Yes, yes he is entitled. He was entitled to an experience that actually worked. Amazing how gamers were angry at that word being misused and abused when the ME3 ending controversy was happening, only for some of them to turn around and start misusing and abusing it themselves. Patientless? The term is impatient first of all, and second of all, Jim pointed out that his schedule isn't exactly clear. He produces content at a fairly steady rate, and flat out said that if he had taken another seven or eight hours (which is around what would have taken him because not all of us are expert speed runners) it would have eaten up a lot of time that he said he would have needed elsewhere. And pushing for clicks? He doesn't fucking run ads on the Jimquisition! Clicks are meaningless to him! For fuck's sake Inu-Kun, this is why I said you're desperate to hate him.

CaitSeith:

Xprimentyl:
snip

"I don't want reviews pointing out the game's flaws, I want objectivity."

For that kind of "objectivity" you can't do any better than reading the list of the game's features from the developer/publisher/retailer website.

Exactly...

Phoenixmgs:

Xprimentyl:
I think reviews may not be obsolete...

Nope, to fix reviews, take the humans out of them. I want objectivity

The whole point of a review of ANYTHING is for the reviewer to express their OPINION. Objectivity in game reviews is the reason they are obsolete on the "professional" level. Errant Signal's review of Prey is so much than any professional review whether you agree or disagree with his opinion because it's an actual review.

My...

TallestGargoyle:

Xprimentyl:
Nope, to fix reviews, take the humans out of them. I want objectivity, Jim Sterling did a wonderful spoof of a purely objective review and I thought it was perfect. Exaggerated, of course, but more in line with what I?d prefer than anything any other reviewer has done.

I mean, he made that video purely to take the piss out of the concept of an unbiased, objective review, since a review is inherently biased by the person writing it. If you don't consider personal opinion in a review, it's not a review, it's a description.

Point. Sorry you missed it.

To be clear, I don't like reviews or most reviewers. I know Jim's completely objective review was a farce; it was still closer to what I prefer than most reviewers. Yes, I juts want to read a brief description, maybe some screenshots and make my own call as to whether or not it's worth trying; I don't want or need someone else's opinion.

Xprimentyl:
Yes, I juts want to read a brief description, maybe some screenshots and make my own call as to whether or not it's worth trying; I don't want or need someone else's opinion.

You know you can get that already, right? By, like, reading the back of the box or the Steam Store page or even going to the developer/publisher's website directly in some cases? And you never need to read or even look at any reviewers or critics? And you can leave other people to follow said reviewers and critics if they so desire to have different information conveyed to them about something?

shrekfan246:

Xprimentyl:
Yes, I juts want to read a brief description, maybe some screenshots and make my own call as to whether or not it's worth trying; I don't want or need someone else's opinion.

You know you can get that already, right? By, like, reading the back of the box or the Steam Store page or even going to the developer/publisher's website directly in some cases? And you never need to read or even look at any reviewers or critics? And you can leave other people to follow said reviewers and critics if they so desire to have different information conveyed to them about something?

Dear lord... no "poo-poo," Sherlock; that's exactly what I do. The OP asked "What do you guys think?" I then stated MY opinion. My initial post said reviews aren't obsolete. I never said there shouldn't be reviews or others shouldn't pay them any attention neither did I pass judgement on any who do. Can anyone tell me why on the internetz everyone looks for a negative or accusatory connotation in forum posts?

I agree with him for the most part, and this coming from someone who used to write game reviews.

Straight-up game reviews are in such a problematic state right now I really don't see how they are of use to any consumers.

Xprimentyl:

Dear lord? no ?poo-poo,? Sherlock; that?s exactly what I do. The OP asked ?What do you guys think?? I then stated MY opinion. My initial post said reviews aren?t obsolete. I never said there shouldn?t be reviews or others shouldn?t pay them any attention neither did I pass judgement on any who do. Can anyone tell me why on the internetz everyone looks for a negative or accusatory connotation in forum posts?

Because we are all nerds that were likely picked on a lot growing up so being a dick behind a keyboard is the only way we can feel manly and grown up.

inu-kun:
And he was in the minority in getting it. If it was a bug that affected everyone then I'd agree that it's a fair warning (even if he himself repaired the score afterwards to something better, meaning he knows he overreacted) but he could have easily resolved the problem in about 2 hours.

This action shows a person as entitled and patientless as well as a reviewer rushing in to put reviews for clicks rather than actually taking the a fucking day to relax and realize ("hey it's a short game, let's just rush through it again")

Surely you should review the game how you experienced it, gaming breaking glitches and all.

What if replaying it for two hours he got the glitch again? Should he replay it for another two hours? That patches will come and others didn't get the problems shouldn't really matter.

"I didn't have the problem so you shouldn't have a problem with the problem you had." That is essentially what you seem to be saying.

Xprimentyl:

Dear lord? no ?poo-poo,? Sherlock; that?s exactly what I do. The OP asked ?What do you guys think?? I then stated MY opinion. My initial post said reviews aren?t obsolete. I never said there shouldn?t be reviews or others shouldn?t pay them any attention neither did I pass judgement on any who do. Can anyone tell me why on the internetz everyone looks for a negative or accusatory connotation in forum posts?

Wow, okay.

Let's examine your initial post in this thread, then, and maybe see why people are reacting the way they are:

Xprimentyl:
I think reviews may not be obsolete, but they?re definitely problematic, imho.

Right from the outset, you establish your stance that you believe reviews are uniformly "problematic". You're not presenting this as a "personal opinion", despite what you may think that "imho" signifies, but as something that simply is true.

I don?t want someone else?s subjective opinion tainting my own. In attempts to be fair and the firmly held belief that perfection is unattainable, a reviewer feels obligated to find flaws, and regardless of how prominent they may be, ?what has been seen cannot be unseen.? If they mention frame rate issues, I?ll look for frame rate issues even if they often mean little to nothing to me. If they mention bad voice acting, I?ll be listening for bad voice acting even if I personally might not have noticed it to begin with. When all?s said and done, subconsciously or otherwise, I?ll be looking for all the flaws someone else noticed and that can have an impact on my experience.

Here, you're implying that the only value one can obtain from a reviewer is by reading the so-called "flaws", which will then taint their own perception of a game while they're playing (because I guess people who aren't critics will never be on the lookout for flaws in games, right?). Certainly, you open the statement with discussing the potential tainting of your own opinions, but your condemnation of the work reviewers do cannot be taken in a vacuum. You are not the only person reading or watching their content. This kinda ties into stuff further down, so let's move on.

Going back to the dead horse we?ve been beating in another thread, videogames to me are entertainment and my criteria for a ?worth it? game are not that high. All I need is fun gameplay, an entertaining story and both where applicable. I don?t need the best graphics; I still love Morrowind, to this day, but at it?s the time, graphically it was subpar when compared to similar games. I don?t need a minimum 8 hour campaign; Inside is one of my favorite games of all time; the 3 hours I beat it in are some of the best of my +30 year gaming life, but it?s length was one of the few criticisms leveled at it when it came out.

Here again, you are couching your language in "personal preference", but that all falls apart in the following paragraph.

Nope, to fix reviews, take the humans out of them. I want objectivity, Jim Sterling did a wonderful spoof of a purely objective review and I thought it was perfect. Exaggerated, of course, but more in line with what I?d prefer than anything any other reviewer has done. Honestly, just tell me enough objectively about a game to pique my interest; tell me the genre, a high-level story synopsis and a few screetnshots, and I?ll try it myself finding only the flaws I feel affect my experience. That or do the whole Yahtzee thing and ONLY find the flaws and blow them out of proportion; at least it?s entertaining, taken lightly and lets me know it?s likely not going to be THAT bad.

See, as much as you state that this is all about what you think, you still open your conclusion here with the implicit idea that reviews are "broken" and that for them to be "fixed" they need to become... advertising.

Throughout the entire course of this you have, of course, not made one single reference to the fact that what you desire already exists; you have made it extensively clear that you believe reviewers should change to also accommodate that which you desire. You are not saying that what reviewers do is perfectly fine and you just don't follow them because that's not what you want. You are saying that if reviewers want you to follow them, they need to change their work into little more than glorified press releases.

And, just for the record since you decided to get all passive-aggressive with me, I never said that you were implying reviews shouldn't exist nor that you were "passing judgement" on people who read them. I said that you don't need to pay any attention to them because you can already get what you apparently are asking for, so there's no reason for you to ask for your particular vision of what reviewers apparently should do.

Silentpony:
I haven't read a game review in years. I don't care what critics or reviewers think. It's an obsolete and inherently arrogant medium.

Reviews and awards haven't been a deciding factor for me for a very long time.

I think the last reviews I would regularly and eagerly read were the ones in the now defunct PCZone.
Mainly because they were written with the intent of amusing and informing but never one at the expense of the other.
I'd often find myself looking forward to the release of a real stinker of a game 'cause then they'd have material to work with.

In a way, the only other reviews I pay attention to now are steam user reviews for an aggregate of player response (including the reasons behind it in the case of mass review bombing) and, for the same reason as above, Zero Punctuation.

I have to note that lets plays and "WTF is" format videos have sold me on games over the past few years.
They're almost as good as watching a friend play a few levels for selling you on a title.

Ok, I don't normally engage this kind of banter, but you've clearly misunderstood, so...

shrekfan246:

Let's examine your initial post in this thread, then, and maybe see why people are reacting the way they are:

Xprimentyl:
I think reviews may not be obsolete, but they?re definitely problematic, imho.

Right from the outset, you establish your stance that you believe reviews are uniformly "problematic". You're not presenting this as a "personal opinion", despite what you may think that "imho" signifies, but as something that simply is true.

Imho = "in my humble opinion." I don't think it signifies much else that exactly what it stands for.

shrekfan246:

I don?t want someone else?s subjective opinion tainting my own. In attempts to be fair and the firmly held belief that perfection is unattainable, a reviewer feels obligated to find flaws, and regardless of how prominent they may be, ?what has been seen cannot be unseen.? If they mention frame rate issues, I?ll look for frame rate issues even if they often mean little to nothing to me. If they mention bad voice acting, I?ll be listening for bad voice acting even if I personally might not have noticed it to begin with. When all?s said and done, subconsciously or otherwise, I?ll be looking for all the flaws someone else noticed and that can have an impact on my experience.

Here, you're implying that the only value one can obtain from a reviewer is by reading the so-called "flaws", which will then taint their own perception of a game while they're playing (because I guess people who aren't critics will never be on the lookout for flaws in games, right?). Certainly, you open the statement with discussing the potential tainting of your own opinions, but your condemnation of the work reviewers do cannot be taken in a vacuum. You are not the only person reading or watching their content. This kinda ties into stuff further down, so let's move on.

How many times did I use the first-person "I" in the paragraph? I'll let you count, but I never generalized outside of myself.

shrekfan246:

Going back to the dead horse we?ve been beating in another thread, videogames to me are entertainment and my criteria for a ?worth it? game are not that high. All I need is fun gameplay, an entertaining story and both where applicable. I don?t need the best graphics; I still love Morrowind, to this day, but at it?s the time, graphically it was subpar when compared to similar games. I don?t need a minimum 8 hour campaign; Inside is one of my favorite games of all time; the 3 hours I beat it in are some of the best of my +30 year gaming life, but it?s length was one of the few criticisms leveled at it when it came out.

Here again, you are couching your language in "personal preference", but that all falls apart in the following paragraph.

How else does one answer the OP's question of "What do you guys think" without referencing myself? Again, to my initial response to you, you seem to go out of your way to wax intellectual and parse out meanings in my language that simply aren't there in an attempt to assign some fault in logic, which despite you're dodging the fact, is indeed, my "personal preference."

shrekfan246:

Nope, to fix reviews, take the humans out of them. I want objectivity, Jim Sterling did a wonderful spoof of a purely objective review and I thought it was perfect. Exaggerated, of course, but more in line with what I?d prefer than anything any other reviewer has done. Honestly, just tell me enough objectively about a game to pique my interest; tell me the genre, a high-level story synopsis and a few screetnshots, and I?ll try it myself finding only the flaws I feel affect my experience. That or do the whole Yahtzee thing and ONLY find the flaws and blow them out of proportion; at least it?s entertaining, taken lightly and lets me know it?s likely not going to be THAT bad.

See, as much as you state that this is all about what you think, you still open your conclusion here with the implicit idea that reviews are "broken" and that for them to be "fixed" they need to become... advertising.

Throughout the entire course of this you have, of course, not made one single reference to the fact that what you desire already exists; you have made it extensively clear that you believe reviewers should change to also accommodate that which you desire. You are not saying that what reviewers do is perfectly fine and you just don't follow them because that's not what you want. You are saying that if reviewers want you to follow them, they need to change their work into little more than glorified press releases.

And, just for the record since you decided to get all passive-aggressive with me, I never said that you were implying reviews shouldn't exist nor that you were "passing judgement" on people who read them. I said that you don't need to pay any attention to them because you can already get what you apparently are asking for, so there's no reason for you to ask for your particular vision of what reviewers apparently should do.

I didn't realize the OP's first post, again, ending in "What do you guys think?" was not a call for what we thought. I didn't realize I had to qualify what I want against what already exists. To ME reviews ARE broken; they do not work as intended for ME; so what does that matter to YOU? I thought Jim's objective review was funny; it's what I want from a review; it's how I would change reviews; I never said reviews/reviewers should change.

And passive-aggressive, HA, no; I don't have time for that, especially on the internetz. I simply addressed someone who decided to read my words and take them entirely the wrong way and paint me in a light that was not my intention. Say what you like, you can't change the intent of my words; your understanding of them is yours alone, but once I clarify myself (if need even be,) you've no longer a place to insist I meant otherwise.

Phoenixmgs:

DaCosta:
Professional game journalists are bought out, and random, rambling shitheads on Youtube are the future!

C'mon, what year is this? 2014?

I don't think professional reviews are bought out, it's that professional reviewers think games are supposed to be objectively reviewed. A professional reviewer can't just dislike a game because they just don't like it because that's wrong for some reason. Why can't Shadow of War get a negative review just because the reviewer is sick of Arkham combat or just never liked it to begin with? Just go to Metacritic and look at all the games that don't have a single negative review, it's pretty unbelievable actually. How am I supposed to find a reviewer that has similar likes and dislikes as I do when there are no dislikes? Jim was one of the few reviewers that did properly review a game giving a game a bad score if he didn't like it; however, Jim wasn't a good reviewer for me because we rarely shared similar opinions. There's literally one negative review for Final Fantasy XIII and guess what? That's Jim's review. There was more review variance back in the day with EGM's 3 reviewer format than there is with 100+ reviews now. That's a complete failure of professional criticism for the gaming medium. And yes, there are a SMALL handful on people on Youtube that easily outdo any professional reviewer due to the bar being so goddamn low.

Because that's what a staff is for. If someone doesn't like Arkham combat you're not gonna give them an Arkham combat game to review. Same as I hate RTS games, and if I did reviews you can bet I would never review an RTS because it would be useless for RTS fans. You give it to someone on the staff more capable of talking about it.

If you know you're not going to like the game from the start, then why are you reviewing it? All the people who, unlike you, are up for what the game is offering, will get nothing from it. The only point would be so those who hate the game without having played it can get their opinions validated.

At this point my primary method for picking out new games that seem interesting is to listen to the Co-optional podcast every week and see if anything they mention sounds good. I'll occasionally pick up something good from the Kotaku front page as well.

It's worth noting that I principally now only play cheap indie games. I don't mind going into something with limited knowledge because I'm not risking much money on it, if I'm even spending at all. I spent last night and this morning playing Doki Doki Literature Club, which is entirely free and which I really liked. (Seriously, if you like visual novels, get this game. Don't research it, go in blind.) While there are AAA games I wouldn't mind playing, there aren't any that I feel I'm missing out on either.

Silentpony:

Opinions are fine. Its the idea of a 'professional' opinion when it comes to entertainment is arrogant. AngryJoe's opinion should be just as relevant as AverageJoe's.
Like in the video i posted the idea is that they're opinions matter because of their reputation for having opinions that matter.

So do you apply this to every other aspect of life too? For people who have their job focus on a single thing, and they've been doing it for years, they don't have a qualified stance from which to give a critique on something? If a firefighter looks at a building that is currently burning, and says "that things going to go down in a few minutes" do you ignore their "opinion" as arrogant and just run in there anyway?

Opinion is when you say you do/don't like something. When you actually detail why, and provide evidence of flaws, or the positive things you did like, that's a critique. I fail to see how someone giving a detailed reason as to why they think something is good/bad is somehow unworthy of consideration, especially if this is their profession. I've been playing video games my entire life, since as far back as I can remember, and I'm currently 41. But people like Joe and Jim, and TB and the others, this is their job. They've clocked in WAY more game time, on a much wider range of games than I have even bothered to consider. To think that they don't have a solid ground to make an informed, educated review of something is just silly.

Do you disregard user reviews for everything that is produced? Furniture, appliances, computer equipment? I mean, there's nothing fundamentally different about someone saying why this video card is good/bad compared to why a game is good/bad. So apparently all critique is arrogant?

erttheking:
As much as people like to shit all over reviews, personally I think we're best off with variety

Yeah, the producers cannot bribe 'em all and even the ones that are arguably influenced let out hints of the truth. So by going over lots of reviews (and gamer scores at aggregation sites) I get an over all impression of a few things that matter to me. And if I'm going to spend $60 on a new game when I can get a dozen games for $10 in a Humblebundle, I'm going to go over reviews first. And some of what matters:
1: is it broken? Before reviews, I actually spent good money on games that were literally broken. That hasn't happened (at least not for a substantial amount of money) in a long time thanks to all of the differing views. (In fairness to Jim, Hellblade was, for him, broken when he ran into a game killing flaw. That flaw has since been fixed).
2: Difficulty: I like easy. If you hate it because it was too easy, that is my call to buy... and vice versa. I'm looking at you Devil May Cry 3.
3: Length. The Order was not worth top dollar as it was only a six hours long. But when I could buy it used for $5, why not?
4: Graphics: I am a graphics whore of the 1st order. I like reviews were I can see for myself if it looks special or not. My biggest error: Dishonored. I thought it looked meh but picked up on the cheap. I really like it's visual style now.
5: And this is new for me: is it pay to win? Who would have thunk? Has warned me off of NBA2K18 and Star Wars Battlefront 2 just recently.

I'd write fun but that is way to subjective. It gets into a lot of sub topics about what a person is looking for that constitutes fun. Like another poster above, I can make out for myself my predictions about a game's fun quotient through gameplay footage.

ITMT: Looking forward to whatever it is that Jim is up to.

inu-kun:
There's no excuse for that temper tantrum, he could have waited for a fix (or contacted the devs to try to debug it/get a new save), watched other people play via youtube it or just replayed an already short game (I see a speedrun at 2 hours). Apologizing afterwards doesn't make it less display of childishness and laziness.

So, what, you want perfect human beings making subjective game reviews?

Apologizing doesn't wipe out an original mistake, but it does - as I said - show sincerity, transparency, and modesty. Weighed against his generally - ahem - sterling reputation as an industry commentator (always pro-consumer and honest about his own positions), The Hellblade Incident's pretty irrelevant.

'Cept to those with a personal axe to grind, of course (an awful lot of his detractors seem [socio]politically motivated).

After watching the couple of videos Jim has posted since he published the article I listed in the OP, I have to say I think I like this format better. He just kind of talks about the game as he is playing it and that might honestly be the best approach I have seen when it comes to reviews. It means his feelings are fresh, how he feels about the combat is raw and true because he is experiencing it "almost" as he plays it. The same goes for what he is liking and what he isn't liking.

I wonder how many reviews gloss over points about a given game because that reviewer has forgotten them in the course of beating the game and then sitting down to put together the review. I know I have done it, missed a combat feature, never mention something like music, or whatever, simply because after playing 50 hours in a game some of the things just blend into background space. Persona 5 was like that for me, in which my review failed to talk about the music and some of the combat elements simply because they became so second nature after 104 hour playthrough that I merely forgot they existed, which I guess singles how important they actually were to the game to begin with I guess.

I guess the big thing now is that reviews need to adapt. Especially since every AAA game is getting microtransactions, I believe that reviews should devote a portion of that review to how this new micro-encomony effects the game experience. Buy lootboxes, or whatever, and write about how that changed the experience, versus however much time was spent before purchase, and things like that. Investigate it a bit and communicate the results to the reader.

Happyninja42:

Silentpony:

Opinions are fine. Its the idea of a 'professional' opinion when it comes to entertainment is arrogant. AngryJoe's opinion should be just as relevant as AverageJoe's.
Like in the video i posted the idea is that they're opinions matter because of their reputation for having opinions that matter.

So do you apply this to every other aspect of life too? For people who have their job focus on a single thing, and they've been doing it for years, they don't have a qualified stance from which to give a critique on something? If a firefighter looks at a building that is currently burning, and says "that things going to go down in a few minutes" do you ignore their "opinion" as arrogant and just run in there anyway?

Opinion is when you say you do/don't like something. When you actually detail why, and provide evidence of flaws, or the positive things you did like, that's a critique. I fail to see how someone giving a detailed reason as to why they think something is good/bad is somehow unworthy of consideration, especially if this is their profession. I've been playing video games my entire life, since as far back as I can remember, and I'm currently 41. But people like Joe and Jim, and TB and the others, this is their job. They've clocked in WAY more game time, on a much wider range of games than I have even bothered to consider. To think that they don't have a solid ground to make an informed, educated review of something is just silly.

Do you disregard user reviews for everything that is produced? Furniture, appliances, computer equipment? I mean, there's nothing fundamentally different about someone saying why this video card is good/bad compared to why a game is good/bad. So apparently all critique is arrogant?

No no no. If I need medial help, I'll take a doctor's opinion as better than a Walgreen employee. Likewise if I need plumbing work, I'll trust a plumber more than an accountant.
Even the technical aspect of entertainment items I'll trust an expert. If I want to know which movie, The Room or Fellowship of the Ring had better produced CGI, I'll trust a computer animator. I have no problem with that.

What I have a problem with are these 'games journalists' who's relevant experience is they played a lot of games, therefore their opinion on what makes a game fun or good is better than yours. Especially when they get their games for free. To me the most basic review of a game is simply 'is it worth buying? Is this worth my money?' and I'm sorry, Jim, Boogie, AngryJoe, Totalbiscuit, these guys who get their games for free from the publisher themselves...I don't value what they have to say.

And as people have pointed out a lot of them are just bad at playing games. How many for how long doesn't seem to help at all. I'd just as readily accept a random user review on Steam or Amazon as an indicator of a game's quality as I would TB or Joe or Jim's 'expert' ie better opinion.

Silentpony:

And as people have pointed out a lot of them are just bad at playing games. How many for how long doesn't seem to help at all. I'd just as readily accept a random user review on Steam or Amazon as an indicator of a game's quality as I would TB or Joe or Jim's 'expert' ie better opinion.

I don't know if having a forum with which to express one's opinion that's not shared by the masses (e.g.: a prevalent YouTube Channel or a Patreon-funded enterprise) necessarily qualifies one as an expert, neither do I think most reviewers would claim to be experts. Yes, a lot of reviewers with a following may have insider access to the gaming industry most of us will never enjoy, but I don't think even they would call themselves quantifiably "better" than anyone, at least not out of character; Boogie's "Francis" persona might and Jim Sterling's generally exaggeratedly high opinion of himself is designed to get just that kind of rise out of people (mainly his detractors) who don't understand he's being farcical, but that's just their style, not their certification.

I think these people simply have opinions which, over the years, enough 'others' have come to agree with often enough to merit them a louder/more widely propagated opinion than a random user review on Steam or Amazon. That doesn't make them "better," but it does make them more popular, and that is objectively true, not a judgment on them or us. I know it sounds like I'm defending reviews after posting how much I don't like them, and I am. I've nothing against reviews/reviewers, mostly because I don't pay them any mind. I enjoy Boogie's videos and the Jimquisition for their entertainment value, not for the guiding light some feel the portend to be.

Xprimentyl:

Silentpony:

And as people have pointed out a lot of them are just bad at playing games. How many for how long doesn't seem to help at all. I'd just as readily accept a random user review on Steam or Amazon as an indicator of a game's quality as I would TB or Joe or Jim's 'expert' ie better opinion.

I don?t know if having a forum with which to express one?s opinion that?s not shared by the masses (e.g.: a prevalent YouTube Channel or a Patreon-funded enterprise) necessarily qualifies one as an expert, neither do I think most reviewers would claim to be experts. Yes, a lot of reviewers with a following may have insider access to the gaming industry most of us will never enjoy, but I don?t think even they would call themselves quantifiably ?better? than anyone, at least not out of character; Boogie?s ?Francis? persona might and Jim Sterling?s generally exaggeratedly high opinion of himself is designed to get just that kind of rise out of people (mainly his detractors) who don?t understand he?s being farcical, but that?s just their style, not their certification.

I think these people simply have opinions which, over the years, enough ?others? have come to agree with often enough to merit them a louder/more widely propagated opinion than a random user review on Steam or Amazon. That doesn?t make them ?better,? but it does make them more popular, and that is objectively true, not a judgment on them or us. I know it sounds like I?m defending reviews after posting how much I don?t like them, and I am. I?ve nothing against reviews/reviewers, mostly because I don?t pay them any mind. I enjoy Boogie?s videos and the Jimquisition for their entertainment value, not for the guiding light some feel the portend to be.

If you want to watch them for entertainment values I'm fine. Some people love Joe's anger, or Jim's costumes. Or the way they break down a game or go after the industry. All well and good. I have nothing against that.
I just don't think their opinions should hold more weight than anyone else's. Laugh at their antics, sure. Listen to their insider information, great! Read their reviews and take what they say as true, sure!
But don't think their opinion is worth more than any user review or random Johnny on the street.

Silentpony:

If you want to watch them for entertainment values I'm fine. Some people love Joe's anger, or Jim's costumes. Or the way they break down a game or go after the industry. All well and good. I have nothing against that.
I just don't think their opinions should hold more weight than anyone else's. Laugh at their antics, sure. Listen to their insider information, great! Read their reviews and take what they say as true, sure!
But don't think their opinion is worth more than any user review or random Johnny on the street.

It doesn't have to be worth more. There is a reason why even TB says that you should gather a community of reviewers that you like and go based off of that. They have an opinion and you can weigh that against your own opinion or other people's opinions to determine whether something is going to be worth it for you. They are gaming guys so you watch them for gaming opinions, just like you would watch a car guy for a car review or something along those lines.

You say you like to judge everything for yourself and that's fine. But I can't believe you've never asked anybody's opinion on a thing. Opinions matter in some way to everyone, and game reviews are a great tool especially since games have such a large risk to flat out not working.

Silentpony:

Xprimentyl:
SNERP

If you want to watch them for entertainment values I'm fine. Some people love Joe's anger, or Jim's costumes. Or the way they break down a game or go after the industry. All well and good. I have nothing against that.
I just don't think their opinions should hold more weight than anyone else's. Laugh at their antics, sure. Listen to their insider information, great! Read their reviews and take what they say as true, sure!
But don't think their opinion is worth more than any user review or random Johnny on the street.

We're essentially saying the same thing; I'm just saying I don't think reviewers believe themselves to be experts or that their opinions are objectively better than anyone else's; the value of their opinion will differ from individual to individual. The only reason their opinions "hold more weight" is because they reach more people; if you had hundreds of thousand if not MILLIONS of subscribers tuning in each week to hear your opinion, it'd hold weight too. It's like electing a president in the USA; generally there are two, maybe three candidates that the vast majority of people are aware of running for the office, but there could be dozens of other lesser-knowns running at the same time who've not the access to the funds or media as the top two or three, so they're all but invisible. Now to be clear, "weight" does not equal "value;" it only means that more people know OF Jim Sterling's opinions, not that they're better and certainly not that they're right.

DaCosta:
Professional game journalists are bought out, and random, rambling shitheads on Youtube are the future!

C'mon, what year is this? 2014?

Closer to 2010/2012. 2014 was the 'game journalists are all conspiring against us in their evil feminist ways', 2010 was the 'game journalists are being bought out' and 2012 is the 'Youtubers are the future!'.

More like Jimmy realizes not many people are really watching hsi reviews. THough I think trhe problem with reviwews is not that they're obsolete; review2s are still relevant. WHat is obsolete is the way reviewers approach it. THey generally try to pick the gabes that will be topical or it games and trip over each other to be the first to review it. Which pretty much means yuou wind up with all of them reviewing the same 10 games while there are dozens of smaller nice games that slip under the radar.

He say's there's no point in AAA reviews, well news flash fat man, there's more than AAA, but doing vidoes on a game no one has ever heard of unless it's a thinly veild excuse to just swear and make fun of someone else's work, just doesn't pull in the clicks and the ad revenue.

Xprimentyl:
Exactly...

My...

Point. Sorry you missed it.

To be clear, I don't like reviews or most reviewers. I know Jim's completely objective review was a farce; it was still closer to what I prefer than most reviewers. Yes, I juts want to read a brief description, maybe some screenshots and make my own call as to whether or not it's worth trying; I don't want or need someone else's opinion.

To me, that sounds absolutely horrible. It's the same asking about a pizza place and just wanting to know what they have (obviously fucking pizza). I'm going to want to know how good the pizza is, whether their thin crust or deep dish is better, etc. Pizza just like games are about how good/bad it is executed. Just having a feature list or description of mechanics tells me nothing about quality of said features/mechanics. Lastly, some of the best game experiences are because they are new and fresh and you can't tell if you like it or not without at least someone's opinion about it outside of playing it yourself.

DaCosta:
Because that's what a staff is for. If someone doesn't like Arkham combat you're not gonna give them an Arkham combat game to review. Same as I hate RTS games, and if I did reviews you can bet I would never review an RTS because it would be useless for RTS fans. You give it to someone on the staff more capable of talking about it.

If you know you're not going to like the game from the start, then why are you reviewing it? All the people who, unlike you, are up for what the game is offering, will get nothing from it. The only point would be so those who hate the game without having played it can get their opinions validated.

What about Batman Arkham Asylum? That was the 1st game with said combat system. Why is there no negative review for that game then? Plus, games heavy on story are all reviewed the same as well. Where's a negative review for say Metal Gear Solid 4? Not even all MGS fans liked the story. Or what about Metal Gear Solid 5? MGS5 was quite the departure for the series.

You can learn about a game via a positive or negative review. Sometimes a positive review can tell you that you won't like the game and vice verse. And going to a website for reviews is not helpful because they have a staff. Getting something out of a review is finding reviewers that share similar opinions or at least are good at explaining why they liked or didn't like something. You follow certain reviewers you like, not follow websites or staffs. You follow certain movie critics, who they work for is meaningless.

Jim blocked me on twitter and I don't know why.

Phoenixmgs:
You follow certain reviewers you like, not follow websites or staffs.

You don't follow them at all. That's the part that seems to be completely lost in this old conversation.

Websites like Gamespot and IGN get like 40 to 50 million views per month. They are meant to offer something to everyone, so that when the average person googles for a review on a certain game, they may be useful.

Following reviewers is for Youtubers, who try to force some kind of intimacy so they can create fanboys who'll give them money on patreon.

Silentpony:
I haven't read a game review in years. I don't care what critics or reviewers think. It's an obsolete and inherently arrogant medium.
This clip basically sums up what all critics think of themselves:

Shilling DWK out of fucking nowhere? I think I like you.

Weaver:
Jim blocked me on twitter and I don't know why.

It is probably a block bot. Block lists I feel are necessary yes but Block Bots are where I draw the line and say you. the person who uses them, are just a really shitty person. I do not know if Jim Sterling uses one I am just saying its really dumb and cowardly.

I also want say that it is clear that somewhere in the last decade reviews have become less and less trusted. I do not want traditional game reviews to go away and believe they never will, but public trust has gotten worse all around for people who review games.

I think you just have to find a reviewer who likes the games you like. Daniel Blood worth who use to work with Gametrailers and is now with Easy Allies is my favorite reviewer for racing games. He usually doesn't shit on game but explains the issues he had with it.

Also I constantly go to Game informer for reviews which is owned by gamestop, I just subtract 1 point off of the total score of a game because I imagine they can't get risk getting Black Listed for review bombing a game. Hell they're recently held of on posting reviews of games with heavy online components until after release.

Yathzee is probably one of my favorite reviewers even though I like Nintendo games. Its actually funny when he doesn't shit on a game you like. I like his reviews because if he finds a game he thinks its good, its probably not trash.

Silentpony:
Especially when they get their games for free.

Can't speak to the other guys but I understand that Jim does not get games (at least not AAA) for free. Granted he can still probably write them off as a business expense.

DaCosta:

Phoenixmgs:
You follow certain reviewers you like, not follow websites or staffs.

You don't follow them at all. That's the part that seems to be completely lost in this old conversation.

Websites like Gamespot and IGN get like 40 to 50 million views per month. They are meant to offer something to everyone, so that when the average person googles for a review on a certain game, they may be useful.

Following reviewers is for Youtubers, who try to force some kind of intimacy so they can create fanboys who'll give them money on patreon.

Firstly, nice of you to ignore my questions because you have no legitimate answers for them.

Secondly, I ALWAYS follow reviewers whether it was Siskel & Ebert or this movie reviewer on WGN radio that I used to love (he even hated Star Wars just like me). I don't care what say Rolling Stone, the New York Times, or IGN rate a movie. I care about the REVIEWER. I didn't care what the Escapist rated a game although I did if it was Greg Tito but not if it was Susan Arendt for example. I've always followed reviewers that share similar opinions to me whether it was someone in the newspaper or radio before the Internet or if it is now some guy on Youtube. Even within my circle of friends, certain friends are more in tune with my likes/dislikes and I put more weight on their recommendations than others.

Lastly, how is every site/staff saying every game is good offering anything to anyone?

The Rogue Wolf:
The problem with game reviews is that very few people these days use them to actually inform themselves about a game they're interested in; instead, they want reviews to buttress their already-formed opinions.

Bingo.

About the only thing reviews are good for nowadays are 'rebuttals' in arguments over whether a thing is good or bad.

And that says a fucking lot about people today.

jademunky:

Silentpony:
Especially when they get their games for free.

Can't speak to the other guys but I understand that Jim does not get games (at least not AAA) for free. Granted he can still probably write them off as a business expense.

But he didn't always have to buy them. That's actually a pretty recent development. Jim cut his teeth at Destructoid as a reviewer who made videos about all the free merch he got for reviewing games.

I'd like to point out to everyone that Gamespot and IGN have both given The Evil Within 2 an 8.0 score. Meanwhile both website's front pages have full gusto adds for the game itself. I find that all very very curious.

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