*spin-off* Activision's Call of Review Hero: Controversy: Spin-Off

Discussion in 'Console Gaming' started by RenegadeRocks, Nov 10, 2009.

  1. scificube

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    I hope everyone can agree that up to this point Sony vs. MS hasn't been a part of the discussion and there is no value in it entering into the discussion now.

    The points being argued aren't about scores as has been said many times now (at least for the most part). It is the analysis or lack thereof that is the topic of debate.

    I personally find it fascinating despite how many times we've actually had this talk in one way or the other. It's fascinating because game reviews are in many circles not considered real journalism and of course this opinion is derided by many game reviewers good and bad alike.

    So often we can't even begin to the discussion about how to move journalism in gaming forward before it is met with suspicion of hidden agendas etc. It would be nice to actually see if anything good can come of the discourse here. Please don't kill it.

    On another note, something I find particular amusing is the demand for innovation and progress from developers by reviewers yet so very little of that has transpired in journalism for gaming to date.

    I'm not being overly critical I don't think and besides this is just my opinion. I haven't seen reviews change much for years and years and I can't decipher any criterion for standards, fact checking, investigation, objective analysis etc which are staples for journalism elswhere. In my view what we call a journalist in gaming is more like a commentator or one who writes opinion pieces. There are some who truly amaze me and I would call journalists any day of the week but on the norm this isn't the case in my view.

    Perhaps it is a better question to ask if we want games reviewed by commentators or journalists?

    We've had plenty of the former to date and while things aren't perfect the gaming world still manages to keep turning. In thinking about the latter I feel we should be careful what we wish for. Change is rarely pretty and often is a rather inglorious sight to behold.

    Anyhow, I'm not sure we've identified what we want why we want it or fully comprehended the repurcussions there after yet.
     
    #141 scificube, Nov 13, 2009
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  2. obonicus

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    We can, but we're B3Ders. I sometimes don't even wait for grandmaster but go into the proper thread to see if ps360 has posted a comparison or if someone's already done the screenshot check.

    I'm not talking about analysis like Eurogamer's 3-page report on NGS2. Again, my baseline is stuff like grandmaster's faceoffs, in which he does an analysis and gives his subjective opinion. Lens of Truth also did something similar, as far as I know using their own criteria for these things.

    I do think things are improving: besides Lens of truth, ps360 came essentially out of nowhere with a framerate counter. Eurogamer decided to give grandmaster more space.

    Maybe it's too much to ask from IGN, since they're the ones with the exclusive reviews. What of IGN's subsidiary, Gamespy? They often release reviews a little late, they have a different editorial slant. Or Gamespot, which often waits well after the embargo to release their reviews? These are huge, huge sites, probably the most influential by number of readers. I'm with dobwal in that I can't understand why gamers are so shallow when it comes to games. Even music reviewers are bigger PITA.

    This isn't true. When GTA4 came out, for instance, pixel-counting was already established and grandmaster's eurogamer faceoffs were on round 12 or something.

    I never said otherwise. I do think that a more quantitative analysis could only be beneficial, as it'd help ground reviewers who otherwise are saying ridiculous things because their dogmatic view of the world means that the game they love can't have flaws. If they're forced to actually look at the graphics and analyze them I think we'd see a marked improvement in the level of discourse. With these factors in mind I think the reviewer would do a better job of analyzing the final product and assigning a score.

    The reason I brought this up was because I feel that reviewers, when presented with a game they're hyped up for (and MW2 isn't even the game I really have in mind here) are completely uncritical, using 'it's just an opinion' to justify anything. I don't think 'it's just an opinion' is a very good justification for anything, I think that it'd be quite possible to insert information that is more than just an opinion, at least where it concerns graphics. I use graphics because we're on B3D where even laymen can have relatively informed discussions on graphical impressions (I don't include myself in those laymen).
     
    #142 obonicus, Nov 13, 2009
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  3. scificube

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    I've a question for you Obonicus.

    Do you ever what the "behind the scenes" for any of your favorite movies or games?

    Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't. Sometimes I don't want the illusion of magic destroyed even when I know how things are done...I don't want to see it. At other times, I simply have to excatly how something was accomplished.

    Perhaps that question is a little to abstract. Would it satisfy you if more game sites adopted Eurogamer's approach and offered traditional reviews along side more technical pieces such as those provided by Digital Foundry? Or do you see it as it needs to be one way or the other?
     
  4. obonicus

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    As to your first question, yes. All the time; I don't really buy into the idea of preserving the illusion, or it's not worthwhile to me.

    As to your second, I don't think any publication does what I'd like to see. I think digitalfoundry's stuff is fine as is because they're not part of reviews, they're doing multiplat comparisons. I would like to see something along those lines inserted into your average review. Maybe places that do shorter reviews, like 1up could be excused from this, but then I'm not that crazy about this shorter-attention-span format.
     
  5. Scott_Arm

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    They're called critics, and they are writing editorials/opinion pieces. It's the same for other entertainment mediums like tv, books, movies etc.
     
  6. scificube

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    Thanks for answering.

    I myself consider DigitalFoundry's stuff to be reviews but not for the same purpose and end as traditional reviews. I don't think its perfect but it goes farther in offering another perspective to gamers than most aspouse to.

    Something to consider is qualification. Many reviewers do not have the formal or informal education to credibly offer technical analsysis one way or the other. Even Grandmaster to my knowledge has never been a game developer or had formal education to be one though I would say Grandmaster is far more knowledgable than your average reviewer.

    What is the impetus to stop being a developer to write reviews or go to school not to be a developer?

    How do you suppose the industry gets to the point you want it to reach?

    How would you propose rectifying the situation that most review sites are funded by publisher/developer dollars creating a obvious conflict of interest between staunch journalism and bringing in revenue? Its not like Walmart is beating down doors to advertise on IGN or other gaming outlets.

    Have you considered the cost? As you note Beyond3D offers a distinct appeal for gamers like you but just how many gamers is that - is it worth the risk of appeasing gamers like you at the possibility of alienating the majority?

    In my opinion a slow but measurable evolution is best here and even in the end there is room for both traditional reviews and what you're proposing at the table. I feel that to get to anywhere near what you desire it will require dedication to a very arduous process - I don't think it would be easy to accomplish at all.
     
    #146 scificube, Nov 13, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 13, 2009
  7. scificube

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    I understand what they are. If we understand each other lets agree to disagree.
     
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