Friday, November 30, 2007

The Perils of Professional Reviewership

I feel bad for this guy.

One of the things that spurred me to create this site was the de facto standard that all the "big" game review sites are too conflicted with their advertising business model to be able to honestly review a poor game that is also advertising on the site. After all, it is rather hard to articulate a negative review when your mouth is full of reproductive organ. So along comes this poor guy who loses his job at Gamespot (but gains some street cred) when he says Kane and Lynch ain't all that great.

The usuals around the entarr-webb are sounding off on this occurrance, and of course one's first natural reaction might be "how did Gamespot think they'd get away from this with their reputation intact?" Well, my cynical reminder to you is that Gamespot doesn't have a modicum of credibility to begin with, for exactly this sort of reason. They know where their bread is buttered, and it's in the advertising. Their mission is to get money from advertisers. Not to tell you the truth. Any content that is there is only there for the sole purpose of greater revenue generation. Obviously, pissing off one's advertisers by not fellating them with glowing reviews is not a good way to generate revenue. So the firing was business. The poor schmuck made a mistake in thinking he was hired to review games, when his true job was to shepherd unthinking sheeple into Gamespot's site and then on to the advertisements clustering around the "content" like the disreputable-looking men clustered around the moderately attractive if slightly skanky girl in a bukkake video.

What does this mean for the folks who just want honest reviews to inform them about which games are worth their time and possibly money? Well, I may flatter myself a bit to point out that you're looking at a small part of the solution right now. Small-time obscure punditry from fellas whose paychecks are not at stake from whether or not their reviews are the "happy ending massage" for the games they are talking about. They do it because they like games, have opinions, and are afflicted by a personality disorder that makes them rant into the void. Just point your browser over to a link list, such as Blue's News, and watch the reviews go by on a daily basis, and disregard any links that come from Gamespot, IGN/Gamespy, or anything with the word "Planet" in it. Or pretty much anybody on the first page of results when you google for "Video Game Reviews." Is there some sour grapes in that sentence, maybe? Yeah, probably. But it doesn't change the fact that it is true.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Man I could NOT agree with you more on this type of shit. The incestuousness of the professional review forums/mags is endless.

Because I frequent (somewhat) GameStop, I've come to acquire a GAMEINFORMER subscription (something you get when you get their crappy piece of shit discount card), in December's issue, there's 170 pages. 67 of which are outright advertisements.

Now, of the game reviews, let's count how many "bad" reviews (they appear to have 10 point scale, 10 being best 1 being the game caused VD or something), a "bad" review for my purposes, anything less than 7. Things to keep in mind in this review, 67 pages are adds, actual REAL numerical revies don't start 'till page 130, games with a "bottom line" review of below 7:

Clive Barker's Jericho (PS3,Xbox360,PC)
Sega Rally Revo (PS3,Xbox360)
Looney Tunes: Acme Arsenal (PS2,Xbox360,Wii)
Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games (Wii)
Donkey Kong Barrel Blast (Wii)
Table Tennis (Wii)
Godzilla: Unleashed (Wii)
Kengo: Legend of the 9 (Xbox360)
CSI: Hard Evidence (Xbox360)
Painkiller: Overdose (PC)
Dementium: The Ward (Nintendo DS)
Turn it Around (Nintendo DS)
Jam Sessions (Nintendo DS)
SWAT: Target Liberty (PSP)
Jackass: The Game (PSP)

Looking at that list can you tell which major platform didn't purchase a specific 2 page spread in that issue?

Either the Nintendo platforms are really difficult to write good games for, or Nintendo's ad budge was recently cut...

I couldn't get two shits about Nintendo, I hate those proprietary fuckheads, but you get my point. A majority of the bad reviews fall on the platform with the least, or zero, ads in the video game review has the most common low reviews.

Either the lack of advertising dollars increases the freedom for truthfulness, or hardens the reviewers hearts towards the more 'endearing' aspects to the games.

However, after actually reading a few of the reviews, it could be a fluke. From what was described and my own personal experience with some of these being sampled at gaming and electronics stores, I'd say some of 'em were spot on...

It's just shitty that we can't trust a magezine containing "game information" after spelunking through all the fucking ads.

Dimento Graven