Should Hardcore players call out the 'pro' reviewers?


#1

I read magazines and website reviews of games and usually is the amateur reviews done on sites like gamefaqs that show just how lazy and uninformed these professional game reviewers are.

I don’t know if most game reviewers think of reviewing games as some sort of stepping stone to a better journalism career, but most of the time they aren’t doing what they are paid to do.

Most of the time their review is marred by personal bias, mostly because the actual reviewer was given a genre of game that he either does not like, or has no experience with. Players who like this genre of games will therefore find his review largely useless. As there will be little in the way of any in depth analysis of the game, or trying to draw comparisons between other games of the genre in order to give the reader an idea of how the game plays.
Fighting game reviewers are notorious for this, usually rounding off a review with “For some mindless button mashing fun, Fighting Game A is the game for you.” No wonder you have people mashing controllers and arcade sticks.

These reviewers usually end up being obsessed with a big RTS or FPS title such as Counterstrike or Starcraft, and only being able to do shallow write-ups on those genres histories, seemingly thinking that the FPS genre sprung out of nowhere with Wolfenstein 3D. Unable to draw links with earlier games such as Ultima Underworld and Mercenary and genres like the Rail Style Shooter(Operation Wolf) or Overhead Shooter(Commando).

In my opinion either they should get their act together something that they get PAID to do, or either someone puts together a magazine or show or website that caters to hardcore gamers of all genres, having a specialised reviewer for each genre, that knows about the ‘scene’ of that genre, and who has some decent gaming skills to back up his reviews, basically the only reason I buy magazines anymore is upcoming game news and game pics.

And yes, this is probably too long to read.


#2

My gut reaction says that you’re most likely to sound like a pathetic nerd if you try calling them out, and that’s probably true for most people here because they’re practically illiterate, but I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad idea. I doubt they’d listen, though. Bear in mind that their reviews are written for casual fans and there’s nothing really wrong with that;, what our complaint should be is the fact that they’re misrepresenting the true nature of fighting games to the casual market, not “OMG U GUYZ DONT KNOW SHIT ABOUT FIGHTING GAMEZ SCRUB SCRUB SCRUB” which is probably what the average SRK kiddie would want to turn it into.


#3

It would be great if someone could do an informative review. That it’ll be good for the casual fans and pleasing enough for people like us.


#4

Magazine/internet reviews are not for us, just stay away.


#5

Sound like a nerd?? I think they SHOULD sound like a nerd! Nerds are smart! Nerds know their shit!

I don’t want some hip “extreme” coolguy telling me about the game… I want the nerd who can tear it apart, who knows everything and does his homework.

Nerds are good shit, and if you’re that concerned with “nerdness” you shouldn’t be posting on SRK… Get rid of that stigma :slight_smile:

But I know what you mean about the idiot e-thuggery responses it would prolly get… but I’m talking a REAL nerd here. Not some flaming troll.


#6

The big problem is that most top players aren’t good writers, and most good writers aren’t top players either.


#7

Casual gamers are the bulk buying power, and they don’t want in-depth analysis. They just want something to keep them entertained for a while, and that’s all they want to know from game reviewers is if they won’t be bored.


#8

If it’s a nerd that’s capable of communicating with normal people about something they don’t fully understand without sounding indignant and obnoxious, then sure. Sadly, few seem to possess this ability. I’d like to think I’m one of them, heh.


#9

Of all the smart things you said, this one really caught me. It’s a good thing that others feel the way I do about the way the video game market has evolved into uninformed trash and baseless generalizations. It’s pathetic.

God Bless you Muskau.


#10

well there is already a hardcore gaming magazine though, so just subscribe to that.


#11

They should just regress their reviews to “good/bad graphics, mash buttons” so we can get past the bullshit.

Yeah, I wonder when the fucking hell I get mine.
EDIT: Just got my copy.


#12

well i know that viscant is a good writer; clear, concise, and entertaining. so there’s one for the ‘top player’ side, but it doesn’t seem like any of the writers are halfway as good or knowledgeable about fighters as some of the players are at writing. i think just the entertainment value of the guys who write those reviews getting called out would be great. i used to think, ‘who cares what those writers are saying, the people who are reading their reviews are scrubs anyways’. but i think thats whats wrong, because there are so many more pedestrian gamers than people who take it seriously, and yet they’re getting all this bad information. so it wouldn’t hurt to at least give them some good info, even though they won’t be going out to tournaments, but maybe those better reviews will turn them onto it.


#13

speaking as someone who has done paid games reviewing for a few years now:

the problem is that all the major games websites and magazines - PSM, IGN, etc. - all like sucking the collective penises of the industry way too much to get anybody who can actually write to do reviews, and the video game industry as a whole tends to cater to the big, popular stuff, which sells to people who like to button mash in Mortal Kombat and call themselves pros. the publications underestimate the intelligence of the average gamer, which in turn attracts the dumbshits to gaming, which incites the publications to see gamers as even dumber. it’s a vicious cycle.


#14

Uh, whats it called?


#15

You’re saying it didn’t? Wow, name one FPS before Wolf3D that can still be mentioned or is still memorable today?

But seriously–it seems like the underlying theme of your post is that 2D fighting games aren’t getting attention because pro reviewers don’t give these games the time of day and if they do, they seem to not know what they’re talking about. Well, it’s all in the eye of the beholder. Remember where the mainstream scene is-- it’s all about 3D, T&A, FPSs, explosions and anime/comic/movie spinoffs. If Marvel vs Capcom 3 were to be released, it would get a lot of coverage only because of flashy masher-friendly super combos. but mainly because it has Marvel characters. If SF4 came out tomorrow, it probably wouldn’t get a lot of coverage even though it’s an old franchise. It’s also the reason why KOF or even Guilty Gear don’t get a lot of press.

It’s just a sign of the times–fighting games are on the way out (2D ones anyway). It’s just not what the masses want. Console RPGs might be the next genre to get the axe, unless its Final Fantasy.


#16

I don’t think the uninformed reviewer phenomenon is proper to the gaming media. Any time you’re reporting on some niche product/hobby/activity, the die-hards will be able to see right through any bs being printed. They know their craft and they don’t like it when some clueless twat makes any pretense of informing people on something he barely knows. Nevertheless, they only form one piece(however underrepresented) of the much bigger pie. Sadly that’s what matters in the end.

There are, however, exceptions. I’m not quite sure how it came to be that way, but the guitar magazines seem to have sidestepped this problem for the most part. Sure, some are fluff, but the majority are extremely technical and can be a little intimidating to the neophyte. They don’t pander to the lowest common denominator, but they still encourage new players to improve. I figure you have to strike a balance to both entice new readers and to keep the veterans interested.

I realize this isn’t a perfect analogy given that playing guitar requires a level of dedication and maturity that seems completely lost on gamers, game developers and the gaming media, but that new hardcore magazine illustrates how this might be a step in the right direction. If there is genuine interest, we might prove that we actually do exist and that it is possible to take an intelligent approach to gaming. Old magazines like Next Generation tried this and, although it was a little airy at times, I appreciated how they tried to spark real discussion on the state of gaming. It’s too bad they were a little before their time.(Though they just recently started up again in website form, but the address doesn’t come to mind).

Those are my thoughts for now. I’ll add more later.


#17

i think it was called Hardcore gamers magazine IIRC but i am not too sure it was given as a free subscription on this site so maybe if you look a little further back in the fgd (since the gd section is offline right now) you might be able to see the actual title i think it was around the beginning of summer though


#18

I absolutely agree. When someone is being paid to review something, I want it to be done by somone who can analyzed it under a microscope. he doesn’t have to be great player. He doesn’t even have to mention the details hard-core players care about. He just has to know and see what is important or not, and not make broad generalizations.


#19

A lot of the good players are able to write entertaining articles. James Chen? Seth? Mopreme? NKI? These guys are able to present technical stuff in not only a readable, but also in an entertaining form. It’s not an impossible task, it’s just that I can’t see the appeal to a group large enough to make it financially viable.


#20

Watch Judgement Day and tell me those two idiots know what they’re talking about.