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  1. #1
    Moody Loner Rolex's Avatar
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    Reviewers Being Too Harsh...

    I've had my fair share of systems over the years: Atari, Sega, PS1, GC) and thru out those years all the game reviews have been very similar i.e
    Graphics - WOW or could be better;
    Sound WOW or average;
    VFM ok buy it now or try before you buy and finally;
    Gameplay - Great / Average / DOH!!!

    Reviewers have never really had to deal with any great changes in control systems until the Wii of course....Now I have noticed that, in under a week of owning a Wii, that the console itself is not biased on graphics or sound but on actual physical balls out gaming fun! Yes - what a new concept for reviewers / "hardcore" gamers to grasp - a system that is actually letting you play games with no serious point to them apart from fun!!
    IMHO that is exactly what has been missing from the industry for a long long time & I'm not sure reviewers are ready to admit that there are some games out there that, sure, you can pick holes in all the cosmetic aspects but what are they actually like to play and get real VFM for?!?

    My main ammunition for this thread concerns the games I own at the min (Redsteel, Sports & Rayman) - I can honestly say that they are all genuinely fun to play with the Wii's control system and taking Sports & Rayman - they have absolutely no point to them really at all. Isn't this what people play the majority of games for - fun whilst wasting time?

    Critics have given luke warm reviews in the main (altho some are on the appreciative side) regarding Redsteel - yes it is an average FPS but with the control system like no other on any console next gen or not - it becomes a game worth playing, doesn't it??

    I know that games like these will only develop further into what the reviewers are calling for now but come-on for godsake give the devs time to get to grips and utilise the power of the Wii, which cannot be anywhere near fully explored - these titles are still fun and unusual to play and by the end of 2007 people will be doing things with the wiimote they never thought possible!!! (perverts not included )
    ---Smithy...
    "This IS the difference over the other systems....graphics can make you believe you're there to some extent but motion gesture can make you believe you're doing it!"

  2. #2
    WiiChat Feature Writer cbrotherson's Avatar
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    I think this is indeed something worth considering.

    I personally think that a large part of the problem is, in truth, reviews on a whole are slightly antiquated because it's much harder to change the goalposts with a videogame review than it is with a film or music review. I mean, at the end of the day it's still whether we like the product or not, but music is judged on sound composition along with that, films are judged on technical merit as well as preference, while games are judged on the above but via changing standards of interface, eg the control method, which is the most important factor for any game. And as such we judge a game based on prior experiences (which to be fair, is the only thing we can do) rather than coming to it more 'fresh-faced', so to speak. A new control interface poses a different gaming experience to that which came before it, and as such is more difficult to judge on its own merits because a typical review system is designed with just that in mind – a singular set of scores over a straight line of quality.

    I think it's even worse when sites use weighted averages, because it throws the whole system out of whack in the process. Not only Wii, but X360 and PS3 have highlighted a large problem with the whole way we review games based on scores, because we're so used to substantial steps upward in presentation. Wii makes smaller steps that the other machines, but even the other machines were harshly judged because they didn’t meet some imaginary standard bar of what constitutes as 'next gen'. And as readers we often judge scores in a singular fashion too – when an '8' for one format could mean a totally different score had it been on another system, yet remains moot if that is the case. It's all pretty messed up and confusing, made worse when we declare something as "fun", because it's an immeasurable thing – someone's version of fun may be another's version of a trip to the dentist.

    In many cases, a new console suffers 'artificial' scores in its opening reviews in a way, and are rarely deemed fair one year later. Some mags/sites overrate the first gen games on a system because they flash and show off, even though they may not offer much more in the way of new experiences. There was a very conscious effort within the games industry to not do that with Wii games, and because it's not as powerful a machine, there's been (in my opinion) an opposite effect where scores have perhaps been a little too harsh to readdress the balance (same with some PS3 game scores I think, too). This is as potentially damaging as overrating something, I personally think, as it becomes much harder to judge a review because the reviewer him/herself is already working off preconceived notions of what's an 'overrating' and what's an 'underrating' and just ends up firing straight down the middle ground which is often safer than sticking your neck out.

    One thing which is interesting to think about – given that prior examples of first gen console games being overrated through graphical/aural improvements, would many of the first gen Wii games got better scores if they had the sort of presentational flourish 306 and PS3 games have? Irregardless of a new and excellent control method? I would think so; which beggars the question – are we just big ol graphic and sound whores who prefer the same thing just 'better' instead of something that offers 'new' over presentational increments? Sure, it would be nice to have it all, but are we just asking for too much? Perverts notwithstanding

    I just think we should do away with scores altogether. Especially now we can play older games (which by no means should be reviewed by current standards because again, it becomes a misinterpretation of a quality at the time)…

  3. #3
    Banned ottoman's Avatar
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    well all these critics are probably either un-adapted to the wii (they ca only play once so they can finish the review right? they must try quick...) so they probably sucked at the games, like most of us did at the start....

    OR like some game reviews they are bias. infact i watched an interview about the wii and the interviewer kept bringing up random facts about ps3 and how gr8 it is? they were totally irrelevant to the wii, he kept comparing the two and asking rehtorical questions (which were bias towards the ps3)

    So be your own critic!

  4. #4
    I have to Wii NjD00's Avatar
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    This is happening because reviewers simply rate the graphics and how good the game graphics look, and are basically ignoring gameplay and fun, which is what games are for. We're experiencing a paradigm shift in society in which games are being rating on how real they are, not how fun they are.

    This is why some not-so-fun 360 and PS3 games are given much better ratings than extremely fun Wii games with inferior graphics. We've all seen it.

  5. #5
    Moody Loner Rolex's Avatar
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    I just think we should do away with scores altogether. Especially now we can play older games (which by no means should be reviewed by current standards because again, it becomes a misinterpretation of a quality at the time)…
    But we (consumers) would still need some form of guidance to enable us to decide which game to shell out the folding green on (wouldn't we )- and to be fair I would wager that a majority of people still watch the gametrailer and then skip to the end for the score - a bit lame I know but I've done it myself. Taking scores out would possibly coerce reviewers to think deeper about the content when you simply can't encapsulate it in a number at the end. I don't think I've ever read a review where the writer didn't have the brains / education or talent to achieve this with some aplomb.

    This is happening because reviewers simply rate the graphics and how good the game graphics look, and are basically ignoring gameplay and fun, which is what games are for. We're experiencing a paradigm shift in society in which games are being rating on how real they are, not how fun they are.

    This is why some not-so-fun 360 and PS3 games are given much better ratings than extremely fun Wii games with inferior graphics. We've all seen it.
    Wii breaks this trend from the off. I mean look at all the times Reggie Fils-Aime (woo gooooo Reggie) has come right out and off the bat in interviews clarified that Wii is not about graphical power it's about fun. You certainly don't hear Xbox or Sony shout this loudly.

    Whilst I appreciate reviews and reviewers (I mean you can't please all the people all the time...) work, there must be a time when the fun to be had by a game(s) shines through and reported such to swim against the tide of photorealistic crap they trawl through.

    Phew.....can we go and get drunk now please!
    ---Smithy...
    "This IS the difference over the other systems....graphics can make you believe you're there to some extent but motion gesture can make you believe you're doing it!"

  6. #6
    I have to Wii NjD00's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rolex


    ...there must be a time when the fun to be had by a game(s) shines through and reported such to swim against the tide of photorealistic crap they trawl through.

    I agree, but the fun is not shining through realism right now for the reviewers.

  7. #7
    WiiChat Feature Writer cbrotherson's Avatar
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    No drinks till the music starts!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rolex
    But we (consumers) would still need some form of guidance to enable us to decide which game to shell out the folding green on (wouldn't we )- and to be fair I would wager that a majority of people still watch the gametrailer and then skip to the end for the score - a bit lame I know but I've done it myself. Taking scores out would possibly coerce reviewers to think deeper about the content when you simply can't encapsulate it in a number at the end. I don't think I've ever read a review where the writer didn't have the brains / education or talent to achieve this with some aplomb.
    The only factor I think that makes this a little tricky is how jaded we get as reviewers. I used to review around 5-7 games a month when I was a staff writer and most of those (as with anything) was dross. The average games writer tends to be extremely jaded come their first year of being in the industry and sometimes this affects scores; especially in instances where you may have read a review which didnt quite match the score. This is often when a writer is trying to drum up enthusiasm for something which s/he may have seen all before or vice versa where expectation has artificially inflated opinion. Value for money is hard to sum up, because many reviewers get the games for free and have to play through them not so much for fun, but for sake of completion for review - and that sense of fun can be terribly diluted when you're having to play through the 5th lava level from 5 seperate games during a week, lol. But to a gamer buying one of those 5 titles, they may well find it brilliant and engaging, compared to the jaded write who's mind has been numbed by having to effectivly play the same thing just in 5 different ways for 5 different titles.

    It's all very... grey

  8. #8
    Moody Loner Rolex's Avatar
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    You know I don't think I have seen many threads discussing the role of reviewers within the games industry per se, it's been quite interesting to discuss.
    ---Smithy...
    "This IS the difference over the other systems....graphics can make you believe you're there to some extent but motion gesture can make you believe you're doing it!"

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