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Submitted by italianbreadman 1221d ago | opinion piece

If you can’t write an honest review, quit

GamerNode's Eddie Inzauto writes:
"I respect video games and the work that goes into creating, marketing, and critiquing them. I respect the people who do these things – the developers, those who work in PR, and my peers in the gaming press. And I respect the gamers who will read my website’s reviews before (or after) playing a game.

So when I read an "honest" article about how a reviewer can’t write an honest review out of compassion for the people – his friends – on the creative rather than the critical side of the industry, I can’t help but feel a trespass upon something that I, and many others, hold so dear and work so hard to support and protect." (Industry)

Baka-akaB  +   1221d ago
True but then again we'd be left with 96% less sites , and among he survivor , maybe only one big site (my pick would be eurogamer , the least cringeworthy and "sellout-ish" of the bunch ) , and that's a big IF :p .
#1 (Edited 1221d ago ) | Agree(3) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
joeorc  +   1221d ago
that's the thing every ones Opinion may not be the same
That a review is just an Opinion? just because someone writes a review does not mean that somehow he or she is trying to pull the wool over some's eyes.

when reading a review, you have to take the review at it's face value and that it's just an opinion, nothing more nothing less.

saying that the people reviewing these games need to stick to Integrity as being "is the biggest part of this line of work."

that's just like anything your word is your bond.

saying a person did not give a honest review is based on the opinion of some one else that may have an opinion that may not jive with the person who wrote their own experience with the content.

Calling them out to say they need to be honest in their review is pretty moot, in of itself due to the fact they may not agree with your take on the content, but calling into question if they themselves are not being honest in of itself kinda like saying to someone else your lieing about your review or somehow it's not as trusting. Which is like i stated an Opinion about someone other's Opinion.

that's why Everyone has one, and that's why i play the game for my self to make that choice for myself, if i like a game or not.
Patriots_Pride  +   1221d ago
LOL beat me to the post...well said.
ddurand1  +   1221d ago
beat me too it also.

but the children and fanboys that fell down the rabbit hole will never understand.
digitaleraser  +   1220d ago
In complete agreement as well.

The correct way to use reviews is to find a reviewer whose tastes are similar to your own, by looking at their past reviews and seeing how in line they are with your own opinion.

Anyone who thinks they should be able to pull up any random review and expects that each review should be in agreement as to how good or bad a game is, as if its a scientifically measurable thing, is doing it wrong.
morganfell  +   1221d ago
No, a review shouldn't be just an opinion. This is why before any review begins, before a pen is put to paper, before a single key is pressed, a set of quantifiable standards must be in place. Standards detailed and available to the public. Stating, "This is a game that most people would like" is not a standard. Stating "The game pushes graphics" is not a standard.

In addition, publications and sites need a strong willed objective editor in chief. They need someone to temper personal opinion and send these kids back to redo the review when it comes off as a "This is what I like" piece. That isn't a review, it's an opinion. It's an infomercial on "Get to know an ignorant writer".

It's called, "I'm more important than the game and I am more important than the demographic for which this is supposed to be written". I review isn't supposed to be a facebook profile about what some dumb kid likes. Pffft.

Honestly 96% is a nice number because 96% of these so called reviewers need the air let out of their over-inflated ego and they need to learn their place when it comes to the game, the gaming public, and those that write about but are not in the game industry.

As I have often said on this very site so called game journalism is the greatest injustice currently afflicting our hobby. It's easier to quote myself:

"People, many just inbred adolescents with an insight and temperament to match, screaming constantly waving around their standardless magic score gun threatening an industry IN WHICH THEY DO NOT WORK.

They need to be taken out to the woodshed and given the ass beating they deserve. This group of malcontents have driven the "8.9 and below is not a great game" stake into the heart of our hobby. Their undue influence and narrow minded perceptions on gaming have completely destroyed a large part of the creative process as game development has turned into scared developers attempting to dodge the IGN, Destructoid, Kotaku and every small crap blog minefield.

No standards, none at all written down and enforced because apparently they are free to flit about on what does and does not matter with the mental focus of Dory looking at the latest shade of blue.

What do gamers do when these pinheads write these crap pieces? Well if it supports their hardware of choice they applaud the shoddy journalism even though it is unbelievably detrimental to gaming overall. They justify it and reward it with word of mouth, reposts, and hit insurance galore. There are several people on this board and elsewhere responsible for the issue. You can always find them approving and contributing these trash pieces of writing because it satisfies their infantile ego.

I can't stand behind criticism because it is criticism without experience. It is criticism without a guideline as these writers praise one feature in a game and then attack the same implementation in another. Lack of discipline in any field separates the amateur from the professional. A real Editor in Chief makes a person beneath them a great writer. But these people feel they are the only ones that should have free reign."

This rampant destruction of gaming needs to end now.
Rupee  +   1221d ago
You state that reviews need a "set of quantifiable standards must be in place. Standards detailed and available to the public"

Okay, that sounds great but what kind of standards? How is that possible? People have different tastes, y'know? I like peppeoni pizza but you like cheese pizza. Who can say which is better? (pepperoni, obviously) I don't see any way of producing a review without the authors own bias coming into play.

Personally, I think it's just important to understand that it's the authors opinion/experience. If you're stupid enough to let someone else decide what game you'll buy... well that's your own shortcoming. Experience it yourself and then make an informed decision.

Do away with the riciulous numbering system (i.e. 10/10, 3.5/5). I'd much rather have a well-written article describing the highlights and low-points of the game.

(I understand you're out of bubbles but if you could edit your original post, I'm genuinely curious to know what you suggest. Thanks)
edonus   1221d ago | Spam
Ducky  +   1220d ago
^ But you can't really score graphics like that because standards keep changing.

What was visually impressive in 2007 may just be mediocre in 2011... and the same holds true for most other elements of a game.
So you can't use any static reference when the standards change every year, or rather, every few months.

... and there is the other problem of deciding what standard to pick. A lot of the big sites have multiple reviewers, and each might have a different opinion of what standard should be used.
Should Infamous' graphics be measured against Uncharted's, or should it be measured against an open-world game's graphics?

Screen tearing/stuttering is something technical and is pretty much a fact that doesn't require any direct comparison.
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Rupee  +   1220d ago
@fatoldman exactly. Should a game like minecraft have "uncharted" graphics and should it's score be penalized if it doesn't? You can't put all games on the same standard...
Baka-akaB  +   1221d ago
"when reading a review, you have to take the review at it's face value and that it's just an opinion, nothing more nothing less."

"Calling them out to say they need to be honest in their review is pretty moot, in of itself due to the fact they may not agree with your take on the content, but calling into question if they themselves are not being honest in of itself kinda like saying to someone else your lieing about your review or somehow it's not as trusting."

Except it's not a matter of just having different opinions .

The problem isnt falling upon negative opinions and/or different than yours .
Too many of those are actually and precisely filled with lies , wrongly researched data and intel .
a few of those spend more time discussing general and vague feelings of the author over actually discussing and dissecting the game at hand .

Hell there is a fine example of an IGN 2 paragraphs Dynasty warriors Gundam review , where the author spent all of it disclaiming how he dislike the genre and dynasty warriors titles . A vague discussion , with vague arguments instead of reviewing the game concerned , even if negatively .

people dont care or notice because of the game reviewed but this is plainly wrong .

In cases like this , this is more than difference or clash of opinions , they just arent doing their work at all or properly
#2.3 (Edited 1221d ago ) | Agree(5) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
360ICE  +   1221d ago
...and all that BS.
The article was a response to another writer's article, in which he argued how hard it was to write honest reviews, when you've got friends in the industry.

The response said, in essence, that users trust reviewers to write honest reviews, and not sugarcoat them even if they are friends with the ones who made them. It's a call for integrity and honesty, rather than sensibility and misplaced sympathy. It's not about any opinion in particular.

Now, I suggest you read the article and take it for what it is instead of spewing out some horrendous feel good speech, or whatever that was supposed to be.
Xperia_ion  +   1221d ago
Seriously why doesn't this guy have four bubbles already ? Too real?
Tommykrem  +   1221d ago
Or he didn't get what the article was all about.
I'd rather ask why 360ICE doesn't have 3, or why Baka-akaB doesn't have 10?
DanCrabtree  +   1220d ago
Here's the real thing, which Eddie touches on in this, is that good writing wouldn't offend a developer because it's so convincing and rock solid. If the review is full of "I FELT LIKE THIS SUCKED OR WAS GOOD. HERE ARE MY FAVES," as are too many of the reviews we read (and sometimes write), then of course it can get under someone's skin. If the writer instead chooses to engage with the design elements and make reasonable judgments based on those, it's hard to argue.

Here's what I read WAYYY to often. "Super Mario Galaxy 2 has a weak story component, but it doesn't need that because of its strong, nostalgic gameplay." I've been guilty of these kinds of over-generalizations before, for sure. And if I were a PR person for that game, yeah, I might take that kind of sentence personally, because not only did the writer make a poor, sweeping judgment of the game, but they didn't base it in any objectivity, so the criticism sounds like it's coming from a place of pre-determined preference for or against the game/game developer.

In contrast, saying "Super Mario Galaxy 2 threads together evolved 3D platforming, a cheerful aesthetic, and the classic 'damsel in distress' bit that this plumber's career can't escape," is much harder to take offense to as a PR person or dev, because you'd be like, "Well, that's how that game is."

In my opinion, that's the real danger, and probably why this other writer is now so afraid to write reviews. It's not that the institution of writing reviews about products that your friends work on is broken, it's that you're (collective) a bad writer and that can get you into some hot water.
yeahokchief  +   1220d ago
Yeah but if your opinion doesn't reflect what 99% of your readers are saying about the game then something is not right unless you are somehow "special". And that's fine if you disagree with your readers, but you better be able to back your shit up.

Really it only hurts your own credibility because if I catch someone feeding me bullshit then i'm just not going to listen to them anymore or return to their site. I will go to where I can get reliable information on games.

I don't really care what games get reviewed anymore. I make my decision about games watching youtube videos of the gameplay or if it's made by a developer that i trust.

You look at horrible games like Resident Evil Raccoon City which got TERRIBLE reviews and it still sold like mad.
Patriots_Pride  +   1221d ago
What is an honest review?

TBH there is no such thing as one because we all have different taste and opinion on games.

I really into RPG's but not much into FPS but I have to review Black Ops review will be some what bias becuase I am a RPG fan.

Thats why when one person frog Ign ot Games Trailer reviews a game people should take it with a grain of salt because thats his opinion on the game and your could be different.
#3 (Edited 1221d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(6) | Report | Reply
Baka-akaB  +   1221d ago
of course there is . As long as you actually review a game to begin with , instead of projecting your issue with a genre/dev/publisher .

Or as long as your review isnt chokeful of innacurate infos , errors or worse lies about a game .

Or as long as you aint omitting obvious issues with a game for dubious reasons (Like IGN giving 9s with flying to PES 2008 when it had impossible to miss technical issues on PS3 and 360 , just because they were official sponsors of the game )

Difference of taste and opinion can't be settled , but the rest from above got little to do with reviewing
#3.1 (Edited 1221d ago ) | Agree(4) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
360ICE  +   1221d ago
WTH is up with people degrading the term opinion? Opinion and honesty have no place together? Honesty is describing something as you see it. If what you say is wrong, or not in accordance with the opinions of others that doesn't make you dishonest.
matgrowcott  +   1221d ago
It doesn't matter whether you like FPS or RPG - your personal opinion doesn't come into it. Your professional opinion, the one where you have knowledge and depth of experience in each genre, is much more important.

When Hannah Montana The Movie came out, I reviewed the game. Would I choose to play it in my spare time? Of course not, but letting that cloud my judgement would make me a sucky writer. It wasn't made for me, so why would I complain about the fact that it wasn't to my tastes?

That's what a lot of people are missing here, I think. If I was posting on Twitter, I might say that I disliked a game. If I'm writing a professional review, I can't say that same game is bad when it's technically decent and going to result in countless entertainment hours for the people who buy it.

Which, ladies and gentlemen, is why Call of Duty receives 10/10s from major sites every years.
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Incipio  +   1221d ago
I would only read Gerstmann's reviews over at Giantbomb then. His honesty got him fired from Gamespot.
#4 (Edited 1221d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
JBSleek  +   1221d ago
Very interesting read.

My only question or thought is what is honest as reviews are subjective and critiquing a game is hard.

There are no universal truths of reviews. The best review would be for games to come uut with competent demos so gamers can try them themselves after that reviews are incomplete tools used to judge games.
Silly gameAr  +   1221d ago
I would say half of the gaming sites that exist now should quit, and not just reviewing games.
RustedMan  +   1221d ago
the only question I have of the author of this site is: what is the meaning of a perfect game? what's the highest grade a game can get and what does it mean? if a game gets a perfect score, does it really mean, "masterpiece" as so many publications have dictated in their own rubric.

I appreciate the author's dissection of how game journalism needs to grow up, and have the integrity to give honest scores for games, but there are human aspects, combined with the immediate instant gratification of the internet that has saturated the meaning of videogame journalism and the integrity that is held so dearly.

there was someone here on N4G that posted a comment that I found to be quite agreeable, and it goes along with the idea that companies are not in the "friend making business" they are there solely for money. That implies that gamers have become so damned self centered, that they can literally alter a videogame's ending, (mass effect 3), that in turn effects the games that are put out. We feel entitled to our videogames more then ever, that games need to cater to our every becking call, more pixels, open world games with physics that successfully reflect the relistic way a winged insect flaps it's wings.

We pay 60 bucks for a game, and it's like we are supporting a kickstarter campaign, we expect that with our investment, that what we want will be implemented in the final product. That is just how arrogant we've become as gamers.

How does that translate into videogame journalism and the integrity of the writing out there? It means that when critics give games a great score, they say that (usually) that game has in it a rock solid campaign, or solid coop, or online multiplayer that expands the experience for many months to follow.

Gamers are used to expecting great things, and it's through blind trust of sites like IGN and others that influence our own buying power. The problem isn't just with "honest" videogame critique and analysis, it's that gamers put too much stock into what other people say, and through a avatar and a profile, single handily demand perfection, all to warrant their purchase, which makes said gamers, stockholders to call the shots after the game's release.
GREW50ME  +   1220d ago
Diablo 3 comes to mind here. Check the Amazon and metacritic reviews... only one professional web site gave the game its deserved 4/10. Everybody else gave the game 9/10 and above. /wholeindustryfail
Hicken  +   1220d ago
You can review something objectively without letting your personal opinion heavily color it. I once gave a demonstration of such a thing using Call of Duty(which anyone who knows me knows I'm no longer a fan of) and I'm too lazy to do it again, but it's really not that difficult.

There DOES need to be standards set in place for reviews. Even if it weren't industry-wide, but rather that every publication had standards readers could see and decide if they agreed with, that would go a long way toward fixing things.
BuffMordecai  +   1220d ago
Almost everybody is paid off in advertising dollars for the blockbuster games, resulting in games getting way higher ratings than they deserve. Cough Cough MW3 and Mass Effect 3.

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