David Jaffe: Games critics must get tougher

CVG: As well as pointing the finger at publishers - and the pressure on them to perform - Jaffe had some thoughtful words about the specialist media's role in helping perpetuate a 'me-too' culture in games.

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Focker4202712d ago

I agree, but there is a fine line between stating flaws and nitpicking.

dangert122712d ago (Edited 2712d ago )

I agree with jaffe in general. this is how i see it in my eye. reviewers etc rated CoD MW too high due to excitement and fresh feel. now theres alot of games that are out there and are better then it but will not get recognized because that would make them 9's and 10's too many and not that many games are worth 9's and 10's and the reason CoD does not seem to get to much higer/lower is because it don't change much so theres this bullshit winning formula in the air when really its just wack its 2011 and since 2007 every cod has got worse check out pc version to see full extent.

Only thing i'm weary of is that ps3 games do seem to get the harsher end of the stick 'unfairly'

RedDragan2711d ago (Edited 2711d ago )

There is something people need to consider though.

Will the likes of IGN type websites or a magazines start rating games properly when those developers are giving them money via adverts?

It is like the situation with 'Which?' magazine. We all know Norton and McAfee suck really bad, they slow the PCs down and don't find many viruses.... but they always get good reviews. Why? Because they advertise on their magazine and thus bring in alot of money to 'Which?' The fact the likes of Avast! and NOD32 are much better doesn't mean a thing to the edittor because they do not pay for as much or any space on the pages.

The same will apply for gaming reviews. The reviewers (or edittors more like it) will want to keep the big advertising gaming companies happy to ensure the money keeps coming in. They will be selective about who they are going the review harshly, and unfortunately that means independent companies would get shafted.

Case in point: Tony Hawk 2 (I think it was No. 2). It was good... but no way was it 98% good! Alot of magazines gave it rediculously high scores but at the time, there was a rediculous amount of page column space being bought by the developer. You would see about 5-10 adverts in every magazine going for that game over a period of about 6 months!

NukaCola2711d ago

I think there needs to be a standard. Basising judgement on merit isn't working, and giving games free passes because of a brand name, is unethical.

ATiElite2712d ago (Edited 2712d ago )

what he means is Publishers need to stop sending reviewers Free Gifts so these reviewers will stop handing out 9's and 9.5's like cheap Halloween candy.

It will not happen though so just pay these clowns no attention and let Youtube be your guide to making a purchase but a FEW, a very select few do review games honestly.

I expect CODMW3 to get a 10 and BF3 to get a 7 cause that's just how BOGUS the reviews have gotten.

rob60212711d ago

They'll both get high scores, EA does fancy review events at hotel suites too now.

reznik_zerosum2711d ago

dragon age 2 94% - pcgamer FFS

socomnick2711d ago Show
Legion2711d ago

What was that old magazine that used to rate games and they had a Fun Factor category with the guys hair standing on end?

Isn't that what we ultimately rate our games on Fun Factor?

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 2710d ago
theonlylolking2712d ago

They should not accept bribes. We all know activision bribes IGN, gamespot, etc... to have COD get rated above 9 and so does M$ with their titles like halo which does not deserve a 9.

kaveti66162712d ago (Edited 2712d ago )

A point by point breakdown of what "theonlylolking" said.

CLAIM: "They should not accept bribes."

PREMISE 1: "We all know activision bribes IGN, gamespot, etc... to have COD get rated above 9"

SIDENOTE: Saying something like, "we all know..." or "everybody..." is considered a logical fallacy known as appeal to popularity.


PREMISE 2: "so does M$ with their titles like halo which does not deserve a 9."


NEW CLAIM: Halo does not deserve a 9


I suppose Microsoft and Activision simply forgot to pay off the review sites for games like Fable and Prototype, which both received lukewarm to mediocre reviews. Or maybe the reviewers enjoyed Halo and Call of Duty more than you did.

I didn't accuse Sony of bribing the review sites for inFamous, even though I recently played it and disliked the story of it intensely.

"Theonlylolking" is just one of many posters on this site who employ absolutely no logical reasoning in their statements. Like cooped up hens, they just cluck and cluck and cluck mindlessly inside their bubbles of delusion.

Goodie bags are not bribes, first of all. A GTA sweatshirt and a GTA mug and a GTA duffel bag do not warrant bribery. A master chief helmet and a Halo edition 360 are not enough to be considered bribery.

Of course, children and teenagers might accept bribes ranging in value from 5 bucks to 150 bucks, but reviewers who get paid a decent amount of money are not going to bump the score of a game by any margin just because they now have a new coffee mug to drink out of, or because they can now pack their smelly gym shorts in a duffel bag with Nico Bellic depicted on the side.

Morons. Unless you can provide substantial evidence, like an actual check that shows Microsoft or Activision paying reviewers a significant amount of money, stop making baseless accusations.

despair2711d ago


You really wasted all that typing on this guy? That's 5 minutes you won't get back you know.

Unicron2711d ago (Edited 2711d ago )

Unless you can provide substantial evidence, like an actual check that shows Microsoft or Activision paying reviewers a significant amount of money, stop making baseless accusations.

-MS handed out Halo 3 swag bags, complete with new 360s to reviewers.

-Activision flew people out for a fun, secluded weekend at a posh hotel for MW2 and Black Ops.

Yeah, he lacked evidence, but at the same time, please don't be so naive as to think it's all about checks. It's about perks.

Kon2711d ago

ahahhaa You owned him. Bubbles +

MaxXAttaxX2711d ago (Edited 2711d ago )

Fanboys are everywhere, including in gaming journalism, whether they're outspoken about it or not.

I imagine how hard it must be for them to consider giving one of their favorite games on their preferred platform anything lower than a 9. They know that people will see anything rated in the 8s or lower as a flop somehow and use it in flame wars.

Many times we even see low review scores from journalists who (sometimes even admit) are not interested in the genre nor are familiar with the game series.

The review system is broken. It is many times biased one way or the other(whether it's subtle or blatant). Few are the reviews that logically justify its score considering.

Halo(I assume Reach), as you mentioned, did in fact score quite a few 8s. But the amount of hate reviewers received for it was ridiculous it is one of those games that you can't give anything lower than a 9 without being slandered and called a fanboy.

kaveti66162711d ago (Edited 2711d ago )

unicron, a 300 dollar console is not enough to convince a game reviewer, who has several of the very same consoles lying around in the office or makes enough money to buy that console, to change his review.

I simply do not believe that anyone at IGN was swayed by a swag bag worth around 300 dollars to give a game a higher score.

You guys are either too young or simply do not understand the amount of money it takes to get people to change their minds about something.

These guys are professional reviewers. They are not amateurs. If you're not convinced, think of it this way. Gearbox interactive and their publishers had a lot of advertising through IGN and other major reviewing sites. This means that Gearbox paid to have their ads on the site, and not only that, Gearbox did exclusive interviews with IGN, which included cameo appearances by Cliff Blezinski.

The final score that IGN gave to Duke Nukem Forever was a 5.5/10, after all of that interaction that the developer and publishers had with IGN.

So, you guys are picking and choosing by claiming that in one situation or in another Microsoft or Activision would deliberately pay for their games to have good ratings.

It doesn't make much sense because Fable, a flagship franchise for the 360, was not rated very highly. It seems that if Microsoft was paying to have Halo rated highly they would do the same for Fable 3.

The fanboys or the haters are narrow-minded. They can't conceive that the rest of the world might like a game that they hate, or vice versa.

Why wasn't Crackdown rated highly?
Why wasn't Alan Wake rated highly?

Did Microsoft simply forget to bribe the reviewers that time?

And there are plenty of games published by Activision which receive poor ratings, and some of them are not cheap.

Black Ops scored lower than a 9 with IGN.

Did Activision forget to pay for that review?

Edit: A weekend at a posh hotel? How is that a substantial bribe? For a game that costs 20 million to make and a hundred million to market, you're considering a weekend at a hotel a bribe? And Black Ops still didn't receive that many 9s. A bribe is when someone makes clear to another that they will offer payment of some sort in return for a service.

Prove that Activision or Microsoft did such a thing, or else stop making slanderous accusations.

It's not about me being naive, it's about the facts, unicron. You wouldn't like it if you were ever accused of something heinous or serious such as bribery or rape, because even if you were never convicted on the count of lack of evidence, your reputation would be forever tarnished and you'd never live it down.

Yet why would you casually make these kinds of claims against other human beings over video games.

Edit: By the way, unicron, Game Planet, the review site that you linked me to, gave Black Ops an 8 and gave the PS3 and 360 versions of Modern Warfare 2 a 9.5, so your evidence isn't really working for you.

BubbleSniper2711d ago

wall of text crits my eyes for over 9000

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 2711d ago
-Alpha2711d ago

*Looks at comment*
*Looks at name*


SephirothX212711d ago (Edited 2711d ago )

I don't agree that sites accept bribes in the vast majority of cases or maybe the bribes are not direct. Though there seems to be some incentive for sites like Gamespot to give higher than deserved scores to CoD games. Though maybe people are harshly judging CoD games because there is one every year and they're no longer innovative. Instead, if they judge the game on the amount of fun that can be got from playing it, maybe they would rate it higher. Personally, I think they're good but not great games. I don't think they deserve the scores they get and I won't be buying MW3 unless honest review sites rate it very highly. A lot of people also want to slam CoD because Activision are greedy and the franchise is popular and mainstream. You also have to ask the question; if the CoD games are so bad, why do so many people love them and spend hundreds of hours playing them online every year? Are so many people tasteless?

Fishy Fingers2712d ago

For critics to get tougher, gamers need to get more realistic, pull their heads out of their ass and realise anything under a 9/10 is not a flop and still worth investment (in many cases).

-Alpha2711d ago (Edited 2711d ago )

Thank you, this is the logical response right here.

"Gamers" have turned reviews into a huge political game of tug'o war.

They read scores to use as bragging ammunition. They want to hear what they want to hear, and when they don't, they complain.

Not to say that reviews haven't gotten less strict though, you can see it when you compare older games to newer ones, but the blame is just as much on gamers for ironically giving review scores more weight than they ever have before

LOGICWINS2711d ago (Edited 2711d ago )

"They read scores to use as bragging ammunition. They want to hear what they want to hear, and when they don't, they complain."

YES. Time and time again on N4G, you see that people have a certain expectation of what a game should score...COMPLETELY ignoring the fact that their tastes may not be the same tastes of everyone else.

The issue here is that this creates the false truth that reviews are only valid as long as they live up to your expectations.

For example, if a person expects a game to receive a 9+ score from X reviewer, and X reviewer gives the game a 7...AUTOMATICALLY the gamer in question assumes that the reviewer is "biased" or the review is "poorly written".

rob60212711d ago (Edited 2711d ago )

Considering these 'journalists' go around on these paid for 'junket tours' and accept freebies to no end; while at the same time reviewing the products from publishers of these products; everyone has a right to question these guys review scores. Credibility left the building a long time ago. Eliminating the perception of impropriety is an afterthought for these guys.

It is understandable that people come out to post when a game they really are hoping to do well is given a really crappy score. The success of every game is tied very heavily to what these guys score - and will mean life or death of a franchise and quantify production values in sequels. The truth is they have good reason to question these guys, there's no sense in defending them till they actually practice journalistic integrity. The score padding of certain game is heavily tied to pandering, they feel obligated to return favors to certain games. When they do this to so many mediocre/average titles it is a tremendous disrespect to a game that actually deserves a good score.

There's a complete lack of journalistic standards in the games media that doesn't exist so much in other forms of media. Everything is a political tug'o war we live in a world that is always a battle of popular ideas - it's always been this way. I think it's just very polarized because this generation people are having to invest heavily into their consoles.(whether that be upfront or paid for with Subscription fees later)

Surfaced2712d ago

I second this movement. It's true that E3 is ultra-conservative these days.

Inside_out2712d ago

Sounds like a good title for David Jaffe's eventual book about all things gaming related...backhanded compliments for everybody...don't get me wrong, I'm just

That tank scene in the Battlefield 3 demo was nice. It gave you time to ponder the finer things in life while watching the smoke billow in a far away place. Whens the rent do? I wonder how the kids are doing in school...oh damn, Fire at the pixel in the distance, I think it's a tank...o_O

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