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CRank: 9Score: 0

DmC and How it Brought Out Some Curiosities of the Gaming World

It's no secret what I think of DmC. I've actually commented FAR too much on it lately. I've allowed zeal to overcome the sense of direction I had when first starting to talk about what's wrong with the game. To that end, I'm not going to comment on DmC review articles anymore unless the reviewer has a general douchebag tone about them. I only do myself, and those gamers who have real issues with the game, a major disservice by acting so zealously.

But moving on from that, I want to talk about how the reviews for this game have shown, at least to me, that the review system in common use is probably more broken now than everyone was saying it was at the beginning of this gen. If you look at reviews for DmC, setting aside the final score, you'll see mentions of how the combat is easier to get into than the previous titles, the game is more streamlined and accessible for new players, and the story.. well I'm not going to touch on that.

Let's assume that these are legitimate and good points for the game at least from a new audience perspective. My question is, why is it good for DmC but not good for other games? I've used this example a lot, but Ninja Gaiden 3 was a game that was hammered for doing the same thing that DmC has done. Complaints against Ninja Gaiden 3's streamlined and accessible combat, non-consistent difficulty curve that saw the game being exponentially easier than the previous games in the franchise at normal levels, yet vastly increasing the difficulty on higher levels to unfair levels (Hell or Hell mode in DmC has Dante dying if he gets hit), and unwelcome story elements like Ryu removing his mask were some of the things everyone, including reviews, hated about the game.

When things like this happened, regardless of the game, earlier in this console generation, all you could see were people talking about inconsistent reviewing and some games getting free passes and how the review system was broken and needed to change. What happened since then?

And honestly, do even half of these reviewers understand the weight they put behind the numbers they use to score a game? If you score a game a 9.5 out of 10, there better be practically no bad points in your review, and if there are then they'd better be so minute that you have to admit that it's just you being picky. If you score a game a 1, the opposite is true. The numbered score system this gen has become very padded and inflated. How can you say that you don't like the story of the game, and the gameplay feels too easy to you, and yet give the game a 9?

I was thinking about this for a few days, mostly because I couldn't fathom how DmC was getting 9s, but I remembered reviews from way back in the beginning of the gen that were just as bad. The one that really comes to mind for me was when one of the reviewers at Gamespot gave Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction a 7 out of 10 and had the complaint that the game had "too much variety" in the weapons. Now, too much variety DOES exist, usually in the form of customization options that just bore you to death looking through them all. However, Ratchet and Clank is a series all about the varied weapons, so unless there are redundancies then there's really no such thing as "too much variety" is there?

Then there's the User Scores on Metacritic. There is really no point in even going there to find useful scores. You will find either so many 0s or so many 10s you can't gauge the worth of a game based on that. It's just not possible unless you're willing to read through every single review looking for a decent one. And Metacritic knows that that feature is being abused and they still keep it up there. I'm certain they've had complaints on it. They really should just remove it.

So what do you think. Even disregarding DmC's reviews at all, do you think that the review system in place works? Or is it really just filled with a lot of ignorant people, padding numbers so they get recognized and obtain lots of traffic? I would love to see examples of other games (not DmC or RE6) that you just couldn't believe the review score on, I'm sure there's plenty.

But yeah, no more DmC article comments from me unless they are replies or the author is a douche.

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zerocrossing1258d ago

I completely agree, regardless of my feelings towards DmC I found the reviews scores it received during its release ridiculous (9s & 10s) I mean even if you really like the game it's got too much holding it back to be worthy of such a score.

I'm not sure if the reviewers were just going for hits but bashing those of the original fanbase who dislike DmC was cheap and un-professional, reviews are supposed to be objective, trying to make the readers aware of all the pros and cons and only then should a genuine, non biased review score be given.

Well at least that's how I think it should be done.

Blacktric1258d ago (Edited 1258d ago )

"So what do you think. Even disregarding DmC's reviews at all, do you think that the review system in place works? Or is it really just filled with a lot of ignorant people, padding numbers so they get recognized and obtain lots of traffic?"

It's the latter for the most part really. I'm fairly sure that most of those scores are given thanks to Capcom's deep pockets or threats made to smaller media outlets that need free game handouts from companies to review games. They already learned their lesson regarding the power and influence of the media thanks to Resident Evil 5 (which still sold fairly well), Operation Raccoon City and Resident Evil 6. And think about how well movies and games that surprise the critics usually do in terms of sales after getting ton of negative hype from tons of people. Also please don't come to me with the typical half assed rebuttals like "lol every review out there is paid then?" or "you are being a conspiracy theorist" and then give me quotes from fantastic individuals from inside the industry itself like Geoff Keighley, Greg Miller (or anyone else from IGN for that matter) and Adam Sessler before he left G4 for good. You are free to believe whatever you want to and free to offer a proper rebuttal as long as it's not some logical fallacy like a negative proof, claiming that "there's no proof regarding how most of the positive reviews are written by sellouts or people who accept bribes of any kind and thus it can't be true that they are sellouts until proven otherwise".

And honestly, I never thought there was anything wrong with the current "system" in place for reviews and scores. It's always the reviewers that warp it to their liking. And that's why I've never trusted a review since the end of last console generation.

And as a side note; DmC never deserved more than a 7 or 8 at the best (depending on how "great" your taste is). And you can keep blaming people for not being open minded enough to "get" it or just being a plain old hater for all you want. It's just not an excuse for an unintentionally dumbed down storytelling, horrid character development and mediocre gameplay topped with other elements aimed to pander to the both the lowest common denominator and fans of the old series. And yes, I am saying this as someone who invested in more than 15 hours into the PS3 version with my friend.

listenkids1258d ago

Everyone gets paid off to write good reviews about shit games, I'm not ignorant, let's rant.


SeraphimBlade1258d ago

Really? I didn't get that memo when I wrote for a gaming news site...

DragonKnight1258d ago (Edited 1258d ago )

@zerocrossing: That's what I'm thinking too. I mean, I am not saying ALL reviews have been bought, I would think the only ones that would be bought are those of high profile reviewers with partnership deals. It's simply a bad business decision to try and pay off every reviewer out there. I'm also sure that some reviewers are trying to make a name for themselves as well with this game given all of its attention. What I am concerned with is that there is no accountability, and no actual standard for reviewing games. A real system needs to be put in place. I mean, we have a better rating system for games than we do for reviewing.

If numbers are to be used, I believe it should be a 1 to 5 system, no half numbers, 1 means utter garbage everyone should avoid, 5 is an absolutely masterful experience (doesn't mean perfect) that everyone should try, 3 is an average, 2 is below average but above garbage and you likely won't enjoy it even if it has SOME good things, and 4 is above average but missing that certain something that makes it a complete masterpiece. Then you'd be able to weed out the real reviewers from the ones who are just reviewing it for their own gain.

@Blacktric: As I said to zero, I don't think ALL reviews were "bought" (and bought doesn't mean cash exchanging hands, it could mean exclusive first looks, early access, no blacklisting threats, etc..) but when a game like DmC scores positively for what a game like Ninja Gaiden 3 scored negatively for, I call a foul. And I also call foul for the amount of 9's and 10's being thrown around because I seriously doubt many of the reviewers truly understand the weight behind those numbers. Or if they do, they are either trolling or using the numbers for recognition given the traffic this game will generate to their site.

It's unfortunate that there are those out there that would allow reviews to help them decide which games to buy, as reviews simply can't be trusted when you look at all the potential shenanigans that could be happening behind the curtains.

rainslacker1258d ago

The only issue I think with the way you wrote this blog is that you are using DMC as an example. I know your personal views on this based on your posts elsewhere, and I understand them, but this issue is endemic of an entire system and not just DMC. I understand though what your trying to compare given the NG3 correlation.

However...given the sheer number of positive reviews, I'm finding it hard to believe that it is Capcom "paying off" reviewers. Some of them may be that, although it's probably not as sinister as it sounds. There could be a lot of things being done which affect different sites in different ways is the best way I can put it shortly.

I think the bigger issue is not lack of consistency, but rather the absolute ease with which a game can get a perfect score nowadays, along with the obvious bias that is prevalent within some reviewers own articles. Today a perfect score is practically meaningless, when before this gen is was a very rare and special thing, reserved for better than the best, and even then still hard to obtain. It makes me wonder...have we lowered our standards, because I don't think it's that games have become substantially better overall.

Looking back on this generation, many games were not deserving of a perfect score. Some of those that got perfect scores were probably 9 or 9.5, but most would likely be better suited to having an 7 or 8.

While entirely subjective, the only games I personally played that I feel deserve a 10 would be Uncharted 2 and Arkham Asylum. I'm sure more exists, but can't say since I may not have played them.

On top of that we have bias infecting our culture to massive degrees. Console bias is obvious, but less obvious is genre bias, or even origin bias(ie western vs. Japanese). JRPG's in particular have been hit pretty hard this gen although many of them have been amazing compared to last gen.

I've never, in my entire life, like the score system for reviews, or movies for that matter. It offers nothing of substance to judge a game on. It's a lazy way for people to determine if a game is worth playing without learning anything behind what makes that number relevant in the first place. As such, I think just changing what the number's represent wouldn't change anything at all, simply because it will still be used the same way.

I have another response down below in response to your actual article if you care to read it.

Nate-Dog1258d ago

I have been keeping an eye on the whole DMC debacle like most people I imagine but I have never really played any games of the series so I wasn't particularly on this or that side. But I agree completely. I kept a close eye on most of the initial review scores that came out and someone else pointed out to me that many of the 8.5-9.5 scores involved complaints on things such as the story and voice-acting (or if they didn't they probably should have considering what I have seen of it, but that's subjective I suppose so I ought not to go into that). But anyway I concur, it seems like reviews have just jumped from one extreme to the other, at one stage they tended to receive quite low scores and everyone was a critic as the saying goes, but now, even with criticisms or with reviewers basically saying that this or that game is OK and does what it does well but doesn't really add that much to what was seen before how can these reviews amount to scores of 9+? It's bizarre really but it's just another aspect of some of the bad trends affecting the industry now and one which the vast majority of gamers just accept, so it'll stay presumably.

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