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Default No Mutants Allowed - The Rybicki Maneuver

July 24th, 2007, 19:20
Uhm, well, as txa pointed out, this article wasn't about Oblivion, it just used Oblivion as a test case.
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July 24th, 2007, 19:21
Originally Posted by Brother None View Post
I'm a bit puzzled by what is an interpretation here. I indicate the timing of the criticism, the early lack of it, and provide quotes for it. Interpretation would be giving a motivation for it, but I don't. The existence of this phenomenon and its timing are objective facts, not interpretation.
If it was not clear to you, I didn't mean they are an interpretation but your conclusion drawn from them. Also, graphics can wane quite quickly nowadays. Naturally, I cannot but wonder why you picked up graphic issues to point out "contradictions" of the older and newer reviews since comparing technology with newer games with older ones produces rather obvious result. Really, didn't anybody notice this? I'd rather pick them as how the larger media companies praise plastic aspects of games continuously.

Why do you think I quoted Rolston in the first place? Maybe, with the second try?
As teams have grown larger, schedules longer, and production budgets titanic, computer games have become almost as slick and polished as television and cinema — and often as dull and formulaic. I preferred working in small teams with short schedules and smaller budgets, and I don't prefer the slick, polished products of today to the rougher, simpler products of a decade ago. Clearly the mass market prefers the slicker games, but I prefer, for example, the original Pirates and Civilization to the various later editions.
Of course, above is just my humble interpretations, though.
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July 24th, 2007, 19:38
Originally Posted by Dusk View Post
If it was not clear to you, I didn't mean they are an interpretation but your conclusion drawn from them.
What conclusion? Quote please.

Originally Posted by Dusk View Post
Naturally, I cannot but wonder why you picked up graphic issues to point out "contradictions".
Out of the 12 contradictions I cite, only 2 or 3 are about graphics.

No offence, but my advice, Dusk, is that the next time you wish to counter an article, you read it first.
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July 24th, 2007, 20:32
Originally Posted by Brother None View Post
What conclusion? Quote please.
One thing is for sure, the gaming media is better at praising than they are at criticizing, since it takes them a one-hour demo to praise a game to high heavens, but a year to find flaws in a game once released.
Originally Posted by Brother None View Post
Out of the 12 contradictions I cite, only 2 or 3 are about graphics.
I meant all the technology issues especially graphics. However, if you say "only" two of them are ignorable, then, I have my doubts in what you write.

However, although I don't think all of your points are fair, oddly, I must admit that I think your conclusion may be not so different from mine since personally, I think the game media in general tend to look into more plastic issues especially technology related ones, recently and don't look into deeper aspects of them. This is yet another opinion, though since evaluations are subjective including mine or yours.
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July 24th, 2007, 20:40
What? I'm not saying only two points are ignorable, I'm saying only 2 or 3 are about graphics, where you implied they were all about graphics. I'd say the majority is about dialogue and quest design.

Also, the bit you quoted wasn't a conclusion. Just another statement, namely that the gaming press can praise after a one-hour demo and criticise after a year's time, which is fact. The article leaves the conclusion up to you, dear reader.
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July 24th, 2007, 20:47
Originally Posted by Brother None View Post
Uhm, well, as txa pointed out, this article wasn't about Oblivion, it just used Oblivion as a test case.
Yes, I know

I just tend to overexplain sometimes - a bad habit from being a teacher, I think. Again, taking Oblivon as an example, , too, find it interesting :look: that game sitet that gave Oblivion a 94% or even a 100% score, now are finding flaws with Oblivion. I guess this happens since Bethsoft themselves admitted that there flaws in Oblivion - and people ahve bought Oblivion. This makes it somewhat safer for gaming sites to critisize Oblivion, I think.

If we look at the LEGO Star Wars games, all major and minor gaming sites were in total agreement that these game are great and for the whole family
Maybe it is the source of my info, but I don't remember seing 20+ year single males dish Lego Star Wars games. I remember seeing Gamespot & IGN etc. giving these games a very high score and NOT saying these games only are are for children. (but perhaps I misread the reviews ).

I remember being excited about a new Danish game, called HCA: The Ugly Prince Duckling. And I read the review for in a Danish newspaper. And I was furios at the reviewer and told him (in my head) to go play FPS games and action games.
Untill I bought the game, and tried out for myself, and discovered he was correct in everything he said about the game. Yes, he gave it three stars. In a thread over gameboomers (I think?) the journalist made a post saying that he wanted to give the game two stars, buit his Editor changed it to three stars. When I read this I was like as I didn't think this could happen. There's a review for this game over adventuregames.com too. It also gets three stars, but if you read the review you will see that it only should have gotten maybe 1 stars.

Of course, rpg fans and adventure game fans could be blind to some of the genres' faults. However, as the 1UP, Gamespot and IGN reviews of certain rpg titles as well as adventure game titles clearly show, some reviewers are simply not that into the adventure game genre or the rpg (D&D) genre. We often joke about this at gameboomers and adventuregamers + justadventure that WE should be the ones to review adventuregames as we know what we like.

I'm not that fond of first person slide show adventure games, but I hope I can set my own feelings aside, and act professionally when I review these games (if I do this). I know my fellow adventure games, and rpg gamers would do the same That's why it amazes & astonishes me why gaming journalists from
big gaming sites like 1up, gamespot, gamepsy & IGN can't seem to do this.

Not every adventure game needs to be a (new) Syberia or a (new) Longest Journey game, like not all rpgs needs to be (next) Baldur's Gate or Jade Empire
or (new) Gothic game. Sometimes, developers try something new and sometimes
this goes well, other times not so well. But without developers willing to experiment, the genre(s) are not moving forward. And I don't think anyone here would like to see Bethsoft or Bioware turn into EA, churning out basically the same game - year after year after year.
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July 24th, 2007, 21:50
Crafting opinions that others will actually read and enjoy isn't easy, IMO. Somehow, knowing what you're talking about is overrated when it comes to writing reviews.

I had a boss who wrote theatrical reviews that were sometimes published in newspapers like The LA Times. I always admired his ability. He had a PH.D. in Journalism and impressive subject knowledge. But his views were often controversial. I used to answer his phone. Every Monday after he was published, the calls would roll in, regularly from impressive individuals, all to point out where he got it wrong.

Years later my own father started writing and submitting music reviews. But he was a retired engineer who never studied music or writing at all, didn't know anybody and — as far as I could tell — really didn't understand much about music at all. He just enjoyed expressing his opinions.

He was given his own column. Go figure.

Oh, I wish I had a river I could skate away on. But it don't snow here. It stays pretty green. I'm going to make a lot of money, then I'm going to quit this crazy scene. — [Joni Mitchell]
Last edited by Squeek; July 24th, 2007 at 21:56.
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July 25th, 2007, 04:12
BN I have to disagree that different reviewers are entitled to their own opinion even if they work for the same employer. This is consistent with most major newspapers who often hire columnists and editors with different viewpoints in order to stay relevant. ie. The Financial Editor almost never agrees with the Women's Issues columnist in any paper.

I actually agree with the article in general but I don't agree on the example. Two different people at the same company don't have to agree and that they don't gives it a great deal more integrated IMO. My favourite hockey team the Vancouver Canucks, had an owner that also owned the most popular radio station in the city and the most popular TV station in the Province. Consistently, none of the press on any of the stations ever derided the team or its management but did criticize fellow members of the press of rival companies for doing so. In short, consistency is often a bad sign in journalism. In terms of gaming sites, look at the universal praise that MS games get. Was Age of Empires really the best game of the year or was it merely a decent clone of Civilization 2?

As well, why shouldn't someone be allowed change their opinion on something. These agents are given a deadline for something and first impressions may be amazing to them. I may have got bored with Morrowind and Dungeon Siege over time but both games opened up new paradigms in cRPG's at release. In the case of Morrowind no RPG since the first Might and Magics ever broke the mold in graphics.

But again I still agree with the gyst of your article. Perhaps NWN is a better example than Oblivion. Any review that tried to say the OC was more than something slapped together at the last minute was obviously lying. The first release of the (free version) of Witch's Wake was a sort of an apology for this. Upon release of the expansion even Bioware employees started coming clean. But after years of activity on the game which is still going the consensus has changed back to the quality of the game of where it should have been focussed all along: the toolset.

Developer of The Wizard's Grave Android game. Discussion Thread:
http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22520
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July 25th, 2007, 04:31
Interesting read, and many valid points, but I have an anti-media bias.

I think the grounds for distrusting all media claims were laid down pretty well by Jack Kerouac when he wrote: "Never eat at a place called Mom's…*."

In other words, the more something claims to be authentic, wonderful, the best ever, ("Our food is just like Mom's home-cooked meals!") the more apt it is to need a coverup of extravagantly positive verbiage ("Our food is actually ripped out of a can and microwaved by a fat slob in a dirty apron but we're hoping you can't tell the difference.")

Real excellence recommends itself.

Whenever a reviewer, journalist, ad man, or columnist (you can add politician to the list if you like) extolls something in a clearly over the top and superficial manner, the more grounds there are to wonder why. I find a healthy skepticism infinitely preferable to gushing enthusiasm any day.



*entire quote IIRC :"Never eat at a place called Mom's, never play cards with a man named Doc, and never go down on another man's plea."

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
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July 25th, 2007, 05:32
You may remember that one of the things we're trying to do here is offer counter comments with our reviews. I had Mike and Dhruin write extra comments for my review of NWN2 for just that purpose. I suppose we strive for a level of professionalism here that commercial sites can't, simply because we're all volunteers, so no-one had to pay for 3 writers in one review!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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July 25th, 2007, 07:44
That's quite the refreshing perspective, being offered here by Corwin, Gallifrey and magerette.

The only thing worse than a conformist corporate conglobulate pumping out big name titles (which nearly always share the same dominant elements in terms of game experience - megadoses of primo eye candy and frenetic gameplay in the first person), is conformist corporate conglobulate media hypesters, clustering around the big name project in faithful, obedient servitude. A gleaming, dominating, unified powerfest.

Where is the room for small & medium sized games, and small & medium sized media speculation ? If there were more room, it would lead to a much greater diversity of games and a much greater diversity of opinions.

The massive monopolizing greed machines really have no (profit based) need for such divergence and deviation (from their entrenched formula), which is *precisely* why such variations, away from the mainstream, are crucial to the vitality and variety of the Pc-Rpg genre.

Beware the 2-headed rampaging hydra-monster. It can only be countered, tamed, surpassed and transcended by boldly honest, individualistic thinkers, who value diversity and inclusiveness in the marketplace.
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July 25th, 2007, 10:12
I remember some gaming mag that used to do this at the end of big reviews, several people from the mag got a small comment box and gave their score (I use the past tense, since the last time I bought a print mag was at least 10 years ago), no idea if they still do this. That was a good thing, after some time you got to know who the journalists were, what kind of games they liked, what they payed attention to, and it really helped in forming an opinion and making a buying decision. So I was very happy you started doing it here. Now all we need is more reviews from you guys
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July 25th, 2007, 13:41
There are some magazines and e-zines as well as websites that will add a 'second opinion' in a highligthed box somewhere (although it usually is at the bottom of the page, if the house is very divided over the review for a certain game). However, one of the most devastating reviews, I've read was in a Danish gaming magazine called PC Player. They reviewed Gothic 3 and gave it a 3/10 score, while Oblivion got an 8/10 score. Maybe the magazine's reviewers(s) played the broken gold dsic release. If so, the score is understandable. I, however, played the demo for Gothic 3, and found it to be very enjoyable and at least at good as Oblivon, and in some places even better than Oblivion.

I wrote a very polite letter to the Editor, saying that to me, at least G3, was as good a game as Oblivion was. And that Oblivion also did have bugs in it, also quest-breaking bugs. And while the reviewer for Oblivion let that slide by easily, the G3's reviewer didn't. This simply isn't a fair way of doing reviews, imo.

If we look at movie or book reviews, the sales for badly reviewed movies or books don't suffer under these reviews. People tend to like things that most book and movie reviewers don't. Clearly, a good review for a game is something valuable, but I don't think it is crucial for most people's choice as to whether or not they'd buy a game or not. I know that I will buy every game from Bioware, nearly every game from Bethesda, and a lot of games from (small) indie game companies, like Obsidian.
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July 25th, 2007, 15:30
Gamespot has an interesting take in letting people vote in their own scores as well as posting the average of scores from other reviewers in their "We say-They Say-You Say" section. Many times you'll see that the user scores are higher, presumably because those who buy and enjoy the games have different expectations than an uninvolved reviewer, I guess.

I also like the formula here, where people review games because they are gamers as much as they are reviewers.

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
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July 25th, 2007, 16:14
Originally Posted by Arpyjee View Post
The massive monopolizing greed machines
This is one of the very best formulations I have read in a long time ! My respect for this ! *bows*

Three time the letter m sounds really good, from a poet's point of view.
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July 25th, 2007, 16:18
Originally Posted by aries100 View Post
I wrote a very polite letter to the Editor, saying that to me, at least G3, was as good a game as Oblivion was. And that Oblivion also did have bugs in it, also quest-breaking bugs. And while the reviewer for Oblivion let that slide by easily, the G3's reviewer didn't. This simply isn't a fair way of doing reviews, imo.
There is a matter of degree and frequency involved here. Gothic 3 had at least as much potential as Oblivion, if not a whole lot more, but it was rendered at times unplayable by bugs. Bugs in the scripting, bugs in the engine, bugs in the basic gameplay, bugs, bugs, bugs. I played all the way through the original Oblivion release, no patches, over the course of a month or so and never hit a single bug. I ran into bugs in Gothic 3 in the first minutes I played and then almost continuously afterward. I was willing to put up with them, to a point, because I could see the shiny gem of a game buried in there. But I eventually gave up on Gothic 3 after a few weeks hoping that some day it would be fixed up. And my experience with both games is not unusual.
Last edited by BillSeurer; July 25th, 2007 at 16:28.
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July 25th, 2007, 16:39
It infact mirrors my own very accurately Bill.
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July 25th, 2007, 18:32
Originally Posted by BillSeurer View Post
There is a matter of degree and frequency involved here. Gothic 3 had at least as much potential as Oblivion, if not a whole lot more, but it was rendered at times unplayable by bugs. Bugs in the scripting, bugs in the engine, bugs in the basic gameplay, bugs, bugs, bugs. I played all the way through the original Oblivion release, no patches, over the course of a month or so and never hit a single bug. I ran into bugs in Gothic 3 in the first minutes I played and then almost continuously afterward. I was willing to put up with them, to a point, because I could see the shiny gem of a game buried in there. But I eventually gave up on Gothic 3 after a few weeks hoping that some day it would be fixed up. And my experience with both games is not unusual.
Eventually, I did buy the CE of Gothic 3. And playet it for maybe 10-20 hours, no crashes whatsoever. The combat took a little getting used to, but was much nicer implemented, than in the previous games, at least from my point of view.
Of course, when I bought the CE, it was patched to maybe 1.06 or so, so the game breaking bugs were mostly gone.

I don't know if it matters whether or not I have the Gothic 3 CE version or not in terms of gameplay. bugs etc. ??
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July 25th, 2007, 21:04
Even in the current 1.12 (?) patch of Gothic3 there are still serious bugs.
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July 25th, 2007, 21:30
Can we leave the G3 discussion in the G3 forum or G3 newsbits?
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