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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Fallout 3 - Reviews @ IGN, GameSpy, GameShark

Default Fallout 3 - Reviews @ IGN, GameSpy, GameShark

October 29th, 2008, 10:22
I'd agree with PJ in thinking that outright bribing is probably the exception rather than the norm. However, I think there are many other mechanisms at work, that do the job just as well and with less potential for scandal: spin, hype, cozy in-house previewing, personal contact with developers, expectations of your boss/company, the knowledge that the games industry and the reviewers are ultimately in the same boat, the nagging doubt that things that sell well must somehow be good, etc. etc.
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October 29th, 2008, 10:37
Regarding reviews and reasons behind. I'm sure that there are many, some of them dubious, some not. One of them: The reviewer may actually like the game. The scores mentioned here range from 81% to 10/10, so there cerrtainly is some variation.

I find reviews useful. Not the score, but what's written. Of course some reviews are more useful than others. Personally I think the Crispygames review were good.

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October 29th, 2008, 11:29
Aren't we being a bit fast on the "all reviews are bought" meme? I know a couple of these are tripping over themselves with praise but most of them have some criticism and several are quite critical (within the boundaries of apparently still having enjoyed the game). Alec Meer has a litany of complaints, even calling the level of polish bordering on "incompetent", GameShark has several criticisms and comparisons with the original Fallouts and most at least mention poor animation. The scores (so far) range down to 8/10 / 81% / "B+" — it's not a whitewash of 10/10.

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October 29th, 2008, 13:25
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
I'd agree with PJ in thinking that outright bribing is probably the exception rather than the norm. However, I think there are many other mechanisms at work, that do the job just as well and with less potential for scandal: spin, hype, cozy in-house previewing, personal contact with developers, expectations of your boss/company, the knowledge that the games industry and the reviewers are ultimately in the same boat, the nagging doubt that things that sell well must somehow be good, etc. etc.
Yup.

Let's not forget that many game journalists don't have a background in journalism; they're gamers with a knack for writing. That makes it very easy for them to get caught up in the hype.

What's more, Oblivion *was* a huge commercial success. It still has a big fanbase that keeps playing it, what, two years since its release, and it's still selling in quite respectable numbers. There's no way that "corrupt" reviews could do that. Let's not forget that most reviewers write reviews for the mainstream: if they like it, it's likely that the mainstream likes it too, and vice versa. The fact that niches like ours regard Oblivion as boring, dumbed-down, nerfed-out, Disney-ized pap is irrelevant.

That's what the Watch is for, come to think of it — to provide reviews and discussion from the perspective of this niche we inhabit. That we sometimes reach different conclusions than the mainstream doesn't mean the mainstream is wrong; it just means that our tastes are different.
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October 29th, 2008, 14:10
Now explain that over at NMA….
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October 29th, 2008, 14:48
Let's not forget that many game journalists don't have a background in journalism; they're gamers with a knack for writing. That makes it very easy for them to get caught up in the hype.

What's more, Oblivion *was* a huge commercial success. It still has a big fanbase that keeps playing it, what, two years since its release, and it's still selling in quite respectable numbers. There's no way that "corrupt" reviews could do that
Well maybe bribing is not the right word. But let's face it, the gaming sites survives by the advertisements from game publishers. The big budget AAA++++ titles are very important, they could even make or break a company! If say IGN or gamespot would give one of these titles a 7/10 pointing out all the good parts but also all the flaws. A lot of games which is not higher quality than other lower profile titles still get a better score for this reason.

But for the reviewers of the major game sites if the graphics looks great, the action is fun for the first couple of hours, and there is no big major flaw noticed, even if they think the game deserves a 7.5/10 they push it up to the 9/10 because they know they will get away with it, and they know that EA / Atari / Ubisoft / Blizz - act / take 2 etc will keep placing ads on their site. The jeff case just proved this too clearly for anyone to deny it and just how quickly publishers pull their ads if the review is not to their satisfication.
Last edited by GothicGothicness; October 29th, 2008 at 15:24.
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October 29th, 2008, 14:59
Originally Posted by GothicGothicness View Post
But let's face it, the gaming sites survives by the advertisements from game publishers. […] Anyone could agree that vanilla Oblivion is not a 9/10 or 10/10 game. […] The jeff case
It's unbelievable how people continue to believe what they want, because it's not entirely clear that Jeff got fired for that exact reason. In any case, both he and Gamespot deny it for whatever reason (huge corporate conspiracy ZOMG!). That said, vanilla Oblivion could easily be seen as 9/10 at release by some people, simply because it was revolutionary at the time. Furthermore, I would think that gaming sites survive more on their readerbase than their advertisers. No readers, no advertisers, no site.

But yeah, believe what you want to believe.
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October 29th, 2008, 15:01
It's unbelievable how people continue to believe what they want, because it's not entirely clear that Jeff got fired for that exact reason.
He made a bad review of Kane and Lynch , the entire gamespot site was full of advertisement for the game, the ads were pulled the review was changed and the man was gone. It is not entirely clear at all.
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October 29th, 2008, 15:09
Originally Posted by GothicGothicness View Post
Well maybe bribing is not the right word. But let's face it, the gaming sites survives by the advertisements from game publishers. The big budget AAA++++ titles are very important, they could even make or break a company! If say IGN or gamespot would give one of these titles a 7/10 pointing out all the good parts but also all the flaws. Because just as someone mentioned without mods Oblivion had a lot of flaws, none is keeping vanilla oblivion alive it is the mod community that kept it alive so long. Yet the review does not mention the editor and mod tools and did not even try them at the time of review. Anyone could agree that vanilla Oblivion is not a 9/10 or 10/10 game.
But for the reviewers of the major game sites if the graphics looks great, the action is fun for the first couple of hours, and there is no big major flaw noticed, even if they think the game deserves a 7.5/10 they push it up to the 9/10 because they know they will get away with it, and they know that EA / Atari / Ubisoft / Blizz - act / take 2 etc will keep placing ads on their site. The jeff case just proved this too clearly for anyone to deny it and just how quickly publishers pull their ads if the review is not to their satisfication.
No, this is where you are wrong….to you it wasn't thats where the difference lies here. The game had a editor as well which is part of the overall package.

Sometimes I wonder what many of you would consider a 9 or a 10 is….regardless a numerical score in a review is almost counter pfroductive in the fact that most people will ignore the written text and go right to the review score. By some of the reactions here I get the feeling some of you want it to fail.
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October 29th, 2008, 15:10
Shit, I axed my earlier post.

Anyway, do you really think that Jeff's review was not green-lighted by others in the team before it went life? More heads should have rolled, for sure! I remember that Jeff cursed a lot in his reviews (including the Kane & Lynch review) and that was (one of) the cited reasons for his lay-off, but really I think it was some management decision or other.
Last edited by Thaurin; October 29th, 2008 at 15:16.
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October 29th, 2008, 15:12
A question regarding graphics to anyone playing: Is Oblivions building pop-in and low res distance textures still in?
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October 29th, 2008, 15:14
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
Yup.

Let's not forget that many game journalists don't have a background in journalism; they're gamers with a knack for writing. That makes it very easy for them to get caught up in the hype.

What's more, Oblivion *was* a huge commercial success. It still has a big fanbase that keeps playing it, what, two years since its release, and it's still selling in quite respectable numbers. There's no way that "corrupt" reviews could do that. Let's not forget that most reviewers write reviews for the mainstream: if they like it, it's likely that the mainstream likes it too, and vice versa. The fact that niches like ours regard Oblivion as boring, dumbed-down, nerfed-out, Disney-ized pap is irrelevant.

That's what the Watch is for, come to think of it — to provide reviews and discussion from the perspective of this niche we inhabit. That we sometimes reach different conclusions than the mainstream doesn't mean the mainstream is wrong; it just means that our tastes are different.
Hmm… actually I loved Oblivion (vanilla, only a mod to reduce the font) and put it in my top 10 games of all time, so there
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October 29th, 2008, 15:22
Ok removed the Oblivion vanilla part of my post, since people are protesting it was indeed a 9/10 in the vanilla version, my discussion was acctually in general about AAA titles I just used Oblivion as an example as I thought everyone would agree, but it looks like not. Also the XBOX 360 version also got such a great reviews even it had no mod-ability what-so-ever long loading times, etc etc etc, and so many flaws about this game were mentioned after even by the very same sites who praised it to no end and gave it top reviews.
Last edited by GothicGothicness; October 29th, 2008 at 15:30.
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October 29th, 2008, 21:13
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
A question regarding graphics to anyone playing: Is Oblivions building pop-in and low res distance textures still in?
The far textures are better but not Fary Cry 2 good. There's definitely high res texture/model popin noticeable sometimes.

I wish Bethesda would fire a lot of their staff and get some more competent game engine builders in there. That sounds cold but their game could look and run a ton better.
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October 29th, 2008, 23:11
Originally Posted by GothicGothicness View Post
Ok removed the Oblivion vanilla part of my post, since people are protesting it was indeed a 9/10 in the vanilla version, my discussion was acctually in general about AAA titles I just used Oblivion as an example as I thought everyone would agree, but it looks like not.
This is the problem - it's not so easy to agree. If this phenomonen is so widespread, it should be easy to find dozens of appropriate examples. So…if not Oblivion, what examples then?

I'm not saying the games review industry is perfect (far from it) but I've yet to be convinced there is a significant gap between reviewers and their readership in general. You could argue the average game consumer isn't very discerning (possibly true) but that's a different kettle of fish.

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October 30th, 2008, 11:19
Well, You do have a point Dhruin. It looks like the main part of the gaming world thinks a AAA FPS with great graphics is worth a 90 score, crysis, farcry2, deadspace, bioshock, oblivion, fear, halo 1 2 3, resistance, gears of war, unreal tournament etc etc, just as it is a AAA tilte and FPS and has great graphics it deserves a 90+ score and the readers agree, did any of these games have any great gameplay innovations or other revolutionary new features?
Last edited by GothicGothicness; October 30th, 2008 at 12:27.
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October 30th, 2008, 12:21
Originally Posted by GothicGothicness View Post
Well, You do have a point Dhruin. It looks like the main part of the gaming world thinks a AAA FPS with great graphics is worth a 90 score, crysis, farcry2, deadspace, bioshock, oblivion, fear, halo 1 2 3, resistance, gears of war, unreal tournament etc etc, just as it is a AAA tilte and FPS and has great graphics it deserves a 90+ score and the readers agree, did any of these games have any great gameplay or revolutionary other innovations?
Huh? Most of the games you mention in that post did indeed have great gameplay.
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October 30th, 2008, 12:24
That is obviously up to each person to decide. As far as I am concerned these games all have the same gameplay. Aim and hit enemies and navigate around in a 3d environment. How is it different from any of the 100's of other shooters out there. I guess I made a mistake in formulating though. Changed.
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October 30th, 2008, 12:46
Originally Posted by GothicGothicness View Post
did any of these games have any great gameplay innovations or other revolutionary new features?
Edge is/was one of the most respected magazines. It has only ever awarded 10/10 for ten games during its entire existance:

It was almost three years before Edge gave a game a rating of ten out of ten. This score was previously defined as "revolutionary", with the other ratings having similar labels. However, with issue 143 the scoring system was changed to a simple list of "10 = ten, 9 = nine…" and so on, a tongue-in-cheek reference to people who read too much into review scores.[11]

The magazine has only awarded this score to ten games:

* Super Mario 64 (Nintendo 64) - E35
* Gran Turismo (Sony PlayStation) - E55
* The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (Nintendo 64) - E66
* Halo: Combat Evolved (Xbox) - E105
* Half-Life 2 (Windows PC) - E143
* Halo 3 (Xbox 360) - E181
* The Orange Box (Windows PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360) - E182
* Super Mario Galaxy (Wii) - E183
* Grand Theft Auto IV (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360) - E189
* LittleBigPlanet (PlayStation 3) - E195
Only PC games on this list are shooters. Rest of them are console action/adventure/platformer/driving games. There is not a single RPG on it.

Casual players who make the majority of buying customers - do not roleplay. They are not interested of roleplaying games. People who like to roleplay are a niche/minority.

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October 30th, 2008, 13:39
Originally Posted by GothicGothicness View Post
That is obviously up to each person to decide. As far as I am concerned these games all have the same gameplay. Aim and hit enemies and navigate around in a 3d environment. How is it different from any of the 100's of other shooters out there. I guess I made a mistake in formulating though. Changed.
They have the same gameplay because you listed games from mostly the same genre. That doesn't have anything to do with whether or not they are high quality titles. Most of those games deserved the scores they were awarded simply because they were great games.
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