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It’s time to retire game company evangelists

September 24, 2007

*sigh*… Sorry, sorry, sorry.

At around April of this year, my ties with a similarly-named weblog about Nintendo were severed. Up until that point, i used them as a well of content to play off of for this site (as sort of a diary suppplement to my work there), which worked wonders for traffic and internet soap operas involving me and countless faceless nerds on the other side of all this computer circuitry. Afterwards i was left to flounder about on my own and develop this blog into what it is now, which is a terribly irregular but terribly respectable forum for critique and clear-sighted discourse, as was always my intend-tion. As a result of the severance and the divergent paths each blog was taking, i ceased partaking in the former place not only as a writer, but as a reader, too.

Several days ago, a cat who i will leave anonymous in this post emailed me regarding the current state of said place, because his google search for “[blank]fendo Fanboy” brought him to our beloved anti-fansite. He explains the rest:

Anyways, I just wanted to say I like what you’re doing on your blog. I’ve recently become a more outspoken critic of [that site], after silently being angry at their content for months. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who can’t stand fanboys who give Nintendo fans a bad name.

So i read a couple articles of the editorial kind to get a grasp of what this guy’s talking about and saw absolutely nothing i wasn’t familiar with from my tenure there. The common thread: most of them shared the same author – the very same author who i had multiple editorial conflicts with. Yes intendo regulars, it was frisby’s favoritest blogger — Jill’s brother, the pumpkin lantern, the dude in the box, Vajayjay, etc. That guy.

Yesterday i am looking through some Kotaku content to see if there’s anything of interest worth talking about here on Wartendo, and i stumble across the “frankenreview” (their version of a meta-review) for that game Halo 3. So i read through it, recall history and my email exchanges with the Nintenblog dissenter, and warn him of a surefire retort from VJJ during the upcoming week. The very next day, as reliably as menstruation, my predilection hits its mark.

He did it with Gears, he did it with Bioshock, and now he did it with Halo 3. Basically he uses Halo 3’s perfect 10s as a launching pad to discuss – in one of the most flagrantly delusional and unengaging fan pieces you can come across – what’s wrong with the industry in that typical hypocritical fashion with the pink-tinted bifocals set firmly on his dome. But of course, contrary to what his subsequent comments suggest, the editorial had little to do with any great problem that needs a greater solution, and lots to do with the fact that he wants to patronize anyone who likes Halo 3 enough to deem it a perfect incarnation of the series. Quiet, he was, when twilight threatened Hyrule. Quiet, he was, when Samus sought to rid the universe of its corruption. Nothing was wrong with reviews then. Matter of fact, these fan-pleasing perfect scorers made the guy that much more excited over these games which he surely was going to (and did) buy on day one regardless of their meta-tallies.

But Halo 3 is a hype monsoon. One that clearly got to him. One so big that it caused him to, in this article, use semantics against the word “perfect” – a relative term in game reviews – to try to diffuse the praise received by Bungie’s juggernaut. Listen, i loved Earthbound on the SNES and Xenogears on the PS to the point where i’d fellate the entire development staffs behind each, twice; maybe thrice. If expert game reviewers are having a similar experience with their Halo 3s, and their reviews — which are their expert opinions — reflect that in a professional and rational manner, let them do their job as they do. Stop the comparison to the film industry, because the only difference is that film critics are criticizing art and game reviewers aren’t. They’re basically the same, since even film critics have wildly ranging opinions of the same films. If you’re that in need of being told to buy a game, read every single review on the game of interest you can find. Then, gauge everything you read with your brain and decide for yourself, like adults do, if it does or doesn’t meet your desires. Better yet, play a fuckin demo. (Oh wait.)

Reviews can certainly improve, but moaning because a game you can’t play on your Nintendo box got some high scores and even higher publicity, then calling out a “flawed review system” as subterfuge for your envious derision, isn’t expanding the industry any more than a 1UP grading. But hey, at least somebody’s grandmother posed for a picture at a Nintendo press event once.

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. frisby permalink
    September 25, 2007 12:08 am

    I… nevermind

  2. DrewMG permalink
    September 25, 2007 8:48 am

    No need to stay anonymous – I’m the one that emailed Rollin. They can feel free to hate me over there all they want.

    Sorry to drag ya’ll back into this fight – it wasn’t my intention. I just missed it the first time around.

  3. September 26, 2007 1:53 am

    its ok, we like it!

  4. September 26, 2007 2:43 am

    Hey hey, back on topic! All of you!

  5. DrewMG permalink
    September 26, 2007 7:48 am

    Not sure I’d agree that games aren’t art, but that’s a discussion for another day.

    Other than that, I’m (obviously) with you on this. Nothing that Nintendo is doing with the Wii is going to reinvent gaming journalism. In fact, if the Wii continues to sell well, and the 360 and PS3 begin to perform poorly in the market, the PS3 and 360 fanboys will begin to become as loud as the Nintendo ones are currently, cheering for their underdog, and creating their own little fansite.

  6. September 26, 2007 12:26 pm

    I think the difference between 360 fans and Nintendo fans (of the VJJ variety) is that we are not married to the platform, just to a particular game (like Halo 3).

    Nintendo fans are usually more civil, and VJJ is crossing the line of between fanboyism and stark raving madness with that last post. I didn’t give J any heat in my comment on Inf, I just tried to stay inside the topic, though.

    My take is that, personally, I like the review system just the way it is, but only because I know how to read it now. I think it is kind of a dangerous territory for new gamers, the kind that bought the Wii as their first gaming console or the first one in ten years. Game reviews today are mostly written with the understanding that readers have played games without interruption for the last several years.

    So, in short, J’s topic had potential, but he certainly chose the wrong game to blast the review system: Halo 3 is getting the “perfect scores” that it deserves! And I imagine that so did Bioshock, and Gears of War…

  7. September 29, 2007 8:48 pm

    Chances are no one from the Infendo readership will know i wrote this, but i’d like to congratulate Magik, Negrin & Deepthought especially, of course DrewMG, and all the others who displayed some top fortitude in standing up against a dude just trying to drive traffic to his blog with separatist views. The Inf community has come a long way since i left.

  8. September 30, 2007 12:23 am

    Blake’s posts were always weak when I was around and have actually gotten better simply due to the fact that they are not as pathetic as Jack’s.

    The best thing about Jack coming is this site. Though not updated often enough to contend, I can say with no ego this site has a lot of quality posts over quantity, ESPECIALLY over editorials.

  9. September 30, 2007 12:45 am

    Ha. Yes! I completely agree. You can actually go through our archives and be just as or more entertained than new posts on most other blogs. I’m very proud of what we have.

  10. Dark-Magik permalink
    September 30, 2007 4:22 pm

    As Jack continues to post his little rants, the more and more I’m certain it’s nothing more than an attempt to just increase traffic.

    One of his recent rants was him talking about how 1up is supposedly not covering Wii news based on a NeoGAF post(of all the places…)by Luke Smith. He seems to have conveniently ignored the fact that Luke Smith LEFT 1up months ago. Even though this was clearly pointed out repeatedly, the post was still up and running. Blake or whoever the fuck runs Infendo should have shut down that post ASAP before it deteriorated into the typical whine fest, which it happened to become.

    Infendo really has gone to shit and it doesn’t look like its going to stop any time soon since Jack is allowed to continue his retarded rants and they keep posting Maelstorm’s bullshit.

    Pisses me off how Infendo went from a solid site to a propaganda-pushing hole.

  11. September 30, 2007 6:29 pm

    Once the site got ad’s it started getting really bad really fast. I do miss the free loving feel it had. Now it’s just weak.

  12. October 1, 2007 5:49 pm

    Well, Jack is definitely NOT dragging the crowds in… most likely, he’s scaring all the readers away.

    Have you seen the reduction in comments there lately?

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