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Git Gud: On Games Journalists and Being Good At Video Games

How good should a games journalist be at a game to cover the games industry?

Opinion by Mike Williams, .

Two weeks ago, GamesBeat uploaded a video and hands-on from Gamescom 2017, featuring reporter and lead writer Dean Takahashi playing Cuphead. If you play video games on a regular basis, the video will be a maddening one, as Takahashi tries and fails to overcome a column in the game's tutorial stage. The rest of his performance on the video isn't much better, stretching out over 26 minutes of gaming slapstick.

Dean Takahashi is a primarily a reporter on the business side of games. He is well-versed in the gaming industry, able to write and report on the trends of that industry. That's his job, and it's one he does well. The video hurts me as a player, but the error attributing the game to Super Meat Boy's developers is the bigger problem as a journalist, one GamesBeat has since corrected in an editor's note.

On GamesBeat's small team - they're larger than we are, but I believe their total editorial team tops out at 10 people - Takahashi happened to be one of the few (only?) sent to Gamescom to cover the event. That's an editorial decision, probably based on getting more quotes, interviews, and business-centric coverage from the show than previews and hands-on impressions. It happens. Not every outlet has the resources to send a whole team. We here at USgamer generally have to subsist on a single person per conference, with the exception of Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3).

So, the Cuphead impressions are based on limited resources. They had an appointment to see the game, Takahashi was the man onsite, and you see the result. It happens. Things doesn't always line up and allow your site to connect up your best resources with a publisher's or developer's title. I'm sure given the option GamesBeat would've sent someone else to play Cuphead - Takahashi admits his faults when it comes to play - but that was what they had to work with.

This video has reignited an argument that sits as one of the pillars of the gaming community. It's one of those arguments that we've had before and will have again, because it's a pertinent question: Should games journalists be good at the video games they cover?

Honestly, I lean on the "Yes" side of that answer. I think that a games journalist and critic should have at least some facility with the title they're covering, especially in the case of a review, which is where my focus lies as review editor. If you're covering Street Fighter V, I'd prefer you to have some understanding of fighting games as whole and the Street Fighter franchise in particular. That allows you, in the case of a review or preview, to provide an informed perspective on a game, which is useful given that many sites cater to an enthusiast readership.

Already though, you run into a few snags and issues.

We All Want Different Things

As Reviews Editor, it's generally my job here at USgamer to align our limited resources - we're only five people - with the wide variety of games launching every month. There is some overlap, as we enjoy a number of genres, but it doesn't always work out for the best. I try to avoid assigning a writer to a game or genre they hate, as that doesn't usually help anyone, but folks will occasionally land on a game they don't have any facility or history with.

I find as long as this perspective is given openly and honestly upfront, then it's fine. I was new to Yakuza, but I reviewed Yakuza Kiwami, coming from the perspective of someone who has not played the series in the past. That's useful information, because while some feel you should only write towards the fans, the readership is wide.

People want different things from a review. There are folks who lack the background to understand a review written for a veteran of a franchise, something I caution myself on when writing about games I'm deeply familiar with. Some readers and writers focus on more different pillars of a game - aesthetics, narrative, or mechanics - and there should be some coverage available for everyone. As such, a reviewer should be open about what they prize and where they stand.

Should I have dinged Breath of the Wild harder for frame rate issues?

I prefer to inform you of my preferences and allow you to take it from there. You might require a locked 60 fps from your best of the best games; I can survive on 30 fps and Breath of the Wild's uneven performance didn't ruin the experience for me. Perhaps you prize innovation in gameplay, meaning you're willing to overlook a game that my lack a number of modes and options for play. Or vice versa, preferring a game that doesn't reinvent the wheel, but offers a clear, consistent experience.

Look at reviews for the Resident Evil series as an example. I'd argue most of them are pretty good games, but folks have various favorites in that list for very valid reasons. Even between the latter four mainline entries Resident Evil 4, Resident Evil 5, Resident Evil 6, and Resident Evil 7, opinions and reviews vary widely. That's fine. It happens.

The list of folks who can review Madden NFL 18 like Kat is small.

Your Viewpoint Is Represented Out There

The hope is that across the entire spectrum of games coverage, that you can find a viewpoint that aligns with your own. Between written reviews at sites like Eurogamer, USgamer, and Polygon; video reviews on the technical side like Angry Centaur Gaming or the critical side like Errant Signal; or Let's Plays from generalists like Jim Sterling or deep dive veterans, there should be something out there for you.

I understand it may be frustrating to have your specific viewpoint not represented on here, or some other site. If you've spent the last 20 years rocking Age of Empires exclusively, my review of say, the upcoming Age of Empires IV will likely not satisfy you. But I do my best to show you where I'm coming from so you can get an informed perspective from my coverage, or at least understand that you should look elsewhere.

That focus is consistently an issue. Over May of this year alone, I've reviewed Ark: Survival Evolved, Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, Yakuza Kiwami, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, Nidhogg 2, Agents of Mayhem, Telltale's Batman Season 2, Fortnite, Sundered, Gigantic, Master x Master, Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood, Elder Scrolls Online, Galactic Civilizations III Crusade, Endless Space 2, Injustice 2, Ultra Street Fighter 2, Disgaea 5 Complete, Farpoint, Minecraft: Switch Edition, and Prey. I am better at some of those games than others, but if you're telling me you're amazing at every single game on that list, I'm going to outright call you a liar.

I don't have the resources to make sure every game has a person that has spent decades on the title and understands every single facet of a title, like focus attack dash cancel, strafe jumping, P-speed, or animation cancelling. If you're really looking for something that deep, we here at USgamer have certain genres where we can achieve that, but for the most part, you're better off looking for a writer, video-creator, or streamer that focuses on that game directly. That's one of the best parts about the internet, providing a wide variety of places to find content that's tailored to you.

Other Issues Persist

And that's before you get to other problems, like the potential blindness of the veteran. I know Assassin's Creed very well, but that may blind me to mechanics that I understand deeply, but are actually off-putting or obtuse to a neophyte player. We try, when the time allows, to offer dual reviews, like this Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin review.

It allowed a veteran like Bob to offer his perspective and a newcomer like myself to provide a different look at the game. If I could do dual reviews for every game, I would, but it's not feasible. Regardless, opinions and perspectives from those who are an outsider to a specific genre or unfamiliar with a franchise can still provide value to a reader. (Not necessarily reviews in that case.)

Then there's critique. Depending on what you're actually critiquing, you should have a deep understanding of facets of that work. If you're critiquing Destiny 2's gunplay or Assassin's Creed's movement mechanics, then you should have a more than cursory understanding of those mechanics, so you can clearly state why they do or do not work.

You probably don't get Assassin's Creed like I do. That's fine.

If I'm focused on a game's aesthetics or narrative though, then play becomes secondary at times. Play is a part of the narrative being told, but it's more useful in my critique to have an understanding of proper storytelling and current story trends in other entertainment media. Critique leans towards having literary merit and illuminating some facet of a work, while a simple product review seeks to tell you what work is and if you should purchase it. On USgamer, Caty leans more towards critique for example, I generally write reviews on the "product" side.

Which is to say, all that comprises video game coverage and games journalism is complex. (Yeah, YouTubers and Twitch streamers are a part of this, though their mediums dictate different issues and constraints.) Should a reviewer be good at the game they're reviewing? As I stated before, I lean towards "Yes", but reviews aren't one single thing (product review or artistic critique) and resources don't always allow for a person that has a deep understanding or a franchise or genre.

You can cringe about Dean Takahashi struggling through Cuphead. That's fine. But he's not a reviewer and he does his job as a reporter on the business side of games quite well. And he's also not me. He's not Jeff Grubb, Kat Bailey, Austin Walker, Danny O'Dwyer, Heather Alexandra, or any number journalists and critics working in the industry today. Games journalism has issues, but trying to make some larger point about it from a single video is odd and perplexing. There's no conspiracy there. We don't hate games. Sometimes we just have differing opinions, perspectives, and abilities.

I hope that I can provide you with what you need, but I understand if that's not the case. I'm a generalist that has to cover a wide variety of games; I can talk about Final Fantasy XIV, but if your litmus test coverage requires bleeding edge Savage clears from me, I'm not going to be able to help you. And that's not a problem, because there's folks out there who do just that.

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Comments 31

  • Avatar for presidentcamacho #1 presidentcamacho 18 days ago
    Perhaps a good compromise would be to have games where the initial reviewer hits brick wall be reassigned, maybe adding a note stating such somewhere in the review. This could potentially avoid the sort of embarrassingly bad reviews fans tend to point at, while also serving as a difficulty warning to readers whose tastes/skills are more in line with the originally assigned reviewer.
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  • Avatar for moochan #2 moochan 18 days ago
    I feel for the guy. That video was like a car crash and I couldn't look away. While doing a full review of a game and talking about all the ins and out is different than something he was doing. I hope everyone is more jokingly than super serious like always. Scores are just random numbers that you feel like at the time. The real bread and butter is the written review because you can actually tell how much a person knows of the game which I guess has way more meaning. Plus there's ways games like Mario + Rabbits which are design for people that never touched a SRPG so having someone unfamiliar with that type of game could actually be more helpful in case you are curious about it and don't want to be too stressed on what is a good place to start. While I do feel gamers should review games (like you need some understanding of movies to truly review movies) the barrier isn't something that should be "you must be this experience in this type of game to review it."
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  • Avatar for Monkey-Tamer #3 Monkey-Tamer 18 days ago
    Games are becoming skill sets. If you grew up with Street Fighter 2, stayed with it through the lean years of 3rd Strike, hopped back on for 4 and all the iterations, you'll probably have a completely different perspective on 5. I have a younger cousin who almost exclusively plays FPS games. Those games were a budding sub genre during my teen years, and I couldn't imagine excluding all else. Check out a subreddit for a game and you'll see game specific lingo that makes little to no sense to an outsider. A long running series will probably be easier to dive into compared to a newer idea with mechanics that are fresh to everyone.Edited 3 weeks ago by Monkey-Tamer
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  • Avatar for Kuni-Nino #4 Kuni-Nino 18 days ago
    I'm with you on this one Mike. I tend to think that journalists have to be good at games for me to read a review from them. I'm someone who has played videogames for a very long time and have a deeper understanding of certain genres like fighting games so when I see reviewers heap praise on some broken Fighter like Injustice, I can't help but raise a few eyebrows.

    But I'm willing to be pragmatic about it. There are certain genres I have no skill in like MOBAs so it would be nice to read a perspective from someone trying to learn one.

    There's also the fact that you don't have to be a good gamer to be able to write about videogames. I believe videogame journalism is more than just reviews and previews of the newest lastest best. You don't have to know about frame data to write about the FGC for instance.
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  • Avatar for LBD_Nytetrayn #5 LBD_Nytetrayn 18 days ago
    @presidentcamacho Comes back to limited resources, especially when so many review "copies" are distributed as codes.
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  • Avatar for Xemus80 #6 Xemus80 18 days ago
    It does make me long for the days of EGM and the like, where multiple people would review a game. Sure, they were just blurbs, but you grew to understand what genres and games a particular reviewer liked, and you could gauge the scores accordingly. If your own sensibilities lined up with a particular reviewer, you knew to consider his/her scores and review with more weight than someone else's.

    The more I think about it, the more I think single-reviewer reviews are not entirely useful. I'm not convinced multiple full-length reviews would be useful either but "Another Take" sidebar mini-reviews wouldn't be a bad thing.
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  • Avatar for Roto13 #7 Roto13 18 days ago
    I think a game reviewer should be at least about as good at video games as the average person who plays video games. If you love games enough to make a career out of writing about them, that's probably not too high a bar.

    Also, let's be fair to Dean Takahashi. Cuphead is hateful bullshit. I cut my teeth on run-and-gun platformers and I'm pretty good at them, but I tried Cuphead and, yeah, it's bullshit.
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  • Avatar for EdgeTheLucas #8 EdgeTheLucas 18 days ago
    I just hate how Ian Miles Wrong shone light toward Dean Takahashi to drive unwarranted mockery and harassment his way. That guy is garbage but trying to shame someone just because they had trouble with a game is real low.
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  • Avatar for WiIIyTheAntelope #9 WiIIyTheAntelope 18 days ago
    I don't think being super-amazingly skilled at a game is required at all to do a good review. Average is good enough. And honestly average is probably better since the vast majority of players will fall in the average skill range.

    That said..if this guy posted a review for the game after posting this embarrassing attempt at doing basic maneuvers in a game that should be pretty dang easy for anyone that's spent more than 5 minutes playing a video game in their life to pick up...yeah. Not gonna take it seriously.

    This may actually have beaten Polygon and their Doom video where the reviewer obviously had never used a dual stick controller or played a video game ever (though that's pretty much expected since it's Polygon)

    What's really needed is an editor or whoever is in charge of their videos to say "You are completely incompetent at this game and this video is terrible. We aren't posting that." Maintaining a shred of credibility is better than whatever clicks you'll gain by posting it.
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  • Avatar for jihon83 #10 jihon83 18 days ago
    Of course, games journaloligists should be good. After all, you get paid to play videogames!

    Seriously, I do agree with Mike, though "goodness" may not be the best word, so much as familiarity. If you can see the mechanisms and have an idea of what inspired them, then you may be pretty close to explaining why you are giving another game a 3.5 stars or a 7/10. Openness is important, too, especially in those instances where you have an idea that the average person's experience differs massively from a "true fan's" perspective.
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  • Avatar for nimzy #11 nimzy 18 days ago
    I was immediately reminded of the Polygon Doom 4 demo from last year. Boy did they get roasted for this one:
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  • Avatar for nadiaoxford #12 nadiaoxford 18 days ago
    @WiIIyTheAntelope Going to go on a limb and assume the video got posted because the site thought it was good for a few laughs, and they would have abstained if they knew it would become an international incident.

    We are human beings. We don't like being mocked and teased. Our editors don't offer us up as sacrifices for "clicks." This was a silly video that people took very seriously, not some secret step in the Games Journalist Manifesto to tear down the passtime, like some people staunchly believe for some reason.

    Occam's Razor.Edited 3 weeks ago by nadiaoxford
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  • Avatar for VotesForCows #13 VotesForCows 18 days ago
    You're very wise Mike. Honestly, in years to come you'll have young games journalists sitting around you listening to you regale them with stories of games criticism, fan lunacy, and sales figures.

    Great article, is what I'm saying.
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  • Avatar for Nazo #14 Nazo 18 days ago
    If I'm familiar with a series I want to know how a new entry compares to others. If I'm not then I want to know how it is for newcomers. It's a tricky line to walk and I don't envy you guys having to find the balance.
    I would think a natural affinity with games would help the process though as you'll see more of the game in the time available for a review. Not much you can write if you never make it out of the starting area.
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  • Avatar for riderkicker #15 riderkicker 18 days ago
    I just think a games journalist has to get good enough to play the games he reviews, but a better one is able to acknowledge his own flaws as well as the games. One of my favorite on-video reviewers freely admits he's terrible at things like Mario World, but he still manages to express his joy or articulate his frustration when he can't get past a certain roadblock. Nothing wrong with asking for a little help, it's how you get better.
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  • Avatar for WiIIyTheAntelope #16 WiIIyTheAntelope 18 days ago
    @nadiaoxford I believe that with the Cuphead video. There's no way that anyone watched a guy struggling to do basic actions in a tutorial and thought it had any value other than comedy value. The original article even points out how hilariously bad he is at the game.

    The Polygon video on the other hand was meant to be dead serious. They aren't exactly known for their sense of humor after all.

    In both cases though I'd completely ignore their reviews (assuming DT was the one who was to review Cuphead.) There's a minimal skill level somebody should have to give a well informed opinion on a game, and once they've demonstrated that they don't understand even the most basic aspects of it (dear Polygon,that's not an N64 controller, it has 2 sticks) it's going look pretty bad.
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  • Avatar for TerryDonnyJrSr #17 TerryDonnyJrSr 18 days ago
    @nadiaoxford You certainly are on a limb. Also, The internet will take every opportunity to take a shot at Polygon.
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  • Avatar for mobichan #18 mobichan 18 days ago
    I think a little of the blame should fall on the developers. If their intention was to only appeal to a subset of gamers (run'n gun enthusiasts), then expecting someone who might not be into that genre to jump into their game is going to reveal this sort of result. The tutorial seems ok until you realize you need to start combining things you were just taught to progress (the air dash over a wall). For a seasoned fan of action games, this is probably second nature. For people who didn't grow up in the heyday of Run'n Gun or those who play other genres, this is going to be tough to learn in a few seconds.

    I have no idea who the intended audience for the game is, but if it wants to be for hardcore players, that is the dev's prerogative. I hope they realize their audience will be pretty small. If they want it to appeal to a wider audience, they need to balance the game a bit better. Having pretty art won't make up for a frustrating experience.
    @nadiaoxford "We are human beings. We don't like being mocked and teased" No, but human beings love to watch others fail.Edited 3 weeks ago by mobichan
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  • Avatar for Djinn85 #19 Djinn85 18 days ago
    @mobichan Oh you're exaggerating. The tutorial flat out spells out what you're supposed to do to get over that column. You don't need years of practice at hardcore action games to realize that you might want to combine two button presses. A guy on Reddit filmed his 4 year old kid watching that video and the kid was bewildered by how bad the guy was (it was pretty cute).

    I don't think that reviewers or journalists need to be a good at games, but they do need to have some basic competence (lets say mediocre?). If you don't have a basic level of competence and knowledge than your opinion is useless. This journalist did not have that basic level of competence.
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  • Avatar for KaiserWarrior #20 KaiserWarrior 18 days ago
    I would not expect a meaningful or worthwhile review of the latest high-end supersport motorcycle from a person that has never actually ridden a motorcycle before in their life. Or if they have, they've only puttered around an empty lot on a 50cc scooter.

    Clearly, Dean was not the correct person to send for this sort of task. Limited resources, yeah, but if his expertise is purely in the people side of the industry, then he and his editors should have said "Sorry, but we're just here for the interviews". To get back to the motorcycle analogy, you don't have to be an expert rider to interview a company rep about their latest product, but you SHOULD be an expert rider if you're going to take them up on their offer of some track time to do a hands-on impression/review of the bike.

    There is a significant section of the video games journalism industry that wants to look at video games purely from the perspective of media: the stories they tell, the themes in them, whether this or that game does or does not exhibit various -isms or conform to certain ideals about social concepts. But you cannot treat video games based solely on this. They are not books, they are not movies. They are a different medium, and part of this different medium is that they (ideally, anyway) engage the skills of the player to some degree. Some games are more complex than others, but at the end of the day, in order to have meaningful things to say about a video game, you need to be able to competently play that video game, whatever that requirement may entail in terms of complexity or difficulty.
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  • Avatar for MHWilliams #21 MHWilliams 18 days ago
    Deleted 3 weeks ago by MHWilliams
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  • Avatar for MHWilliams #22 MHWilliams 18 days ago
    @KaiserWarrior The rest of your words are well and good, but it has little to do with Takahashi's situation and hands-on by folks without that experience is shown all the time, especially in terms of entertainment, which is what this was meant as, according to GamesBeat. There is room for Car and Driver, Top Gear, TechCrunch, and say Regular Car Reviews to ride in a Bugatti Veyron and provide their perspectives. You should not expect the same from every outlet.
    @presidentcamacho I'd agree, though in this case, there's no way you'd assign a review to a player like this, unless you're explicitly looking for the viewpoint of someone who does not play platformers.Edited 3 weeks ago by MHWilliams
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  • Avatar for SargeSmash #23 SargeSmash 18 days ago
    I think a basic level of competence is definitely needed, but I don't think you have to be amazing unless it's a niche game that caters directly to the hardcore. I've not seen much on Cuphead, but if it's like most run-and-guns, it's going to be tough to get going initially. I had much the same response as watching one of those "Teens React" videos with Contra. They were really, really bad, but you really couldn't blame them; they didn't have the frame of reference necessary to do well in it.
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  • Avatar for SuperShinobi #24 SuperShinobi 18 days ago
    The better a reviewer knows the game and the genre, the more valuable and informative the review can be. Ideally a reviewer will be skillful and patient enough to have completed the game and gotten to know it as well as possible. Time is of course a constraint, if the review has to be ready by the release date, but ideally you'd be in the best position to give the final verdict on the game when you've mastered the game and experienced most of what it has to offer. This is further complicated by the fact that games these days are developed and updated well beyond the release date, so experiencing all of the game can take many months.

    Familiarity with the genre is a big asset as well. I like Kat's sports reviews, because she knows the genre and is able to outline what has changed compared to previous iterations, whether the changes have been for the better or for worse and also how a sports franchise is doing compared to other games in the genre.

    On the other hand, as someone who has played nearly every major racing game since 1982's Pole Position, I often find myself disagreeing when I go to Metacritic to check out the critical reception of games in that genre. When generalist reviewers review racing games, they often miss the subtle nuances and instead just focus on general features like content, visuals, presentation and fun factor. I thought for example that DriveClub's unprecedented realtime climate simulation or Assetto Corsa's advanced car handling and physics didn't get the recognition they deserved. They were both pretty revolutionary features and a total breath of fresh air for the genre.
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  • Avatar for NightingaleXP #25 NightingaleXP 18 days ago
    @Djinn85 game still looks pretty good and it was a preview, so: job done?

    I dunno I don't think we need a preview gameplay video to show us how cool the media is at playing games
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  • Avatar for jmsebastian #26 jmsebastian 18 days ago
    What frustrates me about the "reviewers should be good at games" argument is that it's a lot less about critiquing the people who professionally review games, and more about getting angry that a review doesn't line up with what the person reading or watching the review wants the review to say.

    In a world where there are millions of opinions to absorb about games, I find it really unbelievable that someone would spend time to get angry about a review they don't like when there is a practical guarantee that there is a review that will line up with whatever opinion one could want.

    Mike, your point about the reviewer being honest about where their approach comes from is a great guideline, as it provides context for the content of the review. I also don't think reviewers are responsible for caring at all about what the potential audience of that review thinks about said review, nor about their qualifications to review any particular game.

    The "criticism" against game reviewers is essentially a red herring in an effort to make games criticism as an industry less inclusive.
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  • Avatar for UnskippableCutscene #27 UnskippableCutscene 18 days ago
    I don't expect much from game reviewers, but I also think game reviewers shouldn't expect much of their audience.
    I felt that the difficulty of Demons Souls should prevent it from placing at the top of any org's Game Of The Year chart, but it won a few. Lots of people are influenced by GOTY chart (there's one GOTY list where I'll buy the #1 every year without question) and foresaw a lot of people buying a game that only a few people were supposed to make heads or tails of.

    In the case of Cuphead, the video looks stupid as hell but I'm prone to lay off the criticism until I've actually played it. It's very easy for a game like that if it does a few things, like if it implements a Z-axis at all, to suddenly turn into a modern-day Battletoads by total accident.
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  • Avatar for LBD_Nytetrayn #28 LBD_Nytetrayn 18 days ago
    Contra has been in my gaming blood since the first entry, and while I'm not going to set any world records, I like to think I'm at the very least decent at them.

    When I played Cuphead last weekend at Fan Expo, I only finished one of the three stages I played, and that was on the easier difficulty. The others I watched play fared little better, if even that well, sometimes while in pairs -- much to the detriment of anyone waiting for a turn (that demo really needs a time limit).

    It's just a rough game all around.
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  • Avatar for pdubb #29 pdubb 17 days ago
    I think the big thing is like@jihon83 and@MHWilliams have said is familiarity. Familiarity with a genre to me is more important for a review than "being good" because familiarity allows the reviewer to have a baseline for what a good game should feel like.

    Example: If everyone's favorite punching bag Shaq Fu, was the first and only fighting game a reviewer has ever played, how can the reviewer get across what is good or bad? How can the reviewer even intuitively feel that a better frame rate would make a the game more enjoyable. Give Shaq-Fu to person who cut their teeth on SF2 in the arcades, and they know why Shaq-Fu is bad, even if they were never above average at SF2.

    This is part of the reason why I do enjoy the USGamer staff's reviews when they are in their specialty areas. Kat may not be the next coming of Beaglerush, but if she gets a tactical RPG to review, I know that I will get a well thought out review of WHY Game X works or doesn't work as a tactical RPG. If she reviews a FIFA or a Madden, I know that she can very carefully explain why this year's iteration is worth me buying or waiting on. I know Mike will know the difference between a diamond in the rough open-world game and a turd. I know most of the staff (other than Jaz) is more than familiar with JRPGs. But on the same token, if I want to get into a racing game, I know there aren't many better than him in explaining why a racing game works and if it has the sense of speed that racing games need.

    But lastly, as I have mentioned, the familiarity goes both ways. After years of reading them, I am familiar with this crew so I know personally which areas I feel they cover well, so that it makes the reviews better for me. If Nadia is gushing about a racing game in a review and Jaz stops in for a couple paragraphs about how good the game is, best believe that says more to me than any number review score.
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  • Avatar for donkeyintheforest #30 donkeyintheforest 17 days ago
    If you don't think a reviewer is up to the task, you can go somewhere else. Plenty of reviewers are horrible at some types of games (watching the Giant Bomb guys play puyo tetris a few years ago was so cringe, but I still bought and enjoyed the game!), but that's not the whole deal.

    I have curated my own list of reviewers from various websites over the years and I'm pretty happy with them. I'm not going to read a Jeremy Parish review because he is really skillful, I'm going to read it because he's thoughtful and likes cool games. Troy Goodfellow is great for strategy. I'll play pretty much any RPG Kat suggests if I have time. I enjoyed Tom Chick's Civ 5 review and Caty's Horizon review. And I'll read pretty much any article Nadia Oxford writes cause it's gonna make me laugh.

    And Mike, over the past couple of years I've decided you are pretty much the best overall reviewer. You provide such a great context for where you're coming from. You might like a game that I don't or you might not like a game I do, but it's clearly stated why and that's great. It makes reading the review so much more worthwhile than most of them out there.

    Anyways, blah blah blah my 2 cents everyone be nice, no need to waste your time heckling people who aren't the best. There's plenty of good people to watch if you need to. To me it's more fun to go play games.
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  • Avatar for donkeyintheforest #31 donkeyintheforest 17 days ago
    haha this is THE article for long comments
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  • Avatar for SatelliteOfLove #32 SatelliteOfLove 17 days ago
    Rule one: Do not dogpile.

    We live in the burgeoning Web 3.0. No, it isn't a joke to some who will use it to fuck someone over. Asynchronous Anonymity is a thing. Learn it.

    Rule two: Like what the man Mike said, if you're going to criticize the mechanics, it is on you as a reviewer and taste-maker to know WTF you are talking about or lose respect.

    Rule three: Know thy reviewer (again, Be Like Mike there).

    Rule four: Every game ain't for you. Not the most popular, no, ESPECIALLY the most popular.
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