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41  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Weekend Playlist - Valentine's Day 2015 edition on: February 16, 2015, 06:13:19 PM

Quote from: Gratch on February 13, 2015, 07:55:51 PM

Have Monday off, looking forward to the long weekend.

Not sure where to spend it yet.  Was thinking I might have one of the New3DS units, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen now.  frown  I grabbed Child of Light for Wii U yesterday.  I tried that on PS3 when it came out, but got distracted by other things.  Will give it another go.

Been spending a ton of time with FF Theatrhythm Curtain Call the last couple weeks as well. Took it on my last trip and got a StreetPass connection with someone that had over 200,000 Rhythmia (this game's version of XP).   icon_eek  For reference, I've put in nearly 40 hours and just barely cracked 50,000.  I've got a long way to go...

Might pick up Wind Waker HD after hearing about how they improved the sailing bits (that was what made me quit the game when I played it ages ago).

Probably some HOMM3 on iPad as well.  Even without the RMG and the somewhat wonky controls, it's still such an awesome game.

Or, as per usual, I can do none of the above.  smile

I had picked up Front Mission Evolved from a Steam sale recently, and fired it up on a whim on Saturday.  I wasn't expecting much, but actually had lots of fun with it.  It's the gaming equivalent of a B-movie and the Mass Effect-ish sections outside of the mechs were meh, but I thought the mech combat was far more fun than I was expecting.  It's not a great game by any means (I'm not even sure it's a "good" one, to be honest), but it scratched a particular itch over the weekend. 

I also took my first foray into space sims and picked up Elite:  Dangerous yesterday, along with a Logitech Extreme 3D Pro joystick.  The game still intimidates the hell out of me, but I actually started to figure a few things out last night.  Had half a dozen successful docking attempts, started to figure out the travel system, learned how to buy goods, and actually made it through a few hours of gameplay alive.  This, frankly, was far more than I was expecting.  Looking forward to booting it up again tonight.

I did pick up Zelda: Wind Waker and spent a couple hours with it.  About the only thing I came away with was a reminder of how much I don't like Zelda games.  frown  I did run a few short FF Theatrhythm quests, but that's just part of the daily routine at this point.
42  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (2/17) on: February 16, 2015, 06:03:49 PM
I picked up Elite:  Dangerous and a joystick yesterday, so I'm probably tapped out for the week.

Keeping an eye on reviews for Hand of Fate and The Order.  I tend to really enjoy some of the recent reboots of arcade games (Pac Man Championship Edition DX and Galaga Legions were both an absolute blast), but this Q*bert one looks rather lackluster.
43  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Elite: Dangerous on: February 16, 2015, 04:50:00 AM

Quote from: drifter on February 16, 2015, 04:14:05 AM

I had no trouble with that mission.  Although what I did different was I targeted it and fired on it at a much greater distance.  I don't think I could really even see the thing so maybe its too close or you need to target it to hit it.  Didn't look like you had it targeted in the video.  T is target front target (default anyway).


Yeah, my "Hey, duh" moment #1 was: Bullets only hit things that are actively targeted. Simply shooting at them without being targeted doesn't do anything.

Completed my first docking sequence on the first try and think I kinda sorta understand the whole galaxy map travel thing. I'd call that an unqualified success, considering this is my first ever space sim.
44  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Elite: Dangerous on: February 15, 2015, 08:36:19 PM
In an effort to further expand my gaming horizons (and against my better judgement), I just purchased Elite Dangerous.  This will be interesting...I'm guessing my experience will go something like this

EDIT:  Yeah, we are not off to a good start.  Didn't realize that the actual game and the combat missions were separate downloads.  Took me forever to figure out why my only options from the main menu were tutorial missions.  Got that one figured out (finally), and tried running the first combat tutorial mission.

Was kinda getting the hang of flying around, but apparently I'm missing something entirely when it comes to shooting.  The mission had me shooting 6 barrels.  No problem, right?  I located the targets, lined them up in my cross-hairs, pulled the trigger...and nothing.  Targeting reticule is directly on the barrel...nothing.  I know the target is right in front of me (hell, I can actually run into it with my ship), but my bullets are apparently just passing right on through them. 

Guess figuring out how to make bullets work will be my first order of business.   

EDIT:  Here's the video, maybe one of you can tell me what I'm doing wrong.
45  Gaming / Portable Gaming & Apps / Re: NEW 3DS and XL on: February 15, 2015, 03:09:43 PM

Quote from: ChaoZ on February 15, 2015, 08:32:48 AM

Quote from: Gratch on February 15, 2015, 05:17:24 AM

Quote from: Destructor on February 15, 2015, 03:47:30 AM

Can't find that New 3DS anywhere? Can't find that Amiibo either?

Reality Check: Nintendo is Awful. Seriously, they have no damn idea what they're doing nowadays. Although according to comments it seems it's a NOA issue and not Nintendo as a whole. Who knows.

Isn't big supply and low demand basically the standard for new console releases?  Or is Nintendo doing something that takes that to the extreme?

Granted, this is only an incremental console upgrade.  It's also been a looooong time since I paid any attention to getting a new console on Day 1, so maybe the days of having to camp out for one are long gone. 

The only shortage witnessed around me is the special Zelda New 3DS XL. The couple of stores I visited were all well stocked with New 3DS XL. That being said, there was little fanfare about its release up here. Usually with a console launch, the big electronics chains advertise the heck out of that fact. None for the New 3DS, though one store did have one on demo. The new handheld is being sold along side with the old one and also the 2DS.

I tried to find one Friday and came up empty everywhere.  Gamestop, Target, Walmart, Best Buy, Shopko...every one of them within a 30 mile radius was completely sold out.

I just chalked it up to new console demand though...didn't think much of it.
46  Gaming / Portable Gaming & Apps / Re: NEW 3DS and XL on: February 15, 2015, 05:17:24 AM

Quote from: Destructor on February 15, 2015, 03:47:30 AM

Can't find that New 3DS anywhere? Can't find that Amiibo either?

Reality Check: Nintendo is Awful. Seriously, they have no damn idea what they're doing nowadays. Although according to comments it seems it's a NOA issue and not Nintendo as a whole. Who knows.

Isn't big supply and low demand basically the standard for new console releases?  Or is Nintendo doing something that takes that to the extreme?

Granted, this is only an incremental console upgrade.  It's also been a looooong time since I paid any attention to getting a new console on Day 1, so maybe the days of having to camp out for one are long gone. 
47  Gaming / Portable Gaming & Apps / Re: NEW 3DS and XL on: February 14, 2015, 05:25:36 AM

Quote from: Lordnine on February 14, 2015, 05:14:30 AM

If you plan to get a larger SD, do it now before you download anything of substance.  While you can transfer data, itís more trouble than it should be.  Nintendo is archaic in that games are tied only to the one device, so if you buy something on the eShop, donít expect to download it again on a 2nd device.

I bought FF Theatrhythm via the e-shop for my current 3DS.  So you're saying that if I get a New 3DS,  I can't download Theatrhythm onto the new device then transfer over my save file?

If so, I'm glad I didn't actually end up getting one today, as that's pretty much a deal-breaker.
48  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Weekend Playlist - Valentine's Day 2015 edition on: February 13, 2015, 07:55:51 PM
Have Monday off, looking forward to the long weekend.

Not sure where to spend it yet.  Was thinking I might have one of the New3DS units, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen now.  frown  I grabbed Child of Light for Wii U yesterday.  I tried that on PS3 when it came out, but got distracted by other things.  Will give it another go.

Been spending a ton of time with FF Theatrhythm Curtain Call the last couple weeks as well. Took it on my last trip and got a StreetPass connection with someone that had over 200,000 Rhythmia (this game's version of XP).   icon_eek  For reference, I've put in nearly 40 hours and just barely cracked 50,000.  I've got a long way to go...

Might pick up Wind Waker HD after hearing about how they improved the sailing bits (that was what made me quit the game when I played it ages ago).

Probably some HOMM3 on iPad as well.  Even without the RMG and the somewhat wonky controls, it's still such an awesome game.
49  Gaming / Portable Gaming & Apps / [3DS] Games for kids (6 years old) on: February 13, 2015, 05:21:15 PM
I just bought a New 3DS, and am going to hand my old one down to Little B 5.11.  I'd like to find her some entry-level games to play.  Needs to be pretty basic...something like Mario would be far too complicated for her at this point. 

I think she'd love those Nintendogs things...might start with those.  Any other suggestions?
50  Gaming / Portable Gaming & Apps / Re: NEW 3DS and XL on: February 13, 2015, 05:09:27 PM
Just ordered mine, picking it up from Best Buy on my way home today.   nod  Will be grabbing the new Monster Hunter too, assuming I can find a copy.  Really not looking forward to that whole transfer process.

Between this and the new Wii, I'm now full "Nintendo'ed".   thumbsup

EDIT:  Scratch that, Best Buy just told me it is no longer available for pick-up.  Tried all three stores in the area, same result.
51  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / [PC] Sword Coast Legends - New D&D game on: February 13, 2015, 12:58:00 PM
This one just popped up on my radar, and it looks this looks really damn cool.  An isometric D&D campaign + DM tools?  Yes, please.

I'd never even heard of it before this morning though...flew completely under my radar.  Was this common knowledge and I just somehow missed it?   icon_confused
52  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Eurogamer drops review scores on: February 12, 2015, 02:07:04 PM

Quote from: TiLT on February 12, 2015, 01:16:05 PM

Edit: Oh, and before you say "but this is the fault of those other sites for not using Metacritic right" or something in that vein, allow me to interrupt you and say: No, it's the fault of Metacritic for putting an utterly (as in 100%) useless and nonredeemable aggregate score front and center. Even if nobody abused it, it would still be useless by its very nature, yet it does harm because the average consumer actually thinks it holds some kind of meaning.

I love how TiLT asserts that Metacritic is of absolutely no use to anyone under any circumstances, and that this is somehow an indisputable fact.  Never mind the many folks in this very thread who use it regularly and find it to be a very useful tool.
53  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Eurogamer drops review scores on: February 11, 2015, 09:16:41 PM

Quote from: Bullwinkle on February 11, 2015, 08:52:08 PM

However, taking it away would be much worse for the folks who use those sites.  Myself included.  Honestly, if I didn't have an easy way to sort through reviews at this point in my life, I'm sure I'd be spending less money, especially on the smaller games.  And I know I'm not alone.  Following that path, destroying Metacritic won't hurt the big publishers at all, but will have an affect on consumers and the smaller companies, struggling to make it.

Lots of truth to this.  A quick anecdotal example, if I may.

I dropped nearly $500 on a Wii U + games + controllers two weeks ago.  I was only mildly interested in the system, but decided on a whim to go to Metacritic and pull the list of top rated games for the system.  I then filtered that by RPGs to see what games I may have missed.  I then did the same thing for Wii games, since the system is backwards compatible.  I was quickly able to read through a few reviews of games I was on the fence about, and also found a few games that I had never even heard of before (oh hai, Shantae and the Pirate's Curse!).  All in all, I went from "I might buy a Wii U someday" to determining that were enough games of interest for me to go drop the money right now.

In the absence of Metacritic, I never would have gone through the effort of tracking down each of those game lists for myself, look up individual reviews at their respective sites, read the details to determine if they were positive or negative, repeat for the Wii, etc.  Right now, I'd still be thinking "I might buy a Wii U someday".

So Metacritic isn't entirely evil. 

And for the record, I love this discussion.   thumbsup
54  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Eurogamer drops review scores on: February 11, 2015, 08:38:54 PM

Quote from: Purge on February 11, 2015, 08:36:03 PM

Quote from: Gratch on February 11, 2015, 08:24:36 PM

Quote from: Lordnine on February 11, 2015, 07:12:24 PM

Quote from: Gratch on February 11, 2015, 06:22:57 PM



We're talking about gaming here, not human rights violations.  It's a hobby.  Something I do for fun when I have some extra time.  Sure it's fun to hang out and talk about it here (which I have continued to do for 15 years because I enjoy the company), but the word "serious" has never even crossed my mind.  I suppose that's my disconnect with this whole thing...everyone seems to be howling that this is some sort of large-scale, damning conspiracy that demands immediate attention, and I just don't see it that way at all.

When companies stop making games which appeal to me (which has already started happening, to a large extent), I'll stop buying games and move on to something else.  

I think that is key.  If you donít have a vested interest in the future of the industry, then itís kind of pointless to argue either way, isnít it?  The idea that you can enjoy something until it goes away and then just move on seems kind of selfish.

When did I ever say gaming would go away?  I specifically said that when the games being made don't appeal to me personally, then I have no issues with walking away from the hobby.  I fail to see how that's selfish.



It's incredibly selfish - as in you choosing behaviours that serve only yourself.

I think the gaming industry as a whole could somehow manage to soldier on if I choose to step away.  smile 
55  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Eurogamer drops review scores on: February 11, 2015, 08:33:42 PM

Quote from: TiLT on February 11, 2015, 07:23:10 PM

Quote from: Bullwinkle on February 11, 2015, 05:13:44 PM

We're not taking a defeatist attitude of "Well, the problem can't be fixed, so why fix it."

On the contrary, that's exactly what Gratch did, and specifically what I responded to. As for yourself, you're apparently suggesting that the publishers are the root of the issue. What's your solution to that issue, if I may ask? Shoving the problem one step over doesn't make it less defeatist.

No, I'm saying it's silly to think that the business practices of an entire industry are going to change simply by removing an aggregator website. 

The sole reason for publishers to exist is to make money.  If they have a way to leverage something to make the their profit margins improve - whether that something is a Metascore, customer feedback, sales figures, demographics, or something else entirely - they will do exactly that.  Unless you have a way to remove the publishers from the model entirely, I don't see that ever changing.  If that makes me a defeatist, then so be it.
56  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Eurogamer drops review scores on: February 11, 2015, 08:24:36 PM

Quote from: Lordnine on February 11, 2015, 07:12:24 PM

Quote from: Gratch on February 11, 2015, 06:22:57 PM



We're talking about gaming here, not human rights violations.  It's a hobby.  Something I do for fun when I have some extra time.  Sure it's fun to hang out and talk about it here (which I have continued to do for 15 years because I enjoy the company), but the word "serious" has never even crossed my mind.  I suppose that's my disconnect with this whole thing...everyone seems to be howling that this is some sort of large-scale, damning conspiracy that demands immediate attention, and I just don't see it that way at all.

When companies stop making games which appeal to me (which has already started happening, to a large extent), I'll stop buying games and move on to something else.  

I think that is key.  If you donít have a vested interest in the future of the industry, then itís kind of pointless to argue either way, isnít it?  The idea that you can enjoy something until it goes away and then just move on seems kind of selfish.

When did I ever say gaming would go away?  I specifically said that when the games being made don't appeal to me personally, then I have no issues with walking away from the hobby.  I fail to see how that's selfish.
57  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Eurogamer drops review scores on: February 11, 2015, 08:10:47 PM
Quote
You may want to read this before you start throwing out random issues that have nothing to do with the case at hand. When did we start talking about human rights violations? This discussion is about Metacritic and reviews. Take your human rights discussion to a more relevant thread.

Apologies, that was my very poor attempt at placing this particular issue into a grander "things that really matter in life" scale.  Bad form on my part, won't happen again.
58  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Eurogamer drops review scores on: February 11, 2015, 06:22:57 PM

Quote from: TiLT on February 11, 2015, 04:44:12 PM

No offense intended, but that's the kind of defeatist attitude that I will never accept for myself. "It's never going to get better anyway, so why try to work towards change?" is a very, very dangerous line of thinking. While gaming is far from the most serious of things in our lives, it's still serious enough that we've got this forum where a bunch of us has been hanging around for more than 15 years, experiencing our shared hobby together.

We're talking about gaming here, not human rights violations.  It's a hobby.  Something I do for fun when I have some extra time.  Sure it's fun to hang out and talk about it here (which I have continued to do for 15 years because I enjoy the company), but the word "serious" has never even crossed my mind.  I suppose that's my disconnect with this whole thing...everyone seems to be howling that this is some sort of large-scale, damning conspiracy that demands immediate attention, and I just don't see it that way at all.

When companies stop making games which appeal to me (which has already started happening, to a large extent), I'll stop buying games and move on to something else.  

Quote
Metacritic has hurt the industry in more ways than we realize. In fact, reading the Kotaku articles today, and what developers and previous employees at publishers were saying in it, made me realize that the current Ubisoft way of designing games probably came around because of a need to inflate overall review scores. As the interviewed people themselves point out, things like making games open world instead of level based raises the review scores for the most part. Before Metacritic got huge, we had far fewer review sites around the net, so publishers were less concerned about appealing to the broadest possible reviewer audience than they are now. They did focus on the lowest common consumer denominator though, but that's a different issue and probably more beneficial to gamers anyway.

I'll go out on a limb and guess that game design trends (i.e. open world instead of level-based) have a hell of a lot more to do with consumer research, trend analysis, and past sales figures than a need to raise Metacritic review scores.
59  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Eurogamer drops review scores on: February 11, 2015, 04:08:38 PM

Quote from: Lordnine on February 11, 2015, 03:59:10 PM

Quote from: Gratch on February 11, 2015, 03:36:21 PM


You think that removing Metacritic from the equation means that publishers will cease to use review scores as leverage against developers.  I think that leverage will simply be replaced by something else, and that "something" could potentially be significantly worse for the devs.  We'll just have to agree to disagree on this, I suppose.
Worse than a system that is broken because one reviewer can bomb a game without much effort, simply because their review scale doesn't translate well to a percentage?

Potentially, yes.  As I mentioned earlier, I could easily see publishers creating their own aggregate scores in the absence of a Metascore.  In that (hypothetical) scenario, who's to say they don't simply gather up all the Tom Chick'ish reviews to make a game appear to be reviewed poorly, thus giving them more leverage in the discussion with the developer?

Would it be a slimy business practice?  Absolutely.  Would I put it past them?  Not for a second.
60  Gaming / Portable Gaming & Apps / Re: NEW 3DS and XL on: February 11, 2015, 04:02:02 PM
Lord help me, I'm actually considering picking up a New 3DS.  I'm tired of squinting at my first gen 3DS' screen while playing FF Theatrhythm, and both the new Monster Hunter and Xenoblade remake interest me.  I can transfer my game data over from my old 3DS system, right?

I'll keep my fingers crossed for a FF Tactics Advance reboot somewhere down the line as well.  smile
61  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Eurogamer drops review scores on: February 11, 2015, 03:36:21 PM

Quote from: TiLT on February 11, 2015, 03:18:39 PM

Quote from: Bullwinkle on February 11, 2015, 02:31:22 PM

What you seem to be missing, TiLT, is that each of these examples and really everything "damning" that has been brought here against Metacritic should really be pointed at the publishers.  How is it Metacritic's fault that publishers use a site that compiles review scores to do shitty things?  How is it Metacritics fault that bribes for good review scores happen?  

As Gratch said earlier (though he clearly didn't understand you, since he didn't agree with you): "And I'm sure all of these bad behaviors will just disappear if/when Metacritic goes away."  I actually think you missed his point, not the other way around.  The problem is that video gaming has turned into a gazillion dollar industry.  The biggest entertainment industry.  As a result, it's filled with suits.  Suits will do anything to keep the money on the suit side.  Metacritic is a tool.  Normal folks use it to help guide them in gaming choices.  Suits in the gaming industry use it for evil purposes.  If you take that tool away, they will find another tool.  They are those kind of tools, themselves.

You're killing the messenger.  Not the problem.

No, I am killing the problem. As you say, the publishers will use any tool at their disposal. They don't have one if Metacritic goes away. Metacritic gives them a plausible way to extort developers. To this day, I've never heard of them using alternate systems for similar purposes. You say they'll just use something else. Can you point to any facts that indicate this? Can you point to systematic exploitation of developers through the use of a third-party service before Metacritic appeared? Most people who would have been involved are long past the point where their contracts meant much to them, so if there was anything to say, surely it would be public by now, right?

Your mistake is taking pieces of the full situation out of context and analyzing them in isolation. You have to look at at least the majority of the pieces at once, or Metacritic comes off as useful or just mildly misguided. It's the combination of a myriad of factors, all created from Metacritic's outright harmful design philosophy (though designed with good intentions). When people argue against the claim that Metacritic as a harmful force in the industry, they always do that by singling out individual parts of the overall argument, but it just doesn't work that way.

Publishers are our antoganists, not our friends. We all (well, most of us anyway) know that. In the same way that you don't give alcohol to a recovering alcoholic, you don't give the publishers tools to exploit developers and consumers. Metacritic is such a tool, and it has absolutely NO benefit to us consumers that wouldn't immediately be surpassed by a different site in a better way the instant Metacritic were to disappear. Companies are not people. They don't need or deserve protection by us consumers.

You're right, there is no hard evidence that publishers were using a third-party tool as leverage prior to Metacritic.  However, Metacritic launched in 1999.  I'd say that the gaming industry (especially on the business/publishing side) as a whole is vastly different today than it was 15 years ago.  Metascore has been an available tool, so they've used it...but that doesn't mean they won't find something else if/when it's gone.

You think that removing Metacritic from the equation means that publishers will cease to use review scores as leverage against developers.  I think that leverage will simply be replaced by something else, and that "something" could potentially be significantly worse for the devs.  We'll just have to agree to disagree on this, I suppose.
62  Gaming / Portable Gaming & Apps / Re: NEW 3DS and XL on: February 11, 2015, 02:38:40 PM

Quote from: Teggy on February 11, 2015, 06:56:37 AM

Quote from: EngineNo9 on February 11, 2015, 12:58:44 AM

Quote from: Gratch on February 10, 2015, 04:21:03 AM

The comparison GIF is for Xenoblade Chronicles, a game which originally came out for the Wii and is being ported over to the new new 3DS.

The Wii U game you're referring to is Xenoblade Chronicles X, which is a completely different game (and looks much better).

Oh, well, how could anybody ever make a mistake between those games.   retard  (blaming the silly naming convention, not your explanation)

And what happened to Xenoblade Chronicles II through IX?

Only released in Japan.  slywink
63  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Eurogamer drops review scores on: February 11, 2015, 02:27:00 PM
My whole point is that these behaviors are going to happen - whether Metacritic exists or not.

Let's say Metacritic goes offline tomorrow.  So instead of publishers saying "Well, the Metacritic score for your last game was only a 58 so we want (insert leverage here)" they'll say "We had an intern spend 20 minutes aggregating the composite review scores of your last game from 20 websites, and it was only 58/100.  Therefore we want (insert leverage here)".  In the end, Metacritic makes that exercise an easier task for publishers, but the behavior won't suddenly change if Metacritic goes away.  Hell, it may even make it worse.  In the absence of an impartial aggregator, publishers could simply pick and choose which reviews they include in aggregate scores (i.e. cherry picking the bad ones to make a games appear worse than it actually is) instead of using feedback from across the board.  Laying blame for these behaviors on a tool that compiles scores seems ridiculous to me.

One other thought from the article, around this comment:

Quote
In order to survive, studios like Airtight have to negotiate deals with big companies like Capcom and Square Enix. Often that means talking about Metacritic. Sometimes that means wearing their history of Metacritic scores like a scarlet letter.

This is common. An employee of a well-known game studio told me about a recent pitch meeting with a publisher, during which the publisher brought up the studio's last two Metacritic scores, which were both average. The studio employee asked that I not name the parties involved, but claimed the publisher used the Metascores as leverage against the studio, first to negotiate for less favorable terms, and then to turn down the pitch entirely.

Bullshit.

Publishers exist to make money.  If they thought the game being pitched was good enough to do so, they wouldn't turn it down simply because a developer previously had poor Metacritic scores.  To claim that a pitch was "turned down entirely" because a Metacritic ranking wasn't high enough is laughable.
64  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Eurogamer drops review scores on: February 11, 2015, 01:18:18 PM

Quote from: TiLT on February 11, 2015, 06:15:27 AM

Quote from: Gratch on February 11, 2015, 05:41:30 AM

I simply don't agree that there is this horrible, awful, overarching, evil, and destructive effect that Metacritic is having on the gaming industry as a whole.  It's a freaking review aggregator, sheesh.

Are you claiming that I'm making up these things?

Not at all.  Rather, I'm claiming that many of these issues are mountains being made out of molehills, or aren't nearly as widespread or impactful as people claim.  Let's quickly look at the examples from the article you linked to:

Quote
Independent studios like Obsidian Entertainment (South Park: The Stick of Truth) and the now-defunct Airtight Games (Murdered: Soul Suspect) are frequently asked to show their Metacritic scores while meeting with publishers about potential deals to make new games
Do you honestly think that publishers haven't evaluated every single aspect of Obsidian's track record (i.e. sales, quality of games, target audience, etc.) prior to meeting with them about a potential game?  That somehow Obsidian's answer to "but how were your Metacritic scores?" is going to be the deciding factor as to whether or not they get published?  Get real.

Quote
Metacritic scores are also tied to bonuses; Obsidian lost out on a cool $1 million because Fallout: New Vegas was one point away from 85, according to sources.56
As has been said before, that's just stupid business on Obsidian's part to have bonuses tied to Metacritic scores as a part of their bonus structure.  I also wonder how prevalent this practice actually is.  Everyone points to this one high profile example, but I haven't heard of it happening much elsewhere.  Regardless, companies are free to negotiate how they get paid, and I'm sure a solution could be found that ties bonuses to a different metric.

Quote
Publishers can and will do whatever they can to skew Metacritic scores. One developer told me of the time he hired an infamously-negative-scoring reviewer to write a mock review for his studio's gameónot because the developer wanted feedback, but because they wanted to make sure this reviewer would have to disclose himself from writing a review and impacting the Metascore accordingly.
I won't comment on this one, mainly because I'm not sure what "would have to disclose himself from writing a review" even means.

Quote
Some smaller websites can be influenced in more blatant waysóone writer told me that Sega guaranteed his website an exclusive review of Super Monkey Ball if the score was higher than an 8.0.
Shitty, but how is this in any way related to Metacritic?

I'll concede that it's entirely possible that I simply have a blind spot to this stuff because I don't really follow "the industry" much anymore.  I still enjoy gaming and read the occasional review or check out the occasional article, but I certainly don't live or die by these things as some folks seem to.
65  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Eurogamer drops review scores on: February 11, 2015, 05:41:30 AM

Quote from: TiLT on February 11, 2015, 05:31:45 AM

Quote from: Gratch on February 10, 2015, 10:18:57 PM

And I'm sure all of these bad behaviors will just disappear if/when Metacritic goes away.

What? Did you read my entire post but still failed to understand the basic point I was making? Am I really that bad at expressing myself?

These behaviors are either caused by Metacritic's existence, or are made worse. The different scales isn't a problem on its own, but it is when aggregated by Metacritic. If Metacritic goes away, then the bad effects of Metacritic do the same thing. There aren't any other sites that have the same kind of negative influence. The industry wouldn't let another site take its place either, because pretty much everyone that isn't a publisher (and maybe even them) has a strong dislike for that site.

Quote from: Ridah on February 10, 2015, 10:53:59 PM

Why does Metacritic deserve to share blame for what individual companies do, vis-a-vis bonuses, hiring policies, etc?

Again, do I really explain myself that poorly? The poor practices described in this thread are a result of Metacritic, not something Metacritic just takes advantage of. These things didn't happen until Metacritic grew powerful. It poisoned the industry with its growth.

I simply don't agree that there is this horrible, awful, overarching, evil, and destructive effect that Metacritic is having on the gaming industry as a whole.  It's a freaking review aggregator, sheesh.

Do some people/organizations/publishers behave poorly because of review scores?  Sure.  And if Metacritic weren't around, I'm sure they'd figure out some other way to make us dislike them.  However, it hardly feels like Metacritic is the evil empire destined to bring down gaming as we know it that you're making it out to be.
66  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Wii U on: February 11, 2015, 05:18:27 AM
I just had a major gaming breakthrough.  In all my years as an avid gamer, I've never actually finished a Mario game...until tonight.   ninja

Super Mario 3D World was an absolute blast.
67  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Eurogamer drops review scores on: February 11, 2015, 05:15:18 AM

Quote from: Autistic Angel on February 11, 2015, 01:59:28 AM

Quote from: Gratch on February 10, 2015, 06:58:07 PM

Right or wrong, sites that drop review scores pretty much drop off my personal radar.  


The irony here is that Gratch himself does not use numerical scoring in his own reviews.  Fortunately, the consistent standards he applies to every game make it fairly easy to determine what they would be.

"I put more than an hour into this game...."  =  7.0 on IGN

"I might give this another chance someday."  =  8.0 on IGN

"I'm not disappointed enough to stop playing yet."  =  9.0 on IGN

"I am playing Neir."  =  12.7 on IGN

-Autistic Angel

Let's just be honest, if everyone used the "Zero <---> Nier" rating scale, we'd all be a lot better off.
68  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Eurogamer drops review scores on: February 10, 2015, 10:18:57 PM

Quote from: TiLT on February 10, 2015, 09:56:32 PM

Apart from the situations mentioned earlier in this thread (Metascore being used to decide if development teams should even get bonuses, or using Metascore to judge the quality of a job applicant), Metacritic also harms the industry in that its power means that the first sites to get their reviews up on the site experience a huge increase in traffic. This shapes how reviewers do their jobs. Reviews are pushed out as quickly as humanly possible (and sometimes faster) because to do otherwise would be to lose considerable amounts of money to other sites that are faster. With review code often arriving late (even later than the retail version in some cases), reviewers find themselves having to play through a game and produce a review for it in as little as 1-2 days. Amazon, on the other hand, doesn't use other sites' reviews in a similar way (to the best of my knowledge anyway), instead featuring their own review system on their own site. There's little economic gain in being the first to push out a review there, so scores are more likely to be trustworthy (except in cases of outright sabotage, but that's a different discussion).

To make things worse, some sites deliberately post extreme review scores to Metacritic in order to get more clicks (ie. clickbaiting) to their own site. They love it when they post a low score for a popular game, only for people to angrily visit their site to complain. Those same people produce page hits and ad views. The site "wins" while the consumers lose, and the Metascore becomes ever more irrelevant.

Metacritic also suffers due to different sites having vastly different scales for their review scores. Sites like IGN give everything 8/10 unless it's exceptional (9/10) or horrible (7/10), while another site may use the full scale. It's different everywhere, with no unified scale that anyone can agree upon. Metacritic doesn't care. It lumps them together as if they are in any way comparable, and the consumer who looks at the review scores is none the wiser. It even converts the review scale if it doesn't fit the standard percentage scale they use, so a 4/5 star review becomes 80% in their system, a score that few would argue means the same thing when it comes to game reviews. Joystiq ended up having to start giving half stars after a while of this, which is telling.

And I'm sure all of these bad behaviors will just disappear if/when Metacritic goes away.
69  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Eurogamer drops review scores on: February 10, 2015, 09:34:21 PM

Quote from: Lordnine on February 10, 2015, 09:07:56 PM

The problem with review scores and Metacritic go deep.  There have been instances of developers not getting bonuses because their game (New Vegas I think?) was a couple points too low on Metacritic.  That case is particularly silly because MC aggregates reviews that should not be considered the same. Four stars =/= to an 80% even if the math suggests it is. Treating it as such puts a lot of good games in a position where a single reviewer who actually hated the game, can destroy its position.  This is amplified if itís a smaller game that doesnít get numerous reviews.

That is very unfortunate for those developers involved.  That said, a bonus structure based upon an arbitrary metric of how much someone does or doesn't like your product seems like a shitty way to run things in the first place.

It also indicates to to me that people take Metacritic scores waaaaaaaay too seriously.  Metacritic is a score aggregator for crying out loud, not some sort of holy writ to anoint games as "chosen ones".   Some folks (like me) find it to be a useful tool, nothing more.
70  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Eurogamer drops review scores on: February 10, 2015, 08:01:20 PM

Quote from: TiLT on February 10, 2015, 07:16:48 PM

Quote from: Gratch on February 10, 2015, 06:58:07 PM

If the review doesn't include a metric that gives me at least an "at a glance" sense of the reviewer's opinion

But they almost always do, either in the form of bullet points or a brief summary. If people haven't got the time to even read that little bit of information, then games journalism is truly doomed and more big sites will collapse. I prefer to have faith in people's ability to read if there's no longer a score to argue about. I've had it with flame wars because a site dares give a Zelda game 8/10, with nobody even bothering to go into the reasons. We're adults. We can do better than that.

You're right, we are adults.  As such, I don't think I've ever argued or engaged in a flame war over a review score.  I just find them to be a very useful metric.

I'm guessing those who would engage in such behavior are going to figure out a way to do so whether there's a numeric score attached or not.

71  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Eurogamer drops review scores on: February 10, 2015, 06:58:07 PM

Quote from: TiLT on February 10, 2015, 06:37:15 PM

Quote from: Gratch on February 10, 2015, 06:23:46 PM

I must be the only one who actually likes review scores, especially when it's combined with a bullet point "pros and cons" list (like how GT does it).  Gives me a quick snapshot of the reviewer's opinion, then I can read the more in-depth details if I want more info.

But you don't need the score to do that. The score doesn't really represent the reviewer's opinion in any meaningful way, but the bullet points do. You'd get a better impression of the reviewer's opinion if the score wasn't in the way.

The very first thing I look at in any review is the score.  If a site ranks something as a 9/10, I'm likely to read their review further to find out why.  If the review doesn't include a metric that gives me at least an "at a glance" sense of the reviewer's opinion, I'm probably not going to bother digging through their review to find out.  Blame my incredibly short attention span, I suppose.

Right or wrong, sites that drop review scores pretty much drop off my personal radar.  
72  Gaming / Portable Gaming & Apps / Re: iPhone/iTouch app and game thread on: February 10, 2015, 06:36:18 PM

Quote from: Gratch on January 30, 2015, 04:23:30 PM

Quote from: wonderpug on January 30, 2015, 02:27:23 PM

Buyer beware on HOMM 3.  I read it's based on the Steam HD edition and user reviews are mostly people angry at Ubisoft for cutting out features and doing other half-assed things to the remake.

Yeah, I've heard that as well.  Also been reading that the touchscreen implementation is complete crap on iOS.  

What a shame...HOMM3 was probably my most wanted game for iOS.   icon_cry

A long flight + iTunes gift card + the prospect of playing HOMM3 on the iPad = crumbled willpower.

Tried a couple maps this morning.  The interface is going to take some getting used to, but I'm not sure it's the complete disaster that it's being made out to be.  Just feels really wonky until you figure out what the game wants you to do.  Speaking of which, I'm awfully glad I already knew HOMM3 inside and out, as the tutorials for the iPad version are basically non-existent.  Folks who haven't played HOMM3 before will likely be utterly lost.

The whole thing just screams "lazy Ubisoft cash-in", but still...playing one of my favorite games on the iPad is fantastic.
73  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Eurogamer drops review scores on: February 10, 2015, 06:23:46 PM
I must be the only one who actually likes review scores, especially when it's combined with a bullet point "pros and cons" list (like how GT does it).  Gives me a quick snapshot of the reviewer's opinion, then I can read the more in-depth details if I want more info.
74  Gaming / Portable Gaming & Apps / Re: Re: Re: NEW 3DS and XL on: February 10, 2015, 04:21:03 AM

Quote from: Canuck on February 10, 2015, 03:30:27 AM

Quote from: farley2k on February 09, 2015, 03:08:34 PM

That a Wii comparison, not WiiU. The WiiU game is completely new.

The comparison GIF is for Xenoblade Chronicles, a game which originally came out for the Wii and is being ported over to the new new 3DS.

The Wii U game you're referring to is Xenoblade Chronicles X, which is a completely different game (and looks much better).
75  Gaming / Portable Gaming & Apps / Re: NEW 3DS and XL on: February 09, 2015, 05:51:41 PM

Quote from: Lordnine on February 09, 2015, 05:47:19 PM

That is pretty closeÖ

Considering how bad the Wii version would look blown up to 60 inches on my TV, I think the 3DS wins.


This. 

I started playing The Last Story over the weekend, and it looks like hot garbage on the big screen.  frown
76  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: I took a wrong turn and ended... on: February 09, 2015, 01:39:28 AM

Quote from: Starshift on February 09, 2015, 01:37:38 AM

Quote from: Autistic Angel on February 08, 2015, 08:21:55 PM

But are you listening to the soundtrack of KOTOR whilst playing Bayonetta 2?  Because if not, you're doing it wrong.

-Autistic Angel

 icon_lol  I canít play Bayonetta 2 because I donít have a Wii U!  I never finished the original... but I loved it!  Iíve always loved those quirky games.  Remember Bullet Witch?   The Weghted Companion Cube will never threaten to stab you.

I bought a WiiU last weekend pretty much just so I could play Bayonetta 2.  Totally worth it, it's an utterly brilliant game.
77  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [Wii U] Bayonetta 2 on: February 08, 2015, 11:40:59 PM
Just finished Bayonetta 2, which reasserted itself as the best action franchise out there, hands down.  Kratos is a total pansy compared to Cereza.

Batshit insane, utterly ridiculous...and an absolute joy to play from start to finish.  I didn't think they could top the first game, but somehow they did.  Such awesomeness.
78  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / Wii controllers? on: February 08, 2015, 07:10:18 PM
I don't supposed anyone has a Wii sitting around they're not using, and would be willing to part with their controller?  I really want to play some of the backwards compatible Wii games (namely The Last Story) but found out that you can't use that big 'ol gamepad controller for Wii games.  you actually have to have the stupid remote and nunchuck thing.   icon_evil

Anyone interested in parting with theirs? 
79  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: I took a wrong turn and ended... on: February 08, 2015, 02:50:37 PM
Holy shit...blast from the past.  Welcome back Shifty!  Sounds like you're doing well. 

Now for the million dollar question:  Do you still make your RPG characters walk instead of run?   icon_razz
80  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Wii U on: February 08, 2015, 04:38:09 AM
I have to have a Wii-mote to run backwards compatible Wii games?  Bah.   I get it for games that have motion controls, but I just wanted to play The Last Story tonight.   icon_cry

While I enjoyed Super Mario 3D World, I pretty much hit my platforming skill limit around World 5.  After losing 15 lives on the gorram trapeze level, I remembered why I never really cared for Mario that much.  smile
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