Official Feedback Issue 91

Want to air your opinions on the latest issue of Retro Gamer? Step inside...

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thevulture
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Re: Official Feedback Issue 91

Post by thevulture » Fri Jun 24, 2011 11:07 am

Had Darren's review consisted of his view being the only one expressed and had the flaws/niggles of the game 'glossed over'. i would have had a 'beef' with the review, but as it stands, Darren pointed out just what he felt did'nt work so great, there was a 2nd persons view etc.

How many reviewers were avaiable to do said review? And of that 'pool' who was neutral enough to carry out the review?.-As it's a remake of an established 'classic' (depending on your like/dislike), you needed someone who was at very least familar enough with N64 original, to be able to say just how good or bad the remake was, from an audio/visual point of view and also what if any new features had been included and how was the host machines potential (here the 3D aspect) used? did it enhance? or just feel like a gimmick? Darren did answer these points.

The review did advise on all the above.The score? Has'nt made me think OMG! Must rush out and buy a 3DS.

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Re: Official Feedback Issue 91

Post by Crunchy » Fri Jun 24, 2011 11:10 am

FatTrucker wrote:
Crunchy wrote:A review written by a massive fan of the genre is as worthless as one written by somebody who hates the genre. Unless your review is deliberately aimed at one of those extremes. Neither provides a good view of what the game is like except for either a fan or a hater. A review written by a fan is every bit as bland as one written by a hater since there is no genuine insight from the point of view of objectivity. It's worth bearing in mind that most gamers aren't outright fans or outright haters of a game. So who writes the reviews for these people in FatTrucker's paradigm of biased reporting?

If everybody who buys RG is expected to already be familiar with the game under review then there is no point reviewing it. Merely state that the game is available and let the fans buy it and the haters shun it with everybody else inbetween making up their own mind.

If a review is not an indicator on whether to buy a game or not then what is it? Just somebody spouting their opinion for the sake of it? A review should be entertaining and interesting to read but anybody who thinks that's the sole purpose of its existence, or even the main purpose of its existence, has massively missed the point of why it's there. Usually a review is about purchasing, sometimes it's simply about whether you should waste your gaming time on something or not. Either way, the point of a review is to advise first and foremost.
Maybe on new IP, but this isn't new IP is it, its a remake of an old (pretty much globally recognised) game reviewed with the presumption that people are already familiar with that game. Like I said, if you liked it the first time then the review will be of interest on wether or not to buy it, if you didn't like it then a remake isn't going to fundamentally change your mind and make you want to buy it as its the same game, the review isn't aimed at you, you already know you don't like it.
The whole premise of Retrogamer is revisiting games and systems you've already played, to use your own example, what's the point of buying the mag at all in that case?.
You have tunnel vision. You see RG in terms of a readership that is immediately familiar with all aspects of retro the minute they pick up the magazine. Do you really think that's the case? Much of the criticism aimed at RG is down to its sensible approach in trying to attract new readers to the magazine. Are we to believe then that everybody they manage to attract has already played everything? Especially younger readers who weren't even around when half the sytems featured in the magazine were current?
As I mentioned earlier, not all readers will have played any of the games under review. That includes Nintendo's output. There are people on this forum who haven't played much of Nintendo's output. There are readers who need genuine advice on what to purchase because they aren't a fan and they aren't a hater and they are not sure whether the game in question is for them or not because they are not familiar with the game on offer in any way, shape or form.

The point of buying the mag might be nostalgia for you but for some retro gaming as a whole will be a completely new discovery. And even if it isn't then different systems will be a completely new discovery.
Is it good practice to shortchange the genuine seeker of advice with biased reviews? I don't think it is.

It's staggeringly arrogant to assume that every reader is just like you btw.

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Re: Official Feedback Issue 91

Post by FatTrucker » Fri Jun 24, 2011 11:20 am

Its not arrogant, and I don't assume every reader is the same. Its just that RG is a Retrogaming magazine aimed at retrogaming enthusiasts, and the game in question is only 13 years old, and happened to be one of the most high profile games ever released, on balance I think its fair to say more than 99% of RG's readership already know what it is.
No-one's been short changed, no-one's being misled, no-one's going to buy it blindly on the strength of that review, you know it, I know it, and anyone else who buys the mag knows it, the rest is just semantics. The fact that some people don't like the game and so fundamentally disagree with a glowing review is perfectly OK and kind of makes my point. You clearly dislike the game, have read the review and still have no intention of buying it, therefore its not misleading you in anyway, and since we already know that RG is a mag aimed at Retro Gamers who will already know what this game is then nor will anyone else. Effectively as I said at the beginning, the review (and the mag) is written with the presumption that people are already familiar with the source material, its not there to win the hearts and minds of people who didn't like it the first time around, its only of interest to people who were already interested in buying the game and so I disagree with everything you said.

It doesn't mean you're wrong and I'm right, I'm sure a lot of people will agree with you, I just I happen to have a different point of view in this case and said so.
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Re: Official Feedback Issue 91

Post by Mayhem » Fri Jun 24, 2011 11:29 am

Having read the last 2-3 pages of comments, I'm nodding at Fat Trucker and Vulture, and shaking my head at Crunchy. From what I've read it appears Crunchy just wants reviews that agree with his own personal point of view, and to hell with anyone who actually disagrees with him. Sorry mate, not how it works. A review is an opinion, end of. And I wouldn't trust a review from someone who didn't have an interest in the genre of game under the spotlight, which is something I often saw happening with Edge reviews.
thevulture wrote:How many people skip review text and just look at number on the bottom of review I wonder?
Too many apparently. We toyed and suggested the idea of dropping review scores over at NTSC-UK a while back, and there was a significantly large enough outcry to warrant us putting that idea back in the box for another couple of years.
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Re: Official Feedback Issue 91

Post by kaiserspike » Fri Jun 24, 2011 11:31 am

it's waiting for me at home,works finished, here i go!!
Destiny!.... you cannot destroy my destiny!

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Crunchy
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Re: Official Feedback Issue 91

Post by Crunchy » Fri Jun 24, 2011 11:46 am

Mayhem wrote:From what I've read it appears Crunchy just wants reviews that agree with his own personal point of view, and to hell with anyone who actually disagrees with him.
Well you need to get a bit more reading comprehension under your belt. I haven't said anything about disagreeing with the review or the score. I've quite openly stated that I think it's a bad idea for an obvious fan of a game to do a review (in this case Darran). I think it's definitely bad in a professional magazine and can lead to issues of non-credibility.

The rest is a difference in opinion about what a review should provide and why reviews exist.

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Re: Official Feedback Issue 91

Post by Mayhem » Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:04 pm

Crunchy wrote:I'm not saying you're not entitled to your opinion. I'm saying it's unfair on your readers to pass off such a biased opinion as a review.
If that's not disagreeing with the review, I don't know what is then...

All reviews have some bias from the outset, and all reviews are opinion. Suck it up. If you can't accept that, basically stop reading reviews entirely. Do you listen to what friends tell you about what games they are playing, and whether they like them? Do you listen and use that as a basis for buying a game yourself? If so, then you're being persuaded by opinion and that is no different to reading a printed review in a magazine. A review is designed to espouse the positive and negative aspects of a game, and I'd trust someone who has a grounding in a particular genre to know more about what works and what doesn't in that context. It's a fine line. It sounds like for say the review of "Halo 2" you'd want someone to review the game who hadn't played "Halo 1", but then you lose all the comparative opinion and knowledge that someone who played the original has to offer as an opinion about what the sequel has done better, or done worse, or how it carries the story along, or improvements in the multiplayer et cetera.
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Re: Official Feedback Issue 91

Post by Igorthegreen » Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:09 pm

Darran@Retro Gamer wrote:No, but everyone knows that the C64 is rubbish.

Let's just say though that we don't put things like the C64 on the cover to get extra sales... We do it because we can.

C64 rubbish? :lol: You're funny.
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Re: Official Feedback Issue 91

Post by FatTrucker » Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:18 pm

Crunchy wrote:
Mayhem wrote:From what I've read it appears Crunchy just wants reviews that agree with his own personal point of view, and to hell with anyone who actually disagrees with him.
Well you need to get a bit more reading comprehension under your belt. I haven't said anything about disagreeing with the review or the score. I've quite openly stated that I think it's a bad idea for an obvious fan of a game to do a review (in this case Darran). I think it's definitely bad in a professional magazine and can lead to issues of non-credibility.

The rest is a difference in opinion about what a review should provide and why reviews exist.
There's a reasonable point in there, and I can understand where you're coming from. In a contemporary mag covering new games (as opposed to remakes of old games) I would even agree on some points.
However the fact remains that in general the best people to review certain types of games are people that are fans of that genre, for some of the reasons Mayhem has already outlined, you need to have an appreciation of a genre and have already played and enjoyed the games in it to be able to apply that to any review of newer titles. Without that base in experience where does any kind of objectivity come from?. Does this mean reviews might be biased to a degree? absolutely it does. What I don't understand is that this is true and has always been true of every games magazine ever produced. Just about all games reviews have always been made by people who are fans of the genre or canon they're reviewing. This is not something new or unique to RG.

Moving on along that same train of thought, there have been hundreds of games reviewed in the section in question (and most other sections TBH) by fans of the genre or developer or canon. At no point has anyone piped up about the glowing review for the latest Cave shooter, speccy remake, or Street Fighter sequel and yet they're all reviewed under the same premise by a reviewer who loves the game and genre they're given to review. Why suddenly is Darrans review of OoT so different that it bears specific comment or complaint?
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Re: Official Feedback Issue 91

Post by Crunchy » Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:21 pm

Mayhem wrote:It sounds like for say the review of "Halo 2" you'd want someone to review the game who hadn't played "Halo 1", but then you lose all the comparative opinion and knowledge that someone who played the original has to offer as an opinion about what the sequel has done better, or done worse, or how it carries the story along, or improvements in the multiplayer et cetera.
I would expect somebody who has played Halo to review Halo 2. The context of the previous game is obviously required for a decent review. But I'd also expect them to keep an open mind when they're actually playing Halo 2. What you already think shouldn't overrule what you play.

Darran said in this thread:
Well it's a 10/10 game no matter what. Nothing has come close to matching it in the 13 years since it was released.
He's reviewed it before he's even played it. Using your analogy of Halo, how worthwhile do you think a review of Halo 2 is when the reviwer thinks Halo can do no wrong and therfore Halo 2 can do no wrong?

FatTrucker seems to think the point of a review in RG is merely to reinforce what you already think about the game under review.

You seem to think a review should only be given by somebody who is hugely adept in the genre at hand.

I think a good review strikes a happy medium. It's based on prior experience of gaming and is reviewed in context but still built on a framework of fairness and non-bias.

I think this because not all gamers are familiar with what you review and and not all gamers are huge fans of the particular genre under review. A good review has to cater for all.

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Re: Official Feedback Issue 91

Post by FatTrucker » Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:30 pm

Crunchy wrote: A good review has to cater for all.
I disagree. A good review of any sequel or remake should presuppose certain knowledge from the reader and be focussed on the game, genre or canon with its dialogue reflecting those presuppositions. A review that tries to 'cater for all' just come across as review-lite and effectively caters to no-one. I've seen a number of reviews done this way and it never works, they're bland, dull, the very essence of what the kids nowadays refer to as 'Meh'.
When you're reviewing a sequel to anything books, games, films, just about any media at all, anything with a previous history or canon its usually done with a presupposition that readers are already familiar with the originals.

I still don't really understand why 10 years down the line this has suddenly become an issue when the mag has been doing things this way since day 1 and when every other mag does things this way too and always has. What is it about this review specifically that suddenly makes it worthy of comment when the same thing can be said of so many games reviewed in RG over the years, and every other paper publication that's ever graced the newsstands?

So the game was reviewed by someone who liked the original, what do you do if everyone in the office was a fan of the original?, just decide not to run it because no-one neutral enough is available?...would be a much thinner mag IMO.
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Re: Official Feedback Issue 91

Post by thevulture » Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:50 pm

Thing not to be missed here though, as far as the magazine goes, the review section for current for current gen. releases is mere 2 pages, just 2 out of what in this issue? 114? more (not got issue to hand as i write)-It's right at the back of the magazine.Where as say something like Edge or Gamestm, you'd find the Retro having mere % of the content, buried at the back.

The reviews, be it current formats, homebrew etc are a nice addt. to the magazine, but are like cherries on top of a particularly nice cake.some people will want'em, others won't, put them on the edge of the plate as they are not to their taste-Seems to me, here cake been eaten, now someone not happy about the crumbs.

To me? struggling to find why this 1 review, suddenly seen as such an issue, it'd be like myself email Edge saying that Retro/lookback/Making of feature, all 3 pages of it, bit dodgy there.rg does'nt set itself up with Edge's Holier than thou attitude or Gamestm copy cat approach-It's down to earth approach works for myself.
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Re: Official Feedback Issue 91

Post by thevulture » Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:03 pm

IF i'm reading this correctly, the point that's being claimed is:It was unwise for Darren to review Zelda on 3DS as his love for the original, would over-rule what he's now playing, with purpose of reviewing.

But to myself, that's just not the case!-He states 'while there are a few annoying little niggles...for the most part..' etc at start of review, then goes onto describe whats been done with power of 3DS and the medium of 3D as i'd expect any review to explain, then follows how the controls have been improved and where they are used best, then onto new features and then back to the flaws 1 of which is where the 3D falls short in practice and fact control wise, despite best efforts, original was designed with totally different controller in mind.

What exactly has his love for the original, seen 'swept under the carpet'? There's nothing wrong with the review text, Darren has'nt just spread out the message-it's amazing, buy it! but done exactly what a review should do, pointed out pro's and cons.

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Re: Official Feedback Issue 91

Post by thevulture » Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:09 pm

I've yet to play a Zelda game that grabs me, personally, they just are'nt my thing, so i can look at this review totally unbiased-Darren could have been reviewing a game based on breeding pigs on a limited income, whilst maintaing a low carbon foot print, for all the interest i have in the series.

there's also no escaping his was'nt the only 'voice' being given to the review, it was'nt Me Me Me..there was Ashley Day helping out with his thoughts as well.

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Re: Official Feedback Issue 91

Post by webding » Sat Jun 25, 2011 4:55 am

FatTrucker wrote:Its not arrogant, and I don't assume every reader is the same. Its just that RG is a Retrogaming magazine aimed at retrogaming enthusiasts, and the game in question is only 13 years old, and happened to be one of the most high profile games ever released, on balance I think its fair to say more than 99% of RG's readership already know what it is.
YOU ARE SO WRONG.

It's much better to use a mark out of 10 when discussing reader proportions.

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