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What is happening to this industry!? (graphics, reviews, gamespot and hype)
Posted on Wednesday, February 13 2008 @ 10:14:37 PST

I hate graphics, I really do. I hate them because now days thats all anyone seems to really care about. But back when it was Nintendo vs Sega, no one cared about how good a game looked. Emphasis was solely on gameplay. I am happy to say that I don't give a **** what the graphics are like, all I really care about is being entertained. If I wanted to sit there for hours just ogling something on my TV screen, I'd watch porn.
Don't get me wrong, I do appreciate a good looking game, but I really only see it as a bonus, not a must.

Not all, but there are some game journalists and other people within the industry receiving less and less respect from me these days. First of all we have the famous Gamespot issue. Basically a now ex-employee was doing his job exactly as he should, but the developer's behind the game he reviewed, Kane and Lynch: Dead Men didn't like this one person's opinion of the game and since they had adds for it plasted all over the website they got unrightfully pissed off. This leads to said employee getting fired. So apparently you can get fired for doing exactly what you are supposed to do.

Crysis was marked down on one site because the reviewer didn't have a good enough machine to play on. That has absolutely nothing to do with the quality of the game. I cannot remember what site this was on.

A review is meant to be someones honest opinion about a particular product, but now people are giving games bad reviews for crappy reasons, getting angry responses from the readers for good reviews and getting fired for a review that the developers don't like.

In an Australian gaming magazine called Hyper, a man named Maurice Branscombe felt a need to point out over 2 whole paragraphs that Kane and Lynch: Dead Men is 'never, under any circumstances, to be played by youngsters. Ever.' He goes on to say 'If you're over the age it says you have to be on the game's box, and have a solid grasp of the differences between fantasy and reality, however, then Kane & Lynch: Dead Men is a violent, stylish and action-packed gaming experience.'
The fact he felt the need to say that and not let the rest of the review and the games clearly displayed rating in the magazine and the games cover speak for itself, says two things to me. First is that he is worried that someone with a few screws loose will play the game and he is trying to stop that, but the first thing that came to mind was that people are getting more worried about what the publics reaction will be if this game gets in the hands of some nut who just happens to be devising a plan to blow up his local High School. But I can understand why. Both the media public are angry and merciless. They don't care how much effort you put into something that you love, whether its a simple review stating your honest opinion that an adult themed game kicks ass, or developing a game for the enjoyment of others. All they care about is launching an attack on the easiest person and often using people who are either already troubled in some way, or children to do it. Conveniently forgetting of course that a lot of games are created for adults, it isn't the developers fault, or the reviewers, if a child gets hold of something he or she is too young to play. This is also aimed at people who may attack the reviewer for recommending a game that 'influences' violence. Obviously if a game has a 15+ rating the parent should strongly consider if this is the right thing for a 10 year old to play, for example. Chances are it isn't, but then again you see disturbing and violent behavior every day on TV.
I have been playing video games since I was 3 years old, obviously back then there was a lot less violence in the games and even when there was violence it wasn't realistic in the slightest.
I got my Nintendo 64 for Christmas, I was around 12 at the time, the first 2 games I had were Cruisin' USA and Goldeneye 007, I also bought other violent games such as Turok 2. No influence.
Today I play games such as Grand Theft Auto. Again, no influence.
So I guess I am addressing several issues here, violence in video games and the 'affect' on the players and the fact journalists are now becoming scared when they shouldn't be.
I am however, fully aware that children do absorb everything that goes on around them, thats why kids who have been abused as a child often grow up to be abusers themselves. You live what you learn. But with the correct guidance from a parents or guardian, tradgedy can easily be avoided. I have violence in real life, but I have no problem at all with violent video games or movies. I'd certainly never act it out in real life.

I would love to start up my own gaming website someday. If I do I will be absolutely sure that every staff member is honest and doesn't give a **** what people think, as long as its not in a rude way.

Back to Gamespot for a moment, CNET - Gamespot's parent company - released the following information "Stephen Colvin, former President and CEO of Dennis Publishing, the publisher of Maxim, Blender, Stuff, and The Week magazines, is joining the company as executive vice president. Colvin will be dedicated to overseeing the company's entertainment and lifestyle brands".
So now, instead of having a dedicated gamer to oversee a gaming website we have an expert in lifestyle. Sure one could say gaming is a lifestyle but you would have to agree that it is an entirely different lifestyle to those Colvin had previously been working with. I would much rather an actual gamer to be in that position, just like I would rather an actual doctor treat me than a vet, just because they are good at treating sick dogs, does not mean they should be treating sick humans, even with a similar illness.

Now for hype. Some people considered Assassin's Creed to be 'Game of the Year' worthy, while others such as 1up thought was one of the years 'top ten turkeys'. Either way, it had a huge build up of hype. Personally, I was disappointed, I expected it to be a lot more free roaming, Oblivion style. I was expecting to be able to break into peoples houses, talk to people out in the street and buy weapons and armour. I also thought there would be a lot of side quests. But that was really based on my own opinions on what the game could/should have been.

Anyway, hype is bad. It gives people false hope before they even get to play the game. Then when they do, people are often disappointed, or there are mixed reactions like Assassin's Creed. Ok, so it boosts sales, making it obvious as to why the developers do this.
I bought a PS3 when I did because of that game, I also wanted to play many other PS3 titles such as The Darkness and MotorStorm, but it was Assassin's Creed that pushed me to get it when I did. But now I certainly wont be rushing out to buy the next AC game.

Next time a game is surrounded by lots of hype, I am just going to do my best to ignore that and focus only on what I read about the game, not listening to a word of how awesome people say it will be, just read the facts and nothing else. Obviously there wont be any more assuming on my part either.

Well, I hope you enjoyed my first of many blogs.

Thanks for reading!
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