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PlayStation Vita owners looking to exercise a little frustration can look to this rather low-fi title about creating a monster and destroying everything in your path.

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Part 2 of Square-Enix and Disney's cooperative compilation cash-cow is ready to milk the series for another go, but does the milk taste sweet or is it spoiled?
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I don’t even care all that much for the Lords of the Rings brand, which makes the content falling under Shadow of Mordor’s Season Pass a pleasant surprise.

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If this awful trend is going to persist, you may as well do it your way.

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RIP Ralph Baer (1922-2014)
By KevinS
Posted on 12/07/14
RIP Ralph Baer (1922-2014) I really, really hate writing obits. I really do. But I take it as a personal honor to be able to say good things about the men and women I respect, whether in this industry or just in my life, and Ralph Baer is the reason all of this exists in the first...

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Adam Orth Resurfaces or, Gamespot Still Sucks
Posted on Monday, January 13 2014 @ 01:08:25 Eastern

Adam Orth needs and deserves no introduction beyond 'he's a jerk who said a stupid thing and it cost him his job.'  He produced a public apology which followed the Jon Corzine school of not understanding what he did wrong or why he was being made to suffer in some way for it.

Enter Gamespot's piece announcing his upcoming GDC Talk

"Former Microsoft creative director to speak about toxic online behavior at GDC 2014"

For a website which once fired a reviewer for criticizing a game they were advertising they're not at all afraid of looking like they're in the tank and completely interested to a degree which is utterly inappropriate for a journalistic outlet.  It isn't merely bad - exculpating him of any wrongdoing, which is fitting as his statements seem to indicate that he is incapable of understanding that he is guilty of any wrongdoing, while laying the blame on a vague 'other' harder than Tawana Brawley - but ludicrous.  Take the following quote:

""When Adam Orth shared his opinions about Xbox One on Twitter the backlash was so caustic he had to quit his job and move his family to avoid harassment,""*

He was being 'harassed' (a more objective account would be that he expressed provincial self-absorption in such a fashion as to provoke anger in others, doubled down on the comments when responded to, and then lost his nerve, but that's another matter) on the internet.  So he changed addresses, not e-mail addresses but physical addresses.  To address the harassment he was receiving over the internet he moved his physical self.  This passes by the journalistic pen of a Gamespot writer without an iota of comment. Is this as bad as the image of the middle Eastern woman holding two (unexpended) .223 cartridges with caption claiming they had been fired at her house?  Well, there are no false allegations of war crimes involved so there's that.

*The Gamespot piece attributes it to a GDC post but does not link to it.  I'm too lazy to find out if the post is still available.



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Empirical Evidence that Games Review is a Joke
Posted on Tuesday, December 24 2013 @ 20:14:06 Eastern

This is irresistable empirical evidence that competent research and analysis is the exception, not the norm.  It further helps to understand why - simple laziness explains it.

From the wonderful Slower than Slow, Thicker than Thick comes this link:

http://imgur.com/fZfJNpL

And here's the original post:

http://loltaku.tumblr.com/post/71034109534/when-total-war-rome-2-came-out-some-brilliant



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Ethics for Sale!
Posted on Monday, September 16 2013 @ 17:19:38 Eastern

So, the GTA V review embargo is up.  First I wish to discuss a badly written review, then I wish to discuss morally bankrupt reviews.

Universally positive reviews thus far (7:37 PM EST, 16/9/13) with but one exception and that review is...terrible...

It's from The Escapist (of course it is) and it has to be one of the most pretentious cases of missing the point that I've read in or of the medium since Jonathan Blow started blithering like an idiot about Citizen Kane, a movie I doubt he's ever watched.  It's more pretentious than Cliffy B's incredibly ridiculous remarks about second-hand game sales.  Here it is: Grand Theft Auto 5 Review - People Suck

Alright...here's a basic checklist of bad review criteria for games.  This doesn't consider the difference between merely competent and great reviews (which intelligently discuss thematic, conceptual, and integrational synthesis and can meaningfully relate how each of a game's elements comes together or fails to, or barring that, manages to exploit a bad game for cheap laughs) but sets a reasonable bar minimum for review writing A review for a game must, at some point, discuss the game. The game comes first. The game is the lede, and burying it as in academic writing is unacceptable. The game being the most important topic under discussion, it should dominate the review. Lengthy tirades about what others must do and what games should be, to the embellishment of the subjective tastes of the author, are right out. Complaining about a game for what it is not, versus analyzing what it is, is also out. If part of a series, statements about the story, theme, characters, aesthetics, mechanics, world-building, lore, and basic design philosophy must completely apprehend that and apply all relevant information. This is a reasonable set of standards.  The Escapist review by Greg Tito fails all but one.  In a review 12 paragraphs long Tito can't be bothered to discuss the game at all until paragraph six.  So he does discuss the game for four paragraphs sandwiched between eight paragraphs of harangue about how he didn't like the protagonists and therefore the game was awful.  Within the aforesaid harangue are some real whoppers about previous GTA games which indicate that either Tito never played them, and the inclusion of those statements are nothing more than puffery to fortify nonexistent credibility, or that he was seriously not paying attention.  From Tito's review I only know two things, GTA V is apparently a technical marvel and lots of fun to play (he never says how or in what ways, those four paragraphs are vague and almost superfluous.  It is impossible to get a good idea of how, for example, GTA V differs from previous entries in the series on a mechanical level from his review) but that the characters and setting are dreadful.  At the very least paragraph two offers what is beyond a doubt the most inapt comparison this side of presidential election coverage.
On to topic number two, the inspiration for which I must credit to Slower than Slow, Thicker than Thick.

Here is the post - Grand Theft Auto V Review Ends Tomorrow

Here is the Metacritic page for Grand Theft Auto V: Grand Theft Auto V for XBox 360

Look over those positive reviews and then examine the following:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BUTR74zIAAEjHot.jpg
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BUTPuFPCEAAAlfD.png

The sound the present reader is not hearing, and cannot imagine, is their credibility as critical outlets vanishing.

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Sarkeesian, Revisited
Posted on Saturday, August 24 2013 @ 19:37:38 Eastern

The whole Sarkeesian episode has been interesting in a couple ways.  Much like the Zimmerman case large bodies of opinion built up on either side of a quickly dualistic divide which had little relationship to reality.  It then turns out the...   read more...

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Shadowrun Returns Review
Posted on Saturday, August 10 2013 @ 17:37:18 Eastern

First, watch MrBTongue's Cyberpunk is Back

With that amount of well-considered optimism in view we must ask - was the wait worth it?  Did the game deliver?  For those out only for a purchase/don't purchase guide and n...   read more...

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Spec Ops: The Line Review
Posted on Friday, August 2 2013 @ 16:13:45 Eastern

Worth its Weight in Leaden Pretension

This review is not late to the party.  It's a sifting of the ruins of the house after the party ended.  A real bender.  Everyone got drunk.  With the distance of time and a ...   read more...

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The Phil Fish Saga Part Tres, The Patheticking
Posted on Tuesday, July 30 2013 @ 13:06:13 Eastern

So, just when Phil Fish's particular brand of histrionic self-aggrandizing reached its supposed apex - him running off like a child who cannot take the heat when he lights himself on fire - he doubles down.

Trigger Warning: The fol...   read more...

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On the Question of Anita Sarkeesian's Integrity
Posted on Friday, July 19 2013 @ 21:13:23 Eastern

This post is not about the merits of Sarkeesian's thesis, her approach, analytical methods, ideology or content of her arguments.  This is purely a question of the ethical character of her work.  A considerable portion of her credibilit...   read more...

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An Open Letter to Peter Moore
Posted on Wednesday, April 10 2013 @ 10:47:53 Eastern



Dear Peter Moore,

I understand your company was in the running to receive and then won the worst company in America award.  Let me start by saying I don't think you deserved it. There are worse offend...   read more...

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Deus Ex: Invisible War Is a Deeply Flawed Game.
Posted on Wednesday, March 6 2013 @ 15:10:10 Eastern

Compared to its predecessor, Deus Ex, it is inferior in every way save one arguable exception, and that came at a terrible price.  The following is a disordered rambling attempt to show how and why broken down by particular subfield.

...   read more...

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