Jimquisition: The 100% Objective Review

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 NEXT
 

This comment is 100% objective.

This video was produced by Jim Sterling. In it he narrates a review he did of Final Fantasy 13. Some people may find the message Jim is trying to send, some of them might not. It might also be enjoyable to watch for some but others with different opinions on what is enjoyable might not find it enjoyable.

This comment was 100% objective.

What... did... did I miss something?

Is this a reaction to last weeks video or something? The one about Halloween games? Or the reaction to the Bayonetta video where we mostly discussed alternative views on character design, reviews and design philosophy with a (pleasantly surprising) lack of vitriol for the internet?

Did... did I miss a meeting?

Dud... little bit on the grim side today... what's up? People can say what they want to say, you are still you, shouldn't change that... they comeback to see/view your content, that ALONE shows that they are interested; and you have already accomplished the goal of making this vid. anyhow.... I see what you are trying to say, and totally, we aren't robots; FREEDOM OF CRITIC is what drives arts forward!~ Keep fighting~

TBH I found the FF13 review Jim made here more useful than most polygon reviews.

That said, I honestly think the "100% objective review" is pretty much the definition of a straw man argument. No sane person beyond some a few trolls or crazies here and there will make a comment about wanting a 100% objective review. They'll make comments about objectivity yes, however usually it doesn't mean what Jim apparently thinks it means. And quite frankly if this video didn't have a long review in it the main point of it could have been contained in a single tweet. And TBH points that you can do that with are usually very low on nuance and actual thought behind them.

The issue is that games reviewers have an audience. They have an audience because that audience wants to read/watch/listen to their reviews. The audience wants to do that because they feel that the review is giving them information and opinions on portions of the game that they're interested in. And when a reviewer changes his/her reviewing style and spends big parts of the review talking about things that his/her audience isn't interested in you get some backlash because you're not serving those customers of yours anymore. In a perfect world you'd just get less traffic because of this but this isn't a perfect world so people are going to let you know that you gave them your opinion on things that they were not interested in.

I don't want some "100% objective" straw review. I want reviewers on big consumer oriented gaming sites to understand that they're there because of those consumers and those consumers (or the huge majority of them) are looking for consumer oriented information and critique on some specific game.

I want reviewers to understand that there's a middle ground between listing facts and letting your moral and political world views color everything.

That middle ground is when you realize who your audience is, do your best to inform them as consumers, are capable of separating your own political views from your review when needed/wanted and also capable of including them when needed/wanted, you're capable of understanding that different sites, audiences and mediums will demand a different type of review with different types of information etc. For example on a PC oriented, no politics allowed forum you probably shouldn't write a review about the PS4 version and go in-depth about how that game offends you as a republican. Similarly on an agenda driven site that has an audience that cares more about story, characters etc. than tech specs you should probably not write a PC performance review with tons of benchmarks, graphical settings analysis and next to no character/story analysis. Both of those are bad reviews because they don't fit their audience.

Context and medium in which you publish the review matters. And you as a reviewer are not shielded from criticism or backlash when you fail to take into account the people (your audience, the users of that site, readers of the magazine, etc.) that give your review its importance.

I moderate a no-politics and no-religion PC hardware forum with gaming stuff on it as well. It's not impossible to keep politics and religion away from reviews and discussions if the specific audience or site wants that. In fact it works really well 95% of the time. There's a time and place for everything including religion and politics. And that time and place is not everywhere. I think it's pretty clear that a lot of people want to read reviews that let everyone from different countries, political orientations, religions etc. feel like the reviewer was there to help them make a decision as a consumer and didn't try to push his or her world view on the reader. There is HUGE value in consumer oriented informative reviews that hold back on the agenda.

And this is also why a lot of gamers are now looking to twitch and youtube for their gaming coverage. On those mediums they can see the game while a personality or reviewer plays it (this is specifically talking about let's play content or first looks, or some other very lightly edited content). Gamers can themselves see if the gameplay and content looks like it matches what the reviewer is saying. People on youtube and twitch feel more genuine as a result of this. There's much less opportunities to push an agenda or show the gamer something he/she isn't interested in. I even feel that Jim's youtube videos are much more useful and feel much more genuine than his reviews and jimquisition videos.

Jumping back to the "objective review" and the backlash against political / agenda driven content. Another issue here is review scores. All would be well if we lived in a perfect would where review scores existed in a vacuum and didn't directly affect the livelihood of devs. If scores didn't exist, metacritic wouldn't exist and no dev would have their bonuses or future of their studio depending on what score they get on metacritic. And at this point it would be perfectly fine to have reviews that go on an on about politics, moral issues, religious issues, etc. because those would just be sections of reviews. But the situation we have right now is that those issues affect the score, and the score affects the overall score on metacritic. Which means that we're in a situation where a game offending say polygon and kotaku reviewers because it dared to include boobs can mean the meta score gets dropped by some points (maybe 5-10%), the developers don't get their bonus, a sequel isn't made and layoffs will have to happen. All that while it's entirely likely that 99% of the people that were considering buying the game did not in any way care about the issues that polygon and kotaku did.

And if that isn't sad, wrong and something we should work towards stopping then I don't know what is.

So in the end the problems to this debate are mostly:

1) Don't strawman the "objective review" argument
2) Get rid of metacritic
3) Get rid of scores in general
4) Know your audience and medium
5) Understand that there are wrong and correct places for different types of criticism

It's not rocket science. It just requires some nuance an less of the "us vs. them" mentality that even people like Jim seem to subscribe towards, even without directly saying it. The world isn't black and white. There are alternatives to fact lists and raving morality policing. Please explore those alternatives and listen to your audience.

Thanatos2k:

A professional review is not supposed to tell me whether the reviewer liked the game. A professional review is supposed to tell me whether *I* will like the game.

Unless the critic is psychic and can read your mind or predict the future, this is impossible.

The closest a critic can do is tell you if they personally liked a game, movie, book, etc. and explain why. If you agree with their reasons, you will probably feel the same way as they do.

And yes, your own personal ideology matters in this regard. If someone didn't like a game, because they felt it was racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. and you also dislike games that are racist, sexist, homophobic, etc., then this information will help you decide if you may like or dislike this game as well.

Video game reviews must be about more than technical aspects of the game like frame rate. They must include information about the story and characters.

ShakerSilver:
When I hear people wanting "objective" reviews, I feel like the word they're looking for is "impartial", which is something most reviews should indeed strive for. We all have our personal/political biases, but when you're representing your outlet and giving a review to a larger audience (which will also be submitted to aggregators like Metacritic and affect people's jobs), the reviewer's biases should be proportional to what a general audience wants to hear. I feel like more sites would benefit from having contributors write op-ed pieces about certain games (or games) and delve into a more personal critique (without a numbered score being aggregated) while leaving more technical or general criticisms for reviews.

Yes, that's exactly how I feel as well. The review should be for the consumer. The personal op-ed piece can be about the reviewer and whatever they want to praise/whine about.

And I for one bit liked the review! No pointy nonsense - only things I actually need to know about the game. I want to see more of this.

Jim. FUCKING. Sterling. :) Thank God for you.

MarsAtlas:
Jim, you once said that only a banana can give an objective game review, and Yahtzee once said that he is a banana, does that mean that Yahtzee gives 100% objective reviews?

P1: Only a Banana can give an objective review.

P2: Yahtzee is a Banana.

P3: Yahtzee gives reviews.

Conclusion: Yahtzee gives objective reviews.

Well, logically if those premises are all true, then it would follow that the conclusion should also be true. Well, unless they aren't all true, or if Bananas can give non-objective reviews too.

But if it is true, does that mean Jim is, or can become a Banana?

Colour Scientist:
I appreciate the attempt at objectivity but this video really was really lacking in ethics.

Something something collusion something narrative.

Hmmm....Well, Jim did just say he'll say what the Publishers and Developers want him to say, and preferably that he should be paid to do so.

Hmmm....Do the people want good or bad ethics in games journalism?

:/................ :0

NO! THe answer is obvious!

They want this kind of games journalism!
http://fc09.deviantart.net/fs71/i/2012/120/9/9/game_journalism_by_nevermonkey-d4y2w8b.jpg

AKA: The best. ;D

Alatar The Red:

I want reviewers to understand that there's a middle ground between listing facts and letting your moral and political world views color everything.

That middle ground is when you realize who your audience is...

And this is what was meant when a bunch of game sites wrote "Gamers are Dead". There is no "audience" for video game reviews, because video games are too mainstream to say what the average gamer is like. No matter what your opinion is, you are in the minority, because the audience is too diverse.

For instance, there are many, many, many gamers that actually care about the moral and political elements of the games they play and do want to hear about them. Some want a liberal viewpoint, others want a more conservative viewpoint, but many do care. So if a critic ignores these points, they are not appealing to these gamers and these gamers should look elsewhere for reviews.

A completely filler episode? It seems that Jim Fucking Sterling is going to bless us mid-week with beautiful might.

Rellik San:
What... did... did I miss something?

Is this a reaction to last weeks video or something? The one about Halloween games? Or the reaction to the Bayonetta video where we mostly discussed alternative views on character design, reviews and design philosophy with a (pleasantly surprising) lack of vitriol for the internet?

Did... did I miss a meeting?

Jim played some person's game on Youtube. He didn't like it because it was kind of bad, so he said so. It wasn't a review, it was just him playing the game for the first time.

The Dev saw it, got mad, and made a reaction review of the review where he spent most of his time calling Jim dumb, or "JIM FUCKING STERLING"!

Then Jim mad a reaction where he watched the review of his "review", and mostly just laughed.
Plus all the things Jim mentioned in this video.

C.S.Strowbridge:

Thanatos2k:

A professional review is not supposed to tell me whether the reviewer liked the game. A professional review is supposed to tell me whether *I* will like the game.

Unless the critic is psychic and can read your mind or predict the future, this is impossible.

The closest a critic can do is tell you if they personally liked a game, movie, book, etc. and explain why. If you agree with their reasons, you will probably feel the same way as they do.

And yes, your own personal ideology matters in this regard. If someone didn't like a game, because they felt it was racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. and you also dislike games that are racist, sexist, homophobic, etc., then this information will help you decide if you may like or dislike this game as well.

Video game reviews must be about more than technical aspects of the game like frame rate. They must include information about the story and characters.

It's really not impossible. Most of the stuff should not be subjective. This would be what you do:

The battle system is similar to that of this other game. *Shows reasons why they're similar* *Shows ways they're different* *Suggests which one works better or not, gives detailed reasons why. (SUBJECTIVITY ALERT!)* *Does this for several other games* Note that these reasons will never consist of political ideology.

The reason this works is because very little of this is the reviewer telling me what they think is good or not, they use my own notions of what is good or not to guide me. This is valuable to me. Saying Tactics Ogre plays similarly to Final Fantasy Tactics and showing why is extremely valuable information to me, because I like Final Fantasy Tactics, so it's pretty obvious I'd like Tactics Ogre. If I didn't, I similarly would not like Tactics Ogre. You can even throw in whether you think Tactics Ogre plays better than FFT or not, and tell me why. If you're going to suggest that the game sucks because SRPGs are boring (PERSONAL AGENDA ALERT!), then you're the wrong reviewer for the job.

RaikuFA:
Wait, Jim. Didn't you once say you were God?

And you just said God isn't real?

Then that means... YOU AREN'T REAL?!?!?!

God isn't real, but Jim Muthafucking Sterling is. Unless he's not.

Final Fantasy is about characters who have to save a planet called Kokoon(?)

Actually, Jim, it's about ethics in gaming journalism.

Can't there be a middle ground? Somewhere between Jim's 'exaggerated dry, emotionless apparently 100% objective review', and the 'I'm having a relationship with a writer of this game, my boss has a financial stake in its success and three of my colleagues do voices for characters!' Kotaku/Polygon type reviews?
Or is that just too hard? Is game journalism simply, for lack of a better term, too inbred? Everyone has fucked everyone else, everyone is besties and/or roommates with everyone else. Everything is a favor to someone.
I get what Jim is saying, I really do. Everyone has bias, that's why they're internet personalities rather than internet voices, but come on Jim! Do an episode on the reverse! Do an episode where you gleefully praise an upcoming game and never disclose you're getting a kickback from its sales. Do a crossover review with, I dunno, MovieBob or Lisa Foiles and never mention that person wrote the game!
Why are AAA companies seen as poison for not wanting to change the status quo, but when it comes to journalism we can't have anything but the status quo?!

No one wants a 100% objective review, other than the couple of imbeciles who spam AAA game review comment sections foaming at the mouth, the ones that the media is trying to portray as the "every gamer". The folly of these people is that they have too much sugar in their system and they don't know what words mean, like "objective". "100" and "percent".

Jim, these are not the people you have to worry about. They will eventually choke on their own spit or accidentally hang themselves while trying to tie heir own shoe laces. The very large demographic that you and other journalists need to satisfy are us, the pissed off gamers. And don't worry, we don't want complete objectivity from you or anyone else. We want at least an acknowledgement that you think of your position at the escapist and any other publication you might work for in the future as a ***JOB***, and not a sandbox that you can play with your like-minded friends all day and night while getting paid. Yes you are getting paid, With actual money. For disseminating information to people who come to trust you. I understand that the mere thought of this is a threat to your wonderland occupation, but you have a responsibility and an obligation to review games, in part, with the thought that the game you're reviewing may not *gasp* be intended for you, but for an entirely different target demographic, and that you have to take the preferences of those people into account. ***YES** you HAVE to do this because you're not just some blogger or youtuber waxing off about the firt thing that comes through their mind. You are a handsomely paid professional who has to set aside his own enjoyment, at least a little bit, and think about your readers.

Like it or not you have a responsibility to step out of your fun-times sandbox and do your job properly. You don't always have to be objective, you just have to TRY. That alone would be enough.

Well it's a good thing fucking NOBODY was asking for 100% objectivity then isn't it? Come to think of it, isn't there a word for countering an argument that isn't actually being made?

My god Jim, you're not stupid. You know full well this isn't what people are asking for. Videos like this do not achieve anything except make you look petty.

Actually even this is arguably not objective since when listing facts about the game would require a decision of which facts about the game are important and worth mentioning. The concept of what is and is not importance is very subjective.

I think this was an anvil that needed dropping. The idea of "objectivity" when talking about entertainment is really silly. We consume entertainment because of the way it makes us feel and that's the important thing.

A review that is informative and tries to explain why it is that something is good/bad is all that you need. A review that is critical enough to be self-aware.

I'm a little surprised how proud Jim is with his demonstration of how he can combine beating a dead horse and beating on a straw man. He should run with it and coin a new phrase, Beating a Dead Straw Horse.

Oh, it's 2014, let me modernize it #BeatingADeadStrawHorse

It is really quite telling that the entirety of games "journalism" seems to be completely unaware that objectivity in a journalistic context is not the same thing as objectivity in a philosophical context.

Mr Cwtchy:
Well it's a good thing fucking NOBODY was asking for 100% objectivity then isn't it? Come to think of it, isn't there a word for countering an argument that isn't actually being made?

My god Jim, you're not stupid. You know full well this isn't what people are asking for. Videos like this do not achieve anything except make you look petty.

Take a look at the comments of any review that offers a dissenting opinion, or actually has something of note to say.

Seriously, wade into any comments section. If you don't instantly vomit then you're probably the cause of the vomit.

Too easy.
Nobody is really asking for purely objective reviews.

What many gamers are simply looking for is reviewers who judge games consistently by a reasonably set of criteria (usually some variant on the old set of gameplay, story, gfx and sound) even if they don't actually use a scorecard.

Also valuable are experienced reviewers who can compare new games to similar games of the past and who can recommend some good alternatives if they find a game lacking.

But some reviews feel objective. Last of Us come to mind. 99,9% of the reviews are the same, same opinions, same scores. Or is something objective like THE TRUTH about the game or is something VERY wrong about the reviews.

Honestly the "objective review" is a problem game journalists create themselves. After years of "OMG let's all celebrate!" or "Shit! Let's kick it together!" what did you expect?

Most of the comments in here are too opinionated for my taste. The only good comment is an objective comment. Since I'm clearly the arbiter of commenting, everyone needs to conform to my standard of objectivity or you've made a bad comment.

Did that sound stupid to you?

Those of you who think that reviewers should change the way they review games to meet your standards are just as stupid. No one is paying for reviews, so if you don't like opinionated reviews, then don't voluntarily read those reviews that have opinions you don't like, or better yet, write your own to meet your obviously superior standards.

List of Objective things in a video game:

- Graphics (not aesthetics mind you!)
- Sound Quality (in the physical sense :P )
- Certain Technological aspects (physics, AI for example)
- Optimization

List of Objective traits to a video game:

- Modding
- Well done menus (colorblind options, FoV, different V-Sync options)

List of objective shit related to a video game:

- System Requirements

I think this is enough. Opinions I respect and understand. They cant be measures. But I do believe EVERY single in depth review should cover these points.

veloper:
What many gamers are simply looking for is reviewers who judge games consistently by a reasonably set of criteria (usually some variant on the old set of gameplay, story, gfx and sound) even if they don't actually use a scorecard.

Do you not find this incredibly boring though? Do you not think games as a medium deserve more than that? Because this is the sort of shit you got in game magazines in the 90s. We've come a long way since then.

Thanatos2k:

It's really not impossible. Most of the stuff should not be subjective. This would be what you do:

The battle system is similar to that of this other game. *Shows reasons why they're similar* *Shows ways they're different* *Suggests which one works better or not, gives detailed reasons why. (SUBJECTIVITY ALERT!)* *Does this for several other games* Note that these reasons will never consist of political ideology.

The reason this works is because very little of this is the reviewer telling me what they think is good or not, they use my own notions of what is good or not to guide me. This is valuable to me. Saying Tactics Ogre plays similarly to Final Fantasy Tactics and showing why is extremely valuable information to me, because I like Final Fantasy Tactics, so it's pretty obvious I'd like Tactics Ogre. If I didn't, I similarly would not like Tactics Ogre. You can even throw in whether you think Tactics Ogre plays better than FFT or not, and tell me why. If you're going to suggest that the game sucks because SRPGs are boring (PERSONAL AGENDA ALERT!), then you're the wrong reviewer for the job.

I've never played (other game). This review is subjective, because it assumes I have played (other game).

More and more, people seem to say 'objective' and actually mean 'agrees with me'. Being 'subjective' is being thrown around as some kind of slur on a reviewers professionalism. Its bloody ridiculous. Especially considering the day and age we live in. I know Yahtzee will not give any RTS game a good review because he is subjective, but thanks to the Internet I can easily look up half a dozen different reviewers and get a balanced view on the game.

Also, why can't a review have commentary on political ideology? I don't want to play a shooter if its about a Skinhead killing thousands of Jewish women, no matter how good the mechanics, or how slick the graphics are. On the flip side, I might be tempted to play a game if it is actually trying to get some kind of nuanced message across but its graphics or budget don't quite reach that far (for instance, Spec-Ops the line)

Infact, Spec-Ops: The line is a great example of where a completely objective review would fail to do a game justice. It would be compared poorly to other shooters with more polished gunplay, mechanics, graphics, and a better multiplayer. But without any 'subjectivity' (to say, without any mention of the biases and politics the game is wearing on its sleeve) it just comes across as a third rate knock-off shooter, rather than as gut punching attack and critique on that genre of games. Its value would not be shown to the audience, and that would be a terrible thing.

I have to say that the sarcastic/humorous style of Jimquisition makes it difficult to really address this issue. A mockery of an objective review does not actually prove that one cannot be viably made. Furthermore I think we all know that "objectivity" is intended to be interpreted realistically, rather than someone following the letter of the demand rather than the spirit in which it is intended.

That said, opinion is fine up until a point which is why we have reviewers. When this comes down to inserting personal politics into things though I believe that's going too far. What's more, if the political comment was intended in response to Gamersgate, it's important to understand that as a movement the complaint is less that liberals speak their minds, but rather that only liberals speak their mind, there is no real political representation from the other side of the spectrum, combined with political commentary taking the form of insults or mockery directed at the other side. The demand is for there to be conservative game reviewers hired by sites and/or for liberals to be more even handed in handling both sides if they must absolutely bring politics into the escapism people use to get away from them. A big part of the explosion is that things have gotten so bad that you see censorship of people that have socially conservative opinions because they are "offensive" to those who do not. It's particularly bad when some feature goes out of it's way to belittle what is a major political point of view, and then you see people who object or fire back get banned.

It is true that no review worth anything is going to be 100% objective, but it should also be noted that a lot of people that are effectively producing things that serve as reviews try and dodge accusations of their lack of standards and professionalism, and using their platform for inserting personal tirades, by them being critics as opposed to reviewers. A big part of this could be defined as saying we need less critics, and more reviewers who are held and hold themselves to a higher standard. Right now when it comes to geekdom everyone is pretty much a far leftward leaning critic as far as most big issues (like social ones) are concerned, and that really isn't what the gaming community needs. Dare I say, it's time to do what liberals always cry about and diversify... by taking an axe to a lot of those liberals and sending them to unemployment while hiring a more diverse group of people. If it helps, frame it as affirmative action for conservatives.

NOTE: I was online all day yesterday into the wee hours, but I'm probably not going to be posting regularly on The Escapist for a while. I'm simply pointing this out as to why responses might not be forthcoming. Other commitments and interests so to speak. in part I was on so long to throw things back and forth since I've been feeling so terrible and unable to concentrate well recently but that's clearing up finally.

Wait...are people actually taking this seriously? I'm reading through some of these comments and HO-LY SHEET. It's like people are deliberatly trying to antagonize Jim "Fucking Idiot" Sterling (son) for no reason. I can't believe that this could have gone MILES over some people's heads.

Jim, you didn't give us the option to not thank God for you. I demand you repost this video with a new ending. Or possibly multiple endings. Maybe they could be sorted by colour.

MarsAtlas:
Jim, you once said that only a banana can give an objective game review, and Yahtzee once said that he is a banana, does that mean that Yahtzee gives 100% objective reviews?

Ben is capable of an objective review as a banana, but it is not a given that he exercises that capacity.

Toblo1:

Edit: Ok, I get the fucking joke, but still.... We don't need more potshots at FFXIII. It's filled full of holes already.....

It wasn't a potshot at FFXIII. It was a potshot at retread material which used FFXIII the first time around.

Colour Scientist:
I appreciate the attempt at objectivity but this video really was really lacking in ethics.

Something something collusion something narrative.

I was going to suggest we boycott Jim's clearly ethicless ethics, but your narrative of narrative bias towards the narrative conflicts with my narrative. I'm afraid I must boycott you now. Boycott you and your biased narrative bias.

loa:

You're missing the point on purpose and that just makes you look like a bufoon.

And you're missing the point that even those things can be considered subjective by the very people who are at issue. And I don't think you're doing it on purpose.

Grim Sterling:
I think you need to release this video in a year in full color and call it the HD remix. Also add new music, frame it slightly different and add one extra clip and then charge us to view it. Really. I am begging you.

I hope he does a VOTY (Video of the Year) edition, too. With 10 extra seconds of footage that would have ended up on the cutting room floor.

MrFalconfly:

Also, I made it clear that while I don't like the mechanic, it's well thought out, and it's not a dealbreaker (unless you're like me).

I would hope that we would be mature and literate enough to understand that when someone talks about the combat feeling disconnected, they were talking opinion with or without such a label.

"That's your opinion" or "you're biased" come off as playground retorts, and really, demanding that we be told these things strikes me as the demand to infantilise us. At the same time, that's what it looks like all this outrage against bias and for objectivity and fairness in reviews is: a campaign to treat us like spoiled children. Which is fitting, because that campaign gives us all the appearance of being spoiled children.

ShakerSilver:
When I hear people wanting "objective" reviews, I feel like the word they're looking for is "impartial", which is something most reviews should indeed strive for.

When you look at the actual complaints about given reviews, it's not so much impartiality that's generally balked at. People will complain that the reviewer didn't mention X or Y, which they personally liked or felt was strong. Or the flip, that the reviewer didn't pan X or Y, which they personally didn't like.

I'm sure there are people who really want impartiality, but then, there are people who really want only objective things in the reviews (like tech specs). I'm betting most people want something a little closer to "Fair and Balanced" news.

Zachary Amaranth:

I was going to suggest we boycott Jim's clearly ethicless ethics, but your narrative of narrative bias towards the narrative conflicts with my narrative. I'm afraid I must boycott you now. Boycott you and your biased narrative bias.

Please, you're just pushing your own agenda due to your conflict of interest and professional bias. Your status as a non-professional is irrelevant.

For more on this, please read my upcoming publication The Ethical Adventures of James Gournalism

RaikuFA:
Wait, Jim. Didn't you once say you were God?

And you just said God isn't real?

Then that means... YOU AREN'T REAL?!?!?!

No. He's not God anymore. According to a crazy person now he is Jim Fucking Sterling.

Dakkagor:

Thanatos2k:

It's really not impossible. Most of the stuff should not be subjective. This would be what you do:

The battle system is similar to that of this other game. *Shows reasons why they're similar* *Shows ways they're different* *Suggests which one works better or not, gives detailed reasons why. (SUBJECTIVITY ALERT!)* *Does this for several other games* Note that these reasons will never consist of political ideology.

The reason this works is because very little of this is the reviewer telling me what they think is good or not, they use my own notions of what is good or not to guide me. This is valuable to me. Saying Tactics Ogre plays similarly to Final Fantasy Tactics and showing why is extremely valuable information to me, because I like Final Fantasy Tactics, so it's pretty obvious I'd like Tactics Ogre. If I didn't, I similarly would not like Tactics Ogre. You can even throw in whether you think Tactics Ogre plays better than FFT or not, and tell me why. If you're going to suggest that the game sucks because SRPGs are boring (PERSONAL AGENDA ALERT!), then you're the wrong reviewer for the job.

I've never played (other game). This review is subjective, because it assumes I have played (other game).

More and more, people seem to say 'objective' and actually mean 'agrees with me'. Being 'subjective' is being thrown around as some kind of slur on a reviewers professionalism. Its bloody ridiculous. Especially considering the day and age we live in. I know Yahtzee will not give any RTS game a good review because he is subjective, but thanks to the Internet I can easily look up half a dozen different reviewers and get a balanced view on the game.

Also, why can't a review have commentary on political ideology? I don't want to play a shooter if its about a Skinhead killing thousands of Jewish women, no matter how good the mechanics, or how slick the graphics are. On the flip side, I might be tempted to play a game if it is actually trying to get some kind of nuanced message across but its graphics or budget don't quite reach that far (for instance, Spec-Ops the line)

Infact, Spec-Ops: The line is a great example of where a completely objective review would fail to do a game justice. It would be compared poorly to other shooters with more polished gunplay, mechanics, graphics, and a better multiplayer. But without any 'subjectivity' (to say, without any mention of the biases and politics the game is wearing on its sleeve) it just comes across as a third rate knock-off shooter, rather than as gut punching attack and critique on that genre of games. Its value would not be shown to the audience, and that would be a terrible thing.

If you haven't played any other video games you're going to have a bad time figuring out what's worth playing then, mostly objective reviews or not, because you have no idea what makes a good or bad game. Many games are only good to experienced gamers (Read: Dark Souls) Most reviews are assumed to be for a player who has some experience playing video games as it is, so I don't see a problem here.

Spec Ops The Line is a tricky situation. You can objectively compare it to other shooters (and it'll come up short) but you can also emphasize this isn't the point of the game without too much subjectivity. Spec Ops the Line is a borderline unreviewable game as it is, because it has a very specific audience, and a large number of people who simply would not like it. It's almost a "Fan of bro shooters - 6/10, not a fan of bro shooters but liked shooters before the Halo generation - 10/10" situation. I'm perfectly fine with some leeway in those cases.

Colour Scientist:

Please, you're just pushing your own agenda due to your conflict of interest and professional bias. Your status as a non-professional is irrelevant.

For more on this, please read my upcoming publication The Ethical Adventures of James Gournalism

The fact that you consider yourself a professional only pushes the narrative that you are a professional victim. Stop trying to harass and bully me with your narrative of punditry!

I don't think your review was objective enough, Jim. For example, assigning a "genre" is a highly subjective and muddy area, as genres are often based on vague notions of style, demographics, and creative content. So, best to leave that out.

Also, your assumption that the characters are represented to be made out of "skin-flesh" is wildly subjective, as other people may have a different perception or interpretation. The best you could say is that there are pixels used to create a visual impression. But that still wouldn't be completely objective, because if you turn your monitor off, there are no visuals and the "graphics" are just binary abstractions that only exist on a microprocessor.

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here