Monday, January 21, 2008

Review Site Review: Gamespot

Gamespot are sellouts.

Sorry, but it's true.

How do I know this? Alien Syndrome. Alien Syndrome creators Sega sponsored Gamespot for a while. Ads for it were everywhere. The website even used an Alien Syndrome background theme for like a month. And then it came out and it was shitty. Even Gamespot admitted this by giving it a 5.0. But it's all for show.

Let's be real here. Most of their reviews are written like they intentionally found the one member of their staff least likely to enjoy the game and ordered him to review it. But not Alien Syndrome's.

There was another game that got a 5.0 called Warriors Orochi. Gamespot's reviewer spends the first few sentences of their WO review saying that anyone who likes the game's creators, Koei, is an apologist idiot who's deluding themselves and doesn't know what a good game is. They then spend the rest of the review trying to describe the game's good features in a patronizing way and harping on the few bad features over and over.

The Alien Syndrome reviewer spends most of his time dancing around the game's bad points and talking about how it could have been better. The worst thing he actually says is that some of the aliens look similar to other aliens.

You want a comparison? Warriors Orochi has 77 characters with distinct personalities and stories. Alien Syndrome has a chick who the developers desperately want you to think is like Samus Aran. Orochi Warriors has you fight hordes of enemies with admittedly poor AI using combo attacks that are unique for every character, despite there being SEVENTY SEVEN of them. Alien Syndrome has five or six of the exact same alien slowly slug towards you which you then shoot for over five minutes before they die and then they respawn about ten or twelve times. This happens in every one of the thousands of rooms in the game and you have to kill them all or you will be lacking experience for the boss fights.

Look. I know Warriors Orochi is a mediocre game at best. But Warriors Orochi has interesting characters and is easy to get into and can provide mindless fun. Alien Syndrome is so mind-numbingly tedious I took it back to the store and asked for my money back after the first level. That's how bad it was.

Look at Gamespot's Top 10 games on the front page. All of them are from within the last year. Really? You really think only recent games deserve to be in the top 10? Half of them AREN'T EVEN OUT YET. How is that possible, Gamespot? How can you say a game is one of the top 10 best ever when you haven't played it and moreover CAN'T play it because it ISN'T EVEN OUT?

Look, Gamespot reviewers. I know companies pay your company to give their games good reviews. I know you have to be nice to those companies' games or you'll lose you're job. But you know what? YOU'RE STILL SELLOUTS.

Annotation from The Future:

One of the things you might not know about me from reading this blog is that I'm actually not a bitter person. I don't hate the world and I don't think all people are stupid. Really, that's why places like Gamespot irritate me so much: because most people are not actually that stupid, but the media, the government, and the corporations all think we're as dumb as bricks.

That said, as I mentioned in the annotation of my review for Unlimited SaGa I love that I can totally rail on something in a blind fury, and then I almost always end up completely vindicated. In this case, it was when Gamespot fired one of their employees, ostensibly for giving Kane And Lynch a bad review. (Happy ending: that reviewer and some of his friends went on to found Giant Bomb.)

Or to put it another way: before I edited this review for content, pretty much every other word was an F-bomb. And you know what? Gamespot deserves every fucking one of them.

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