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Tag Archives: IGN

IGN April Fools – Smash Brothers Brawl X

IGN really set the marker for April Fools jokes last year when they released their fake trailer for an upcoming Legend of Zelda movie. It had solid production values, and to be quite honest it looked like a movie I would watch. This year’s April Fools video is funny, but they didn’t go to the lengths like they did last year. I guess the economy is hitting everyone.

Enjoy the video below.

IGN’s Nintendo Interview – Alot of Hype, No Answers

I really hate to criticize IGN. I’ve been visiting the site since around the late 90’s or as I refer to it the 56k days. Unfortunately, they’ve given me reasons to criticize with Matt Casassamina’s latest interview with Denise Kaigler, the Vice President of Corporate Affairs for Nintendo of America (bet she hates repeating that job title).

I’ve read many interviews throughout the years, and this one is basically a mixture of worthlessness and incredible spurts of sensationalism. I won’t get into the details of everything that’s mentioned, but I will talk about two key parts of the interview that left me scratching my head.

First, Matt starts out the interview talking about third party support for the Nintendo Wii. When you hear those thoughts put together, you could place a guranteed bet on what would come up next. ..

‘Why hasn’t M-Rated software been performing well on the Wii’?

*sigh*

The answer of course is just about as obvious as the question, and honestly I’m definitely with Kaigler on this one. She responds…

“When it comes to the games that are delivered to Nintendo platforms by our third-party partners, I would defer you to those companies”

Then a discussion ensues about success of third parties and having a broad audience on the Wii. Kaigler again backs up her view towards third parties’ responsibilities and their own success…

“We’re not saying that certain games can’t succeed on Wii. We want those games. We want people to bring those opportunities to us. So I opened up my answer to your question by saying talk to SEGA, talk to those guys.”

The third party chat isn’t what angered me about the interview, it’s when they began talking about the upcoming E3 conference. Matt went from not giving up on a question, to just wasting interview time. Pretty much every few paragraphs would end with him asking Kaigler about anything she could say about E3. I won’t bother quoting her, but the general answers were no comment, or just wait.

Then the big bomb dropped, and is where the sensationalism found in journalism today (ahh I rhymed) reared its ugly head. She finally reveals some information to Matt about E3. Here’s the couple of sentences I’m referring to…

“First of all, off the record, Matt, can we just shut that off for a second? I rarely do what I’m about to do with you,” she says.

Without delay, I push the pause buttons on my recording devices.

That’s when Kaigler tells me something so megatonian-huge that I dare not repeat it because it would simply blow your mind. You could not handle it, trust me, so don’t even think about it. Put it out of your mind, people.

All right, she doesn’t tell me anything of the sort. But I wish she did. Does that count? “

I think Matt was trying to be funny, but is he joking? Who knows. This of course will lead to some wild speculations brewing across the internet. I’m sure something big will happen at E3, but didn’t we kind of assume that already? Either way, this was very irresponsible journalism and it really disappointed me.

Such a waste of interview time. After your read through of the interview, what were your thoughts on it? Am I making too much of it, or did you find it to be useless and full of hype like I did?

Top 5 Ways To Improve Game Reviews

As I grow older (mid-20’s), I look back on life and begin to wonder just what the hell I was thinking back when certain things mattered to me. I was perusing a few sites this morning, and one of the things I used to care about so much that mean little to me now popped up; game reviews.

Don’t misunderstand me, game reviews are an important piece of the gaming industry. They’re a check against developers, so crappy games aren’t released as frequently. They can be informative to the public, and so on. However, there was a time when game reviews would send me through the roof. Sometimes for good reasons, others not so good. Looking back, it all just seems so silly.

All these different thoughts lead to the Top 5 list. What are some things that can be improved upon with game reviews? How can they be made more relevant?

Let’s get to it.

Top 5 Things To Improve With Game Reviews

5. Engage More With The Gamers

Sometimes consumers forget, but they’re the cog that keeps our entire way of life turning. Without consumers, or a user base there’d be no video games, or reviews for that matter. This simple idea translates to our current economic status, but that’s a topic for another time, and another blog.

The gamer crowd is the lifeblood of the game review. If no one is there to hear you speak, or read your words then what’s the point. Which is why it irks me to see so many reviewers not engage with their user base. I’m not sure if it’s in the interests of professionalism, or if game reviewers are just busy. If you look around some review sites, you’ll rarely find reviewers follow up their writings or respond to comments left by readers.

To be fair, not all comments are worth addressing, but there is worth while dialogue to respond to. Yet, you’ll find reviewers not answering questions, or backing up the claims they make in their review summaries. With Facebook, Twitter, and all different kinds of social networking the idea of user engagement is just reaching its peak. It’s not enough to just leave empty words in an article on your site anymore. It’s all about your communication as well.

4. Neutral Genre/Title Fanboyism

If you look around mainstream news, the idea of ‘objective’ journalism is fading faster than hard line telephones. Everyone has a bias, and it seems that we care less and less if that bias gets in the way of reporting facts or figures. This idea translates to the video game world as well. Though, I will say it’s not as prevalent as it once was.

I think that #4 on today’s list is one of the hardest changes to implement for game reviews. Mainly, because reviews are in, and of themselves bias. They’re opinions, but that doesn’t mean I want to hear that opinion from someone who had a jaded view going into playing the game. If I’m wanting to check out thoughts on the newest Madden game, I don’t want to hear about what the reviewer thought of previous Maddens. Specifically if they hated it, or were absolutely in love with it.

Hearing how great Madden is, from someone who has always been a huge Madden fan kind makes their thoughts moot. Unless you’re a Madden fan that is. But why restrict your viewing audience to only those who love Madden? Or hate it.

Now, I’m not saying that someone shouldn’t review a game because of any prior qualms/preferences towards certain titles or genres. I’m just saying that it needs to be kept to a minimum when it comes out in their writing.

I’ll probably need to come back to this whenever Punch Out! releases this year.

3. Include, Don’t Exclude

My biggest pet peeve when reading through a review, is finding large sections of a game are missing from the write-up. Whenever I read a review, and I know something has blatantly been omitted the review is instantly void in my eyes.

Reviews should always follow the motto ‘more is better’. Even if the review is an essay, atleast the reader has a choice to either skim through, or read the entire entry. Whenever a review is cut short, or information is left out, there’s really only one option for the reader. Which is to read it, but be denied things they should probably know about the game they’re reading about.

What’s really frustrating is that on certain sites, you can tell some games get better treatment than others. I’m not talking about positive/negative reactions but that certain games get talked about more than others. This, sometimes is due to the fact that certain games have more content than others, but that isn’t always the case.

2. Add Second Opinions

In every publication that I’ve ever read, my favorites tend to be ones that present the greatest number of ideas about games. EGM generally always added second opinons. IGN includes them sometimes, but not nearly enough. I’m not quite sure why all of the major gaming publications don’t post more than one review.

On WiiBlog, you’ll generally just see one review, but that’s because it’s a smaller publication. Believe me, I’d allow as many differing opinions as I could if the resources were there. Yet, I visit these large sites, with bountiful resources and I’m left flummoxed by the inclusion of only one review.

What, that one person is the ‘end all, be all’ in terms of reviewing a particular game? What exactly, makes one person so special that they get one exclusive review per site? The answer, is quite simply that they aren’t special. It’s merely one opinion, which is a microcosm of a larger whole. And really isn’t, nor should be representative of the overall feeling towards a game.

Looking at game reviews, I can understand why the ‘one and only’ format was chosen. Mostly, because traditional media has always been reviewed that way. Just look at entertainment publications, where you’ll see movie reviews conducted by one person. TV, books, are also forms of media that have been traditionally reviewed by one person, per publication.

I can tell you that with games, my opinion is generally formed by discussing with others. Why can’t discussions be used as reviews? Why not setup a round table for a certain game, and have opinions bounce off one another? I think that offering second opinions is a good start to revitalize, and revamp the way we review our games.

Just because media has been reviewed a certain way in the past, doesn’t mean that’s what needs to keep continuing. As the wonders of the internet grow, so should the ways we relay information about a game to the consumers.

1. Numerical Scores

For me, one of the funniest moments in gaming was when Gamespot (Jeff Gerstmann) dropped his review of Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess onto viewers. You’d have thought Gerstmann sparked World War III from all the backlash he received from Zelda, and Nintendo fanboys. All because he thought LoZ: TP deserved a 8.8.

I didn’t agree with some of the negatives that Jeff mentioned in his review. I loved the wii remote controls, and thought it was great to see an Ocarina styled Link on the Wii. Two things he mentions as negatives. There-in lies my point. People weren’t upset with Jeff’s write-up of the game, but the arbitrary number he assigned to it.

Something about that little 8.8, drove people into a hysteria. If you don’t believe me, look at player reviews on that site. People gave the game a 10, for nothing more than to try and prove a point to Jeff. That his numerical score was somehow ‘wrong’.

I’m not going to act high and mighty, because I myself have used a numerical score for reviews on this site. But I leave it at the end, as a footnote to what should really be important, the content. I know people that live, and die by the number though. You’ll see forum topics created solely based on a review ‘score’. They generally turn into flame wars.

Why? Is what I want to ask. Why, do we care so much about those little digits? Is there a chemical imbalance in our heads, that sees an arbitrary score that sends us into a frenzy?

“Oh no, Halo 3 only received a 4.5 stars out of 5, I can no longer show my face around here again”

That’s a literal quote from a review I’ve seen before.

For me, numerical scores are the bane of the game review world. I wish I had a time machine and could go back and find out who devised the first review system for anything. Tell him how it was hurting valid content, and to just write out your views instead.

What’s sad is that review scores aren’t going anywhere. Publishers plaster results all over their boxes. ‘ This game receives 5/5 from Gamepro’. All I ask is that we take a step back, and try to find out why is matters so much. Then hopefully we can devise a better solution.

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So, after discussing today’s topic, how important are game reviews to you? If you do put stock into reviews, how do you read them? Do you really care so much about a numerical result, and if so how do you read into review systems?

Ready 2 Rumble Revolution Sneak Peek

The year 2009 looks to be the year of the boxer, for the Nintendo Wii. We’ve got a Don King boxing game heading our way, Punch-Out!, and Ready 2 Rumble: Revolution.

Click on the boxing glove below for a sneak peek, hope you enjoy.

Winter Being Noticed By Publishers

I hope that everyone had a fabulous Super Bowl weekend, and enjoyed the game. If not, hopefully you enjoyed the commercials (Dorito’s Crystal Ball To The Groin FTW!). Now that it’s Monday, I have some good news to share which has me feeling iffy at the same time.

Winter, is a game that IGN debuted to the public awhile back. IGN interviewed the President of n-Space, and Creative Director of Winter, also showing off some video footage of the survival horror. The game footage had me quite excited, as I’m a sucker for a good survival horror.

Unfortunately, the game couldn’t come to be as Winter was going through some struggles. n-Space was having a hard time finding a publisher to release the title to the mass market. According to the interview, no publisher wanted to take a chance on a survival horror title for the Nintendo Wii.

This news then led to an outcry from gamers who wanted to see the game released. When an online outcry begins, a petition is then soon to follow. Many gamers from around the world signed the petition, and according to GoNintendo many publishers are starting to take notice.

GoNintendo, received this quote from Dan O’Leary, “The interest in and support of Winter has been amazing to witness. The whole thing has meant a lot to the team. The internet is so full of haters that it’s really refreshing to see all the positive response and the petition is quite amazing in itself.

We have had some new and revived interest from publishers for the title, but it’s not something we’ve aggressively pursued just yet. n-Space is currently in the midst of closing three titles – 7 skus plus localizations – so we’re pretty swamped right now. We’ll start some more aggressive follow-up in the near future. I suspect we will have some interesting conversations.”

So, there you have it folks, Winter might have some life in it yet. I hate to be a stickler, but I have some problems with the whole way this Winter story has gone down. First, I’m still wary of n-Space’s dedication to their products because of their Front Page looking website. Second, as I mentioned in my first post about Winter, ‘why is this the first time I’m ever hearing about this game?’. Even though they’ve apparently been trying to sell it to a publisher for nearly two years.

The latest bit of information that has confused me is n-Space’s reaction to the petition. They claim they’re excited, and have gained some interest from publishers. The reason they aren’t trying to progress forward is because they’re closing three titles, and setting seven others up for localization. Yet, looking around various gaming site databases I can’t find even one of these games. If a game is coming close to being finished (“closed”), you’d figure we’d have heard something about it.

The whole way n-Space has gone about their Winter project has me baffled. It worries me at the same time as I really want to see Winter released. Hopefully, all my worries are nothing and eventually we’ll see a Winter release.

de Blob Sequel Will Be Made

For those who played through de Blob and found enjoyment, I have some great news to report. According to IGN, the THQ platformer, de Blob will be receiving the sequel treatment. This news comes by way of NPD data released about de Blobs sales performance from September, until the end of December.

de Blob went on sale September 22nd, and sold 230,000 copies coming into the new year. The game was reported on by numerous gaming sites, but wasn’t really advertised mainstream. That didn’t stop it from performing well in its first few months of existence.

To supplement the news about the sales figures, IGN was able to retrieve interesting comments from a THQ spokesperson, “We’re pleased with de Blob’s performance worldwide…It’s a great intellectual property and you can tell your readers to expect to see more of de Blob in the future.”

So there you have it. If you were a fan of de Blob, you can be pleased in knowing that a sequel is on its way. Since it has pretty much been confirmed, let me make a suggestion. Make a better save system please? Or at least some manner of checkpoints throughout the stages.

[via: IGN]