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July 10, 2013 11:51 PM   Subscribe

If Films Were Reviewed Like Video Games
posted by cthuljew (63 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
World War Z's visuals are top-notch. It has all sorts of cool effects like shadows, sunbeams pouring through windows. and impressive reflections on shiny surfaces. Multiple light sources hit objects at the same time, making everything look very realistic.

Unlike on film, in a video game those things actually take rather a lot of effort on somebody's behalf, whereas those things simply exist in films as a result of their existing where the camera was (not to minimize the skill of cinematography or directing) pointed. The equivalent would be to remark on the excellent composition of shots in a film.

Really, my takeaway from this article is a reminder that different kinds of things (and video games and films are different kinds of things, whatever some game studios and some critics would have you think) have to be evaluated on different grounds.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:56 PM on July 10, 2013 [10 favorites]


"You should pay to see this movie because it functions and does many of the things you expect."

Genius. Although a surprising number of movies actually fail in this regard (I'm thinking of the Joel Schumacher 'Batman' movie I saw during which children had to be taken out crying because nothing seemed to make any sense.)
posted by colie at 12:05 AM on July 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


Light in movies doesn't just happen.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:05 AM on July 11, 2013 [31 favorites]


Kind of read like an IGN movie review.
posted by staticscreen at 12:15 AM on July 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


I was thinking of posting this, but wondered if it was too thin.


"You should pay to see this movie because it functions and does many of the things you expect."

Genius. Although a surprising number of movies actually fail in this regard (I'm thinking of the Joel Schumacher 'Batman' movie I saw during which children had to be taken out crying because nothing seemed to make any sense.)


But you wouldn't attack a movie for doing something unexpected, the way gamers attack games for doing something unexpected, or even attack reviewers for giving a game an 8 when ever other outlet gave it a 9 (that's not an exagerration). Games like God Hand got savaged by critics for 'doing something different', and Opoona was utterly ignored. I've seen games be attacked for having a non-standard control scheme, for being too long, for being too short, for being too 'artsy'... and if the crowd of gamers decides that a game or a writer is 'wrong' (as if there is some objective standard) that game or reviewer will becomea constant punchline.

I wish this was a longer, though.

Paramount Pictures has had a lot of success in the past. They are a large company and they have a lot of money. For this reason, fans of the distributor know that their newest movie is sure to be good.

This is great. It bugs me how any 'big' game will get a minimum of 7 from major outlets, and nobody but the fringes will even consider the glaring flaws in the game.

There aren't any scenes with dogs putting their paws over their eyes. I can't stress how important that is. It has been established as something that works, so it should be in every single movie.

This reminds me of reviewers wanting open world elements or a cover system in every modern game.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 12:24 AM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


I feel like this critique is aimed at reviews from about a decade ago. There are of course outlets which still produce reviews like this, but its really not hard to find better. Similarly, there are lots of bad film reviews out there (see every film review which is basically a synopsis with a sentence at the end telling us if the reviewer liked it)
posted by Cannon Fodder at 1:02 AM on July 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


Should also contain a comment section with comments how the tickets are flimsy and look like every other tickets, complaints about casual moviegoers who've never even seen the fan sub of The Bicycle Thief, theories about how the film confirms Clerks 3, and the random lonely guy waiting to be able to watch the movie on Linux.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:02 AM on July 11, 2013 [24 favorites]


And Roger Ebert would have to be only allowed into a movie theatre under the unwritten agreement that he speak highly of the movie or else his movie-watching privileges will be revoked, and he has to wait for for them to come out on TV :-)

Maybe movie reviewers could learn a thing or two from early Zero Punctuation, and I'd certainly watch a game review that had the masterful dissection of the original Plinkett on Phantom Menace. Maybe crossing the streams could be fun. :)
posted by anonymisc at 1:06 AM on July 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


Who am I kidding, I don't even have time for movies and games these days, let alone their reviews. :(
posted by anonymisc at 1:08 AM on July 11, 2013


Funny...but a bit facile, no? I know everybody likes to get all up in this debate but honestly video games are not movies. Really. They are completely different things. Why are we still bothering to compare the two? They share a passing resemblance because they are both capable of existing on a screen in front of your eyeballs, and they may also both have some kind of script. But that's about it.

Here's an almost-similar-but-actually-a-difference that I find very interesting: folks will wait in line for a film premiere, and they'll wait in line for the next Battlefield X: Elite Gunfuckers release but what is the thing waiting for them when they get to the front of the line? For the movie, it's a shared experience watching a movie with a bunch of other humans, hell you might even go out for coffee after and discuss what you just watched with some of them.

But at the front of the line for the game? Yeah. It's a box. With a fucking Steam key inside of it. Awww yeah. You're going to go home and play it by yourself. Maybe tomorrow you'll get on a forum and complain about, or write some comments on the review over at Joystiq, or whatever. But probably not, because you've got at least another 10 hours of game to play anyway.

I love video games, but they are not movies and it's silly to act like they should be.

While it's true that some movies are very video-game-like and some games are very cinematic, the former are usually considered artistically inconsequential while the latter just aren't played by 95% of gamers. How many gamers do you know have actually played Dear Esther, for example? What's the last videogame-esque film that you cared about? None, probably.
posted by Doleful Creature at 1:10 AM on July 11, 2013


Rock Paper Shotgun is the only video gaming news/review site I pay any attention to anymore. They're almost entirely PC-centric, but they're serious about what they do.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:11 AM on July 11, 2013 [9 favorites]


You're going to go home and play it by yourself.

You're doing it wrong :-)
posted by anonymisc at 1:11 AM on July 11, 2013


Pretty thin and misguided. The reviews I watch (mostly Good Game on ABC ) discuss plot narrative etc.
posted by wilful at 1:14 AM on July 11, 2013


Maybe I'm reading the wrong (or rather, the right) game reviews sites. I don't recognise this at all.
posted by liquidindian at 1:14 AM on July 11, 2013


Well, can anyone give me a hand? When I loaded World War Z, I got about ten minutes in and my TV crashed. All my drivers are up to date.

Also, I am really pissed at how WWZ has Day 0 "The Ending" DLC. Who's bright idea was it to allow EA into Hollywood?
posted by Samizdata at 1:30 AM on July 11, 2013 [9 favorites]


Wow. No. I mean, good try, but no.
posted by eyeballkid at 1:36 AM on July 11, 2013


I feel like this critique is aimed at reviews from about a decade ago.

In the UK I'm pretty sure most video game reviews used to be published in magazines that were dependent on the games companies either through advertising or at least in order to get their content. The tabloid newspapers also have this going on with movies.
posted by colie at 2:02 AM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


They're almost entirely PC-centric, but they're serious about what they do.

I think you mean "they're almost entirely PC-centric, so they're serious about what they do.
posted by Justinian at 2:11 AM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


colie: "In the UK I'm pretty sure most video game reviews used to be published in magazines that were dependent on the games companies either through advertising or at least in order to get their content."

A point made in 1985 when Crash Magazine took the piss out of Sinclair User with their “Unclear User” parody (which they then had to apologise for):
“Software reviews carry a moon rating, the basis of which will be varied according to how exclusive the program review is, how much money the software publisher spends on advertising and how much of that money lines the coffers of UNCLEAR USER, as well as a host of other intangible variables.”
posted by Auz at 3:25 AM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Unlike on film, in a video game those things actually take rather a lot of effort on somebody's behalf, whereas those things simply exist in films as a result of their existing where the camera was (not to minimize the skill of cinematography or directing) pointed.

So then this would be a valid review of Pixar movies, right?
posted by DU at 3:53 AM on July 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


colie: "In the UK I'm pretty sure most video game reviews used to be published in magazines that were dependent on the games companies either through advertising or at least in order to get their content."

Absolutely. This 1995 article from Amiga Power is a great insight into the problematic relationship between games companies and the majority of gaming magazines of the time.
posted by pinacotheca at 4:10 AM on July 11, 2013


> Unlike on film, in a video game those things actually take rather a lot of effort on somebody's behalf, whereas those things simply exist in films as a result of their existing where the camera was (not to minimize the skill of cinematography or directing) pointed. The equivalent would be to remark on the excellent composition of shots in a film.

I think I get what you mean to say, that in video games everything has to be created from scratch virtually while in moviemaking the people and scenery are just right there and you just have to use them... but you're wrong anyway. None of that is happenstance in major films.
posted by ardgedee at 4:27 AM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think you mean "they're almost entirely PC-centric, so they're serious about what they do.

Nah, I don't agree with that.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:06 AM on July 11, 2013


I usually bypass the front page and go directly to the forums and miss some good articles. Sadly, this isn't one of them.
posted by JJ86 at 5:24 AM on July 11, 2013


"The music plays at the right time."

I laughed.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 5:28 AM on July 11, 2013


The juxtaposition of games and films here doesn't reveal anything about either. The article might as well be titled "If Films Were Reviewed By An Idiot. Which They Are. Frequently".
posted by MUD at 5:30 AM on July 11, 2013


if the crowd of gamers decides that a game or a writer is 'wrong' (as if there is some objective standard) that game or reviewer will becomea constant punchline.

Well, I stopped taking Ebert seriously when he gave Revenge of the Sith four stars. I'm sure I'm not alone in that.

And there is no punchline greater than Gene Shalit.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:32 AM on July 11, 2013


When it comes to nerd films, I believe they ARE reviewed like this (whether or not this is how videogames are reviewed, I don't know). "Great special effects" mean there are special effects. "Intense action" means there's action. "Moving characterization" means there's at least one scene in which the characters talk about something other than what is going on in front of them at that moment. The focus seems to be on reassuring people who are going to see the movie anyway that they are right in going to see it anyway and that it is "good enough", not necessarily good. I guess it's what happens when you have an audience who believes that bad movie + low expectations = worthwhile venture.
posted by Legomancer at 5:40 AM on July 11, 2013 [6 favorites]


And there is no punchline greater than Gene Shalit.

Not even "big fucking rats with ten-inch cocks" or "Can I read it... hell, doc, I know the guy?"
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 5:47 AM on July 11, 2013


Nope.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:49 AM on July 11, 2013


Doleful Creature: "Here's an almost-similar-but-actually-a-difference that I find very interesting: folks will wait in line for a film premiere, and they'll wait in line for the next Battlefield X: Elite Gunfuckers release but what is the thing waiting for them when they get to the front of the line? For the movie, it's a shared experience watching a movie with a bunch of other humans, hell you might even go out for coffee after and discuss what you just watched with some of them."

If you're standing in line for the premiere of a movie, you're in line for the same reason as the people standing in line for a new game, or a new book (for the few books popular enough to have launch events.) It's to get to it before anyone else who wasn't willing to stand in line. You get to experience it first.
posted by Karmakaze at 6:10 AM on July 11, 2013


Light in movies doesn't just happen.

Ugh a thousand times. If you think movie lighting is easy, then I can point you to hundreds of bad indie films with bad lighting that make me really appreciate mid-budget films.

The difference then between games and movies there has been good cinematography and directing for a longer time than there have been good shading and blending algorithms in games, so it can still be exciting to see well-done lighting in games.

In this way, critiquing the visuals of video games might be more similar to critiquing realism in paintings.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:09 AM on July 11, 2013


The gist of the review parody can be applied to all kinds of geek fetish items, in which the review is nothing more than running down a checklist of features and attributes, and remarking on whether they're fulfilled per spec.

I see this all the time in reviews of audio equipment by people who do unboxing videos or run equipment websites because they revel in the swag they can get for free and then promptly flip. They're written with the insight of a mechanical inspection and can be replicated -- with names changed -- for everything that crosses the desk, because every headphone has bass, midrange, treble, fits over the ears and is made of plastic and/or metal. Every video game has a shooting thingy and you have to run around... the anomalies get scored down simply because they don't meet the expectations of the checklist.

So the point is really that there's nothing being said about why you would play the game or watch the movie or buy the piece of stereo equipment... left unsaid is whether you were moved in any way, entertained, bored, changed your life, gave you insight, developed empathy with somebody you'd never considered before... those aren't so easily quantifiable and reduced to numeric rankings.
posted by ardgedee at 7:13 AM on July 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


Unlike on film, in a video game those things actually take rather a lot of effort on somebody's behalf, whereas those things simply exist in films as a result of their existing where the camera was (not to minimize the skill of cinematography or directing) pointed. The equivalent would be to remark on the excellent composition of shots in a film.

Have you sat through the credits at the end of a modern movie? Nothing "simply exists"; everything you see took an army of artists and technicians to create.
posted by octothorpe at 7:13 AM on July 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


I am surprised he didn't mention something about the run-time of the film, as most game reviews factor in the amount of hours of playtime you can get out a new game. In which case he would give a higher rating for something like Return of the King with over 200 minutes of playtime! You'll get your moneys worth!
posted by edZio at 7:14 AM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Comics reviewers need to talk more about art
posted by Artw at 7:21 AM on July 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


edZio: World War Z clocks in at 116 minutes, so it passes our dollar-to-entertainment ratio test with flying colors.
posted by cthuljew at 7:42 AM on July 11, 2013


I thought this was fairly funny and I definitely see the parallels they were going for. That said, I would have expected many of the comments here to unfold exactly as they did simply because there is always a vocal minority on MeFi who just can't deal with analogies as a form of rhetoric and feel a compulsive need to overextend them beyond the obvious intended parallels until they break. Yes, it is entirely true that movies are not entirely like games. Yes, if I say someone is like a dog with a bone, it is true that they do not actually go around the world on all fours urinating on trees and squatting in yards to defecate. Yes, yes. Good work. (hardest possible eye roll)
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:45 AM on July 11, 2013 [12 favorites]


World War Z's visuals are top-notch. It has all sorts of cool effects like shadows, sunbeams pouring through windows. and impressive reflections on shiny surfaces. Multiple light sources hit objects at the same time, making everything look very realistic.


I find this interesting, and by interesting I mean bullshit, because we actually do review movies that way. Just take a look at the commentary on how Pacific Rim 'sells' its giant robots much better than Transformers sold its, for one easy recent example.

We have certain standards for the quality of visual presentation in films, which varies depending on the type of film. Movies with more special effects have more attention paid to the quality of the visual presentation come review time, because it's more likely to be done poorly. Video games, viewed as film, are almost entirely "special effects." QED.
posted by Tomorrowful at 7:53 AM on July 11, 2013


Ha! I thought this was funny. Many of the comments in this thread only add to the hilarity.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:53 AM on July 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


if I say someone is like a dog with a bone, it is true that they do not actually go around the world on all fours urinating on trees and squatting in yards to defecate.

Hey man, you don't know me.
posted by Strange Interlude at 7:56 AM on July 11, 2013 [6 favorites]


But at the front of the line for the game? Yeah. It's a box. With a fucking Steam key inside of it. Awww yeah. You're going to go home and play it by yourself.

But couldn't you make this same critique of people who got all into the Harry Potter novel releases? Midnight wizard parties and costumes and pumpkin beer and all that? And at the front of the line, there's just a rectangle and they're going to go home and read it all by themselves.

I don't think any one form of media is better or worse because it's consumed as a shared experience or more privately. In fact I'm pretty interested in ways that fans turn private experiences into a shared culture.
posted by Sara C. at 8:42 AM on July 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


Unlike on film, in a video game those things actually take rather a lot of effort on somebody's behalf, whereas those things simply exist in films as a result of their existing where the camera was

This is an extremely optimistic idea about how movies are made.

Have you ever seen a soundstage? It's a pitch-dark cavernous space. To which needs to be added sets and set dressing, lighting, props, people in costume and makeup, etc. to make even a vague simulacrum of what real life looks like. This takes many many hours of work and great expense to accomplish, and even more effort and expense to do well.

FWIW I don't think the video game reviews are so silly in comparison to movies because one is harder to make than the other. I'm pretty sure movie reviews circa 1920 probably read a lot like this. Certainly when sync sound came in you had people saying things like, "the sound in this movie actually works!" and "you can really hear the words they're saying!" and the like.

I think people will evaluate any new technology according to whether it does a good job of emulating real life. As that technology becomes an expected part of the experience, people begin to expect more. In 20 years we absolutely might be in a place where people will be saying, "I just didn't buy the big boss' motivation in this part of the story," or "I thought the lighting was really bad."
posted by Sara C. at 8:51 AM on July 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm reminded of the Spin review of Jewel's "A Night Without Armor."
Jewel’s collection of poetry has her picture on the front, back, and spine. Inside, the poems are set in a font called Fairfield. It’s a bookish and professional-looking font. Yet it remains friendly, with well-defined (but never excessive) serifs and excellent readability. It’s sort of like the agreeable chardonnay of typefaces. The stem of the lower-case y seems a little frail, but fear not – the j and p are sturdy enough in that regard. The verses themselves tend to start at the top of the page, with the title, and then continue on down. Available on CD: very shiny.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:19 AM on July 11, 2013 [5 favorites]


But at the front of the line for the game? Yeah. It's a box. With a fucking Steam key inside of it. Awww yeah.

Wait, do you honestly not understand how human enthusiasm on an individual level works?
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 9:20 AM on July 11, 2013


Unlike on film, in a video game those things actually take rather a lot of effort on somebody's behalf, whereas those things simply exist in films as a result of their existing where the camera was

What Sara C. said, and it's not just soundstages. Even in daylight a lighting crew will typically use spot and fill lights all over the place rather than mess around with reflectors, which are far more trouble between wind, cloud shadow and the fact that the sun doesn't stop moving while you're working on the scene.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:21 AM on July 11, 2013


The run-time of World War Z is numerous in minutes. One thing it has is scene transitions, or as Hollywood directors call them, "cuts". Another famous Hollywood director was "Stanley Kubrick".

In conclusion, World War Z is a film of contrasts. Thank You.
posted by wcfields at 11:02 AM on July 11, 2013 [6 favorites]


Doleful Creature: "Funny...but a bit facile, no? I know everybody likes to get all up in this debate but honestly video games are not movies. Really. They are completely different things. Why are we still bothering to compare the two? They share a passing resemblance because they are both capable of existing on a screen in front of your eyeballs, and they may also both have some kind of script. But that's about it."

I don't think the idea behind this post is that video games should be evaluated in exactly the same way as film. It's that they don't tend to be evaluated as creative works at all. There just isn't as much of a critical culture around the medium. Yet, I mean.
posted by brundlefly at 11:05 AM on July 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


Stuff like this (and the recent videogame misandry thing, the "videogames are dumb" thing and the way Bioshock Infinite seemed to make it okay to talk about wanting games that emphasize storytelling, writing, aesthetics and exploration without violenceandpuzzles) makes me happy. It makes me feel Not Crazy as a person who still likes games but feels an increasing disconnect from most popular games and the culture around games. The by now obsessive/borderline creepy hyperfocus on mechanics and technology in games writing to the exclusion of, like, everything else is something that's bothered me for some time. Seeing things like this is always a bit of a cathartic relief, even when not executed perfectly; it's like someone saying, "Haha, no, don't worry, byanyothername, you're not crazy! Videogame culture really is a little bit misogynistic, anti-intellectual and obsessed with minutiae. There's still hope that that can change!"
posted by byanyothername at 11:07 AM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Opoona

(Also, thanks for posting this, CiS. I'd heard the name before but knew nothing about this game before the writeup here, and now I'd really like to try it--the aesthetic is beautifully unique and what really piqued my interest in the game was the reviewer writing about how fleshed out the game's cities are, with in-game museums, aquariums/zoos and an entire fictional art history with different historic movements and styles. It's stuff like that that gets me to play a game, but most people who write and talk about games completely ignore stuff like that and instead tell me about the battle system and how it's not as good as Quest Boy 360 or some other thing that holds zero interest for me.)
posted by byanyothername at 11:20 AM on July 11, 2013


What Sara C. said, and it's not just soundstages. Even in daylight a lighting crew will typically use spot and fill lights all over the place rather than mess around with reflectors, which are far more trouble between wind, cloud shadow and the fact that the sun doesn't stop moving while you're working on the scene.

Whereas lighting for a video game gets worked on for days. Not to mention the fact that in a video game, we're not talking about just placing the right light sources in the right place, we're also talking about refining the algorithms that govern them to make the light behave like natural light. I read about some advancement in video game lighting a while ago that talked about getting the edge of shadows to blur correctly depending on it's relation to the source of the light and the object casting the shadow. That isn't a detail that you need to worry about with a real light.

This shouldn't really be a pissing match about the difficulty of lighting a movie vs. a video game. It's about which medium struggles to do it well. Even shitty movies are decently lit. You could have no special lighting for a movie and nothing would look out of place or unrealistic, it just might not help the scene. That's a level of competency that video games just don't have. They're still trying to make the light behave like real light.

Video games and movies are reviewed differently because they struggle with different things.
posted by VTX at 11:20 AM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


I didn't find the article very well-written – I did laugh at the "On to the sound. You can clearly hear everything that the actors say" part, because The Dark Knight Rises happened to be on TV in the background at the time – but it did occur to me that I'd enjoy videogame reviews in the style of pop music reviews, or restaurant reviews. That would be a fun thing.
posted by furiousthought at 11:21 AM on July 11, 2013


Whereas lighting for a video game gets worked on for days. Not to mention the fact that in a video game, we're not talking about just placing the right light sources in the right place, we're also talking about refining the algorithms that govern them to make the light behave like natural light. I read about some advancement in video game lighting a while ago that talked about getting the edge of shadows to blur correctly depending on it's relation to the source of the light and the object casting the shadow. That isn't a detail that you need to worry about with a real light.

Yes, and a lot of attention, care and money gets put into those details that then doesn't get put into making the game worth a damn. (in an overly simplistic way, obviously. Nice graphics are great, but there's way too much of a focus on them.)
posted by Navelgazer at 11:24 AM on July 11, 2013


Maybe but if you read through a recent video game review, I don't think you'll find much space given over to talking about the graphics unless they suck so back that they take you out of the experience or there is some aspect of it that so good that it adds to it. Ditto with the sound, it really only gets talked about if it's especially good or especially bad.

Mostly, they talk about the game play and the story.

Paramount Pictures has had a lot of success in the past. They are a large company and they have a lot of money. For this reason, fans of the distributor know that their newest movie is sure to be good.

When things like this get said in a video game review (and they don't really say things quite like that) what they're saying is, "the people who have made this game have made really good games in the past and the developer has the resources and talent to make this one too."

If you see that a movie is directed by Steven Spielberg and is staring Daniel Day-Lewis and bunch of other great actors, you kind of expect the movie to be good right?
posted by VTX at 12:19 PM on July 11, 2013


I loved the lighting in Tetris. And Final Fantasy 6. And Katamari. And Killer7. And The Lion King. And Tron. I posted this because I wanted to make the point that more games should have hyper realistic lighting and that that is an important part of videogame AND movie criticism.
posted by cthuljew at 12:48 PM on July 11, 2013


Agree with those who suspect this is more a parody of game reviews from about 10 years ago, although to me, a lot of the cliches still ring true.

Here's a 2004 revie of Far Cry that reads a lot like this piece.
posted by ShutterBun at 2:50 PM on July 11, 2013


Rock Paper Shotgun is the only video gaming news/review site I pay any attention to anymore. They're almost entirely PC-centric, but they're serious about what they do.

Seriously. RPS's Wot I Think, Gaming Made Me, Live Free Play Hard, and Flare Path features are just about my favorite things in games journalism right now.
posted by jammer at 3:05 PM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


From that review of Far Cry:

The sound effects in the game contribute heavily to the creepy atmosphere. For instance, you'll be working your way through a dark indoor level and you'll hear disturbing noises up ahead. Then someone you didn't realize was there will suddenly say something, and you'll jump out of your seat. In the jungle, birds will chirp overhead, and insects will buzz in your ear. When a helicopter approaches, you'll hear the thrum of the rotors getting closer and closer. You can eavesdrop on conversations by using the combination binocular-sound microphone featured in the game. These conversations tend to be enlightening because you can find out what the mercenaries are worried about or what's up ahead.
posted by Sebmojo at 3:41 PM on July 11, 2013


Uther Bentrazor: "But at the front of the line for the game? Yeah. It's a box. With a fucking Steam key inside of it. Awww yeah.

Wait, do you honestly not understand how human enthusiasm on an individual level works?
"

Last midnight release I went to -

It was across the street from where I worked. That night's shift was until 11 PM.

My little brother was going too so transportation worked out.

Had fun, met some new people, and had a pretty delish skag meat sandwich provided free.

(Can you guess the game?)
posted by Samizdata at 4:24 PM on July 11, 2013



Pretty thin and misguided. The reviews I watch (mostly Good Game on ABC ) discuss plot narrative etc.


Good Game is great, but even that needs to present its good critique in a slather of silliness - the robot, the costumes, the silly nicknames (trust me, 'Bajo' isn't his real name), the 'rubber chickens' rating scale.

And i've seen so much bad games writing and so much games writing that rewards a game simply for doing what it promised or being a AAA game that I can only really trust Eurogamer, Action Button, and blogs like Mammon Machine to point out that the emperor has no clothes, Skyrim has no gameplay, and Bioshock undercuts its own pretentions.

And even when games writing is good, the commentators drag it down, insulting any critic who dares go against the Metacritic consensus. And that's enforced by the studios like Bethesda, who gave Obsdian less money for Fallout: New Vegas because it scored an 84 and not an 85 on Metacritic (this is literally true). The whole system is broken, and its broken because gamers demand some 'objective' truth from reviews that really means giving the most hyped games the hightest scores.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 4:29 PM on July 11, 2013


I laughed, but good.

(see every film review which is basically a synopsis with a sentence at the end telling us if the reviewer liked it)

Now I’m wincing, all of these people are on the enemies list. I’m going to get a tattoo that says "a synopsis is not a review"

there is always a vocal minority on MeFi who just can't deal with analogies as a form of rhetoric

I think this has got to be a difference in the way people are wired because some people really seem to have trouble with this. (And I don’t mean that people are actually hooked up with wires.)
posted by bongo_x at 10:04 PM on July 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh my god I love this thread solely for linking me to that review of Opoona. I need to see if the Wii emulators for the Mac are any good. Like now.
posted by egypturnash at 3:28 PM on July 12, 2013


more gaming satire, this time about sexism
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 7:50 PM on July 12, 2013


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