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Poison Shroom
January 7, 2009 12:16 PM   Subscribe

RIP 1UP & EGM.

1UP.com produced some stellar gaming podcasts. Most of the staff responsible for those have now been laid off. Links to torrented archives and twitters to keep track of former 1UPers.
posted by juv3nal (63 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Agh that was badly done. The post Jeff Green is responding to in the main link.
posted by juv3nal at 12:22 PM on January 7, 2009


It's a sad thing. EGM was the only video game magazine that I really respected.
posted by demiurge at 12:22 PM on January 7, 2009


This sucks. I really liked the Retronauts podcast. It's much easier to get through your wife-prescribed time on the eliptical trainer when you're reminiscing about the first time you got scared playing Resident Evil 2.

Well, not me... I could totally tell that a zombie dog was going to jump through the window.
posted by joelhunt at 12:24 PM on January 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


( pac-man dying noise )
posted by boo_radley at 12:30 PM on January 7, 2009 [4 favorites]


That licker crashing through the one-way glass scared the crap out me, and I knew it was coming. I don't know if that was as scary as when I was playing the first Silent Hill game, and shortly after recieving a creepy phone call in the game, the phone in my room rang. I jumped a couple of feet at that.

I've had EGM subscriptions off-and-on for a very long time, and it's pretty sad to hear that they're being shut down. They actually published my poorly 'shopped cover art and an edited description of a parody of Champions of Norrath that I sent in. It was called Champions of No Wrath and featured Ghandi on the cover.

Good times.
posted by owtytrof at 12:30 PM on January 7, 2009


.
posted by joedan at 12:34 PM on January 7, 2009


.

I just found out about their acquisition this morning. Most of my favourite staff have been let go, and of the course the 1UP show is shutdown. The fact that 1UP.com will live on as a withered soulless husk operated by fucking UGO of all companies leaves a sour taste in my mouth, too. It would have been much better if they could have just closed. Bleh, what a sad day.
posted by tracert at 12:36 PM on January 7, 2009


I think I'll miss the April Fools jokes the most. Like when they revealed that the first PSP game was a Lord of The Rings based kart game (complete with a convincing screenshot)
posted by hellojed at 12:38 PM on January 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


you know, I never really got into 1up. I think the cluttered site front page scared me off. But EGM was my gaming news bible before I had web access. whatever it became afterward, I don't know, but i'll always remember it fondly for those days.

.
posted by shmegegge at 12:42 PM on January 7, 2009


I haven't read any game magazines for years and years, and I'm sure EGM has gotten loads better recently.

In the old days however, wow. 32-page advertising spreads paid for by the game manufacturers? More than three quarters their page count devoted to game company propaganda? Even as a kid I knew there was a problem with that. The reviewers bugged me too, almost as much as those damn little icons they used in GamePro.

Yeah, I may have been fifteen, but my mental age was of that of a cranky old man.

Now I see that they were basically aping Famitsu, the bunch of shameless Nipponophiles.
posted by JHarris at 1:09 PM on January 7, 2009


demiurge: "It's a sad thing. EGM was the only video game magazine that I really respected."

Seriously? EGM was nothing more than pages and pages of advertisements with the odd article related to gaming thrown in somewhere in between.
posted by Effigy2000 at 1:14 PM on January 7, 2009


Man, ever since I can remember the online video game press has sucked serious ass. I used to enjoy reading magazines like EGM, Nintendo Power, Game Players, Next Generation etc when I was a kid but I never once remember having a pleasant experience at an online site, even sites for magazines I read.

For some reason, and I have no idea why, all video game sites were absolutely crammed with ads, full of popups, those bulshit advertisement links, the deal where you have to click "next" a million times to read the stuff, and so on.

For PC hardware news the sites were sort of in a similar vein, but it was never as bad. Any idea what the deal was? Why was that particular industry so crammed with junk? Was it because it came out of traditional media and they had to figure out a way to get similar margins as the magazines? That they had to pay executives, marketing people, etc? A site like slashdot or even metafilter could get buy with a much lower cost structure.

Come to think of it, almost all the sites I read regularly grew up organically though individual site creation, rather then being the creation of media companies. I suppose if you have on person creating a site they'll see it as more then just a canvas for advertising.
posted by delmoi at 1:15 PM on January 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


Man, seriously. 1up and EGM were about my favorite sources of gaming info.

.
posted by absalom at 1:22 PM on January 7, 2009


Okay, so, with EGM and 1up on the way out, what's the best review site that actually covers a large and wide variety of games?
posted by box at 1:25 PM on January 7, 2009


The second list has what appears to be a (non-exhaustive?) list of who got canned (scroll to "Ex-1UP Employee Follow Up"). This includes an awful large share of the writing staff. It's hard to escape the conclusion that the site is getting hollowed out.

I never cared for EGM but I liked the 1up reviews and previews a lot, and the "show" content was fun. I've definitely fantasized about working for them. Oops.
posted by grobstein at 1:27 PM on January 7, 2009


Actually, no, not info. I get way better and more recent INFO elsewhere.

Honestly, though, I liked their reviews. I mean, I'm 32 now. I'm a teacher. I'm damn busy. I seriously don't have the time to play every game that comes out. I get maybe one every three months or so. It's nice to have reviewers who will call a shitty game a shitty game, and a mediocre game a mediocre game, and I felt that they were a crew that I could generally count on to just do all that.
posted by absalom at 1:27 PM on January 7, 2009 [3 favorites]


EGM made early adolescence almost bearable.

.
posted by infinitewindow at 1:30 PM on January 7, 2009


I don't know absalom, I still can't find a place that's consistent in the quality of their criticism. Every gaming site seems full of writers that are far too easily impressed by the tiniest things. The Zero Punctuation reviews take no prisoners, but half of that vitriol is schtick at this point. You just have to look at MetaCritic game reviews to see what a bunch of giddy dittoheads most game reviewers are, and from what I saw, that included 1up.
posted by picea at 1:32 PM on January 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


To paraphrase the perpetually hyperbolic Shane Bettenhausen: Really? Really?!?

Selfishly, I consider this less a poison shroom and more a freaking blue shell. I got a lot of entertainment from the 1Up podcasts and the personalities involved -- and all of it for free. I'll miss them. Here's hoping the victims of this corporate blunder find good homes -- or start new ventures -- elsewhere.
posted by Kikkoman at 1:39 PM on January 7, 2009


What the hell (click next to continue) is happening with all (click next to continue) my favorite magazines??? (click next to continue) I am a magazine junkie (click next to continue) , and lately I have seen the (click next to continue) loss of PC Magazine and (click next to continue) now EGM... I am sorry, but (click next to continue) holding a paper magazine in my hands (click next to continue) cannot be replaced by annoying (click next to continue) web based magazine replacements.
posted by newfers at 1:45 PM on January 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


I have good memories of my EGM subscription, however poor it might have been. It was certainly more fun to read than Nintendo Pravda. The latter had walkthroughs and guides and tips, along with the occasional video cassette, but I was not as perspicacious as JHarris in childhood/adolescence, so I only noticed the shilleriffic reviews in NP. I have to agree with Delmoi about video game review sites. Maybe one of the blogs sorting through the crap is the answer (don't know which one, since I come to video game sites only through googling video game related stuff now). Also, adblocker has been helpful.
posted by Gnatcho at 1:52 PM on January 7, 2009


I've definitely fantasized about working for them. Oops.

Me too. It is, I think, impossible to watch the 1UP Show and not want to take part in the conversation.

You just have to look at MetaCritic game reviews to see what a bunch of giddy dittoheads most game reviewers are, and from what I saw, that included 1up.

Maybe so, but the podcasts (namely 1UP Yours, 1UP FM and GFW Radio) were where the real content came out of, not the site, and they are the one feature that I'll miss the most. Every big release got one or several round table discussions in some form or another, and most small releases got some discussion as well. Some games got more praise and attention than others, but I think everything they talked about got a level headed and even handed shake.
posted by tracert at 1:58 PM on January 7, 2009


Jeremy Parish says (trying to bring up the link, but it's mysteriously down) that Retronauts will continue because they want to keep doing it. Without the support of 1UP it will likely have to be shorter, less frequent, and less technically polished, but it's certainly better than nothing.

I don't get why "don't destroy the value of your assets" is so difficult to understand.
posted by Epenthesis at 2:01 PM on January 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


.

Boo. I'll miss the podcasts.
posted by aerotive at 2:09 PM on January 7, 2009


(The bit about UGO just registered. This is a blue shell to the groin. To whoever is left at 1Up: Eject, eject, eject.)
posted by Kikkoman at 2:15 PM on January 7, 2009


I don't understand why you would buy a company and then immediately destroy the thing that made it unique and worth buying in the first place.

I am very sad about the loss of podcasts. That's 5 hours more a week of boredom.
posted by JZig at 2:26 PM on January 7, 2009


Effigy2000: Seriously? EGM was nothing more than pages and pages of advertisements with the odd article related to gaming thrown in somewhere in between.

All gaming magazines had pages and pages of advertisements. But at least the reviews in EGM were almost always high quality and incorporated viewpoints from different reviewers on the team. The magazine as a whole has been a bit thin lately, but the reviews were still good.

Did you prefer a different magazine, or did you lack respect for all of them?
posted by demiurge at 2:27 PM on January 7, 2009


Because it's not about the people, it's about the brand. I guess we know who doesn't have an MBA in this thread!
posted by absalom at 2:27 PM on January 7, 2009


Okay, so, with EGM and 1up on the way out, what's the best review site that actually covers a large and wide variety of games?

I generally like Gametrailers' reviews, although it's weird that they don't tell you who's actually writing them.

I also like GiantBomb.com, Jeff Gerstmann's new site. Gerstmann must be having some nasty deja vu watching all of this go down.

For podcasts, Gamers with jobs (search for it on Itunes or Google) is pretty good.
posted by mattholomew at 2:30 PM on January 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Does this mean there will be no more episodes of Broken Pixels? Or is that something that just has a loose assocation with 1up?
posted by Ziggy Zaga at 3:31 PM on January 7, 2009


Here's the story from UGO's point of view, essentially placing most of the blame on Ziff-Davis. Everyone who worked for EGM was fired, and the 20th Anniversary Issue of EGM won't be published, and may never be released at all. It's incredibly sad, but not that unexpected. Z-D has been hemorrhaging money for a while; it was only a matter of time before cuts were made. I just didn't expect it to be so deep.

I think it's terrible that UGO doesn't seem to realize that the drawing force of 1UP was in the personalities involved, both on the site and in the podcasts. All of their podcasts were top quality.

If you haven't ever listened, I highly recommend every episode of the CGW/GFW/Lan Party podcast. Rambling, hilarious, and insightful.

One of the NeoGAF posters commented "They were the best friends I never met", and that rings true for me too, corny as it sounds.

.
posted by graventy at 3:47 PM on January 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


(Tangent)

I think the idea of video game reviews is in need of a massive overhaul. It's quite possibly the most corrupt, bought-out, and shilled review scale out there. If something gets a 7/10, it's considered a mediocre game, a 5/10 translates to a bad game, and so forth. I was always suspicious as a kid, but it makes all kinds of sense these days. And somehow the industry continues to get away with it.
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 3:54 PM on January 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


Actually, Cwaa, that's one of the things 1UP was constantly struggling with.

For about a year, CGW/GFW (don't remember which it was at the time) removed all review scores entirely, but fans revolted. About a year ago, 1UP and EGM both changed from the 10-point system to a letter grade. Of course, some peon at metacritic gives the review a score anyway, so it's almost pointless.

This is something Shawn Elliot is hashing out on his blog.
posted by graventy at 4:03 PM on January 7, 2009


For podcasts, in addition to the previously mentioned giantbomb & gwj, the idle thumbs podcast is not bad.

For reviews, I actually like kotaku since they opted to skip scores altogether.
posted by juv3nal at 4:04 PM on January 7, 2009


I have good memories of my EGM subscription, however poor it might have been. It was certainly more fun to read than Nintendo Pravda. The latter had walkthroughs and guides and tips, along with the occasional video cassette, but I was not as perspicacious as JHarris in childhood/adolescence, so I only noticed the shilleriffic reviews in NP.

I wish I was really that foresighted. EGM just went so overboard with it it was hard to ignore. That those 32-page spreads masqueraded as content was the really galling part, the magazine's style was hyperbolic enough that the only thing that really separated it from the rest of the content was the tiny "advertisement" notice put somewhere on the pages. It was enough to cause me to suspect, now, that the companies were paying them to produce the ads in addition to placing them.

But I have to admt, Nintendo Power, I loved it back in the day. Now I can see it was really not that different. Although they didn't take "official" advertisements at all. In younger-me's defense though, it's harder to see Nintendo giving their own stuff good scores when many of their games really were excellent.
posted by JHarris at 4:04 PM on January 7, 2009


Nintendo Power ... I still remember those two-page spreads showing tiny pictures of all the screens in a level stitched together.
posted by grobstein at 4:07 PM on January 7, 2009


I always viewed the scale they used as akin to school grading: a 90 was an A and a 50 was an F.

It was a damn good magazine when I was a kid, and always steered my right when it came to finding ways to get rid of my disposable income. Sorry to see it go.

.
posted by billypilgrim at 4:09 PM on January 7, 2009


This sucks bigtime. GFW Podcast with Sean Elliot and Jeff Green was one of the best things I've found on the web in more than 13 years of online addiction. For most of 2007 and 2008 I lived for Wednesdays. Things went downhill after Sean, then Jeff left, but lately the "LAN Party" Podcast which replaced the old GFW show was really finding its own groove. Pity.

I still remember my first copy of EGM, back in 1989 or so when it was brand new and SushiX seemed like the coolest secret reviewer whose identity would never be revealed.

I think games will always need coverage, like sports and movies.
posted by autodidact at 4:16 PM on January 7, 2009


Meh. 1up crapped all over a couple of games I really liked and gave the same repetitive banal sequel-itis that curses the industry (and in particular, nintendo) glowing reviews without fail. Maybe the rest of it was good, but the reviews were very questionable.
posted by Mitrovarr at 4:47 PM on January 7, 2009


I don't know absalom, I still can't find a place that's consistent in the quality of their criticism. Every gaming site seems full of writers that are far too easily impressed by the tiniest things. The Zero Punctuation reviews take no prisoners, but half of that vitriol is schtick at this point. You just have to look at MetaCritic game reviews to see what a bunch of giddy dittoheads most game reviewers are, and from what I saw, that included 1up.

This. A thousand times, this.

I think the idea of video game reviews is in need of a massive overhaul. It's quite possibly the most corrupt, bought-out, and shilled review scale out there.

Yeah, this too.

1up crapped all over a couple of games I really liked and gave the same repetitive banal sequel-itis that curses the industry (and in particular, nintendo) glowing reviews without fail.

Yeah? This surprises me somewhat. I always got the impression they were actually harder on Nintendo sequels, because that was typically the way the "hardcore" crowd (and their main audience) swung. It became more pronounced in recent years post-Wii, I think.

Ultimately, I'm conflicted about this. I've read EGM and Game Informer (in spite of GI's 9.75 for some Mortal Kombat game seriously making me question their sanity) for many years, and I work in magazine publishing, so I know what a rough gig it can be, and I do feel bad on some level. On the other hand, I feel like game "journalism" is such a travesty (in spite of some genuinely well-meaning folks working in the field) that if the whole thing burns to the ground, it might not be the worst thing.
posted by Amanojaku at 5:21 PM on January 7, 2009


and the 20th Anniversary Issue of EGM won't be published, and may never be released at all. It's incredibly sad

Ugh, it seems that issue would have been published next month. That's disrespectable.
posted by ersatz at 5:44 PM on January 7, 2009


They won't even let EGM go out on their anniversary issue? Who the fuck do they think they are?
posted by EatTheWeak at 6:06 PM on January 7, 2009


Okay, so, with EGM and 1up on the way out, what's the best review site that actually covers a large and wide variety of games?

With gaming as with so much else, getting handle on reviews and opinion has gone fractal, and migrated out into blogs and stuff. It's a matter more of triangulation of opinion, which is a step forward in my opinion because most of the Big Name Brand Gaming Sites are so hopelessly corrupt and dittoheaded, and have been for years. My favorite gaming blog at the moment is Rock Paper Shotgun, mostly because it's PC-centric, but there are many good ones out there.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:41 PM on January 7, 2009


But, in terms of established brands in the gaming community, I also visit Blue's News and Shacknews (much as I did back in the last millenium) for meta-views of the landscape.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:43 PM on January 7, 2009


There is one podcast that I have been listening to
called the GamersWithJobs podcast that has been
funny and tremendous.

A lot of the other podcasts go far afield, or the crew
feels like they have to make jokes all the time, but
it doesn't come naturally, and it's all awkward.

But I have to say, most of the 1up podcasts were
outstanding and I will miss them.
posted by Sully at 7:02 PM on January 7, 2009


The only game reviews I find worthwhile are at actionbutton.net

Their style is the epitome of "New Games Journalism"; so if you don't like wallowing in postmodernity, it might not be for you.
posted by blasdelf at 7:45 PM on January 7, 2009


Lame.
posted by Caduceus at 8:05 PM on January 7, 2009


Amanojaku: Yeah? This surprises me somewhat. I always got the impression they were actually harder on Nintendo sequels, because that was typically the way the "hardcore" crowd (and their main audience) swung. It became more pronounced in recent years post-Wii, I think.

The two games I'm referring to that they crapped on were Dark Messiah and Neverwinter Nights 2, and they gave them fours (I believe they later changed the NWN2 review.) I'm sorry, but if you consider Neverwinter Nights 2 a four out of ten, your head is so far up your ass that it made a second loop. Dark Messiah was worse, but still, a four? That's such a bad review that even though I got it for free (w/expensive video card) I almost didn't play it. I'm really glad I did. Sure, the kick mechanic was ludicrously overpowered, but it's a single-player game - just don't use it and you'll find that the melee combat is otherwise excellent, the stealth is fairly well implemented, intelligent character development is necessary to progress, and the story, while cornball, succeeds in some ways that many other modern games fail at. It was actually really quite good. It's the same story with Neverwinter Nights 2 - sure, it was buggy when it came out (for like a week before they patched it) and it did had steep hardware requirements (if you were trying to play it on a pocket calculator) but I still rate it among the best games I've ever played. Most importantly, while both had minor defects, they were both very different and interesting (Dark Messiah especially - find another good first-person melee-combat action-RPG with a decent implementation of combat.)

Meanwhile the same boilerplate standard games that everyone has played a dozen times in one form or another were getting the usual 8.5-9s, same as on every other site.

Maybe they changed later, I don't know, I kind of quit paying attention to them after that. It proved our differences in taste were too extreme for it to be a useful review site.

I tend to think the best solution for reviews is Metacritic, since individual taste always means some people will love a crappy game and hate a good one. That way, you balance that out.
posted by Mitrovarr at 8:29 PM on January 7, 2009


Aw, man. This fucking sucks. 1UP was about the mainstream review site I visited, since they were the only one where I couldn't practically see the publishers' PR folks' fingers up the reviewers' necks. (Wow, lots of plural possessives there.)

I tend to think the best solution for reviews is Metacritic

I heartily disagree. Metacritic takes all of the dittoheaded (great word) reviews, and averages them. It doesn't tell you if the game is any good, it tells you the mean opinion of two dozen PR shills. And besides, the numeric (or alphabetic) quantity assigned by reviewers is always total bupkiss.

About the only person I trust anymore is Yahtzee from Zero Punctuation. While I agree with the upthread comment that his vitriol has become a schtick, I like the schtick, and I do find I that invariably agree spot-on with his reviews. Even of games toward which I feel fanboy devotion (MGS4, Fallout 3), I agree with his criticism. And that's the key point... Yahtzee is doing criticism, while the rest of the (paid) reviewers are PR monkeys. Honestly, having proved his mettle, if Yahtzee told me to immediately run out and barter my left testicle for Barbie Wii Princess Pony Party, I probably would.
posted by Netzapper at 9:24 PM on January 7, 2009


Neverwinter Nights 2 - sure, it was buggy when it came out (for like a week before they patched it)

How do you expect them to review this? Are they supposed to give buggy pieces of shit a break because "they will be patched in the future"?

That's one of the serious problems that has arisen in PC games in recent years, and it continues to be a big one. (Anyone try GTAIV? hahaha)
posted by graventy at 9:45 PM on January 7, 2009


Anyone try GTAIV? hahaha

I'd say GTAIV was not so much buggy as it was hobbled by ill-advised multistage DRM wrappers and shockingly piss-poor optimization for and lazy porting to PC, as well as a major failure expectation management in terms of the design for the interface for graphics adjustments, which led people by the way they were set up to believe that they should be getting better performance.

Not to say that it wasn't buggy -- it was, mostly in the game's bolted-on infrastructure rather than the game itself, but the game itself, if you could run it, wasn't the biggest problem for most users by any means.

Truly disappointing, given how long Rockstar waited to port it (which was understandable from a business perspective, of course). I'm going to revisit it in a year or two, when I have a new PC.

Are they supposed to give buggy pieces of shit a break because "they will be patched in the future"?

This is an interesting dynamic these days. With Valve games, and games from other developers that leverage the Steamworks platform for patching (amongst other things), patching is basically automatic and requires little to no user management. This is a pure joy for the PC gamer. Patches that are intended to enhance the game as much as to iron out bugs are still released for TF2, for example, all the damn time, even though we're almost a year and a half out from release.

It makes the old download-and-install-if-you-remember game-patchery metagame look positively medieval. The downside, I guess, though, is that it might encourage developers that are less meticulous than Valve to push half-baked games out the door early and patch after the fact. But it's hard to imagine that situation getting worse than it already is.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:01 PM on January 7, 2009


Mitrovarr: I'm totally with you. I genuinely feel that the game industry is structured to reward derivativeness and marginalize innovation as much as possible. From Nintendo's glacial franchise updates to Microsofts' Mii-Too Avatars to Sony's "What? We always had motion sensitive controllers planned, even when we were making fun of Nintendo for them" attitude, consumers bend over backwards -- literally becoming angry when it's pointed out -- to lap up knock-offs. The fact is, most of the major games of 2008 could have been done two console generations ago, with the only losses being graphical quality or online play.

The magazines/sites are totally complicit in this, of course. They're both ill-prepared to judge games by any sort of consistent standard, and to walk away from publisher demands when they're made. And they could do it -- they just don't.

If gaming were cinema, the awards would all go to the most heavily promoted summer blockbuster of the year, with occasional special recognition of the trendy, hipster approved indie, with nothing in between.

I could literally write a whole manifesto about this.

That said, I didn't realize 1UP had any significant PC coverage; I know EGM only added it two or three months ago, and I assumed that was one of the common points between the two.

I heartily disagree. Metacritic takes all of the dittoheaded (great word) reviews, and averages them. It doesn't tell you if the game is any good, it tells you the mean opinion of two dozen PR shills. And besides, the numeric (or alphabetic) quantity assigned by reviewers is always total bupkiss.

You know, that's true in part, but it also incorporates the inevitable (and sometimes quite prolific) contrarian views.

About the only person I trust anymore is Yahtzee from Zero Punctuation. While I agree with the upthread comment that his vitriol has become a schtick, I like the schtick, and I do find I that invariably agree spot-on with his reviews. Even of games toward which I feel fanboy devotion (MGS4, Fallout 3), I agree with his criticism. And that's the key point... Yahtzee is doing criticism, while the rest of the (paid) reviewers are PR monkeys.

I frequently find myself thinking "damned if the guy isn't right about that" as I watch a segment (really, does the duck key even work in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.?), but he confuses criticism in the academic "detailed deconstruction" sense with criticism in the "I'm going to relentlessly say bad things about it" sense. If you can't swing a generally positive tone for Bioshock, for example, you're just being one of those contrarian hardcases I referenced above. My love of snark aside, placing 99% of games on a scale somewhere between "bad" and "really bad" doesn't help me much.

For non-reviewers I like, I'm consistently impressed with Gabe from Penny Arcade. He can get a little bombastic, but he really gets into the whys and wherefores, and generally takes an interest in a wide variety of stuff.
posted by Amanojaku at 11:26 PM on January 7, 2009


but he confuses criticism in the academic "detailed deconstruction" sense with criticism in the "I'm going to relentlessly say bad things about it" sense. If you can't swing a generally positive tone for Bioshock, for example, you're just being one of those contrarian hardcases I referenced above.

I've given this considerable thought (even before you mentioned it). And I think you're partially right, he definitely goes out of his way to rag on games because that's his (as noted above) schtick. In fact, having just now rewatched the review, he goes out of his way at the beginning to point out that he thought Bioshock was one of the best games to come out in a while, and that he really liked it. In fact, I appreciate the fact that he goes into extensive detail about the failings of games that the rest of the mainstream press is busy showering with spooge. I need the contrarian voice to point out the flaws that everybody else willfully ignores--press and forum fanboys alike.

However, what I truly respect Yahtzee for is that he reviews games in a larger context than most other folks. Instead of telling me that this game is the "best release of 2008", he tells me "it's better than the rest of the shit out right now, but not very good when compared to [something old and awesome]." I like the fact that his review standards don't drop just because there's nothing but shit on the market.

And I think we can all agree that 9.5/10 games on the market blow chunks if you're old enough to remember Ultima Underworld. I'm not saying that nostalgia should inform our game selections, merely that Pollock compares favorably with Van Gogh, not just with all his contemporaries that we've forgotten.

Fuck this... I should start a blog doing criticism myself.
posted by Netzapper at 12:01 AM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Rebel.fm, podcast by a bunch of former 1up podcasters.
posted by juv3nal at 2:14 AM on January 8, 2009


On reflection, it occurs to me that they recorded this in Oakland. Tonight.
posted by juv3nal at 2:19 AM on January 8, 2009


Everything I need to know about video games, I get from Gamefaqs.com and Gametrailers.com.

Also, MK vs. DC is totally worth at least a 70% score.
posted by Bageena at 2:52 PM on January 8, 2009


In fact, I appreciate the fact that he goes into extensive detail about the failings of games that the rest of the mainstream press is busy showering with spooge. I need the contrarian voice to point out the flaws that everybody else willfully ignores--press and forum fanboys alike.

Fair enough. And there's something to be said for someone who's at least consistent in their approach, like Yahtzee or even (shudder) the relentlessly ass-kissing Play and GamePro. I get most irritated when I can see the cracks in the review, when I can see criteria shift and move based on what the reviewer obviously wants to give the game ahead of time, which is something I always found noticeable in EGM and Game Informer. I can see the trends of which memes are acceptable when and in what context (Is "casual" good or bad this week?), and I think most people who think about the hobby as adults can, too. Yes, we all have opinions, but at least make it so the reader doesn't have to hit a fucking moving target to triangulate how full of it you are this month.

Fuck this... I should start a blog doing criticism myself.

Why not? It's not like we're drowning in people doing it well. Seriously: stay away from doing previews and only review finished store copies that you don't need publisher goodwill to acquire, and you'll be better off than 90% of the enthusiast press.
posted by Amanojaku at 3:32 PM on January 8, 2009


RIP EGM & 1UP.

rap tribute.
posted by juv3nal at 4:28 PM on January 9, 2009


Ryan Scott is going to do a podcast.
And the 1up Show people are doing something also.
posted by juv3nal at 3:42 PM on January 12, 2009


In whatever form 1up Yours resurrects itself, I will listen to it. And I'll pay. The conversations were intelligent, genuine and just freaking fun to listen to!
posted by phyrewerx at 7:25 PM on January 20, 2009


Co-op - 0000: Reflections Part 1, part one of a new series from Area5.

Man, I can't believe how fast these guys have gotten back on their feet. Fuck off, 1UP.com, we don't need you any more.
posted by tracert at 7:13 PM on January 21, 2009


I watched the Area5 segment and really liked it. It really captures what was best about 1up Show. Looking forward to more.
posted by grobstein at 8:13 PM on January 21, 2009


mega64 take on it
posted by juv3nal at 10:40 AM on February 2, 2009


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