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Thread: Game Reviews vs. Music and Movie Reviews

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    Pear (Level 6)
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    Default Game Reviews vs. Music and Movie Reviews

    I was just checking out some reviews online, and I use metacritic (as well as others) as a guide. But, when browsing the music section, I've started to really pay attention to the difference in scores that games get, as opposed to almost every other media.

    You can check out what I mean here:
    http://www.metacritic.com/about/scoring.shtml#game

    For example, the best games of the year for the year so far put the best games with ratings of 90's... and I've noticed so many mediocre games getting 5/5 or 10/10's. Meanwhile even the best music and movie release scores almost never get that high.

    Does this reflect the young nature of games industry? Does it affect the way that the industry is perceived? Does it say anything else about the games industry vs. the other media? I'm just curious if anyone else has any thoughts about games being taken seriously. I'm just sort of sick of all of this hype around games and how every game IS THE BEST EVAR! Is this related to it at all? Are these reviewers feeding the masses just want they want to hear?

    Anyone have any thoughts?

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    Pear (Level 6) Daniel Thomas's Avatar
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    Videogame criticism is far less evolved than film or music criticism. It's understandable, condiering that games have only been around for a generation, while movies have existed for a century. And I'm sure back in caveman days, there was some guy complaining that Grok's rock-beats weren't as good as Ugh's.

    Game magazines in the States are toy cataloges. They're aimed at children and teenagers, written by fanboys who are just pinching themselves for getting to play videogames for a living. It's a nice racket if you can find it.

    I don't know where game critics will evolve, or if it will ever evolve at all. I believe there is a great amount of artistic merit to games, and the people who create them deserve much greater exposure. There should be more discussion than "the graphics are awesome." As always, I point to zines like Digital Press and long-deceased prozines like VG&CE.

    Game reviews should offer more than fanboy-ish gushing and childish sex jokes There should be at least a basic knowledge of the history of the medium and the people responsible for it. And for the love of Elvis, write a complete sentence.

    Where are there some good review websites? Besides my site, I mean. Ahem.
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    Default Re: Game Reviews vs. Music and Movie Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by IntvGene
    I was just checking out some reviews online, and I use metacritic (as well as For example, the best games of the year for the year so far put the best games with ratings of 90's... and I've noticed so many mediocre games getting 5/5 or 10/10's. Meanwhile even the best music and movie release scores almost never get that high.

    Does this reflect the young nature of games industry? Does it affect the way that the industry is perceived? Does it say anything else about the games industry vs. the other media?
    There are professional movie critics (even famous ones like Ebert and Shalit), there are professional music critics, but are there professional game critics?

    You would think, since games are much more expensive than those other media, criticism would be important. Doesn't seem to be, though.

    Maybe it's that gaming, in its native demographic (14-30 yo males), is *too* popular for reviews to make much of a difference. Think about the DP forum...by the time a review hits IGN or Gamestop, I already have a good idea whether the game will be of interest to me based on forum comments. If I had a peer group of gamers (ie if I was in high school or college) I'd get even more opinions.

    Also, gaming is more genre specific...well, at least more genre specific than movies (not music). I will watch any good movie...sci fi, action, comedy, documentary, if it's entertaining and/or thoughtful I'm aboard. It's different with games...I don't care how good the next Final Fantasy or Madden games are, I just don't like those games...but if I can get a middling shooter or fighter for 20 or 30 bucks, I'm in.

    Then you have the massive availability of music and movies for free over the public airways.

    So the question of quality of criticism gives way to a more fundamental question...after how many years of games out-selling movies and music does gaming become culturally relevant?

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    Videogame criticism is far less evolved than film or music criticism. It's understandable, condiering that games have only been around for a generation, while movies have existed for a century. And I'm sure back in caveman days, there was some guy complaining that Grok's rock-beats weren't as good as Ugh's.

    Game magazines in the States are toy cataloges. They're aimed at children and teenagers, written by fanboys who are just pinching themselves for getting to play videogames for a living. It's a nice racket if you can find it.

    I don't know where game critics will evolve, or if it will ever evolve at all. I believe there is a great amount of artistic merit to games, and the people who create them deserve much greater exposure. There should be more discussion than "the graphics are awesome." As always, I point to zines like Digital Press and long-deceased prozines like VG&CE.

    Game reviews should offer more than fanboy-ish gushing and childish sex jokes There should be at least a basic knowledge of the history of the medium and the people responsible for it. And for the love of Elvis, write a complete sentence.

    Where are there some good review websites? Besides my site, I mean. Ahem.
    Nicely put. I think game reviews are based a lot upon how much hype a game has gotten, and that just doesn't happen in movies. You can have the most hyped movie in the world, and it's gonna get some critical pans (Star Wars I, Passion of the Christ.) If they release a GTA or a Final Fantasy Game, people are gonna struggle to give that game less than an 8/10. It works retroactively as well. People wouldn't talk shit about Xenogears now, but back in the day, it received pretty much average reviews and dumbassed complaints like: "Too long." and "Too story-driven." If you watch Final Fantasy and how it's reviews went in EGM, for example, you'll watch as it went from being an under-rated game from a genre nobody knew about (7/10 for FF2, HAH!) to a game that gets 8's, 9's, and 10's no matter how bad the game is (FF X-2).
    I am the reinforcements.

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