You may be surprised to find this out, since I’ve posted so many reviews, but I fucking hate critics. Even the “good” ones. Not just with games, but with anything. There have been maybe 3 or 4 critics who have had any kind of positive effect on their industry. The unfortunate thing about the occupation is that it so often results in people who feel that, because someone has found their opinion good enough to publish and send out to several people, that their opinion is somehow more valid or informed than anyone else’s. Again, in some cases, this can be true, but most of the time, these are people who aren’t any more knowledgeable about the quality of the art in question, or usually even any better at informing others.
An example: Nat Tate, a famous expressionist painter, had a launch party for his posthumous biography on April 1, 1998. Some of his work was exhibited, and David Bowie read from the book. Gore Vidal, who had written an endorsement for the book, was also in attendance as a special guest. Many of the most famous people in the art world, collectors, historians, and especially critics, were there, many excited to finally see such an influential painter honored.
If you haven’t guessed, Nat Tate didn’t fucking exist. His name was a combination of two famous museums in England, the National Gallery and the Tate Gallery. The event was on fucking APRIL FOOLS DAY, for Christ’s sake. But no, these various critics were too pompous (and too blatantly fucking stupid) to admit they had never heard of him. They just went right along with the hoax (which, for the record, Gore Vidal and David Bowie were in on).
A second example: Wine critics were once served two wines. One, the more expensive of the two, they described as “balanced” and “full”. The other, cheaper wine was “unbalanced”, “weak”, “simple”. Imagine how they felt when they revealed that both bottles were of the same cheap wine.
Finally, a third example: Recently, Roger Ebert again argued, completely unsuccessfully, as to why he doesn’t think video games are art. This was a mistake. The internet has completely lost its shit. And rightfully so, though I may disagree with the way some people go about doing it. He has no right to decide what is and is not art any more than I do, and that’s what critics do that offends me so much. I’m not going to flame Mr. Ebert, even though he is completely mistaken about his opinion, because he’s one of the few critics who I generally like. Not because I think he’s got some kind of insight into film that I don’t have; only I know what I like to watch. I like him simply because he is a good writer, and the way he presents his arguments is entertaining. Honestly, the funny thing is that I could really care less about his actual opinions.
And that brings me to my overall point about myself: there’s no reason you should actively want to know my opinions for any reason other than entertainment. My opinion should not help you decide to purchase a game, or think a game is good or bad. I just want you to be entertained. The reason so many people are offended at Roger Ebert’s comments is because they think for some reason that his opinion on games affects them. It does not. And that’s the way it should be. The entire idea of a critic is completely asinine; what training can you have to be a good music critic? What do you compare an album to? Your own experiences and tastes. The same thing applies to video games; who give a fuck how somebody from Game Informer feels Splinter Cell: Conviction compares to the other games in the series? He’s just some guy in California, he has no training or insight that makes him know any better than a 13 year old who has played every game in the series. What makes him different is that he has some kind of education or experiences as a writer, and that’s what he should be taken as. Someone who can express his ideas in an entertaining way through words (or, in Game Informer’s case, express Gamestop’s ideas in an infotaining way through a catalog for Gamestop’s products). And that’s all I can do. Hopefully I can make you laugh, or be reminisce, or what the fuck ever. Just don’t think that my opinion on something should mean anything to you (except on World of Warcraft; my statements about that game are not opinions, they are stone cold facts). I don’t have time to feel like some pompous, self-important asshole.
Thomas Tippl, Activision CFO and COO: “”We treat our developers extremely well.”
Bobby Kotick, Activision CEO: “The goal that I had in bringing a lot of the packaged goods folks into Activision about 10 years ago was to take all the fun out of making video games.” … “company culture of skepticism, pessimism, and fear” … “We are very good at keeping people focused on the deep depression.”
Thank God games are turning away from Japanese developers, huh? American business operations have done so much for the industry.
Jack Tretton said today that there may be a shortage of PS3s this Christmas. You know, just like how it was “impossible” to find a PS3 in 2007.
Fucking give it up Jack. Maybe if every single thing you said wasn’t a blatant and intentional lie intended to trick people into thinking that the PS3 is doing well I would believe you.
I feel like I should note that my hatred of the PS3 is not in any way influenced by a predisposition toward the Wii or Xbox 360; indeed, I really really wish the PS3 would start succeeding. In fact, I don’t even really think it’s hatred of the PS3, because there are plenty of things I like about the system itself. It’s really more hatred of Sony and all their PR bullshit and constant, nonstop lies. I’m also extremely frustrated that so many PS3 fans live in a complete fantasy world where they manufacture triumphs for the system entirely in their heads and slavishly support exclusives regardless of the quality of the games simply because they don’t have anything else to be excited about. Other systems have been miserable failures, but only Sony has insisted continually that their miserable failure is successful and great. Nearly every new feature or exclusive has been awful (see: Home, Heavenly Sword, Qore, Killzone, Resistance, Haze, inFamous, Lair), and it’s depressing, because people just continue to eat them up and insist they’re good simply because they feel like they have to be good. The PS3 has seen it’s share of brilliance too, especially LittleBigPlanet, MGS4, Eye of Judgement, and Uncharted, but it’s hard to justify paying for an entire console for so few good exclusives, however great they may be.
Hopefully, someone at Sony will come to their senses and just execute Jack Tretton in front of an audience of people. Maybe then I’ll consider buying a PS3.
From yesterday’s Wall Street Journal:
“Take-Two has a number of strong franchises and a number of wholly owned Internet Protocols. Wholly owned IPs not only carry higher profitability, but also are more valuable to media companies because they could be adapted into movies, TV serials and online destinations.”
The argument can be made that newspapers are dying because illiterate jackasses like our generation only get their news when the TV-box reads it to them, but it doesn’t help that the reporters for one of the biggest and most important papers in the world are so fucking stupid that they can’t even be bothered to double check what a common abbreviation for a business term means (not that they should have to look it up, because they should ALREADY FUCKING KNOW IT). How anyone in a media position could possibly be so out of touch is beyond me, but it may be that people like this don’t play many video games:
To be honest, we’re lucky they made the connection between IP and Internet Protocol. A business magazine not knowing what the abbreviation for “intellectual properties” is is stupid to the point of being completely absurd, so the floodgates are open. They literally could have put anything. Chances are just as good that they could have written “Iridescent Paragraphs” or “Intelligent Penises” or “Irritating Penetration” or something. Thank god their other news coverage is so good, otherwise… oh wait.
Epic Games President Mike Capps stated in an interview at E3 that the reviews of the PC version of Gears of War are “bullshit”.
The game currently has an 87 on Metacritic.
Mr. Capps, I think you should really just calm down and look at the situation. Any other developer of a generic, mediocre third person shooters would be proud of an 87! Why do you feel like your game deserves any different? Your shitty game made it really far. You made all kinds of money and garnered critical and popular acclaim. You didn’t innovate at all, you had the same goddammed fucking space marine story every fucking game has had since Doom came out. Basically, you didn’t accomplish shit, and you already got a tremendous reward for it. You have no room to complain, especially considering the only reason for the lower score was how buggy the PC version was when it was released.
I almost feel bad about this post. I love CliffyB, I just think this particular game was incredibly uninspired. I feel like a parent who’s fighting in front of a kid. It’s not his fault. CliffyB, if you’re reading (which you aren’t), I don’t blame you, and Epic and I still love you very much. You wanna go get some ice cream, champ?
In an interview with OXM UK, Tecmo/Team Ninja’s Tomonobu Itagaki said that the Devil May Cry series is “shallow”. I suppose it doesn’t have enough undulating titties for him. I’ll give him that Ninja Gaiden was an amazing game, and I respect his attempt at bringing Japanese gaming back to its reigning status (which would be awesome, because I’m tired as playing as a fucking space marine, the only idea American developers can seem to come up with), but how could the developer of Dead or Alive: Xtreme Beach Volleyball criticize anyone for being “shallow”?