May 06, 2009

You'll have seen this blog post. I've decided to remove it in light of new events I don't really want to speak of at this time. But, er, yes. Conflict of interest stuff.

Most recent blog posts from Lewis Denby...

EmP EmP - May 06, 2009 (08:39 AM)
I thought this was going to be a post about how you liked the second half of Fahrenheit. You dodged that bullet.

This actually seems a rather mature and even-handed approuch by both parties for a change. As usual, it's the emassed public that do the most to dial up the gooning.
darketernal darketernal - May 06, 2009 (10:20 AM)
I remember a similar controversy with the last Tomb Raider, though there the reviewers were in the right. I never even heard of this game (honestly, I can't recall the last time I played a "new" game), but I can tell with certainty that 9 hours is nothing for a MMO, hell it would be a fairly low number for a single player rpg.

A review should come, no matter how bad the game, from a person that actually invested enough time and effort in the game to see all of it's sides, from the community, the balance, the actual interest as well as the technical stuff, which in the end makes it hard to review such a genre at first. As much as I am for freedom in speech, and everyone has their own opinions, in this case, I have to side with the game company.
honestgamer honestgamer - May 06, 2009 (10:22 AM)
It's pretty clear that Eurogamer messed up and had the wrong person reviewing the game. Sometimes that happens when a freelancer is on the job. It's a very real risk and it happened for Eurogamer. Now the site wants to stand behind its writer--as HonestGamers would--but it's clear that doing so is difficult because that writer did a poor job. The developer is within its rights to feel that the score is wrong if there are strong factual inaccuracies and the game was barely played. Why should someone trust a score in a review--a score that should be based heavily on the facts, which themselves should be what determines a reviewer's opinion--when the reviewer barely played the game (for an MMO, nine hours is 'barely') and then penned a review quite far out of line with the general consensus?

Scores are NOT just random numbers attached to a review. They are the critical component of a review, the point where everything comes together and it stands as a firm, accurate review... or where everything falls apart and it's clear that the reviewer had no idea what he was talking about. The score is the moment of truth. Writers can wish otherwise, but that's like wishing that delightful sunshine didn't cause skin cancer when enjoyed in excess.

Edit: Having now read the review now and both of the other links you posted, I can see why Eurogamer chose the reviewer in question. He seems to have a lot of experience with the genre (though his text tries to play that up a bit much and thus references a few games that are only vaguely connected). The factual consistencies are a problem, though, as well as the play logs that state he only played a combined total of 3 hours between two press accounts with much of that time spent in the character creation mode (something that I see nothing in the review to contradict). He's clearly a good writer and there's no question in my mind from his descriptions that the game has some serious issues. I'm just not sure what issues were him missing one point or another and what issues were genuine. He also seems to be taking a lot out on the game because more powerful players were able to kick his butt early on. Eurogamer is doing the right thing by having another reviewer play through and review the game, especially one as respected as Keiron.
zippdementia zippdementia - May 06, 2009 (12:03 PM)
Well, we don't really know if Eurogamer messed up. The whole thing depends on what the next reviewer has to say. I've heard of the game, and what I've heard hasn't been particularly special or innovative.

Has anyone read the review in question? Usually it's fairly obvious when a review is schlock and when it's not.

As for time spent playing... I don't know... I remember that within the first ten hours of EQ I pretty much knew everything there was to know about the game experience. In the three months that I ended up playing the game, the experience never really changed. I had some new adventures within the parameters of that experience, but it wasn't like two months later I had an epiphany and realized the game was WAAAAAAY more awesome than I had thought. Same thing with Shadowbane, The Matrix, LOTR... even WoW.

The only MMORPG I remember not being like this was EVE online, where the whole player-created-world gave everything the ability to change drastically.
honestgamer honestgamer - May 06, 2009 (12:21 PM)
The review actually references EVE Online. One of the game's better design decisions is that character growth is specific to how the player plays. You gain boosts to those stats that you're most frequently using, boosts that gradually make the game more responsive to your style of play. If this fellow really did spend around 3 hours playing the game--and much of it was spent in character creation--then clearly the whole review is pretty close to useless. He denies that he only spent that amount of time and says there were two days in between that just disappeared on the server logs (something I find extremely unlikely, but not impossible). Overall, the review does have the tone of someone who played through and quickly decided only to pick at flaws while getting slaughtered by other players who had been at the game longer and had a better understanding of it. It's another case where the "I don't really want to play and review this turd but it's my job" schtick works against the writer something fierce.
Lewis Lewis - May 06, 2009 (01:31 PM)
EDITED (see blog post)
honestgamer honestgamer - May 06, 2009 (05:27 PM)
Aventurine's imposed time limit sounds rude of them--and unreasonable--until you consider the fact that a huge percentage of game sales and buzz happens in those first few days. By the time Eurogamer gets done, it could have turned off thousands of customers with a review that Aventurine feels was written by someone who didn't give the game a chance. They are a niche publisher, true, but they have some of the same limits that any other publisher does. Eurogamer has a lot of clout in the UK--rightfully so--and this is the kind of deal that is interesting to people like you or me but could mean the difference between 'make it' or 'bust' for a niche publisher.

And yeah, unless this reviewer was really out of line, the game sounds to me like its score won't likely benefit more than maybe 2 or 3 points--tops--when Keiron reviews it. A lot of gamers hesitate to buy anything that scores lower than an 8, so the game is damned either way, but no matter what... it deserves a fair review. It could be the worst game since the dawn of time and that wouldn't change a thing.
EmP EmP - May 07, 2009 (06:03 AM)
I'm suddenly a lot more interested since the mass editing.

I conclude that Lewis was behind it all. Like the creepy caretaker in Scooby DoO.
overdrive overdrive - May 07, 2009 (07:50 PM)
And he would have gotten away with it if it wasn't for those meddling kids and their dog!!!!
zippdementia zippdementia - May 08, 2009 (04:01 AM)
Ziiiiiiiippy Diiipy Dooo!

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