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Forums > Submission Feedback > zigfried's Uncharted 2: Among Thieves review

This thread is in response to a review for Uncharted 2: Among Thieves on the PlayStation 3. You are encouraged to view the review in a new window before reading this thread.

Additional Messages (Groups of 25)

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Author: zigfried (Mod)
Posted: October 22, 2009 (08:31 PM)
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The core complaint!
"Through clever backhanded compliments, Zigfried actually makes the game sound bad."

The readers' response!
"Zigfried's review makes this game sound really good."

People don't have to play Uncharted 2 to decide whether my review makes the game sound good or bad. In this sense, not having played the game really does provide an advantageous neutrality because they're reading the review with a clear head.

I recommend that everyone disadvantage themselves at their earliest opportunity.

//Zig

PS- I never watched Frasier, but I'll pick up the first season and give it a shot.


Unlimited Zig Works!


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Author: MoreHonestGamer
Posted: October 22, 2009 (08:35 PM)
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Wolfqueen, you expressed an important point, when discussing gamers who use reviews as a means to base purchases upon. What they are essentially relying on is blind faith. Without playing the game themselves, they really have no way in accessing how accurate that reviewers opinion will be in relation to their own. Which is in many ways, is why level headed gamers generally don't tend to rely on a single gamers/reviewers opinion on a game (since it's quite plausible that person may have differing tastes) but instead, either don't rely on reviews at all, or use a general consensus opinion, or aggregates. Which funnily enough, when done, is where Zig's opinions/review seems more peculiar and off the mark. What you'll find if you head over to the GAF official thread for example, is that for every 100-200 overwhelming positive impressions of the game, there will be perhaps one or two lukewarm (I regard Zig's as rather lukewarm, based not on the score, which I don't care for, but more the written article).

The reality of it is, all reviews to some extents, are useless. They may give some insight in to a game, but generally there's no way of telling how the opinions formed in that review will correlate with one's own.


Funnily enough....Anton Ego from Ratatouille nailed it...

"In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so."



Also, I will disagree with your assessment that I am "grasping for straws" or "trying to find any reason to to find fault in the defenders' opinions". People defending a review for a game they have never played is not "any" reason. It's a prominent and valid reason, that can and SHOULD be brought up and challenged.

Fact of the matter is, many of the statements and comments made in Zig's review are in opposition of the general consensus and/or my own opinion, or are inaccurate/untrue. By general consensus I mean the opinions of about 99.9% of the gaming media. I have de constructed which points throughout this thread, inc comments about the visuals (on face value many other games look better), lighting (un-convincing lighting in the jungle lol), characters (who apparently all look plastic, glass eyed and doll like), degree of ambition or conceptual innovation (I've mentioned which segments I feel are innovative or ambitious), anal comments about one off glitches (I wonder if he did the same for other reviews?) and so forth. I even went as far as to post evidence in the way of a counter argument. Screens showing the lighting in the jungle (which imo only a very special or jaded kind of person would argue looked "un-convincing", especially considering the lighting is among some of the very best that can be found in gaming today and when Sigma 2 is put forward as a graphics counter argument. I also posted screens of the characters which not only don't really look like plastic creepy dolls with glass eyes, but are also among some of the very best found on consoles today.

If Zig disagree's, I'd love to see examples of jungles from console games he thinks DO have convincing lighting, or characters from games which he thinks look markedly better than U2 (I can think of only a few).

I even went as far as to point a factual error in writing. In respect to seeing the big explosion go off in the jungle, which in actual fact you do get to see if only for a short second or two, contrary to what Zig writes.


Many people who have actually played the game, on other forums, inc the GAF etc have agreed with my opinions of the said review and the game itself. Many in-fact, have written this review off as missing the ball (which is an opinion they are entitled to just as Zig is entitled to his own). And when compared to 99% of the other reviews, it would seem that opinion could hold some merit. Zig expresses some rather unconventional and bold opinions, that just don't correlate with the take of most professionals, gamers, forum posters etc in respect to the game. And that's fine in that it is only his opinion, I was merely drawing attention to where, how and why his opinions or comments in my own opinion were slightly off point.

Yet here I am, defending my opinions against people who have not even played the game! I think that really says a lot in itself. Most/many people who agree with me, and this train of thought, are people who HAVE played the game. Most who don't, and are defending aspects of the review, have not played the game. Which makes me think it's less about discussing the game or elements in the review in respect to it, but more about upholding the reputation of one of their fellow writers or forum friends.


--- Avid honest gaming fan ---


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Author: jiggs
Posted: October 22, 2009 (08:57 PM)
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i don't know Zigfried personally but man does he write some awesome game reviews!


!


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Author: MoreHonestGamer
Posted: October 22, 2009 (09:24 PM)
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Can anyone link me to any other reviews by Zig of next-gen HD games? Namely the newest PS3 and 360 one's. I'm very interested in seeing his style of writing with these other games, and his take on the technical visual aspects within.


--- Avid honest gaming fan ---


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Author: jiggs
Posted: October 22, 2009 (09:25 PM)
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having played through the first one and the Uncharted 2 demo..i already know what to expect from this game without even playing it. i liked the first one but i wouldn't call it a great game. it was definitely one of the best the PS3 had to offer early in it's lifespan(mind you there really wasn't much to pick from). Zigfried's review of the game doesn't seem "off-base" from my expectations of the game. i trust his word and he isn't trying to create controversy or "stir the pot" if you will. he tells it like it is. sucks for the people who get so worked up over review scores. those people are the REAL trolls.

i'll play Uncharted 2 someday but right now Demon's Souls is the game that is garnering my most attention


!


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Author: zigfried (Mod)
Posted: October 22, 2009 (09:30 PM)
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I even went as far as to point a factual error in writing. In respect to seeing the big explosion go off in the jungle, which in actual fact you do get to see if only for a short second or two, contrary to what Zig writes.

Re-read that (brief) passage from the review. It's not a factual error. If you absolutely must know the verbose entirety of my experience..... I saw a small charge ignite, then I was forced to watch the side of Sully's head as loud booms occurred off camera. Even more irritating? SULLY WAS WATCHING THE EXPLOSION.

So not only did I not get to see the result of my efforts, but I was forced to watch some other guy enjoy the fireworks that I couldn't see!

If Zig disagree's, I'd love to see examples of jungles from console games he thinks DO have convincing lighting, or characters from games which he thinks look markedly better than U2 (I can think of only a few).

I prefer the daytime jungle from Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2. It is bright and looks very artificial. However, it is pretty and contrasts well with the enemies (and the highly unrealistic purple mist spraying from their bodies). The bright jungle fits very well with the game's anime-stylized aspirations. Therefore, it was convincing even though it is not realistic.

Uncharted 2 attempts to deliver the summer blockbuster experience. Although generally beautiful, the jungle is assembled and lit like a studio setpiece. That would not be acceptable in a big-budget popcorn flick, and it's not really acceptable here either.

In other words, one jungle stood out to me as pretty, and the other stood out to me as disappointing. Since I write reviews, I did my best to put these thoughts into words.

Fortunately, many other aspects of Uncharted 2 are beautiful, especially when motion is taken into consideration. You are trying to take details out of context instead of looking at the big picture.

Feel free to take visual/technical quotes from other reviews of mine out of context. Just don't expect a response, unless I feel like I can turn the reply into an interesting look at game criticism (as I hope I have done above).

EDIT: Better-looking characters



//Zig


Unlimited Zig Works!


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Author: MoreHonestGamer
Posted: October 22, 2009 (10:48 PM)
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Zig, me and you REALLY don't see eye to eye. You prefer NG S2's jungle for being more unrealistic, ordinary and bright, brash etc. And criticise U2's for daring to be more realistic, more dynamic, and just technically light years more superior? Unconventional to say the least. I think NG2 (haven't played Sigma 2) looks unrealistic, lacks lighting dynamism and has a plastically look with a heck of a lot in it (ironically ESPECIALLY in the characters). In comparison, U2's jungle not only imo has FAR more believable lighting, it have infinitely better textures, higher poly count, far better scale, is more layered, rich, lush and full. Shadows are infinitely better too, dynamic, moving with the wind. Everything casts dynamic soft anti aliased shadows as well, even birds flying about. The water has full real world reflections, and on top of that, the ambient occlusion from U2 is non-existent in NG2, which is a feature that adds a whole new dimension to how everything from rocks, grooves and shadows form around objects, again, giving more depth to near about everything.

Quite the contrary, I'd say it was U2's jungle that was the one that convinced me, and NG2's that looked no different to anything I could have experienced in any of the competition before it. Whereas U2's is quite clearly ahead of the curve, both technically, and imo artistically.

Your counter argument will likely be (implied in your previous post) that Uncharted 2's is less convincing because it TRIES to be realistic (or as you put it, Hollywood Blockbuster esque). Whereas NG2's doesn't. I'd disagree. I'd say NG2's also tries to be realistic to some extent(not photo), but just lacks the technical wizardry and developer skill to pull it off nearly as well as U2. I cannot believe we have come to a stage where we are willing to criticise games for daring to push the technological boundaries but falling just shy, as if it should be photo realistic or no dice. You DO realise even U2's jungle's have a set art direction and is likely not trying to be exactly life like? Uncharted as a franchise has also always had a slightly exaggerated comic appeal about it's aesthetic direction. Which is why I find your comments unfair to the game.

Sigma 2's jungle's over Uncharted 2's....oh dear....

Opinions I guess...everyone has them lol. Some are just unusual to say the least. We'll just agree to disagree.


--- Avid honest gaming fan ---


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Author: wolfqueen001
Posted: October 22, 2009 (11:01 PM)
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Opinions I guess...everyone just them lol. Some are just unusual to say the least.

Exactly! That's what everyone's been trying to tell you. Haha. What people say about a game is there opinion. There's no real such thing as objectivity in this medium. However, what someone can do is provide as much detail about their experience as possible so that someone unfamiliar with the game can learn as much as possible about it. Yes, people unfamiliar with a certain game should read many reviews reflecting many different opinions. That way they get a broad range of views and aspects about the game that they otherwise wouldn't from just one review. This way they can make a better judgment about what will appeal to them and what won't and whether they should buy the game or not.

What you've been doing this whole time is trying to argue that everyone else's opinion is invalid because 'it's against the majority", whose opinion you uphold. But the fact of the matter is, it's still your opinion. You should learn to accept it and stop forcing your opinions on those of everyone else. By doing this, you're making yourself out to be as bad as you perceive everyone here to be, and that's just hypocritical.

Also, another note, that you say Zig's opinion is "unusual to say the least" is your opinion! haha. Get it? Don't try to make yourself out to be some unbiased fountain of knowledge about the game because you aren't. No one is. Although, ironically, people who haven't played the game are less biased towards it than those who have just for the simple fact that they haven't played it and therefore have nothing in which to make them biased.


What espiga does in his free time
[Eating EmP's brain] probably isn't a good idea. I mean... He's British, which means his brain's wired for PAL and your eyes are NTSC. - Will


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Author: MoreHonestGamer
Posted: October 22, 2009 (11:09 PM)
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I meant his opinion was unusual in relation to 99% of reviewers out there. And 99.99% of actual Uncharted 2 impressions (from forum posters, devs, gamers etc that I have personally read or heard from). I have, unfortunately just by being a forum addict, read probably thousands of impressions on not only the game, but it's visuals. And they all follow a similar tune. Zig's opinion is quite alternative, as in, against the norm. Hence why I called it "unusual". Not because it was different from mine personally, but because it was quite different to the general consensus.


--- Avid honest gaming fan ---


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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: October 22, 2009 (11:13 PM)
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Frasier is excellent. I think I've said everything I likely will about Unchartd 2 prior to that glorious day somewhere down the road where I get to play it for myself. But until then... Frasier is excellent. I have the first 10 seasons on DVD and I really enjoy them. I thought it dull when I was younger, but now I'm a bit older and the jokes amuse me more than some of the stuff I liked when I used to think the show was dull. Funny how that works...


"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy on reality

"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things." - Shigeru Miyamoto


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Author: zigfried (Mod)
Posted: October 22, 2009 (11:03 PM)
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You prefer NG S2's jungle for being more unrealistic, ordinary and bright, brash etc. And criticise U2's for daring to be more realistic, more dynamic, and just technically light years more superior?

After past posts, I find it interesting that you choose to comment on Sigma 2 without having played it. In case you weren't aware, two of the main attractions to Sigma 2 were its revamped visuals and enhanced lighting.

Anyways, I don't recall saying that Sigma 2's jungle was ordinary and brash, or that Uncharted 2's jungle was more dynamic or technically light years superior. It sounds to me like you place importance on details such as anti-aliased shadows, whereas I look at the entire picture and couldn't give a damn if shadows are anti-aliased or not.

That's cool. It's like when a friend told me Shenmue on Dreamcast was light years ahead of everything else because it had real-time shadowing. Personally, I thought other stuff looked better. That's the nature of opinions. People can look at the same thing and come away with two different perspectives.

EDIT: At least, that's what I was going to say. But then I happened to see your most recent post and realized that you're never going to give up on this "majority rules" stuff. Shame on me. I guess it was my mistake for thinking that the game was excellent in its own way. Clearly it is excellent in ALL WAYS, because the (presumed) majority says so!

//Zig


Unlimited Zig Works!


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Author: wolfqueen001
Posted: October 22, 2009 (11:16 PM)
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The "majority consensus" is still a body of opinion, a body of opinion that you follow just on the fact that you've defended it so strongly (and rated the game a 10 here). Furthermore, I'm inclined to believe that a lot of "the majority consensus", as far as reviews go, have only adjusted to the "consensus" by force because of the violent and outrageous actions of people who just can't stand that someone have a different viewpoint from them, even if it only be a *slightly* different one.

What's hilarious about this whole thing is that the debate is over a score of 8/10. 8! That's still a great score and won't hurt anything at all, especially not to anyone with good sense looking for a game to buy. All this back and forth is just ridiculous, not least because you seem to comprehend very little of it. Because, no offense, if you had, you wouldn't be raising the same points over and over again which have been repeatedly refuted.

Anyway, if you really want to make your mark on the reviewing community, I suggest you write your own review for the game. Should anyone be nice enough to critique it for you here, I can assure you they won't criticize you for holding a different opinion from their own but only on how effectively your writing is and how well you get your points across.


What espiga does in his free time
[Eating EmP's brain] probably isn't a good idea. I mean... He's British, which means his brain's wired for PAL and your eyes are NTSC. - Will


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Author: jiggs
Posted: October 22, 2009 (11:25 PM)
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Metal Gear Solid 3's jungles over Sigma 2's jungle's over Uncharted 2's....oh dear......oh yeah..i don't care if it is graphically inferior or not, i like the muddy look of MGS3's jungle.


!


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Author: MoreHonestGamer
Posted: October 22, 2009 (11:16 PM)
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Can I just ask, why is it exactly most of you guys haven't played Uncharted 2? As it is at the moment, perhaps one of the most critically acclaimed games....well...ever. I would have thought as gaming fans the interest levels would have at least been slightly peaked!

Though I can completely understand if it's monetary or time constraints that are causing the delay!


In-fact, as far as I can gather, the only other person besides me and Zig who seemed to have played the game in this thread; zippdementia, had this to say about it.

"You really should pick it up, Jace. It's definitely one of the best games I've ever played."


As you all may have gathered, I am indeed in the camp which is praising the game to what may seem silly ends. But imo it is all with good reason. I don't generally let myself buy in to hype, and my expectations for U2 were not actually very high. Like U1, I expected it to be a good, perhaps great game, but lacking enough to never make it truly compelling, or to earn it's keep among the classics of the gaming world. And I must say, I was pleasantly surprised at what it had to offer (many times wowed in-fact). I am currently playing through some of the segments over and over, mainly to get a better grasp of the technical mastery that ND has managed to pull off so that I may better understand and perhaps in future, implement (better) myself. There is a cinematic splendour about this game that unfortunately, is not only lacking from the vast majority of action/adventure games out there, but has never quite been pulled off as successfully as it has in Uncharted 2. I'd at the very least, urge all game developers to play the title.

Someone in this thread earlier mentioned how he thought all this hype for the game would fade and in years to come people would think it was over-rated (or something to that extent). I disagree. Sure it has it's flaws, as all games do. But just as Raiders of the Lost Art was and is considered a timeless masterpiece in it's respective genre and medium, I feel Uncharted 2 is and will be the same for the action adventure genre in gaming. I am willing to put money on the title still being positively discussed, and revered in many years to come.


Games do often fall subject to being over-hyped. But on the opposing spectrum, it is much harder for hardcore gamers to be duped in to that hype. For example, whilst the critical acclaim for GTA IV may have been overwhelmingly positive, the forum poster impressions backlash was actually rather negative. I remember reading (and still do read) countless posts commenting on how the game was a regression for the series, and was actually quite disappointing for many. Many many people shared this opinion, even early on (me being one of them). It just lacked the magic imo of previous instalments such as Vice City, and to a lesser degree, San Andreas.

Now compare it to the post release feedback for Uncharted 2? It not only completely correlates with the media hype and acclaim, but perhaps takes it to even further extremes. The response from the gaming community who have purchased and played the game (much like the posters comment I quoted above), has been overwhelmingly positive. In-fact, it's been quite some time since I've seen anything like it.


My only fear now is, with expectations running too high. Though that doesn't seem to have dented responses to the game a single bit yet. And I'm not sure it will for most.


--- Avid honest gaming fan ---


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Author: wolfqueen001
Posted: October 22, 2009 (11:53 PM)
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I'd buy this game, and on Zig's review, too, but I don't have a PS3. I'm also too poor for any next-gen system and think $60 is $10 too many for a game.


What espiga does in his free time
[Eating EmP's brain] probably isn't a good idea. I mean... He's British, which means his brain's wired for PAL and your eyes are NTSC. - Will


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: October 22, 2009 (11:49 PM)
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Honestgamer (as in Jason)... you are amazing. That may be my favourite message posted in this thread.

Morehonestgamer... first of all... hello! Welcome to Honest Gamers! Thanks for posting so much!

Secondly, I understand where you are coming from in disagreeing with Zig's review. I also disagree with parts of it. However, reviews are only the presentation of one man's opinion so it seems strange to attack a review based on that opinion. Nothing in Zig's review is UNFACTUAL and everything he says is well said and one can understand where he's coming from. That's why we've been able to have this discussion. Because he's presented us with something to discuss. One cannot argue that there is no substance to Zig's review.

Thirdly, I do think UC2 has its problems. If I ever get around to writing a review of it, I would list those problems as follows:
- linear gunplay in a game which could totally (as multiplayer proves) benefit from a bit more openness
- unclearness about objectives and where to go next (no, I don't enjoy waiting around for five minutes scratching my head until the game sneeringly offers me a "hint")
- strange checkpoints (do you know how many times I've died but crossed some invisible checkpoint so I appear half a mile up the road with different guns and some new companions?)
- lack of local co-op play (not a huge issue, but it would be nice to be able to play UC2 with the friends I actually, ya know, see in person... real friends... remember those?)


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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Author: MoreHonestGamer
Posted: October 22, 2009 (11:55 PM)
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Zig, no game is excellent in all ways lol. Every game has it's flaws. Every game, and I do think even the most positive reviews for the game have mentioned them.


EDIT: Zipp, I agree with all the points you made in your post, including the criticisms, which near enough mimic my own criticisms for the game. Though I do feel some of the gunplay stages do give some room for more diverse play or tactics (in respect to how you approach them), most are still funnelled down respective paths. What it could have done with, is more vertical gunplay.

In respect to the complaint about lack of local co-op. I think that has more to do with a technical limitation due to the complexity of texture streaming such intense masses of data over separate characters and viewpoints (split screen would essentially require two sets of a texture streams which given the already incredibly high amounts of data drawn is not really plausible).


--- Avid honest gaming fan ---


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Author: jiggs
Posted: October 23, 2009 (12:07 AM)
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My only fear now is, with expectations running too high. Though that doesn't seem to have dented responses to the game a single bit yet. And I'm not sure it will for most.

see that is your problem. You care too much about what other people think. just relax and enjoy your game dood. i'll get around to U2 eventually but i'm enjoying Demon's Souls alot more like i said earlier. if i owned both i'd probably still be playing Demon's Souls over Uncharted 2.

also, i don't think you know where Zig is coming from if you haven't been paying attention to his last few posts..


!


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Author: Lewis
Posted: October 23, 2009 (02:43 AM)
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This will be my final post here. I'll try to make it a short one.

Throughout this discussion, MoreHonestGamer has engaged fully and eloquently with debate surrounding Zig's review, but completely neglected, on three occasions, from answering a straight-forward question: why does he feel it matters that Zig's review disagrees with the majority vote?

I have to take this as an admission of defeat when it comes to providing a logical reason for such a bizarre, yet largely pleasant and certainly interesting, uproar.

I'll assume, then, that it is a case of your new favourite game, with which you have become aligned, being criticised. I cannot think of any other reason why you would register to a site and stick around for a few days just to debate this. I commend you for doing so. But unless you can find something objectively inaccurate (actual, proper use of the word 'objectively') in Zig's review, my assumption as to why you're here will remain the same.

No matter how much you dress it up, no matter how eloquent you may be with your arguments, you are debating against a person's right to free expression.

And that is all I have been arguing against. Your accusations are conceptually flawed. I do not need to have played the game to see that.

In fact, I have no real desire to play the game, as despite the vast number of high-scoring reviews, a number of critics with whom I know my opinions tend to align have told me they are not particularly impressed by it.

Who are you to question people's decision about whether or not to play a game, and why they would choose that?

But I can't be bothered with this any more. As a semi-professional games critic, I get this sort of thing a lot. It's something I have to put up with on a daily basis, but usually when writing for large publications when the readership is higher. I don't usually expect it here.

I like to believe that those to whom I write, the audience I strive to serve to the best of my ability on a daily basis, appreciate good, honest, analytical and thoughtful criticism.

But this thread only goes to suggest otherwise. You want a concensus of opinion that disregards subjective views and plays into the hands of fanboyism and marketing hype.

I do not wish to write for you. I reject you as my audience.

***

The guy with the rude name who keeps attacking Deus Ex:

I love Deus Ex because of the intricacy of its design, because of how far it advanced videogame storytelling techniques despite an admittedly clichéd plot, and because it created perhaps the first virtual world in which your actions had meaningful consequences. I also find its breadth of gameplay approaches to be fascinating, and woven beautifully into the fabric of the game. This is nothing to do with its claims to non linearity, which really, it wasn't.

Bye!


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Author: SuckingDick
Posted: October 23, 2009 (05:29 AM)
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Woa, sorry to break it down to you,buddy, but the first game that introduced different paths (or choices with consequences) players could take was Shin Megami Tensei on Super Famicom , released in 1992 in Japan only, 8 years before Deus Ex, so stop deluding yourself.

This is the review by RPGFan:

http://www.rpgfan.com/reviews/smt/index.html

Some quotes:

[ Unlike most RPGs where your path is defined, in Shin Megami Tensei it's not. While you're encouraged to maintain balance, you don't have to. Morally ambiguous, the game offers multiple sides of a dilemma and you get to choose where your loyalties lie. Depending on the various decisions presented to you throughout the game, your character can fall into one of three alignments: Law, Neutral, or Chaos. Law is not automatically good and Chaos is not automatically bad. It's up to you, the player, to decide which is right or wrong for you. Even the simplest decisions like the aforementioned "will you save the girl? Yes/No" in the beginning have a bearing on your alignment. And it goes without saying that big decisions such as whether to side with one political leader or another sway your alignment big time.

Perhaps Law is closer to your heart where society should follow unbending laws and rules to the letter in order to avoid conflict and benefit the collective whole. Or perhaps Chaos is more up your alley where rules are stifling and that people should follow a more Darwinian path. And, of course, there is Neutrality where you feel the balance of law and chaos, the middle road, is the path to follow. And while Neutrality is a nice ideal, it is the most difficult path to carve and follow in the game and you will find yourself very alone and with very bloody hands. Being for neither Law nor Chaos, you will often find yourself in opposition with both factions, and that is a very lonely place to be.

Speaking of gameplay, not only does your alignment affect the storyline (including the final boss faced and the ending) but it affects the gameplay too. As is the hallmark of the series, you can talk to demons during battles and perhaps convince them to join you as minions. If your alignment is Chaos, for example, Law-aligned demons will not join you and may not even talk to you, due to your opposing alignment. Also, certain places may not allow you to enter based on your alignment- for example, if you're Chaos aligned, the Law aligned Mesia churches will not allow you to use their services. ]

But do 'consequences and freedom' make the game better than Persona 3 or 4? The answer is simply NO. P3 and P4 underwent major refinement in battle (no random encounter, strategic, buffs, debuffs , status ailments actually work, ability to defend and attack at the same time with 'Persona').

Deus Ex combat is garbage , the whole 'point-and-click adventure' element of hacking with multitools is gimmicky. I finally found out from where Fallout 3 took that inspiration of health points that are separated for different body parts (legs, arms , torso, head). I get the point of 'you have to know what you're doing' , but they are tedious. Imagine if each opponent in Mario can only be defeated by a specific power-up (cameras and turret have to be hacked with multitools, locks with dietrichs) , and each time an enemy appears , you have to switch to the power-up that corresponds the enemy weakness .

Trust me, if Atlus chooses not to construct their SMT games nonlinearly, it's not because they can't, it's because they don't want to. Choices with consequences don't add depth to gameplay.


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Author: Lewis
Posted: October 23, 2009 (07:13 AM)
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I never said Deus Ex was the first to offer multiple paths. You're making up quotes, then arguing with them.

You're also comparing Deus Ex with games of completely different genres. Of course it wouldn't work in Mario. The Persona series? Slow, story-based JRPGs, versus Deus Ex's stealth-based FPS-adventuring. What point are you actually trying to make? How did Deus Ex even come into this? Where did all the Persona love come from? Persona 4 scored 10/10 here, and no one's disagreeing with you. What's your angle?

It sounds like you just don't like Deus Ex because it's not for you. And that's absolutely fine. But that doesn't make it a bad game.


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Author: SuckingDick
Posted: October 23, 2009 (08:13 AM)
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Well one notable game that somewhat borrows the element of Deus Ex is Fallout 3.

Fallout 3 emphasizes this 'choices with consequences' and freedom, karma-system of KoTOR. You can freely deploy stealth or just gun-blazing-FPS-approach , but the battle system is laughable and clunky. VATS is completely laughable, the 'Vagrant Story' body parts damaging system is neither strategic nor original . BUT due to 'choices with consequences' or different approaches available to complete quests, and atmospheric world , gamers (or game reviewers) think they add depths and innovative, despite of the shitty combat. I can imagine how many pretentious gamers went 'OMG, thought-provoking.This is artform' when they entered Tranquility Lane.

This is a trend gamers should be against. Instead of refining the element that makes video games video games , namely the combat (or plattforming, puzzle), the designers rather choose to create a living , breathing, immersive world and neglect the 'video game' quintessential element. Same thing happened with Uncharted 2 just like Zigfried wrote in his review . It is meant to be an experience, and not a game.

This is EGM review of Fallout 3, notice how the reviewers agreed that the FPS and RPG amalgam is mediocre.

http://gamevideos.1up.com/video/id/22388

This is a boss battle in PErsona 3.

http://www.blinkx.com/video/persona-3-tartarus-boss-14-hell-knights/kOk4H7UaEAZzeZo7_RNPFg

Notice how the player is able to manipulate the environement to his advantage by casting a status ailment that caused the opponents to turn against themselves.


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Author: Lewis
Posted: October 23, 2009 (09:24 AM)
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I'm not going to argue with you. Your desperate, ugly, prescriptivist comments go against everything I adore about videogames: their diversity; their ability to immerse, captivate and enthrall; their ability to be more than just items of play.

You're also seemingly attributing the things you didn't like about Fallout 3 to Deus Ex, when in actual fact, the things you mention have been present in some form since the original Fallout in the late 90s.


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Author: SuckingDick
Posted: October 23, 2009 (09:37 AM)
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Notice that i wrote 'AND neglect the 'video game' quintessential element' ,which barely exists in Deus Ex and Fallout 3.


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Author: zigfried (Mod)
Posted: October 23, 2009 (09:40 AM)
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I couldn't stand Fallout 3. I stopped playing pretty early in. I had always meant to try it again (with a different balance of character traits perhaps) but I keep hearing negative things that make me think "no, perhaps I'll try Magna Carta 2 next". I found the world to be dull, with small pockets of interest. Too small to keep me interested. I've never even played Deus Ex or seen Deus Ex being played, so I can't comment.

I threw all of that out there so people know my history before I pretend to have something useful to say.

Instead of refining the element that makes video games video games , namely the combat (or plattforming, puzzle), the designers rather choose to create a living , breathing, immersive world and neglect the 'video game' quintessential element

This is an interesting statement. I have enjoyed many, many, many games for the experience. But there is usually (always?) a strong gameplay hook. Panzer Dragoon Orta: the game creates a living world, but I could also say that its gameplay is deeper than any of the series' other shooters. Ninja Gaiden Black: I feel the Ninja! When a game presents a credible experience, I'm impressed, but without strong gameplay, something feels wrong.

Now the trick here is to define: "what the hell does gameplay mean?" Or to use SD's words, what is the "video game quintessential element?"

I would simply say it is this: the elements that involve player interaction. They can be weak, they can be strong... but if an element requires player interaction, then it's more about involving the player in the game than about setting a mood (although it could do both). If that element successfully involves the player, then that's great. SMT combat systems in particular are deep and involving. If the element fails to involve the player, then that's poor. A friend once called many RPGs, "soundtracks where you press X to hear more".

There are a number of things that contribute towards player involvement/detachment, and thus separate great gameplay from poor gameplay. Responsiveness. Intricacy. Effectiveness. Consequences.

If pressing X at the wrong time barely hurts, but pressing X at the right time causes immense pain to the enemies... then yeah, someone is going to just keep tapping X until they win. The poor balance of consequences hurts the gameplay. If tapping X will result in death, and you are instead forced to conform your party to summon demons of the appropriate elemental alignment... then the consequences have helped involve you and shape the gameplay.

So for that reason, I would consider the concept of "choices with consequences" to be a completely acceptable element in a game. I enjoyed that aspect in Wasteland and Starflight. But, like any gameplay element, it can be poor or great, and the details that define its effectiveness can vary from game to game.

//Zig


Unlimited Zig Works!


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