Adam Sessler: 3 out of 5

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#51 Edited by Yummylee (20585 posts) -

@thabigred said:

@mrfluke said:

https://twitter.com/bradshoemaker/status/290893503901364224

I'll buy it when it's on sale but yeah really looking forward to seeing what Brad has to say about this. I'm one of the weirdos that preferred Dante's Inferno and Bayonetta to God of War III.

Really? Dante's Inferno I could understand, but with Bayonetta I'd say it's the other way around. And btw, I'm totally one of the weirdos who prefers God of War III to Bayonetta! Mostly because of the aesthetic/setting, and for me Bayonetta's rampant lunacy was just a bit... much. The actual gameplay is assuredly fantastic, but I just couldn't be bothered anymore after like an hour.

#52 Edited by SagaciousJones (143 posts) -

@project343 said:

Most of those perfect scores reviewed the leveling experience of The Old Republic. That leveling experience is, by most accounts, spectacularly well-produced. The negativity comes in when we talk about the missing/buggy (at the time) end-game. Those reviews are not 'wrong.'

Maybe not, but they're representative of a pretty major problem I have with mainstream games journalism. I feel that the system relies on a lot of positive momentum, pressuring sites and their writers to heap praise on big releases to keep themselves in the public eye. This article from way back on the Driv3r controversy discusses what I'm trying to get at:

The most successful gaming magazine currently in print (Official Playstation 2 Magazine) reaches less than 5% of its potential audience of PS2 owners, and most mags struggle for even a small fraction of that. The overwhelmingly vast majority of gamers never buy or read videogames publications (and who can blame them?), and hence what those mags say about Driver 3, or what their reasons for doing it are, will never even enter their sphere of consciousness. When the nation's biggest game retailer offers no-quibble money-back guarantees on any game if you don't like it, why pay someone else five or six quid to illiterately and ineptly judge a half-finished version of it for you, when you can just try it for yourself for 10 days (probably at least twice as much time as the reviewer got to spend with it, and you've got the proper finished version too) with no risk and make your own mind up?

So here's the real lesson of Drive-three-er, chums. Videogames magazines and videogames publishers nowadays exist solely as a mutual-support network aimed at squeezing money out of your pockets and into theirs. They know only too well that the days of games mags are numbered, so they have no interest in building reader loyalty, and hence no interest in integrity. All they want is to get as much cash out of you as possible before they die forever. And the best way of doing that is by hyping publishers' games, artificially inflating readers' enthusiasm, getting lucrative advertising from the publishers in return, and meanwhile cutting back on staff and budgets to the point that even reviewers naive enough to want to do their job properly simply don't have the time or the resources for it.

To criticise games mags for doing that in the current climate is a bit like criticising a hungry tiger for killing antelopes. Driver 3 is going to sell in huge numbers regardless, because gamers are credulous and stupid and 97% of them don't read reviews in the first place, so why cut your own throat and piss off your advertisers by telling the few readers you have left something that most of them don't want to know anyway? Also, the harsh truth is that magazine readers deserve no better - if you're going to buy Official Playstation Magazine in hundreds of thousands and let the likes of Arcade die, then you're sending a pretty clear message out to the mag publishers, and that message is "We like being spoonfed bland corporate cheerleading tripe that says all games are great and worth buying, because that makes us feel good about buying them, so please give us more". The number of people rushing to games forums to defend Atari's right to rip them off with a cynically-priced, half-finished, shoddy rush job of a fundamentally-broken game (and even if you somehow manage to glean some enjoyment from it, those things are true regardless) only serves to back up that bleak assertion.

I've bolded the parts I think are relevant. Now, obviously things are way different now. I'm talking about online publications, for one thing, and I don't think marketing teams need to pressure journalists in praising their games anymore--they're more than happy enough to do it themselves because it generates traffic, maintains readership, and fosters the writer's reputation as a positive person. But I also think there's more to it than that.

Eric Kain describes how, as a games writer, he tries to put on different "hats." That is, he takes different attitudes when fulfilling different journalistic roles, distancing the person who provides new information on upcoming games with the person who evaluates them.

Perhaps the problem is that there is simply too much of the hype-style posts, too much of the enthusiasm, and too little of the investigative reporting. Maybe there aren’t enough sites covering the industry in depth. Maybe this is a more crucial shortcoming than “corruption” or compromised reviews. Of course, this is the case across the entertainment industry. Read about TV or film and you’ll encounter the exact same thing. Same goes for tech, which largely consists of posting specs and rumors and the occasional company profile.

But one thing is certain: the latest screenshot for GTA V is going to attract eyeballs. It may not be “news” in the proper sense, but it’s something people want to see. And there’s really nothing at all wrong with video game writers giving their audiences what they want, so long as when it comes to reviewing games or writing candidly and honestly about the video game industry, we do so with a critical but fair eye.

Now, I find that the mainstream press completely fails to do this role-separation when it's time for reviews. The person writing up the enthusiastic previews is often the same person writing glowing reviews upon the game's release. I don't think there's any malicious intent behind these writers. They're not being paid off by publishers, and they're not even inflating their real opinions on the game. But what they are doing is falling into their own self-generated hype instead of putting on that critical mentality. Any time a new AAA title comes out, I can go to any mainstream review site--IGN, Gamespot, Destructoid, Kotaku, Eurogamer, or god forbid The Escapist--and get the same blandly positive 8, 9, or 10 review that won't cover any of the flaws I find when I actually sit down with the game. I've completely lost my faith with this system, and as I said earlier, it's the reason why I have to come to sites like Giant Bomb or seek out trustworthy voices like The Sess to get a "real" professional opinion on a game.

There's a good chance I'm just a cynical asshole and all of these DMC reviewers were trying to be objective and the review system's not broken. But maybe they're falling prey to the hype-trap that I can't help but see cloud the responses to most big name releases? Either way, Adam's review bucks the trend significantly and I thought it deserved it's own thread.

For what it's worth, I just want to say I regret writing the OP the way I did. It was petty and about as immature as the stuff Adam was criticizing in the review. I have real problems with DMC, but I've always tried to discuss them in a mature fashion. I did not do that here. If I could, I would rather have tried to start a real conversation about the issues I just discussed above.

#53 Posted by Ares42 (2443 posts) -

"And we wonder why games are hard-pressed to be regarded as art"

Guess Sess has become one of those guys...

#54 Posted by DarthOrange (3498 posts) -

Why would Capcom pay people to give DMC good reviews but leave games like RE6 and Operation Raccoon City to get shit on? Come now duder use your head.

#55 Posted by Lucifer (263 posts) -

@Yummylee said:

and for me Bayonetta's rampant lunacy was just a bit... much.

Agreed, I like Bayonetta, and I love me some cuhrazy action games, but the ridicoulsness got too much at times, there was so much of it it honestly made me numb to it after a while, and everything kind of bleeded together and nothing stuck out as memorable (except the ending), when I try to recall Devil May Cry's grander momements, I can practically list every one, but with Bayonetta? Shockingly few actually.

#56 Posted by BlastProcessing (901 posts) -

@psylah said:

@BlastProcessing said:

@psylah said:

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

I guess I never really thought of it that way, it seems rather ironic when you think about it.

Thank you for opening my eyes to the trFUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU

Have you...AWOKEN??

#57 Posted by mrfluke (4844 posts) -

i still like sessler, but after the whole mass effect 3 ending bullshit, and him calling out the fans as "entitled" or something along that sorts and him loving that piece of shit ending. hes no longer an "authoritative source" to me.

#58 Posted by Joeyoe31 (820 posts) -

@psylah said:

FUCK YOU

#59 Posted by development (1592 posts) -

the combat music in the demo was enough to turn me away forever. really didn't think the people at Ninja Theory would make something like that.

#60 Posted by Milkman (16228 posts) -

@Ares42 said:

"And we wonder why games are hard-pressed to be regarded as art"

Guess Sess has become one of those guys...

One of those guys who thinks we should expect more out of games and is tired of the juvenile nerd fantasy circle jerks that a lot of games become?

Yeah, what a dick.

#61 Posted by Ryanmgraef (190 posts) -

Fuck this thread right here.man GB is better than thins kinda horseshit.

#62 Posted by BBAlpert (1262 posts) -

I think you mean he gave it a 3...

.

.

.

...out of 5.

#63 Posted by Ares42 (2443 posts) -

@Milkman: rather, one of those guys that think the art of games lies in story and setting, not gameplay.

#64 Posted by Cloudenvy (5890 posts) -

God, really? reaaaaaaaally?

You know, I fucking hate the internet sometimes. This is one of those times.

#65 Posted by Undeadpool (4868 posts) -

@TheSouthernDandy said:

I'm not saying he's wrong, I'm just curious what makes Sess-money right and every other review who liked it wrong?

OP agrees with him.

#66 Posted by Milkman (16228 posts) -

@Ares42 said:

@Milkman: rather, one of those guys that think the art of games lies in story and setting, not gameplay.

Can't it be both?

#67 Posted by madman356647 (171 posts) -
@august

My prediction: Brad gives the game 4 stars and we NEVER HEAR THE END OF THIS CRIME

I'd agree there.

I'd be more interested in WHY the 3/5 than that it got.

There's been plenty of reviews I disagreed with numerically, but after hearing their points, ill say "I can see that".

End of the day, it's like stats on ESPN: I don't care about numbers, I just care about the game.
#68 Posted by Yummylee (20585 posts) -

@Milkman said:

@Ares42 said:

"And we wonder why games are hard-pressed to be regarded as art"

Guess Sess has become one of those guys...

One of those guys who thinks we should expect more out of games and is tired of the juvenile nerd fantasy circle jerks that a lot of games become?

Yeah, what a dick.

Are we to expect more out of every game, though? Are we to now demand that any and all games must offer up some sort of profound meaning behind it all and that they have to take themselves seriously for the sake of art? Stupidity has its place, and just because we've got games like TWD, Shattered Memories, Spec Ops: The Line, Journey ect. that are attempting to push the medium forward doesn't mean that every other game has to follow en route. Nothing wrong with some games continuing to be silly guilty pleasures so long as there are other games out there that are trying to do something more impactful.

#69 Posted by Qlanth (104 posts) -

I'm going to sound like a dick but it sounds almost exactly like every other Devil May Cry game. I remain totally uninterested.

#70 Posted by Ares42 (2443 posts) -

@Milkman said:

@Ares42 said:

@Milkman: rather, one of those guys that think the art of games lies in story and setting, not gameplay.

Can't it be both?

Probably can, but doesn't seem like he thinks so.

#71 Posted by project343 (2807 posts) -

@SagaciousJones: There we go! That's a post I can get behind. That said, I totally disagree with everything here. What attracts people to particular reviews are polarizing scores and quotes that stand apart from the homogenized crowd. If you have all these lemming-like critical opinions on the AAA-praising hype train, you end tend to end up with 10-15 notable publications that effectively say the exact same thing. Sure, Polygon's review might be better written and have a more interesting narrative 'spin' on the piece, but Destructoid may offer the same take-away message: buy Halo 4 if you like Halo. So what review generates a lot of talk, page hits, and commotion? Probably this one (I mean, it sparked a pretty heated debate on our own boards and even got Patrick defending the piece). People don't need buy access to reviews in their modern incarnation--they just click on something that they want to read, and do it. Naturally, the most interesting, controversial, and polarized reviews are going to bring people over out of curiosity's sake.

When people go on Metacritic, they are going to see Adam's 60%, see his familiar name, see that bold quote, and read that one. They won't read the generic Destructoid article that praises it with back-of-the-box quotes alongside the other 50 similar reviews.

#72 Edited by Demoskinos (13876 posts) -

@Yummylee said:

@Milkman said:

@Ares42 said:

"And we wonder why games are hard-pressed to be regarded as art"

Guess Sess has become one of those guys...

One of those guys who thinks we should expect more out of games and is tired of the juvenile nerd fantasy circle jerks that a lot of games become?

Yeah, what a dick.

Are we to expect more out of every game, though? Are we to now demand that any and all games must offer up some sort of profound meaning behind it all and that they have to take themselves seriously for the sake of art? Stupidity has its place, and just because we've got games like TWD, Shattered Memories, Spec Ops: The Line, Journey ect. that are attempting to push the medium forward doesn't mean that every other game has to follow en route. Nothing wrong with some games continuing to be silly guilty pleasures so long as there are other games out there that are trying to do something more impactful.

Agreed. Nothing wrong with liking a "empty power fantasy" as sessler put it. Games are escapism so power fantasies are entirely appealing to me. I don't need games to try to push my thinking button all the time. Sometimes I just want to enjoy all the stupidity that video games can offer.

#73 Posted by FirePrince (1762 posts) -

I think I feel bad for the damn game, I've never seen so much hatred just focused on one single product.

The game is great. I really don't understand what people were expecting? Was this supposed to be the best game ever, or did I miss some note? It's fun, fast, fluid, and has a great combat system and a rather astonishing visual presentation.

#74 Posted by Milkman (16228 posts) -

@Yummylee said:

@Milkman said:

@Ares42 said:

"And we wonder why games are hard-pressed to be regarded as art"

Guess Sess has become one of those guys...

One of those guys who thinks we should expect more out of games and is tired of the juvenile nerd fantasy circle jerks that a lot of games become?

Yeah, what a dick.

Are we to expect more out of every game, though? Are we to now demand that any and all games must offer up some sort of profound meaning behind it all and that they have to take themselves seriously for the sake of art? Stupidity has its place, and just because we've got games like TWD, Shattered Memories, Spec Ops: The Line, Journey ect. that are attempting to push the medium forward doesn't mean that every other game has to follow en route. Nothing wrong with some games continuing to be silly guilty pleasures so long as there are other games out there that are trying to do something more impactful.

No, I'm not saying that every game has to push the medium forward but I do think that every game should be held to a certain standard. That's not to say that every game has be hyper serious either. But there's a difference between something stupid like Saints Row the Third and something that's just extremely poorly written that thinks it's being super "bad ass" or something because every female character has comically oversized tits and because they know what a curse word is. That's the stuff that I find embarrassing.

But I should say that I'm not even talking about Devil May Cry here, just games in general. I have zero idea what this particular game is like. Maybe it's a kind of stupid I can get behind.

#75 Posted by mrfluke (4844 posts) -

@Demoskinos said:

@Yummylee said:

@Milkman said:

@Ares42 said:

"And we wonder why games are hard-pressed to be regarded as art"

Guess Sess has become one of those guys...

One of those guys who thinks we should expect more out of games and is tired of the juvenile nerd fantasy circle jerks that a lot of games become?

Yeah, what a dick.

Are we to expect more out of every game, though? Are we to now demand that any and all games must offer up some sort of profound meaning behind it all and that they have to take themselves seriously for the sake of art? Stupidity has its place, and just because we've got games like TWD, Shattered Memories, Spec Ops: The Line, Journey ect. that are attempting to push the medium forward doesn't mean that every other game has to follow en route. Nothing wrong with some games continuing to be silly guilty pleasures so long as there are other games out there that are trying to do something more impactful.

Agreed. Nothing wrong with liking a "empty power fantasy" as sessler put it. Games are escapism so power fantasies are entirely appealing to me. I don't need games to try to push my thinking button all the time. Sometimes I just want to enjoy all the stupidity that video games can offer.

Agreed

#76 Edited by cannonballBAM (593 posts) -

@Ryanmgraef said:

Fuck this thread right here.man GB is better than thins kinda horseshit.

Amen brother. I can't wait for everyone to shut up about it already.

#77 Posted by Nettacki (1314 posts) -

@Demoskinos: did you not read interviews with Tameem the lead designer? He actually WANTED this to be some strong artistic statement about anarchism, not a simple escapist fantasy. In that respect, many people believe he failed at that, and that's where a lot of the frustration comes from.

#78 Edited by GetEveryone (4454 posts) -

@fox01313 said:

Always enjoyed reading/watching the reviews from Adam on G4 so thrilled to see this.

He's been doing good work over at Rev3. I'm actually warming to that place over GB, purely because he's such a great writer and they have decent video/discussion pieces.

#79 Posted by rmanthorp (3696 posts) -

UGHHHHHH. Game is great.

Moderator
#80 Edited by Trilogy (2569 posts) -

@BBAlpert said:

I think you mean he gave it a 3...

.

.

.

...out of 5.

I was surprised at how he emphasized it the same way he did back at X-Play.

#81 Posted by phrosnite (3517 posts) -

Terrible writing, music and bad level design... Well this is pretty much what DMC4 was. But it seems the new one has a worse combat system... that was the one...

... out of 5 stars I gave DMC4.

#82 Posted by spankingaddict (2646 posts) -

I love Sessler , but his opinions mean nothing to me .

#83 Posted by dr_mantas (1692 posts) -

I haven't seen the Sess in a while, has his hair migrated from his head to his cheeks?

Anyhow, I feel that no one's opinion, if it's very strong, about some franchise, can be changed by one review. And 3/5 is supposed to be an average score.

#84 Posted by OneManX (1664 posts) -

STRONG OPINION HERE: I bet the game is totally fine.

#85 Posted by august (3811 posts) -

@OneManX said:

STRONG OPINION HERE: I bet the game is totally fine.

HOW DARE YOU

#86 Posted by Video_Game_King (34616 posts) -

@BBAlpert said:

I think you mean he gave it a 3...

.

.

.

...out of 5.

No, no, that's not it. He gave it a 3...

...out of 5.

#87 Posted by TooWalrus (12977 posts) -

I'm not sure if I should pick up Devil May Cry or No Ni Kuni. I actually don't know anything about No Ni Kuni other than it's been pretty hyped and I feel like playin' a JRPG.

#88 Edited by Gordy (193 posts) -

@SagaciousJones said:

Some choice quotes:

"A main character who, while original, is every bit an empty adolescent power fantasy. Hell may not be other people; it may be just spending 15 hours with him."

"To be fair, Ninja Theory has made this the most understandable DMC game, but it works to the game's disadvantage because it highlights how uninteresting it is."

"Nearly every line of dialog set my teeth on edge. It's adolescent, it's puerile, and it's nowhere near as sassy and clever as the game thinks it is."

"A good game lost in a juvenile tantrum. It may be acceptable to a unique demographic, but for many others, it's a game you might want to play when no-one else is around."

And since I've played the demo to see just how shallow the combat is (maybe it's impressive to people who play God of War or something), I've had pretty much every one of my biased expectations confirmed. Thanks Ninja Theory!

Sooo.... am I the only person who thought all of these exact same things for Devil May Cry as a whole series?

Everything that I've seen in this video review (footage-wise) gives me the impression that this is more a Devil May Cry that I may actually enjoy--moving away from the overly-Japanese-anime meets metalhead-headbanging aesthetic (something that I've always found to be a complete put-off). It does look more energetic. Those environments are fucking beautiful looking, the colour palette is refreshingly varied, and the disorienting invasion of supernatural into reality seems so dynamic and fresh. Calling it 'bold and energetic' seems like one of the most obvious things to say about it.

I feel the same way. The music and style in the intro really surprised me. I would play this game if it weren't for the awful story.

#89 Edited by pyrodactyl (1647 posts) -

A 5 out of 5 is pretty much garantied from brad.

Commenting on the game on twitter he said: IT'S FUCKING AMAZING. So yeah, divisive game.

#90 Posted by Yummylee (20585 posts) -

@TooWalrus said:

I'm not sure if I should pick up Devil May Cry or No Ni Kuni. I actually don't know anything about No Ni Kuni other than it's been pretty hyped and I feel like playin' a JRPG.

I have it on pretty good authority that DmC isn't a JRPG. So you should go with No Ni Kuni.

#91 Posted by jsnyder82 (685 posts) -

Yes, glad that the 1 person who gave it a middling review is the only proper and honest journalist. As opposed to all those other reviewers who seemed to enjoy it. They're totally full of shit. There's no way they enjoyed this game I haven't even played.

#92 Edited by GunstarRed (4733 posts) -

Scores don't really mean anything. I like the game a bunch. It does some really cool things, looks pretty and has some creative level design, but even with all that I'd find it hard giving it more than 3/5.

edit that nobody cares about, but I felt i needed to add after finishing the game as some kind of closure because people are being INSANE...like I N S A N E! over DMC - I'd give it 4/5 actually.

#93 Posted by TooWalrus (12977 posts) -

@Yummylee said:

I have it on pretty good authority that DmC isn't a JRPG.

Obviously- but DmC looks fun regardless.

#94 Posted by LikeaSsur (1430 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

@BBAlpert said:

I think you mean he gave it a 3...

.

.

.

...out of 5.

No, no, that's not it. He gave it a 3...

...out of 5.

Fantastic, as if that video wasn't the 8th post in this very same thread.

#95 Posted by D_W (1075 posts) -

@Qlanth said:

I'm going to sound like a dick but it sounds almost exactly like every other Devil May Cry game. I remain totally uninterested.

Yes. From Adam Sessler's review it sounded like it didn't "disgrace the Devil May Cry name" in anyway other than just being another one with out much in the way of innovation. It seems from what little I've seen of the this game that Bayonetta is still the pinnacle of the genre.

#96 Posted by RockyRaccoon37 (360 posts) -

@Nettacki said:

@Demoskinos: did you not read interviews with Tameem the lead designer?

Um, no.

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that roughly 90% of people who know of this game haven't either.

Besides, who cares what the intent was? If it appears in the game itself that the story fails to live up to what it sets up, then that's a fine criticism to make. But saying that the game doesn't live up to what the director was suggesting in interviews is irrelevant.

#97 Posted by Solh0und (1680 posts) -

@Turtlebird95 said:

Review threads are so 2011.

Exactly.

#98 Posted by LordXavierBritish (6320 posts) -

ADAM SESSLER HAS A YOUTUBE CHANNEL?

#99 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4655 posts) -

@LordXavierBritish said:

ADAM SESSLER HAS A YOUTUBE CHANNEL?

No he is part of Rev3 games. I bet as many are concerned he does. @TooWalrus said:

@Yummylee said:

I have it on pretty good authority that DmC isn't a JRPG.

Obviously- but DmC looks fun regardless.

We can't help you decide. If you really can't decide wait until next week once reviews are out for Ni no Kuni.

#100 Posted by TooWalrus (12977 posts) -

@ImmortalSaiyan said:

We can't help you decide. If you really can't decide wait until next week once reviews are out for Ni no Kuni.

Good thing I didn't ask for help then, eh? You're right though, if/when I buy DmC, I'll be buying the PC version, so I'll be waiting awhile regardless.

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