#1 Posted by TyCobb (1972 posts) -

I was watching their comments for the last day or so and everyone posting comments was just bashing the reviewer (Eric Neigher).

You can still access the review here and see all the comments: http://www.gamespot.com/natural-selection-2/reviews/natural-selection-2-review-6399575/

He originally gave it a 6.0, but it looks like GameSpot has removed the score and removed it from their latest review list.

I am curious on what your opinions are about review sites accepting reviews from free lancers. I know they aren't all bad, but when you have an established review team and user base that goes there for their reviews, do you think it is really appropriate to have free lancers write reviews? I surely would not enjoy it if GiantBomb started to post up random person's review as the official review.

#2 Posted by GERALTITUDE (3327 posts) -

Nah dude. Freelance doesn't mean "Guy Who Doesn't Know Shit About Games". Think you're being a wee elitist.

Some freelancers have more experience than permanent staff. Some are better writers. Some, are not. Eric Neigher's view may be outside the standard curve for that game, but it has nothing to do with him being a freelancer. Reviewers are often "off-base". This is totally normally I think. To say it's because of a freelancer is either shorting one person or giving another too much credit.

Giant Bomb is a personality site, so freelance reviews don't really fit in. But if GB had a handful of freelancers who always covered certain types of games (like a mini-Alex) would that be so bad? Isn't Julian Murdoch a freelancer? He's like top 5 dudes in games writing.

#3 Posted by believer258 (11914 posts) -

I read bits and pieces of it and no, I don't see much hateful about it. I see (*gasp*!) a guy who played a game that he didn't like, had good reasons for not liking it, and wrote them down accordingly.

Hey, what do you know, sometimes reviewers don't agree with the majority!

#4 Posted by Zomgfruitbunnies (788 posts) -

Yay, opinions?

#5 Posted by ZeForgotten (10397 posts) -

All I see is a bunch of people who happen to have enough brains to write a comment but they don't know what a review is. 
Nothing hateful about it, really. Eric just didn't like Natural Selection 2 as much as those fucknuggets in the comments did.  
If it's that good of a game what are they all doing crying in the comments instead of, you know, playing NS2? 

#6 Posted by SomeDeliCook (2341 posts) -

Watching the quicklook of it made it look rather boring after a few matches, so I can't say the 6.0 is too low of a score

#7 Edited by Funkydupe (3320 posts) -

They're angry because a lot of it is true? Flaming a reviewer is so year 2000.

#8 Posted by Strife777 (1580 posts) -

In between Gamespot and Giant Bomb, Brad did some freelancing and he's one of the most eloquent writer in the business in my personal opinion. So freelancers aren't a problem, people getting angry at reviews just because it doesn't fit their opinion is.

If the guy explains the score he's giving properly, he can give it what he wants. But then I also think it's stupid for te website to pull it down. Maybe he's not one of your own, but stand by the people you fucking hire.

#9 Posted by TheHumanDove (2523 posts) -

I didn't look too much into it, but apparently there were inaccuracies within the review. There were accusations that he hadn't played more than an hour or two, but that would be difficult to prove one way or the other. It's true that the score seems to clash with the majority of reviews, but that doesn't mean that he didn't do his job. When you're paid to write an opinion, crazy things happen!

#10 Posted by TyCobb (1972 posts) -

@GERALTITUDE said:

Nah dude. Freelance doesn't mean "Guy Who Doesn't Know Shit About Games". Think you're being a wee elitist.

Some freelancers have more experience than permanent staff. Some are better writers. Some, are not. Eric Neigher's view may be outside the standard curve for that game, but it has nothing to do with him being a freelancer. Reviewers are often "off-base". This is totally normally I think. To say it's because of a freelancer is either shorting one person or giving another too much credit.

Giant Bomb is a personality site, so freelance reviews don't really fit in. But if GB had a handful of freelancers who always covered certain types of games (like a mini-Alex) would that be so bad? Isn't Julian Murdoch a freelancer? He's like top 5 dudes in games writing.

I wasn't trying to be elitist and I wasn't saying freelancers shouldn't be allowed to review anything, but if you're a top video game web site that has its own review team, should you post free lanced reviews? I didn't say anything about his review being bad because I don't know as I have never played Natural Selection. It seems to me that GameSpot had to back peddle because it wasn't an actual staff review.

When you go to a web site every day and get a feel for each reviewer, you know whether to take their opinion with a grain of salt or not. For me, a review from someone whom I have never seen before would have the same value as me just looking at a meta critic score. I would have to get used to the reviewer first before I can start to judge their tastes versus mine. That makes it really difficult if a video game website is constantly using different reviewers. If they continued to use the same freelancer, then that's different.

#11 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@TyCobb said:

I am curious on what your opinions are about review sites accepting reviews from free lancers.

GameSpot accepts freelancers?....Uh, I mean boo! Boo him for not liking Natural Selection 2! *continues booing while slowly walking out of room*

#12 Posted by Tylea002 (2295 posts) -

Matt Rorie just did a freelance review, and motherfucker is eloquent as. So, that's unfair.

#13 Posted by GERALTITUDE (3327 posts) -

Fair 'nough duder. I just feel that there are so many games these days that it's getting more and more necessary for outlets of any size to hire freelancers. For a site like GB which basically is only interested in covering the games the staff likes (ironically or legitimately), it's not that big a problem (personally I do think it is a small problem). But for the IGNs, GameSpots and even Polygons of the world, you need lots of peeps to coverage that much ground. And you certainly can't pay them all "well"! So: freelancers.

The real shame here, and only crime, is GameSpot pulling the review. That should never happen. And you'd think that GS, of all the review sites on the net, would know that.

#14 Posted by FancySoapsMan (5828 posts) -

Geez those comments are baffling O_o

it feels like I read a completely different review than the one they're discussing

#15 Posted by Apathylad (3066 posts) -

Any word on why they took the score down? This is hardly the first controversial GameSpot score.

#16 Posted by ThePaleKing (613 posts) -

"Part of the reason it's difficult is that the game is well balanced, but a lot of the reason it's difficult is that the game simply fails to sufficiently explain what does what and how things work."

#17 Edited by Yummylee (21656 posts) -

@Apathylad said:

Any word on why they took the score down? This is hardly the first controversial GameSpot score.

Because there were some inaccuracies in the review, like the price he listed as $30 when it's apparently $25. I haven't played the game myself, but it otherwise seemed like an OK review. And as per usual, the review comment complaints are blowing this all up to high Hell.

#18 Edited by Ares42 (2670 posts) -

@Apathylad: Van Ord posted an apology saying the review contained inaccuracies. I read the review myself and tbh there wasn't anything absurdly innacurate, might've been some minor stuff. He actually pretty much hit all the reasonable issues with the game. I really like the game myself and there was nothing in the review I didn't agree with, but the game is very much a "love it or hate it" kinda deal.

#19 Posted by FLStyle (4705 posts) -

I am very much in favour of removing or altering reviews which have factual inaccuracies. I look forward to the replacement review Van Ord speaks of.

Online
#20 Posted by laserbolts (5322 posts) -

Nothing wrong with freelancers. I enjoy reading VideoGameKing's blogs more than any giantbomb review. Not bashing giantbomb reviews though.

#21 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@laserbolts said:

I enjoy reading VideoGameKing's blogs more than any giantbomb review.

Hell yes.

#22 Posted by GalacticGravy (548 posts) -

I read it. I wasn't upset with it. I'd like to get a list of the inaccuracies, though. I haven't played NS or NS2, myself.

I think some of the issue here is that, because it was a mod, it was always seen as a "player's" game. Often this gives these smaller communities more of a sense of ownership. A large portion of these readers were reading a review that was poking holes in "their" game.

#23 Posted by Kaowas (124 posts) -

This is my favourite comment by kwintox from that review "My god man.. how can you give it a 6.0 when Multiplayer.it, ausgamers, the escapist and IGN all rate it higher then 8 and when the user score is a 9.3? Aren't you supposed to give objective reviews on games, this felt like you personally didn't like the game thus giving it a undervalued score."

Now, correct me if you think I'm wrong, but isn't personal experience a big part of a review? I personally didn't like New Super Mario Bros. Wii and would have given it a 5 or a 6 our of 10, but that does not make my experience invalid, nor does it make my review (if I had written one) invalid as well. Who cares what other sites are saying about a game? Does it really matter that IGN rated it at 8 when Eric Neigher found the game to be of mediocre quality? I remember Brad having a problem reviewing Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor because he remembered the demo game being good but the final product sucking, and he thought there may have been an issue with Kinect, not the game. Of course it turned out that the game was busted, but what if it wasn't? What if Brad had given it a 1 star despite it not being broken? Or Jeff with Dance Central 3 and his Kinect problems. Or how about Alex's review for NBA 2K13 versus what Vinny and Jeff experienced with the really bad stuff in the quicklook? Does that make either parties' opinions invalid? No, of course not. A review comes down to personal experience and taste. If a game wasn't fun to the one reviewing it, then why would that reviewer score the game high just because someone else did despite their experience with the game totally sucking? It's nothing new to see people on the internet with an intense sense of self-entitlement who think that someone's professional opinion should be pulled because it doesn't agree with theirs, but what I don't get is that people see this as alright behaviour. They can choose to disagree, but the hatred towards the contesting opinion is unwarranted. Though that's a problem with the internet that I don't think will ever go away.

Thankfully I'm glad to be a part of the Giantbomb community in which the majority of the users realize that there are people writing these reviews and providing us with content.

#24 Posted by McGhee (6094 posts) -

Yeah, I was looking at the ZOE HD Collection review on Gamespot and the comments were so dumb it was baffling. I'm glad that it seems not too many of those twats at GS have bled over here.

#25 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@McGhee said:

I'm glad that it seems not too many of those twats at GS have bled over here.

But isn't that how this site started in the first place?

#26 Edited by JasonR86 (9710 posts) -

Fans suck. Gamespot sucks for taking the review down. They hired the guy, he did his job, and they ran away like bitches once fans decided to freak out because someone had the audacity to say something they don't agree with.

EDIT:

Oh, inaccuracies. Still, Gamespot should have attempted to catch those inaccuracies before posting the review. They left the reviewer out to dry. Fuck them.

#27 Posted by NlGHTCRAWLER (1215 posts) -

@Funkydupe said:

They're angry because a lot of it is true? Flaming a reviewer is so year 2000.

I didn't even know the internet existed in 2000.

#28 Posted by NlGHTCRAWLER (1215 posts) -

@JasonR86 said:

Fans suck. Gamespot sucks for taking the review down. They hired the guy, he did his job, and they ran away like bitches once fans decided to freak out because someone had the audacity to say something they don't agree with.

EDIT:

Oh, inaccuracies. Still, Gamespot should have attempted to catch those inaccuracies before posting the review. They left the reviewer out to dry. Fuck them.

True, true and true. Poor dude.

#29 Posted by McGhee (6094 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

@McGhee said:

I'm glad that it seems not too many of those twats at GS have bled over here.

But isn't that how this site started in the first place?

Touché. This place aint perfect. I mean, it's not the Moon or anything. But that "community," much like IGN's, is pretty atrocious.

#30 Posted by Ares42 (2670 posts) -

@Kaowas said:

Now, correct me if you think I'm wrong, but isn't personal experience a big part of a review?

While this might be true, a game judged to be bad by someone that inherently just doesn't like those kinda games can easily be quite pointless. It can end up just stating the obvious "if you don't like these kinda games, you won't like this one either" while leaving everyone that actually do enjoy those kinda games with absolutely no answers. There might be no such thing as the objective review, but it's still important to judge a game for what it is and not just say it's bad because you don't like it.

#31 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -
#32 Posted by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

Maybe it was a bad game.

#33 Posted by JasonR86 (9710 posts) -

It's amazing reading the comments of the apology article that feel that hanging the reviewer out to dry and asking for a mulligan on the review process like amateurs is classy.

#34 Edited by yinstarrunner (1199 posts) -

This review sucks.

It really seems like the guy reviewing it only played an hour or two of the game... he only seems to understand the game at the most basic of levels. Saying that "Aliens aren't as survivable as individual marines" is kind of ridiculous. Saying that teammates have no idea what they need researched is absurd. Accusing commanders of blatant rage-quitting... well, I've never experienced that once in my 27 hours of playing. Complaining about the lack of matchmaking... sigh. Matchmaking kills so many multiplayer indie games.

Honestly, my biggest problem with the review is that he doesn't mention the community at all. The NS2 community is fantastic, although you wouldn't know it by reading the review. Yes, there is no "in-game" tutorial (it took me about 2 hours of playing to understand the game), but nearly everybody I've met has been eager to answer questions and help newbies.

Saying that veteran players ignore rookies and spout out lingo is stupid. Yeah, that's what happens in online games when you need to communicate quickly and effectively. It makes it sound like this guy didn't even try to ask any questions or interact with anyone on his team at all. Instead he just assumes that the people who play this game online and the people who play Halo online must have the exact same mindset.

EDIT: Also, calling learning the game "grinding" is ridiculous, especially in the context of every other multiplayer game that comes out these days incorporating REAL grinding. It's like saying that playing a few matches of Starcraft 2 is "grinding". It's not. It's playing the game.

#35 Posted by McGhee (6094 posts) -
#36 Posted by Gamer_152 (14078 posts) -

@TyCobb said:

I am curious on what your opinions are about review sites accepting reviews from free lancers. I know they aren't all bad, but when you have an established review team and user base that goes there for their reviews, do you think it is really appropriate to have free lancers write reviews? I surely would not enjoy it if GiantBomb started to post up random person's review as the official review.

Giant Bomb doing it and another site doing it are rather different things, this site is much more driven by the personalities behind it than just about every other gaming site out there. While there may be personalities on other sites that are known and valued by their readers, and sites need to be very aware of that, I think for the biggest sites many readers are looking for writing that is up to a certain standard, rather than just content that comes from one of a small handful of regular writers for the site. If a freelancer can produce work of a high enough standard then it seems to make sense to me for those sites to let them write for them.

Moderator
#37 Posted by Akrid (1356 posts) -

I love NS2. That said, his criticism of the game is totally justified. Matches can easily be ruined by poor commanders, and there is a very steep learning curve to attempt to be one of those commanders and/or become a good player in the on-foot game. The loading is also a real problem. Personally, if I were to review it, I would weigh those facts a lot lighter given the evidence that there is a stellar game within, but really, it's his review, and if those problems constitute a 6.0 experience to him, then more power to him! To me, it's one of the best things I've seen in multi-player in quite a while - learning curve and internet jerks be damned.

I see nothing factually inaccurate in that review aside from him getting the price wrong as well - understandable given the fact that he probably didn't transact for the game himself.

#38 Posted by Kaowas (124 posts) -

@Ares42:

That's entirely fair, and I do agree with this. There is a difference between being objective and saying something is bad because it is bad, and saying that it's bad because you dislike it. I think in Neigher's case it's objective but comes off a little too stingy; however, I still think his experience is valid and that he doesn't necessarily need to agree with the majority. There is a line and it seems too easy to cross at times, but I still think there's room for a more personalized review inside an objective review. My problem with the vitriole over Neigher's review is that he didn't score it badly: he basically said it was mediocre. I think it'd be hard to describe NS2 as mediocre when just the concept and ideas in the game are interesting different. But still, if Neigher didn't have fun with it, then I think this makes sense.