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#1 Edited by astupidvdcase (44 posts) -

So while i was on neogaf, i noticed lots of people thought Tom Chick, the controversial games critic on quarter to three "knew his stuff" and doesn't succumb to hype. Well i just wanted to say how much i disagree with Tom Chick and quarter to three's style.

I just feel like Tom Chick is too much to go against mainstream sites like IGN and be controversial, especially with major releases like TLOU.

His opening for his review for the TLOU is

The Last of Us is the most emotionally resonant game you will ever play about plank, ladder, and pallet management. To be fair you’ll sometimes scooch dumpsters around. At one point, you scooch a piano.

This just makes him dismissive and arrogant especially considering that ND really did a good job with mixing these sections up such as the trashcan rolling down and crashing the gate open and it plays on your expectation such as in spring when you boost ellie up at the zoo

and then he goes on to criticize the gameplay as "pedestrian" even though ND did a great job of the balance between stealth and gun-play, compared to many games where you get discovered and you are plunged into a dissatisfying shoot-out where you just either die immediately or are forced to gun down every enemy as fast as possible, and the transition between stealth and being discovered as suddenly Joel becomes overwhelmed before turning the tables again to become the hunter is a unique aspect of the game as well. The game also allows you to approach an engagement in many ways, using bomb traps, smoke or the bow or all of them.

Tom also uses a rating system based on how much he likes a game, but if everyone rated and reviewed a game on how much they liked it, it would be mad cause you will have people who don't like RTS and give Starcraft or something a 5/10 even though as an RTS and a game as a whole its a monumental achievement.

Tom seems like he is just trying to get gamer 'cred' by generally rating mainstream hyped up games poorly and giving games people don't expect a 5/5. i mean yes mainstream games are usually overrated and exaggerated with 10s thrown everywhere but most of the time they are VERY good games.

have a look at this comment he wrote in one of his reviews

Why is it unprofessional? A review is an attempt to articulate your experience with a game, movie, book, or what have you. The rating is simply shorthand for how much you liked it. I don't know how you get this silly idea that a rating "isn't your own choice". What an absurd comment, but hardly unexpected coming from someone who wants me to kill myself.

If you expect a rating to somehow magically reflect the quality of a work of entertainment, you're expecting something they don't provide. A review is never going to be an objective measure of the quality of an inherently subjective experience. What you want is quite literally impossible.

wat the hell is this. "A review is never going to be an objective measure of the quality of an inherently subjective experience.", what a pretentious knob cause journalist have a responsibility in their reviews to reflect the quality of the work being reviewed. Heres a quote from a random on the EGM ACM review which sums up things better than anything.

What are you people talking about? "It' just his opinion, and everybody can state their opinions as they please..." now, this really is bulls**t! This is a matter of journalistic responsibility, it's not "just an opinion" to review a game only to his own liking, fandom or paycheck. Would it be "just an opinion" to you if a consumer journal would rate an unhealthy peace of fast food junk as a gourmet fitness meal perfectly suitable for your kids? No? Why not, it's just an opinion after all..

One think i believe in is scaling and relativity in reviews cause in the grand scheme of things Citizen Kane's of gaming (as people call them) like The Last of Us, or Half Life 2 or whichever Greatest game of all time should always be held in higher regard then even the BEST games in genre like fighting, and therefore reviews should reflect that. Im not saying that fighting games aren't more fun, but its about artistic merit or technical achievement (such as flight simz). Games in certain genres just lack these things like fighting games or party games. Its just this general idea i have with games thats similar to movies like how the greatest films of all time list isn't dominated by romantic comedies and michael bay films etc. as popular and liked my many as they are.

#2 Edited by psylah (2187 posts) -

All this time I thought people were talking about JACK Chick! No joke.

#3 Posted by Milkman (17473 posts) -

Who?

#4 Edited by astupidvdcase (44 posts) -
#5 Edited by rickyyo (163 posts) -

You do realize what an opinion is right? Just because your experience was super positive doesn't mean other peoples' opinion on the matter are. Who's to say how many games Tom Chick has played? He might just be a one and done type of guy but he has proven that statement wrong time and time again.

Also, a person reading metacritic tells me everything I need to know,

#6 Posted by MildMolasses (3230 posts) -

Well, this is another quality thread you've created.

Have you tried Game Trailers yet? I'd bet they'd welcome you with open arms

#7 Posted by Heltom92 (716 posts) -

Well I can't say I agree with him but if that's what he thinks so be it. Doesn't really bother me.

#8 Posted by MildMolasses (3230 posts) -

@psylah said:

All this time I thought people were talking about JACK Chick! No joke.

If he did his reviews in comic strip formats with biblical quotes all over them, it would be amazing

#9 Edited by tread311 (359 posts) -

Entitled to his opinion and all, but that opening line is pretty damn petty. I didn't completely love The Last of Us either but I certainly wouldn't start my critique with having to move ladders.

#10 Edited by BaneFireLord (2966 posts) -

You have no idea how much I despise the internet "if a reviewer's opinion doesn't match mine/doesn't match the mainstream opinion, they are an unprofessional attention seeking hack" mentality. It's getting really, really old.

#11 Edited by CaLe (4072 posts) -

He rated the game based on his own experience with it. Unless he is outright lying about the product I see no problem here. I say this as someone who views The Last of Us as one of the greatest games ever made, for whatever that's worth.

#12 Edited by McLargepants (407 posts) -

I really think you need to relax. I think TLoU is a fantastic game, but no "art" is ever appreciated by everyone. Go enjoy your game, and if a critic doesn't reflect your taste in the way you like, or you no longer find their reviews helpful just stop following them, and go back to enjoying video games.

#13 Posted by Twisted_Scot (1180 posts) -

Have never heard of this guy up until now so I cant comment on the bulk of his work but I followed the link and read his review for the Last of us. Not sure what the argument is here, he seemed to (as fairly as most outlets) give us a description of his experience of the game. For every pro he puts forward there seemed to be a con but that's his feelings. I kinda had a similar experience for this game. It was outstanding on looks, sounds, acting, design, pacing and all of that stuff but I felt the gameplay was pretty dull and just bad at parts. Since this is a game and not a movie I can see why people would criticize it harshly because of it. Most people seem to have enjoyed or at least been able to ignore those issues so good on them and im glad they enjoyed it but it really made it difficult for me to get real satisfaction from the game at least the stealth / action sections of the game.

#14 Posted by Sanity (1955 posts) -

Game reviews are nothing more then well thought out opinions, if you like that game and he hates it who cares? Its not like The Last of Us is lacking in great press anyways...

#15 Edited by oldenglishC (1023 posts) -

The word "scooch" is criminally underused.

#16 Edited by astupidvdcase (44 posts) -

@banefirelord: ummm, thats a huge assumption. its about appreciating things on a design level. Do you think a soccer mum would be able to appreciate the difference in RC planes or models if she had to review them? She would be like ummm, this is slightly faster than other and read the quote i quoted "What are you people talking about? "It' just his opinion, and everybody can state their opinions as they please..." now, this really is bulls**t! This is a matter of journalistic responsibility, it's not "just an opinion" to review a game only to his own liking, fandom or paycheck. Would it be "just an opinion" to you if a consumer journal would rate an unhealthy peace of fast food junk as a gourmet fitness meal perfectly suitable for your kids? No? Why not, it's just an opinion after all.."

#17 Edited by astupidvdcase (44 posts) -

@twisted_scot: why wouldnt he speak of the positive cause no one would take him seriously if he just bashed games. After all he is trying to be a legit reviewer, but he is let down by his pretentious nature. just read his opening about ladders which is pretty untrue. He simply goes by rating games on if he liked it or not. what if someone liked ACM? and rated it 5/5 and spoke of the positives and some negatives like TOm did. It would be outright dishonest.

@mildmolasses I already have a GT account and posted there quiet a few times.

#18 Posted by GERALTITUDE (3660 posts) -

Naaah.

You're wrong duder.

Tom Chick *does* know what he's talking about and he *is* a good reviewer. Further, he is 100% on the money: the idea that a score is an objective reflection of a game's quality is pure bull shit. And that very idea is the founding pillar of Giant Bomb. The review's here are based on experience, not an imaginary scale of Not Good -> Good decided on by a bunch of people who lack all the skills necessary to actually make and/or measure games. I see you only have 7 posts so maybe you are not that familiar with GB but yeah, that's the scoop.

I understand, if you're used to places like Polygon and IGN (which unlike many who are too cool, I actually like) that Chick's review's may seem inflammatory, but professional review rubrics are straight-up hilarious in their attempts to measure goodness. All the same, I won't fault them for trying to be like everyone else/every other industry.

If you read this post closely, @astupidvdcase you will see I'm calling you out a little: do *you* really have the skills necessary to measure the quality of games? What makes you think you know anything about the technical merits of any videogame? Rather than just insult you for ignorance I hope to push you in the right direction so you can actually learn something about this hobby you are clearly so passionate about. Maybe that makes me an asshole, but.. no wait, I am an asshole. Anyways - duder - fighting games are incredibly technically. Maybe among the most technical genres. You not knowing this is shocking. Not just that but your idea that we should praise one genre over any other instantly saps any credibility you might have - that's not how it works. TLOU may be "more important" than Hotline Miami, but you can't make any objective arguments about one being better than the other, though you may like one more.

My advice for you is to look into the actual process of making games at the AAA level. You should also download Unity, watch some tutorials, maybe learn some math, etc. Get an actually, tiny, 1% accurate idea of what a game is. Then write some reviews. Write a review that is 100% objective and then one that is 100% experience and then go back to Tom Chick and see how you feel. By the by if you actually want to know what Tom Chick is like you should listen to Three Moves Ahead, a strategy game podcast he's often on.

GBITMDS

#19 Posted by rebgav (1429 posts) -

Reviews are opinions, experiences are subjective, etc.

I'd like to put $10 on the OP getting banned within the week, who will take my money?

#20 Posted by spookytapes (270 posts) -

I don't know who this is, but I'd totally read Jack Chick review-tracts.

#21 Posted by Veektarius (5064 posts) -

Tom Chick's come up a few times in 'I hate this review' thread. I don't read him but it is possible he is too contrary for his own good.

#22 Posted by falserelic (5407 posts) -

least its not this chick...

#23 Posted by MildMolasses (3230 posts) -

@rebgav said:

Reviews are opinions, experiences are subjective, etc.

I'd like to put $10 on the OP getting banned within the week, who will take my money?

Only a fool would bet against that

#24 Posted by Tidel (362 posts) -

1. This isn't a question.

2. Tom Chick is good writer, far better than most of his contemporaries. I enjoy reading him; my enjoyment has nothing to do with whether or not I agree with his points. He expresses them well. That contentious first line is, I believe, a 'joke'. Whether or not it's funny is at your discretion.

3. I share @banefirelord sentiment. Like, seriously.

#25 Edited by JadeGL (991 posts) -

Game reviews, I believe, are always based on the reviewers personal experience with a game. They may weigh the story or the graphics highly, while dismissing issues with UI or gameplay bugs. Another reviewer may find those gameplay bugs, no matter how minor, a deal breaker and give more weight to them in their assessment of the product. Even if a game is universally loved or panned, those reviewers may have completely different reasons why they came to their final conclusion, even if their "scores" match in the end.

There is no set system for a reviewer to follow that says "Ten points for graphics, ten points for story, ten points for sound design" etc. There is no stone of Hammurabi here, no magic code that says that every person who calls themselves a "reviewer" needs to come to the exact same conclusion and score for a game for the exact same reasons.

So yeah, I think this is kind of a pointless endeavor. While I certainly don't agree with every review I read from every reviewer, I always temper my disappointment with the understanding that people have different ideas on what constitutes a good gaming experience and mine will always be slightly, or even radically, different than the people I follow on twitter, my friends, or reviewers that I tend to read.

Moderator
#26 Edited by astupidvdcase (44 posts) -

@rebgav: "Reviews are opinions, experiences are subjective, etc." i love when people throw this around when trying to rebut people who criticize BAD reviews.

ACM EGM 9/10 review "Oh the reviewer enjoyed the game and had positive experience" SO LETS FORGET ALL THE CRAP AND BS in it.

#27 Posted by Dallas_Raines (2221 posts) -

You have to do that dumb pallet thing like ten times throughout the story, it is incredibly stupid that they would re-use that mechanic so often.

#28 Posted by Popogeejo (616 posts) -

I was going to make a effort post in reply but then I realized you're an idiot who is mad that a guy made light of a game you like and now has a crazy fucking grudge. You also have no understanding of what being a game reviewer is and your problems with him and his view on not being able to make objective comments on a subjective subject means you've come to the wrong site.

Please just go and sign up to some blogging site and rant there instead of shitting up these already not-great boards.

Also, re: your most recent post; Yeah, you're fucking nuts and upset that someone thinks differently to a game you like. Go push some ladders.

#29 Posted by rebgav (1429 posts) -

@rebgav: "Reviews are opinions, experiences are subjective, etc." i love when people throw this around when trying to rebut people who criticize BAD reviews.

ACM EGM 9/10 review "Oh the reviewer enjoyed the game and had positive experience" SO LETS FORGET ALL THE CRAP AND BS in it.

All reviews are opinions, all experiences are subjective. That you would criticize one review for not being objective and not criticize all reviews for not being objective is just silliness. All of the reviews that you agree with are opinions, subjective.

#30 Posted by MildMolasses (3230 posts) -

You have to do that dumb pallet thing like ten times throughout the story, it is incredibly stupid that they would re-use that mechanic so often.

The worst part is that every time she just jumps onto it. If I couldn't swim and I was dependent on this pallet that barely stays at surface level to keep my above water, I would lower myself onto it pretty damn cautiously

#31 Posted by astupidvdcase (44 posts) -

@popogeejo: OK dude, strong assumptions.

@dallas_raines TBH yes its repetitive but i wouldn't call it stupid cause its used creatively a few times for storytelling and playing on player expectations. If they made you do it again and again with nothing happening than i would agree wiht Tom Chick. And yes I LIKE TLoU, but i simply didn't choose his TLoU review because im mad cause he dissed me favorite game. But because i played The Last of Us and its probably one his most polarising reviews. Lots of people LIKE and enjoy the latest call of duty clone but does that mean they all deserve 9/10 reviews even though they get them (freakin IGN). BRB MW3

#32 Posted by JazGalaxy (1576 posts) -

Well, the problem is that there are two ways to look at game reviews.

One is the pretentious route. This type of games journalist looks at what they do as "Grading" a game. They have put themselves in the role of professor and are grading the game on it's merits and essentially giving the developers a report card of the games merits. This is supposed to stand as public record for all time on whether the game was objectively "good".

The problem with this ratings systems is that the people who have placed themselves in the role of professor frequently have absolutely no idea how to make video games. Lately they tend to seem far more concerned that a game be "heady" or faux-intellectual above anything else.

The second type of games reviewer is providing a service for game buyers and letting them know whether a game is worth their money or not. This is how Jeff looks at Giant Bomb reviews. Indeed, this is what most game reviews were during the first few decades of videogames.

Personally, I think "games journalism" is like the concept of 24 hour news. There is a point at which you spend too much time engaging with a subject, and you suddenly lost sight of any sort of perspective. I can't tell you how many games journalists and bloggers I hear say
"we need to..." when talking about the games industry. As though they're a part of it when they're LESS a part of it than even the lowest level editors or modders.

#33 Posted by alwaysbebombing (1692 posts) -

"So while i was on neogaf"

That is never a good way to start a conversation.

#34 Edited by DharmaBum (1049 posts) -

lol

He's given plenty of good scores to "mainstream" games.

I love how quickly people who take issue with his writing resort to ad hominem attacks. Really does a service for the game they're desperately trying to defend.

#35 Posted by Sanity (1955 posts) -

I'll also say that some of his reviews dont line up with my taste, i recently read his Brave New World review (here) and was left wondering why someone who already hated Civ 5 reviewed its expansion. But here is the thing, i disagree with him on that but that doesn't make my opinion any more valid then his, it only means i disagree. Its not worth it to care about review scores, if you enjoy the game play it because you enjoy it and move on.

#36 Posted by astupidvdcase (44 posts) -

Tom Chick knows his stuff and every reviewer should follow his example so we could all make well informed choice on games we buy.

#37 Posted by JasonR86 (9738 posts) -

Who?

#38 Posted by MuttersomeTaxicab (681 posts) -

Also, Journalist =/= reviewer, champ. I don't know why this is always presumed with video games coverage. Reviewers are not beholden to the same illusory belief that the press should be objective. (Hell, even journalists don't really need to put on that much of a front when it comes to "appearing objective.")

Also also, I kind of love that Tom Chick is counted on Metacritic, especially whenever someone flips out about their favourite game's metacritic rating and leave hysterical comments on any offending review that is affecting that score.

#39 Posted by Popogeejo (616 posts) -

"Strong assumptions" is the new "YOU DON'T KNOW ME!" isn't it? Especially with the lack of actual retort.

NeoGaf had you pegged.

#40 Posted by Deranged (1859 posts) -

I'm not seeing the problem here. That's the reviewers own subjective opinion and you CANNOT prove an opinion wrong as it is subjective based off personal experience. There is honestly no reason to get worked up because he doesn't agree with the masses. People have their own tastes and some dislike what others love. This is very clear with various areas of media such as film, music, literature, etc.

In my opinion, I think The Last of Us is a fantastic game but no way in hell do I think that ANY game deserves a perfect score because no game is perfect. Hence the contradiction of a perfect score and the stupidity of a ratings system in general. More people seem to care about the score itself rather than what the review actually states and I believe that is the complete opposite intention of what a review is about.

#41 Posted by Killerfridge (319 posts) -

Tom Chick knows his stuff and every reviewer should follow his example so we could all make well informed choice on games we buy.

Is this sarcasm, or is it a really poor attempt to mask your long ass complaint as a troll?

#42 Posted by SharkEthic (1067 posts) -

Never heard of the guy, but he seems pretty well articulated and argues his points decently. A "crappy games critic" is not defined as someone that has a different opinion on a game than you, you know?

#43 Posted by Little_Socrates (5731 posts) -

Oh, GOD.

This just makes him dismissive and arrogant especially considering that ND really did a good job with mixing these sections up such as the trashcan rolling down and crashing the gate open and it plays on your expectation such as in spring when you boost ellie up at the zoo

and then he goes on to criticize the gameplay as "pedestrian" even though ND did a great job of the balance between stealth and gun-play, compared to many games where you get discovered and you are plunged into a dissatisfying shoot-out where you just either die immediately or are forced to gun down every enemy as fast as possible, and the transition between stealth and being discovered as suddenly Joel becomes overwhelmed before turning the tables again to become the hunter is a unique aspect of the game as well. The game also allows you to approach an engagement in many ways, using bomb traps, smoke or the bow or all of them.

These are subjective opinions. I think ND did a terrible job with the gameplay by including those dumb puzzle sections and including Clickers, the most miserable enemies I've fought in a video game in recent memory. I loathed playing The Last Of Us. That's why it's subjective.

Tom also uses a rating system based on how much he likes a game, but if everyone rated and reviewed a game on how much they liked it, it would be mad cause you will have people who don't like RTS and give Starcraft or something a 5/10 even though as an RTS and a game as a whole its a monumental achievement.

This is accurate. And it's also a valid opinion. Regarding your example: to RTS fans, maybe said game is a monumental achievement. But to non-RTS fans, it's impenetrable, boring, and not going to convert you into a fan. Simply put, non-enthusiast opinions are useful.

wat the hell is this. "A review is never going to be an objective measure of the quality of an inherently subjective experience.", what a pretentious knob cause journalist have a responsibility in their reviews to reflect the quality of the work being reviewed.

People simply disagree on the quality of the work. That isn't hard. Sure, TLOU is lavishly produced, but I disagree that it's special in really any other regard.

One think i believe in is scaling and relativity in reviews cause in the grand scheme of things Citizen Kane's of gaming (as people call them) like The Last of Us, or Half Life 2 or whichever Greatest game of all time should always be held in higher regard then even the BEST games in genre like fighting,

I vastly prefer Super Street Fighter IV to either The Last of Us, Half Life 2, or The Ocarina of Time. I would argue TLOU doesn't balance gameplay well and has the story of a decent season of television, Half Life 2 has a great opening and ending and miserable middle sequence on the highway, and The Ocarina of Time generally has simplistic and dull dungeon design and no combat design to speak of. I would give all three of these games middling reviews. That is exactly why reviews are subjective. Differing opinions are important. Don't be an asshole.

Also, Citizen Kane of Gaming.

#44 Posted by CitizenCoffeeCake (687 posts) -

Reviews depend on the critic's taste. I would hope that the reviews I read are based on what the reviewer likes and enjoys and they aren't thinking about some person who theoretically might enjoy the game they are reviewing.

Not to say I agree with this Tom Chick guy, I've never even heard of him.

#45 Posted by Humanity (10426 posts) -

@tread311 said:

Entitled to his opinion and all, but that opening line is pretty damn petty. I didn't completely love The Last of Us either but I certainly wouldn't start my critique with having to move ladders.

As superficially dismissive as it sounds, there is a lot of truth in that statement. I think people get so wrapped up in the story they tend to forget that large swathes of gameplay in the Last of Us were very mundane and forgettable.

All I'm saying is, he's not wrong.

Online
#46 Edited by believer258 (12301 posts) -

@astupidvdcase said:

@rebgav: "Reviews are opinions, experiences are subjective, etc." i love when people throw this around when trying to rebut people who criticize BAD reviews.

ACM EGM 9/10 review "Oh the reviewer enjoyed the game and had positive experience" SO LETS FORGET ALL THE CRAP AND BS in it.

All right. So let's talk about Chrono Trigger, which you said was overrated here. I, on the other hand, believe that Chrono Trigger is a nearly perfectly paced, brilliantly written, charmingly characterized, beautiful wonder of a game that no man, woman, or child should miss out on (and I only played it last year, don't pull the nostalgia shit). Its only real flaw is that it's too easy. Now, prove me wrong, with cited sources and facts.

Tom Chick can say whatever he wants to about a game. Why do you care? Can't you enjoy the game without the permission of every last reviewer who puts something down? I think Uncharted is a mediocre series and Saints Row the Third isn't actually funny, but that's not going to stop the people that enjoy those things from getting what they want out of them.

#47 Posted by dekkadekkadekka (744 posts) -

I think The Last of Us is terrible.

Come at me, OP.

#48 Edited by Sooty (8082 posts) -

VIDEO GAMES. (you guys)

#49 Posted by spankingaddict (2745 posts) -

His opening for his review for the TLOU is

The Last of Us is the most emotionally resonant game you will ever play about plank, ladder, and pallet management. To be fair you’ll sometimes scooch dumpsters around. At one point, you scooch a piano.

That is where I stopped taking the review seriously .

#50 Posted by Slag (5050 posts) -

@psylah said:

All this time I thought people were talking about JACK Chick! No joke.

haha me too. Man that dude's cartoons are crap! The linework is atrocious.

Not to mention the content.