#1 Edited by mrangryface (771 posts) -

I was talking with someone today about Bastion's release and the destructoid review was quoted as an indicator of its quality. I mentioned that the review was alone in what could be considered a majority of good reviews. I was then reminded of the gaming pub industry ties and teh bias omg.

Why is this a big deal? Why is this a big deal when its so obvious that game publishers spend a good portion of their time trying to sway reviews this way and that as a standard practice for all of their games. Why in this instance is it OMG why bother trusting ANY review of Bastion that isnt overly harsh. Why is it only a harsh review seems like it could be a real review? Is it the fact that its in the minority, or that its harsh?

#2 Edited by Kibblez (702 posts) -

I do generally like Jim Sterling, but I feel his style of reviewing is far too naval-gazely. Some might say that's the purest way to approach a subjective review, but I just don't think you can criticise games that way. Looking at his Assassin's Creed 2 review, it makes me sad to think that some people might have avoided that game and missed out on one of the best games this gen, all because of his weird  and ultimately unique complaints.

#3 Posted by EuanDewar (4516 posts) -

No comment.

#4 Posted by mrangryface (771 posts) -

Im fine with bad reviews- but people wont even give the game a chance because of this one review on a site that normally wouldnt get a second look.

#5 Posted by Little_Socrates (5651 posts) -

The same reason some people only believe the things Yahtzee says. Ultimately, though, when you sit and seriously think about any game for a long time, some elements fall apart and make the whole experience feel stupid. For example, John Marston is not the greatest gunslinger in the west and is not any kind of super soldier, but he kills roughly 600-700 people over the course of the game? Isn't this game about its story and not its gameplay anyways?

Some games stand up to this scrutiny. Some games only survive in this scrutiny. I won't speak for Bastion as I haven't played it.

#6 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -

I feel like this thread is dealing with two different issues.

1. Destructoid is a consistently horrible website.

2. When you have journalists working in an industry, they are going to develop relationships with people in that industry. There is no way to avoid this. Good journalists are able to identify when there is a significant conflict of interest, and to compensate or avoid a topic all together.

#7 Posted by mrangryface (771 posts) -

@nintendoeats: You're right, the original post is fueled by frustration so its a bit all over the place. I just dont get why suddenly a destructoid review is the be all end all simply because its the one negative review.

#8 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -

@mrangryface: If we had a freakout every time Destructoid gave an otherwise beloved game a poor review, the internet would grind to a halt.

#9 Posted by Jazzycola (662 posts) -

Any person that bases their purchasing decision on a game off of one review is:

A) a person that was just trying to find an excuse to not buy the game because they weren't actually going to get it anyway.

B) a person that has such a weak ideology that they take one person's review and spin it as their own. Reviews are supposed to inform you on things that a product does well and not so well. One review shouldn't be the deciding factor of a game.

C) a troll.

#10 Posted by WilliamHenry (1195 posts) -

@mrangryface said:

@nintendoeats: You're right, the original post is fueled by frustration so its a bit all over the place. I just dont get why suddenly a destructoid review is the be all end all simply because its the one negative review.

Stupid people probably think because its the only negative review that its the only "honest" review.

#11 Posted by SixtyXCelph (211 posts) -
@DivineCC said:

Stupid people probably think because its the only negative review that its the only "honest" review.

I don't know if it's necessarily as simple as "stupid people", but yeah, that.  I tend to start ignoring things if I'm constantly hearing everywhere that something is ball-crushingly amazing.  An excellent for instance, Black Swan.  My friends won't shut up about how life-changingly great it is, so, I kind o' don't want to see it anymore...
 
That said, I have zero intention of avoiding Bastion, because it seems pretty awesome.
#12 Edited by Torrim (326 posts) -

I just stopped reading reviews, problem solved. I found that I was most often burned by products that were reviewed highly than ones that weren't, often because I think game reviewers look at and judge products on all fronts, whereas I just tend to look at the parts of a game that interest me. I'd use multiplayer as an example, if I'm not engaged it's no big loss considering I usually wasn't interested in it in the first place, where as game reviewers would heavily dock a game if a multiplayer component was underwhelming. Even then, I seem to enjoy most games I play and out of buying/playing ~20 games a year I end up hating maybe 1 or 2 of those products because I'm not a dumbass who runs out to buy a "decent" looking game at full price and then whine about it's a miserable pile of shit when it's actually just okay.

#13 Posted by RockinKemosabe (619 posts) -

Wasn't there a conversation between Jeff and David Jaffe about this during the E3 podcasts?

#14 Posted by project343 (2808 posts) -

Personally, I consistently dislike and feel disconnected from Destructoid's reviews. But as others have mentioned, this thread is dealing with two distinct issues.

#15 Posted by kelbear (496 posts) -

Never take Destructoid reviews seriously, they're just an elaborate troll. And you know the rule: Don't feed the trolls.  
 
I really don't see why anyone goes there? What's the appeal? As far as I can tell the only thing that puts the website on anyone's radar is when they successfully troll someone with a review.

#16 Posted by 71Ranchero (2582 posts) -

Well I think the first issue here is that Jim Sterling reviews in "character". I am not a person that uses reviews of any kind but even I can tell that regardless of what Jim things of a game ultimately his persona is doing the review and not him. Take that as you will. 
 
Reviews will always be a point of contention and if there isnt any then someone will find a way to make it controversial in some way. Thats the nature of the fairly immature base of users that will only buy a game that scores over 95% on a trashy website like Metacritic. So why is Bastion getting singled out and reviews coming under scrutiny? Its simple, its because its a great game and also a media darling. 

#17 Edited by Tizzzzzz (45 posts) -

I think reviews in the minority will always look like the "sane" reviews only in the sense that they stick out so people will notice them more. Another problem though is in thinking Jim's review of the game is negative though. Jim's got his problems with the game but he still recommends that people check it out, and as an XBLA title there is a free trial so if anything the perception of a 6.5 as a "bad" score seems to be the problem. Yes, it sucks that there are people who are potentially so caught up in a single website that they'll use a 6.5 as a reason to not buy a game that they might actually enjoy or potentially even check out the trial for, but I don't think that's Destructoid's fault. People suck, I guess?
 
Off-topic I guess, but Is there any particular reason that people would say Destructoid is a trolling site other than Jim's pretty abrasive personality? Statistically they don't seem to rate that differently from Joystiq or Gamespot, and their average rating, despite praising the full use of the 10 point scale, is actually higher than IGN's, if I'm to believe Metacritic anyway. They also seem to give the majority of "blockbuster" games high or at least positive marks; the biggest [and only] exception I can think of is Assassin's Creed 2. If they're reviewing games for attention I don't think they're doing a very good job at it...

#18 Posted by Hailinel (22752 posts) -

With the amount of high praise it's receiving, I'm waiting for the inevitable Bastion backlash, where seemingly a million people come out of the woodwork to explain why the game is overrated to hell and back.

Because you know it's inevitable.

#19 Posted by Khann (2622 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

With the amount of high praise it's receiving, I'm waiting for the inevitable Bastion backlash, where seemingly a million people come out of the woodwork to explain why the game is overrated to hell and back.

Because you know it's inevitable.

On this site? Probably not. Anyone who did would get completely ass-fucked.

#20 Posted by Hailinel (22752 posts) -

@Khann said:

@Hailinel said:

With the amount of high praise it's receiving, I'm waiting for the inevitable Bastion backlash, where seemingly a million people come out of the woodwork to explain why the game is overrated to hell and back.

Because you know it's inevitable.

On this site? Probably not. Anyone who did would get completely ass-fucked.

I'd say that only makes it more likely. Where better to blast the game than at the very core of its adoration?

#21 Posted by GunslingerPanda (4487 posts) -

Your first problem is having a friend who uses Destructoid.

#22 Edited by Marokai (2640 posts) -

I guess this might be a little unrelated, but: I don't think for a second that I'm representative of a very large number of people, usually, but I do like to think that alot of people out there share my tendency on reviews: Great reviews generally tell me absolutely nothing. Praise is very easy to make and more often than not, IMO, is totally empty. Saying something is great doesn't give me alot of information. Complaining about something or taking issue with certain parts of the game do tell me something. I tend to prefer reading critical reviews over ones that are disproportionately positive, even in games that are amazing, and if there's a conflict of interest I become even more worries that game critics aren't actually going to try and be critical. (For instance, when I was deciding whether or not to buy Persona 3 and Persona 4, I read user reviews that scored it horribly to give me a feeling of whether or not I should buy it. The negative reviews convinced me and I fell in love with those two games.)
 
And as for Jim Sterling, I think he gets a bad rep unfairly. Sterling does two things I wish other reviewers did more of: 
 
His reviews are actually his opinions on a game. Everyone likes to say that reviews are that reviewers personal opinion, but more often than not they actually totally aren't. They tend to be that person's personal opinion.. prettied up by what they think the game actually deserves outside of what they think. It's the reviewer equivalent of "I don't like that _____ but I'm sure it's great." For instance, Jeff gave Bioshock 2 four stars. He then spent the rest of 2010 talking shit about it. Brad said all sorts of glowing things about ME2's combat in his review of it, and then spent the rest of the year shit talking the combat. Sterling almost never seems to do that. His reviews are his pure unfiltered opinion. If someone thinks that a review is or should be that person's opinion on the game, they should be supportive of what Sterling does.
 
Also, Sterling is one of the few reviewers I can think of that actually uses the score scale properly. He doesn't hand out perfect scores constantly, and nearly every game doesn't always end up with a default "shit ain't totally broken" score of 7/10. He scores a game much more fairly. 6.5 for him is actually good because it's actually above average. But it looks bad compared to everyone else that almost never hands out scores lower than a 5/10 and more often than not (Game Informer is particularly guilty of this) just gives out 7/10s like they're candy. Sterling seems to recognize that there's not much of a point to a score scale if you're not going to actually use all the numbers on it.

#23 Posted by Yanngc33 (4496 posts) -
@GunslingerPanda

Your first problem is having a friend who uses Destructoid.

His second problem is taking a Jim Sterling review seriously
#24 Posted by mnzy (2909 posts) -
@Khann said:

@Hailinel said:

With the amount of high praise it's receiving, I'm waiting for the inevitable Bastion backlash, where seemingly a million people come out of the woodwork to explain why the game is overrated to hell and back.

Because you know it's inevitable.

On this site? Probably not. Anyone who did would get completely ass-fucked.

Happened with Limbo, Braid, LA Noire and even Mass Effect 2. Wouldn't be surprised if that happened again.
#25 Posted by Kyle (2323 posts) -

People love to shout "teh bias" about things on the internet. It's how dumb people make themselves feel smart. See, because if you trust a review, you are gullible and stupid; you don't share the insight they have that all game reviewers are teh bias.

It's the same for the money hat people that go around saying "hmmm, wonder how much they got payed for THAT score..."

It makes them feel keyed in, like they have insider knowledge, when really they're just wandering about spouting shit.

#26 Posted by Babylonian (836 posts) -

If I had to guess, I'd say it comes from the same part of people who comment "FAKE" on every YouTube video they watch. It's a preemptive strike against getting fooled - these people are so nervous about having the wool pulled over their eyes in any context that they accuse literally everything of being fraudulent. It's pretty pathetic!

#27 Posted by kingzetta (4307 posts) -

Same with why is everyone's "honest opinion" always something very negative? 
Why can't someone honestly like something .

#28 Edited by SoldierG654342 (1687 posts) -
@Marokai said:

If someone thinks that a review is or should be that person's opinion on the game, they should be supportive of what Sterling does.

Not necessarily. I'm fairly certain that he's gone on record in saying that most of what he dose he does under a persona that he assumes to rile people up. Regardless of how I feel about his style of reveiw and use of the scoring scale, he is still literally a professional troll.  
 
On the topic at hand; It's always wise to take into consideration a dissenting opinion, if only to stress-test your own. And bias is a real thing actually exists, despite it's current status as a scapegoat, which is why Giantbomb recused themselves from reviewing the game.
#29 Posted by Hailinel (22752 posts) -

@kingzetta said:

Same with why is everyone's "honest opinion" always something very negative? Why can't someone honestly like something .

Because if you honestly like the wrong game, you're just as likely to find people ready and willing to anally rape you in the forums. Believe me, I know this first hand.

#30 Posted by dragonzord (809 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

With the amount of high praise it's receiving, I'm waiting for the inevitable Bastion backlash, where seemingly a million people come out of the woodwork to explain why the game is overrated to hell and back.

Because you know it's inevitable.

For the record, I would like to state that I didn't like it before it was cool.

#31 Posted by kingzetta (4307 posts) -
@Hailinel said:

@kingzetta said:

Same with why is everyone's "honest opinion" always something very negative? Why can't someone honestly like something .

Because if you honestly like the wrong game, you're just as likely to find people ready and willing to anally rape you in the forums. Believe me, I know this first hand.

Oh no I know that first hand too. No one honestly likes more "bad" games than me.
#32 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8698 posts) -

Eventually its their own loss.
All you can do is keep nodding them in the right direction or gift  a game during a steam sale (the way I got 3 people hooked on The Witcher).
I know some people who think themselves to be gaming gods, yet they won't touch Assassin's Creed, Mass Effect, Halo for example...their loss, and they'll hopefully find out.

#33 Posted by dragonzord (809 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

@kingzetta said:

Same with why is everyone's "honest opinion" always something very negative? Why can't someone honestly like something .

Because if you honestly like the wrong game, you're just as likely to find people ready and willing to anally rape you in the forums. Believe me, I know this first hand.

It's only negative if you perceive if that way. I don't like Borderlands, and I can state way, but since the majority of the users on here rely on the staff's every words, I'll be torn apart for being 'overly negative'.

Where as, I could tell you about the problems with Duke Nukem and you'd get 'lol yeah. i'm a wizard and that game looks fucked up XD'

#34 Posted by m0rdr3d (474 posts) -

Because there are conflicts of interest around every corner in the gaming press.  And anyone being realistic will recognize it in the case of Bastion as well.  I'm not sayin there aren't some reviews that are valid.  But I'd say the point is don't outright trust any review and just play the trial for yourself. 
There's also the sad fact that, with sites such as Giant Bomb with loyal followings, there are a lot of "Duders" on the forums who can't seem to think for themselves and will defend the editor-loved game to their dying breath.  That makes some people come out oppositely in reaction.
#35 Edited by GaspoweR (2517 posts) -

Well, this is a topic that has been beaten senselessly ever since gaming reviews have been blowing up all over the internet.

Basically, at the end of it all, at least this game would have more of a chance of getting bought since people can just get a trial version of it regardless of a review. A reviewers opinion of the game would reflect his game experience. He never said it was a horrible game but he never had much fun with it either. He also didn't find the narration to be good since he basically equated it to a magic trick with the "smoke and mirrors" analogy that was compared to the dynamic narration of the game. Well, this is coming from a reviewer who LOVED Deadly Premonition over this game that was essentially made by 5 people + 1 person who had to fly in from NY from time to time to do the voice over.

What matters is that "YOU", yes YOU, like the game.

#36 Posted by blackbird415 (777 posts) -

because its something obvious and easy to point out and sound like your bringing something necessary to light. In reality theres plenty of "conflict of interest" Alex Navarro and harmonix. Matthew Rorie from obsidian. There are many people from all different walks of the game industry. When it comes to product journalism it happens. im gonna get a copy of bastion. I enjoy Greg Kasavin'swork and the artwork in it is very well done and deserves recognition.

#37 Posted by DoNotBanMe (45 posts) -

This game is overrated.