Icon's forum posts

#1 Posted by Icon (16 posts) -


Down for most nights and weekends. Feel free to add me!

#2 Posted by Icon (16 posts) -

Solid top three. Terraria is a game I had no expectations for, and bought for only $2.50, but have spent almost 40 hours playing. It's nothing more than escapism, but there's always a place for a game you can play for small chunks of time either alone or with friends. I treat Binding of Isaac the same way, but that game has more structure to it, which is why I dug it more than Terraria.

I think you missed out on an opportunity to call this topic/blog 'Without Delai',' btw!

#3 Posted by Icon (16 posts) -

I've had to replace my PS2 controller twice (soon to be three times due to a faulty R1 button and slightly frayed cord), but other than that, never. Then again, the PS2 is the only system I've ever had one controller at a time for, so maybe that has something to do with it.

#4 Edited by Icon (16 posts) -

@sanchopanza: No, you are not alone in that. In the first exchange, Manveer had a misunderstanding of what criticism means when applying it to a medium. It does not mean to point out only the negatives (which is what he believes), but to critique (as Patrick believes and practices, given his Skyward Sword review). But now Manveer is advocating a two-tiered review system that serve anyone. It doesn't serve the publications, as reviews without scores go largely unread. And it doesn't serve the reader, as the system segregates critical thinking and reductive reasoning into two different pieces, the latter of which would be more widely read.

I think he's backed himself into a corner by stating earlier that criticism has no place in a review (a ridiculous argument), and now he's making up absurd alternatives when the logical end to his argument is the realization that criticism has a place - a vital place - in a review. The simple solution is thus: write better reviews. Unfortunately, that simple solution is difficult to achieve. A well-written review receives the same amount of hits as a poorly-written review, so what's the incentive (from the publication's point of view) to seek out intelligent writers?

#5 Posted by Icon (16 posts) -

Considering that the Obama administration has consistently ignored many of its promises, even when the majority of Americans want its government to act on said promises, I will remain sceptic. Hopefully I will be proven wrong in this case.

#6 Posted by Icon (16 posts) -

@Deff_Janiels said:

Yeah like someone from Bioware gets to talk about good writing. Dragon Age has some of the worst writing this generation.

But... Manveer is a designer working on Mass Effect 3.

#7 Posted by Icon (16 posts) -

@Christoffer said:

You say I misunderstand critisism and then acknowledge there's different levels of critique? There's your reason why this debate has been going on since October. There is no standard and that's the problem. Where's the line between what you can measure (objectivity) and can't measure (subjectivity)? Why isn't the linearity in Uncharted criticised on the same level as any other linear game? When you say Parkin explains his point I presume you mean this:

"but, at the same time, beneath the spectacle there's a nagging feeling that your presence in the scene is an irritation rather than a preference. Your freedom of choice risks ruining the shot. Indeed, throughout the game, if you jump into an area you are not supposed to visit, Drake will crumple on the floor dead, Naughty Dog switching role from movie director to vindictive god. That is not your predestined path: Game Over."

He speaks of a "feeling" (subjectivity) but can't argue beyond that. Can you tell me why this doesn't concern CoD, Limbo or Portal 2? If I was a game developer, I would think this critisism was unfair and irrelevant to any gamer who happens to love cinematic and linear games.

He does argue beyond that. Read the first three paragraphs and then look at how he ends the scene: "cut." Or paragraph eight: "...the developer's theatrical choreography and player-controlled interactions is clear. In order to ensure each set-piece is set off correctly, the game commits the cardinal sin of insinuating you have full control of your character, but in fact tugging you towards trigger points..." Or this excerpt which you omitted before your choice quote: "...mistimed leaps are given a gentle physics-defying boost to reduce the staccato rhythm of having to restart a section." He's using language, both subtly and explicitly, to explain that there's a disconnect the game the player wants to play and the game that the game wants the player to play (say that five times fast!). Perkin doesn't just say there's a feeling the game gives off, as you suggest. He aptly describes the sensations he felt while playing the game.

Other games aren't relevant when judging Uncharted 3 as a single-player experience, and that is why Parkin only discusses Uncharted 3. The game is judged on its own merits. Parkin critiques the game based on how effectively it masks its cinematic roots, and using his examples, he argues that the choreographed set pieces are often distracting. There is no need to incite other linear experiences.

As for the line between subjective and objective that you mentioned, it's simply what I said earlier: techniques that the author(s) use. These are going to vary based on the medium. Staccato drums in music, religious allegories in literature, the use of lenses in cinema, framing in comics, etc. The critic then notes these techniques and uses them to build an argument. For an example of that, look no further than Screened.com's excellent analysis of High and Low: http://www.screened.com/news/can-black-and-white-still-matter-a-look-at-kurosawas-high-and-low/3187/

#8 Edited by Icon (16 posts) -

@Christoffer said:

@Icon said:

I disagree with his, and Manveer's, stance that reviews and criticism should be separated, however. They are one in the same. A review is criticism.

I don't think you get his point at all. Ones opinion of a game (or any kind of media) is never the sum of it's parts. Good music can be highly regarded even if the sound isn't top notch. Litterature isn't worse if there's a few typos. I think readers can misunderstand the quality, or the purpose, of a game if the reviewers get into such detail.

Also, you need to untangle that "pie inside of a cake" allegory. Do you suggest Uncharted claimed to be an open-world game inside a linear game? I don't get it?

I think you have a misunderstanding of what criticism is. That's okay. A lot of people do. That's why this argument hasn't stopped since it began in October. A critical work does not judge another work by the 'sum of its parts.' It simply relates the merit of the work to the reader. Kind of sounds like a review, doesn't it? There are certainly different levels of critique, but you won't find typos discussed in criticism unless we're talking about textual criticism, in which case it is very important.

The issue behind the original review wasn't that it covered trivial aspects like 'a few typos' or the fidelity of the music. Nor was Manveer's issue with the reductionist nature of some reviews; that's something he now finds 'abhorrent' (In fact, Manveer seems to shrug off all attempts to compartmentalize a review, but strangely holds tight on the score). Manveer's issue with the review was that it went beyond the game, giving the game real world context, while still giving the game a score. His distinction - his only distinction - is that reviews have scores, criticism does not. He also states that criticism is objective, while reviews are subjective, but that's just silly. While there are objective techniques used to develop an argument, at the end of the day, it is still an argument and an argument is only as strong as the evidence. If the objective measurements are used poorly, it is a poor argument.

As for the analogy, Uncharted 3 the game is the pie, while Uncharted 3 the linear, cinematic experience is the cake. Parkin claims that the cake gets in the way of the pie, or rather, that the game's tight scripted narrative intrudes on the exciting gameplay far too often.

#9 Posted by Icon (16 posts) -

I take issue with the pie analogy. Parkin clearly defines his argument early on in the review, and he is not critiquing Uncharted 3 because it is not a cake. He is critiquing Uncharted 3 because it is a pie inside of a cake.

gets to the heart of the issue in his great post: the public simply doesn't care for criticism. Criticism, sadly, is for enthusiasts. I disagree with his, and Manveer's, stance that reviews and criticism should be separated, however. They are one in the same. A review is criticism. While the language in most video game reviews is more casual and less technical than the language in film theory or certain book reviews, they both challenge the work's worth.

And maybe I'm wrong with the 'less technical ' claim. Game reviews have developed their own language, especially in the last 5 years. Maybe jankiness is the new mise-en-scène and GiantBomb will pioneer work in the field of Jank Theory!

#10 Edited by Icon (16 posts) -


as for the story, I don't think this is such a bad idea. if they're confident their game is good enough to hook people, limiting the amount of customers to ensure a smooth roll-out sounds like a good plan. this is also one of the rare instances of EA refusing to take your money at any opportunity.