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n00b squad
How I reviewed my summer vacation
How I reviewed my summer vacation: IGN vs. 1UP vs. Meta Reviews
A Review How-to
Posted by Tombo on 11-06-07

Commentary coming up faster and more furious than a Vin Diesel, mostly due to the Vin Diesel reference in this sentence. Crap, now there are two of them.

-Tombo

Put on the Glasses!
Posted by Tombo on 11-06-07

Before I delve into this week’s comic, my Press Start to Peter Moore shirt finally arrived yesterday. No longer must I stand by idly while Andre parades around the world in his Press Start to Peter Moore shirt that arrived far earlier than mine. No longer must I stand by and only assume that Andre is picking up chicks left, right, center, even above and under, with the magical powers of Peter Moore’s persona. No longer must I stand by and listen to Andre’s semi-biased opinion that the shirt is awesome.

Now…now I can now tell you truthfully with my 100% biased opinion that the shirt is indeed awesome. That shirt-receiving day ranked high in my books...*cries

Did you ever notice how game review scores are sometimes what you think it they will be before even going to check them at a particular site? Checking the review score has almost become a practice of making sure my inner-review scorer is in check with its site predictions.

IGN’s a consistent rock of not wildly issuing high review scores and staying in line with scores based on other games. Perhaps they achieve this by reporting to an Aurora Unit and it processes overnight to verify the score. Games like Mario Galaxy could be extremely difficult to calculate and would therefore explain why IGN doesn’t have a review up yet unlike the gun-jumping 1up.com.

Or you know, IGN could simply be waiting for the release date of Mario Galaxy and taking the time to do a proper review.

1up does seem to rush its reviews to try to be first. This results in review scores all over the map despite how good or bad a game is, usually a really high or a really low score. 1up is almost setup as a yang equivalent to IGN’s ying: short one page reviews compared to multi-page reports and a second opinion, fresh look game review score. Some games that do mediocre at 1up do well at IGN and vice-versa. For instance, God Hand received 6.0 at 1up and 3.0 at IGN. What did each site have to say about the game?

IGN: “The bottom line is that God Hand quickly becomes a boring, annoying and frustrating game.”

Huh, sounds like the game earned that low review score. Let’s see what 1up said:

1up: “God Hand sure looks like a fistful of fun...well, until you actually get your unholy hands on it.”

Hmm, perhaps the potential of the game boosted 1up’s review score opposed to the game itself and put it in line with out great 6.0-ish titles at 1up like Viva Piñata: Party Animals, Stranglehold (Stranglehold?!) and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08. Tiger Woods actually got higher than Stranglehold and God Hand with 6.5 although I question where any innovation was in that game.

My biggest beef, and not a good beef like a steak one might dine on but more like a rotten beef left on the street stinking in the LA heat, with 1up though came with its Mario Galaxy review score of 9.5. Maybe Mario Galaxy would deserve 9.5 at another site but I would think 10 is appropriate with glowing comments from 1up such as:

”In short, Galaxy is one of the most impressive, engrossing games in recent memory -- and quite the contrast to the rest of this year's triple-A gaming crop, which tends toward the dark, the M-rated, and the first-person perspective.”

“But don't play Galaxy simply because Mario is the timeless godfather of gaming. No, play Galaxy because it's fantastic.”

Now the first comment would indicate that maybe, just maybe, Galaxy would be better than the other 10s 1up gave recently including Virtua Fighter 5, Orange Box, Halo 3 and Bioshock. Maybe the reviewer tried to give Galaxy 10.5 and the system subtracted 0.5 from 10 instead. However, the score seems more like a Nintendo tax due to the nostalgia of all the old, great games it made and memories left burned into the minds of older gamers.

Sometimes I wish 1up would get a hold of this whole Internet thing too.


Time will tell if Galaxy deserved better with IGN’s review and a Meta review of the game. In a way, Meta reviews proclaim the inaccuracy of reviewing but are a useful tool to find the common denominator opinion for a game. Maybe IGN was “right”, maybe “1up” was right, maybe you were better off watching an assuming episode of a British person talking quickly and concisely with no punctuation and simple images. A Meta review says that no reviewer alone can be trusted and that they all must be judged as a whole to come to a final verdict on a product. All-in-all, another useful tool for the all powerful consumer.

-Tombo


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