Monday, November 30, 2009

Site reviews, business, bias and fanboyism....all related?

Take a long look......are the memories coming back to you? Ahhh the glory days of the video game industry. 1991-1996 was probably the best time to be a gamer. The games were engaging, fun and for some reason the music was extremely memorable and catchy in most of them. After the death of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, the industry changed very fast. For the better? Not really unfortunately. Somehow during the rein of the Nintendo 64, Nintendo became known as the "kiddie" company and it's something that still plagues them to this day. The games became more about technology and graphics and less about deep addictive gameplay. Sony and Microsoft have continued that path while Nintendo is carving their own direction with the Wii. Why am I writing this? Read on.

Most gaming sites cover the Wii and also review it's games. Do they do it because they actually like the system itself? Probably not. They cover the Wii because it's the market leader and that reason alone forces them to do it. The shadiness of the reviews for Wii games has gotten progressively worse as time has gone on since it's launch in 2006. How many times have you (being a Wii owner) read a review for a game you have actually played already and enjoyed immensely only to find out that for some reason this editor at some big site thinks the game is "meh" or average at best? You feel betrayed and want to fight back, so what do you do? You storm that site's forum or comment section and call them out on it explaining that you like the game and don't understand why they did what they did. Then of course you get called a Nintendo fanboy that just can't stand it when a game for the Wii is rated badly. "It's just one guys opinion, don't let it bother you", this kind of stuff is amazing and has been going on consistently for the three years the Wii has been on the market.

Why get worked up about a review? You like the game and that's all that matters right? For me, this is true for the most part. What is starting to really bother me is that other people are being affected by the so called "opinions" of these sites. Are they really opinions in the first place? Is actual Journalism being practiced? It's scary for me to think this but it really looks like the business aspect of these sites is taking over honest Journalism.

A perfect example of this for Wii games is the difference between the IGN reviews of The Conduit and Call of Duty Modern Warfare: Reflex Edition. If you read both reviews it will be easy to come to the conclusion that Modern Warfare isn't worth your money and that The Conduit is the kick ass FPS on Wii you've been waiting for. Now, go and actually play both games and tell me which one is better. It gets to the point where it's not an opinion anymore when the majority of gamers on Wii (like 90 percent) prefer Modern Warfare over The Conduit any day of the week and then some. We all have known by now that Matt C. and Mark Bozon both had their names in the credits for The Conduit and that they also hyped the hell out of that game. Did the business aspect come into play when reviewing The Conduit? It sadly appears so, and it's actually a great disservice to Wii owners to be misled like that. Modern Warfare didn't get a fair chance on IGN and it's shameful on their part. Thankfully other sites have actually played MW on the Wii and gave it fair thought out reviews, and not just a single page with misspelled words and grammar mistakes stating problems with the game that don't actually exist. If you don't plan on reviewing games fairly or if you know you're not going to be reviewing the final version of a game, don't review the freaking game and just leave it for the other sites that actually have the time to play it.

Am I a rambling complaining fanboy, or someone who just wants justice and fairness? I'm choosing fairness and even some honesty to go with it. Everyone is a fanboy of something so it's not like I'm going to deny that I'm a Nintendo fan. I do see Nintendo realistically though and there are many things that I don't like about them or have grown tired of; but it's just like being in a relationship with someone you really care about: You accept them for who they are. Nintendo serves my needs for a certain kind of gaming experience and I really enjoy it. I could care less about Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, they are worthless to me. You think that the Wii is a gimmick? How about those two? Think about this: If you were really such a "hardcore" gamer you wouldn't even be thinking about those two systems since you'd have a gaming PC that would crush them in a heartbeat. The real hardcore gamers own a PC and a Wii. One for amazing graphics and the other for fun inventive gameplay. If they are insanely hardcore then they would just own every system out there, but then that starts to fall into more of a collector's status.

So my advice to gaming sites who've gotten a big head is this: If you prefer analog sticks and HD gaming over motion controls on the Wii, don't bother covering the system and pretend it doesn't exist. I think we understand now; you don't like the Wii and you don't like it's motion controls, waggle and SD graphics. We get it. All your "live impression" videos (1up, Gamespot etc.) showing you purposely looking stupid while you shake the Wii remote excessively like an idiot and all your little side comments that sound more like insults than jokes have slowly but surely gotten your message across. Oh, what? You can't stop covering the Wii because you'll get way less hits and lose money? Well, I guess that's the reason why I'm writing this because it'll probably never stop.

Come on guys, you don't need to be a Nintendo Fanboy to see the bias that goes on with a lot of sites and magazines. It's there, even though they'll deny it to the bitter end.


Anonymous said...

Here's a link to a article, I dont think it's entirely accurate but makes for a interesting read.

Anonymous said...

Do you really think that there's some huge conspiracy theory across all gaming sites and all gaming media that just criticize the Wii for no reason? Of course not!

The Wii is considered family friendly for a reason and it's because Nintendo is marketing their system that way to make more money. Nintendo themselves admit to having done this!

Nintendogs, WiiFit, WiiMusic, etc. Come on, these types of games would have never appeared on the SNES. If people hate on the Wii it's because of their new approach, not because of the inferior graphics. Look at the DS!

There's a difference between being a Nintendo fan, and being a fanboy. A fanboy is blinded by the love they have for a company that they are unable to see their flaws.

A real fan in my opinion should be able to point out these flaws so that the company can hear the criticism and make their next console better.

You saying that the 360 and PS3 are worthless and a real gamer should own a PC and a Wii has the be one of the stupidest things I've ever heard anyone say.

Shouldn't a real gamer appreciate all games across all platforms?

Anonymous said...

People don't get called fanboys because they get on forums and say they disagree with the reviewer.

They get called fanboys when they make comments like "how dare Bozon show his face after a review like COD4".

And yes they are just opinions. Listen to an episode of Gamescoop. You'll constantly hear them disagree over video games and other people's reviews.

Bozon saw flaws in COD4 and it's control scheme compared to other Wii games. Other reviewers didn't see those flaws. So what?

When Redsteel came out Ign said the controls were broken but that the game had good graphics. I rented the game and couldn't believe that they said that about the graphics. To me they looked terrible and nowhere near as good as even some Gamecube games.

Does that mean that i'm biased just because we didn't agree on those two thigns? Of course not.

Metaldave said...

Not a conspiracy, it's just the way things are happening. Too many times have the same things happened, just like what I said in the post.

Are the 360 and PS3 worthless? Not if YOU don't think they are. For me, they are, so what? There is nothing wrong with people that own those systems or own all systems, I was just sharing my view point personally.

The nice thing about having a blog is that it's a blog! hahahaha, I can write my opinions and share what I personally feel about a subject without the fear of getting fired or sued by a different company. Isn't that nice? I love it.

The thought about a real gamer appreciating all platforms is just something that should be asked person to person. If you think I'm not a real gamer because I like Wii/PC, that's fine and I respect your opinion.

Anonymous said...

"IGN gives shitty reveiws." said my friend the XBOX360/PS3 gamer. See its not just a problem for the Wii. My opinion is IGN just isnt a good site to get an honest review.

Anonymous said...

Well if you think IGN gives bad reviews then that's fine.

It's not a matter of disliking IGN, it's a matter of ignoring apparent problems that the Wii has just because you're a fanboy.

Metaldave owns a powerful gaming PC an a Wii, and therefore is happy with only that. Good for him, he's entitled to his own opinion. But he belongs to a small majority of gamers who own a gaming PC. Most of us have a Wii and either a 360 or a PS3.

I like the Wii for what it's good at doing. Galaxy, Zelda, Prime, Smash, World of Good, Lost Winds, WiiSports, etc. I own all of these games and will continue to support Nintendo when it comes to these products.

I consider myself a proud Nintendo fan. I have Zelda posters on my wall in the living room and have Mario Shirts I wear out in public. I have owned every Nintendo Console ever and stood outside for 8 hours on the day the Wii launched just so that I could get the system and play Twilight Princess till 7 in the morning. I very much am a Nintendo fan.

But if I had the option of having a Zelda game that was as expansive as Fallout 3 and as pretty as Uncharted, versus having a Zelda on Xbox 1 hardware and motion controls, I would choose the first option. Same goes for Prime and Mario.

When people bitch about Nintendo it's because of it's online and hardware limitations.

I was one of the message board posters who defended the Gamecube till no end, but I cannot bring myself to do the same for the Wii because of these reasons.

Despite the fact that I enjoy my Wii, it has serious issues and is hated on because of them. The list of online features that the other systems are doing and that the Wii cannot do is staggering. Not to mention it's limited hardware.

You're fine with these issues because you have a gaming PC, fine. But the rest of society cannot accept the Wii's issues the way that you can and they have a right to bitch.

Metaldave said...

An untruthful review is an untruthful review anyway you look at it.

Also, if the gaming press really actually likes the Wii just as much as the other two systems they should review the system based on it's own merits and pretend that those systems don't exist so they can give a fair and balanced review without being pulled in a different direction by the HD consoles.

They would never admit that this is happening, but it's starting to look clear to me.

Anonymous said...

I disagree. I think they do review the Wii based on it's own merits. If COD4 exactly the way it is on the Wii came out on the PS3 with a peripheral that allowed you to control it the same way you can on the Wii, it would've gotten worse reviews.

Cesar said...

Now if someone writes a review and everything you read about it on other sites contradict what the first review says then there is a problem, it's not a review or opinion anymore it's just a lie. Bozon said the hit detection was off and the framerate suffers and he made them seem like big issues but if you go read different reviews you will see that most of them say it is not a big problem some don't even notice it. so I don't understand why would IGN rate this bad when everyone else says it's a good game.

Anonymous said...





Disclaimer: The preceding review is based on an event organized and paid for by Activision, in which media outlets were provided hotel rooms, each equipped with an Xbox 360 and copy of Modern Warfare 2. As this was Joystiq's only opportunity to review the game in advance of its release, we willingly deviated from our standard policy of not accepting accommodations and used the room. We did so because we felt that participating in this event best served the interest of our readers.


Anonymous said...

This is Riccitiello’s bio found from Wikipeida:

He received his B.S. degree from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. [1]

He then worked in a variety of consumer product companies including The Clorox Company (Brand Manager), PepsiCo (Group Marketing Director), Häagen-Dazs International (Managing Director), Wilson Sporting GoodsSara Lee Corporation (President and Chief Executive Officer, Bakery Division).[1] (President and Chief Executive Officer), and

From October 1997 though April 2004, Riccitiello became President and Chief Operating Officer of Electronic Arts [1]. He then left EA and co-founded Elevation Partners,[1] where Riccitiello served as Managing Director. In 2007, Riccitiello was re-hired by EA, this time to serve as CEO.

Elevation Partners is a general media company.

Riccitiello doesn’t understand gaming. He is a business drone. He is a foreigner to gaming. He is nothing more than an Industry machination. He is a machination for whatever “Industry” he is assigned to be it laundry detergent, soda water, sporting goods, or creme puff cakes. He was brought back to EA because EA was at the height of its success when he was around.

But the Industry machination is breaking down. No longer will it be possible to just apple The Formula to a game and get best sellers. The Industry’s “Formula” games, of course, do not work on the Wii. This is because most of Wii consumers reject “Formula” of the Industry in the first place (or else they would be owners of 360s and PS3s).

The problem with gaming is the Industry itself. The “Industry” is nothing more than foreigners of gaming coming in and inflicting on gamers their little business formulas.

Gaming was growing due to sector performance, due to population growth, due to increase of spending revenue. Gaming was never growing because game companies were expanding to reach new consumers. Now that the wheels of sector performance are in reverse, that population decline and recession are in effect, the “industry” is now shrinking and their only answer is to keep slashing prices.

The question is not how to save the Game Industry. The question is whether gaming needs an industry in the first place. I think gaming would be better off without characters like Riccitiello and Kotick.

Anonymous said...

I take back everything I’ve said about EA (excepting Peter Moore). I thought EA had a plan to reposition itself away from the collapsing Core Market and take advantage of the New Generation.

The blame has to go to the top guy, Riccitiello. The “businessmen” in the “Game Industry” are not half as bright as they think they are. Instead of laying off developers, perhaps Riccitiello should lay himself off.

He says:

“To be honest with you, I think the Wii platform has been a little weaker than we had certainly anticipated. And there is no lack of frustration to be doing that at precisely the time where we have the strongest third-party share,” Riccitiello told investors.

EA has the largest share due to them releasing more games than any other third party on the platform. Peter Moore’s success with some of the Wii sports games and that fitness game is also the reason why EA has the largest share.

“Frankly, I think they need more beats in the year than they get out of a first-party slate – to be able to have the Wii software platform perform as well as they would like. We are building the products that I think the most highly rated on the platform and at this point in time, generating the most revenue of any third-party platform.”

Is this a parody? Is the EA president demanding that Nintendo release more first party games as the reason EA’s games aren’t selling?

Back in Common Sense Land, you would think EA would be delighted that Nintendo isn’t putting out as much first party software. After all, we hear that Nintendo hogs all the software sales. EA should be giddy of less competition of software from Nintendo. But, no, they demand Nintendo put out more first party software!

It’s unreal. These company presidents just cannot blame themselves.

Nintendo needs to partner with third-parties at retail, said Riccitiello, to help both achieve success on a format suffering slower sales than last year.

Let me get this straight, when EA’s games were selling on the Wii, EA declared it was because of their genius and superb business skills. Now that EA’s games are not selling on the Wii, it is all Nintendo’s fault?

It is incredible how it is never the fault of the company that a third party game fails on the Wii. Yet, they always take the credit when a game does succeed on the Wii. What a double standard!

“I think driving revenues up on that platform from where we already are, which is up substantially from where we were a year ago, we are reaching out to Nintendo to find ways to partner to push third-party software harder.

“Wii is where we are missing it and so I really do think that the opportunity exists to find different ways to partner with first party in this case to sort of help establish in the minds of the consumer legitimacy of some of these other brands when they are going out multiplatform because very, very few multiplatform titles are succeeding on the Wii.”

And an investor says, “Hire Sean Malstrom as your consultant. Then, you will have never ending sales on the Wii.”

I told EA, on this merry page, that Dead Space: Extraction was DOA, that the company had no idea what they were doing with it. Analysts and Reggie are blaming “marketing” (Reggie, a marketer, naturally sees everything through a lens of ‘marketing’).

Investors should place Peter Moore as President of EA

Anonymous said...

"The real hardcore gamers own a PC and a Wii."

Glad I am not the only one.. WiiPC FTW!! Wii + PC = Total Hardcore Gaming. X360 + PS3 = Kiddies who think they are hardcore gamers.

Anonymous said...

if there's no anti nintendoizm

then explain activitions hiding of cod reflex and no advertising whats so ever why would a publisher gimp there own games marketing....

ANSWER so they can then blame wii wen it doesn't sell instead of themselves ADDING TO THE MYTH Wii is casual

3rd party and sony and microsoft think this will cripple wii allowing there return to the top

what is in fact happening is the consumer has chosen wii and will continue to do so

if nintendo and wii are so terrible explain record sales and record profits

as x360 has a 6 billion debt and ps3 has eaten all profits ps2 ever made and is crippling the whole sony corp

if your right and debt and crash is the future of gaming then just continue with fingers in ears going lar lar lar

sony and microsoft fans loss debt lack of innovation and shrinking industry is in no way A GOOD THING nintendo is giggling at you

combine all ds type userbase with all wii userbase then add the fasct they all operate at profit before a single game for them sells

nintendo have got like 50 to 70 % of this industry to them selves the industry is at war with nintendo and to get you on side they fill your head with DELUSIONS OF HARDCORE


Anonymous said...

Lets look at the situation with The Conduit, the intent was to make use of shaders and effects not commonly found in Wii games and showcasing this through a simple FPS.
The game gained alot of hype and was being monitored but then along comes article writers demanding the game be on par with Halo and Killzone and then when that fails they throw out: "It's generic." which can be appied to like fifty of any games released on either the PS3 or 360 this past year but because it's on Wii it's used as if it's a bad thing.

Anonymous said...

I agree that there will always be some bias. I'm an old school gamer. I still have my 5200, 7800, Genesis, SNES, N64, Gamecube, Dreamcast, PS1, XBOX1, PS2, etc. It's funny but, when I was growing up, my ATARI buddies would meet with COLECO owners in the school cafeteria and "bust out" the videogames magazines to argue which system was superior. LOL! We were all fanboys then! Now with the internet, anyone can publish an article and write a review. I totally agree that the bias is rampant in most of the gaming sites. And many assume if it's not HD, it can't be worthy of playing/purchasing. It seems the Wii shook up the industry a bit. LOL.

There will always be room for two or three competing consoles and I could certainly appreciate what each system brings to the table. By the way, I bought all three systems last generation. This generation however, I chose the Wii at launch and will probably buy the PS3 soon.

My point is, when someone "invests" in one system, they always seem compelled to defend their purchase. I can't really blame them if they could only afford one! If I had the money, I would have all three consoles! Ironically, I consider myself an early adopter, but the HD consoles at launch were a little too pricey this generation.

I am extremely happy with my Wii, but I would like to get into the others soon. (My current setup include's SONY's last XBR HD CRT 34" Widescreen with a 5.1 surround system that screams! Trust me, the Wii still kicks ass at 480p! I read somewhere that the Wii was optimized for CRT monitors as opposed to LCD monitors. And by the way, Darkside Chronicles and Modern Warfare Reflex is the itshay!

Sitting back and watching the console wars/debate continue, I can't help but chuckle as it's pretty much the same old arguement...

P.S. I do find it amusing that two years ago it was "Waggling sucks and the Wii is a fad"! Now it's, "Well, OUR motion control will be better because..."

Dv8thwonder said...

PS3 and 360 are the complete opposite of hardcore gaming. I would go so far as to say that each HD (ha!) console is more casual than the Wii. Sony and Microsoft (especially Sony) overemphasize the multimedia aspects of their platforms more than the games themselves. Social networking and video on demand services? It's clear to anyone that these two consoles do not have 'true gamers' in mind.

Metaldave said...

I'm liking the difference of opinion with you guys. Some you think I'm an idiot and some don't, you can't make everyone happy.....

Anonymous said...

nintendo has 52% of home hardware sales and 50% home console software sales.........

that is total and utter domination and is only going to get bigger ds dsi sheer owns portable gaming....


its called creative destruction destroy something and replace it with something better...........

xbox 1 total loss 4 billion,

x360 total loss plus 4 billion and counting...

ps3 4.5 billion loss and counting

sony corp operating in the red billions in loss

nintendo the most profitale company on earth per employee

nintendo the most profitable video-game company on earth

nintendo more valuable on the stock exchange than sony ..

Mario kart and wii fit both easily out sold gta and every ps3 exclusive has been blown out the water by wii game sales.....

metroid prime 3 out sold killzone 2 and haze combined

look at whats happening nintendo is chipping away at
everyone else's share

psp go flops dsi xl of to a winning start vitality senser coming in 2010

the HD twins can only go down there a bastardization of everything gaming

Anonymous said...