I’ve been poking at some reviews and my brain has really been breaking.
First up was Zero Punctuation’s Brawl review, which sorta blindsided me as a good 90% of the time I agree with the guy. Sure he’s more in the mainstream mindset (as seen in the review of Umbrella Chronicles where he bitched about how weird it was that it was on-rails), but generally we agree. Halo 3 was nice but far from great, Turok is laughable in multiple ways, No More Heroes was heavily flawed but simultaneously awesome, ect.
But the Brawl review caught me off guard with so many things wrong with it (especially him calling Brawl a “button masher”), and more terrifyingly, the vast number of people that agreed. It was like everyone suddenly decided that Brawl sucked. Only THEN did I realize this was nothing new. Brawl recieved the FFVII effect, people who know nothing about the game buying it based purely on massive word-of-mouth hype. To people who aren’t in-the-know, Brawl is a shallow and generic fighting game that would have gotten a 5/10 if it didn’t have Nintendo characters.
They are, of course, oblivious to the brilliance of Smash Bros., the fact that it is wildly different from every other fighter breaking many taboos (and Tabuus! *rim-shot*) and simplifying combat back down to it’s purest form. In essence it succeeds where Virtua Fighter failed horribly. That is to say, it simplified fighting games into something accessible and fun (wheras Virtua Fighter attempted that and accidentally created the button mashing mess that is the 3D fighter).
So yeah, just like why Melee wasn’t one of X-Play’s greatest games they ever reviewed, neither is Brawl due to the same misunderstandings (and I still say everyone that complains about Subspace Emissary is the problem with gaming today. SSE isn’t perfect, but it’s one of the better games I’ve played. I’ll take forced scrolling and mine carts over shitty puzzles and sneaking any day!). Some people just don’t “get” it. They fail. Smash Bros. is one of the greatest games ever made from a purely unbiased standpoint (not I sad Smash not Brawl specifically as Brawl has some irritating bugs that prevents it from perfection. I am still unsure if it’s as good as Melee in it’s core game). So yeah, Yahtzee gets a “Get Out of Jail Free” card on this one.
If I wanted to be a smug asshole I’d say “He’s not a real gamer, he just doesn’t get it! XD”. But I won’t…or rather, I will but I’ll do it in quotes and pretend I didn’t! :D
Moving on I poked at some Metacritic and broke my brain some more at the Battle of the Bands reviews:
“It’s a fun little title that will prove especially pleasing to those who can’t wrap their heads around Rock Band or Guitar Hero. It doesn’t have the addictive staying power of those two heavyweight franchises but it’s an accessible rhythm game that’s perfect for the casual gamer and younger rock-god wannabes alike.”
This one is alright, but the continual abuse of the term “casual gamer” does bother me. It’s like a backhanded compliment when they say things like this.
“Battle of the Bands is pretty fun, and it?s definitely a cheaper option in the whole music game fad than the peripheral-laden titles out there, but there?s just not a lot of depth there.”
THIS ONE, however, REALLY bothers me on two accounts:
#1) Music Game FAD.
#2) Not alot of depth.
See, when people bring up depth in rythm games I ALWAYS laugh. Mostly because the supposed “better” games have LESS depth! Folks, we’re switching attacks while blocking and playing music. There’s more depth here than in Guitar Hero. It’s just that it has little bearing on the overall quality of the rythm game in most cases.
I’m starting to think reviewers just have a list of “Complaints for when you can’t think of a complaint”. “Not alot of depth”, “Too linear”, “Not relevant”, “Bad camera angles”, ect.
Of course this spirals into real madness with The World Ends With You.
“This is going to be the cult-hit DS game of 2008. Jupiter and Square Enix have developed a game that nails just about everything it tries ? and it tries quite a lot of new or carefully lifted ideas.”
“This is a game that works precisely because it’s something new and different, and deserves to be celebrated for its originality…and for making its more banal moments as compelling as the inventive ones.”
“The beautiful world, smart controls and surprising depth kept us coming back for more.”
Beautiful world? Smart controls?! WHAT THE FUCK GAME ARE YOU PLAYING! The sprites are sub-par and poorly animated and the controls are an utter mess!
There is not a single even REMOTELY negative review of this game! WHAT THE FUCK GAME ARE YOU GUYS PLAYING?! Well clearly I’m gonna have to play some more before I make a proper verdict but…ick. At least the music is good.
XD Ah, it’s been such a long tiem since I’ve vented about how much I hate reviewers. Good to see nothing has changed since I stopped paying much attention to these massive failures who need to surrender their jobs to me.