March 30, 2011

VGH #6: Freakyzeeky Is Better than You

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Metacritic: Is it the devil? Probably not, but on this week’s show we talk about that and the world of video game criticism, in general. We also weigh in with our early impressions of the Nintendo 3DS and our 3D gaming wishlists, the new leaderboard-centric Need for Speed, and an inaccurately named not-quite-sequel to Contra. Plus, we announce our next big contest and there’s yet another installment of Community Theater. Finish him!

Episode Timeline (skip to the time stamp for each segment):

Intro: 0:00!
3DS Chat: 4:30
What We’ve Been Playing: 16:15
3DS Games We’d Like to See: 29:45
VGCT – Castlevania: Symphony of the Night: 37:00
Reviewing Game Reviews: 38:45

This week’s music:

“Krakbound”, by Magnus “SoulEye” Pålsson
“Popular potpourri”, by Magnus “SoulEye” Pålsson (from the VVVVVV soundtrack)

Referenced in this week’s show:

QWOP (and the sequel, GIRP!)
Article from Kotaku about the Bioware developer that surreptitiously reviewed Dragon Age II on Metacritic
Article from the MTV Multiplayer Blog about publishers tying bonuses to Metacritic ratings
Zero Punctuation game reviews by Yahtzee

10 Comments.
  1. discostrings says:

    I personally find Metacritic really useful. For me, the aggregate scores are somewhat useful for movies, but they don’t really work well for games. However, I find the aggregation of review conclusions pretty helpful for getting an idea about games. For a game that I’m interested in and not sure about, I take a look at all the conclusions below about 70% to see what the potential problems with the game might be, and I hop over to a review or two for more elaboration on the more interesting or worrisome points. For a game I’m not really interested in but think I could be, I take a look at the higher reviews to see if there’s anything that might change my mind.

    Also: hooray for SoulEye music!

    • D.J. Ross says:

      I think I have the same habit of looking up reviews in search of potential problems, or elaboration on a feature I’ve heard about. Basically I more often read reviews with specific questions in mind, rather than to get an overview.

  2. SBizzle says:

    I’m more with Paul on this one. Metacritic is a bunch of crap.

    Personally I’ve been gaming long enough that I generally know which companies/devs make games I like. As a backup I also listen to people around me as to what they like, so for instance if one of you guys recommends something I’ll generally give it a try (not so sure about metaly though).

    As for 3DS, meh, I’ll wait for the VGH review in 2012.

  3. kube00 says:

    I usually play demos before I make a decision. Even if the review sucks I still might give it a chance, especially if the price is right.

    • D.J. Ross says:

      Demos are a great thing to happen to this console generation. They’ve managed to sell me on tons of games that were otherwise unknowns to me (Just Cause 2, Blur, RFG) long before reviews were available. And even after reviews come out, what better way is there to figure out whether or not you enjoy a game than by trying it firsthand?

  4. freakyzeeky says:

    I personally don’t read the Metacritic average score and proclaim that as gospel, that’s ridiculous… though I do read various reviews from different publications/websites, not all necessarily good so as to get a “counter-perspective” of sorts from the top reviews that are featured.
    With that said, if a gamer friend tells me about a game they’ve played, one that I would have not initially taken interest in. I would weigh that opinion more heavily over most reviews on the interwebs.

  5. Paul Sandhu says:

    The trolling in this comments section is getting unbearable. Stop it.

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