Don’t Be That Guy: Reviewer Acolyte
The Last Story was recently released and being the last game I’ll ever buy for the Wii it has me a little nostalgic for all the promise the Wii failed to deliver on at the beginning of its life cycle. But what I’ve really been doing is trying to soak up all the information I can about The Last Story. I’m reading previews, watching video, looking at screen shots, and reading reviews. Now since this game came out in Europe in February of this year, it had already been localized for English speaking audiences.
What that means is that most of the sites that cover video games have already reviewed the newest title from Mistwalker. Needless to say, I’ve been devouring every review I come across. It wasn’t until I saw a tweet that Jim Sterling of Destructoid had the game on his desk did I really get in the mood to read reviews. I know feelings about Mr. Sterling can be quite derisive, but I looked forward to what he had to say about the game. Well his review came out and his opinion was considerably different than a lot of others who have played and reviewed the game. I’m perfectly okay with that, though I hope to soon disagree when I finish the game. He is certainly entitled to his opinion. What I have a problem with is all the comments in the review both praising and destroying Mr. Sterling for his opinion. I guess I should know better. My first mistake is reading the comments. I wanted to get a feel for what others might be saying and all I came away with is the fact that people who comment on that article make me hate “gamers.”
Your opinion has changed
I understand the idea behind finding a favorite writer in any medium, especially a critic whose taste might line up with yours more than others. That’s fine. I undoubtedly have favorite writers in a variety of genres that I tend to look to and let their opinion help inform me as to whether or not I’ll purchase an item. I think it’s a very healthy and natural thing to do. What I don’t do is let that one reviewer dictate whether or not I buy a game. People in the comments section of Sterling’s review were “canceling my pre-order,” “thank god I didn’t buy this,” and my favorite “Well, now I’m not sure what to do…I have this pre-ordered and I really want to play it…but a 4…wow.”
Why would one review, which is considerably lower than what other people are saying about this game make you totally change your mind? I think I’d better understand it if every reviewer on the planet was saying it was a terrible game (ahem, Homefront). But just because one person gave it a low score doesn’t make me not purchase something. The truth is that low score makes me think harder about that individual’s personal taste more than anything else. What is it about the game that he doesn’t like? Will that be an issue for me?
Maybe I have a different perspective because playing games fuels what I write about on a weekly basis. I like forming my own opinion especially about a game like The Last Story. If it I hate it, then I’ll definitely give Mr. Sterling his due. However, a few other reviewers that I tend to trust more have given it a better score. At this point I’ve decided to just find out on my own. But I do think that most people should do, get an informed opinion on games where they can because the games aren’t cheap.
The conspiracy theorist
What’s worse than people making up their minds from one review? Saying that the only reason the game got a low score is because Nintendo refuses to pay for high review scores. Yes, somebody in the comments actually claimed this. They also said that Mr. Sterling hated Nintendo and that’s the reason behind the low score. It takes less than a minute to go back and see the history of his Nintendo reviews to see that neither one of these could be the case. In fact, he gave the last Operation Rainfall game, Xenoblade Chronicles a very favorable review. So he must have been paid by Monolithsoft then right? My guess is, he flat out didn’t like The Last Story and that’s the end of it.
There are plenty of games that other reviewers have given a high score that I’ve hated. It comes back to each person having their own individual taste in what they like and how they like to play. It’s as simple as that, yet the conspiracy theorists always have to come up with a reason why the game they’re looking forward to the most this year got a low review. You don’t want to have other people hate on something you like. Yet you lash out in a damaging way when they do. Unfortunately it’s not damaging to the reviewer, it’s damaging to the person who lashed out. At that moment, your point becomes invalid because you can’t have a rational and logical discussion about something. Resorting to name calling never got anyone anywhere.
So and so was better
The idea behind claiming another game was better in the comments of a review for a different game doesn’t make any sense. So what if Xenoblade Chronicles was a better game. What does that have to do with the discussion of the current review of The Last Story. Just because those two games along with Pandora’s Tower were grouped into a internet petition doesn’t mean you should compare the three games. The games all do something different. If you wanted to compare Final Fantasy III with Final Fantasy VII go ahead. Both of those games are in the same series and are ripe for comparison. Are you comparing Xenoblade Chronicles with The Last Story because they are both technically JRPG’s? No, you just wanted to put your two cents in because you think everyone else in the world thinks your opinion is important. It’s not. Either add genuine points to a discussion or don’t participate.
I did this to myself
I realized I’m an idiot. I am the one who ventured off into the internet danger zone of irrationality and narcissism. Keep away from comments on articles if you want to maintain your sanity when surfing the internet. Don’t get me wrong, people are 100% entitled to their opinion whether it be a reviewer or someone who leaves a comment on an article. What I’m tired of is discussion that has nothing to do with the game and people who are so quick to decide based on one person’s opinion. Stand up on your own. Make your own decisions. Use other people’s thoughts to help inform your final decision but don’t rely solely on someone else to do your thinking for you. I made a choice to read comments. Probably not going to do that again.
Don’t Be That Guy – Seriously, no one likes a stereotype and video games are full of them. In the best interest of taking gaming culture out of the shadows, we think it’s best that we leave some of these characters behind.