Why Reviewers Can’t Say Anything These Days

November 25, 2009

Gamers, we have a problem. As you relax right now, casually using those precious eyes to read this article, there is an epidemic plaguing our society. An epidemic that is raping us of our dignity, and pillaging us of opinion. Its “coming to light” has not been subtle either – we, as a nation, have been aware of this quandary for many a year and what have we done? Nothing… nothing….

Have you ever found yourself uttering the words: ‘I’m not a fan-boy, but…’?

Bingo. We’ve located the issue. As you may have already guessed, I’m under the belief that nobody is entitled to their opinion anymore in this day and age. Why does the term ‘fan-boy’ even exist if so many ‘fan-boys’ are against being called ‘fan-boys’? Reviewers are physically paid to voice their opinion, vent their frustration and to – as their title suggests – review something. It’s inevitable that such a saturated games market will coincidentally lead to a saturated forum of frantic idiots, I just don’t understand why these people feel the need to spend hours of their life making sure they cuddle everyone who shares their devotion to a game, and rape everybody else!

The first time this whole situation came to my attention was during the onslaught of one of the gaming industry’s most famous viral outrages. Gamespot reviewer and free-thinking ladies man Jeff Gerstmann was apparently hounded, then fired for his “far too critical” review of Kane and Lynch: Dead Men. For anyone interested, you can watch the infamous review here. Weirdly, I enjoyed the game and for the most part disagreed with Jeff’s comments – however there was never a motive to attack him or the site out of my disagreement. It’s his job, it’s his opinion and at the end of the day it created a large buzz and interest. The resulting decision however is just ludicrous, and it is the most important reason I have supporting my argument. Perhaps a rather humorous bashing of others is fine in context, but when it reaches these extremes – bombarding the diverging opinions with genuine threats and ultimately making a human being get fired from their job, this is when we have to stop and think. How does this world work? You’ll employ me to review a game, then fire me because it’s not what the public want to hear?

This isn’t a rant about “freedom of speech”; that would just be god-awful boring. No, this is more of an enquiring comment. A comment questioning what it is that actually encourages this large minority to defend every recent release, boasting that it is without a shadow of a doubt “the best game of all time.” Readers let me ask you, how many “best games of all time” have we had? Upon Call of Duty 4’s release, friends and forums alike praised the title to all odds and ends. Anyone that proclaimed it as being mildly average was hounded for being (and I quote) “A Leisure Suit Larry cum-fag fan-boy who can’t play the game properly.” I can tell you right now that, despite being a hilarious argument, it is not the case. I think it’s one of those compulsory things – any true gamer will have at some point in their life been subjected to hours of first person shooters. They all follow a similar format, which is why I find it difficult to understand the argument “you’re just bad at the game, so you trash-talk it.” All shooters are essentially the same; I run around a map shooting people whilst trying to avoid being shot at simultaneously. It’s not  difficult – an infertile man’s ejaculate can do that capably, so what comes next? “Oh well, you’re just a faggy fag face anyway, it’s the best game of all time.” Brilliant argument, you’ve most certainly got me beat… for about an hour, as it feels like virtually the next day something like Assassin’s Creed 2 or Batman: Arkham Asylum is released. Then guess what? Lo and behold, it’s a middle finger to Call of Duty ‘cos these games are without a doubt the best games of all time. And so on and so forth.

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To conclude, for any reader that believes I am making a mountain out of a molehill, I invite you to read my previous article bashing Uncharted 2 for its clichéd storyline. A reasonable criticism some of you may agree with, however the amount of hate I received from DualShocker’s members makes me wonder if they’d even taken my argument into account. It’s as if all gamers are mindless foul-mouthed drones, programmed to write as much pointless ungrammatical garbage depending on how many times the opening sentence declares it ‘loves’ the game. I was new to the site N4G, uploaded that article, and within a matter of minutes I’m pretty sure half the users had “blocked” me. How disappointing. How single minded, impatient and disheartening.

So now I’m calling on you guys. You right there – the everyday man (or woman). The casual gamer who doesn’t care about articles such as these, but can’t stand the 10 year old Xbox Live morons who scream obscenities in protection of their virtual religion. I need you.

Let’s end this.

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Gary Marston

Hey there, the name’s Gary Marston! I currently reside in the small (and by small, I mean absolutely tiny) hamlet of Bretford, close to Birmingham in the United Kingdom. My main interests in life are entirely media-related. I’m a keen film-maker, journalist, performer and writer, however when I can – nothing entertains me more than settling down in front of the old trustworthy Playstation3 and immersing myself in a brilliant game! I'm very open minded when it comes to gaming - however I am a man's man... don't try pushing Barbie: Shopping Adventure on me DualShockers, cos I'm not that open minded!!

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