Flaws - yawn... This sounds like a QA defense here. "They aren't cute 'bugs' or 'flaws' - they are 'defects'!" - bah, all the same thing, it means someone didn't bother fixing it before shipping it out. Call it what you want, the intelligent will get the meaning. if 0.0 is useless, why have it? I think this is the whole problem with game scores in the first place... and out of 10 makes it look like this stuff is actually credible. Anything more than a 'I liked it, I didn't like it' or at best 'I liked it this much' type star rating is giving the review industry too much credit. As such if you should see a 0.0 it basically means they hated it. I'm ok with that. It beats giving everything a 5-10... it also gets more hits.
As a fervent reader (and writer) of video-game reviews, I can't help but see certain patterns emerging in this (admittedly) developing art. Professional journalists are not immune to criticism (as anyone who's ever visited an author's blog might attest), so I've added them into the mix and you'll see that in one case, they are the worst offenders of all!
Sites that do not allow reader review submissions seem incomplete to me, as if they encourage a seperation of opinion between industry and consumer. This is a micro cla$$ system that I feel is bad for all interested in games and game-reporting. I hope to read and write about games decades into the future - even when cybernetic simulants play and opinionate onour behalf.
So, never take these three items as discouragement (I know you've all got thicker skins than that anyhow), but more as a (hopefully) humorous poke at one of my favourite areas in game reporting. Here are three more phrases that cheese me off:
"And now, on to the review"
What does it mean? That we, the readers, are going to see a review.
Where do I see it? Again, reader reviews are the main culprit here. In the same category as the "Click to read on…" remarks, this statement is a revelation to those who need to know precisely when the review will start. Here, the authors are doing a thankless and redundant service – introducing the content already requested by the reader, and already clearly categorised and sorted by webmasters.
And now, on to the next item…
What does it mean? A numerical score representing the worth of a game, also 0%, 0/100
Where do I see it? Alarmingly, we apparently flooded with games that have zero artistic-merit. It is hard to imagine any piece of art (or craft as the detractors might say of video games) that does not even have a single, solitary pixel of worthiness. A game that has no score at all is not a game at all: it is akin to a black hole. Placing the disc into your console or PC gives zero pleasure; it is like putting nothing in – a blank DVD holds as much entertainment value. I understand that paying money for a game that is devastatingly disappointing causes anger and frustration, but an exaggeration of any score causes distortion in the games' final standings around the network. Why, even the notorious 'worst game ever created' has a meta-score infinitely higher than 0.
Your missing game play, replay ability, sound and more importantly time are inside here
What does it mean? Flaws, fault, defect, failing, blemish, imperfection, shortcoming, deficiency, inadequacy, weakness, limitation…
Where do I see it? Nine-out-of-ten reviews that I read use this term. In its own right, it is a valid word to describe something just shy of perfect (a flawed diamond, for example), but to apply it to gaping shortcomings is like calling the Hindenburgs final approach "tricky".
Another web search including the term "flaws" at the sister-site GameFAQs reveals 6410 results, while searching with the equally valid word "faults" at the same site yields a mere 894 results. This means that the term "flaw" is used 700% more than "faults". Does this term have the making of a buzz word? Just as the (insult?) "Fanboy" has become?
A flaw in the airship design
Just a quick comment in regards to Big Rigs: Almost no sites allow a 0.0 review score (1/10, 10/100, etc. being the limit), which explains why the reviews are, on average, higher than zero.
I laughed to the point of tears with the 0/10 part and the flaws part. I agree with your view of these even though I myself have used some of these words.
Also about flaws, it may be more suitable as a word to be honest that faults in every way. Faults as a word, at least i personally find, finds a better use in situations that there's a given right way to do things. In games there's not such a thing as a right way/bad way, the creators are using usually popular engines/techniques etc in graphics/sound/gameplay but just fail to cut it in supplying a good result, or don't spend the time needed on a part of the game to make it perfect leaving it edgy/laggy/hard to be used. I'm up for using fail in that situation, but ofc its meaning is much stronger than any of the other synonymes.
Technically "on, to the review" isn't always reduntant, the majority of the people writing a review start by expressing a personal opinion, give characteristics of the game or a view of the base set by the games in series that precedeed if existant and so on... if u use it to say "this was a general view/expectations/personal opinion but now comes the review" it suggests u'll try to be down-to-earth just about what u write in each category regardless of taste or wish.
nice loved both parts. Although I don't agree with your gripe about 0/10 scores. Have you never played a game that caused you more pain and frustration than entertainment? There should actually be negative scores for some of the worthless crap I've seen. They wasted my time, money, and caused me a great deal of frustration with zero joy. That in my mind should definitely be negative.
I hate how every game released nowadays is "8+, probably the finest game of our generation." then you play it and it's solid and playable but nothing special. Or in the case of S.T.A.L.K.E.R it's not even playable.
I think your rant on the scoring is a bit too deep. Whether the game gets a 0 or a 1 out of 10, or an 8 out of 100 simply means DON'T PLAY THIS GAME! It's as simple as that. Having said that, everybody has a different opinion and a different system of scoring, which is why we have websites like Metacritic to find out if the game is good enough on all levels to play.
So, you have a problem with a perfectly valid score (0.0 which if a game is crappy enough is totally deserved), the word "flaw" (which is interchangeable for "fault") and the idea that somebody might actually preface a review with something that is not review (i.e. perhaps a gamer's history with the genre the reviewed game comes from, notification of bias, or any number of things that are totally reasonable)....so, in other words, you just like to make up stuff to rant about and have nothing of substance to say...got it!
A 0 would be like a pc game your computer cant run and you wait 3 hours to find out it wont work. but thats more your computer than game.
If the airship had had helium in it it would have been fine. Just would have went flat over night :) So its not a "flaw in airship design" but an "unsafe buoyancy substance choice"
Um, the link you gave for the 'worst game ever created' gave inaccurate scores... It showed a 10/10 for gamespot, which rated a 1/10, and a 10/10 for another site which also rated it a 1/10.
I have to agree with philosophy666 on this one. 2+2 can technically = 5. When compared to infinity, all numbers have the same value--thus 4 equals 5 and 5 equals 6 and so on and so forth. Over the past month or so, I've been trying to replace certain overused words to make my writing more interesting. One phrase might be accurate in describing a feature by it's definition. But if it's overused, it will mean absolutely nothing to the reader. Thats why I try to avoid buzzwords myself.
Two words often used in reviews that really annoy me are "clichéd" and "repetitive". Both provide little informational value to the reader of the review since in all honesty, they can be applied to every single game out there. Lazy journalism has become a bit of a cliché don't you think :P.
And now, on to the comment: The "flaws" issue makes it clear when a company is sucking up to a game to me. Once I hear that, I disregard almost every review of the game; Brütal Legend was apparently only "flawed", while Assassin's Creed II also has it's "flaws". The sheer difference in the two is absurd, and disappointing. AC II has bad character models; BL has so much wrong with it it's almost insulting. "Flaws" is now meaningless; the fact that it is substituted for "The character models are kind of awkward" as well as "The gameplay is terrible" is just stupid.
I think its a bit picky and exaggerated to say the use of the word "flaws" is wrong. As you said, "flaws" is defined as "an imperfection" but i believe the the connotation of the word is just that there is something wrong with the game. Fault and flaw are practically interchangeable in common English, and to say that one cannot use flaw to describe, lets say, a particular game's incessant use of the same few songs for the entirety of the game, would be wrong. That soundtrack is a fallback, a blemish, and thus making it imperfect. Thus, flaw is a just word for it, just as fault would be. And also, "a flaw in the airship design" is a perfectly correct way to describe the Hindenburg's design. It was flawed, it was wrong, it had a defect, it was deficient, it was a failing. English is a complicated language, but most of all, it is a forgiving language with more vocabulary than anyone can use. Perhaps your connotation is that flaw is a milder term for a fault, but i don't think the word should be condemned for it. If that was the case, people should cease using the word "awesome" so freely, and should only use it when something is truly "awe inspiring". However, other than that, I agree with both your blogs.
By far the strangest trend I noticed on GS are these shortened words like "environs" or "locals". I'd hate to think of all that time people waste typing "ments" and "tions". The English language continues to be butchered into hipster jargon.
My favorite unfavorite term from reviews is "counterintuitive." I'm not going to say any more about it. You are either nodding right now or feeling "counterfused."
I do not think flawed is a bad word for most games. Unless your game lights your computer on fire (or like SupCom and can brick 2 360s within a matter of days), there is not much it can do that deserves something more than flawed. A game beig flawed is not like the hindenburg landing being "tricky". The Hindenburg killed people, which I doubt you can even say a video game has ever even injured someone (atleast not seriously and without your brain being flawed). When video games do more than waste peoples time will they ever deserve an adjective more devasting than flawed.
I love your pics. They're like the sidebar during Stephen Colbert's "The Word" segment - superb, self-conscious comic timing.
So hai, I love you so much and your awesome blogs. A PS3, new mouse, and your blog are all that I wanted for Christmas. Have a good one man.
Flaw is a perfectly legitimate word to use in a review. By definition it means "something that is wrong," and I have no issues with someone using the word in a review. It might have a less serious connotation to some than fault, but to me (and to the english dictionary) they're of equivalent value. I agree with the first two though, especially 0/10.
0/10, haha, didn't know that. Awesome read. I don't know if reader reviews do this, but you should bite into the most generic terms used by professional game critics. Words like "compelling".
In my opinion, saying IMO is required because there is lots of fanboys that are just waiting for you to point the flaws on their titular favorite games, IMO. Sometimes the game they are defending are so bad it deserves 0 out 10 IMO. But of course this is just my opinion, because IMO people should respect other peoples opinions. And now, on to the blogs review..... read below This blog is bad IMO.
So true about 'flaws'. But then English has forever been about shifting definitions, or at the very least 'implied meanings'. I'm sure there's a word for that. Oh well.
I definitely agree with the 'Now on to the review'. It really makes me want to say "Oh, thanks for wasting my time, because I wasn't planning on reading a review for the game in the first place or anything like that," instead of move on and actually read the review. Oh, and great read, by the way!
Agreed with the 'Now on to the review.' Wasn't I reading a review in the first place? Though I have never rated a game as such, I figure there would be a place for the 0.0 rating. I don't look at scores as the quality of the game's content, but an expectation of the enjoyment found within. A game that gets a 1 could be absolutely horrible, but have that one moment that made me smile or say, "That's kind of cool." A game without any of these moments would deserve a 0 in my opinion. On the other hand, a 0 rating would imply that a game couldn't be any worse. If life has taught me anything, it's that things could always be worse. Either way, it is way overused. Any game that receives a score below 7 from Gamespot is going to have several user reviews that rate it 0. I am guilty of using 'flaws' from time to time, but usually only when describing a really good game's downfalls. Crap, I better go search my old reviews for the phrase 'minor flaws'. I bet it's in there more than I realize.