I’m sure no one is coming here for my opinion on the Video Games Industry, but there’s a little bit of a hubub that went on over the last week or two at Penny Arcade. Basically, one of the proprietors of that fine site said that video game review sites were corrupt, slaves to the almighty videogame ad dollar.

Part One: http://www.penny-arcade.com/2007/11/14 – Second Post
Part Two: http://www.penny-arcade.com/2007/11/26 – Second Post
Part Three: http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2007/11/28
Part Four: http://www.penny-arcade.com/2007/11/28
Part Five: http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2007/11/29
Part Six: http://www.penny-arcade.com/2007/11/30

Also, video game reviewers are in themselves broken, terrible gamers because they play games the wrong way, to complete and rate them, and not to enjoy them.

Now I’m not saying I agree with the Penny Arcade fellas or anything, but I got to play the game that kicked off the whole to-do, Assassin’s Creed. All I did for 30 minutes was run around an giant, immaculately-rendered version of Jerusalem in the middle ages, stabbing people to death. It was beautiful and satisfying and complex, and man, I sure did like killing people.

So, yeah. The Penny Arcade guys are totally right. But the point is, it’s nice to know that reviewing is corrupt in every industry! I just wish there was more money in comics to justify the kow-towing to Marvel and DC.

- Christopher

P.S.: The Penny Arcade guys are raising money again for Children’s Hospitals across North America. Check out ChildsPlayCharity.org.


6 Comments on “The Video Game Review Thing”

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  1. Porno Simon Jones says:

    Mainstream game reviews will always struggle with articulating the sense of drive and the clarity of purpose that truly great games impart to the player, since it’s a quality that is difficult to quantify. It’s what makes Halo 1 superior to its sequels, why Call of Duty 3 just didn’t feel right even though it shares the same engine as Call of Duty 2, and why I own all 3 versions of Silent Hill 2, and still play it occassionally despite the ancient, clunky game mechanics.

    It’s a quality Assassin’s Creed definitely has. Can’t trust the scores on this one…

  2. Jones, one of the Jones boys says:

    You mean you haven’t been getting the brown paper bags full of cash? So that’s why you haven’t been showing the love for the Sinestro Corps and instead it’s all manga this and quality independent comics that.

  3. Journalista - the news weblog of The Comics Journal » Blog Archive » Dec. 6, 2007: Calling Dr. Wertham says:

    [...] “So, yeah. The Penny Arcade guys are totally right. But the point is, it’s nice to know that reviewing is corrupt in every industry! I just wish there was more money in comics to justify the kow-towing to Marvel and DC.” – Christopher Butcher [...]

  4. Simon Jones who is blogless says:

    Video games journalism has always been corrupt. Even back in the eighties it was obvious to my ten year old self that some magazines were always going give good reviews to big advertisers and that some companies were going to get shut magazines out of any sort of previews or review copies or whatever when they gave a bad review. But now it’s gotten almost cartoonishly corrupt because there’s just so much damn money involved now.

  5. Chris says:

    Hah, maybe I was just a stupider or less cynical kid. I totally got behind (and agreed with) the reviews in EGM (Electronic Gaming Monthly, for the uninitiated) which were basically bullet-point reviews, but with number grades and from folks with different personalities and writing styles. Maybe there was a corporate heirarchy there, demanding 9s and 10s for Super Mario Bros. 3, but that game TOTALLY EARNED THOSE NUMBERS… heh.

    As for ‘cartoonishly corrupt’, the story of the guy getting sacked for his Kane & Lynch review all the while the company protesting that it wasn’t because of the Kane & Lynch review? That story is to standard-corruption as Dr. Evil is to Dr. No.

    - Christopher

  6. Abhay says:

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