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 lard pirates dawt cawm  §  The Big List of Review Weasel Words / by Spoony Spoonicus
 
 
 the waggoner  §  articles and general riff-raff exceeding your expectations of worthlessness.
 
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 ~Spoony Spoonicus on 08:27pm 05/06/09 (06:47pm 01/22/09) in 54m16s  §  2754 eyeballs
 anchors: none.
 
Because people are always inventing clever new ways to piss on a game because of its "inferior" graphics while continuing to assert that graphics don't matter to shut up their critics.

Polish

"It's so well POLISHED!" is something I hear way too much. I honestly don't have a clue what it means, since they never bother to back it up with an example, so I can only assume it refers to the polish on the game's chrome effects and shiny surfaces. Way to be shallow.

Unpolished

The graphics aren't pretty enough or the game doesn't memorize the last option you selected. Boo hoo. Give Wasteland for the Apple II a spin and then come talk to me about annoying menus. Play Ultima and try collecting more than 10,000 gold, only to watch as you end up with zero gold due to the game not keeping track of a fifth digit. Hell, try the early Castlevania games; you can't even change direction in mid-jump and getting hit by an enemy usually sends you flying backward and right down the pit you were trying to hurdle. As for "unpolished" visuals, if you want to whine to me about Suikoden's graphics not stacking up to Final Fantasy's, just save it; GRAPHICS DO NOT MAKE THE DAMN GAME. They never did and never will. Suikoden may not look nearly as pretty, but its storyline and gameplay are infinitely more in depth than just abusing overpowered "Limit Breaks" and fighting Faceless Evil Joe who crawls out of the woodwork in the last two hours of the game, effectively making the first 28 hours of plot completely irrelevant.

"Production Values"

Oh boy, game A's better than game B because it has higher production values! Who gives a shit if the game cost $80 million if it's not fun in the slightest? Hell, Scorched Earth cost about $6 to make, and you know how many big-budget console games it's better than? All of them!

Mediocre

Yet another overused word that never gets backed up with a definition or even an example. Labeling a game "mediocre" is meaningless without telling me what you're comparing it to. It's like saying "25% Less Fat." 25% less than what?

Revolutionary

A word so overused it's effectively lost all meaning. I've seen it applied from everything to Far Cry (Quake with better graphics, YAWN) to every minor variation on the turn-based RPG formula (His next turn's delayed when I use this move, oooo so clever!) and every time I just shake my head.

Oh, you're calling me out on this one? You want my picks for "Revolutionary" games? Behold.

Super Mario Bros - Instrumental in moving gaming away from 2-3 screen tests of reflexes that continued on endlessly until you finally lost all your lives or maxed out the scoreboard. Here you had a definite goal, a large number of highly varied levels, and all sorts of weird obstacles to overcome in each. Add in a ton of hidden secrets and an even harder second quest once you finished the first and you've got a game that's still fun and challenging to this very day.

Doom - Paved the path for realistic, detailed environments (compare it to its predecessor Wolfenstein 3D - HUGE difference), brought network play to the table, and had a ton of customizability; being able to create new levels and edit every aspect of the game to your liking gives it virtually unlimited replay value. It's been surpassed in techonlogy, yes, but when it comes to gameplay no other shooter even comes close.

Super Mario 64 - Before this game, 3D games were either just isometric 2D grids for a pseudo-3D effect or had real 3D but just plain sucked balls, generally due to bland gameplay and awful controls. Mario 64 ended all that; Not only did the game have great controls and a truly explorable environment, it kept the same basic style of gameplay as its predecessors. It really was the game that proved 3D doesn't have to be an immediate killing blow to a classic 2D franchise.

That's it. Those are the only games I deem true trend-setters. Adding better graphics doesn't set Far Cry apart from Doom and adding truckloads of gore, rage and sex doesn't magically make Prince of Persia: Warrior Within a better game than its predecessor. Do something that hasn't been done a million times already and do it well; that's how you'll get my approval.

Epic

Pretentious way of saying "it has a plot twist. Maybe two." Congratulations, this tells me nothing about the quality of the story or how well the dialog is written. For all I know it's just another Matrix piece of trash where everyone talks in metaphors about causality. Elaborate!

Bias

Oh look, I'm "biased." I just love that old fuckpuppet. It's a weasel argument used by idiots when they have nothing legitimate to say in defense of a game, but instead of just shutting up, they say I hate it solely because I've played another, better game. So now I'm supposed to treat every single game I play as if it's the first one I've ever given the old college try? I'd hate to break it to you, chief, but that's impossible. Nobody can simply cast away years of gaming experience and hundreds of decisions made about what works and what doesn't to pen a completely objective view of a game.

Not convinced? Well, how about this? YOU try it. Cast aside all the gaming experience you've ever had and try to grade a game totally unbiased. Pick up Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde for the NES and give that a whirl from a completely objective viewpoint. Try to find even one good thing to say about that game (and no, "you can stop playing it" doesn't count). You can't do it, can you? The second you start playing, you begin to think how terrible it is compared to the hundreds of others you've played. You know why? Nobody is free from "bias". If you've ever played a video game in your life, you cannot give a completely objective view of another video game. If you hear a game is "bad" or "good", that is a subjective view, regardless of how many people agree with it. I find it extremely ironic how these dolts frequently assert their own opinion of a game, yet the second they see someone with a different opinion, that's grounds enough for them to be insulted, harassed, and even have their site hacked in the name of a "fair review." Yeah right, you fucking hypocrites.

Mature/Immature

As if discarding an entire game based solely on graphics or a single minor design flaw isn't bad enough, there's this argument that manages to be both stupid AND pretentious at the same time. 98% of the time, the "mature" argument just boils down to whether or not a game's environment is composed entirely of "realistic" gray cement and brown haze and/or throwing blood, guts and curse words in at every single opportunity. If it doesn't have just the right graphical style or sufficient levels of violence, it's automatically labeled as "shit." Never mind that Game X with the pastel palette happens to have far more in-depth gameplay and doesn't star a faceless hero swathed in leather, chains and a bad attitude, it's garbage just because it doesn't try to hammer its "Rated M" label into your brain every five seconds.

This wouldn't annoy me so much if every single person that's thrown this word around didn't seem like they were trying to prove some arbitrary point about being "mature" themselves. "Oh look, I'm playing something that has gore and sex, I'm a grownup now! Take me seriously!" Too bad that scheme has the exact opposite effect; if you discard an acclaimed game without even trying it based on something that petty, you only end up looking pretty damn juvenile. It doesn't matter whether you're playing Kirby on the Wii or Halo on the Xbox, you're playing with a toy; get over yourself.

Furthermore, I assert that there's much more to being "mature" than violence, angst and sex; discretion is a large part of it as well. I think Resident Evil's design team said it best. (I don't have the exact quote, so I'm paraphrasing here)

"We won't show violence without a good reason to do so. But if we have good reason, we won't pull any punches."

And they don't; you don't turn every single corner and see someone's face getting eaten off, nor do you see many instances of someone being cleaved in half or burned to ashes just because "it looks cool.". When it does happen, it's done to serve a purpose - seeing the big boss wipe out an entire batalltion of soldiers with one wave of his giant bladed tentacle-arm gives you a pretty good idea of what he'll do to you if you let your guard down. The game manages to invoke tension by not having something waiting to chew your face off around every single corner. Proof that sometimes you can actually say a lot more by showing less.

As for "mature" games, I'll take Twilight Princess over God of "boobs boobs blood brains guts blood fuck shit blood teehee" War any day of the week; not only does it have characters that are much more interesting than GoW's macho badass, more varied gameplay, and combat that's infinitely more in-depth than GoW's mindless button-mashing, it manages to get its points about violence and strife across without exploding someone's head into chunks literally every five seconds.

"Simply succeeds"

A sure sign that they're being paid off to do a good review for a game. They can't say why it's so much better than whatever game they're comparing it to (chances are because it's not), so they just write around it by saying "where [game X] fails, [game Y] simply succeeds!".
 
 
 rawks  §  rad comments, dogg.
 ~Dudley  §  at 11:19pm 01/22/09
 
You don't have NEARLY enough written down for Epic. That word has been fucked to death so hard I hope theres no afterlife because I don't want to hear it there either.

I blame one game for destroying the word Epic. World of Warcraft. You'd rarely hear the word until that terrible beast rolled around, and after a short year and a half of success they decided Epic was the only word they were ever going to use to describe shit in their game. Epic weapons. Epic quests. Epic battleground experiences. Epic arena battles. Epic credit card charges. Epic wasted time. Epic shit streaks on your computer chair because you havent gotten off your damn ass in sixteen goddamn hours, not even to put on some fucking pants. THEN OTHER GAMES STARTED USING IT! If a game has a post-2007 release date then you can bet both your nuts and the third if you've got one that somewhere on the website, box, or TV ad it says "EPIC" for no other reason than to give dorks an elf boner.
 ~Aquas  §  at 01:06pm 01/23/09
 
More bad phrases are "I think" and "In my opinion,"

often times these phrases are used by someone who doesn't realize that by writing the review they're already giving their opinion and speculation, no reason to point out a seperate opinion when the whole thing is already there. And then these phrases are often used to attempt to emphasize their point... just say it, goddamnit.
 ~Alan Smithee  §  at 01:46pm 01/23/09
 
"Acquired Taste"

So, this game's lousy but you had nothing better to play so you just put up with its crap aspects until you eventually forced yourself into believing it was good? Alrighty then.
 ~Azul Rojo  §  at 06:03pm 01/23/09
 
I love how most big-budget fanboy games have at least one of these words worked into a review about them. Here's another word for you:

Controversial: This is a neat little word being applied to a majority of M rated games. "This game is controversial - it has decapitations!" "This game is controversial - it has a sex game hidden in it!" "This game is controversial - it has nudity in it!" "This game is controversial - the whole point of the game is to kill people by cutting them up!" Seriously, what? Ever been to the movies? Ever been on the internet? GTA: San Andreas is nothing. Ever hear of a hentai dating simulator? How about some games on Newgrounds? And boo hoo. There's nudity and blood in a game. Why's it so special in a game, when you can see that in R rated movies ALL THE FUCKING TIME? Even TV shows have it. I think it's almost impossible for a game to be controversial anymore, so stop abusing the word.

And Dudley, I think "epic" was in D&D long before WoW came around. Not that it matters.
 
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