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Review GameSpy gives Oblivion 80%

Vault Dweller

Commissar, Red Star Studio
Developer
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Tags: Bethesda Softworks; Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

<a href=http://www.gamespy.com>GameSpy</a> has boldy gone where no mainstream game site has gone before - GameSpy <a href=http://xbox.gamespy.com/xbox-360/the-elder-scrolls-iv-oblivion/698650p1.html>openly stated</a> that <a href=http://www.elderscrolls.com>Oblivion</a> aint perfect and gave it 80% score to prove it, noting <i>technical issues, logical inconsistencies, and AI limitations</i>.
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<blockquote>The truth is, however, that this expansive, beautiful world often implies an experience that isn't fully there. Even if you hold up your end of the bargain by playing the hero, the supporting cast often fails to live up to the game's ambition of a realistic and believable world. When you jump up onto a rock, and an enemy is unable to reach you but continues to attack that rock no matter how many arrows you stick in, you'll recognize them for what they are: crazy killer robots without thoughts or feelings. </blockquote>How Radiant.
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<blockquote>Along the same lines, sometimes the equations and effects that manipulate the game behind the scenes (which you can view in the form of stats, skill levels, and armor values) leap into the foreground to create strange logic. Oblivion constantly tailors the world to your progress, so you'll never run up against something you can't accomplish by putting in some effort, which means you'll never run into an area where you're "not supposed to go yet." On the other hand, you tend to miss out on the joys of preying upon the weak. Characters are incredibly resistant to cold-blooded murder, even when stabbed in the back with a poisoned blade, and you might find yourself wondering how many blows to the head with a claymore one imp could possibly take.
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Adding to the list of things that just don't feel right: the failure of glass windows or baubles to shatter under any circumstances; the failure of weapons to do visible damage to any part of the environment; and the failure of arrows to stick into juicy watermelons or ripe apples is annoying as well. These might not sound like overwhelming issues, but the closer graphics and physics come to reality, the more out of place small inconsistencies become.</blockquote>Especially when physics and realism were used as a tramp card.
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<blockquote>Finally, there are technical issues that may be impossible to dismiss...</blockquote>Judging by many other reviews, it's not as hard as you think.
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Seven

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I'd like to see what the fanboys at the TES Forums have to say about this?

It was also a pretty good read--the good with the bad. Also, 80 is still a very respectable score. It's interesting that most of the sites that said that Beth was primed to take Bioware's RPG crown ended up giving a good game ridiculously high scores--almost as if they had to prove themselves right rather than review the actual game that they had infront of them.
 

Greatatlantic

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It actually got 4 out of 5 stars, which while numerically translates to 80%, doesn't quite mean the same thing. Don't get me wrong, this review is certainly one of the more critical reviews out there and reminds me why I think highly of gamespy, but if they were to use a percentage it would probably have gotten into the mid or high 80's.
 

Seven

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Greatatlantic said:
It actually got 4 out of 5 stars, which while numerically translates to 80%, doesn't quite mean the same thing. Don't get me wrong, this review is certainly one of the more critical reviews out there and reminds me why I think highly of gamespy, but if they were to use a percentage it would probably have gotten into the mid or high 80's.

It's not uncommon for games to get a half star (IIRC), so wouldn't a percentage then translate into 80-84?
 

Excrément

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Seven said:
I'd like to see what the fanboys at the TES Forums have to say about this?

are there still fanboys on the official forum?
the fanboyz are playing the game, people on the ESF are people complaining about the game right now...
 

Greatatlantic

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Seven said:
Greatatlantic said:
It actually got 4 out of 5 stars, which while numerically translates to 80%, doesn't quite mean the same thing. Don't get me wrong, this review is certainly one of the more critical reviews out there and reminds me why I think highly of gamespy, but if they were to use a percentage it would probably have gotten into the mid or high 80's.

It's not uncommon for games to get a half star (IIRC), so wouldn't a percentage then translate into 80-84?

Its not a question of numerical translation, its what the score means about the quality of the game. For example, 3 star games are viewed as OK games that will appeal to certain audiences. However, a 60% game or even a 65% are viewed as inferior productrs that no one should play. Follow?
 

Vault Dweller

Commissar, Red Star Studio
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That's what I would think of a 3-star game too. Considering that all sites that use 5-star system, also use half stars, I don't see a big deal about converting such scores into different systems. The point is, they could have given Oblivion 4.5, but they didn't. Let's leave it at that.
 

Old Scratch

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Of all the major game sites, I find Gamespy is often the least likely to overrate games in a final review. They seem to be paying a little more attention to overhyping after a few recent discussions about it in their forums too. They focused on a few negative things I don't think of as being overly important, and neglected to mention a few more serious ones, but Oblivion is a game that would need a long, extensive review, to really cover all its strong and weak points. Longer than most game sites usually dedicate to reviews.

Warrior(Editorial Director):
We try really hard to be impartial. I demand that of my staff. Granted, you wouldn't know that unless you worked here, but ask any staffer here and they will tell you the quickest way to my bad side is messing with our credibility.

http://www.forumplanet.com/gamespy/topic.asp?fid=1422&tid=1862747&p=3
 

GhanBuriGhan

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While I think Oblivion deserves a reasonably high score, I find it unfair to readers if reviews don't mention the shortcomings. It's good to see that Gamespy of all places takes a bit of time to remark on the problems and dissapointments, as well as the good.
 

Seven

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Its not a question of numerical translation, its what the score means about the quality of the game. For example, 3 star games are viewed as OK games that will appeal to certain audiences. However, a 60% game or even a 65% are viewed as inferior productrs that no one should play. Follow?

No I don't follow, you're the one who tried to convert it into a percentile. Apparently though, you were using some type of logic which defies any math that I've ever encountered, but now percentiles are bad because Oblivion doesn't get a score in the 85-89 range? To me a game which gets 3 stars will appeal to certain audiences as will a game which scores a 60-64. BTW, if you look at sites that use a percent or out of 10 score you should notice that they regard games in the 60 range to be "fair," also sites which use the star system regard games which score a 3 to also be "fair," MYSTARY!!! Follow?
 

elander_

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Vault Dweller said:
Oblivion constantly tailors the world to your progress, so you'll never run up against something you can't accomplish by putting in some effort, which means you'll never run into an area where you're "not supposed to go yet." On the other hand, you tend to miss out on the joys of preying upon the weak.

Like someone has sugested in another thread they could have cap leveled monsters and the system allows this. They decided to go for the wrong decision when could have just played Daggerfall and see that leveled monsters were also caped for a reason. Only human foes would keep leveling with the player.
 

Naked_Lunch

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Role-Player said:
Didn't Gamespy rate NWN highly only to mention later on that the score was perhaps too much?
Yes, it was featured in their top 25 overrated games of all time. It was number 25, I think.
 

whitemithrandir

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"Yes, it was featured in their top 25 overrated games of all time. It was number 25, I think."

NWN overrated?

Don't be a dumbass.

R00fles.
 

Greatatlantic

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Naked_Lunch said:
Role-Player said:
Didn't Gamespy rate NWN highly only to mention later on that the score was perhaps too much?
Yes, it was featured in their top 25 overrated games of all time. It was number 25, I think.

Really? I didn't know GameSpy had such a feature. Can you find a link by any chance or confirm your sarcasm, since I can't seem to find anything like that at their site?
 

WouldBeCreator

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Somehow, that list really annoyed me. Part of it is that for some of the games -- like Quake II -- the arguments seem pretty weak for why they were overhyped. But the larger thing is that there's something just revolting about seeing a publication candidly acknowledge their own overhyping, and then go on hyping sequels to those same games in exactly the same fashion they overhyped the predecessors. Much of that hype is confined to their previews (e.g., http://pc.gamespy.com/pc/black-white-2/647719p1.html), but they gave, e.g., Halo 2 a perfect score, despite claiming that they had erroneously overhyped Halo 1. Blah. I don't know why I even still bother with those sites.
 

Seven

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Morrowind was also on the list; I think this paragraph might be interesting to some.

Ben: As a big fan of Daggerfall, I couldn't wait for Morrowind, and even splurged $75 for the rather unimpressive limited edition. Now, I wish I hadn't. The first thing I noticed was that mercantile skill was completely broken; the more it raised, the less I could sell my goods for. I was also affected by the hourly desktop crashes, and simply could not get a smooth framerate when in towns or other outdoor environments. But I kept playing, because it was fun to build my character up.

After about 20 or so hours, (probably longer than many reviewers got to play before banging out a story to beat a deadline), the gameplay shortcomings were finally becoming obvious. The super-simplistic combat was a step down from Daggerfall's already sparse system. And my character had become a virtual god, so very little could even faze him in the slightest. Worse, every town seemed to be the same. They'd look different, sure, but 99% of the inhabitants would recite the same old boring lines, over and over again. I eventually just gave up on the uninteresting storyline and focused on finding the coolest loot, but that was clearly the beginning of the end. After a bit of that I could no longer muster up the gumption to double-click on the Morrowind icon, and so the game currently wastes space on my hard drive as I contemplate uninstalling it.

What happened? Rarely in my experience has a game seemed so great initially, only to disappoint after extended play. If Bethesda chooses to continue the Elder Scrolls series, I hope it starts from a clean slate. Morrowind was an interesting experiment and something of an artistic achievement, but the actual gameplay, in my opinion, can't stand the test of time.
 

Twinfalls

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A couple of their comments:

in the actual realm of Oblivion -- where a blood-red "flames and flesh" motif and single-minded enemies bring to mind the glory days of the classic shooter DOOM.

The plane of Oblivion is like nothing you've ever seen before. We're keeping real tight-lipped about it, don't want to spoil your amazement at how radically inventive it is!

It doesn't quite feel like you're connecting when you swing a weapon

Hey MSFD - here's a tip for next time: when a sword connects with something, it should stop, not stay on the same arc at the same speed like there was nothing there.
 

DemonKing

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Yeah, I think Gamespy are improving a lot with their reviews - they have even gave Star Wars Empire at War a mediocre review despite the fact it uses Gamespy tech.

Gamespot seem to be going downhill though and the less said about IGN the better (Jade Empire exclusive review = 9.9/10 best game evah!!!!).
 

7th Circle

Scholar
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This is why GameSpy is the only professional site I take any interest in. IMHO, Oblivion is a good game*, even a very good game, but there are far too many flaws to dub it a masterpiece.

* Note I said "game" not "pure RPG".
 

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