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Review Just RPG reviews Oblivion - 94%

Vault Dweller

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Tags: Bethesda Softworks; Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

<a href=http://www.just-rpg.com>Just RPG</a> has posted a trendy 90%+ <a href=http://www.just-rpg.com/default.asp?pid=1938>Oblivion review</a>:
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<blockquote>I would also like to mention that, in some ways, I found this a very difficult game to review. The sheer size of the game results in so many different options and things to do that I couldn’t possibly cover them all here. Features such as alchemy, spell-making, guilds, enchanting, magic items, and persuasion, I haven’t even mentioned in the least! </blockquote>Then, perhaps, you shouldn't have dedicated 3/4 of the review to anything, but gameplay, moron. Then again, had you mentioned those things, it would be very hard to give the game 94%.
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Naked_Lunch

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It seems that when people write reviews nowadays, they're not really doing a review but more or less an editorial that's just projecting their opinion on the game. So, when you read most reviews you have to figure out if you agree with this guy's bias or not, and then make an educated guess on the quality of the game because the score is entirely useless. Point in case: PCGamer's Oblivion review in which they never mentioned the leveled world, bugs, main quest that consists entirely of fed-ex quests, and they give the game a 96 without ever explaining anything. They just went "combat is cool and I like it a lot" without going into detail about it. It irks me when magazines go "there's so much more I could've gone over but it doesn't matter because this game is ACE TO THE MAX!" Well, how do I know if it's ace to the max if you don't explain it? I'm supposed to buy the game entirely on the opinion of some monkey who's paycheck depends on the developers he's reviewing?

When I write a review, I try to go over every single little thing in the game, and then comment on what works and what doesn't. I don't go "I didn't really like the turn-based system because it's dumb and I ahte turn-based." Rather if I didn't like the turn-based system I'd go "I didn't like the turn-based system because of the way it handles action points blah blah blah" and go over how it's good and bad WITHOUT PUTTING MY WORTHLESS OPINION IN IT.

That's what I hate most about magazines and websites that boast "The most TRUSTED reviews ever!" You shouldn't have to trust a review, dammit. The review should be an overview of the game, going over everything it has to offer and analyzing it in detail, and not just going "I liked it" but going "I liked it because bluh bah blah..." Anyway, that's my little rant for today. Toodles.
 

VasikkA

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I would've expected this sort of review from a generic gaming site, but this one actually claims to be an RPG site.

Oblivion features some excellent voice work, with talents such as Patrick Stewart and Sean Bean. There’s a lot of voice acting in the game and all of it, even aside from the stars, is well done.
:lol:
 

Ratty

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I love how the reviewer couldn't be bothered to take screenshots. All of the accompanying screenies are the spruced up promotional ones and don't show the visual experience the average player can expect. Nothing like an honest review.

Also, this is as good opportunity as any to post the new unofficial Bethesda promotional poster. Uncle Todd needs YOU!

UncleTodd.jpg
 

Fresh

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Ratty said:
I love how the reviewer couldn't be bothered to take screenshots. All of the accompanying screenies are the spruced up promotional ones and don't show the visual experience the average player can expect. Nothing like an honest review.

Also, this is as good opportunity as any to post the new unofficial Bethesda promotional poster. Uncle Todd needs YOU!

UncleTodd.jpg

Good thing you added the @ 2006 Ratty to your picture. Otherwise it would illegally be all over the net by now. :D
 

Relien

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The sheer size of the game results in so many different options and things to do that I couldn’t possibly cover them all here. Features such as alchemy, spell-making, guilds, enchanting, magic items, and persuasion, I haven’t even mentioned in the least!
What the hell is that? Would it be so hard to add one or two paragraphs to cover these as well? It's a review, isn't it? Oh sorry, I forgot it would take 100+ pages just to describe the magic system :)

He only tells those features are in, and because he doesn't write a word about them, it looks like they are totally awesome (thanks to the overall tone of the review). It's truly "The source for Role-Playing Game information".

The freedom and open-ness that Elder Scrolls fans crave may seem like a lack of direction
No more lack of direction in Oblivion :)
 

Limorkil

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Naked_Lunch said:
It seems that when people write reviews nowadays, they're not really doing a review but more or less an editorial that's just projecting their opinion on the game. So, when you read most reviews you have to figure out if you agree with this guy's bias or not, and then make an educated guess on the quality of the game because the score is entirely useless. Point in case: PCGamer's Oblivion review in which they never mentioned the leveled world, bugs, main quest that consists entirely of fed-ex quests, and they give the game a 96 without ever explaining anything. They just went "combat is cool and I like it a lot" without going into detail about it. It irks me when magazines go "there's so much more I could've gone over but it doesn't matter because this game is ACE TO THE MAX!" Well, how do I know if it's ace to the max if you don't explain it? I'm supposed to buy the game entirely on the opinion of some monkey who's paycheck depends on the developers he's reviewing?

When I write a review, I try to go over every single little thing in the game, and then comment on what works and what doesn't. I don't go "I didn't really like the turn-based system because it's dumb and I ahte turn-based." Rather if I didn't like the turn-based system I'd go "I didn't like the turn-based system because of the way it handles action points blah blah blah" and go over how it's good and bad WITHOUT PUTTING MY WORTHLESS OPINION IN IT.

That's what I hate most about magazines and websites that boast "The most TRUSTED reviews ever!" You shouldn't have to trust a review, dammit. The review should be an overview of the game, going over everything it has to offer and analyzing it in detail, and not just going "I liked it" but going "I liked it because bluh bah blah..." Anyway, that's my little rant for today. Toodles.

So I am not the only person that thinks that almost all reviews are totally worthless these days. For years I have wondered why this is the case. I mean, it is not hard for someone familiar with a particular type of [movie/game/book etc] to actually describe the features in such a way that a reader who is also interested in the genre will be able to see whether they will like it or not. All I can conclude is that 'the industry' wants reviews to be vague enough that people will ignore them.
 

YourConscience

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Actually, the reason why so many review sites bring so retarded reviews is not that they are being paid or somesuch, as is sometimes theoretisized. I thinks, it's the same effect why PageRank works. The following scenario explains it:

Someone makes a game and pumps money into a marketing campaign, so let's say 100.000 people will watch media about that game.
Someone else has a gamesnews web site. It is financed mostly by ads. The more people visit the site, the more money they get.
Such a news site has two choices: Write a honest review, or write a hyped review.

The honest review will give the site a temporarily popularity bonus, perhaps some 10.000 more people will visit it.

The hyped review doesn't change the popularity of a site much.

So why write a hyped review, then, you ask?

Well, writing a hyped review, giving a nice high score yields a high chance that the producer of the game will ink to that site. Thus, a large part of those 100.000 people that got turned on by the marketing campaign will click on that link to read yet another preview/review. The gain is much more than those meager 10.000 (if at all) through the honest review.

Furthermore, if you are the publisher of that game, you are more likely to finance ads in magazines you had good experiences with (i.e. they like your games). Of course it would look strange to have a nice ad in a game magazine which gave that very same game on the next page a score of 50%, right?

So these two things are a strong force for any major gaming magazine to give the highest possible scores without looking totally like an idiot. And now, this belance betweem looking like an idiot and giving the highest possible score results in the situation we have now. The only sources for good reviews are sites which simply are not dependent on any kind of financiation and are only interested in true popularity, not borrowed one.

(edited for some mistakes)
 

LlamaGod

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A Good review has pretty much gone and died with Avault's death.

The main way I gauge a game now is I look at the lowest review scores, apply of grain of salt and then read whats wrong with the game. Everyone knows whats good about a game, they plaster it in PR reports, when you hear about all the bad you can figure out what you can and cant deal with ("theres only 260 troops in the first battle, THIS IS HISTORICALLY INACCURATE!!!1" vs. "the game kicks you in the groin if you try and run it")

Just gotta watch out for things with games in the case of Hammer and Sickle, sometimes the reviewers are too retarded to even properly describe the bad parts of the game, because they cant even understand the games themselves.
 

Twinfalls

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LlamaGod said:
A Good review has pretty much gone and died with Avault's death.

I take you mean Avault transforming into an all-purpose media kind of site? Bob Mandel is still doing some decent reviews there though. And Tom Chick is still writing stuff elsewhere (though its spread amongst the mainstream media and QTT doesn't have much review content)

What's risen whilst mainstream reviews have gone down the gurgler is forum reviews, Amazon user reviews, etc.

So the cognoscenti who know to utilise that stuff now have it much better - a plethora of free, non-biased reviews and opinions that give a much more detailed overall picture of the quality of a game, with no need whatsoever to buy a fucking magazine anymore.

It seems however there are enough others out there to make this whole hysterically competitive ball-sucking business ever more worthwhile for mainstream and wanna-be mainstream sites and mags.
 

onerobot

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I think the main reason that mainstream pulications and sites go the "this game was super rad, but OMG i just ran out of room to describe it" route is that they pretty much have to give popular games good reviews, and delving into the details doesn't allow them to.

The vast majority of people absolutely love Oblivion, and giving it an honest review (or even one that goes the 90% mark) only earns the ire of the mindless fans and horribly powerful publishers that can do things like pull advertisments and not list the review on their site. So if you're a reviewer your options are to either go off on some long, unrelated and semi-humorous rant until you're out of space, be as dumb as the majority of the people who like the game (which isn't really easy to do without stabbing your brain with unpleasant things) or pretending to be as dumb as the people who like the game, meaning you have to like it, but can't have any idea why

Hence the "opinion" review, the review that appeals to everyone who isn't a cynical jerk (who are probably hermits or basement dwellers ie people no one really cares about unless they're being polite).
 

One Wolf

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what i don't get is why such inadequate standards on video game reviews as opposed to other reviewable media (i.e. movies).

the video game industry is gigantic in its entirety, and game sites receive massive visitation not unlike....wherever the fuck people go to read movie reviews. yet any prestigious movie critic would never get away with such downright ass-suckery as exhibited by basically every major gaming site to one degree or another.

naturally, cinema production companies will always do their utmost to hype the fuck outta whatever they are producing ("this movie, it whips the llamas ass!") just like any pr division of any media distributor, but you don't see the critics fall all over themselves in waves of jism just because developer XXXX said to.
nl said:
The main way I gauge a game now is I look at the lowest review scores, apply of grain of salt and then read whats wrong with the game.

yeah, seems like the best way to me as well.
 

sheek

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Twinfalls said:
What's risen whilst mainstream reviews have gone down the gurgler is forum reviews, Amazon user reviews, etc.

So the cognoscenti who know to utilise that stuff now have it much better - a plethora of free, non-biased reviews and opinions that give a much more detailed overall picture of the quality of a game, with no need whatsoever to buy a fucking magazine anymore..

True. I stopped paying any attention to 'professional reviews', for games, movies, music, books a long time ago because of the internet. Any review no matter how good it is (and good professional reviews are a minority for obvious reasons) there is only so much it can provide. You go on a forum and you get hundreds of different opinions (80% worth at least something) and you're almost guaranteed everything will be covered. Some opinions will conflict but if you're not a moron you can work stuff out from the contradictions.

I look forward to the day when 'professional reviewers' are forced to get real jobs.
 

YourConscience

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One of the worst things about 'professional' review is, how they waste about 25% of their available space by describing the story, setting and all that stuff. A typical review goes the first few paragraphs like this:

The king of X has died. blah blah assassins blah blah hero blah

That might perhaps be ok for pure adventure, where the story is not just an excuse, but in most games the story is just there for decoration.

Also, lots of space (usually like 40%) is covered, detailing out which kind of uberbumpapping is being used and how super-cool it looks like.

And then they complain that they don't have enough space to write about the meat of things. Naturally, a forumspost by some normal forum-almost-troll (such as volourn, for example) which complains about some very particular thing in the game tells me much more, because from what is being complained about one can guess, what's not being complained about.

By the way, it's funny, how 90% of complaints found in professional reviews are concerned with graphics or other non-gameplay related things such as sound or pure number of maps, while 90% of complaints found in forums posts are concerned with various gameplay problems (bad AI, bad economy, bad pathfinding, ...)

Also by the way, has anyone also this effect? When I read the feature list of some new RTS or FPS or RPG, I immediately know that I dislike the game whenever there is a line that says: This game features X missions. Becuase that automatically means that there is no freeform gameplay.
 

Drakron

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Yep.

I stop reading long ago ... its funny since I still have some old Joystick (french mag) issues and when I compare their old reviews with the new ones there is definity a diference.
 

Greatatlantic

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Indeed, it just makes no sense to me what some reviewers get away with. The classic example is Black and White, which recieved very high reviews from a variety of sources. However, when it got into gamer's hands, many found it boring, tedius, and just plain unfun to play (and not because of ADD).

Another example is Invisible War. The reviews by and large didn't give it such high praise as its predecessor. However, I don't remember reading a single review that just came out and said this game would no longer be fun for fans of the original, and it was just another shooter, except much worse because of the stupidity of universal ammo.

Lets not start on Neverwinter Nights, which we all know about.
 

Naked_Lunch

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Speaking of Black and White, the newest issue of PCgamer (They gave it a 96/100) has it ranked as one of the best strategy games ever mades. What a bunch of tard.

EDIT: They also have Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind as the most influential RPG. R00FLES!
 

YourConscience

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EDIT: They also have Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind as the most influential RPG. R00FLES!

Well, you know, most influencial doesn't mean best game or somesuch. In a way, STALKER has already been a very influencial game, even though it was never released.

And Morrowind was influencial - at least to the world of media, as basically over 50% of all previews/review do mention Morrowind for comparison.

I agree, though, that it hasn't been all that influencial on other games. No one has yet copied their crappy animations, their wiki-style dialogs and other such cool inventions. </sarcasm>.

I think an influencial title is one, where many other developers try to copy things off. Examples like Fallout->The Fall or X-Com->UFO Aftermath are such influences. But what has Morrowind->? influenced? Nothing.
 

Jabbapop

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YourConscience said:
I think an influencial title is one, where many other developers try to copy things off. Examples like Fallout->The Fall or X-Com->UFO Aftermath are such influences. But what has Morrowind->? influenced?

boiling point? vampire bloodlines?
 

DarkUnderlord

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Jabbapop said:
YourConscience said:
I think an influencial title is one, where many other developers try to copy things off. Examples like Fallout->The Fall or X-Com->UFO Aftermath are such influences. But what has Morrowind->? influenced?

boiling point? vampire bloodlines?
In what way did Morrowind possibly influence Bloodlines?

Also note that Boiling Point nor Bloodlines are "copies" like The Fall is to Fallout or the UFO series to X-Com.
 

Jabbapop

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DarkUnderlord said:
Jabbapop said:
YourConscience said:
I think an influencial title is one, where many other developers try to copy things off. Examples like Fallout->The Fall or X-Com->UFO Aftermath are such influences. But what has Morrowind->? influenced?

boiling point? vampire bloodlines?
In what way did Morrowind possibly influence Bloodlines?

Also note that Boiling Point nor Bloodlines are "copies" like The Fall is to Fallout or the UFO series to X-Com.

we weren't talking about whether or not a game is a "copy" of morrowind; we're talking about what morrowind has influenced. i don't think for a game to be influential there have to be virtual facsimiles. i should have been clearer. and i challenge any of you to argue that morrowind has not set a visible standard and both catalyzed a development interest in first person action rpgs!
 

Naked_Lunch

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Morrowind hasn't influenced shit. Boiling Point and Bloodlines are far more influenced by Deus Ex than morrowind. The only game I can think of that Morrowind "influenced" was Oblivion, and that's because it's the sequel so it doesn't really count at all.

Just because a game shares similar features doesn't mean it's influenced by something. Oh geez, Bioshock is in first person! Must mean it's influenced by Dungeon Master!
 

Section8

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In its defense, Morrowind is basically a comprehensive how-not-to guide for game design in general. Oblivion even more so.
 

DarkUnderlord

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Jabbapop said:
DarkUnderlord said:
Jabbapop said:
YourConscience said:
But what has Morrowind->? influenced?
boiling point? vampire bloodlines?
In what way did Morrowind possibly influence Bloodlines?
we weren't talking about whether or not a game is a "copy" of morrowind; we're talking about what morrowind has influenced. i don't think for a game to be influential there have to be virtual facsimiles. i should have been clearer. and i challenge any of you to argue that morrowind has not set a visible standard and both catalyzed a development interest in first person action rpgs!
Did you see the bit that I wrote? That there's what we call a question and rather than answer it, you didled around the bush and avoided it.

Now here, let me make it clearer:

Morrowind said:
Morrowind was released in May 2002 for Microsoft Windows and the Xbox.
Bloodlines said:
Bloodlines commenced production in October of 2001 and was finally released in November 2004.
Now I ask you again, in what way did Morrowind possibly influence Bloodlines? What, Troika's original secret plans for an isometric RPG were re-written to an FPS RPG 6 months later after everyone had had a chance to play Morrowind?

Leonard Boyarsky said:
Well, first off, Scott [from Valve Software] approached us and asked us to take a look at their engine. We had known him and kept in contact with him since he worked at Sierra. As I've said numerous times, the main thing that really got us excited about the Valve engine (apart from just the overall beauty of it) was the facial animation technology that they had incorporated into it. Another factor in our choosing the Source Technology was the fact that we were all fans of the storytelling in the original Half-Life game, in that it seemed to be more than just a shooter, so we felt this would be a great engine to push further and build an RPG around.
 

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