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Scorpia and Baldur's Gate, a discussion from 2006

Discussion in 'BioWare' started by Infinitron, Jul 2, 2016.

  1. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    RPG Wokedex Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Back in 2006, legendary RPG reviewer Scorpia opened a blog (which was shut down three years later). Last night, I randomly came across a discussion about her from back then on the QT3 forums, with a few of her former co-workers from Computer Gaming World in attendance. There's some interesting gossip about her, and an interesting look at the impact that Baldur's Gate had back in the day.

    http://www.quartertothree.com/game-talk/showthread.php?28150-Scorpia-is-back

    Here are a few quotes:

     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2016
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  2. udm Arcane Patron

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    :love:
     
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  3. Lhynn Arcane

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    Sounds like she was a fucking hero.

    Nvm, shes retarded. Thanks bubbles
     
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  4. Sacred82 Self-Ejected Dumbfuck

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    Anyone calling out BG for the piece of shit it was can't be half bad
     
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  5. Bubbles I'm forever blowing

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    Here are some snippets from her article:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And here is the dissenting sidebar where the editorial staff publically stabbed her in the back:

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Mustawd Arcane

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    This reviewer is retarded. Even I know BG had redeeming qualities, and I thought alignment and part dynamics was one of 'em.
     
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  7. Space Insect Arcane

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    I agree with some of the stuff she said, but it sounds like she wanted to min-max without anything getting in her way. She probably would have liked it more if she had used the multiplayer to create her own min-max party.
     
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  8. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

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    I've always been kind of underwhelmed by her analysis -- it was certainly more nuts-and-bolts and informed than many mainstream reviewers, but if you compare it to the similar review style on the Codex, her work seems really lacking. She seemed incapable of thinking of how others would play the game, and things that to me seem quite small (or simply incorrect) would be of intense importance to her. For example, her comments about the RNG in BG -- the combination of self-aggrandizement and certitude about something that is almost certainly incorrect is pretty lame: "The RNG is cheating!!!!" is one thing to exclaim in the privacy of your own home when you a point-blank burst in X-Com or Fallout, but it's kind of dodgy in a formal review.

    My exposure to her was mostly through the CRPG Addict, where her reviews almost always seem to miss the forest for the trees -- her bottom line is often right, but for the wrong reasons. I think she also commented once on an article I wrote for The Escapist, and it seemed to me she hadn't actually read the article but had very firm opinions about what was wrong in it. So maybe I'm biased.
     
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  9. Bubbles I'm forever blowing

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    The same issue of CGW also contained reviews of Alpha Centauri (5/5), Starcraft: Brood War (5/5), Myth 2 (4.5/5), and King's Quest: Mask of Eternity (4/5). The only real stinkers were Return to Krondor and Quest for Glory 5 (both 2.5/5). Maybe Scorpia's 4/5 review seemed even worse because it was crowded out by so many all-time greats?
     
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  10. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

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    Ah, here we are! Full text behind spoiler.
    Show Spoiler

    This seems quite a vindication of the min-max point: "I want to run heroic characters, not some also-ran burdened down or crippled by who-knows-what deficits." What is most striking to me on reading this is the major hole in her knowledge: the entire rogue-like genre, despite my repeatedly referencing it in my article. The only example she can come up with of only saving when quitting is Diablo 2. Overall though I remember being more annoyed at the time about her commentary than I am now.
     
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  11. Bubbles I'm forever blowing

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    She also wrote a class guide in the same CGW issue:

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. Jrpgfan Liturgist

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    I always thought the score was too high considering she found the game mediocre at best. That's why I always had the suspicion some editor changed the original score. But I don't know if that's true or if other people thought the same at the time. Maybe Scorpia herself got a little intimidated to give a lower score for such a praised release.
     
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  13. Bubbles I'm forever blowing

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    Finally, here are her criticisms of Fallout 2 (also 4/5):

    [​IMG]

    Maybe that last line explains the BG1 score - she was judging by the standards of 1998, and even deeply flawed RPGs were better than average for that time.
     
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  14. Bubbles I'm forever blowing

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    Nevermind, mystery solved

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Grauken Professional Procrastinator Patron

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    I've always wondered why I liked the old, early guard of game reviewers, while I rarely had any respect of those coming in after 2000. Some is clearly nostalgia on my part, but also I suspect some of it was that early writers for those magazines rarely planned to ever be game reviewers who kind of fell into it and planned to get out of it at some point, get back to a real career, whatever that means. Which also meant that they sometimes gave less a shit of whom to hype, ass kiss and in general just tried to write honest, objective-as-possible reviews. These days, some of those writers probably grew up thinking that this kind of job is the ultimate wet dream and if some of them get it, do everything to keep it. They have the moral backbone of a snail, and it shows

    Also, I remember my original reaction to BG, it was like "if this is the savior of CRPGs, we're all so fucked"
     
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  16. abnaxus Arcane Patron

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    [​IMG]
     
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  17. TigerKnee Arcane

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    These were half-decent tips up until the point where she suggested not multi-classing
     
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  18. Lhynn Arcane

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    You were right.
    Not that i think BG was bad, more than its k if you didnt like it. its that kind of game.
     
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  19. Grauken Professional Procrastinator Patron

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    It's funny, but these days I'm much less hostile to it given the depths the genre sunk to and also that I learned to like some of its aspects, but when it came out I really couldn't stand it
     
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  20. pippin Guest

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    Powergaming always takes the fun off rpgs.
     
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  21. I tried not to powergame Underrail, but toward the end the only thing on my mind was how suboptimal my build was. :(
     
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  22. PorkyThePaladin Arcane

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    Is it just me, or was there something charming about an old school reviewer who might have been "too shy" to post pics? That's so great compared to today, where they are all trying whore themselves out on TV and youtube videos, and half of them are some cute chicks that barely know anything about games. Let's be honest here, I don't really want to see the reviewer, I just want to hear them say something interesting.
     
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  23. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    RPG Wokedex Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Imagine your stereotypical new Codex poster. Somebody who has accrued a collection of observations and opinions about RPGs over the years but never had them critically examined via high-brow discussion with other people. With no pushback, over time those idiosyncratic viewpoints will grow out of proportion to their real importance. A more balanced, nuanced understanding of the genre will never have the chance to develop. That's what Scorpia seems like to me - a Codexer without a Codex.
     
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  24. So, "Jews did it!" basically.
     
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  25. Zboj Lamignat Arcane

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    As a potato it's the first time I hear about her, but that part where she refused to give marks so the staff decided to put 4/5 under a clearly unfavorable review cracked me up.
     
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