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My Thoughts on Jim Sterling's BotW Review


Maybe I'm a little late to the party here and/or nobody wants to talk about it anymore, but I thought I'd share my thoughts on his review of the game and basically touch on the mindset I believe is behind it. Also it's super fucking late where I am right now and this might be all nonsense, but it sounded alright at the time, so I decided to post it.

First of all, I absoultely don't think it's clickbait, because he doesn't get funded by ads and traffic like that, so once you get that out of your tin-foil adorned head, you can start to look at it a little more objectively. Sure any attention is good attention, but honestly, just being able to voice your own opinion freely like he does seems to be the satisfaction he gets from it. That and the fact that he knows there are a certain type of people out there that are going to throw a fit about his reviewing BotW like it's just any old game. 

I'm interested in it because I thought it was probably one of the most unbiased, reasonable reviews I've read of the game so far where the reviewer didn't factor in how the game made him feel like a child again. That's great if that's how the game makes you feel, but that's separate from being honest about how the game is as just a game. You can't factor in whether or not Zelda is your favorite franchise of all time and the game is like a religious experience for you because you just love Zelda games so much and have waited years for this, because there's little room for criticism there.

It's like being in love for those first few months where all of your new partner's flaws are invisible to you, and that's fine, but maybe just don't review the game yet if that's where you're at with it. It's not even really the honeymoon phase. Honeymoons are great and all, and very sweet, but this is more like the "we just started dating, so let's lock ourselves in the bedroom and fuck for a few days straight while eating nothing but takeout and taking breaks to watch shitty movies with just underwear on until it's time to fuck/eat again while ignoring most friends and family for a bit" phase. It's intense, I get it. That shit is good. Soak it up. Bask in it, but don't get shitty if someone is just doing his job how he's known to do his job. Just like you shouldn't get pissed at your buddy if he says, "Hey man, I know you are totally into that girl and all, but you're overlooking some red flags." Just step back and be okay with someone voicing some shit you don't agree with. It's a great thing to apply to this review and just life in general. 

Anyway, you can see how he got to a 7 when you weigh his pros vs his cons in the article. 7/10 definitely isn't terrible and a lot of the cons I've seen in the game are real turn-offs for me for sure, and I can understand where he's coming from. I think that's part of the problem really. If you have a really fantastic game, the flaws are definitely going to stand out more because they can hinder you from fully appreciating what could truly be a 10/10 genre/generation defining experience.

It's quite tricky to explain really, his reviewing methods. I think it's why he gave something like Deadly Premonition a 10/10. That was the review that caused me to rethink some things about game reviews. The whole game is terribly aware of its own shortcomings, but provides the highest level of quality that team could offer, and damn was it just like nothing else ever made.

Since we are talking about an open world Zelda game (in the "next gen" sense) on the other hand though... the flagship system selling game for the Switch to show off their new tech and usher in a new generation, and just Nintendo in general, a higher level of scrutiny and accountability should be expected. You're dealing with Nintendo level resources here. You can't just say it's amazing because it's a Zelda game and that's that, and eat it all up without dissecting it completely, while making excuses for its shortcomings. It's a damn powerhouse of a series for sure, but you can't let that blind you to the basics of game reviewing when other games aren't afforded that luxury.

Basically... you shouldn't give Scorsese an Oscar just because he's Scorsese, but you should give some "nobody" an Oscar because they tried something to the best of their abilities and created something unique that nobody else has, even if it's not Scorsese caliber in its entirety. Sometimes the "greats" need a little checking to find their new voice and I think this game was a great experiment for Nintendo, and they're onto something great, and I hope they build something even better on it someday that truly justifies all of these 10/10 scores.

I don't know really. I can just see where he's coming from 100% with pretty much most of the things he says in reviews (even if I don't always agree with them) and if it really makes you mad, ya gotta take a step back and remember that it shouldn't affect how you feel about a game in the long run and that Metacritic score doesn't dictate whether or not you'll ever see another Zelda game get made. It's still at 97, which may not be the highest scoring game of all time, but really, who gives a fuck if you're enjoying it and it's a 10/10 to you. His 7/10 ain't hurtin' anybody and 97 is still really, really, really fucking up there.

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About Steel Squirrelone of us since 7:45 PM on 09.07.2007

I've been around for a little while. I have stuff and things to say, but I don't always necessarily say them unless I feel like it's necessary.

I deleted all of my old blog posts quite a while ago in some kind of purge after feeling like I wanted a clean slate to start from.

I enjoy the video games and I enjoy discussing them. Sometimes I might seem like an asshole, but I'm really not. I'm pretty okay.

You're a good person. Don't let the discussing of video games make you a bad one.

Xbox LIVE:Steel Squirrel
PSN ID:Steel_Squirrel


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