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Game Reviewers and the Corporate Shills Who Love Them


I've needed a few days to come up with exactly what I wanted to say in this whole
situation. It's been a pretty busy week for the video game industry, at least on the
journalism side. It
seems that when reviews of high profile Quarter 4 games come up, they bring out the worst
companies, critics and fans alike. I recall last year when a controversial 8.8 review of a
high profile game arrived on the scene and fanboys were all up in arms. Now the same
reviewer of said game has become the subject of what has turned into a much more grave
situation than just pissing off fanboys: Money Hats.

I had suspected back in the "8.8 days" that money hats were trading around at Gamespot
(the 360 reviews always seemed a bit high to me), so I stopped going there in favor of IGN
(the lesser of the three evils). Of course I find that reading many reviews and finding
critics with my similar tastes seems to work the best for me when deciding what games to
play. However I know some people that work in the video game industry, and I had heard
the rumors of money hats being passed around for quite some time. Famitsu in many ways
is quite blatant about it, with a known reputation of giving good review scores to high profile
franchises regardless of whether or not the game is any good. Now the recent events rear
the head of the uglier side of journalism and there is no turning back now. CNET has set a

They can spin this however much they want, but the damage has been done. How will the
fans, the hardcore readers ever be able to trust a review without the suspicion of the power
of the almighty dollar? What does this do for the critics, who may fear now that they can't
be objective, or they may lose the advertising dollars that pay their salaries? What does
this say to developers, who may be less inclined to take risks, so they can be sure the
game will get a "good review" and perpetuate this cycle? Gamespot was one of the little
guys back in the day before being bought by CNET. What does this say for the smaller
guys like here and Kotaku?

This issue is no longer about whether or not a review score impacting the firing of Mr.
Gertsmann. This is now about the video game industry becoming like the other established
mediums, but in all the wrong ways. Sure we want video games to be assimilated like
movies and books, but one of the things that makes this young medium so special is how in
touch the fans, critics, and developers are with eachother. When it becomes about money
and less about the craft, it loses something in the same way that most movies as of late
have been lost on me. Now critics seem to be vastly ignored in the movie industry.

I was never a huge fan of Jeff Gertsmann. He always came across as an XBox fanboy due
to his obsession over gamerscore. It was hard for me to believe he could be objective
(how could a Tony Hawk game be a 10?). That being said I respect his desire to call things
as they are and maintain journalistic integrity. No one should be fired over that.

So Mr. Gertsmann, I hope you can find a new site that will let you play XBox games and
talk about points to your hearts content, or make your own company. One that believes in
keeping reviews honest, even if it means staying as one of the little guys.
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About naia-the-gamerone of us since 1:51 PM on 09.13.2007

My name is Naia (pronounced either Nay-a or Neye-a, like yay or like eye). I've been poking around here for a while, although I don't comment as much as I used to. I do the music and the sound stuff. Teach and do scholarly research too! I do mostly freelance work and I'm always looking for people (even on DToid) to do fun projects with in entertainment. That can be either in theater, film, TV, or video games. I want to be like Kermit the Frog and be part of a group that entertains and makes people happy. I also love blue slimes, puppies and Sprinkles Cupcakes.

I've been playing computer and video games all my life. My dad was a programmer so we got an IBM 5150 PC very early on in the 80's. For Christmas in 1989 my parents surprised me with a Nintendo and it's been downhill ever since. I have/had most consoles over the years, mainly from Sony or Nintendo. I've had some Sega consoles and an Xbox 360 too.

I'm a big fan of the JRPG trinity of Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest and Fire Emblem (more DQ and FE lately, but I didn't hate FFXV). I was a finalist in Nintendo's DQ6 trivia contest back in 2011. I play RPGs, Action/Adventure, Platformers, Puzzles, and Point-n-Click Adventure games. I will play fighters and shooters, but they have to be the right kind of game.

Also, Rydia is my hero.

I'm such a nerd, I like to keep track of all the games I've completed in an excel file (it's over 400). Now that my backlog is out of control I have a word document for that too. My goal is to for once and for all eliminate the backlog, or at least keep it to a number in the single digits.

I have a lot of things to say about the game industry, it's something I care deeply about and love giving my opinions. I like to rant about shit. I'm here just to share what I have to say, in hopes someone is willing to listen.

Also for the record, my Top 5 Games of All Time
1. Chrono Trigger
2. Final Fantasy 4
3. Super Mario 3
4. Dragon Quest 11
5. Phantasy Star 4

Yes, I love my retro games (and DQ 11)

Thanks to The GHost for this awesome card!
Xbox LIVE:naia28
PSN ID:naia28
Steam ID:naia28
Mii code:7309 4775 1557 9362
3DS Code:4167-4502-0418


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