Friday, February 15, 2008

Gamespy Reviewer for Lost Odyssey EXPOSED - PART II

In my third world country, we have a saying: "Bato bato sa langit, kung tamaan ay huwag magagalit."

Game reviewers are not gods.

They do not decide the fate of a game in the marketplace. This has been proven time and again with games like Assassin's Creed, Dead Rising, Lost Planet, and now, Lost Odyssey. You can check any major forum right now and you'll find the same thing:

Positive impressions across the board.
Gamers touched emotionally by the game's finest character moments. Appreciation for the strongly TRADITIONAL turn-based JRPG system. Maybe a few comments of frustration on the challenge and difficulty of the game, but I don't see that many Xbox gamers giving up that easily. A lot of the ones who don't surrender right away come off with a sense of complete satisfaction once they've overcome the game's initial baptism of fire: Grilgan and Bogimoray.

Lost Odyssey is here. And it's as massive and epic as it was promised to be.

Now, on the boards, Ramonskito pointed out to me today that apparently, Patrick Joynt from Gamespy just issued his response to accusations that he didn't give Lost Odyssey a fair shake. Apparently our little article, entitled "Gamespy Reviewer for Lost Odyssey EXPOSED" got around the internet and it eventually reached Joynt himself.

It starts on this forum thread here,
where Gamespy forum-goer Gaming4Life links back to our blog's article and to the neogaf post where this all started. Once again I'd like to say that it is to the credit of Sennin from Neogaf forums that this gamespy reviewer was exposed for his ignorance of Lost Odyssey's turn-based gameplay mechanics; I merely found the argument between the two of them and posted it here. I would have joined in that argument had it been possible for me to register on Neogaf. Apparently it's impossible for gamers in the third world to register there...they require an e-mail address that they can recognize and that isn't a 'free' one like a hotmail address or a yahoo address.

And then, a few posts thereafter, Patrick Joynt ("deadairis") joins in the discussion and only had this to post as his response:

Patrick Joynt:
"G4L, you're citing as a source...neogaf? Truly, you are a treasure. Don't you ever leave. "

He's either unaware of how he was gloriously owned by Sennin on neogaf forums, or he's just brushing off the issue, because he's a game journalist. From what he thinks is his position of power, he feels he is invincible. By posting that kind of response, in a way he's disrespecting Neogaf, a forum that he himself visits. Is this the extent of what he thinks of the gamers on Neogaf, or of gamers in general? That we can't be a source of reliable opinion on games, and that only journalists like himself set the standard of what is and isn't a great game?

Why must gamers give these reviewers power over their ability to make informed decisions? The truth is, there are so many other ways to find out if a particular game is worth buying or not. You can read user reviews and forum posts, and in some cases (not in Lost Odyssey's case at the moment) try a game demo and make your buying decision based on that. Game reviews these days are becoming more and more irrelevant, precisely because these game reviewers don't look at the big picture, instead picking out flaws and lowering a numerical score based on that.

Furthermore, game reviewers seem intent on making the presence (or lack thereof) of innovation a major factor in scoring newer game franchises, but never seem to apply the same standard for existing game franchises with larger fanbases (and thus, with larger potential sources of angry e-mails). Games like Mario or Final Fantasy can get away with being similar to past iterations, while newer games like Lost Odyssey can't, even if it executes an existing gameplay methodology extremely well, or better than its counterparts.

Lastly, what's the difference between Patrick Joynt, Sennin, and me and my wife? We are all gamers. We all have a right to our own opinion. But Joynt is paid to do this sort of thing, and we aren't.


  1. i agree 100%

    ... and to be even more honest i think that you and your wife made an outstanding blog/review/walkthrough and would like to thank you... so thank you.

  2. Thanks for reading....honestly we just want Mistwalker to get recognized for their stellar work on this game. They really deserve it, and hope they get another shot to make another game like Lost Odyssey in the near future.

    I know about their misfortunes in Japan. I don't know if their failures there lie on Microsoft Japan's failings or xenophobia (some have said that the Japanese do not want to support a (outsider/foreigner) gaijin system like the Xbox 360, and with all that MS has done for Japan, it's hard to believe that this isn't a possibility).

    The Western market (US, Europe) and the Asian markets outside Japan (including small countries like mine) are probably the only real markets for Mistwalker right now. If they don't succeed in these places, then we won't see anymore great RPG stories from Sakaguchi. He may have made mistakes in the past (example: the FF movie) but there's no denying that the man has talent in forging great stories and characters for video games. I think he should continue to be given a chance to make JRPGs. Lost Odyssey's success ensures that.

    On forums online everywhere, the reception to this game continues to be very positive from JRPG enthusiasts everywhere. When the game launches in Europe, I'm expecting Lost Odyssey to be quite a phenomenon there as well, considering that the players there are probably reading all this good feedback and are now eagerly anticipating the game. It seems to me that no one's paying attention to the reviews for this's the gamers who are telling other gamers to go try it, and the wave of positive opinions is driving this game to become a massive hit.