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 xbox.com 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.