The Rybicki Maneuver

Discussion in 'Content Comments' started by Brother None, Jul 14, 2007.

  1. JohnnyHighGround

    JohnnyHighGround First time out of the vault

    3
    Jul 26, 2007
    That's just not true. It is not a reviewer's job to note every single flaw in a product. And I'm not just talking about games here. But consider Oblivion: Considering the scope and scale of the product, pointing out something like the occasionally mediocre voice work would be like, I dunno, pointing out where John Entwhistle flubbed a transition on Quadrophenia. Like pointing out the mediocre performance of a bit player in Citizen Kane. Is it a flaw? Yes. Does it matter enough to mention? God, no.

    A professional reviewer, in and of any media, has a limited amount of space to work with. (Yes, even online.) To attempt to devote that space to cataloging each and every perceived (note that word, because it ties back to the perception of the individual reviewer) flaw in any product would be ludicrous.


    Oh, I totally feel you there -- I've been experiencing the same thing with the latest Zelda on the Wii. But that's what happens when people with different opinions look at the same product.


    My point was, these flaws were observed -- but they don't hurt the game in any appreciable way to any but the most nitpicky player, so they weren't relevant to the review. But in talking about how the Fallout engine improves upon the Oblivion engine, they are absolutely relevant. Does that make it clearer?

    That is a great proverb! And I intend to use it at my earliest convenience.


    As I said above, it's a question of relevance. These issues weren't relevant to the review, and I don't think anyone in the press is saying that Oblivion is suddenly not deserving of all its accolades. But in talking about how Fallout is improving upon it -- well, you have to give examples, don't you?

    Take care,
    -joe
     
  2. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all
    Orderite

    Apr 3, 2003
    I do mention that option, tho'

    What are we supposed to conclude from this? Nobody can look inside the heads of those reviewers, but why suddenly identify flaws in Oblivion now rather than a year ago, when it would still have mattered for opinion forming? Did they need a year to find these flaws? Do they not dare to criticize the game that early? Or can they only see flaws when they have something superior to compare it to?

    Replace see with identify, I guess.

    But that doesn't make any sense to me. Not when talking about bad voice acting, or level scaling. There are lots of elements you can shove away as personal opinion or irrelevant, but every single person I've ever heard on Oblivion was annoyed to some degree by those two elements.

    That could just be a difference of opinion between you and me, but somehow while I can see your point, I can't apply it here. The difference between "flawless game!" and "this horrific flaw is getting fixed" is a bit too big to understand. If we were talking purely about minor flaws here, or if the original reviews had a tendency to name any flaws...hell, the reason I juxtaposed quotes here is to show not only that the site originally didn't recognise the flaw, but they sometimes directly contradict themselves.

    Well, open question: how would this explain CVG's step from "Morrowind did the groundwork for Oblivion" to "Oblivion is less good than Morrowind based on cheapening for action." Some of these contradictions are a bit blatant.
     
  3. JohnnyHighGround

    JohnnyHighGround First time out of the vault

    3
    Jul 26, 2007
    Well, don't make the mistake of thinking that a highly rated game -- even a game rated with the highest score an outlet can offer -- is considered by anyone (least of all the reviewer) as "flawless." There's no such thing. (And I will happily go on record as saying that if anyone legitimately called Oblivion "flawless," that person ought not to be reviewing videogames, because they obviously lack certain skills of critical evaluation, communication, or both.)

    EDIT: I would like to clarify here that, had I been the reviewer on Oblivion anytime before the PS3 version, I would have unhesitatingly given it a 10 out of 10. In my opinion, what is the top of the scale for, if not for games just like Oblivion? I do very much love the game. It certainly has flaws, quite a lot of them, actually. But they are so completely overwhelmed by all the things Oblivion does right that they're barely worth mentioning, much less docking the score for (I would have made every effort to explain this in my review, of course). But that's my opinion -- and if the occasional repeated line or mediocre voice acting particularly bothers you, well, you'd score it differently. And that's OK. /EDIT

    Your question about CVG, are you referring to the quotes from PC Zone included in your article? (I skimmed the article again but didn't notice or remember any CVG references.) Anyway, if so, I think the first quote explains the situation adequately: The review was one person's opinion -- the "101 best games ever" list (or whatever) was arrived at by a (bitterly contested) vote of, I presume, the entire staff of the magazine.

    I do applaud the research that went into this piece, but I think you're basing your assumptions on a basic misunderstanding of how the games media works. With very few exceptions, a review is a single person's subjective experience. Comparing reviews to previews, especially previews and reviews written by different people, doesn't really get us anywhere. They're saying different things? Well, yeah. They're serving different purposes, and probably written by different people.

    The fact that one previewer notes flaws in Oblivion when writing about Fallout tells us absolutely nothing about the validity of a review, written by a separate person, 16 months ago.

    Take care,
    -joe
     
  4. analord

    analord It Wandered In From the Wastes

    135
    Jun 18, 2007
    Honestly going into to a review one shouldn't be pulling any punches. You should be disecting the game limb from limb and you should brutal, then arrive at your final score. If the game gets a good rating besides your over analyzation and cherry picking then you know, truly, it's a good game. Perhaps you could reevaluate it again, or get a second opinion. I assume reviewers think critically about the game in relativity to the game's depth. Therefor something like Halo can get an 8 out of 10 smacked on it without a second thought but something like Oblivion (a big game) should be thought about a lot before achieving any conclusion.