Gaming Steve

November 2007 Archives

November 30, 2007

Fallout from the "Gerstmann Incident" Continues

Wow, in just the last 12 hours a lot has developed over the "Gerstmann incident". Lets see ... Gerstmann confirmed to Joystiq that the firing did happen, the Kane & Lynch ads that blanketed Gamespot's front page are no longer being shown, Gerstmann's video review of the game has been removed from Gamespot, Gamespot's forums have exploded with posts talking about the incident (with one thread having over a thousand posts), the Eidos forums were temporarily shut down, and it's not even noon yet!

And the strange part of this ordeal is that now I'm quite curious about Kane & Lynch, a game I couldn't have cared less about just a mere 12 hours ago. I definitely want to give this game a try now. Remember kids, there is no such thing as bad publicity.

I have a feeling that this is one of those stories we are going to be talking for a very long time and will have quite an impact within the industry and review scores, true or not. Hopefully it will all be for the best, reviews might actually start to accurately depict the game quality and not the advertising budget, and in the long run and Jeff Gerstmann will find a new job (I have a feeling he'll have no trouble finding one).

By the way, this is the video review which was the main culprit to Gerstmann's firing. According to the rumor it wasn't just the fact that he gave the game a 6.0 out of 10 but rather the "tone" of the review. I have to say that for a review of 6.0, which is supposed to represent a "fair" game, Gerstmann's review is quite negative. You be the judge:

Posted by Gaming Steve at 11:30 AM | Comments (17) | Posted to Culture | Rumor |  Add this story to  Stumble It!  Submit this story to Digg!

November 29, 2007

Popular Gamespot Reviewer Fired Over Kane and Lynch Review?

Penny Arcade Gamespot Take

A very interesting story has been zipping across the Internets today concerning video game "journalism" and review scores. According to the rumor, Jeff Gerstmann, a very popular and well known editor at Gamespot, was fired because he gave the game Kane and Lynch a score of 6.0. Eidos, which just happened to have an enormous marketing campaign plastered all over the Gamespot site right now, was not too pleased with his review and demanded the score to be changed.

But why would Eidos want the score changed so badly? Well it seems that Cnet, the owner of Gamespot, promised a certain "type" of score in exchange for their marketing dollars and that "understanding" didn't come through. Of course, Cnet didn't exactly promise a specific score, but rather a "positive tone" to the review. Gerstmann refused to change his score/review so he was fired. No official word has been made at Gamespot, and no word from Gerstmann so this is all hearsay and speculation at this point, but Gerstmann has not been on the site or in his regular Gamespot segments for several days now.

Could this rumor be true? Who knows ... but it should be pointed out that Gamespot has changed scores in the past. Last year Gamespot reviewed Company of Heroes and gave it an 8.9, but a few days later changed their score to a 9.0 and gave the game an "Editors' Choice" award (the official word is that they changed the score because of an SLI issue that was fixed, but that seems a bit too convenient).

But the real question is this, do gaming publications trade good reviews for exclusive access, marketing dollars, behind-the-scene interviews? Could the influx in thousands of dollars in ad revenue in any way shape and form affect the so-called "game reviews" that you read? I mean, what are the chances that upsetting one of the few big-game publishers in the industry could possibly hurt your chances at future access to their games and content?

(Please note, the previous paragraph should be read with a tone of heavy sarcasm to get the full effect. Thank you.)

All I have to say is this -- Gamespot Perfect Dark Zero review ... final score, 9.0 and an Editors' Choice award during the launch of the Xbox 360 and an enormous Microsoft marketing campaign at Gamespot. Amazing coincidence ... or was Perfect Dark Zero, the launch title for the Xbox 360, just that good of a game. You decide.

Oh yes, bonus fun at Penny Arcade with their take on the rumor.

Posted by Gaming Steve at 11:30 PM | Comments (11) | Posted to Rumor |  Add this story to  Stumble It!  Submit this story to Digg!

November 28, 2007

Classic Video Game Labels + Modern Games = Pure Genius

Crysis Atari 2600

I used to absolutely love the old Atari 2600 video game boxes and their crazy artwork. Remember those days? Before "branding" and "product placement" took over the video game industry. When games were simply called Football or Bowling or Adventure?

No fancy brands or celebrities to sell your product. Just a simple name and some groovy cover art that you hoped convey the awesomeness that was 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe.

Which is what makes the site Label Maker 2600 so much fun. Mixing and matching the latest state-of-the-art games with 1970s cartridge technology and viewing the results is endless fun. You can even select the ancient text labels, the classic picture label, and the futuristic silver label. You just need to upload an image, type in some text, and the site does the rest. Pure awesome.

Now I just need to find a label maker for the 5200, 7800, Intellivision, Odyssey, Vectrex, ColecoVision, Genesis, TurboGrafx-16, and every other obsolete gaming system ever to exist and I'll be in heaven!

Posted by Gaming Steve at 9:00 PM | Comments (2) | Posted to Classic | Culture |  Add this story to  Stumble It!  Submit this story to Digg!

November 5, 2007

The Inhuman Achievement

I always find it amazing that no matter how hard developer makes a video game that someone, somewhere will manage to accomplish the impossible. Whether its finishing Blast Corps or finishing the last level of Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan! with a perfect score I am always continuously amazed at the level of human accomplishment when it comes to video games.

The latest inhuman achievement to appear in a video game is finishing the attempting to play “Through the Fire and Flames” by Dragonforce, which is unlocked once you complete Guitar Hero 3. It’s no shocker that this is the hardest song ever put in a Guitar Hero game but after seeing this song in action one has to wonder ... what were they thinking? I've seen impossible video game tasks before but this just seems, I don't know, beyond impossible. The song is over eight minutes long and you have to play so fast that your guitar sounds like its producing a steady stream of machine gun fire. But yet someone has managed to finish this song on Expert level.

Again, humans always continue to amaze me:

Posted by Gaming Steve at 10:00 AM | Comments (20) | Posted to Culture | PlayStation 2 | Wii | Xbox |  Add this story to  Stumble It!  Submit this story to Digg!