Pretension +1: Don't Get Mad About Year-End Lists

December 3, 2010 -

It is that time of the year where everyone and their moms have a year-end list of the best and worst games. Some will accept these lists and "agree to disagree" on some picks, but some gamers will take to the comments of these articles and call the author(s) every name in the book. The latest Pretension +1 column from Gus Mastrapa over at Joystick Division asks angry gamers everywhere to just take a chill pill.

Here is a bit on why many gamers seem hell-bent on a fight after reading a year-end list:

"Many gamers are wrapped up in console turf wars. I can already tell that the PlayStation 3 crowd will feel like they've been snubbed this year. Gran Turismo 5, being a late year entry and a game with an increasingly narrow appeal, won't make a ton of lists. Relax. You guys had Uncharted 2 last year. The Xbox faithful will probably be ticked that Halo: Reach, which was more of the same, won't always enjoy a spot on many lists. And the Nintendo crowd will, of course, be appalled that there are people on the planet who don't think that Super Mario Galaxy 2 is the single greatest achievement of mankind. "

To you folks with your pitchforks and torches at the ready, I urge you to stand down and relax. You already know what your favorite game was this year.

So what is the best advice for dealing with game lists that you think are stupid? Go to the comments section and make the case for your favorite games without being a jerk, and avoid commenters that have nothing better to do than call you a name. Your voice might spark an interesting conversation or inspire someone who has not tried the game you are talking about to check it out.

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Comments

Re: Pretension +1: Don't Get Mad About Year-End Lists

I'ma let you finish, but honestly, Doodle God was the best game of 2010... of all time!

Re: Pretension +1: Don't Get Mad About Year-End Lists

Awww, but console turf wars are the funnest part! I've been lookin' forward to this all year!

JERRY! JERRY! JERRY!

Re: Pretension +1: Don't Get Mad About Year-End Lists

What about the people who think consoles are steaming piles of crap?

Re: Pretension +1: Don't Get Mad About Year-End Lists

For PC, Don't feel mad if Civ 5 and Starcraft 2 are left out. Though frankly the PC audience should be familliar with getting snubbed, as it's AAA games are often multi-platform titles.

Re: Pretension +1: Don't Get Mad About Year-End Lists

"And the Nintendo crowd will, of course, be appalled that there are people on the planet who don't think that Super Mario Galaxy 2 is the single greatest achievement of mankind. "

I'm a Nintendo fanboy and I was really, really disappointed with Galaxy 2.  It's not a bad game but man alive is it easy.  I mean, so easy it's boring to play through.  Certainly didn't see that one coming as all the reviews harped on the game's challenge.

Loved Trauma Team.  Had an enormous amount of fun playing that.  Probably would be my top game of the year if it weren't for Donkey Kong Country Returns.  Probably the best level design I've ever seen.  Challenging too.

Played my first Layton game.  Fun but good lord was the story stupid.  There were episodes of Scooby Doo with better mystery plotting.

LEGO Indy 2 was terrible which is surprising because I loved the first one.  Same with No More Heroes 2.  The original game is great, the sequel sucks harder than a black hole.

Metroid Other M was fun to play but had some of the worst writing I've seen all year (Layton had a bad story, not bad writing).

Force Unleashed 2 was fun but too short, the story was slight and it just didn't play as well as the original.

Played a few old adventure games I missed back in the day like Broken Sword 1 and 2 and the first two Gabriel Knight games.  Very much enjoyed those.

Eh, that's enough.  Some great games but I'll remember this year as a year of terrible sequels to solid first games.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Pretension +1: Don't Get Mad About Year-End Lists

>Certainly didn't see that one coming as all the reviews harped on the game's challenge. 

I'll admit to not having played it, but I'm pretty sure a lot of the comments in reviews claiming that Galaxy 2 was challenging was the writers trying to auto-defend Super Guide, ("It's allowed them to make the game harder", etc) in an attempt to defuse any uproar relating to the topic, or just to appear forward thinking by blindly accepting every concession to the casual market regardless of how good an idea it may or may not be.

Probably the latter- if Kotaku has been anything to go by, Super Guide is totally exempt from any kind of criticism whatsoever.

That's not to say that Super Guide has made the game too easy as such- the claim may well have been true when Nintendo made it in the first place regarding NSMB Wii, and as I've said, I haven't played it and may well find it rock hard- but it does seem to be a case of see one, say the other.

/b

 

Re: Pretension +1: Don't Get Mad About Year-End Lists

I don't know who you've been reading but reviewers are typically not in the business of making excuses for the game developers.  Why would they?  Who would read them if they did?  I don't know what happened in this case, maybe all the reviewers were having an off day or maybe I'm just freakishly awesome at Galaxy 2 but lying about the game's difficulty to justify the inclusion of the Super Guide doesn't make any sense.

I personally don't mind the Super Guide.  Of course, I never saw it in either Galaxy 2 or NSMB Wii but I've seen it in Donkey Kong Country Returns.  I just don't use it.

I think I would have enjoyed Galaxy 2 a lot more if I wasn't looking for this awesome challenge that all the reviews cheered about.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Pretension +1: Don't Get Mad About Year-End Lists

I'm not saying they're making excuses, I'm saying it's an associative thing, after Nintendo made the excuse for themselves. That, and as I said, they may want to appear forward thinking by blindly saying that this particular slightly controversial casual thing is OK.

(For the sake of reference, my view on Super Guide is that it's the wrong solution to the right problem)

Bear in mind that reviewers, like all flavours of journalist do have to review (or journalise) for an audience, otherwise- as you rightfully suggest- they'll lose their market, whether that market is based on what they want from a review (see that Other M review) the type of games they're interested in (not much point in a site about JRPGs reviewing Call of Duty) or their level of experience playing games. For most of the general public, that will be much lower than your average games journalist.

It might just be that, when working out how difficult Joe Public might find the game, they innocently misjudged owing to the fact that, in the past, a title by the same people that was part of the same broad series was made more difficult due to containing some feature.

/b

Re: Pretension +1: Don't Get Mad About Year-End Lists

"I'm not saying they're making excuses, I'm saying it's an associative thing, after Nintendo made the excuse for themselves."

What excuse?

"...my view on Super Guide is that it's the wrong solution to the right problem"

What problem and how?

"(see that Other M review)"

What Other M review?

"It might just be that, when working out how difficult Joe Public might find the game, they innocently misjudged owing to the fact that, in the past, a title by the same people that was part of the same broad series was made more difficult due to containing some feature."

So, the reviewers thought Galaxy 2 would be hard because NSMB Wii was hard because of the Super Guide?  That doesn't make any sense.  NSMB Wii was not hard.  Aside from that, how does the presence of a Super Guide affect the difficulty of a game one way or the other?  I get the argument that because there's a Super Guide, the developer is given carte blanche to make the game as hard as it wants but even if a reviewer assumed the game was more difficult or that gamers would think it would be more difficult, why would he or she lie about the difficulty after playing the game?  It doesn't make any sense.  What possible purpose would that serve?  Even if someone, for some unfathomable reason did that, I can't imagine so many doing that.

 

Andrew Eisen

 
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