Ok, I get it. People are upset that A) Another Nintendo game didn't get a 9 or above; B) Another 3DS game didn't get a 9 or above; and the last one people are having the most trouble with C) A Paper Mario game not getting a 9 or above.
Let's just try to figure out what happened here. First, if you don't get A, B, or C or all of the above, try reading the review first. If that doesn't help you understand anything, try playing the game first. If you played the game and still don't understand, then perhaps you're simply a raving fanboy. I'm most likely going to put my money on the latter.
Nintendo fanboys are about as rabid as they come, and their behavior is clearly seen on any review comment wall of a Nintendo game that doesn't get a 9 or above. GS long timers, can you think of the two biggest review upsets? Twilight Princess an 8.8 and Skyward Sword, a 7.5. Sticker Star would have been a greater upset had it gotten a video review here, but it didn't, which goes to show you that no one likes reading.
So, back to the case of Carolyn's review. I'm about a third into the game, working through World 3, and so far what she's been saying has been pretty spot on. No, I don't say this to troll. No, I don't say this because I'm a cow, a hermit, a lemming, a hedgehog or an echidna. I say this as a critical, level-headed, open-minded gamer. Sticker Star is... disappointing.
There are reasons for this, though. For starters, the feel of the game in comparison to its pedigree is smaller. True, the game is huge, but the interactivity of it all isn't as grand. It's hard to explain, because although you see flashy things happen with the stickers you press onto the game world, you simply aren't rooted to the world as a traditional RPG does. There is a lack of towns, which means a lack of NPCs, which means a lack of dialogue, which means a lack of meaningful story. The game feels more action-adventure than action-RPG or adventure-RPG.
The lack of RPG feel is definitely attributed to the removal of the leveling system, as well as badges and equipment. You can still up your HP, but you need to find the upgrades. You actually can't increase your defense, so the more powerful enemies begin to wail on you harder and harder. There's no need to cast magic, because your more powerful attacks are in the use of stickers, and therein lies another problem...
Using stickers is fun, but it can also be frustrating. There are times where the game throws a lot of enemies at you that require jump attacks, but you've run out and only have hammer attacks and other more powerful items you don't want to use just yet. It's not the end of the world, because you can simply run or avoid enemies altogether. You really shouldn't ever feel the need to AVOID enemies in an RPG. The game is very liberal with the sticker distribution, though, and you earn coins like nobody's business, so you can always afford to restock. Still, it's a poor combat system when compared to The Thousand Year Door's battle system, which was phenomenal.
One of the most common complaints I'm hearing about Carolyn's review is the "It's no fun being stuck" comment. This is actually a very valid complaint. The bosses are RIDICULOUSLY overpowered. Their health is enormously high; their defense is iron-clad. Sure, you could spend every sticker you have and hundreds of coins on the Battle Spinner (which is a great feature, btw) to beat them, but it's very exhausing that way. The best way to fight them is to use a Thing sticker (you find a thing, like a bat or fishhook, and you can make it into a sticker to use in battle) to strike at their weakpoint allowing you to finish them off without consuming three pages of stickers. One such boss is a fish,who if you don't have the fish hook sticker to fish them out of the water, you will not be able to beat, as it keeps diving into the ocean healing all the damage you did. Nothing like wasting your best stickers on a boss you can't beat because you didn't have the precognitive foresight to find and grab the sticker beforehand, right? Right. So, I don't want to hear this whole "SHE SUCKS! SHE DOESN'T KNOW HOW TO PLAY!" Trust me, you'll run into the same issues if you aren't playing it with a FAQ on hand.
Aside from these large flaws, the game is still fun. It's better than Super Paper Mario, and that alone should make you more than happy. It IS, however, short of being held up to the N64 and GC's Paper Mario by a long shot, and that is me shooting from the hip, calling it like I see it, no bullshi t. Nintendo goggles do you a GREAT disservice, because it doesn't allow you to analzye, criticize and surmise properly. You are hung up on a preconceived notion that Nintendo is infallible, which they haven't been in a very long time, if ever. They make great games; they make average games; they've even made poor games (Yoshi's Story, anyone?) But see, your Nintendo goggles cause you to ignore this. You always focus on the negative, and make it worse than it actually is. 7.5 is still a good score, and it means the reviewer likes the game. You have to get it out of your thick skulls that GS "hates Nintendo". No, GS hates Resident Evil 6. 4.5; now that is a lousy score.
I'm growing old and tired of debating this reader hostility issue. It's getting to the point where I don't even know if I want to review myself anymore. If I was in Carolyn's position, I'm not sure I'd even want to read the comments at all. She's had to develop a thick skin, and a particularly thicker skin than most reviewers because of her transgender status. My hat's off to her for dealing with as sholes who always have to bring up comments like "he-she" and "tranny" every time she writes a review that doesn't coincide with their expectations, because I wouldn't be able to handle it as well. Regardless, I'm just not sure I like this community (not GS, but the gaming community in general) enough to do this as a profession anymore. I'm tired of the wining and fussing over reviews and scores in particular, and it gets worse every year.
Thank god Black Ops II got an 8.0, because people are finally starting to see that GS is for once being stricter across the board. It's no more "This game got a 7.5? Watch COD get a 9.0!" People are starting to get it, but I digress. I just want to say PLEASE try to understand why reviewers give out the scores they do and review the way they do. This REQUIRES at least reading the review with a high school level reading comprehension and preferably an adult-level sensbility, and ultimately requires you playing the game for your opinion against theirs to have ANY credibility. And even then, don't think you're better than they are just because you disagree with them. They don't think they're better than you; they're just doing their jobs.
The didactic whining is off-putting. And when you claim Yoshi's Story is a 'poor' game, I have to conclude your judgement is suspect.
I myself am disappointed in Sticker Star (still good though). But I still think the Skyward Sword review was bogus (not so much for the score, so much as it seemed to point out the very aspects other reviewers were praising about the game, and thrashing them. It just was so unprofessional).
This is the problem with having scored reviews--it gives the impression that all games are judged equally, and that a game that received an 8 is, by definition of the scored review system, patently better than a game that received a 7.5.
Every score is completely relative to the person writing the review, the expectations surrounding the game, and the degree to which the game was successful in what it was designed to do, among many other things. Boiling down all of these independent elements into one numerical score, that can be weighed against other scores, is a disservice to the reviewer, who put time and effort into writing a thoughtful review, and also to the person reading the review, who may be swayed into purchasing Halo 4 over Black Ops II completely based on their scores, and taking nothing else into account.
I think the reviews fair, i really dont care about scores that much anymore, its not like 7.5 means horrible.
The game itself can go two ways depending on how you see it and what type of person you are. You'll either enjoy its rather unique twist and gameplay mechanic along with its charm, or you'll just get yourself upset because you keep comparing it to the past games and whine about the changes.
No Leveling up is a bummer but then again it would be useless considering the Paper Mario series is leveled on HP, BP and FP, and two of them are technically obsolete with the stickers, making the work just for HP daunting.
The Sticker System is meant to be Simple and Complicated, the game CAN toss allot of enemies but thats your job to be preservative. No Hand holding is can come of as a positive and negative, but what are you gonna do, its Nintendo games, they dont hold your hand, its too hard, they do it, its too straight Forward.
People always think there is a designated score for a game they come across. Especially with reviews from Nintendo.
The question is "Why would gamespot give a Nintendo game a 9 or above?" the answer "the readers getting mad because it didn't get a 9". Kind of ironic isn't it? I agree with everything you said in this post.
Most people don't take reviews as gospel and if you only read one review/score to make up your mind about a purchase then you get what you deserve. It's pretty much everything in life, one mans trash is another mans treasure!
GS scores need to be lower. They're not helping games evolve in quality over time. Exactly the opposite.
I have not played the game to make my own conclusions. But what you say about how people react is pretty accurate.
If someone comes out as a tranny, then expect to be judged for doing so or being one. I don't see us heterosexuals going around saying we are what we are. As for the actual topic, nintendo fanboys aren't exactly any worse than say any given fanboy.. Sony and Microsoft has their own fair share of them.
As for the game itself, I have no clue as to how good it actually is.
*Sees this in "Awesome user blogs"*
"Nintendo fanboys are about as rabid as they come, and their behavior is clearly seen on any review comment wall of a Nintendo game that doesn't get a 9 or above."
Really? There is no difference for me.
I would agree with almost everything you said except the GS review for Skyward Sword. The reviewer mentioned crud controls, when actually he just didn't use the right control setting to get the slick precision of the wii motion+.
Also, like the rella profile pic
you call an 8.0 for black ops strict? If anything that's a minor slap on the wrist compared to other games that got hammered for being "more of the same"
It's quite disgusting that people can't separate what makes one game worthy of one score. No reviewer in their right mind says, "Gee, Game A is so much better than Game B, I shall score them accordingly." The only time that could EVERY apply is in franchises and maybe - maybe - within the same genre. However, in the case of comparing across a genre, how a game stacks up against others in its field shouldn't influence its score. Which it doesn't.
People flipped the fuck out when Fable: the Journey scored better than whatever big release came out that same week. It was like Gamespot shot their dog and fucked their dad.
This was a wonderful read and I agree.
I understand that people want to see their favorite game franchises and so on succeed, it's nice. Gaming is a big deal to a lot of people, and when they see the games they look the most forward to get "low" scores, they explode.
The issue is that they don't seem to realize that Gamespot unlike many review companies nowadays, uses the entire numbered system. A 7.5 to them is not bad, and it never should be. A 7.5 is freaking good. Even a 6.5 isn't bad. If you labeled all games, say, under a 6 or something as "unplayable" or as "bad" then what would be the point of having all those numbers to begin with? Why not just have a 3 point system of "bad," "decent," and "great!" In that scenario, there is literally no difference to the people as a whole between a 1 and a 5.5.
I know people think that Gamespot nitpicks and takes down scores for "stupid" reasons, but honestly, myself, I haven't really seen it. Nearly every review I've seen in the past year here has legitimate concerns. No, you may not personally CARE about that particular concern, but that doesn't mean someone else wont, and it's still a negative. That's all a reviewer's job is. Telling everyone what the good and bad aspects of the game are and how they fit together.
We as a gaming community are brainwashed into believing that "good" games deserve 9's and 10's, and if they don't, then they were either disappointing, or they were discriminated against by the reviewer. That's not how numbers work.
I dont believe is true hostility, they are just complains with no substance in what they are saying. One of the great things of the internet, it allows people to say whatever they want, and sometimes people take it too seriously.
In the case of reviews, they are well writthen explanations of the cons and the pros of a particular game or at least is how it should be represented. However, the score given to a particular game is subjective to the personal experience. In other words, a written review must expose the game for what it is, and the score is way to tell people how much you like the game.
So, thats why you should always read the reviews, and see if there is truly something in the games that is going to bother you. Otherwise, you shoul not be let down by a low score, you give your own score to games, and not because other people tell you is a bad game.
In my personal experience, i always buy games that i am going to enjoy, like RE6. I have put to the game over 100 hours and i am still playing it. I know Kevin gave the game a 4.5, but it is probably because he just play it once. RE6 is a game that grows in you. When i finish the game for the first time i had similar thoughts of what Kevin said, I wasn't sure if I would play the game again, but i gave it a shot for the second run, and suddely i found myself unable to stop playing the game. People need to realise that that the only score that counts, is the one you give yourself to the game.
I never even saw what was so great about the N64 and GC Paper Mario games back when I played them, honestly everything I heard about Sticker Star sounds pretty atrocious and it makes me kind of glad I never cared much for the series to begin with. Mario's outings on the 3DS just seem to be very dissapointing (frankly, I thought 3D Land was one of the blandest platformers I've seen in a while)
I read your whole blog and I do not care how much you agree with the Sticker Star review. In all honesty, GS really hates Nintendo if they gave Skyward Sword a 7.5 and MW3 a 9.
@AddictedGamer50 You see, the reviewer for each respective game is different, and they have different expectations. It's very possible that MW3 deserved an 8.5, even if I don't personally like the game or what it brings to the table for the gaming community, because it is a technically good game.
In that same way, I also can say with the utmost honesty that I do not disagree with Skyward Sword getting a 7.5. It just wasn't as incredible as I, or many people that I personally know, hoped.
You think differently, and that's the beauty of it! We are human beings. Wonderful human beings who can think and rationalize. We are each unique and beautiful, and one of the most incredible parts about that is that two people can both like two things (Nintendo and gaming) and still disagree on a game. You liked Skyward sword because it was more Zelda. I still liked Skyward Sword, but found it disappointing nonetheless.
@AddictedGamer50 And you're one of the people I'm addressing with this blog. Did you forget the 9.5 and 10 they gave Super Mario Galaxy and SMG 2 respectively? This assumption that GS hates a particular is asinine. I suppose you could say GS hates Sony because they gave inFAMOUS 2 a 7.5... Maybe instead of blaming GS, we should be looking at the actual companies and figuring out what they're doing right and wrong.
It's just how the internet is. The supply of world's smallest violins is running low so we can't afford to get upset over petty trolls using their pent up prepubescent frustration on yet something else in their life that doesn't agree with them besides parents and schooling.
Ya, know, when I noticed that they were allowing comments on reviews, I knew they were opening a huge can of worms, and, sadly, I was right. Of course, they also made Feedbackula...
@starduke Also when they started replying personally to criticism in the comments. Gamespot's former editor in chief responded to me when I called him out on his bullshit during their Twitter flamefest after the Mass Effect 3 ending debacle. This whole site is slowly becoming some asinine meta joke. I don't mind - and rather encourage - journalists to engage their audience, but GS seems to be astoundingly antagonistic towards its user base. While we might get a chuckle out of the village idiots being called out on their stupidity, it doesn't actually create any kind of constructive dialogue and comes across as a showcase for their disdain for users.
I got the game during a B2G1F sale at Best Buy today... I've been a little skeptical about the game ever since hearing about the battle system, and even more so after hearing the criticism, but I thought what the hell might as well try it out. Got it along with NSMB2 and Kingdom Hearts 3D for $80.
It becomes clear just how much people hate to read when comments frequently complain about Gamespot's low scores, while often missing that the metacritic average is the same or lower than what Gamespot gave the title.
People agree to disagree, it seems. Opinions are just that -- opinions. Seriously, people need to stop being hostile whenever a professional reviewer or even a gamer expresses an opinion on something they don't agree with.
Reviews are there to help people make informed decisions on games, and yeah -- reviewers are only doing what they're supposed to.
@Asagea_888 In a lot of cases, people peg down the inconsistencies in reviews. Look at Irate Gamer's controversial review of Tekken 6. One of the points he made was "the entire game being dubbed in Japanese" and used that as a negative point.