Why I'm losing my interest in becoming a game journalist

Why have video game magazines become painful to read? It's because my peers write things like this (from this months Official Xbox Magazine):

From the Delta Force: Black Hawk Down Review:

"The Somalian rebels are so indistinguished and repetitious that gameplay can become reminiscent of bad SNES platformers like Double Dragon"

Sigh. The SNES had three DD games: Super, V, and Battletoads & Double Dragon. The only one even remotely close to a platformer is the Battletoads edition, and that's surely not a platforming title. If you want to look at ALL the DD games, a few ports, like the NES and Game Boy editions have SOME elements, but are still pure beat-em-ups.

Next, two quotes from their Metal Slug 4&5 review:

"The pixel-perfect Xbox reprise of these 2-D arcade shooter classics packaged as a two-games-in-one combo seems like an old-skool gamer's dream come true."

Is a game two years old a "classic" and "old-skool?" I think not, yet this writer must believe Metal Slug 5 is. I understand the gameplay is "old-skool," but referring to the game like this is wrong, not to mention using the aggravating term "old-skool." Onto number 2:

"From the original Metal Slug onward (around six have appeared in arcades)..."

Around six? Would a quick Google search have provided him the facts he needed to make an accurate statement? Is he right? Yes. That doesn't matter. There's also NO mention of the home Neo Geo hardware where each game has appeared.

I have no problem with the review scores, or why they gave them, or how they are written otherwise. I simply fail to comprehend how a "professional" can do this for a living, and have neither the knowledge needed or fail to do the necessary research as it pertains to the job.

Is it nitpicking? Of course. This type of information is so easily accessed now, there's really no excuse. It seems the writers responsible for these reviews failed to take their time. This is a tough business. The deadlines are brutal, but that's no excuse for doing something like this.

Maybe the Metal Slug aggravation wouldn't be there if the mistake with Double Dragon had been left out. We're talking about an industry classic, one with sequels on sequels, and ports on ports. How can you take anyone's opinion seriously when it's so obvious they've barely touched anything before the Playstation era?

Comments (7)

Yeesh. SNES platformer Double Dragon bad? Those five words really ought not to be combined with each other.

Old-skool? I'm not adverse to using the phrase old-school, but I spell it correctly. That's just kind of sad. But yes, a two year old game can be a classic; just look at Madden 2004. Instant classic.

Don't lose interest; the industry needs more and more reviewers who actually know their roots. I don't advocate that you have to have been born in the late 70s/early 80s to be a reviewer but too many people strutt their so-called knowledge without having a clue.

It's not a matter of when you're born, it's knowing the industry. Should a National Geographic writer do something, say, on the Inca civilization, without knowing where they lived? It's just a knowledge base that pertains to their career.

And we know you're new around here Tyler, but never use the terms "Madden" and "classic" together... ever. =;)

Wow... I think Tyler deserves a public flogging for that one.

:) I do hope that you both realized that I was stretching the original author's usage of a two year old classic to the extreme with a great biting dose of sarcasm thrown in for good measure.

I actually think that a yearly dosage of a new sports game is one of the saddest aspects of the industry. But so long as people continue to buy them, companies will milk it for what it's worth. Of course, I don't like sports in general and have a particular loathing for most sports games, so my view is skewed.

Ha ha. Well it did not come over that way. What Matt and I are referring to can be found here. Matt and myself are big fans of the NFL 2K series, as you can tell from reading all the comments on that post.

Oops. Didn't mean to step in the middle of that mess. Forget I said anything.

Oh, no harm, no foul. Just funny :)

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