Prince of Persia (Wii) Review Pulled

Camera was criticized in error.

While it's not something we like (or thankfully, need) to do often, we have always and will always own up to our mistakes. Yesterday, we published a review for the Wii version of Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands in which we were highly critical of the game's camera. However, after some further investigation prompted by messages from readers and someone who worked on the game, we've realized that this was in error.

Shortly after starting the game, the reviewer opted to switch from the default camera option to the expert one because he felt that it worked better in combat. He then forgot to switch back to the scripted camera, which, as he's confirmed by playing through a good chunk of the game again this morning, does a much better job of framing the action during platforming sequences.

We regret the error and offer our sincere apologies both to Ubisoft and to those of you who were misled by our original review. We'll post a replacement review for the Wii version of Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands as soon as possible.

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Discussion

81 comments
Axelander999
Axelander999

Well, I got one question: Where is the Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker REVIEW?!

Yams1980
Yams1980

aka "review was pulled because we sold some ad space to the publisher"

TheClown24
TheClown24

Well its good that gamespot have done this, though they still have a way to go to get their reviews up to scratch, try removing the 6, 6.5, 7, etc system and go back to the old 6.2, 6.6 etc one!

Barighm
Barighm

While we're on fixing mistakes, here's one for whenever a review complains about a game's colours looking "washed out" or the sound effects sounding tiny: WASHED OUT COLOURS: Bring up your TV's video settings. Find the "colour" setting. Turn it up... TINY SOUNDS: You're using an HD TV without speakers. Halo sounds awesome on my stereo TV, but on my HD TV it sounds weak and lame. HD TV's need to have speaker systems to sound right.

Kid_Kord
Kid_Kord

I just think that this is a great example of journalistic integrity. Sorry you made a mistake GS, but well handled!

FallenAngelXBL
FallenAngelXBL

Once people stop being pricks them DRM will vanish. The issue with that is you cant get rid of pirates so being this extreme is a waste of time.

Shardz7
Shardz7

It's too bad Ubisoft doesn't have an option in Setup to turn off their lame DRM! Perhaps for the next review Ubisoft will slip Gamespot some cash to get a higher review score. Either way, I'm still boycotting this company until they stop infecting their games with nasty copy protection schemes that rely on Internet.

maxwell97
maxwell97

Again, Gamespot fesses up and takes care of the problem. One reason they're my favorite game site. Thanks to them for taking their responsibility seriously. popki: Your confidence in Gamespot should be going UP, because when things like this happen at most "professional" sites, they just ignore it, while Gamespot provides a very public notice and a full explanation. I work in an industry where every step in a process must, by LAW, be documented, and people can still screw it up, with potential consequences that are far more serious than a few hundred thousand dollars in lost video game sales. Checklists like you describe are for airliner maintenance, pharmaceutical manufacturing, and nuclear waste storage - not video game review sites.

GunBladeHero
GunBladeHero

We are all humans, we all make mistakes, it's nothing to be ashamed of, Gamespot proves to us once more that they are competent and serious in what they do by posting this info.

Joesocwork
Joesocwork

Comforting to know that even the experts can (and anknowledge they) miss stuff.

Jaden_Arbiter
Jaden_Arbiter

You're simply a great editor, Justin, for removing a review like that to be helpful to the market and then posting this as a caution to other editors that theirs might also be pulled if they're unfair or missed something very important. If I were you I'd also pull Kevin VanOrd's review of Lost Planet 2 and have someone like Shiva Stella or yourself write one in its place. His entire reviewer was basically him just yelling about the fact that he could die and then using inconclusive video segments to make it look like an impossible to beat game. He didn't even get into the replay features like using skins from other IPs like Resident Evil in the campaign mode after you beat it, which probably means he never beat the game.

TheFreeloader
TheFreeloader

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

eLite0101
eLite0101

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

acerazer
acerazer

Well, that's embarrassing. Oh well, we all make mistakes.

popki
popki

What I'd like to know is what Gamespot plans to do to prevent this sort of thing in the future. It doesn't seem like a big deal, but that review lost sales; literally thousands of people never go to gamespot, but still rely on their reviews through aggregate sites and never would've seen the new review after already waved off what sounded like an unplayable mess. I'm not *trying* to make a mountain out of a mole hill, what happened is a completely understandable mistake from a gamer. But Gamespot is made up of professionals, people that should be actively attempting to prevent such mistakes after they come up. My confidence in them doing this went away when the Global Agenda review was pulled a scant couple months ago, for the exact same reason the Savage review was pulled a few years ago. Different Gamespot team, yadda yadda, but same web site and same mistake, it showed that nothing had actually been put in place to try and prevent things other than a stern "play more next time." So will Gamespot editors be using a checklist from now on, where they mark off every option change they do as they play the game? If a Gamespot editor is going to ding (or compliment) mechanics of a game that seem like an option, will they be required to take the five minutes to verify default options first, either through an in-game option or via a "clean" profile kept on all consoles just for that purpose?

APizzo667
APizzo667

Advertising dollars = Higher review score.

YagerMyster
YagerMyster

While the reviewer may have activated an alternative camera system, that (poor) camera system was still produced/shipped in the game. I think its fair to mention that it wasn't designed very well. Otherwise, publishers could complain that they don't want gameplay, control, or graphics to influence the critic. Just review the box cover art, please? We focused all our effort there.

xinoeph
xinoeph

Who was the one that wrote the original review? I have nothing against him, but just out of curiosity I would like to know. Anyways Im glad that they fixed it early.

ricardo-sene
ricardo-sene

@JusticeCovert You guys have lots of credit with us the readers. GameSpot is, in my opinion, the best gaming site in these days, and the fact you're correcting a mistake only shows the compromise GameSpot has with the truth. Thats professionalism! Your response posted May 21, 2010 1:02 pm is exactly what I want to hear from who I thrust my game's reading. Really thanks for posting that! @kevass007:

g1rldraco7
g1rldraco7

Oh good thing I read this. I got the game anyway despite the heview. Good job on owning up to your mistakes :)

RagAndBoneMan3
RagAndBoneMan3

That Kane and Lynch debacle was amazing. It's like the moon landing for this site and Gamefaqs. It's useful to bring up if you want to weed out the crazies... I hope no one ever explains it and it rolls into this HUGE myth.

fabz_95
fabz_95

Good job guys, it takes a lot to admit a mistake like that and I'm glad you have done so.

GetDaved
GetDaved

@JusticeCovert Thanks for the info. If you say this isn't like Kane and Lynch then I'm glad to hear it. It always looks a little shifty when a review for a game from a big company gets adjusted, but it's good to see it's for all the right reasons. And kudos to your QA dept for catching the issue ;)

JusticeCovert
JusticeCovert

@g8summit: Sadly, it is you who is mistaken. You have confused Internet rumors with fact, and the GameSpot team of 2007 with the GameSpot team of 2010.

twztid13
twztid13

gamespot still has the one thing that other sites lack (and that is required for my loyalty).....INTEGRITY.

rvm444
rvm444

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

JusticeCovert
JusticeCovert

@Ronaldo27: I'm not sure if we'll get around to posting another video review sadly. May is such a busy month that even finding the time for that one was a stretch. Tom has a video review for another Wii game posting today, and is already a couple of days into working on his next review as well.

Ronaldo27
Ronaldo27

@JusticeCovert: Thanks for explaining the process and my sympathies to the reviewer for his honest mistake. It is reassuring that Gamespot is working to correct any previous mistakes in their service. Should we expect an updated Video Review?

JusticeCovert
JusticeCovert

@kibleses: Our "After the Fact" system isn't perfect, but unless I've missed something I believe we're doing more to address this issue of games continuing to evolve after release than other sites. If you have any suggestions for ways that we can improve in this area, I'd genuinely be more than happy to hear them. Fact is, even if we wanted to start altering scores and changing the original review text, it would be an impossibly huge undertaking. Our full-time reviews staff is just four people. How many times would we have had to make changes to the World of Warcraft review? Or even the Modern Warfare 2 review, given the multiplayer problems that game has had? Red Dead Redemption has already been updated twice, and it's been in stores for less than a week. And I don't want to sound cynical, but if we started re-reviewing games that shipped broken and then were fixed later, that would just be one less reason for publishers/developers to make sure that games are finished before they release them. Fact is, reviewing games is more complicated now than it has ever been. Games don't always run as well on our debug systems as they do on retail consoles (that's why we insist on reviewing retail code), games are frequently updated on the day of release, and even when we test online performance on retail consoles (as we did with Red Dead Redemption, for example) there's no way to know if the game will perform as well when thousands of players get online with it simultaneously.

deathstream
deathstream

@kibleses You said: "And you don't see an unfairness with that? I've seen multiple game reviews that received a poor-average rating at launch, and the same score becomes outdated within a month or two with no change to the review." I don't see any unfairness in that. They have a system for addendums to reviews, but they don't and shouldn't change the initial reviews. If you don't want your unfinished game to get bad reviews, then don't release it before it is finished.

deathstream
deathstream

Time to pull the updated review. "The Forgotten Sands takes roughly 10 hours to play through, and there are plenty of unlockables to keep you entertained long after the credits ROLE." (Emphasis added) But seriously, the new review seems sprinkled negativity remaining from the first playthrough. The score seems lower than the review would indicate. The reviewer spends a lengthy paragraph moaning about camera issues, then says that they aren't really a big deal. First impressions matter and it seems that the error in his first playthrough tainted the reviewer's perception of the game. Perhaps should such an unfortunate incident happen again, the game should be handed off to someone else to review.

maverick_76
maverick_76

Man and I was listening on the Hotspot and Tom was like, "The camera sucks!!" lol....

kibleses
kibleses

@JusticeCovert: And you don't see an unfairness with that? I've seen multiple game reviews that received a poor-average rating at launch, and the same score becomes outdated within a month or two with no change to the review. The most glaring in my mind is Demigod, though there are several more I have seen through the years. It is akin to holding a negative opinion about the PoP review, and then keeping that opinion after the review has been rectified. @kevass007: Gamespot did an article awhile back stating the differences between reviewers who finished an entire game and then gave a complete synopsis, or only finish part of the game and possibly miss many significant details. Imagine if a reviewer sped through Red Dead Redemption and omitted the multiplayer, side quests, challenges, and random occurrences from the review because they could not experience the full game.

metalkid9
metalkid9

I think this mistake is pretty common in games. There are features in games that people forget to play. For example in Bioshock 2 I never used the cyclone plasmid. It's perfectly normal.

kevass007
kevass007

@JusticeCovert: Thankyou for Clarifying, its deffinetley some good insight into how the buisness of a Video Game News website works . Gamespot is still my main source for information, and access to arguably superior staff, and writers such as yourself.

JusticeCovert
JusticeCovert

@kevass007: We don't deliberately choose to not be first with reviews, and there are occasions when we are first. What we don't do, however, is enter into exclusivity arrangements with publishers that commit us to posting a review on a specific date in order to be first and fit in with their marketing plan. We don't post reviews until we're satisfied that we've had enough time to play the *finished* game, which sometimes means posting our reviews a little later than planned. And for the record, I never said that "IGN would pay" to keep others from posting reviews--I very much doubt that any money is involved. I just know that IGN and other sites often post reviews before we're even allowed to, which suggests that they've entered into some arrangement with the publisher. There's nothing wrong with that approach, it's just not how we choose to operate. To answer one of your questions directly: Yes, of course we want you to be able to find reviews on GameSpot asap. But--and I acknowledge the irony of this discussion taking place in a comments thread of a post about a review error--we refuse to compromise on quality.

kevass007
kevass007

@JusticeCovert: Gamespot has no desire to be the first one to post reviews?" because its like a douchy move such as writing the comment "first", when one is first in a forum? " wouldnt you want us gamespot visitors to come to gamespot first, where we can find reviews asap? why wouldnt you try to work out deals to get reviews as fast as ign? even small tidbits like "first impressions review, and update it that way. if you can't post a full review, why not some? there are plenty of alternatives that im sure gamespot could try. i like coming to gamespot, but if youre just going to flat out not release them first, because of youre" thats not cool analogy", then i guess thats in itself is a douche manouver. However i was not aware that ign would pay to keep others from posting reviews as fast as them, like you said.

0Aragorn0
0Aragorn0

Thank you Gamespot for definitely going back and reviewing the game under the changed conditions. It's an honest mistake and can happen. But since it was Tom McShea, you just gotta laugh a bit too.

JusticeCovert
JusticeCovert

@GetDaved: Our QC (or QA, as we call it) process is actually pretty thorough. All reviews are looked over by both a copyedit team and the entire reviews team before they go live, and there are often numerous changes and tweaks made at this time. On this occasion, the question of camera options was raised during the QA, but Tom made a mistake. End of story. Nothing like Kane & Lynch at all. That was a very different situation (that you actually have no clue about, despite what you may think), and it involved a very different GameSpot team.

CyleM
CyleM

Well at least they corrected it and admitted their mistakes.

CannedWorms
CannedWorms

Tom must be embarrassed. Chin up son.

mariostar0001
mariostar0001

Glad they caught it, it provides more credulity.

4as
4as

Hehe, listening to the HotSpot I find Tom to be quite critical and quick to point others mistakes. Im sure other members of the GameSpot crew are now having a blast pointing out this mistake :D. Or maybe its just me :S. I cant wait for the next HotSpot :3

drumma1
drumma1

wow thats pretty crazy actually. however i think it'll be better when the actually make a correct review

GetDaved
GetDaved

What kind of QC process do you guys have? The review gets rubber stamped and posted to your website and *then* you pull it off because you catch a mistake? Or is this case a little bit like old Kane and Lynch?

789shadow
789shadow

Read: Tom McShea screwed up. :P

firesage
firesage

I always listen to editor and/or professional reviews but i never take them to heart, everyone is different and look at the game different so you got to experience it individually, also professinal reviewers are trained to look at every element, every nook and cranny which alot of people would not notice or care about, some people dont mind the shortcomings in the graphics or something because the story is amazing, but im glad that reviewers at gamespot can still own up to their mistake, its refreshing to see because i always thought that this stuff was lost along time ago, I have seen gamespot a little differently on the reviewing side now, a better way, this was and still is and always will be my favorite site for all my video game news and information

deathstream
deathstream

@Gra_ham_man5 Yes, we have all made dumb mistakes, but we aren't being paid to write reviews for a subsidiary of a mega-corporation. While it is great that they owned up to the mistake and even gave us the reason despite it making them look really bad, they still made a big one. What the reviewer did is roughly equivalent to yelling at one's spouse for an hour because they lost your ^%&^#& [thing] and then finding the [thing] in your pocket where you put it so you wouldn't forget it. Should they be forgiven? Of course? But that doesn't mean that they should be let off the hook completely. People have a right to express their disappointment with this kind of error. The criticisms have been relatively mild. If you want a comparison, do that [thing] thing with your wife/gf. I suspect that her disappointment will be expressed much more harshly (and perhaps in sensitive places as you sleep).