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Steven_Beynon Blog

Peace Out Gamespot! I'm moving to the Bomb

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Ladies and Gentlemen bring you attention to me as today is a day that will go down in history. This morning the bomb dropped, and is in full force. I will no longer contribute to Gamespot for the most part. You can find me on Giantbomb as EpicSteve.

The site is currently buggy, and is pretty damn slow. Their database doesn't contain most of the games I've written reviews on, so I can't transfer them :(

Oh well...

It's been real Gamespot

The bomb is about to blow up

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If you've visited Giantbomb in the past 12 hours then you've seen that either the site is broken or it straight up wont load. I'm not sure if the site would launch on a Sunday, so will tomorrow be the day? Gerstmann has spoken about a beta, but also claims the site will launch right after E3 but neither has happened. So there is some confusion on how long the beta will last, if the beta had been done away with, and so on. Either way it seems this bomb will blow up in the next few days and I'm totally pumped. When the site is in full force how many people in the Gamespot community will migrate over since many of you have been vocal on Gamespot's lack of editors that have a review that means something. I'm really not a fan of Gamespot's community interface, and I'm up for some change.

In the relm of my new DS, I'm sorta starting to understand Animal Crossing

Steven

My DS adventures, and VideoGamesLive

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So I finally got my DS, wasn't aware Final Fantasy IV wasn't out yet, so I got Animal Crossing. I'll rent Mario Kart later because a Mario Kart game can't hold my attention for to long, but short preview of my Animal Crossing review, "eh". Anything else non-Pokemon related you all can suggest?

Tomorrow I'll post a blog about my trip to VideoGamesLive. After four months of anticipation, my girlfriend and I drove from Cincinnati to Louisville Kentucky to see VideoGames Live. If you aren't clear what this is, VideoGames Live is a live concert orchestra performance playing scores from games such as Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts, Metal Gear, Warcraft, Halo, and so on. Anyone who's watched old-school G4 (before it bombed, don't argue with me, it did) Judgment Day host/videogame composer Tommy Tallarico (music, Advent Rising, Unreal, Twisted Metal, Tony Hawk, Earthword Jim) is the director of the show, along with Jack Wall (Mass Effect music, Jade Empire) who conducts the orchestra .So for the first time ever, I'll review an event. Which should be a fun writing assignment.

Steven

Sorry Sony, I'm getting a DS

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I'd like to write something clever and witty, but I have little to say about Sony. They didn't give me one reason as a consumer to purchase either their handheld or their console. Resistance 2, great. Got anything else besides God of War 3? Sony is getting more robust video support, but they spent to much time talking about something Xbox has had for over a year.

MAG (Massive Action Game is the real title I guess), if its not canceled its a going to be a long time before we see it on the shelves at Gamestop. Honestly, we know thats not really a game right now. I also have little faith the DC MMO will follow through. I'd really like to write a nice long blog about Sony, but they don't even give me enough topics to write about to exceed 100 words. No one wowed me this year, but I have to tip my hat to Microsoft for not putting me to sleep and snagging FFXIII.

Thankyou Microsoft! You saved me $500.00

List of games Sony has announced at E3 since 2005 that have been cancelled

Black Blade

Dirty Harry

Elveon

Endless Saga

Eight Days

Fear & Respect

Getaway

Jak to the Future

Killing Day

Thesis

See what I mean?

I'm buying a DS, suggestions for games?

Steven

I'm not smiling

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Nintendo's all about smiling

All I have to say about Nintendo's press conference, no surprises. I was shocked at the lack of new titles for the DS. Pokemon Ranger, Guitar Hero "Decades". Great. We all saw it coming, but I'm excited to try out Animal Crossing. Oh, did you hear that Soccer Mom/Vice President of Marketing hurt her wrist snowboarding?

All we get for the Wii is Wii Sports 2, some Star Wars game (could be cool), and another Rayman. Woot? I don't even know what my opinion on Wii Music is yet. I'm sorry Nintendo, the lack of harddrive, hardcore games, and specific plans for WiiWare not present, you failed to put a smile on my face. Nintendo's press event felt more like what wasn't there, rather than what was there.

Steven

The first of the Big 3 had an underwhelming performence

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WARNING: Bad grammar ahead, quick thoughts. I'm leaving to go out and see a newly opened burrito shop with my friends.

Who the hell was that vice president of marketing hosting the show? He wasn't funny like Jeff Bell, and not entertaining like a Peter Moore.

I wont ramble on what happened because I'm assuming you've all seen the press event. First off, I was underwhelmed. I will say Microsoft has now made me hesitant on purchasing a Playstation 3 seeing as how FFXIII is releasing on the 360, I'll just have to see what Sony says in their press conference. But not to much GAME announcements, all the cool stuff was media related.

The dashboard, Kickass. I'm a total nerd with interfaces, and I must say its an upgrade form the already fantastic dashboard. You're in the Movies look like it would be cool for an afternoon, as long as I don't have to play with Duffy. But I applaude the creativity. Did anyone else notice the guy with GuitarHero 3 said they will have the biggest out-of-the-box track ever with over 85 song, and Rockband 2 came out and they said they'll have 84 songs. I thought that was very odd. I'm totally getting a Netflix account now. What I found totally surprising was their was no Halo! I'm not much of a Halo fan, but this is Microsoft!

Overall a pretty stale show, but containing its own epic-ness. I like how Microsoft terminated the swooshing guide blade in favor for a centered plate with all your friends on it. We finally get multi-person chat, and we saw Resident Evil 5. At least its not like Sony and they announce games that don't exist. I know Killzone 2 is phenomenal looking, but you know when they announced it, it didn't exist.

Oh, what happened to Getaway and 8 Days? Canceled.

I do love me some Uno

Like the new dashboard?

Steven

RockBand 2 Drums & 360 Motion Controller IMAGES

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Drums Images leaked from GameInformer. Much cooler than Guitar Hero IV's kit, also all songs from theoriginal RockBand is playable in Rockband 2

Meet "Darwin" accoring to Motusgames and G4TV, this is still a RUMOR

SIDE NOTES: Civ Rev is awesome, Denise Dyak will either commit suicide or tell the internet "I TOLD YOU SO" on Monday after the demo for Too Human launches, and finally, Giantbomb will "blow up" the week after E3. It's a great time to be a gamer

Steven

Finished my Unreal 3 Review

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After many hours of multiplayer excitement, and campaign achievement hunting, I've completed my Unreal Tournament 3 review. IF your a fan of old-school styled action you'll feel right at home. Think about Pac-Man Championship Edition for the Xbox Live Arcade, this is Unreal Championship Edition.

I loved the game, and you all should check it out. I gave it a 4/5. Or 9.0 following the 10 point scale (agh!) Read and send feedback. I'm trying to at least get into the Top 500 reviewers, honestly some of those guys don't write very good reviews, but more of them write great reviews, so competition.:)

Read it here

Any questions, feel free to ask


P.S.

I didn't really find room for this in the review since it was getting pretty long (dont wanna bore you all with many words) but the control in this game is fantastic. Everything just feels right, and the aiming is dead on. Some reviews are complaining about the right bumper being complicated with switching weapons, but I only had that problem with the first hour or so with the game, then I got used to it. And the big War of the Worlds vehicles are bada$$, but blows up easily.

Steven

Old School PC gaming is dead, doesn't mean you shouldn't check out Unreal 3

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Bold statement, huh?

Think about it. PC gamers play WoW, Counterstrike, Team Fortress, Call of Duty, and while their are nothing wrong with any of those titles, the old school persona of fragging noobs in Quake are long gone.

I drove to the local gas station to purchase the three new Mountain Dews, all of which are good. However, the best is totally Revolution (maybe they"ll change the name to the Wii!? *cricket)

But as rad as Mountain Dew is, their are more important things to talk about, and that is Unreal Tournament 3. I know its been out forever for the Playstation 3 and PC, but playing UT3 on a 7600 would be pushing it, and I don't currently own a Playstation. So yesterday was my lucky day, seeing as how I love old school style twitch shooters. I could go on about how much fun I've been having with the game, blowing up noobs into giblets, capturing flag after flag, and playing through a mediocre singleplayer for achievements, but I don't have faith a community will be following this game. In a post Call of Duty/Halo world, old school doesn't really play in mainstream success. UT3 didn't even find an audience on its home turf the PC.

So please do me a favor and at least rent Unreal, I'm sure you'll all like it :)

Oh, and for the people saying "oh but the 360 doesn't have mods!" uhh have you checked the modding community on the PC or PS3 version? If your stating that, then you obviously haven't. Not to much user created content floating around.

Will Quake Live save the day?

P.S.

I'm enlisting for the Army tomorrow, wish me luck!

Whats wrong with videogame reviews? The Review Isn't Art, The Game Is

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Game reviews are a tricky thing and something that a reviewer must approach with extreme caution. I myself desire the position of a videogame critic, in hopes that one day I can contribute to the community in a professional manner. I spoke with Giantbomb's Jeff Gerstmann and asked him what should embody a review and he said the following...

"I'd say to remember your audience and make sure you're meeting their needs, not yours. It's easy to get attached to certain turns of phrase and specific wording that you feel might make you sound smart. But what really matters is getting your point across in a clear and consise manner. You're not curing cancer, you're reviewing products that are supposed to be fun. Most people don't want to spend a lot of time reading about games. They want to spend a lot of time playing games, and turn to reviews to make sure they get the most out of their limited playing time. So getting the key facts of a review out there as close to the top as possible is vital. At least, that's the philosophy that led to our most recent review changes.

Also, don't ever forget that games are still expensive. Getting them for free tends to make a lot of people lose that perspective over time, but the people you're writing for have $60 on the line every time they read a review. Make sure you do everything in your power to get them to spend it wisely."

I would like to point out Jeff misspelled concise (consise), just poking fun. I'm a terrible speller.

So the age old question is, what should a review be? I for one do not look at reviews in obtuse manners, or see them as potential great pieces of writing. To express my opinions in a clean, and easily understandable way I'll list them.

Don't write long Epic reviews & back up your scores

Like Jeff Gerstmann said, people want to spend less time reading about games, and more time playing. Ign is more guilty of this than anyone, as you can clearly see in Hilary Goldstein's seven page GTAIV review which not only did he give a 10 to but didn't back it up whatsoever. How does one write a seven page review and not back up a score? Well that's simple, Hilary failed to include opinions, and merely talked about all of the game's features. To me, it felt like an extended preview. While some will disagree with me I'm part of Ign's audience, and as a consumer they failed too convince me to buy it, I was convinced elsewhere. Now how could a woman so well versed fail to include opinion? (I know Hilarys a guy, old habits die hard) I don't mean to poke at Goldstein at all, in fact he's one of my favorite journalists to listen to in a podcast setting. However, his reviews are pretty damn long. I love listening to him on Three Red Lights, and I've spoken with him on the phone once and he seems like a really cool and down to Earth guy, but I hate his reviews. I always agree with the opinion (if its there) but not the structure. As a side note to conspiracy theorists, Hilary begged Rockstar for months for an exclusive review, he got it. Take that as you will.

But don't be to short

Unless its a mediocre game without much to write about, or your a writer for a magazine with limeted space. I want the review to explain all the important aspects of the game interlaced with opinions. Shawn Elliott 's an intelligent man, and perhaps this was a rushed review (which shouldn't happen in internet) but his Battlefield Bad Company review (read it) was short, and didn't tell me anything.

Don't say "scores are stupid"

Here's a ****c argument I've herd in podcasts and interviews alike

Scores detract the readers from the facts, and disencourages them from even reading the text. Reviews would be better with no scores

That's totally valid, but remember your audience. The community obviously likes scores, so its your job to continue providing. If you believe that people aren't reading your reviews, then the problem is probably the lack of entertainment in your writing. How many reviews start like this?

"Halo 3 is the third iteration in Bungie's ****c shooter franchise, and hopes to make a slam dunk and tie a bow in Master Chief's epic adventure. With a rabid fanbase and two ****cs under their belt Bungie's more dedicated than ever to deliver the final piece the the action packed trilogy which has been the poster child for the Xbox platform since day one. In short words, yes, Halo 3 delivers on all counts."

....

  1. pages later

    9.5!!!

Forum Post:

Sony moneyhats! THIS SHOULD OF GOTTEN A 10!

Sorry, I spoke civilized.

ZOMGZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I CONNONT BELIVE GAESPOT GAVE THIS GAE SUCH A **** SCRZ! I DIDNT C NYTHIN BAD ON DA TRALERZ HALO CE IS AWESOME HALO3 WLL PWN PS3 KILLZONE SICKZ!

Totally bland.

The 10 point scale opens nothing but trouble, this is why I beg sites to adopt the 5 point scale. Scores aren't stupid, bland reviews and fanboys are. If someone's focusing on a number, than it's their own ignorance to blame, and if you terminated scores then they would find something else to complain about. If a site's using a 10 point scale, it's easy to miscalculate, so if you truly are going crazy over a 8.0 when you think the game in question should have gotten a 10, read the negative arguments, play through the game, and find those arguments, and think about what your opinion of a 10 is and the reviewers.

I've probably lost your attention by now, what do you think?

-Be informative

-Don't be longer than two pages

-Don't be redundant

-No need for extreme detail, just give us your opinions on the facts

-Answer a yes or no question, should I play this game?

The only thing I'm trying to figure out is how harsh you should be while judging a game. Since games are expensive, I'd say pretty damn harsh. Listen to Gerstmann, stop reading about games on my blog, and pick up a damn controller.

P.S.

Go See WALL-E, I give it a 10/10

...oh you wanted an explanation or opinion?