T H E M A G A Z I N E
November 14 to 27 - Issue 47
GONINTENDO POSTS OUR INTERVIEW, CREDITS SOMEONE ELSE
GoNintendo picked up our interview with Tom McShea (if you haven't read it yet, simply scroll down) on his 7.5 review of Zelda: Skyward Sword. However, he cited the ParanoidGamer website as the source of the interview, which is obviously incorrect.
ParanoidGamer picked up on our interview and posted it on their website, they quoted SW The Magazine as the source of the interview. However, it seems that GoNintendo simply put ParanoidGamer as the source.
Kevin Cassidy of GoNintendo knows of the error, and promises to fix it at a later time.
INTERVIEW WITH TOM McSHEA
Do not think I'm exaggerating when I say that you have become Gamespot's most popular reviewer. You even have your own meme on the Gamespot forums. Before, Kevin VanOrd was the one causing riots, but now you are the king. How does that make you feel?
McShea: I'm not sure I would use the word "popular" to describe my place in the System's War forum. I'd say that my reviews are divisive, and that causes a strong reaction from both sides. I tend to be harsh in my criticism, and have no problem saying a mega-hyped game is merely "Good"; this is a strong contrast to how reviews are often handled in this industry. Honestly, it makes me a little uncomfortable that I've become a bit of a meme, but I only know how to express myself one way. I'm brutally honest and don't sugar coat the problems I see, so if you're eagerly anticipating a new release, that could put you in a sour mood.
Your opinion of Skyward Sword's controls were very different than those of other reviewers. Why is that? What is your opinion of motion control in general?As anyone who has followed me should know, controls are the single most important element of a game to me. If they aren't responsive all the time, I get frustrated, because it's a problem that could have been averted had the developers been more conscious of the experience they were creating. In the case of Skyward Sword, the controls function as they should most of the time, but that's not enough. When I swing and it doesn't register, or I point toward the screen but Link looks at the ground, I get angry. Nintendo usually sets the standard for controls, so I'm shocked they would release a game in this state.
As for motion controls in general, I like them, but it seems as though many developers struggle with how to implement them. Games like No More Heroes and Super Mario Galaxy are made better, because flicking your wrist complements a more traditional scheme. By letting some actions be controlled with motion while others use the stick or buttons, it makes things feel more natural than when motion controls are forced into places they don't belong. I think the future for motion controls looks good and developers will understand this balance better the more time they spend with the technology.
You made an error in your review regarding the game's controls (which has since been amended by the time of this writing). Do you think that an error like that might unintentionally affect your opinion (and therefore the review) of the game?
Not at all. In my original text, I said that aiming was handled by the infared sensor, when it's actually controlled by the gyroscopes. Ultimately, you point at the screen no matter which method the controller is using, so, for the player, the result is the same. My problem with the aiming is that you have to recenter your view often, and that's true no matter what the underlying technology is.
What would you like to see Zelda change in it's formula?More freedom. The strange thing is, The Legend of Zelda (the first game in the series) had this freedom, and the series just went away from it through the years. Part of the problem is that you're confined in a linear path, shuffled from one dungeon to the next, with only cursory exploration. Recent Zelda games are adventures that have you on a leash the whole time. I wish they would remove the leash. Let me enter dungeons out of order. Give me multiple ways to access off-the-path routes, so if I don't have the hookshot yet, I can still use my bombs to open up a road. Make me feel as if I'm forging my own path rather than just doing exactly what the developer wants, when they want it.Skyward Sword is predictable and lacks a sense of adventure because everything is so structured and confined. Your experience is going to be nearly identical to mine. Everyone will take the same path, see the same enemies, solve puzzles the same way, and so on and so forth. I'd love to see Nintendo use The Legend of Zelda as a blueprint for their next game rather than Ocarina for the umpteenth time.
Have you ever peeked down on the forums to see the reaction of readers over a review score, even if you didn't write the review?
Oh yeah, I love seeing how the community reacts to our content. And I'm always relived when they're angry at someone other than me.
Do you feel your part as a reviewer should be an immense influence on people deciding which games to buy, or should they just simply be an informative opinion?My role is to give an informed opinion. I try to paint an accurate picture of my experience, and you can judge for yourself if that sounds like something you would enjoy. I'd like to think that people who read my review of Skyward Sword will know exactly what to expect when they play the game themselves. Their opinion may be different from mine, but I don't think they're going to be surprised with what's on the disc.
Is there something you would like to say to those users who would have your head on a pike over your review scores?
Play the game before you claim I was somehow unfair. And also understand that people have different opinions from your own. My job is not tell you what you want to hear or make sure my score is the same as the Metacritic average. Also, remember that we do have a 1-10 scale. I consider an 8 to be an excellent score (I gave my last three Game of the Years 8.5), so realize that amazing games can get a sub-9 score.
Also, 7.5 means Very Good. It means that I liked the game and you most likely will, too.
Do your reviews give you the same amount of lulz that they give us?
I don't think my reviews are particularly funny, no.
Can you change the score?
Rate System Wars The Magazine and it's contributors in a score out of 10. (Hint: The hype is AA)
REPORT: ZELDA FLOPS
"This is blasphemy! I want Tom's head on a stake by tomorrow morning!" says Animorphsfan.
In 2006, Jeff Gerstmann reviewed Zelda: Twilight Princess with a score of 8.8, becoming the most publicized game review in the history of the Internet. Such a huge flop, people called for Jeff to be fired, calling him fat, and threatening to kill him for his review. We thought we would never see something like that ever again.
But then comes the next Zelda game.
"My Goodness I go away fro one day and miss the biggest flop of the century!!!!!!" said musalana just minutes after the review was posted.
"I just watched the video review. Its like he didnt even play the same game as all those other reviewers...I love how he describes the game as fetch quest, dungeon, fetch quest...It sounds like Skyrim. Yet that has a 9.0." said argetlam00
"So charizard do we both lose our bet now?" said super600.
"f*** this site, Tom McS*** reviews." said SaltyMeatballs.
"Wow I am absolutely loving the madness. All the sheep flipping out and losing it xD" said GiveMeSomething.
"I need to vist Jeff in person to reclaim all my death threats and to say I'm sorry. I've cleary sent them to the wrong person." said Technoweirdo.
Gamespot's review is one of the lowest the game has gotten, which has previously recieved Perfect 10's from places like Game Informer, IGN, and Edge.
SO, SKYWARD SWORD....
Seriously, like, huh?
"I'm sorry, but I don't think I got high tonight," said shinobishyguy.
"I do believe the sheer WTFitude could power faster than light travel," said foxhound_fox.
Many users we interviewed only made gurgling noises.
"Is this real life? Let me stab myself and find out," said madsnakehhh
This magazine currently is of the opinion of simply, "wat."
RUMORED SPECS FOR NEXT XBOX RELEASED
2GB DDR3 Main RAM
2 AMD GPU
Unknown amount of VRAM
Those are the reported specs for Microsoft's next gen system, which has been on the works since the Xbox 360 was launched in 2005. More details about the system are expected to surface at CES, which begins January 10.
These specs are all rumors, and could very well be fake; but this is the correct timeframe for these things to leak. Also, remember that gaming RAM is not the same as PC RAM, since PC RAM has to run Windows (a game console only needs to run a game).
SYSTEM WARS THE COMIC
Magiciandude and Willy105:
XBOX LIVE WOES CONTINUE
It's been nearly two months sincemy Xbox Live account, The Game21xx, was hacked and suspended. This is not okay. Nearly two months' worth of the subscription I paid for has gone completely unutilized because Microsoft is taking its sweet time with the investigation of the hacking that took place on my account.
Oh, and I'm still out the $75 that was used to buy 6000 Microsoft Points. Also great.
But what should I expect from this kind of thing? Microsoft has my money. Of course they're going to take as long as they possibly can in order to avoid giving me my money back. Perhaps they're stalling until the end of the quarter to make their investors happy. I don't know, because no one will tell me a thing.
I've called them numerous times in order to attempt to expedite this investigation but, of course, the Customer Service department is curiously far removed from whatever division of Microsoft that handles the investigation of supposed hacks and once an account is sent over to that department, there is nothing CS can do. Of course, I can't contact the investigations department either.
So, my account is currently in a state of limbo and, as CS representatives told me numerous times, there's nothing I can do but wait until the investigation is over.
I've been an Xbox Live subscriber since 2006, shortly after getting my Xbox 360. Prior to now, I've never had a problem with the service. I've had intermittent problems with the console due to its absurdly high failure rates early in its life but other than that, I've been very happy with the Xbox 360.
This experience is doing quite the excellent job of making me forget all of the great times I've had with the console.
Two of the biggest games the 360 has this fall gaming season (and all year, to be quite honest), Forza Motorsport 4 and Gears of War 3 have been mostly inaccessible to me. I finished Gears of War 3 in single player instead of having the opportunity to finish it alongside my buddies online and I've largely missed out on the majority of the multiplayer action my friends have been engaged in since the game released. In Forza Motorsport 4, I can't access many of the game's best features such as its deep competitive multiplayer and Rivals mode so I pretty much just stopped playing it.
I asked CS reps about this. After all, if I'm paying for an online service, I should be able to access it within a reasonable time frame after being locked out of it.
A month and a half? Sorry. That's not reasonable by any stretch of the imagination.
But I digress. So, what's the solution CS gave me to tide me over until my account is reinstated? Create a new Xbox Live account and buy a couple months of service. Oh, and after I've paidagainfor the service I should've had access to in the first place, I can call them back and have them turn off auto-renew. What a deal!
I spend a lot of time talking up the Xbox 360 on forums and how much I enjoy it, in large part due to Xbox Live and this incident has really soured my opinion on the service, the console and Microsoft. I'm considering just being done with the console altogether. I don't play videogames now nearly as much as I have years prior and most of the gaming I do partake in is on the PC. Given how Microsoft has pretty much given up on producing or procuring exclusives for the 360 that aren't either Halo or made for Kinect and casual gamers, there's not much coming for the system that's interesting to me at this point.
After this fiasco, I probably won't bother to "re-up" on Xbox Live when it lapses next year. Multiplatform titles are better (and often cheaper) on the PC and the paltry list of 360 exclusives is only mildly interesting to me (at best) so why should I even bother? What if this happens again? I will, once again, be locked out of a service I've paid for, for an extended period of time and what's sad is that, at this point, I wouldn't put it past them.