This is what a lack of copy edit staff buys you...

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From: http://www.1up.com/do/reviewPage?cId=3176542

"Two big things naturally come up when bringing up Chinatown Wars on PSP, the first being how it looks."

Pick a million other examples from IGN (I suggest Bozon reviews) or Gamespot or Gamespy or where ever...this one just struck me because it's so mind bendingly bad.one?

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I think I wrote that review when I was 12.

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Well there is your problem, you're reading the text of reviews.

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I feel like I sometimes write sentences like that, so I shall not pass judgment on this fellow. ;)

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I feel like I sometimes write sentences like that, so I shall not pass judgment on this fellow. ;)

I do too...but I don't get paid to write and I edit them afterwards before other people see them. I'm not judging the man either...I like him on the podcasts at least.

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I feel like I sometimes write sentences like that, so I shall not pass judgment on this fellow. ;)

Go ahead and pass judgement. He's a pro writer getting paid to do this stuff.

There's a disappointing lack of copy editing at most gaming sites. It's really irritating. Especially when I think back to how we used to go over every page of EGM over and over again to make sure we didn't allow shit like that through. And we really got down on ourselves when it did happen the odd time.

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Go ahead and pass judgement. He's a pro writer getting paid to do this stuff.

There's a disappointing lack of copy editing at most gaming sites. It's really irritating. Especially when I think back to how we used to go over every page of EGM over and over again to make sure we didn't allow shit like that through. And we really got down on ourselves when it did happen the odd time.

And that's why I prefer print and look forward to getting my copy of Nintendo Power and Game Informer each month.

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And that's why I prefer print and look forward to getting my copy of Nintendo Power and Game Informer each month.

I hate to bust in and sound like an ass, but Game Informer's reviews are usually pretty bad as well. But I really like print so I still read it.

I think that is the biggest reason I miss EGM, it did appear like care was put into what was written.

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Something that's been bugging me lately that I see in a lot of game writing: obtuse is not the same as abstruse, and the average game writer is probably looking for the later when they instead use the former. I guess better copy editors might help that :P

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Well there is your problem, you're reading the text of reviews.

Closing comments/summary + score. That's all I read.

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Closing comments/summary + score. That's all I read.

Ha, same here generally speaking. For some reason I often find myself reading entire reviews in magazines though.

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Something that's been bugging me lately that I see in a lot of game writing: obtuse is not the same as abstruse, and the average game writer is probably looking for the later when they instead use the former. I guess better copy editors might help that :P

Also mano a mano means hand to hand not man to man. And they're called scare quotes, not air quotes and you use them in spoken word by saying, "Ray Barnholt is some kind of "writer" quote unquote."

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Well, niggles aside...

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Now that I think about it, I don't think I've really read many online reviews for games. I find I hear most of their opinions right from their mouths on all the podcasts I listen to.

However, in print I have always read each magazine in its entirety. I definitely miss EGM for that. I buy Nintendo Power from time to time. I should probably buy it more. It's a much better magazine than I had remembered.

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I've toyed with the idea of rekindling a blog to rant about just this sort of problem, even going so far as to start writing posts, but I'm not sure it's worth the effort (because gamers seem to prove time and again that the number is really the only value they derive from reviews)

But every time I think of bad writing reviews, I think of IGN's Killzone 2 review. In one of those aborted blog posts I mentioned, I ran a word count on it.

3,661 words. Of clumsy and dull dreck.

I don't expect a high standard from the average Joe on the Internet. I know I rarely read my own posts twice (usually only if I want to really carefully argue a point), so sometimes ideas and concepts get jumbled.

But you expect that so-called "professional writing" will reach at least some sort of minimum standard. I was angry reading that review. Partly because I was extremely interested in the game's reviews since forum consensus -- one of my more common means of determining whether I'll buy a game -- was obviously going to be absolutely useless. So I went around the Internet, reading reviews and then I come to this piece of garbage.

The first two paragraphs (368 words)...

Is it possible for the hype of a game to completely fuel both its designers and its fans eagerly awaiting its release? In the case of Guerrilla Games' upcoming Killzone 2, the answer is an emphatic yes; the developers knew that they wanted to meet or surpass the action of the now infamous E3 trailer and have been trying to perfect their anticipated shooter. As far as fans were concerned, they were hoping that Killzone 2 would be the system seller and showcase for the PlayStation 3 -- a game that could conceivably rival that of Halo and Gears of War. Fortunately, the wait is almost over, because Killzone 2 will be released at the end of next month. That might seem a bit far away, but believe me when I say that the wait has been well worth it. Killzone 2 is an outstanding evolution of the franchise, a bullet and adrenaline-fueled rampage against an implacable enemy and a fantastic shooter for the PS3.

Killzone 2 is actually the third chapter in the series, following the original PS2 shooter and Killzone: Liberation, a third-person action title on the PSP. While players don't need to have played either one of those games to understand what's going on in Killzone 2, fans of the franchise will see connections between the three games with familiar characters popping up and events being referenced. The basic thrust of the story takes place after the events of Liberation, where the ISA has finally gotten tired of being invaded and attacked on its world of Vekta. While the relative success of repelling the Helghast has worked, the ISA has decided to take the fight back to Emperor Visari. Believing that the Helghast spirit has been broken by their losses on Vekta, the ISA launches a "revenge" invasion against the world of Helghan with the goal of capturing Visari and forcing the Helghast to stand down. Of course, the ISA quickly discovers that this is not the case at all, and as the soldiers discover that the Helghast spirit is just as fierce on their home world than ever before, they also that discover the Helghast have new weapons to unleash on their foes.

How much of that is actual information? Worse yet what about the quality of the writing? You could probably flag every sentence for some sort of problem.

Every time I read it, and I admit, I've read this review several times (in fact, I think I'm becoming slightly obsessed with it), I seem to notice some new issue. "The finally gotten tired" line is a new discovery but patently ridiculous. "You know Rico, being constantly invaded was fun for the last year, but I'm finally getting a bit tired of it."

In some respects, IGN's Uncharted review (2,895 words, BTW) is worse, because it frequently reads like a forum post... there are probably better reviews up on NeoGAF (I can't say for sure, I haven't looked).

Trying to remain as spoiler-free as possible, I'll just say

....

That's about as far as I want to go with the storyline ... the important part here...

...

The great storytelling extends to the character development, which has been turned up a good notch or two. (wtf does this mean?)

....

The story itself twists and turns throughout the course of the game, as you might expect, and for the most part it's a solid tale. Nate and his pals go through a lot, so it does a good job of reeling you in and keeping you hooked until the end. (you're hooked because they go through a lot. Got it)

...

it is what it is.

...

My only real complaint, which is a forced one that I'm just mentioning to put it out there

...

It's impossible to talk about Uncharted 2 without mentioning its visuals. (if you do you'll explode)

...

So that's Uncharted 2: Among Thieves in a large nutshell. Or is it? Yes indeed, this time around Naughty Dog went out of its way to include an online component

...

For the cooperative stuff, you have a handful of options here

God, I dunno. Maybe I'm the only person this bothers but it's just shit construction... and it seems to have nothing interesting to say. Read the comments and I believe you'll see a lot of "great review."

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I don't usually read that many reviews but when I do I don't think I ever notice this kind of thing, probably because my writing is pretty bad and because I usually scan through them quickly.

It reminds me of the everything for gamers site, best reviews out there, both witty and informative and the best use of engrish ever :D

http://e4g.info/1356/batman-arkham-asylum-review.html

Seriously though, this site is donkey balls.

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The whole 1,000+ thing is another product of the internet. Generally, when a review is that big, the writer is either way too impressed with himself and thinks he's just that interesting, or the huge review has been mandated in order to split it into as many ad-wielding pages as possible. Either way, I generally find it hard to stay interested past about 500 words.

That's another thing I like about print. In there, pages cost money, and so writers are forced to fit their thoughts into a finite space. The end result is usually that sentence actually presents useful information, and that the writer ends up becoming better at his craft.

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or the huge review has been mandated in order to split it into as many ad-wielding pages as possible.

This

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The whole 1,000+ thing is another product of the internet. Generally, when a review is that big, the writer is either way too impressed with himself and thinks he's just that interesting, or the huge review has been mandated in order to split it into as many ad-wielding pages as possible. Either way, I generally find it hard to stay interested past about 500 words.

That's another thing I like about print. In there, pages cost money, and so writers are forced to fit their thoughts into a finite space. The end result is usually that sentence actually presents useful information, and that the writer ends up becoming better at his craft.

Didn't stop EGM from making gigantic reviews for bigger games later in its life, up to and including around 5 pages. I liked when they were all restricted to the same size.

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Didn't stop EGM from making gigantic reviews for bigger games later in its life, up to and including around 5 pages. I liked when they were all restricted to the same size.

I blame the Reviews Editors who took up the mantle after I left ;)

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Too lazy to re-type, so forgive the cut-and-paste of my opinion of online reviews:

There are two things I really hate about reviews:

1. Reading them.

2. Writing them.

With regard to the first problem, there’s very little that appeals to me less than going to read a review and being faced with this:

ivvct3.jpg

There isn’t a game, book, movie, automobile, or [insert noun] for which I will endure a three-page review. When presented with the option to click page three and read the summary with the score, I’ll do that 100% of the time. I need to know three things from a review-–do I buy, rent, or pass–-and I don’t need three pages to get me to that decision. Especially since I've more than likely already seen tons of video, read a handful of previews, and been accosted by advertising for the game.

As for writing reviews, it’s a taxing, time-consuming, and, ultimately, thankless task (since jerkstores like me are going to cut to the chase anyway–-or worse, go right to metacritic for the aggregated score). I feel bad for the poor sod who has to write three pages about Punch Out . . . let alone a foul turd like Terminator Salvation.

SickBoy--that Killzone 2 review... omg. :&

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When EGM did ~3 paragraphs for each game, I even read through the sports game reviews. But now, I couldn't tell you the last time I've ever read a review. I've glanced through some Giantbomb ones, and that's about it.

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I find that my habits change considerable depending on what medium I am using. For the most part, if it is online, and a game I am mildly interested in, I will just read the closing comment and score. However, if Im reading in print, I generally lead the whole review, but that is generally because Im either sitting having a coffee, or on the can.

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Stolen from GAF, but too hilarious not to share here:

November 12, 2001 - "There's a tendency among the press to attribute the creation of a game to a single person," says Warren Spector, creator of Thief and Deus Ex.

http://uk.pc.ign.com/articles/135/135304p1.html

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