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


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#1 Wenny

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 05:14 PM

From: http://www.1up.com/d...age?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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#2 Tron

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 05:24 PM

I think I wrote that review when I was 12.
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#3 Jonnjonzz

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 05:46 PM

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

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 05:57 PM

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

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 06:10 PM

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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#6 PlayerOneStewy

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 06:19 PM

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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#7 Wenny

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 06:22 PM

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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#8 ness08

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 06:26 PM

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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#9 MojoBox

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 06:34 PM

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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#10 mik

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 06:35 PM

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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#11 KinectFan

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 06:56 PM

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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#12 Wenny

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 07:04 PM

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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#13 Rigby

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 08:16 PM

Well, niggles aside...
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#14 Reivax

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 09:05 PM

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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#15 SickBoy

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 02:12 AM

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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#16 atat23

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 03:37 AM

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...lum-review.html


Seriously though, this site is donkey balls.
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#17 PlayerOneStewy

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 05:07 AM

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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#18 Wenny

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 06:11 AM

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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#19 Kirbutashi

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 06:36 AM

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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#20 PlayerOneStewy

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 06:42 AM

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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#21 mik

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 07:36 AM

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:

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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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#22 Kirbutashi

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 08:00 AM

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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#23 tonks00

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 08:13 AM

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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#24 mik

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 02:38 PM

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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#25 Wenny

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 03:49 PM

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



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

Beauty
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#26 Outlaw Moogle

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 05:41 PM

It'd be nice for someone to do 5 second game reviews like Mr. Moviephone does for movies as part of a podcast or something.
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#27 Kholdstare

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 05:44 PM

http://www.crispygam...s-xbox-360.aspx
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#28 Wenny

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 05:49 PM

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



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

Now that I've read the full article I'm reminded of one of my IGN pet peeves...the house style mandate that non-reviews end with a variation of "we'll bring you more information as it develops"...horribly mangled here as "we'll have plenty of other opportunities to bring you more hinkfo [sic] as it's released."
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#29 mik

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 06:07 PM

It'd be nice for someone to do 5 second game reviews like Mr. Moviephone does for movies as part of a podcast or something.

There's a site that does all their reviews on a scale of 0 to 100 words. How clever is that? CLEVER.
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#30 atat23

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 03:21 AM

There's a site that does all their reviews on a scale of 0 to 100 words. How clever is that? CLEVER.


sounds lame....... :P
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#31 SickBoy

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 12:59 PM

I don't know if anyone is bored at work today, but I'm curious if there's anything missing from this review, that wasn't in the original IGN review. I've been sort of fixated on the issue of bad gaming reviews, and I felt the MW2 review, while not KZ2 territory, was still pretty damn weak.

So I decided to see how it could be trimmed without actually changing much of the content (the further I go, the less I can resist the temptation to rewrite). There's not really much of an intro to speak of, but that's because there was nothing of value in the 100-word history lesson that started the original. I was going to blog about this (still might), but I felt like that was even more work for something that maybe only I care about.

Anyhow, the word count on the IGN review was 2200 or so. The new count is 961.

Can Modern Warfare 2 live up to the precedent set by over half a decade of Call of Duty tradition? Broken up into three pillars of gameplay, Modern Warfare 2 is by far the least traditional of the series, providing an overwhelming amount of gameplay with three completely different experiences all in one.

The core of the Call of Duty world has always been campaign mode, and Modern Warfare 2's is intense, taking you through the bustling streets of Rio de Janeiro, the ice-capped mountains of Kazakhstan and more. The action is more chaotic, with improved enemy AI and tough scenario design having you fight for every checkpoint. Unlimited enemy spawns have been eliminated, and a persistent waypoint icon shows you where you need to go or who you need to follow.

AI teammates remain a cause of frustration, however, with friendlies occasionally blocking your movement or randomly walking through your line of fire, although they're generally less obtrusive than in Call of Duty 4. The campaign is also quite short -- my first run-through took just under five hours on regular difficulty, although playing on hardened will likely add another hour and a half.
Some gamers may be frustrated by one of the bigger changes to the game's HUD. Blood spatter covers the screen when you take damage, obscuring your view more than the red film that indicated damage in previous games. In discussions around the office, some people have suggested the effect is too distracting, but I didn't feel it was an issue. Besides, it's a small price to pay for the extra damage you can absorb on easier difficulty settings.

A stronger emphasis on complex terrain, destructable objects and weather effects make the game an obvious visual step up over its predecessors, a feat complemented by the game's fantastic sound design. Hans Zimmer's score is captivating, building on specific in-game moments to create a true action-movie experience, and many of the sound effects for returning weapons have been re-recorded. As well, there's an astounding amount of in-game chatter between your allies. It's rare in games that you'll hear a squad mate call out helpful, specific information. But in Modern Warfare 2, when a friend shouts "Two tangos behind the yellow station wagon!" you'll actually see two enemies behind a yellow station wagon.

But while the production values are top notch, the storytelling is lacking. Events fly by, and the story is told only through loading screens or in-game NPC chatter, often in the middle of a firefight. Still, if you pay attention you can catch the plot and enjoy the characters and twists of the incredibly over-the-top story that feels like something pulled from an '80s action movie. It's a feeling that's only enhanced by a series of awesome gameplay moments and new technology that you have a chance to play with.

Modern Warfare 2 is best enjoyed with friends, either locally or online, in its two multiplayer modes. The game's new Spec Ops mode may have fans of campaign mode forgiving its reduced length. An arcade-inspired challenge mode, Spec Ops is mostly playable in single-player, but definitely designed for team play. The new game type gives gamers 23 missions to play through, with performances ranked on a scale of one to three stars. While many areas will recall the campaign, the objectives, and most of the layouts, are all new. It's surprisingly addictive, and it's also longer overall than campaign mode.

Infinity Ward hasn't spared the polish on Spec Ops. In one mission only available for team play, one player controls a chopper as it circles the other player in a suburban warzone. The fierce scenario requires you to work in tandem from point to point, culminating in an amazingly cinematic finale that sees countless buildings destroyed as the chopper lays down waves of fire for his friend before swooping in to pick him up. While you might not have expected much from Spec Ops, when all is said and done you'll be begging for more.

And then there's the competitive multiplayer. Infinity Ward has clearly listened to user feedback and put a lot of work into balance across the various competitive modes. The class system returns with a host of new weapons, perks and customizable kill streaks added to the mix. Despite having more than double the content, the game feels more balanced than its predecessor, and gamers of all skill levels can contribute to a team.

The kill streaks now allow players to unlock rewards such as stealth bombers, AC-130 strikes and even a devastating nuke that ends the game if you can reach the 25 kills needed to unlock it. Despite the devastating power of these rewards, however, the developers have managed to keep things balanced. Many strategies from COD4 that were widely seen as annoying -- players throwing three frag grenades every life, the martyrdom perk and camping -- are less prevalent, and the improvements can be partly credited to the design of the new maps, with more height and multiple routes through the environments.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is a truly amazing offering. For those planning to check out everything the game has to offer, it's a no-brainer. For the strictly single-player crowd, however, Modern Warfare 2 is surprisingly short, and doesn't live up to the standard set by previous Call of Duty games. The campaign can be completed in as little as four and a half hours, and the missions don't come together well as a cohesive, well-told story. If you're going solo, you've officially been warned. Look at the complete Modern Warfare 2 experience, though, and there's no denying its rightful place at the top.


I clearly have a problem. Or is it IGN that has the problem? Yes, that's it. It's IGN.
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#32 minus_273

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 03:03 PM

this reminds me of the tendency game reviews to use certain phrases and words again and again, "compelling" being the worst and most obvious offender. Game review memes should be studied and documented.
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#33 Kholdstare

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Posted 03 December 2009 - 03:07 PM

From Jim Stirling.

I'm sure we've all thought about killing a GameStop worker, but none of us are stupid enough to go into a store and actually promise it. One man in Michigan did, after failing to return his Xbox 360 without a receipt, and promptly got himself arrested for it.

The 43-year-old man was enraged over the store's refusal to accept his console with a receipt and said he would kill somebody. This was taken seriously enough to warrant the arrival of a team of cops in "active shooter response" mode. Employees and customers waited in the back while the cops set about slamming the man into a counter and arresting him on the spot. A search of his bag found a stung gun -- illegal in Michigan -- which the man tried to claim was for self defense.

"It was an interesting day here at the GameStop," said worker David Roman.


The title of the article is "Angry moron threatens GameStop workers with death", and one of the tags is #STOOPID.

Fuck Jim Stirling and fuck Destructoid.
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#34 PlayerOneStewy

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Posted 03 December 2009 - 03:14 PM

"A search of his bag found a stung gun"

Relying solely on spell checker will fuck you every time. I love it :)
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#35 Kholdstare

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Posted 03 December 2009 - 03:22 PM

Gamestop only takes returns without receipts. Truth.



It bothers me that he is so popular. Instead of showing any real writing skill or talent he just tries to act edgy and cool.
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#36 Indy aka Rex

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Posted 03 December 2009 - 03:49 PM

Gamestop only takes returns without receipts. Truth.



It bothers me that he is so popular. Instead of showing any real writing skill or talent he just tries to act edgy and cool.



You should've bolded the with/without part you twat. I was confused the first time I read that.... You suck Kholdstare.
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#37 Kholdstare

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Posted 03 December 2009 - 05:04 PM

I bolded both sentences to give the words context. Works better this way.
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#38 BeauRosser

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Posted 03 December 2009 - 07:23 PM

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.


Reviews on the internet should be 500-700 words long. People do not want to sit and read 2,000+ words on a screen. And yes - I don't think IGN's Mark Bozon writes reviews very well. I actually like most of the work IGN and 1up put out, but seriously, UGO and Fox need to invest in some copy editors. As I'm aware that EICs look over (most) writings being produced by their staff, a dedicated copy editor would be very beneficial.
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#39 PlayerOneStewy

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Posted 03 December 2009 - 09:42 PM

Aspiring writers tend to think that 2,000 words is more impressive than 1,000. They don't realize that being able to say the same thing in 300-500 words is actually way more impressive.
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#40 mik

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Posted 03 December 2009 - 10:06 PM

Yup. A 2,000-word video game review just tells me the writer is lacking clarity of thought.
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