Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Six out of Ten - A Roast of Jim Sterling

Aggregame is getting a little pissed off about the politics involved in those that rate video games. While we certainly respect everyone's individual opinion, there has to be some common sense knocked into some of these so called critics. We're calling out Jim Sterling from Destructoid who gave a 6/10 for Call of Duty: Black Ops. Really Jim? Oh boy!

We actually agree with most of his assessment of the PC version of the game. However, as anyone in his position should know, the PC SKU represents far less than 10% of the folks that have, or will, buy Black Ops. Moreover, he waits until 42 other outlets that influence Metacritic's scoring, which incidentally yielded a 90 for Black Ops on 11/9, to publish his score. In his review, though, he states "Once the multiplayer is fixed, feel free to pop at least two more points, most likely even three, into this review's score."

As an obvious Modern Warfare 2 fanboy, when Infinity Ward 'essentially crapped all over the PC gamers' when they delivered a mediocre day one experience, he promptly provided it with a 9.5/10. If memory serves us correctly, the PC community was outraged by MW2 PC, IWNet, and the lack of Dedicated Servers. Jim must have evaluated the Xbox 360 version, eh? Or, could it be he just needs to try and drive the Black Ops Metacritic score below a 90 for his own agenda / publicity?

We all know the PC version of any game is the hardest to tune and get right due to the variations in target machines. We also know that Treyarch has a stellar record in "fixing" what isn't good on day one. And, they seem to do so pretty quickly. To presume anything else, or have it reflect your "score", is absurd. Hey Jim, how about giving Black Ops a 9 and dropping it 2 or 3 points if they don't fix anything? Is that too complicated for you?

Just be glad we're letting you off the hook this easily, Jim. We've since read your past COD franchise reviews, and could write a dissertation with all the contradictions and double-speak you portray from one year to the next. You are the truest practitioner of hypocrisy, and the furthest from a journalist we've ever seen.

If Jim's not a fanboy, and he did this for the attention - he got us. We took the bait and even sourced his articles. Doesn't matter; this needed to be said. Whether he's a fanboy, or just playing politics, Jim is what is wrong with the game industry media. He carries himself professionally like a 12 year-old carries himself on message boards. Shame on Destructoid for giving Jim a soapbox he can't handle.

Alright Alright, Sorry Jim.

Roasting Jim was fun, but we're actually calling out a lot more people than just Sterling. Jim just happened to in the wrong place at the wrong time during the most popular entertainment launch of the year (and possibly history). Though, he did put himself in this position. He was "the guy" that had the balls to do it to such a high profile title this year. It happens every year, and actually happened more than once this year with more than one title. There are always "journalists" who want to stand out from the crowd, and do what they think will turn the most heads. They are running a business like any other. Like FOX News and the Obama "Terrorist Fist Bump" stories. They sure got viewers, didn't they?

But it didn't make it right. Neither is what Jim (and others) are doing within this industry. How do you think Obama felt to have such ludicrous accusations brought against him by such an influential media powerhouse? Presidential candidate or not, that had to take a toll on him, his family, and his administration. The fact is, some people actually believed those stories, and cast judgement on Obama because of those silly stories. What Jim did here is the same thing, proportionally. How do you think the hundreds of men and women at Treyarch feel seeing a 6/10? They don't give a crap what Sterling says or does on a personal level, but the audience Sterling commands, on the other hand, is of great concern.

Jim can't defend his review score. He may try, but deep down inside he knows he didn't give Black Ops a fair shake. He's a smart guy, and knows how these things go. He knows there are day-1 and week-1 patches, he knows these issues will be addressed promptly. He knows that the way the PC SKU was developed and tuned, ran perfectly in all of the test machines. He knows that, performance bugs aside, Black Ops is at least a 9/10 (he admits it within his own article). Worst case, he's just a fanboy that will never let go. Best case, he was trying to make some righteous point; A dramatic valiant stand, but in doing so did more damage than it was worth. Most likely case, he knew it would get the most amount of attention and discussion, in which case he should apologize to Gamers, Destructoid, Treyarch, Activision, and the rest of the Industry for his insincerity.

Our ultimate message to Jim, and the other "journalists" in our industry who want to pull this kind of stunt, is to cut it out. If you just can't help yourselves, or really want to be that controversial guy, then remove yourself from the Metacritics and GameRankings of the world and stop polluting the other good standing game critics that are still left in the industry.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, God forbid anyone attempt and use the entire 1-10 rating scale.

    So there's 42 glowing reviews of Black Ops on Metacritic and you take issue with someone rating it a 6/10. As if anyone should be allowed to have their own different opinion? The nerve of that guy!

    It's opinions like yours that keep the IGN's and Gamespot's of the world rating everything from 7-10, deathly afraid of offending not just the publishers, but rabid fans (such as yourself) who will vociferously defend this multi-million dollar media production of which they have no affiliation

    You have some legit complaints with his review, but I would still rather live in a world in which game reviews actually CRITIQUE the game they are playing, and I commend someone like Jim who is not afraid to voice an unpopular opinion for fear of attacks such as this blog post

    I for one want the reviews on Metacritic to reflect a broad range of preferences and opinions. No game is perfect and I read game reviews to know about their missteps - not to see everyone agree to justify my purchases

    And I did not want to say this but seriously, Do you work for Activision?