Reviewing Reviews - sunday 2002-12-29 1726 last modified 2006-01-28 2005
Categories: Daily Grind
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Besides journals and poetry, it seems the dominant usage of websites by Joe Average is to review stuff. Thus, the inaugural edition of Review Review, in which I do to reviewers' reviews as they do to their reviewed materiel. You shouldn't listen to me, though, because I don't write reviews professionally.

I chose a "Top Ten Worst Games" list to start things off with since those usually carry the most vitriol with the least reason. You can read GameSpy.com's Top 10 Shameful Games by William Cassidy to get an immediate idea of what a bad review feels like. Now, there are entertaining and good "Top Ten Worst" types of reviews out there, one of them being Seanbaby's 20 Worst Nintendo Games, but this one immediately suffers from a lack of direction within the first couple paragraphs. The reviewer starts off with some muddled description of what might be a good definition for worst and ends with this: "So, these 10 titles may not be the WORST of all time, but they are far, far from being the best." Yet the title of the article basically claims to be a listing of the absolutely most shameful games ever produced - where is the reviewer trying to go? As your high school English teacher should have taught you, make your point and make it strong, your reader should be intelligent enough to judge your personal exposition. Things get even less clear with entry number six, which is a joystick, not a game. Somebody is clearly trying to get something out the door quickly -- ironically enough, an accusation the reviewer makes of game makers -- a fault particularly visible as the author elucidates his definition of research.

Want to know where the facts of this review came from? Try these citations out:

"I couldn't pick them all, so to choose, I scoured the Internet..."

"I took a quick look around the 'Net, and here's a sampling of the kind of comments I found..."

He went where for his facts? To the Internet? And he didn't even provide URLs? If only human behavioral research was actually as easy as asking something of Google and picking and choosing the appropriate results.

That's not all though, the reviewer, in typical "Top Ten Worst" fashion, abuses the cliched phrases "scratch your eyeballs out" and "into the trash can," compares game companies and programmers to the mentally handicapped, and expends so much time focusing on only one bad thing that he can only help to come to multiple conclusions at the end of each entry.

This was a personal monument to the reviewer's desire for scapegoat sacrifice, plus whatever zingers he could pull off the net. I suppose he got assigned to this article, but that's not an excuse. I mean, he's getting paid to write his reviews, he could at least do the job well. On my own undefined scale of measurement, this review gets a 'sucky.'

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