follow us:

Latest News

Free-to-play Soul Calibur hits the PS3
Bandai Namco is either being real generous as of late or hoping to be the next Candy Crush with their free-to-play games. First there was Tekken Revolution, soon there will be Ace Combat Infinity, and today, Soulcalibur: Lost Swords is out for the PS3 and it's free. ... [read more]
Here's 9 minutes of brand new multiplayer footage from Watch_Dogs
With the release of Watch_Dogs just around the corner, Ubisoft have showcased brand new gameplay footage explaining the multiplayer aspects you can look forward to in the game. ... [read more]
Dragon Age: Inquisition gets a new trailer and a release date
If you've been patiently waiting for some info on Dragon Age: Inquisition, well you're in luck because we finally have a release date for the game and new gameplay trailer.... [read more]

Latest Articles

The 3rd Annual OG Awards - Platform Awards and GOTY
After much deliberating, we finally have the final OG Awards. Who is taking the big award this year?... [read more]
The 3rd Annual OG Awards - Genre Awards
Day 2 of the OG Awards will reward the best of the best in various genres. Let's give out some awards! ... [read more]
The 3rd Annual OG Awards - Miscellaneous Awards
It's time for the most important awards in gaming: The OG Awards! Who will be the big winner? Read on to find out. ... [read more]

Latest Reviews

Dark Souls II Review
At this point, anybody who plays video games that don't involve a touch screen interface is well aware of what Dark Souls II is. A sequel to a spiritual sequel to an amazingly difficult, but fun game, Dark Souls II has some large shoes to fill.... [read more]
Infamous Second Son Review
The good ending of Infamous 2 left many wondering what was left for the series. Sucker Punch made it very clear that a new superhero was required to continue the series. Thus Delsin Rowe was born.... [read more]
Escape Plan Review
Escape Plan is a 3D side-scroller puzzle game which was originally released as a launch title for the PS Vita in February 2012. Developer Fun Bits Interactive decided to take the game to the big screen and port it to the PlayStation 4. ... [read more]

Latest Videos

8-Bit Eric: Unepic Review
8-Bit Eric takes a look at EnjoyUp Games' lighthearted take on classic platforming and RPGs, Unepic. ... [read more]
Mizuumi-Con 2014 panel videos
The Original Gamer crew was Mizuumi-Con 2014 this past Saturday to put on two panels: "Video Game Jeopardy" and "Everything You Wanted to Know About Video Games, But Were Afraid to Ask." And we have the videos to prove it. ... [read more]
8-Bit Eric: Robocop (NES) Review
Instead of watching the Robocop remake, watch 8-Bit Eric review Robocop on the NES. It's cheaper to watch and truer to original.... [read more]
Exclusive Reviews: Crowding One Voice and Shunning Others
Posted on March 21, 2013 by Drew Bergmark

Yesterday, I was going through social media wondering what people were questioning about with exclusive reviews. I hadn’t heard anything about any exclusive reviews for months despite liking multiple regions of IGN on Facebook. IGN’s Xbox head Ryan McCaffrey skipped St. Patrick’s Day on Sunday because he was working on reviewing possibly one of the year’s most anticipated titles: BioShock Infinite.

To preface what I’m going to say through this editorial, I’m sure there have been no basic journalistic ethics broken with the exclusive IGN review of 2K and Irrational Games’ BioShock Infinite but as I don’t have any personal or private business relationships between any employee of either company I can’t be a hundred percent certain in that statement either.

With days before a game’s release and no official reviews are out for the public to read, usually this means that there should be some kind of caution about a game but when an exclusive review is in play, all cards are thrown into the air just like a childish game of ‘52 Card Pickup’: tell everyone to pick up the cards as one person gets the delight of watching others squirm. Surely, this isn’t the intent of either partner intentionally but that’s what comes of the situation.

When dozens of popular gaming outlets are told to sit on their hands and not get to release a review all at the same time, all those who follow the games media are crowded to the one voice, creating a dictatorial opinion on the subject. Along with the outlet’s opinion, several other options pop-up: how will the review change with a specific advertising layout, what does the publisher want in order to complete the contracted obligation and the most important how will the judgment be judged by the consumers?

Millions of dollars lay upon the fingertips of one San Franciscan that could change a global company’s stocks from fifteen dollars a share to ten or twenty. If the game gives a bad impression to the reviewer, this could mean hundreds of people’s jobs potentially as the publisher has invested five years and millions of dollars into the project. If the game gives a good impression to the reviewer, the outlet could receive criticism for the next decade on how they were supposedly paid-off by one of the largest publishers in the industry. Every reviewer has to think of this but when you remove the other 100 reviews from Metacritic with the single review speaking for potentially all of the company’s audience, you are forcing this reviewer to feel obligated to not only to feel safe in his words but to compromise, in this case, his positive or negative criticism.

In other media mediums like music or movies, exclusive reviews aren’t used anymore as they appear to be naive with major outlets being shunned, which goes for all those independent bloggers too. Apparently though, this doesn’t affect the decision making made over at Take-Two Interactive. In fact, looking at the layout of the ‘review-in-progress’ that has been posted as of the publication of this editorial, there are several locations that IGN and Take-Two use with different retail partners to take advantage by posting advertisements in strategic places where readers can’t ignore an Amazon link telling where gamers can purchase the game.

Literally, in the middle of a fucking sentence, an advertisement links to a private IGN server which is then redirected to the online Microsoft store for a pre-order of BioShock Infinite. The dependent phrase should read ‘In BioShock Infinite’s opening moments, ...’ but instead boxed with red dots, the ‘$59.99 @ Microsoft Store’ advertisement immediately steals away attention from reading as it has been placed directly where most consumers would direct their eyes: to the middle of the screen. Call this what you want but putting an advertisement right in the middle of a sentence, as far as I know, has never been done before other than normal page breaks with a newspaper.

This wasn’t the only obvious advertisement that was featured in the ‘review-in-progress’ either. As it was called a review-in-progress, most gamers will scroll down to see if a score has been given but instead for those searching for the arbitrary number would be treated to looking at three different box arts for different platforms from different retail companies linking to their respective webpage where you can pre-order the game now.

I don’t know if it’s just me but the exclusive reviews just seem to be a great way to advertise, by choking other outlets from reporting on a game instead of offering your audience an accurate outlook on a title by subjectively inspecting what other reviewers have said about the game. If I were ever given this chance for an exclusive review, I wouldn’t be able to accept it morally because the personal implications that such an illustrious event would be such a massive impact on my writing career but also because I write to help gamers to get the best product out of what money they have. Only allowing one person to review a game publicly before its release is an atrocity to those who follow game reviewers and shouldn’t be allowed because it collapses discussion for how exciting a certain product maybe.

BioShock Infinite comes out on March 26th, next Tuesday, internationally on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC and Mac. Yesterday, I reported that Greenman Gaming is offering the best offer for the PC version of the game as you’ll get an extra three games for free with the purchase of a downloadable copy of the game.

Drew Bergmark - Staff Writer viggo (@) original-gamer.com | all author's articles

What do you think of Elder Scrolls Online

I'm enjoying every minute of it!
It's ok, but there are way too many bugs.
It stinks!
Haven't tried it, but will once the dust settles.
I despise MMORPGs.
View Results - View Comments

Podcast


Taking the word back


The SOCOM Controversy aka Why Some Game Review Sites Suck

Why the Playstation 4 isn't coming out this year

Bungie publicly reveals Destiny

Other Gaming News From The Web