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I don't get it? (LOTR:Return of the King)
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Poo Bear
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Joined: 14 Oct 2002
Posts: 4121
Location: Sheffield, UK



PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2003 7:42 pm    Post subject: I don't get it? (LOTR:Return of the King) Reply with quote

Just been trying out the "Return of the king" PC demo, I was expecting big things of this since reading the rave reviews.


http://www.gamespot.com/xbox/action/lordoftheringstherotk/review.html

http://www.1up.com/article2/0,4364,1370730,00.asp

http://www.gamespy.com/articles/november03/rotkpileon/

I just didn't get it though, am I missing something? Ok it looks great, no question about that, but Gandalf just seems to run about waving his staff in the air madly. The camera sets a dynamic and exciting looking stage but it often chooses confusing angles and will sometimes get blocked by obstacles. The combat itself seems to revolve around mashing mouse buttons 1 and 2, the weaker enemies are quickly dispatched but the harder ones seem impossible to kill?

I did some research and discovered there are "environmental weapons", this means you can grab a spear and fling it. As you can't aim, it automatically flies to the nearest target, which is often out of view and I've never seen anyone actually die from being hit with one.

The appearance of huge cave trolls always signals the end of my game, they are enormous and very impressive looking but one swipe and Gandalf is toast. Gandalf doesn't appear to be able to perform any magic acts (surely I've got that wrong?). Ok I know he doesn't go around shooting lightning from his fingers (aka the emperor), but surely he can do more than windmilling his staff in the air?? I was disappointed to say the least, perhaps the full version is better.

You can see for yourself by downloading the demo here:
http://www.fileplanet.com/files/130000/130607.shtml


Last edited by Poo Bear on Thu Nov 20, 2003 10:43 am; edited 1 time in total
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axegrinder



Joined: 02 Apr 2003
Posts: 11



PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2003 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My thoughts exactly.
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jollyreaper



Joined: 20 Jun 2003
Posts: 181



PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2004 2:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I saw Two Towers on PS2. The way these games strike me, extremely beautiful and having massively impressive visuals. As for depth, shallow like a texas mud puddle. These games are intended to garner interest based on the name of the related license and secure purchase based on pretty screenshots. They are looking for casual players who are satisfied by the minimal gaming experience they get. As far as the publisher is concerned, selling a quarter of a game for $50 to someone who buys it, plays it a little and sets it aside is a perfectly successful business model. The way they see it, they're not looking to create a fanbase or secure repeat business. When they make the next game they will follow that same mass-produced pablum model and make tons of money.

It's the difference between Hollywood blockbuster movies and smaller indie flicks. The indie films are made for love. Sometimes, they're also very good. The mass-market stuff is pumped out with little regard for art and make tons of money anyways. Art-house budgets cannot compete with Hollywood so it's far better for them to cater to the audience that doesn't care for Hollywood anyway. In gaming terms that means forget the fmv, motion capture, and insanely expensive stuff that makes a game cost millions to develop. Concentrate on gameplay and creating a more intimate, satisfying experience. From there you hopefully secure a loyal niche audience.
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RentACop



Joined: 18 May 2004
Posts: 9



PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2004 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with most of the statements above, I just wanted to point out that Gandalf does indeed use magic, it's his projectile attack.
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spiceant



Joined: 26 Feb 2004
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Location: Void



PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2004 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

review site's can be paid to make good reviews
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Fost
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Joined: 14 Oct 2002
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2004 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

spiceant wrote:
review site's can be paid to make good reviews


Yes, I'm sure most people don't realise about that. We've experienced this first hand (not at Moonpod Very Happy, but at some of our old jobs. Even if we could, we don't have the money to pay for good reviews Wink ). Even magazines you would never think could be bought will in fact put a lot of pressure on their reviewers to bump up scores if a publishers offers to buy a lot of advertising space with them. - A convenient way to get round anything obvious like an envelope filled with cash.
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Poo Bear
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2004 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very true, although it is a little more subtle than an outright cash payment. What happens is they will ask the publisher if he would like to run some adverts, competitions, special promotions or host the demo on a premium service (no threats, all nicey nicey). If the publisher agrees then his game magically gets a favorable score. It is never blatant though, I mean if someone was paying you $150k in advertising you would be crazy to bad mouth the product, right? Sure you aren't going to go mad and say it is the best thing since sliced bread, but you would make damn sure the review staff knew they were dealing with a primo client. Maybe the review staff would like to come down to the actual studio, all expenses paid and stay in a top hotel and go on free meals and parties - no pressure.

What makes the situation worse is most of the large websites are all owned by the same few people or share similar news sources (just like the real media do). This means a publisher can afford to spend even more advertising money because company A owns sites B+C+D+E. If your website exists to review games then do you really want to irritate EA, Sony or Microsoft - I don't think so. Doesn't take much for a site to disappear from the next big game launch invite list does it?

What I find really amusing is the way reviewers need a patsy to maintain credibility. Let me explain, the reviewers know that if they just say everything is great then they lose credibility. However, nobody wants to be the first to diss some major release and risk alienating a powerful publisher. As all the sites/mags are linked they will wait until someone breaks and slags off something big, then all the rest give a huge sigh of relief and join in on the new whipping boy. Hence, every now and again there is a game released that maybe isn't really that bad, but wow does everybody hammer it. The assumption is the publisher can't single out any one site or magazine as everyone has had a go at his game so they are all safe. The publisher doesn't bother advertising the game, it doesn't sell, the reviewers congratulate themselves on being proved right, the publisher drops the studio and the developers are out of work.

No point me whining though, this is how the world works, money greases the wheels of industry so we all might as well get used to it. Bills need to be paid, mouths need to be fed. Maybe we should open a reviews site, build up a good rep and then sell to UGO for a mint Smile

End of rant.
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icarus
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Joined: 01 Mar 2004

Location: Olympia Washington



PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2004 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NOT TRUE

i read the zif davis media(c) gaming mags (CGW, PSM, EGM, XBM) and often you will find a 2 page add for a game and then on the next page a 2.5 star revew
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Fost
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2004 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Usually they will get a few people to review a game and choose the best review to run with (if enough money changes hands that is). This does not preclude all the reviewers disliking the game, or means that it happens all the time. I can't comment on how widespread this sort of thing is, I can only confirm that I have seen it happen with some very well respected mags you would not normally have believed to do such a thing.

Contrast this with Indie Review sites: Diygames up to now actually bought in all its review samples because they wanted their reviews to be truly independent!


Last edited by Fost on Fri Jul 02, 2004 10:32 am; edited 1 time in total
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spiceant



Joined: 26 Feb 2004
Posts: 16
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2004 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

people who dont have a clue how good game's can be take the rating's for good.
but rating a bad game for a good one will be bad for the company because you rate bad game's top. and the gamers notice that.
but ofcourse if i get given a cooky and 150K in euro's i'd claim it was a hundred very good cooky's and let people pre-order them all around the world.
but people wouldn't like me in the end.
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Fost
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2004 10:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

spiceant wrote:
and the gamers notice that

I wonder if they do - Driv3r seems to be topping the sales charts at the moment, and it seems clear that money has changed hands in a lot of cases with some incredibly suspicious reviews, and yet the same thing happened last year with Enter the Matrix.

It's easy to forget that there's far more people that own a console and buy a few games, yet don't go on forums, than there are who visit web forums. Hardcore gamers might not be satisfied, but many people are quite happy with such products, and there are lots more of them than us.
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