: Editorial: Why It's Hip To Hate GTAIV

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Editorial: Why It's Hip To Hate GTAIV

No game is perfect, and everyone has different opinions and preferences when it comes to entertainment. This isn't debatable, but ever since the early days of the NES, there has been an annoying little aspect of the gaming culture that continues to thrive (mostly amidst socially repressed teens, but whatever). It frustrates me almost as much as the fanboy crowd, and it's the elitist mentality that absolutely must find ways to hate on fantastic games. The purpose of doing this is simple: the elitist simply believes he/she knows more about the subject than anyone else, which means being in the minority is a symbol of absolute elitism. All mainstream games must suck, and if a game like Grand Theft Auto IV is received so unbelievably well by the critics, the elitist must be able to find something wrong with it.

They're already starting to pop up all over the Internet. These are the people who make the dissertation-length posts on forums designed to "enlighten" the rest of us who have been "blinded" by PR, marketing, and hype. This is supposed to make the elitist stand out in the crowd; to prove he really does know more because he caught all the errors in the game that we critics never noticed. Therefore, it's hip to hate on GTAIV, and really, any game that sells incredibly well and/or scores extremely high with the reviewers. Granted, a lot of people simply make such topics to get a rise out of the community, but some of them actually believe the nonsense they post. Now, it's not that I'm insulted by their superiority complex, and it's not that their implied insults of critics are offensive, either. It's their inane adolescent attitude that irks the hell out of me...

Let me explain something- GTAIV is not perfect; there are flaws. Yeah, we get it. But regardless of your personal preferences, it's an excellent game that shouldn't be ignored due to the elitists who think every last critic is "paid off" and every last gamer other than themselves is clueless. Thing is, the people in question aren't trying to simply voice an opinion; they're trying to prove others wrong and themselves right, which is nothing more than a childish impulse. It's bound to happen with any game that scores so high: the elitists come out of the woodworks to insure that their brilliant words of wisdom are heard (or read). Now, if any of these haters actually act on what they say, it means they continually miss out on the best video games of all time. If all the critics are either bribed or stupid, and the mainstream gaming public only cares about ads on television, than the elitists must be passing on anything that scores over a 9 or has even a moderate marketing campaign. That must be a miserable existence.

Seriously, to all you brilliant geniuses who are inclined to lecture: give it a rest. The vast majority of game journalists are not paid off to give a game a certain score, and the little trinkets we receive in the mail don't have any impact, either. Just because I got a collectible metal sword with Heavenly Sword doesn't mean I scored leniently. Just because we got three Titleist golf balls with Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds doesn't mean we upped the overall score by a few tenths. Furthermore, just because much of the rest of the gaming community handed out 10s to GTAIV doesn't mean I was going to. I don't give out 10s. I might be so inclined if I thought a game was perfect, but that has never happened...even though GTAIV is close. So here's the point, fellow gamers-

You keep playing to have fun. You play the games you want to play, and for the most part, you can trust critics when it comes to finding some decent titles. There's no major conspiracy amongst the reviewing clan to deceive all the readers out there (what motivation do we have to lie to gamers; we're gamers ourselves!), and above all else, just because there's a massive ad campaign behind a game doesn't mean it's instantly inferior to the cult classic "nobody recognized." There is a reason why games like GTAIV sell a bazillion copies and score high 9s and even perfect 10s, and it has nothing to do with deception, lies, bribery, ignorance, or anything else. They sell those copies and get those scores because they're great. So take my advice and do yourself a favor. The next time you find one of those "intellectually superior" stuck-in-the-parents-basement dweebs who insist on raising themselves above the pack (primarily because they can't do it in real life), ignore them.

Grand Theft Auto IV is great. God of War II is great. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is great. These, and many other games like them, are fantastic for no other reason than the fact that they're fantastic. End of story.

5/9/2008 Ben Dutka

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Comments (19 posts)

John Shoemaker
Friday, May 09, 2008 @ 10:17:35 PM
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Nicely said.
And can I have those golf balls? Maybe just one?

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Goten
Friday, May 09, 2008 @ 10:29:29 PM
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Fair play Ben, had to come on and whole heartedly agree with you here, some people really just don't know when to shut up.

Having written for this site in the past I can say that without a doubt that the scores that are handed out are usually 99.9% on the mark for how good a game is. I was neither here nor there when it came to the hype of GTA IV (and the series in general) but the review, and articles on the site, just make me want to play it!

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, May 10, 2008 @ 12:07:01 AM

Thanks. :) That may be my biggest problem, too: when people don't know when to SHUT UP. You hit the nail right on the head there.

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Reccaman18
Friday, May 09, 2008 @ 11:07:27 PM
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They <i>do</i> know everything. About nothing, that is! lol

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ThePoetRazel
Friday, May 09, 2008 @ 11:28:09 PM
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Those people annoy me. Especially the conspiracy theorist type. They just like every other conspiracy theorist, sad, lonely and in desperate need of attention.
It become like a religion to them. And that is always a problem. It starts with arrogance and ignorance. These 2 turn into delusion. And delusion tends to have a need to be fed with the approval of others.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, May 10, 2008 @ 12:06:19 AM

Yep, the conspiracy theorists are downright absurd. I've been doing this for a while now, and the more I do it, the more absurd any and all conspiracies sound.

Seriously, there's no evil force beneath video game journalism. I freakin' promise. ;)

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chaosrunner
Saturday, May 10, 2008 @ 3:00:27 AM
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Well put.

I often find myself reading the drawn out flame posts (my favorite being the baseless 'they're in Microsoft's pocket' accusations) and getting annoyed that people are spending so much of their energy on such a negative activity with no real purpose to it. Reviews are tough to be totally objective on, because opinion has to factor into it. But most review writers, if they have any degree of credibility, know how to minimize that and, when it does pop up, clearly label it as such.

The fact of the matter is that only an idiot is going to think that any game is going to appeal to every person. It's just like consoles: I went PS3 instead of 360 because I don't like paying for online services (albeit, only a minimal investment is needed for XBL's basic services) and I don't care enough about the bells and whistles associated with XBL. The PSN, though far from perfect, handles all of my online gaming needs. But with people for whom that experience is important, it's reasonable that they would go 360. My preference for one doesn't make the other bad. It's just different and not suited to my particular tastes.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, May 10, 2008 @ 10:30:43 AM

You just stated exactly my feelings about online and the PSN/XBL. :)

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Minishmaru
Saturday, May 10, 2008 @ 8:26:40 AM
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It seems to me that we're sooo focused on the "console wars" that we don't even have time to enjoy gaming anymore. Back in the day me and my friends would all have fun playing games either together or by ourselves,but now with everyone choosing a "side" we're missing out on alot of that fun. ::Sigh:: I miss "Back in the day" Anyway, I'll be honest and when I heard everyone say they're playing CoD4 and how awesome it was...I was like yeah yeah whatever...I rented it, 2 days into my rental, I bought the damn thing! lol so yeah...I gave in to the PUBLIC hype not the ones you see from ads or commercials.

P.S. perfect example of people trying to be hip for hating on GTA4, at Gamefaqs one of the reviewers for it gave it a 2/10 in the PS3 review page.

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Loogs
Saturday, May 10, 2008 @ 8:42:27 AM
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No offense, but it's not even worth your breath(finger type) to talk about these people; there will always be idiots, the unintelligent, the narrow-minded, and the completely irrational analysts in everything including video games. But for those who have trouble ignoring the ignorant, this article is a good starting reason to do so! Thanks for keepin' it real, Ben!

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ArnoldK PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, May 10, 2008 @ 11:32:29 AM
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I've sank over 20 hours into GTAIV, and am almost done with the story. I love the game, especially the story. But I think the 10s aren't worthy. While a 10 doesn't indicate perfection, it does mean that it's pretty close. And ultimately, GTAIV has far too many faults, both visually and in its gameplay.

Had it been me to review the game, I'd have given it something in the mid-9s.

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flux equals rad
Sunday, May 11, 2008 @ 12:20:12 AM
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Firstly, to quell the debate of the 10s righfully handed to the masterpiece gta4, let me say that in the world of video games (i.e., that which is limited by the potential of technological programing) this game is perfect in comparsion to much that has come before it. There are moments after moments of 'I've never seen this before in games'. Secondly, those that want to propagate a hate view on gta4, I certainly welcome it to the discourse, but it is a bit overblown. If you dislike the game, I challenge you to sell it back and disabuse yourself from what is plaguing you. The discourse is healthy, and I enjoy going back and forth with my friends about the shortcomings. But ultimately, we point out the shortcomings to hightlight how impressive the game is overall.

I'm coming off a gta4 mini-marathon play, and I'm so enamoured with the gameplay that I'd undoubtedly give it close to a 10 if I proffered a serious critique. Story, deep gameplay, graphics, game mechanics are all coming together quite well so far.

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chinchillables
Sunday, May 11, 2008 @ 3:12:33 PM
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So truthful... much respect.


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ArnoldK PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, May 11, 2008 @ 5:21:25 PM
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The things is...in my opinion, faults of GTAIV have nothing to do with technical limitations, but rather poor decision choices in designing the game.

For instance, not being able to run with your cell phone, not a technical limitation, but a poor choice in design.

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xStatiCa
Monday, May 12, 2008 @ 12:10:56 AM
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I personally never liked GTA* series games until GTA4. The huge map and the multitude of multiplayer modes is waaaay too much fun. They could have dumbed down the multiplayer but they didn't. It seems they put as much thought into multiplayer as they did the single player experience. GTA Race rocks!

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Juicebeast
Monday, May 12, 2008 @ 2:43:53 AM
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Seems to me that with this dissertation, you've become something you hate. I personally gave GTA IV a low score (4/10) on Gamefly because I felt let down by the series- because by Xbox 360 standards, I thought the graphics could be better, because I felt the driving mechanics in the game were poorly executed... the list goes on. It's a gamer's right to call a game out on something they feel is overhyped, to put forth their opinion just like all of you players who love this game. Ignore people who say bad things about GTA IV? Isn't that making yourselves sound like the people described by the "conspiracy" bloggers? Come on, make up your own minds and let others do the same.

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deadpan666
Monday, May 12, 2008 @ 4:45:06 AM

There now follows the ultimate GTAIV review....

"I love this game...You might not.....Buy it or don't...9/10"

It would have been longer, but I'm spending too much time playing it. And that pretty much sums it up anyway.....

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ThePoetRazel
Monday, May 12, 2008 @ 6:04:36 PM

Please reread the article if that is your opinion.
The article is not saying to ignore people who are saying GTAIV isn't good. It's saying to ignore the ones who are saying it isn't good just for the sake of putting it down.
If people have valid points, let them be voiced. But if people want to just hate without justification, consign them to a dark room where they can wear their berets.

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Juicebeast
Monday, May 12, 2008 @ 11:05:53 PM
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Yes, let's all reread this article, because what I'm hearing from the author is that people who give a list of reasons why they dislike a game that gets high marks is automatically a "hater," and that they believe "critics are paid off"(which I haven't read in any of the negative reviews on Gamefly or GameFAQs). The author claims that one must "find ways to hate on an excellent game like GTA," which invalidates any legitimate gripes someone like myself may have on a game I expected a lot more from, having loved the series up until this point.

What I'm hearing from too many of the supporters in this thread is "America! F*** yeah!"-style bravado fueled by the need to be told what to like, just like the populace that enjoys corporate pop music like the Backstreet Boys.
Author? What say you for yourself?

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