Killzone 2/Edge Upheaval: Snuffing Out The Flames
In the same way that people make rash assumptions based on the name of this site without actually reading any of it, the same phenomenon applies to reviews. Look, we all know that the text isn't want matters to most consumers. It's the final number. It's the average review score posted at GameRankings and Metacritic. It's what most all avid gamers use to dictate their purchases. Now, I am well aware that Edge emphasizes "innovation," but the reason I call that an elitist stance and one that is indeed a disservice for gamers is that they still use the standard scoring style. It's a terrible contrast. A 7, no matter how you slice it, is not indicative of Killzone 2's quality. It may gel with other scores from that publication, but we all know it will be compared to all other scores, we all know the final number is all that matters, and it's unfair to the product in question. I was asked if I would be that upset if they had scored a game on another platform in the same way, and the answer should be clear. Of course.
I never once said our review was "right." I said they lied, and I was not specifically talking about the text review. When one looks at the entire scope of the matter and factors that 7 into the rest of the ranks, the reality of the matter is this: that's basically being dishonest to those who rely on scores to solidify their purchase decision. The idea that I wrote the piece to generate traffic is incorrect. The idea that I wrote it because I desperately wanted to defend a PlayStation 3 exclusive is incorrect. The only purpose was to stand up for the consumer; for the people that would e-mail me and say, "hey, I just saw that Killzone 2 got a 7 from Edge...I thought it was a must-buy for me, but now I'm thinking twice..." This is the effect such a review can have, and yes, I'm indignant. I will admit my tone was probably too harsh, and it's not my proudest moment in my writing career (which, by the way, has extended far beyond this industry). But I'm not backing down from the title and primary purpose of that article.
You may believe what you wish, but I was looking out for the gamer. For the dude that may have opted to pass on KZ2 because of the disservice I spoke of. It is our job to provide our readers and the gaming public with reliable information concerning new releases. If Edge wants to be different, fine. But don't bother to issue a score; heck, that'll probably make people read your review. And I've always had a problem with the elitists who say a game isn't worth owning because it doesn't "innovate." I'm so sick of that word, I could just choke. The industry continues to innovate in some way each and every year and it's virtually impossible for every last major release to feature something we've never seen before. I wouldn't ask that, and nobody should. Here's what we care about: is the game of a high quality and do we think players will have fun? That's it. We'll look at a variety of different factors like all other sources, of course, but the end result should is the score. It's the number that is supposed to serve the consumer, regardless of your publication's goals.
That's the best I can do. PSX Extreme has, and will continue to be, your #1 source for the best in PlayStation content. That much, I can promise. And if you have a personal problem with me, please don't infect our site by putting in the Comments or in the forums. If you want me to take your hate mail, than go ahead and send it; don't punish the site. Thank you.
EDIT: If you want to ask questions or respond in a civil manner, feel free to do so. Anyone who gets personal will be banned instantly and the Comment will be deleted. No more hostility of any kind.
2/12/2009 Ben Dutka