Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Why I hate Greg Kasavin (Part 1--his reviews).

As most people who know me are well aware, I think Greg Kasavin is one of the worst things to ever happen to the videogame industry. He's been stinking up the industry for a good 15 years now, and shows no signs of slowing down. What's worse is that over the years he's moved from being a shitty reviewer and journalist to a shitty game developer. So yeah, the guy who has no fucking clue about anything important in videogames is designing them.

This entry will document my journey of Kasavin hate, which, as you will see, is much deeper than any of the typical "Greg gave my favorite game a 9.8 instead of a 10, he sucks" Kasavin hate.

Many years ago, I frequently read reviews at any site I could. One site I frequented, probably now the biggest Media spot in the industry, was Gamespot.com. While reading reviews at Gamespot, I'd often see some fucked up line, either in the sense that it was contradictory, irrelevant, or just fucking stupid. When I'd read such a line, I'd always subsequently notice that Greg wrote the review.

After awhile, I'd see a fucked up line and think "Sounds like a Kasavin-ism" and then see Greg did in fact write the review.

Here are a just a few examples (because otherwise this topic would take 4 hours to read):

From Ninja Gaiden: "The key to the dynamic nature of the action is that Ryu is so mobile. When in doubt, you can always make him leap away from a combat situation, or you can make him leap straight into one."

Wow. You mean that I not only can jump towards enemies, but away from them too? This is pretty typical of Kasavin--praising a game by citing some completely inane or basic mechanic.

From Castlevania, Lament of Innocence:

"The camera angle is rarely a detriment [then goes on for the rest of the paragraph complaining about the camera]"

"Overall, the game is challenging but not overly difficult. Save points are judiciously, but not too liberally, interspersed throughout the castle, as if to give the would-be damsel rescuer a tough-but-not-unfair time."

(As a side note, notice he considers LoI to be "challenging." More on this later.)

This is a prime example of Greg being wishy washy. His reviews are full of this type of thing. At best, he just sounds indecisive or waffling.

At worst, he can just flat out contradict himself:

From King's Field:

"Fully polygonal graphics with minimal texture mapping make for King's Field's clean, unpretentious look, though an overzealous use of earth tones in the visuals proves dreary and unsettling. Since the game is based on a mid-1995 Japanese release, its graphics look dated by today's high standards. However, the unfaltering polygonal consistency of King's Field is mesmerizing after extended play. Indeed, few games are this visually absorbing."

OK, so the game has a brown, dreary, and dated look, yet it's one of the most visually absorbing games EVER. Yes, ever. Perfect example of a Kasavin contradiction.

"Few games are this visually absorbing." This is disguised hyperbole, another one of Greg's faults. (As his time at gamespot went on, he'd stop disguising his hyperbole altogether, never hesitating to use the term "best" or "of all time" in his reviews.

And let's look at one more fun line from this review: ""a forgettable synthesized music score detracts from the game's visual punch."

This is just flat out nonsense. How can a game's music detract from its visuals? I guess if the music is annoying enough you might throw a brick at the TV, preventing you from seeing the game. That's what I bet he meant.

Oh, and WTF is "unfaltering polygonal consistency"??? That the game never has polygon tearing? That the game never stops looking polygonal? It's not worth figuring out, I suppose, because it's just another Kasavism.

That's enough review examples, or I'd go on all day long.

Now, although I'd like to play off Greg as an idiot, I think it's more the case that he likes to a) pay attention to and dwell on irrelevant parts of a game, and b) has trouble expressing himself. Note this is still bad for a reviewer.

In summary, Greg's reviews border on pure description, often heaping bland praise on minor aspects of the games he reviews. He often contradicts himself, or just spouts plain nonsense.

Annnnddd I need to go now. So I've updated the title to indicate this is just one entry of a series on why Greg Kasavin sucks.

To come: Opinions on his editorials, blog, and interviews, and his concept of "challenge".

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

E3 2010

Dear Videogame Industry:

Please die already.

So yeah, E3, the biggest videogame tradeshow of the year, is going on. So far, everything I've seen just makes me want to hole up with an NES and never come out again.

So far, the big deal has been *dun dun dun*


Yeah, wasn't this "cool" and "hip" when the Wii came out? Didn't Sony and Microsoft basically rip on Nintendo for a year, ragging them about being "kiddie" and "gimmicky" and how motion control was a direction they'd never go? Then they saw Nintendo kick the shit out of them in sales. Now guess who's hopping on the motion control bandwagon?

So far, almost everything I've seen from E3 involves people flailing around like those air tube guys on the side of the road. Let's get something straight, videogame industry:


It's not fun. It's not accurate. It doesn't enhance the game. And worst of all, it encourages designing games BASED ON A CONTROLLER. Yeah, let's not base our design on a difficulty curve or an interplay of gameplay mechanics, or anything. Let's make sure you have to move your body 95 different ways.

Second, have you seen people using these things? I feel embarrassed just WATCHING them flail and hop around like imbeciles while a crowd of thousands watches them live.

Finally, the technology STILL doesn't work. If it did work, it would still suck. But it doesn't work, so it REALLY sucks. Again, I was embarrassed watching Shigeru Miyamoto, perhaps the most revered man in the gaming industry, flail around on stage demonstrating the new Zelda game. What was funny is that the first guy up there was supposed to act like he couldn't control the game properly, and that Miyamoto was going to BURST OUT ON STAGE and SAVE THE DAY by showing what an EXPERT can do with the system.

Here's how it went:

Dumbass guy: *flails around* "Shit" *flails some more and gets hit* "fuck" *gets tangled in wires and falls over* "SHITMOTHERFUCKINGWHORE"

Miyamoto: *bursts through screen* "You have problem. I show you." *raises arms to do a vertical sword slash*

Link: *turns in a circle and sits down*

Miyamoto "性交" (That's "FUCK" in Japanese.)

Yup. We all make fun of the Power Glove and Uforce as some of the worst game peripherals of all time. And now we are like "THIS IS THE DIRECTION OF THE INDUSTRY." Fuck you, motion control. You know what, game industry? I wish I had a motion control strap on dildo so I could MOTION CONTROL SKULFUCK YOU.

And if it's not motion control, it's another brown and gray, monochrome, why-do-I-have-a-color-TV, first person shooter or post apocalyptic space marine square dance.

Fuck you, game industry.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Modern Classic

Just a quick post today! I've updated Pac Man to appeal to today's videogamers, since gamers these days will accept nothing short of a gritty, mature, atmosphere.