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".

1 comment:

  1. Sorry to bring Carolyn Petit up again, but I feel that after her strange and hostile welcome to your blog, it makes sense. It's no surprise that she looked up to Greg in the past days of Gamespot. Maybe she picked up some of her nonsensical reviewing techniques from him.