Lords of Shadow 2 Studio Boss: "One Must Be Blind or Stupid" to Give It a 4/10

Alex Co

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Lords of Shadow 2 Studio Boss: "One Must Be Blind or Stupid" to Give It a 4/10


Enric Alvarez, studio chief at Mercury Steam, thinks scoring Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 a paltry 4/10, means "one must be blind or stupid" to give that mark to a game with "this quality."

By now, it might be safe to say that Mercury Steam's sequel to Castlevania: Lords of Shadow won't be able to match how the first game fared critically. Over on Metacritic, the first entry in the franchise is middling 62 [http://www.metacritic.com/game/playstation-3/castlevania-lords-of-shadow]. Speaking to Eurogamer Spain, Enric Alvarez, studio boss of Mercury Steam, has spoken out on his latest title's low review scores and in particular, EDGE magazine's 4/10 appraisal. Alvarez was asked whether he thought EDGE's score influenced the opinion of other critics reviewing the game, with the studio chief stating that he thinks "one must be blind or stupid to give a 4/10 mark" to a game with "this quality."

This is another important issue. There are a few media outlets that set trends and then some other that follow them don't dare to deviate too much. The first LoS, which has an 85 mark in Metacritic, also got bad scores on some major sites, yet the game ended having a very good one...It's true that EDGE liked the first game but they didn't enjoy this one as much. I also think that what happened is terribly unfair. One must be blind or stupid to give a 4/10 mark to a game with whis (sic) quality. With a 4/10 people think it's a crappy game, badly done, one that's broken with gameplay mechanics that don't work and awful graphics. If I were a reviewer I'd know this, and I don't think that LoS2 deserves the score of a crappy game.

Pressed on how the gaming media received Lords of Shadow 2 in general, Alvarez notes that he's happy that some people are writing about games instead of making them, how there's a "lack of professionalism" in games press, and how "A lot of people who review games do not live up to the game they're reviewing."

I tend to think positive after reading some things. I'm glad that some people are writing about games instead of making them. I have to take it well, otherwise I'd do something else. But there are also people that appreciated the game. Any game is a complex work, and sometimes I think there's a lack of professionalism in the game press, who should judge things for what they are and not what they want them to be...I agree that, in the end, it's an opinion, and an opinion is totally respectable, but let's not confuse an opinion and a review. The review is about the object and the opinion is about the subject. You can say "I do really rock but I hate opera", and this is an opinion, not a review. If I had to review "Don Giovanni" I wouldn't even know how to start, and this honestly is something the gaming press lacks. A lot of people who review games do not live up to the game they're reviewing.

Alvarez notes, "This is not about being right or wrong, it's about talking about what you have to talk. When you say in a review that textures or the engine are not the best, or that the gameplay is not up to it, you have to know it right. You can't just say "I did not like it, and as I don't like it it's bad", because that's incredibly arrogant."

For reference, The Escapist's review gave the action-adventure game 2/5 stars and mentions, [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/editorials/reviews/11059-Castlevania-Lords-of-Shadow-2-Review-A-Total-Drain] "it squanders its polish and potential on archaic contrivances, banal writing, and an overall shallow experience. It's fine if you want a factory standard combat game, but in the year 2014, it's just plain dreary."

Does Alvarez have a point? Is Lords of Shadow 2 a game that shouldn't be dragged down with a 4/10 score? For those who've played it, how would you rate the game and what do you make of Alvarez's statements?

Source: VG247 [http://www.eurogamer.es/articles/entrevista-enric-alvarez-esto-que-ha-pasado-con-castlevania-es-totalmente-injusto]

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Caiphus

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Considering that the user score on metacritic for LoS2 is almost identical to the user score for LoS, he may be justified in feeling a bit aggrieved.

Still, maybe he should keep those thoughts to himself. A higher-up ranting about review scores doesn't really come across as mature or trustworthy.

Anyway, aside from that, it could be that reviewers are starting to be a little bit more tough this generation. Thief looks like it's been reviewed rather harshly, if you just go on the "anything below 8 is shit" scale. Which is good; I hope it continues, and we see more 6s for average games rather than 8s. Even if there is a weird transition phase where people's expectations don't match up perfectly.

Or maybe I'm being naive and optimistic, the sequel was actually shit and user scores don't matter. That's always a distinct possibility. I haven't played either game, after all.
 

RedEyesBlackGamer

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I haven't played it. Having said that, it doesn't matter. The amount of entitlement shown by devs and publishers that they "deserve" a certain score is ridiculous.
 

josemlopes

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Alex Co said:
I tend to think positive after reading some things. I'm glad that some people are writing about games instead of making them. I have to take it well, otherwise I'd do something else. But there are also people that appreciated the game. Any game is a complex work, and sometimes I think there's a lack of professionalism in the game press, who should judge things for what they are and not what they want them to be...I agree that, in the end, it's an opinion, and an opinion is totally respectable, but let's not confuse an opinion and a review. The review is about the object and the opinion is about the subject. You can say "I do really rock but I hate opera", and this is an opinion, not a review. If I had to review "Don Giovanni" I wouldn't even know how to start, and this honestly is something the gaming press lacks. A lot of people who review games do not live up to the game they're reviewing.

Alvarez notes, "This is not about being right or wrong, it's about talking about what you have to talk. When you say in a review that textures or the engine are not the best, or that the gameplay is not up to it, you have to know it right. You can't just say "I did not like it, and as I don't like it it's bad", because that's incredibly arrogant."
Well, cant say he is all that wrong there. I dont agree with it all but the "who should judge things for what they are and not what they want them to be" is very true
 

Alex Co

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Given that the overall average is a 62 as of the time of writing, a 4 out of 10 seems to be within the range of logical values to expect. So I wouldn't call it "stupidity", no.

Does it deserve a 4 out of 10? Eh....depends whose scale you use. A 4 out of 10 is pretty dismal for most reviewing scales, but on, say, Angry Joe Show, that'd be somewhat below average....still technically a "bad" review but not a lethal one.

That said? Alvarez is a prick for insulting reviewers and is contributing to the general attitude amongst some gamers that if a reviewer doesn't give your game the rating you like, it's okay to harass them or send them death threats. That is bad and he needs to get called out on that, because what he did is far more "stupid" than the review he's bashing.
 

Ninmecu

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How do I exist in a world where 4/10 or (Just slightly below average) is considered an insult or a huge failure. Seriously, why have game "scores" if getting below a 7 or 8 automatically makes it "bad" and why bother having any numbers between 1-7 if almost all games score within 7-10, meaning that 7 becomes the new "shit" 8 is "Average" 9 is "reviewers were paid off" and 10 is "CoD LOL or GTA LOL". Also, granted it's just his opinion, but is he seriously going to start throwing around insults like an immature kindergardner over his game getting "slightly less than average" a review score? A thing that's purely and entirely SUBJECTIVE? God damn I hate people.
 

Anachronism

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Alex Co said:
Any game is a complex work, and sometimes I think there's a lack of professionalism in the game press, who should judge things for what they are and not what they want them to be...I agree that, in the end, it's an opinion, and an opinion is totally respectable, but let's not confuse an opinion and a review. The review is about the object and the opinion is about the subject.
No no no no no. You're entitled to feelings of annoyance that your game isn't reviewing well, but you don't get to tell people that they're somehow reviewing it wrong (see RedEyesBlackGamer's post). And you certainly don't get to play the "reviews must be objective" card, because it is utter nonsense. I refer Mr. Alvarez to Jim's famous attempt at writing an objective review [http://www.destructoid.com/100-objective-review-final-fantasy-xiii-179178.phtml] for Final Fantasy XIII.
 

CardinalPiggles

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The game looks average at best anyway. I haven't actually played it but judging from gameplay footage it just doesn't look at all interesting. Sure the game probably works fine (which is why it got as many arbitrary points as it did) but only notable games deserve above middling scores in my opinion.
 

SecondPrize

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I always find it funny when fanboys who have a problem with Metacritic's inability to properly translate scores that aren't on a 1-10 scale come and whine about it to the reviewers. This is so much better.
 

JayRPG

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He does have a point about a lack of professionalism in gaming press.

I've seen a lot of ludicrous scores on metacritic from so-called "professional" critics, their scores are never based on the quality of the game but rather the genre or style of game they are reviewing.

Nintendojo is the worst for this, they review turn-based JRPGs and then go and on and on about how bad turn-based JRPGs are - That's not the point of a game review, you aren't reviewing the genre the game is a part of, you are reviewing the game goddamnit.

A great example of sheer idiocy is this gem on Tales of the Abyss (a game with an overall score of 75 on metacritic and only 1 negative review), the negative review I mentioned was from this reviewer who wrote in the summary: "Tales of the Abyss has very little to offer even die-hard JRPG enthusiasts";
I'm sorry? what?
Very little to offer EVEN die-hard JRPG enthusiasts?

I guess you just have to put aside the fact that Tales of the Abyss is one of the most beloved Tales games in the franchise and almost any JRPG fan will say it's a good game if not a 'must-play'.

They marked it down for dull combat, they marked it down for cut-scenes, they marked it down for "techno-babble".
Dull combat? have they played any other JRPG? (well yes they have and they mark all those down as well for seemingly being in the JRPG genre).

It's just stuff like that that get's to me.

I remember a game a while back that I saw on metacritic, it was a turn-based RPG, had 60 positive critic reviews, no mixed and then 1 negative score of something ludicrously low, like 5 or 10. (I can't remember the name and I just spent a shitload of time trying to find it but couldn't)

I mean, I think you know you are being a little unprofessional when the next lowest score above your 10 is an 85...

If you don't like a particular genre of games than don't fucking review them, I'd never review Fifa because I already know I'd hate it and I'd say it is shit because I don't like sport games.
 

Phrozenflame500

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Can all Game Developers/Publishers make a joint pack to shut their mouths without having the PR guys vet everything they say first? Because I really hate these dumb comments from game developers whining about their review scores. Ninja Theory did the same thing with DmC and it made them look like gigantic assholes.
 

Alex Co

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Ninmecu said:
How do I exist in a world where 4/10 or (Just slightly below average) is considered an insult or a huge failure. Seriously, why have game "scores" if getting below a 7 or 8 automatically makes it "bad" and why bother having any numbers between 1-7 if almost all games score within 7-10, meaning that 7 becomes the new "shit" 8 is "Average" 9 is "reviewers were paid off" and 10 is "CoD LOL or GTA LOL". Also, granted it's just his opinion, but is he seriously going to start throwing around insults like an immature kindergardner over his game getting "slightly less than average" a review score? A thing that's purely and entirely SUBJECTIVE? God damn I hate people.
"Vidyagaemz" logic. Anything below an 8.5 is considered "bad." ={

Games should be reviewed by a person who's a fan of the genre, familiar with the franchise if possible, hasn't been sullied with thousands of hands-on previews and so on. It's this annoying scale we use where a "7" is considered bad by both publishers and even gamers alike. I can't even tell you how many times I've heard people say "Oh, I'm not getting X game it's only a 7" and it drives me nuts.

If we could get 7s in every aspect of our lives, we'd be one happy camper.
 

hickwarrior

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Whatislove said:
If you don't like a particular genre of games than don't fucking review them, I'd never review Fifa because I already know I'd hate it and I'd say it is shit because I don't like sport games.
And this is the take away from it all.

I'd still say be careful with how you're wording it, since it still seems more focused on scores. It isn't the scores but opinions of someone. Keep that in mind.

Maybe clickbait comes to mind with your example though >>
 

Sol_HSA

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Whether or not he has a point... Dissing the press has always been a bad move.
 

putowtin

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Alex Co said:
Lords of Shadow 2 Studio Boss: "One Must Be Blind or Stupid" to Give It a 4/10
Isn't that an insult to blind stupid reviewers everywhere?

But from what I've heard from a friend it's "ok" not great, not bad just "ok" so maybe a 6/10 would have been more appropriate?
 

DarkhoIlow

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If you check the Metacritic for the second game then the user score is pretty much the truth of the matter. Hey..if money talks then the customers seem to be enjoying the game.

It's their opinion and all, but that doesn't change the fact that the majority of the public enjoyed it given the score (myself included).
 

Smooth Operator

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As long as you hang all your hopes and dreams on scores that tell absolutely nothing expect to be disappointed, now go read what the people are saying and you will understand their standpoint.

The game seems fine while incredibly pretty, I only found the story to be very Kojima... as in doesn't make sense in any way shape or form.
 

MrBaskerville

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He says it isn't lacking in quality when it comes to mechanics, does he care to defend the atrocious stealth sequences and the general lack of direction? The game is a mess, it's expensive and parts can probably be enjoyable, but it still contains a lot of messy decisions and poorly executed game mechanics that really doesn't add anything positive to the overall experience. That sounds like grounds for a 4/10 to me.
 

Canadamus Prime

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canadamus_prime: developers who whine when their game gets a low review score and calls the reviewers blind and stupid are whiny little bitches and should be called out as such.

...oh wait I just did.