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IGN Insider/Gamespot Complete Report Card & Discussion (merged)

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IGN Insider/Gamespot Complete Report Card & Discussion (merged)

Old 07-16-03, 10:49 AM
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IGN Insider/Gamespot Complete Report Card

I've really noticed a shift in the content provided by IGN and Gamespot recently, enough to bring it up to the forum to see what everyone else thought about it.

IGN Insider

I was once a member of IGN Insider, albeit extremely briefly, when it was originally launched. When I say briefly, I mean it, because it was literally just a couple days. Back then the only Insider-exclusive content was laughable editorials by their immature staff that contributed nothing in the form of gaming journalism.

In the past 12 months, the exclusive Insider content has been mostly worth the subscription price, with reviews of recent titles and hands-on with some high-profile future releases. IGN reviews have been known to be on the favorable end of the scoring spectrum, but they are lengthy and informative nonetheless, and a good resource to have when wondering where to spend our hard-earned cash.

Insider's E3 coverage was exemplary, as usual, having up-to-the-minute coverage and a well-organized presentation to the massive amount of information they were posting on a daily basis. Insider really handed it to Gamespot, which I will describe below, and had arguably the best E3 coverage available.

Now I've noticed what would normally be Insider-exclusive content has been opened up for everyone, which is great, and it really shows how far IGN's content quality has come. IGN also wins points by having some of the best gaming coverage on the web in recent months, with it's never-ending stash of hands-on previews and breaking news coverage. Insider members get rid of those annoying advertisments and pop-ups, so it gets a higher score than it's non-subscription site.

Grade: A-

Gamespot Complete

I was an avid fan of Gamespot's game coverage. It always seemed more mature and displayed none of the blatant favoritism that was in abundance with IGN (how many times would you see an IGN preview that said, "quite possibly, the game to end all games," only to read the less-than-favorable review days later?). The site layout was more organized than IGN, had great up-to-the-minute game news coverage, and had the one thing that made me a Gamespot Complete member - streaming video reviews.

When those streaming videos and the wealth of accompanying screen shots became locked for Gamespot Complete, I quickly joined up. $19.99 was not a large price to pay for the quality and quantity of information available. It was almost as if everyone's favorite gaming mag, Next Generation, had resurrected in the form of Gamespot Complete, in real-time and with just so much more information.

I noticed the decline of Gamespot Complete, and Gamespot in general, around the time of E3. In what I would call the worst timing available, Gamespot 2.0 launched rather unsuccessfully in the days leading up to the the gaming conference, leaving its readers with no updates and forcing them to run over to the competing sites for information (myself included, which is where I discovered IGN's improvements). Once it was up, the great organization of the site was sacrificed for more advertising and cross-selling opportunities. And the E3 coverage was sub-par. It was a good idea to have a large matrix of all games to be covered during the conference, showing which titles had updates of screen shots, movies, news, and impressions, but it was too large and unruly to be useful. For instance, I am an Xbox owner, and even though the list could be sorted by platform, it couldn't be filtered by it, leaving me to endlessly scroll through the list of PS2, GC and PC games just to get to the Xbox updates, if any. In addition, the news section was rarely updated during E3, leaving the reader to search through the giant matrix just to find out any game announcements.

My renewal for Gamespot Complete came up in June, and honestly it hasn't been worth the money it once was. Reviews on high-profile titles seem to be days, if not weeks late. News updates are scarce - but don't blame that on the season, because other game sites find enough to dig up to keep readers coming back, including IGN. And as I said before, the organization of Gamespot 2.0 stinks. All updates seem to be buried together, and finding the most recent updates is a chore. Sometimes I see an article that looks like it's a recent update, but when I click on it the date on the article is nearly a month old. And what is the Gamespot Complete exclusive material? Aside from the lacking video reviews of late, we get Gamespot TV, which is literally streaming versions of those pathetic early IGN Insider editorials. The reviews are still decent, but they are only around two pages - IGN's are consistently three or four pages, in some impressive cases even more.

Gamespot's content was once very colorful and interesting, but now it's sparse updates are about as bland as a piece of cardboard.

Grade: C- (and dropping fast)

The Winner: IGN by a mile

Jeremy
Old 07-16-03, 10:58 AM
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It seems to me that there's no reason to subscribe to either service. At first, just about everything was blocked from non-subscribers, but now there's very little I see that isn't a) not blocked or b) not easily available from another website.

IGN did lose at least one potential subscriber. They had a "Free Trial" offer, so I decided to give it a shot. You needed a credit card to sign up, but their site rejected EVERY SINGLE CARD I had! These were all high-limit cards that gave me no problem with other merchants. So, no subscription for me.
Old 07-16-03, 11:18 AM
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I used to like Gamespot a lot because they were light on the sarcasm and always had stuff out on time and written in a consitent manner. But recently, I've found their new site is nearly un-surfable. They have one main story and mini-headlines off to the side, and the game previews/reviews and hidden off of the main page. Pain in butt if you ask me.

IGN, is more like "the man show" of VG sites. Lots of humor and pics of booty. But I like the layout of their site and the candor of their reviews (even if they are biased by their advetisers sometimes).

Recently though gamerfeed.com has become my favorite site. Loads fast, few ads, and great opinion articles and blogs.
Old 07-16-03, 11:26 AM
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I recently signed up to be an IGN Insider. I figured the added info was worth 24 bucks if it keeps me informed enough that I stay away from 1 crappy 50.00 game.
Old 07-16-03, 12:43 PM
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I don't have subscriptions to either, but i will always respect Gamespot more. IGN is so blatantly fanboyish that i don't know quite how to describe it.
Old 07-16-03, 12:59 PM
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The maturity/professionalism (or at least the appearance thereof) of Gamespot is what has led me to resubscribe. Yes, I wish they got reviews up earlier... but they have one for Star Wars: KOTOR up already, which surprised me.
Old 07-16-03, 03:22 PM
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I prefer the gamewriting of Gamespot, but IGN has better previews/news in terms of multimedia.

IGN Insider is worth it for this kind of content, not the writing itself. The reviews I can wait for, as long as I know the score. I have my own definition of how to regrade IGN reviews.
Old 07-16-03, 03:49 PM
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Originally posted by Superboy
I don't have subscriptions to either, but i will always respect Gamespot more. IGN is so blatantly fanboyish that i don't know quite how to describe it.
Please do. Everyone always accuses them of fanboyish stuff and bowing to advertisers. I need to see some examples, because in the 1-year+ I've been a subscriber I've never seen anything like that in all the reviews I've read.

Not being argumentative, I just don't see it myself. At least, not to the level it's described at here.
Old 07-16-03, 03:58 PM
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I'm not accusing them of selling out to advertisers, but most of their reviews sound like this:

"Despite (huge, glaring flaw) i still like this game because (nostalgic fanboyish rant)"
Old 07-16-03, 04:00 PM
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I always thought that even IGN Insiders still had pop up ads and click-throughs, Flash banner ads that take up parts of the article, did they change this?

Eitherway, I wouldn't subscribe to either of them, as I can get the same info elsewhere for free.
Old 07-16-03, 04:12 PM
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Originally posted by Draven
Please do. Everyone always accuses them of fanboyish stuff and bowing to advertisers. I need to see some examples, because in the 1-year+ I've been a subscriber I've never seen anything like that in all the reviews I've read.

Not being argumentative, I just don't see it myself. At least, not to the level it's described at here.
For one is seems like whenever they have an exclusivity agreement with a developer they hype their game up and don't point out any flaws with it. This happened with the run up to DOA:XB Volleball and GTA:Vice City. Those are the first 2 that come to mind as examples for me. DOA was the worse of the two though because the game was rated mediocre everywhere else except at IGN.

I like the streaming videos that IGN has started to put up since they start quicker than the ones on GS, but I could so without the darn Windows Media Player ads before each movie.
Old 07-16-03, 04:38 PM
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Originally posted by The Franchise
For one is seems like whenever they have an exclusivity agreement with a developer they hype their game up and don't point out any flaws with it. This happened with the run up to DOA:XB Volleball and GTA:Vice City. Those are the first 2 that come to mind as examples for me. DOA was the worse of the two though because the game was rated mediocre everywhere else except at IGN.
I didn't read the review when Dead or Alive:BV came out, and it looks like IGN was a little higher than other sites, but the game has a 74% rating on gamerankings.com, so it's not TOTAL ****. And I can chalk that discrepancy up to the fact that maybe the reviewer just liked the game?

I just don't see this consistency that everyone else seems to see. I've seen them hype games and then give them poor reviews upon release on several occasions (Enter the Matrix, for one.)

And I'm not sure where your Vice City example comes from. 95% on gamerankings, a 9.7 from IGN and a 9.6 from Gamespot. I'd say most reviewers felt the game lived up to the hype.

Edit: I just noticed that the DVDTalk review of DOA:BV gave it 4 out of 5 stars overall, but recommended renting it. So IGN isn't along in thinking the game is okay.

Last edited by Draven; 07-16-03 at 04:53 PM.
Old 07-16-03, 05:35 PM
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Originally posted by Draven
I didn't read the review when Dead or Alive:BV came out, and it looks like IGN was a little higher than other sites, but the game has a 74% rating on gamerankings.com, so it's not TOTAL ****. And I can chalk that discrepancy up to the fact that maybe the reviewer just liked the game?

I just don't see this consistency that everyone else seems to see. I've seen them hype games and then give them poor reviews upon release on several occasions (Enter the Matrix, for one.)

And I'm not sure where your Vice City example comes from. 95% on gamerankings, a 9.7 from IGN and a 9.6 from Gamespot. I'd say most reviewers felt the game lived up to the hype.

Edit: I just noticed that the DVDTalk review of DOA:BV gave it 4 out of 5 stars overall, but recommended renting it. So IGN isn't along in thinking the game is okay.
I'd say it's more of a perception issue. They seem to hype games and give them "easier" reviews (or less critical ones) if they have exclusive info from the developer or the devleoper is advertising on their site a bunch. On the whole I feel they are unbiased but there are a few niggling times when I feel they are trying to write-up a game to build anticipation for it. Other sites don't seem to do that as much. It could just be me.
Old 07-16-03, 06:14 PM
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Originally posted by The Franchise
I'd say it's more of a perception issue. They seem to hype games and give them "easier" reviews (or less critical ones) if they have exclusive info from the developer or the devleoper is advertising on their site a bunch. On the whole I feel they are unbiased but there are a few niggling times when I feel they are trying to write-up a game to build anticipation for it. Other sites don't seem to do that as much. It could just be me.
Fair enough, and I haven't been reading every single review or comparing scores enough to say with certainty that they AREN'T biased when it comes to certain games.

I just haven't noticed it myself, that's all.
Old 07-16-03, 06:51 PM
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I don't believe in PAYING to get info on the internet were if you look on any forum, you will find the same news and screen shots you would get from those "insider" clubs.
Old 07-16-03, 07:35 PM
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But not the video and game discounts, and the IGN yearly membership includes a year of EGM ($10 value).
Old 07-16-03, 09:45 PM
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I subscribed to IGN because I enjoy their video previews. Sure, you can track some of them down on other sites, but that's a pain.

I never visit Gamespot because none of their screenshots ever seem to come up in my browser (Mozilla). Funny how all their advertisements work just fine though.
Old 08-29-03, 04:35 PM
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Anyone else notice that Gamespot now blows the big one?

I used to swear by Gamespot, but for the last few months they have started sucking the big one. Now there is always an add that covers the latest thing on top and lasts a good 30 seconds for boring games like wrestling. They also don't update and has anyone notice how bloody slow the site is? I have to refresh like 20 times before I'll see anything.

So what site does everyone use for games. One that you don't have to pay... I need a new one where to get my information on games.
Old 08-29-03, 04:41 PM
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I use Gamespot for op/ed. Ratings inflation is very rare on that site. IGN is pathetic when it comes to opinion but they're good with news/speed.

Gamespy i respect because they're the only site that didn't glurge over the overrated trash that was Halo.
Old 08-29-03, 04:48 PM
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Gamespot has become nearly un-navigable (is that a word?). To skip the ad before you get to the site, just refresh your screen. As for the ad that plays over the main story, you can usually click the main story quickly before the ad loads and get to it.

I also don't like how the stories on the main page change every time you visit it. If you see a story you like and then click back to the main page, all the stories change sometimes! WTF!?

I like Gamerfeed.com the best. No animated ads, fast loading, good reviews etc.
Old 08-29-03, 04:53 PM
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I avoid the frontpage of Gamespot by going to

Http://www.gamespot.com/all_updates/index.html

It's the daily update in text form. It loads fast and there's no ads.
Old 08-29-03, 08:59 PM
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I love gamespot and it's about the only game site I use. I've also been a paying member for 2 years now so I haven't had any issues with ads and what not.

IGN on the other hand I find terribly unnavigatable and full of ads (which up until two months ago, I was also a subscriber of, but I still had ads to put up with, which turned me off).
Old 08-29-03, 09:02 PM
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I don't pay for any sites, but I think Gamespot is still a pretty good site. Lately their reviews have been really spot on and accurate. They're usually tougher on games than IGN too. Mostly I just click the news button on the right side of the screen and just leave. The news section has all the updates in the day, pretty handy. Site loads fast for me, I'm on cable. I'd agree that the front page needs work. Its not my favorite site but its still one of the better ones out there.
Old 08-30-03, 02:56 AM
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Originally posted by Superboy
I avoid the frontpage of Gamespot by going to

Http://www.gamespot.com/all_updates/index.html

It's the daily update in text form. It loads fast and there's no ads.

Thanks for the link SB I always had trouble when I logged onto Gamespot's website for info regarding the current games and news no thanks to that lousy ad that you have to go through. I usually go to the Adreanline Vault or Gamespy for news and information.
Old 08-30-03, 03:51 AM
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Originally posted by The Franchise
Gamespot has become nearly un-navigable (is that a word?). To skip the ad before you get to the site, just refresh your screen. As for the ad that plays over the main story, you can usually click the main story quickly before the ad loads and get to it.

I also don't like how the stories on the main page change every time you visit it. If you see a story you like and then click back to the main page, all the stories change sometimes! WTF!?

I like Gamerfeed.com the best. No animated ads, fast loading, good reviews etc.
AGREED! I've never liked the site, too hard to find anything.

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