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Something that's been bugging me about DVDtalk video game reviews...

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Something that's been bugging me about DVDtalk video game reviews...

Old 08-30-06, 11:56 PM
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Something that's been bugging me about DVDtalk video game reviews...

Does anybody have any idea why Nintendo's games don't get reviewed on DVD talk? Every time I see a banner for a DS, GBA, or GC title, it's something I've barely heard of...and it's usually not very good. Not one of the Nintendo systems has ANY of it's top 10 games reviewed (at least not MY top 10)

No Marios (of any variety) or Zeldas...no Metroids...no RE4...no Castlevanias...no Advance Wars...no Kirbys...no Eternal Darkness...and on and on. I don't think any Nintendo system has more than 10-15 games TOTAL reviewed, and most of the ones that have been are stuff I'd never even consider purchasing.

Meanwhile, the PS2, Xbox, and even the 360 have all the big bases covered...all the GTAs and Halos and whatnot.

I'm not accusing anybody of bias or anything. I'm just genuinely curious...why the oversight?
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Old 08-31-06, 12:28 AM
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Probably because Nintendo doesn't give out advanced copies for review, unless you are a big time magazine. Just a guess.
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Old 08-31-06, 12:40 AM
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I'm just venturing a guess, as others at VGT handle such things, but I'd say it has to do with the PR contacts.

Nintendo just doesn't hook us up with any games, nor did they seem very open when I tried to meet with them at E3. Just look at those reviews. There is barely a first party title in the bunch, mostly because they don't offer anything to us. On the opposite side, Microsoft kicks ass when providing screener copies and Jeff seems to have a good relationship with their PR people.

We shall see if anything changes when the Wii rolls around. I'd imagine, and again not my department, there will be a push to get Wii titles reviewed due to renewed interest and perhaps new reviewers. But it's tough to entice anyone to review for a Nintendo system when all they have to review are crappy 3rd party titles like Hello Kitty Roller Rescue or NGC Naruto: Ninja Clash.

Just my two cents.

Last edited by Flay; 08-31-06 at 12:45 AM.
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Old 08-31-06, 02:19 AM
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Well, maybe our reviewers just have a Hello Kitty Roller Rescue bias.
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Old 08-31-06, 03:05 AM
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I own Hello Kitty thank you very much!!!
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Old 08-31-06, 05:19 AM
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I heard that Naruto was a pretty good fighting game. Can I play with your hello kitty?
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Old 08-31-06, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Flay
Nintendo just doesn't hook us up with any games, nor did they seem very open when I tried to meet with them at E3. Just look at those reviews. There is barely a first party title in the bunch, mostly because they don't offer anything to us. On the opposite side, Microsoft kicks ass when providing screener copies and Jeff seems to have a good relationship with their PR people.
Surely some of the reviewers have a Gamecube at home that they play a handful of games on. So basically it boils down to "if Nintendo doesn't send it to us for free, we aren't reviewing it."

Maybe it comes down to which came first, the chicken or the egg. Put up some quality Nintendo reviews and maybe they might start sending shit.
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Old 08-31-06, 08:32 AM
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Jeff has also been getting DS games (horrible ones at that) and he's doing a good job of getting reviews up for those. But as he's explained to me countless times Nintendo stuff is hard to get
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Old 08-31-06, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by kakihara1
Jeff has also been getting DS games (horrible ones at that) and he's doing a good job of getting reviews up for those. But as he's explained to me countless times Nintendo stuff is hard to get
Like I said, I have no problems walking into Target and getting any Nintendo game I want. And no I'm not saying make the reviewer use their own money on a game they don't want, but surely the big titles have made it into a few of their homes regardless.

No I'm not trying to be an ass either, it's just the vibe of "if it ain't free, we don't do it" that puts me off.
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Old 08-31-06, 08:50 AM
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I empathize with the notion that you don't give Nintendo free advertizing if they don't play ball...but I agree strongly with Michael that the lack of Nintendo titles doesn't help the credibility of the reviews section.

I guess what I'm thinking...and what it sounds like MC is saying...is that you guys certainly shouldn't buy games that you wouldn't otherwise, but if you happen to buy a "must have" title for a Nintendo system...just review it. It couldn't hurt your circulation, and who knows, perhaps Nintendo will follow.

Or just make Pix a reviewer.
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Old 08-31-06, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Michael Corvin

No I'm not trying to be an ass either, it's just the vibe of "if it ain't free, we don't do it" that puts me off.
That's wrong. There are a lot of titles that get reviewed with a reviewers own money, so that vibe is 100% incorrect. Look at the XBLA games, a lot of those are Mike's own cash.

But yes, Nintendo published titles are extremely hard to get. I was JUST able to get them to add us to their news list, so getting games is a way out still. MSFT & Sony are easy. Capcom is difficult - Dead Rising is the first title they've sent. I've been in touch with other sites who tell me "Good luck with Capcom, Square and EA. They are notoriously difficult for non-IGN sites."
We managed to get 2 out of 3.

With the load of games coming in, i haven't fired up my GC in months. I still have Killer 7, Paper Mario and Baiten Katos sealed waiting to play. But reviewing takes priority over titles I buy on my own. Any reviewing downtime I personally have is spent trying to make contact with PR people to get more games.
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Old 08-31-06, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by chess
I empathize with the notion that you don't give Nintendo free advertizing if they don't play ball...but I agree strongly with Michael that the lack of Nintendo titles doesn't help the credibility of the reviews section.
When a game comes out multiplatform I request them like this from the PR teams- "Gamecube, then either xbox or PS2." They generally send PS2, then Xbox... it's not for lack of trying.
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Old 08-31-06, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Liver&Onions
That's wrong. There are a lot of titles that get reviewed with a reviewers own money, so that vibe is 100% incorrect. Look at the XBLA games, a lot of those are Mike's own cash.
Fair enough. I concede my ignorance. But how many of those reviews are because the reviewer personally wanted the game anyway? vs. buying the game just to review it? And who is Mike?

Originally Posted by chess

I guess what I'm thinking...and what it sounds like MC is saying...is that you guys certainly shouldn't buy games that you wouldn't otherwise, but if you happen to buy a "must have" title for a Nintendo system...just review it. It couldn't hurt your circulation, and who knows, perhaps Nintendo will follow.
That is exactly what I was getting at.
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Old 08-31-06, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Michael Corvin
And who is Mike?
He's referencing Flay.

Anyhow the fact of the matter is yes the reviewers get games they want, and why wouldn't they? How bad would thier job suck if all they got to play were shitty games they never wanted in the first place, and if you look at some of the reviews I'd say they earn the sparse title that they actually want.
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Old 08-31-06, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Liver&Onions
That's wrong. There are a lot of titles that get reviewed with a reviewers own money, so that vibe is 100% incorrect. Look at the XBLA games, a lot of those are Mike's own cash.
In that case I'd suggest putting up an announcement to recruit a reviewer who is a Nintendo fan and who will be buying all the big games on their systems anyway.
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Old 08-31-06, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Michael Corvin
Fair enough. I concede my ignorance. But how many of those reviews are because the reviewer personally wanted the game anyway? vs. buying the game just to review it? And who is Mike?
I can't speak for anyone else, but out of my 54 reviews I personally wanted to play 8 of them. As far as screener copies go, 20 of my reviews are screeners and the rest are out of pocket.
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Old 08-31-06, 12:23 PM
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Interesting Flay.
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Old 08-31-06, 12:35 PM
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OK, I replied earlier when eating breakfast...but now I'm at work and have more time to devote to a response.

1. Why aren't any Nintendo games reviewed.
I'm going to assume you mean Nintendo "published" titles based on some of the games you mentioned. My previous response still stands for this one. Unless we are IGn or Gamestop, some companies want nothing to do with us. Even though DVDTalk is a legit site that's been around and is proven in reviews (DVD and Game) PR firms are pummelled daily with emails from people who decide to start a game site to get free games. They then decide that the little guy should be screwed and only the big guys will get titles. A while back on another site I wrote for (I review for multiple sites), Ubi Soft sent a requirements document explaining what was required to get games, or even news for that matter. It was based on Alexa rankings, which some unscrupulous sites worked around and Ubi was hosed.

As I mentioned, there are 3 companies (well 4 including LucasArts) that are very tough to get info from. We're working out asses off to make these guys notice us. I send out countless emails a day with links to news, discussions, reviews and even questions from things I see on here to prove that yes infact DVDtalk is not a small player on the web.

2. Why don't reviewers review games they purchase themselves?
Money. Time. Tough to keep objective.
We all tend to buy games we like. So you'll never see the review of games that suck. Plus, that costs money and then there is a rush to get a review out in a timely manner, early enough that it's not in the 9.99 bin at BB. When I buy a game for myself, I like to take the time to enjoy it, not analyze details and take notes while I'm playing like I have to do while reviewing. And like I said, time is a big deal. We try to get reviews out within 2 weeks of getting the title, and most of us have backlogs at any given time.

Last edited by Liver&Onions; 08-31-06 at 12:48 PM.
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Old 08-31-06, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Flay
I can't speak for anyone else, but out of my 54 reviews I personally wanted to play 8 of them. As far as screener copies go, 20 of my reviews are screeners and the rest are out of pocket.
Yeah, I'd say that around 10% of games I've reviewed tops are games that I probably would have purchased anyway. If not a little less than that.

But yeah, Flay does the majority of his stuff out of pocket, and for that we are EXTREMELY grateful.
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Old 08-31-06, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Josh Hinkle
In that case I'd suggest putting up an announcement to recruit a reviewer who is a Nintendo fan and who will be buying all the big games on their systems anyway.
But you can only ask a person to do so much for free before they get burnt out.
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Old 08-31-06, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Liver&Onions
But you can only ask a person to do so much for free before they get burnt out.
Then recruit a few.

Nintendo's noteworthy releases are relatively few and far between, so it shouldn't be too much to require to at least get all the top tier ones reviewed.

I'd volunteer myself, but I just don't have time with grad school to even play most of the games I want, much less to review them. So it would be nice if someone with more time on their hands could do it.
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Old 08-31-06, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Liver&Onions
That's wrong. There are a lot of titles that get reviewed with a reviewers own money, so that vibe is 100% incorrect. Look at the XBLA games, a lot of those are Mike's own cash.
That's interesting... What are the chances of getting a mention in the reviews which ones were provided free, and which ones the reviewer paid for? I know from experience, that you are generally harder on things that you had to put your own money down for.
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Old 08-31-06, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by joeblow69
That's interesting... What are the chances of getting a mention in the reviews which ones were provided free, and which ones the reviewer paid for? I know from experience, that you are generally harder on things that you had to put your own money down for.
I don't think that's necessary. I read every review posted and I think that we're quite fair in reviewing. We're harsh even on the free games, and I still send the links to the development firms and PR teams. We're not swayed by the free crap, trust me.
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Old 08-31-06, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Liver&Onions
We're not swayed by the free crap, trust me.
Hence the rarity
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Old 08-31-06, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Flay
On the opposite side, Microsoft kicks ass when providing screener copies and Jeff seems to have a good relationship with their PR people..

Maybe spelling this site's owner's name right (Geoff) would be a good idea.
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