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It might be that he has written the two reviews differently because their expected readership is different.

I don't understand this argument. I thought I did, once upon a time, but now I don't.

If you're writing two different reviews, for two different audiences, surely any differences are based on your best guess, as a reviewer, about what those audiences like and dislike. But how do you know that your guess is correct? As soon as you start doing this, the accuracy of a review boils down to the accuracy with which a reviewer can second guess his/her audience. In my opinion the accuracy of a review should boil down to the accuracy with which a reviewer can interpret and communicate their feelings about a game.

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I don't understand this argument. I thought I did, once upon a time, but now I don't.

If you're writing two different reviews, for two different audiences, surely any differences are based on your best guess, as a reviewer, about what those audiences like and dislike. But how do you know that your guess is correct? As soon as you start doing this, the accuracy of a review boils down to the accuracy with which a reviewer can second guess his/her audience. In my opinion the accuracy of a review should boil down to the accuracy with which a reviewer can interpret and communicate their feelings about a game.

Which is why, IMO, if you're writing for a specific audience, the reviewer should in some way share their viewpoint on the game (be a newcomer to the series, or in the case of FIFA be sick of it but have OCD).

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I really don't know how UK laws about employment work, and we don't really know what happened/happens between Cacophanus and GamesTM, but comments like this :

could bring some troubles to Cacophanus.

I'm being melodramatic, maybe, but that's the lawyer in me.

I think they've already hinted they won't be using his services again.

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I don't understand this argument. I thought I did, once upon a time, but now I don't.

If you're writing two different reviews, for two different audiences, surely any differences are based on your best guess, as a reviewer, about what those audiences like and dislike. But how do you know that your guess is correct? As soon as you start doing this, the accuracy of a review boils down to the accuracy with which a reviewer can second guess his/her audience. In my opinion the accuracy of a review should boil down to the accuracy with which a reviewer can interpret and communicate their feelings about a game.

The review on NTSC I edited was published before the GTM Nexus review - I had no bias or frame of reference when editing it. Obviously, when I say 'edit', we're talking more of a proof, although I did tweak some sentences (but not factual info, I hasten to add).

I haven't read the GTM Nexus review, nor can I comment on Ollie's text for that mag even if I had. They have to be treated as individual entities from my perspective, I'm sure you understand.

I can talk about the idea behind the review which was that the AC games (and mech[a] games in general) are reasonably well known to the readership, hence the focus on the improvements and changes made in this entrant to the franchise. Further than that, you'll have to ask Cacophanus.

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I don't understand this argument. I thought I did, once upon a time, but now I don't.

If you're writing two different reviews, for two different audiences, surely any differences are based on your best guess, as a reviewer, about what those audiences like and dislike. But how do you know that your guess is correct? As soon as you start doing this, the accuracy of a review boils down to the accuracy with which a reviewer can second guess his/her audience. In my opinion the accuracy of a review should boil down to the accuracy with which a reviewer can interpret and communicate their feelings about a game.

And *particularly* since Cacky has repeatedly stated (if not in so many words) that he thinks reviews shouldn't cater to the audience.

Otherwise why worry about what a Mecha game gets in any UK mag? ;)

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The concept that something could be reviewed with the audience in mind confuses me. Something's either shit or great in the opinion of the reviewer. it's not like someone goes, 'ah, but they might like it because they've probably played X', or 'well, their standards might be low' or whatever. Maybe you might write it in a different style for the audience, but the message should be the same regardless. or is that like, totally fucking stupid?

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In my opinion the accuracy of a review should boil down to the accuracy with which a reviewer can interpret and communicate their feelings about a game.

That approach works best when readers are likely to see enough reviews by the same person to build up a picture of where their tastes differ, and it depends on the reviewer not merely conveying their like or dislike but the reasons for it.

I think a certain amount of audience guessing is needed when space is limited as there is often more to say than there are words available.

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However, I don't appreciate the sly dig that I am some kind of deranged nutter obsessed with facts.
...and I once offered an interview to EDGE but they accused me of being a nutter so I didn't see the point of dealing with them any further.

Hmmm, beginning to see a pattern here...;) but seriously...

Whats been resolved then...it seems that what was made as an off the cuff remark from the TM boys to Cacky played more on Cacky's mind than it was meant to. They read his review and rather than change their pre-determined score of 8 it stayed as an 8 not a 9 as Cacky feels it should have been. It seems that Cacky may have shot himself in the foot with his openness and that the majority feels his journalistic integrity has finally gone out of the window with his open comments about the way in which this whole episode has transpired. It seems the Alpen adverts are correct, never be too hasty to do something you may regret.

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The concept that something could be reviewed with the audience in mind confuses me. Something's either shit or great in the opinion of the reviewer. it's not like someone goes, 'ah, but they might like it because they've probably played X', or 'well, their standards might be low' or whatever. Maybe you might write it in a different style for the audience, but the message should be the same regardless. or is that like, totally fucking stupid?

But a review doesn't just convey whether the reviewer thought something was good or not, but why. If I were going to write something about The Splendour and Misery of Bodies of Cities by Samuel Delany (if he ever actually finishes it) and had limited space I could talk about it in the context of gay and lesbian fiction or I could talk about it in the context of science fiction and I would have to make a bit guess about my audience to decide how much weight to give to each.

It wouldn't change my opinion of the book but it might well change how I expressed it, and what I might compare it to.

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Let's think a minute about the real victim here:

Katamari Damashi

Should have and, by the sound of it , would have gotten a 9 if it weren't for some devious and ill thought out ploy to further the cause of big stompy robot game world domination.

ouji1.gif

poor little fellow.

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One of the main things to consider is that the publications discussed (gTM and Edge) don't list the name of their reviewer next to the review. Therefore, the reader doesn't build up a rapport with the writer over the course of the magazine's existence (i.e. you don't build up preferences for one writer and dislike of others).

I'm not necessarily criticising the mags in question for this, but I can definitely state that having the reviewer's name next to the review on NTSC means that people learn whether the reviewer's opinion in is sync with their own over time. Every writer has a different style, and it's easy to trace this style's evolution. I can't help thinking that this has a bearing on the 'readership' debate. Discuss ;)

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Limited space? Shorter the better, IMO. games aren't as complicated as they'd like to be by half, anyway. get to the point/verbose reviews are dull.

Absolutely agree with this. In many cases, especially in online publications, I'm getting to the stage of reading the intro, scan-reading the body, and seeking out the main conclusions. Lots of waffle.

I was thinking, how about a review thread for minimalist reviews? One to two paragraphs max, no scoring, with the aim to get across as much information and opinion on the game as possible. Stuff like word count etc. to be agreed...

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I know, but things could get worse than just being fired.

Yes, I wouldn't be surprised if he never writes for a magazine again.

Maybe a little over the top, but you have to be a couple of hammers short of tool belt to damage your employers integrity right in front of their target audience.

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Yes, I wouldn't be surprised if he never writes for a magazine again.

Maybe a little over the top, but you have to be a couple of hammers short of tool belt to damage your employers integrity right in front of their target audience.

But, but, but he didn't mean it!!!!!!!!!!!!

How was he to know what he'd innocently unleashed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

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I think we would all have ended up here even if Cacky hadn't originally told us the score had been altered, as once we had seen that he had given the game an 8 in Gamestm, and a 9 on NTSC, he would have been crucified for that, and then he would have ended up telling us anyway.

I'm not defending his discussing things outside work, but there was probably a certain inevitability once he gave the game a 9 on NTSC.

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Absolutely agree with this. In many cases, especially in online publications, I'm getting to the stage of reading the intro, scan-reading the body, and seeking out the main conclusions. Lots of waffle.

Well I'm not sure it's always waffle, but I think I've bemoaned the length of onlnie reviews before. The problem is that many reviewers will write about an aspect of the game in excruciating detail, the control system or the weapons for example, which could be reduced to one or two sentences while still conveying almost as much useful niformation.

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it's not like someone goes, 'ah, but they might like it because they've probably played X', or 'well, their standards might be low' or whatever.

You'd think so, wouldn't you? Unless you've spoken to many game journos, of course.

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I think we would all have ended up here even if Cacky hadn't originally told us the score had been altered, as once we had seen that he had given the game an 8 in Gamestm, and a 9 on NTSC, he would have been crucified for that, and then he would have ended up telling us anyway.

I'm not defending his discussing things outside work, but there was probably a certain inevitability once he gave the game a 9 on NTSC.

Why do you think that would have happened? I don't think we're bothered what score it got, just all this alleged fixing, or whatever you want to call it.

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I think we would all have ended up here even if Cacky hadn't originally told us the score had been altered, as once we had seen that he had given the game an 8 in Gamestm, and a 9 on NTSC, he would have been crucified for that, and then he would have ended up telling us anyway.

I'm not defending his discussing things outside work, but there was probably a certain inevitability once he gave the game a 9 on NTSC.

I don't see the logic there. Every publication, mag or online, has their own criteria for scoring. Ours at NTSC is different to that at GamesTM's, just as theirs is different to Edge's, just as Edge's is different to OPSM's. Simple as.

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I think we would all have ended up here even if Cacky hadn't originally told us the score had been altered, as once we had seen that he had given the game an 8 in Gamestm, and a 9 on NTSC, he would have been crucified for that, and then he would have ended up telling us anyway.

I'm not defending his discussing things outside work, but there was probably a certain inevitability once he gave the game a 9 on NTSC.

I don't think he would have been.

We'd hopefully recognise that the two publications don't necessarily use the same scoring system.

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