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NWR Hot Topic: December 11, 2007

by James Jones - December 11, 2007, 10:12 pm EST

For once, Nintendo of Europe actually gets a better deal than Nintendo of America.

Last week Club Nintendo Europe announced it intends to offer Wii Points for Stars, which were earned by simply registering Nintendo games with Nintendo of Europe. Anyone familiar with Nintendo knows of all the great rewards Club Nintendo Japan offers for registering Nintendo products over there, too.

Nintendo of America's game registration incentive program offers ... well, you can get a quill stylus for registering Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass.

Up until now Nintendo has maintained that it can’t do the Japan style program because the United States is too large. Why do you think Nintendo of America hasn’t instituted a program like Nintendo of Europe has just done? What other programs do you think Nintendo could implement that deals with the “size" of the nation. What are your thoughts on the various programs? Head on over to the forums and tell us what you think!

Be sure to check the forum rules before posting. You can't post if you're not a member of our forums, so if you want to get a chance to see your reply on Nintendo World Report, register now!

Last week, we asked you what you looked for in video game reviews. We got lots of interesting replies, so keep them coming.

Here are some of your replies:

KDR_11k wrote: Like most people I use review aggregators to get a score on something, then read reviews if the score looks like the game is worth considering. With aggregators you get a lot of reviews listed and outliers are visible immediately. You can then see what issues are covered by the different reviews. Really, even with trustworthy reviews you should check with a review aggregator to compensate for the reviewer's personal preferences (e.g. NWR's Phantom Hourglass reviews, those sounded like the game was really shoddy but the aggregators said it's great and when I played it, indeed, it was great).

Ian Sane wrote:I usually look at GameRankings[.com] to get a general idea of how well received the game is. But there are other factors that need to be taken into account as current trends and corporate agendas can affect things. With Nintendo it's easy. Until recently Nintendo had not be popular throughout the entire era of online reviews. Tons of reviewers just reek of only being familiar with the 3D era. So Nintendo always had to earn their score and you always would get one jerk with an agenda [crapping] on a game everyone else loved. There was never an agenda to "push" Nintendo consoles and games so there was no over inflating and the games were always good enough to earn a decent score from almost everyone. Now with the Wii being the market leader this may change. Corporate web sites want to push the market leader because that makes up the bulk of the readers.

Meanwhile something like Halo was determined ahead of time to get a good score. Why? Because the media had hyped it up to all hell and contributed largely to creating interest in the first place. They have to deliver or they look like chumps for devoting so much attention to a turd. Notice that now everyone craps on Metal Gear Solid 2's infamous switcheroo but at the time that game got high scores all around. To say at the time that the game wasn't so good would have exposed the gaming media as the glorified advertisement service they are.

What you have to look at is "does the reviewer benefit from giving such-and-such score?" You can find the [crap] a lot easier that way.

ShyGuy wrote: I don't read reviews to influence my purchasing decisions, but sometimes they do anyhow. I do look at numbers to use as ammunition in teh fanbois warz.

Smash_Brother wrote: I'd get a general consensus from the Internet instead of trusting any lone review.

You generally get the oddball [reviewer] here and there who are off in left field but, by sheer numbers, you generally get a good idea of what to expect.

Still, the safest bet is to just rent the game in question yourself. If you suspect you'll like it, you're better off just finding out directly instead of trusting the opinions of others which you may not agree with.

Entroper wrote: When I read a review, I pay little attention to the score, and more attention to the way the author describes the game. Scores are subjective, so often a reviewer's score will be very different from the way I would score the same game. Words are subjective too, but you can get a lot more information out of them than just a number and I can usually tell if I will agree or disagree with the author's praise or criticism by the way it is presented.

When deciding whether or not to trust a reviewer's credibility, self-consistency is the biggest giveaway. I don't really have time to find out which companies advertise on each website or own stakes in the owning company, and I don't think I need to -- the truth will always be right there in the review. Does the author praise one aspect of a game, and criticize another game for doing the same thing? Does the author do a good job of explaining why he or she feels this way about the game, or does the review just sound like an advertisement or a rant?

The more detail you can give in a review, the better chance your readers have of understanding where you're coming from. Don't just say "the controls are poor," explain why they don't work well. Don't just say "the firefights are truly amazing," tell us what's so amazing about them. If you've been playing and critically analyzing games for a while, you should have a good sense for what the developers were trying to do, and how well it worked out. If you can explain that to your readers, you've written a good review, no matter what advertisements appear next to it on the screen.

Djunknown wrote: A good chunk of the games I buy are foregone conclusions. I use reviews in purchasing those titles that I'm on the fence about, which average about 5 or so a year. Also, when my friends are shopping, some buy on impulse, and I inform them of the reviews before hand. They then take my counsel into consideration and either A)Do some more research or

B) Buy it anyway.

Mario wrote: I don't trust any after several cases this year have not only had wildly differing opinions and biases (that is expected) but flat out got facts wrong. It's unforgivable. After reading a lot of reviews on Wii games that haven’t got much hype on the big sites, there is a lot of times where they thought they could just get away with saying whatever they wanted with them to entertain people not interested in the game (who wouldn't even be reading the review), with no care for the game itself. Too many little people put attention on themselves, and not on the product. Strangely, this is mainly a problem on the biggest sites.

The only time I might seek out a review now is on a game I don't know much about. I'll read it because it could be the only place to find out some info (assuming they get it right).

On another note, It's easy to dismiss all these crappy reviews out there and say "yeah who cares I play what I like", it's what every single person I know does. However, what's happening with the quality of reviews especially in the last year is just a huge embarrassment to an industry that deserves much more, and that's why I have an issue with it. But it's always going to be like that as long as newspapers and the Internet give people a voice they haven't earned. We need more real people reviewing games, people who aren't "offended" by new gaming trends and changes, because lets face it, reviewing something is not a full time job. Obviously you have to be able to spell and write properly, but even almost everyone on this forum can do that competently.

Scientific surveys of our forums are as follows:

Nintendo Console Discussion: Games for my parents?

Nintendo Handheld Discussion: Does the DS not have enough drama?

General Chat: Gamestop, now with 200% (per month) more fail!

Funhouse: One Christmas ruined, 3,999,999,999 more left to go Mr. Grinch

TalkBack: Creators of PaRappa the Rapper Team for Wii Exclusive

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