Monday, January 09, 2006

Dead or Alive 4 Review for Xbox 360 on

I hate to do this. I generally hate to speak ill of the publication where I used to work.

Okay, that's not true. But I'd like it to be. Anyway.

Read this review of Dead or Alive 4 on I'll wait.

Enh. Screw waiting. It's not really worth reading.

This review, it should be noted, was featured in the print version of GamePro, in the issue meant to go off shelves today. Which means that it was on shelves a month ago. Which means that the reviewer was working on the review three months ago.

Please, now, note the date of release for DOA4. 12/29/2005. Note also that the Official Xbox Magazine didn't have reviewable code by December 16. So the illustrious GamePro apparently had reviewable code back in (complex math) early October.

And the article shows it. This is the fluffiest, lamest major review article I've ever read, and I've written some damn fluffy and lame articles for that mag. Let's go through the major points of the review:

  • The game is good (Intro)

  • The game is very pretty

  • You can play as a Halo-type Spartan (Holy crap!) plus a bunch of details about the Spartan character and none about any other character

  • The online game-matching lobby is cool, as is collecting stuff to "trick out" your online lobby avatar

That's it. Hey, reviewer! How's the fighting system, which I've heard has backed away a bit from reversals and more toward a striking style like Tekken? How are the new characters (aside from the Spartan)? How many new outfits do the characters have? Can't you a LEAST make a bouncing-breast joke? I mean, c'mon, dude. These are women with BOOBIES.

Look at the screenshots, too. The huge ones in the online review. They're clearly NOT taken from gameplay. They're PR screens. The screens of the online lobby have JAPANESE TEXT IN THEM. What... Okay, I suppose if you were reviewing the Japanese version, you'd have to interact with Japanese players on the Japanese servers. Fine. But... man.

You put that together with the completely crap-smoking review, and you get a horrible mess of editor irresponsibility. If I was on the fence about DOA, I would want to know about the fighting system, how it controls, how hard the AI is, how fun the single-player version is, etc. I got a far better review of the game from here (scroll down a bit, look for "Update 12/31/05"), at Wataru Maruyama's personal blog, where no expectation of impartiality is implied.

The GamePro review is such a loaf of seeded poop that I am almost embarrassed to have worked there. If that's what the mag has become, a rag that reviews previews just to get them on the cover, then I will start an underground railroad myself for the cool people who still work there. Because that review is complete crap, and it's their cover.

I didn't mention the author of the review, mostly because I have no idea who it is. Some guy named JohnnyK. Whatever.

I blame GamePro publisher Dan Orum. Because I think there's room there to blame him for all problems in life, and not just the ways in which GamePro has gone into the toilet.

Just... It's sad. I guess I'm inviting this upon myself for expecting game journalists to be responsible, but there we go.

Anyway, I couldn't stomach the rest of the issue. If anyone knows if there are any cheats in there for that Call of Cthulhu game, let me know.