Thanks for Proving my Point (I Guess?)

In the almost three years that I’ve been running the Dojo, there was only ever one comment (not including spam or comments that were automatically filtered by WordPress) that I didn’t approve for the site, for reasons that it was basically insane. I did, however, write a blog post about said comment, and included the comment in full within said blog. That way, I could acknowledge the comment, without giving its trollish commentator the ability to potentially flood my site with more such nonsense. I’m all for hearing different opinions, but as long as I’m able to monitor this site, I kind of want to make sure the comments section is, at the very least, within the realms of sanity.

Now, I’ve come across another comment that I may let go by the wayside, but will nonetheless acknowledge here. Now, to be fair, this particular comment is nowhere near as bad as the other one (this one actually seems like it was written by a human). The wording and grammar are perfectly fine, but the problem with it is that it – in trying to make a point of its own – only solidifies the point I made in the post the comment was on, to an almost embarrassing level of irony, while also resorting to some hypocritical insults.

The comment in question was written in response to my recent post about the gaming community tends to cry foul every time a Nintendo game gets exceptional reviews, and condemn all reviewers as simply being biased and nostalgia blind for Nintendo.

Well, here is the comment in full.

I think the first sentence perfectly encapsulates the issue. Gamers, Nintendo fans in particular, have a tendency to be immature. Nintendo’s staples, with their saccharine color palette and mawkish music, appeal perfectly to the child in them. I’m a live and let live kind of person, so others enjoying childish games like Mario and Zelda is no skin off my back, but there’s a certain circling the wagons approach to Nintendo that raises their review scores well above what you’d expect for an identical game free of the 25 year old strings and 7 year old sentiments, as if Nintendo needs the protection lest they fall into 3rd party obscurity.

The Witcher 3 is a greater accomplishment than any Nintendo game, yet it sits at a relatively modest 92/93.”
It’s a bit cringeworthy, especially considering the commenter is attempting to put on an air of maturity, yet resorts to writing off gaming critics as little more than man-children with “7 year old sentiments” who are blinded by nostalgia, and thus are biased for Nintendo.
It’s like the commenter didn’t even read my whole post, otherwise they might have realized the comment they were making only proved the very point I was trying to make with it. It’s also pretty funny that they claim to be a “live and let live” kind of person, before entirely dismissing gaming critics as being a bunch of childish fanboys.
Now, it’s good that the commenter at least read the first sentence of my blog, because I’ve stated many times that the gaming community is often immature. But then the rest of the comment only showcases that very same immaturity I was referring to.
I mean, come on, how can any reasonable human being think an entire profession of people are all just a bunch of ignorant fanboys? The commenter is quick to point out how there’s a “wagons approach” that lends to Nintendo games getting much higher review scores than “identical games without 25 year old strings and 7 year old sentiment” (take that children!). But what “identical” games is he referring to exactly? I can’t think of any games that are identical to Mario, Zelda or Metroid. Does he mean games of the same genre? If that’s the case, wouldn’t The Witcher 3, a game the commenter clearly likes, be “identical” to Skyrim and GTA and other open-world games, seeing as it’s part of the same genre?
It’s hilarious, really, how people like this just think that any praise Nintendo games receive just exists in some kind of bubble. As if nothing Nintendo does is actually any good, but reviewers just tell themselves otherwise as part of some conspiracy or something. Did it ever occur to them that maybe, just maybe, the reason Nintendo games get high praise is because these games are good? Besides, it’s not like every game that has “Mario” in the title receives perfect scores, and plenty of Nintendo games get mediocre and even bad reviews. But, uh oh, Super Mario Odyssey is one of the most acclaimed games of all time. Clearly it’s just critics trying to push forward some fictional agenda. Because obviously the prospect of every video game critic being a biased fanboy is more realistic than the individual leaving the comment having a clear bias against something.
Perhaps the commenter is simply annoyed because he doesn’t like Nintendo games, and it just so happens that Nintendo has made some of the most acclaimed games of all time? On Gamerankings, a good chunk of the top 10 best reviewed games ever have “Mario” and “Zelda” in the title. But you know what else takes up a good chunk of the top 10? Grand Theft Auto.
Now, call me crazy, but GTA seems pretty different in tone than the “saccharine and mawkish” worlds of Nintendo. And the publications who review GTA are the same ones that review Mario and Zelda, so is GTA somehow part of this “7 year old sentiment” as well? Maybe, just maybe, critics think that Mario, Zelda and GTA are consistently great, and represent the best that their genres have to offer, and so they rate them as such? But nah, they’re all just Nintendo biased. Because how else could something like Mario or Zelda possibly get good reviews?
Also, another humorous tidbit is how the commenter ends by remarking that The Witcher 3 is a “greater accomplishment than any Nintendo game, yet it sits at a relatively modest 92/93.” So the guy who’s dismissing every last video game critic as being biased is also passing off his subjective opinion as an absolute fact? Got’cha.
Seriously, it’s actually really funny how these people always perform the same song and dance. “Nintenda james is fer kids! Them critics is all biased cuz nostalgia! My opinion is fact!” 
Okay, writing it like that is a bit belittling on my part. But come on, that’s how it starts to sound after a while. I mean, the fact that people honestly have the “everyone else is biased except for me” idea when it comes to Nintendo getting good reviews is beyond ludicrous. It’s a flat-out black helicopters, conspiracy theory mentality.
Video game critics review video games. They give the ones they think are good good reviews, and the ones they think are bad get bad reviews. It just so happens that Mario, Zelda and GTA (which has nothing to do with Nintendo) happen to be the most consistent in getting strong reviews. There’s no conspiracy about it. You don’t have to like every game the critics like, but if you honestly think everyone but yourself is in the wrong for liking something, well, maybe you should rethink your outlook on the subject.
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4 thoughts on “Thanks for Proving my Point (I Guess?)

  1. Red Metal

    My opinion on the matter remains unchanged; as overwhelmingly positive as Nintendo game reviews tend to be, I’ve found they’re some of the only ones I can trust anymore. With other games, I can tell after the fact that the reviews were written based off of the writers’ first impressions, which wouldn’t fly in any other medium. However, Nintendo, typically having a gameplay-over-story ethos, are one of the few creators whose works can reliably be reviewed in such a fashion. When playing other AAA titles for myself, especially one made by a company that brags about their writing ability, I know there exists a realistic chance that they’ve bought into the “9 out of 10 people will not finish the game” statistic and proceed to put all of their worst ideas in the last third, and I find I usually don’t have to worry about that with Nintendo. Even when their games are overrated (i.e. Skyward Sword), I still find them to be enjoyable experiences.

    For that matter, it might explain why walking simulators do well with critics, as they’re the some of the only games they would have time to finish before writing about, but that’s another problem altogether; the average enthusiast theoretically has no problem making it to the end of a much more demanding game (time, skill, etc.), so it makes perfect sense why they don’t think highly of them.

    All in all, I have never received a comment quite like the ones you have. I had to let one go because the commenter asked a slew of questions that were already answered in the review itself or were better answered through actually playing the game and another because they asked me if I was too late when it came to writing a review (there’s a time limit now?). Besides, I’m fairly certain I’ve seen fans of BioShock and The Last of Us, games made for adults, act every bit as immature as the writer of this comment claims Nintendo fans act. I’m not entirely sure why they’re calling out Nintendo fans specifically for this when it’s clearly not an issue endemic to them.

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  2. alex9234

    “I mean, the fact that people honestly have the “everyone else is biased except for me” idea when it comes to Nintendo getting good reviews is beyond ludicrous. It’s a flat-out black helicopters, conspiracy theory mentality.” – It’s not just Nintendo that is getting this, but another prominent Japanese developer has been getting this treatment as of late – Atlus. Ever since Persona 4 came out back in 2008, MegaTen “fans” believe that the critics are biased for any Atlus title that came out after P4, and they kept pulling the “Atlus has sold out to weeaboos! Those critics and gamers who like these new MegaTen games are weeaboos! My opinion is fact!” card since. Of course, as you probably know, it only got worse by the time Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE came out.

    For example, I remember this salty Disqus user who basically made an account just to troll articles regarding the game and other people who were interested in it. He was one of those hipster fans who hated all the Atlus games released after 2008, and he would spew his hatred for #FE in the comment sections of every single article regarding the game. I looked through his account and about 90% of his comments were just complaints about the game, trashing anime, the Persona series, Fire Emblem Awakening, J-pop, spewing anti-Japanese sentiments, you name it.

    These people are worse than hipsters this way. Whenever a Nintendo or Atlus game gets positive reviews, these people say that it sucks and they like to state their opinion as fact, even though they’ve probably never played a single Fire Emblem or MegaTen game in their lives. Like you said, it probably never occurred to these people that the reason why Nintendo and Atlus games, like Fire Emblem Awakening, Persona 4, Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE and Persona 5 get good reviews is because those games are actually good.

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