Originally posted on GGL Wire 12/18/07.
Okay, so it wasn’t the worst year ever in gaming. That was 2001. But a lot of stupid shit went down in 2007.
There were a number of terrible games this year, but the worst was probably the free Yaris game on Xbox Live Arcade. First of all, the game itself was just terrible. It got a 23% on gamerankings.com.
Second, it’s just a commercial for the Toyota Yaris. Well, it would be, if the Toyota Yaris ran on rails, collected power-ups, and had a “mechanosymbiotic” gun to shoot the mechanical spiders.
I challenge Toyota to find a single person who was inspired to purchase a Toyota Yaris because they played this game. On the other hand, I can name at least three people who would rather dig their own eyes out with a heated spoon and fill the sockets with lemon juice, than play this game again.
9. Maple Story Snail Commercial
You can cleanse your eyes by watching this Maple Story commercial from Korea. If that girl turns you on, you’re a pedophile.
Please notice neither commercial shows the game. Why try to hide the fact it’s a low-res side-scroller? People are going to find out when they try to play it.
8. “Lesbo”/”spastic” controversy in UK
First, in June, a woman in Ireland complained that MindQuiz for the Nintendo DS contained the word “spastic.” In America, “spastic” is used as an insult to lob at stupid people. But in the UK, “spastic” was formerly used to refer to persons with Cerebral Palsy, and is considered insensitive.Then in October, complaints led Ubisoft to apologize for using the word “lesbo” in Scrabble 2007 for the DS. “Lesbo” is in the official Scrabble Dictionary, so it was included in the game.
If I lodged a formal complaint every time I was mildly offended, I’d – well, I would have lodged several formal complaints. I don’t really take offense at most things. I’m inured to everything up to, but not including, the “Goatse” level of offensiveness. Oversensitive people need to STFU. It’s an adult world, full of adults – act like it, people.
I should note that in neither case did the publisher pull the game, which is encouraging.
7. E for All
For over a decade, the Electronic Entertainment Expo was the premier global videogame industry event, the first major convention devoted specifically to interactive entertainment. And in the gaming community, you were a perman00b until you got in to the exclusive show.
Then in 2006, the big three console giants decided they were sick of the expense of building giant pavilions and stocking them with nubile young booth babes. Thus was E3 slain, and the invite-only industry-only E3 Media & Business Summit took its place.
What were the legions of videogame fanboys and –girls to do? Enter E for All, the show meant to replace the consumer portion of E3. We all waited breathlessly for this last October; and gamers flew in from around the world to attend, paying as much as $90 for a four-day pass.
And what we got was a ginormous bag of SUCK.
With the WSVG dead and gone, 35% of the show floor was empty. And apart from Super Smash Bros. and RockBand, there was just nothing to see. There were too few big booths, and the smaller companies paid too much to hawk their wares to 18,000 bewildered, disappointed fans. As a gaming show, E for All didn’t even live up to the standards of a Comic-Con or Wizard World – neither of which are gaming shows.
Next year’s E for All is planned for the same weekend as the Penny Arcade Expo, proving that the E for All organizers have no intention of putting on a serious event. I dunno, maybe it’s a tax write-off or something.
6. Reviewgate, aka Gerstmanngate
As of this writing, Reviewgate is a developing situation. But basically, Gamespot Editorial Director Jeff Gerstmann published a negative review of Kane & Lynch: Dead Men, giving the game 6 out of 10. Then Gerstmann got fired, supposedly because Gamespot advertiser Eidos was upset about the negative review.Analysis of the Gerstmann firing has even spread to the mainstream press, and I wrote an opinion piece about it myself. Can gamers trust the information they get from ad-based web sites? (Answer: sometimes.) Does the games industry have nothing but contempt for the gaming press? (Answer: yes.) Do game reviews really matter anyway? (For gamers, no; for the industry, yes, as meta-review scores are used as a metric for determining bonuses.)
What should have been a minor human resources issue for a gaming site has turned into a giant clusterfuck that will hurt Gamespot for some time to come. What this proves is that gamers were already suspicious of the relationship between games reviewers and publishers – and the second gamers sniffed evidence of collusion, they pounced. I hope the gaming media are paying attention.