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Thread: Retro Gamer magazine's terrible Metal Slug feature --reviewed!

  1. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by lithy View Post
    You know, instead of just calling him a fuckwit repeatedly like a one trick pony.
    thats how its done "in the business".

  2. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geddon_jt View Post
    I have all but about a dozen issues of Retro Gamer and that was the first article I ever read where I was truly taken aback by the lack of substance and perspective, regardless of whatever your intentions might have been.

    I'm pretty shocked by your behavior on here. You have a foul mouth and a foul temper.
    There is definitely one thing Bobak got right: your article fucking sucked, regardless of how you want to spin the semantics.
    Yawn. You're in the minority. Nothing wrong with being in a minority, but you don't get a medal for it either, so if you've got nothing interesting or constructive to say then fuck off and stop wasting my time.

  3. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geddon_jt View Post
    There is definitely one thing Bobak got right: your article fucking sucked, regardless of how you want to spin the semantics.
    this thread really delivers

  4. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by RevStu View Post
    I didn't do any such thing, though. I've freely admitted being rude and obnoxious all the way through. The difference is that I'm not also stupid and wrong.
    Now, there's the hypocrisy. I don't pay much attention to Bobak's postings. He and I have clashed in the past, and unlike many here, I neither bear him any particular ill will, nor do I venerate him. If you'll notice, in my first post in this thread, I pointed out that you were completely entitled to your opinion, completely entitled to write about it, and anyone who didn't care for it was under no obligation to purchase the magazine. My point is that you have done precisely that... you point out your experience in writing as evidence of your "superiority," to lend weight to your arguments.

    A few snippets:
    Actually I'm 41, I've been writing professionally about videogames for 20 years, and I've very likely been playing videogames since before you were born
    you pompous, arrogant, stupid little prick.
    I'll say it again, because you seem to be a bit slow on the uptake:
    Don't tell me what I mean, you rude, ignorant, illiterate, arrogant, fucking cunt.
    I can feel my IQ falling just by being near you.
    You guys really aren't great with this whole "meaning of words" thing, are you?
    The popularity of your feature is not evidence of its quality. You, yourself, espouse this very idea in your dislike of MS3... far and away the biggest fan favorite of the series.

    I'm not making any rude, sweeping generalizations. However, I do know what the word "professional" means... and pointing out folks like Simon Cowell as a defense of professional rudeness is hardly helping your stance. Simon Cowell is popular because he's a spectacle creator. Maybe that kind of thing is what Retrogamer is about. I freely admit that I don't know. Regardless of your credentials and/or credibility as a writer, were I your editor-in-chief, I would not allow such an individual to be a representative of my magazine. But I'm used to a genuinely professional (ie. corporate) environment, and such behavior on a public forum would get you fired, more or less summarily.

    Just as it's possible to discuss hot-button topics without resorting to abuse, it's equally possible to make referential material not dull to read, without turning it into an opinion piece. But that is the difference between a good journalist and "just another writer." And if that statement needles you, then again, I suggest you grow some thicker skin. Because, like it or not, everyone is a critic. Some are better at expressing themselves than others... but disagreeing with you doesn't make anyone stupid, or wrong. Just as the opposite is true.
    Indifference has led to boredom.

  5. #80
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    *wonders if Ed Semrad or Sushi-X ever got their "panties in a bunch" over a reader's dissenting opinion*

    I haven't read Stuart's article so I can't comment on that end.

    But as someone who has some experience creating lengthy articles and reviews, let me just say that I have encountered one or two critics in my time (surprisingly, just once or twice) and they were clearly what you might call... "haters."

    I just ignored and deleted their comments from my guestbook, lol. They weren't worth my time to email and defend myself, my work or stoop to their level by insulting them back.

    I agree with those who say Stuart is acting unprofessionally here. It's one thing to defend yourself. It's another to start spewing profanity like a drunken sailor. Bobak articulated his views without resorting to curse words. You'd expect the same from Stuart. I know it's not easy since you feel "unjustly attacked" for a piece you put lots of man hours into (I'd know about putting man hours into a piece, check out any of my SNES reviews, Ken Griffey Jr. in particular -- that review took me weeks to piece together), but resorting to such blatant profanity does show your character in more ways than you might think (though I guess it's fairly obvious you could care less about what others [here] may think of your "attitude").

    Just me ole 2 cents from an unbiased and neutral 3rd party.

  6. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
    Simon Cowell is popular because he's a spectacle creator.
    You don't think this is a spectacle?

  7. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    Bobak articulated his views without resorting to curse words.
    Really? Most people would regard "shitting out crap" as a little off in polite company. You wouldn't use it in front of the Queen, say.

    You'd expect the same from Stuart.
    Not if you knew me you wouldn't.

  8. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
    but disagreeing with you doesn't make anyone stupid, or wrong.
    Nobody ever said it did. Please stop building these straw men.

  9. #84
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    Can't you guys SEE how Stuart Campbell has lit a fire under this thread's proverbial ass? It's what he does. He's the Charles Bronson of wordsmiths.

    Dear Stu, please share with the forum why you love Metal Slug 7 so much? Are favorite entries from other series games such as Mega Man 6 or Golden Axe 3? Your opinion on Metal Slug 3 is fine and all (not that I believe it's 100% true), but your love of Metal Slug 7 is UNACCEPTABLE. Defend thyself Bronson.

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    Stuart is their version of Jeff Girstman I guess.

  11. #86
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    I can understand people here defending 2 and putting their hands over their eyes and saying "THE SLOWDOWN ISN'T BAD IN 2 NYAH NYAH", but in a magazine? The reason X exists is because the slowdown was so horrendous that it warranted a do-over.

    Haven't read the article, probably never will unless someone scans it, but I've known of Stuart ever since he said Raiden III was his game of the year for 2005.

    His aggressive writing style is the only reason he's popular, guy's a dope. Saying Slug 7 is the best in the series? Ugh.

  12. #87
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    did

    did someone just say MS4 was better than MS3


    ?


  13. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by RevStu View Post
    Nobody ever said it did. Please stop building these straw men.
    You've done virtually nothing but call everyone who criticized your work an idiot, or some equivalent thereof. That's a simple fact, not a straw man. If you wish to get into debate terms, you're spouting ad hominem attacks.

    Your job experience doesn't make you better than anyone else here.

    Well, okay, maybe a few of them, but that's not saying much. ;P
    Indifference has led to boredom.

  14. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by kernow View Post
    did

    did someone just say MS4 was better than MS3


    ?

    Yes Kern, they did.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
    You've done virtually nothing but call everyone who criticized your work an idiot, or some equivalent thereof. That's a simple fact,.
    Correlation doesn't prove causation. I haven't called you a fuckwit, and you're disagreeing with me. Difference is, you're at least making some sort of case, albeit one filled with flaws where you keep saying I've done things I haven't done. (Where have I ever denied being rude, for example, as you keep insisting I have?)

    Bobak posted an incredibly rude, inflammatory, offensive post. I replied in kind, except pointing out that almost all his arguments were FACTUALLY wrong. So how come you're not attacking him, just me?

  16. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by RevStu View Post
    Correlation doesn't prove causation. I haven't called you a fuckwit, and you're disagreeing with me. Difference is, you're at least making some sort of case, albeit one filled with flaws where you keep saying I've done things I haven't done. (Where have I ever denied being rude, for example, as you keep insisting I have?)
    I didn't say you denied being rude. I said it's hypocritical to be incensed by others' rudeness when you are being just as bad. I said you're being condescending, which you are. As for the flaws in my case, as you put it, please point them out to me. You've carefully ignored most of the content in my posts that call attention to where you're in the wrong, accused me of making a "stupid, sweeping generalization," and generally been closed-off during this entire discussion.

    Bobak posted an incredibly rude, inflammatory, offensive post. I replied in kind, except pointing out that almost all his arguments were FACTUALLY wrong. So how come you're not attacking him, just me?
    I'm not "attacking" anyone. Even my biggest detractors on this forum (and believe me, I have my fair share) will vouch for that. If I were, you'd most assuredly know it. And honestly, I don't particularly care about the content of the article, itself, since I don't care about the Metal Slug series. I have no stake in this. I only chose to step in to address you directly when you started going on a tirade.

    If I seem like I'm attacking you, it's because you're being defensive. You haven't denied being rude, but you also haven't given a credible excuse for it. As a professional writer, you should be able to rise above this tide of negativity and soldier on. Slinging some mud back may be more "fun," but in the end, it leaves you just as dirty as the rest.
    Indifference has led to boredom.

  17. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
    If I seem like I'm attacking you, it's because you're being defensive. You haven't denied being rude, but you also haven't given a credible excuse for it. As a professional writer, you should be able to rise above this tide of negativity and soldier on.
    Should I? Why are writers exempt from being offended when people say terrible, offensive, idiotic, untrue things about them? Most other humans would be.

    I said it's hypocritical to be incensed by others' rudeness when you are being just as bad
    There's an issue of chronology there. If someone attacks you in the street and starts kicking you, are you just as bad as them if you kick back?
    Last edited by RevStu; 04-30-2009 at 02:25 PM.

  18. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by RevStu View Post
    Should I? Why are writers exempt from being offended when people say terrible, offensive, idiotic, untrue things about them? Most other humans would be.
    Well, that's one of the things about life: no one has the right to not be offended.

    No one is exempt from the feeling. Professionals, however, are expected to maintain some decorum, regardless of their personal feelings on any given matter.

    There's an issue of chronology there. If someone attacks you in the street and starts kicking you, are you just as bad as them if you kick back?
    You're stretching credibility a bit, there. Verbal assault and physical assault are two very different things. But in the case of physical assault, you're just as bad unless your life is in jeopardy. At this point, all you're doing is hanging around, chasing the initial "kicker," even though no one is still attacking you.
    Last edited by Deuce; 04-30-2009 at 02:34 PM.
    Indifference has led to boredom.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
    Well, that's one of the things about life: no one has the right to not be offended.
    I agree entirely. I haven't asked for Bobak to be censored, merely challenged his untrue statements. The vast majority of my post was factual correction, with a bit of venting at the end which - as is the way of people whose argument is weak - several people have seized on, using it as an excuse to disregard everything else, despite the fact that it's utterly mundane and everyday stuff for the internet. You can call me a cunt all day long and I won't give a shit, but I object to people maligning my professional integrity and diligence. That's a much more serious business. In fact, it's a crime in most countries.

    No one is exempt from the feeling. Professionals, however, are expected to maintain some decorum, regardless of their personal feelings on any given matter.
    Are they? Is there a manual? Can you point me to the chapter and clause?

  20. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by RevStu View Post
    Are they? Is there a manual? Can you point me to the chapter and clause?
    Now you're being deliberately obtuse. I find it hard to believe you've been in any business for twenty years without ever being given any guidance or instruction on workplace behavior, or even basic etiquette.

    You may be a freelancer, or however your work is arranged, but in the end, it comes down to the same fact I mentioned before: you are a representative of this magazine, like it or not. Your attitude and behavior here reflect poorly on Retrogamer as a whole. Such behavior in any other job, even one as "simple" as working at a McDonald's, would get you fired. You're not hosting a talk show.
    Indifference has led to boredom.

  21. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
    Now you're being deliberately obtuse. I find it hard to believe you've been in any business for twenty years without ever being given any guidance or instruction on workplace behavior, or even basic etiquette.
    I was very well brought up. But my granny always taught me that if you want to be understood by a Frenchman, you should speak French.

    You may be a freelancer, or however your work is arranged, but in the end, it comes down to the same fact I mentioned before: you are a representative of this magazine, like it or not.
    See, that's not so much a "fact" as "complete bullshit". I am not an employee of the magazine. I post under my own name, as a private individual who happens to be sometimes employed by it. I sometimes write for Poker Player too - do you now hold them in lower regard as well?

    If you choose to interpret MY actions as somehow representative of the opinions of the magazine (if a magazine can have an opinion), then I'm afraid it's you who's being the dick, because that's a blatantly wrong and vastly unfair thing to do. Blame Darran for what Darran says, and blame me for what I say. He isn't responsible for me beyond what I write in the pages of the magazine, and has no control or influence whatsoever over it, and to claim or act otherwise is monstrously stupid.

    Your attitude and behavior here reflect poorly on Retrogamer as a whole. Such behavior in any other job, even one as "simple" as working at a McDonald's, would get you fired. You're not hosting a talk show.
    Many people would argue that that's precisely what I am doing, as are most people in the specialist-magazine business.

  22. #97

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobak View Post
    Retro Gamer (issue 62) did one of their "The Definitive" series articles (covering various games in a major game series) for the Metal Slug franchise. While I am a fan of the magazine, the resulting article was terrible... insulting even. Not just to fans of the series, but to casual gamers in general. It appears they used a freelancer, Stuart Campbell (as he's listed as a "contributor" in the masthead); and, assuming that's the case, it shows how the practice can sometimes backfire. If I didn't know any better, it appears it was rushed for a paycheck and/or deadline. You'd think this worldwide economic downturn would cause people to work harder for their bucks...

    Okay --since I was so annoyed, I decided to write out, point-by-point, why the article is a mess --a truly geekish reaction on my part, I realize, but sometimes it takes serious provocation to unearth these latent tendencies. The piece doubly irks me because I used to write columns and feature pieces for various papers in my spare time in college and afterward (made some dough, not a ton --but it was better than nothing for what amounted to a hobby), so I get frustrated when I see purported professionals turning out this crap.

    For those unfamiliar with Retro Gamer: its a magazine that focuses on classic games and related current and homebrew releases. The article was formatted like most "The Definitive" pieces in RG: it has a brief section introducing the series (very brief in this case), then a game-by-game description of each installment. The author presumably plays as many of the versions as he can get a hold of, or talks about the general consensus on the game if he/she can't find a copy. Its a simple format, and any writer worth their ink can probably turn out a quality article with little worry... or so I assumed. Let's take a look at this one:

    • The author doesn't actually know the storyline of the series he's writing a feature on: he ends his own introductory section with "So join The Definitive one more time as we strap on an ammo belt, wade into the fray, and see if we can't get to the bottom of who that pesky Liquid Ocelot really is once and for all." Okay... any guesses what's wrong here? Thankfully RG put in an editorial note that he mistakenly mentioned a character from Metal Gear...but even that begs a question of why didn't they have him do a rewrite (answer: someone was probably shitting something out at the last second for a deadline).
    • The write up on the original Metal Slug is dominated by completely baseless suggestion that Metal Slug was aimed for release on the Neo CD. It appears his reason was he was only able to get access to the CD version; now, while the home cart is infamously expensive --something he didn't mention-- why couldn't he grab an MVS? But back to the write up on Metal Slug: there's virtually no time spent on what made the game so interesting at the time other than the two sentence description in the introductory section (and oddly not one mention of Contra until very late in the article, but I assume this guy is pretty young since he refers to the SNES). Instead he talks entirely about what extra features were on the Neo CD "port". While that's nice, it seems you should spend at least a paragraph on the first game talking about what made it successful. Alas, no.
    • Let's toss out another sign of poor research: not one mention of Nazca, the original developer. Ouch.
    • The PlayStation port of Metal Slug gets its own section, mostly to discuss the addition of mini-games. Its fascinating that so much ink is spent on the additional features in the various CD versions of Metal Slug without spending much time on the actual gameplay of the original; someone made a false assumption that readers all know what Metal Slug is about --a.k.a. poor journalism.
    • We get a weird passing mention of the Saturn version under the PlayStation version of MS1, but they never acknowledge its existence in any of the actual sections (where they parenthetically reference the releases). I don't know whose fault this is, writer, layout people or editor (well, it would fall on the last guy since he's the one in charge of QA).
    • Metal Slug 2's section kicks off starts off with the following description: "Despite beign little more than a new set of levels for the first game (albeit six this time rather than five), and introducing two features that would go on to almost ruin the entire series, Metal Slug 2 is still pretty good fun." This begs the question: what are these two features that nearly "ruin the entire series"? If you poll people who're familiar with the game, you'll likely get "slowdown" as a popular answer, as this game was full of it. Not in this case. Mr. Campbell felt "the debut of zombies and fat mode [. . .] slowed it to a horrible grinding crawl." I admit it took me a few seconds to realize he was referring to the mummy mode when he referred to "zombies" (a forgivable error), but I must admit this is the first time I've heard anyone actually hold the two modes (particularly the mummy issue in Stage 2) as something so horrific. I'm sure most of you actual gamers have learned that a competent player can quickly get through Stage 2 without ever turning into a mummy, and his complaints seem to imply that he kept trying to finish these games --rushing through-- without trying to learn any technique, hidden secrets, etc. and kept getting hosed by the mummy/fat traps... the sort of thing that happens when you see first-timers or kids play the game (or people trying to rush an article on a series they're actually not all that familiar with). Again, there's not one mention of the slowdown.
    • Because he somehow didn't notice the slowdown in 2, he doesn't mention the faster gameplay in Metal Slug X. He acknowledges that its popular among "aficionados", but doesn't actually take any time to reveal why. Instead he summarizes the game as "churned out quickly to squeeze more money out of gullible fans". He states this game was more loved by home players, then proceeds to spend two-thirds of the section about all the additions on the PS1 port --implying that's the reason its so popular. His research is so half-assed that he states "Interestingly, Metal Slug X didn't get a Neo-Geo CD release" ...okay, for someone who spent a big chunk of the earlier section on MS1 talking about the reasons for the CD's creation, he apparently didn't connect the dots that it wasn't being as actively supported by 1999. There's also no mention of the odd inclusion of inaccessible, half-finished underwater levels and other stuff in the coding of the cartridges, but that would be something a person who did, actual research would've discovered --not someone who neglected to mention Nazca.
    • The author does not hide the fact that he hates Metal Slug 3, which is popularly considered one of, if not the finest in the series. He opens this section with "As any keen student of philosophy knows, there's supposedly an ancient Chinese proverb that runs: "Most people are fat-headed cretins without enough brains for even one good sandwich", and it's never better illustrated than when people say Metal Slug 3 is as good as the series got. Metal Slug 3 isn't even as good as the Black Death got." I'm not going to start on the awkward structure of the first sentence, but I do wonder how on earth this kind of statement appears in a "Definitive" retrospective on a video game series. The Editor jumps in with his second note of the article, that he loved the game. He's obviously not alone. Why does he hate it? Its hard. (Boo-hoo, now man up.) He seems crushed that the first level boss was "one of the most epically hateful first level bosses in recorded history." Okay, I'm by no means an expert at any of these games, but I will say it took me only one time facing that boss to figure out how to simply beat him without losing a life (run and shoot backwards... revolutionary, I know.). The best answer I can come up with is Mr. Campbell like his games easy (obvious jokes resisted here...). We have people on this site that can 1CC the game, so its certainly not impossible, but I will concede that the game is very tough. And while its fair to acknowledge that there are people who feel the tone and/or difficulty made it not as good as the others, this section epitomizes how unpolished the article is.
    • His opinion linger into the section on Metal Slug 4, where he states --in what was starting to come close to a polemic-- "it was slightly less bitterly unfair than MS3, as well as being shorter. (And smaller generally, with less branching and therefore less replay value, which would normally be a bad thing but isn't when you're using something as horrible as Metal Slug 3 for your design foundation.)" He theorizes that MS4 was the most criticized in the series because "when players buy something that got good reviews but turns out to be a bad game, they take their frustrations out on the next one in the series - but we don't really have the room to go into it." Oh yeah, sure, that must be why the game was inferior --I'm so happy he spent space in the brief section to outline his personal theories rather than spend time focusing on how the state of SNK/Playmore caused the rush job. He then laments the lack of extras in the ports, since those are likely the only versions he was playing.
    • Metal Slug 5 gets a half-paragraph, stating that it was better and pointedly celebrating that "most importantly of all it's completely zombie free! Yay!" At this point in the article I felt like I was reading a fan review in GameFAQs --though I assume he wasn't using ROMs on his PC.
    • Just to wrap up his opinions on the main series: Metal Slug 6 is a "wholly wretched experience" because its difficult. I haven't had much experience with it, so I'll let you be the judge. Metal Slug 7 is the "finest game in the history of the series" He goes on to declare: "After a decade of disappointments, it's almost as much of a breath of fresh air the first game was all those years ago."
    • Back to a more general comment: The author didn't even know what to call himself, he actually refers to himself as a "reporter" a few times, which is not the role he was fulfilling in writing a feature piece on a video game series --he was closer to a journalist, of which reporters are a subset, but even then he shows complete bias in his style which negates a fundamental point of journalism. While its tempting to throw out the words "amateur" or "hack", I'd settle with "someone who was too busy to do a good job, and instead did a rush job and assumed no one would notice".

    I know the Editors of Retro Gamer sometimes read this site, and they've been very nice to us --even apologetic for that rather one-sided fiasco in the Last Hope article and the (now former) "journalist" who came here looking for only one opinion (his). They've mentioned this site more than once, and profiled the owner, so lets be clear that this isn't meant to target the magazine which I, by-and-large, enjoy. However, when I read something so unpolished, so rushed, so incompletely researched --titled "The Definitive", no less-- its insulting to fans of this series and this system. Only recently have "game journalists" started to get any serious cred in journalism, but then something like comes along and makes the rest look bad. Since this mag costs $12 in the States, if you're thinking about buying this issue for the feature, I'd say give it a pass.

    So yeah, /review.
    I remember when I used to pick these up from the airforce BX back when they carried them. I always loved how they came with a Cd of extras. But I stopped picking up any since they stopped carrying them. I'll be sure not to pick up this one if I ever see it.

  23. #98
    "Just walk away. Give me the pump...the oil...the gasoline and the whole compound and I'll spare your lives. Just walk away..." Ancient Flounder's Avatar
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    Hot damn, I go to bed and all this happens? This thread delivers. The fun part is the fact that Stu keeps going on like a rabid child thinking he is right and all others are just dumps from a cow's ass, with the intelligence to match.

    Nah, sorry, but I've been writing for years and I'll say this much: objectivity is key when writing a piece that is to be professionally published and released to a large audience. If you want to be loud, smarmy and generally oblivious to the topic you are covering (one week of playing the series isn't very long for really doing your research), you should keep it to the website where you charge people to read your shit. What a crock that is.

    20 years experience in gaming journalism doesn't mean squat if you are terrible at it. You could have 20 years experience in hooking on the streets, but if you are a bad lay, then it means jack-shit. And for a 'professional', you have an awful lot of time on your hands to argue point/counterpoint. Face it: you're a hack. And if Retro Gamer thinks you are worthy of publishing, then they are just as unworthy of a fan-base.

    And your video pinball table sucks balls. Fuck the Sex Pistols.

  24. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by RevStu View Post
    He isn't responsible for me beyond what I write in the pages of the magazine, and has no control or influence whatsoever over it, and to claim or act otherwise is monstrously stupid.
    Wow. If that's your attitude, it's no wonder that you don't get it. Consider yourself fortunate that your job places absolutely no pressure on you to conduct yourself in a professional manner.

    Have fun, manchild.

    Quote Originally Posted by AncientFlounder View Post
    And for a 'professional', you have an awful lot of time on your hands to argue point/counterpoint.
    He's not doing that. He's editing out everything he doesn't want to address.
    Last edited by Deuce; 04-30-2009 at 03:10 PM.
    Indifference has led to boredom.

  25. #100
    Los3r

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Your mum

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
    Wow. If that's your attitude, it's no wonder that you don't get it. Consider yourself fortunate that your job places absolutely no pressure on you to conduct yourself in what I arbitrarily decide is a "professional" manner, an opinion I will continue to present as a fact.
    I do. If you blame anyone else for anything I say, you're the fuckwit, and you can try to bluster your way out of that as much as you want without it changing.

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