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On Running Feuds
How To Translate a Fake Review
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on March 05, 2008   |   Episode 143 (Show Archive)  

   

No, I will not flip for Johnathan Rhys Meyers ... he's just not my type!
Maxim magazine is known for a lot of things, like women in skimpy clothing, brain dead articles and extremely low standards. But thanks to a recent scandal, Maxim magazine will also be known as the magazine that will print any review ... regardless of whether they've tested the product or not. Last week fans of the Black Crowes were up in arms when Maxim magazine decided to run a negative review about their favorite band. But what turns this story from just being another chronicle in the woes of fanboys is the mystery about how Maxim was able to review a compact disc that hadn't been released or sent to the press. In a surprise move, Maxim magazine owned up to their fraudulent review and explained that they were basing the score on the Crowes previous work.

At first I laughed at this story, it's always nice to see shady editorial decisions uncovered and publicized. But as I sat here debating the two arguments, I realized that pop-culture magazines have been doing this with games for years. In fact, we did a story calling out Blender magazine 73 On Running Feuds ago, back in July of 2005 (see: Putting Your Trust in the Blender). What's more, just a couple of weeks ago I brought this subject up again when talking about Marc Ecko's atrocious

I get a contact high just from looking at these press photos of the Black Crowes!
rag, Complex magazine (see: Soulcalibur Legends' Complex Problem). It's painfully clear that this phony game review trend must be stopped; so how do we stop an entire generation of journalists that are reviewing games that they haven't played and have no interest in playing?

Annoyed and frustrated by this trend of fake game reviews, Defunct Games is proud to introduce our newest innovation. Over the past few weeks we have been burning the midnight oil to create a piece of software that will translate these fake reviews and accurately tell us what the author was actually trying to say. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you our C.A.R.T. (Complex Artificial Review Translator) technology, a fast moving translation program that doesn't have any noticeable load times. Below you will find five of our favorite recent game reviews from Complex magazine, each hailing from one of the two most recent issues. Keep in mind while reading this helpful guide that the publish date is not the day the author reviewed the game, instead there is a long lead time that could be as much as a month or more. So scroll down and check out our first five B.S. reviews from Complex magazine, I'm sure you'll agree that our C.A.R.T. technology was worth the time and money.

Too Human
The Release Date: As yet to be determined, however the general consensus seems to be that Too Human won't ship before July 2008.

Article Publish Date: December 5, 2007

What Complex Said: "The first of a planned trilogy, this action role-player has you questing like a knight of the round table, but fighting like one from Star Wars' old Republic. There's a deep story based on Norse mythology, but the real fun is in the hacking and shooting evil cyborgs with high-tech weaponry."

The C.A.R.T. Translation: "Despite the big internet brouhaha, we didn't actually know about all of the controversies surrounding this troubled project. We remember reading Shane Bettenhausen's cover story in Electronic Gaming Monthly and figured that the game would be coming out in early 2008. How were we supposed to know that Silicon Knights was going to take longer than expected to finish this game? Thankfully we were able to recycle all of the bullet points found in that EGM arcade from almost two years ago. With information about the back story and Norse mythology I'm sure most people will accept that we played the game. Sure the game probably won't come out until almost a year after this review was written, but we feel our readers are too stupid to put two and two together."

Burnout Paradise
The Release Date: January 22, 2008

Article Publish Date: December 5, 2007

What Complex Said: "True-to-life driving sims are cool, but we're partial to the Burnout series, which specializes in epic, movie-like crashes. The only knock? Driving around searching for races in the big, open world is more tedious than the structured approach of earlier incarnations."

The C.A.R.T. Translation: "Had we actually played the full game we would have realized that there is a new event on every intersection, so the idea that we're searching for races in a big, open world is patently ridiculous. What's more, if we had more room we would have let you that we didn't actually play the full game, instead we played the demo ... which only had two different levels to race and twenty lame online events. Like everybody else, it was the demo that turned us off of this game. Our only mistake is that by the time the issue shipped everybody knew how stupid we were for only reviewing the demo (and not telling anybody about it)."

God of War: Chains of Olympus
The Release Date: March 4, 2008

Article Publish Date: February 10, 2008

What Complex Said: "Set during the 10 years Kratos worked for the Gods, this prequel has him using swords and sorcery to cut a button-mashed path through Hades, Attica and a phalanx of Persian soldiers. Give the god a raise."

The C.A.R.T. Translation: "Yes, yes, we know, Sony has been saying that this is a prequel for months now. This is clearly not new information, but we're going to report it as new because we figure that our readers really don't care for video games. They are far more interested in picking up strippers, driving expensive cars, wearing over-sized clothing, buying $500 shoes, and flipping their magazines over for no apparent reason. Okay, you got me, we don't actually think our readers are busy doing that ... those are just the things they WANT to be doing. We just put this video game section in the magazine so that companies like Sony and Namco Bandai will continue to give us money to advertise."

Turning Point
The Release Date: February 26, 2008

Article Publish Date: December 5, 2007

What Complex Said: "In this ultimate "what if" scenario, the U.S. stays out of World War II until the Nazis launch a devastating sneak attack on NYC in 1953. The twist is, instead of an anonymous Army grunt, you play a wrench-swinging construction worker who's as good at climbing things as he is at shooting sour Krauts."

The C.A.R.T. Translation: "Although we didn't play this upcoming first-person shooter, we did have this really interesting story about "what if" history scenarios. You can't see it here, but the game review page also featured a funny side panel that looked at a few of the most outrageous "what if" scenarios. Trust us, they are really funny and you should completely ignore the review (which we clearly made up) and focus all of your attention on the side panel. In fact, ignore the review completely; because the truth is that we're going to give any first-person shooter with a revisionist history slant a good score ... no matter how bad the game turns out to be. And did I mention that we have a funny side panel? Yeah, you really should read that instead of this crummy review."

Mercenaries 2: World in Flames
The Release Date: Electronic Arts recently pushed Mercenaries 2 back to August 2008, but I wouldn't be surprised if the game was delayed even further than that.

Article Publish Date: February 10, 2008

What Complex Said: "As a soldier of fortune taking a working vacation in Venezuela, you will blow up everything in sight, jack helicopters, recruit fellow miscreants (both in-game and in online co-op), and cause general mayhem in an attempt to overthrow the country's corrupt government. Trust us; you'll enjoy your stay."

The C.A.R.T. Translation: "We absolutely loved the original game; it was like a big destructible version of Grand Theft Auto. Despite the fact that we haven't actually played this game, we've seen screenshots and like the idea that it's going to be exactly the same ... only this time with more crazy explosions and better graphics. It's not our fault that the still images don't convey the frame rate issues and the other problems that have kept this game from being released. But really, how were we supposed to know that for our review? We're also guessing that you don't know Venezuela, Hugo Chavez or socialism in general. Don't feel bad, we didn't actually know that Venezuela was a country until our TV accidentally got stuck on CNN."
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