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The Young Turks Must Be Stopped!
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on March 10, 2010   |   Episode 38 (Show Archive)  

   
But so what, maybe the only dragons he sees are on the front of romance novels or something. Who cares? I'm sure this is the last stupid off-the-cuff opinion he'll throw out there. I mean, you put a guy on the air for three hours a day and he's bound to say something stupid once and awhile. On second thought, he also had this to say about watching somebody play BioShock 2 ...


CENK: "There's some elements to this that I'm a little uncomfortable with. First of all, the character's name is Big Daddy. Second of all, it keeps ripping off little girl's heads. Is anybody

It's probably not worth explaining that these little sisters aren't actually little girls at all!
else getting spooked out or am I being [unintelligible]. [...] No no no, I'm [gavel sounds] there's something wrong with this game, the guy that came up with this game, with Big Daddy and the carrying around the little girls and ripping their heads off, no, it's a little too much. It's a little over the top."
Alright, yes, you're playing the first Big Daddy. However, I don't believe enough of the game's back story was explained before Cenk came down with his uninformed decision. The information that isn't talked about in this segment is all of the story elements from the first game, which sets up the plot of the sequel. The idea was never about "ripping off little girl's heads," as Cenk would like to believe. That may have been a choice, but it certainly wasn't the only choice. The Big Daddy's protected these little sisters, and you were the one that could choose life or death. If you chose death then you are a cold hearted human being.


No matter if it's a game like BioShock or a movie like Natural Born Killers, sometimes you have to do more than read the back of the box!
And this is why Cenk shouldn't be laying down opinions about games he has never played. This isn't the kind of thing he would do in a movie review. You wouldn't hear Roger Ebert criticize a movie based solely on one or two out of context scenes. If the only scene you saw in Fargo was the bloody wood chipper, you might think it's as violent as Rambo. Patrick Bateman gets away with all sorts of depravity in American Psycho, yet it was a critic darling. And let's not even get started on Natural Born Killers, Gladiator, Saving Private Ryan, Pulp Fiction and dozens of other well-received movies with shocking content. The point is, film critics (including Cenk, who recently loved the violence in Brooklyn's Finest) wouldn't judge an entire film on just one or two outrageous shots. There's a double standard here that drives me up the wall.

The thing is, Cenk knows a thing or two about reviewing movies. He's not going to ask ridiculously basic questions in the middle of reviewing Alice in Wonderland. He's going to bring informed opinions and worthwhile arguments. He comes prepared and knows what he's talking about. He's a pro. There's no way he would ever go into a crazy rant against Johnny Depp or Tim Burton, he's the kind of guy who brings real facts to the table.



CENK: "I came into this movie thinking that I was going to despise it. Okay, I don't like Tim Burton movies. Okay. I don't know, maybe as a critic I'm supposed to say "well, within the genre"

What we have here is Johnny Depp overshadowing Alice in her own movie!
or whatever. I don't care, I don't like it. Every one of them looks the same to me. And Johnny Depp acts exactly the same. He's a great actor, but not in Tim Burton movies. You can take like eight different Tim Burton movies that Johnny Depp's in and just take Johnny Depp's character and put him in the other movies and it will work just fine. Because he acts like the crazy guy with the white face. Okay."
So let me get this straight, Johnny Depp always plays the same role in Tim Burton movies? That can't be right, can it? He and I must be watching different movies, because I could have sworn that there was a huge difference between his Ed Wood character and this Mad Hatter he's playing in Alice in Wonderland. Or what about his quiet innocence in Edward Scissorhands

Sure, Cenk, Johnny Depp plays Ed Wood EXACTLY the same as he played the Mad Hatter! You keep telling yourself that, Hoss!
versus his take on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, where he basically channels Michael Jackson. These roles are all so varied and different, they range from hyperactive to subdued. Johnny Depp has incredible range as an actor ... even when he's in a Tim Burton movie. You're just wrong about this one, Cenk.

The good news is that Cenk is never alone when he's reviewing movies. When Cenk makes crazy comments like the one above, the two professional movie critics smack him back into line. Each week Ben Mankiewicz (former host of At the Movies and host at Turner Movie Classics) and Matt Atchity (of Rotten Tomatoes fame) give the professional opinion, all while Cenk sits there making crazy comments. It's not a perfect system, but it works for movies.

Unfortunately, this isn't the way they handle video games. Instead of bringing somebody from GameSpot or IGN on, Cenk gets his buddy Wes Clarke to talk about games. Wes seems to be a great guy, but there are a lot of things he's not open to. Unfortunately one of those things is video game stories.



WES: "And I'd like to say something for all the hate that was on last week about not liking stories, you know what, if I want a story I'll go see a movie or read a book. I know everybody is bitter and pissed off and yeah, Uncharted had a great story and it really helped the game. But for most

It sounds like Wes Jr. has played a few too many Dragon Quest games!
video games, it's like, let me tell you what the story is: You wake up, you have a nebulous past, like maybe you have amnesia. There's a king, a general or a fucking wizard, who is going to send you on a mission that's going to save the world and the universe and your kingdom or whatever else. You have to go to five separate towns. One of them is in someplace with snow, one place is desert, one place is jungle, you know, the whole gamut, each one you have to find a particular person and kiss their ass or prove something. And at the end you got all your power ups and the magic sword or the great gun, you find out the guy that sent you on all these missions TRICKED you and is really your enemy."
Holy bitter gaming experience, Batman. I hope Wes doesn't really look at video games in such a narrow, cynical way. I would hope that he could see past a few generic titles and maybe play games with fresh narratives. What's his take on

Somebody needs to give Wes a copy of Heavy Rain (not pictured)!
Heavy Rain or Braid or ICO or Grand Theft Auto IV? What he just explained sounds a lot like a role-playing game in 1995, not the video games of today. Did he miss Brutal Legend and Call of Duty? Somebody needs to give him a fake plastic guitar, stat!

The sad truth is, Wes comes off as being a little bitter. He's reviewing games, something that is supposed to be fun. Where is this anger boiling up from? So what if people dissed you on the YouTube message board, that thing is a cesspool of hate, bigotry and unnecessary advertising. If you don't like a game's story, then so be it. But this kind of rant suggests that maybe you aren't that open to a lot of video games. And, from one game critic to another, it's kind of important that you at least appear open minded.

It's also worth mentioning that Wes, the video game expert, only owns a PlayStation 3. In the past he talked about how he used to own an Xbox 360, but it died and he never looked back. What about his PC gaming habits, you ask? Well, maybe it's better if we let him tell you why he doesn't use his PC to play games.



WES: "First I guess I should say something to all game boy, you know, fans out there and the gamers that write in all the nasty stuff cuz Ana doesn't know everything. We're not "real"

Now THIS is a real Game Boy fanboy!
gamers. I don't have a PC. It's like, "yeah, I don't have a PC, I have a PS3. Y'know why I don't have a PC? Because if I had a PC to play video games, I wouldn't have a job to support my family. Because I would be playing that fucker non-stop."
Okay, before we dig into the meat of this quote, I just have to state the obvious: How many, you know, "Game Boy fans" are there? The system is 21 years old, I'm not so sure people care about Nintendo's black and green handheld anymore. Surely the people writing in are fans of other handhelds, maybe the Nintendo DS or the PSP. I'm just saying.


Warning: Joking about video game addiction is not funny!
Beyond calling out the "Game Boy fans," Wes also gets angry at even more hateful comments. He explains that he doesn't have a PC because if he did have a PC he would play it too much. It would be so tempting and so much fun that he wouldn't be able to contain himself. He would literally quit his job, divorce his wife and kick his kids to the curb, because PC gaming is so much fun. Apparently the PlayStation 3 is not as much fun as the PC, because he's clearly able to work and support his family.

Did you notice how he suggests that people are complaining about Ana not knowing everything? Wes clearly misunderstands the problems. Nobody cares that Ana doesn't know about games, at least she's trying. The problem with these segments is that it often appears that there are three uninformed people talking about a subject that many people in your audience love. I love video games in the same sort of way that Ben Mankiewicz loves movies. So when I hear three people have a less than coherent conversation about something I love, it makes me want to scream at my computer and rip my hair out. And what do you say to that, Wes?



WES: "I got to say, gotta say also, there were a lot of people who were going "dude, you guys aren't real gamers, you don't uhhhh." Y'know, I guess

Everytime Cenk opens his mouth he depresses a young Emo kid!
I'm included in that, too. All I have to say to the fan boys out there that think I'm not a real gamer just because I'm not using a PC is, dude I was playing video games when your mother was sucking cock in high school. Okay? So, I'm a gamer. Deal with it."
Okay, first of all, you aren't that much older than me, Wes. So let's get down off your pedistal and actually address the real problem. Nobody is saying you aren't a real gamer, I fully believe that you play and love video games. In fact, I largely agree with your four reviews. They may not be articulate or even coherent,

I don't care if Ana doesn't know the difference between Dead Rising and Resident Evil, I just want a video game review that doesn't make me cringe!
but I do agree with you for the most part. But dude, seriously, you are not the right person to be reviewing video games. Even if you are a gamer, you have two people asking basic questions and bringing the whole segment down.

Imagine for a minute if the movie reviews were set up like this. Where there was one guy who watches a few movies in his spare time and a couple of uninformed goofballs that time traveled from the year 1800. While the guy tried to talk about how amazing The Hurt Locker is, he's being bombarded with questions like, "what this bomb squad you speak of?" and "when say movie, what exactly does that mean?"

Nobody would want to listen to that kind of show. Actually, I would probably tune in if there if the guest critics actually time traveled. But take the fun sci-fi cliche out of the mix and all you have is three morons talking about something they know nothing about. I love you guys, but nobody at The Young Turks knows enough to successfully talk about video games. You just don't. Wes tries, but he's no good at it. He's angry, inarticulate and only playing a limited amount of games that appeal to him. It's time to cut your losses and use this time to give us something more entertaining. Anything is better than listening to The Young Turks talk about video games.
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