If you see him at GDC, I think you have to challenge him to a duel now.
Last edited by TomChick; 11-25-2006 at 12:06 AM.
If you see him at GDC, I think you have to challenge him to a duel now.
A Uwe Boll-esque boxing match is in order.
Nah. Living well's the best revenge. Tom should forget that mope and go make-out with an actress.
I would actually be honored to get my ass kicked by Bruce Shelley.
Honestly, while I don't think it's entirely apt, I can see Bruce's argument of a "shallow" review. It's a poor choice of words, but I've seen plenty of reviews get stuck on a list of problems and grievances and fail to paint the whole picture of what the game is. It would be the kind of review that said RoN was just another AoE clone or that NWN2 was too tied up in D&D. They have legitimate points but miss a lot of what makes a title unique and different from the norm. That said I'm not sure what extra level of broadness Mr. Shelley was trying to refer to in AoE3.
AoE3 killed a good part of the AoE/AoM Multiplayer Community with the muppet card system. Oh sorry, didnt killed it, just made it "shallow"! Maybe ES should´ve putten more effort in it, before switching a good part of the staff to console RTS.
I love really AoE 3 and all, but for once, just once, I'd like to see Bruce Shelley actually respond to frequent complaints. I'm really tired of his denial and evasiveness. Maybe just a little insight into why Ensemble didn't give us more hotkeys, especially in such a hardcore RTS. Or maybe he could tell us why it's ok to leave critical info like gather rates out of the interface - something more than "because our fan community always collects this info and posts it on the web." Bruce, it's not 1999 anymore. There are other interface issues that have gone unacknowledged as well, save for a couple of Sandy Peterson forum posts that, as I recall, amount to nothing more than "what issues?"
Developer can't acknowledge problems, much less learn from them. What can the future hold for someone like this?
More of the Same.Originally Posted by Luke Malish
I've got to admit, Tom, this seems like a perfectly good turn of the tables, and now it seems to be your turn to be thinskinned and defensive. He's absolutely right about reviews; they are neither right nor wrong, they are either well considered or shallow; banal or insightful. The actual time spent playing and reviewing the game is secondary because his criticism is about your powers of judgment, not about the hastiness of the review. You can give a typical IGN/Gamespot reviewer a full year to review a game and their reviews will never grow deeper or more thoughtful because for the most part the typical IGN/Gamespot reviewer is not particularly literate, well educated, circumspect, or incisive. No amount of extra time will ever help Joel Siegel or Michael Medved write an interesting film review.
So while I have no idea whether his charge of "shallowness" is accurate or not, it seems to me a perfectly valid criticism of criticism itself and not insulting or churlish to say so judging by the quote you linked to. I confess to taking a little bit of malicious glee in seeing a critic become defensive at being criticized, even when it's one of our best critics writing today. And, hey, it could be worse - he was dismissive of something you spent three weeks on; he could've been dismissive of something you spent 2 years and several million dollars to develop. ;-)
Shelley claims my review was "shallow", presumably because I didn't have enough time to give it a more correct "deep" review. I don't see how refuting that by pointing out the facts is being thinskinned. What's more, I thought his comment was a bit weird considering how Shelley has singled out and mischaracterized this review before.
Look, I'm perfectly willing to discuss my reviews, contentiously or otherwise. I always have been. In fact, shortly after the Age III review came out, I provided Ensemble via their PR company lots of additional details and feedback about my problems with the game. Maybe Shelley didn't get any of this, but I think it's pretty obvious that of all the charges you could level at me, being only superficially acquainted with Age III isn't one of them.
What's more, my opinion of the game hasn't changed over time, as Shelley suggests. I still lurv/hate it (although I lean more towards the lurv after the expansion pack).
Well, yeah, but unlike Shelley, I'm not making millions off my effort. You'd think the dude could suck it up and deal with some guy kvetching about a lack of hotkeys and the overbearing economic micro. :)Originally Posted by Jim Preston
I'm just bummed that our apparently equally "shallow" 3/5 review gets no hate.
Fuck Bruce Geryk.
I would love to see that. After playing both the expansion and vanilla version I still don't like the game as much as Aom. What annoyed me about the interview is that the stuff that he wanted in the game, flanking that works, and actual formations could have been worked into the expansion. Aoe3 really falls into that build order mentality for me. The only part that I love is the deck system, but I would have like to have seen more card available at the start.Originally Posted by Scry
Theoretical question. You're Bruce Shelly. A gaming magazine that gave your game what you personally consider a slightly unkind review asks you whether or not the review was harsh.
What would your answer be, honestly? How would you phrase it?
To me, seems to have put it as politically and politely anyone could have put it, while still disagreeing, other than to say "no comment".
"While I respect his opinion, I disagree with many of the points raised in the review. For example..."Originally Posted by ElGuapo
Unless he wasn't ready for the question? I'm sure he read the review, but I doubt he memorized it unless he's totally neurotic. If I were him, and somebody asked me a question about a review of which I only remember the gist, I'd probably toss out an answer along those lines.Originally Posted by steve
Not that I'm assuming this was the case, but I myself am familiar with being caught off guard during interviews (I got surprise-interviewed on NPR once - long story).
It's possible for them to brief him on that: "Hey, we're going to ask you about our review, so if you want to look it up..."Originally Posted by Cosmic Hippo
True. I'd hope that they did, but did they?
"You don't get it maaaan. It's so derivative and generic, that it's deep. We're on the other side of the glass here maaaan! Your mind can't handle the richness of the picture!"
Then he could have just left it at, "While I respect his opinion, I disagree with his view of the game, and so do the millions that bought it."Originally Posted by Cosmic Hippo
I don't know if that would have been better. Anyway, I was just playing devil's advocate anyway. Unless Tom can enlighten me, I don't know how the review process works, so I wanted to raise the point.Originally Posted by steve
I really hate managing peons. Econ is fine. But the actual act of managing gatherers is just really irritating right now. If AoEIII stole RoN's automated pesant idea, I might be playing it way more than I am now.
This raises a valid point (not about intercourse and Mr. Geryk, that's all Steve) in that many of the reviews I saw in various places for the game when it was released agreed that it had great design but flawed implementation, and gave it roughly 3/5, 7/10, etc.. Most of those same outlets have loved the expansion, and rave about how it improves gameplay and fixes some of the issues with the original.Originally Posted by steve
So Shelly's ticked that people didn't fall down on the floor quaking and speaking in tongues because AOE3 was the best game EVAH! Instead of taking the high road and saying "We had a couple of issues in the initial product that our players brought to the forefront, so we've tried to address those in the expansion when possible and have gotten positive response from players overall" he makes a crack about the reviewer. Who's shallow now?
Hint - it's still Tom, but he's an actor, so we expect that.
This was exactly my own reaction upon reading Chick's response to Bruce Shelley.Originally Posted by Jim Preston
You can protest all you want, Tom, but your piece comes across as overly defensive and, well, petty. I'll grant you that Shelley, in his review of your review, doesn't exactly spell out what his specific problems were with it, but he does say clearly that "a reviewer can only see so much of a big game and we think some strong points were not given their due." There's nothing inherently incompatible between that and his statement that most if not all of your criticisms of Age III were valid. He simply thinks--perhaps erroneously--that you didn't have time to soak up all of the bigger picture, or maybe missed some deeper strategies or something that only become apparent after a significant amount of playtime.
Hell, it may even be possible that you're just plain too dumb and can't see (and never will) the greatness of whatever it is Shelley is talking about. I'm not saying that's the case, but it's surely a possibility. It'd be interesting to know exactly what Shelley is referring to.
Shelley, at least in the paragraph quoted, didn't "suggest ulterior motives," nor did he "suppose strange biases" or "shift the discussion to one of scores." So what's your point?Originally Posted by TomChick
I don't understand why someone would even ask this question, to be honest.
"So you hated our review, eh? Still hate it?"
It may have. When I was over there for the CGM article, Bruce kept talking about CGW and never mentioned CGM (he didn't mention any review, though, except fot the CGW review of AoM and how it mentioned that the RTS genre was dead). I couldn't find a diplomatic way to find out for sure if he knew I wasn't doing the article for them, but I strongly suspect he thought I was. I don't know, maybe he's just a big fan of CGW.Originally Posted by steve
So there's a chance that this time around he thought the CGW guy was from CGM.
I'm just sayin': don't lose hope.
I say we start a petition to ban Shelley from the boards.
Fixed.Originally Posted by Dirt
I think Tom has every right to respond to what Shelley says. When He says..He is putting words in Toms mouth and Tom should speak up and let people know weather that is the case or not.After further experience, I believe your reviewer has improved his opinion of Age III substantially and this is good to hear.
Which is exactly what Tom did. So where is the problem with that?What’s more, I continue to play Age III and contrary to Mr. Shelley’s belief, my opinion hasn’t "improved". I’ve liked the game all along, and I’ve had reservations about it all along. I still think it’s a messy design with a bad interface, but a really compelling home city concept and a great graphics engine.