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How to Hate RPG Land Like a Pro

By Heath | December 28, 2009 at 11:54 am

In the wake of our Final Fantasy XIII review has come a little bit of love and a whole lotta hate. Hate is fine; nothing wrong with that. But when hating, please make sure it’s for the right reasons. We see a lot of people hating for completely nonsensical reasons, so here is how to properly hate on RPG Land.

Ignorant hate tactic #1: comparing a review to other reviews.
This is silly for a number of reasons, but chief among them would be that so often, a reader will attempt to justify his/her anger at a review by comparing it to another reivew written by…a different writer. A common comparison is of Janelle’s Final Fantasy XIII review to Joseph’s Star Ocean: The Last Hope review. This is somehow used as leverage to mark both as irrelevant. Janelle has never played Star Ocean IV and Joseph has never played Final Fantasy XIII, to say nothing of the fact that they…have never met each other and (from what we can tell in online communication) have have varying tastes in games. Who knows? Perhaps Joseph would give Final Fantasy XIII a Legendary score? Maybe Janelle, if she played Star Ocean IV, would only mark it as “Below Average?”
-How to hate properly-
If you’re gonna make comparisons to Janelle’s Final Fantasy XIII review, a review by Joseph is the wrong one to pick. Compare apples to apples, and Janelle to Janelle. We got nasty forum remarks and emails about her Final Fantasy Tactics A2 review, for example. Oh no! She marked it as “Average!” She’s just a Final Fantasy hater! What a harsh old biddy! See, that wasn’t hard.

Ignorant hate tactic #2: Focusing on numbers.
Some people stare and stare at those numbers till it’s the only thing they remember. The numbers are there mostly for aggregators, where no readers give a rip about a review if it doesn’t have a number to go with it. We have big, bold, gigantic words. As a joke, they’re where numbers used to be so that people would focus more on the meaning than the number. We refuse to defy math by making 7 or 7.5/10 the “Average,” so we kept the 5, but switch to words. We figured “Very Good” (or “Sehr gut” as I just learned from our readers in Germany) would be a lot easier to interpret. But we are wrong and we are stubborn bastards; hate for that.
-How to hate properly-
Don’t hate the number, hate the words they represent. Don’t hate for giving FFXIII a “7,” hate RPG Land for labeling it “Very Good.” Here, I’ll give you an example of how to do this right. “Those mother #######, who do they think they are? This game will redeem the Final Fantasy franchise and Janelle has the audacity to label it ‘Very Good?’ Screw this place. ‘Very Good?’ I mean really, why not just give us all the finger cause there’s no difference.”

Ignorant hate tactic #3: Thinking there’s a ranking system.
This is kind of a combination of numbers 1 and 2 above. Many people, in their fits of rage, will look up review scores for other Final Fantasy games. Janelle didn’t make a single comparison in her much-debated FFXIII review, and in general, the numbers are not intended to be compared to each other for a number of reasons. The above-mentioned different reviewers is one, the games being on different systems is another, and numbers containing far less meaning than the text of a review being yet another.

For some reason, people are assuming that everyone at RPG Land ranks Final Fantasy XII as vastly superior to XIII because of Heath’s “Excellent” mark in the XII review compared to Janelle’s “Very Good” handed to XIII. Who knows what I (Heath) will give Final Fantasy XIII when I eventually play it? Crap, dude, I just wrote an editorial defending XIII from early judgement. I might dislike it and slap it with a “Bad” or I might enjoy it like Janelle did and rate it “Very Good.” (Tell you one thing, I’ve played Final Fantasy XII International: Zodiac Job System — though not to completion, so there’s no review yet — and it’s decidedly better than the original version of XII. I will have to one day go back and rewrite parts of my Final Fantasy XII review. Not completely, but some of its flaws have become more glaring upon paying Zodiac Job System, which dearly needed a stateside release.)

-How to hate properly-
Turns out, almost everyone ranked FFXII pretty high, actually. We shouldn’t compare numbers, but if that’s the practice, we ought to do it for everyone. IGN put it at a 9.5/10, equal to FFX and FFVII; RPGFan gave it a 97%; Gamespot hit it with a 9/10; 1Up graded it an A; EGM dished out three reviews of 8.5, 9, and 9.5/10. Famitsu gave XII the fabled 40/40, whereas FFXIII was marked lower, at 39/40. So if we’re gonna make the mistake of comparing numbers, it turns out that pretty much everyone is on the shizlist. Is RPG Land’s review bad? Yeah, probably; most of them are awful. It deserves to be made fun of. But as such, let us not forget that RPG Land was definitely not alone in making love to FFXII. Hate ’em, but stay smart and hate ’em all.

Ignorant hate tactic #4: Factually incorrect slams.
Someone — I think it was at VGChartz, but I’ve since closed the Firefox tab and can’t confirm this — said that we gave Eternal Sonata a high ranking. No one at RPG Land has reviewed Eternal Sonata.
-How to hate properly-
Pick a game that you find bad, that someone actually did play and actually did review highly. Joseph’s Star Ocean IV review and my FFXII review seem popular targets. We are definitely douchebags and definitely deserve to be made fun of for enjoying those games, but for our own separate reasons. So make sure you don’t lump those together with Janelle’s calling FFXIII “Very Good,” because then you are failing to keep it real (See pont #1).

Ignorant hate tactic #5: Thinking the reviewer is trying to pursuade you.

In a podcast, I said of review writing, “A common mistake readers make is that they think the reviewer is trying to make them agree. …My goal, most times, is to (express my evaluation and) try and help the reader figure out if it’s a game they might be interested in at all. …There are games I’d give a 9 that I wouldn’t blindly recommend to people; conversely, there are games I would give a 4, that I know some people are gonna love.” Janelle added, “The numbers don’t perfectly indicate my enjoyment of a game.” And really, they can’t, especially if you’re trying to balance objectivity and subjectivity. If you’re just doing it up on a blog, yeah, let the 10/10 fly for every game you like, but for mass media, it just doesn’t work that way.

-How to hate properly-
The reviewer is probably not trying to persuade you, but I’ll bet that son of a bitch thinks he’s better than you. Look at him, sitting there on his couch with his laptop as he writes his opinions of video games, clearly thinking he’s sooOOoo awesome when he wraps up in a blanket because he’s cold but doesn’t wanna turn the heat up because his electric bill was too high last month. Who does this toolshack think he is? Hate that jerk for being a self-righteous asshat.

So there. There are lots of reasons to hate any given website, RPG Land definitely being among them. It’s perhaps the worst website on the internet. But when you get your Sword of Internet Justice and boldly type your rant about it, you gotta make sure you’re doing it right. Stick to those guidelines and you can hate like a pro.

Topics: Editorials, Site News