Gamespot released a bomb this past week of proportions that can be labeled as nothing short of "megaton" The long awaited Legend of Zelda: The Twilight Princess was rated an 8.8 by the website. The aftermath resulted in an orgy of fanboy outcry attacking not just the website that endorses the review but the man who wrote it as well. On the other end of the spectrum we have the not often talked about anti-fanboys, the white knights of the internet message boards. Though rarely analyzed as the trolls they truly are, they've taken this occasion to further reinforce how inferior and childish the Nintendo fanboy is to them.
There have been at least two editorials(one by Vladimir Cole from Joystiq...and the other one linked by Cole somewhere on Joystiq, heh) that I know of floating around the i'tubes decrying the Nintendo fanbase and their actions and temperament. While I agree this whole incident has been truly pathetic to bear witness, the bulk of people's arguments against the NDF(the Nintendo Defense Force for those not in the know) are flawed at best and serve only to show the existence of the "hater" within these detractors.
"It's just an opinion." Here's just an opinion: I don't really like Half-Life and its sequel. From what I've stomached enough to play I would give the game a 7 at best...do your hear that? No? Exactly. The internet is still working because no one gives a toss what I believe. No one knows me or this blog and we do not have a reputation in any sense of the word. Gamespot, on the hand, is a pretty big website. They have intelligent writing, get great exclusives on the industry and have generally been a great resource for gamers for well over a decade. Gamespot's opinion matters more than mine and more than yours.
"8.8 is a great score, get over it." 8.8 is a great score for most games. Zelda is not "most games." Halo is not most games. Half-life is not most games. You think if either of these franchises had their next iteration rated an "8.8" that the same people disgusted by the so called zealotry of the Nintendo fanbase wouldn't turn right around and throw a hissy fit? These games are recognized by fans, journalists, and the industry as the very best this hobby has to offer. 8.8 is great but it's not a score that games of this caliber are expected. We all understand that these games exist on a different realm from the normal and even the very good games. But when an event like this happens the haters enjoy validating their own bias and procceed to forget the history and place that a Zelda game deserves. This isn't to say that Zelda and GTA and all these games deserve instant 10s upon release but rather to emphasize why a fan is likely to be distraught by seeing such a score. It is the duty of Gamespot to give is their honest opinion, and they did. Had all the big reviews rated Zelda an "8.8" or somewhere in that region then they would be validated but as it stands, Gamespot has given far and away the lowest review. Anyway, this is getting too deep into the actual argument and specifics with the review so we'll leave it here.
"Scores don't matter." Yes they do. I'm not about to let this score decide whether or not I purchase TP but it is absolutely foolish to begin suggesting that review scores bear no significance. Games like any other art form are subjective and open to interpretation; that doesn't mean that gamers don't long for some manner of objectivity, some way of solidifying our opinions and beliefs by relaying it to the experts. Game Rankings and Rotten Tomatoes: two examples of how inherently interpretive mediums have borne a system for finding some manner of order in a sea of subjective opinions. Not to mention that gaming in particular loves to deal in fanboyism and online pissing contests. Scores are the beer that supply the drunken foolishness that is an internet gaming message board. Scores matter.
Just a few things to consider. The amount of hypocrisy that has resulted from the result of the 8.8 is nothing new. I do believe there is a basis for criticizing the Nintendo fans for their behavior but most have not intelligently pursued that avenue. At the same time I feel the outcry to the 8.8 has some merit to it as well. Time will quickly let us forget what has happened this past week but this is a scene that will repeat itself again. So why even bother...