News: Top XXX crappy game review tropes

| brandon

I’ve been incommunicado for a while, but that doesn’t mean I have nothing to say. One thing that’s been bothering me yet again these days is the poor state of game reviews. I’ve said a lot of this before, but here I particularly want to highlight some of the worst language tropes that people fall into. These phrases are nearly meaningless at this point, and are used in an attempt to be more personable or clever, but actually wind up as regurgitated fluff that takes the place of actual thought, writing, or criticism. This isn’t meant to be all of them, it’s just all I could think of after working all day, at 12 am. Here we go:

let’s just say
let’s face it
don’t get me wrong
the visuals
wonky
however (without juxtaposition, the word “however” is irrelevant, yet people continue to use it improperly)
minor gripes aside
while it doesn’t bring anything new to the genre
pales in comparison
worth the wait
hot little hands
it was only a matter of time
(x game) is like (y game) on (z drug I’ve never tried)
literally (while actually meaning figuratively!)

There are plenty more, but you see what I’m getting at. Most of these are used as filler, while the author thinks they’re actually doing real writing which simply upsets me to no end. Many of these were checked against IGN site-specific searches for returns of over 10,000. These are the kinds of phrases you find Gamefaqs forums fans emulating. And these are the kinds of phrases we need to get away from if we ever, ever want to move toward real criticism. I don’t forsee that day coming, with every journalist wanting to become a developer and leave their “writerly” past behind, but hey, we can dream.

Bonus: Here‘s my coworker Christian Nutt’s thoughts on a similar subject, regarding a specific review. See how you feel about it, then.

P.S. I am terribly sorry for only having three updates this month, only one of which is mine. It’s honestly really difficult to keep this site going whilst having a job and trying to survive and all. But as Yeats said, I shall endeavor again.

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