Laser Time – The Perfect Score


Game reviews are stupid, except when they’re not. The Laser Time gang takes a look back at their highest review scores to see how they stack up today…


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53 thoughts on “Laser Time – The Perfect Score

  1. Brett: “We had a rocky first 2 years when we had that reputation at GR of being just listicles and babes articles and all that kind of stuff.”

    This comment made me really sad… Because while the “babes articles” certainly no longer applies, the “listicle” part is actually more true now for the site than never before, which 70% of the content written there anymore seems to be lists of one kind or another.

    And this is not to say that I no longer enjoy the site anymore, still very much do and visit. But Brett reminding me of the days of the “Super Reviews” and those very free form editorials has made me feel very nostalgic, and realize that GR really was at it best when it tried those stuff, and it’s just sad to realize that it can no longer afford to be that anymore 🙁

    And guys… Uh, IGN has given a LOT of 100 scores in their lifetime, and even though nowadays they changed their scoring system to the 10 scale, it’s obvious that a lot of theses games came out back when they used the 100 scale:

      1. Haha, yeah XD

        And don’t forget also timeless classics like Magical Tetris Challenge, or Chekered Flag and Shanghai for the super popular and ever important Atari Lynx!

    1. Holy fuck me I forgot about super reviews, god do I miss them. Even though it was kind of silly I loved the is it better then part.

  2. Love the episode! I got two quick ESPN style hot takes:

    1. Chris, stop apologizing for giving us great content. We know you put a lot of effort into the shows, don’t dwell on stuff so much, you and the whole LaserTime crew are awesome!

    2. I love the amount of knowledge he brings to the table, but Hank “The Mothergrabbin’ Tank” Gilbert needs to relax a little. He doesn’t have to comment on things he feels are too sensitive, but that shouldn’t hold other people back if they want to address something for themselves. I should also say I love Cape Crisis and Henry the best when he shows his passion openly.

  3. As someone who recently replayed uncharted 2, I have to strongly disagree with Chris, Uncharted is still super fun

  4. I have barely gotten to the first break of this episode, I feel ready to call it one of my favorite episodes in this entire network, or at the very least of this year. That conversation you guys had was so honest and down to earth, that it really made me stop and think, and evaluate my own ways of reacting to this medium.

    I know it’s easy to just reply with silly shit and joke about stuff. But this time, seriously guys, thank you for being who you are, and to just express your opinions like this, and for all the work you’ve put into this medium that I love. I know at one point or another I might have said abrasive or confrontational shit to you, but never from a place of hate, and I’m sorry if I’ve ever made any of you feel bad, and certainly hope I’m not the cause of any of you feeling more defensive or sensitive int his current climate. Despite me acting like an idiot sometimes, I really appreciate and love this network. Never stop being the way you are.

    1. I have to echo every single one of these sentiments. I’m currently a Jawrnalism Major and I really took everything that you guys have said about the subject to heart. I’ve been following you guys back since the days of T-Dar and you guys have always been a genuine voice of reason in the world of vidjagame jawrnalism. I loved this episode and it’s another example of how in this period of negative press and vitriol towards and from the games industry, Lasertime is one of the sole places on the Internet that’s about love, acceptance, and constructive reasoning, but still jokes about farts and cartoons.

  5. Cant wait to listen to it once I’m done reviewing WEE studios reboot of the Leprechaun franchise. I remember as a kid I would write fake reviews for my games(80s) and remember thinking Aero the Acrobat for my super nes was the halo 2 of its time. Thanks for reminding me of that found childhood memory Chris.

  6. If I can try and add something constructive, I want to give my opinion on the whole review debate. I think that the reason many people will rage about review scores is that they don’t like the idea of a negative review dissuading people to buy a game, and that the games lack of success may be attributed to a low review. For instance, I love the Borderlands series a lot. I get to a state of near arousal when I find a rare gun with high stats. So yes, when someone like Tyler says he doesn’t like that formula, or that it isn’t fun I do feel a prick inside. I understand it is silly, but I still feel that way.

    Or branching out from that, I am a huge anime fan. I know that the hosts of this podcast are not anime fans. I understand that you enjoy poking fun at the tropes of the medium (anime is not a genre) and there is a lot of shitty anime. But I still feel irritated when Chris makes fun of Weeaboos or Diane says she hates all anime universally. It comes down to that I love this stuff, and I don’t want your words to keep others from loving it. And I value the weight of your words because you are published as a Journaologyist. I think that stating a person’s peace calmly is the best, but I had to spend 3 minutes thinking this post out. Someone who wants to say how they feel after thinking for 20 seconds will often resort to RAGE!!!

    PS: You really aren’t going to mention FF XIII? I know none of you guys reviewed it, but with this topic you really should have mentioned it.

    1. Next to Halo fans, you anime folks are the quickest to get butt hurt! Lest we forget which LT host got everyone to watch Attack on Titan?!

      I make fun of things I love all the time. Just because we rib something you like doesn’t mean we don’t like you!

  7. Well, at least Chris admitted he was being a cunt.
    Also, Henry being surprisingly based in this one

    1. I admitted nothing of the sort. And if you listen closely, I specifically call you a cunt throughout the entirety of the episode. Seriously, play it backwards!

      1. I might have misinterpreted what you said during the break as realizing you’ve been complaining about this shit way too much.

  8. Fun episode. For all the hot topics they brought up, the only thing that managed to piss me off was Chris once again trying to convince people that stories don’t matter in video games.

    1. You have to remember that Chris and them grew up during a time where games were never about stories, therefore he is more inclined to gravitate towards pure gameplay. This generation of gamers have grown up expecting games to have film-worthy stories, which is the basis behind where we judge games. And Chris isn’t necessarily saying that stories DON’T matter, he’s saying that it doesn’t matter if a game doesn’t have an amazing story, as long as the gameplay makes the game worth playing. There are other more important factors into reviewing and judging games. This is the point that Henry was trying to convey when he argued that Super Mario Galaxy 2 was a 10/10.

    2. What Kermit said. Story is not all that important to a game, because that’s not really what a game is. For example, try and imagine an ending so crazy, out-of-nowhere amazing that it would make a 20 hour slog of repetitive play and garbage mechanics worthwhile. That doesn’t really exist, and you certainly wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. Not sincerely. However, the opposite is completely true. Solid gameplay can easily compensate for a bad/lack of story. That happens all the time.

      Story is incredibly important to me, so believe me when I say that most of what we see of that in games would translate into the worst movie/comic/anime you’ve ever seen/read/fapped to.

      The worst Chuck Norris movie + an ADV 90s VHS English dub = Game Story.

      Compelling plots, convincing characters, and believable worlds are narrative devices games are making great strides in all the time, but pacing issues and atrocious actors prevent 95% percent of the medium from achieving anything close to great storytelling. And that’s okay, there are better mediums for that.

  9. First of all, I want to thank you guys sincerely for actually expressing well-thought-out and nuanced opinions instead of the usual silly shit. It really gives context to the borderline rhetoric you’ve been talking recently.

    The only issue I really take with the entire discussion before the break was when Chris said he didn’t understand why people talking about gamergate care more about the discussion than looking like a sexist. I just wanted to point out that I seriously doubt he’d levy such a criticism against Muslims with ISIS or feminists with #killallmen in that same regard. I think that unwillingness to recognize the gradient of people behind the same issue doesn’t constitute a good reason to dismiss the entire thing.

    1. I don’t care for that analogy one bit. And not just because it barely makes sense! No, mostly because your example groups at least have legitimate issues, whereas it’s a lot harder to sympathize with even the most polite mob demanding a senate hearing every time Halo gets an 8. <---lol btw

      1. Lol, indeed. I can say I’m with you in that regard, that’s stupid shit. That’s also not really my impression of what it’s all about. But I’m not going to sit here and tell you it’s entirly not about that. A lot of people are just a bunch of shit heads, especiqally the people engaging in harassment. I’ll even give it to you that the Zoey Quinn debacle which sparked this whole thing is very questionable, all anyone can say for sure is that nobody knows what really happened.

        My humble interpretation of the current state of the majority of the voice of gamergate is outcry against widespread (I’m not going to say coordinated, but I am suspicious) smear campaigns against the identity of gamer, outrage over the leaked messages from the GameJournoPros email group (and these are people describing themselves as journalists, I’m not one of the people who wants to force the name of journalism on enthusiast press), and among a smaller but still significant group of people involved in the discussion is the ridiculous “sides” bullshit like Henry mentioned.

  10. Lovely episode but I think Chris forgot about Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit which he raved nonstop on TalkRadar and very unabashedly gave it a 10? Unless I missed it somehow, this is what I get for listening to podcasts at 7am.

    1. DAMN! Right you is, totally for got about that! So that’s THREE 10s I’ve given in my lifetime. Factoring in the corruption, it’s a wonder I’m not rich!

  11. Another reason people bitch so much about scores is they are online and not face to face. The internet has given a voice to everyone now. I blame that.

  12. Great episode, it’s interesting reflecting on past games, getting into the mindset of the time they were released.

    While the topic has been brought up a lot recently, Destiny seems like a game that I would hope does well long term because it’s a game I could be more interested in if I can see more of an indication of it evolving IE knee-jerk reaction reviews not being relevant to me for now.

    That being said, since Hyrule Warriors also came up, it would be fair to say I could be lumped in with some of what Chris was saying, but I never want to be “that guy” in the comments section. I was only taken aback by the line about it somehow being “offensive”, everything else said was not an issue, you’re were perfectly valid in your disappointment. Basically it was about delivery at that moment in time, heck your stream of the game was great even if you did not enjoy it. Seriously, no hard feelings if any were brought up.

  13. I would be a horrible game reviewer. I find online multiplayer FPS gameplay to be boring and repetitive at best. Because I don’t like online multiplayer FPS games, Titanfall would probably get a 2 or 3 if I had to review it. It would be hard for me to objectively review anything.

  14. this is an interesting argument.
    honestly, I’m surprised people even still care about scores or ratings on games anymore, I can’t remember the last time I paid attention to a review score.
    I also really like and prefer video coverage to text based coverage.
    I actually like hearing someone talking about things I like or am interested in versus reading a dissertation on some pop culture element.
    This is the internet, not a newspaper, everyone who has something to say should take 100% advantage of the ability to be visually compelling, engaging and entertaining.
    its part of why twitch is so damn popular.
    I also work at a computer all day and don’t have time to peel away and pour through a text wall, but I can totally listen to the audio while sneaking peeks at the video while I work. It helps pass the time.

    the slight irony being that someone might have to slog through this long text reply when I could really sum it all up in a three minute video.

    I actually enjoy listening to you guys more than reading what you’re thinking.
    I’ve been spoiled since the tdar, what can I say.

  15. I liked the conversation of games journalism vs. news journalism. I finally quit a series of crap newspaper jobs last year. The stories could never become what they deserved because of constant deadlines, everyone you had to deal with professionally hated you and tried fucking with your ability to write and hardly anyone in your community cared or even read your finished articles. Your reward at the end of the day was a tiny-ass paycheck that barely paid your bills and the ability to *maybe* keep your job in an industry that was constantly laying off workers.

    So, yeah, if any writers out there are given the choice between writing hard news or writing about fans being angry about The Legend of Zelda, choose the latter every single time.

  16. I’m 20 minutes in the podcast but…

    You don’t gaming websites just use a PROS/CONS list at end of the review instead of a score? Hell, put a little box over your usual “This game can be summed up as…” text that every review has at the end if you really want finality in your review.

    It solves the score problem. It gives reviewers and readers a list of things right and wrong with the games and the summary at the end gives the readers… Well, a quick summary of the game.

    I mean, c’mon Chris, isn’t that how you would review Destiny? Why doesn’t the gaming press use this type of format? Is there a big sector of websites afraid of losing revenue or afraid of looking like they’re all copying whatever website uses this system currently?

    As long as the collective gaming press decides to keep themselves in the comfy world of score-giving, you’ll always get shit like that.

    Then again, nothing really guarantees that even that won’t upset people, even if it answers every complaint about reviews.

    1. Now that I’ve actually thought about this, yeah I guess people will just equate pros/cons = no score nonetheless. Anything more complicated than counting to 10 and people will stop looking at reviews.

  17. The only thing I disagree with is that people are making symbols out of games like Uncharted, even Chris said everyone will have more fun with EDF, but what people forget is that in 2009 what Uncharted 2 did hadn’t been done by anyone before.

    1. I totally agree. That’s why EDF got that score. You’re absolutely right about Uncharted 2. It was absolutely like nothing we’d seen before. But then we did. Every day, in almost every game, for half a decade. We kept seeing it done again and again until I forgot what made Uncharted special in the first place. Was the gameplay any good or was it just the presentation? And I swear, I honestly hate that I feel that way because it doesn’t seem fair to something so genuinely groundbreaking.

  18. Gotta be honest, as someone who doesn’t take any sides in this retarded debate, while you gentleman haven’t encountered corruption of any kind in the industry, that doesn’t mean it factually doesn’t exist.

    See: Jeff Gerstmann and Gamespot, Geoff Keighley and his infamous Doritos and Mountain Dew Halo 4 video and finally Lauren Wainright and her “affiliations” with and collusion with Square-Enix for positive Tomb Raider coverage (which by the way was confirmed straight from Square-Enix- use your Googles). You might notice I left out Zoe Quinn… that’s because after reading what she’s said and how she’s acted on Twitter, I don’t think HER situation was corruption- just an unfortunate series of events exasperated by idiot journalists that chose censorship over direct conversation, again use Google to find an email exchange on that.

    I am not saying these minor instances of corruption are a direct causality of industry-wide corruption AND I am not saying that the way BOTH SIDES have handled this entire situation has been intelligently handled- just that EVERYBODY from BOTH SIDES should not have resorted to name calling and slander and censorship.

    Other than that, I liked the episode and as for Henry’s fear of Doxing, most of those situations if not all of them were carried out with a Google search. Also we have some very smart people here- I have a feeling whoever doxed you would face the same wraith 😉

    1. Because this shit’s gotten too ugly. The internet’s cartoonish love of needless witch hunts is nearing an irreversible point where I feel like many otherwise kind people are doing and saying things any rational person would spend the rest of their lives apologizing for. Be careful about being the kind of asshole you can’t walk away from, folks.

  19. I loved this episode so much, which is strange because I always hated the “Defending our credibility” segments on TalkRadar. How could a website dedicated to farts and R-Ape jokes ever be bought off? Too bad Mikel wasn’t on this episode what has he been doing?

  20. Man, dudes are ganging up on Chris lately aren’t they? Anyway I liked the discussion in the first segment and I totally agree with you Chris especially about Destiny. Also as much as I love games and consider them a pretty big part of my life, these cynical people spouting non-sense about corruption and treating the games industry like it’s a damn political system make me embarrassed to be into this shit sometimes. In my mind it all comes down to acting like an adult. Adults don’t(or at least shouldn’t) whine about every single little thing they don’t like and act like they deserve to have everything they want.

    I’ve always felt that the difference between a rational person and an irrational one when it comes to this kind of stuff is the ability to partake in something and say “it’s not for me”. That’s what a rational person does when they have the ability to recognize that everything doesn’t revolve around them. The irrational people like to act like every time they hate something then that automatically means it is objectively bad and anyone that likes said thing is suspect. Which pretty much describes all of Neogaf. I don’t know how many times I have seen the whole “this site gave this game I don’t like a 10 so clearly they are corrupt and shouldn’t be taken seriously”, like I said, it’s fucking embarrassing.

    For the record I always loved what you guys said on one of the old GR’s forever ago about reviews. It was something along the lines of “you aren’t there to tell them why you like/don’t like it, you’re there to tell them why they might/might not like it”. It’s a shame more people aren’t mature enough to get that.

  21. I bought Destiny hoping for a good story. Why? Bungie mislead people into believing it had a deep story like Halo.

    Bungie also mislead us about the amount of content the game had. They said it was a game we would spend many hours on trying to do everything. Little did we know it was going to be about 8 hours of content done many times.

    I don’t regret buying Destiny. But its a disappointing product, especially due to the hype by Bungie.

    1. I suppose that depends on your definition of doing everything. I never assumed they meant do all new things for hours, I assumed that they were referring to post game progression stuff which is totally accurate. I knew from the get go that it was a Diablo style game which means playing the same content over and over to get loot, just like every other loot game. Hell it’s even got 4 large areas just like Diablo’s standard 4 Acts. The difference here is that Destiny plays insanely well as a proper shooter.

      I have personally already logged in about 50 hours into the game. I NEVER fucking play a shooter that much. This damn game is already up to 6 OT’s on Neogaf. To compare, Dota 2 is at 7 I believe. Looking back at the actual things Bungie said, I don’t see anything misleading. They talked about wanting to create spaces for people to return to over and over and they even pretty much flat out said that narrative wise they wanted to leave a lot more mystery than anything else. I don’t personally believe that it was a good choice, I won’t actually call the story bad so much as say it doesn’t really fucking have one but it seems to have been their intention.

      I think it’s clear that the game that they set out to make isn’t there yet, but I also think that they always planned on elaborating on the product post launch to get it there. I went in with certain expectations as well based off of Halo and the game disappointed me at first but after a while I started to feel like what they delivered was better than what I was actually expecting and has the potential to be something incredible in the future.

      Can’t really blame people for being disappointed though. The message of what Destiny was was never very clear but I don’t think it’s fair to blame the game for being something that it never really intended to be.

  22. This might be one of the best episodes you guys have ever put out, purely for the passion aspect. It also sums up why the critic industry is absolute shit these days, but at the same time proposes some pretty fine ideas on how to fix it. When episodes like this come out, where there’s clearly a lot of passion behind them, it really puts Laser Time in a position of standing out and up.

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