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The 100 lamest game-industry clichés

52. Hopefully that'll be fixed before the game ships - It won't be, and whatever it is you're complaining about will be the crux of the game's critical and commercial failure.

53. World War II - Arguably the single most significant event in modern history, fought on several fronts and packed with millions of stories to tell. In the context of games, however, it means Americans shooting at Nazis in Western Europe, and we all claim to be sick to death of it just before we gush about and/or spend money on the latest Brothers in Arms or Call of Duty (CoD4 excepted).

Above: World War II in its entirety

54. Genre-bender - We secretly believe that this widespread phrase exists only because the person who coined it thinks "genre" is pronounced "jenner" instead of "john-ruh." And also they like the phrase "gender-bender." And also they needed something quick and lazy to describe a game that goes outside the proscribed limits of its genre, i.e. a shooter in which you level up your character like in an RPG. Variations include "genre-blender," "genre-buster" and "game that is like other kinds of games."

55. Worth a look - One of the weaker phrases used for recommending a game, frequently carted out when "check it out," "buy it now" and "deserves a place in your collection" have all been exhausted by previous reviews.

56. In summation - See All in all

57. Terrible food analogies - Does it "make for a great appetizer, but not quite a main course?" Is a gameplay feature "the icing on a very moist and tasty cake?" Then quit writing reviews right before lunch, you hacks!

Above: You can't have any until you finish your work, you fat bastard

58. Guns blazing - While vivid, this phrase really only serves two purposes: to add a visceral (there's that word again) sense of urgency to descriptions of in-game firefights, or to talk up a stealth game. (i.e. "You can't just go in guns blazing.") As such, it's been used thousands of times by hundreds of journalists and publicists, and really needs to rest for a little while.

59. Remains to be seen - Either the writer isn't comfortable about saying an unfinished game he or she has played for 15 minutes is going to be good, or there's some glaring flaw in that unfinished game that could bring the whole experience crashing down.

60. Wacky - The use of this word should be taken as a sure sign that whoever's written it has a terrible sense of humor, one that probably starts with Anne Geddes and ends with Ziggy. Take note of the author's name and tread carefully, for they can no longer be trusted in matters of comedy or "funny" mascot games. Variations include "zany," "kooky" and "humorous" - and that last one, now that we think about it, is used almost exclusively by people who don't even understand what humor is.

Above: SO "HUMOROUS"

61. Special moves - Catch-all phrase that covers anything besides punches, kicks or gunshots. Does the character throw fireballs? Then that's a "special move." Does she summon a giant dragon to fight for her? Special move. Can reviewers think up a more descriptive term than "special moves?" Nah.

62. To be fair… - "The game sucks, but here's a redeeming quality that I found that I nonetheless have to qualify with 'to be fair' in order to not sound like a dipshit."

63. "Integrity" - In the context of gaming publications, a term used to insinuate that every press outlet except the one you're reading is fat and complacent after years of taking monstrous bribes from publishers.

64. Under a rock - Where you must live if you have better things to do than follow the game industry all the damn time.

65. Console bias - An accusation immediately lobbed by people on the internet when they disagree with a review, fueled by the assumption that professional game journalists - who can usually afford to own nearly every game machine on the market - secretly harbor the same brand loyalties as teenagers whose parents will only buy them one console. Roughly equivalent to yelling "Sellouts!" at a punk rock show.

66. Revolutionary gameplay - Publisher-speak for "gameplay."

67. Get behind the wheel - Industry-speak for "pick up the controller and pretend you're sitting behind the steering wheel of an imaginary car."

68. At the end of the day - See All in All

69. Step into the shoes of... - Indicates that you will actually become the character, when in fact you'll be nudging his unresponsive space marine ass around with the thumbstick. Variations include "Strap on the boots of," "Slip on the sandals of" and "Piss in the pants of."
Above: Mmmh, yeahhhh, that's some good shoe

13 comments

  • joshdaman123 - March 12, 2011 2:14 a.m.

    ive always wanted to be a game reviewer, now i know how to do it better :D
  • FanofSaiyan - December 7, 2009 3:58 a.m.

    Hope these guys don't have any enemies. lol
  • FanofSaiyan - December 7, 2009 3:28 a.m.

    How do you bend a PSP like that? Must've been playing Me & My Katamari. lol.
  • olio - October 15, 2009 8:12 a.m.

    Man, this article suddenly makes me self-conscious about my own writing... It was still funny, though. There's a lot of spinning going on in the gaming world, and it's funny to see that somebody's finally getting called out on that crap.
  • theschwartzb - August 25, 2009 3:27 p.m.

    Hahahahaha. "This game sucks shit throug ha giant straw", that is classic GR, and also why I come back for more.
  • CombatCat120 - August 1, 2009 11:54 a.m.

    Never knew that so many words used in reviews meant the same(See All in All)
  • winner2 - June 19, 2009 2:01 p.m.

    number 69 made my day lol
  • caboose4400 - June 17, 2009 7:08 a.m.

    i dont think i'd be able to break a controller in half xbox controller no normal person could break but PS2 maybe....any way great article
  • AlpineGuy - June 15, 2009 9:35 p.m.

    How DID that PSP break, anyway? Regardless, great article!
  • GamesRadarMikelReparaz - April 15, 2009 6:15 p.m.

    That would be Resident Evil on GameCube.
  • Chicago - January 22, 2009 9:44 p.m.

    Nos 25, 96, and 100 are the best. But for 96 what game is that? Recaptcha for this legal $53.620,924.90
  • Kirbykiller4 - December 17, 2008 11:18 p.m.

    I don't actually think I could snap a controller in half with my bare hands anyway. And no,I'm not saying first,most sites ban people for saying that,and I'm sure this site will eventually. FFFFFFFUUUUU- I just said it
  • Danomeon - June 19, 2009 9:21 p.m.

    I generally find that all of these cliches are unavoidable in writing a review. The point of a review is to inform others how good or bad the game is, and some of these phrases are overused simply because they get the job done. Everyone knows what "Action packed" means, and that word is a good descriptor. I hear people say that a game is "Beautiful" alot and do I mind it? No, mainly because it is the most simple way to describe the graphics. Not to mention the fact that some of these words can be used to further bring others towards a good game. For example, if you said that Okami (You know you cannot resist this game!) was "Revolutionary" and "Action packed", people would want to purchase it more.

Showing 1-13 of 13 comments

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