The Reviewer's Guide to Crap Games

Sept 11 2007

You might have heard about Lair being a bit rubs. You might have read our 5/10 review. And you might also have seen that Sony and developer Factor 5 weren't pleased - reacting to the many paltry scores by issuing a 'reviewer's guide' to the tragically disappointing dragon-riding actioner. To which your response may have been "What the f-!?".

We weren't so surprised. After all, it was Sony who once conjured up a make-believe film critic to heap praise on its own films. And it's Sony who runs a so-called 'semi-official' games blog to stoke the hype around its own console. Producing a document that explains how to train yourself to "eat shit and like it" (as observed by PennyArcade's Tycho Brahe) is presumably just another day in Sony's marketing department.

The surprising thing is that no one else has ever been quite so brazen about why reviewers have 'got it wrong'. If the publishers of the following much-hyped games had issued the instructions below on how to play each game 'correctly', we might have been more forgiving. Well, perhaps not...

Sonic The Hedgehog | PS3, Xbox 360
Metacritic score: 43 out of 100

The Reviewer's Guide:

  • Sonic is difficult to control because he's a hedgehog travelling at the speed of light. Obviously. Or maybe you're just rubbish at the game. Read the control instructions maybe, yeh?
  • Long load times are intentional. Research says gamers should take a break every 15 mins, for health reasons - Sega is just helping you to follow medical advice.
  • Next-gen Sonic has been utterly successful in deferring success of the successful brand in order to give successive sequels the opportunity to succeed the now lowered expectations of fans. How much success is that? Lots!

Driv3r | PS2, Xbox, PC
Metacritic score: 57 out of 100

The Reviewer's Guide:

  • Insane, unforgiving difficulty levels are a value-added feature, giving you more play time for your money. Just do the maths, people!
  • If you were a person who shot people and drove madly on public roads - and, let's face it, is highly likely to be on drugs - your driving would be wildly uncontrollable too. That's why your car rolls like a tickled puppy whenever it hits a pebble. Not because the handling is shite.
  • You must include in your review a much-amused section about the Timmy Vermicelli hunting. It sends up GTA! Isn't that ironic??! We couldn't stop laughing in the boardroom meeting! Don't you agree? It's worth at least two extra points. You know, for being funny. Really funny!

Transformers the Game | Xbox 360, PS3
Metacritic score: 52 out of 100

The Reviewer's Guide:

  • Don't forget to mention how the leaden, spirit-crushing movement of each Transformer perfectly illustrates the real-world mobility of a twenty-foot metal lump. It's realistic. Not rubbish.
  • Policemen would clearly be powerless against Transformers. This is why their patrol cars bounce off your Transformer like sponges off a bathroom wall. It's realistic. Not rubbish.
  • Enemy Transformers use their shields so effectively against your punches and projectiles because Transformers have been fighting for so long, they'd obviously be immune. Which is why lamp posts hurt them so much. They've never seen them before! It's realistic. Not - hey, you get it, right?


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