In episode 8 of TheParanoidGamer podcast, Mike, Taylor, Daniel, Robert, and Immortal Phoenix discuss the recent controversy surrounding Daniel’s 10/10 score, along with providing insight into a ton of other subjects.

Intro song: Hon Raps: Haters Gonna Hate

End song: Deftones – Leathers

As always feel free to give us your feedback in the comment section, and please take the time to rate us on iTunes.

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  1. This is 2 hours long, and i won’t finish it tonight to comment on, but i wanted to reply to the first part. No on gave it a 10 out of 10, it was given 100 out of 100, all the way down the line!! Seems like its being downplayed in the first 5 minutes. Sure a game can be near perfect to you as whoever said that in the first few minutes, but being unbiased about it is key, what is it on a total spectrum, to a degree, your never have someone agree completely, but at least most will understand how someone got to that point. Dealing with just that one part though, 100 out of 100, 5 or 6 categories.. really?

      • Presentation
        Technical Excellence

        Thats what i was talking about if thats what you meant. And i don’t really care about my comment about, i was just saying it because i found it strange that that was the topic in the first 5ish minutes of the podcast when thats not even the scale this site uses. Where as on here you could give a 97, instead of have to pick between a 9, 9.5, or 10 like most other places, you could be specific.

        • Right. Like I previously mentioned we were just using as 10/10 as an example. We are all aware obviously of the score criteria, at least I hope so lol.

          That’s a great question. I think that we really wanted to keep in line with our theme of being different than everyone else and the review scores were a way of keeping in line with that theme. I personally like it because it’s similar to how you’d be graded on papers in college. That being said, we have the ability with a few button clicks to change to a five-star rating, grade based, and several other types of reviews. When we redesigned the site we went away from a 5-star system. I’m not opposed to switching it, if the staff agrees, and readers find it confusing.

          • I like it better then a 10 myself. If its going to be used. So many times you would be stuck between a 9 and a 9 and a half, and not be able to lean one way… you wouldn’t have to. Seems to be all that really was said about that in the podcast unless it shows up past 30 minutes in so i will leave it at that.

          • There’s additional stuff at the end of the podcast about reviewing, however if we need to cover it with additional explanation we can do so in another podcast.

            We encourage you to listen to most of it if you can lots of interesting discussion on lots of subjects.

          • Yeah, wasn’t implying i was stopping at 30ish minutes.. I’m at the bastion being the best game this gen for one of you, then the guy kinda questioned it, and briefly related it back to the reviewing.

          • Yeah I loved Bastion, thought it was the best game of this generation. I think the reason Phoenix was shocked it wasn’t a retail game.

  2. Thats Daniel thats saying dark souls sucks right? Then states he spent 4 hours on it, and argues vs. Taylor(i think) who obviously has put 100’s of hours into various games of that sort. Thats the same type of way the review convo kinda went. Just came off really strange, and i won’t go into it much but anyone who read the review topic, and listened to this probably are thinking wtf too… I did however find it funny how close Taylor(again, i think thats who it was) was to losing his temper. He did a good job to put his view out though. You could almost see a wtf thought bubble pop up. I will finish the last 30 minutes later. My impression was that the podcast was too cluttered this time, i liked it better with just the two. Seemed to be better interaction, and ran smoother, thats opinion though.

  3. Alright, finished it. I think the biggest issue is that the people involved in the cast, are viewing the review issue wrong. I’ve seen and replied to most reviews that have been done since i have been around here. I recall Taylors, and the guy with the rainbow goat avatar(sorry i don’t recall his name) and they were seemingly unbiased. The issue is that reviews, from the same person, that can’t be replied to(started with hybrid and there was one or two after that) showing up, with…. strange scores. Then it tops off with 600 points out of 600 points with the latest one. No one can name a game thats 600 points out of 600 points, hell, you would be hard pressed to get one thats 580, even if you loved it. You add that shit together, and it looks strange. Having a podcast where everyone in it are involved in the site to a degree where they are profiting(either by owning it, or getting free games) doesn’t help what that looks like. Nor does being asinine about it. You people should be happy anyone pays enough attention to what you do to even notice and should remove yourselves from the situation and just look at it, if it doesn’t look fishy to you… i have a vacation home to sell you. Doesn’t mean its true, no one said it was true, it was just stated what it looked like then everyone got on defense. To relate this to the dark soul topic, you can see who are good to review a more varied range of games, and who shouldn’t. The person who should, should know who they are, and the one who shouldn’t was pretty apparent. No names needed there, anyone listening to the cast could tell you the same. Bottom line is that its either Roberts site, or his and someone elses(i don’t know), and the choices they make are what will steer the ship, just don’t hit an iceberg when you see it coming from a mile away is all i am saying. It kinda comes off like the having friends work for you concept.

    • To be completely clear, Mr. Flatt reviews games. Recently, he’s reviewed several games that he has particularly enjoyed. When it all comes down to it, a reviewer is only giving his or her opinion. That is all, pure opinion. A reviewer tries to be unbiased in the review, but if someone has had a glowing experience with a game, in a particular genre they really enjoy, and want to give it a perfect score, then by all means that’s what they are entitled to.

      We all understand that not everyone will agree with the review results. Nobody can make all of their readers happy 100% of the time. However, it seems that you and Daniel seem to have had it out on multiple issues that at this point, after reading all of the comments in several threads, appear to be bordering on being downright personal. So Daniel is liberal in his scoring of certain good games. What’s the harm, specifically? I understand that you don’t agree with his review, but you appear to be taking calculated, specific steps to attack not only his reviews, but his very credentials as an author, and even his ethics.

      I think it’s best if we just put this “zomg another 100/100 review he’s working for the MAN” discussion to rest, and go on about our respective lives. I didn’t agree with his 100/100 score either, but that’s just his opinion, and I have mine. Frankly, that should be the end of the story. The very fact that you continue to attack him in OTHER threads on the SAME issues, says to me that you may be trolling.

      That said. You make several good points, but you present in an accusatory manner that prompts others to jump to his defense. In the future, try to keep only to the fact, and keep the supposition to a minimum. There’s no conspiracy here, man. I just completely lambasted that was provided free of charge because frankly, it sucked. I think I speak for all of the authors when I say that the whole “free copy” thing isn’t any obligation to give a good review, but simply an avenue through which we can review products that we may not have originally, or that we couldn’t afford otherwise.

      • I haven’t attacked anyone, nor presented anything in a hurtful mannor. Why don’t you go back and read it all from the beginning, because for some reason, it seems your coming over very selective…. friends working with/for you concept, as i said. I’m not going to go in depth on anything regarding any of you on here, because its like you just going to pick out 1 line of it, and then form your tangents off of it, and it only. Its pointless, with most of you anyway.

        • Honestly, if you look at the numbers I posted as the last comment in my Mark of the NInja review, I’m really not that liberal. In fact in most of my reviews the larger population of review sites gave the game the same or close to same score as I did.

          I really don’t think I’m being that out there.

          • If we are looking at just that review, you didn’t give it a 60 out of 60(a 10 scale), you gave it a 600 out of 600. I don’t really care to go further into it then that and get hit with the gang mentality. I’ll just ignore the reviews on here for now on and everything can be peachy.

          • You know what, I think there is a confusion here. I did NOT give the game a 600/600. I gave it a 100%. Each different category was given points, just like an IGN review, that leads to a percentage.

            I saw no flaws that took away from the product in any of those categories. Were there flaws? I said there were, but they were so small that they were irrelevant. The biggest thing is I say multiple times in the review if you love stealth games you will enjoy the game like I did. If you don’t, you won’t.

            The game is fantastic. I think so and so does pretty much every other review site on the net, some enough to give it a perfect score just like mine. I don’t think I’m being shady at all, in fact I’ve been pretty transparent through all of this.

            Honestly I dislike our current 100% system and I think it can be confusing, but I work with what I have.

            Look man, I don’t have a problem with you, but it seems you certainly have one with me. As far as commenting on the reviews I try to comment on everything, but my life is so chaotic right now with my newborn, 6 year old, full time job and all that sometimes I miss stuff. I apologize if it made anything look shady.

            Again, I appreciate you reading the review. I appreciate your input and constructive criticism. Nobody is saying anything about that. It’s the underlying accusation that somehow I’m on the take, I’m a terrible writer, and pretty much I shouldn’t be on the site.

            Your telling me you wouldn’t try to defend yourself if things were reversed? I believe anybody would defend their integrity and their character when they put so much stock in it as I do mine.

          • I’ve said repeatedly that i have no issue with you as a person, i don’t know you, simple as that. I’ve stated it over and over because we haven’t seen eye to eye a handful of times, all about your reviews. Do i have problem with your reviews? Yes. Do i think your on the take. No. Do i think your being generous with your scores, fuck yes. Is that opinion, yes. Do i know why your being generous, no. Have i implied if, or why you have? No. Have you.. and your friends implied i have. Yes(even below in this thread, and in the podcast repetitively) Have i said anything bad about your writing, ever? No. Did you give it a 600. Yes. You gave it 6 100’s. Would i defend myself in any situation? Yes. Would i want people having nothing to do with it come get my back? No. Would i have been pompous about it, and act like a fraternity about it? No. Are you right for doing reviews on a broad range of games? Not in my opinion. I think the Dark souls conversation, the parts not dealing with the actual game, would lead most “hardcore gamers” to agree with that. You have your niche. Your writing is fine, your reviews are ok, but recently fishy. Does it mean what it looks like, is what it is? No. It just leads to topic discussion. If you can’t deal with that, then don’t reply back to people. I’m tired of talking about this, I’ve already said i will avoid the reviewing shit. If you sink or float is all on you, i don’t wish ill of anyone. Good luck on here, and with your newborn.

  4. At the end of the day, a review is just an opinion. Certainly as “professionals” we should approach the reviewing process with some manner of objectivity, but it’s impossible to entirely remove one’s own subjective viewpoint from the review equation. From what I can see Daniel quite enjoyed a little XBLA arcade game that, in his opinion, fully delivered on its potential. Obviously as a downloadable title it’s probably not going to stand shoulder to shoulder with most Triple A titles, but I don’t necessarily think it has to be reviewed by that criteria.

    Either way, it’s always nice to have some discussion and dissenting opinions. Everyone deserves to say their piece.

  5. If there was one thing that pulls me in as a gamer, it’s not a single genre (more on that), but world-building. world building is the art of creating not just a story, but a backstory, and a cast of characters, and fleshing them out in a world that seems to have always been there, but just needed me to boot it up to find it. the mythos of and behind any world is the most alluring, the concept of destinies, fates, chosen ones, dooms, ages, cataclysms, of great beginnings and endings, betrayals, intrigue, and the secret underpinnings of the world, all these and more, the things that make a game more than just a game, but an experience. these are the things I enjoy most.

    for example, most people look at starcraft and see a great rts game. I see that too. but I play starcraft for the great singleplayer and campaign mode, the story of all these races, characters and the koprulu sector they inhabit. it includes many of the above elements.

    another example. fable. fable does a great job of world-building, no matter what molnyeux failed to deliver on, because it has a great story (for the most part) and lets you do the little things in the quests. this is why fable 2 was such a letdown for me. the game was fantastic and groundbreaking for the time as far as I was concerned, but the way the ending was handled and the ease with which you dispatch the boss after you struggle the entire game to get there can break a gamer. probably why i didn’t pick up fable 3 until it was $5.

    mass effect 2. a shooter with rpg elements and a story. i admit, I played mass effect 2 first and loved it and went back and played mass effect 1 and loved it more. but the core gameplay is a shooter that allows you to unlock the story in chapters. mass effect 3 betrayed me with another fail for an ending, though.

    dragon age. a great tactical rpg, but an even better story. the game really gives you a sense of this other place, and what it’s like there, with magic, demons, and fallen gods.

    assassins creed. for all the great platforming, it’s the story and intrigue of the conspiracy theory that keep me playing the game for so long.

    dawn of war and shogun 2 – very different rts’s that both have an excellent mythos behind them that really pull you in and make you feel like you are there, in the thick of battle.

    this is the single thing that attracts me most as a gamer. I dabble in many games, but mostly i’m searching for a game that I can dive into and put hundreds of hours into.

    on to my favorite game/series of all time. my favorite game of all time, ever, is Pokemon Red/Blue. it took me from the realm of a dabbler into the realm of a gamer at a young age. not only that, but i have followed the game over the years as well. i will say this: pokemon is the single reason I have owned every nintendo handheld (excluding the different versions of the same thing). there is the grind of catching and leveling up the pokemon, yes. along with this there is a simple but effective story, but nothing earth-shattering. underneath it all, though, is a complex system that determines the strength of your monsters, much like how stats in an rpg work. some stats are permanent for your monster, others you can improve, others are determined by movesets and type strengths and weaknesses. abilities play a role as well as monster personality. all this work under the hood goes unnoticed to the average pokemon player, though, and it doesn’t really matter to me if it does or not. i’m just saying there is a whole different level of play possible if you spend the time to catch them all and tweak the best ones to their fullest potential.

    game i look forward the most to? the next super smash bros for wii u and (maybe?) 3ds.

    back to my original posting.
    the reason I say world-building is my favorite thing, is because I read a great many books and watch movies and tv shows, but only the ones that build their own mythos keep me coming back for more. well, except for comedies, everyone likes to laugh.

  6. I’m not going to reiterate my opinion here, it’s all on Daniel’s review of Mark of the Ninja’s. I will say that I clearly explained that games CAN deserve a perfect score and thus that score ISN’T unusable but with the caveat that you have to fully and clearly explain why the game deserves it by showing why it’s flaws don’t justify a lower score.

    That’s all I’ll say. I figure I’ve said more than enough already at this point.

    • I would like to add one thing that I didn’t cover in my comments on Daniel’s review that is relevant only to this podcast.

      There is a clear, definite, inescapable difference between weathering criticism and ignoring it. To weather criticism is a phrase reserved for artists whose artistic work doesn’t appeal to a significant portion of a population (and for reasons specific to personal taste and not technical competence) or a whistleblower revealing the corruption of a bureaucracy. It’s a phrase used to describe people who are either objectively right or subjectively beyond criticism.

      It’s like J.K. Rowling weathering criticism for killing Fred. There was nothing really wrong with that sequence, it just hurt because we liked Fred.

      Then there’s ignoring criticism. This phrase is used to describe people who are so convinced that they’re right that they can’t see an opposing position’s validity despite the fact that there’s no objective reason for them to be so certain. It’s used to describe a situation where a person or group that has made a mistake refuses to acknowledge the mistake and ignores the arguments of those that try to show them their mistake.

      This phrase is reserved for the Bioware’s and Capcom’s of this world. Those people or groups that make a mistake and proceed to ignore the valid, logical criticisms levied against them in favor of living in their own private world.

      You and your site fall into the latter and I can prove it with one quote:

      “Us Against the World.”

      Four words, one incomplete sentence. As a subtitle it’s catchy, but it reveals a greater problem. You see, there’s another phrase very similar to this one:

      “Us Against Them.”

      Adversarial in both cases, wouldn’t you agree? You’re stating solidarity against an outside aggressor (in this case, your own readers). Specifically an aggressor, because the word ‘against’ is a very strong word and only used to describe strong opposition to a strong force. Problem is, adversaries don’t tend to listen too well to criticism. In those four words, you defined your position: We’re right and they’re wrong and we’re not going to listen to anything they have to say.

      In logical discourse, to assume you’re right is one of the greatest mistakes you can make. If you’re right, you can verify it, back it up, present it to others, and prove it. To assume you’re right means you can’t prove it.

      I presented reasons for why I disliked the Mark of the Ninja’s review, I presented explanations for exactly what I thought Daniel did wrong, I made an argument that there was a problem with that review.

      Multiple other people came to the same conclusion independently (including Synopsis). You may not like it, but I guarantee you if I presented that review to my philosophy professor in college, he’d give it a low grade. It lacked a breadth of discussion vital to effective explanation.

      What you all have to remember is that some of us came here because of your coverage of the Mass Effect 3 controversy. Some of us came here because you looked like you were better than the other outlets out there.

      Yet here you are making the same exact mistake that Bioware/EA did about the ME3 ending; ignore criticism and act like nothing’s wrong.

      • Thanks for the comment.

        I believe we’ve been very proactive in addressing your concerns. I would encourage you to check out some of Daniel’s later reviews and provide constructive criticism on those.

        As terms of the podcast name, that’s just over-analysis. It was more of a fun poke, that goes along the humor of our podcast.

        If you want to privately discuss some things you would like from the site feel free to get a hold of us via the ‘Contact Us’ page.


      • I hate to even re-open this can of worms at all, but I feel I need to reply to this because there are a few very good points you make and a couple I’d like to speak on now that there has been a little distance for me from the review.

        First up, you are correct that the title of the podcast seems a little defensive. Honestly, I think I can say this safely, it was a little bit of a joke and a little bit defensive.

        Let’s face it, I wasn’t too popular because of my viewpoint on the Mass Effect 3 thing. That’s fine, it’s part of writing. Some people just aren’t going to agree with me and like what I have to say. You in particular seem to disagree with me a lot, but again that’s fine. It’s always done in a very well thought out manner.

        However, there are others who simply attack my credibility and character; not to mention follow me from post to post trashing everything I do or say. I think that this was more directed towards them. You are correct in stating that perhaps my review was not as lengthy or explanatory as possible, and that is something I’ve definitely listened to and tried to incorporate into my writing. I listen to everything that’s said on here and try to grow from it; I think that says quite a bit when people from IGN or other such sites might just completely ignore the comments.

        The place where things get a little sticky for me is the whole “I was paid off” mentality. Really, that’s just being silly. Saying my review wasn’t the best written piece of literature is absolutely true. I’m a amateur writer that is getting better as time goes on, but I certainly still make mistakes. I appreciate criticism in the constructive form, but I don’t appreciate accusations and bottom line distaste for me (which towards the end began to feel personal).

        The main problem people have with the review is how high the score is, and as far as backing things up and showing I’m not just handing out scores, I showed in the comments of that review hard numbers from other sites that proved that I’m not that outside the norm on my scores, though I do see the concern. I played a really strong string of games that I truly loved and the scores reflected that. Naturally that made it seem like I’m just handing out great scores. Honestly I’d rather give a game I loved a good score, than just randomly subtract numbers to avoid some sort of controversy.

        In closing, I apologize if I’ve caused any problems for the site. Really, I’m a very friendly individual that usually has a pretty positive outlook and I love playing games so I’m not sure why I seem to be disliked. I didn’t ask any of the other writers or the admin to come to my defense, and I never really felt like it was us against our readers. I truly am sorry if it came off that way.

  7. my most disappointing game I can think of is mass effect 3. just saying.

    and although I kinda want to jump into the whole accusatory statements above, i’ll refrain this once, even though I am a state-certified pot-stirrer.

    overall, good podcast, and i liked it. however, if you guys were sticking to any kind of a plan on what to talk about, that seemed to kinda go out the window. the informal, let the conversation take us where it will is nice, but I kinda lost interest after 20 minutes of that dark souls argument. disagreements are fun, but they can grow stale.

    now, as to what I would like to see for the next podcast…

    i would like to hear everyone’s top 5 things they look for in a game (could be genre, could be a customizable gun, just saying what you look for in games that you browse at a store)

    i would like to hear your take on second screening (wii u, smartglass, crossplay) and how you see that going.

    i would like to hear the developer or series you look forward to the next game from the most

    i would like to hear if there was one thing (comic, book, tv show, movie, etc.) that is not and has never been a game, what would you like to see made into a game and what type of game would it be (fps/rts/etc.)

    i would like to hear some more obscure creepy paranormal stuff, but only for like 20 minutes, save most of the podcast for game stuff.

    lastly, considering this is the paranoid gamer website, what game made you the most paranoid that you’ve played? (anything goes, from paranoid about dying to paranoid ‘I can’t sleep at night’ kinda thing)

  8. On a completely different note, I just re-listened to the podcast after some remarks about Dark Souls and my views on it. What struck me was maybe not the first thing you guys might think.

    I owe Taylor an apology.

    During that bit I was trying to snipe and argue with him, and be comedic even though it was mostly my opinion. However, be it the lateness of the hour or whatever, I came off as sounding more like an asshole than I intended. Seriously Taylor, I apologize for that. I certainly respect his opinion about the game as his opinion and didn’t mean to tear it down.

    However, I still don’t like Dark Souls and some of the hardcore gamers I’ve been around the way they act about me not liking the game. It’s created a bit of a bitterness that was already tinged with my incredible disappointment about the game, a game that for all intents and purposes looked like the to me.

    First off, let’s get this straight. I’ve been called a casual gamer, or non-hardcore now, and anyone looking at my gamertag would know straight off that isn’t true. I’ve played just about everything outside of sports titles this generation, from FPS to Puzzle Games and I’ve loved and hated me some of everything. I am not a casual gamer and I’m not a niche gamer. I’ve been gaming my entire life.

    My reason for disliking Dark Souls, though I didn’t state it very intelligently during the podcast, is two fold. First off, the game is artificially hard, it’s made hard as a feature, they’ve intentionally designed it hard and advertise it as such. A lack of modern features and checkpoints is instituted as a punishment system making the game more work than play. I am not alone in my assessment of this, not even in the podcast itself. As a 20 something young male with hours playing and replaying to memorize a level, that might have appealed to me. As a 30 year old with two children and a full time job not so much. If I play for a couple of hours and lose most of my progress it’s going to be frustrating, not fun. At that point I’ve just sacrificed my game time for literally nothing.

    Secondly it’s almost like, if you don’t say I love me some Dark Souls, suddenly you are some casual cry baby who has no skill at games. The hardcore fans have taken a stance that makes the game beyond reproach, either you like it, or you must just suck at gaming. Maybe there is the third option of just not being loving getting ground into the dirt when you make a mistake.

    Either way, I didn’t express my opinion well, and my tone during the podcast was unintentionally derisive and snotty towards the game and towards Taylor about it and I really wanted to publicly apologize to him, because he was nothing but accepting towards everyone else.

    My bad man.

  9. I only agree with myself because I’m the one person on Earth who is always right about everything. When I’m wrong it’s just a fluke. Truly it’s a heavy burden to be correct about everything all the time, but I’m willing to bear it.

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