"Ghost Of Sparta’s plot is more of the series’ highbrow trash. Typical of all God Of War games, the mythological milieu gives this installment a faux erudite patina. Though you're merely banging away at two buttons, the series’ genius is that you forever feel like you’re doing something of grave importance, something that would make a ninth-grade English teacher proud."
Read the rest of my words--the A.V. Club limits me to a miserly 400, so there aren't too many more to read--here. One commenter took issue with my use of the phrase "faux erudite patina." My feelings on this matter:
1. It makes me happy that people are not only reading my reviews, but also reading them closely enough to take issue with my phrasings.
2. I think "faux erudite patina" accurately describes my experience with the series--the GOW games have always come off as smarter than they actually are--but I can see the commenter's point. This phrase would probably merit at least an eight out of 10 on the Douche Scale, with one being least-douchiest and 10 being maximum-douchiest.
Still, I'm standing by my phrase. It's probably the most interesting string of words I've written all year. Just look at the way those vowels and consonants crash into one another! Whee! Say it aloud a few times. Faux. Erudite. Patina. See? It's already starting to grow on you.
My second more recent review for The A.V. Club was for the Kinect. A sample:
"In its worst moments, Kinect doesn’t feel like a better way to play—it’s more like a barrier between you and the game. Instead of drawing gamers deeper into the experience and making things more immersive, actions like navigating gameplay menus or pausing a game—simple actions that gamers take for granted—suddenly feel complex and needlessly obtuse. At these moments, veteran gamers will pine for the poetic certainty of an old-fashioned button press."
Read the rest of it here. In typical A.V. Club fashion, one commenter dings me a second time for my previous use of "faux erudite patina" in my Ghost of Sparta review. Bravo, sir. Brah. Vo.
One comment did get my ire up. A guy--well, I'm assuming it was a guy--left a comment saying that he wishes two things would happen. One: That the A.V. Club learn how to review games critically. And two: That the A.V. Club stop reviewing games altogether.
The not-so-subtle subtext here: That I have absolutely no idea what I am doing. That I do not know my ass from a hole in the ground.
To you, sir, I say this: I do in fact know my ass from a hole in the ground.
Of course, these sentiments are commonplace on message boards and comment threads. I've read them before. I'll read them again. People are always informing me that I am terrible at my job.
That simply is not true.
For some reason, gamers--more so than movie lovers, or TV fans, or book readers--perpetually feel that they are born not only with the toolset required to write and speak critically about games, but that they are also born with the inherent god-given right to review games.
No matter how well one writes, or how well one articulates something about a game, there will forever be be an army of salivating, semi-delusional jackals out there waiting to let you know they could have done your job exactly one million times better than you have done it.
To those jackals, I say: I hear you. And I love you.
I once felt the way you do.
And trust me: You. Are. Wrong.
Irrefutable proof that you are wrong: If you could do my job one million times better than I'm doing it, you would be doing it instead of informing me that I am terrible at it.
Now please enjoy this complimentary box of faux erudite patina.