I couldn’t tell you all the last time that I read a professional review. It has to have been during the PS2 era, but even then I didn’t read them much. I had a subscription to Gamefan in the 16-Bit days, and I would read them then, but that’s the only time I can remember being dedicated to reading reviews or anything like that. It was also back before online reviews had gained supremacy, so a lot of times I would buy magazines just to see what was coming out, since it wasn’t like any of us were sitting online streaming E3 or reading PR blurbs.
I share a lot of Shingro’s taste in games, though he dances circles around me in terms of his knowledge of more obscure Japanese stuff, so I also share some of his distaste for the attitudes of a lot of folks in media. Perhaps I have low standards, but I don’t have any trouble stomaching J-Melodrama anymore than I do Western Melodrama, and even if the game is about assassins, space marines, or something else that isn’t perky high school children who save the world, there’s melodrama. I also, to this day, boot up Phantasy Star I-IV all the time, and I don’t see a need to drastically alter the game mechanics in RPGs from 20-25 years ago, so I don’t really give a shit if something is new and interesting so long as I find it enjoyable.
I usually try to find people I trust and follow their recommendations. And, more often than not, that person is @beige. He seems to have a similarly weird filter when it comes to finding aspects of deeply flawed games that make them more interesting than rote, paint by numbers stuff, so I trust him implicitly. I’d rather play Nier than Gears of War (or the other GoW for that matter), which I’m pretty sure puts me at odds with most game reviewers. Was Deadly Premonition better than GTA IV? Fuck yeah it was! (For me, anyway.)
Another thing, and something I mentioned today, is that I feel like the way a lot of sites are set up is to actively discouraged a deep, penetrating look at games. Articles seem very short, and they’re constantly broken up by screen shots. I’d much rather read a giant wall of text than a short, light article that looks aesthetically pleasing. In short, I like looking at this page when one of you has gone off on a tirade or gotten really excited about something and given an in-depth discussion. That means way more to me than just about anything else.