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Examples of reviewers/adverts etc caught lying


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3 hours ago, Protocol Penguin said:

Yeah, really long gaps. Wasn't a player-friendly experience at all.


And the review (I remember it well) was playing a beta build which they claimed they never did in the blurb (we only play the final, retail finished product etc)  the proof was that they mentioned the tranquilizer darts and pressure pad puzzles (tranq the guard when he patrols past the the pad, open door) that never made it to the retail game.
 

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I absolutely loved Turok 2. Though I realize I'm in a very small minority on this.

 

 

 

Still, the big N has done its fair share of being economical with the truth. Things that spring to mind are: the NDS won't replace the GBA. There is no NDSlite in development (a few months befor the NDSlite was actually unveiled). We will never do DLC. The WiiU isn't dead.

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Scooby Doo for Spectrum/Commodore/Amstrad. The adverts showed a totally different game. It looked amazing - some kind of arcade adventure with cartoon graphics. What we eventually got was a really shitty maze game.

IMG_2998.thumb.JPG.05444434147df0d1f328cab3d6986944.JPG

 

Here's the real game:

IMG_3002.PNG.47830085a42f69f11a6c4cfb93f78030.PNG

 

Also this is the back of the box of Spy Hunter for the Commodore 64:

IMG_2999.thumb.JPG.9fc59c9c888b685222d30ac8e28cca45.JPG

 

Here is a real screenshot:

IMG_3001.JPG.4f51f4e555b633c6ec951cb5f6928c6d.JPG

 

And this was a pretty common thing back in the 8 bit era as I remember. Mocked up screenshots or screens of the arcade version.

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10 hours ago, Naieve said:

Edge gave GTA3 a 6 and then the cheque from DMA cleared and they bumped it to an 8.

From what I remember, the very early reviews of GTA 3 weren't particularly high. Even the official PlayStation magazine, which awarded every pile of shit that wasn't totally broken a 9 or a 10, only gave it an 8 (in a single page review). This was pre-release code with the blue police cars. Later post-release reviews were spread over 4+ pages and gave it scores of 95% plus.

 

I think they really didn't know what to make of it or just didn't bother playing it enough. After GTA 1, London, and 2, I think some people just weren't interested in it initially - there had been virtually no hype - and the In some ways it was a bit broken. I remember initially being a bit put off by the on foot controls and jerky framerate. After playing it for around 10 hours solid I'd forgotten all about that though. I don't think any other GTA since has captured me in the same way.

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1 hour ago, iknowgungfu said:

I bought that game being a massive matrix nerd at the time. It wasn't THAT bad - I enjoyed the feel of the combat but I didn't go in believing the hype. A mate at the time thought it was the second coming of Jesus until I showed him that on one of  the final levels (where the squid are chasing the hovercraft ship) you didn't actually have to touch the joystick to get through it.

 

It was a nice idea to tie in with the film +and the Animatrix collection of short films. 

Evanescence in the end credits too. I loved that game.

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In the dying days of the SNES I remember Super Play saying Street Racer was better than Mario Kart, and reacting to Stunt Race FX like it wasn't terrible (worst Nintendo game I've ever played - I didn't understand what frame rate was back then but it must have been sub-10fps a lot of the time)

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Stunt Race FX was and is one of my favourite games. The frame rate wasn't good though but the physics were amazing really. So much weight to the cars. It was certainly overrated but wasn't sub 10. 

 

Street Racer was also overrated but was also a pretty good game. Impressive 4 player mode. 

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This was pretty common "in the old days", especially on the 8-bit and 16-bit computers.

 

Games would be previewed, or even demos released, with the final game looking nothing like them.

 

Total Recall Preview for the Spectrum (this preview was originally a rolling demo given away on, iirc, a Spanish magazine, but made playable thanks to some nice "hacking")

 

 

The actual game released

 

 

As it was pointed out by @Monkeyspill, graphics on the back of games were sometimes just drawings giving an impression of what it might look like. 

 

Activision were particularly bad at this in the early days...

 

Beamrider Spectrum Box

 

Beamrider.jpg.ee0306188d59cc3af1afd12e3f118405.jpg

 

Beamrider on the Spectrum

 

 

Beamrider.gif.c184dddc1619eab51a7ad7fac7c148fd.gif

 

Pitfall II Spectrum Box

PitfallII-LostCaverns.jpg.72c72fedf564f468319c2d7f87a3a0f9.jpg

 

Pitfall II Spectrum Screenshot

PitfallII-LostCaverns.gif.63b6dd72b5569154b83a579d53cef50c.gif

 

River Raid Spectrum Box

RiverRaid.jpg.ae6bc2f1244b3adb4a3dbb0e33632c2b.jpg

 

River Raid Spectrum Screenshot

RiverRaid.gif.21b610a525574e8c736a191eb3bdf1a8.gif

 

I bought all of these on the Spectrum! And not one of them looked remotely like the screenshots on the back (which were all definitely "artists impressions").  What's surprising is that there's not even a mention of "Not in game footage", which I case the law came in place to prevent arseholes like Activision from doing it. (funny how they still seem to have screens that aren't in-game, isn't it?)

 

 

 

 

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10 hours ago, Stanley said:

Whilst I don't think Edge were paid off or anything, they were just huge Treasure fanboys at the time, their score of 9 for Stretch Panic was way off the mark - one of the shittest games I've ever bought, it's barely a proof of concept demo.

 

I dunno, LBP reviews are clear proof of money changing hands for scores ;) 

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Apart from the bad old 8bit days when it was commonplace to use arcade screenshots on the back of the box, I also remember N64 magazines using impossibly high-res screenshots with an impressive amount of AA in their previews of N64 games. These were probably taken from dev kits that were more powerful than the actual hardware or something, and the final game running on our everyday CRT TVs looked nowhere near as sharp or smooth.

 

I also remember some screenshots of Halo 2 in edge magazine. From a huge preview of the multiplayer part iirc. It likewise featured screenshots that were way more high-res and post-processed than what we could realistically expect on our actual tellies. The one screenshot that I clearly remember is of an Elite looking down from high up in the Zanzibar map - the eventual PC version probably did look like that.

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1 hour ago, Mr. Gerbik said:

Apart from the bad old 8bit days when it was commonplace to use arcade screenshots on the back of the box, I also remember N64 magazines using impossibly high-res screenshots with an impressive amount of AA in their previews of N64 games. These were probably taken from dev kits that were more powerful than the actual hardware or something, and the final game running on our everyday CRT TVs looked nowhere near as sharp or smooth.

 

I also remember some screenshots of Halo 2 in edge magazine. From a huge preview of the multiplayer part iirc. It likewise featured screenshots that were way more high-res and post-processed than what we could realistically expect on our actual tellies. The one screenshot that I clearly remember is of an Elite looking down from high up in the Zanzibar map - the eventual PC version probably did look like that.

Don't modern games do this now with their photo-modes?  The stills taken have much more processing 'stuff' done to them to make them look better prior to being posted over loads of fora.

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5 minutes ago, Chooch said:

Don't modern games do this now with their photo-modes?  The stills taken have much more processing 'stuff' done to them to make them look better prior to being posted over loads of fora.

I guess that's true - good point - but keep in mind that the difference between an actual modern game and its photo mode is pretty damn tiny compared to the night and day difference between an N64 dev kit screenshot at high res with lots of AA and the real game on a SD CRT and with trademark N64 smear-o-vision.

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On 22/01/2019 at 10:21, gizmo1990 said:

Well, I'd just like to say that I thought Xenon 2 was, and still is, brilliant.

For the time it was a decent shooter, but it rarely looked like the screenshots in the magazine , especially those that gave it the highest scores. There were better shooters on the Amiga, but the mags seemed to go crazy for the Bitmap Brothers, ”look, its shiny. Like metal!" . Not a criticism of their games because they were good, but there appeared to be something going on where every game was highly scored, everything they did was best, and screenshots seemed to be chosen to create great looking images for reviews, rather than to say, "this is what the game looks like"

 

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To add to the OP, I remember when I was about 12, my schoolfriend David invited us all round to play Zoids. He had spent £8 on it, which was a whole weeks pocket money and we all took it in turns. Everyone had no idea what we were supposed to be doing apart from David who loved every minute. We were there for a few hours and David never admitted that the game was a load of rubbish, even though everyone else in the room was vocal about it. It was a few days later when he owned up. Basically , Crash said it was great (a good game got 90% or more, proper classics got 93%, rarely did it go higher but Zoids got 96%), he spent the money and so it was obvious to him that we were all wrong and the magazine must be right. 

 

Similarly, I was blown away by two games of the era, Glider Rider and Amaurote. Both were amazing graphics, great music (music seemed to be a deciding factor as to whether a game was good or not in hindsight) and considered good games in retrospect, but I never had a clue what I was supposed to be doing.  I once sold GTA3 to a parent who was obviously buying it for their 10 year old and I explained the content. The parent told me that all the violent content didn't affect their kid because all they did was drive around and blow things up, they didn't understand the structure enough to actually progress. They were happy just playing sandbox and only ever seeing the first few minutes of the game. Looking back on my years with the Spectrum I think the same. Starquake, Monty Mole etc, all had hundreds of screens and I bet I never saw more than the first 10 or so ever.

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