Today, I was wondering if my reviews suck… or rather… if I’m doing everything wrong, after all. Moreover, this post is about The Guardian’s reviews that do things very differently from me. I found this one video talking about someone slandering Shrek on its 20th anniversary, so then I dug into The Guardian, again, only to see that Crimson aka Fujo also commented on one of their more recent review-tweets (from three days ago) on Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train! So, I gave it a read… was done in not even a few minutes… and I hated it.
Initially, I started blogging to bring more attention to Indie Games and stuff that I really like that nobody really knows that really deserves more attention. I wanted to be somewhat “objective” and give games a chance… and I wanted to actually play the games which is something that, surprise surprise, not every reviewer does… and that sounds silly, right? Writing a review but actually knowing nothing about the game? Well, yeah, it’s really fucking silly,… so I don’t get why you’d review a movie that is the direct sequel of a show without watching a show.
Or in the case of The Guardian, you’ve got their review “Demon Slayer the Movie: Mugen Train review – an anime fever dream”, which basically talks about the movie, in not even 400 words, without giving a fuck about what it’s about. The review starts strong with three very pretentious lines “Good, bad and powerful spells collide in this impressively animated romp that inspires touching reflections on life suspended”. No idea what the fuck that is supposed to mean apart from the animation being good and… magical spells being in the movie… but Felperin, the author of the review, has no idea about the show really as it touches on something deeper… so deep that it actually didn’t make sense to me and I watched the show actually, even if I didn’t like it a whole lot. Leslie Felperin then continues “if, like me, you have no watched […] Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, let alone read the manga series it was based on, then you may struggle somewhat to understand exactly what’s going on […]”. Well, of course, if you watch the second season of any show, you may not quite understand what is actually going on. Felperin then goes into how you can see who the main characters/good guys are and who the bad guys are… based on appearance alone. Then, Leslie praises the animation, calls one of the characters a “shouty half-man-half-boar”, which btw is not actually true but whatever… and then Leslie spoils the film partly… Why the hell? In the end, she tells you to squint a bit, relax your mind and blablabla, here comes something pretentious again.
This isn’t a review. In my opinion, at least, this does a lot of things wrong like the lack of research, the length and the spoilers. Sure, length doesn’t matter and stuff. You can pull that joke here but I find it hard to count something as a “review” that doesn’t even remotely touch on how the author felt about the music, the characters, the plot, or the animation. It doesn’t have to be everything but at least something would have been nice. One sentence about the animation is… nothing, essentially, and it’s sad because this is essentially just a bad summary of the franchise without the necessary research and without anything added to it. You could have gone into Wikipedia, looked up the entry on the show and its plot summary before then telling someone about it who then would draw it so that someone else can describe it (yes, this is gartic phone) and then you’d have this post.
It’s a short post that doesn’t really summarise anything from the plot and yet manages to spoil one of the plot points completely. And then there’s this annoying pretentiousness that may very much just be a rhetoric device that The Guardian is forcing onto its writers because… how else do you look “sophisticated” nowadays unless you fake it. I mean, I’m not sure if people really care all that much about The Guardian… I know I’ve spent a few minutes reading through two reviews, both super short in length, to know if The Guardian spoils games often… Their review on Subnautica: Below Zero is a bit spoiler-y but at least it was kind of entertaining and it doesn’t go into too much detail. I just feel like writing 300 words down on a movie that you watched without doing any research, straight up hopping into – what essentially is – the second season of a show you’ve never watched is… bad? I mean, people wouldn’t watch the movie without watching the show first. Nobody jumps straight into the movie for a show they haven’t watched. I don’t just start with the end of the season when I suddenly watch a new show and then proclaim that it’s weird and that I have to squint a bit and question stuff… I don’t know.
So, maybe this is just how journalism works nowadays or how you write reviews if you want to stay relevant. You either slander Shrek or you admit to not having done your research while still trying to review a movie only to generate hate clicks. Shrek is turning 20 this year and an article published by The Guardian not too long ago on it was meant to be another hate click farm where they slander this movie and challenge the fanbase to a battle… but little did the Shrek fanbase know when they accepted the challenge and only fell into The Guardian’s trap, generating clicks for them, all according to plan. And even I may have fallen into this trap myself by linking to their 300-word post that is probably filled with ads unless you, “like me”, use adblocker… because I don’t support this. I don’t wanna.
(THIS FOLLOWING SECTION IS A JOKE)
To get back on track, I’ll update all of my reviews now and shorten them to 300-word summaries that then spoil the end of it, only to tell you that it’s kinda weird to look at when you haven’t actually played it and that it’s a great game and that you should subscribe for more. Maybe I’ll write for the Guardian, too, as a freelance writer for 31p per word. Honestly, not putting in the effort to make money actually sounds like a plan. Maybe I’ll become a “journalist” now for The Guardian, and then I’ll write for Forbes and then I’ll scam countless people into writing articles for me while I do not pay them at all, promising to give them a way to enter the Gaming Industry.
(THIS IS A JOKE)
No, jokes aside, I wouldn’t want to do that. The blog is doing great nowadays and I’m loving it more than anything right now and I’m finding my own style and happy with the work I put into my reviews, posts and everything. When I write reviews, I actually play the games and try out most of the features and settings and stuff… and then I write down my verdict and then I edit the post and add screenshots and all of that. And I actually add screenshots because the videos that The Guardian embedded into its post aren’t actually working which is kind of sad.
Quick note at the end here… I know I don’t have a huge platform of sorts but… still… don’t hate on Leslie for writing the article. Don’t attack her. Don’t slander her. This post was mostly my opinion on why I personally don’t think that that should count as a “review” and I just wanted to share it. This is not an attack or whatever. And if you read this and wanna tweet out at Leslie or whatever,… don’t. Seriously. Don’t. Nobody deserves that.
And if you didn’t plan to do that, that’s great and I love you (platonically) and I really hope that you stay kind and hydrated and safe! Take care of yourself. Enjoy the day. Kick back and relax.