So Star Fox Zero is upon us and it’s no secret the control system isn’t universally popular. It’s dual screen approach requires a fair bit of brainwork to adjust to and master. While many hoped for more intuitive controls there’s no doubt, going by the word of many reviewers, that while they take time to learn they are by no means broken.
Polygon however have opted to go for the jugular and have trashed the new Star Fox game at every possible angle and upon stopping for breath, they declared they would not review the game as they had no intention of playing anymore of it than they already had.
So? Is everyone from IGN to the Independant (UK) talking bollocks? Are they being paid to write positive reviews or are they fanboying on us and playing down flaws in the game that render it unbearable to play? Or is Polygon acting the prick?
Reviews have been mixed. Polygons evisceration of the game does relate to the short comings other have picked up on, but they have blown it out of proportion.
I have a theory…
A quick Google search reveals that Polygon have covered the Alison Rapp drama considerably and their views on it are clear. They are angry at Nintendo for terminating her employment, and they blame what can be best summed up as #Gamergate
Polygon have long been in the Anti-Gamergate camp and understandingly so as #Gamergate think of Polygon as being one of the prime gaming sites short on decent journalistic ethics.
This has gone on for some years now but fast forward to 2016 and Alison Rapp, A Nintendo treehouse employee, who became embroiled in #Gamergate after becoming the center of a debate pertaining to censorship during the localisation of Fire Emblem Fates.
This lead to the discovery of her dissertation she had shared online that was easily misconstrued as apologism for pedophillia. This raged on for some weeks and then it transpired Nintendo had fired her for “Moonlighting.” Later is was discovered that second job was as an escort. The irony is her job was in PR and she became bad PR.
The likes of Polygon were infuriated. Some indie games developers even announced in protest they were no longer going to bring their games to Wii U. I too believe Alison got a raw deal. However we can all understand however why Nintendo might not want an employee who Moonlights in the sex industry. Most employers dislike moonlighting full stop.
I don’t want to delve any deeper into this debate, you can easily find out more, but I will say I don’t think Alison Rapp is a bad person. My point is that it seems to me that Polygon has slated Star Fox in protest to Alison Rapp’s dismissal.
Reaction to Polygon.
Multiple gaming sites have criticised Polygon for their non-review of Star Fox and are framing their criticism in a manner that is all too familiar to #Gamergate’s core complaint, and they absolutely right. It’s bad journalism and it does damage to the reputation of games reviewers as a whole. As #Gamergate would say it’s bad ethics. These critics of Polygon are NOT connecting it to Alison Rapp as far as I know. I’m the one doing that!
This is how I see it…Polygon got pissed off about Alison Rapp, and even more pissed off when Nintendo chose not to reply. So taking inspiration from the indie devs boycotting Nintendo, Polygon chose to do something similar. They however chose to hide their true motivations so the credibility of their attacks on the game come less under question.
I’m not saying this is absolutely the case, but the other possibilities hardly cast Polygon in a better light.
The most likely motivation was that they acted like the worst kind of fanboy gamer. They expected a games to cater exactly to them and when it didn’t they threw their toys out of the pram.
Another option is that they just decided to make some click bait, or it was written by someone who doesn’t like Nintendo games on the best of days.
Such motivations are best saved for 3rd rate bloggers like myself, not a full blown website trying to pass themselves off as a professional outlet.
If my theory is right or wrong there’s no doubting Polygon did it’s readers and it’s precarious reputation a big disservice. It’s super cunty to ramble on why you refuse to review a game under the pretense of a review.
Other reviews prove their attitude to be over the top and they are proving #Gamergates core point which is being illustrated by the notable bloggers and other gaming sites criticising their non-review.
There’s no doubting their article is an attack on Nintendo for reasons that go beyond the game itself, even if it’s just a loathing for the Wii U – Which still begs the question, why would Polygon have someone review a Wii U game when they don’t like the Wii U? Why have someone review a game they were never going like?
Something stinks and it seems clear to me it’s a new offensive in the #gamergate debacle.