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Sony sends out 'Lair Reviewer's Guide' -- Must. Not. Laugh.

Alexander Sliwinski
Alexander Sliwinski|@Sliwinski|September 7, 2007 5:50 PM

Dear seasoned reviewers, like Greg Miller of IGN (pictured and whose work back at the Columbia Tribune we covered), you're reviewing Lair wrong -- according to Sony. Miller, and probably many other reviewers, received their copies today of the "Lair Reviewer's Guide" so that they might go back and say, "Yes Sony, we totally don't know how to play video games, thank you! Thank you so much for showing us the light on how to play these ... things. We will now go back and redo our scores with the wealth of information we have been given."

We probably couldn't say it better than Tycho of Penny Arcade when he wrote what every video game professional with half a brain should think, "For my part, I don't give a good Goddamn if someone has trained themselves to eat shit and like it. The game is not challenging, it's difficult to play, and it's taken many years but I'm ready to begin making this distinction." Controls shouldn't need an explanation (or a video like the not-official one after the break), innovation can be intuitive if it's done right. Yeah, you can explain what the buttons should do, but when professionals can't use the controls properly, and they're trying to review the game for a general video game enthusiast -- that's a problem.

The fact that Sony and Factor 5 had to send out a packet telling reviewers how to play the game a week after the fact is so painfully tragic that it's funny. Oh, and just to be totally clear, there are typically "fact sheets" bundled with games and even follow-up info emails sometimes, but this "Lair Reviewer's Guide" goes well beyond that with "gameplay advice." Insulting with just a hint of desperation is what the "Lair Reviewer's Guide" is.