So a video was posted on August 24 of a VentureBeat journalist making his way through the first level of Cuphead. He gets stuck for about a minute in the tutorial area, and continues to struggle with the gameplay. I’ve linked it in the bottom of the thread, but basically he seems unfamiliar with this Mega Man-ish action platformer style of gameplay and is following the tutorial to a T, perhaps more closely than the tutorial was designed to be followed, as there’s something unintuitive that he gets stuck on.
Do not read the comments.
This video has started a rage of many angry reactions in the usual spots and has already spawned many YouTubers to make “response” or “analysis” videos, and, y’all, I think some of them might be jerks! It also started a conversation in a nice Discord community I’m part of and I was shocked at how many people seem to earnestly believe that a journalist having this kind of trouble with a game is a problem with game journalism worth talking about and worse, attacking.
It got to the point where one Twitter user had the take that players with low skill are responsible for Cuphead’s long dev cycle and apparent financial woes, which–takeaways like that make it impossible to forget what kind of industry I’m working in. (That link also includes the journalist’s response to all this)
My personal belief is that you don’t have to be good at a game, 100% it or even complete the game to be qualified to review or cover it. One of the most common refrains of the people who think journalists should have more natural gaming talent is “they play so many games”. Well, wouldn’t you also believe that someone who plays so many games is able to figure out what a game is doing and what it does for them without completing it or aceing its challenges?
The facts are that not everyone is good at every kind of game, and EVERYONE has moments in a game where the goal is simple but you just can’t seem to figure out what to do. When you figure it out, you’re kicking yourself. I have this dozens of times. I’ve witnessed every person I watch playing games run into this problem. It is, in fact, a thing.
I want to see what the Waypoint forums have to say about this, and I’m not just looking to be echoed. Everywhere I’ve talked about this, I’ve never seen someone responding and agreeing that journalists should be better at games without just sounding like kind of a jerk and not taking it further than that. I don’t think the argument has legs, but maybe that’s just because I’ve never seen it walking. What do you think is the point of bringing this up, if there is one?