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Inside Pulse Email Madness!

Another public IP entry about the fallout of the Ned review, which has become a public spectacle, thanks to Eric S. publically slamming the review, and the reviewer; personally, I wish he'd have spent more time slamming the person that approved the article (PK), but I digress. I'd link the article in question, but on that page, there is an advertisement so flashy and so bright - it's literally a flashing neon image - that it puts the Pokemon episode that put those epileptic Japanese kids into raptures to shame. Take heart that he said a lot of the same things that I did.

Anyway, I figured I'd post the email correspondance I've had so far with both parties, for everyone's perusal. Just for shits and giggles. Because there is some funny shit here.

I start off with this one, carbon copied to Ned and Widro:

When I left Inside Pulse's games section, my two big gripes were tied together: I didn't trust Widro to run the department, and I felt the new writers were about five cuts below the standard set by Lucard, Bebito and Tom, and continued by people like Mark.

I was linked to your review of Nintendogs - an old game - today. Simply put, I feel if you are the new standard of Not A True Ending/Retrograding, then they might as well remove them altogether, as you are a pathetic excuse for a writer, and have singlehandedly validated both of my fears about the section. How did you get hired? Forget the fact that you can't use HTML; I understand that's a learned skill, and not everyone is good at it. But there are so many things wrong with the basic review that I don't know where to begin.

1: Why are you reviewing Nintendogs? That game is damn near ancient! No one cares about a Nintendogs review of a version (which you misrepresented) that came out... God, 2005? I hope for your sake this was a trial review.

2: Nintendogs has no story? So why did it get a 5/10? 5 is average, and if you look back on our old reviews, you see that average means something. This isn't Gamespot. If a game has no story, either slap a 1 on it, make the rating N/A and remove that quantity from the averages, or find something else to review the game on. Look back at my archives; you don't see me reviewing sports games for story, do you?

3: How is a game's price leveraged into "balance"? If you're using the review standard that IP uses - a cumbersome standard, admittedly - then bitching about the price is a good thing to do in "Miscellaneous". See my NHL '07 review to see what I mean.

But that's a rookie mistake; they don't upset me and wish that I was never affiliated with the section. What I'm about to point out, however, is inexcusable:

4: Myriad spelling and grammatical mistakes. Seriously, how did you get hired? A basic grip on grammar is necessary to write for Inside Pulse, or at least was in the past. Is Jon that hard up for writers? You misspelled "review" in the TITLE OF THE ARTICLE, for God's sake! A little quality control goes a long way! After that, you have misplaced commas, you talk about "Sound" as if it was a proper noun ("Sound has some fun stuff in this section"; hint, you'd do better with "There is an interesting mix of sounds to talk about in this section" in the future), missed spaces, multiple exclamation points when it's far from necessary - this isn't a forum post - and typos galore. A quick run through any word processor - Open Office is a free download, and comes with an excellent word processor - would have cleared up a lot of these errors; what you showed us was that you are lazy and don't particularly care about the quality of your work. Your editor, whoever he/she is, can only do so much; you have to do work yourself. This standard of mendacity might work on your dinky little Freewebs site, but that's not going to fly at a site with an actual tradition.

Quite frankly, you are an embarrassment to the games section, and if this is the new standard, than it will collapse, and all of Alex Lucard's hard work will go to waste. I'm carbon copying this to Widro as well; Jon, please remove my reviews and articles, as I do not wish to have my name degraded by this garbage.

- Christopher Bowen

I thought I put my thoughts in rather succintly, and bettermore... no cursing. Not bad, and much better than my usual motherfucking standards.

Now, let's recap the reasons I left Inside Pulse. The main, primary reason was that I could see the quality fo the site going massively downhill. Widro was prominently involved in the creative process, and that's not a good thing; he's a good webmaster when he's not ruining my eyes with terrible advertisements, but when he starts getting involved in content - writing, editing, etc. - problems occur. Plus, when Alex left, soon after him, Bebito went with him; that was a problem as far as getting content from people to write about (Bebito was a PR guy, which by nature of my personality and writing style makes us natural enemies, but Bebs was very good at what he did, and having him around was a big help. With everyone leaving, Widro decided to go on a massive hiring spree. As it stood, the new guys we brought back - people like O'Reilly and some dumb chick - were bad, but I knew a massive "write for us" spree was basically Jon throwing shit at the wall, and hoping it stuck. Well, shit stinks, and stains, and I don't want it stinking up my work. Those things, with the addition of possibly being put on a weekly timeline - a lot like the wrestling writers, only there's not always something significant to write about in video games - were enough to make me say "enough". Another minor thing was being limited to videogames; really, all of my posts could go up on Inside Pulse, and be top-notch articles in their respective sections. But we were put on a rule - by Alex, really - that we only wrote for video games. Which is fine; afterall, games needs more help than, say, the sports section, or Moodspins. And finally, I - and others - noticed a clique mentality coupled with a glass ceiling of sorts; on the one hand, you have the top wrestling guys, who are either insanely popular (Scott Keith, Eric S and Chris Hyatte, who I enjoyed for a few months when I was 20 but who I now find insanely tripe at best, and an odious dickbag who shits on his own staff at worst), or longtime contributors (PK). Some don't care about that distinction; Scott Keith doesn't get involved, he'd rather write about comic books at this point. But others - PK and Hyatte especially - use their pull to either intimidate the new guys (Hyatte) or use their pull to get things their way behind the scenes; the only reason I had to name my Inside Pulse "rant" columns something like "Unbranding the Sheep" was because PK was too fucking stupid to see my articles for what they were. Needless to say, rantmaster_mark, samuraiter and myself all left on the same day.

Jonathan was the first one to react:

I would have loved help after alex and bebito left me high and dry for the fourth time. Instead you quit. I'm not sure why you didnt have "confidence" in me to run the site i've been running for 9 years, but since you didnt and quit as well with no notice, your opinion is meaningless. if youd like to work on the team and help out with the quality issues, i'd love the help, but sending emails like this are just stroking your own ego.

the archives are staying up


Alright, hold up. No, I don't have confidence in Jon; I stated why already. Though I did give ample notice that there were at least problems (I could have given more notice about leaving the site).

Though normally, I'd put my money where my mouth is, and help the new guys break into the site. However, his comments about Alex and Bebito did me in. Left him "high and dry"? What kind of shit is that? That's horseshit! Alex gave three months notice, after telling Widro - repeatedly - that his gig was temporary. And for all I know, Bebito might still be there! So that was horseshit... and I told him so.

Left you "high and dry"? What kind of crap is that? How long did Alex tell you that he was leaving? Has Bebito even left yet? If you want to hammer me for the way I quit, sure, I understand, but those two? Alex told you going in that his gig was temporary. And if you recall, at first, I really wanted to help the site get past the Alex era, but I couldn't ignore the problems I started seeing, or hearing about. You validated a lot of those.

Another thing: you want to hammer me for the way I attacked Ned - who I'm hoping is writing from another country - and say I'm "stroking my own ego", but then you let Eric S completely and unequivocally shit on this guy in his latest article? Who the hell are your editors? I couldn't even make a veiled dig at PK for making me essentially change my writing style (I hate giving columns "witty" names), but Eric is able to do that? And this kid's review went unchecked by the editorial process to begin with? Not to mention the weekly offenses of Hyatte. But I forgot, they bring in RATINGS. If it weren't for issues like this, yes, I WOULD take you up on your offer to improve the quality of the writing - some guys just need a little bit of quality control, no big deal - but as it stands, I would be best served staying out of the way.

As for not having confidence in you, when you are simply a webmaster, you're very good; that means maintaining the server, getting revenue, and staying the hell out of the way when it comes to the actual content. But when you start coming in and getting involved, that's where problems start. The last straw for me was when you flat-out ignored Mark B's offer to be your games editor. Right now, I'm willing to bet you wish you took him up on that.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm still seeing spots from one of those damned advertisements you run. The damn thing would kill my epileptic mother.

- Christopher Bowen

I don't expect to hear back from him. He's got bigger things to worry about... like his own writers.

And then... there's Ned.

Ned got back to me with an email only slightly better written than his initial review.

I am deeply sorry you feel that way. there are a few things that i would like to pint out, beginning with the fact that if you are going to bitch out on some, ANYONE, don't. If you don't like what you see, look through and see if they're new to writing, maybe that's why they did some things wrong. I they are new, write an organized, constructive letter instead of a compleat rant.

1: I just got my DS 1 week, maybe 2 ago. As this was the first game I got, and InsidePulse didn't yet have it as a game, so it seemed like a good idea to review. In essence, what is a review? A review is a rather short article that tells a person the pro's and con's to a game to help them decide wether or not they want to purchase the game. Either that or they just want to find out what a game is about. If someone wanted to purchase Nintendogs and was looking to see if it was a good game they would have found IP completely useless, and now they won't. And as a result, they are more likely to come back again, and again.

2: "there is almost no story" I believe is what I said. A sim game's story is based on how realistic the simulation. Do you feel like you actually own a dog, or are riding a horse? So for this game I felt it was average. It was weak in some areas but strong in others, not particularly strong, but better than normal.

3: I know that you leave IP with the best reputation but maybe you are still old school.
6. Balance

This is probably the hardest of all the categories to understand. Basically, is the game even in all aspects. Does the difficult level increase at a steady pace with each level, or is the game super ultra easy for 90% of it and then suddenly the last boss is mucho psychotically tough as in the first Evolution)?

As well, is the game priced correctly for the amount you get. Who would pay $40 for Cannon Spike? Excellent Game...but you beat it in an hour. Another example is Popful mail. Costs about 50$ on Ebay...but the game is beaten in 3-9 hours. ACK!

However the opposite is true as well. Games that have crap loads of filler in it (Star Ocean 2) that make you waste time just so they can increase the amount of time it takes you to beat the game...can make them annoyingly stupid

I believe you will find that helpful when yelling at IP posters.

4: I'm not going to spend a lot of time writing this part because I don't need to. Are you familiar with Microsoft Word 2002? I suppose that isn't a sufficient enough word processor for you. I am not perfect in any way (except my looks, heh) and neither are you, the E-mail you sent me is proof of that. I understand that "Sound has some fun stuff in this section" may not be perfect, but you understood it, which means it's ok. NO, don't flip out about, "no it's not" because it's not perfect, its ok. There aren't that many people that, after reading this review, would stop and have to read though this again and again to understand it. Most people would read through it and get it, or at the very least, the premise of what I was trying to say. People among this list include you, otherwise you wouldn't have been able to send this E-mail that was filled of with every single one of my errors (I doubt you got them all).

Now that I completely demolish EVERY SINGLE argument you had against me I would like to point out a few of YOUR mistakes.
1) "I don't know where to begin.

1: Why are you reviewing Nintendogs?" How could you not know where to begin, and then list 4 errors?

2) "A little quality control goes a long way" That is a statement, not an exclamation, and therefore needs a . instead of an !. (I would like to point this out, "multiple exclamation points when it's far from necessary").

3) I hate to say it but my, "dinky little freewebs site" is NOT A GAMING site. The reasons i have game reviews on there is so I can attract a large portion of my town to the website. My "dinky little freewebs site" is a website about my town, "You know, stuff to do on half-days, how to survive school, how to ask the special someone out (which I know nothing about). ".

4) I would also like to point out that you still have links to inside pulse, and you are trying to make this into a large, fuedic (almost movie star) proportion battle."Note: If their administration ever stops pissing me off, this article will appear on Inside Pulse under the “Unbranding the Sheep” moniker".

Now I have homework to get to so I have to leave. Why is your, "superbus the sportist" larget that your "superbus the person"?

Just looking at that again makes me want to lie down and take a long nap, preferably one I don't wake up from. So instead, I'll C+P my response to him, and leave it at that.

The thing that gets me is that... well, these mistakes aren't from someone that's new to writing. The mistakes I outlined were mistakes that would get you slammed on a Year 3 reading quiz. If it weren't for that, I'd be a lot nicer. The only thing I have to think with that last review - which was so bad, wrestling writers are publically slamming you in their articles, and making the games section look horrible - is that one of three things are possible:

1) You are not a native English speaker. I question why you write for an English based site if that's the case, but OK, that's workable. I wonder if that's the case, reading your response to me (I can barely read some of this)

2) You have no comprehension on the basics of English grammar, spelling and sentence structure, but are from an English speaking country. This is... disturbing, but whatever.

3) You are too lazy to bother to edit what you're saying. That is most disturbing, and what I've been leaning toward since I read your review.

As for you getting your DS recently, if that's the case, you shouldn't be reviewing games for the system. When you review a game, you're not giving it a personal scale score based on how YOU thought of it compared to every other game you've played, you're scoring it against other games on the system. For example, Final Fantasy III's graphics really push the DS to it's limits, and are beautiful on their own; therefore, by DS standards, they would get the10 they got in IP's review. But if you were to put that same game on PSP, the score would drop like a rock, as there are significantly better looking games on that system. If you've had your system for two, three weeks, you can not have a proper balance, unless you went out and got 10 to 15 games all at once, and played them all.

My recommendation, in case Widro hasn't fired you yet, is if you want to work on your reviewing skills, try Retrograding. They NEED content, and you have a better perspective on the games of the system that you are reviewing. Furthermore, reviews for older games look much better on that site than they do on NATE; NATE is for cutting edge games, relatively new stuff. Nintendogs doesn't qualify.

You did say "there is almost no story". Therefore, there is no story! You either 1 it, N/A it, or name it a different category. Even if you want to say "you are a pet owner, try not to have your dog covered in feces" is the story, I'd say that's a weak one.

I'll write our definitions of "Balance" off as simply a difference of interpretation. I don't agree with yours, but I can see where you got what you got looking at the review backbone.

I don't know where you're going with referencing Microsoft Word... the point of the matter is that it doesn't matter what word processor you use, be it Word, Open Office, hell, even WordPad has a spell checker at this point. The fact of the matter is that unless you're using WordPerfect 5.0 for an old DOS based system, every single word processor out there nowadays has a spelling and grammar checker. Those simple tools would have solved a good portion of your problems. Again, laziness on your part. And it's not about "understanding" the review; you don't just write to be "understood". I can go on Livejournal, do an interest search for "nintendogs", and find a bunch of guys that talk about Nintendogs in their journals, most of them with grammar as bad or worse than yours. I don't, because reading that garbage makes my eyes hurt. That's where a site like Inside Pulse comes in. You see, even though the staff doesn't get paid in monetary compensation, they are still regarded as being professional writers, and as such, they are expected to write their articles with at least a care for grammar, spelling, proper sentence structure, basically, the very basics of elementary writing. The things that made Inside Pulse's games section popular were lots of detail in the articles, and freedom to say whatever we wanted to within reason (like in my articles about Sony, EA, Gamestop, etc.). You are not just a rookie writer looking for his place; if that was the case, I would work with you and help make you better. You are either - again - lazy, or an incompetent writer, and as such, you are below the standards set by myself,.my predecessors and my peers. You couldn't even tell me properly that you countered my points! In past tense, it is "demolished", not "demolish".

On the subject of not knowing where to begin, and then beginning... well, it was either fixate on something, or flip a coin, or something. And just starting to dissect that review made my head hurt. Not as much as some of Widro's advertisements, but I digress.

I put an exclamation next to that statement you pointed out because I was exclaiming it. Basically, it's the literary equivalent of shaking you violently and screaming at you, hoping you wake the hell up.

I understand your little Freewebs site is not a gaming site. It doesn't have to be. Though the quality - or lack thereof - of your writing belongs there, and not on a site that people around the world actually read.

And no, I'm not trying to "feud" with IP. Why would I? I have friends there still. I stated my opinion on my website. Is that wrong? And no, there is no reason "Superbus the Sportist" is bigger than "Superbus the Person"; it's just how it turned out. Though you did remind me that I need to get to writing "Superbus the Gamer". Thanks!

Personally, now that Eric S. has taken a baseball bat and clubbed your baby seal of a review in public... really, I'm the least of your worries. Good luck, you're going to need it.

- Christopher Bowen

I'm sure he'll respond eventually. That should be worth plenty of lulz.

In the meantime, I'm kinda sad that the games section of Inside Pulse is essentially burning to the ground while Widro and PK fiddle (WHY did PK become an editor? He's an idiot! And a biased one at that!), but I realise there's little anyone can do. Alex could come back, yes, but again, he's burnt out on videogames. Mark offered to take over, but he was ignored. At this point, it's just a matter of time.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 15th, 2007 11:44 pm (UTC)
Let us not forget that the actual game dickweed reviewed was, oh, over a year old.

BTW, they have now pulled the review entirely. Har har. Fun times, yes?
Feb. 16th, 2007 02:35 am (UTC)
Shane over at Alex's blog
Well, having now read this section of the "Ned Saga", I have to say it (the lynching that he's received) is even funnier knowing how the back office works. I think at this stage the fact that it was Eric who publicly took the kid to task, unprofessional as it may ultimately be, just causes us to roll our eyes and say "oh, that wacky Polack", since this sort of stuff has been his gimmick for so long that I don't think it actually is gimmick.

All in all, though, it's a shame that it took something like this to get people to come back to reading NATE, since yeah it did turn into a massive flying shitball after the exodus.
Feb. 16th, 2007 09:58 pm (UTC)
"My heart will go ooonnn ... !"

Feb. 16th, 2007 10:23 pm (UTC)
How about this little bite from Eric's latest column, in reference to Scott Steiner on TNA's Impact show:

"And with our luck, after he leaves TNA, Widro and PK will hire him to do reviews over at Not A True Ending."
Feb. 17th, 2007 08:50 am (UTC)
Um... didn't Hyatte leave the site over a year ago?

Feb. 17th, 2007 11:36 pm (UTC)
Sinatra has fewer retirements than Hyatte. He was back recently, I believe.
Feb. 20th, 2007 02:11 am (UTC)
Nope. He left IP over a year ago, went to www.doiwrestling.com. He in fact just retired, but has not been back on IP and as far as I know isn't coming back.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )


Mr. Met
Superbus the BRAVE!!!

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