TOH Podcast 19 – The Da Vinci Review Code

Sorry folks, this one’s a proper rant.

In episode 19 of the Tired Old Hack podcast yer man Scullion’s had enough of review conspiracy theories.

After discussing some of the most recent gaming news (including Nintendo’s latest attempt to break into China) and explaining my VHS project in a bit more depth, I go on a wee bit of a rant about the reaction to my latest review for Nintendo Life, NBA 2K18.

I apologise in advance: I don’t really like being too negative but this has really wound me up so I feel the need to address it. It gets a bit sweary too, so you’ve been warned!

How to listen

If you’re just listening while browsing, the podcast was at the top of this article. Click play and you’re off and running.

If you’d rather have the MP3 as a downloadable file so you can stick it on your media player of choice, right-click and save this link.

If you’ve got iTunes, you can find the podcast there by searching for ‘Tired Old Hack’ or just following this link. Please subscribe if you enjoy it, and write up a wee review.

Or, if you’d rather use your own podcast app, use this feed URL to subscribe to the podcast and get access to new episodes as they’re added:

Also, for the first time ever, the podcast will also be available on YouTube, complete with random game footage I’ve captured (this episode it’s NBA 2K18 on Xbox One and Switch). I’ll be updating this page on Tuesday night with the video.


  1. Just wanted to touch on one thing that’s emerged from the last two podcasts: the idea that it’s the reviewer’s opinion, which is completely different from the site’s. And I’m not sure I can agree, for one reason: the same reviewer won’t review every game you’re interested in. If you’re a Ninty Life afficionado who happens to trust Mitch Vogel, say, and then yer man Scullion comes along and reviews Metroid, where do you go for your detailed Mitch review? I don’t think it’s unreasonable, in that case, for the person to expect some level of consistency between what Ninty Life publish from Mitch, and what they publish from Scullion. This obviously isn’t the case, as can be seen in the Yo-Kai Watch 2 reviews: a slightly upgraded version of a 6/10 game got a 9/10, and (because the number’s not what’s important) a review that focussed on different areas, placed different emphases, and was altogether hard to compare.

    It’s not an ideal world, and freelance journalists have other things to do than trawl the archives. I’d say it’s up to the site as a whole to make sure that things are comparable – whether that’s by providing second opinions, by getting the same person back for both Yo-Kai Watch 2 reviews, by some editorial oversight, what have you. Transparency being key, of course: don’t want to have author’s opinions ridden roughshod over by the editorial staff. But at the same time, those two reviews don’t help someone who doesn’t have money or gaming time to play everything, and wants a recommendation from a site and/or person…

    On the flip side, it’s obviously completely unreasonable for people to assume that every scoring policy is influenced by the publisher getting their wallets/heavies out. And ‘That’s not game journalism, that’s a wanker’ is a fantastic line.

  2. Finally got around to listening to the last two podcasts yesterday and was really interested in hearing you discussing the review process. I remember back when I was reading Total! and Super Play magazines seeing people write in complaining that they’d only given Super Mega Game X 93% instead of 95%, and even then thinking that it didn’t really matter. I thought the recent trend for scoring out of 10 was better, but people are still gonna complain regardless. Regardless a review is always just another person’s opinion. You get to know whose opinion you trust and can generally trust their reviews will agree with your own opinion. I think your decision not to have any score on Tired Old Hack is a good one.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.